Top 7 Best Ping Pong Paddle [Reviews & Buying Guide]

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Let’s face it: very few of us haven’t played ping pong when we were kids. And some of us have even carried the passion into adulthood.

Because there’s no denying that ping pong is indeed a very addictive game. Whether you call it Table Tennis, Gossima, or Whiff-Waff, it’s hard to live on Earth and avoid ping pong. However, the real trouble begins when you try to select the best ping pong paddle to play with.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation, which controls the rules of the game worldwide, paddles are officially called Table Tennis rackets. And despite being seemingly simple, there’s a lot you need to consider before settling on the ping pong paddle that’s suited for you.

Seems too intimidating? Don’t worry, for you’ve got us by your side! Today, we’re here with reviews of the best ping pong paddles that money can buy. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, we’re sure you’ll find your pick from among our selections.

So, let’s not wait any longer and get playing.

7 Best Ping Pong Paddles To Consider

  1. STIGA Pro Carbon Paddle 

In the world of ping pong, Stiga is a name that commands immense respect. The brand makes products for amateurs as well as pros, and the Stiga Pro Carbon is aimed towards intermediate-level players. It offers a solid grip, is extremely lightweight, and provides a suitable spin and speed combination.

Why It’s A Top Choice?

The primary reason for including this pin pong paddle in the list is its professional-grade construction. It’s made from a seven-ply blade, and two of these plies are of carbon fiber. This ensures that this table tennis racket is lightweight yet offers the required rigidity when returning shots.

The dual carbon-fiber layers provide you with a good combination of response and rigidity. If you’re fond of working with tactical returns, then very few rackets at this price range will give you a comparable level of performance.

We also like the massive amount of spin that you can get from this paddle, as well as the considerable speed rating of 9.9. As a result, offensive players will find it the best for aggressive retaliation across the table tennis board.

For experienced players, this paddle is going to be a delight to use. However, beginners and those who like to play with a defensive strategy might take some time to get used to it. But once you get the hang of it, there’s no reason you can’t take your match to the next level.

What We’d Like Improved?

One aspect of this ping pong paddle that we would like bettered is the control. It has a low control rating of 80, which means it’s not the ideal racket for beginners. Also, the surface rubber tends to degrade faster, and you might have to replace it with a new one after a few months of gameplay.

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 Pros:  
  • Uses ITTF approved materials
  • Seven plies, extra lightweight blade
  • Carbon-fiber technology for spin and power
  • Affordable unit
 Cons:  
  • Low control rating
  • Not suitable for beginners and defensive players

2. The Killerspin Jet 800 Paddle

Next up, we’ll introduce you to the Jet 800 from Killerspin, another recognizable name in the field of ping pong. A decidedly high-end unit, this ping pong paddle provides players with tournament-grade performance and excellent offensive capabilities.

Why It’s A Top Choice?

Some of the ping pong world’s biggest names prefer the Jet 800 for its performance and durability. It comes with a 7-ply blade made of the highest quality wood and reinforced with carbon-fiber layers. This provides it with massive return power and long-term durability.

Despite the robust construction, you’ll be surprised at how lightweight a paddle it is. The extra light blade with a premium quality rubber gives it a high spin rate. With speed, spin, and control ratings of 9.5, 9, and 8, respectively, this is undoubtedly a table tennis paddle to reckon with.

Now, let’s talk a bit about the looks, which are better than most low-end ping pong paddles on the market. We especially love the flared handle with a burnt wood design. The rubber that it uses is the extremely popular Nitrix-4Z, a tournament-grade high-tension rubber.

Both the above features ensure that you get an excellent grip with this table tennis paddle. A good grip means you’re able to handle anything the opponent sends your way. At the same time, it also means you’ll be able to generate sufficient control and spin when returning the shot.

What We’d Like Improved?

The only gripe we have with this product is the price, which is relatively high for a ping pong paddle. However, once you consider that this is a table tennis racket that professionals use, we guess the price is justified. Also, there’s a bit of a learning curve in using it, so that’s something you’ll have to take into account.

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 Pros:  
  • Suitable for offensive as well as defensive players
  • ITTF approved paddle with high-quality Nitrix-4Z
  • Excellent speed and spin
  • Durable 7-ply construction
 Cons:  
  • A rather high price
  • Has a considerable learning curve

3. Butterfly 401 Paddle

We’ve already seen one intermediate and one professional level ping pong paddle. So, now it’s time for one that’s made especially for the newbies. The Butterfly 401 paddle is an entry-level table tennis racket made for ping pong players in their early development stage. 

Why It’s A Top Choice?

