Ping pong is a very popular sport that is played either recreationally or professionally. Regardless of how you play, we can assure you that you’re going to get some really good insight into the game from this article.
Today we show you the best of the best ping pong paddles in the market, as well as answer some interesting questions you might have about ping pong.
When it comes to performance-boosting equipment, the Stiga Pro Carbon paddle reigns supreme. This table tennis paddle features premium rubber as well as a 2mm sponge that works together to deliver just the right amount of spin and speed you need. Its 6-ply light blade, coupled with two layers of carbon allows for improved rigidity and response during your games. In addition, it incorporates a handle that absorbs vibrations and transfers energy in order to give you better control of the paddle and the ball.
The Butterfly 401 paddle features a red rubber on the forehand side that gives you better spin as well as a black rubber on the backhand that gives you better control. The paddle is specially assembled using a thick Yuki 2mm premium rubber that is approved by the ITTF. More so, featuring a well-fused rubber and sponge layer allows this paddle to deliver spring action as well as the extra tackiness that gives you more spin when you strike. It also comes complete with a complimentary paddle case to protect your equipment.
Being one of the best-selling table tennis paddles on the market comes as no surprise to us because the Killerspin JET200 paddle is simply impressive. This paddle has been specially constructed for beginners to help them sharpen their skills and master the game. It further delivers a good balance of speed and control that enables you to perfect your movements. Also, this paddle is available in three different eye-catching colors including BluVanilla, Mocha, and Lime, one of which is sure to match your taste.
Now that we’ve gotten a sneak peek review of our very best ping pong paddles, let’s jump right into the comprehensive details of each of our top five.
Best Ping Pong Paddles – Best 5 Reviews
1. STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play Review
The Stiga Pro Carbon table tennis paddle is a great option for beginners who want to master the game. It is made from high-quality materials including ITTF approved rubber. and equally features a 7-ply extra light blade that includes two layers of premium carbon which gives you the incredible speed you need to deliver all your shots.
It also has a 100% performance rating when it comes to spin, so you can trust that it will improve your strikes while making it harder for your opponent to return. Even more, it incorporates a carbon technology that works to increase your all-around power and speed. Then there’s the fact that it’s designed using an ACS technology that increases your ability to control the paddle as well as the ball. Making it all better there’s a shock dispersion tube that absorbs vibrations so it can transfer energy out of the handle to further improve control.
- Features a 2mm sponge and s5 rubber
- Comes with an ITTF approved rubber for tournament play
- Performance rating of 99 on speed, 100 on spin and 80 on control
- Complete with carbon technology
- Made with a 7-ply extra light blade with 2 carbon layers
If you are a beginner looking to improve the way you play ping pong, then the Stiga Pro Carbon is a good place to start. It is lightweight and easy to hold and delivers a good amount of spin.
2. Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket/Ping Pong Paddle Review
The Butterfly 401 paddle is a professional grade ping pong paddle that gives you a good mix of spin, speed, and control. It is further equipped with red rubber on the forehand side which is there to deliver better speed and black rubber on the backhand side of the paddle for better control. You’ll also like that the rubber used is ITTF approved, making it suitable for tournament play as well as your leisure.
What’s more, the combination of the rubber and the sponge is not just for show, it goes a long way to provide an extra tackiness as well as spring action for when you need even more spin to strike the ball. In addition, it incorporates a rounded flared handle design that offers an added level of comfort and grip as you play. For the most part, this component is designed to suit people who play with the shake hand grip, and it is available in three different handle colors. Tying altogether is the free paddle case which is there to protect your racket from damage.
- Features a red forehand rubber and a black backhand rubber
- Assembled with ITTF 2.1mm Yuki rubber
- Comes complete with a free paddle case
- Designed for shakehand grip style
- Includes a flared table tennis grip handle
If you’re a defensive player, the Butterfly 401 paddle features pips in rubber on both sides to reduce your opponent’s spin, making it the ideal paddle for you.
3. Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle Review
If you’re ready to start playing like a winner, then the Killerspin JET200 paddle is the way to go. This ping pong paddle is ideal for defensive players, coming with pips-in as well as smooth rubber on both sides. What this does is to allow you to counter spins from your opponents while delivering impressive strikes. It is also a good paddle to start out with if you are a beginner since it allows you to learn the basic strokes at your pace.
Rated a high 8.5 on control, this paddle allows you to take charge of the ball with every strike. It further sports a flared handle that gives you a comfortable holding grip as you play. There’s even a personalized memory book that is great for recording scores, collecting signatures, and writing personalized messages. Available in three different colors, you are sure to find one that best suits your taste.
- Blade made with five layers of durable wood
- Comes in a memory book to help keep scores
- Delivers an impressive spin and control during play
- Is available in three different attractive colors
- Is great for beginner players
This paddle is great for countering spins coming from opponents while giving an impressive level of control. Note that it favors defensive players, so if this is you, the Killerspin JET200 paddle is just right.
4. STIGA Evolution Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket Made with Approved Rubber for Tournament Play Review
A good mix of high performance and advanced technology, the Stiga Evolution paddle is a great product to invest in. It features a 6-ply light blade of wood that gives you better control as you play. This paddle further sports premium rubber that has been tournament approved by the ITTF, so it’s completely suited for professional players. Furthermore, there is also a 2mm sponge that delivers a good bounce on the ball as well as spin.
Talking of spin, this paddle has a performance rating of 94 when it comes to spin, and a speed rating of 96, so you can quickly respond to strikes. All the while, it makes it harder for your opponent to return hits. In addition, this table tennis paddle incorporates a shock dispersion technology that makes use of a tube rod integrated into the handle and blade which allows energy and vibrations from the ball to be transferred outside the handle to allow for better control and performance during play.
- Features a premium ITTF tournament approved rubber
- Comes with a 2mm sponge
- Incorporates shock dispersion technology
- High-performance ratings in speed, spin, and control
- Includes stronger and tighter bonds in the rubber
If you have recently moved up from the beginner to entry-level, this is a good paddle to opt for. You can exercise better speed and spin as you play, nd thanks to the shock dispersion technology, you get improved control and feel.
5. Killerspin Jet 800 Table Tennis Paddle, Professional Ping Pong Paddle, Table Tennis Racket Review
The Killerspin Jet 800 is a well-constructed racket that is made solely with premium materials. It’s an ideal paddle for intermediate players as it offers a better level of spin and speed than paddles delivered for beginners.
It further features a 7-ply blade construction that includes 5 layers of composite wood alongside 2 layers of carbon fiber. What the carbon fiber does is to deliver high-speed hits that make it harder for your opponents to return. More so, this paddle is a good weight which makes it comfortable to hold in your hand.
It also sports a large blade which allows for better defending and returning of smashes. Couple this with its high-performance ratings in spin and control and it makes a good paddle for defensive players. In addition, it comes with a complementary memory book and pen that you can use to record scores during games.
- Features a 7-ply composite wood
- Includes two layers of carbon fiber
- Delivers more speed on hard-hitting shots
- Dual carbon technology absorbs slams from opponents
- Complete with a personalized memory book with a pen
When it comes to high-quality materials, the Killerspin Jet 800 takes the cake. If you’re looking for a good quality paddle that has a nice weight and offers good speed and control, then this is the paddle for you.
Best Ping Pong Paddle – Buyers’ Guide
How to choose a good ping pong paddle?
In order to play a good game of ping pong, you need the right kind of equipment, one of which is a ping pong paddle. Choosing a good ping pong paddle requires your understanding of the different components of the paddle, which would help you make your decision. You also need to understand the game and how you play it. In choosing a good ping pong paddle, consider the following:
One of the most important parts of a ping pong paddle is the grip. During the game, some players prefer a penhold grip (holding the paddle below the hand) while others prefer a shakehand (holding the paddle as if you’re shaking hands) grip. The way you grip the paddle when you play goes a long way to determine the kind of handle that you select.
