We all know that the brand of pool cue a person uses has very little to do with his skills or abilities as a player. Getting good at pool is something that just takes time, patience, and lots of practice. But using a quality cue from a reputable maker can definitely make the process a little easier. With years of experience and expertise, brand name cue makers provide exceptional quality and consistency in their cues which translates into more consistent practice sessions and increased confidence at the table.
But with that being said, however, not all cues are created equal. And often times it can be difficult to know which brand of cue to go with, especially when you’re new to the game.
Fortunately, though, the billiard community has spoken and cast their votes on Ranker.com to determine a list of best brands of pool cues.
The Top 10 in order are:
In this article we’re going to take a closer look at what makes each of these brands worthy of being in the Top 10! By the end of this article you’ll be one step closer to finding that perfect pool cue!
- Founded: 1975
- Location: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
Currently based in Wisconsin, USA, McDermott has been making high-quality and innovate pool cues since 1975. Their cues go through 150 different procedures while being crafted out of quality Hard Rock maple, exotic woods, and quality inlays in unique designs.
McDermott cues use the latest shaft technology to help with accuracy and power. Their Intimidator I-Shafts come standard on all G-Series cues over $1200, while their G-Core Shafts come standard on their G-Series cues from $420 to $1090.
Their brand ambassadors include William Deyonker (aka The Gentleman) who is an artistic pool champion and holds several world records. Tom Rossman (aka Dr. Cue) is another McDermott brand ambassador who has made a career out of playing pool and entertaining with stunning trick shots. Dr. Cue plays with the McDermott i-2 shafts. Jorge Rodriguez, a current pro on the McDermott team, plays with a G229 with a traditional maple shaft.
McDermott continues to push boundaries with their H-Series, featuring an innovative Variable Balance Point (VBP) weight system. This system empowers players to finely adjust the weight balance within the cue butt, tailoring the cue’s feel to their individual preferences. As a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality, all McDermott cues are backed by a lifetime warranty, safeguarding against manufacturer defects and warpage.
And speaking of advancing cue technology, McDermott’s latest offering, the Defy shaft, redefines the possibilities of carbon fiber shafts. In a departure from the norm, the Defy shaft harnesses state-of-the-art technologies to transcend the limitations often associated with carbon fiber.
By seamlessly integrating the groundbreaking Defy shaft into McDermott’s legacy of excellence, the brand continues to elevate the game of billiards, providing players with unparalleled tools to enhance their performance and enjoyment.
- Founded: 1968
- Location: Byhalia, Mississippi, USA
Kevin Cheng, who recently won the WPA Players Championship, uses a Meucci cue. Dennis Orcollo, who holds world titles in both 8 and 9 Ball, also recently joined the Meucci Pro Team.
Bob Meucci is considered one of the original quality cue makers in the US. To this day all of his cues are made in America using the highest quality Hard Rock maple and exotic woods. Meucci cues recently released a carbon fiber shaft that has been getting good reviews. For many years carbon fiber was thought to be less sturdy than traditional maple, but the new Meucci shafts look to be promising and may well change that perception.
Meucci cues are known for a great feel and a soft hit for increased control and accuracy. In order to ensure the highest quality and lowest deflection cues, the Meucci company uses their “Myth Destroying Robot” to test their cues.
They come with a joint and ferrule designed for maximum playability and finesse. Their Black Dot Bullseye Shaft is made from 35 Northern Hard Rock maple laminations in order to give it strength, stability, and to decrease warpage. Meucci cues come with a one-year limited warranty against manufacturer defects.
There is a long list of tournaments and money won with Meucci cues. According to Bob Meucci himself, his cues have won more money than any other cue lines put together. A couple of the big names that use or have used Meucci cues are Skylar Woodward, Dennis Hatch, John Morra, Loree Jon Hasson, Dennis Orcollo, Chris Lawson, Max Eberle, Cory Deuel, Jayson Shaw, and Devin Poteet.
- Founded: 1981
- Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Schon is the German word for beautiful and perfectly describes these American-made cues. Founded in 1981 by Terry Romine Senior, the Wisconsin pool cue company began with a quest to make the perfect cue. Many players agree that they’ve managed just that.
