How to look after a snooker cue.
Cues can deform very quickly if proper care is not taken with them when not in use... or even when in use!
A cue must always be put in a case or a cue rack when not in use, this is very important as the main reason of cue warping is that they are not stored vertically. Players think that a warped cue is a sign of a bad cue when generally a cue gets warped because it is not looked after properly, so if you don't have a cue case, you should get one, there are a vast range of various cue cases available on the market today. It isn't necessary to buy an expensive one, any hard cue case that can keep your cue straight will do the job.
Most importantly: never ever lean your cue against the wall as the weight of the cue will help bend it, even over a short time! Also never keep your cue in an area where temperature exceeds 50 degree Celsius.
Taking Care of the Shaft:
With time it is common for the shaft of a cue to get scratched, this is normally not a big problem and these scratches can generally be removed with wax. However remember to do it regularly, otherwise the shaft can get major embedded scratches which are more difficult to remove.
Over time you might find a build up of grease on the shaft which makes the shaft slightly sticky, wiping down the shaft with a slightly damp cloth every so often should remove this build up. It is important not to let the shaft get or tip' get wet so any damp cloth should be barely damp. Polish the shaft by holding a dry soft cloth in your hand while grabbing the cue shaft and sliding your cloth covered hand up and down the shaft for 30 seconds.
The cue Tip:
Tips vary depending on whether it's on a snooker cue, pool cue or billiards cue but in general it is to be considered as one of the most important parts of any cue, and hence the tip care is an integral part of any cue care. The tip must be chalked regularly, avoid contact of the tip with any liquid. Re-Tip the cue when it wears out, your cue tip can also be lightly sanded using fine sandpaper to shape the tip to your preferred shape and remove any mushroom shape that could have an adverse effect on play. You should do this with care and take your time, over sanding could make the tip shape uneven or damage the ferrule (the plastic or brass sleeve the tip is glued to).
Important care points:
Many players have a habit of knocking the cue butt on floor during the play, avoid it as it can cause the cue to crack from inside.
DO NOT rest your cue against a shelf or wall when not in use, if it falls on the floor then this will loosen joints, crack the shaft and damage or knock the tip off.
It goes without saying that you should NOT throw a cue, drop a cue or tap the shaft on the top of the table, slight sharp impact can split the shaft timber and render it useless.
To check whether your cue is straight or not do not roll it over a table, 'sight it' from the butt to tip. If you don't see any curve then you don't need to straighten it.