Custom Pool Cue Or Production Cue?

Many Custom Pool Cue makers have models or brochures of their cues. If you buy one of their form cues is it nevertheless considered a custom cue?

This is a question that is being debated on many forums…

The information ‘custom’ is over used and over stated in the cue making world, especially when a cue is for sale, where this one information can give the cue a different position making it more ‘sellable’. In some places it is used to categorise any two piece cue…

Some of the answers are in the definition of the information custom. Custom method ‘made to order’ – if you didn’t have input into the construction, then it’s not a custom cue. If you ‘order’ a cue to your specifications, you have, by definition a “custom pool cue”. Now, you sell that cue. What is it now? The person that bought it, didn’t have it ‘made to order’. Is it nevertheless a custom cue? If it’s not, what is it?

When people talk ‘production cues’ mass production comes to mind, but how many cues does a company produce before they are considered ‘production cues’? The information custom…. method just that. Custom made to the buyers specs etc. If a cue is ordered with a certain weight, balance point, shaft taper, butt diameter, ferrule etc. then that cue is custom made and hence, a custom cue. If the cue is sold to John Smith later on…… then it’s no longer custom made. It’s just a cue.

The focus should be on the cue, not the maker. If, for example, any cue maker builds a one-off cue that looks exactly like a cue before built by another (but was build individually and didn’t come off the production line), it’d be considered a custom pool cue. however, if a high profile custom cue maker decided to mass produce a standard four pointer for “off the shelf” buy, then those particular cues are considered to be production.

There are 3 manufacturing types of cues:

  • 1. Production Cue – more than 1 cue made in accordance to manufacturer’s specifications and aims to target a general or specific market
  • 2. Semi-Custom or Production Customized Cue – any existing (freely-obtainable) production cue in which the “stock” or existing specification(s)
  • has/have been alternation in accordance to a specific customer’s specs (Eg. reduction of shaft diameter, change of wrap, engraving of name, addition of inlays or marks, etc)

  • 3. Fully Customized Cue – any cue made from scratch in accordance to all of the specific customer’s specs (choice of materials, ring design, balance point, length, weight, taper, etc)

LIMITED CUES can any be of the 3 manufacturing types:

  • 1. Limited Production – limited number of cues made for the public
  • 2. Limited Semi-Custom – limited production cue which has been alternation to a specific person’s specs
  • 3. Limited complete Custom – One or several identical-looking cues made from scratch in accordance to all of the specs of a particular customer

A fully customized cue will always keep a fully custom cue since it’s been built for a specific person in mind.

The Manufacturing technique used to produce a cue can also influence how one categorizes the cue as Custom or Production. The cue can either be handcrafted or machine aided. Does use of CNC disqualify a cue from being a custom pool cue? This is another discussion in itself but again, if the cue is thoroughly made by machine but the design is specific and original, then the answer is clear.

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