Table of Contents
- 1 HOW TO SELECT BEST PING PONG PADDLE SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR STYLE AND REQUIREMENTS
- 2 TIPS FOR BUYING TABLE TENNIS RACKETS
- 3 Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Ping Pong Paddles in the Market
- 4 10 Best Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
- 4.1 #1 STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket
- 4.2 #2 STIGA Evolution Table Tennis Racket
- 4.3 #3 Killerspin JET800 SPEED N1 Table Tennis Paddle
- 4.4 #4 Killerspin JET200: Best ping pong paddle for beginner
- 4.5 #5 STIGA Titan Table Tennis Racket
- 4.6 #6 DHS HURRICANE-I Tournament Table Tennis Racket
- 4.7 #7 STIGA Performance 2-Players Table Tennis Set
- 4.8 #8 Killerspin JET600 Tennis Paddle
- 4.9 #9 STIGA Supreme Table Tennis Racket
- 4.10 #10 Butterfly 401 Shakehand Table Tennis Racket
- 5 All We Need to Know about Ping Pong Paddles
- 5.1 What is the size of a ping pong paddle?
- 5.2 A paddle is composed of two components
- 5.3 Choosing an ideal paddle – Readymade Vs Customized
- 5.4 The Blades- what are they made of?
- 5.5 The types of blades:
- 5.6 Choosing a blade category as per your Playing Style
- 5.7 Choosing the Rubber which complements your Playing Style
- 5.8 Three main differences that you need to be aware of-
- 6 Conclusion
Table Tennis is a beloved indoor sport loved by most of us. It may look easy but can take a whole lot of your energy. If you are looking forward to elevating your ping pong skills, then let me tell one thing, your game will mostly depend on the type of paddle you use.
It seems uncanny but is the truth. You can characterize a ping pong paddle depending on your playing style. That is, paddles come with different built and framework and as per your requirements, you can use it for defense, for spin or even for speed.
Well, there is no such thing as the best ping pong paddle. All the paddles are unique in its own way. It is the player who determines which paddle suits him/her the most. Your playing format can help you in determining the best suitable paddle.
But before storming into the sports store for purchasing a new paddle, you should know how to determine the paddle that suits you.
HOW TO SELECT BEST PING PONG PADDLE SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR STYLE AND REQUIREMENTS
Just like you, most of us got mesmerised by how good some players were and how they chose their best paddles. However, time and research happened, and we learnt a few things about how to buy the best ping pong paddles. These considerations include:
THE TYPE OF PADDLE
There are two main types of ping pong paddles – the manually assembled paddles and the factory assembled paddles. Which one is the best? To answer this question, you ought to respond to another question – how often do you play? The frequency with which you play determines how long a paddle lasts and this directly relates to the type of paddle chosen. Here is a secret, if looking for a paddle that will last long (everyone does this) go for the manually assembled paddles rather than factory assembled paddles.
Even though the runner dries out after a few uses, a manually assembled paddle – though expensive, has more resilient materials incorporates in the design compared to factory assembled paddles. The former is also customizable, and you can change the rubber as often as you need to.
TYPE OF BLADE
The blade determines how you hit the ping pong on the table tennis table. For this reason, different companies use various types of materials as they look for ways of conquering the market. The main types of blades on the market include the use of single or mixed materials. The single materials include carbon, Kevlar, Zylon, fibreglass, and Aralyte. Mixed materials incorporate the use of carbon with Kevlar, aralyte, or Zylon.
Even though the blade determines the kind of handle you use, you should also consider getting a paddle whose handle has a grip that feels good. The following are the main types of handles you can pick:
A flared handle: this is the most common type of handle. It features a handle that is thinner at the top and flares slightly towards the bottom.
Straight handle: this handle has a uniform width throughout. It comes in three variations – rounded, flat and square. The rounded straight handle works with normal blades, the flat handle work for oversized and defensive blades, and the square handle is a newer handle on the market.
