Three Best Billiard Ball Buying Tips

Nancy B. Alston

Do you think all billiard balls are made the same? Are you under the impression that the old standards are the best? While the game of billiards is steeped with history and tradition – and it is important to keep some traditions alive – some aspects of playing the game today present newer, better options. Whether you are building your first game room, are considering updates for an existing game room, or just plain like reading about things that may improve your game, take a look at the three best billiard ball buying tips.

1. Billiard Ball Specifications

This is not the time to experiment with retailers that specialize in anything except game room supplies. Reputable retailers of billiard balls will sell products which clearly outline specifications of the billiard balls on the box. Read the box or the web page that lists the item. Look for some standards for quality assurance. For example, look for a few of these terms on the box before you buy:

  • Endurance
  • Tolerance
  • Standards
  • Calipered
  • Consistency
  • Regulation Weight
  • Regulation Size
  • Precision Balance
  • Roundness

2. Billiard Ball Material

A couple hundred years ago, billiard balls were made of wood, and had a less than perfect spherical shape. Ivory replaced wood for awhile, until millions of elephants were slaughtered, their husks harvested to make a set of eight. Different materials were experimented with through the years until plastic entered the scene.

Today, billiard balls must perform. For this reason, most billiard balls are typically made of resin. They are regulated by weight and color. While professionals use billiard balls cast from phenolic acid, lower grade balls are made of polyester, a form of plastic. Whatever the specifications, material or style, try to keep sets together – especially the better, higher quality set – because the better cue balls are individually calipered.

3. Novelty and Specialty Cue Balls

While color has no technical bearing on play, choosing a swirled versus the more traditional looking billiard ball set can be a fun addition to your game room. If trick shooting or visual appeal is your thing, then billiard balls with swirls on them can add a lot of charm to your game. Looking for a gift for that friend who has everything? Here’s a tip: find out where he/she went to college and purchase a set with a collegiate logo on them.

Conclusion:

Billiard balls are not all the same! Older standards may not be the best choice for your game! Because billiard balls have evolved over the years, consider the many options before a purchase. Check the label for standards before you buy. Know the materials. Consider buying an extra set just for fun or as a gift. In addition to remembering these three best billiard ball buying tips, good luck on your next game and have fun!

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