The Best Ping Pong Paddle In 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide

Ping pong is among the easiest sports to get into, as it does not require too much skill to play.

However, you still need to get at least the best ping pong paddles to play properly.

Therefore, we make this list of the 10 best products, ensuring that you can play to your heart’s content.

Short Answer: Best Table Tennis Paddle (2021)

Top Table Tennis Paddles (Updated List)

How To Pick The Top Ping Pong Paddles

What Is A Ping Pong Paddle Made Of?

If you are new to ping pong, we would like to help you go through the paddle’s construction. This knowledge will make it much easier to pick the best cheap ping pong paddles for your experience level.

  • The Blade

A ping pong paddle blade is, without any doubt, a major reason for what makes it good. For the most part, ping pong rackets’ blades have wood as their main material. However, these days the ITTF has moved on to allow some other fibrous materials in small percentages.

To be more specific, a competition-ready paddle needs 85% wood, with additional materials being less than 7.5%. There is also a requirement of these materials not making up more than 0.35mm.

It may come as a surprise, but there is no rule requiring a paddle to be of specific sizes, shapes, or weights. All you need to keep in mind is that your paddle must be flat and rigid.

These days, almost all ping pong paddles on the market have either 5 or 7 layers of wood. The reason for this particular phenomenon is to mix hard and softwood together to increase performance. There are, of course, some composite materials also mixed in.

As you may know, wood, due to being an organic material, has a non-uniform nature. For this reason, 100% wooden blades tend to have some unique characteristics, making them quite unpredictable. You can familiarize yourself with this unpredictability through practice.

However, this process will still take up quite a bit of time and effort. Manufacturers can improve the racket’s predictability by adding in some additional materials like carbon fiber.

  • The Rubber

It is a requirement that the blade’s sides, which will hit the ball, must be covered with rubber evenly. Currently, we have two primary kinds of rubber used for this purpose: the usual pimpled rubber and the sandwich rubber.

The pimpled rubber is just one single non-cellular rubber layer, either synthetic or natural. This layer has pimples, or pips, evenly distributed on its surface, each square centimeter having 10 to 30.

On the other hand, the sandwich rubber has another coat of cellular rubber, also called a sponge, under the pimpled rubber. This rubber layer’s pips are usually no more than 2mm in thickness, as they will affect ball speed.

Of course, if you can control them, you can also try your hand on the lesser-known 2-faced rubber. As its name suggests, this rubber coating method provides two unique coatings on the paddle’s blades.

Nonetheless, you still have to be careful and only pick rubbers with two colors, black and red. Many people thought this was for a “cooler appearance,” but that‘s not the case. This feature is an official ITTF rule to ensure that the competitors can see which side is used.

The official reasoning is that the two colors can make it easier to guess and prepare for spin and speed.

If you want to be serious about practicing table tennis, we recommend looking for rubbers with the ITTF logo. This logo means that this rubber has been checked and satisfies the ITTF standards.

  • The Sponge

As we have mentioned above, the layer right beneath the acellular rubber layer is the sponge. You should never overlook this part of a paddle, as it can dictate how you play the game.

A general rule of thumb is that the sponge’s thickness will vary between 1.2 mm and 2.5 mm. Typically, you can freely select how thick your sponge is and its top sheet color.

You should keep in mind, though, that this thickness will directly affect how the ball responds to your hits. For instance, if you hit the ball with a thick sponge, it is harder to control where the ball goes. In exchange, you get a much higher travel speed and vice versa.

The mechanic is quite simple. The sponge will catch the ball, slow it down until it hits the underneath wood. This sponge will then act as a launcher, providing friction and spin, propelling the ball outward.

Naturally, that is not all there is to sponges in ping pong paddles. There is also the need to determine a sponge’s hardness, as it can be game-changing depending on your play style.

The most seen range for rubber in sponges is usually somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees. To make it easier to understand, a rubber band scores about 25 degrees while a car tire scores 80. If you are a beginner, meaning less than 1200 in USATT rating, you may not notice the difference.

If you are a pro, you may want to look into anti-spin sponges, as they can generate almost no spin. Certainly, it’s not that this type of sponge will produce “flat” shots automatically. Instead, it will “reverse” whatever spin your opponent sends to you.

  • The Handle

If there is no handle, you simply cannot play table tennis. Despite such a huge presence, this part of the paddle does not have any specific requirement. You can choose it in the style of penhold, flared, anatomic, or straight, according to your desire.

As you can guess by the name, penhold handles are generally short, designed for players who like the penhold grip. In other words, players who hold their paddles the way they hold a pen will prefer it. These handle types are highly preferred by Chinese and Hong Kong-er players.

