Best Pool Cue Chalk (Reviews)

Best High End

KAMUI Pool cue Billiard Chalk 1.21 Beta

KAMUI 1.21 Pool Cue Billiard Chalk

Best Mid Range

Master Billiard/Pool Cue Chalk

Master Billiard/Pool Cue Chalk

Best Inexpensive

Felson Billiard Pool Cue Chalk

Sondergut Roll-Up Suede Set

By Phill Williams
14th Oct, 2019, 18 min read

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"Chalk is chalk and rest is talk" - that's what my fellow friend and an experienced pool player had to say about chalks until one fine day I lent him mine. And the rest is history. In fact, he now is the biggest chalk aficionado.

Pool chalk is an absolute necessity for any serious pool player, but not all pool chalks are the same. It's essential, you choose the right one and also use the proper chalking technique for best results.

The chalk you use will have a massive impact on how you play. It affects how the cue interacts with the cue ball and provides the necessary friction for powerful and accurate shots. Without one, there are high chances of miscues or cue sliding off in an unwanted direction.

But these chalks come in all price ranges from 10 cents to $30 apiece - So which one do you choose? Does the high price point guarantee better product and improvement in your stroke?

"If you ask me, there is a minuscule difference between ultra-cheap and premium chalks. There have been studies to prove this (Link). Beginner to intermediate players, won't even notice a ding. At the professional level, yes players may develop a preference and tend to use premium chalks like Kamui. But more or less they all are the same."

While the difference in performance may not be much between brands, but there is a substantial difference in how often you need to chalk your cue between shots. With premium chalks, you may need to chalk just once in the whole frame while cheaper ones may require you to chalk every time you take a shot. The other issue with cheaper chalks is that it's messier to apply and creates more dust.

In this buyer's guide, we've analysed of the top pool cue chalks and benchmarked each of them based on performance, ease of application, longevity and pricing.

Best Pool Cue Chalks Reviewed

Short Review:

If you like to chalk after every shot, choose Master. If you chalk once every couple of shots, pick a cube of Predator. And, if you prefer to chalk just once in the whole match or night, choose Kamui 1.21

For beginners or intermediate players, it doesn't make much sense to spend too much on chalk - Choose something like Master or Silver.

Our Top Picks for Best Pool Chalks

  1. Master Billiard/Pool Cue Chalk - Popular Choice
  2. KAMUI Pool cue Billiard Chalk 1.21 Beta - Pro Choice
  3. Predator 1080 Pure Performance Chalk with holder Best Design (Easy to apply)
  4. Silver Cup Billiard CHALK - Runner Up  (Multiple Color Options)
  5. Felson Billiard Pool Cue Chalk - Bargain Pick

1. Master Billiard/Pool Cue Chalk

Popular Choice


Master Billiard/Pool Cue Chalk

Specs:
No. of chalks per box: 12
Approx. no. of hits before re-chalking: 2
Color: Multiple
Price: Under $10
Rating: 4.8/5

Magic Chalk is one of the oldest and most widely used chalks out there. I bet every three out of five serious pool players use them (including me). This is an inexpensive chalk yet professional-grade ideal for any skill level and any player.

The chalk itself is high grade, does not flake or cake. It provides an even, clean coating and sticks well to the tip, without creating much mess. The chalk remains on the tip for a couple of shots, but many players prefer to chalk every time before taking a shot as a part of the pre-shot routine. The chalk is a bit coarse, helping you get a better grip on the ball while reducing the chances of miscues.

The other major positives are that it doesn't leave those ugly marks on the cue ball, nor does it leave noticeable dust marks on the table or cue stick.

To sum it up: Magic chalk is as good as it gets. Bang for the buck pricing and above-par performance makes it a solid choice.

What We Liked
+ Widely acclaimed and popular choice
+ Provides ​excellent grip on the ball
+ Bang for the buck price
+ Ideal for any skill level
+ Multiple color options

Watch Out for
- The packaging isn't the best
- Need to be applied after every shot

2. KAMUI Pool cue Billiard Chalk 1.21 Beta

Best of the Best (Pro Pick)


KAMUI Pool cue Billiard Chalk 1.21 Beta

Specs:
No. of chalk per box: 1
Approx. no. of hits before re-chalking: 8
Color: Single
Price: ~$30
Rating: 4.7/5

At $30 apiece, this is the costliest pool chalk you can lay your hands on. Preferred by some of the top players, this chalk is the best out there in terms of performance. I suggest players to try this chalk at least once to get a feel of what premium chalks offer. It might as well make some noticeable difference in your game, so it's definitely worth giving a shot.

