Is it important to remove the mushroomed edges of a tip?

If your tip is properly shaped tip and you are hitting the cueball within the non-miscue zone, the extreme edge of the tip doesn’t come into play (e.g., see the diagrams in “Draw Shot Primer – Part VII: tips of english” – BD, July, 2006).

However, removing the mushroomed edges does:

  • make the tip look prettier, and it might be less visually distracting to some.
  • feel better if you happen to pull the tip back through your bridge during your stroke (which isn’t recommended).

For more info, see tip size and shape effects.

For a simple way to remove tip mushrooming, see the quote below and the sanding procedure described and demonstrated on the replacing a tip resource page.

from RSB FAQ:

Tips can also mushroom, meaning that the leather bulges at the sides so that the tip is wider than the ferrule. Most pool players prefer to remove this bulge. The best way is to use a lathe, but there are other methods too. Fine sandpaper (600 grit or finer) can be used, but some care should be taken not to scratch the ferrule. Cutting tools designed especially for this purpose are available, and pocket knives and razor blades can also be used, but utmost care should be taken to avoid ferrule damage. A homemade jig can be devised with a wood block, sandpaper, and slick magazine paper to help avoid ferrule damage; the process is described below. After the mushroom bulge has been removed, the edge of the tip can be polished by wetting the sides and rubbing the leather edge firmly against the cloth on the top of a cushion or against a leather pad.

To “demushroom” the edge of the tip, get a piece of sandpaper, #120 to #600 depending on the state of the tip, a block of wood or a large sharpening stone, a piece of paper, perhaps thicker than notebook paper, and a magazine. Place the components like this as seen from the side on a very flat surface:

BBBBBBBBBBBBB ppppppppppppppppppppppppppp MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
sssssssssssssSSSSssssssssssssssssss MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Tape the near and far sides of the paper down. Now place the stick so the tip is butted against the block BBB, while the joint end is on the magazine MMM. Adjust the separation between the paper pppp and the block so that it is just the thickness of the tip. Only the side of the tip will touch the exposed sandpaper at SSSS. The ferrule will be resting on the paper. Now holding the shaft near the ferrule, rub the stick back and forth on the narrow exposed strip of sandpaper. If the paper is taped to the table, but the sandpaper is not, the latter can be easily slid to expose a new strip as necessary. The magazine may or may not be necessary to give the tip a little bevel — you may want to make the first cuts without the magazine if the tip has a lot of mushrooming. The main trick here is to keep turning the shaft as you slide it back and forth on the sandpaper. To finish the tip, wet it and rub it in the same way but on the paper rather than the sandpaper.

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