New vs Used Pool Table: Which is Best?

New vs Used Pool Table: Which is Best?

Posted by Home Billiards on 5th Apr 2024

Pre-Owned vs New Pool Table

A pool table is an excellent addition to any household.

Whether you’re looking to get into the sport competitively or just want something fun to do with your family or friends, pool is an excellent way to spend an enjoyable afternoon or evening!

When purchasing a pool table, you may be considering going for a pre-owned table – especially if cost is a factor.

However, you may not have considered a few important factors; for example, how to tell if the table is in good condition, and what to look for in terms of the character of a table.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the advantages of each type of pool table, as well as aspects you should consider carefully when deciding on which kind to purchase. We’ll also have a quick look at some other key decision-making factors.

Let’s get into it!

Advantages of New Pool Tables

Modern green felt pool table

New pool tables can offer a lot of advantages. If you want a full run-down, check out our pool table buying guide; below is a summary of some things they can offer:

  • Enhanced durability

New pool tables are just that: new! They don’t come with existing damage or

wear and tear, and if they are from a reputable manufacturer that means they are

much more likely to stand the test of time.

  • Advanced leveling mechanisms

Ensuring that a pool table is level is one of the most important factors when

attempting to play a good game on it!

Modern manufacturers have the ability to use advanced techniques to ensure that the surface is level, and can also include adjustable levelers to ensure that you can place the table so that the surface is flat even on slightly slanting or uneven ground.

  • Innovative design features

If you’re looking for the newest and shiniest in pool table technology, you’ll

typically want to buy new! This is where cutting-edge design features will be

finding their way into the market.

  • High-quality materials

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line materials, a new pool table is likely to be best.

These constructions are built to be up-to-date with the latest material design

Technology and so are more likely than their used predecessors to be constructed of high-quality materials.

  • Cutting-edge technology integration

As we move into the digital age, it might be worth thinking about looking for

possible integrations with smart devices.

New tables may offer sensing technology to track pool shots and help you improve or integrate with your tablet to display potential angles.

  • Sleek and modern aesthetics

If you’re looking for something that fits a modernist aesthetic, a new pool table is

a good choice!

Older, used tables are typically a bit more retro in appearance; as such, if you need something to match your other modern decor, a new table is a better bet.

  • Precision manufacturing

The quality of manufacturing in a new table from a reputable brand is likely to be

greater than (or at least equal to) the quality of manufacturing in an older table

from that same brand.

  • Upgraded cushioning systems

New tables benefit from the newest cushioning systems, with one of the more

modern being K-66 cushions.

Further new cushioning models will improve the play of the table – something that you will be locked out of if you choose to go second-hand.

  • Enhanced ball roll and rebound characteristics

New tables are likely to have springier rails and smoother surfaces, enhancing

the ability of a ball to bounce and rebound over the surface of the table.

Advantages of Pre-Owned Pool Tables

  • Cost savings

While buying new might get you all the modern conveniences, it comes at a

premium. Buying pre-owned can help you save some money – especially if you

find a bargain!

  • Established character and style

Pre-owned pool tables can come with a sense of refinement that new ones lack.

Rather than a shiny new table, you might prefer one that appears to have

been well-cared for and used carefully.

  • Potential vintage or unique designs

Used pool tables may be made in vintage or unique designs that are no longer

available on the new sale market. Even if they’re available, they’re likely to be custom jobs or require significant investment.

  • Quick availability

Many people looking to sell a used table want it gone relatively quickly; these

are large furniture items, after all, and take up a lot of space in a house where they are not wanted!

As a result, you’ll likely be able to take the table immediately after closing the deal.

  • Reduced environmental impact

Buying used means that you’re not impacting the environment further, as no

Additional materials are used or emissions produced in creating the table you buy.

  • Opportunity for customization or refurbishment

Old tables can need some restoration. If you’re interested in restoring furniture (and particularly in pool tables), then this might be just what you’re looking for!

This can also be a good chance to put your own spin on the table, as you won’t

be “ruining” a brand-new one.

  • Potential for high-quality craftsmanship

Some older tables have been hand-made by incredibly skilled craftspeople,

whether in part or completely As a result, buying used can get you a truly unique

and high-quality piece of furniture.

