Just as you wouldn’t marry the first person you meet at a bar, you shouldn’t immediately buy the first used pool table that catches your eye. There’s a lot to consider, from understanding the different types of pool tables to knowing where to find the best deals.

You’ll want to inspect the table thoroughly, understand what you’re willing to compromise on, and know how to arrange for safe transportation and setup. Trust us, you don’t want to rush this; because, who wants to be stuck with a shoddy, lopsided table that makes every game feel like an uphill battle?

So stick around, we’re just getting started.

Understanding Different Types of Pool Tables

There’s a surprisingly wide variety of pool tables out there, and understanding the differences between them is key to making a smart purchase. Purchasing a used pool table can be a savvy move, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality piece at a fraction of the price. When browsing through pre-owned pool tables, you’ll encounter many different types, and it’s important to know what to look for.

Firstly, consider the playing surface. A good quality used pool table will typically have a slate bed, which provides a smoother, flatter surface for a better playing experience. Ensure the slate bed isn’t damaged or warped as it could affect the ball’s movement.

Next, consider the table’s construction. A solid construction implies a well-made pool table, likely from a reputable manufacturer. Look for signs of wear and tear, but overall, the table should be in good condition.

Where to Find Used Pool Tables

Now that you know what to look for in a used pool table, let’s explore where you can find one. The used tables market is vast and offers a myriad of options. You can start your search online on platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace. They feature a wide variety of pre owned tables, allowing you to compare prices and quality from the comfort of your home. But these places might not offer pool tables in good shape, so factor in the potential pool table repair costs.

Local classifieds are also a good place to look for a used pool table. Often, people moving or downsizing their homes are eager to sell their pool tables at a reasonable price. You can also check out garage sales or estate sales in your area.

Another option is to visit a local pool table dealer. They often have a selection of used tables for sale. Although the price might be a bit higher, you’ll have the assurance that the table has been inspected and meets certain quality standards.

Inspecting a Used Pool Table

Before sealing the deal on a used pool table, it’s crucial you conduct a thorough inspection to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. Don’t be fooled by the exterior aesthetics; good quality tables are about more than just looks.

Start by inspecting the frame and legs of the table. They should be solid and sturdy, with no signs of splitting or wobbling. If they’re not, it’s a red flag. The cushions along the rails should have a certain bounce; if the balls don’t rebound properly, it could indicate worn-out cushions.

Next, examine the felt that covers the table. Even slight tears or worn spots can impact your game, and replacing it can be costly. You might even need to clean your pool table felt if you buy a used table with a dirty felt.

It may not be in mint condition, but it should be relatively smooth and free of pilling. if it isn’t it’s a possibility that you will have to refelt a used pool table with the help of the pros. The pockets should be well-anchored and free from holes or tears.

credit card purchase

Key Considerations Before Purchase

Having thoroughly inspected the used pool table, you’re one step closer to making a purchase, but there are some key considerations to keep in mind. The perfect pool table isn’t just about aesthetics, so don’t be swayed by the allure of a polished exterior. The slate, the table’s playing surface, should be your main focus. One piece slate is ideal as it provides a smoother playing field. However, it can significantly increase the cost.

Your budget is another essential factor. Remember, purchasing a pool table doesn’t end at the initial price tag. There could be hidden costs such as delivery fees, installation charges, or necessary repairs. It’s crucial to factor these in and ensure you’re financially prepared.

Lastly, consider the space. Even the most beautifully crafted pool table would be pointless if it doesn’t fit in your room. Ensure there’s enough space for comfortable gameplay. This doesn’t mean just the table’s footprint, but also room for players to maneuver around.

Taking these points into account, you’ll be better equipped to avoid unexpected surprises and find the ideal used pool table that suits your needs and budget.

Size and Space Requirements

When it comes to selecting a used pool table, it’s important to keep in mind the size of the table and the space requirements of your room. You don’t want to buy a used pool table that’s too big and won’t fit comfortably in your house.

Before you even start your search, measure the room where you plan to install the table. As a rule of thumb, there should be at least 5 feet of space around all sides of the table. This allows you to play a game without any restrictions. You’ll need room for the table moving during installation and future adjustments.

If your room is small, you might consider a 7-foot table. If you have a larger space, an 8 or 9-foot table can be perfect.

Making the Purchase

Now that you’ve sorted out size and space, it’s time to dive into the actual process of purchasing your used pool table. You’ve likely realized that a used table can save you a significant amount of money compared to a new pool table. However, it’s crucial to consider the additional cost that may come with a used table.

First, decide what you’re willing to replace. The felt, for example, might need changing, and this can be an additional cost. Also, inspect the construction of the table. It’s a good idea to bring someone knowledgeable with you who can test the stability and overall condition of the table.

Research the manufacturer of the used pool table. Some brands have better reputations than others, and this should factor into your decision.

Arranging for Safe Transportation and Setup

After you’ve selected your used pool table and assessed any additional costs, the next step is to arrange for its safe transportation and setup. Deciding how to transport used pool tables requires careful consideration. Although you may be tempted to save on costs by doing it yourself, consider the potential damages that could occur.

