19 Best Ping Pong Paddles: Find the Racket you Need to Improve Your Game
Discover the best table tennis paddle for every skill level and play style.
With so many choices, ratings, and technical information, finding your new best ping pong paddle can feel like a daunting task, which is why we’ve broken down 19 of the best table tennis rackets on the market today for you!
We’ll walk you through what to look for when buying a ping pong paddle to ensure you know how to choose the right ping pong racket for you, and we’ll answer common questions (is it ping pong racket or paddle? what’s the difference between the smooth vs bumpy sides of a ping pong paddle? are expensive paddles better? etc.) in our FAQ section as well.
In a hurry? Here are a few of our top choices for different skill levels and play styles:
Best Ping Pong Paddle for Intermediate Players
Best Beginner Ping Pong Paddle
Best Ping Pong Paddle for Spin (Intermediate)
Best Penhold Ping Pong Paddle
Best Professional Ping Pong Paddle
Best Ping Pong Paddle for Spin (Pro/Advanced)
Best Ping Pong Paddle Set (Recreational only!)
Best Budget Ping Pong Paddle (Recreational)
Most Comfortable Ping Pong Paddle (Recreational only)
Why so many choices? Because the best table tennis racket for a beginner is not going to be the best ping pong paddle for an intermediate player; the skill levels and needs are too different.
Occasional rec players and advanced players won’t use the same gear either, and someone that prefers an aggressive, offensive play style looks for different features than someone with a more all around or balanced approach.
Think about it…
You want to improve your table tennis skills (and destroy the competition, right?), but it won’t do you any good to buy a ping pong paddle that doesn’t match your level or style. You need the best paddle for YOU!
Table of Contents
If you already understand terms like handle style, blade, rubber, and sponge and are familiar with speed/spin/control ratings, just find your section and peruse the best ping pong paddle choices for you! If you’re not sure what makes a good paddle, why you might need a new one, or what to look for when purchasing, you can use the table of contents below to navigate to each section and learn more.
|Paddle Reviews & Why You Need to Upgrade||Ping Pong Paddle Buying Guide & Info|
|➢ Best Beginner Paddle Reviews|
➢ Best Intermediate Paddle Reviews
➢ Best Professional/Advanced Paddle Reviews
➢ Best Recreational Paddles & Set Reviews
➢ Do You Need a New Ping Pong Paddle?
|➢ Best Ping Pong Paddle Buying Guide|
➢ Parts of a Paddle
➢ Paddle Ratings
➢ Play Style
➢ Skill Level
➢ Care & Maintenance
Choosing YOUR Best Ping Pong Paddle!
Your personal situation, skills, goals, and playstyle will all dramatically impact which choice is the best table tennis paddle for you, so we have something on this list for everyone and in every budget.
Whether you’re tired of losing at work to colleagues that bring their own racket or are just getting started as a complete beginner and need a quality bat that will help you learn the basics more easily and quickly, we’ve got you covered.
Maybe you’re a solid intermediate player looking for a more aggressive option with some serious speed and spin to dominate opponents, or perhaps you want a better allround bat for balanced play. Either way, we’ve got a bat on this list for you.
Perhaps you’re a fairly advanced player and need professional quality equipment but find the endless options of blades and rubbers overwhelming. To make life easier, we have some excellent combinations for you that will come hand assembled to your doorstep!
We even have purely recreational options, including our best ping pong paddle set (on a budget!) for the family and a unique new ping pong paddle with a handle designed for unparalleled comfort.
You can learn more about what to look for when buying a ping pong paddle in our buying guide below. Now on to reviews!
Best Beginner Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
These are our best table tennis rackets for beginners; they highlight control and allow a new player to master basics with accuracy, promoting more enjoyable learning and quicker progress. Quality equipment matters from the start, and both these bats make excellent, affordable choices!
- BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS RACKET – The Timo Boll table tennis racket series is contains aggressive rubber and 2 ping pong balls
- GREAT TABLE TENNIS RUBBER - The Pan Asia table tennis racket rubber provides a good balance of speed and spin when striking the ping pong ball
- TOURNAMENT APPROVED – This ping pong racket is great for beginners, but also approved for International Table Tennis Federation tournaments
The Butterfly Timo Boll 1000 is truly one of the best ping pong paddles for beginners looking to develop the fundamental techniques of table tennis.
Created with a thinner sponge (1.5mm), this beginner bat is designed for excellent control. As a beginner ping pong player, learning to place the ball consistently and accurately is paramount, and this slower, control-oriented racket will help you master the basics more quickly and easily than a paddle with more power
Butterfly is one of the best brand of table tennis rackets –known for quality and dependability– and you won’t be disappointed with their introductory line here.
While we recommend the 1000 model for the novice player, there are actually three beginner rackets in this Butterfly table tennis racket line: the Butterfly Timo Boll 1000, Butterfly Timo Boll 2000, and Butterfly Timo Boll 3000. These are some of the best budget ping pong paddles that are still high quality.
Though Butterfly rates each of these models with the same specs (Speed – 80, Spin – 70, Control – 80), the changes in construction of each model indicate that these specs don’t truly reflect the differences in the paddles.
All three are wooden bats with flared handles for shakehand grips and the same Pan Asia rubbers on each side; however, the differences lie in the thickness (and thus weight) of the bats as well as the thickness of the rubber’s sponge.
The 1000 is the lightest of the three and has a 1.5 mm sponge, making it ideal for control and easy to maneuver — a perfect beginner table tennis racket. If you’re brand new, start with the Butterfly Timo Boll 1000.
The 2000, actually has a slightly thicker and heavier bat, which means that this racket can provide more speed but will be slightly harder to maneuver. It still uses the same 1.5 mm sponge for excellent control, though. Since it’s still a lightweight and control-focused paddle, if you’re not a true novice but want to focus more on honing your fundamentals, the 2000 could be an excellent choice for your best beginner ping pong paddle.
The 3000 has the thickest, heaviest, and arguably best quality bat of the three, but it also has the thickest sponge at 2mm, giving it some more speed and power. While it’s not a fast bat, that bit of extra speed and resulting loss of control could prove challenging for a true beginner. However, if you’ve played a bit recreationally and want to start committing to improving standard techniques, the Timo Boll 3000 could work quite well for you.
Once you’ve got a handle on the basics and have played for a while, you’ll want to explore the intermediate choices for greater spin and speed in your game.
|✅ Excellent control and slower speed – best table tennis paddle for beginners||🅧 A few users noticed rough|
spots on the handle requiring a quick sanding to smooth out and make more comfortable.
|✅ ITTF approved for tournament play|
|✅ Affordable & Great Value for Money|
|✅ Choices between 1000, 2000, and 3000 to fit every beginning player|
- The Expert 3.0 is the third generation of the popular Palio Expert Table Tennis series
- Wider edge tape to keep the rubbers secure, a better quality case to protect your bat, and a redesigned blade for even better control
- The perfect bat for beginners learning the game. It enables players to produce a high amount of spin, and execute the basic techniques & strokes with ease.
- Custom made & assembled. Speed = 6/10 Spin = 9/10 Control = 10/10
- ITTF approved rubbers are replaceable, competition legal, and provide high levels of speed & spin
Another excellent ping pong paddle for the new or young player, the Palio Expert 3.0 provides great control as well as decent spin to allow for the quicker, easier development of good table tennis technique.
In the Palio Expert 3.0, we see the third iteration of the popular series by Expert Table Tennis, and with each update, we continue to see quality improvements. The 3.0 includes wider edge tape, better protecting the blade’s edge from damage (think hitting the table accidentally during play) and keeping the rubbers from fraying at the edges. This contributes to a longer-lasting paddle.
They also further honed the blade of this beginner ping pong paddle, so you can rest assured you’re getting a bat designed for optimal control and comfort, precisely what beginners need.
The Palio Expert 3.0 has a flared handle for a stable, comfortable shakehand grip and rates Speed – 6, Spin – 9, and Control – 10. Both sides use Palio CJ8000 rubbers (ITTF approved) with a softer sponge and tacky topsheet, so you can develop good technique and spin early and effectively. The rubbers are also replaceable, so you can change out the rubbers if you’re still loving the blade and not ready to upgrade to an intermediate paddle.
This is the best table tennis paddle for beginners that want control but with a little more capability to develop spin from the start. (If you want more spin from your bat at any level, check out more of the best tt rackets for spin.) With the included case, the Palio 3.0 is one of the best value ping pong paddles too.
|✅ Affordable & Excellent Value||🅧 The handle may feel too small for those with large hands|
|✅ Ideal for beginners with great control, slow speed, and good spin|
|✅ Comes with a case|
|✅ ITTF Approved for tournament play|
|✅ Replaceable rubbers|
|✅ In 3.0: Improved bat for control and wider edge tape or better protection and durability|
Best Ping Pong Paddles for Intermediate Player
These are our best intermediate table tennis rackets (up to early advanced), covering a range of levels, play styles, and budgets. We’ll start with more early intermediate (step up) bats and then dive into the best intermediate bats that work for early advanced players too.
- BUTTERFLY 401 PING PONG PADDLE – The Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set will give you the perfect amount of spin, speed, and control for competitive ping pong matches.
- GREAT PING PONG RUBBER AND SPONGE - This Butterfly table tennis racket is built with red and black Yuki 2.1 mm table tennis rubbers providing speed and tackiness for spins to help you beat your ping pong opponent.
- ERGONOMIC GRIP – The ping pong paddle handle has a rounded flared design offering superior grip and comfort. The shakehand style with the red, grey, and blue colored handle makes it a stylish table tennis paddle.
- PING PONG PADDLE CASE – This racket comes with a free full table tennis racket case to protect your 401 ping pong paddle from harmful elements.
- TOURNAMENT APPROVED – The Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket is International Table Tennis Federation - ITTF approved for tournaments.
The Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket is a great paddle for an early intermediate player looking to upgrade from a cheap/generic racket to a durable, quality bat made for allround play while keeping expenses to a minimum. This racket could also work well for a novice that has played a little recreationally already.
If you’ve played for a little while, have a decent grasp of many fundamentals, and are ready to replace a poor quality racket on a tight budget, the Butterfly 401 may be your best (cheap!) ping pong paddle option.
With a 5-play wooden bat and flared handle for shakehand grip, this paddle is lightweight and comfortable. You’ll have a nice sweet spot with this blade, which can be quite noticeable if you’ve been playing with poorly constructed bats.
