High Quality Pool Balls and Why They Matter
How often do you need to get new pool balls? Why are your pool balls breaking? Are your pool balls damaging your felt? Ultimately, this all depends on the quality of the billiard balls you buy.
Pool balls differ in quality significantly as they are made from different materials. Most pool balls in the market today are made from two primary materials: polyester resin and phenolic resin.
The overall pool ball quality differs significantly between these two materials, which is reflected in their price tag. With this article, we hope to explain why the quality of your pool balls matters and how it can impact your game.
Does Pool Ball Quality Make a Difference?
Pool ball quality can make a significant difference. A stronger ball will hold up well to the regular impacts and other abuses when pool and is guaranteed to last many years.
High-quality balls are less destructive to pool tables. Since the balls will not scratch or chip easily, they do not get rough, sharp edges that can ruin the felt on the pool table. Their slickness will also help prevent burn spots on the table.
But, superior pool balls will cost more. This is due to the enhanced ball creation process, and stringent quality standards. For example, Aramith is so strict that it takes around 23 days to make one ball on average.
Now that you know ball quality and construction matters, you may be asking yourself – what exactly is inside a pool ball?
What Are Pool Balls Made Of?
All pool balls are made of plastic materials. But the type of plastic differs, and one is a lot stronger than the other. The two main plastics pool balls are made of are phenolic resin and polyester resin.
Phenolic Resin vs. Polyester Resin Pool Balls
|Phenolic Balls||Polyester Balls|
|Durability||May last up to 40 years||Last less that 10 years|
|Appearance||Hold shine longer||Shine fades faster|
As seen above, phenolic resin pool balls are of much higher quality compared to polyester ones. These balls can last between 5 and 8 times longer! According to Aramith, their phenolic balls can last up to 40 years and withstand over 400,000 impacts.
Phenolic resin balls hold their shine longer than polyester balls and are also much easier to find. Up to 85% of pool balls in the market are phenolic resin.
The only drawback for phenolic balls is the price. They may be too expensive for some players. But, you get what you pay for. Phenolic balls are usually worth the increased price.
Polyester balls are much more affordable, as you would probably assume. They also lose their shine much faster and will look worn after a while. As they wear down, they can begin creating burn spots on your pool table.
With all that in mind, it is essential to note that no one pool ball type will work for everyone. What works for you may not work for many other players. The suitability of pool balls largely depends on your skill level and playing frequency.
Which Type of Pool Ball is Best for You?
Different factors determine the best pool ball type for you, but the most important ones are the type of player you are, and what you value.
Do you know what type of pool player you are?
Here is a breakdown of 3 main pool player types and the best pool ball for each category:
Pros will need high quality phenolic pool balls.
Professional pool players and aspiring pros play at the game’s highest levels. They play in a league or tournaments, which are more demanding.
This means their pool balls have to withstand more impact and abuse. Investing in a more expensive high-quality pool ball will actually save you money in the long run as you will replace your set less frequently.
2. Dedicated amateur
While polyester resin balls work for amateurs, investing in a higher-quality set helps take your game a notch higher.
A dedicated amateur is not at the pro level and might not play as much as the pros. But, if you are in this category, you still care about your game and want to improve your overall performance. Chances are you may also be a member of a league.
3. Casual player
A simple polyester resin set should be good enough for the casual pool player.
Casual players play for fun. Many will only play pool to kill some time or socialize when out with friends.
From a money perspective, it does not make any sense to invest in an expensive phenolic pool ball set if you are a casual player – mostly because this type of player doesn’t worry much about how well they are playing.
Best Phenolic Resin Pool Balls
If you are looking for a set of high-quality phenolic pool balls, there are 3 top brands that are likely to have something that will suit your needs: Aramith, Dynasphere, and Predator Arcos.
Aramith is the industry leader in producing and supplying phenolic resin pool balls. These genuine phenolic resin balls are heavy-duty and offer high impact resistance, which allows them to last for decades.
Popular Aramith phenolic resin balls
- Aramith Crown Standard Pool Ball Set – buy them HERE
- Aramith Premium Belgian Made Pool Ball Set – buy HERE
Dynasphere makes some next-gen phenolic resin pool balls famous for their extremely smooth surfaces. The smooth surfaces make it easy to remove contaminants like chalk without shadowing. It goes without saying that these pool balls are extremely strong as well.
Popular Dynasphere phenolic resin balls
- Pool Platinum 572 – find them HERE
- Pool Gold 572 – find them HERE
- Pool Silver 572 – find them HERE
- Pool Tungsten 572 – find them HERE
Feel free to take a look at our recent article comparing Aramith and Dynasphere phenolic resin balls!
3. Predator Arcos
Predator Arcos designs their phenolic resin balls to give players increased durability, accuracy, and consistency. They partner with Aramith to develop some of their phenolic resin balls, which ensures top-notch quality.
Popular Predator Arcos phenolic resin balls
- Predator Arcos II Pool Ball Set – buy them HERE
Best Polyester Resin Pool Balls
There are more brands of polyester resin balls than phenolic resin balls, so you will have more options when shopping. But, it is essential to stick with reputable brands to get good quality balls and the best value for your money.
Here are some of the best polyester resin pool ball brands and their popular products:
1. Japer Bees
Japer Bees makes polyester resin pool balls to cater to different players and situations. They have a pool ball set for everything from casual playing to tournaments.
Popular Japer Bees polyester resin balls
- JAPER BEES Billiard Balls Pool Balls Billiard Set/Deluxe Standard – buy HERE
- JAPER BEES Billiard Balls Pool Balls Billiard Set/Deluxe Superior – buy HERE
Billmart has some of the best quality, high-grade polyester resin pool balls. Their balls are perfect for casual players at home and in bars. Also, the balls are famous for their fantastic edgy look.
Popular Billmart polyester resin balls
- Billmart Premium Billiard Balls – buy HERE
GoSports makes regulation size and weight pool balls using premium quality polyester resin. Their balls have an attractive polished look that ensures great aesthetics on any pool table.
Popular GoSports polyester resin balls
- GoSports Regulation Billiards Balls – buy HERE
4. Pro Series
Pro Series pool balls will give you the best value for money as they are hard to beat without spending more. Also, they offer superior scratch-resistant characteristics and maintain their shine and color for a long time. The brand also provides a lifetime guarantee!
Popular Pro Series polyester resin balls
- Pro Series Speed Luster SLP2.0 – buy HERE
5. Empire USA
Empire USA pool balls offer an excellent balance of roundness thanks to the perfect polishing. The balls are also some of the most affordable premium polyester resin balls on the market.
Popular Empire USA polyester resin balls
- Empire USA Billiard Economy Ball Set – buy HERE
- Empire USA Billiard VIP/TV Ball Set – buy HERE
We hope you now understand why the quality of your pool balls matters. You should now have an easier time deciding whether to go for the more expensive phenolic resin balls or stick with the budget-friendly polyester resin balls.
With our list of some of the best brands for each player type and their popular products, you now have some excellent recommendations on what to buy.
And as always, happy shooting!
*this article contains Amazon affiliate links