Anatomic handle: this handle is similar to the flared handle except for the widened middle section. This midsection bump makes the handle fit well in your hand.
Special handles: these are common for players with disabilities.
Donic Dotec handles: these are the most comfortable handles, and they are a big step from anatomic handles. They are preferably by individuals with injuries on their wrists.
Are you an aggressive player, a control-oriented or a player who is highly dependent on spins (defensive pro)? Are you a beginner, an intermediate player, or a pro?
If you are a beginner, you need not worry about the blade options and the different rubbers available. You need to focus on learning how to play, and this means that you need a paddle that isn’t too fast or too slow. It should have a larger spot to get the ball over the net. However, this doesn’t mean buying cheap paddles because they will cost you later on.
For intermediate players, you may consider getting a customised paddle (manually assembled) as well as rubber for your forehand and backhand. You also have to consider the blade – is it light, heavy or defensive?
For advanced players, a customised paddle with a super-fast, super-durable, super-spinny and a super-control power. You will also need the best blade for a high level of performance in the game. For power and spin, look at the blade. For smashing, you will also need more blade layers, more than five. A pro is in a better position using a paddle with at least 65 layers of wood combined with other materials like carbon fibre or even titanium carbon.
The power rating of a paddle is the measure of the energy absorbable by the paddle when it returns a shot. The higher the rating, the lower the power absorbable, which means that such a paddle provides a bigger and a stronger return. The power of a paddle doesn’t rely on the strength of the material used in the blade and the handle only, the padding between the rubber surface of the blade and the paddle matters too. Most blades have laminated wood glued together, or they may have a thin layer of carbon fibre or fibreglass sandwiched between the wood layers making them light weight and of a low energy absorption.
Control reflects how a paddle strikes the ball and for how long it holds the ball when hitting it. Control is, therefore, a function of the quality of the rubber used plus the thickness of the padding. You get more control with tackier rubber, and this helps in allowing for better placement of returns. Use of a few millimetres of foam adds control. You have a stronger grip when the face of the paddle has the rubber piping facing outwards. High control paddles are common with defensive players.
The spin depends on the quality as well as the rubber’s installation. A higher spin paddle has pips of its rubber facing the blade. This orientation allows striking of the ball with a smoother surface. These pads are also lightweight and give you an extra freedom of manipulation. Most paddles with higher control ratings have similar ratings for the spin.
A SINGLE OR DOUBLE SIDED PADDLE
A paddle that works on both sides is preferable and lasts longer compared to a single-sided paddle. You may want to consider the fact that purchasing two rubbers is expensive. Only but the two-sided paddle if it is worth the price.
With all the functionality features covered, you may be wondering – how will the best paddle cost? The best paddles are not necessarily expensive, but they are not very cheap either. Work with a budget and check out the features of the paddle before purchase. You should also consider looking up reviews to learn more about the paddles while determining if they are worth the price.
It’s a wrap. Keep these considerations in mind when looking to buy a new ping pong paddle. Something else worth mentioning is that just having the best paddle doesn’t automatically make you the best player. You have to practice a lot and lose many games to be one of the best. Besides being a pro, once you master the game, you will be healthier, smarter, you’ll have new social connections and your professional life will improve because ping pong forces you to think on your feet. Your planning skills also improve.
TIPS FOR BUYING TABLE TENNIS RACKETS
Ping pong paddles come in a variety of options to suit different styles and playing requirements, and if you thought only beginners and intermediate players need help, then think again. From wood type to the rubber used to the texture of the rubber the paddles come in different combinations. Here is quick guide to help your choosing your paddle.
STYLE OF PLAYING
If you are an intermediate or advanced players choose based on whether you use a pen hold or a shake hand hold. Also some rackets are more suitable for offensive than defensive playing and vice versa.
Each paddle will be measured based on three basic ratings namely power, spin and control. They can either be measured on a 10 point or a 100 point rating.
