Pool Cue Maintenance Guide


Checking a pool cue for warping is a necessary tool for any pool cue owner, as you want to make sure your stick is an excellent shape. It’s one of the keys to good pool cue maintenance. Since you’ve invested in a pool cue, taking good care of it is a wise idea.

Is my pool cue warping?

One recommended way of checking a pool cue for warping is to roll it across the table. 

  • Lay the cue across the table, quickly rolling it with your fingers while watching the tip of the cue.
  • If the cue rolls unevenly or wobbles at all, then it is warped.
  • If the roll is done too slowly, the warping in the cue may not be as obvious.
  • If you roll the cue and are unsure if there is any warping, disassemble the stick and roll the shaft, then the butt to determine if and where warping exists.
  • You also need to make sure you’re rolling the stick on a perfectly even table. Many halls have warped tables, which will create the illusion that your stick is warped.
  • The shaft, or lighter top half of the cue, is the most likely to warp.

Checking a pool cue for warping can also be done by holding the cue at eye level.

  • Hold the cue with the tip facing the ground and look down the cue from the butt for any unevenness. On a warped cue, there will be a bump.
  • All wood cues will warp over time, which is one reason some amateur players prefer fiberglass or graphite cues.

Checking Out a New Cue

When buying a cue, make sure you check for warping first. 

  • Many pool cue companies testify that their cues are warp resistant because of the strength of the wood they use. You should check out these claims before your purchase.
  • Many companies claim things such as using four-time dried maple or guarantee that your cue will not warp in a certain timeframe.
  • A little warping won’t affect your shot that much, but if you’re buying a cue you should make sure that no warping exists, as it always becomes worse over time. You need your shots to be straight and true to be a competitive pool player at any level.

Warping Prevention

There are some easy ways to prevent a pool cue from warping in the first place. 

  • Don’t lean your cue up against any surface, such as a wall or the pool table. This can cause the tip of the cue to bend.
  • Don’t leave your cue next to any heat source, such as a radiator or fireplace.
  • Don’t store it in extreme hot or cold—such as a basement or attic or hot car. It takes little to warp a shaft, so be sure not to leave your cue in direct sunlight.
  • When storing your cue, store it flat, preferably in a hard cue case. Hard cue cases are always better than soft cue cases, providing greater protection for your stick from extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Make sure that when you’re storing your cue you don’t need to put any pressure on it. Repetitive pressure on the cue can also lead to warping.
  • Banging the butt of the cue against any hard surface is also not recommended, so be careful not to drop the cue.

Practicing Good Pool Cue Maintenance

Some compare the cue to a musical instrument: You don’t want to just bang it around when you’re not using it. Therefore, you need to practice good pool cue maintenance, such as regularly checking for pool cue warping. 

  • If your cue does warp, a slight warp can be fixed by bending it back into shape. However, don’t overdo this as you can easily further damage the cue.
  • Serious warping will likely require the purchase of a new shaft for your cue.

Other maintenance tips include:

  • Never use sandpaper or other abrasive materials on your cue, as this will ruin the finish and playability of your cue.
  • It is important to clean your cue with a shaft slicker or other cloth used specifically for this purpose. Use a slightly moist cloth or tissue to wipe away stains on the cue. 
  • The tip of the cue needs to be maintained to keep a quality shape that will hold chalk. Specific tools are made for this purpose so you can maintain the tip on your own.
  • Use good chalking technique. The hole in a chalk should be relatively shallow when you chalk, protecting the rest of the cue from it.

With good pool stick maintenance, your cue should not warp. But if it does, you can always let your friend use that cue, so you get a bit of a playing advantage…not to mention a good laugh.