A Simple Guide to Kamui Pool Cue Tips
There are several aspects that go into playing pool – ability, luck, routines, equipment, etc. One piece of equipment that should never be overlooked is the tip of your pool cue.
Arguably the most important part of the pool cue, the tip makes contact with the cue ball to send balls where we need them to go, and hopefully helps turn games into run-outs and wins.
One of the most popular brands of pool cue tip is Kamui. In this article, we’re going to tell you about Kamui, how they started, help you understand tip hardness and elasticity, and give you a run down of Kamui’s product offering.
What are Kamui Pool Cue Tips?
Kamui is a Japanese manufacturer of high end pool cue tips based out of Hiroshima. Kamui tips started to gain popularity at the 2007 BCA Super Billiards Expo, and continued into 2008 when Mika Immonen endorsed Kamui when he won the US 9-Ball Championships two years in a row.
Kamui premium tips are made from 100% Japanese pig skin leather and are known for their high porosity, which promotes better chalk retention, causes less mis-cues and returns the tip to its original shape after contact.
Kamui has been trusted by professionals and amateurs all over the world for years. They are so trusted that several pool cue manufacturers and have partnered with them to include Kamui tips on their factory cues.
Cue Tip Hardness vs. Elasticity
Hardness and elasticity are two variables that need to be considered when buying a new pool cue tip. Depending on how hard you typically shoot, or how much touch you have while playing, each aspect can have a significant impact on your play.
The hardness of a pool cue tip dictates how long a pool cue stays in contact with the cue ball. Hard tips are worse at absorbing contact, which can result in more mis-cues.
Hard tips will also feel more “solid” when struck. You may want to consider how much you prefer feeling the actual contact of the cue ball before deciding how hard of a tip you need.
A soft tip will better absorb contact which translates to more spin due to longer contact time with the cue ball. Since they are softer, they will not feel as solid, and you will feel the contact of the cue ball less, which is often preferred by experienced players.
The elasticity of a pool cue tip refers to the bouncing force that is produced by the leather tip once the ball makes contact. A high elasticity correlates with longer tip to ball contact, and vice versa.
Based on what we know about hard vs. soft tips, we can conclude that softer tips have a higher elasticity, and harder tips have a lower elasticity.
Kamui Product Lineup
Kamui has a solid offering of high quality tips and any player can find a tip that fits them depending on their style of play.
Before we get into each specific product, we need to discuss the Black vs. Original tip models, as well as the Clear vs. Standard tip variations, so you know exactly what you’re getting with each.
Kamui Black vs. Original Tips
The black offering has more elasticity than the original, which means a less solid structure. The added elasticity of the of the black tip means increased spin on the cue ball.
The black tip will also be a little less powerful when compared to the original model tip. For example, a medium black tip will not be quite as powerful as the medium original tip.
Lastly, the black tip is slightly thinner and has a lower deflection rating than the original tip.
The original tip has lower elasticity and has a more solid structure than the black tip. This means more power transfer, which is great for stun shots where you have a slight angle, but need to get the ball directly across the table.
The original tip is also thicker and has a higher deflection rating when compared to the black.
Kamui Clear vs. Standard Tips
Kamui’s clear tip model includes an extra polycarbonate layer directly beneath the tip. The standard tip does not have this layer. This layer prevents glue from being absorbed in the bottom of the tip, which can prevent the tip from getting harder than it should be.
That being said, glue in the cue tip isn’t as common now because today’s standard leather tips are made to prevent the glue from getting soaked up by the tip.
The standard tip has enough protection as is, due in part to the laminated pad that will prevent glue from seeping into the tip. This laminated pad also keeps the tip from mushrooming.
Kamui offers a clear version of both the black and original tip models.
The Kamui clear was originally more expensive than the standard version by a few dollars, but today you can get them for right around the same price.
Kamui Tip Options
Kamui makes 8 different pool cue tips across the black and original lines. Here they are:
3. Black Soft
5. Black Medium
7. Black Hard
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When you see the tips available for purchase online, you will see that they are labeled with specific lettering on the tip. This will tell you the hardness of the tip. See below:
*SS = super soft, S = soft, M = medium, H = hard
Kamui offers each of their tips in a variety of diameters – 12mm, 12.5mm, 13mm, and 14mm.
One great sign of a quality tip maker is consistency between user reviews and the claims that the company makes. When playing with Kamui tips, you will likely feel exactly, or very close to the specs you can find at kamuitips.com.
Personally, I like the classic look of a black cue tip, and a somewhat firm feel, so I would likely play the medium black tip.
What is the Best Kamui Tip?
The best Kamui tip is one that works well with your game. If you rely on lots of english, you need to play a soft tip. If you are a power player, it would be better to have a medium to hard tip with lower deflection.
The best tip is going to be different for different players. Some people play more aggressive, stronger pool than others, and some rely a lot more on softer shots and touch.
Are Kamui Tips Worth It?
Kamui tips are worth it to many people, but not everyone. This is because there are cheaper tips you can buy than Kamui, and many people simply don’t prioritize the cue tip over other pool cue variables.
Kamui cue tips are one of the best available on the market. But with a lot of use, any tip can degrade – specially a soft tip. One way to avoid this common issue is to up the hardness of your tip by one step.
If you are not experienced in cue tip installation, you should have a professional install a Kamui tip for you. Making sure your tip is installed right is very important. You don’t want your tip flying off the cue in the middle of a match.
We hope this guide on Kamui tips and their product offering provided you with enough information to decide whether or not Kamui is worthy of your pool cue!
Kamui has a history of great tip technology and performance, as well as several options for each type of pool player.