What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

For those who play billiards or pool, you may have paused to ask yourself or your group of friends a particular question. And this question is about “what are pool balls made of?”

In this article, we will provide intriguing answers to this question. So, we implore that you sit tight and keep reading.

What Are Pool Balls Made Of? Materials Once Used For Making Pool Balls

When you come across the question of what are pool balls made of, you must know a bit of the history of pool balls.

So, since the seventeenth century, manufacturers of pool balls have experimented with diverse materials when trying their best to make them.

Nevertheless, several ways one could make shots came up as the game improved. Meanwhile, some of the materials used in making pool balls from the seventeenth century till now include:

1. Wood

Wood was used in making the first set of pool balls since it was a readily available material and could be easily made into the shape of the pool ball.

And even though they were light, they could have offered better gameplay.


When it comes down to the question of what are pool balls are made of, you should note that ivory became quite popular and used in classifying owners’ wealth.

Nevertheless, the manufacturers of pool balls found it more appealing, and in no time, ivory pool balls were made. But then, most people did not appreciate the invention as they claimed that the shots were not durable.


Since there was a race to invent a pool ball, an inventor known as John Wesley Hyatt made some plastic after combining cellulose, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid. Understand that this nitro-cellular combination turned into plastic.

And this plastic is called Parkesine, which can be molded easily into balls. However, even with its solid core, it could explode swiftly, and there were gaps in its molecular structure


The inventor of this plastic-like material as far back as 1907 is none other than an American chemist. The material used was durable, simple to generate balls from, and had no explosive risk.

Materials Used For Making Pool Balls Today?

And when asked what are pool balls made of, so many people have no idea. Nevertheless, it must be noted that over eighty-five percent of the balls that are currently being manufactured are known to be made of phenolic resin.

Furthermore, you must know that Phenolic resin is regarded as a thermosetting plastic. And it means that once it is melted into where you want it, it cannot get melted again.

Understand that once you have looked at the outside of a pool ball, you have automatically seen the inside since its colors are solid all through.

Meanwhile, the color and numbers that are etched with black resin are the only difference.

Interestingly, the pool balls of today are made out of polyester resin. It is an alternative to phenolic resin but does not keep its shine like its counterpart. Plus, it tends to wear out faster.

Nevertheless, they are amazing for beginners, and you can upgrade to phenolic resin pool balls when you are better at the game.


On a general note, we have provided you with the answer to the question of what are pool balls made of. Ensure you read through to avoid being quiet when asked the question next time.


Are phenolic resin pool balls good?

Yes, they are. The majority of the best pool ball brands out there use phenolic resin in manufacturing their balls.

How is a pool ball made?

The best explanation is that the pool ball is made by placing the resin into a round mold and subjected to extreme pressure.

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