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Pool Table Reviews

Posted on February 28, 2014 | 0 comments
Over the years I have written pool table buyers guides from the perspective of a local family retailer in Maryland since 1954.  The pool table reviews include tables from Brunswick Billiards, Olhausen Billiards, and many other companies and are kept in our Blog page.  Here is a full list of our pool table reviews so you can compare and shop some of the best selling pool tables in Maryland, Virginia, and DC right here at Robbies Billiards Home & Patio.  There are also links to our most popular buyers guides, enjoy!
Olhausen Americana Pool Table Review

Aramith Fusion Dining Pool Table Review

Brunswick Tremont Pool Table Review

Cuszoom Pool Table Review

How much room do I need for a pool table?

Pool Table vs Shuffleboard Table:  What should I get?

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Olhausen vs Brunswick Pool Tables

Posted on November 18, 2013 | 0 comments


As an Authorized Pool Table Dealer in Maryland for both Brunswick Billiards (since 1967) and Olhausen Billiards (since 2007) we are often asked by customer which company makes the better pool table:  Brunswick or Olhausen?  This is like asking "Who makes the better car, Ford or Chevrolet?"  Fans of either manufacturer will always be loyal to their brand, but I will try and objectively examine the pros and cons of the two largest pool table manufacturer's in the world.
First of all, we need to distinguish between the different price points of pool tables made by Brunswick and Olhausen.  At the time of this blog entry www.brunswickbilliards.com lists pool tables on their web site anywhere from $1,799 to $39,999 in price.  Olhausen Billiards does not list MSRP prices but they start around $2,150 and the sky is the limit for custom built one-off tables.  It is impossible to compare pool tables apples to apples at such varied price points.  Both companies have "value" branded tables with cost cutting engineering, and in the case of Brunswick, an import China made group of tables marketed as Contender by Brunswick.  To be fair you need to look at tables in the mid price point that feature top of the line engineering but not excessive ornamentation to drive the price point up.  Lets say between $3,000 and $5,000 MSRP.

A great head to head comparison between Olhausen and Brunswick is the Brunswick Camden Pool Table vs the Olhausen Santa Ana Pool Table.  They both have an MSRP of around $4,000 and feature all of the top features and engineering standards available to the respective manufacturers.  Both the Olhausen and the Brunswick are top selling pool tables in Maryland and around the rest of the country.
Both tables feature solid hardwood construction with no MDF, Veneer, Composite Wood, or glued together finished wood.  This is the real deal solid kiln dried lengths of lumber only on both tables.  Olhausen uses primarily North American sourced hard maple, although any wood is available as this table is custom built to order.  Brunswick uses South American hardwoods on the Camden, including JequitibaJequitiba is a species of hardwood known for its similarity to Mahogany and uniform grain and texture.  Both the Maple on the Olhausen Santa Ana and the Jequitiba/Poplar combo on the Brunswick Camden are beautiful in person, uniformly hard and durable, and match modern wood accents in the home. 
One of the largest differences between Olhausen and Brunswick construction is the "Knock Down" cabinet of the Brunswick vs the pre-built "Uniliner" framed cabinet built by Olhausen.  While the factory squared and perfectly stable base frame of the Olhausen is impossible to beat, not everyone can get that large a piece of furniture into the room pre-assembled.  Brunswick builds the hands down best Knock Down cabinet in the industry, with almost flawless construction perfected by tens of thousands of mass-produced units.  Olhausen does boast better "minimum cabinet deflection", but as impressive as these tolerances are they will not effect the roll of a 6oz billiard ball.
The most hotly contested element of the Brunswick vs Olhausen debate is the cushion rubber:  Olhausen Accu-Fast vs Brunswick Super Speed Cushions.  Both feature laboratory testing for consistency, patented manufacturing techniques, and decades of tournament professional play.  In the end this comes down to personal preference as they do feel different when you play on the Santa Ana then switch to the Camden.  More serious pool players do tend to prefer the Santa Ana if only because the pocket openings are 1/4" tighter than the Camden for more challenging play.
Overall most people would be lucky to own either the Olhausen Santa Ana or the Brunswick Camden Pool Table.  If you like the idea of custom building a table with your wood finishes, rail sights, or you just like Made in the USA furniture the Olhausen Santa Ana is an easy choice.  If you want a designer pool table with 160 years of brand heritage and the signature Brunswick roll and rebound don't hesitate to bring a Camden home!  Both tables are available at your local Robbies Billiards Home & Patio Showroom.