Every Schon cue is handcrafted and never mass-produced. The family-owned company has been true to its roots since the beginning and will continue to do so throughout the years. This means using only the highest quality materials and focusing on beauty, excellence, accuracy, and precision.
Some very big names have played with Schon cues through their careers. A couple of notable names include Minnesota Fats, Buddy Hall, Dallas West, and Shane Van Boening.
The company makes cues that fall under six different categories which include the fan favorite STL line of popular cues for amateurs and pros alike. Their other lines include CX, which is made exclusively for Cuestix International; SP or Special line which have no set number and are only made occasionally. They also have Limited and Elite lines, of which only a few are made, and their Unique cues which are truly one of a kind.
- Founded: 1968
- Location: Towson, Maryland, USA
Possibly the very definition of a family business, the Joss Cue company was headed by Dan Janes, who started making cues in 1968. His wife Debbie, and their son Stephen, also helped to run the business. Dan, a highly skilled cue maker, was inducted into both the American Cuemakers Association Hall of Fame and the International Cuemakers Hall of Fame for his exceptional contributions to the art of cue crafting.
In 2017, Stephen Janes, following in his father’s footsteps, was named Cuemaker of the Year by the American Cuemakers Association, solidifying the family’s legacy in the world of cue making. Their handcrafted and beautifully designed cues continue to be regarded as some of the best cues in the industry.
Tragically, on June 21st, 2023, the cue-making community mourned the passing of Dan Janes. His craftsmanship and dedication had left an indelible mark on the world of billiards.
The Paul Newman and Tom Cruise movie, The Color of Money, featured Joss cues throughout. Even the ones that were called by other names in the film. Joss cues have been made for Nicole Kidman and Dustin Hoffman as well as for the entire cast of the classic Mission Impossible TV show.
Many top players have used Joss cues over the years. A few of these include Eddie Taylor, Jim Rempe, Jimmy Moore, and Joe Balsis. The Joss line includes many popular cues including the JOS02, JOS16, and their Color of Money cue.
Joss cues come with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Founded: 2000
- Location: Jeffersonville, Indiana, USA
Lucasi cues are well known for their low-defect rate and their lifetime warranty. Lucasi Hybrid cues and their custom line are favorites among serious players. They are, however, made in China, which some people don’t like. But since they are made overseas, they tend to be a little bit cheaper than their made in the USA counterparts. Their quality control is, some say, better than some of the higher-end American brands. You can get a really quality Lucasi cue for around $250-$300.
Another nice thing about the Lucasi brand is they have a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. So, you can play on the cue and see if you like it. Throughout all of this, they have top-notch customer service and take customer satisfaction very seriously. The fact that they care about their products and customers makes them a great choice for number 5 of the 10 best pool cue brands.
Some people have had problems with the Uniloc joints that Lucasi uses in their cues. At times the joints come loose and they have to send the cue in, but it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem. Many people, however, state that the feel is a little heavy due to the construction and material of the Uniloc joints.
Lucasi’s Sneaky Pete cues are popular among many players. Their LZS and LZC lines are also favorites among amateurs and seasoned players alike.
- Founded: 1961
- Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Another Wisconsin-based cue company, Pechauer has been making quality cues completely in-house since the 1990s but have been in the pool business since the 1960s. For founder Jerry Pechauer started making pool cues as a hobby. He began by experimenting in his garage in order to fix a broken cue he had received after winning a wager over a game in a local pool hall.
By the time his son Joe was born, Jerry’s hobby had ramped up and he was the go-to guy for cue repairs in his area. When Joe finished making his first cue at the age of 14, Jerry decided it was time to turn the hobby into a full-time business.
J. Pechauer Custom Cues is run today by Joe Pechauer and is all about creating the best cues possible. They offer a carbon fiber shaft as well as the standard and low deflection shafts that have been popular for years.
