Various Pool Table Rail Issues and Solutions

When properly maintained, higher-quality rails can last at least 25 years, while lower-quality rails may only last ten years. Naturally, this depends on whether there has been any misuse. This should be considered a big issue on the list of priorities when looking for new pool table rails. When it comes to replacements, investing extra cash upfront in high-quality options will result in cost savings on the road when you use them.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the frequency of use directly affects how long the rubber covering the table lasts (the cloth – not so much). Rubber ages more quickly in hot, dry environments; therefore, rails on a pool table kept in direct sunlight are more likely to break down sooner than rails preserved in a darker, moister environment, like a basement. This is due to the fact that prolonged exposure to hot and dry weather can speed up rubber’s aging process.

Rails may also experience other problems, such as faulty cushion rubber attachment to the rail wood, loose rail bolts, or rail fabric. These additional potential issues are listed below: Poor cushion rubber attachment to rail wood, deterioration of the rail fabric, and loose rail bolts are some more rail-related issues that may emerge.

The Red Flags That the Rails Need to be Replaced

There are a number of ways to determine whether or not the rails on your pool table need to be replaced, including those described in the following paragraphs.

By continually pressing down on the cushions with your fingertips, you can exert pressure on them. They must be able to puncture the material by a minimum of one-eighth of an inch. The cushions won’t be usable and will have an uncomfortable density if this doesn’t happen.

The most crucial factor, however, is that the cushion should revert to its original shape once the pressure is lifted. Run your fingertips over the chair’s bottom railings and all the way around it as you do this. Run your fingertips down the playing surface’s underside of the cushion to feel for any creases or worn tracks in the fabric. You may use any worn grooves or tracks that you find across.

The table’s ability to return the ball to play can be determined by rolling a ball along its shorter side. This approach is great for evaluating the table. Before allowing the ball to come to a stop, it is suggested that it be given three to four bounces. You might need to buy new rails for the pool table if the ball doesn’t make this many bounces (presuming the table is adequately built, and the nose of the cushion is at the appropriate height).

If you’re looking for a benchmark, try playing the same hand at a different table in a neighborhood bar or pool hall to determine if the bounce there is superior to the bounce where you’re sitting right now.

The ball will produce noises as it moves back and forth between the two locations, so pay close attention to them. Compare the outcomes from this table to those from other tables, if at all possible. Do the other tables seem to have a sound or atmosphere that is more “springy” than this one? The rails may need to be fixed if it consistently makes a thumping noise.

A pounding noise could mean that the cloth is hanging free, the bolts are loose, or the rubber has separated from the backing board.

Why Should You Replace Your Rails, and What Are Some of the Most Vital Arguments?

There are a few more factors to take into account before making your purchase when choosing new rails for your pool table. Rubber that has been vulcanized is the material of choice for the majority of pool table rails. This suggests that some of the rubber’s suppleness has been lost while the material has been strengthened. Think about how a tire or a hockey puck is shaped. Both items are constructed of rubber and are extremely durable.

The quality of the rubber may vary from one brand to the next because synthetic rubber can also be vulcanized. Doing some research before making a purchase is crucial because the material may vary from one manufacturer to the next.

Other profiles that are frequently used for rubber are K55, K66, and U23; each of these profiles has advantages and problems of its own. The nose of the rubber should make contact with the ball at a level appropriate to its shape. This, however, is not the most crucial element of the rubber’s design.

The replacement rails you choose must be appropriate to the size of the table they will be used on. Make sure you have the right measurements before you purchase the table. You must do this in order to buy the table.

What Function Do the Pool Table Rails Serve?

Your railings will determine the path the ball travels. The quality and hardness of the pool rails dictate how and at what angle the balls move when they make contact with them. After striking the rails, the balls move the same amount of distance. This is important because the quality and hardness affect the balls’ overall motion as well as how they move when they come into contact with the rails. A pool table’s meticulously constructed rails ensure that the ball will bounce consistently no matter where it lands, even if it is in a different area of the table.

The rails also control how quickly the game moves. Some of the energy gained from the bounce will be utilized in an unanticipated way if the rails are either too high or too low. As a result, a ball will travel a shorter distance when it bounces since it will disperse its energy randomly. This is so because using a bounce’s energy to move in a straight line makes the most sense.

If the rails are wrong by even an eighth of an inch, the balls could “jump” as they bounce off of them. When the rails are not properly aligned, this could occur. The balls’ excessive force in impacting the rails is what causes this.


In 1986, when we first opened our doors, we were a repair shop for pinball and arcade games. Since then, we have developed competence in providing replacement pool table rails as well as other goods and services associated with this sector of the economy. For additional details, please visit our website at


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Wayne Martin