How To Choose A Pool Cue Case
When it comes to pool cue cases, there are almost as many options as there are pool cues. In fact, there is a much greater variance in cases, as pool cues are limited to a few features such materials, quality, and brands. While there are a number of options for cases, a few simple guidelines can help you narrow down the selection.
The first thing to do is determine what size case you need. Cases are typically classified by size first. A 1x1 case means it will hold one butt and one shaft. A 2x4 case will hold two butts and four shafts. You will need to decide how many cues you intend to carry in order to make the best decision on the size.
Here is a size chart to help make it a little easier:
- 1x1 - one pool cue
- 1x2 - one pool cue with an extra shaft
- 2x2 - two pool cues
- 2x3 - two pool cues with an extra shaft
- 2x4 - two pool cues with two extra shafts
- 2x5 - two pool cues with three extra shafts
- 3x4 - three pool cues with an extra shaft
- 3x5 - three pool cues with two extra shafts
- 3x6 - three pool cues with three extra shafts
- 4x8 - four pool cues with four extra shafts
There are some cases even larger, but these are generally used by dealers to carry around ten or more cues at a time.
Once you know the size, it's time to think about what you will be doing with the case. Pool cue cases range from thin nylon, cloth, or vinyl soft sided cases, to much more durable hardshell cases. If your cues leave the house on a weekly basis for league night, you might want the added protection of a hardshell case. If you really only take your cues out once in a while, you might save some money by buying a soft case. The primary reason to have a case is to make it easy to transport your pool cue (or cues) and to ensure they are protected. If you have made a significant monetary investment in your pool cues, it is highly recommend to get hard case that affords the most protection.
Function is an important consideration when choosing a case. Do you want something light? If so, it is best to choose smaller size soft case. If you want a little more protection, but still want something that is easy to carry, there are hard cases with ergonomic shoulder and backpack-style straps. Do you have a jump cue? Many cases, such as the Sterling Wave Cases, now offer a special sleeve built into one of the long pockets of the case to accommodate most standard size jump handles, and the extra shaft can ride in the case. Some cases have padded handles to make it more comfortable to carry. If you don't mind the weight, and want to get the snazziest pool cue case around, you might try something like J Flowers Tribute Case, that uses only top grade leather.
Choosing a case also has an aesthetic aspect. Not all cases are built the same. Some have leather coverings, while others may have nylon and vinyl coverings. They come in a variety of colors, and some even have designs imprinted or carved on them. Leather is generally more durable, but not much more so that vinyl and nylon if you take care of the case. Tossing a case around, running over it with a car, or consistently stacking things on or against it that may have sharp edges will damage virtually any case, no matter what the outer covering is made of.
Protection is the hallmark of a truly great case, no matter what the price. Some will offer a moisture-resistant padded interior while others might have a hard foam core interior. Some will only have a soft sleeve to slide the cue parts into, while some might have individual tubes. In our years of experience, we have learned that the most protective cases have hard outer shells with soft padded interiors. Foam core cases are injection molded and do not offer the same level of interior or exterior protection. If an occlusion exists inside a foam core case, you might not know until you pull out your cue and it has a scratch on it. Foam core can also be cracked and broken if sideways pressure is exerted on it.
Finally, you have some more information about what makes pool cue cases different. Now that you are educated on the topic, you can shop with confidence knowing that you are equipped with the knowledge to make a truly informed decision regarding what the best case for you will be.