April 27, 2024


10 mins read

Unlock Your Pool Game: The Ultimate Pool Cue Tip Hardness Chart

Did you know that one of the most common mistakes beginners make when choosing a pool cue tip is overlooking the importance of a pool cue tip hardness chart? 

Often overshadowed by cue weight or design considerations, the cue tip is important in a player’s ability to control the cue ball and execute shots effectively on the pool table.

Once you understand the importance of hardness, let’s examine the list that Pearson Cues researched and created below.

Pool cue tip hardness

Understanding Cue Tip Hardness

The seemingly simple cue tip at the end of your pool cue acts as the point of contact, transferring the energy from your stroke to the cue ball. This transfer of energy has a significant impact on 3 key aspects of your shot:

  • Spin: The cue tip’s grip on the cue ball allows you to impart spin, causing the ball to rotate after it’s been struck. You can use this rotation for various techniques like draw shots (backspin) for better stopping power or follow shots (topspin) to control the cue ball’s path after contact with other balls.
  • Power: A good cue tip efficiently translates to powerful breaks and controlled strokes for precise cue ball positioning.
  • Accuracy: The cue tip’s material and condition also affect the accuracy of your shot. A well-maintained tip with the right hardness for your playing style provides a consistent feel and grip, leading to more predictable cue ball movement.

But how can we measure the hardness of a pool cue tip? This is where the concept of the Shore A Durometer scale comes in. The Shore A Durometer scale is a measurement system specifically designed to measure the hardness of a material, particularly polymers like the leather used in cue tips. 

It ranges from 0 (softest) to 100 (hardest). By employing this scale, cue tip manufacturers and players alike can precisely assess and compare the hardness of different tip models.

You can see the image below to comprehend better how pool cue tip hardness can be measured.

Shore Hardness Scale

To understand the impact of hardness, Pearson Cues has categorized based on 3 levels:

  • Softer tips (Shore A 60-75) offer better grip on the ball, allowing for more backspin and better control on delicate shots. They’re also easier to shape and don’t get scuffed as much. However, they wear down faster and need more maintenance than harder tips.
  • Medium tips (Shore A 70-80) balance grip and durability well. This makes them suitable for various players, from beginners to advanced. You can execute most shots effectively, with decent spin capabilities and enough power for controlled strokes.
  • Harder tips (Shore A 80+) are great for powerful shots and breaks because they transfer power efficiently and don’t require much maintenance. However, compared to softer tips, they offer less grip, making it more challenging to apply spin or execute finesse shots with the same level of precision.

The Ultimate Pool Cue Tip Hardness Chart

The number of pool cue tips available today can be extremely overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched and created the pool cue tip hardness chart below to help you make wise decisions. 

Tip BrandHardness RatingHardness
Elk MasterSoft66.8
Kamui BlackSoft67.5
Da VinciSoft68.7
Black HeartSoft68.7
5280 Red LineSoft69.2
Kamui BlackSoft72.3
Aramith LaminatedSoft72.6
Da VinciSoft73.6
Predator VictoryMedium75.3
Flying PigMedium75.5
Tiger EverestMedium75.7
Aramith LaminatedMedium75.8
Tiger EmeraldMedium76.0
Tiger OnyxMedium76.4
Black HeartMedium76.6
Tiger LaminatedMedium76.7
Tiger SniperMedium77.8
Kamui IIMedium78.1
Tiger LaminatedMedium78.2
Kamui BlackMedium78.7
Talisman ProMedium79.6
Great WhiteMedium79.6
Predator VictoryMedium79.8
Tiger LaminatedHard81.7
Da VinciHard81.9
Talisman Water BuffaloHard82.0
Kamui IIHard82.2
Talisman Water BuffaloHard83.2
Tweeten VirginHard83.3
Kamui II (Medium)Hard83.4
Talisman ProHard83.5
Predator VictoryHard84.3
Talisman ProHard84.4
Kamui BlackHard84.8
Aramith LaminatedHard86.6
Le ProHard88.2
Black HeartHard88.2
WB Water BuffaloHard88.2
Talisman ProHard88.7
Blue ElfExtra hard90.4
HiranoExtra hard90.6
TriangleExtra hard91.0
TriumphExtra hard92.0
Kamui IIExtra hard92.2
Samsara Jump BreakExtra hard95.5

Choosing the Right Cue Tip Hardness

When learning how to play pool, knowing how to choose the right cue tip hardness can help you save time and money in the long run. 

