Schmelke Pool Cues: Wisconsin’s Diamond in the Rough
In a saturated world of pool cue options, Schmelke cues have solidified themselves as a strong force in the billiards world. With over 50 years of cue-making experience, Schmelke pairs their small town values with elite craftsmanship to create cues that are great options for any type of pool player.
From traditional maple playing cues and break cues to carbon fiber shafts and color-stained cues, Schmelke offers a variety of custom options that will help you improve your game. With that, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of Schmelke.
When Did Schmelke Start?
The premium hand-made cue company started in 1947 in Minneapolis, MN when brothers Duard and Richard Schmelke joined forces to start their cue making business with one simple mission: Offer high quality, affordable cues to pool players.
After a couple years, Duard took over sole ownership of the two-piece cue making process and eventually brought on his son Jim in 1969.
Richard owned the one-piece cue making process until he sold it to Valley Manufacturing Company which ultimately became the biggest seller of one-piece cues in the billiards industry within the USA. Duard and Richard are now members of the Cuemakers Hall of Fame.
Where are Schmelke Cues Made?
The cues used to be made in Minneapolis, but now, Schmelke operates and builds their cues in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
When you buy a Schmelke cue, you’re helping out the hard working Schmelke family, a family that is now in their 3rd generation of owning and operating one of the best cue making operations in the United States.
Schmelke Cue Characteristics
Schmelke cues are all made in the USA, ensuring high quality and value in full splice one and two-piece pool cues that get the job done on the tables, and don’t break the bank.
Their Bocote exotic wood cues really stand out, and offer a great alternative to a more expensive cue with fancy inlays. They also offer hand-made cues in other non-maple wood variations, such as Cocobolo and Goncolo.
How to Identify a Schmelke Cue
Schmelke cues will typically have “Schmelke” in german-looking font on the butt of the cue near the cap. Just like in this picture:
For old Schmelke cues dating back to the 1970’s and older, you may not see this brand marking on the cue. In such cases, it’s best to reach out to Schmelke directly to have them help identify the cue for you. By most accounts, they are a pleasure to work with.
Schmelke Pool Cue Models and Prices
While Schmelke doesn’t have the most user friendly website, they do a decent job of offering up all their cues in an easy-to-understand catalog.
We’ll now go over the Schmelke offering, and share a bit about each style of cue in hopes that you have enough information to make an educated decision about any future Schmelke cue purchase.
Keep in mind, Schmelke offers all kinds of custom options you can choose from to make sure your new pool cue matches your needs perfectly. These custom options include: Weight, tip type, shaft length, shaft diameter, join style, shaft type, and ferrule.
Schmelke Sneaky Pete Cues
Schmelke calls their Sneaky Pete style cues “4-prong,” which refers to the points you see on the butt of the cue. Here are the available Schmelke Sneaky Pete models:
Schmelke Sneaky Pete cues range in price from $125 to $170 for the standard models, and the custom Ebony cue will cost you $300 before further customizations.
Color Stain Maple Cues
Schmelke’s Color Stain line is an amazing option for players who need a super affordable cue that looks cool, and plays well. Ranging from $110 to $150 before customizations, these cues come in wrap or wrapless models and are built from hard maple like most other Schmelke hand made cues.
The special UV finish on the color stain cues will prevent moisture build up and chalk stain while providing an easy-gliding smooth surface for a consistent stroke. Not all of these cues have the same joint, so be sure to read each cue’s description to understand it’s playing profile.
A couple cues that really stand out from this line are:
M-Series Natural Wood Cues
This series is characterized by beautiful exotic wood options that can be combined with your choice of wraps, joints, tips and ferrules.
The M-Series cues range from $100 to $220. You really can’t beat these prices for such a unique, USA-made pool cue. Find this 8-cue lineup right here!
Schmelke Break Cues and Jump Cues
Schmelke’s JB Series break cues are constructed from Maple, Bocote or Goncolo wood, and come standard with their leather break tip for a nice balance of control and power. You can find them here! All of these options have break tips and cue weights that can be customized.
At the above link, you will also find the Schmelke Century (CC) Series jump cues. At a low price of only $65, these jump cues offer hard maple shafts for exceptional durability and playability. If you call in to order, you can even request custom linen wraps on your jump cue.
Schmelke Ricochet carbon fiber shaft features:
- 12.5 mm diameter w/ Ignite soft layer tip
- Low friction surface for smooth finish and easy cleaning
- Pin choice: 3/8-10, 5/16-18, or radial
- Flyweight front-end construction to lower mass and maintain weight of traditional shaft
Schmelke also offers a special Kielwood low deflection shaft that helps set them apart from the competition. These shafts are constructed from Torrified Maple, which is a result of a high-heat process that creates a more stable structure and creates a cue that is more resistant to temperature and humidity changes.
The Kielwood shafts come standard with a medium tip and low deflection ferrule.
Schmelke Cue Warranty
Like most custom cue manufacturers, Schmelke has a case by case warranty process. Manufacturer defects qualify, but replaceable cue parts do not. Such parts include the tip, ferrule, finish, wrap, and bumper. Cues that qualify for warranty will be fixed and replaced at no charge.
You can learn more about Schmelke’s warranty program here!
We hope this information on Schmelke custom cues helped you understand a little bit more about the practices and offerings of one of the most underrated cue makers in the United States, and possibly the world.
Schmelke is obviously doing things right if they’ve been able to stay relevant since the 1940s. It’s even more impressive that they’ve stuck to their mission all these years. As pool players, we’re always searching for great value and performance, and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting with a Schmelke pool cue.
We encourage you to give them a call to learn more about what your options are when you build a cue with their help. They can be reached at 1-800-850-8832.
Take care and happy shooting!