As table tennis rubbers come in so many varieties, choosing the best one can be tricky. So, to save you the stress of researching the best rubber out there, we have narrowed down the selection to five of most impressive on the market.
Tibhar Evolution MX-P
- Very fast yet offers great control
- Harder sponge Affordable
- Decent speed
- Spring Sponge technology for greater spin
- Decent arc delivering more penetrating loop
Butterfly Dignics 05
- Higher arc
- Mushier sponge
- Greater dwell time
Tibhar Evolution MX-P is Our Top Pick
Coming in at the top position is the Tibhar Evolution MX-P. This rubber qualifies as our top pick for its versatility. It is known for exceptional delivery and yet offers users great control during gameplay. Amongst our top 3, the MX-P is the fastest allowing users to launch dangerous attacks that opposition may find tricky to handle. This is all thanks to it’s hard, but not so hard, sponge combined with a smart pimple geometric design delivering a speed rating of 125, Spin 120, and control 80. That’s not all, the flexibility of rubber makes it an excellent choice for those who know what they are doing, and then it is a great player.
Surprisingly, the MX-P is still able to offer a longer contact time when the ball hits the surface. The Tibhar Evolution MX-P may not be the ideal choice for entry-level players that haven’t got a hang of controlling the fast bounce just yet, but it’s the top choice for aggressive players who like to let the opponent know playtime is over. More so, the fact that it’s amazingly affordable is another plus for this table tennis rubber. Other rubbers competing come at nearly double the price.
Reviews: Best Table Tennis Rubber of 2020
- Tibhar Evolution MX-P
- Butterfly Tenergy
- Butterfly Dignics 05
- YASAKA Rakza 7
- Butterfly Tenergy 80
#1: Tibhar Evolution MX-P
One of the fastest table tennis rubbers in the market and the fastest among the Tibhar Evolution design, the MX-P comes with an improvement to the Pimple Geometry thereby delivering greater control and flexibility. This also allows the user to approach the ball with a lot of energy to deliver an impressive shot. That’s not all, it also gives the user a great spin in addition to speed.
If you are not new to table tennis and you’ve had a go with the popular rubbers from the stable of Tenergy then you’ll know how fast the Tibhar Evolution MX-P is. It’ll also interest you to know the MX-P ranked number one best-selling table tennis rubber at Tabletennis11.com in the year 2015 and 2016, that’s to tell you how high the demand is on this rubber. Especially the fast gameplay and offensive style lovers.
Furthermore, the pimple-in designed rubber comes with a harder sponge which also contributes to the fast gameplay. Fast rubbers such as the MX-P are highly recommended for anyone who already has a hang of the game and knows pretty much what they are doing. However, the flexibility it delivers makes it even more versatile and therefore not totally a no-go area for newbies. Even better, the MX-P checks out with great dwell time i.e the time the ball spends when it impacts the racket from an opponent’s incoming shot. All of these put together with the affordable price makes it a must-have for table tennis enthusiasts.
#2: Butterfly Tenergy
Coming at 1.7, 1.9 and 2.1 mm sizes, the Butterfly Tenergy is a pimple-in, thick rubber design clearly for those that can handle some speed and spin. The Tenergy presents the greatest control of all the Tenergy series. So, whether you are launching an attack from not too far from the table or you are making a quick comeback from your opponent’s offensive shot from far away, you are covered with this rubber.
Furthermore, it’s got one of the highest spin rates, together with the high arc, the Tenergy 05 allows looping and aggressive shots. Like all Tenergy rubbers, the speed you can command while you are looping makes the Tenergy rubbers stand out from other range of rubbers that fall under the attack mode. You can bet that the Tenergy 05 is no exception.
That’s not all, with the spring-like sponge innovation, it offers longer dwell-time when the ball hits the pimple-in surface. Meaning this Tenergy piece will allow you to get more spin on the ball during gameplay. Even better, the butterfly Tenergy 05 makes it easy to serve with power, spin and you’ll still be able to loop all at once. It’s a deal for blocking, and still functions if you want to get offensive. On the downside, a high spin rating also means extra sensitivity to the opponent’s incoming spin serves. Trust me, if you don’t know how to handle the 05 well, you’ll get frustrated on the table.
#3: Butterfly Dignics 05
This is what you need to step up your game if you are warming up for a serious table tennis action competition. The Butterfly Dignics 05 hits the table tennis market around 2019 as a spin and speed delivery rubber. All thanks to its advanced sponge technology made with more elasticity and combined with high-tension engineered rubber. This is good news for players who play on the offensive mode with topspin. Furthermore, the elasticity enhances the top sheet’s ability to hold on to incoming balls for longer. The surface of the Dignics 05 is ideal for those who want to have good control of spin whether incoming or outgoing.
