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Best Table Tennis Rackets (Buyers Guide & Top 10)

Are you in the market for a new table tennis racket? Look no further than the list below, in which you can find descriptions of the best table tennis rackets on the market. We are also going to show you what to look for in a quality ping pong paddle and how you can make the best purchasing decision possible.

Before jumping into the top 10, we will first explore how to shop for a ping pong paddle more effectively and how to find the best one.

Ping Pong Racket Buyers Guide

If you ask almost any new table tennis player how to select the best bat, they won’t know what to tell you or even where to start. That is why this is such an important thing to learn for those looking to advance their skills and win more matches.

This information is particularly relevant when buying a new racket but will be useful even whilst choosing between a selection of used bats the next time you find yourself at a new table. Remember, even the slightest edge can increase your chances of winning your next game.

The Parts of a Ping Pong Paddle

First, you need understand what different parts make up a table tennis racket. Understanding the foundations of the battle will allow you to better analyse and select the best parts when it comes to buying your own.

The main parts of a ping pong paddle are as follows:

  • Handle
  • Blade
  • Sponge
  • Rubber Sheet

Now we will take a deeper look at each part and what to look for and what to avoid.

Handle

Your ping pong paddles handle will be very important and will in part determine how much precision and control you have over the ball and pace of play.

For the best play possible, you will need a handle that is lightweight, comfortable to grip and sturdy.

Hitting the edge of the table or dropping the bat becomes less common as you become a better player. However, it is still a possibility and you want a handle that can stand the odd knock or drop.

You will find three different types of paddle available to you. These are as follows:

  • Flared handles.
  • Anatomic handles.
  • Straight handles.

These vary in shape and size more than anything else. We will quickly address each one below.

Flared

The flared handle is what you will find sitting on top of most casual table tennis tables. They have a wider base to keep it secure in your hand and offer a lot of control over the ball and your strokes.

Anatomic

The anatomic handle has a wider middle and slimmer top and bottom. This design helps with grip and fits comfortably in the palm. You will enjoy added precision, shot consistency and stability with this type of handle.

Straight

There is also the straight handle which, as the name suggests, is consistent in width and shape all the way through.

The straight handle means you can experiment with your grip and how you hold the racket. This feature makes it a good option for more advanced players.

Which handle should I go with?

This will depend on your playing experience and personal preference. If you are a new player/beginner, go with the flared handle which will ensure you keep the paddle comfortable in your hand at all times. As you get more advanced, test out the straight options which will allow you to experiment with your grip style.

Blade

A table tennis bats blade needs to be light weight, precise and strong.

Made out of several layers (between 5 and 9), some times called plies, of wood or even carbon fibre, the bats blade will determine what style of play the racket is best for.

For example, a all-round wood blade will be best for beginners and players not focused on any one style of play. A faster, more aggressive player on the other hand will want a blade with a higher speed rating (70+). Generally speaking, these will be blades with more layers (between 7 and 9) whilst those with less are slower and offer better control and touch returns.

Sponge

After the blade but before the rubber you will find the sponge. The thickness of this sponge layer (often between 1.2mm and 2.5mm) will determine how much power and control you have over the ball. As is always the case you can’t maximize both. When you opt for a thinner sponge which offers greater control, you lose some power. When you choose a thicker sponge you get greater power and speed but lose some control.

Rubber

Now the bit that most players will already be aware of, the rubber. The rubber sheets are applied to both sides of the bat to hold the rest together.

You might have noticed that different rubber sheets have different textures depending on the bat being used. The point of this texture is to affect how the racket grips the ball and what types and level of spin you get can on your shots.

In competitive or tournament play, your rubbers will need to fit within the official standardized range so as to not give you or other players and unfair advantage. Look for the ITTF approved label on your paddle to check if it meets these regulations.

Below we have offered a quick overview on each type of rubber.

  • Inverted Rubber (Pips In): Inverted rubbers are best for those looking for spin on the ball.
  • Short Pips-Out Rubber: The out rubber surface helps protect your counter shots from your opponents spin.
  • Long Pimples Rubber (with Sponge): A long pimple rubber will make predicting the spin on your shots trickier (but also make it harder for your opponent to predict how the ball will bounce).
  • Long Pimples Rubber (without Sponge): This option adds a lot of absorption which means you can minimise the effect of top-spin from your opponents serves.

Really the best way to understand the different rubber surfaces and textures is to play with each one.

Your Playing Style

Your personal playing style will also dictate what type of ping pong racket you should get. Different styles will benefit more from different styles of racket.

If you are new to the game, you should go with a more generic bat which will allow you to find your preferred playing style. Such a table tennis racket will allow you to have greater consistency in your shots.

If you are a more experienced player who knows what style works best for you, you should select a racket which capitalizes on your strong points. For example, if you’re a aggressive player, speed will be vital so you should select a racket with more layers in the blade.