When you’re just starting as a table tennis player, it’s natural that you want to keep paddle-related spends under control. After all, you’re only going to outgrow your initial paddle soon. Thankfully, the Butterfly 401 is made with beginners in mind and priced affordably.

The surprising thing about this ping pong paddle is that despite the low cost, it’s highly durable. The Yuki rubber is of good quality and maintains tackiness for much longer than typical paddles in this price range. Also, the wooden blade is robust and can stand up to the constant beatings in common rooms and clubs.

Along with durability, its speed and control ratings (8 and 8.5, respectively) are also commendable. This is on account of the 5-ply wooden blade and 2.1 mm sponge combination, which makes gameplay enjoyable. Overall, if you’re looking to step into the world of ping pong, there’s no better paddle for a beginner to get started with.

What We’d Like Improved?

The only respect where this product lags is the balance, which leaves a lot to be desired. Another problem is that despite being rather ergonomic, the handle is slightly smaller than the length you’d get on the average paddle. In case you have large hands, gameplay might be a problem.

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 Pros:  
  • ITTF approved construction
  • Comes with high-quality Butterfly Yuki Rubber
  • Extremely affordable and durable
  • Ideal speed and control for beginners
 Cons:  
  • Balance not up to the mark
  • Smaller than average handle

4. DHS Hurricane II Paddle

One of the significant problems that most players face during their first tournament is whether the paddle they’re using is tournament-ready. With the DHS Hurricane II ping pong paddles, you get the trust of ITTF approval, along with the advantage of playing with one of the favorites of table tennis experts around the world.

Why It’s A Top Choice?

The DHS Hurricane II is an excellent choice for those who like to use a Shakehand or use an Asian-style grip. It’s a professional-grade ping pong paddle that’s targeted towards intermediate-level players looking to become pros.

We like how the paddle’s sweet spot is closer towards the front; at the same time, the extra-slick rubber gives this paddle an incredible spin. And we can’t fail to mention its balanced weight, which gives players a sense of complete control.

Another unique feature that sets it apart from any other table tennis racket is that it has different rubber types on either side. So, on the red side, you have the pimples facing inwards, while on the black side, you have the pimples outwards. This gives you the advantage of changing your gameplay style with a simple twist of the paddle.

What We’d Like Improved?

Again, this is a rather expensive table tennis racket, which means you might not be able to fit it into your budget. Another negative point that we’d like to mention is that the rubber smells rather nasty, and you might need something to mask the unpleasant smell.

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 Pros:  
  • Ideal for intermediate-level players
  • Comes with Landson wrist support
  • Offers good quality spin
  • Suits offensive as well as defensive gameplay
 Cons:  
  • High price tag
  • Rubber smells unpleasant

5. STIGA Supreme Paddle

We’ve already seen the Stiga Pro Carbon, which targets intermediate-level players. The Stiga Supreme caters to the same crowd at a much more affordable price point. Be it looks, gameplay, or speed and control, the Supreme is one of the best ping pong paddles around.

Why It’s A Top Choice?

Unlike the Stiga Pro Carbon, the Stiga Supreme ping pong paddles come with a 6-ply table tennis blade. Despite this, the blade is exceptionally lightweight and uses a 2 mm sponge layer.

And it’s this construction that sets it apart from other paddles in this price range, which usually sport a 5-ply construction. Stiga adds an extra ply by virtue of their Tube Technology middle layer. This helps lower the overall weight of the table tennis blade, allowing players to adopt a faster playing style.

The lightweight nature of these ping pong paddles also helps you step up your game and adopt a defensive playing style. Especially when you’re facing extra aggressive players and like to use swift, powerful shots, this paddle can help you hold your own. Overall, its lightweight nature and compact build make it ideal for defensive players.

What We’d Like Improved?

The only fly in our ointment about the Supreme is that it struggles to produce sufficient power. In a way, this puts severe limitations on how far back from the table you can play. But given that its lightweight build allows for faster reaction, we can try and gloss over that.

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 Pros:  
  • Speed, spin, and control ratings of 90, 92, and 89, respectively
  • High-quality, ITTF approved rubber
  • Tube Technology for lightweight gameplay
  • Best for defensive players
 Cons:  
  • It doesn’t deliver much power

6. Palio Expert 2.0 Paddle

Created as a collaboration between Palio and Expert Table Tennis, this is a series of the best ping pong paddles for beginners. It offers a superb combination of spin, control, and power that lets players adopt any playing style they consider fit for themselves.

Why It’s A Top Choice?

Beginner players need a table tennis racket that offers the right combination of speed and spin, enabling them to hit the ball right. At the same time, it needs to have enough control to allow them to develop their unique style of play.

