Will Hunt, 1983-Present
Will Hunt has been making fine quality cues under his own name in London, England, since 1983. Before then, Will worked in a small, windowless workshop at Camberwell Green for Dave Hart, making unbranded Snooker Cues and cases as well as doing repair jobs. As Will was generally left alone to do the work he picked up many invaluable skills as well as contacts. He eventually left.
In 1983 he founded Hunt and O’Byrne with business partner Dave O'Byrne which at the beginning of the 1980’s resurrected bespoke hand made cues; they produced arguably the best cues in the world at the time.
Hunt & O'Byrne manufactured machine spliced Red-Plate Cues, hand spliced Green Plate Cues and hand crafted Black Plate Cues. They revolutionised cue-making by inventing the 3/4 (butt-jointed) cue, being the first to stain cue shafts (beginning the craze for "mature ash") which Will first attempted with a tea bag, and by being the first to sink nameplates into the butt rather than screwing them onto the flat section.
In the mid-late 80's over 50% of professional Snooker Players were using Hunt & O'Byrne cues, including Jimmy White, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Alex Higgins, John Parrott, Cliff Thorburn, Tony Meo, Mike Hallett, David Taylor, John Virgo and Steve James (to name but a few).
In the 1991 world championship final, both Jimmy White and John Parrott were using Hunt & O'Byrne cues; John Parrot won, only to have his championship winning cue stolen at Bangkok Airport.
After Hunt & O'Byrne officially ended in 1992 the brand enjoyed a short-lived revival in the mid 90's when Will took up making Hunt & O'Byrne Black Plate Cues and, for the first time, he serialised them.
Eventually Will wanted to change from Hunt & O'Byrne and left behind his well-established brand in favour of "Will Hunt London"; this was different to Hunt & O'Byrne in that every Will Hunt London cue from this era was a Black Plate and had the serial number stamped into the wood above the plate.
You will see different examples of nameplates used in the original Will Hunt - London period. There are plates with "Will Hunt London" in black with no other writing, plates with "Will Hunt London" written in green with "Hand Made" stamped in black, and plates with "Will Hunt London" written in black with "Hand Made" stamped in green.
In 2006 Will Hunt partnered up with his former employee Robert Osborne and "Hunt & Osborne" began. Hunt & Osborne had 4 grades of cue available: Red Plate, Blue Plate, Green Plate, and Black Plate.
In 2011 Will decided to exit Hunt & Osborne and re-entered Will Hunt (London). Will Hunt (London) has 3 grades of Snooker Cue: Green Plate (un-serialised until October 2016), Brown Plates (available only in China since June 2017), and the infamous Black Plates.
Will has been working with Tim Curtis since 2014 and the two produce the highest quality cues on the market and will continue to do so for a long time yet.
Will Hunt (London) Green Plate Cues have been available since 2011 but they simply read "Will Hunt London" in green lettering up until October 2016. Since then every Green Plate has a serial number. The reason for this was the forgery market. There were many reports of fake Will Hunt (London) cues from around the world; since serialisation commenced there have been far fewer.
Will Hunt (London) Brown Plate Cues have been available in China since May 2017. These are made exclusively for our sole-trader in China, Li Jing Shan. They are the middle-range and will often be made with larger tips to be used in Chinese and American 8-Ball pool.
Will Hunt (London) Black Plate Cues have been available since 2011 and are without a shadow of a doubt the highest-quality cues on the market.