The handle of a ping pong paddle is attached to the blade and is the component you grip/hold while you play. There are different types of handles some of which include the straight, anatomic, flared/penhold, covered, uncovered, short, and long models. The type of handle you select goes hand-in-hand with your grip style, which will help you select a good paddle.
How you play the game is also a factor to consider in your selection process. If you have a defensive playstyle you are not likely to use the same type of paddle as someone who plays on the attack with long shots. There are different types of play styles and so there are different types of paddles to match them.
The blade is considered to be the heart of your paddle and it helps you control and feel both your paddle and ball. There are different types of blades when it comes to weight and as such, your blade should be matched to your play style.
When it comes to spin and power, the rubber component of a ping pong paddle has the most significant effect. This part of the paddle works together with the sponge to make an impact on the ball when you strike it. Some players favor speed and trajectory over spin and control, and all of this is controlled by the rubber.
Between the blade and the rubber used in a ping pong paddle is a layer called a sponge. There are typically three ratings of sponge which are thick, medium, and thin. Attacking players prefer a thick sponge while defense players prefer a thinner sponge. Your play style will ultimately help you choose a paddle with the right sponge.
Another part of the ping pong paddle is the side tape and it seals the edges of both the blade and rubber. For the most part, it comes in different thicknesses which are determined by the thickness of the blade and the rubber. So, you should look closely at the side tape of a paddle before making your purchase.
Do ping pong paddles make a difference?
When you play any sport, your equipment makes all the difference in the world. A good hockey player, no matter how good they are, is bound to have their performance hindered by a subpar hockey stick. The same can be said about the game of ping pong, as the ping pong paddle you use can determine whether you have a good game or a great one. A couple of advantages of playing with a good ping pong paddle include:
There are different kinds of ping pong paddles on the market, and so as a beginner, you may be tempted to just select any one. But this can greatly affect the way you play, as choosing the wrong kind of paddle is a huge set back in your game. The same way a builder can use a regular saw to cut wood or a chainsaw. As a ping pong player, you could play with any regular paddle or one that’s been specially selected to fit your playing style, grip, and positioning. Now, that is the definition of an upgrade.
In a game like ping pong, precision is very important. While playing, extremely small margins can be the difference between a winning and a losing game. That is why a high-quality paddle that suits your playing style is the best kind of paddle to use. For the most part, it increases your chances of winning and mastering the game, even when you are just learning the basic techniques and strokes as a beginner.
Your performance is improved with a good paddle over a bad paddle. If a defensive player is playing with an attack style ping pong paddle, it is certain that their performance would be bad. This is why it is important to take the time to select a paddle that suits you as a player. You’ll notice that your performance will be upped in every single game.
Quality of equipment
High-quality playing equipment trumps a low-quality playing option any day, regardless of the sport. This alone is proof that the ping pong paddle you play with makes a significant difference. A good quality paddle with stellar construction is more likely to deliver a better feel. It can equally allow you to have better power and control over the paddle and ball as you play. All of this contributes towards you playing a good game.
What are the different types of handles on a racket?
A ping pong paddle can come with different kinds of handles and for the most part, selecting the right one depends on personal taste. However, some handles are better for certain players than others as they favor specific playing styles. Nevertheless, the different types of handles are as follows:
The penhold handle features a short handle design that has been specially constructed to favor players that prefer the penhold grip style. The penhold grip simply entails holding the paddle like a pen or a pencil.
The upside of this kind of handle is that it allows you to keep the paddle near the table. Even more, it allows for more spin as your wrists are able to remain in a flexible position.
A flared handle is similar to the penhold handle, the main difference is that it is typically a little bit longer than the penhold handle. This type of handle is a great option for beginners as it comes with flared ends that ensure that the paddle is secured firmly in your hand while you play.
It is also suited for players that don’t change their grip style often, as well as players who favor the front hand play style. All in all, it is the most common handle to find when it comes to low to mid-priced paddles.
