Today we’re going to go over the three key points to look for when buying a used pool table.
The first thing you want to do is to check the rails. Using a standard cue, you should be able to bounce the cue back and forth on the short side of the table at least 3 or 4 times. On the long side of the table, you should get at least 2 bounces back and forth with a decent throw.
The second thing to look for when buying a pool table is the building material of the table itself. You absolutely want a slate table, except no substitutions. You’ll likely be looking for a 1″ thick slate with a wood backing. Be aware of the differences between slate tables and wood backed tables.
To test whether or not a pool table is slate or wood (sometimes called “Slatron), simply knock on it with your hand (like you’re knocking on a door). If it sounds hollow, the table is likely a wood bed table. You want to avoid wood-bed tables because they will NEVER be level. No matter how good the installer is it will never be properly level.
Another drawback to those wood-bed tables is that they’re not very sturdy. It’s quite likely that someone who bumps into the wood-bed table a little hard will actually cause the balls to shift positions. You never have this issue with a slate table since the slate itself is so heavy, it’s almost immovable.
Finally, the last thing you want to check is the construction of the table. Look for under the table for the blocks that hold the table together. If it’s a good table, there will be nice, solid looking wood blocks that are holding the legs to the table itself. You don’t want to see those thin, sheet-metal brackets.
Also look for those big, thick wooden beams going across the underside of the table. These are additional support and they make the table that much better. You may or may not see that the table have a very long beam in the middle. This is a nice thing to have, but not essential (so don’t worry if the table you like doesn’t have it).