Buying a Used Pool Table? Part 1: Slate

Jun 1, 2013

What You Need to Know About Buying a Used Pool Table…

So you’ve finally convinced your significant other that you can fit a pool table into your formal dining room, or some other space. Now the ball is in your court and you want to buy something that will perform very well for many years to come. The first and most important characteristic to look for in a pool table, whether it’s new or used, is the slate. You may not even know what slate is. Slate is a natural stone that is either mined or quarried from the earth in huge chunks about the size of an SUV. These huge metamorphic hunks of rock are then sliced into smaller manageable sheets that are then honed by diamond-studded grinders that can produce a surface that yields a flatness in the neighborhood of 10/1000 of an inch. Don’t ever buy any pool table that is said to be “Slatron” or “Slatec”. These are cheap imitations and will never play true and never remain level.

Buying a one-piece slate is okay, as long as you know the risks involved with moving a one-piece slate pool table. The slate alone in a standard 4 by 8-foot pool table weighs around 450 pounds. If stairs are involved, this is a disaster in the making if you’re not prepared for the maneuvering needed to go up or down a flight of stairs while holding the slate in one hand on its side. The simple fact is that three smaller pieces of slate will be lighter and easier to carry for two people. The ONLY downside to buying a three-piece slate pool table is that you may need to hire a professional billiard mechanic to re-assemble it for you. There are many, many more steps involved in setting up a 3 piece slate pool table, too many to go into in this blog post. The single most important fact to remember is that a three-piece slate pool table will ALWAYS play better and the balls will ALWAYS run truer than a one-piece slate pool table.