The Pool Cue Joint
The pool cue joint is obviously where the sections of the pool cue join together. This joint usually consists of a fully threaded pin on one section which screws into a matching hole on the other. However, this joint may also be a quick-release type, which consists of a mostly non-threaded pin which has several threads at its base.
In this picture of Viking pool cue joints from http://www.schmidtbilliards.com, different configurations of cue joints cause the cue stick to feel differently when hitting the cue ball.
Viking pool cue joint 1 - Provides a firm hit.
Viking pool cue joint 2 - Gives a hard hit.
Viking pool cue joint 3 - Double-threaded to provide a very hard hit.
Viking pool cue joint 4 - Gives a soft hit and has 3/8 - 10 pin.
Viking pool cue joint 5 - Gives a soft hit.
Viking pool cue joint 6 - Hustler-style true wood-to-wood joint provides a soft hit.
On less expensive cues, the end of the hardwood shaft or butt is threaded and mates with its corresponding threaded wooden hole in the other section of the cue. However, most mid to high level cues will usually feature pins made of metal, while the joint itself may be made of wood, plastic, phenolic resin, ivory, or metal. This metal may be brass, bronze, steel, metal alloy, or even stainless steel in the higher end cues.
The joint is where the energy of the shot is transferred from the butt to the shaft, so this area must be quite strong and well made. A close fitting joint is essential to the feel and playability of a quality pool cue.
It is generally believed that the harder the material the joint is made from, the harder the hit the cue stick will withstand, and the softer the material, the more feel to the hit. Therefore, a break stick would be best to have a hard metal joint, while a player who likes to really feel the shot and use some finesse, would more appreciate a wood-to-wood joint.
When the stick is taken apart after use, a joint protector should be used to protect the vulnerable pin part of the joint from damage.
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