The JP and Pro series cues are popular and are known for their great feel and smooth shooting. Joshua Shultz, Janet Atwell, and Andy Mcdonald are a few of the many pros who play with Pechauer cues. Plus, Pechauer cues have won Cue of the Year awards in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
- Founded: 1982
- Location: Nekoosa, Wisconsin, USA
Jacoby Custom Cues started in 1982 as a basement cue repair service under the name Dave’s Cue Service. Once they got a feel for repairing all kinds of different cues, they made the move to start making their own. This American company is based in Wisconsin and have been involved with the American Cuemakers Association since the 1990s.
Jacoby makes hybrid and custom cues for any of your pool needs. They’ve made cues for pro players such as Corey Deuel and Jeanette Lee.
Their cues are generally a little pricier than the average American-made cue, but they’ve won awards for their craftsmanship before. In 2008 and 2009 they won the People’s Choice Cue of the Year award.
A couple of their current players include Billy the Kid and Randy LeMar. Jacoby’s Mag and Custom series are both favorites among many different types of players.
- Founded: 2005
- Location: Plano, Texas, USA
Founded in the early 2000s, OB stands for Owen-Bunnell, which is the true name of the company. It was founded when Don Owen and Royce Bunnell met in Dallas after they both joined the same pool league. Each soon found that the other spent their spare time designing and making pool cues. The company was born.
OB cues are fast becoming very popular. If you look on any pool forum you’ll see those two letters sprinkled throughout. Many people claim that they’ll never shoot on anything but an OB.
OB has developed its own technology in order to take the term low deflection to a whole new level. Many of OB’s products are protected by patents and may end up becoming the new standard for low deflection shafts. The name of their game is low mass inside the shaft and the tip. The OB cue making process is all about delivering the best feel, accuracy, consistency, and spin.
Some notable names on the OB team include Brian Parks, Raymond Linares, Chris Bartram, and Charlie Bryant. As the OB name grows the production team in Texas focuses on delivering a quality product at the best price.
The Balabushka story is quite literally the story of the American dream. George Balabushka, arguably the most famous name in cue making, immigrated to America when he was 12, in the mid-20th century. He worked with wood his whole life but never really set out to become a cue maker.
Living in Brooklyn in 1959, he bought a pool hall with a friend of his and began repairing and making cues for friends. Pretty soon his name was synonymous with quality pool cues. He only actually made cues for 16 years, but in that time he made quite a name and reputation for himself.
George died in 1975, but his legacy lives on. Balabushka cues are still a big name in the pool world, and for good reason.
Original cues made by George himself sell today for tens of thousands of dollars. They are true collector’s items. The Balabushka’s being made today are still quality cues but aren’t worth anywhere near a vintage cue that the man himself made.
- Founded: 1992
- Location: Osaka, Japan
Last but not least on our list of the 10 best pool cue brands is Mezz Cues. Mezz was founded in Japan in the 1960s by Yuji Miki, who grew up helping his father make wooden figures and toys. For much of Miki’s pool cue making career, he was under exclusive contract to make cues for an American company. His own cues didn’t begin selling under the Mezz name until the 1990s.
Some attribute the quality and success of Mezz Cues to the fact that Miki learned a lot while making one- and two-piece cues for American companies like Adam, Helmstetter, Stambolini, and Brunswick.
Since then Mezz cues have been a big name in the pool industry. Miki’s unique design and technology makes for solid, reliable, smooth-shooting cues. No matter how he did it, today Mezz Cues are great quality but are a little on the expensive side.
Some members of the Mezz family have included Alex Pagulayan, Chris Robinson, and Hunter Lombardo.
As you can see, all of these brands boast quite a few reasons to support their position in the top 10, and any one of them would be a great fit for anyone looking for a quality cue that will last for years to come.
I hope this list has been helpful and that you’re at least one step closer to finding the perfect cue for you.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and be sure to check out our other helpful articles for all of your billiard related questions!
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- Best Pool Cues for the Money: A Cue for Every Budget
- Are Expensive Pool Cues Really Worth the Money?
- Best Beginner Pool Cues Under $100
- The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Perfect Pool Cue
- 7 Best Pool Cues Under $200: These Cues Are Amazing!