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Olhausen York Shuffleboard Table Review

Posted on September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Today we take a look at Olhausen Billiards best selling home shuffleboard table, the York.  The Olhausen York Shuffleboard is featured in our Maryland showrooms if you want to "kick the tires" and see why this is such a popular model.  Olhausen Billiards in Tennessee is the largest US based manufacturer of Pool Tables, Shuffleboard Tables, and other quality Made in the USA home entertainment goods. 

Olhausen products are available through a trusted network of local established authorized factory retailers, like Robbies Billiards & Patio. The York is a transitional style shuffleboard table made in Tennessee with hundreds of custom options.  Sizes range from 9' to 22' tournament length and recreational 16" wide to full 20" wide finger joined rock maple play surfaces.  The cabinets can be custom made in a variety of wood species and finish stains, just like every custom made Olhausen game table.  In Maryland Shuffleboard Tables tend to sell well in Maple Wood with a Dark Cherry, Mahogany, or Black Onyx finishes.  The most popular size shuffleboard for homes in Maryland, Virginia, and DC is the 12' Length.

 
Style:  The York Shuffleboard Table features a transitional solid leg with a square tapered cabinet similar to the style of the Olhausen York Pool Table.  There is a subtle routing on the "blind" or side of the play surface cradle.  The overall balance and style blend well with most traditional or even modern style game rooms.  The popularity of the York Shuffleboard Table comes from its versatility in any home.  It is not a trendy or old school design, rather it falls somewhere in between.  Some customers are indifferent to the York style, but no one absolutely hates the look of this table making it a very good design chameleon.
Grade:  A-

 
Construction:  Like all Olhausen Game Tables, the York Shuffleboard is custom made to order in Tennessee out of select hardwoods.  The main component of any Shuffleboard Table is the play surface, and Olhausen knows their boards.  With a virtually indestructible poured lacquer over finger joined Canadian Rock Maple, this play surface will last for decades in either 16" or full 20" tournament size.  Olhausen has developed their own patented "leveling" system made up of wooden climatizers to adjust the play surface as room conditions change.  Our experience is these boards are on par with the industry standard by Champion Shuffleboard.  The real difference is in the cabinet:  No one builds a better looking better quality cabinet than Olhausen.  With the stain and wood options the York can be build just about any way you like.  The kicker is that Olhausen is the only shuffleboard manufacturer in the industry with a full Lifetime Factory Warranty on the Play Surface AND the Cabinet.  That is an unbeatable guarantee and sets the Olhausen York Shuffleboard apart from the competition.
Grade:  A


Value:  The York Shuffleboard table has so many custom size, wood, and finish options we have a tough time putting it in a specific price range.  Even fully decked out, however, this table seldom exceeds $6,000 other than in tournament sizes.  Combined with the customization options, bullet proof play surface, and lifetime warranty on all wood components (something no other manufacturer currently offers!) the York is a solid value however you speck it out.  If you can live with the 16" wide recreational play surface option the York is priced competitively with many imported and off brand tables.  That makes this Shuffleboard table a great Made in the USA alternative for any value seeking buyer.
Grade:  A-

Overall:  The Olhausen York Shuffleboard Table is a best selling at Robbies Billiards & Patio in Maryland, Virginia, and DC for a reason.  The transitional "go anywhere" style, the personalized custom wood, size, and finish options, and the unbeatable Olhausen Lifetime Warranty on the entire board (not just the play surface) make the York our 1st choice for home entertainment.

