Jump break cue, more commonly referred to as J/B cue, is a special cue that performs dual functions. You can use the cue to play jump shots, and at the same time, you can use it to break the rack. But the important question is, how do they perform with respect to dedicated Break or Jump cue.
Well, there is no straight answer to this. You see, breaking or jumping is 80 to 90% skill, and rest is equipment, i.e., the cue. A pro may pull off the perfect break from a substandard cue while an average Joe would not get close even with the world's best cue. With that said, Jump break cue is ideal for casual to semi-serious players who like to keep things simple. At a pro or competitive level, it makes more sense to go for dedicated cues.
"Personally, I prefer dedicated cues. I like my jump cues to be light and break cues to be heavy. Somehow with jump break cues, I couldn't find the right feeling and weight. But, hey it's just me. Most of the players I play with use Jump break cues, and they do fairly, or I would say remarkably well with the setup."
The performance difference is definitely there between a dual purpose and a dedicated cue. But the difference can be compensated with SKILL. Moreover, Jump break cues are cheaper than dedicated cues and easier to maintain, as well. You can fit your jump break cue and regular playing cue comfortably in a 2x4 cue case, which otherwise might require a 3x3 or bigger case.
The market is flooded with hundreds of jump break cues from dozens of companies, each claiming to be the very best. This makes the selection process quite tricky. To save you the hassle, I reached out to the top players from my local club, asking them for their recommendations. Based on the inputs, here are the best five J/B cues currently available.
The 5 Best Jump Break Cues
1. Katana KATBJ01 Break Jump Pool Cue
For the Pro's
The first jump break cue on the list is the Katana KATBJ01. For those who don't know, Katana shafts are a popular choice in pro-circuit due to its lowest deflection properties and top-of-the-line performance. Certainly, this cue is no exception either! You get fantastic jumping and breaking capability. While the performance isn't exactly the same as what you get from a dedicated cue, but it's quite close.
This cue does not look less than a samurai's sword. The black and grey rubber wrap looks stunning, giving a character to the cue while being ergonomic to hold. Leaving the aesthetic aspect aside, this cue performs excellently. The cue comes with a low-deflection shaft made from solid maple wood, phenolic collar, 3/8'' ferrule, and an extra hard 13mm G10 fiberglass tip. All this results in top-class performance.
Weighing in at 25oz, the cue packs in enough power for explosive breaks while being easy to control. The cue features quick-release joints letting you convert a full break cue into a jump cue in seconds. The tapered butt detaches, resulting in a lightweight jump cue. The super hard G10 tip along with stiff shaft makes pulling of short and long jumps a piece of cake. Additionally, the cue comes with a 1-year warranty against any manufacturing defects.
Priced under $250, this is an ideal cue for serious players who're looking for a high-performance jump/break cue.
What We Liked
+ Pro-quality cue
+ Sleek design
+ Precisely balanced
+ Durable and solid construction
+ Ergonomic grip
+ 1-year warranty
Watch Out for
2. Action Cues - Zebra Sneaky Pete Jump Break Cue
Editor's Pick [Best for Most]
This competitive quality Jump Break cue is designed to suit the needs of all types of players. Whether you're a pro-level player or just starting out, this versatile cue will serve you well. And did we tell you that it costs less than $100! The build quality, craftsmanship, and finish are near impeccable, probably the best I've seen.
The two-piece cue is made of beautiful looking zebrawood butt, which connects to a 29'' stiff hard rock maple shaft using a wood-to-wood joint with a quick-release pin for swift use. The cue comes with a 13mm tip and ferrule made out of phenolic resin, which is quintessential for any jump or break cue.
Available in various weights ranging from 18 to 21 oz, you're sure to find the right fit. Personally, I like the 21oz, as it delivers excellent breaking and doubles as a decent jump cue.
Between the affordable pricing and high performance, the cue makes a solid case for itself!
