Finding the best table tennis blades (a.k.a paddle or racket) is always crucial for creating a durable and high-quality pair of paddles. Due to its simple nature, the ping-pong blade industry has become increasingly saturated over the years, making it harder for consumers to make the right choice.
To help ease this inconvenience, we will be providing you with a list of all the best ping pong blades currently available on the market, as well as what you should take into consideration before deciding on one.
Buying guide for the best table tennis blades
Before getting to our suggested products, reading through a buying guide can help you better understand what you are looking for.
First, let’s raise the question:
Why should you build your paddle instead of buying one?
1) Take your playing ability to the next level
- Professional ping pong players usually have their own set of tools that complement their strengths and lessen their weaknesses. For example, if your playing primarily focuses on defense, getting a pair of table tennis paddles that capitalizes on this area will always be a better option than ones for offensive players.
- However, due to this tool’s mass production, finding the best ping pong blades is not an easy task. For the most personalized experience, you should make one to your preference.
- With the availability of many spare parts on the market, you can easily find high-quality deals from many well-known brands. Getting the best part for your tennis blade at reasonable prices will save you a lot of money.
- Moreover, if you are a player who consistently changes your playing styles, making paddles yourself is a much cheaper option.
3) A fun challenge
Making a good pair of ping pong paddles is a lot of hard work. Not only do you need to have the best table tennis blades and rubber, but you also have to invest a lot of effort and meticulosity. We are fully aware that this is not a pro to some folks, but if you are some ping pong player who enjoys this kind of work, this might be the perfect combination.
How can you pick the best table tennis blades?
Types of table tennis blades
There are three types of table tennis blades:
1. All-round blades
- This type of tennis blade is best suited for beginners or people who just started experimenting with making their paddles at home. You do not have to start from scratch with these blades. Try putting on whatever kind of rubber you favor, and voila, you have a good pair of custom-made paddles.
- This type of blade also has a solid inner, soft outer, and a medium speed to enhance more control.
2. Offensive blades
As the name suggests, these are blades used by professionals who like to attack and go on offensive mode. Attacking blades usually have hard outer piles for more robust and speedy shots.
3. Defensive blades
This is arguably the most flexible table tennis blade and a good option for players with a defensive style. The piles come in a way that is both easy to use and great to counteract your opponents’ attacks.
Different table tennis blade handles
Regardless of your tennis skills, finding the best-suited blade for your holding style is of prime importance.
1. Penhold style
As the name suggests, this handling style is preferable for players who often hold their paddles like a pen. With a thick and short body, the handle stays secured between your forefingers and thumbs the same way a pen remains in your hands.
The penhold design is best-suited for professionals only.
2. Shake-hand style
For beginners and intermediate players, the shake-hand holding style is more preferred for its convenient holding posture. Holding a paddle the same way we shake hands, this style is applicable for everyone, without requiring too many technicalities. It also allows more flexibility, comfort, and control during play.
3. Flared, anatomic and straight handles
- The shake-hand handles also have different subcategories, such as flared handles, anatomic handles, and straight handles.
- The flared handles are the most popular among the three and also the easiest to use. Just like flared pants, the handle gets wider towards the end to prevent it from slipping through your hands.
- On the other hand, anatomic handles are broad in the middle, offering comfort when holding in your hands.
- Straight handles are self-explanatory. Very unbending and allows more room for improvisation during play.
- You can try out all three types to decide the most compatible one. However, if you are still confused over the right one, we highly recommend getting a flared one.
The number of piles
Depending on what type of player you are, the number of piles also varies. Usually, a ping pong blade contains one to seven wooden layers. If you are a player who is looking for more control and comfort during play, we recommend getting a thinner handle with fewer piles (between 1.5 to 1.9mm). In contrast, you might want to have a thicker handle and more layers (around 2mm) if you are an offensive player.
For blades, we recommend getting one made from natural wood as it is durable and high-quality, and easy to attach to glue during the making. Besides wood, you can also use carbon, fiberglass, Kevlar, Tealium, and basalt, but these are generally more difficult to manage.