Final Grade:  A-

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Best Selling Pool Tables of 2012

Posted on November 19, 2012 | 0 comments

 It has been a great year so far at Robbies with our new "Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee Program" combined with our premium vendors like Brunswick, Olhausen, and Legacy Billiards, especially in the Pool Table category.  Our Kensington Maryland "Design Center" draws a very diverse range of customers looking for everything under the Sun to complete their vision for a dream entertainment space.  Styles are changing and customer taste varies from Maryland, to Virginia, to DC, then out to the rural areas of West Virginia.  We would like to present a list of our most popular and best selling pool tables of 2012.  This list is not necessarily by volume but also by price range, showroom presence, and intangible "hotness". 


 The La Condo by Canada Billiard

This is the ultimate dual purpose dining table pool table combination for real billiard enthusiasts.  This is your only option in three piece slate construction built at 29" high Dining Chair height in the industry.  Combined with incredibly solid Birch wood components, custom finish options, and six different designs the La Condo surprised us at how popular the right kind of high end modern table can be.  The La Condo is featured in our Kensington Showroom and we are the exclusive dealer of Canada Billiard custom pool tables in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area.



The Grace by Olhausen Billiards

What is there to say about the Grace that has not already been covered HERE?  It is the only Solid Hardwood American Made table in this price range with a Lifetime Guarantee, Stunning Original Cherry Wood Finish, and a universal transitional style that works in just about any setting.  The Grace has been a strong table in every market, but in 2012 the Grace became our number one best selling pool table.  The Grace is available to see in every Robbies Billiards Maryland Showroom.






The Glenwood by Brunswick Billiards

The traditional style ball & claw leg arched cabinet pool table is a long time favorite everywhere.  The Glenwood by Brunswick Billiards is a premium example of this type of pool table: elegant lines combined with premium construction and a lifetime warranty from a 175 year old company.  Brunswick comes very close to the "custom" category with the Glenwood by offering five different leg options, five different wood finishes, and 7' 8', or 9' Lengths.  This is our best selling Brunswick Pool table five years running and can be seen in any Robbies Showroom.





The Hampton by Olhausen Billiards

The Hampton is a new style of table that combines modern proportion with a traditional aesthetic.  Olhausen also hit a huge trend in the addition of built in cue and accessory storage drawers on the Hampton, and most buyers chose this optional upgrade.  The carved panels on the Hampton also make it the perfect home for wiped and antiqued wood finish options that are exclusive to Olhausen custom furniture.  The Hampton is also a very reasonable priced table compared to almost everything on the market with this level of style and customization.  We try to feature the Hampton in all of our showrooms but this table is often sold out!






The Chicago by Olhausen Billiards

The modern style Pool Table has finally hit the mainstream with the Chicago by Olhausen Billiards.  This was the sleeper hit of 2012 in our Kensington Showroom and was the number one Mid to Upper end Olhausen sold this year.  Many customers see the Chicago as a more traditional style table in medium and dark mahogany wood finishes.  We tend to show the Chicago in uber chic Matte Black Lacquer on Maple, but that is the great thing about custom tables!  Pictures do not do this table justice as it looks a little "off" on paper, but in person your jaw will drop.  Check out the Chicago in our Kensington Design Center and make it your own.

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Best Pool Tables Under $2,000

Posted on November 01, 2012 | 1 comment

 Very few new pool tables fall into the highly affordable sub $2,000 price range.  Early in the 2000's oversees manufacturing began to drive down the cost of entry level slate pool tables.  Before 2001 your main option under $2,000 was an ugly laminate box with 3/4" slate and plastic pockets.  These "basement dwellers" were an eye sore but played fairly well and still lurk in many Man Caves.  Much has changed with the advent of import pool tables and less expensive manufacturing techniques.  You will not find many premium tables for under 2 Grand as most of what you see online is "off brand" and available from fly-by-night drop shippers running web site only stores.  If you know where to look, however, there are some VERY good deals to be had for less than $2,000.  Here is our list of the Best Pool Tables for under $2,000.




