KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star
- High tensile strength ABS plastic
- 60 balls for less
JOOLA 40mm 3-Star
- Polystyrene material
Nittaku 3Star Premium 40+
- Poly material
- ITTF Approved
KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star is our Top Pick
Coming in hot on the top of the list is KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star. These ping pong balls grabbed our gold medal easily for checking out in the area of durability. Made out of one of the best plastic materials in the market, ABS plastic, the KEVENZ 3-Star will last many hits because it was solidly built.
Furthermore, unless you are just messing around with kids or friends on a summer afternoon, you don’t want to get a ball that’s too light it won’t stay on course and you don’t want something too heavy either. Our winner right here stands out at a very good weight of 2.75g. That’s a guarantee of stability on its trajectory, no wobbling. Now add a consistent bounce delivery of 240-260 mm when dropped from a height of 305mm.
That’s not all, KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star checks out as a tournament-grade ball with all the necessary specs, such as 40mm in diameter, 0.86mm thickness and a 3-star rating. Sure, the remaining contenders seem to check out as tournament grade balls as well but where they don’t stand a chance is the cost-effectiveness of the KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star. A whopping 60 highly visible orange colored balls for a giveaway price of $11.99, that’s the offer of the century if you ask us.
Reviews: Best Table Tennis Ball Of 2020
- KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star
- JOOLA 40mm 3-Star
- Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+
- STIGA 3-Star
- Butterfly G40+ 3 Star
#1: KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star
The KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star is regulation size, weight, ping pong ball designed with high tensile strength ABS plastic which confers strength on the ball. This is a ball engineered to take many hits and without cracking that easy. The balls further offer a very decent bounce and fantastic spin. Altogether, the weight is just perfect. It doesn’t fall within the category of those light weighted balls tha give players a wobbling effect. Take a swing at one of these bad boys and you’ll notice how stable they are on their path.
Do you like to dish out wicked spinning serves to an unsuspecting opponent? This ball right here will deliver the perfect spin. Sitting at a weight of 2.75g, a thickness of 0.86mm, and a diameter of 40mm, the effect of air resistance is minimal and you’ll surely enjoy your game. It’s perfectly ideal for those who know what they are doing. The weight equally makes it a good practice ball for people who are new to the game of ping pong as it gives a good bounce and the stability makes it easy to control.
All of the above for $11.99 is nothing less than a good value for money. Even more, the fact that you are getting 60 balls is totally incredible. It doesn’t only come in a visible orange hue, it’s also designed in white for those who are picky.
#2: JOOLA 40mm 3-Star
The Joola 40mm 3-star is a set of 12 orange balls that also comes in as a regulation size i.e 40mm. Weighing 2.7g, the Joola ping pong balls equally don’t wobble during gameplay action. In addition, the design is finished with a thickness of 0.86mm, all of these specs put together to give it a very good bounce and an amazing spin delivery.
The fact that it’s a seamless design makes the Joola your top choice when looking for a ping pong ball with a good spin. The balls are designed with durable polystyrene material, not as strong as ABS, but the polystyrene does give a good fight against the pressure of hitting. Based on that, you are sure this isn’t one of those balls that’ll crack under a couple of hits
Also, it’ll interest you to know that the makers of this one have been in the game for over 60years, that’s another assurance of quality products. They are good for practice as well as serious games. They also come in both orange and white colors so you can pick whatever suits you. So, if you want to get creative, they are excellent as pet toys especially for cats and smaller breed dogs like Pekingese and Lhasa.
#3: Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+
The Nittaku Premium is a set of excellent Japanese made ping pong balls. The ball is considered as one of the best plastic balls on the market. They were crafted from special poly material to deliver superior strength to withstand gameplay pressure. Since the approval of plastic material by the International Table Tennis Federation, the Nittaku 3-Star premium 40+ has been highly recommended and approved by the ITTF for international competitions. They are designed almost perfectly round with next to zero difference between maximum and minimum diameter.