What We Liked
+ Best jump break cue for the money
+ Excellent performance
+ Pro taper
+ Joint rings with quick release
+ Multiple weight options
Watch Out for
3. Players JB528 Jump Break Pool Cue
The heaviest of all [Insane Power]
The cue is made out of 100% North American grade-A hard rock maple and comes with double quick-release joints for a secure fit and rapid use. The large 14mm super hard bakelite tip along with special high-impact ferrule results in effortless strokes while transferring maximum energy on the ball. The quality is clearly apparent here, and the company backs the cue with a lifetime warranty against warpage or chipping. This speaks highly about how confident they are of their products.
It's finished with a coating of high-gloss UV lacquer which protects the cue from fading or chipping while allowing it to glide between the fingers easily. Moreover, the black finish wrap allows for a stable grip.
Who is it recommended for: Anyone who likes playing with a heavy break cue will feel comfortable with the setup. Obviously, the extra weight results in monstrous breaks. At the same time, it does a decent job as a jump cue.
But one thing to note here is that some of the tournaments have banned break cues above 25 oz - something to keep in mind while ordering.
What We Liked
- Heaviest jump cue on the market
- Stylish and attractive design
- Excellent build quality
- Lifetime warranty
Watch Out for
- Might be banned in some tournaments or leagues
4. 25oz Rage Heavy Hitter Jump Break
Priced under $90, this is one of the best-selling jump break cue on Amazon, boasting hundreds of glowing reviews from satisfied buyers. At 25 oz. the cue packs in enough heft to smash the rack effortlessly with good force. Removing the butt, results in a 42'' jump cue with 10.50 oz weight. It's a slightly heavy jump cue configuration, but proper weight distribution makes it easier to control.
It features a 14mm bakelite tip with fiber ferrule, pro taper, and wood-to-wood joint with a quick-release pin. The shaft and butt are made out of high-grade 100% hard rock wood and comes with a wrap-less handle for easy stroking.
The construction quality is very durable with excellent craftsmanship. Performance-wise it's up there with the best!
The value for money pricing with above-par performance makes this cue a solid all-round pick for players of all skill levels.
What we Liked
+ Best-selling jump break cue on Amazon
+ Hundreds of positive customer reviews
+ Value for money
+ Multiple color options
+ Sturdy and durable
Watch Out for
- Slightly heavy for a jump cue
5. Gator Nemesis Jump & Break Cue
This is an ideal cue for beginners or bar owners looking for a cheap and inexpensive Jump Break cue. But the cheap pricing does not mean it's low-quality. Obviously, it doesn't perform as some of the costlier options, but it still does a decent job. Beginners can practice and work on their jumping and breaking techniques before transitioning to more expensive options. These cues are also perfect for house cues in a bar or club.
The cue is manufactured by Champion sport - a decently popular manufacturer known for its value offerings. It is crafted from hard rock maple wood with 13mm phenolic tip and ferrule. Add to that uni-loc joint with joint protectors and quick-release pin, makes it super easy to assemble and disassemble when required. Overall the build quality is above-average.
Available in 19 to 21 oz weight option and two color choices, you're sure to find the right fit to your liking.
Priced under $65, this is a no brainer for anyone who is on a tight budget!
What We Liked
+ Bang for the buck pricing
+ Decent performance
+ Excellent option for beginners and club owners
+ Multiple weight and color options
+ 1-year warranty
Watch Out for
- For the cue which we reviewed, the balance was a bit off but not a deal-breaker
- Construction quality is about average
Buyer's Guide to Jump Break Cues
Choosing a Jump Break cue is a bit more complicated than your normal cue. As it's supposed to perform two crucial functions - breaking and jumping, you need to account for two different stroke dynamics.
And it goes without saying that the selection also depends on your personal preference and playing style. And there is nothing like the perfect cue. The one that feels right in your hand is the right one for you. But if you know what determines the performance of a cue, the selection process would be much easier.
In this buyer's guide, we will look at what factors you should consider while choosing a Jump break cue, so that you don't end up with a mediocre cue.
The Science Behind Jumping and Breaking
What does it take for a perfect jump or break stroke? For starters skills, but the next important factor is the right equipment. Jumping and Breaking are two shots with a lot of similarities and slight differences. That's the reason they're paired together in a single cue.
Let's talk about the similarities first.
