Essential Pool Table Accessories
There are many necessary accessories that make a pool table function properly, such as pool able felt, covers, cues, chalk, balls, and racks. These are outlined in detail below.
Pool Table Felt
Pool table felt is the (usually green or red) covering on the table and sides of the pool table. It is made of wool, just as it has been for over 400 years (although some do use wool-and-nylon blends). High-quality pool table felt is denser and thicker than low-end felt, and high-quality felt allows the balls to travel faster and more accurately along the table. Low-end felt is softer and more durable, causing balls to move more slowly and less accurately. Low-end felt is usually used in bars, where high traffic justifies its use.
Pool Table Covers
Pool table covers are one of the most important pool table accessories you can buy. They protect your pool table from dust, debris, spills, and other contaminants, when not in use. They usually come in vinyl or leather, with weighted corners for dependable covering. Vinyl covers can be had for less than $10, while the more attractive leather covers range up to $100.
Pool cues or cue sticks come in one of two forms: one-piece and two-piece. One-piece cues are for the casual user, usually available to the general public in bars. Two-piece cues have a butt and a shaft that can unscrew for easy transport in a cue case.
Quality pool cues are usually two-piece sticks made of maple wood, with the butt wrapped in linen or leather for moisture absorption, and a tip made of hard-wrapped leather. Low-end pool cues are often found in bars and usually come as just one piece, with no wrapping for the butt, and a plastic and graphite tip.
Pool Cue Chalk
Pool cue chalk should be among your first purchases when you’re shopping for pool table accessories. Chalk is applied to the pool cue to increase friction when the tip strikes the cue ball. Chalk also allows for greater control over how much spin the ball gets. Stock up on chalk for your pool table or tables, as players love chalking the tip when sizing up their next shot. (Fun fact: chalk is made of fine abrasives. In other words, there is no chalk in pool cue chalk.)
Pool balls come in many different types of sets. The most common type of set for pool balls is the 16-ball set, which includes 7 solid balls, 7 striped balls, a black 8-ball, and a white cue ball. This type of pool ball set usually is used for games like 8-Ball, 9-Ball, and Cutthroat. Be sure when you are buying pool balls that you ask for the right kind of set.
Pool Ball Racks
Pool ball racks can be made out of wood or plastic. Wood is sturdier and a little more expensive than plastic, but worth the price if you are looking for years of beautiful, long lasting use. Pool ball racks usually come in the standard triangle, which you can use for 15-ball games and 9-ball games alike, and the diamond shape, which is especially designed for racking 9-ball games.