Due to the soft sponge, it’s an ideal surface for looping, however, you might struggle with control of near-by pushes. The high arc, however, makes it possible to deliver shots with your spin serve over a long distance. And if you are the type that targets the edge of your opponent’s side of the table, the Dignics 05 is your precision rubber.
Make no mistake, this is no rubber for a table tennis rookie and you’ll find that it launches the ball off the surface of the blade really quickly. And if you’ve not mastered control, you’ll find it hard managing this one. Lastly, it comes in at a thickness of around 2mm, so you know the speed delivery is also for offensive players. It also doesn’t come cheap at all, but that’s what you get when you want speed and spin.
More Best Table Tennis Rubbers That Are Worth a Look
We found a few more table tennis blade rubbers that didn’t quite make the top three but had enough good qualities that we think they’re worth considering as you shop around.
#4 YASAKA Rakza 7
Here’s another worthy contestant that delivers well in terms of usage and versatility. The Yasaka Rakza 7 doesn’t fall short as a good table tennis rubber, we just measured it with a yardstick that didn’t make it fall among the top 3. If the fast bounce nature of the Tenergy MX-P seems too much for you to handle, then you’ll love the medium bounce of the Yasaka Rakza 7. Furnished with rubber with medium thickness, it offers greater grip on the ball reducing the resistance thereby offering players better control.
Good news for non-professionals that are just getting a hang of the table tennis action. Look at this way, the Yasaka Rakza 7 does everything moderately well. With it, you can topspin almost effortlessly, the power sponge combined with the pimple-in top sheet work well to give the player fantastic gaming experience. This might be a rookie’s rubber, it sure doesn’t come at a rookie price. The Yasaka Rakza 7 comes in relatively expensive, but we’ll attribute it to the rubber’s durability. You won’t be changing this one any time soon.
#5: Butterfly Tenergy 80
The Butterfly Tenergy 80 comes in to deliver a perfect balance between speed delivery and spin. Fantastically ideal to stop an opponent’s incoming spin shot and also launch a counter-attack. Compared to its elder brother, the Tenergy 05, the Tenergy 08 comes in with a faster speed delivery. That’s not all, this one has got a high arc, although not as high as the 05 it’ll deliver a mean loop whether slow or fast better than the MX-P.
Furthermore, the inward pimple structure of the rubber accounts for its tackiness allowing players control of the offensive gameplay from the opponent. This is where this rubber proves it’s superiority despite being a good spin delivery rubber. If you like to launch tricky/ loopy serves, the high arc or throw angle of the Tenergy 80 will come in handy. This rubber also delivers some impressive speed, though not as fast as the MX-P, you’ll certainly know you’ve got a wicked racket when you want to take a powered-loop against your opponent. The Tenergy 80 is a durable rubber that’ll last you many games but doesn’t come cheap.
Buying Guide And FAQs
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Table Tennis Rubber
Types Of Table Tennis Rubbers
There are basically four major types of table tennis rubbers. They are the Smooth(or pimple-in), pimple-out( Short pimple and Long pimple), and Anti-Topspin.
This is the most common type of table tennis rubber both among professionals and casual players. This is because they allow different patterns of gameplay. From looping, spinning to slamming. They offer a wide surface area of impact with the ball since the pimples are inverted hence, called the inverted rubber or pimples-in rubber. The ball makes contact with the smooth part of the sheet while the pimple faces the blade. Generally, smooth rubber is recommended for the rookies or those that have not yet mastered control in table tennis as the pimple-out rubber requires greater player skill.
The pimple-out table tennis rubber is the type furnished with pimples or pips on the outside of the bat or blade. i.e the side that makes contact with the ball. Based on the height of the pimple, pimple-out rubber are of two types: short and long pimples/pips
This form of pimple-out rubber comes with sticky ends, translating to less grip and also less friction. This means incoming ball impacts are reduced giving players better control to either block or return with a counter-smash. It is used mainly by players who do not engage too much spin in their gameplay. Because of the greater control the rubber offers, defensive players use short pips. They find it easy to manage and control incoming opponent spin. Most of the time, there’s a sponge in between the rubber and the blade/bat. However, some bats don’t have any sponge. Shot pips bat without any sponge are often Hardbat
From the word long, the pips or pimples are much longer compared to the short pips. The longer pips deliver a reverse effect on the spin of an incoming ball. What this means is that a player using a long pip rubber blade can reverse the direction of an incoming ball. With a long pip, there is an unpredictable outcome of the ball’s trajectory. This is a huge advantage for players using the long pip blade because they have the element of surprise.