Recommendations for the best table tennis blades
1. Butterfly Viscaria ALC Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Most consistent during play
The Butterfly Viscaria Table Tennis Blade has long been considered one of the best table tennis blades of all time. And it was even more famous after Table Tennis World Champion Zhang Jike started using it in the London 2012 Olympic Championship.
One important quality of the Butterfly Viscaria Blade is its stable nature and incredible feel during play. The blade is a topspin machine and has a crisp and large sweet spot that helps produce more power and control consistency. If you are looking for hours of consistent training, this might be the perfect fit for you.
The Butterfly Viscariahas has consistently ranked among the best ping pong blades in ALC quality concerning its material. The composition and thickness are the same as that of the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade. However, the blade wing and handle of the Viscaria are thicker than the Timo Boll ALC, adding a more feedback touch and a slightly softer feel. This feature will come as a pro for anyone who likes to calculate their moves by feeling the ball’s movement.
- Stable and consistent during play
- High-quality ALC
- High price
2. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade (FL, AN, and ST Handle) – Most balanced
The Butterfly Timo Boll Blade stands among the most iconic products of all time, thanks to the legendary table tennis player’s endorsement – Timo Boll.
The blade is famous for its perfect balance in both speed and control. According to the table tennis paddle rating website, the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC gets about 8.9 and 8.6 in these two areas. With such high scores on both speed and control criteria, this blade proves its high-quality design and manufacture as well as its balance in speed and control. Thanks to this, you can use the blade for both offensive and defensive playing style without limiting your practice. Whether you are pushing short or counterattacking, the product offers equal strength.
Moreover, the handle of this blade is of excellent quality. Designed with the Anatomic, Flared, and Straight shake-hand style, the handle allows vast room for improvisation during play. In addition to that, the arylate-carbon piles of the handle are softer than traditional carbon, making the dwell time last longer and giving players more comfort during play.
One downside of the product, however, is the inconsistency in production. Sometimes, the blade might come in cracked, or the company takes too long to restock.
- Can be used by different players
- Excellent handle
- Inconsistency in production
3. Butterfly Petr Korbel Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Fit for a wide range of players
The Butterfly Petr Korbel Blade is a classic item among the ping pong world because of its beautiful design and suitability for many people. The blade is generally soft, comfortable, and very easy to use. According to Revspin, the overall rating for speed and control of this blade are 8.3 and 8.6, respectively. These figures mean that the Butterfly Petr Korbel Blade is a good option for any offensive and defensive player, professionals and beginners alike.
Moreover, since Petr Korbel wood is one of the top ten wood manufacturers, this blade’s strength is incredible. Over the years, the Butterfly Petr Korbel Blade has proven to be a reliable and consistent performer across all ranges over the table, especially for loops and intense, driven shots.
- Beautiful design
- Easy to use
- The perfect balance between speed and control
- Made from high-quality wood
- Might be a bit softer and slower for some intense offensive players
4. YASAKA Ma Lin Extra Offensive (AN Handle) – Suitable for offensive players only
The YASAKA Ma Lin Extra Offensive is just like its name – suitable for offensive players. Compared to the Butterfly Blades above, the YASAKA blade does not ensure a balance between speed and control. This imbalance shows through the table tennis paddle rating of this product ( 89 for speed and only 67 for control ability) and the high number of piles (5 piles).
While great for offensive players, this quality might not be the right choice for beginners or defensive players.
The product also comes at a reasonable price compared to other offensive blades currently available on the market. And with the distributor company in North America, shipping is comparatively more economical and convenient.
- Great for offensive attacks
- A stiff and rigid handle allows more strength during attacks.
- The low rating on control
5. Primorac Carbon Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Best attacking blade
The Primorac Carbon Blade has long been the number one best-seller of the Butterfly company, and a personal favorite for many ping pong players.
Contrary to popular beliefs, the Primorac Carbon Blade has a relatively good control score (around 7.4), despite its incredibly high-speed score (at 9.3).
