Pool and snooker cue tips vary in size considerably and this will have an impact on how you play. In this article, I’ll take you through the average American pool, English pool and snooker cue tip sizes, what the pros use, the best options for beginners and the pros and cons of large and small cue tips.
Average Cue Tip Size
American pool cues usually have a 12-13.5 mm tip, English pool cues typically have an 8-10 mm tip and snooker cues a 9-11 mm tip.
Does Cue Tip Size Matter?
Cue tip size impacts the surface area that hits the cue ball. Having a larger cue tip will make it harder to miscue, but more difficult to put spin on the ball. Smaller cue tips are generally preferred by professional players because they offer better control, however beginners may find that it results in more miscues.
Essentially, it all boils down to the level of control you’ll have.
Large cue tips mean you are less likely to miss the ball (miscue), however they offer less finesse.
Smaller cue tips mean you have to be more precise, but they offer more control.
If you’re a total beginner or a fairly inexperienced player, then selecting a smaller cue tip may make it more difficult for you to play. That’s why beginners should generally ere on the larger side.
|Small Cue Tip||Large Cue Tip|
|Better for experienced players||Better for beginners|
|Requires more precision||Less likely to miscue|
|Offers more control||Harder to use finesse|
Remember as well that your cue tip will need shaping which involves filing down the sides to make it a rounded point rather than a blunt, flat surface.
This means that if you buy a 10 mm cue tip, you won’t actually be hitting the ball with a 10 mm diameter tip but probably around 9.8 mm once it’s been properly shaped.
What is the Best Cue Tip Size?
This really comes down to personal preference. Although professionals in general will use fairly small cue tips, there are of course exceptions in both pool and snooker.
The best thing to do is to try a few different cues in the store and figure out which feels best to you. There are multiple factors to consider when choosing the cue including the weight, length and cue tip hardness. All these factors including the cue tip size will impact the way you play.
You should compare two cues that have a similar weight, are the same length and have the same cue tip hardness rating when comparing cue tip size, otherwise you won’t be getting a fair comparison.
So what is a good size to go for if you’re a beginner? Here is a good place to start. These sizes shouldn’t limit your progression as a player, but will likely make it harder for you to miscue the ball.
- Beginner snooker players: 10-11 mm cue tip diameter
- Beginner American pool players 13-13.5 mm cue tip diameter
- Beginner English pool players: 9.5-10 mm cue tip diameter
Pool Cue Tips
There are two main types of pool cue: American and English.
They each have considerably different cue tip sizes because they are designed to hit different sized cue balls. There are also some other key differences which you can learn more about in my comparison between American and English pool cues.
Here, I’ll just be looking at the size of the cue tip.
American Pool Cue Tip Diameter
American pool cue tips have a diameter of approximately 12-13.5 mm. Most professionals use a 12.5-13 mm cue tip. The most popular commercial American pool cue tip size is 13 mm.
Here is a table to show some of the standard cue tip diameters used by professional American pool players.
|Professional Pool Player||Cue Tip Diameter|
|Albin Ouschan||12.9 mm|
|Aloysius Yapp||13.5 mm|
|Naoyuki Oi||13.0 mm|
|Tyler Stryer||12.9 mm|
|Shane van Boening||12.5 mm|
English Pool Cue Tip Diameter
Most English pool cue tips have a diameter between 8 mm and 10 mm. Many professionals prefer to play with an 8-8.5 mm tip, whereas beginners may prefer a 10 mm cue tip or even 11 mm in some cases. The average cue tip diameter for English pool is around 9-9.5 mm.
Here are some examples of the tip diameter of popular English pool cues.
|English Pool Cue||Cue Tip Diameter|
|Cue Craft Mirage||8.0 mm|
|Dufferin Barrett No.1||8.5 mm|
|Cannon Manta||8.75 mm|
|Liberty Two-Piece 57”||9.0 mm|
|Signature Whirlwind||9.5 mm|
|Powerglide Burner Two Piece||10.0 mm|
|Regent Two-Piece 57”||11.0 mm|
Snooker Cue Tip Diameter
Most snooker cue tips have a diameter between 9-11 mm with the average being 9.5-10 mm. Most professional snooker players use a 9-10 mm diameter cue tip. Beginners will usually find a 10-11 mm cue tip the easier to play with.
Here is a table to show some of the standard cue tip diameters used by professional snooker players.
|Professional Snooker Player||Cue Tip Diameter|
|Mark Selby||9.5 mm|
|Judd Trump||9.5 mm|
|Ronnie O’Sulivan||10 mm|
|Mark Williams||10 mm|
|Peter Ebdon||11 mm|
Check out this article comparing pool and snooker cues.
Cue Tip Thickness
When purchasing a cue tip, you’ll be looking at the different diameter measurements. However, when you’ve been using a cue for a decent amount of time, then the thickness will also need to be checked.
Cue tips flatten over time as the force applied to the tip when it hits the cue ball causes it to squash. This is a particular problem for softer tips but it will still happen regardless of which type of tip you’re using. When the tip is less than 1mm thick, it’s time to replace it.
I’ve written a complete guide to cue tip maintenance and durability, so check it out if you want to learn more.
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