While flared handles are good for players that don’t switch up their grip, straight handles are better fitted for players who constantly change their grip. Nevertheless, one disadvantage of a straight handle is that there is a high chance of it slipping in your hand while you play.
So having total control is a little bit harder with this handle type. That’s why it is mostly used by professional players seeing as they wield a lot more control than a beginner.
Anatomical handles are the hardest type of handles to find on the market. These handles are designed to offer the utmost comfort as they feel very natural in your hand.
They are like flared handles in the sense that they are better suited to players that do not change their grip. In fact, the two types of handles are very similar, besides the fact that flared handles are much easier to find.
Ping pong blade – carbon vs wood
There has been a lot of debate in recent times about what type of blade is better to play with; carbon or wood blades? However, it is important to first of all, understand what exactly these blades are. First, a wood blade is, of course, made completely of wood and that’s why it is also referred to as ‘all wood’. This option further features layers of wood that have been fused together for the blade to be formed. On the other hand, there is the carbon blade, and this one features a combination of both wood and carbon that have been fused together. A carbon blade usually incorporates at least 5 layers of wood and 2 layers of carbon.
The general verdict is that a carbon blade is a faster blade to use. The only major problem is that you’ll feel all the vibrations from the ball while giving you less control. There are different variations of this though, with some carbon blades featuring thicker layers that translate to less vibration. However, it doesn’t prevent the blade from being extremely fast, which could be a problem if you are a beginner, yet to master control. Carbon blades can be hard, medium, or soft and these could also further to determine the performance of the blade.
When it comes to wood blades, there’s a general consensus that they are better suited for beginners. This is because wood blades made from high-quality materials are known to have an overall better feel, providing you with more control than a carbon blade. The problem with these blades though is that playing with a blade that has no carbon or some form of fiber layer can be difficult. Since regluing blades is ruled out in this case, it can pose as a serious limitation.
All things considered, there are different kinds of players that all have different needs, and just because one type of blade is better suited for one player does not mean that it would be suited for another player. There is no ‘best’ blade, as both types of blades have their own advantages and disadvantages, and so it is up to the player to figure out what type of blade works best for them.
What is the difference between a table tennis racket and a ping pong paddle?
Before addressing the difference between the two, we must first address the difference between the sports themselves. Ping pong is the original trademarked name for the game of table tennis. In fact, before the year 2011 table tennis and ping pong were regarded as the same sport. However, after 2011, ping pong and table tennis became two different activities, with ping pong being more of a recreational sport which can be considered as a hobby. Table tennis, however, is considered to be a serious sport that is played professionally, with much stricter rules.
Based on that, here are some differences between the racket and paddle. So, in ping pong, players typically use the same type of paddle known as the sandpaper paddle. This paddle features a 5-ply racket that is slow but allows for a lot of control and feedback for its player. The sandpaper paddle also comes with 2 laminated layers instead of 2 rubber layers, which is kind of similar to a table tennis racket.
An advantage of the sandpaper paddle is that it reduces the spin and the speed of the ball, which gives you more time in between shots. This paddle is also much cheaper than a typical table tennis racket. When it comes to the table tennis racket, it needs to feature top-notch quality as it is used for professional playing. It also comes with two sides of rubber and directs power, spin and control when playing.
How much does a good paddle cost?
When it comes to determining how much you should spend on a paddle, there is one question you should, first of all, ask yourself: am I playing recreationally or professionally? The answer to this question is the first step in determining how much is ‘too much’ to spend. If you are buying a ping pong paddle to play recreationally, then you can find a pretty decent paddle for about 15 dollars, and some for even 10 dollars. Investing in an expensive paddle if your only intention is to play it as a hobby is basically a waste of money. On the other hand though, if you are looking for a paddle to play serious or professional table tennis with, then this is where it gets technical.
Simply put, to play a game of table tennis, you need a fairly pricey playing paddle. One of the constituents of a paddle is the sponge rubber, which allows the player to exercise spin on the ball. This amount of spin determines how powerful the shots will be. A smooth rubber, which is basically a sheet of inverted rubber on a sponge, is able to produce a much greater spin on a ball. This is as opposed to low-quality rubber that gives you much less spin and hits.
