13 Best Pool Cue Brands in the World (2023)
Whether it’s cue performance or elegance you’re looking for (or a combination of both), there are many amazing brands out there to choose from. So many, in fact, that choosing a cue can be a little overwhelming.
In this article, we’re going to help inform you about some of the best brands of cues available today. It’s not necessary, and honestly would be pretty dull, to go over the complete history of every brand.
We’ll review things like when the brand was founded, what they’re known for, and a note or two about what sets them apart.
Here are 13 of the best pool cue brands available right now, listed alphabetically.
Founded: 1959 by George Balabushka
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $235 – $2500 (Original Balabushka cost can be much higher)
Brand Highlights: One of the most famous names in billiards, owning a Balabushka is like owning a piece of history. Made world famous by “Fast” Eddie Felson, the brand is synonymous with quality.
Most serious pool fans will have heard of Balabushka, one of the world’s most famous billiard cue brands. If you’ve not seen “The Hustler” or “The Color of Money,” then you should seriously add them to your list of movies to see.
The company founder, George Balabushka, began making pool cues in around 1959 and, within five years, was making high-performance cues full-time. It’s estimated that Balabushka hand-crafted up to 2000 cues, and fans highly covet the originals.
A modern Balabushka has all the superb craftsmanship of the originals and stays true to George Balabushka by primarily using maple as the wood of choice for the cue forearm.
If you’re looking for a cue that’s a part of folklore, owning a Balabushka is a must. The pedigree, the history, and the stunningly designed and crafted cues will never go out of fashion. The SLE Series Cues are stunning offerings that feature Mother-of-pearl inlays and an African Ebony butt sleeve that oozes class.
Made in: China
Cue Price Range: $100 – $1000
Brand Highlights: While Cuetec has a top-of-the-line range of Truewood cues, the development and success of Cuetec carbon fiber cues set the company apart.
Whether you’re looking for a more traditional wooden pool cue, such as the Cuetec Cynergy Truewood II Series, or you’re looking for a hybrid with a carbon fiber shaft, Cuetec has all the pockets covered.
The Cynergy SVB Gen One Series, with its kiln-dried Canadian Maple topped with a composite carbon fiber shaft, has a smooth action and incredible accuracy. Cuetec’s expertise when it comes to combining old technology with new is one of the standout features of their cue range.
One of the biggest perks of using a Cuetec cue is that you can use it from novice level right up to tournament play. With a range of jump and break cues, as well as extensions and cases to complement your cue, you’ll find everything you need in one place.
Some of the best tournament players around play Cuetec cues, and if it’s good enough for the professionals, it’s plenty good for us.
Founded: 1982 by David and Shane Jacoby
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $340 – $2500
Brand Highlights: With an incredible array of materials on hand, Jacoby custom cues are handcrafted to your specifications, giving you a unique cue that’s built to the highest standards.
If you’re looking for an off-the-rack cue, plenty of retailers or even specialist stores can see to your needs. Jacoby should be at the top of your list if you’re after a custom-built, custom-designed cue that’s yours and yours alone.
With world-class customer reviews, a Jacoby cue made to order is an investment you’ll not regret. With updates on your cue at every stage of development, you can tweak the design and feel of the cue to your needs.
The Jacoby MAG Series is an affordable starting point if you want to get a feel for a Jacoby cue, with prices starting at a reasonable $340. You’re not getting the customization, but you’re still getting a fantastic cue that retains the feel and performance you’d expect from a master cue maker.
While it’s the cues that take you to Jacoby, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of bling to show you mean business, and Jacoby’s line of clothing is a great gift idea if you’re not keen on forking out for a custom cue.
Founded: 1968 by Dan Janes
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $350 – $3900
Brand Highlights: With cues that featured in the hit movie “The Color Of Money,” Joss is one of the most respected brands in the business. Cue maker to the stars, Joss also caters to beginners and professionals alike.
With each cue lovingly made by Dan or Stephen Joss, you get a real feel for the care and attention that’s put into each cue. Each cue can feel slightly different, partly because each is handcrafted, but once you’ve found a cue that fits your style, you’ll love it forever.
Fans of Joss cues include Minnesota Fats and Mike Sigel, and stars such as Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, having picked a Joss as their cue of choice, means you can guarantee that you’re getting a premium product.
With decades of experience, Joss knows what they’re doing, and each cue feels unique and more personal for it. If you’re looking for a cue with personality, a Joss cue fits the bill. If you can find the sweet spot, playing well with a Joss cue is a sign that you’re a quality player.
