So you have decided to buy a pool table, but you don't know anything about them. Well relax, I will give you all the information that you'll need to know before purchasing one.
First, you need to know your budget. How much are you willing to spend? Pool tables can be purchased for as little as a couple hundred dollars to as much as several thousand dollars with some tables ranging as high as $20,000 or more!
Second, after deciding your budget then you have to decide where you will put your table. Do you have the space needed to set up a pool table. Tables range in sizes from 4'x6′ to 5'x10′. Rule of thumb is; you need at least 5′ around the table in order to be able to play without striking the wall or other objects.
Third, now that you have established the space and you have a budget in mind; where will you buy your table? Will you purchase one from a site such as Craigslist or eBay or are you located near a store that sells pool tables? We often sell tables on Craigslist and we have often found great quality pool tables on Craigslist, however “caveat emptor” or buyer beware, some deals are too good to be true.
Fourth, how will you get your new table home? A lot of sellers will say in their ad “bring lots of help, this table is heavy”. I say this; NEVER EVER move a table in one piece. Pool tables need to be completely disassembled prior to moving. If you move a table in one piece, you not only risk damaging the table, but you risk injuring yourself. It is best to call a professional pool table mover to move your table and set it back up for you.
So now that you have everything in place lets talk about what you will need to look for when buying a pool table. When customers call me and ask what is the one thing they need to look for before buying a pool table, I emphasize one word, SLATE! A good quality table will have a slate playing surface. A low quality, low-end table will have a particle board or MDF playing surface these tables we in the industry call “throw away” tables. They do not hold up very well and are easily damaged. They do not withstand heavy playing use.
When buying a table, look for brand names such as Brunswick, Olhausen, or Gandy these tables will hold their value.
Look at the frame of the table. Is it free of cracks and major defects? Check for termites ( if applicable to the region you live in). In Florida, we often see sellers selling pool tables that are infested with termites. Look at the legs, are they also free of cracks and defects?
Look at the felt/cloth. Is it in good condition or does it seem to need replacing? If it does need replacing, consider that it will cost about $295 and up to replace it.
Look at that pockets. Are they in good condition or are they frayed and damaged? Plastic drop pockets are fairly inexpensive to replace, however the cost to replace leather pockets can be quite costly.
And last look at and test the bumpers. The bumpers are made from gum rubber which over time will harden. A test you can do to determine if the bumpers are still good is to start at one end of the table and roll the ball will some force against the other end of the table. A good bumper will give you at least 3 bounces back and forth. Once you have perform the test end to end then repeat side to side.
If you are still unsure on whether you are getting a good deal; contact someone who is knowledgeable in billiard tables and they can help you through the buying process.
A pool table is a great investment that can provide you and your family with years of enjoyment.