This type of handle’s main benefit is that it can allow a lot more flexibility, providing more spin. Furthermore, it keeps the paddle closer to the ping pong table. However, it is much harder to use backhand spin with this handle.

If you are new to the game, the flared handle can work wonders. After all, its flared ends will keep your paddle firmly in your hand. Thus, you can freely make serves and hit hard without worrying about the paddle flying away.

Nevertheless, if you like to change your grip often, the better option is always a straight handle. Due to straight handles’ tendency to slip out of your hand, they are usually used only by pros. Besides, they are not that easy to find.

The anatomical handle is a new arrival, with the same principle as the flared handles, but they are much more comfortable. Of course, they are also much harder to buy, as the tech is still not widely available.

Choosing A Racket To Suit Your Playing Style

The Types Of Grips

As we have mentioned above, how you hold the paddle directly affects your affinity with blade handles. Currently, we have two main types of grip: penhold and shakehand.

Due to its uniqueness, the players using penhold grip is almost always more suitable with penhold handles.

On the contrary, there are many handles suitable for the shakehand grip. After all, it simply utilizes the index finger to anchor the rubber while the rest holds the handle.

Hence, any long handle type can work with the shakehand grip, from flared to straight to anatomical.

What Are The Paddle Ratings?

Each paddle’s performance has been streamlined into scores to make it easier for newer players to choose. Depending on a paddle’s performance in categories like control, speed, spin, they will be graded on a scale of 100.

Consequently, you can have an easier time picking the best ping pong paddle brands by looking at the score. The specific pick depends on your playstyle, though, as you may value speed over control or spin over speed.

However, you must remember that this aspect is more of a bonus, and it should never be the main reason behind a purchase. At the end of the day, who can stop a manufacturer from being biased with their products?

Best Ping Pong Paddles For Beginners (Top Beginner Bats)

People who are new to the game will require the best ping pong paddle for beginners. To be precise, they need all-around bats that can let them enjoy the game while learning new skills.

For this reason, we suggest looking into paddles with five layers of  plywood in their blades, as they are lightweight with low aggression. You will appreciate a flared handle more, as they can grip it easier without losing focus on their plays.

If you are looking to play table tennis seriously, you should look for the best cheap options with ITTF approval. Specifically, look for the best ping pong paddle under 50. Playing with them can familiarize you with how to play in the pro league.

Best Paddles For Intermediate Players

After spending some time with an all-arounder paddle for beginners, you must have learned enough about the game. Now, it is important to establish your unique play style. 

For this reason, the best ping pong paddles for intermediate players are generally those with clear strengths and weaknesses. In other words, you need paddles that have at most two strong points, dependent on your style.

You also do not need to invest too much, so look for the best ping pong paddles under 100.

Best Ping Pong Paddles For Advanced Players/ Professional

The best ping pong paddle for professionals will always cost a lot more than other options. They are there to win tournaments, not friendly duels nor matches focusing on training. 

Therefore, most pro paddles have a superior spin alongside extreme speed, providing lots of aggression.

Customizing Your Paddle

Utilizing commercially-made paddles for a while and you will notice that they will eventually fail to satisfy your demands. This problem appears most frequently within the experienced group of players, but some intermediate players also report the same.

The only way to solve this issue is to customize all aspects of the paddle yourself. Doing so will unarguably cost you quite a bit of money and time, but it is worth it in the long run.

You will have to buy all the components from specialist stores and put them together yourself. Nonetheless, you will be able to control every single detail completely.

The Best Ping Pong Paddles Reviewed

1. STIGA T1290 Pro Carbon Table Tennis Paddle

-17% Sale
STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with...
  • Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
  • ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Features Carbon Technology for Power and Speed

Arguably the best Stiga paddle currently on the market, the STIGA T1290 Pro Carbon Table Tennis Paddle has many advantages.

First of all, it features the symbolic carbon tech that Stiga is famous for, but with a twist. Thanks to a change in the carbon percentage, this paddle has both power and speed. 

Furthermore, despite having seven wood layers, this ping pong paddle is the lightest ping pong paddle. As you may know, this weightlessness means you can freely do some tricks without any repercussion. It is truly the paddle with the best tech possible.

However, it does sacrifice lots of control to attain absolute speed and power. Thus, beginners may find it impossible to control this paddle.