It’ll also interest you to know that the Nittaku premium was the official ball at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, TMS 2014 European table tennis championships at Lisbon and 2015 women World Cup in Sendai. It’s evident that it’s a ping pong ball for the pros. The high demand also comes with the downside as imitators make knock-off versions of the ball a lot.
So, you need to be sure you are getting an original Nittaku premium as many online users have complained of cracking after their first game. An original Nittaku will likely not crack that quick. The only bummer with the impressive ping pong ball is the price, they don’t come cheap at all.
More Best Ping Pong Balls That Are Worth a Look
We found a few more that didn’t quite make our top three but had enough good qualities that we think they’re worth considering as you shop around.
#4 STIGA 3-Star
The Stiga 3-star is another high-quality table tennis ball designed by manufacturers who have been making competition grade balls for a while. It checks out as a regulation size and weight ball. It equally delivers a decent bounce but not like the Nittaku or Joola. The spin of this ball is also fantastic, so you can pretty much use it to challenge yourself when you are getting ready for serious ping pong action.
Since it’s a 3-star rated ball, it’s ideal for competitions and also if you want to have fun with friends or family. Furthermore, both the United States of America Table Tennis (USATT) and the ITTF approved the Stiga 3-Star ping pong ball. So, you’re sure you are guaranteed of its viability.
It comes in both visible orange and white-colored design. At $12.88, the Stiga first sounds cheap but considering the set is containing only six 40 mm balls makes it quite expensive. On the bright side, the balls are quite durable, unless you step on one accidentally you won’t be needing a replacement anytime soon.
#5: Butterfly G40+ 3 Sta
The Butterfly brand is not a small name in the table tennis market. They are not only excellent makers of ping pong balls, but they also make table tennis rubbers that contribute to your overall gameplay experience.
Alongside the likes of Joola, Kevenz, the Butterfly G40+ 3-star is one the best ping pong balls on the market. It’s a 3-star rated ball so in terms of weight, roundness, and hardness, this ball checks out. Made out of durable polystyrene material, the Butterfly G40+ is a strong table tennis ball that can withstand many game hits. Because of the thickness, they offer a consistent bounce and an equally consistent texture all through the ball’s surface.
That’s not all, unlike some balls on the market with seams, this one comes in a seamless design contributing to its perfect spin for players that love to make an entry with a mean spinning serve. So you know they are not just balls for messing around, the ITTF approved it for international competitions and official games.
Furthermore, the Butterfly G40+ was the official ball for the 2015-2018 Butterfly cup in Canada. In addition, it also delivers excellent control making it ideal for those sharpening their table tennis skills. The G40+ comes in white color only and the price seems steep, not to mention the fact that the package contains only twelve 40mm balls.
Buying Guide And FAQs
Things to Consider Before You Buy
It’s just a ball, what could possibly go wrong by just buying any kind of ping pong ball? Well, Antarctica won’t suddenly melt because you bought a bad ball, but it could mess up your skill, cause frustration, make you lose interest in the ping pong game, and a wonderful chance at being a world-class player.
So, choosing a ping pong ball is not an easy task especially if you don’t know what you are doing. While there are already dozens of poorly engineered balls made to look like the real deal on the market, the carefully crafted ones with ITTF recognition are also altogether too many to choose from.
This makes the task even more difficult. You’d be surprised that lots of players invest more time in getting their blades and rubber in top condition but neglect the ball. The ball equally contributes to players’ great experience just like the blade. Therefore, the need to get a good ball cannot be overemphasized.
So, whether you are a recreational ping pong player that can’t even decipher the difference between a competition ball and a no-rating ball. Or, you are a serious player warming up for the big leagues, these are some of the things to consider when on the hunt for a ping pong ball that’ll serve your level of player needs.
Ping pong balls are crafted from either celluloid or plastic. The original material used to be celluloid, a material extremely prone to heat damage, and very flammable. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) approved less flammable, but more importantly, an environmentally friendly plastic dubbed poly balls, plastic balls, or 40+ balls.
To ensure it all makes sense, a quick history won’t hurt. When the plastic materials were introduced into the table tennis market, the quality dished out was poor because manufacturers found them more difficult to mold into perfect or at least near-perfect spheres.