The 1.21 variant is the upgraded version of 0.98 chalk. The chalk is made from much finer particles than regular chalk, which enlarges the sweet spot. It's sticky and grips the cue ball quite well. And the best part is that you don't need to chalk often - maybe once after eight shots or more.

Also, one cube should easily last you through a year justifying the premium price point. On the downside, it may leave marks on the cue ball, and it is only available one color - Blue.

If you're looking to try what pro players use or are looking for high-performance chalk and don't mind spending $30, give it a shot!

What We Liked
+ Professional grade
+ Less messy than normal chalks
+ Provides a much firmer grip on the cue ball
+ One cube may last up to a year

Watch out for
- Expensive
- Limited colors option

3. Predator 1080 Pure Performance Chalk

Popular Choice


Predator 1080 Pure Performance Chalk

Specs:
No. of chalks per box: 5
Approx. no. of hits before re-chalking: 4
Color: Single
Price: ~$10
Rating: 4.5/5

For our next pick, we have the Predator 1080. It's cheaper than Kamui and costlier than Masters - offering a fine balance between performance and pricing. It comes in an octagonal casing, unlike the cube, which you normally find, making it easy to apply and handle.

It's not gritty like cheaper brands and sticks to the tip more evenly with less effort. It offers better control, allowing you to impart more spin on the ball without miscues on non-center balls or losing on accuracy. The chalk coasting lasts for over 4 to 5 shots and does not leave any mark on the ball.

One downside of the Predator 1080 is that it comes only in blue color, so you may be prone to staining or smudging your tabletop if it's of a different color.

If you're looking for a quality chalk that is relatively cheaper and makes a style statement, look no further!

What We Liked
+ Includes a chalk holder
+ High-quality chalk, suitable for all players
+ The chalk stays on the cue longer than other brands
+ Low cost

Watch out for
- Only comes in blue, leaving you at risk of staining your table felt
- The chalk holder is of low quality

4. Silver Cup Billiard CHALK

Multiple Color Option


 Silver Cup Billiard CHALK

Specs:
No. of chalks per box: 12
Approx. no. of hits before re-chalking: 2
Color: Multiple
Price: ~$10
Rating: 4.0/5

In terms of color options, the Silver Cup Billiard chalk offers most options. You can choose from whooping 23 colors. Whether you're looking to match the color of your table felt or cue stick, you're sure to find a color of your liking.

The chalk is quite similar to Master (our top pick) in terms of performance but creates more dust and leaves residue on the ball. It applies a smooth and even coating on the tip and does not cake or flake. But it's not as sticky as some of the cubes we've reviewed, and neither does it last long. You need to re-chalk after every couple of shots, and you will burn through one cube in about 30 to 40 hrs of play.

Also, the colors can be a bit off than expected, but for the price, you can't really ask for more!

What We Liked
+ Very cheap, especially when compared to other chalks
+ Comes in a massive range of colours
+ Even, smooth coverage
+ Great if needed in bulk

Watch out for
- This chalk is messy, and it can flake
- Not a perfect color match to the most popular felt colors
- May not last as long as the Master, Kamui or predator chalk

5. Felson Billiard Pool Cue Chalk

Multiple Color Options


Felson Billiard Pool Cue Chalk

Specs:
No. of chalks per box: 12
Approx. no. of hits before re-chalking: 2
Color: Multiple
Price: ~$10
Rating: 4.0/5

The Felson supplies box is another great budget option that comes in a variety of colors. The range may not be as large as the Master's, though the colors are closely matched to the more popular and 'official' pool table colors. These chalks are of superior quality and supply an even and smooth coating with no caking or crumbling.

They are not as high quality as some of the other chalks on this list, and may not last as long. The other downside it's a bit gritty and rough, leaving more than usual chalk dust on the tablecloth and the stick.

Priced under $12 for a dozen chalk cubes, this definitely worth considering.

What We Liked
+ Cheap
+ Comes in a well-matched range of colors
+ Applies evenly

Watch out for
- Not as resilient as other brands
- You need to apply a lot more than expected
- Does not last long and messy

Buyer's Guide to Pool Cue Chalks

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular and well-known chalks, you may have further questions. Obviously, you want to get the most for your money, and that’s why we’ve included this handy buyer’s guide!

Below, there are a few things to consider that will help guide you to the best pool chalk for you.

​What is the function of a Pool cue Chalk


This might seem like an obvious question but a very important one actually. Simply put, using the chalk increases the friction between the cue tip and the cue ball, reducing the chances of miscues and increasing your capability to put more spin or English on the ball.

