Cue Tips – Layered vs Solid
Which is the best type of cue tip to use?
When asked why choose layered cue tips over solid leather tips, I tell my customers that it is just personal preference.
However the philosophy behind the layered tip is this.
Solid leather tips are made from a single plug of cowhide (or whatever hide), where the plug has a variety of hardness’s throughout the tip. The top of the tip on your cue is the inside of the animal skin where it is softer. As the cue tip wears down you are moving towards the outer side of the skin which is harder and denser.
Layered tips are made of certain areas of the skin that are specific in density and hardness. The layers are consistent so if you have a hard, “Wizard” layered tip the top layer is hard and so is the 2nd, 3rd all the way through the tip.
On the other hand many of the standard solid leather tips like LePro, Elkmaster, and Triangle that have been around since before I was born are still in business because they are, consistent in hardness, available through almost all cue service locations and are not expensive.
The two most common complaints about solid leather tips that I have heard and experienced is that they, “mushroom out” and get harder as they wear down.
For the most part if you consider what is happening to the tip as it connects to the cue ball is that it is being hammered over and over. This will cause almost all “natural or organic” type materials to compact and get harder. It is inevitable.
I have had discussions with tip manufacturers that will say that their tip is the best on the market.
What I think is this. They are all good. If you shoot best with a LePro tip then don’t let anybody dissuade you.
As I said before it is all personal preference.
I do suggest that you try out as many different types as you can. When you find one you like stick with it until you decide otherwise. What works for one person is what work for that person.
If you play pool as much as I do your cue tip should last at least 6 months or through one league season.
You may find it not lasting that long or that you are having to reshape, scuff up, trim or otherwise do work on your cue tip that makes it wear through faster.
If this is the case, perhaps the tip is not preforming the way you need it to and you should try something else.