Those who are brand new to playing the sport of pool are most likely not very picky about what cue they use to play the game.
There are many cues available that feature advanced technology in their shafts which give a smoother stroke and accuracy.
Not only that, but getting a cue that gives a comfortable grip, weight, and a sturdy joint is very important.
That’s why we created this best pool cues for intermediate players guide to help you decide which is the right one for you.
The 6 Best Intermediate Pool Cues:
- Purex Players Technology Series HXT15 Pool Cue
- Lucasi Hybrid L-H10 Cue
- Konllen Carbon Fiber Pool Cue
- Players C-960
- Cuetec Prestige
- Champion Dragon Pool Cue
1. Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue
Players brings to the table a cue that can hold its own in the intermediate skill market for pool cues.
Consisting of premium grade hard rock maple, which is hand-selected by the way and 100% from North America, you are able to choose weights from 18 ounces all the way up to 20.5 ounces.
That option is great as players will like to customize their cues to fit them personally.
The Players HXT15 is a solid choice as your first cue and for those who are transitioning into a higher skill level.
This very traditional wooden cue will bring you some incredible performance without you needing to break the bank. It even offers some aspects that are on par with much more expensive cues!
The shaft of this particular cue is great as it reduces the deflection of the cue ball by a large amount, all via its high-tech ferrule.
The power and accuracy of each and every shot that you make is increased considerably due to this built-in system.
Nelsonite, a patented stabilizer, has been applied to the shaft of the HXT15 in order to provide added protection from atmospheric changes, thus making sure that you will get quite a good amount of use out of this cue for years to come.
The low deflection rates that the HXT15 by Players offers can be partly attributed to how well-balanced it is.
You will be quite happy to know that the HXT15 is even able to offer a precision English that many will note is comparable to brands that are much higher priced.
When looking at the design of the HXT15 you will be impressed by its simple yet elegant dark wooden tones paired with the black grip.
The butt cap of this cue features the same walnut-stayed birds-eye maple design that is on the forearm, making the entire design blend together well.
You will also notice that the classic black and white diamond and pincher point design is featured on this cue, giving it a traditional look.
Also offered by this cue is a fantastic Kamui black tip that offers amazing grip as well as spin while remaining durable through extended use.
It seems that the only downside of this outstanding intermediate pool cue is the fact that the shaft tends to vibrate ever so slightly whenever hitting the cue ball with a powerful stroke.
While this is not a deal-breaker, it is something to take note of as it may affect some players more than others.
- Has a solid hit and feel.
- Great value for money.
- Elegant design.
- Its tip needs an improvement.
2. Lucasi Hybrid L-H10
If you are in the market for a pool cue that is not just one of the best pool cues for intermediate players but will last you through the years and be your companion well past your intermediate skill levels, then the Lucasi Hybrid L-H10 is the perfect pool cue for you.
Should you choose to pick this beautiful piece of technology up, then expect to find yourself riding a wave of comfort and style every time you pop it out for a game.
Not only does it sport a gorgeous design, but its performance is amazing.
The Lucasi Hybrid L-H10 comes in a variety of weights, making it a perfect fit for players of all preferences. The weights that the cue is available in start out at 18 ounces, with the next being 18.5 ounces.
After this, there is a jump to 20 ounces and then 20.5 and 21 ounces as the final options.
With patented technology residing within this cue such as the Zero Flexpoint Hybrid Shaft and Kamui Pro tip, you can depend on this cue to get your shots and hit the ball with pinpoint accuracy.
The 12.75mm Zero Flexpoint Hybrid shaft that this cue sport is significantly more advanced than anything other models may offer.
The mass of the entire cue is significantly reduced due to this technology, meaning that you can get more than solid performance out of this cue with each and every stroke.
The grip of this cue is nothing to scoff at, either. Made out of black and blue Sport G5 materials, you can use this cue without slippage even when your hands get sweaty.
And if that weren’t enough, the colors of the grip blend perfectly with the stainless-steel butt cap, which features a Uni-Loc system.
When looking at the tip of this cue you will be even more impressed.
Lucasi did not skimp on anything when creating this beautiful cue. Featuring premium pig skin leather for the tip, you will be able to enjoy the expert craftsmanship of Kamui when using this cue.
This tip absorbs momentum incredibly and allows the user to spin the ball at lower speeds with fewer miscues than ever before.
The featured Zero Flexpoint Ferrule that this model features also gives the user incredible accuracy by reducing deflection by an absurd amount.
This can be attributed to the polymer construction and special lightweight core of this cue.
