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The 10 Best Ping Pong Paddles in 2021: Reviews and Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to upgrade your ping pong paddle? Looking for the best one but not sure what to go for? Well you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we review what we think are the 10 best ping pong paddles on the market in 2021 as well as provide a complete buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect bat for you and your needs. Let’s get started.

Quick Answer: The Best Table Tennis Paddles

How to Choose a Ping Pong Paddle: Buyer’s Guide

On any boring day, ping pong is a great way to entertain family or guests. It can be done indoors or outdoors. For serious players, a game of table tennis is the best way to prepare for a competition.

Owning equipment like table tennis paddles, tables, allows you more practice. Having these facilities at home is a great idea.

Of all this equipment, the racket is the first item you should own. Professional players know it has an impact on your play. Before purchasing one do enough research.

racket structure

The table tennis racket is composed of 4 parts: handle, blade, rubber, and sponge. The combination of these parts determines the quality of a racket.

We often refer to the terms of table tennis rackets and sponges such as speed, spin, control, bounce, soft or hard. In fact, these indicators have no industry-unified values, but they are the terms that major racket manufacturers categorized for users to use as a reference when choosing their rackets.

Many people don’t put a lot of thought into the kind of ping pong paddles that they buy.

However, having the right ping pong paddles is a wise investment that will last you long. It is essential to the kind of experience that you have and how well you perform when you play.

If you play ping pong frequently, and are considering improving your game or playing on a tournament level, then knowing how to pick the right ping pong paddles can be valuable.

Get A Durable One

While most ping pong paddles are cheap, these versions are less durable and break easily. Virtually anyone who has opted for these cheaper ping pong paddles can attest to the numerous incidents of broken handles and rubbers that come unglued.

In the end, it is always wise to spend a few extra bucks for a decent ping pong paddle, than to have to buy several within a year. The best bet is to buy one that is not pre-made.

Blade Type

For those looking to improve their skills or become more competitive, it is important to consider the type of blade that you want in a ping pong paddle. Blades that are too fast or too slow can have a tremendous impact on how well you play.

If you want to compete professionally at ping pong tournaments, you should look into the more professional ping pong paddles on today’s market.

Top manufacturers such as Butterfly or Stiga, offer the most proven and tested ping pong paddles out there.

Shakehand and Penhold

In general, blades are dividend into 2 types which are shakehand and penhold. Shakehand handles are more popular while penhold are favored by Asian players.

Handles

shakehand racket handles

For shakehand, there are 3 types of handles which are FL, ST, and AN.

ST: It is known as a straight grip. The handle enables a player to change grip as they play.

AN: It is known as anatomic grip. The handle is built with wave-shape. It can fit the palm well and at the same time provides stability to the player.

FL: It is known as flared or concave. The gravity center is closer to grip and the blade well fits in the palm. This is the type used by most of the international players.

For penhold, there are 2 types of handles categorized into Chinese style(CS) and Japanese style(JP).

JP penhold blade
JP penhold
Chinese Penhold
Chinese Penhold
racket handle grip

Measurement on Blade

For a table tennis blade, the indicators used are thickness, weight, material, layer, shape, and some personal preferences.

The effect of thickness on performance:

In simple terms, the thicker the blade, the more rigid it is, the thinner the blade, the more thorough the feels.

The thicker blade is fast and suitable to play a fast stroke. Often used by offensive players. The thinner blade can generate great spin. It is sought after by players who like to play sidespin.

The effect of weight on performance:

The heavier the blade, the greater the density the blade has. In addition to the material, the degreasing process will also affect the weight.

For a blade built with a high density of wood, deformation is small. It uses the blade to play a fast stroke.

The effect of the material on performance:

This should be combined with the thickness. Soft and thin blades (5.3-5.6) are mostly in arc-shaped. Hard and thick blades (more than 6.5) are mostly built for offensive play.

The thickness between 5.7-6.5 is commonly used in offensive play combined with arc play.

Different Types of Rackets

Paddles come in different kinds. Remember your skill is at stake depending on the type you are going to purchase. The wrong racket may not present you with the outcome you want to achieve.

Recreational or Pre-made paddles

The rubbers on this type of paddles are already assembled. Beginners and recreational players use this type.