Pros:

  • Advanced technology
  • High power
  • High speed
  • Lightweight

Con:

  • Low control

2. Killerspin Jet 800 Table Tennis Paddle

-25% Sale
Killerspin Jet800 Speed N1 Ping Pong Paddle with Storage Case...
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE PADDLE: Designed with the serious player in mind,...
  • SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION: Blade consists of 7-ply composite wood and...
  • IDEAL RATINGS: Features ratings of Control: 7;5, Spin: 9, Power: 9,...

The Killerspin Jet 800 Paddle has a seven-ply wood and carbon composite blade and Nitrx rubber perfectly mixed. Therefore, it is not an overstatement to say that this paddle has the best construct across this list.

With this kind of construct, you can rest assured that this paddle can serve for quite a while. You can freely train all kinds of strong serves without having to worry about it breaking.

Another benefit of having such a good construct is that aggressive players can decide exactly where the ball will fly. You can do lots of trick shots with this bat.

You must keep in mind, though, that there is a little spin on this paddle. Therefore, it is hard to overpower your opponent.

Pros:

  • Well-constructed
  • Durable
  • High control

Con:

  • Low spin

3. DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle

DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle, Table Tennis Racket...
  • 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...

Sometimes, we need to be flexible in our ping pong strategy, but most paddles are rigid in what they offer. Nevertheless, you can fix that by using a dual rubber like the DHS HURRICANE-II Tournament Ping Pong Paddle.

Thanks to having a perfect distribution of pimples on each side, you can use this paddle both offensively and defensively. After a while, you can expand your strategy greatly. This feature is the reason we call the paddle the best dual rubber paddle.

On the other hand, we are not that impressed with how high-maintenance this paddle is. You will have to wash it carefully after each use with a sponge to maintain the stickiness.

Pros:

  • Two kinds of rubber
  • Flexible strategy
  • Lightweight

Con:

  • High-maintenance

4. Killerspin JET 200 Table Tennis Paddle

-29% Sale
Killerspin JET 200 Table Tennis Paddle, Recreational Ping Pong...
  • RECREATIONAL PADDLE: Perfect for learning basic strokes and perfecting...
  • SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION: 5-layer wood blade construction and Jet Basic...
  • PERFORMANCE RATINGS: Features ratings of Control: 8;5, Spin: 7, Speed:...

The Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle is the best ping pong paddle for control due to the specific five-layer plywood design alongside the Jet Basic rubbers. Using this paddle, you can master your control over the ball in a short period.

Besides, you will not have to worry about accidentally throwing the paddle, as its flared handle helps you hold firmly. We believe that newer players will love this design, as they tend to swing too hard.

There is, however, one issue with this ping pong paddle. Namely, it does not have high durability, as the grip can fall off after less than a month. 

Pros:

  • Incredible control
  • Flared handle for sturdier hold
  • Large sweet spot

Con:

  • Low durability

5. STIGA T1281 Evolution Table Tennis Racket

STIGA Evolution Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket Made with...
  • Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
  • ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Features Shock Dispersion Technology (SDT)

The biggest reason that convinced us the STIGA T1281 Evolution Table Tennis Racket is best for pros is its shock absorption. Newer players may not know this, but even one small vibration can lead the ball astray. This paddle can stop that possibility from happening.

Aside from the shock absorption, this paddle is excellent at providing both speed and spin. Both of these categories are vital for pro players, as they are directly related to aggression.

The only issue we have against this paddle is the smell of Fevicol glue, which can throw some people off. If you have a sharp nose, it may take a while until you feel comfortable playing with it.

Pros:

  • Good shock absorption
  • High speed
  • High spin

Con:

  • Unpleasant smell at first

6. Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Bat & Case

Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Bat & Case
  • The Palio Expert 2 is an exclusive collaboration between Palio and...
  • The Palio CJ8000 rubbers remain unchanged, provide great spin and are...
  • The redesigned Expert Table Tennis blade gives players even better...

A unique collaboration between Expert Table Tennis and Palio – the Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Bat – has some interesting changes. While Palio paddles are more well-known for their control, this paddle instead focuses on being the best ping pong paddle for spin.

But spin is not this paddle’s be-all and end-all, as it also has positive feedback. Thus, it truly shines while being used as a practice paddle, letting you know exactly what you did wrong.

The only complaint we have against this paddle is how heavy it is. Due to its weight, most new players cannot use the paddle to its fullest potential.

Pros:

  • Incredible spin
  • Good feedback
  • Great for training

Con:

  • Too heavy

7. STIGA T1291 Raptor Table Tennis Racket

-6% Sale
STIGA Raptor Table Tennis Racket Black
  • Performance-level table tennis racket
  • ITTF approved rubber for tournament play
  • Features carbon technology for power and speed

The STIGA T1291 Raptor Table Tennis Racket has arguably the thickest sponge and hardest wood material out of all options here. Thanks to this combination, the paddle can make a ping pong ball travel at the highest possible speed.