And the benefits still do not stop there. Featuring Total Sweet Spot Construction, this cue has an extended sweet spot that travels throughout its entirety.
This is attributed to the unique radial construction composed of 8 individual pieces. This is why you can get totally unmatched control and power out of every stroke you take.
And lastly, the X-Shox Dampening System that is showcased in this cue will bring unprecedented comfort to the user.
By reducing the vibration from shock and impacts by more than 27% when compared to standard cues via their patent-pending memory foam system, even the most charged stroke won’t put too much stress on the user’s arm because of the shock-absorbing properties of the memory foam.
As if all of this was not enough reason to pick this cue up, you will be pleased to know that it is backed by a Lifetime Guarantee. The Lucasi Hybrid L-H10 is one hell of a cue and definitely one of the best pool cues today.
- Fantastic features not offered by other similarly priced cues
- Unique design
- Has a very dampened feel – although this can be a personal preference
3. KONLLEN Carbon Fiber Pool Cue Stick
KONLLEN offers a carbon fiber cue that utilizes some special carbon technology in order to produce low deflections and offer superior performance.
This is another great cue for intermediate players but even serves as a great cue for professionals looking for a very affordable option.
The shaft of this particular model is 12.5mm and has parts made entirely of carbon fiber. This makes it very durable, meaning you will get quite a bit of use out of it through the years.
Not only that, but the carbon fiber shaft offers lower deflection and is suited for all types of players.
Users will be quite impressed to hear that the shaft offered in this product is even harder than toughened glass.
The mixed shaft provides users with shock resistance via the use of molecular foam and multiple aerospace fiber composite tubes.
That means that the forelimb will feature a lower mass while retaining more kinetic energy in each hit.
A 3/8 joint with 8 teeth can be found featured on this model, as well. You will find that there is no embroidering present here, meaning no erosion and extended durability.
The butt joints are seamless and offer the user with high transmission strength.
When looking at the tip of this cue you will find that it features a 12mm hellfire yellow tip, packing with it hardness and toughness all wrapped up into one.
And of course, the design of this cue will make it one of the most eye-catching things at the table.
A beautifully crafted black carbon fiber shaft not only makes the cue lighter overall but offers more power than a standard wooden cue while looking slick and stylish to boot.
The decals along the cue are crafted by very experienced designers who perform precise color stitching as well as material collision in order to bring out the most beauty from this cue.
Finally, the grip of this KONLLEN product is made of non-slip and sweat-absorbent cowhide.
- Affordable carbon fiber cue
- Great design and well crafted
- It May take you some time before getting used to it
4. Players C-960 Classic Birds-Eye Maple with Triple Silver Rings Cue
Another offering from Players, the Classic Birds-Eye Maple cue gives the user a cue that is dependable and looks classic all while performing well and staying at a reasonable price.
The grip of this cue is made of beautiful, totally genuine double-pressed Irish linen.
This offers the user a slip-free grip that will hold its performance throughout the match while looking clean and professional the entire time.
The joint collar of the Birds-Eye Maple cue is entirely made up of stainless steel. It contains a 5/16 x 18 pin which gives this particular cue an unwavering hit every time you go to take a stroke.
Containing a 13mm Le professional Le Pro tip means that each hit you get will be satisfying and feel like premium quality.
Being made out of hard oak leather you will notice that this tip is able to retain its shape for an extended amount of time and offer the player with more uniform and consistent performance in every game.
It is made by Tweeten and of premium quality.
You can get this cue in weights from 18 all the way up to 21 ounces, with each increment being .5 ounces.
That means that it can be tailored to fit a number of different players’ preferences.
Players who enjoy the classic, birds-eye maple look of pool cues will adore this one.
Not only is it beautiful, but it looks like a much higher-priced pool cue. The red stain on the cue is very eye-catching and sets this cue apart from many others that are at similar price points.
Those who decide to pick this cue up will be able to feel and hear a solid shot every time that they take one, whether it be soft or hard.
Intermediate players who are looking for a low-cost yet high-performance pool cue will be very pleased with this offering.
And to top it all off, this cue comes with a lifetime warranty by Players. Also, if you are interested in pool cues with simple designs, you might want to take a look at Sneaky Pete Pool Cues.
- Simplistic yet powerful cue that offers many benefits Players is known for
- Beautiful, class design
- The wrap is a little bit slippery
5. Cuetec Prestige Series 58″ 2-Piece Canadian Maple Billiard/Pool Cue
This product from Cuetec is a wonderful choice for intermediate players looking for a well-priced cue that can still perform well.
When looking at the grip of the Prestige Series you will find that it is made of Veltex and pulls moisture from your hand in order to offer a clean and dry feel throughout gameplay.