  • Value retention for certain brands or models

If you find a particularly high-quality brand or model of pool table second-hand, it may retain a significant proportion of its original value. This can mean that

buying it at a second-hand price is actually a great deal!

  • Immediate availability for use

There’ll be no waiting around for the table to be built; it’s there, ready and

waiting for you to use it!

This also means you can likely try it out before buying (depending on the current owner’s preferences) – something that might be more difficult to do with a new model.

  • Bargaining and negotiation

Unlike buying new, you might have a significant amount more leeway to bargain

with a used table seller.

Offering a lower price may be more likely to meet with success because they’ll often need to shift the table quickly, as well as the fact that it may not be in tip-top condition.

Considerations for Choosing Pre-Owned

When making sure you acquire a quality pre-owned pool table, you’ll have to check the following factors:

  • Does the table have a slate base? If not, it is likely to be poor quality and difficult to play on.
  • Does the table have a multi-piece slate base? If not, it will be very difficult to move as it cannot be disassembled in any way.
  • Are the legs even/does the table wobble? Fixing a wobbly table can be very difficult, and this is a sign you should think very carefully about continuing with your purchase.
  • Are any of the parts or surfaces in poor order, and how easy will it be/how much will it cost to replace them? If you are looking at replacing many parts, it might be cheaper and/or easier to buy new.
  • Is the manufacturer clearly observable, and are they reputable? If not, you may want to consider leaving this table alone, as you have no guarantee of its quality.

Considerations for Choosing New

Similarly, you’ll want to make sure you consider the following factors when choosing a new table:

  • As above, think about whether the table has a slate base, whether this base is multi-piece or not, and whether the manufacturer is reputable.
  • How long will it take for the table to be shipped to you/constructed?
  • Will it be easy and/or inexpensive to have the table shipped to you from the manufacturer? This is particularly important to consider if you are buying from an overseas supplier.
  • Does the table provide a significant improvement over a comparable older model? If not, you should consider going for the older model if you can find it in good condition.
  • What kind of warranty is offered with the table? With such a significant investment, you should prioritize a good warranty most of the time – especially between tables that offer similar features and price points.

Other Decision-making Factors

Personal preferences and priorities

These should be considered above all when purchasing anything – including a pool table!

Do you have particular personal preferences or priorities that you need to consider such as size, aesthetic choice, and other similar factors? How will you move it? Do you need a table with a three-piece or one-piece slate?

Budget constraints

If you have a limited budget, this should also be top of mind.

Depending on your budget, you may be able to choose between new and used pool tables; however, a lower budget may limit your choice to used tables.

Frequency and intensity of use

If you’ll be using your pool table frequently for professional-level play, you may want to consider investing in one that will stand the test of time. A new table might be best for this.

If it’s instead something you’ll use once every few weeks (or even less frequently) then you may be able to pick up a less enduring second-hand pool table with no major downside.

Future resale value

If you’re not planning to keep the table forever, then it may be worth considering your ability to resell it in the future.

New tables will depreciate quickly as they are used, so you should remember that they will likely be sold for much less than when you bought them.

However, this may still be a higher price than a second-hand pool table in poor condition with a lack of special character or design.

Some tables will increase in value as they age due to being made by a company that has closed down or having another notable feature.


Should I Buy a Table Without a Slate Bed?

Non-slate pool tables tend to be less easy to play on and will often introduce poor qualities to a game. If you can, you should steer clear of these.

How Hard is it to Move in a Pool Table?

This will depend on how hard it is to get into your house! However, everyone will need to consider how to transport this large item of furniture to their door.

There are specialist pool table movers who will be able to help you with this, but they come at a premium due to their specialized skill set.

Can I Get a Pool Table for Free?

Only if you’re lucky! Some people may want to get rid of an old pool table as long as you will take it away for them. However, these tables are generally not in good condition and moving costs can also be significant.


So, hopefully, you know a bit about what to look for when purchasing a pool table!

For a full guide, check out our pool table buying guide; don’t forget about making sure you have the right size table for your room, too!

We wish you many happy games on what will hopefully be the perfect table.