In order to purchase a decent sponge rubber paddle, you should be looking to part with at least 50 dollars. Many professional players prefer to purchase paddles that have been custom made to suit their playing style and grip. Also, a custom paddle can come with a combination of two different surfaces on each side of the paddle, which some players prefer. You can get a well-customized paddle for about 80 to 120 dollars. Anything more than that is considered a waste of money as paddles are only able to remain in good condition for about a year.
What’s the best ping pong paddles for beginners?
As a beginner, your first stop is getting a high-quality paddle with which to navigate the game. In choosing a good paddle, here are some qualities to look out for as a beginner:
For the most part, a good ping pong paddle should not be too expensive. This is simply because the paddle will typically only be used while you are at the beginner stage. There’s no doubt that you’ll progress with time and practice. As such, you don’t want to spend too much on something that you will not use for long. As you become better at the game, you can always find a paddle that is better suited for an entry-level player.
Finding a good paddle as a beginner also involves understanding your playing style. If you know your playing style already, then simply select a paddle that complements it. It will be more difficult to learn all the aspects of the game if you are playing with a piece of equipment you are not even comfortable with.
A good beginner paddle should not be on the heavy side. Nevertheless, professional players can use heavier paddles as they have mastered the game. As such, they should be able to control a heavier paddle, unlike beginners. The weight of the paddle should be light enough to follow through smoothly when you hold and swing it. But keep in mind that it should not be too light. You need it to be able to deliver good spin and speed to the ball.
Blade and handle
For a beginner, it is advised that your first paddle should feature a blade and a handle that is made from wood. This is because wood paddles offer a better spin and control compared to their carbon counterparts. Altogether, this is essential when you are just learning the ropes of the game. Even more, the handle should be smooth and slip-free so that you have optimal control over the paddle since the right amount of control can improve your skills.
What paddles do pro players use?
The type of paddle that a professional player uses depends on a variety of factors. There is a wide selection of paddles to choose from and so it is important to know what kind of paddle best suits you as a pro. It would be a disappointment to spend a good amount of money on a paddle only to find out that it does not compliment your needs as a player.
First, you need to consider your grip (which can either be pen hold or shake hold) as this will help you choose the right kind of paddle. Your playstyle; whether you are predominantly an offensive or a defensive player, can also help you select a good professional paddle. More so, asking other players that play similarly to you for recommendations is a good way to get an idea of the kind of paddle you should look out for. Some paddles that are popular amongst pro players include:
Stiga Titan: This paddle is known for having a high control rating which measures how well the paddle hits the ball. The Stiga Titan is very affordable and features a high rating blade as well as a 5-ply handle that has been designed to give more power than usual. This paddle is great for a defensive player.
Butterfly 401: This paddle is a great value paddle that comes at an affordable price. It is rated an 8 when it comes to speed and spin, which most professional players would appreciate as it makes it much harder to return a shot. It also is rated an 8.5 in control, as such, this paddle is well suited for players who can play a balanced offensive and defensive game.
Is there a difference between the red and black side of a paddle?
If you have noticed, ping pong/table tennis paddles come with different colors on each side; there’s a red and black side. You may be wondering if they are different. Furthermore, if they are, what is the difference? Well, it is common consensus amongst professional players that the red side of the paddle is slightly faster than the black side and provides less spin than its counterpart.
This is a result of the different sides having been made from different materials which include different dyes and pigments. The pigments and dyes are used to give the rubber their colors, however, it happens to slightly change the textures of both sides. Also, you may notice that the red rubber side is a bit more translucent whereas the black side is a bit more opaque. Because the red side is considered to be faster than the black side, most professional players use the red side for their forehand play. Meanwhile, the black side is more suited to their backhand play.
For the most part, manufacturers have put in quite a lot of effort to ensure that both the black and red sides of the paddle are the same. However, many other manufacturers out there are quite happy with the difference. It is important to note that the difference between both sides is very small and some players tend to over-exaggerate the differences.