It also looks quite clean and pleasing to the eyes, coming in 4 different colors ranging from classic Ebony to Candy Apple Red, Pearl White, and Sea Blue.
These color choices are paired with the overall beautiful design that the cue offers, making it a perfect pick for intermediate players who want to add a bit of uniqueness to their game.
You’ll be sure to stand out when choosing one of the brilliant colors that are offered.
The shaft of this cue is patented S.S.T. and comes in dimensions of 15 1/2mm, Pro Taper which is power bonded in order to offer an excellent feel and give the user a perfect strike with every shot that they take.
Also offered by this Cuetec cue is the adjustable weight bolt system.
This allows players to easily change the weight to fit their preferences and adapt with speed no matter what sort of challenge comes their way.
With a Tiger Everest Multi-layer tip, you will be able to feel a strong and accurate shot every time you send out a stroke. Made with a polycarbonate ferrule, you can depend on this tip.
- Beautiful design that is sure to catch the eyes of many
- Well-crafted while remaining affordable
- Shots are not as solid as the Players HXT15 and Lucasi LH-10
6. Champion Dragon Pool Cue Stick with Predator Uniloc Joint
To finish off our list we have the Champion Dragon Pool Cue.
This cue is competitively priced and unlike the previously discussed Cuetec offering, comes with its own carrying case.
The case that is offered comes in a choice of either black or white and is made of durable materials.
This particular cue is part of Champion’s Pro Cue Series, meaning that it features brilliantly crafted cues that consist of exotic materials that make your cue stand out from the crowd.
In terms of design, you are able to pick from a variety of different looks that are all equally unique and pleasing.
For those who want a simpler and more understated look, Champion offers a traditional black cue.
Alternatively, one may opt for the standard dragon-designed cue or the unique and very interesting design of the white dragon cue.
Whatever you decide to choose, you have the option to get this cue in weights as low as 17.5 ounces up to 21 ounces.
The tip of this cue comes in three different sizes, as well, meaning that you can tailor it to your exact preference. Starting at 11.75, there are also offerings of 12 and 13mm available for those who want that.
Each tip is layered Tiger Leather and consists of some of the highest quality material that is available on the market.
Players will be quite pleased to know that the shaft of this cue is also made entirely out of Rock Maple which has then been treated with Nelsonite and finished off with an epoxy finish that is special to this cue.
Performance-wise, the user will notice that there is a quite low deflection offered by this cue, and that can be attributed to the ABS Fiber Threaded Ferrule that is contained within its construction.
This, paired with the gator skin grip, will offer intermediate players with superior performance.
- Unique design that will make it stand out
- The design may not be for everyone
Choosing The Best Pool Cues for Intermediate Players
Weight and Length
Pool cues tend to range from 17 ounces up to 21 ounces.
Most players will be comfortable starting around 19 or 20 ounces, and eventually finding what works for them after that.
Always keep in mind that the weight of a cue will often dictate how much cue ball speed is gained in relation to the effort you exert.
Lighter cues tend to be better for skill shots, while heavy cues are used for power shots.
The length of a pool cue depends on the user. Find one that fits you and stick with it.
Cue ball deflection is an important matter. Take into account the level of deflection that is offered by pool cues.
In general, lower deflection is better than cues that offer a standard deflection, as with a low deflection you will be able to aim more consistently with your cue.
It also offers more cue ball control and you can put spin more easily with it.
If you’re still using a standard deflection shaft as an intermediate, we are suggesting upgrading it to a low-deflection shaft. It can help you to improve your game faster.
Find a wrap that offers you the most comfortable grip. A wrap that does not allow the hand to slide is great.
Intermediate players will most likely prefer nylon or Irish linen wrap, as these are comfortable and affordable.
On the other hand, some players like their cues wrapless or use a cue with no wrap like Sneaky Pete.
Always look for a cue that offers a well-made tip. The better the tip, the more precision you will get and the more solid each hit will be.
Always take into account what the tip is made out of.
Kamui Black Tips and Tiger Everest tips are some of the best in the business and should be your standard when picking a cue.
Most cues will find their taper around 12-14mm, and cue tapers come in two types.
The first is conical, and this is characterized by a cue that tapers down from the fat to the thin end smoothly, resembling a cone.
The second type of taper is the pro taper, which is characterized by a shaft that retains its diameter for around 12-14mm and then cones out when closer to the joint.
Choosing the taper that fits you best is one of the most important factors when buying a new cue.
Ferrules that are made of fiber are the ones that you want to find.