The Grace is the only American Made Pool Table to make our list and remains a huge seller in Maryland, Virginia, and even DC.  It is not hard to see why.  The Grace has simple appealing lines that are design neutral, looking just as good in a contemporary setting as a traditional one.  The table is solid hardwood as well, something else almost unheard of in a sub $2,000 pool table.  The dark Original Cherry finish is flat-out the nicest looking "black cherry" finish at this price anywhere in the USA or China.  Finally, it has a real Lifetime Warranty from Olhausen Billiards, the largest custom manufacturer in the United States.  The only drawback is the Grace only comes in 8' with no customization or finish options.  That is a minor compromise when you get so much for around what you would spend on these comparable tables!  If you want to pick your own wood finish, legs, need size options, or just want to make it your own, start looking at pool tables in this range.










The best selling table in our Williamsport Maryland showroom for three years running is the Legacy Billiards Rylee pool table.  The import Rylee with its "perfect corner" construction, solid hardwood, and Carved Ball and Claw leg hardly looks like a table that would be well under $2,000.  Combine that with Five wood finish options, three leg options, 7' or 8' sizes available, and you have a game changer.  With a lifetime warranty from the largest stocking manufacturer on the east coast, the Legacy Rylee is a serious piece of  equipment for half the price of similar models from competitors.  Legacy might not be as well know as Brunswick or Olhausen, but with tables like the Rylee it will not be long before everyone knows the name.







While the Contender series Brunswick tables do not have the same construction as higher end "Brunswick Collection" pool tables, they are still very well built and last for years.  The best selling table in the group is the Brunswick Tremont, a simple but elegant carved leg table almost a third of the price of similar style tables in the Brunswick Collection.  The Tremont is so popular we decided to bundle it up with a rack, a ping pong top, accessories, and delivery for $2,499.  While this might not be a solid hardwood heirloom pool table you can rest assured it has the industries best Lifetime Warranty from the 160 year old Brunswick Billiards Company.  The Tremont only comes in 8' size with ball and claw legs and the Chestnut finish, but that just happens to be our most popular combination anyway!




The Black Wolf is a throw back to the days of Laminate "ball return" style tables sold primarily during the 70's and 80's.  Boy things are looking up with the Brunswick Black Wolf.  Starting under $2,000 you can even get a Ball Return System, something almost completely gone from the modern pool table industry.  If retro cool mixed with a modern color scheme is your cup of tea the Black Wolf delivers.  Wide Rails?  Check.  Heavy duty dent and mar resistant laminate?  Check.  Real three piece diamond honed 1" Framed Slate (same slate as sits on all Brunswick Tables, even THIS ONE!)  Check.  Lifetime Warranty, even on the cushion rubber?  Check.  The style is not for everyone but the Man Cave still needs tables like the Black Wolf and even your wife can't complain when you get all of this for under 2 Grand.

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Best Pool Tables for Vacation Homes

Posted on September 27, 2012 | 0 comments

 Over the years we have traveled deep into the West Virginia Appalachian mountains and to beach homes on Maryland's Eastern Shore helping customers outfit vacation homes or rental properties.  Other than a Hot Tub, the Pool Table is the ultimate recreation activity of choice for upscale vacation homes in this area.  Because we have experience setting so many different styles of pool tables here is a list of the "best selling" pool tables for Vacation Homes in Maryland, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, and even Southern Pennsylvania.


