WHY buy a used table, instead of a new one?
In my experience, the average used pool table BUYER is looking to spend around $500 to $1000. And that’s the range most average used tables sell in. The seller has no choice but to sell the table by a certain date. Such as, a job transfer and the new company won’t pay to move the table and the moving van is arriving in a day or two. To this person, YOU are their savoir! Now you can forget someone whose only selling the table because their wife wants the dining room back. THAT person will not give you any deals, because they are (usually) not in any kind of a time crunch. I would suggest you check the price of new tables in comparison. Slate tables start at 2'400.00 for 1″ framed slate plus accessories.
And just HOW do you find these people?
The best way to find a pool table is Kijiji.
Rule 1: Be patient!
Rule 2: Be patient!
Rule 3: (refer to rules 1 and 2)
You have to resign yourself to the possibility it may take a year, or two, or more, to find the right table at the right price…. If you are in a hurry, don’t expect any bargains to come your way. And don’t fall in love with a particular model or make. First, decide if you want open leather “traditional” pockets, or ball return. Then buy your table based on HOW it is CONSTRUCTED.Another good place to look is bulletin boards.
What do you look for?
1. Slate 3/4″ or 1″, BOTH are fine for a 8′ or smaller home table. A 3 piece slate bed is much better than a one piece bed. Slate that screws to the base frame of the pool table is essential for slates not to separate over the years. Italian slate is the best in the world.
2. Cabinet The frame of a pool table is called the cabinet. When looking at a used table get down and look under the cabinet and table. Check the legs to see if they have been wet or have mold. This is usually a sign that water has damaged the legs and could result in split legs or the stability of the table has been compromised.
3. Rails You want rails that have the nuts INSIDE. You do NOT want rails where the plates are screwed to the bottom surface of the rail.
Pockets made of vinyl as in commercial tables are durable and long lasting. Traditional leather pockets should be inspected for cuts in the leather that chip the balls. They can be replaced but cost starts at approximately $200 to $400.
Cloth can be reused, but any small holes when recovered become large holes. The cost of cloth starts at $180. Rails are tricky to recover. Do not even attempt to do them yourself. The bed cloth you can do yourself, if you are handy and can follow directions. Or have a pro who moves tables do it for you such as Stan The Man.
Many pool tables manufactures have not taken into account how important rubber is. On purchasing used table please inspect the rubber (where the ball bounces). Many tables today are lasting under 5 years. Rubber like a rubber band if not used will shrink. Also lower grades of rubber does not last as long.
7. Pool vs snooker pocket
Pool tables are not all alike. There are actually three types. Carom without pockets which is not common and we all know what they look like (no pockets on the table).
Snooker pockets used for 2 1/16″ balls usually played on a 6 x 12 table but in the 70’s and 80’s many were sold in 4 x 8 and 4 1/2 x 9 size.
Pool (Boston in Ontario) pocket for balls 2 1/4″. Today most people want a pool pocket as it is more player friendly and this is the game we are going to play the most.
How do you tell the size of pocket? Snooker tables have round pocket openings whereas pool have V nosed or triangular shaped. In the past snooker tables have one spot per rail whereas pool had three spots per rail, however some tables have been re-rubbered and have been changed. The price of used snooker table is half of pool tables in today market as the snooker table is not the preferred players today. Unfortunately the opposite is true of new tables as many manufactures have seized to make snooker tables.
8. Room Size
Check my room chart so you do not get too big a table for your room. NEVER assume the size of a table without ACTUALLY measuring the width between the cushion noses.
Table size ROOM SIZE
Playing area 57" Cues 52" Cues 48" Cues
7' 39" x 78" 12'9" x 16'0" 11'11" x 15'2" 11'3" x 14'6"
8' 44" x 88" 13'2" x 16'10" 12'4" x 16'0" 11'8" x 15'4"
9' 50" x 100" 13'8" x 17'10" 12'10" x 17'0" 12'2" x 16'4"
9. MOVING your new used table.
NEVER, EVER try to move a pool table by getting a bunch of guys and picking it up! NEVER! There are only a handful of tables made that are designed to be moved in this manner and they are 8 foot bar tables, usually with coin mechanisms and 1 piece slate beds. You do NOT want a table like this for a home. If you want to crack the slate, pop the cabinet joints, split the rails, or otherwise destroy your “find” of a pool table, go ahead, move it in one piece.