- Power – Power is directly related to the hardness of the blade material and a higher rating, typically 9 and above is what offensive players will look for.
- Spin – Spin is affected by the rubber and the weight of the blade. Lighter blades and those with the pips of the rubber facing the blade offer better spin. Defensive players use paddles with a higher spin rating to tackle offensive players.
- Control – The rubber of the paddle decides the amount of control. Thicker and tackier rubbers as well as an additional foam layer offer more control but reduce power. Pips on the rubber surface also give more power if facing outward rather than inward. Defensive players choose paddles with a higher control rating, typically 9 and higher.
Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Ping Pong Paddles in the Market
|STIGA PRO CARBON "EDITOR'S CHOICE"||9.7/10|
|KILLERSPIN JET800 SPEED N1||9.1/10|
10 Best Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
When you have got the gist of how to choose a compatible ping pong paddle, we have gathered a list of 10 best ping pong paddles that you can avail from the market. These blades are put on the list after considering the above mentioned specifications like playing style, beginner or an advanced level player and much more.
#1 STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket
The ergonomic design and its capability to fit into your palms comfortably make it one of the best paddles you can avail for. You can play for hours without feeling any discomfort and to your surprise, your palms will not form any blisters as well. However, it is not a cheap as other ping pong paddles, but this improved model will help you experience the perfect gameplay.
STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket uses the rubbers authorized by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and therefore, you can see the ITTF logo appear on its rubbers. The paddle is made according to the rules and regulations set by the association and are used by the professionals for playing in competitions and tournaments.
It doesn’t come under your ‘under $20’ budget, these are highly expensive. Read our in depth STIGA Pro Carbon review here.
- Impressive construction
- Better gameplay
- High performance rating
- Best for creating perfect ball spin
- Lightweight blade
- More control for better handling
- ITTF approved
- Long lasting
- Rubbers can be easily removed and replaced
- Not recommended for defensive style of play
- It will some time for the player to get comfortable around it because its handles are heavier in comparison to other paddles.
#2 STIGA Evolution Table Tennis Racket
STIGA has been a renowned ping pong paddle manufacturing company and their paddles are known for its design and ergonomics. The STIGA Evolution is an elite performance paddle used by the professionals as well as rookies.
The user will have a better control over the racket due to its flaring handle. Moreover, you can actually feel every strike you make with this paddle. It avoids unnecessary slips and allows the user to have a control over the nuance.
It stands tall on the performance rating. Out of 100, it received 90 for control, 94 for spin and 96 for speed. It is composed of ITTF approved rubber for tournament play but can also be used for home plays. The blade is composed of 6-plys (all natural wood) which gives it a better stroke play. The latest inclusion in the STIGA Evolution Racket is its shock dispersion technology, giving the user more control over the racket.
- Lightweight feel
- Flared handle with WRB technology
- 6-ply all wood blade
- Stiga Premium 2 mm sponge rubber on both sides.
- Shock Dispersion Technology
- ITFF approved rubber
- Best for counter-attacking style of play
- Supports heavy spin
- Flicking gets easier with this blade
- Slightly tacky
- The blade is slower
- It lacks the defensive attributes even though it is labeled as one
#3 Killerspin JET800 SPEED N1 Table Tennis Paddle
If you are looking for a professional grade ping pong racket, then Killerspin JET800 SPEED N1 is the one meant for you. Those who love the aggressive or offensive style of play can avail this paddle has guarantees exceptional power along.
Don’t go for the looks, it may not be aesthetically pleasing but it is designed to for powerful stroke play. The never seen before seven complementary wooden layers covered with two carbon layers makes it a perfect paddle for hard hitters.
The ITTF approved Nitrix-4Z high tension rubber helps the player with increased gameplay and it genuinely increases the spin and speed. The premium carbon technology makes the entire blade what you call a ‘sweet spot.’
The introduction of carbon has made the Killerspin JET 800 paddle lightweight.
