Most cues shaft are made from ash with an ebony butt although other woods are used such as maple shaft snooker cues. Exotic wood are usually inlayed to decorate the cue and give it more character and style. However, the exotic wood does not affect how the cue plays. However, a very imporant point to note is that cue makers will usually choose the best shafts to be decorated with exotic wood and regular shafts will tend to have little design or non.
There are three main types of snooker cue. 1 piece snooker cues which is 1 solid piece of cue with no joint at all. The other two types are 1/2 joint and 3/4 joint cues. Transportation of cues are taken into consideration when choosing your snooker cue. Most players tend towards either 3/4 joint cues and 1 piece snooker cues.
Cues made by a dedicated craftsman will each be unique because each cue is made one at a time. The ashwood and ebony wood are specially selected and matched perfectly. Any imperfections in the wood can be used advantageously by the craftsman to produce a playable and attractive cue.
A mass manufactured cue may not meet the same high standards. However this additional personal care affects price and availability. Famous craftsmen produce fewer than 100 cues a year which are extremely sought after and therefore are not always available.
The smoothness of the cue can affect your playing action and it is often the case that a handmade cue will be sanded much smoother and contribute to better play. One way to maintan smoothness of cue would be to wax your cue shaft for protection and smoothness.
Snooker cues are fitted with a brass ferrule (the metal ring at the top) and stick-on leather cue tip usually at 9.5mm-10mm diametre. This is a standard size opted for by most players although smaller and larger sizes are available for special requests. There is a wide variety of tips such as multi layered and regular ELK tips and latest ELK pro tips which are popular among players. Players can try the different tips to know which suits your playing style as the tip can affect your game more than you can think.
Snooker cues are made from wood, a living and natural product which can be damaged if not protected effectively. I think it is very important to consider buying a snooker cue case with any cue at the time of purchase for maximum protection.