The Pool Cue Joint
The pool cue joint is where the pieces of a two-piece cue stick join together. The joint is usually made of metal and consists of a threaded pin on one end, and a matching threaded hole on the other.
On cheaper cues, the joint may be formed from the wood that the cue stick is made of. The butt end of the stick will have its joint end threaded, and the shaft end of the stick will have a mating threaded hole.
The joint carries the shock of the pool stroke from one section of the stick to the other. For this reason, it should be well made and strong enough to stand the stress.
Higher end pool cues may have joints made of stainless steel, metal alloys, regular steel, or even brass or bronze. The pin of the joint is almost always made of metal, while the threaded hole may be made of metal or other materials such as phenolic resin, ivory, or plastic.
Different type joints give a different feel to the pool stroke. A metal joint will not have the same delicate feel that a wood-to-wood joint will have. For this reason, a break stick will usually have a metal joint, while a stick designed for finesse and a lighter feel may have threaded metal inserts in a wood-to-wood joint.
When the cue stick is taken apart, the joint, and especially the pin, is vulnerable to damage. Joint protectors, as shown above left, are sold to prevent anything happening to the joint components. The ones shown are made of rubber, and one covers the threaded pin while the other screws into the threaded hole.
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