This led to a lot of frustration in the community of table tennis professionals. However, advancement in technology over the years has led to the production of quality polystyrene material which is easier to engineer. Further improvement has also been seen, ushering the use of high-tensile strength and amorphous plastic known as Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. While ABS plastic sounds way cooler and of course stronger, polystyrene plastics have been approved by the ITTF and are used in international games and competition.
Don’t get us wrong, ABS plastic balls are perfect for practicing, fun, and serious table tennis action for both pros and casual tennis players however, ABS has not yet made an entry as an official ball in the professional tournament. So when you are shopping for a table tennis ball, polystyrene or ABS is a fine choice. Celluloid balls are becoming harder to find though some pro players still use them for the practice
Like the material used to make table tennis balls, the size has also undergone significant change as well. In the last ten years, the ball size used in table tennis action including the pro tournament used to be the size 38 mm. These types of balls were a lot faster and because of their size, they were not spotted easily by spectators especially those watching the game from thousands of miles away on the television. Larger 40mm balls then became the order of the day basically because of visibility to spectators and speed. 40mm is the current official tournament standard size approved by the ITTF.
If you hit the market, you will of course find both 40 and 38 mm tennis balls. They have not been totally phased out as players still practice with them because they offer more speed and spin than the regular 40 mm. Besides, casual and recreational players that don’t care what the extra 2mm means buy the 38mm anyways. Therefore if you are a casual player with no aim or desire to hit the pro leagues someday, either the 40mm or 38 mm is fine.
However, if you’re practicing for serious action, you have to opt for a 40 mm ping pong ball. Since that’s what you’ll be engaging within a pro tournament setting, it’s best you start practicing with it more.
If you’re in the middle of a search, you would have noticed ping pong balls have star-printings on the surface. This is no look-good design. Ping pong balls are branded ratings from the least rating i.e one to a maximum rating of three based on specifications met by the ball.
These are specifications set by the regulatory body to guide and ensure balls used in pro tournament settings meet specific quality and playability standards. The yardstick used in assigning the three levels of rating is weight, shape which involves the ball’s roundness error, hardness/thickness, bounce, durability.
3-star rated balls offer the best gameplay experience. They are more sturdy, perfectly round, bounce well, and don’t wobble. They are of course ITTF approved. A 3-star ball is the should have these rating:
- Roundness error: the difference between the maximum and minimum diameter should be less than 0.15 mm
- Durability: this is determined by the material approved by the ITTF which should be durable polystyrene.
- Hardness/ thickness: should be 0.86 mm
- Weight: 2.53 to 2.77g
2–Star and 1-Star rated balls offer less than the 3-star options. This doesn’t mean they are not useful for playing, they are not just ideal for competition and official game settings. Anything significantly less than the specification of a 2-star ball will fall under 1 star which are usually softer balls with lesser bounce and spin. There are also balls with no rating at all, so look out for that. Below is the spec of a 2-star and 1-star rated ball.
- Roundness error: significantly more than 0.15 to less than 0.25 mm
- Durability: Can be made of polystyrene
- Hardness/thickness: above 0.90
- Weight: 2.40-2.53g
- No ITTF Approval
- Roundness error: above 0.25 mm
- Durability: Can be made of polystyrene or ABS or other plastic
- Hardness/thickness: 1.10 and over
- Weight: 2.35-2.53g
- No ITTF approval
A ping pong player who’s serious about their gameplay experience, whether for recreational purposes or for professional engagements should opt for a 3-star ball. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may opt for a 2 or 1-star ball only if you are playing for fun or practice.
Again, the ITTF sets the standards for the weight of a standard competition table tennis ball. While this stands at a specific weight of 2.7g, there’s a tolerance range that manufacturers can meander within their production, and this is between 2.67g to 2.77g. A ping pong ball significantly less than this range will deliver less speed and won’t have a stable trajectory. Heavy balls, on the other hand, are a lot more stable and won’t succumb easily to air resistance, but it mustn’t be too heavy either.