Founded: 1996 by Jim Lucas (formerly Cue & Case sales)
Made in: China
Cue Price Range: $150 – $650
Brand Highlights: Using only the finest wood, Lucasi treats, turns, and cures each piece for two years before even considering it ready to create a cue.
Lucasi pool cues are some of the most affordable cues on the market, especially when you consider the amount of work, technology, and craftsmanship that goes into each cue.
Using the finest wood to create each cue, each piece is cured for two years to ensure zero wood warping. Laser technology ensures you get the perfectly aligned cue to make each shot count, and a leather or Irish linen wrap provides an excellent grip.
A Lucasi cue should last for decades and the quality and commitment to creating a stunning final product show with each cue. While the Lucasi website could be jazzed up a little, don’t think you’re getting anything less than a great cue for an even better price.
The Lucasi Hybrid LHC97 Birds-Eye Maple Pool Cue is a great cue if you’re struggling with ball deflection, thanks to its shock-absorbing leather wrap and lightweight build. From beginner to advanced players, it’s a forgiving and resilient cue.
Founded: 1975 by Jim McDermott
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $325 – $2950
Brand Highlights: Customizable to the point of the extreme, a McDermott pool cue is a hand-crafted cue that’s an extension of the player. Crafted from exotic woods and with phenomenal inlays, these cues look as good as they perform.
Lovingly crafted, and with each part tested and retested, a McDermott cue will last you a lifetime.
McDermott provides a lifetime guarantee to back up their confidence in their product range, though you’ll rarely need it. The H-Series is an innovative cue range with a carbon fiber core and the ability to reposition the weights to suit your playstyle.
We’re particularly fond of the catalog of retired McDermott pool cues, and if you’re ever lucky enough to find one lying around, you could be sitting on a sizable windfall.
For anyone looking to create their own style, McDermott offers a custom pool cue service with an endless array of customization available. Choosing from 16 varieties of exotic wood is hard enough, and pretty soon, you’ll have a cue unlike any other.
Founded: 1975 by Bob Meucci
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $425 – $2845
Brand Highlights: With a focus on power and consistency, Meucci has a long history of crafting affordable cues that are ideal for new to intermediate players.
Meucci is a brand that’s been around for almost 50 years and the experience and quality show in their cue selection. One of the standout features of Meucci cues is the price, with a high proportion of the cues costing less than $1000.
Each cue is designed by Bob Meucci, a name that’s been well-respected in the billiards community since the 1960s. The cues aren’t just pleasing to the eye; they’re superbly crafted and noticeably stabilize your game.
The Hall of Fame and Gambler series of Meucci cues are still as popular today as when they were first released. The fact that Meucci constantly tests, refines, and improves their cues means that the cues evolve with new technology.
Founded: 1960 (parent company – Miki Co.)
Made in: Japan
Cue Price Range: $470 – $1750
Brand Highlights: Mezz provides a mid- to high-end cue range that offers superb customizability, notably the Avant Series, which has a Dual Loading System that allows unparalleled weight adjustment.
Mezz has a collection of some of the most consistent, customizable cues around. From play cues, jump cues, and break cues, Mezz combines classic cue-making techniques with cutting-edge upgrades.
The Ace-18 Series, with its WX Alpha shaft, offers users incredible precision on each shot and is noticeably more potent than its predecessor.
If you’re looking to tweak your cue to get the most from each shot, you’ll need to ensure the weight is absolutely perfect, and the Dual Loading Avant range allows for ideal balance and weight distribution.
Mezz cues use a Wavy joint for maximum responsiveness, and that’s true across the entire range. From the reasonably priced AXI series right through to the Ace-18 and above, each cue feels responsive, compact, and incredibly fun to use.
If you’re looking for a truly customized cue, perhaps Mezz isn’t for you, although you can request longer shafts or tweaks to the weight of your cue. For a game-ready cue that plays as well as it looks, a Mezz cue will give your game the performance and consistency you need.
Founded: 2005 by Don Owen and Royce Bunnell
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $275 – $425
Brand Highlights: Incredible value for your money, OB Cues come with either a hardwood or carbon fiber shaft. OB cues have a noticeably lower tip-end mass, considerably reducing ball deflection.
OB uses the torrefaction process to reduce the weight and increase the strength of its cues. Baking the wood in an oxygen-free environment makes it lighter and denser, making it an ideal material for cue-making.
Combined with a Straight Line Core (making a straighter, stronger, and more stable experience) and a Centralized Balanced System allowing optimal weight distribution, an OB cue is an incredibly well-engineered piece of equipment.
