How Can I Tell What Kind of Pool Table I Have? (Explained)

How Can I Tell What Kind of Pool Table I Have

Identifying the type of pool table you own is crucial for various reasons, including maintenance, valuation, and understanding its playability.

This comprehensive guide will help you determine the kind of pool table you have, covering aspects from materials and design to brand identification.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the Significance: Knowing the brand can help in assessing the quality, value, and required maintenance.
  • Look for Identifying Marks: Manufacturers often leave unique signatures on their products.
  • Research Online: Utilize online resources for comparison and verification.
  • Consult Experts: Sometimes, professional insight is necessary for accurate identification

The Quick Answer

The easiest way to find the pool table brand or manufacturer is to check for any brand markings, which can usually be found on a metal plate to the top or side of the pool table.

Some tables may also have a unique code stamped on the wood representing the make and model.

Leg PlatesSome manufacturers place their logo or name on the leg plates.
Side RailsCheck the side rails for any engraved or embossed logos.
Underneath the TableSometimes, the brand is stamped or labeled on the underside.
Quickest Way to Tell What Kind of Pool Table You Have

High-quality brands, like for instance, Brunswick, use better materials, stronger frames and quality construction methods, ensuring a sturdier table overall.

Their excellent craftsmanship installs a high degree of confidence because of their higher quality, value and longevity, which also often retain value better than lesser-known manufacturers.

Identifying Different Types of Pool Tables

The different types of pool tables are:

  1. Slate and Non-Slate Pool Tables
  2. Coin-Operated and Bar Pool Tables
  3. Custom and Antique Pool Tables

While you can use some of the same identification methods, across all types of pool tables, some are unique to that type of table.

How To Identify a Slate Pool Table?

Slate tables are considered superior for their durability and flatness, while MDF pool tables and other non-slate materials, are more affordable but less durable.

A slate pool table is most easily identified by the weight. 

Slate pool tables commonly weigh up to 1200 pounds on most home use tables and weigh even more on official tournament tables.

Other ways to identify slate pool tables include:

  1. A strong frame and cabinet is needed to properly support the weight, so sturdiness can also be an indicator.
  2. Feel the underside of the pool table, slate will fell cold to touch below the cloth, can also identify slate. 
  3. Examine the underside of the table and look for connecting lines on the slate.
  4. If there are two lines, it uses three pieces of slate. If there are no lines, then it uses only one piece.

Identifying Coin-Operated and Bar Tables

Generally speaking, there are two types of pool table pocket systems;

  1. Ball return systems
  2. Drop pockets

Coin-operated or bar-style tables are usually found in public venues, built to withstand heavy usage and often have a mechanism to return balls.

There are not as many brands today that produce them anymore, so if your pool table uses a pocket return, it will be a lot easier identified.

Identifying Pool Table Brands Using Drop Pockets

The majority of home tables have the drop pocket style, and there is a fair chance you do also.

Identifying specific manufacturers through the drop pocket style is harder than return pocket tables, as they are a lot more common.

However, the type of material used can be an identifiable characteristic. 

Some only use real leather, while other’s substitute the leather out for rubber.

Identifying Antique Pool Tables

An antique pool table is generally considered to be over 100 years old.

These tables are not just old, but also carry historical significance and showcase the craftsmanship of their era.

  1. Antique pool tables often feature hardwoods like mahogany, oak, and walnut.
  2. The wood’s patina and grain can give clues about the table’s age and origin.
  3. Intricate carvings and ornate designs are also indicative of older tables.

Identifying Features of Antique Pool Tables

Many antique pool tables have manufacturer’s marks or labels, usually found on the head rail or underneath the table, and provide vital information about the table’s origin and age.

  • Antique tables often have distinctive design elements like leather pocketscarved legs, and inlaid mother-of-pearl.
  • These features not only add to the aesthetic value but also help in identifying the period of manufacture.

If you think you may have an antique pool table, look to find reputable dealers and get the opinion of many if you can. 

How to Identify Your Pool Table Manufacturer?

Generally speaking, you may be able to identify the manufacturer of your pool table, or at least discount some, by the type of materials they use, particularly the cloth color.

When trying to find the brand behind a table, much of the journey is a process of elimination.

For instance:

  • It’s common for some manufacturers to use the one color of felt on all the tables they make.
  • You can therefore remove any brands which does not make pool tables with the same felt color as the one you have.

It can make it easier to shorten the list of potential pool table manufacturers and brands. 

Is It a Multipurpose Pool Table?

If you have one that can also be used for multiple games and also for instance as a dining table, identification is also easier, because multipurpose pool tables are only made by certain manufacturers.

This can help you focus in on a smaller group of multipurpose specific manufacturers.

Can the Type of Wood Help Identify the Pool Table?

The majority of manufacturers source the wood they use from the same place.

Some brands use wood that come from exotic locations, while others are cut from trees found in North America.

  • Identifying the type of wood used, the location it was sourced and the tree it originated from can certainly help identify who made it.
  • Find the brands that match your table’s wood, and you can go from there.

Identifying Pool Table Brand Using the Original Accessories?

If you still have the pool table’s original accessories, they can also be a very easy way to find the maker.

Like the table itself, often times they will be branded with unique markings.

Check any original cues for stamps, and the original rack may also be marked.

Seek Help to Identify the Manufacturer

If the previous steps have yielded no joy, and you still have no idea what type of pool table you have, there are other things you can do, so let me explain.

Take Lots of Pictures of the Pool Table

The first thing you should do is photograph the pool table, because you can be sure there is someone out there who will know what type of table you have based on the smallest of details. 

Key areas of the pool table that can help someone identify the manufacturer include;

  • Below the table under the bed
  • The rails
  • The pockets
  • Top of the table
  • Side of the table
  • The edges of the table
  • The cues

Manufacturers use different methods of production, materials and styles of cabinet etc.

Even a cue can become synonymous with specific manufacturers through their craftsmanship and design. 

The more pictures you take of the table from multiple angles, the better, and then you have two options;

  1. Head over to a local pool table store for help
  2. Head over to the Billiard forums for help

Go to Your Local Pool Table Store

With your pictures in hand, you can head over to your local pool table store for help.

If there isn’t one close by, then a quick search online will return plenty.

Some local stores, or places online, can boast decades worth of experience with different brands and manufacturers.

Visit Billiard Forums for Help

Some of the best information you can gather will come from the experience of others, and there is plenty to be found in online billiard forums.

  • Forums are full of knowledgeable players and a great place to go for help.
  • Post your pictures, along with your question, and the members will help.

Contact the Previous Owner

This seems pretty obvious but, believe it or not, a lot of people overlook contacting the previous owner, which is the most straight forward and simple way to find out more about your pool table.

The seller may have all the information you need, such as original documents, receipts, history of repair etc.

If the previous owner purchased it used, they may still have the information of the person before them for you to contact.

Final Thoughts on How Can I Tell What Kind of Pool Table I Have?

One of the easiest ways you can tell what kind of pool table you have is to check for brand markings or codes. This can prove easier on new tables but rather difficult on old ones if the time passed has wiped it of its identity.

If identification in this way is not possible, you can use your pool table’s characteristics to find who made it. You can also turn to others for help online and in person. There are many experts out there ready and willing to help. You just need to know where t find them.


Similar Posts