Anyone that plays pool and owns a cue will eventually need to replace the tip. After all the chalking, scuffing, grinding, and breaking, eventually you will find yourself shooting with what basically amounts to a really dull stick.

Why choose one replacement tip over another?

Different tips have different hardnesses, therefore some tips will wear out faster than others, grip the cueball more, hold chalk better, and need to be scuffed more often.

Cue tips are rated in hardness from 1 to 4. 1 being the softest, and 4 being the hardest. Softer tips provide more cueball control, at the expense of the shot being a bit 'mushy' and needing to be scuffed or picked more often. Hard tips tend to hold their shape longer, and dont need to be scuffed as often but have a cost of the shot being a bit more 'stiff', and less cueball control. Most advanced players prefer harder tips because soft tips tend to grip the cueball a bit too much, causing unwanted spin etc.

Tools needed

  • A sharp knife (Razor blade, Exacto, Whatever)
  • New tips
  • A cue with a bad tip
  • Some glue (Superglue seems to work well)
  • Heavy and Fine grit sandpaper

Ok, enough with the theory, I want to use the knife!

Ok, first step, cut off the remains of the old tip as closely to the ferrule as possible using the knife or razor blade. After you have as much of it removed as you can with the knife, use the rough sandpaper, then the fine grit to sand off any remaining tip chunks or glue. Be carefull not to damage the ferrule. I havent learned how to replace that yet =)

Next step, is rough up the back of the new tip using the sandpaper so the glue can bond well with the tip and the ferrule. Once everything looks good, press the tip onto the cue in order to make sure both surfaces are level, and you cant see any light through. If you can, sand a bit more. Once everything looks good, go ahead and put a couple drops of superglue on the end of the ferrule, place the tip on, and press straight down on the tip trying to keep it centered. If you arent using super glue, you may need to come up with some way of holding the tip on overnight. I prefer superglue because it doesnt need any time to set. Just a few minutes.

The last step, and probably the worst, is shaping the tip to the cue. If you purchased tips that were the same diameter as your cue, you may have had a hard time getting it centered, but congratulations, youre done. If you bought tips that were 1mm too big, then now you have to figure out a way to cut off the excess. Sounds easy until you see how small 1mm is. Now you can do one of two things, you can either sand off the edges, or cut them off. Ill leave it as an excercise to the reader as to which you choose, but be forewarned, they both suck about equally.

Now that you have youre new tip put on, rough it a bit with the heavy grit sandpaper, chalk it, and go play. Just hope the tip doesnt come off the first time you break. If it does you did it wrong =).

Using epoxy has worked fairly well for me. The downside to epoxy is the wait. It takes about a day to get fully hard. Those little plastic jigs for gluing cue tips seem to work very well. They hold it on tight while the glue bonds and so you can get it centered without having to hold it down.

The problem with weak glue for me is that at my friends house (where I play) he has a brother that has friends that screw everything up. They have on multiple occasions broken the tip off my cue by missing the ball that badly or just being dumb. Oh well.

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