The first marked difference is visual as machine spliced and hand spliced cues are slightly different in appearance. On hand spliced cues the spliced points are slightly rounded whereas on machine spliced they are more prominently pointed and sharper. Most people who have some knowledge of cue sports will be of the opinion that hand spliced cues are best. This assumption is probably based on the fact the hand spliced are generally more expensive than machine spliced cues and people are of the belief that expense must mean quality. This isn’t always the case particularly with the advances in technology in recent years. Machines have now become more advanced and now have far greater accuracy than in the past. It should also be taken into account that whether hand or machine spliced almost all cues are finished by hand and thus the final quality of any cue is ultimately determined by the person who finishes it.

Many cues are now made in the Far East and whilst traditionally they are not regarded as being the professionals when it comes to cue manufacture, and their technology is not generally as up to date as that in the UK, there are a number of craftsmen out there who have more experience in cue making than some of their British counterparts. You should also take into account that in a lot of Far East countries there is no government taxes on wood and it is therefore far less expensive than imported wood in the .

It is therefore possible to pick up a genuine hand spliced cue finished with a number of splices in exotic woods such as ebony, snake wood, cocobolo, green sycamore and the like far cheaper than you can pick up a simple machine spliced UK made cue.

When choosing a kind of splice therefore, what is most important is what you as the player feel most comfortable with. If you believe that a UK made hand spliced cue by a master craftsman who has also made cues for world championship players is the only thing that will make you play better, then psychologically it is unlikely that anything less will make you a champion, but this type of cue is likely to make a much larger dent in your wallet.

You must bear in mind the price you pay for a cue is not representative of what you will achieve by playing with it.