- Dual layer carbon composite material makes it light in weight
- Compatible with making aggressive shots
- Suits the players with offensive style of play
- The blade is composed of seven layer wood giving the racket the extra strength
- ITTF authorized Nitrix-4Z rubber used which is long lasting
- The ergonomic handle provides an awesome grip
- Counter spin shots can be easily made
- Wooden Side Tape Technology protects the internal parts of the paddle
- Only compatible with competition level play
- Smells like rotten meat or fish during the first couple of uses.
#4 Killerspin JET200: Best ping pong paddle for beginner
This is the second cheapest table tennis racket sold by the company branded under the JET series. This ping pong paddle focuses on the needs of those who see table tennis as a recreational activity.
It is not meant for the professionals but those who love to play ping pong in their free time can purchase this paddle. This paddle sport cheap 5 ply blade and its rubbers are not ITFF approved. The paddle is uninspiring and very slow the user will struggle to get the required spin.
- Cheap and compatible with home ping pong tables
- Good looking design
- Can be availed in different color variants ((Blue/ Lime/ Mocha)
- Best paddle for the beginners
- Not suitable for competitions and tournaments
- Cheap 5 ply blade
- Poor quality rubber
#5 STIGA Titan Table Tennis Racket
Another very pleasant racket for the beginners, STIGA Titan is best suitable for those who want to learn the sport and improve their skills in a short duration.
People prefer the STIGA Titan as it offers them great balance and control over the paddle. The ball just seems to be going wherever you hit it.
It is lighter in weight and comes under your ‘under$30’ category. Its blades are composed using the crystal technology. The crystal technology makes the blades harder and stiffer. Thus, you can enjoy attacking ping pong.
For faster gameplay, its uses the ACS technology; where it uses the perfect blend of outstanding control and maximum elasticity. That is, you can feel the ball hitting the racket and along with the feel of the strokes.
Its ply is composed using the Balsa technology which makes the paddle even lighter.
- Best possible paddle one can avail of this price.
- High quality rubber offers heavy spin.
- Lightweight making it easier to swing and play shots
- ITTF approved rubber and sponge
- Concave Italian composite handle
- Performance level paddle
- Poor quality sponge
- The user will require applying extra pressure for making power shots.
#6 DHS HURRICANE-I Tournament Table Tennis Racket
It is somewhat different from the ping pong paddles we discussed earlier in this article. That is, DHS HURRICANE-I is a penhold or shakehand style paddle. Only professionals use this paddle due to its popular and somewhat complicated grip.
Those who are strong on their backhand will feel immense pleasure while playing with this paddle. Those who are professionals know how to handle these types of paddles.
On the other hand, no beginner or a rookie will enjoy playing with it because of its handling and you might not get the gist of how to position it while playing.
This type of ping pong paddles is mostly preferred by Asian players. The DHS HURRICANE-I are preferred by those who follow a defensive play.
The reason why it is best suitable for the defensive style of play is that it can garner some tricky spin.
- Dedicated to professionals only
- Higher caliber play
- Extremely sensitive
- Competition level paddle
- High-quality rubber used (ITTF approved)
- Highly recommended for defensive play.
- Comes in one racket with cover and two ping pong balls in gift box
- Penhold style paddle (not used by everyone)
- Can’t replace a custom made paddle.
#7 STIGA Performance 2-Players Table Tennis Set
The STIGA Performance paddle is one of the cheapest ping pong paddles available on the market. It can be your ‘budget paddle’ and that too comes with a 2-player set.
The paddle sets are USA Table Tennis (USATT) approved and you might find it difficult to find a ping pong paddle at this price that comes with an ITTF approved rubber.
Those who are new to the sport and want to get the deep understanding of it can purchase this paddle. Well, it is not a high-quality paddle used by the professionals but you can enjoy the game pretty much with it.
