When choosing a new pool or snooker cue, you’ll need to figure out if you want to use a glue-on tip or a screw-in tip. The tips are replaceable in both instances, the cues themselves are designed to specifically fit one of the two types, so it’s important to make the right decision. In this article, I’ll give you all the pros and cons of glued and screw-on cue tips so you can decide which is the best type for you.
The Quick Answer
Glue-on tips offer more control and better feeling than screw-on tips on pool and snooker cues. Screw-on tips are easier to replace and the cues are more inexpensive. Professionals always use glue-on tips as they offer the best playing experience but they are also the preferred option for beginners.
|Glue-On Cue Tips||Screw-In Cue Tips|
|More durable||Easier and faster to replace|
Control and Feeling
Glued-on cue tips offer far superior control and “feeling” compared to screw-on cue tips. Glue-on cue tips offer a more solid and stable connection between the ferrule and the tip itself. This allows the cue to hit the ball consistently and smoothly, without a loss of energy transfer. This allows the shot to be more accurate and powerful, as well as giving the player more feeling of control.
Screw-in tips do not offer a secure connection between the ferrule and the tip because there is often movement in the thread where the tip is screwed in. This may only be very slight, but it will reduce the feeling of the shot, the power and the accuracy. The level of movement is also very likely to become greater over-time.
Choosing a glue-on cue tip as opposed to a screw-on tip will offer you a far superior playing experience. The cue tip is the most important part of your cue, since it’s the only area that actually makes contact with the cue ball. Hence, if you don’t want to make any compromises to your performance, a glue-on tip is really the only option you should be looking at.
Winner: Glue-On Tips
Quality and Durability
Cue tips should be replaced when they become worn. They usually last around 6-12 months for serious players. You’ll know if the cue tip needs replacing if it is less than 1mm in thickness, or feels very smooth and flat. This will also impact the feeling of the shot so most players will be able to feel when the cue tip needs replacing.
The issue with screw-in tips, is that every time you replace the tip, this weakens the threads inside your cue due to the friction that occurs with the threads of the tip. This causes more movement between the tip and ferrule, which as mentioned before, will cause the shot to be less powerful and less accurate.
Glue-on tips do not affect the durability of the cue. Since the tip can be cleanly removed and a new one applied and secured using glue, no damage will occur to the ferrule whenever you replace it. This means that cues with glue-on tips last much longer than those with screw-on tips.
Winner: Glue-On Tips
Changing the Tip
Screw-on cue tips are easier to change than glue-on tips. This is one of the main advantages of screw-in tips. Replacing them takes less than a minute and can be done quite frequently to avoid them becoming too worn and impacting your shots. The method of changing a screw-on tip is so fast that you can even do it mid-game without causing too much disturbance.
For example, some players like to use a harder cue tip for breaking compared to normal shots. With a screw-on tip, you can replace the tip immediately after breaking and use your regular tip for the rest of the game. However, with a glue-on tip, you’ll need a separate cue if you want to use different tips during the game. This is of course not practical for many players.
With that said, glue-on tips don’t actually take that long to replace. If you take your cue to a shop, they’ll usually change the tip and shape it in about 15-20 minutes. You can do this yourself if you have the know-how but many players like to let the professionals do it for the first few times whilst they gain more confidence. Taking your cue to get re-tipped usually costs $10-$20.
With a screw-in tip, there’s no need to take it into the store, even if it’s your first time re-tipping the cue it requires no technical knowledge or skill.
Winner: Screw-On Tips
Cues with screw-on tips are cheaper than cues with glue-on tips. Typically, a screw-on tip cue will cost less than $30, whereas most glue-on tip cues cost at least $50. The cost of the tips themselves is similar for both types of tip, with the average being around $10-$20 for a standard pack of ten tips.
Check out my article to learn more about the main factors that affect the price of pool and snooker cues, and how much on average you should expect to pay for a decent cue.
Winner: Screw-On Tips
Which Should You Get?
Cues with a glue-on tip are almost always the best option to go for. They are much more durable than screw-in tips and they offer much better power and control over the cue ball. The only downside of a glue-on tip is that it requires more expertise and time to replace the tip, but most cues only need re-tipping annually.
The only situation where a screw-on tip cue would be more suitable, is one where the cue is more likely to get damaged. This can be the case in bars or games rooms where the cues get a bit more battered and bruised. They’re cheaper than glue-on tip cues and the tip itself is easier to replace if damaged, so some players with a pool or snooker table at home will purchase a screw-on tip for visitors to use.
Can You Switch a Cue from a Screw to a Glue Tip?
It is possible to convert a screw-on tip cue into a glue-on tip cue which involves replacing the ferrule. This usually costs between $30-$50 so in some cases it may actually be a better idea to buy an entirely new cue and save the screw-in tip cue for guests to use. You’ll also need to take the cue to a professional to do this as doing it yourself successfully is usually quite difficult.
The size of a cue tip impacts several aspects of its performance? Check out my comparison between different cue tip sizes to learn more.
Here are some more articles you might find useful: