Moving a pool table without breaking your back or the bank

Moving Pool TableMoving a pool table sounds a lot easier than it actually is.  Weighing anywhere from 200-1000lbs., pool tables are extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver.  Disassembly, reassembly, and leveling can also present quite a challenge if you’ve never moved a pool table before.  If you decide to find pool table movers you’ll probably need to hire a 3 man crew that will run you $350-500.  But don’t let that discourage you.  Pool tables can be years of fun and well worth the moving expense if you can get your hands on one at a reasonable price.

If you’re lucky enough to have inherited a pool table or found a good deal on Craigslist, you’ll have to figure out how to move it. To move a pool table, you have three main options:

  1. Enlist some brawny friends and family members, rent or borrow a truck, and try to move the table yourself. 
    1. Cost: Free or cheap.  You’ll probably have to spend money on pizza, beers, and possibly a truck rental for $49.
    2. Benefit:  The price.
    3. Downside: You’ll end up owing a few big favors.  Pool tables are VERY heavy, especially if they are slate and it’s really easy to hurt yourself or your friends.  Plan to spend a whole day between breakdown, moving, and setup. 
  2. Hire regular movers and do the breakdown and setup yourself.

    1. Cost: This is a mid-priced option, and will cost you anywhere from $100-300
    2. Benefit: You can let strangers break their backs for you literally moving a ton of wood and stone.
    3. Downside: You’ll still have to disassemble, setup, and level your pool table which may not be as easy as you think.  Also, regular movers may not treat your pool table with the same love and care as specialized pool table movers.
  3. Find and hire professional pool table movers.

    1. Cost:   $350-800
    2. Benefit: You’ll have experienced movers that know a lot more about pool tables than you do.  They’ll be able to do the breakdown, setup, and leveling quickly because they’ve done it many times before.  And if you need any repairs done (like new parts or re-felting), they can provide those services at the same time, although likely at an extra charge.
    3. Downside: The price.

If you decide to find pool table movers, try to contact a few and use some of the same techniques you would use to negotiate with normal moving companies.

In my mind, hiring professional pool table movers is a no-brainer.  A couple extra dollars is worth the peace of mind (and avoidance of back-breaking labor).

Is the Pool Table Worth Moving?

In our current economy, not many people are buying expensive pool tables.  As a result, there are lots of bargains on quality used tables if you do your research.  Search Craigslist for local pool table listings to find some great deals (and always look for listings with photos).

One last consideration before spending money to move a used pool table, is to see if you can get a similar new table at the same price.  Here’s a good reference for pool table price ranges and considerations when pool table shopping.

I recently learned the hard-way that there is a big difference between the price to move a 3 piece slate versus a single piece slate pool table.  I inherited a single piece slate pool table that’s been in the family for 40 years.  Although I told the movers in advance, they assumed I was mistaken and that the pool table was actually 3 piece slate.  When they arrived to pick up the table, they refused to move it and told me it would be double the price ($700 instead of $350) and it would require a 5 man crew.   I decided to pass and re-evaluate my options.

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