With ITTF approved Butterfly Yuki rubbers in red and black, your bat will be tournament ready. These rubbers tend to stay tacky longer than those of other bats at similar price points, so your spin game will stay on point for longer. The sponge thickness of 2.1mm lends a little more speed to your game than thin rubbers often found on beginner paddles.
The rubbers will require some maintenance, to keep in good working order, of course, but that’s true of all quality rubbers and equipment. The Butterfly 401 comes with a case, making it an exceptional value financially.
In addition to value, durability is another key marker of the Butterfly 401 (and Butterfly table tennis rackets in general). It holds up to lots of play, so whether you play recreationally or are comfortable with the basics and ready to step up from a cheap or poorly made racket, the Butterfly 401 is a solid choice.
This bat leans towards a balanced play style with a little bit more speed, a tiny bit less control, and greater spin than bats designed for complete beginners. Though it’s rated at Control – 8.5, Speed – 8, and Spin – 8, most players notice the spin most when they step up into this early intermediate ping pong paddle.
|✅ Excellent Value & Affordable||🅧 Some find the handle design a little too rounded and slightly uncomfortable|
|✅ Durable||🅧 Does not have the power and speed of other intermediate bats, as this is an early step up bat|
|✅ Comes with a Case|
|✅ ITTF Approved for tournament play|
|✅ Tacky Yuki rubbers for improved spin|
|✅ Good all-around bat for those looking to step up from a beginner bat|
- Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
- ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
- Features Shock Dispersion Technology (SDT)
- Performance Ratings- Speed: 96 Spin: 94 Control: 90
- Premium Rubber, 2mm Sponge, and 6-Ply Light Blade
The Stiga Evolution is one of the best table tennis paddles for those looking to transition to more serious or early tournament play from purely recreational play with a better quality paddle that balances speed, control, and spin.
A lower tier (but quality) Sting ping pong paddle, the Evolution can also be an excellent upgrade for recreational players that have some basics and want a paddle that allows them a slightly faster game with more spin.
The lightweight 6-ply wooden blade has a comfortable flared handle to keep your shakehand grip stable throughout the game. With Stiga’s crystal technology, this is a harder, faster blade than their entry-line models but won’t have the power and speed (or as nice a sweet spot) as the Pro Carbon.
Stiga lists the stats at Speed – 96, Spin – 94, Control – 90, and while the Evolution is a solid step-up bat, we don’t think numbers just a few shy of our Stiga top pick: Stiga Pro Carbon are justified. If you really want higher levels of speed and some better spin, the Stiga Pro Carbon will deliver more, though with less control.
The Stiga Evolution has ITTF Approved rubbers on both sides with nano composite technology that tightens the bonds in the topsheet, resulting in better speed and spin than basic bats, and the 2mm sponge will lend some speed as well.
This is a great step-up bat for early intermediate or recreational players wanting to get more serious, though it’s not quite as durable or powerful as the higher end Stiga Pro Carbon model. If you’re looking to make an early upgrade, the Stiga Evolution could be the best table tennis racket for your game!
|✅ Improved speed and spin over basic/inexpensive bats||🅧 Handle may feel short for those with larger hands|
|✅ ITTF Approved rubbers||🅧 Won’t have the power, speed, or quality of the higher end Stiga Pro Carbon|
|✅ Great step-up bat for early intermediate or rec players||🅧 Some fragility concerns with blade and handle|
- 🏅 Step up your Game! – If you’re looking for a table tenni paddle that will help you step up your game, Idoraz Soft ping pong paddle is hard to beat. Thanks to its robust construction and thick, ITTF Approved Rubber, this table tennis racket takes your performance to the next level.
- 🏓 Master the Spin – With a spin rating of 93, Idoraz ping pong racket provides excellent spin and balance while playing. The rubber has plenty of grip to put spin on the ball, while the smooth handle of the table tennis bat offers easy control over the spin.
- 🚀 Amazingly Fast – If speed and balance are what you’re looking for, Idoraz ping pong bat is probably your best choice. Combining a speed rating of 99 with a perfectly balanced frame, it is probably the best TT Racket for recreational players on the market.
- 🏆 Perfect Control - As far as power goes on this Pro ping pong paddle, Idoraz has plenty of control for those fast shots. With a 90 control rating and 2.00 mm rubber coating, this premium table tennis paddle is an awesome ping pong tacket to have and a great gift to receive.
- 💯 30 days Guarantee – Idoraz ping pong paddles are built using the latest technology. We are so confident in their quality that we offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Either you love your TT Paddle or you send it back within 30 days for a full refund. No hassle from us!
The Idoraz Table Tennis Paddle is another great ping pong paddle choice for early intermediate players or recreational players looking to step up from cheap bats and who want a little more power and speed in their game while still maintaining good control.
The Idoraz has a 5 ply wooden blade and flared handle for shakehand grip, and while the company rates their bat at Speed – 99, Spin – 93, Control 90, you should view these numbers with a grain of salt. While it’s a solid early intermediate paddle and often a better bat for regular recreational players, you should not expect truly high levels of speed or spin.
Higher level intermediate players to advanced players would likely be happier with the speed and spin of other options on this list.
The Idoraz has a pips in, ITTF approved rubber on both sides of the bat with a 2mm sponge for speed. You’ll find it minimally reactive to incoming spin, allowing you to return more shots. As with a variety of rubbers, some users noticed an odor when unpacking the Idoraz for the first time, though the smell usually dissipates over time.
You’ll also receive a paddle case, and the company currently offers a complete 30-day guarantee: love it or send it back for a full refund! If you’re uncertain about purchasing a new bat, that guarantee combined with a case makes the Idoraz one of the best ping pong paddle for the money in this range!
|✅ Great early intermediate and improvement over cheap recreational paddles||🅧 Those with larger hands may find the handle too short|
|✅ Improved speed and spin versus cheap common paddles||🅧 Does not have the power or speed of other intermediate or advanced rackets|
|✅ ITTF Approved rubbers||🅧 Some initial odor to the rubbers|
|✅ 30 Day Money Back Guarantee|
- Fitted Play: Loop with quick-attack
- Specially selected imported wood with classic Chinese rubber
- Bigger size design moves sweet spot forward to play table tennis
- Freely control racket more freely with comfortable handle
- Fitted for Tournaments and Worl
The DHS 6006 our choice for best penhold ping pong paddle for an intermediate player looking for a more offensive racket with a great combination of looping and speed while still retaining good control.
This quality bat created by table tennis equipment powerhouse DHS, is a 6-star Chinese Penhold racket that will absolutely improve the game of the intermediate table tennis player. The 5 layer wooden blade is designed for offensive play with a thick core and strong bottom plate: ideal for fast, arcing attacks.
As one expects from DHS, one of the best table tennis racket brands, you’ll find quality materials on this paddle, and most players find the handle comfortable, though a few times we’ve noticed these bats needing a touch of sanding at the hold point of the handle to improve the comfort level for longer play periods.
While some may find this bat a bit on the heavier side, that extra weight will add some power, though it’ll take some extra muscle to execute certain techniques and shots, especially when you first transition.
One thing of note, there’s definitely a difference in the red and black side of this ping pong paddle! The DHS 6006 has smooth rubbers with the Tin Arc III on one side and the DHS Hurricane III on the other. Both quality rubbers sit atop a 2.15 mm sponge, whose thickness really amps up the speed and power capabilities of this ping pong paddle.
DHS rates this bat at Speed: OFF+, meaning it’s intended for more offensive style players (common for penhold players), though we feel you’ll still have decent control with this paddle.
This is our recommendation for best penhold table tennis racket for intermediate players; you’ll have increased speed and spin with quality components at an affordable price.
|✅ Great value for price||🅧 Paddle may feel heavy for some players|
|✅ Excellent intermediate paddle for penhold grip||🅧 Some notice the rubber has an unpleasant odor at first|
|✅ Two Quality Rubbers – Tin Arc II and DHS Hurricane III||🅧 May need to sand slightly at the holding point of the handle for further comfort|
|✅ ITTF Approved|
|✅ Designed for offensive play – Speed: OFF+|
- Competition-level paddle for intermediate or advanced players
- ITTF approved, 2.0mm high-tension Nitrx-4Z rubber, JET600 SPIN N1 table tennis racket
- 5-ply wood blade, 6.0mm lightweight thickness for balanced control-aggressive play
- Ratings out of 10: Speed 8.0, Spin 9.0, Control 8.5
- Comes with a 30-day warranty
The JET600 Killerspin ping pong paddle is an excellent choice for the intermediate player looking for great levels of spin and solid speed in an easy to control, lightweight paddle.
Also referred to as the JET600 Spin N1, this Killerspin paddle has a 5 ply wooden blade that, while dense, will feel quite lightweight in hand. With the stable flared handle and well balanced blade, you’ll find this bat easy to maneuver and quite comfortable for longer, controlled games.
Both sides of the blade have ITTF approved, high tension Nitrx-4Z rubbers; these rubbers are tacky with excellent grip, contributing to the high degree of spin you’ll notice with this bat. Under the rubbers is a 2mm thick sponge, contributing to the speed of this table tennis racket.
Killerspin rates the JET600 Spin N1 at Speed – 8, Spin – 9, Control – 8.5 and designed it for intermediate players with a more aggressive play style who still want greater control than that offered by high speed bats, which sacrifice significant control for greater offensive capabilities (requiring more skill and control from the player).
Overall, you’re looking at great spin with good but slightly lessened speed in order to accommodate greater control, hence the accurate appraisal of balanced control-aggressive play. If you’re an intermediate player looking to step up your offensive but still want a bat that improves your accuracy, the JET600 Killerspin padlle might the best table tennis paddle to up your game!
If you’re more advanced or want more power and are willing to sacrifice extra control, the JET800 Killerspin paddle will likely serve you better. It’s all about knowing your own skills and your preferred kind of game!
|✅ High Quality Intermediate Racket for balanced control-aggressive play||🅧 Because of greater emphasis on control, doesn’t have top speed levels (not necessarily a con)|
|✅ Good spin|
|✅ ITTF Approved Nitrx 4Z rubbers|
|✅ Lightweight, balanced, easy to wield|
- Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
- ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
- Features Carbon Technology for Power and Speed
- Performance Ratings- Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
- 7-Ply Extra Light Blade, S5 Rubber, and 2mm Sponge
The Stiga Pro Carbon is our top pick for overal best ping pong paddle for intermediate players. The best Stiga paddle, you’ll love the Stiga Pro Carbon if you’re looking to improve offensive play with increased speed and spin. You’ll feel the lightweight power of the carbon layers!
