Pool is a gentleman’s game. If you’re just starting out, then you would have to learn how to be a gentleman right from this part.
The concept of a pool game revolves round strength, precision, foresight and most importantly, patience. The same conditions apply here too. In this guide, I would be using these four core elements to provide you a detailed guide on the things to look out for when buying a pool table.
Buyer’s Guide – What Should You Lookout For In A Pool Table?
The size of the table :
Size is always the first thing to consider when it comes to this kind of purchase. The same applies to shuffleboards, air hockey tables and even ping pong tables. The setup might look nice in the pictures or at the showroom of the sports store, but you need to make sure that it looks that good in your room too.
If you have a man cave in your apartment, or you intend to use the garage or the basement as the permanent gaming center, all you need to consider is the size of the room, compared to the size of the table.
More importantly, you need to consider the fact that you will be using a cue stick and as such, be needing enough space round the table to place your shots comfortably, if at all. The three major sizes on the market are the 7, 8 and 9-foot tables. Take the measurements of the room you intend to use and account for personal space before sealing your purchase.
Having settled that aspect, you also need to consider the installation status. If you don’t have space for permanent installation, it means that you’ll have to install the pool table every time you and your friends decide to play.
You also need to consider the space you’ll be managing, but more importantly, you need to consider the installation process itself. If you fall into this category, ensure that the weight of the table won’t be a burden. Make sure that the table is easy to install because going through the hustle of installing the table every time is just not worth your time.
The material used for the play surface :
Slate remains the best option for this part, compared to Slatron.
Slatrons are made of compressed wood which means that a simple spike in the temperature positively or otherwise could warp the table. The same applies in the event of a liquid spill. Slates are thicker and better. You can go for any thickness size but the tournament approved thickness is a 1-inch slate. It’s best to stick to this regulation because one slate board weighs at least 150 pounds.
Therefore, the more layers you have, the heavier the table will be. This could make installation or transport harder. Also, slates make the table heavy enough to overcome flooring obstacles that might appear in carpet floors, tiles or even hardwood floors.
The Railing :
The Railing is the perimeter of the playfield. One side faces up parallel to the playfield, while the other fences perpendicularly to the field. The latter part is the most vulnerable part of the railing because during play, shots tend to bounce off it.
There are two things to consider here.
Firstly, you have to ensure that the railing is strong enough to take all these hits without deteriorating too fast. The second consideration is how effective rebounds will be off the railing. Medium Density Fiber (MDF) boards tend to warp after a while of use while solid wood tends to last longer.
The Felt :
For the cushions, the two main options are the wool-blended fabrics and rough fabric. The first option tends to compress unevenly over time and will often require replacement. On the other hand, the rough fabric is already evenly compressed and as such you are bound to enjoy consistency on the playfield over a longer period in comparison.
The more important thing is that it needs to be attached to the table using the AAA Malaysian gum which works perfectly for rebounds. This natural rubber makes sure that if the table starts deteriorating, the felt is not affected.
The Frame :
The frame surrounds the entire table and as such is more vulnerable to deterioration either from spills, temperature influenced warping or even insects. Ensure that the frame of the pool table you decide to go with is made of a commendable material.
Examples of materials that fall into this category include hardwood, laminate wood and veneer. Hardwood is the heaviest, the best and also the most expensive. However, when it comes to features such as these, you can’t afford to make cheap compromises.
Looking to get your self a table? Find out how much it costs in our pool table cost analysis.
You might have other reservations for other parts of the table, like the overall design, the color and maybe electronic components. The only important consideration thing here is to ensure that the important parts I expressly discussed above are not affected by your additions.
Stay tuned to Pingthatpong for more articles like this. Happy Hunting!
Hey! , I am Roland Campbell , a recreational table tennis player for over 5 years and counting. I do a lot of research on table tennis (Ping Pong) and publish my findings here at Pingthatpong.