It is important to know that the average lifespan of ping pong paddle rubber is about one year. Change frequently. It is cheaper to buy new rubbers than to buy a new set of ping pong paddles.

Custom made paddles

High-performance paddles are the best to use if you are serious about playing the sport. You will be able to achieve the type of spin and speed you want to apply in your game. This is possible through the high-grade rubber and blade used to create this racket.

The type of material will depend on your playing style. In any game, customized paddles have an edge over recreational rackets.

Which To Choose?

Custom made rackets have an advantage over regular ones. It is only a good idea to purchase one if you are a regular table tennis player or want to enter a competition. If you are just playing for fun, stick with pre-made paddles.

So you have decided to purchase a custom racket? Assess your playing style. After doing this, choose the appropriate paddle. As you improve your play, you can change the rubbers, blades, or the whole paddle itself depending on your style.

There are many benefits of owning your table tennis paddles.

Table Tennis Bats That You Should Avoid

A pre-made bat means that it comes preassembled. It has the blade and the rubber already glued onto it. You don’t need to buy any rubber to glue onto the wood; you can just take out the bat from your case and start to play. Generally, a better quality pre-made racket should last you for about a year.

When you are still learning to play, you should choose the pre-made table tennis bats, but don’t choose the ones that are of a very low quality. Low-quality bats will not give you the grip, control, speed, and spin that you want. You just can’t control your stroke at all. This will not help you to improve your overall playing skills. You should always pick ones of better quality.

Many people are confused about what constitutes a good table tennis bat. Well, the easiest way to determine the quality of a pre-made bat would be to look at its price.

Most better-quality ping pong rackets are in the $30 – $70 price range. Those that are cheaper than $30 tend to be low-quality table tennis bats that are not suitable to be used for practice if you are serious about playing table tennis. They are meant for recreational play only.

The Best Table Tennis Racket Reviews

Here is a list of the top 10 best table tennis rackets I think is ideal for an intermediate player. The list covers those famous brands of best table tennis racket companies and manufacturers. I will select one model out from each brand and provide a brief review on each of them.

The review covers the racket ideal for spin, speed, and control. After this, I hope you can choose an ideal one.

1. Killerspin JET 800 Ping Pong Paddle

In at number one we have the Killerspin Jet 800 paddle. It’s one of a series of preassembled rackets range from the JET 100 all the way up to 800. The JET 800 is the latest one on the list and it is engineered for competitive play. There is a sponge layer and then the rubber on the outside. It has a flared grip measured at 3.7″ long. It is a bit heavy, giving you more power. If you’re playing defensively, this bat is ideal for you.

When the ball hits you and you are standing too far away from the table, you can defend easily because the bat is heavy enough for you to do so. If you need more power to hit the ball back to your opponent, but you are using a light bat, you will not be able to serve effectively. When you first use the Killerspin JET 800 to play ping pong, your shoulder might feel a little sore initially. But you will quickly fall in love with this bat once you get used to it.

Pros:

  • Offer you a massive spin and a good bounce.
  • It is very durable and is well constructed with great quality material.
  • Gives you great control of your shot.

Cons:

  • The bat is quite heavy.
  • There is no protective strip or edge tape to protect the rubber and the blade.

You can read the further detail of JET 800 here and its previous JET series rackets below.

#2. STIGA Pro Carbon Ping Pong Paddle

Stiga Pro Carbon

This STIGA Pro Carbon bat is quite heavy and is a bat with superior quality for professional play. Thus, this table tennis bat is great for aggressive players who love to do power shots and spin.

It is not so good if you would love to have more control. So, if you are a defensive player, then this may not be the right racket for you.

One thing that sets this paddle apart from others is the carbon built on the blade. As the weight of the racket is quite heavy, you may need some time to get used to it.

Pros:

  • Features a sleek outlook.
  • It has a great handle.
  • It can give you plenty of spins.

Cons:

  • The handle may need improvement as it is not so comfortable to hold. You will need to sand it down till your grip is comfy.
  • Not suitable for long-distance play.