Designed for intermediate players looking to step into a more offensive play style, the extremely popular Stiga Pro Carbon is based around it’s 7-ply blade. Two of the layers are carbon, lending the blade greater stiffness and thus power and speed while still keeping the blade light. The carbon also contributes to the nice, large sweet spot on this bat!
The center ply, made of balsa, also helps lighten the blade. Though the Stiga Pro Carbon has a heavier blade than many starter bats, that weight lends power, and between the balsa and carbon plies, you’ll find it’s absolutely lightweight enough for offensive work! The concave, or flared, handle is comfortable and perfect for the common shakehand grip.
On each side of the Stiga Pro Carbon are Stiga S5 rubbers with 2mm sponge. These rubbers aren’t as tacky as other rubbers, meaning there’s less grip, making advanced shots a touch more difficult to execute. However, it’s not terribly sensitive to your opponent’s spin and delivers excellent smashing strikes! The thick sponge also contributes to its speed!
Stiga, one of the best ping pong paddle brands for intermediate premade bats, rates this bat at Speed – 99, Spin -100, and Control – 80, advanced players will notice some speed and spin limitations, which is why this is a truly one of the best table tennis paddles for intermediate players but may not suit more advanced players as well.
This is definitely not a beginner bat, however, and if you’re new, you’ll likely have better success with a more control-oriented paddle. If you’re just upgrading from your first bat, the speed from sponge and weight may take some getting used to, but you’ll be quite pleased once you adjust and find newfound power, speed, and spin from your Pro Carbon!
While the Stiga Pro Carbon is an excellent paddle, the quality level is not as high as you’d expect on a truly professional paddle, hence its more reasonable price bracket. Over time, those rubbers will start to degrade and may need replacing; luckily, the rubbers here are both ITTF approved and replaceable! Keep it in a case and maintain your rubbers, though, and you’ll find the Stiga Pro Carbon an excellent upgrade and offensive-heavy bat.
If you’re an intermediate player and want quality but not insane price, the Stiga Pro Carbon is also likely your best ping pong paddle for the money!
|✅ Excellent for intermediate players looking for improved offense||🅧 Advanced players will feel some speed and spin limitations|
|✅ 7-Ply blade||🅧 Rubbers not as durable and may require replacing over time|
|✅ 2 Layers of Carbon for Increased Speed||🅧 Heavier bat than many starter paddles may take time to adjust to|
|✅ Balsa center ply keeps bat lighter|
|✅ 2 mm. Sponge for More Speed|
|✅ ITTF Approved for tournament play|
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE PADDLE: Designed with the serious player in mind, this ITTF-approved paddle provides exceptional grip on ball strikes and heavy spin on serves
- SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION: Blade consists of 7-ply composite wood and carbon fiber for extra pop, while professional grade Nitrx-4Z rubbers provide enhanced accuracy
- IDEAL RATINGS: Features ratings of Control: 7;5, Spin: 9, Power: 9, ideal for an aggressive play style
- PERSONALIZED MEMORY BOOK: Store your ping pong paddle in a gift-worthy storage case and record scores, collect signatures, and write personalized messages
- PORTABLE SIZE: Measuring 6” x 6 1/8”, this racket is perfect for on the go competition
The Killerspin JET800 Speed N1is another excellent table tennis racket for intermediate players looking for an aggressive attack bat with high spin and decent speed.
This Killerspin ping pong paddle has a heavier 7 ply blade designed for aggressive offensive play. The 2 carbon fiber layers increase the sweet spot and lend greater strength and speed. The blade is also a bit larger than others at its level, including the Stiga Pro Carbon, which can contribute to better defending, making it easier to return those smashes.
A little heavier than many intermediate bats, you may find there’s an adjustment period as you get used to the increased weight of this Killerspin paddle. The flared burnt wood handle is both beautifully crafted and stable in your hand with a reinforced grip for comfort and power.
Made with ITTF approved Nitrx rubbers, you’ll have good grip and know you’re ready with a tournament legal bat.
Killerspin JET800 rates Speed – 9, Spin – 9, Control – 7.5, and while most players find the spin outranks the speed in actual performance, this is certainly not a beginner bat. You’ll need to have developed your skills and control to comfortably use this bat, but it will afford you more speed and spin in a highly offense-oriented game.
In comparison to the Stiga Pro Carbon, you can expect a little more spin on the Killerspin JET800, though not quite as much bounce and or speed as the Pro Carbon. Once again, it’s about what you personally desire (and your budget!) for your best ping pong paddle.
However, if you’re thinking about an intermediate bat with great spin and good speed that works best for more aggressive players, the Killerspin Jet800 is an excellent choice!
|✅ High Quality Materials||🅧 Players with large hands may find the handle just a bit shorter than comfortable|
|✅ Excellent paddle for aggressive intermediate players wanting more speed and power||🅧 Not as much spin as other intermediate paddles (designed more for speed)|
|✅ ITTF approved for tournament play||🅧 Heavier paddle may require adjustment time|
|✅ Large blade for good defensive capabilities|
- DHS HURRICANE-II Table Tennis Shakehand Racquet
- Rubber: Red Pimples In / Black Pimples In
- Fitted Play: All-Round; Comes in one racket with cover and two balls in gift box
- If you find anything wrong with the paddle and want to return - please make sure the product in brand new condition and the covers of rubbers CAN NOT be torn down.
- With a Landson wrist support
The DHS Hurricane II may be the best table tennis racket for spin for the intermediate or more advanced player. This is an excellent premade bat designed for higher level all around (balanced), versatile play with a focus on serious spin!
While this is our top pick for intermediate best ping pong paddle for spin, it also has solid control and a good bit of speed. Many players feel this is the best premade table tennis paddle you can get for quality all around play without customization.
Made by DHS (Double Happiness Shanghai), one of the best table tennis brands, this bat features a 5-ply wood blade and a comfortable flared handle for shakehand grip.
Unlike many premade bats, the DHS Hurricane II features different rubbers on each side, lending itself to balanced, versatile play. Both rubbers have pips in, and the Hurricane II red rubbers give more speed and offense, while the G555 black rubber helps slow the ball down and improve control. This is another paddle where it’s important to be aware of the difference between the red and black sides of the ping pong paddle!
These are durable rubbers that hold up well over time, maintaining tackiness quite well when properly maintained. The rubbers are VERY tacky, which helps give you that fantastic spin, and the rubbers have a firm sponge to increase speed but a thickness of 1.5mm for control, making this a great all rounder bat.
DHS rates the Hurricane II at Speed – 9, Spin – 9, Control – 7. As you can see, this is not the bat for a beginner, as control is lessened in favor of speed and spin.
Despite the equal spin and speed ratings here, spin is really where the Hurricane II shines. It really is more for all-around players, so you won’t find quite the level of speed here in actual play that you would with a bat designed for truly offensive play styles.
With quality, durable ITTF approved rubbers, the DHS Hurricane II is an our best table tennis racket for spin in the intermediate – early advanced range. You’ll be tournament ready with tons of spin and a balanced play style.
As equipment levels improve, though, so do costs, and this is a more expensive racket than some due to its quality. Also, some mention they find the rubbers to smell rather strong or even a bit on the fishy side; however, most say even that initial strong smell is well worth the quality and improvement to their game.
|✅ Fantastic for all-around/balanced play style and intermediate or early advanced players||🅧 Some find the rubbers have an odor that takes a while to dissipate|
|✅ High quality, durable, ITTF approved rubbers||🅧 Tacky rubbers will require some maintenance to keep their grip, as is expected with quality rubbers|
|✅ 2 Different rubbers for versatility||🅧 Getting a bit pricier|
|✅ Excellent spin and tacky rubbers|
|✅ High quality materials and construction|
- PROFESSIONAL TABLE TENNIS RACKET - The Butterfly 802 Table Tennis Racket Set includes high quality rubbers and carbon in the racket to give you increased spin and speed to play like a pro
- EXCELLENT RUBBER - The ITTF approved Butterfly ping pong paddle offers inverted red and black Wakaba and FL extra 2. 1 mm rubbers. This unique combination gives a high amount of speed and spin
- ARYLATE CARBON - The wood used in this ping pong paddle is made of 5 plies and acrylate carbon. ALC offers increased speed, reduces vibration, and enlarges the sweet spot when striking the ball
- The shake hand style with the grey, black, and blue colored handle makes it a stylish table tennis paddle
- GIFT BOX - CASE INCLUDED - This ping pong racket ships in a gift box and comes with a free Butterfly Ping Pong Paddle Case
The Butterfly 802 is the best Butterfly intermediate table tennis racket for intermediate to early advanced players ready to tackle more advanced shots and improve their game with a bat made for spin and speed
Once you’ve developed your game and honed your skills, you’ll need to upgrade to a better ping pong paddle that allows you to more fully employ your improved abilities.
The blade consists of 5 wooden plies and 2 strengthening plies of arylate carbon, which increase the stiffness and thus speed of the blade while also reducing vibration and creating a larger sweet spot on the paddle.
The flared handle provides comfort and stability for the shakehand grip, and honestly, the handle on this paddle is also just lovely. It’s always nice to have quality equipment that also looks great.
The ITTF approved rubbers differ on the red and black side of the Butterfly 802, increasing the versatility of this quality bat. In use on the black forehand side is the Butterfly Wakaba rubber for a bit more control and lesser spin and speed, while the red backhand has the Flextra rubber with more spin and speed in a nice balance.
Both rubbers use a 2.1mm sponge, so you can expect speed from that thickness as well. Butterfly rates the 802 as Speed – 90, Spin – 87.5, and Control – 57, and while we maintain you should always take manufacturer ratings with a grain of salt, this is absolutely not a beginner bat.
You’ll need to have developed some skill and control in your technique, but if you’re at that point in your play, the Butterfly 802 can really help you take your game to new heights.