Thankfully, the Palio Expert 2.0 has a high spin rating of 9, along with near-perfect control. Simultaneously, its speed rating is lower, allowing newbies to adapt to it over time. It also takes care not to sacrifice power; all the above makes this an ideal paddle for new table tennis players.

We also like how it uses only ITTF approved rubber, which you can also get replaced once it wears off. The soft sponge layer, along with the tacky top sheet, helps to contribute to the spin; so, you can easily play shots that’ll baffle your opponents.

At this point, it would be wise to mention that Palio Expert 2.0 is only the first of a line of three. For intermediate players, you have the Palio Master 2.0, which has excellent control and speed balance. And in case you’re an advanced player with an aggressive playing style, then the Palio Legend 2.0 is the one for you.

What We’d Like Improved?

There’s nothing much that can be improved in this table tennis paddle apart from the speed. But seeing as this paddle is for beginners, we guess it hits the mark rightly. Of course, you can’t expect this to operate at par with higher-end models such as the Killerspin Jet200 or Stiga Evolution.

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 Pros:  
  • Best suited for beginners
  • An ideal combination of spin and control
  • ITTF approved rubber
  • Suitable for use in tournaments
 Cons:  
  • Lower speed rating

7. STIGA Titan Paddle

We’re back again with another offering from Stiga, this time the Stiga Titan paddle. This one is a highly affordable option for any beginner looking to transition into serious gameplay. It complements your playing style with superb control, making it one of the best table tennis rackets in terms of speed and spin.

 

Why It’s A Top Choice?

The reason we can count this paddle among the best table tennis paddles is its blade quality. The Titan’s blade has a 5-ply wooden handle that’s specially made to deliver extreme power. It uses the Triumph rubber on both sides of the paddle, making it a bit less durable than higher-end Stiga models.

That’s no reason to shy away from buying this model, however. The 5-ply blade includes a thick, 2 mm inverted sponge layer. This lets you generate decent spin and speed without sacrificing control. Granted, it’s not as powerful as a professional ping pong paddle like the Stiga Pro Carbon Table Tennis bat. But then again, you can’t expect anything better at this price point.

What We’d Like Improved?

As we’ve already mentioned above, the only thing we’d like to improve in this model is its build quality. Due to the affordable price point, the manufacturers have clearly cut some corners while making this table tennis bat.

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 Pros:  
  • Provides a high level of performance
  • 5-ply extra light blade with crystal technology
  • Optimal speed and spin delivery
  • ITTF approved
 Cons:  
  • Durability issues

Best Ping Pong Paddle Buyer’s Guide

Think you’re ready to buy the best professional ping pong paddle with suitable speed and spin? Well, you’ve no doubt understood by now that there are many suitable paddles available on the market. The real question is: which one is best suited for your style of gameplay?

At the same time, you must consider several other factors such as grip style, construction, and the different ratings that these units come with. Experts suggest that the blade weight and shape also play a significant part in determining paddle quality.

Seems confusing? Don’t worry even a bit, for we’ve curated this ping pong paddle buyer’s guide to help you out. Once you have gone through all parts of the following guide, you’ll be sure about which is your best table tennis racket.

1. Playing style

The very first thing that you need to keep in mind when selecting a table tennis paddle is your playing style. It’s best for novice players to buy a general paddle that can adapt to most gameplay styles. This is understandable since you’ve probably not yet developed a playing style of your own.

However, in case you’re a seasoned player, you’re bound to have some preferences. Are you primarily an attacking player, or does your strategy mainly involve defense? What’s your gripping pattern (more on this later)? Answering questions such as these can help make the decision-making process more streamlined.

2. The Brand

For amateurs who like to play the occasional table tennis game, any paddle will do. But in case you’re serious about your performance level, the table tennis paddles you chose need to come from reliable brands. Sticking with products from companies such as Stiga, Killerspin, and Butterfly will help you develop your game further.

These brands specialize in creating table tennis equipment that fits the ITTF recommendations. So, any gear you get that’s manufactured by them is bound to give you better results. However, we do recommend that you perform your due diligence and research before settling for a brand. Don’t go with the most expensive option blindly; it may not be suitable for your style of play.

3. Blade Type 

The next essential factor that you need to keep in mind is the paddle blade. Table tennis blades are usually made with layers of wood. However, higher-end models incorporate carbon fiber between the layers of wood to further reinforce the paddle.

Another important factor to consider is the blade weight, which determines the performance that you’ll be able to get out of the paddle. You also need to pay attention to blade size and shape along with the weight and blade material.

