Is Predator Cues Worth the Price?
The question I get the most in pool halls today is Predator Cues worth the price we pay?
Well, the answer is different today than I would have given ten years ago. In learning how to make pool cues myself I learned how others cut corners. What I mean is how they hide the type of wood used to make your Predator Pool Cue. When I returned to the sport after a 17-year break to focus on my military career, I noticed many cue companies went out of business. Predator was now the leading cue maker for pros. It used to be Schon Cues was the cue of choice by all pros. I consider a professional pool player by someone who makes steady money playing the sport. This could be via gabling on the road to tournaments across the globe. Now back to the main topic. When I first made the switch from Schon Cues to Predator Cues most of the cues were light in color showing complex inlays work. Today I am looking at mostly black cues with rather nice inlay work. The black wood stain is nice but it hides what type of wood is being used.
Most cue makers go with Birdseye Maple. This wood is light in color and can be stained to any other color. It also looks very beautiful if it is highly figured Birdseye Maple. Other cue makers work with Cocobolo, Thuya Burl, and Purple Heart. Sometimes they get into really exotic wood like Snakewood that is highly expensive but very worthwhile using. Some I have seen using Birch and staining them very dark to hide the fact they are using a very cheap piece of wood. Normally someone might do this with the handle part. Then slap a Irish Linen wrap on it or leather. The real cheat will stain a birch forearm and butt area black. Then put inlays on it. The buyer might think wow this is a nice cue. However, they are paying for a name more than the great cue at this point.
I personally if going with a black forearm or butt area would use a nice African Blackwood. It is very strong, perfect for instruments and pool cues. If you don’t end up that guy chalking a cue, and smacking it on the end of a pool table this cue will last longer than you would. It would last many decades and remain straight as a razor. It is not a cheap wood to use, but if the buyer is willing to go this route it is worth it.
This is my challenge. Take a Predator Cue that has been stained black and cut it down. See what you really paid for! Same with many others that seem to use black a lot in their pool cues. This is not to sell you on my cues. I didn’t even list the name of the brand I make. This is to make sure buyers are aware of what they are paying for. It is always best to go with a master cue maker. The nation is full of them. Check out their reputation among other pool players. Buy a cheaper cue from them to see how it hits. If it hits the way you want, then you an spend what you want on a unique 1:1 pool cue from them.