Different models require different assembly processes, so make sure you’re prepared. The last thing you want is a pool table that’s not installed correctly. Therefore, hiring professionals for transport and assembly may seem like an extra expense, but it could save you from costly repairs or replacements in the long run.

Your chosen pool table may come with assembly instructions, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry. Many resources on ‘how to choose a used pool table’ also include tips on assembly. Remember, safety should always be your priority. There’s no point in saving a few bucks if you end up hurting yourself or damaging the table.

Maintenance Tips for Your Used Pool Table

To keep your used pool table in top shape, it’s crucial to follow a few essential maintenance tips. Regular maintenance can improve the table’s longevity, prevent wear and tear, and save you from replacing parts frequently.

Firstly, always use a proper rack to store your balls when they’re not in use. This not only keeps them from rolling around and potentially damaging the table, but it also helps maintain their shape and balance.

Next, remember to clean the cloth regularly. This material is prone to collecting dust, chalk, and other debris. A soft brush can be used to gently remove these particles, followed by a light vacuuming. However, avoid excessive scrubbing as it can damage the cloth.

It’s also important to cover your table when it’s not in use. This helps protect the cloth from sunlight, which can fade the color over time, and from spills or other accidents.

Lastly, ensure the table is leveled correctly. An unlevel table not only affects your game but can also put undue pressure on certain parts of the table, causing them to wear out faster.

Proper maintenance can greatly extend the life of your used pool table. Follow these tips and enjoy many games to come.

Replacing Worn-Out Parts Like Pockets or Cushions

Despite your best efforts in maintaining your pool table, certain parts like pockets or cushions may eventually wear out and need replacement. You’ll need to determine whether replacing these worn-out parts is a priority for you. This decision can affect which used pool table you choose.

If you’re handy, replacing pockets or cushions mightn’t be a big deal. You could score a great deal on a table with minor issues and fix it up yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable making repairs, you might want to steer clear of tables with broken pockets or worn-out cushions. It’s important to factor in the cost of repairs when considering the overall price of the table.

When it comes to cushions, they might seem fine at first glance. But if they’re hard or don’t bounce the balls back well, they’re likely worn out. Replacing cushions can be a bit more complex than pockets, so you may want to consult a professional.

New tables usually don’t have these issues, but they come at a higher price. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your priorities. Whether you decide to replace worn parts or opt for a pricier new table, ensure that you enjoy the game.

Pool table in studio

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for when buying a used pool table?

When buying a used pool table, you should carefully inspect the slate for smoothness and ensure that the seams where slates join are even to avoid unpredictable ball rolls. Check the felt for wear such as thin spots, holes, or tears that could affect gameplay, and assess the condition of the cushions and rails for consistent bounce and lack of physical damage.

The frame’s build quality, especially if it’s made of solid hardwood, indicates longevity and stability. Consider the size of the table relative to your available space, factoring in extra room for cue strokes. If the pool table includes accessories like cues and balls, ensure they are in good condition. Lastly, be prepared for potential additional costs such as moving, setup, and felt replacement if needed.

How can you tell if a pool table is good quality?

To assess the quality of a pool table, check for a solid frame, ideally with cross beams for added support, which prevents sagging or cracking of the slate. Ensure the table has a thick, well-leveled slate, as this is critical for precise gameplay.

Look for tables with post legs or sturdy two-piece legs for durability and stability. The quality of the cushions and rails, made from natural gum for consistent bounce, and high-quality felt, such as worsted wool, also indicate good craftsmanship. Additionally, the overall construction should be robust, with quality materials used throughout.

How do you inspect a used pool table?

When inspecting a used pool table, begin by examining the slate for smoothness and levelness, as imperfections can affect play quality. Check the felt for any tears, stains, or excessive wear, and inspect the rails and cushions for consistent bounce and stability.

Ensure the frame and legs are sturdy and not damaged, as these are crucial for the table’s durability and overall performance. Additionally, observe the pockets for any signs of wear or damage, and consider the general aesthetics of the table, as visible neglect could indicate deeper issues. Testing the table by playing a few shots can also help gauge the quality and condition of the playing surface.

What is the life expectancy of a pool table?

The life expectancy of a pool table can vary significantly based on several factors such as the quality of construction, materials used, and the level of maintenance it receives. High-quality pool tables, especially those made from solid hardwood and equipped with good slate, can last for many decades if properly maintained.

Regular care such as cleaning the felt, protecting the table from sunlight and humidity, and ensuring it’s covered when not in use, can greatly extend a table’s lifespan. Environmental factors and usage also play a crucial role in determining how long a pool table will last. With proper care and maintenance, a well-constructed pool table can provide excellent gameplay for several decades.


So, you’ve navigated the treacherous seas of used pool tables, dodged the sharks of dodgy dealers, and found your perfect cue companion. You’ve measured, inspected, and even planned for its grand entrance. Welcome to the exhilarating world of pool – where the balls are always rolling, and the fun never ends.