For dead-center shots, there is no visible benefit of using a chalk. It's the non-center hits where the cue chalks are helpful. Without a properly chalked tip, your chances of miscues will be quite higher.

Let's proceed to the factors you should consider while buying a cue chalk:

Price


As with our other guides, let's start with the price – this should always be one of the most important factors to think about. Chalks come at all price points from 10 cents/piece to high as $30/piece. The price you should pay depends on what are your expectations and your current skill level. 

Are you looking to spend a lot of money for the highest quality chalk available? Or are you looking for something functional which gets the job done? Are you looking for reliability and a longer life? Or are you happy with a short-lived, cheap and cheerful entry?

Cheap or Expensive? What's the Difference?

Aside from the price, there is a huge quality difference between the cheaper and more expensive chalk. More experienced players generally tend to opt for mid-grade to top-end chalks for this reason.

The main differences between these chalks are:

  • Length of application – cheaper chalk may need to be applied after every shot, and in heavy amounts. Expensive chalks stick the cue tip for longer duration and may need to be applied after 4 to 5 shots or more.
  • Messiness – Expensive chalks are much tidier than the cheaper variants, and will produce much less dust. The dust may stain your table, which may lead to unwanted clean-up.
  • Cakiness: Expensive chalks are less likely to cake, unlike the cheaper chalks which will occasionally cake and become unusable.

It's also important to keep in mind that the expensive pool chalks are often much finer, and as a result, stick to your cue tip better than the coarser chalk.

Fine or coarse chalk really is a matter of preference, so it's recommended that you try both until you form your own preference!

Skill Level & Usage


How do you intend to use your chalk? Is it for private practice? A tournament or competition? Maybe you're just looking to restock your pool hall.

Depending on the usage and your skill level, you should choose a cue chalk. For example, if you're bulk buying for a casual pool hall, it will be a bad idea to buy the Kamui chalk – the players may not benefit from it as a professional would, and it could get wasted. A budget-friendly, more disposable option such as the Silver Cup chalk might be more appropriate.

If you are looking to prepare for a tournament, or are an experienced player looking to enhance your game, the Kamui may be more fitting – it is certainly expensive, but it has the potential to drastically improve your gameplay.

For players, till intermediate level, it's best to stick with something like Magic chalk, and there is not much sense to go for costlier options.

Everything Else


Just as a side note, it is essential to store your cue chalk properly, regardless of which option you go for. If you don’t, you may lose the chalk, or it could become damaged – either physically, or by changes in humidity.

The Predator cue chalk comes with a storage piece, though these are usually inexpensive and can be bought online. Keep it with your other accessories, such as your cue tips – that way, you’ll never lose it!

Don’t worry if you do notice any chalk marks on the pool table or your stick. The table can be cleaned with a billiard brush relatively easy, while for the marks on the shaft and ball simply wipe them with a damp cloth regularly.

How to Properly Chalk

You may have a really expensive chalk, but as long you don't chalk properly, it won't be of much use. Using proper technique not only lengthens the lifespan of the chalk but also keeps help you reduce miscues and keep the cue tip in shape.

Technique: Keep your pool cue at an angle, and slowly rotate the stick while gently brushing the chalk to give even coverage. Make sure you don't put extra pressure. It should as if a woman puts on lipstick.

  1. Do not drill a hole - that's not right: This is what I see most beginners doing - drilling a hole in the chalk. This not only reduces the lifespan of the chalk but also just coats the center of the tip, leaving the rest tip exposed. 
  2. Do not over chalk: Over chalking is also quite common. While this is not bad as per se but it leaves more dust on the table.
  3. Do not chalk over the table: Again, when you chalk over the table, the dust falls on the table cloth, making it dirty and leaving a mess. 
  4. Do not blow on the tip to remove the residue: When you blow, the moisture from your breath can collect on the tip, and when you re-chalk, the moisture is transferred to the cube. This can cause the chalk to crumble or flake.
  5. Always remember to keep the chalk facing up to prevent the chalk dust to fall off on the table.
Conclusion

With all this in mind, hopefully, you've picked out your ideal chalk. If you're looking for professional and high-quality chalk, our research shows that the Kamui 1.21 Beta is the best. We know that it might be expensive, but the chalk will give you an edge over other players, and allow you to make the most of your practice sessions.

For most, Magic or Predator chalks make up for an excellent choice. Both of these are brilliant choices for pool houses or sports bars, or even if you're prone to losing your chalk.

If you're a beginner or amateur player, the Silver or Felson chalk, maybe a better fit.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you choose the pool chalk of your liking or at least got you closer.

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