On the downside, you cannot afford to be on the defense with the long pimpled-out rubber for too long. The way most players use them is to interchange by having them on the side. Furthermore, some versatile players who prefer using the element of surprise while being on the defensive still swing a long pip rubber but with no sponge. This further gives control and at the same time is able to launch offensive attacks.
Also known as anti-Topspin rubber, it is designed with a smooth and slippery surface. This causes the rubber to generate a little spin at a slow speed. Sounds like a kill-joy right? Make no mistake, this is the perfect blocking tool in the table tennis action. Players who use anti-spin kill the spin from an opponent’s incoming ball. The slippery surface is able to reduce friction. They are usually accompanied by mushy sponge that causes incoming shots to slow down. Players who use the anti-spin rubber don’t use it exclusively. Since the bat has two surfaces, they employ a more offensive gameplay rubber on the other side so they can deliver a versatile table tennis gameplay.
How To Change Your Table Tennis Rubber
The point where you need to install a new table tennis rubber can entail lots of things. It can mean you just got a new racket or blade that suits, your old playing rubber is worn-out, your old playing rubber is damaged or nothing is wrong with your old blade but it’s just time to move on to something new. Perhaps you want to change the pattern of gameplay. Before you go ahead to install or change a table tennis rubber, you need to know what equipment is needed to change and install a new one.
- A changeable blade/bat/paddle – Not all blades or paddles are designed to be replaced after they are worn-out or damaged. They are designed to be completely thrown out together with the rubber. However, once you are sure you have a pad designed to have its rubber replaced, then you are good to go with the following remaining equipment
- The rubber of your choice – This can be pimple-in, pimple-out. Thick or light. Depending on the one that suits your style of playing.
- Glue – This isn’t just any type of glue. The glue must be specifically designed for sticking table tennis rubber to the paddle or blade. The glue may equally be purchased with the rubber. Some come as a package deal so that users can use the right glue for the attachment process.
- A rolling pin – This is used to firmly secure the rubber on the paddle by firmly rolling it back and forth after the application of sponge and glue.
- A sharp pair of scissors – The rubber usually comes in a rectangle or square shape usually bigger than the entire circumference of the paddle’s hitting surface. Once the rubber is firmly secured to the surface, the scissors are used to trim the unwanted parts of the rubber out.
Changing the Rubber
Once the old rubber has been removed from the paddle completely or perhaps, it’s a new paddle altogether, the following steps can be followed in changing a table tennis rubber.
- Smear a thin layer of glue on the surface of the rubber with the aid of a small brush or sponge. Ensure that the glue is even enough without having excess on any surface of the rubber.
- Allow the rubber (now applied with glue) to stay for some minutes while you apply glue on the surface of the paddle or blade. Again, ensure the glue is spread equally on the surface of the blade. Allow a wait time until both rubber and blade are sticky when touched with your fingers.
- Align the bottom of the rubber with the bottom of the blade just before the handle. In case your rubber is furnished with a logo. For a good look, allow the logo to stay at the center position still at the bottom of the blade. Ensure there are no air bubbles as you place the rubber. This is a complete recipe for bad gameplay.
- With the aid of the roller-pin, press the rubber back and forth to secure it firmly to surface.
- Now, use the scissors to trim the excess part of the rubber extending beyond the blade. This can then be repeated on the other side of the paddle with whatever choice of rubber you choose.
Professionally Replaced vs DIY
If you are playing table tennis casually, just for fun with friends or bonding with family, a do-it-yourself approach might not be a bad idea as long as it doesn’t ruin the fun in the game. If you do not know what to do or you do not have the right equipment, it’s very easy to mess up a new table tennis paddle or a good old one.
Professional playing, on the other hand, requires adhering to rules set by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Asides color, the type of rubber to be used is also determined by the regulatory body. Because paddles will be checked to ensure players are not engaging in any form of foul play in order to have gameplay advantage over their opponent, there is a need to get the rubber attachment right. Therefore, a professional hand may be ideal
Essential Components of a Table Tennis Rubber
There are 3 essential parts of a table tennis rubber.
The sponge layer
When talking about a table tennis rubber, this doesn’t just mean the red or black colored thin sheet only. It also refers to the layer of sponge between the rubber sheet and the paddle. Generally, the thicker the sponge, the faster the ball will bounce off the surface of the rubber. If the sponge is thin, it will offer more dwell-time and control. Ideally, the sponge thickness available in the table tennis rubber market ranges between 1 to 2.5mm.