Your Racket Grip

Of course how you hold the bat will effect which one you should buy also.

Shakehand Grip

If you use the most common grip, the ‘shakehand grip‘ (as if you were shaking someones hand), you will likely benefit most from a more generic racket (at least until you know you need something more suited to your particular style of play).

Penhold Grip

Considerably less popular although many know of the penhold grip because of its novelty. The grip is used by some Chinese, Japanese and Korean players. This style allows for a much more aggressive kind of play as players using it put their weight and power into each shot. Unless you are competent with this grip, you will likely find it difficult to land successful backhand and topspin shots.

Table Tennis Racket Ratings

You will notice in the details of most ping pong rackets that you are told what rating they are. You might be wondering, what is this referring to and what does it mean?

Well, each racket will be rated from 0 to 100 based on 3 distinct areas:

  • Spin
  • Control/Accuracy
  • Speed

You should use the rating in each of these categories to determine which racket would better compliment your style of play.

For example, as a more strategic player you would be wise to select a racket rated higher in spin and control than in speed.

Usually the ratings are measured and published by the manufacturer of the racket, so take them at face value and carry out your own additional research before buying.

If available, it is a good idea to seek out multiple independent ratings of the same bat to work out the averages. This will give a less biased picture on the bats strengths and weaknesses.

10 Best Table Tennis Bats

1. STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

The Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket by STIGA is a professional grade racket that is ideal for competitive play. This racket consists of materials approved for tournament play by the ​International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)​.

Regarding performance, the Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket has earned admirable rankings in several categories. For instance, the control and speed of this rack have ratings of 80 and 99, respectively. The spin rating is even more impressive at a score of 100.

This racket has a seven-ply blade with a rubber outer coating. Despite these layers, it remains light allowing for easy control as you play. The racket also has a good handle that works well as a shock absorber.

2. DHS HURRICANE-II

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

The DHS HURRICANE-II is an all-purpose table tennis racket. The most notable feature is the rubber outer layer that has two different surfaces.

One side of the racket’s blade is red, while the other is black. This difference in color is more than an aesthetic option as each side has a distinct use in a table tennis game. The red side works well for offensive shots, while the black side offers less bounce for more defensive swings.

Overall, the DHS HURRICANE-II is a well-bade racket with decent longevity. Its main strength is that it permits players to put an extreme amount of spin on the ball, thanks to the tackiness of the racket’s surface.

3. STIGA Evolution

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

Although STIGA has since introduced newer versions of this racket, the Evolution remains a viable option for tournament play. It is with this model that STIGA first introduced its shock dispersion tube.

The shock dispersion tube runs through the blade and the handle of the racket. Upon impact with the ball, the shock dispersion tube minimizes vibrations and transfers that energy out of the handle.

This ability to reduce shock on contact is why this racket will give you better control as you play. It also has a rubber coating that is approved for ITTF competitions.

4. STIGA Titan

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

Within the suite of STIGA-made table tennis rackets, the Titan represents one of the most economical options. At a generally lower price, this racket still performs well in terms of speed, spin, and control.

The design of this racket prioritizes lightness by including a five-ply blade and a composite handle. That way, your reaction time won’t suffer through the use of an excessively heavy racket.

The STIGA Titan also has a relatively hard blade surface. This hardness will help you increase the speed of your shots. With a lightweight composite handle, you can remain comfortable as you play.

5. Palio Expert 2.0

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

The Palio Expert 2.0 represents a collaboration between two leading manufacturers in the table tennis industry. Palio contributed their ITTF-approved rubber, while Expert Table Tennis created the blade.

The result of this joint effort is a table tennis racket that is perfect for beginner players. While this racket does not offer the highest speeds, it does provide top-of-the-line control.

Much of this control comes from the soft sponge that is a part of the Palio Expert 2.0’s construction. The addition of a flared handle further contributes to control and comfort.

6. STIGA Raptor

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

Here is a state-of-the-art table tennis racket that is suitable for intermediate to advanced players. The STIGA Raptor uses only the most advanced materials in its construction.

As the fourth entry on this list from STIGA, the Raptor continues to prove this company’s relevance in the table tennis racket market. With this edition, the focus is on speed and spin.

The Raptor has a seven-ply blade and a 2mm sponge. While its construction does not create the control that a beginner would need, the Raptor is an excellent lightweight option for expert players.

7. Idoraz Paddle

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

The Idoraz Paddle is a balanced racket that can quickly improve your game. While this racket can offer both speed and control, it is the spin factor that adds the most value.

The padding on the blade is thicker than you might expect. But this only aids in your ability to return the ball to your opponent while minimizing the spin that your opponent put on their shot.

This paddle is a great option for players of all skill levels. If you are a newcomer, the Idoraz Paddle will introduce you to the improvements that a quality racket can provide. If you have experience, the Idoraz Paddle might be the key to reaching the next level.

8. Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

Since performance and comfort are critical to a player’s game, the Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket will give you both. Not only does this racket rank well for spin and control, but it also has an ergonomic design.

That design includes a rounded handle with a slight flare to give you the ideal grip as you play. These features make the Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket a good option for beginners.

As a set, this product includes some of the essential accessories that a table tennis player needs. It comes with a paddle case to ensure your racket’s longevity.

9. Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

Expert players may want to skip this entry as the Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle is better for beginner players. This racket helps novices improve their basic table tennis shots.

If you play tennis recreationally, you can expect this racket to help you gain more control over your play. As such, this paddle will help you hone the skill needed to reach the higher levels of play.

The Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle also comes in a variety of colors and includes a notebook. That way, you can keep a record of your table tennis progress.

10. Killerspin Jet 800 Table Tennis Paddle

*Details last updated on 2021-06-21

While the previous Killerspin racket was ideal for beginners, this is not the case for the Killerspin Jet 800 Table Tennis Paddle. The Jet 800 is all about improving performance for the top-level players.

Mainly, this racket focuses on spin. The rubber surface grips the ball effectively as you perform serves and put spin on return shots.

For top players looking for one more advantage, this is a great racket to consider. Its materials allow for aggressive play and are ITTF-approved.

How to Care For Your Ping Pong Paddle

Now that you know how to select the best table tennis rackets, and some of the best ones available, you need to think about how you are going to care for your new one.

Keeping your table tennis racket in good condition will save you time and money. It will also mean you can play more consistently as you don’t need to adjust your style to various bats every other game.

Get a Carry Case

A carry case will prove invaluable in protecting and maintaining your new racket.

Keeping your paddle in such a case will protect it from dust, water and general wear and tear.

A case will often allow you to keep a couple of ping pong balls with you at all times should you fancy some practise!

Cleaning Your Paddle

It is always a good idea to clean your paddle when it becomes dirty. Really proactively cleaning it is the best idea to prevent it ever suffering damage from dirt build up.

Dirt build up on the racket can even mess with your rackets grip on the ping pong ball and limit the spin you can deliver to any given shot.

Whilst cleaning your paddle, keep the following in mind to avoid damaging it:

  • Avoid harsh and strong cleaning products (i.e. no bleach, vinegar or rubbing alcohol). These can often be acidic and damage the paddle materials.
  • Do not use abrasive scrubbers or brushes. Such cleaning tools will scratch and wear down the surface of your paddle. Use a soft cloth instead.
  • Invest in some rubber cleaner or even some dedicated table tennis racket cleaning spray.
  • When in doubt, stick to warm water and work slowly.

Storing Your Paddle

For maximum durability, you should keep your paddle in the carry case whenever you aren’t playing with it.

Not only will this protect it from water and general wear and tear, but it will also keep it out of excessively dry or moist conditions. Furthermore it will protect the racket from sunlight/UV rays and extreme temperatures which can damage it over time.

Keep The Table Clean

It isn’t only cleaning your racket that is important.

You are likely to rest it on the table in between points so it is a good idea to regularly clean your table tennis table also.

Conclusion

Most of your success in table tennis will be a product of your individual skill. But to get a slight edge over your competition, a quality racket can do the trick. Next time you need an upgrade, try one of the table tennis rackets on this list.

So now you know how to find and buy the best paddle, where to start looking and how to care for your new racket!

Next, start practising your shots and winning matches.

Table Tennis Racket Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between the red and black side of the racket?

This will depend on the type of racket. Beginner and cheaper options probably have no difference between the sides. More expensive rackets used by professionals will have different rubbers on each side. This will allow them to work with a wider range of playing styles and signal to the opponent what type of shots they might expect.

Are more expensive rackets best?

Usually price is an indication of quality. After all, the highest quality materials and craftsmanship comes at a price. However you need to know what to look for as some brands will charge higher prices for less effective paddles. You should refer to the information above when shopping for the best table tennis racket.

What racket should a beginner buy?

This will depend in part on your budget and if you have any prior playing experience. If not, go with the most generic bat you can buy as this will allow you to test the waters on a wider range of playing styles. For best results, look for a racket rated highly in control and precision. As a new player, speed is not the most important thing. You should focus on developing shot consistency instead.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in football (soccer) and regularly played with my friends and for my school. We had an ex England ace coaching us at one point and he really motivated me to make sports a big part of my life.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from basketball to weight lifting and everything in between. I was lucky enough to train weekly at a local tennis club who's head coach was a at one point the 9th best player in India and within the top 100 ranked players in the world.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

2 comments

  • Lol to think i’ve been picking up any old bat on the table at work! I wondered why I kept losing..

    Actually might come down to skill a little bit, but no doubt my own quality paddle will help some what.

    • Hey that is funny, there certainly is skill required for consistent wins in table tennis!

      Only took a table at home and years of practise for me to get even some consistency. Although a decent bat helps 100%. Keep at it and you’ll get there.