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When it comes to games that involve both physical prowess and a whole lot of strategy, pool is one of the most difficult ones out there. Pool or billiards, as it is often called, is an extremely difficult game. Yes, it is a lot of fun too, but if you plan on playing at a professional level, you need to know what you are doing.
Not only do you need to know what you were doing, but you also need to have the right equipment, which of course includes the pool cue. Having a straight pool cue is very important, as playing with a crooked cue just doesn’t work right. So, if yours is not straight, you need to know how to straighten it – and that’s what we’ll talk about today.
How to Find Out If Your Pool Cue Is Straight
If you are not sure whether or not your pure pool cue is straight, there are a couple of different ways that you can check.
Method #1: Sighting the Cue
Generally speaking, the most reliable and popular way to check to see if your pool cue is straight is by sighting it. Sighting a pool cue refers to the process of holding it up to your eye, as if you were aiming a rifle at a target with the cue being gently pointed towards the ground at a light angle, and then slowly rotating the cue to evaluate its straightness.
Yes, this does mean that you need to have pretty decent eyesight for this method to work. When doing this, make sure to hold the butt of the cue to your eye, with the tip facing away from you. All that said, your eyes do tend to be the most reliable method here.
Realistically, if you are looking down the cue like a rifle, you should very easily be able to tell whether or not it is straight. What you are looking for here is the tip of the cue. If you rotate the cue all the way around, and you can see the tip the whole time, then the cue should be straight.
Method #2: Rolling the Cue
Another way to check if a pool cue is straight is to roll it on a perfectly flat surface. If the pool cue wobbles as it rolls, then it is most likely crooked. However, keep in mind that this is not the most reliable method of checking how straight a pool cue is.
The reason for this is because the surface you roll it on has to be perfectly flat. If the surface is not perfectly flat, the pool cue is going to wobble either way. Therefore, if you’re going to use this method, you do have to make sure that you are using a 100% flat surface.
Method #3: Measuring it
Although this is not one of the more common ways to see if the pool cue is straight, it is possible. First, measure the length of your pool cue. Second, using a straight wall or other flat surface marked the exact length of the pool cue from one end to another.
Using a level or any other such tool, make sure that your markings are perfectly even, or in other words that they line up with a straight line. Mark the two exact points on the flat surface where the tip and butt of the pool cue should be. If the tip and butt match up with your markings, then the pool cue is straight.
How to Straighten a Pool Cue
Now that you know how to figure out whether or not your pool cue is straight, it’s time to figure out how to actually straighten it.
Method #1: Hanging It Up
The first method that you can try using to straighten your pool cue is to hang it up in the air by the tip. All you have to do here is to hang the pool cue from the ceiling. If the curvature is very light and not very pronounced, gravity may be enough to straighten the pool cue.
If you hang the pool cue up for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks, gravity should be enough to straighten it back out. Although beware that this method really only works for light curvatures.
Method #2: Bending It Manually
The other way that you can straighten a pool queue on your own is to simply bend it back manually. In other words, take your pool, cue, lay it down on a flat surface, and make it so that the bend is facing upwards. With the curve facing up, use the palm of your hand and a good deal of bodyweight to press down on it.
Gently roll the pool cue back and forth while applying a decent amount of pressure. This should be enough to bend the pool cue back into place. Now, if you are worried about the pool cue snapping, yes, this is something that can happen.
However, with that being said, if this is something you are worried about, forget it. The fact of the matter is that if the pool cue is bent enough to not be able to play with it, then you really have nothing to lose. Either you bend it back into place and you can use the pool cue again, or it snaps and you won’t be able to use it.
Whether you can’t use it because it’s too bent or because it snaps is irrelevant, so you may as well try.
Method #3: Seeking Professional Assistance
Yes, you may seek professional help to bend the pool cue back into place. Although quite honestly, in most cases this is probably a waste of money.
While a professional should be able to get your pool cue back into its right shape no matter what, this can be quite expensive. Unless it’s a pool cue that has a whole lot of sentimental value or was extremely expensive, we would recommend either bending it back yourself or just buying a new one.
How to Keep Your Pool Cue Straight
Finally, let’s go over some of the most important tips to keep your pool cue straight so you never have to bend it back into position:
- Under no circumstances should you ever get your pool cue wet. If a pool cue does get wet, let it dry naturally. Do not put it in the sun to let it dry.
- Keep your cue out of any super hot or cold environment as well as out of extreme moisture. The wood that pool cues are made out of is not going to handle extreme temperature shifts or moisture shifts very well.
- Don’t ever lean on your pool cue and don’t lean the pool cue on a table or against a wall. Over time, even the weight of the pool cue itself may cause it to bend if it leans against the wall.
- Never sand a pool cue or use steel wool to clean it. This will open up the pores of the wood and will allow moisture to get into the pores, thus causing it to warp.
As you can see, keeping a pool cue straight is not very difficult.
In the event that it does get bent, bending it back into place shouldn’t be too hard either. Moreover, in the event that it does snap due to your attempts to straighten it, you really have nothing to lose because it’s not like he could have played with a bent pool cue anyway.