How To Straighten A Bent Cue Stick Shaft

Nothing Crooked In This Advice

Straighten a shaft: Matt shows you how
Straighten a shaft: Matt shows you how. Photo courtesy of Scott Goldsmith/Getty Images

 

A wood cue is standard in billiards, not only because of tradition but because of performance. Many players prefer a wood cue because of the way it feels when hitting the cue ball. The one disadvantage a wood cue has when compared with its fiberglass counterpart is it can warp over time. But you don't have to give up on your cue stick if the shaft is crooked. A slight bend does not harm play much, and there are ways to straighten out the stick if you believe a bend is affecting your game.

Check Your Cue

The "tried and true" method of rolling a stick on the table to see if it's straight isn't always true, because the table could have wobble spots that make the cue bounce, or a misshapen tip or the ferrule holding the tip could make a cue look bent even though the shaft is perfectly straight.

Instead of or in addition to the roll technique, hold the cue at its butt end, gently rest the tip on the floor, and set the stick at about a 60-degree angle to the ground. Rotate the cue slowly on its tip, looking for a spot where it curves up toward you; this is where your cue is bent. If you have trouble seeing a bend in the shaft, hold the cue beneath a good light source and look for a bend in the shadow.

String it Up

One of the more bizarre ways to fix a shaft (that actually works) is to hang your cue in the air in an upright position, tying it to a string attached to the ceiling. Leave it there motionless for a week or more, letting gravity pull the cue into shape.

The weight of the cue is usually enough to straighten small bends in a few weeks, and as it hangs, it makes for a fine conversation piece for your living room.

Bend it Back

You can actually fix minor bends in your cue with your own arm strength. With the cue at the 60-degree angle to the floor, place the flat of one hand, palm down, directly on the bend.

Press down on the cue, holding it still with your hand. The cue will bend easily into shape. Rotate the cue again and repeat, checking and adjusting until you have straightened the cue. When you get the hang of it, it will take only a few moments to repair minor bends in a cue.

Know Your Strength

Press hard and flex that shaft--it shouldn't break unless you really overdo it. But if you do break a cue that you deemed too bent to use, you had nothing to lose in the first place, right? You might want to practice on a really bent cue rather than your favorite stick, or try it on house cues, which tend to have sturdier shafts than more flexible custom cue sticks.