This fastest blade from Butterfly is especially great for all-out attacks since it allows superior strength and speed than any other type and an adequate level of control in case of defense.
For offense, the blade utilizes two piles of TAMCA Carbon fibers to strengthen the base and gives players the stiffness that enhances their shots.
For defense, the Cypress wood helps provide players with control and neutralizes the base’s carbon fibers’ intensity. With these two qualities, players can be sure to rely on their blades for a successful match.
- Good balance between speed and control
- The most flexible blade from Butterfly
- Good for all-out attacks
6. Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade (FL, AN, and ST Handle) – Best overall blade
The Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade is one of the rare blades on the market right now, with a rating of both speed and control over 9.
These incredible numbers mean that the Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade is a perfect blade for anyone, no matter the playing style.
The blade is a perfect combination of offense and defense. For defense, this Super ZL Carbon line’s first model produces a superior reaction than the typical carbon rackets. For offensive attacks, this layered carbon allows you to hit with incredible power while maintaining a strong wall of defense all at the same time.
If a professional player excelling at offensive style competes with an experienced defensive player and both use this blade, it is impossible to tell who will win.
With a reaction of 12.3 and a vibration of 11.1, the blade will ensure the ball will leave its surface as quickly as possible while still maintaining control.
- Perfect design for both offensive and defensive playing style
- High-quality materials
- Accredited by professionals
- Better reaction than regular table tennis blades
- High price
7. STIGA Infinity VPS Blade – Best price
Although not as premium as the Zhang Jike ZLC Blade, the STIGA Infinity VPS V Blade is an overall good investment. With a score of 8.6 and 8.9 in speed and control, respectively, the blade is a well-balanced product that suits a wide range of people.
The STIGA blade is also built to suit today’s modern games, with the ability to do both aggressive receives and powerful topspin shots alike.
However, the unbelievable part is the blade’s price. With 75 dollars, you can get a high-quality product that is nearly comparable to the Premium ZJ ZLC Blade. What a deal!
- Well-balanced between speed and control
- Reasonable price
- Not endorsed by professionals.
Frequently asked questions
What is the fastest table tennis blade?
According to Revspin ranking, the fastest table tennis blade is either the Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade or the Butterfly Primorac Carbon blade at 9.3 ratings in speed both.
These two blades are all long-standing premium products with a good reputation in the ping pong world, and you will be guaranteed to have your money worth.
What is the most important, blade or rubber?
Considering many paddles that are just wooden blades, we believe blades hold more importance. However, it is all up to the user to decide what they value more. A tacky rubber will sure ruin the experience, no matter how great the blade is.
How long does a table tennis blade last?
If you play often, a table tennis blade should last around one or two years. However, if you are an offensive player who plays with great intensity using a non-professional table tennis blade, the product might break earlier.
What is a ZLC blade?
The Timo Boll ZLC Blade is an excellent product from the Butterfly Table Tennis Company. It is a balanced and high-quality product that will satisfy both offensive and defensive players alike.
What blade does Zhang Jike use?
The table tennis blade Zhang Jike uses at the moment is the Butterfly Viscaria blade with a Flared and Straight handle. He is also known to be the one who popularized it.
The best table tennis blades above will help you achieve the perfect paddle that satisfies your playing style and takes it to the next level. Before investing in a tool, make sure to thoroughly understand your needs, finance, and all the necessary information about the product so that you can choose the best fit possible.
- Buying guide for the best table tennis blades
- Recommendations for the best table tennis blades
- 1. Butterfly Viscaria ALC Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Most consistent during play
- 2. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade (FL, AN, and ST Handle) – Most balanced
- 3. Butterfly Petr Korbel Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Fit for a wide range of players
- 4. YASAKA Ma Lin Extra Offensive (AN Handle) – Suitable for offensive players only
- 5. Primorac Carbon Blade (FL and ST Handle) – Best attacking blade
- 6. Zhang Jike Super ZLC Blade (FL, AN, and ST Handle) – Best overall blade
- 7. STIGA Infinity VPS Blade – Best price
- Frequently asked questions
- FINAL WORDS