So you finally got that pool cue that you’ve had your eye on for quite some time. Congratulations! Now you need to protect that beauty by storing it in a good quality cue case when you’re not running ‘em out on the pool table. Before you default to a free case that you may get with that cue purchase here are some things to consider.
Storage space for items other than cues is high on the list. Do you use a Billiards glove? Your own chalk? Tip tool? Joint Protectors? If yes to any or all then you’ll want to make sure your case has adequate pocket space for all of the items you use when you’re shooting pool.
Cue capacity, also another strong consideration. Yes, you may just have your one dream cue now but do you have any thoughts about a jump or break cue somewhere down the road? What about an extra shaft for your playing cue? If adding these items to your collection is a possibility in the future I urge you to seriously consider a 2 butt/2 shaft or larger case to accommodate these additional items. This will save you from having to carry 2 or more cue cases around at the same time .
Hard or Soft? Hard pool cue cases provide the best protection from cue damage that may occur from being knocked onto the floor or other hard surface. Soft cases generally provide more storage for cues and other related items but don’t give you nearly as much impact protection should the case get knocked over or dropped.
When it comes to appearances go with the style you think looks best but know that certain cases like a black 1 butt/1shaft hard case can be a fairly common item at the pool hall and easily mistaken for someone else's. Customize it a little with some embroidery or add on other small items on the outside of the case to help keep that from happening.
How to store the cue in its case is a frequently asked question I get, especially from first time cue owners. I recommend storing the butt with the joint pin at the top of the case. I learned this the hard way when I had a cue butt get stuck from the joint pin piercing the bottom of my case right at the start of match time. Shafts can be stored either tip up or tip down but I tend to favor tip up as there will be less chalk build up (cleaner shaft) in the tube if you do so.
A couple of parting thoughts to wrap up. If you keep joint protectors on your cue, put it in the case with the joint protectors on and open/close the case a few times to ensure a proper fit. Cue extensions (the long ones that attach to the end of the cue) are a popular item that to my knowledge no case makers are providing room for inside the case. For now the best way to store these is in a pouch that can be tied to one of the straps on the case or fashion a holster for the extension with a strip or two of Velcro.