- Better grip and handle position
- Made of natural wood
- ITTF approved rubber and sponge
- Set of 2 paddles
- The rubber coating might wear off if engaged in hard play
- Difficult to make spins
#8 Killerspin JET600 Tennis Paddle
This is another shakehand or penhold style ping pong paddle. Unlike the JET800, the JET600 variant is made for the beginner to intermediate level players. It is light in weight but a little too expensive for a beginner level racket.
Killerspin is known for its profound ergonomics and you can see it in JET600 as well. This beautifully designed penhold ping pong paddle is worth spending money for.
However, due to its unique holding style, not everyone will like playing with it. The professional players prefer this type paddles as they become used it. If you are a beginner, I will not recommend you to purchase it for two reasons – its price and handling style.
You can practice on the western style paddles first before moving to the penhold version.
- Better spin control
- ITTF approved sponge
- Better gameplay
- Provides firm grip
- Consistent spin
- Uses hollow air pocket technology for quicker movement
- Competition paddle not a recreational paddle
- Cheap quality 5 layer wood blade
#9 STIGA Supreme Table Tennis Racket
Appreciated for its ability to control spin, the STIGA Supreme ping pong paddle fits those credentials which say intermediate or beginner.
The blade is composed of 6 layer ply along with future inverted rubber thickness 2mm. It is the lightest paddle in this category which is made from enhanced Crystal technology. That is, the user can enjoy its lightweight structure along with play some hard hitting shots.
On the other hand, the blades are composed of microscopic air-capsules that allow the player to make intended spins with superb controls.
- Features STIGA ACS for Control and Speed
- 6 ply extra light blade
- Future inverted sponge and rubber
- ITTF approved
- Comfortable design
- Good control and defensive attributes
- Not compatible with aggressive style of play
- Only for beginners
#10 Butterfly 401 Shakehand Table Tennis Racket
Well, you can say that it is not the best ping pong paddle available in the market under its price tag, but people often prefer Butterfly 401 Shakehand paddle due to its compatibility.
It is not easy for a beginner to handle this paddle with perfection but still, its firm grip provides a better gameplay to the users. It is a moderate ping pong paddle with average attributes. If you are not a regular player, then you can purchase it.
However, unlike other paddles which are lightweight, the Butterfly 401 paddles are slightly heavier. But, it works in the user’s favor as it provides a certain angle to make clean shots.
- Best choice for penhold style lovers
- ITTF approved Yuki inverted rubber
- Flared handle for comfort
- Comes with the paddle case
- Expensive for a non-pro paddle
- Sometimes become tacky
All We Need to Know about Ping Pong Paddles
What is the size of a ping pong paddle?
As per the official ping pong rules, it is stated that a ping pong paddle can be of any size, weight or shape provided that the blade of the paddle must be flat and must be composed of 85% natural wood.
Most of the ping pong paddles are similar in size – 6-inches (15 cm) wider (blade) and 10-inches (25 cm) length.
A paddle is composed of two components
- A wooden blade incorporated with a handle (made from natural wood).
- Rubbers affixed on both the sides of the blade. It acts as a primary layer on top of the blade fixed with water-based glue.
You must know that there are two types of paddles – hardbat paddles and sandwich paddles.
Hardbat paddles are the traditional paddles used in the early days. They still are in origin but are not used for competitions. These are the affordable paddles which you can avail easily of any sports store.
Sandwich paddles, on the other hand, are made as per the international standards are for tournaments and championships.
Choosing an ideal paddle – Readymade Vs Customized
You are provided with the option of choosing between readymade paddles and customized paddles.
Customized paddles are only meant for those who are pros and are playing the sport for years and intend to polish their skills for competitions. The customized paddles come in individual pieces which you have to put them together as per your requirements.
The professionals use customized paddles as they can make the paddle as per their playing style.
The readymade paddles are meant for those who are just introduced to the sport and are looking forward learn it. Those who play it occasionally for fun can purchase the readymade paddles.