Clearly, the company stands by its products, even going as far as offering a lifetime guarantee against warpage. A fair amount of customization is available with OB cues, ranging from tip size, type of shaft, and the type of hit you prefer.
Founded: 1963 by Jerry Pechauer
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $340 – $3000
Brand Highlights: Phenomenal customer service, great cues, and a range of limited edition cues that’ll have you raiding your piggy bank – from the JP and Pro Series right through to the Brett Favre Ltd Edition Cue, Pechauer creates stunning cues.
Pechauer has been making quality cues for over half a century and remains one of the most trusted cue brands in the USA. The company provides affordable, incredibly well-made, and highly thought-of cues with its JP and Pro Series of cues.
The Pro Series PO# cues are an excellent choice if you’re looking for an upgrade, and each cue can be customized depending on your needs.
One thing worth mentioning is the excellent website, with clear pictures, all the information you’ll need, and easy menus to add customization. That might sound irrelevant, but cue manufacturers are notorious for their single-mindedness.
A master cue maker will think nothing of staring at a piece of exotic wood for days on end while leaving their website hard to navigate and full of poor-quality information. After researching dozens of cue brands, Pechauer’s site stands out as easy to navigate and use.
Back to the cues! As well as its excellent JP and Pro Series, Pechauer has an array of limited-edition cues that’ll make your mouth water. The Brett Favre Ltd Edition Cue is a beauty, coming in at a handsome $5,000.
Knowing you’ve got a chance at owning a cue that’s one-of-a-kind is a real headscratcher. You’d love to own one, but are scared of damaging it. Definitely one for the display cabinet. Overall, Pechauer cues are well-built, offer incredible accuracy, and have a name behind them that’s one of the best in the business.
Founded: 1994 by Allan McCarty and Steve Titus
Made in: China
Cue Price Range: $380 – $4200
Brand Highlights: Arguably the biggest brand around, the development of the 314 low-deflection shaft became a game changer.
If you’re looking to take your game to the next level, you’ll eventually have to cross paths with a Predator cue.
One of the most innovative companies in the billiards world, Predator cues are used by more professional players than any other brand. By working with the top players and taking their feedback about cue performance, Predator is continually looking for ways to improve their cues.
Since 1994, R&D has been at the forefront of the company’s ethos, and with the development of low-deflection technology, you’ll find shots stay on a truer line, regardless of your skill level.
Predator doesn’t just cater to high-end players. Their entry-level cues, such as the Predator Aspire range, are a fantastic way to test the waters and increase your overall pool performance. With a Predator, you’ll notice an improvement in accuracy, stability, and responsiveness.
Founded: 1947 by Duard and Richard Schmelke
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $110 – $500
Brand Highlights: With over 70 years of cue-making experience, Schmelke is a hugely popular brand in the USA. Schmelke cues are known for their affordability and make a superb beginner’s cue.
Using top-quality exotic wood to create some of the game’s most robust and accurate cues, Schmelke has a massive range of one- and two-piece pool cues at phenomenal prices.
After being left to cure for at least a year, Schmelke sorts its exotic wood by grain, texture, and straightness. Only then does the cue-making process begin, using excellent quality parts to create the final product.
Each cue is checked multiple times for straightness, making these cues incredibly accurate straight out of the case. If you’re a beginner, a Schmelke cue is an ideal choice – you’re getting craftsmanship and a high level of performance for an excellent price.
Over time, a wooden cue can begin to warp slightly, massively impacting the accuracy of your shots, but we’ve known Schmelke cues to last for over thirty years with little sign of degradation. If you need some bang for your buck, having a Schmelke in your cue collection is always worth it.
Founded: 1981 by Terry Romine Sr.
Made in: USA
Cue Price Range: $950 – $3790
Brand Highlights: While Schon cues look amazing, the primary focus for each cue is on its hit and feel.
For over a decade, Schon cues were regarded as the best-hitting cues on the market, and while the company direction has changed over the years, you can still find a great range of cues for sale.
Each new Schon cue is customizable, with weight, shaft diameter, and wrap, all able to be chosen by the customer. While not the cheapest cues, you’re getting superb materials that are lovingly combined to create a great cue that provides the hit and feel you need.
Schon doesn’t mass produce, meaning you’re paying for an artisan to create a cue that’s built to last. With six collections to choose from, including the STL, CX, SP, LTD, Elite, and Unique ranges, the hard part will be choosing your favorite.
And there you have it! 13 of the best pool cue brands that exist today. All of these brands are sure to provide cues that can enhance your game, or just provide something new and shiny that you can experiment with!
We hope you enjoyed this rundown, and as always, Happy Shooting!