Chris Renfro (from Outsvillle.com) has not only reinvented a quality one piece tip in the Ki-Tech line, he’s also put together a break/jump tip he hopes will raise the bar on power with control. The Hammerhead.
The Hammerhead break/jump tip was a culmination of years of researching the various plastics that are out there (but not necessarily the highlight of what most cue components are made of.)
These days tips are either leather, phenolic, or some type of reinforced glass (like g10.) Some of these materials can actually damage the cue ball, as the material is harder than the phenolic resins the balls are made of. These tip materials are under scrutiny by room operators and tournament venues, as this adds additional costs to replacing equipment that’s been damaged during play.
Chris discovered a new thermoset resin unlike any other. While it was softer than the popular phenolics, the energy transfer was better.
How would you like to swing your cue stick at 18 mph and have a ball transfer speed of 20 + mph?
Better yet, this material isn’t laminated together, so it’s very unlikely the components will break down as I’ve seen with some of the woven phenolics. The tips are kind of a mastic gray, which doesn’t deter your eyes from focusing on the break. The material holds chalk very well, and I found it was holding the cue ball pretty well under repeated breaks on my nine foot table.
I installed this tip on my favorite break/jump cue from Rick Howard of Mace Cues (which I had him build for me back in 1999.) I used Loctite Gel Control adhesive for the installation — as it’s my preference — but Chris recommends Loctite 380. I sanded both sides with 80 grit sandpaper, and put a small dot of glue on the center of the tip and pushed directly center to the ferrule — making sure to not move the tip or ferrule to cause the best bond and setup.
I ran the lathe on a lower speed, and cut the tip to the size of the ferrule (to within a thousandth of an inch or so.) The tip cut nicely with some ribbon strands, even when I was just taking a whisper of material off as I got closer to the ferrule. It polishes up wonderfully after going to a final sanding of 1500 fine grit.
I’ve done a couple of videos using this break tip with a radar gun on my 100 year old Brunswick table (recently covered by Tim Tonjum at Pool Tables Plus, in Minnesota.) Chris is correct: there is lots of energy transfer to the rack, and I found that every time I would end up with four to six balls at the head of the table — and usually make two or three.
You can order Hammerhead tips directly from the inventor, Chris Renfro, on his website. I am also carrying the Hammerhead break/jump tip — for local or mail order installation of a Hammerhead on your favorite equipment, contact me today.
Aaron Berg is a former certified BCA instructor based out of Hammond, WI. With decades of experience in the billiards world, he offers both lessons and cue repair. He’s run his own business, Pool101 Billiard Instruction, since 1993. He can be found on Facebook, or at his website. Photo: provided by author Editor: Hannah Blue