The best and safest way is to hire Stan to do the entire job. But if you are “handy”, have a couple friends who don’t mind lifting, and have access to a vehicle that can carry at least 1,000 lb…then go ahead and disassemble and move it to your room yourself. Then hire Stan to do the set up. Set up is the MOST critical part.
A bit more ...
What is the difference in Pool Table Felt?
Pool table cloth for standard American pool games is made from a combination of wool and nylon, or wool and polyester. It is the way the cloth is woven, the quality of the wool, and the manufacturing process that separates different brands and styles of cloth for a pool table.
Pool table cloth is generally referred to as either woollen or worsted cloth. These are two common types of wool yarn and both have specific characteristics that make them unique.
The most common type of pool table felt is woollen cloth.
This is the "felt" than many people are familiar with. It is usually thick and heavy, comprised of at least 60% wool, and has that familiar "felt" feel when you touch it.
It is considerably less expensive, and most commonly found on home pool tables and on coin-operated tables that you find in many bars and recreational facilities. Billiard balls will generally roll much slower on woolen cloth.
Pilling, the shedding of the cloth into tiny little fuzzy bits, is common with this type of cloth, and therefore not allowed for use in any WPA sanctioned tournament. This type of cloth is usually recommended for casual play situations.
The second type of pool table cloth is made from worsted wool.
This isn't "felt" at all, and feels more like a woven suit when you handle it. When you look closely, you can even see that actual weaves in the cloth.
Worsted cloth is used primarily in professional tournaments, in pool rooms that host league and tournament play, and by discerning home owners looking for a high quality billiards gaming experience.
Worsted cloth is also referred to as speed cloth, since billiard balls will roll much faster on worsted cloth as compared to woollen cloth.
Because of a shearing and milling process used to produce the optimum playing surface, there is an "upside" and a "downside" to many brands of worsted cloth, with the down side being fuzzier than the side you will play on.
Worsted cloth generally doesn't "pill" like a woollen cloth will.
Because worsted pool table cloth is generally made from the best quality combed wool found in the world, and manufactured on highly specialised machinery built specifically to produce top quality billiards cloth, it is usually much more expensive than its woollen counterpart, but also delivers a much higher level of response for more consistent and accurate play.
All styles of pool table cloth will eventually show signs of use.
The most common are small white marks called burns (or bruises) that are a result of the heat produced from the friction of synthetic billiard balls burning the nylon or polyester content of cloth.
The use of a "break pad" can help slow these burns, but will not prevent them entirely.
Burns and bruises, in and of themselves, are more aesthetic in the effect as they do not generally affect the actual playability of the cloth. In some brands of cloth however, these burns and bruises can develop into holes that will have an affect on how the cloth plays.
Picks and divots, most commonly found in worsted cloth, will also have a great affect on the playability of cloth since they can affect the roll of a ball.
Recovering your pool table is subjective, and dependent upon how often you play, how bothered you may be with any burns, bruises, picks, divots, and holes there are in your current cloth, and how much you want to invest in replacing it.
Choosing cloth for your table should be dictated by your budget and playing goals.
If you are a serious league/tournament player or simply want a premium playing experience for your billiards game room, we recommend buying a worsted cloth like these we offer from Strachan - SuperPro, Artscape, NCAA.
For more casual players, you will want to select a woollen blend like Championship Invitational pool table felt.
Snooker cloth is commonly referred to as "nap" cloth, meaning it is directional and the fibres of the cloth point in one direction. If you run your hand along the cloth towards the top of the table it feels smooth, however when you rub your hand in the opposite direction it feels rough. It is thick, heavy, and made from 100% wool.
Carom cloth is usually a worsted cloth, but made even thinner to facilitate even more speed for the larger table and numerous bank shots required to score.
There are even some cloths being made that are produced from 100% polyester. We generally recommend not purchasing these for any use other than outdoor pool table as they are not made to billiard play specifications and have a tendency to wear out much quicker than cloth made specifically for use on billiard tables.