At last you are ready to possess your own full size snooker table. You daydream about playing in the World Snooker Championship, but you need a daily practice routine. Or you just enjoy snooker, and look forward to an absorbing hobby that will also provide hours of entertainment for you, your family and friends. However, do you have enough room for it? What do you look for in a good quality table? Where do you look for a bargain? How do you care for it so that it lasts a lifetime?
Buying a Snooker Table
How do you go about buying a full size snooker table? Here we examine what we should be looking for in a good quality table, and where to find those bargains.
Will it Fit?
The type of snooker table we choose depends largely on the size of our room as well as the size of our pockets. For a full size table (12 ft x 6 ft) and cue (57 inches), the room needs to be 22 ft by 16 ft (671 cm x 489 cm). This will give at least six inches (15 cm) of cue movement.
Also give consideration to the weight of a tournament size table, which can be over a ton (1250 kg). Will your flooring be able to support it?
Tournament Standard Table
Tournament tables use steel block cushions. These give a consistent rebound for professional snooker players. That means that the angle at which the ball strikes the cushion is more closely matched by the rebound angle.
Steel block cushions use galvanized steel, which is a more rigid material than wood and does not “give” under impact. Even at different speeds of impact, they provide consistent results.
Amateur players may not notice the difference between these and standard (wooden cushions). Therefore, cost will be an important consideration. Professionals will only play on tables that have steel block cushions.
For a top-notch professional table, a prospective buyer could be looking at a cost of up to $22500. However, a good full size table with all the accessories can be bought for around $6000. This price will usually include a free installation.
Reconditioned or Second Hand
For a fully refurbished table, you would expect all the woodwork to be stripped back to the bare wood. All imperfections should be repaired, with the entire table polished back to its original state. It should have new pocket leathers and nets, and be recovered in 100% wool napped cloth (preferably English wool).
As good as a new table and usually half the price, this may be your choice. $3000 may be enough to acquire one of these. Just make sure that you approach a well respected manufacturer directly. You will need to wait until a reconditioned table becomes available.
In the UK there are many second hand snooker tables available, and eBay is a good place to look for them. Understandably, in most cases the table would need to be collected, although some sellers offer freight delivery.
For the best results, your table will need to be installed and leveled by professionals.
Maintaining Your Snooker Table
Even after your table is standing proudly in your games room, there is still work to do. To ensure your table lasts for a long time while giving you the pleasure you expect from it, be sure to follow correct cleaning and maintenance procedures. Finally, enjoy your snooker.