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Brunswick vs Olhausen Pool Tables part 2

The most common question I receive on a daily basis from customers is still "who makes the better pool table Brunswick or Olhausen?"  I attempted to answer this question in my previous blog Olhausen vs Brunswick Pool Tables but since that was written Brunswick discontinued the Camden model that I used to compare the manufacturers.  The point of using the Brunswick Camden vs the Olhausen Santa Ana was to compare two middle price point tables with all the top of the line construction bells and whistles.

Today I am going to compare two tables designed to appeal to a much broader customer base and specifically engineered to hit a lower price point.  The majority of slate pool table sold in the US fall between $2,000 and $2,500 so lets compare Brunswick vs Olhausen Pool Tables in this more affordable price range.  Over the last 10 years we have two pool tables that are all time best sellers in this category.
The first table I would like to offer for comparison is the Brunswick Allenton.  This table is marketed under the Contender Line and is available through Costco, Sears, and some other mass merchant sellers.  The Allenton can still be purchased through the authorized Brunswick dealer network for the time being.  To compare I have our Olhausen Grace Pool Table.  The Grace by Olhausen is only available at Robbies Billiards Home & Patio and carries our Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee.  I am comparing these tables because they are very similarly priced, have a similar style, and are very popular for residential 1st time pool table buyers in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.  The finish on both tables is very consistent and durable.  Olhausen has a catalyzed lacquer finish with a matte texture and very smooth hand.  The Contender Allenton has a high gloss multi stage finish with a plastic like clear coat top layer for added durability.  If you like a more natural wood look the Olhausen finish is superior but the Brunswick finish may be more durable over time.
From an engineering standpoint the Brunswick Allenton and Olhausen Grace are very different.  The Allenton is made in Vietnam from South East Asian Hardwoods and Veneers, Plywood, and features Tru-speed cushion rubber (not Super Speed).  The base frame is shipped disassembled and must be built and squared on site in your home.  Brunswick builds a great knock down product but it is obvious the Allenton is not built to the same standards as the Brunswick Collection Tables that it imitates.  From the hardware to the packaging you can tell this table was built to hit a price point.  The Allenton features the same 1" tournament slate at the Brunswick Collection Tables but that is the only component of the Contender series shared with the higher end tables.

The Olhuasen Grace is a simple table with a solid Fruitwood cabinet and legs (better known as Poplar) and real Accu-Fast tournament cushions.  The rails are only 5" wide vs the 6.5" or wider rails on higher end Olhausen tables but they are real North American Rock Maple rails.  The cabinet is factory squared and pre-assembled but can be knocked down if needed to get into a tight space.   The slate is the same 1" tournament Brazilian slate that Olhausen uses on all of their pool tables and the entire table is built by hand in Tennessee.  Unlike the other Olhausen tables, however, you cannot custom build a Grace any way you like.  The Grace only comes in 7' or 8' and in Traditional Mahogany or Original Cherry wood finish options.  This is a concession to the price point and a great example of how an American company can stay competitively priced against China and Asian manufactured pool tables.

The verdict here is simple.  The Allenton is not a bad table by any means but is does not compare to the Brunswick Collection tables it apes.  If you are in the market for an import pool table you are still better off with the Contender line than other China made products. The Olhausen Grace is clearly a baby Olhausen but it still features everything that makes an Olhausen table special.  From the cushions to the hand built solid hardwood cabinet, you are still getting a real Olhausen when you buy a Grace.  If Made in the USA is still important to you then the debate is over.
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Lisa Chapman - December 1, 2018

I ran across this post as I searched Google for ‘olhausen versus brunswick’ – I’ve been shopping tables myself. While you have profiled these contenders at a lower price point, I am definitely more interested in the higher price point, more in line with the tables you covered in Part One, or above. I think a big part of my decision for buying a pool table is the investment aspect. I started by looking at Olhausen, partly because they are manufactured close to my home, outside of Nashville, TN. I like that they are also a family business and that each product is made right there in their manufacturing facility, which they showcase on their website: Very interesting to see the pictures of their operation. But I’m also drawn to Brunswick, for their reputation as a quality table, and the notion that Brunswick tables retain their value over generations. As to Olhausen’s ‘Lifetime Warranty’: – it is essentially the same as Brunswick’s warranty: Both benefit only the original purchaser, and neither one has an end date. They cover the same situations, which exclude normal wear and tear, etc. There are some differences, such as Brunswick doesn’t cover cloth or pockets. And notable, Olhausen covers shipping for repairs, unless it’s later than one year from date of purchase, in which case the owner pays. All-in-all, Olhausen’s warranty appears to a bit better – and the owner puts his picture and personal endorsement below the warranty on the website. But for my purposes, the Olhausen Lifetime Warranty is not significantly better. Not enough to put me over the line in making my choice. Right now, I’m in discussion with Glenn, one of the owners of Nashville Billiard & Patio, right here in my hometown of Nashville. They do a lot of work with antique pool tables, and in fact, sometimes they sell them before they can even get them on the website I’m considering this option strongly because #1 an antique table is so beautiful, and sings of quality, and #2 it’s an automatic investment that holds it value, appreciates, and can be handed down. I’m liking that idea the more I think about it. Perhaps this will help others who shop pool tables, wondering about the warranty issue. Thanks for the opportunity to share this info.

Terry A Livermore - February 1, 2015

I’m a patriot, an o’le Marine. I buy nothing from communist county’s. Seems lots of furniture today is made in Vietnam. If you gave me a pool table from Vietnam I would not except it. (:<). So I ’m proud of your company. Terry

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