McDermott Stinger vs. Sledgehammer Break Cues
Have you ever wondered why your pool cues don’t seem to last long? Have you ever noticed that your opponents’ break shots seem a lot harder than yours, or that their breaks spread the balls out a lot more? If so, it might be time to consider experimenting with a break cue.
A couple high quality options you have are the McDermott Stinger jump/break cue and the McDermott Sledgehammer break cue. McDermott is the most well-known name in pool cue manufacturing and they regularly put out high quality pool cues that players can rely on.
First, let’s discuss why people even use break cues in the first place.
Why Do People Use Break Cues?
The break is possibly the most important shot in billiards, outside of making the final object ball, of course. Making balls at the very beginning of the game can provide a huge advantage over your opponent, especially if you are confident that you can leave yourself in good positions to run out object balls.
Pool players use break cues for multiple reasons. Here are a few:
- Lessens use of the playing cue, thus helping the playing cue last longer
- It simply hits harder – the break cue usually has a harder phenolic tip and is heavier, creating a lot more force against the cue ball when striking it
- The stiffer shaft pairs well with the hard tip to help transfer more energy to the cue ball
If you’re noticing that your regular cue undergoes a lot of wear and tear, or if you need a harder hit on your breaks, a break cue would be worth considering.
McDermott Break Cues
McDermott offers a decent variety of cues and shafts that are specifically designed for breaking racks and jumping balls. Two of their most popular models are the Sledgehammer and the Stinger.
The Sledgehammer is synonymous with break cues throughout the industry. It’s one of the most respected models in the break cue world, and has an incredible reputation. The Stinger features exclusive technology that’s designed to allow the player to break more effectively without using as much force, which allows for more breaking control.
Let’s break the two options down a little bit more.
Sledgehammer Break Cue
The Sledgehammer certainly can destroy racks, thanks in part to the revolutionary ferrule technology that creates better energy transfer, which results in major power and accuracy gains. The features are as follows:
- Hard Rock Maple wood construction
- Sleek black paint job
- 13.25mm phenolic tip
- Patented tip & ferrule technology
- Strong tapered butt and shaft
- Textured sport wrap grip for comfort and leverage
You can check out the Sledgehammer specs HERE!
The Sledgehammer break cue will cost you about $350 if bought from a dealer. If you check online dealers such as Pool Dawg or Seybert’s regularly, you may find one in stock. You can always try an eBay search as well!
Currently, Amazon is selling the Black Sledgehammer Break Cue for $385 if you don’t want to wait for a lower price.
Stinger Jump/Break Cue
The Stinger incorporates McDermott’s “Stinger” technology which transfers all the energy towards the center of the cue’s tip, thanks to the massive sweet spot (if the tip is flattened a bit) and the stinger stem that extends through the center of the ferrule and into the shaft. This patented tip/ferrule technology offers a more consistent and powerful hit that also limits the effects of mishits.
The standard Stinger cue has the following features:
- Maple forearm/butt plate
- 4 Rosewood points
- Rosewood handle
- Joint with phenolic insert
- Quick release jump joint
- Patented Stinger shaft with 13.25mm phenolic tip
The Stinger can be purchased in a few different variations:
- Stinger cue with G-Core shaft and jump handle – $400 through Amazon
- Stinger cue with linen wrap – $301 through Amazon
- Stinger cue with no wrap (wood) – $283 through Amazon
- Stinger cue with no wrap (white/black)
- Stinger cue with no wrap (black)
- Stinger cue with Sport Grip wrap – $315 through Amazon
- Stinger shaft only
- Stinger jump handle
Check out the above offerings HERE!
The Stinger will cost you anywhere from $280 to $400 depending on the package. This cue, like the Sledgehammer, is currently out of stock at most places. But if you regularly check online retailers such as Pool Dawg and Seybert’s, you may find one that’s available. Don’t forget to check eBay!
Above links contain Amazon affiliate products*
It’s clear that McDermott has created two options that will obliterate racks of balls and do exactly what you need it to. One advantage of the Stinger that’s worth mentioning is the ability to pair the cue with a jump handle. If you’re comfortable jumping balls during play, it’s definitely worth trying out.
When it comes to break cues, personal preference is a huge factor. The reality is that most dedicated break cues will perform very similarly since the best ones all have firm shafts and hard tips. This is the case with the Sledgehammer and the Stinger as well.
If you can, try to find a store near you that has them in stock so you can possibly try them out. Otherwise, be patient, and try one or both of these awesome cues whenever you can find them in stock.