Square vs round handles?
When it comes to selecting a ping pong paddle, even the smallest variations can have an impact on how you play. One factor that a lot of seasoned ping pong players like to look into is the round vs square handle debate. There are different types of ping pong paddles, one of which includes a straight handle. A straight handle can either come with a round handle, which simply implies that the edge of the handle is curved. Then there’s a square handle which is typically shaped like a square, just as the name implies.
The most common types of paddles come with round handles. This handle type is known for being the normal profile for a straight handle. Players who play with straight handle paddles say that this handle feels good and gives the player control to flip the paddle around quickly, especially when changing grips.
The square handle, on the other hand, is a newer handle profile and because most players are more accustomed to round handles, they might find the square handle harder to maneuver. However, once you get used to it, it offers great play.
How do you pick a paddle?
There are different factors to consider when picking a ping pong paddle, some of which include:
Playing style: There are different playing styles when it comes to ping pong. You could either be a defensive player or an offensive player, and different paddles have been designed to favor a certain playing style over the other. As such, knowing your playing style can help you select the right paddle.
Grip: How you grip your paddle can help you select the type of paddle to buy. Altogether, there are two main types of grips; the penhold grip and the shake hand grip. Certain paddles have been designed to favor the penhold grip and the same goes for the shake hand grip. Understanding this can help you choose a paddle.
Blade: The blade is the main part of the paddle, and can either be made from fused layers of wood or a combination of wood and carbon. The type of blade you select is entirely up to you, but if you are a beginner, a wood blade would be better suited for you, as it gives you more control.
Handle: There are different types of paddle handles; the straight, flared, anatomic, and penhold. The handle can also be covered or uncovered, short or long. There is no one best handle, as such, the handle you select is up to you. You might need to do some trial and error though, to discover the handle type you are most comfortable with.
What are the different sizes of ping pong paddles?
Ping pong paddles tend to come in different sizes depending on your playing style. They further come in different thicknesses ranging between 0.06 inches to larger than 0.08 inches. Offense players tend to go for thicker sponges while defense players go for thinner.
The paddle itself has an average blade length of 17cm and an average blade width of 15cm. These are dimensions that have been set by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). More so, paddles feature an overall length that is between 9.45 to 10.25 inches, and weight that ranges between 70 to 100 grams.
What is the best rubber material for a paddle?
If you are playing ping pong/table tennis professionally, then you need to abide by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rules. One of these rules states that only table tennis rubbers that have been approved by the ITTF can be used at authorized table tennis events. The selection of rubber approved by the ITTF are either inverted or pimpled rubbers.
Inverted rubber features a smooth side on the surface while pimpled rubber has pimples facing outwards. There isn’t a ‘best’ rubber as the type of rubber you use depends on your preference and playing style. Whichever rubber you choose should come with the ITTF logo which signifies that it is an approved option.
How do I hold a paddle?
There are two different ways to hold a paddle, namely the shake hand grip and the penhold grip. The most common out of the two is the shake hand grip. To hold a paddle in a shake handgrip, simply position the paddle loosely in the web between your index finger and your thumb, as it touches the curved side of the blade. Further position your index finger to rest along the edge of the back of the paddle. Meanwhile, your thumb should be against the bottom edge of the front side.
It is important to keep your wrist straight along with your forearm and make sure you don’t angle it up or down. Note that this is for right-handed players, if you are left-handed, invert the sides.
In conclusion, there are different types of paddles with variations when it comes to handles, grip style, rubbers, and blades. The type of paddle you choose depends entirely on your playing style as well as your personal taste. While there might be no overall ‘best’ type of paddle to use, as different paddles are best suited for different types of players, the STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket has managed to stand out by being the most impressive paddle in our selection.
Featuring a premium quality rubber that is highly rated when it comes to speed and spin, as well as a 6-ply pro carbon blade that delivers quickness as well as good bounce, this ping pong paddle is one to especially look out for.