4. Sponge Thickness

In case you’re new to using table tennis bats, you might have missed the thin layer of sponge between the rubber and the blade. In different paddle versions, you’ll find the sponge to be of different thicknesses, and it’s this thickness that determines the paddle’s speed.

In general, the thicker the sponge, the more speed you can get out of your paddle. Each thickness level will have different results, so you need to try out some variants before settling for the one ideal for you. However, in case you’re looking for better control over speed, go with a thinner sponge.

5. Rubber Type

The rubber has a significant impact on the level game you can play. The rubber layer on the surface of the paddle blade can have pimples, the directionality of which determines whether you can play offense or defense.

Rubber variations can also determine the spin and grip that you get out of your paddle. If you’re looking for a paddle to play in a tournament, make sure the rubber is ITTF approved. Such paddles usually have a label signifying the same.

6. Wood Type

For any professional player, the paddle wood variety means a lot. In general, competitive paddles such as the Killerspin Jet 800 or Stiga Titan have at least 85% wood blades. Balsa wood is one of the common materials used for wood blades.

However, a wood blade is often on the heavier side, which might not suit all players. That’s why carbon fiber is often used for making a multi-ply extra light blade. One of the prime examples of this is the Killerspin Jet 800.

As a rule of thumb, if you prefer greater control, it’s recommended that you go with a paddle that has more than 80% wood. At least a 5-ply wood blade is essential for any ping pong player serious about enhancing their skills.

7. Paddle Ratings

You can gauge the performance of a table tennis paddle by three rating components: spin, speed, and control. Each of these is scored on a scale of 10 or 100, and the higher the score, the better the paddle in that particular aspect.

When checking ratings, it’s essential to understand that there’s really no standardization among manufacturers for calculating the rates. This means different manufacturers might rate the same paddle differently. At the end of the day, it’s up to the player to decide how the paddle behaves on meeting ping pong balls.

The Different Parts Of A Ping Pong Paddle

Now you know what to look for when buying paddles, but the task doesn’t end with you buying one. To get the most out of your equipment, you need to know the different parts and how each contributes when you hit the ball. Only then can you be sure that you’ve made a great choice. In this section, we’re going to acquaint you with the different parts of ping pong paddles.

1. The Handle

Paddle handles usually come in three variants: Flared handles, Straight Handles, and Anatomic Handles. Of these, Flared handles are the most popular style among players. Such handles are made wider towards the base and don’t have the risk of slipping out of your hand while playing. For beginners, we recommend that you go with flared handles as they provide better control during gameplay.

Straight handles, as their name suggests, have the same width throughout the length of the handle. These allow you to change the paddle grip according to your playing style. On the other hand, Anatomic handles are wider in the mid-section and help you get better stability.

2. The Blade

The blade of a paddle is the portion with which you hit the ping pong balls. Blades are made of multiple layers or plies as the experts call them. These plies are usually made of wood, though some models also use carbon fiber layers.

Paddles usually have anywhere between 5 to 9 layers; more layers usually mean stiffer paddles. As we’ve already mentioned in passing, balsa wood paddles are extra lightweight and offer better stability.

A carbon table tennis racket, i.e., one with carbon fiber plies, is often extra lightweight and strong. Players even opt for custom blades that contain more (or less) plies than the established standard for customized gameplay.

3. The Rubber

On both sides of the blade, you’ll find a layer of rubber that forms the surface with which the ball will make contact. The rubber affects your play style, and there are numerous variations in this respect. For instance, the rubber may have short or long pimples which point either in or out. Based on your play style, you can select the rubber type that’s most suited for you.

4. The Sponge

The fourth and final part of a paddle is the sponge, which lies between the rubber and the blade. The sponge layer is usually of varying thickness, ranging from 1.2 mm to 2.5 mm. If the sponge layer is thick, then you’ll have greater power when hitting the ball. On the other hand, a thinner layer means more control.

A Brief Guide To Paddle Grips

The way you grip a paddle depends on your playing style, and the grip, in turn, determines what kind of paddle handle you need. There are many ways to hold a racket, but the most popular ones are the Penhold and the Shakehand.

1. The Penhold

This is the preferred grip type of Asian table tennis players. It’s well suited for aggressive players who like to play with an attacking hand. You’ll be able to get massive amounts of power and spin if you’re playing forehand shots using this grip type. However, with this grip, you’ll have trouble hitting backhand shots.

2. The Shakehand

The Shakehand grip is the most common way of holding a paddle all over the world. In this grip, the index finger is outstretched over the rubber, and the remaining fingers close around the handle. This grip makes for equal distribution of power in both backhand and forehand shots.