If you want to know in more detail about this STIGA Pro Carbon bat, you can look at the link below:

#3. STIGA Raptor Table Tennis Racket

In at number three we have the relatively new STIGA Raptor. It’s very similar to the Carbon Pro weighing in at 1.2lbs and having the same 7 layers blade, 5 of which are made with balsa wood coupled with 2 layers of lightweight carbon. This means you get all the power and speed of a thick 7 ply blade without the heavy feel.

When it comes to the rubbers the STIGA Raptor has the same STIGA S5’s as the Pro Carbon which are built with their ACS technology which gives you more control over the ball. They work really well with the 2mm thick sponge layer that really helps the ball ping off the face of the paddle giving you lots more speed and to generate a good amount of spin.

That being said, it’s probably not the best paddle for beginners due to the ratings but if you’re leveling up your game and want a reasonably priced paddle to help then we’d definitely recommend checking out the STIGA Raptor.

#4. JOOLA Spinforce 900 Table Tennis Bat

Up next we have the JOOLA Spinforce 900. This bat features with new Infinity Rubber. There is a 2.2mm soft sponge attached to the blade. It is a 7 Plywood carbon blade.

This JOOLA Spinforce 900 is the ideal racket for those who have mastered the basic skills of ping pong and wish to advance their playing to the next level.

When you first get this bat, you may need a few weeks to practice and get used to it. Once you start to adjust to the bat, you will start to fall in love with it.

With the bat in hand, you will have enough speed and control over the ball.

Nonetheless, if you buy this bat, it is better for you to take it and hit some balls in the first place to test out the blade and the rubber. There are players in my area who bought this bat but the red rubber broke off on the side just after a few days of playing.

Pros:

  • It can offer you great control and spin.
  • The bat is lightweight but can give you strong hits.
  • A well-balanced bat.

Cons:

  • The rubber can be easily worn off from the blade or deteriorate on the edges.

#5. STIGA Evolution Ping Pong Paddle

  • Ratings: Speed–96, Spin–94, Control–90 
  • Blade: 6-ply light
  • Materials: Premium rubber with 2mm thick sponge 

Another great little affordable ping pong paddle is the STIGA Evolution. It’s one of the best-priced paddles on our list and is an excellent choice for any beginner who’s ready to take their game to the next level, thanks to its fantastic control to speed ratio. If you want to send the ball more deliberately, control is critical, and the Evolution can help improve play in this aspect. 

It also delivers plenty of power, thanks to STIGA’s various manufacturing technologies, and with a bigger sweet spot than other rackets, the Evolution can help increase your accuracy. This table tennis racket is lightweight, and it suits players who enjoy playing close to the table, where it’s useful in improving stroke technique. 

It’s made up of a 6 ply blade that packs a punch (but isn’t too overwhelming) with great ITTF approved STIGA rubbers and a nice a 2mm sponge. Put all that together and you get a great paddle that packs a punch but with enough control for a novice.

Plus, the price of the STIGA Evolution is affordable, which makes it well worth investing in if you’re ready to take the next step in your table tennis game. It makes a great gift for newer table tennis players and is well-deserving of a place on our list of top table tennis rackets. Check it out below.

#6. DHS Hurricane II Ping Pong Paddle

The DHS Hurricane II is a solid choice for intermediate players looking for a racket that delivers incredible spin–especially if you use a shakehand, or Asian-style grip. 

What differentiates the Hurricane II from other models is the different rubber types it features on each side. The side with the Hurricane rubber is better for offensive players who like to produce spin. Flip it over, and the G555 rubber on the other side provides a more tacky surface, allowing you to focus more on control. 

The only real downside to this paddle is that some reviewers note that the G555 rubber loses tackiness quickly, but even so, the Hurricane is an excellent professional-caliber option. It also includes a carrying case to keep it safe and two balls. You can certainly find cheaper models available, but if you want superior craftsmanship, you can’t go wrong with this one.

#7. Palio Expert 3 Ping Pong Paddle

  • Ratings: Speed: 6, Spin: 9, Control: 10 
  • Materials: Palio CJ8000 rubbers

Expert Table Tennis and Palio, a Chinese brand, recently came together to produce rackets for players of all levels, and there’s plenty to love about their Palio Expert, now in its third generation. If you’re an advanced beginner that wants to improve quickly, you might want to try this racket. 

