These days everyone has a favorite type of pool cue chalk. A long time ago you only had a few choices, but today the options are almost endless. Almost every major brand has its own chalk these days, how do you know which one is right for you? What are the differences between all these premium chalks, and how do they compare to what I currently use? Well, we decided to take a hard look at ALL the chalks available at Pooldawg.com and see what all the fuss was about.
I have created a rating system. The system grades the chalk on a scale of 1-5. I am assigning a number to 4 different topics I graded on each brand of chalk. Gritt/Softness (1 being very gritty and firm, 5 being very soft and creamy), Coverage (1 being does not cover well or wipes off while applying. 5 being covers the tip very well), Spin Generation (1 being that the chalk does not grip the ball very well which could cause more miscues by venturing out further on the ball to get the desired spin. 5 being generates massive spin volume and grip which can reduce miscues and deflection by generating more spin with a tip placement closer to the center of the ball versus the extreme edges.) and finally, Cleanliness (1 being very messy, leaves residue on the cloth, the cue ball and the hands. 5 being very clean, little to no residue left on the cloth cue ball or the hands).
Let’s get started.
Ahh good old Masters blue chalk. The staple of our sport for years. This is still hands down the industry standard and for good reason. It is made by the Tweeten Company and has a great feel when going on. Nice and gritty, good coverage and grip. It does leave residue on the Cue Ball and of course that pesky blue dust on your hands and cloth. But hey, back in the old days after a long session on the table we wore this blue dust like it was our war paint. Still in my opinion one of the best chalks on the market for consistency and price.
Blue Diamond Chalk
Somebody once described Blue Diamond Chalk to me by saying “Imagine the best piece of Masters chalk you ever had, and it always felt that way. That is what Blue Diamond is like”. This chalk from Longoni is a very dry and gritty chalk that really covers well and grips the ball very well. Like the Masters though, it does leave quite a bit of residue on the Cue Ball and the playing surface. This is a top-notch chalk that many top players call their favorite.
Magic Chalk (no longer made in Russia!) is a very high-quality chalk that is a little softer than most chalks. It goes one very evenly and grips the ball with no issues. It does not leave as much residue on the Cue Ball as most chalks and does not seem to create as much dust as the masters or blue diamond, but it still can be a bit messy if chalking aggressively.
Lava Chalk is a quality product that goes on well and grips the ball with ease. It is a very firm chalk, this does however make it more prone to being messy, as it creates a lot of chalk dust when using. It doesn’t leave significant residue on the Cue Ball either. This is a great chalk that feels good when applying to your tip.
I must admit, I had never used this chalk before this test. I was pleasantly surprised with how this chalk performed. It is a little softer than the other chalks in this this category. It covers very well and does not leave a mess on your hands or the cloth. It does have significant transfer to the Cue Ball but seems to wipe off very easily.
Predator 1080 Chalk
The Predator 1080 Chalk has been one of my favorites ever since it was introduced to the market. This chalk has a great feel when going on, grips the ball very well and comes in a pack of five pieces. The chalk is a medium hardness and does not make as much messy dust on your hands and playing surface as most chalks in this category. It does however leave very noticeable marks on the cue ball. The marks wipe off easily though, so if that is not a major concern for you then this is a possible brand for you.
Navigator by McDermott USA makes a great chalk. This chalk is one of my top five for sure! Navigator is a softer chalk that goes on smooth and covers the tip very well. The grip on the ball is very good, you can venture out to those extreme spin shots without fear of a miscue. This chalk also seems to leave little to no residue on the Cue Ball.
Smart Chalk by MEZZ
No, this chalk is not like your smartphone, but it is pretty darn good! This chalk is firm and gritty but goes on smooth, it grips the ball amazingly and does leave very minimal residue on the Cue Ball or playing surface. This chalk is one of my new favorites and if you are wondering why the name? Smart Chalk? Well, the packaging incorporates a thin metal plate that allows it work seamlessly with the Mezz Smart Chalk Magnetic System.
Great White Chalk
This product from Outsville is a unique chalk. It is very soft and fine, so it goes on quite smoothly. Great White chalk grips the ball well too. I really liked this chalk, but I did notice it left a lot of residue on the playing surface and it had quite a bit of transfer to the cue ball. Another cool feature about this chalk is that Outsville has placed a magnet in the bottom of the chalk so it will work with any their magnet chalk holder systems.
G2 Japan has come out with two different types of chalk for players to choose from. The G2-S is a softer version of the chalk and it goes on great! The grip on the ball is really good and it has very low transfer to the cue ball and playing surface. The G2-S chalk is also designed to last longer than most due to the fact that you only have to chalk a few times per game. The second iteration of chalk from G2 Japan is the G2-F. The G2-F is a firm version of the chalk. This version is my preferred because it has all the qualities of the G2-S with the exception of being designed to chalk every shot. Both quality products from G2 Japan.
Tiger Performance Chalk
Our friends over at Tiger Products have introduced a high-performance chalk that I must say pleasantly surprised me. This chalk is a medium firmness and goes on the tip smooth and covers well. The grip and spin generation is second to none. I noticed very little transfer to the cue ball but a significant amount of residue on the playing surface. This however easily wipes right up with a brush of your hand. The other nice thing about this chalk is that it comes in a pack of three in a very handy closeable tin container
The folks over at Taom Billiards have been making some fine chalks over the years. However, the two most popular right now are the Pyro and the new V10 chalks. Both of these chalks are phenomenal! They both go on smooth and cover very well. I honestly see no transfer from either chalk to the cue ball, if there is it is so miniscule that you just do not notice. I have not seen too much transfer to the playing surface but I did notice a little bit, but it disappears easily with a wipe of the hand. The Pyro Chalk is a blue color that matches most tournament blue playing surfaces, and the V10 is a really pleasing green color that matches more traditional playing surfaces. Personally, I love both of these chalks but if I had to choose, I would say I like the V10 the best, only because I play on more traditional green colored cloth at my local pool room. Bravo Taom!
Here we are finally at the big name that some say started the trend of high-performance chalks, Kamui. Kamui has three different chalks available now and they are all unique. The Kamui .98, the original. This is the original high-performance chalk that Kamui introduced, and it is a still a great chalk. The .98 chalk is a finer and softer chalk, it goes on smooth and almost creamy. In fact, it covers the tip so well that you can actually get away with chalking once per game! The .98 chalk does however have quite a bit of transfer to the cue ball and can leave a noticeable amount of residue on the playing surface, especially if your chalk is a different color than the cloth. That being said, this is still one of the best chalks out there.
The Kamui 1.21 Chalk. This version of the Kamui chalk came out shortly after the .98. This version performs very similar to its predecessor with the exception of its design to be a firmer chalk with a little different chemical makeup. The chalk was designed for the folks who loved the way the .98 chalk played but wanted to chalk every shot as part of their pre shot routine. This chalk has a lot less transfer to the cue ball than the .98 but still tends to show up on the playing surface. If you like the .98 but want to chalk every shot, then the 1.21 is for you!
Kamui Roku is the latest chalk from Kamui, and it is very popular among the top players. This chalk has a completely new chemical makeup from the previous chalks Kamui has produced. The chalk is designed to be used before every shot. Roku goes on smooth and covers well. The grip and spin you get with this chalk is second to none. I see little to no transfer on the cue ball as well. You will see a slight amount of residue on your table if you are not using blue cloth but it wipes right off with ease. Kamui Roku chalk is without a doubt one of my favorites.
I hope the information above helps guide you when making a decision on what Premium Chalk you prefer to order at PoolDawg.com