Should I Get a Shaft Turn Down?

Another common question I get from players is “What can I have this shaft turned down to?” in reference to a newly purchased Predator, OB, Lucasi or other low deflection shaft. My response is always that you shouldn’t!  but I’m usually challenged on this. The following is on Predators web site:

SHAFT DIAMETER. We do not recommend turning your shaft down. Your shaft’s taper and diameter were engineered with accuracy and performance in mind. Should you choose to turn your shaft down, please be aware that any Predator shaft turned down or sanded below the tolerances in the table below will result in the automatic voiding of your shaft’s warranty.

     The table below goes on to list the tolerances for each of their shafts. All of them are .50 mm or less! In some cases my inquisitor will request to just turn it down to the minimum tolerance so as not to void the warranty. Here is the problem, the shaft will wear down a little just from normal use. Combine that with the turn down and your warranty is voided.

     The new trend of carbon fiber cue shafts will inevitably bring questions from players about having one of these turned down as well. Here is the response from the Predator website REVO Faq section:

No, the taper and the diameter must remain the same. Any change would not only destroy the Predator REVO shafts’ low-friction finish, but would also compromise performance, damaging the micro-thin layers of unidirectional carbon fiber tow and releasing potentially hazardous carbon fiber dust as well.

     If you must have a shaft turned down, stick with a traditional Hard Rock Maple shaft. It’s a solid piece of wood that is much more adaptable to this treatment. Low deflection shafts are hollowed out and the core replaced with other material in part or the entire length of the shaft. Great for performance, not so great for turn downs or taper customizations. If you want to get a really skinny shaft, just buy a snooker cue.