The biggest flaw of the readymade racket is that you probably don’t know for how long the paddle has remained inside its packet. That is, the rubber material used for the outer coating may deteriorate with time and environment.
You can purchase it from your local sports store and is ideal if you are on a budget. However, it is recommended that you opt to buy it online from a supplier who tends to replenish his/her stocks periodically.
Also, it is recommended that you purchase the blade and the rubber separately. Some of the recognized brands for paddles include Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin, Donic, Yasaka and more.
The Blades- what are they made of?
It is mandatory for a paddle to be composed of 85% natural wood. However, in the world where technology is always advancing, there have been some alterations made to the ping pong paddles. The alterations are allowed to some extent.
The paddles we see today are mostly composed of compressed paper, glass fiber or carbon fiber. But the rules state that the composition should not exceed 7.5% of the paddle’s total thickness.
Carbon fiber helps in making the blade harder and gives it a larger sweet spot. But, carbon fiber paddles are expensive and are used by those who have progressed to the advanced level, that is; the professional level.
The types of blades:
- Western Style Blade
The players who use the shakehand grip or the western grip prefer the western style blade. Its handle completely fits in your palm making it easier to hold and swing.
- Penhold Style Blade
This type of blade style is not recommended for beginners. The player holds the paddle like if he/she holds a pen. It is very difficult to play holding the paddle like a pen. Asian player, in particular, uses this type of blade style.
Choosing a blade category as per your Playing Style
- Counter-attacking style:
The blades categorized as ‘Allround’ will be suitable for those who prefer playing with counter-attacking style. These types of blades sport softer outer surface and harder inner surface (plys). You can also search it by reference ‘medium speed blade.’
- Attacking Style:
The blades categorized as ‘Offensive’ will be suitable for those who prefer playing with attacking style. These types of blades sport harder outer surface and semi-rigid inner surface (plys).
- Defensive Style:
The blades categorized as ‘Defensive’ will be suitable for those who prefer playing with defensive style. Both its inner surface and outer surface are made from soft plys.
Choosing the Rubber which complements your Playing Style
This is the most crucial part while purchasing a ping pong paddle. You might be aware of the International Table Tennis Federation approved rubbers. If you want a quality product always purchase the paddle which has ITTF written on it. It is a hallmark of quality.
Well, you can categorize the rubber in three different ways according to the playing style. That is, choose the rubber on the basis of hard speed, spin, and control.
For hard speed, different rubbers are manufactured and same goes for spin and control.
Three main differences that you need to be aware of-
- Thick Rubber
Ping pong paddles come in different thickness variants. If you want hard speed as you prefer attacking style of play, then make sure your rubber thickness is around 2mm to 2.5mm.
- Pimples out
Ping pong paddles come with pimples facing inwards or outwards. You will be striking the ball with the pimples facing outwards for the defensive style. The length of the pimples will decide on your defensive style of game. If you want to control the ball and prefer defensive style, then you must choose the rubber with pimples having a thickness of 1mm to 1.5mm.
- Reverse Rubber
The reverse rubber is the pimples in rubber and is best suitable for the counter-attacking style of play. Those who love hard spins can prefer reverse rubber paddle. The rubber thickness can go from 1mm to 1.5mm.
As we have covered all the necessary aspects of how to choose a best ping pong paddle, the mentioned ping pong paddles will give you a certain indication of what you are looking for.
Choosing a ping pong paddle is not an easy task, you have to go through all the statistics and attributes before choosing the one. The reason why it is recommended to analyze every paddle is that if not chosen wisely, it can affect your game.
We hope this quick guide has helped you find some great paddles to consider. If you are just a novice player who loves the game, then pick the budget-friendly ones like the Stiga Titan or the Butterfyl 401. If you want a great mid-level paddle, then you can choose either the Killerspin Jet 600 or the Stiga Pro Carbon. If you are a professional looking for a paddle high on performance, then the DHS Hurrican II has to be the one for you. Go ahead and choose your best ping pong paddle!