The Brunswick Black Wolf Pool Table is first on our list because we sell so many of these for vacation rentals just about anywhere.  The style is retro modern and definitely does not fall into the furniture category.  This is the table you expect renters or kids to beat up a bit and still look pretty good.  Thanks to a high pressure laminate rail, plastic pockets, and heavy duty plywood construction this table certainly takes a beating.  With an MSRP of only $2,159 it is priced very low for a Contender Brunswick Pool Table, so it makes good financial sense as well.  The Black Wolf is not a showpiece, but it is a perfect diversion in between cruising on the lake or hitting beach.

Another strong seller for both vacation homes and rentals is the Legacy Billiards Ryan Pool Table.  The Ryan has gone by a few different 
names over the years, but the design is essentially the same:  tapered legs, leather pockets, minimal carving, and a medium stain on oak wood.  The Legacy Ryan is an import table that stands out as one of the very few remaining imports in Oak.  At one point in the late 90's / early 00's Oak was fairly common but with changing furniture trends most manufacturer's have phased out the "old school" medium oak pool table in this price range.  With an MSRP of only $1,999 the Legacy Ryan Pool Table is a steal for your traditional mountain cabin or lake front get away.

For someone looking to really outfit their traditional mountain cabin look no further than the Olhausen Ponderosa Pool Table.  Every Ponderosa is truly one of a kind, as each table is hand crafted from select pieces of American Pine Logs fitted over a premium Olhausen sub frame, slate, and top of the line accu-fast rails.  Every detail is labored over by the master craftsman at Olhausen Billiards.   From the heavily knotted and distressed wood to the Buffalo Nickel rail sights, the Ponderosa is true showpiece that will define any space it occupies.  The Olhausen Ponderosa is not for the casual buyer with an MSRP of $5,499 but that can be considered a steal compared to other tables of this type.











If you have a little "ranch" in Western Maryland somewhere you have to check out the Olhausen Laredo Pool Table.  This totally unique 
design features custom corrian stone at the base of each Boot carved leg, hand inlaid cowboy rail sights, and legendary Olhausen construction through out.  Every little detail is custom, even the rail sights feature a ranch hand on horseback!  As far as pricing goes you had better be a successful ranch owner because MSRP is over $10,000 for this dogie.









When we think of the ultimate theme pool table on the market today we can't help imagining a custom nautical themed room in a beach front mansion.  The table that lives in that posh space is nothing other than the Brunswick Isabella.  There are too many high end touches on this table to mention in one paragraph, but highlights include Lapis Lazuli stone inlay, silver castings, exotic hardwoods, and a "free" matching cue rack.  The Isabella Pool Table reminds us of a 50 million dollar super yacht in a sea of tug boats.  With an MSRP of Forty Grand you might need to sell that yacht to afford this limited edition status symbol.

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BCA Trade Show 2011 Fall Product Preview

Posted on August 05, 2011 | 0 comments

Welcome again from the Billiard Congress of America annual trade show!  Vegas was the venue and the new product introductions were almost as hot as the weather.  Major trends this year included more custom high end product than ever for those recession proof home entertainers (or those of us just dreaming).  Here are some highlights:

 

New for Fall 2011 is the Olhausen Games Furniture Air Hockey.  Buyers can take any Olhausen Billiards 7' Pool Table and have a commercial grade Air Hockey table surface instead of a pool table play surface.  Made in the USA, talk about custom!

This is one of the coolest thing at the show this year: The Darafeev "Mann" spectator chair Cigar Aficionado Edition.  Not only is this the only sprung seat reclining spectator chair made, this edition features a built in Cigar Humidor, hidden extendable cigar ash trays, drink holders, and storage for cutters, matches, and anything else you would need in a high-end gentleman's lounge!  Totally unique custom built and priced around $1,995.

Last but not least, this is a prototype for a new production pool table by Brunswick Billiards.  Available in Port finish on solid mahogany and featuring stainless steel accents this is going to be a hot seller for years to come!  Tournament wide rails for the discriminating player and high end styling, all projected to sell for under $5,000!  Might want to pre-order this one because it is sure to sell out by Thanksgiving.

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