Additionally, the Butterfly 802 comes with a case that can hold 2 balls in addition to 2 paddles, so you can keep your primary and backup bats together in travel. A case is must-have to protect your paddle and keep it in good condition, so this is a great addition. This Butterfly table tennis racket also comes in a nice gift box, making it a lovely gift for a table tennis player making strides in his or her game!
|✅ Excellent quality intermediate to advanced ping pong paddle with a nice balance of speed and spin||🅧 More expensive than some intermediate bats|
|✅ Arylate Carbon for strength, speed, lessened vibration||🅧 May not have the all out speed that extreme offense players desire|
|✅ 2 different rubbers (Wakaba and Flextra) for versatile play|
|✅ Large sweet spot|
|✅ Very Responsive & great for counter attacking|
|✅ Comes with case that fits 2 rackets|
Best Professional Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
When you’re talking about the best professional ping pong paddles, you start getting into a truly incredible degree of specificity and personalization. For the purpose of these reviews, think of these “best professional ping pong paddles” as the best paddles for advanced or semi-pro/early professional players that need a high caliber pro-quality bat but have no idea where to start. Start here!
Once you get into fully professional equipment, you’re talking about high levels of customization: different blades, handles, rubbers, and sponges, usually made to order or purchased separately and assembled yourself.
This can feel overwhelming, though, so we’ve put together a couple great blade and rubber combinations for the advanced player that doesn’t want to spend weeks going down the rabbit hole of nigh infinite possibilities!
These are a few of our best professional table tennis rackets. They are hand assembled and delivered to your door, so you get a high quality racket without the headache! As is expected at this level, the price does jump up.
When you talk table tennis rackets, Butterfly will always come up, and these are 3 of the best Butterfly professional table tennis rackets to use as you move into a more advanced level of play. These are also easy to purchase; no need to special order separate parts or use a specialty site. These are convenient to buy, as they are some of the absolute best table tennis paddles on Amazon.
The Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5 Blade with Tenergy 80 FX Rubber is one of the best table tennis racket for professionals or advanced players looking for an excellent all-round playstyle bat that has more intense speed and spin than any intermediate options.
One of the best Butterfly professional table tennis rackets, this Butterfly Balso X5 pro line racket has a 5 ply blade with 3 wooden plies, including a balsa wood core, combined with 2 carbon layers, creating a lightweight feel with increased power and strength. The flared handle ensures comfort and stability for your shakehand grip.
This Butterfly table tennis racket has a moderately fast blade created for those who like to attack from close to the table, though it also has plenty of power for those mid-distance shots too.
Covered with Butterfly’s Tenergy 80 FX rubbers on both sides (so no difference between the red and black sides of the paddle other), you’ll have high quality rubbers designed for spin and speed. These rubbers have a thick 2.1 mm medium-soft sponge underneath and a smooth texture.
With the combination of this topsheet with the softer sponge, Tenergy 80 FX rubbers are ideal for all-round play, creating a nice balance between attack and defensive techniques. These red and black ITTF approved rubbers come glued to the blade for you.
These rubbers don’t have quite the level of spin associated with the Tenergy 05 nor the speed of the Tenergy 64, but they’re a great introduction to higher end rubbers if you’re new to Tenergy or just beginning to feel out an advanced playstyle.
Though cost does increase with higher end blades and rubbers, this light, responsive paddle will serve you well as, allowing your balanced playstyle an upgrade in both speed and spin!
This paddle with Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5 Blade and Tenergy 80 FX Rubbers is hand assembled for you in the US using Butterfly Free Chack rubber glue.
|✅ Excellent paddle for later intermediate to advanced players||🅧 Rubbers don’t have as much spin or speed as some other high end rubbers (these rubbers lend themselves more to all-round play)|
|✅ ITTF approved||🅧 Getting more expensive|
|✅ Balsa and Carbon blade – lightweight but strong|
|✅ Tenergy 80FX rubbers for balanced spin and speed|
|✅ Great for more advanced all-round play (more spin and speed than intermediate bats)|
|✅ Hand assembled in the US (rubbers will be properly glued to the blade for you!)|
Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade with Tenergy 05 Rubbers: Best Professional Table Tennis Racket for Spin
- PROFESSIONAL TABLE TENNIS RACKET - This ping pong paddle is ideal for the professional player that is seeking speed and heavy topspin strokes
- TIMO BOLL ALC – Made of Arylate-Carbon, providing the speed and heavy topspin for which Timo Boll is known
- TENERGY 05 - This Butterfly ping pong paddle is equipped with Tenergy 05 2.1mm rubber, which enables a full range of topspin play at or away from the table
- BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS RACKETS - Butterfly rackets are the preferred choice for professional players
- ASSEMBLED IN USA – The Butterfly Timo Boll ALC blade is assembled by hand in the USA with Tenergy 05 2.1 Rubber. Butterfly Free Chack rubber glue is used to apply the rubber and is packaged in the original Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade box
Another Butterfly table tennis racket, the Timo Boll ALC Blade with Tenergy 05 Rubbers is a professional quality, advanced blade and rubber combination designed for an advanced player that loves an attack-oriented style with heavy topspin.
As its name implies, the blade of the Timo Boll ALC contains 2 layers of Arylate Carbon in addition to its wooden plies. As you’d expect of a carbon composite blade, you’ll get speed while maintaining a lighter weight, and this blade boasts both speed and heavy topspin, making it another of the best Butterfly professional table tennis rackets.
Butterfly rates this blade as an OFF class with a speed of 93 and control of 56, meaning this is an offensive blade, though slightly less offense heave than the previous Zhang Jike ZLC blade. Star player Timo Boll is known for his speed and especially his heavy topspin style, and this is what you can expect from this blade and rubber combination, hence our choice for best ping pong paddle for spin for professional or advanced players.
The straight handle on this blade allows for more versatility in grip style, so you can easily change how you’re holding your Timo Boll ALC during different situations throughout a single game.
Both sides of the paddle come with ITTF approved medium-hard, smooth Tenergy 05 rubbers with a 2.1mm spring sponge designed for topspin play both at the table and from a distance. Butterfly rates this rubber at Speed – 92, Spin – 92, and Control – 96.
Also hand assembled in the US using Butterfly Free Chack rubber glue, you won’t be disappointed with the quality or speed and spin capabilities of this advanced racket. If you’re ready to take a leap forward with your offensive game and desire heavy spin, this might be the best table tennis paddle for you!
|✅ Professional level, high quality table tennis racket (blade & rubbers)||🅧 Cost|
|✅ Arylate Carbon for strong, powerful blade|
|✅ ITTF Approved Tenergy 05 Rubbers|
|✅ Designed for offensive play with speed and heavy topspin|
|✅ Hand assembled in the US (rubbers come glued to blade for you)|
- PROFESSIONAL TABLE TENNIS RACKET - This ping pong paddle is ideal for the professional player that is seeking a strong and lightweight racket built for powerful attacks at all distances
- ZHANG JIKE ZLC – Made of ZL Carbon allowing powerful attacks as well as a soft feel making it an exceptional ping pong racket
- TENERGY 64 - This ping pong paddle is equipped with Tenergy 64 2.1mm the fastest Tenergy ping pong paddle rubber. It offers more flexibility and a softer touch, enabling powerful and precise attacking
- BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS RACKETS - Butterfly rackets are the preferred choice for professional players
- ASSEMBLED IN USA – The Butterfly Zhang Jike ZLC Blade is assembled by hand in the USA with Tenergy 64 2.1 Rubber. Butterfly Free Chack rubber glue is used to apply the rubber and is packaged in the original Butterfly Zhang Jike ZLC Blade box.
The combination of the Zhang Jike ZLC Blade with the fast attacking Tenergy 64 Rubbers is our top choice for best ping pong paddle for professionals or aspiring pros, ideal for more advanced players looking to level up their attacking game with an excellent quality blade and rubbers designed with speed in mind.
One of the most notable features of this shakehand paddle is the blade, which contains ZL Carbon, a material that allows for very powerful attacks while keeping a soft feel. Lightweight but powerful, this Butterfly table tennis racket blade is designed for strong attacks at any distance and with the skill level of an advanced player in mind.
Hand assembled in the US, this racket has Tenergy 64 pimples-in rubbers with a 2.1mm sponge affixed on each side of the blade with Butterfly Free Chack rubber glue. The Butterfly High Tension technology in conjunction with the spring sponge creates a fast rubber with the ability to grip the ball and send it catapulting back with tremendous speed and lots of spin.
Though speed is the primary characteristic of these rubbers, you’ll still have quite good control (for an advanced player!) and nice spin, making this a fantastic overall choice.
This is a fast, high-quality set up with an excellent blade and fast attacking rubbers that will take your offensive game to new heights with powerful and accurate attacking capabilities. This is our recommendation for the best ping pong paddle for advanced players that aren’t ready to dive into creating a fully customized set up on their own.
|✅ Professional level, quality paddle for advanced players||🅧 Cost|
|✅ ZL Carbon for strong, powerful blade|
|✅ Fast attacking Tenergy 64 Rubbers|
|✅ ITTF Approved|
|✅ Hand assembled in the US (rubbers come properly glued to blade)|
Best Recreational Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
These are our top ping pong paddle options for purely recreational players. Maybe you play at work or you want a break from your electronic dart board in the family rec room. If you’re looking to add some physical activity and fun to your family game nights or want a better racket for the occasional low stakes office game, these are for you!
Keep in mind, if you’re a more serious recreational player or have good table tennis fundamentals, you may want to consider the paddles in the Intermediate-Advanced section as well; those will be a step up from the rec bats here, though cost will start increasing in some instances as well.
The Killerspin Jet 200 is the best budget ping pong paddle for purely recreational players looking to improve their game a bit while still maintaining sufficient control to learn the basics of table tennis technique.
If you’ve only ever played with the cheap paddles that come with the tables or perhaps the dinged up bats at the office, this budget table tennis racket could be a total game changer!
This racket consists of a 5 ply wooden blade, covered on both sides by Jet Basic rubbers, which are designed with beginning and recreational players in mind (no side differences on this ping pong paddle). The flared handle is ideal for comfort and stability and suits beginners and rec players perfectly.
For added durability, PVC edge tape covers the edges of the blade to help minimize damage from the occasional impact with the table.
Control is the primary characteristic of these bats, making them good recreational rackets, though they won’t have the levels of speed or spin you can expect in the intermediate racket range.
The rubbers on this racket are NOT ITTF APPROVED, meaning this is not a suitable racket for anyone looking to compete in tournament play. However, because rubbers don’t need to be red and black for ITTF compliance, this paddle comes in multiple colors!