If you’re inclined to using a Penhold grip, then go with a shorter handle. For Shakehand grip, you’ll need a longer handle which can be a straight or flared handle.

Understanding Paddle Ratings

We’ve already seen in passing that paddle performance is measured based on three ratings: Spin, Speed, and Control. These are scored out of 10 or 100, and the higher the score, the better the performance of the paddle in that category. In this section, we’ll take a quick look at each of the metrics and understand what they mean.

1. Spin

Spin ratings determine the spin that you’ll be able to pass on to the ball while hitting it. Paddles with high-quality grip offer better spin, but the major spin factor depends on the rubber type. The blade weight also plays a part in this.

Paddles with higher spins usually have the rubber pips facing inwards, which allows the ball to meet a smooth surface. Also, lighter paddles tend to have higher spin ratings and allow better manipulation of shots.

2. Speed

This is a self-explanatory metric; the greater the speed rating, the faster you’ll be able to hit the ball. High-speed paddles also help generate a lot of power and are more suited for aggressive players who like to attack their opponents. However, more speed often comes at the cost of lowered control, so that’s a tradeoff you’ll have to live with.

3. Control

If you’re a beginner, then control is the one aspect that you can’t compromise on. You can worry about the other aspects later, but always choose a paddle with a higher control rating. Control depends on the padding thickness, rubber quality, and pip type on the rubber.

Tips On Taking Care Of Your Ping Pong Paddle

Whether you’re a pro carbon fiber player or prefer a wooden blade, taking care of the paddle is something you need to invest time in. After all, the paddle is your personal piece of equipment, and you’d want to get the most number of games out of it. Here are two top tips for taking care of your ping pong paddle.

1. Always Use A Carrying Case

The best way to protect your paddle is to keep it in a safe carrying case. Doing so will protect it from dirt, dust, and water damage; it’ll also help protect your racket from getting knocked about accidentally.

If you’re a professional who has to travel for tournaments, we recommend getting an aluminum carrying case. These are much more durable and provide better padding and more space. Also, they are rust-resistant, which is another advantage you can’t ignore.

2. Keep Your Paddle Clean

As a player, you can’t keep your paddle cooped up in the case forever. So, it’s only natural that it will get dirty after you’ve played a significant number of games with it. A dirty paddle can affect the spin quality and rubber health, so you need to clean the blade from time to time.

Here’s where you need to be careful, though, for using the wrong material for cleaning can damage the rubber, and you might have to get a new one. We recommend cleaning the bat with plain water and a sponge; you can even invest in a rubber protector to safeguard that all-important sweet spot.

Verdict

And there you have it, folks! Our guide on the best paddles that you can buy. We hope that after going through our recommendations and guide, you’ll be able to make a great choice regarding which racket you need to buy.

Playing styles indeed differ from player to player, and each person has their preferences. While one player might prefer a flared handle, another might look for a shorter one for a Penhold grip. Yet again, you might have to choose between a titanium carbon fiber blade or a wooden blade.

Whichever way you choose to go, just keep our guide on the best paddles in mind. This will help you make the right decision. But before we leave, we’ll try to make the task easier and mention our top picks in various categories.

For beginners who prefer better control, we recommend the Butterfly 401 paddle; intermediate players can’t go wrong with the Stiga Pro Carbon. And in case you’re an expert player looking for that perfect sweet spot, go with the Killerspin Jet 800.

That’s enough reading for today. Let the games begin!

FAQ

What ping pong paddles do professionals use?

The choice of ping pong paddle varies from player to player and their play style. One of the most chosen paddle, although is the Stiga Titan.

How do I choose a ping pong paddle?

While picking a ping pong paddle, always go for a handle that suits your grip the best. The basic known rule is that the penhold grip requires a short handle, whereas the shakehand grip requires a longer handle (it can be either straight, flared or anatomical).

What are the best ping pong paddles?

Some of the best Ping Pong paddles include Stiga Pro Carbon, Butterfly 401, Stiga Titan, Killerspin JET200, DHS Hurricane II, Killerspin Jet 600, Stiga Supreme and Killerspin JET800.

What is the best ping pong paddle for beginners?

As per us, the best paddle for beginners is the Stiga Supreme paddle.

Which side of a ping pong paddle is forehand?

The red side of the paddle is supposed to be faster and provides a lesser spin. Professionals use the red side for their forehand and black for backhand.

What is the best ping pong paddle for spin?

Again, the choice of paddle may vary from player to player, yet according to us, the Killerspin JET 800 might be considered the best paddle for spin.

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