The Palio Expert can help you reach the next level with its sticky CJ8000 rubbers, which have a soft sponge and a tacky top sheet that allow you to generate plenty of spin–all while maintaining control. Plus, this heavy-weight paddle delivers the power you need to beat your opponents. You certainly won’t have to worry about using a lot of effort to send the ball.

Reviewers like that you can buy the rubbers separately and replace them when needed, and it also includes a carrying case to protect your investment. Overall, this tournament-approved paddle provides the balance between speed and control needed to reach intermediate levels of play. If you’re serious about improving, it may be perfect for you. 

Palio Expert 3 is an exclusive collaboration between Palio and Expert Table Tennis.

#8. Idoraz Table Tennis Paddle

This is a quality bat for the game of ping pong. The bat is really well-made and it has a nice professional feel. The bat comes with a 2.00 mm rubber coating. If you are a basic ping pong player, this Idoraz table tennis bat will help to bring your skills to the next level.

The bat can offer you great spin and balance when playing on the court. When I first held the bat in my hand, I can feel it is slightly heavier compared to the Killerspin Jet 200 that I used before getting this bat.

The grip is pretty good. It is ideal for players who love to do a lot of offensive attacks. When the bat comes in contact with the ball, you can immediately feel the crisp touch. Also, it gives you a very great bounce which can help to improve your game in no time.

Overall, this Idoraz table tennis bat can give you excellent speed, spin, and control.

Pros:

  • Can help you to improve your playing skills.
  • The bat is well-built.
  • Great value for the price that you pay for.

Cons:

  • The rubber is quite firm. It is good if the manufacturer can provide a softer rubber which can help to generate more spin.
  • The bat is slightly heavyweight.

#9. Killerspin Jet 200 Ping Pong Paddle

  • Ratings: Speed–7, Spin–6, Control–8.5 
  • Blade: 5-ply blades
  • Materials: Jet-basic rubbers 

Killerspin has plenty of excellent models to choose from, and despite being a relatively new brand, they are impressing those that choose their products. The JET 200 is an entry-level paddle that will support novice players as they work on their game. If you need to develop ball control and perfect basic strokes, this model is a sound choice.  

The JET 200 features 5-ply blades that are made from wood, like many other paddles. It has a flared grip handle, which is the most popular grip type, but the rubber quality is where it differentiates itself. Killerspin’s rubber quality is often better than its competitors. It won’t give you the power that a better racket like the Stiga Titan would, but the price is reasonable.

One thing to note is that the JET 200 is not ITTF-approved, so if tournament play is in your future, you might want to look elsewhere. That said, beginner players can benefit significantly from this paddle, which includes a carrying case to keep your racket safe.

#10. Butterfly 401 Ping Pong Paddle

  • Ratings: Speed: 8, Spin: 8, Control: 8.5
  • Blade: 5-plywood 
  • Materials: Butterfly Yuki Rubber, soft 2.1-millimeter sponge

The Butterfly 401 is a tournament-approved paddle that lots of reviewers would describe as a solid all-around option. And at a price that won’t break the bank, players can develop their game without making a significant investment. While it doesn’t offer the best speed, it generates excellent spin and provides a good balance turn and control. 

Reviewers note that its most notable feature is the long-lasting design of the rubber; it maintains its tackiness for quite a long time. The 401 also has an ergonomic grip to make play more comfortable, though it’s important to note that the paddle is a bit smaller than some others. If you have large hands, you may want to look for something else. 

Despite a few drawbacks, the Butterfly 401 is a popular model with all kinds of players, from novices to table tennis veterans, and it’s got plenty of positive reviews. If you want a lot of bang for your back, it’s certainly worth checking out. This model comes with a carrying case to protect your purchase.

Conclusion: Which Ping Pong Paddle Should you buy?

So, that about sums up our post on the best ping pong bats, we hope you found it useful. Just remember to take a close look at the paddle’s ratings and don’t get something with too much power if you’re just a beginner. Aim for a slower bat with less power and spin so you can learn to control the ball’s placement first.

If you’re still on the fence about which one to go for we’d suggest taking a look at the Killerspin Jet 800. The combination of the blade and rubbers make it one of the best pre-made paddles on the market. As you can see from the reviews it gets we’re not the only ones to think so too. For more information and to get the best price click below to check it out.