If you are a rookie and you’re just learning the ropes of table tennis, it’s easy to get frustrated if you have a nonstandard ball on your hands for practice or fun. Hence, going for a ball significantly close in weight to 2.77g will be ideal. The KEVENZ 60Pack 3-Star is an excellent table tennis ball with a weight of 2.75g. Both professionals and newbies can engage with it.
You may have probably noticed, ping pong balls are only produced in white and orange colors. Again, it is the ITTF that made the orange or white color rule for table tennis balls in addition to a matte finish ( a very cool non-glossy outlook). It may interest you to know that a lot of research went into that decision.
Based on that, it’s believed that either of the two colors presents the greatest contrast against most backgrounds whether in an official competition or casual setting. There’s no rule guiding which one ballplayer can use in their personal practice, but both opponents must agree on the ball to be used. Taking it up a notch, the ball can’t be the same color as the clothes both participants are wearing.
Think about it, it’ll get confusing if participants wear a color that is the same or closely similar to the color of the ball. Usually, it is a recipe for failure. In tournaments that are transmitted, white balls are used as they present better contrast for those viewing. Even as far back as when viewing was limited to black and white, the white balls were a good bet because of the contrast.
Any other ball may not have been very visible. In addition, having a ball different that offers contrast helps players spot the ball a lot quicker. After all, your eyes have to remain on the ball all through the game to keep it moving along.
While all of the above properties altogether contribute to how the ball will deliver. Testing the quality by means of physical assessment at the point of purchase will help you get the best ping pong ball. As said earlier, there are knock off versions of highly recommended balls on the market. If you’d prefer to order one on a merchant site, that’s fine. You can test it when it arrives. However, if you are not far from a local retail ping pong store you can do a test before your purchase. Here’s how:
Test the hardness
Press the ball with your finger by doing random sampling around the ball’s surface. If it’s an original 3-star, it will not cave in. If it caves in, it’s likely a poorly crafted bill. In the case that you are testing a 2 or 1 star rated ball, you may experience some caving-in as you press the surface, but this should not be a permanent deformity. In a matter of seconds, the cave-in site should return to normal. A permanent deformity is likely a pointer that it’s not a high-quality or durable ball.
Test of spin
This is another physical form of accessing the ball that involves placing the ping pong ball on a table and spinning it. Look out for any wobbling. A wobbling is an indication the ball is not designed to a good degree of roundness. If it’s a faulty one, the error margin will likely be high and such a ball will not give you a good spin. Therefore, if it’s a 3-star rated ball, this is completely unacceptable. However, a 2 star or 1star rated ball may have some degree of wobbling.
Generally, a higher quality commodity will cost more to acquire than a lower quality one. Ping pong balls crafted for recreational engagement, such as the cheap plastic or celluloid options, will definitely cost less. A Polystyrene-constructed ball with a 3-Star rating that will cost more.
Now, let’s flip this a bit, a 3 star rated ball packed as 3 balls in a box may cost less than a two-star ball packed as 50 in a pack. Also, some balls are made by manufacturers with big names such as Nittaku. A three-star Nittaku may cost more than another 3-star ball coming from a ‘not so popular’ brand.
Also, balls approved by official table tennis bodies such as ITTF and USATT may come more expensive than non-approved balls. If you are serious about playing table tennis with intentions of going pro, then you’ll be spending more than when you’re just playing for fun.
Best Ping Pong Balls FAQs
What is the ideal weight of a ping pong ball?
Following the standards set by the International Table Tennis Federation, the official weight of a ping pong ball should be 2.7g. An acceptable range of 2.67 -2.77g is allowed by the federation for the ball to still be considered standard.
This standard is applicable for ping pong balls used in official tournament settings. Also, for players who aim to play in the pro tournaments. This will serve as a guide so they can get used to playing with balls of the federation’s standard.
What are ITTF requirements?