Moreover, this paddle has a special blade balance, ensuring that the sweet spot can be as large as possible. There is no way that you can make mistakes using this paddle.

The one weakness we were able to find regarding this paddle is its durability. Unlike the other paddles from STIGA, this paddle can be easily damaged if you are not careful.

Pros:

  • Thick sponge
  • Hard surface
  • High speed

Con:

  • Not durable

8. STIGA B07XQLYSYC Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket

STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket made with...
  • Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
  • ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Features STIGA ACS for Control and Speed

Due to having almost equal scores for all categories, the STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket is the best all-around option. Not to mention its STIGA ACS tech, enhancing the feedback to the player.

Thanks to the inverted rubber layer, you can expect an incredible recovery rate from this paddle. While other paddles require lots of care, all you need to do is leave this racket alone, and it will recover by itself.

Nevertheless, this paddle does have some flaws. Among them, the most glaring is its unpredictability, as sometimes you may be surprised with how the ball flies.

Pros:

  • High specs across all aspects
  • Excellent feel feedback
  • Good self-recovery

Con:

  • Unpredictable

9. Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle

Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle - Good Speed and...
  • BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS RACKET – The Timo Boll table tennis racket...
  • GREAT TABLE TENNIS RUBBER - The Pan Asia table tennis racket rubber...
  • 3 MODELS – Each ping pong paddle has different sponge and rubber...

It is always the blade that determines how fast the ball can go. It’s also the blade that decides where to send the ball. 

For these reasons, the blade has become among the most vital parts of a paddle, but it’s hard to find a good one. This case is often true unless you get something like the Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle.

Thanks to having a huge sweet spot, you simply cannot miss while playing with this paddle. The thick sponge also plays a huge part in letting the paddle propel the ball with speed and precision.

However, we noticed that the uncomfortable feeling the handle gives out could throw someone off. If you cannot grip the paddle firmly, you have already lost.

Pros:

  • Good blade
  • Huge sweet spot
  • Thick sponge

Con:

  • Uncomfortable handle

10. Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set

Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set - 1 Ping Pong Paddle – 1...
  • BUTTERFLY 401 PING PONG PADDLE – The Butterfly 401 Table Tennis...
  • GREAT PING PONG RUBBER AND SPONGE - This Butterfly table tennis racket...
  • ERGONOMIC GRIP – The ping pong paddle handle has a rounded flared...

Despite popular belief, if you cannot grip the paddle tightly in your hands, you simply can’t control the ball. This issue is irrelevant with the Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle, thanks to its rounded flared design. It is incredibly good for the shakehand style of play.

This paddle also has a black and red Yuki rubber coating, ensuring it can properly react to ping pong balls. After a while, you will be hooked on counter-playing using this paddle’s amazing tackiness.

There is an annoying issue of this racket not offering options on handle sizes. If you happen to have bigger hands, you may find them a little uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Rounded flared design
  • Black and red Yuki coating
  • High-quality rubber coating

Con:

  • No handle option

Table Tennis Racket FAQs

What ping pong paddles do professionals use?

Here is a list of 7 table tennis paddles (including blades and rubber) favored by intermediate and professional players in recent years:
1. STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket
2. Killerspin JET800 SPEED N1 Table Tennis Paddle
3. DHS Hurricane 2 Tournament
4. Butterfly Zhang Jike ZLC Pro-line
5. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Pro-line
6. Stiga Tournament Titan
7. Palio Master 2

What is the difference between the sides of a ping pong paddle?

Because each side will use different rubber depending on the opponent’s playstyle is like speed, spin, or control. So to be fair, the two rubbers must have a different color so that the opponent can guess what the ball’s trajectory will be.

What paddle does Adam Bobrow use?

According to Adam Bobrow’s latest update on his channel, the device he is using is:
Rubber: RASANTER V42 (both sides)
Blade: Andro Treiber K

How do I choose a ping pong paddle?

No.1 Rule: always choose what is most comfortable for you.
Try serving and hitting a few shots to determine if you are suitable for a straight or flared grip. Then, select a handle that supports your grip style.
The penhold grip requires a short handle, while the shake hand grip needs a longer handle.

Conclusion

We hope that now you are finally able to get the best ping pong paddles confidently. 

If you are still confused or uncertain about which paddle to pick, the recommendation is the STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket. Its specs are almost the same, making it ideal for practicing.

Last update on 2021-06-21 at 11:10 UTC-8 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Related Posts

Scroll to Top