**There is an updated version of the JET200 that trades out the basic rubbers for Killerspin’s Nitrx-4Z rubbers, so if you’re a good rec player that wants a better quality rubber but aren’t looking for tournament play, this upgrade could be a nice option.
HOWEVER, if you’re considering that upgraded version and want even more spin and speed (and potential tournament capabilities), you should consider the JET600 in the intermediate category, which has a more powerful and spinner blade and uses the same Nitrx 4Z rubbers.**
Killerspin rates this updated racket at Control – 8.5, Spin – 7, and Power (Speed) – 6, so you’re still going to have good control as you improve and play. If you’re more serious, though, or looking for a longer-lasting bat that handles more play time better, you might be happier looking at our intermediate options.
The Killerspin JET200 comes in thoughtful packaging with a memory book storage case where you can record scores and games. If you’re looking for a cheap table tennis racket (in price, not quality!), control-oriented upgrade from the poor quality generic paddles and want some fun colors on your bat, this Killerspin paddle could be the best table tennis paddle for you!
|✅ Control oriented for beginner recreational players||🅧 Some players noted the handle had a few rough spots that needing quick sanding to smooth out|
|✅ Great for recreational players||🅧 Those with large hands may find the handle too small or short|
|✅ Comes in different colors||🅧 Won’t be as high quality as higher tier versions in the Killerspin JET line|
|✅ New version offers improved rubbers||🅧 Not for intermediate/advanced players|
|✅ Good step up from cheap paddles||🅧 Not ITTF approved (no tournaments)|
Though it’s not from one of the typical table tennis brands, this Sport Game Pro racket is a good choice for a recreational player looking for a colorful, fun bat with a bit of speed and spin to up their office or basement game.
A definite improvement over the cheap paddles you find in most office rec rooms (or those that came with your home table), the Sport Game Pro is a 5-ply wooden blade paddle with a comfortable flared handle.
With a 2mm sponge under their rubbers, you can expect a little more speed from this bat than many basic cheap paddles. Rated at Speed – 82, spin – 91, control – 79, you’ll likely find your spin game and your speed improved here, though if you’re a complete beginner, you may need more control (consider the best beginner ping pong paddles listed above).
If you’re an intermediate or advanced player, however, we recommend you consider other choices despite the manufacturer’s ratings, which should be taken with a grain of salt.
Of all the options on this list, the Sport Game Pro absolutely has the most exciting, bright color choices: blue, pink, red, yellow, and green. While these are not currently ITTF legal colors (or rubbers), they make for a fun rec paddle for youth players, office players, and at home players who want a better bat but aren’t interested in tournament play.
If you’re concerned about expesnse, the red version here is the best cheap ping pong paddle option of all of the recreational paddles listed here. Other colors vary in price.
Though the listing indicates “has killer spin,” don’t mistake this paddle for the brand Killerspin! This is NOT a Killersping ping pong paddle! Still, recreational players should find this bat provides a decent step up in spin and speed, and it comes with a lightweight carrying case that can hold two rackets and two ping pong balls.
If you want a brightly colored and good quality step up recreational racket, the Sport Game Pro is a great, inexpensive choice.
|✅ Bright, fun, colorful recreational paddles||🅧 Not for intermediate/advanced players|
|✅ Better spin and speed than cheap, basic paddles||🅧 Colors are not ITTF approved|
|✅ Great improvement for office or at home players tired of the rackets that came with the table||🅧 Rubbers (even red/black option) do not appear ITTF approved|
|✅ Inexpensive||🅧 Not suitable for tournament play|
|✅ Comes with a case|
- THE ERGONOMICs - A totally unique ergonomically designed Slopehandle table tennis racket. Featuring a curved handle that fits perfectly to the shape of your hand.
- THE QUALITY - 6 star bat consisting of five layers of wood. The three middle layers being Ayous wood and the two outside layers being Limba wood, giving you the soft feel and great control needed in the modern topspin player of today.
- THE FEEL - Not only with an ergonomic grip, your AirBlade paddle comes with 2mm of quality sponge and 1.6mm of high-end inverted rubber along with those 5 layers of quality wood blades on your AirBlade Slopehandle table tennis bat to let you rip the ball with extreme spin!
- THE LOOK -The AirBlades Slopehandle Everyday range is designed to be the Hottest looking, most comfortable table tennis racquet for recreational players you'll ever use! Your friends will envy you cause of this ping pong racquet so much that you'll be lucky if you get to use it for yourself! Better get one for them too!
- THE CASE - Each Airblades ping pong racket comes with its own beautifully designed custom made case for you to protect your new weapon in!
The Airblades 6 Star Paddle is a great recreational ping pong paddle for those that have struggled to find a comfortable handle and who want a heavy blade with good power.
The 5 Ply wooden blade consists of three central layers of Ayous wood with two outer layers of Limba wood, which adds softness to the feel and dependable control desired in the tospin heavy games of today.
Notably a heavier paddle than most recreational paddles, you can expect some greater power, but it may take you time to adjust to the weight, meaning in the interim, it could feel slower and harder to maneuver.
Most importantly, this company has a unique handle style, their “Slopehandle,” which is highly ergonomic in nature, sloping significantly on one side and widening towards the base. Just look at the unique shape of this handle on the Airblades bat; it’s one of a kind.
It differs in design and construction from all the traditional handles (straight, flared, anatomic), so if you’re struggling to find a truly comfortable paddle, the Airblades could be the best ping pong paddle for you.
The Airblades has white 1.6mm rubbers with 2mm sponge, and most players find they provide a decent grip on the ball. These are not ITTF approved, so this paddle is just for home, office, and other recreational games.
One minor complaint, however, is the logo in the center of the rubber, which has a different texture and thus causes the ball to react differently. While not a dealbreaker for most rec players, it’s worth knowing about in advance.
While Airblades does not list its speed, spin, or control ratings, players with this paddle emphasize it’s speed and topsin, and most importantly, it’s unique and very comfortable handle.
This paddle is also very durable and comes with a case, and the company boasts a lifetime warranty that you can sign up for after purchase. Though the cost is a bit more than other rec paddles, it’s still one of the best budget ping pong paddles and is a great value with the case and warranty.
If you’re considering this unique ping pong paddle, remember to stick with the 6 star version, though!
|✅ Unique, incredibly comfortable handle||🅧 Very heavy paddle (could be a pro if that’s what you’re looking for!)|
|✅ For Indoor or Outdoor Tables||🅧 Not ITTF Approved – not suitable for tournament play|
|✅ Great value for price||🅧 Logo portion of the paddle has a different grip than surrounding rubber|
|✅ Comes with a case|
|✅ Excellent customer service|
|✅ Lifetime Warranty available after purchase|
- Coaches Recommended Table Tennis Set: four-piece superior quality custom ping-pong paddles; technologically designed for balanced spin, control, and speed; eight top-notch tournament 40-mm, 3-star white balls meeting ITTF approved equipment regulation (size and weight) for official competition.
- High-End Materials: best performance elastic pads; eco-friendly natural rubber sheet; high-bounce orange (yellow) medium-soft sponge; 5-ply wood blade with ergonomic flared handle (holder) for comfortable grip and long sessions; advanced edge tape to avoid side wear; amazing craftsmanship!
- Designed to be used for all skill levels from beginner / starters, intermediate to all-round master players; For all ages (young, old), female, male, kids, and whole family; Beautiful color wooden raquets appeal to boys and girls for practice and training. Designed in USA.
- Blue, zipped carrying bag / protector with compact combo gift design for perfect storage and organizer, easy travel carrying on-the-go to let 2-4 players enjoy indoor or outdoor professional or recreational games; standard black and red paddle face color; extra durable glue.
- Men, women, parents and grandparents – go get this special, prime sports gear as a present for your children, grandchildren, friends and family. Perfect for birthday parties, housewarming, graduation, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and any other holiday. Make this table tennis deal for you now (sale)!
If you’re looking for purely recreational family or office play and want an extremely affordable all-in-one set with decent durability and quality, the JP Winlook 4-Pack Paddle Set is definitely the best table tennis racket set on a budget!
This high value set comes with 4 paddles, 8 ping pong balls, and a nice zippered carrying case to hold them all.
The paddles have 5-ply wooden blades with the common flared handle, and edge tape adds to durability, offering the blade edge some protection from accidental table contact damage.
JP Winlook rates the paddles in this value set at Speed -85, Spin – 86, and Control – 87, and they’re decent quality recreational paddles for families looking to create some fun together or get in some competitive physical activity.
If you find someone in your family really enjoys ping pong and wants a better bat, you can always look back here for the best beginner table tennis rackets or the best intermediate ping pong paddles to help them learn faster and more easily or keep them moving forward in their game.
In addition to the tremendous value here, you also get exceptional customer service. Occasional quality control issues crop up, generally in regards to durability of handle construction or rough patches on the handle wood, but you’ll find the company goes above and beyond for their customers. Simply reach out to the customer service department with any issues.
|✅ Excellent Value||🅧 Some quality control issues regarding durability (contacting their customer service resulted in customer satisfaction)|
|✅ Very Affordable||🅧 Not ITTF Approved – not suitable for tournament play|
|✅ Great for recreational family games||🅧 Not for intermediate or advanced players|
|✅ 4 Paddles & 8 Balls||🅧 Not for a serious beginner|
|✅ Carrying case fits all items||🅧 Some handles have slight rough patches that can be smoothed with a quick sanding|
|✅ Stellar customer service|
- 🏓PREMIUM TABLE TENNIS SET; Our competition grade ping pong bundle is crafted from high quality materials and designed in the USA; This kit includes 4 performance paddles, 4 orange and 4 white tournament balls, and a portable storage bag with secure mesh compartments for easy travel; 2 - 4 player game for the starter or the pro; Our mission is to provide unparalleled craftsmanship at an incredible value
- 🏓PROFESSIONAL QUALITY RACKETS; Our 4 custom rackets are constructed with a 7 - ply wood blade improving durability; A premier extra thick 2.0mm sponge which adds better control and better feel; A high grade eco-friendly 1.5 mm red rubber and a durable 1.2mm black rubber for expectational control and spin; A protective film is added to each rubber to preserve the stickiness and cleanliness; a solid wood flared ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip; A grip your hands will fall in love with
- 🏓OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT BALLS; Our pack of 8 superior quality 3-star 40mm ping pong balls are made from durable ABS perfect for all surfaces including indoor and outdoor play; We have designed 4 orange and 4 white balls that meet USATT and ITTF equipment regulation (size and weight) for official table tennis competition; They are the highest rated balls in the industry
- 🏓TRAVEL ORGANIZER BAG PLUS EBOOK; Our portable red carrying case is constructed out of quality nylon; We have design 3 storage mesh pockets specifically for securing our paddles and balls for mobile play; As our gift to you, you will receive our latest exclusive ebook full of easy to follow instructions, tips, and tricks to help take your game to the next level
- 🏓100% RISK-FREE SATISFACTION GUARANTEE; Our Elite Topspin family is dedicated to achieving excellence in design, craftsmanship and customer service; Each premium set comes with a "zero questions" 60 day manufacturer money back guarantee and a 1 year free replacement warranty; We stand by our reputation of quality and continue to serve our customers year after year
The Elite Topspin Set is the best table tennis racket set for those looking for slightly higher quality but still very inexpensive paddles for the family rec room. The differing rubbers provide more options as you learn with tips and tricks from the included eBook, though the tackiness will take proper cleaning to maintain.
