"The balls roll funny for everybody, kiddo." – Eddie Felson, The Color of Money
Dimensional tolerance, balance, hardness, elasticity, surface density, fracture toughness, color consistency, and depth of finish are key attributes of any billiard ball, but the most challenging achievement of all is consistency within the set. If you want to keep it simple, all you really need to know is that the best billiard balls, in my experience, are produced by Saluc in Belgium under the Aramith brand name. Aramith offers a range of high quality ball sets to meet your requirements, from the Premier Set to the trademarked Tournament Set.
Lowest quality construction on the left, highest on the right. Note how the high quality phenolic ball on the right exhibits random and sharp fracture lines consistent with uniform properties and superior hardness, while the ball in the middle reveals it's non-uniformity with a preferred fracture plane.
Three different cue balls: Carom on the left, Pool in the center, and Snooker on the right.
This is an antique ivory cue ball, complete with surface cracks and irregularities. Natural materials cannot compete with modern phenolic resins, controlled curing and grinding processes, and hardened vitreous coatings. When it comes to billiard balls, you can have it all: high quality billiard balls will have precise and consistent rebound and roll, extreme durability, beautiful finish, less cloth wear, very long lifetime, and affordable prices.
A set of Aramith Premium billiard balls are provided with every Jacobi Billiards Manufacturing table.