There is something to be said about buying the right pool table. Buying a pool table is really like buying a car. In many ways, you can relate the entire billiards industry to the automotive industry. It’s amazing how many lessons our pool table manufacturers and retailers can learn from the oh-so-trusted car industry. There are dozens of different manufacturers in different countries.
Then, choose where to buy your pool table. Would you decide to buy from an authorized dealer or a small timer in his garage? Inside it, you will notice that there are several different designs and sizes. There is a wide range of raw material options that it is built upon. Even more, you have to decide what options you want, including: stains, cloth, sights and accessories. Want to buy new or used? And the list goes on and on.
The recommendation to buy new is always the best. Why? Forget for a moment, the qualities and brands available. Now, really consider the disadvantages of buying a new pool table.
There is simply only one real downside, price. If you are considering buying a pool table and you are motivated for price and price alone; then it might be best to just settle for something used. But if you can wait, if you can take some time to slow down the impulse by buying now; Then you will notice that you would give away all the benefits of buying new. Remember, there are several brands and qualities. You will give up customization, quality, generation, guarantees and guarantees. Need something more said? That is clear.
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Buying a pool table is a huge expense. You don’t just have to settle for a used or a retailer because it is cheaper. You wouldn’t settle for the car you don’t want just because it’s cheap, right? Maybe, but you know what you want. You know what you like. Build it and be part of the process. This will be something you can pass on to your children’s children. However, there are certain occasions where it may just make more sense to buy stock or used items. Just know what’s right for you.
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Okay, so what’s the best pool table available? It’s up for debate. I’ve worked on and seen pretty much everything out there over the years. Some are good others are firewood. In general, I would recommend that you buy something made in the US, use a hardwood in the construction and include either a Brazilian or Italian slate in three-piece form.
As a side note: Tables from China just aren’t good. Slate from China is just not good. If you think slate is just slate; then tell the many customers who made the mistake of purchasing these and needed frame builds, slate replacement and new parts that ended up costing them more money than what they paid for the whole table brand new. Chinese slate is stiff and hard so it cannot bend, so it cracks and breaks. Their pool tables are mass-produced on the “line” with spray on stains and finishes. Of course, they look good. They may even play OK for a little while, but these finishes end and they used cheap forests, distortion. Nor does it take long for this to happen.
There is also a difference in MADE in the US and BUILT in the US. There are many companies that claim to be made in the United States, but in fact only gather here. I do not buy from such one. Do some research, talk to the right people, and educate yourself. I can list many American manufacturers for you, but that would be settling down and removing the value in product research. Let’s try to remember that this is a process more than it is an impulse purchase.
One-piece slate tables are outdated for home. In columns, they are lovely, but that is not what you want in your home. First off, who wants to move it? No one does. Second, they just can’t get the same level of precision that a wooden slate can get. General leveling is all you get with one slice, and three pieces of slate not only give you that, but also add a fine-tuning element that keeps this level longer and also withstands bias.
It will take some time to find the right manufacturer and dealer. Find the best ones that fit your budget and, more importantly, fit your needs. The internet may give you the ideas, but you have to get out there and actually see the product. Take your time. Find what works best. Remember, it’s your money.
Size and style are entirely up to you. There is nothing anyone can do to influence these. How much space do you have? This will help you measure what size fits into your current home. However, think carefully about this one. Remember, as Americans, we move often. What fits in your current home may not fit into your next one. What decor do you have and present in your home? Does a traditional look, modern design or tournament style suit you and your home? There may be settings on a pool table from the legs, frame (curved, no arch, double arch) and rail edges (checkered, smooth, scalloped). All of these things need to be considered. Go out there and look at them!
There are the more common types of wood used to make pool tables. In general, you will see particle board with veneer and laminate over it, poplar (or tulip), oak (white or red), hard white maple, hickory, walnut, mahogany or any other exotic forest. There are tables out there made of marble, car parts, metal and other weird materials. However, your standard hardwood will be oak or maple for most traditional models, and a laminate will typically be used on your modern tournament style corner tables. General rule of thumb: stick to the standard forest and work your way up.
Which of these are important to you? Which not? In general, your household tree species will last a very long time. Just another important note about “hardwood”, poplar is technically considered a hardwood, but most people do not recognize it that way. It is soft and warps easily, even if you press it together in layers. Don’t be fooled by the seller. Tournament style tables are pretty much all made of a chipboard wood with either a high or low quality laminate. Don’t let that stop you from buying one because the particle is not that big. It’s not, but some good name tag stuff makes a good table out of it.
There are many different stains and finishes these days. The stain is basically the color they make the wood, while the finish is what goes over it for protection and shine. The stain colors range from natural and light colors, all the way to dark and black. Finishes will generally be available in just a few different options, with matte, semi-gloss and high gloss being the most popular. These two things are related to your personal desires and decor. Check them all out, especially against your fabric color settings.
The day for the traditional green cloth is no longer. There are dozens of colors now and you are not limited to the green and blue colors of the past. However, there are different types of cloth. They fall into two types: wool and comb yarn.
Woolen cloth or napkin cloth is your standard in home and leisure cloths. Most retailers include this type as a standard tablecloth for a table purchase. Very rarely will you see it in a pool hall unless the owner is cheap. This cloth is usually a mixture of nylon and wool. It is sometimes referred to as a decoy because it has micro fibers that stand up similar to carpet. Professionals stay away from this cloth because it does not pull on the slate so tight for less speed and accuracy, it tends to peel, bullets will indent grooves and give it “wiggle”.
Worsted cloth is also a similar blend with a much higher wool content. This is the best of the best. It’s elastic enough to stretch to an incredible tightness, giving the game extreme accuracy and speed consistent enough for professionals to maintain position throughout their game. It does not peel and rip, like its brother’s wool, and it is heavy and durable, which extends its life in most scenarios. If you have the extra cash, get it! Don’t skimp on cloth, but know that there really is only one real manufacturer and that the other brands of camel wool are just cheap knockoffs.
Attractions are available in many different materials and styles. You see round and diamond shaped sights made of plastic, mother of pearl, mother of pearl and metals like brass and chrome. You can have them be different colors or have a double diamond look to them. The most common double diamond style will consist of a pearl embrace surrounded by abalone. This gives a pool table a completely different look and feel.
Then we get to the accessories. That’s what they are and most often you get a set with your table coming straight out of China and generally sucking. However, this is OK because these are starter elements. Of course, you want the best you can get with the purchase, but don’t let a guy tell you that his table is better because he has better accessories. As you learn the game and get more involved, you will appreciate and understand the value of upgrading the equipment over time. Personally, if the bullets are not Aramith and the cows are not of American decent; then I don’t want them. However, they become pricey and are not necessary until you get the feel of the game and want better equipment.
So the last thing to mention while searching for the perfect pool table are the guarantees and guarantees. Why is this important? Simple if the manufacturer does not back up their product for a lifetime and a retailer does not support its lifetime warranty work; so what’s the good thing about the product and service provided. Do you remember that generation exit? How can you be expected to do so if the manufacturer and seller do not even believe in their product? It is difficult to find the right combination of manufacturer for retailer, but they are there. If you can’t offer these two simple things, don’t be in the business at all. Forget them.
If the brand is right, call the manufacturer and tell them you want their product without the dealer’s involvement and tell them why. The dealership is right and the brand is wrong, so you may need to explore other options with them or find another brand.
This is all about you and this is the insight for your analysis. In the end, you are the one who needs to decide what is right for you in brand, price, quality and style.