Less thick sponge e.g 1.5- 1.9 mm is recommended for beginners who may not be able to handle or control too much bounce. Those who already know what they are doing and love the offensive or attack style of play usually opt for a thicker sponge of 2mm diameter and over.
Furthermore, the sponge layer of a table tennis rubber comes with different levels of hardness. The harder the sponge, the more bounce it will deliver making users generate more power and speed. A softer sponge, on the other hand, slows down the ball, giving the user more control but with corresponding lesser speed.
The rubber sheet
Sitting on top of the layer of sponge is the rubber top sheet. The rubber is ideally black or red and usually comes as pimple-in i.e the pimple part of the rubber is aligned with the smooth surface which comes in contact with the ball during the action. This is the most common type used in playing. Furthermore, it can also come as pimple-out, meaning the smoother surface faces the paddle while the part that impacts the ball, is the pimpled-surface
The pimples are an essential part of the rubber that determine game play based on how responsive the rubber will be. Depending on the design, they either reduce or increase the surface area that makes contact with the ball either by facing outwards or inwards respectively.
What is a table tennis rubber?
A table tennis rubber is the rubber material surface of a table tennis blade or paddle. It is the part of the paddle used to hit the ball. It was initially used in 1901. Research and advancement in gameplay brought about the addition of sponge for robust user experience in the 1950s.
How does the sponge thickness affect performance?
The rule is, the thicker the sponge the more aggressive it is. 2.0mm or more is considered thick. 1.5-1.9 mm is less thick and thus offers more control. This is because when the ball hits the rubber, the sponge slows it down by putting friction on the rubber sheet thereby adding the spin that the rubber cannot originally command in the absence of the sponge.
If you are on the hunt for a table tennis rubber, you may have noticed the speed and spin ratings on different kinds of rubber online or offline. What will catch your attention is that the rating isn’t broken down with respect to different sponge thicknesses. The reason for this is that the effect of the sponge isn’t constant as it will eventually depend on how hard you swing and play.
Manufacturers measure their rubbers’ thickness in mm. The ITTF rule pegs the maximum thickness of the sponge at 4mm. There’s no rule guiding the thickness of the actual rubber itself since rubber is usually a combination of sponge and rubber sheet together
What is a high tension or tensor rubber sheet?
High tension or tensor rubber are erasers that have been stretched before being attached to a sponge during the manufacturing process. This is done either mechanically or chemically. It confers the spin ability to a sponge/rubber. This was a process initially done by swelling the sponge using a combined action of rubber cement and paint thinners. Because this has since been banned, manufacturers state this as a sort of selling point so that users can know how spin is provided on their rubber. e.g butterfly: spring sponge, Xiom: energy sponge,
Why do table tennis paddles have different rubber color in each side
In international tournaments, ITTF requires that a side of the paddle be red while the other side is black. Professionals use these two sides to add different styles to their game. Players twist their bat depending on the kind of strike they want to launch against the opponent. The different colors help the player know what kind of shot may be incoming from the opponent. It’ll interest you to know that the ITTF must be on the rubber for it to be approved for competition settings. This is usually updated every six months, so you can have an ITTF approved rubber now and it’s no longer approved a couple of months later because it has been updated.
What is the best rubber for table tennis
There are obviously tons of rubber in the table tennis rubber market offering consumers speed, spin, and more. To say a particular rubber is the best among the tons is pretty hard, However, some notable name stand out
- Butterfly Dignics 09C: has a sponge hardness of 8.5, known for greeter spin
- Tibhar Evolution MX-P: with a sponge hardness of 8.8. Recommended for its speed. Common among aggressive players
- Donic Bluestorm Z1 Turbo: has a sponge thickness of 8.0 with decent speed and spin.
How We Picked the Best Table Tennis Rubbers
After visiting manufacturers’ websites, we compared the performance of our winner with other rubbers and balanced yardsticks with affordability, the Tibhar Evolution MX-P came in as our top choice. Yes, the MX-P may seem like it isn’t for those that can’t handle the fast bounce, but that’s one of the major departments where it shines. In table tennis action there are offensive players and of course defensive players. But that doesn’t mean defensive players don’t launch a mean attack.
For its speed, the MX-P will make a perfect duo alongside Tenergy 05 which has one of the greatest spins around. Another thing that made the MX-P stand tall on this list, is the control and flexibility it offers considering how fast it is. Meaning this versatile bad boy here can be tamed and mastered by anyone. Also, in consideration was the fact that this rubber still checked out in the area of longer dwell-time making this rubber a good spinner.
As you know too well price can be a bummer and a huge turn off for consumers, but the MX-P’s affordability cannot be ignored, offering all of the above for less than $50 will make it a stop for most players to try out especially aggressive players.