You’ll not be disappointed with the value here; you get 4 paddles, 8 balls, and a carrying case: a fantastic bang for the buck. It’s the best cheap table tennis set out there.
Unlike most sets, these paddles have 7 ply blades, with greater thickness for improved durability. However, this also means a heavier paddle, which could be more difficult or challenging for some players, depending on age and comfort level.
Unlike many paddle sets, the red and black rubbers differ in the Elite Topspin Set: the red rubber is a tackier rubber for better grip, whereas the black rubber is a smooth rubber. The different rubbers allow for different shots and execution, so you may find these Elite Topsin paddles have more versatile play options than those in the JP Winlook set.
However, that tackiness of rubbers, while certainly helpful, does come with maintenance in order to keep in good condition, so you’ll need to properly clean the rubbers in order to maintain the grip and quality.
Also if you want to keep the tackiness and not just build up a ton of dirt and dust, you’ll need to store them in a case when not in use (one does come with it, though you may want to keep films for rubber protection between the paddles if you store them there).
You’ll also receive an eBook with some table tennis basics, so if you have someone in the family that might be interested in learning, this is a good place to start.
Elite Topspin is another company with a fantastic customer service reputation. They have a “zero questions” 60-day manufacturer money back guarantee as well as a 1-year free replacement warranty, so you can feel secure in your purchase.
If you want more versatile paddles from an affordable set backed by excellent warranties and customer service, the Elite Topsin Paddle Set is the clear winner!
|✅ Excellent Value & Affordable||🅧 Heavier paddles might be difficult or uncomfortable for some players|
|✅ 4 Paddles, 8 Ping Pong, & Carrying Case||🅧 Tacky rubbers will require maintenance to maintain properly|
|✅ Different red and black rubbers for more versatile play||🅧 Rubbers do not appear to be ITTF Approved – not suitable for tournament play|
|✅ eBook with Table Tennis Tips & Tricks included for basic learning||🅧 Those with very small hands may find the thickness of the handle uncomfortable|
|✅ Fantastic customer service|
|✅ 60 Money Back Guarantee|
|✅ 1 Year Free Replacement Warranty|
14 Reasons You Need a New Ping Pong Paddle
Not sure if you really need a new ping pong paddle? Let’s look at 14 reasons why it could be time to upgrade your ping pong paddle.
- You’re getting frustrated with your progress (outgrown your current paddle).
If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your game, an upgraded paddle could be precisely what you need. Beginner rackets emphasize control, but that comes at the cost of speed and spin, which you’ll need as your game develops. As you get control of the basics, you’ll outgrow a beginner or rec bat and will need to replace it with one that will allow your game to continue growing.
- Your play feels inconsistent.
If you notice your playing seems frustratingly inconsistent, and you’re struggling to place balls accurately on the table, you may need a new bat. A quality paddle with greater emphasis on control can make a tremendous difference in the accuracy and consistency of your playing. The best table tennis racket for your current abilities might mean more control and a bit less speed.
A control-focused, slower bat (like the best table tennis rackets for beginners above) will help you learn faster and develop control yourself. That greater personal skill is what will later allow you to pursue a more advanced bat that emphasizes speed or spin, sacrificing some control on the part of the paddle and relying instead on the control you developed while honing your technical skills.
- You feel like you’re working too hard to execute shots.
If you feel like you’ve got to put ridiculous amounts of effort and strength behind a shot to get any sort of speed, or if you feel like you can’t get enough spin no matter how much you practice, it’s probably time for a new racket. If you’re starting to emphasize offensive play, you need a bat designed for that increased aggression. Check out the best intermediate ping pong paddles for your options.
As you upgrade speed, for example, it’ll take less work on your part to achieve the same result; you’ll hit just as fast but with less energy exerted. As you jump up in quality, especially from a cheap or generic bat, you’ll see greater technical results; the efforts of your practice will suddenly become much more apparent.
- You’ve been playing with dirt cheap paddles (or the ones that came with the table).
While we’d all like to believe that more expensive doesn’t mean better, there’s simply no getting around the fact that quality materials cost more. The paddles included with the table or those that have been played with for countless years by the office staff won’t come close to the quality of a bat designed with a better blade and fitted with better rubbers.
We know everyone has a budget, however, so we have options in all price ranges on our best ping pong paddles list. You can find something here that fits your needs and will improve your game without wrecking your wallet.
- Your paddles have plastic centers.
This is another surefire sign of a poorly made paddle that won’t help you learn, grow, or maintain consistency. Plastic cores also tend to crack and splinter quickly. You need a bat with a wooden blade, or a composite one with wood and carbon fiber, depending on your preferences.
- You’re ready to up your game!
You’ll improve faster with higher quality, more reliable equipment, and if you’re at that intermediate level when you’re starting to define your play style or outgrowing your beginner bat, you’ll need to upgrade to keep seeing the progress you want.
- You’re struggling to win but making few mistakes.
Knowing you’ve got good fundamentals and making few unforced errors while still losing can be immensely frustrating. If you’re not making a lot of mistakes but still struggle to win or get the ball past your opponent no matter how hard you swing, it’s time for an upgraded paddle with more spin and speed to help launch you to the next level! Check out the best intermediate table tennis rackets or our professional paddles list for the best ping pong paddles for advanced players.
- You want to have more fun!
You’ll find that playing and practicing are much more enjoyable when your equipment produces consistent results. It’s also easier to achieve your goals when your bat performs well for you and you know what to expect with each stroke. Never underestimate the value of the proper tools for the job, right?
- Your current paddles are damaged.
If your racket has chunks of blade or rubber missing or you’ve been using the dinged up bats at the club, you’ll thank yourself for purchasing a new table tennis racket. As paddles edges and faces hit the tables or are tossed around, blades and rubbers can be damaged, and rubbers can fray and lose tackiness with lots of play, especially if not maintained.
Your game will improve with quality equipment in good condition. Many intermediate and higher level bats have rubbers that can be replaced, should you wish to continue using the blade; however, many premade bats aren’t designed for that. If your blade is damaged or not great and your rubbers can’t be replaced, it’s time to start the search for your new best table tennis racket!
- You’re a beginner wanting to learn (or are purchasing a racket for an interested young player).
It’s easy to think that you can start on any old cheap racket – that it doesn’t matter what you use, especially at the beginning. However, while practice and proper guidance will assuredly make the biggest difference, there’s no denying that using a quality paddle will make playing more pleasurable and progress come more quickly.
A bat designed for control will help you place the ball on the table consistently and accurately and will allow for easier learning and replication of proper technique. We have two of the best beginner ping pong paddles on this list, and both are quite affordable!
- You’re starting to play tournaments and need a better quality, ITTF approved bat.
You’re getting better and becoming more serious about table tennis; that’s exciting! As you improve, you’ll want to upgrade equipment; you’ll see and feel the difference as you play with a better bat, and you’ll have less frustration too. You won’t feel like your equipment is holding you back or that you’re fighting your paddle.
Also, if you’ve been using a colorful rec bat or generic bat without ITTF approved rubbers, you’ll need to purchase a paddle with red and black ITTF approved rubbers. They should be easily and clearly marked as such, and we note ITTF approval on our choices for best table tennis paddles to make the decision process simpler.
**The ITTF may approve more color combinations in 2021, so you can check with the ITTF to see if colorful rubbers have gained approval**
- You want to play a more aggressive, offense-oriented game.
Beginner and cheap generic paddles aren’t geared towards high intensity table tennis with its speedy slams or heavy spin. Even at the early intermediate level, you can start seeing upgrades in quality, like specialized rubbers and carbon fiber plies in the blade, that significantly impact your game. You will sacrifice some control to gain that speed and strength, but as your technical skills improve with practice, you’ll be able to effectively handle a better paddle. Look into the best table tennis rackets for intermediate players above.
- You like an all around, balanced style but feel your bat can’t match the competition.
Upgrades aren’t only for those that favor speed; allround players need quality equipment that matches their playstyle as well, and spin is critical for defensive players too! If you find yourself enjoying or wanting to experiment more with an allround style of play but are getting frustrated with your ability to match the competition, it might be time to upgrade bats. Check out the bats in the Intermediate – Advanced category to find a better racket tailored to your style of play.
- You’re tired of losing to people that spent money on a better bat.
We’ve heard it many times: “I was doing fine at the weekly office games until so-and-so brought in this new paddle.” Yep, if you’re playing with the cheap office paddles and your coworkers start buying and bringing their own bats, you’ll quickly see the difference quality equipment can make. Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get back your competitive edge; there are plenty of great budget ping pong paddle options! Look into our recreational or intermediate table tennis rackets above.
Ping Pong Paddle Buying Guide
Wondering what to look for when buying a ping pong paddle? Uncertain how to choose a ping pong racket and overwhelmed by all the choices? No worries. We’re here to help you learn what you need to know when buying a new table tennis racket, no matter your level.
If you’re new to table tennis or curious about what makes one paddle better than another, you’re not alone. We’ll take a quick look at some of the most commonly discussed and important elements of table tennis racquets, so you can feel good about choosing the best ping pong paddle for you.
First off, let’s talk terms. Is it ping pong paddle or racket??
