Pin specifications for standard tenpins are set by the United States Bowling Congress. Pins are 4.75 inches wide at their widest point and tall. They weigh 3 lb, 6 oz, although in 1998 pins weighing were approved.
Duckpins are shorter and squatter than standard tenpins. Canadian fivepins are between duckpins and tenpins in size, but have a thick, inch-wide rubber band around the widest part of the pin to increase pin action when struck. Candlepins are not similar to the others; they are tallest of all at 15-3/4 inches, but only 2-15/16 inches wide and in weight. They are nearly cylindrical in shape and resemble candles, hence their name. Unlike other bowling pins, candlepins may be set on either end.
Bowling pins are constructed by gluing blocks of hard rock maple wood into the vague shape, and then turning it on a lathe. After the lathe shapes the pin, it is coated with a plastic material, painted, and finally covered with a glossy finish. Because of the scarcity of suitable wood, efforts to make an all-plastic bowling pin have been undertaken for several years.
Juggling clubs are often mistaken for bowling pins due to their similar shape. The two vary greatly in construction and weight.