Both the strokes (jumping/breaking) require transferring maximum energy onto the cue in the least amount of time. For this to happen, you need a cue with:
Both the strokes require a really hard tip like phenolic, bakelite, or G10. The reason is quite simple. Harder tips do not compress and stay on the ball for lesser duration resulting in maximum energy being transferred with minimal spin or English. Additionally, these tips play more consistently and require less maintenance. One thing to note here is that hard tips can't be scuffed and needs through chalking to avoid miscues.
<Large Sweet spot>
A larger tip above 13mm is recommended for such strokes. This gives you a bigger sweet spot allowing you to put more energy on the ball while limiting the chances of miscues. A 13mm tip is the most commonly preferred size, but some of the new manufacturers include a tip as big as 14mm.
Similarly, for both the strokes, you would need a hard ferrule made of a material like phenolic or fiber. There are two reasons for this - to absorb the shock of the hit and preventing the shaft from splitting. Jumping and Breaking require a lot more energy than standard strokes. Naturally, it creates more vibration and pressure on the shaft. For this very reason, you don't use your normal shooting cue for these strokes as it's more prone to damage. A hard ferrule limits the impact of the stroke while allowing to put more energy on the cue ball.
A harder shaft does not vibrate as vehemently as a normal shaft resulting in less energy wastage and more force transferred on the cue ball. Stiff shafts are usually made out of hard Maplewood. Some of the newer cues are even made of fiberglass or carbon fiber.
Coming to the differences:
Weight is the most crucial difference between a jump and a break cue and a major factor on which the performance depends on.
Break cues generally weigh in the range of 19 to 25 oz. The heavier weight is a prerequisite for any break cue as it allows you to generate more force. In contrast, jump cues weigh 5 to 10 oz. The lighter weight allows for better control on the cue.
Jump cues are shorter in length - broadly in the range of 40'' to 48''. In contrast, break cues measure 56'' to 58'' inch.
Jump Break Cue - Best of Both Worlds or is it a Compromise?
Most Jump/Break cues come with three-piece construction. You use a full cue while breaking and remove the butt while jumping - as simple as it sounds, isn't it? But how is the performance, feel, and comfort? Is it the same as what you expect from dedicated cues, or you're compromising somewhere?
There is no straight answer to this because a lot of this depends on the individual's skill. But I will try to answer it in the best possible way I can. A jump break cue does a fine job of breaking, almost equal to what you get from a dedicated break cue. It's the jumping part where it partly struggles at. You might find it a bit tricky to pull off short jumps from the setup. For long jumps, it does a fine job.
The inferior jumping performance can be attributed to two factors. First is weight distribution. Jump cues tend to be tip heavy, but most jump/break cues are center balanced. The second factor is the shaft width. Jump cues tend to have a thinner shaft, but jump break cues have a slightly thicker shaft. This causes a bit of compromise on the control.
But the million-dollar question is how big of a difference is - Well, it really depends. A lot of players can compensate for the performance drawbacks with their skills, and some can't. With that said, if you're a beginner or an intermediate level player, you won't find much difference between jump break cues and dedicated ones. For advanced and serious players, it makes all the sense in the world to choose dedicated cues.
Moreover, Jump break cues are more versatile and offer you the best bang for your buck while occupying the least space in your cue case.
Jump/break cues come in all sorts of price range as low as $50 and as high as $500. If you ask me, it's pure foolishness to spend a penny over $250. You see, even with the best jump break cues, the performance isn't as similar as you would expect from dedicated cues. Moreover, in that kind of budget, you can actually get dedicated cues.
With that said, an ideal range to pick a jump break cue is anywhere between $90 to $160. At this price, you get a nice mix of performance and value for money.
A beginner or casual player can benefit from a cheaper jump cue to learn the ropes and techniques before upgrading to a more professional cue.
Summing Up the Guide
Jump and break shots are something which will take you lots and lots of practice to get good at. But without the right jump break cue, this is gonna be even more difficult. Overall, a jump break cue is a good compromise between ease of use, performance, and pricing.
We hope you found this guide helpful, and you could find the right Jump break cue for your needs.
If you have any questions or you want us to review any particular cue, please leave a comment below, and we'll reply ASAP.