The beginning point of any such purchase is knowing what will fit into your home. Begin by measuring the room where you plan on playing. Most first timers do not realize what it takes to accommodate a pool table
It doesn't end there, you need room to make that shot you need to allow for the backswing of your cue, usually about five feet. Yup, all around. This will allow room for the near full length of your cue when you are shooting at a cue ball kissing the rail. Sometimes, you can get around this by using a shorter cue, but in the end you will appreciate having adequate room without cutting corners. You are better off getting use to a standard length cue.
You're going to hear a lot of strange terms when you start talking to table dealers, you need to be able to cut through the fluff.
· Amapa is a South African hardwood, So is Ash.
· Superspeed cushions are made from rubber. So is vulcanized (gum or synthetic) rubber.
· Simonis Cloth is billed by many as the best you can get but most napless weaves (worsted wool) will perform well for casual play.
Talk to table installers, they may not be the leading sales people for the dealership, but they do have a lot of hands-on experience and can help you cut through the sales pitch. Start from the floor up:
Make sure they are solid wood, carved or plain, it's up to you.
This is the part of the table between the legs and the slate. There are two construction materials solid wood and MDF board. This decision is up to you. Be aware most installers will tell you there is really no difference.
Probably the most important part of your table, Slate comes in a couple different sizes: 3/4”, 7/8”, and 1”. 3/4” slate is usually used on inexpensive tables or they will start you at 3/4” then offer upgrades on the slate. 1” slate is the standard and is what you want. 1” slate is what the BCA approves for tournament play.
The rails of a pool table should be solid wood. Solid wood plays a part in the way the ball bounces of the rail. So make sure it is solid wood and nothing else. The rail should also be attached to the table by bolts that go up thru the frame, then the slate, then to the rail.
Pockets can be leather, plastic or rubber. Plastic pockets are usually used in lower end tables while rubber pockets are usually used in commercial tables. Leather pockets are what the typical home owner will want.
When buying your table on eBay you need to make sure you read the auction carefully. Make sure you know all the prices included. What is the shipping? Is there a crate fee? Insurance Fee? Tax? Upgrades? Make sure you look for all the extra little hidden costs. Make sure you look at feedback. When buying a big ticket item like a pool table online you want to make sure the seller is reputable and has had many satisfied customers. Call the company up and ask questions. Make sure you know what you are getting.
All pool tables are going to require installation. It is not possible to deliver and move around a fully setup table. Before you purchase a table, make sure you can find an installer in your area