ITTF is the official regulatory body that guides official table tennis gameplay for the purpose of free and fair outcomes for players and spectators alike. ITTF requirement includes:
- The ball should measure 40mm in diameter
- The ball should weigh 2.7g or be in a weight range of 2.67 and 2.77 g
- A ping pong ball or table tennis balls must be round. This is measured as the difference between the ball’s minimum and maximum diameter often referred to as an error margin. Both celluloid and poly balls must have a near-zero error margin of roundness.
- A ping pong ball must not veer i.e it must not deviate off a straight line if rolled down a slight incline.
- A ping pong ball must offer consistent bounce. This means that when the ball is dropped from a height of 305mm on flat surface steel, it should bounce upwards to at least a height of 240mm and at most 260mm.
- They must have uniform hardness and thickness
What is the Popular ping pong ball?
These balls are made in Japan and are recognized worldwide where table tennis is officially played and regulated by the ITTF. They are considered one of the best poly balls on the ping pong ball market. Nittaku balls have been used as the official balls in many international championships. They are pro balls and mostly designed in white color.
JOOLA ping pong ball is originally a German-engineered ping pong ball but was later acquired by a United States based company called the Sport Squad inc. Joola balls are known for excellent quality, durability, and consistent bounce. They make balls for both pro tournament settings and recreational engagement. They come in both bright orange and white colors.
DHS( Double Happiness Shanghai)
DHS balls are also excellent, 3 star-rated balls. They are specially designed for professional tournaments. The makers are one of the largest ping pong ball manufacturers in the world. It was first founded in the 1950s and since then has been making balls for a global market. DHS Ping pong balls were the official table tennis ball in 2008, 2012, and 2014 World ping pong championship Championships.
This is another Japanese engineered ball with ITTF approval. The balls are durable and used in international competitions. They are also well recognized in the United States and Canada
How to Make a Spinning serve?
If you are here, I guess you should probably have all the necessary gear in place, i.e a good star rated ball, a paddle, and of course a table to engage. Spinning can be tricky for newbies but because it can be difficult during a game even against a very skillful opponent, it’s important to know how to launch a mean spin to nail points.
Before we get into a spinning serve, you need to know how to serve without a spin. To launch a normal serve, simply hit the ball close to the middle with your paddle at a 90-degree angle to the ball. The ball will move forward to your opponent’s side without a spin.
Now to add spin, brush your blade or paddle on the ball at an angle less than 90 degrees. The spin is added to your ball with the tangent brushing with your paddle. Note, if the brushing is an upwards / forward motion you’ll make a topspin. If you start the strike above the ball with the brushing hitting the ball in a downward/ forward motion, you’ll make a backspin. Sidespin is produced by introducing the brush with your blade in a sideways motion
How do I maintain my ping pong balls
Congratulations, if you have invested some substantial amount in acquiring high-quality ping pong balls for your journey to becoming a pro. Taking care of them is obviously an excellent idea. Balls that are subjected to pressure from game action need to be cleaned before being kept safely.
Cleaning can be done using a soft cloth or cotton wool soaked with water. Use this to gently rub the scuffs away. Do not use soap or any detergent because this will damage the manufacturer’s label and the texture of the surface which may affect the bounce.
Remember your balls are made of plastic or celluloid and therefore not heat-friendly. Storage should be in a cool place away from direct flame or any heat source. This includes direct sun rays as Celluloid and ABS material break down when exposed to UV rays.
How We Picked the Best Ping Pong Balls
We visited websites of the makers of the balls under review, had a chat with a couple of players, then we compared performance and balanced yardsticks with cost-effectiveness and the KEVENZ 50-Pack 3-Star came through to clinch the gold medal. Without beating about the bush, the Kevenz is solidly built to a finished weight of 2.75g a guarantee of a stable trajectory. The Pros love it, the newbies will equally find it easy to control and manage.
Durability was another yardstick, all thanks to the ABS material. Consistent bounce is one feature many manufacturers claim they have but you don’t just find it there when you take the first hit, but this one checks out fine. With all of the above, the kevenz still carries a 3-star rating and offers 60 quality balls for less than $12. At this point, it was a no-contest even with the impressive Nittaku on the display.