Well, both are fine. Actually you’ll hear ping pong paddles called several things: paddles, rackets/racquets, and bats. You’ll also hear them called ping pong OR table tennis paddles/rackets/bats. While there are differences between what’s usually referred to as ping pong vs. table tennis in rules of the sport, when talking about the paddles and equipment here, we’ll use the terms interchangeably.
Parts of a Paddle
How a table tennis bat is made impacts not only its quality but what skill level and play style it will best compliment. To understand the most commonly discussed elements of the best ping pong paddles, we’ll start with the basic components: the paddle blades and paddle handle types.
Blade & Handle
The blade is the core of the paddle and traditionally composed of 5-9 layers, or plies, of wood. The blade determines the ping pong paddle’s size and shape, which varies, including the handle. The blade is one of the most important elements when choosing a ping pong paddle.
The more layers in the blade, the stiffer and usually heavier the paddle. Stiffer paddles allow for the passing of greater energy to the ball, so stiff paddles generally means faster bats with higher speed ratings.
More flexible blades, on the other hand, slow the ball down as the blade absorbs more of the energy from the stroke. Blades contain mixtures of soft and hard woods, and you’ll often see blades mentioning a center ply of balsa wood to create a very lightweight paddle.
Many modern blades, especially those designed for speed and power, may contain plies of other materials, commonly carbon fiber. Most blades contain at least 85% wood, though, as required by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) for competition play. You can find all details in the ITTF handbook.
Carbon vs. Wood
As a natural material, wood is inherently non-uniform, and each entirely wooden bat will be slightly unique, resulting in some slight variances in character, or quirks, which you’ll adjust to as you play and learn the racket.
Pure wood bats generally offer greater control and spin. Carbon fibers stiffen the blade further while still being fairly lightweight, so you’ll often see this material in blades designed for speed and power. Adding some carbon fiber plies can improve stability and speed, while offering a more consistent bounce. Carbon also tends to increase the sweet spot of the paddle, as noted in the Strategist at New York Magazine
Of course, as you’ll quickly learn, there are multiple aspects of each racket that impact its characteristics, so just carbon vs wood alone won’t tell you the entire tale – you’ll need to look at rubbers and sponge as well as you start looking for a new ping pong racket.
Ping Pong Paddle Handle Types & Grips
Another vital part of choosing a new ping pong racket is the handle type, which depends first on your grip style.
- Shakehand Grip
As the name implies, this grip mimics the manner in which you’d shake someone’s hand. It provides even power for forehand and backhand strokes and is by far the most common way to hold a paddle; it is also our recommended grip for beginners and recreational players. For those using a shakehand grip, there are three standard handles:
- Flared Handle
Flared (also called “concave”) handles, the most common table tennis racket handle style, are wider at the bottom (away from the paddle), providing a comfortable and stable grip. These paddles stay firmly in your grasp during play, improving your control, and are often used by those that prioritize fronthand play and those that rarely vary their grip.
Players of all levels can use flared handles, and we think they’re the best handle type for most beginning and intermediate players. Most of our best ping pong rackets have flared handles.
- Anatomic(al) Handle
Anatomic handles widen in the center, making the handle feel more filled out in your hand. This paddle handle type is designed for comfort and ease of grip, and while some players feel an increased stability with anatomic handles, it comes down to personal preference. It is more difficult to find these handles, though; if you’re uncertain, finding a flared handle will prove a much simpler task.
- Straight Handle
Straight (or “classic”) handles maintain the same width throughout their entire length. These handles are ideal for those that adjust grip style based on play. Due to this greater versatility, you’ll often see these handles used by advanced and professional players. Unlike the flared handle, however, straight handles may slip in your grip or feel less stable or comfortable, especially for less experienced players.
- Flared Handle
- Penhold Grip & Penhold Handles
A penhold grip holds the racket much like a pen or pencil. This grip is far less common across the globe, though it had significant popularity – in many Asian countries especially – for a time. While the popularity of this style has waned, it is absolutely still in use, and we share our recommendation for best penhold table tennis racket in the Intermediate-Advanced Best Ping Pong Paddles category.
Penhold grips are an aggressive, offense-focused grip style for additional speed and spin, allowing players to keep the paddle near the table. However, it can prove quite challenging for players using this grip to hit backhand topspin shots.
Racquets designed specifically for penhold grips have shorter handles. You’ll see these ping pong paddle handle types marked as “short” or “penhold”, and sometimes they are specified further into two variations: Chinese Style vs Japanese Style penhold (CP or Cpen vs JP or Jpen), which differ in the thickness of the handle.
If you’re interested in experimenting with a penhold style, the shorter handle is crucial. It’s not worth attempting a penhold style on a bat made for a shakehand grip!
Handle Type Choices
Depending on the bat you choose and the level of customization in your purchasing, you may have a choice of what type of handle you’d like for your ping pong racket. However, many premade bats come with only one or sometimes two choices, especially at the earlier levels. You can, of course, get whatever you’d like if you want to fully customize the entire process (choose a specific blade, handle type, and rubbers from hundreds of options!).
Rubber & Sponge
Ever wondered if there’s a difference in the red and black side of a ping pong paddle? Well, the ping pong paddle side differences all come down to the rubbers and sponges. Some paddles use a different rubber on each side; others have the same. Then you’ve got smooth vs bumpy ping pong paddles… so much to learn, right?! That’s ok, we’re here to help.
Your rubbers are the next most important element to learn about when choosing a ping pong paddle, so let’s dive in!
The rubbers, either synthetic or natural, are glued to each side of the blade. In the classic (and current ITTF required) combination, these are red and black, though recreational paddle rubbers can come in many colors. Underneath the rubber is the sponge.
Think of the sponge as the padded trampoline layer of your bat, sitting between the blade and rubber. Sponge thickness varies, often between 1.2 mm — 2.5 mm thick, and that relatively small difference in thickness results in a large difference in the balance between control and power/speed.
When a ball makes contact with a thicker sponge, the ball sinks deep into that layer of sponge then vaults off the paddle with greater speed. Thus, thicker sponges grant more power, but they consequently sacrifice some control. This is often a desirable trade-off for players with a highly offensive play style.
Thinner sponges, on the other hand, slow things down, giving you more time to react, thus improving control. Extremely thin sponges can create a scenario often favored by highly defensive players for whom control is paramount. Thinner sponges are often also found on beginner bats, as learning to control and execute shots correctly is critical for building a solid foundation in table tennis technique.
Rubbers and sponges go together, and if you’re customizing your racquet, you may sometimes have choices regarding the thickness of the sponge with a given rubber. Even purchasing premade paddles, you’ll often see sponge thickness listed.
- 0mm – 1.3mm: for players that prioritize utmost control and lean defensive
- 1.5mm – 1.7 mm: for balanced players that desire good control and medium speed
- 1.9mm and higher: for offensive play where speed is paramount
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re deciding on your own sponge thickness and are uncertain what to choose, the experts over at Butterfly recommend a 1.9mm as a safe choice, and you’ll commonly find 1.9 or 2mm sponges on intermediate bats.
Some manufacturers also list sponge density, or hardness. The higher the number, the denser (harder) the sponge. Dense sponges work well for players that swing hard and fast, whereas medium and soft (less dense) sponges complement balanced players or those with shorter strokes.
The top layer on both sides of the blade is the rubber itself – that generally red and black surface iconic to table tennis rackets. When you hear rubbers and sponges described as a unit, the actual rubber may be referred to as the “topsheet.”
Rubbers come in different textures (remember the smooth vs bumpy ping pong paddle question?), like pimples, waffling, and dimpling. Usually we think about rubbers as covered in small raised bumps, called pips, or pimples, and those pips can be short or long and either face out (away from the sponge) or face in (towards the sponge). When rubbers have pips in, the outer surface of the rubber on the paddle is much smoother.
There’s tremendous variation in rubbers, which impacts the control, grip, spin, and other elements of play. Consequently, your rubber will likely reflect, or perhaps determine, much of the strategy and techniques used in your play style.
There are endless rubber brands and types, each unique and designed with specific properties, often using different technologies and processes unique to that brand and that specific rubber.
The level of customization possible with rubbers is truly astounding: we’re just going to give you a few quick examples. Think of deeper/larger texturing when you’re after speed and care a bit less about spin; go for smaller/thinner textures if you want to increase the spin instead of the power. However, tackiness and grippiness also play rolls in spin and speed.
Some quick examples of rubber types
- Inverted Rubber (pips facing sponge – smooth side out): ideal for creating spin
- Short Pips Rubber : great for defending against/counteracting the spin on opponent’s balls
due to the “narrower contact surface” between the pips and balls. This makes it easier to knock balls away.
- Long Pips Rubber: Due to their greater length, the movement of these pips varies, creating unexpected spins, especially when paired with a thicker sponge. With a thin sponge, control is increased, and this rubber can combat the high speeds of powerful top-spin balls.
- Anti-spin Rubber: A type of inverted rubber with very little friction, greatly minimizing the effects of the opponent’s spin.
There are also elements of softness and tackiness to the rubber, which are determined by the manufacturing process and technologies. Softer and tackier rubbers will both add more spin to the ball but in different ways, and when different rubbers are combined with different sponges and blades… well, you can see the endless options.
We could spend just as long discussing rubbers as going over all our best ping pong paddles, but hopefully this gives you a good introduction to rubbers and will help you understand the information provided in each paddle overview.
Now you know why rubbers, like blades, are so important to understand when buying a ping pong racket!
This characteristic is variable and dependent upon the number and type of layers in the bat as well as the thickness of the sponge and rubbers. Thicker sponges and more blade layers will add some weight to the racquet, potentially making it a bit harder to handle, depending on your strength and skill level.
You may find as you move up in quality, bats might get a little heavier. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as weight can lend power, but it’s something to be aware, as you may need time to adjust to a new racket’s weight!
In general, heavier bats will help provide more speed and power but will take slightly longer to get into position for specific shots; lighter rackets, however, make positioning easier but often don’t have the same power and speed capabilities.
Also, your play style may lend itself to a heavier or lighter bat; if you rely on excellent reflexes and play close to the edge to minimize your opponent’s chance to prepare for your shots, you’ll likely be looking for a lighter bat that you can move quickly and efficiently. If, on the other hand, you like power and speed, standing back away from the table to allow you more time to prepare to return a shot and apply the greatest power, you might appreciate a heavier bat.
