What to look for when buying a pool table


Purchasing a pool table

Congrats! You’ve made a great decision to invest in your very own pool table. What should you look for when buying?  Pool tables, pool tables and more tables! A quality pool table is an investment and is a guarantee to improve your game. There are many aspects of a table to consider before purchasing your own... we hope this list we’ve put together will be of help to you!

Recommended ProductsKeep your eye out for this icon below on our Delta-13 recommended pool table parts!

Most Known Table Manufacturers


Brunswick creates a vast array of billiard tables ranging from Economy Models to Custom Models. Brunswick has easily adapted over the past 170 years in business and is why they remain successful in the industry.

It gets better! They make easy “knock down” tables, which are great for tournaments or if you need to move your table one day.

Olhausen Recommended Products

Olhausen tables are 100% made in the USA and they offer a lifetime warranty on their products.

Want to know the best part? They use Accu-Fast cushions, the best cushion you can buy made from 100% pure gum rubber, making them higher quality and longer lasting.

Diamond Billiards 

The Diamond Billiards brand has three major positives going for them: their tables are made in the USA, they use solid hardwood and they use Simonis cloth.

But here’s the kicker: They have a “no excuse program” which allows customers to make monthly payments opposed to having to pay for a pool table all at once!

Legacy Billiards 

Last, but certainly not least, we have a pool table manufacturer that creates a product with fewer pieces, so the assembly is much easier.  They are all made from solid hardwood and have a lifetime warranty.

This is crazy: They use environmentally friendly manufacturing methods in their table assembly.


Slate vs. MDF

 Slate Recommended Products

Slate is the only surface approved for professional billiards.  The standard is 1” and the slate can come in up to three separate pieces which allows for a cheaper price.  The cloth is “stuck” to the surface of the slate to ensure a consistent playing surface.

Here’s the deal: The slate will not deteriorate overtime as it is not affected by humidity. It is the most durable option and is the most consistent level wise.

MDF Pool Table Bed

The MDF Pool Table Bed is your most affordable option, but of the lowest quality. This table bed is affected by the humidity, which can cause it to warp overtime.

It gets worse: With this option, your table is not always level, which can cause ball movement when playing.



Ball Return vs. Ball Pockets

Ball Return

This option is mostly used in pool halls and bars (commercial locations) with coin operated tables.

Ball Pockets Recommended Products

This is a traditional pool table look in homes as each pocket has a net.



Type of Table



This table type consists of a thin layer of hardwood (⅛”) with a less expensive wood or particle board underneath.


Solid Hardwood Recommended Products

The solid hardwood is the most durable and best table type as it is pure solid wood.



Woolen Cloth

Thick and heavy and comprised of 60%+ of wool. This is the cloth you might be most familiar with as it is generally on coin operated tables and on tables in homes. The price is considerably lower than worsted wool, but the balls roll slower on this cloth and this felt will “pill.”

Worsted Wool Recommended Products

Simonis is made from worsted cloth (aka “speed cloth”) and does not “pill.” It is the best cloth on the market and offers the most consistent playing surface.  They even have spill resistant cloth available! This cloth will be found on tables where professional tournaments are held and on tables of serious pool players.



You might be wondering:  What about the top cushions? Recommended Products

Look for Natural Gum Rubber 65% and above for the best results.  Olhausen tables offer 100% pure gum rubber called Accu-Fast cushions, these are the best on the market. The cushions come in solid wood and other material, but solid wood is going to be your highest quality and the most durable.


Table Size

You want to make sure you are shopping for the correct size pool table. Check out our chart below to better assist you in choosing the right size table for your room.

Table Size


Cue Size: 48”

Cue Size: 52”

Cue Size: 57”


Bar Size

11” X 14”

12” X 15”

13” X 16”

8” Recommended Size

Home Size

12” X 15”

12” X 16”

13” X 17”


Tournament Size

12” X 16”

13” X 17”

14” X 18”




 Now, where are you looking to be at price wise?

We have placed the tables and pricing into four categories with a few pool table manufacturers’ examples in that price range.  

  1. Affordable Models under  $999 (Mizerak, Minnesota Fats, Fat Cat)
  2. Basic Models $ 1,000 to $ 1,999 (Brunswick, Legacy Billiards)
  3. Recommended Mid-Range Models $ 2,000 to $ 3,499 (Brunswick, Olhausen, Legacy Billiards)
  4. RecommendedCustom/Professional Models $ 3,500 and up (Brunswick, Olhausen, Connelly Billiards, Fusion Tables, Mitchell Pool Tables, A.E. Schmidt, Hurricane Custom Billiards, Legacy Billiards)


Moving and Setting up the Table

Questions to ask: Does the moving and setup of the table come with the purchase of the table?

Or is the price separate? If the price is separate, make sure to do your homework to find the best pool table movers!



If the table is used, there will not be warranty onto the purchase unless separately purchased from the manufacturer.  If you are purchasing a new table, it is best to ask what is warrantied and the length of time.  

For more tips on finding your perfect pool table and buying other billiard supplies, make sure to read this page

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