But as a beginner, how can you determine which one is the best fit for you? A pool cue tip hardness chart is not enough. If you are stuck in this confusing situation, see the guide below.

Consider Your Playing Style

Every pool player must consider 3 factors before determining a cue tip hardness: shot preferences, spin control, and power vs. precision.

Hence, let’s ask yourself the following 3 questions before purchasing any cue tip:

  • Are you more willing to shoot finesse shots that require a delicate touch, or do you favor powerful strokes and break shots?
  • Do you frequently use backspin (draw) or sidespin to shape the cue ball’s trajectory?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice some finesse for increased power, or do you prioritize accuracy and control?

Once you understand what you need and your preferred style, you can find the most suitable pool cue, not just the tip. If you’re a beginner, you may want a high-quality cue stick at an affordable price. 

Hence, Pearson League Cue Series can be a good choice! Made from durable and strong grade-A maple that is hand-selected, these pool cues ensure longevity in the long run. Let’s see what this series looks like:

Pearson Cues Leagure Series

Match Your Tip Hardness To Your Skill Level

Soft tips are preferred by players who want more control and spin on the ball. Soft tips absorb more impact, allowing for a quieter, more controlled shot. They are often favored for imparting more spin on the ball, which is useful for advanced techniques like drawing, spinning, or curving the cue ball.

Hard tips are more durable and require less maintenance than soft tips. They are generally favored by players who play a lot or prefer a more consistent hit over many games. 

Hard tips hold their shape better, making them ideal for breaking, and long, straight shots where less deformation at the point of contact provide more stability and predictability. 

The image below shows that these harder tips can also withstand the wear and tear of more advanced techniques without sacrificing performance by high-quality materials.

Hard pool cue tip

Experimentation Is Key: Try Different Tip Hardnesses To Find What Works Best

Each player has a unique style and feel for the game, so what works well for one player may not necessarily work for another. You can explore what feels most comfortable and natural by trying tip hardnesses.

Moreover, cue tip hardnesses may perform differently depending on table conditions, cue ball material, and your opponent’s playing style. Being adaptable and familiar with various tip hardnesses allows you to adjust your game accordingly and perform consistently in different situations.

Experimenting with different tip hardnesses can significantly aid in skill development. Softer tips may help you improve your spin control and finesse shots, while harder tips may enhance your power and break shots. Over time, this experimentation can lead to a more well-rounded and versatile game.

Experiment as much as possible to find out the best pool cue tip

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cue tip hardnesses to see what works best. Playing pool by yourself can help you fine-tune your equipment and improve your performance and game experience.


Hopefully, our pool cue tip hardness chart can help you choose the right one to maximize your performance on the billiards table. When selecting a cue tip, let’s consider your playing style, skill level, and personal preferences.

And don’t forget that experimentation is key to finding the perfect balance of control, power, and precision. By understanding your needs and trying out different tip hardnesses, you can elevate your game and enjoy a more fulfilling experience.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What hardness of cue tip should I use?

It is a softer tip. The theory is that softer tips allow for more English and control over the ball. In addition, softer tips are typically easier to scuff and have better chalk retention. Harder tips, however, require far less maintenance than soft tips.

  1. Do pros use hard or soft cue tips?

Pro pool players typically use soft tips (Shore A 60-70). These tips offer a good balance between spin and power, allowing pros to execute a wide range of shots effectively, from powerful breaks to controlled finesse shots with spin. Also, pros use soft tips for better control and generally have a break stick with a hard tip for breaking.

  1. What tip do most professional pool players use?

It’s Elk Master 13mm. Elk Master 13mm pool billiard cue tips are known for being crafted from prime mineral-tanned leather, resulting in a tip that wears well and holds its shape. 

They are considered soft tips, typically having a Shore A hardness rating of around 60-61.

  1. What is the best cue tip for draw?

It’s Predator Victory billiard tip. This hardness range provides a good balance between grip and durability. While softer tips (Shore A 60-70) might offer slightly better grip for draw shots, they also tend to be less durable and require more frequent maintenance. 

Predator Victory’s medium hardness provides enough grip for most draw applications without sacrificing too much on power or tip life.

Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson, the world's leading pool entertainer, is renowned globally as the ultimate exhibition player.
Boasting 20 world records endorsed by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records, Dave established a legendary history in the sport industry.

Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson, the world's leading pool entertainer, is renowned globally as the ultimate exhibition player.
Boasting 20 world records endorsed by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records, Dave established a legendary history in the sport industry.

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