These do not crack or chip and will last a long time. Plastic ferrules, on the other hand, are known to suffer from damage quite early on.
Cues rely on their joints to keep them performing well. Try to find a joint such as the Uni-Loc, as it is reliable and praised for how well it is built.
The balance point of a pool cue can also be referred to as its center of gravity. This is the point at which you are able to support the cue on only one finger.
For 58-inch pool cues, you can find this point around 15-20 inches away from the butt plate of the cue. The better balanced that a cue is, the better it tends to perform as idle sway tends to be reduced and you are able to get a more accurate shot off.
Of course, you will want to pick a design that is pleasing to the eye since you will be using this cue so often. This is entirely down to user preference.
What is an Intermediate Pool Cue
An intermediate pool cue is a cue used by players who have been playing for a while and are ready to take their game to the next level.
Intermediate cues are typically made from wood, but there are also some high-quality carbon fiber cues on the market that can be used as well.
An intermediate pool cue should have a low-deflection shaft so that it can help you aim more precisely which means that you will have more control over where your cue ball goes, as a professional pool player does.
This is especially important if you are trying to make those tricky shots with side spin or “English”.
In addition, they are also cheaper than most advanced pool cues.
Beginner vs Intermediate Cue Stick
When comparing beginner vs intermediate pool cues, you will find that they are very similar in terms of length, weight, and balance.
However, the difference lies in how much they cost and what quality of materials they were constructed from (low-quality wood vs high-quality wood).
Most pool cues for intermediate players have low-deflection shafts and fancier designs.
Read: Best Pool Cues Under $50
What is a Good Pool Cue for an Intermediate Player?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a good intermediate pool cue stick should have at least a low-deflection shaft and a good balance point.
These features allow you to shoot accurately and help you improve faster.
Is a One-Piece Better than a Two-piece Cue Stick?
As an intermediate pool player, having a two-piece pool cue is better.
Two-piece cue sticks have a joint between their handle and shaft.
This means that they are often more flexible than their one-piece counterparts—but some people prefer this because it allows them to customize the feel of their cue stick by swapping out pieces or adjusting them as needed.
Another advantage of two-piece cues is they allow you to replace individual parts as needed rather than replacing the entire cue when something breaks down.
For example, if your shaft or butt is warped, and needs replacing or upgrading, you can simply buy a new shaft rather than having to buy an entirely new cue stick—which is usually more expensive than just replacing the shaft.
Best Pool Cue Tip for Intermediate Player?
The truth is that you can use either type of cue tip and still get great results if you know what you’re doing.
But to give you a general idea, hard tips are more likely to be consistent and can last longer, meaning that you can rely on them over time.
On the other hand, soft tips are great for beginners because they’re easier to use, but once you’ve got a good grip on how cues work and what your stroke looks like, it’s time to move up from a different type of cue tip.
How Many Pool Cues do I Need?
We have a separate article about this matter. Long story short, if you’re serious about playing pool, you should have at least a high-quality cue stick for shooting and a break cue for breaking.
Is a Longer Pool Cue Better
It is all about your size and how you play. Your pool cue stick should fit your body and stroke. In case you have longer arms, you should choose a longer pool cue so that you can grab the cue’s middle area or wrap and not on the cue butt sleeve.
10 Tips & Tricks for Intermediate Players
Playing pool requires concentration, focus, and strategy. It has been around for centuries and has evolved over time into many different variations such as carom billiards or snooker.
Billiards is another type of cue sport with different rules than pool.
Here are some important tips to know to be a good player:
- Practice, Practice, Practice!!!!
- Make sure you have a stable stance.
- Your bridge should be rock solid.
- Loosen your grip. Don’t hold your cue too tight. Just relax!
- Using too much speed on a shot can ruin your ball placement.
- The ghost-ball aiming method can be a useful visualization tool.
- Do you know that you can use your cue to aim?
- Do not drop your elbow during the stroke.
- Use a consistent pre-shot routine.
- Make sure your tip is well chalked.
There are a wide variety of pool cues that are worth a look that is not present on our list, but this list we have compiled should offer intermediate players with a good range of choices that can suit their style and offer them more consistent gameplay overall.
Because each cue has its own features and assets that make it unique, it is very important for each player to find one that benefits them.
If you are looking to improve, then get yourself a cue that makes you comfortable and offers you great performance in every game you play.
Mike Woodward is the Founder & CEO of Minibar Online. He has played pool and billiards for almost two decades. He also tests the latest pool cues, pool balls and other gear from Cuetec, Predator, Lucasi and other pool/billiards brands. He currently lives in San Diego, California where he plays a lot of competitive matches.