Ok when it comes to buying snooker cues, I’ve mainly bought handmade cues from a variety of cue makers in or around the British Isles. These took time to build and i always got exactly what i ordered but they were by no means cheap. My mother used to tell us growing up, if you buy cheap you buy twice and I’ve lived with that rule to this day.
For a couple of years now, I have been browsing snooker products on websites but i always was interested in these “cheap” cues you can find on Amazon and Ebay. I’ve personally never met anyone who has an Amazon bought cue so i was curious to find out about them. Cue packages start at about the £50 mark which includes the cue, mini butts, extensions and case. But how good are these cheap cues really? You would expect junk at these prices but we went ahead anyway and bought one for the laugh!
So the cue you see here below is the exact cue we bought from Jianying cues for just £54.99
After placing the order with Amazon, 4 days had passed and then a long heavy parcel arrived at the door. After opening the package, we were presented with a black and white 3/4 case with the cue, extension and mini butt inside which looked in good order. So far so good.
The case was decent, but by no means terrible either. The patch work seemed fine and the box itself didn’t seem flimsy as one might expect. It could defiantly last a few years if looked after properly in my opinion. The cue itself was surprisingly impressive on inspection. Ok it lacked the arrows you would find on top quality ash but if you don’t sight arrows when playing then its not a big issue. It was beautifully smooth and there was none of that varnish crap they put on cheap cues. The 3/4 and butt joint looked perfect and came with quick release. The mini butt and extension seemed decent quality also. I couldn’t wait to bring it for a game of snooker.
As with all cues i buy, i generally change the tip myself before playing as i find cue makers don’t always use the soft Elks i normally play with.
I played with the cue over several weeks on and off and i found the cue to be of good standard. I play far better with my Parris cue though, but im sure with time i could adapt to this cue more. Some of the lads down in the club commented on the cue and thought it was good quality too. I personally found it to be more than satisfactory around the black and pink spots but i did find difficulty in long shots and deep spin shots as it was slightly whippy. Having said that, it was still of very good playing quality given the price!! It weighed in slightly above the 18oz mark, had a tip of 9.5mm and a but diameter of 29.5 which is all standard.
Ok if your looking for a cue to replace your John Parris ultimate, then this is not going to do the job. If your strapped for cash or thinking of a second cue for whatever reason, then the £54.99 investment is a good one. I’d also recommend this to beginners looking for their first cue.
I believe the low cost is due to where these cues are made. In China, labour and production costs are far lower. The ash and rosewood butt was made from was of lower grade but they still turned out a half decent cue. Ill be keeping this one for myself as backup and showing beginners how to play snooker.