When shopping for your best ping pong racket, you’ll see three primary characteristics: speed, spin, and control. Your personal play style and skill level will determine which of these is most important to you and which you should focus on when choosing a ping pong paddle.
One incredibly important aspect to remember about these numbers, though: they are decided entirely by the manufacturers, so while they offer useful guidelines, they are not definitive or even always truly accurate. It’s best to research, find unbiased reviews (like this one), or talk to experts and other players you trust with a similar or higher skill level and play style for their recommendations based on personal experience.
Numbers generally range between 0-10 or 0-100 depending on the company, and the higher the rating, the better that characteristic. As you can guess, these numbers become meaningless when comparing bats from different brands.
Also keep in mind the interplay between rubber, sponge, and blade as discussed earlier; you can’t have it all. No paddle accurately boasts top marks in speed, spin, and control. Be mindful of this reality as you choose your best table tennis paddle, as no bat honestly earns 10/100s in each category, no matter what the numbers might say.
Speed is pretty straightforward; it determines how easy it is to hit a ball fast. If you like power – hitting the balls hard and fast – you’ll want some speed on your bat, but keep in mind that power (which comes as a result of things like a thicker sponge) will mean less control.
Bats rated for speed will also require less energy from the player to make balls move faster, so it’ll be easier to get your same or faster speeds when you upgrade to a better bat. Speed is critical for offensive players, and you can think of speed as the bulk of what people refer to when they say “power.”
Generating spin comes in large part from the characteristics of the paddle’s rubbers. Oftentimes, paddles will have different rubbers on each side, offering greater versatility as players choose which side to use for different shots.
While it might surprise you, spin is actually important for all play styles. Offensive players require spin for aggressive forehand loop shots, while more defensive players look to create backspin while chopping the ball
Control is all about accuracy: consistent precision and placement of the ball on the table. It’s far and away the most critical aspect for beginners, as you’re learning the fundamentals and seeking to easily and consistently replicate them. Faster and more spin focused paddles greatly reduce your margin for error, meaning a loss in control, hence why you can’t have paddles with 10/10 on every characteristic.
However, control is also developed personally as you learn and improve, so if you’ve got a little bit of skill and knowledge already, your best ping pong paddle right now could involve slightly more power and speed, though you may need to work harder to achieve greater personal control with a more speed-focused bat.
Play Style & How it Impacts Racket Choice
What’s the best ping paddle for YOU? That’s really the question, and your skill level and play style will impact your decision significantly.
Focus on developing fundamental skills with a quality, control-focused bat with moderate speed and spin to help you learn well and progress quickly
Offensive players often want stiffer/harder blades, a thicker sponge for more speed, and a rubber designed to increase spin and speed. They’ll sacrifice control in the bat for speed and spin gains.
Defensive players are looking to slow the ball down, going for control over speed/power. This often means a thinner sponge and a rubber that works to mitigate the effects of the opponent’s spin and speed. Defensive players still want a good spin rating, though, as spin is an important aspect of all styles of play.
As the name implies, allround players are looking for a more balanced racket and greater versatility. The amount of control vs spin and speed will depend on the individual skill level of the player, and they often want different rubbers on each side for greater flexibility. These players are sometimes referred to as counterattackers.
Skill Level & How it Impacts Paddle Choice
When you start playing, the game is all about control: learning the mechanics of the strokes and consistently putting the ball on the table. You don’t need high speed to start with, though a moderate amount of spin can still be helpful due to spin’s importance in modern table tennis.
From the start, it’s worth it to pay for a quality racket, though our best beginner ping pong paddles are quite affordable! While there’s no need to break the bank, super cheap generic bats won’t help you win or learn consistently or easily.
At this point, you’re developing technically, hopefully winning more regularly and starting to work towards incorporating greater spin and speed. You should look for a racquet with higher spin/speed ratings, depending on your play style, and allow for less control in the bat as you develop more control as a player. You might be starting to think about how you prefer to play, but it can be a good time to experiment with play styles as well.
This is also the largest skill level as far as buying your new best ping pong paddle is concerned. If don’t consider yourself a beginner, but you’ve never had a high quality bat, the early intermediate paddle choices could be excellent for you. However, if you learned with a good paddle from the start and feel solidly in control of your fundamentals, you might jump straight to the middle of that intermediate category.
Late Intermediate – Advanced
At this point, you’re technically proficient with a firm understanding of your play style; this is where it’s worth it to go ahead and get the best table tennis racket you can afford for your style. You can find excellent choices in the upper limits of the Intermediate category as well as some higher end options in the Advanced/Professional section.
Pros are generally looking for lots of speed and/or spin and tend to be highly aggressive players gearing for tournaments. They’ll often be playing with a fully customized bat: blade, handle, sponge, and rubber combination chosen specifically to complement their abilities and style. This requires a great deal more investment, both financially and in regards to the time it takes to choose the elements and find ideal combinations.
If you’re an aspiring professional but daunted by the customization process, check out our choices for best ping pong paddles for professionals; we give you a few great blade and rubber combinations that come hand assembled and delivered to your door, minimizing the overwhelm and decision fatigue.
Care & Maintenance
Once you’ve chosen your paddle, you want to keep it in the best condition possible for as long as possible. Obviously, you’re going to be using your bat, and it will inherently suffer some expected wear and tear during use. However, you can do a few things to minimize unnecessary damage and keep your racquet in good condition.
To keep your paddle in tip top shape for as long as possible, it’s important to clean your racquet regularly. Here’s a good guide from Ping Pong Ruler. You’ll might consider a specially formulated rubber cleaner and gentle sponge, as dirt, dust, and oils build up on the rubber. This helps keep your rubber tacky, maintaining the grip you rely on in play.
Case & Storage
Once you’ve spent the time and money to find your best table tennis paddle, you’ll wnat to protect it from the elements and further dust or dirt accumulation by keeping it in a case when not in use. If you regularly take your paddle elsewhere, a durable case with some padding can help mitigate damage if dropped. The best ping pong paddle cases cover the entire paddle, including the handle!
Storing your bat somewhere it’s not likely to be knocked over is also ideal, especially since some paddles are more fragile and don’t withstand drops very well! Remember, that lightweight balsa wood that appears in nice rackets is still fragile!
Keep your paddle out of high heat and sunlight. Rubber is sensitive to heat and UV light; you don’t want the rubber drying or cracking, so no storing it in the car on hot days or leaving it on the table under the window instead of safely in its case.
Many paddles come with side tape or edge tape already applied to help protect the sides of your blade and the edges of the rubbers, but if yours does not, you may want to consider side tape as well. This can protect the edges of the rubber from fraying but also help protect the edge of the blade from the occasional accidental collision with the table.
Ping Pong Paddle FAQs:
As you’re learning what to look for when buying a table tennis racket, you’ll likely have some of the below questions. So real quick, let’s go through some of the most common questions people have when choosing a ping pong racket.
Are expensive paddles worth the cost?
In short, yes. As you get into more expensive bats, the quality does generally increase. While it’s true the absolute best ping pong paddles won’t be dirt cheap, that doesn’t inherently mean that the most expensive paddle you can find will be the best choice for you right now.
Remember, you want what’s ideal for you, not another player with a different style or skill level. We have options in a range of budgets on our list, so you are sure to find something that fits your needs and your wallet.
Just because you’re a beginner or a recreational player doesn’t mean you want to find the cheapest paddle you can: that’s a recipe for frustration, inconsistent playing, and poor quality that’ll have you back here looking for a new paddle in no time.
As you upgrade, you’ll often notice an easing of technical execution too; for example, upgrading from a cheap paddle to a higher quality paddle rated for speed (like our overall top choice paddle for intermediate players, the Stiga Pro Carbon, for example), you’ll realize how much less effort you’ll need to create the same speed. A simple block that may have hit the ball into the net before will now clear it, easily reaching the other side of the table.
What are the Best Table Tennis Racket Brands?
If you’re searching for the best brands in ping pong, you’ll quickly come across names like Butterfly and DHS, which have been staples in the table tennis world for decades and make everything from quality beginner rackets to the best Butterfly professional bats, as you’ll notice in Professional category.
You’ll also start to notice brands like Stiga and Killerspin, which make quality rackets in the beginner, recreational, and intermediate-early advanced ranges. Stiga also makes some professional equipment. If you’ve been playing a while but aren’t an aspiring pro, we think the best Stiga paddle is the Stiga Pro Carbon, and the Killerspin 800 is our highest ranked Killerspin paddle
While others manufacturers certainly can make good paddles too, these four brands: Butterfly, DHS, Stiga, and Killerspin account for the majority of our best paddles, and we think they’re some of the best brands for table tennis paddles available.
Best Way to Hold a Ping Pong Paddle
How you hold your paddle is a matter of preference. There are two basic grips: Shakehand and Penhold. Shakehand is the most common grip style and allows for fairly even power between forehand and backhand shots.
A penhold grip, on the other hand, is an aggresive, offensive grip style that promotes extra speed and spin and is much less commonly used. However, it can cause difficulty for players when they want to hit backhand topspin shots.
Visit the buying guide above to learn more about these grips and the ping pong paddle handle types that support each grip style.
What Ping Pong Paddles do Professionals Use?
Professionals are going to have a highly customized set up, where they have chosen their blade (including handle type) and specific rubbers for each side to complement their personal play style. There’s a nice list of professional players and their equipment at Ping Pong Start, and you’ll notice a lot of Butterfly and DHS gear as well as some Stiga.
Two extremely well known and top tier professional players, Timo Boll and Zhang Jike, have not only used numerous pieces Butterfly equipment of the years, but have specific paddles you can order based around some of their setups.
Want to play with the paddles the pros use…?
If you want to know what it’s like to use the ping pong paddles the professionals use, visit our professional/advanced ping pong paddle category above for excellent paddles (specific blades and rubber choices) that come preassembled to your door, including the Jike and Boll recommendations!
Final Thoughts on Best Table Tennis Rackets
Regardless of where you are in your table tennis journey, choosing to upgrade to a better table tennis racket will make playing more enjoyable and can help you grow and progress much more quickly.
Knowing what to look for when buying your best ping pong paddle is a matter of knowing your current skill level and playing style as well as how the construction of a paddle impacts its capabilities.
No matter what , there’s a bat on these lists for you. Here are our top choices for the best paddles for beginners, intermediate, and professional players.