The Best Ping Pong Paddles in 2021

If you like to play table tennis, or ping pong as it also called, then you are aware of how important it is to have a good ping pong paddle that suits your style of play.

With this in mind, we have decided to review some of the best ping pong paddles available online and explain what are the most important features to consider when you shop for a ping pong paddle.

butterfly balsa carbo x5 with tenergy 80 fx 2 1
  • Balsa Carbo X5 Carbon Blade
  • Tenergy 80 FX Rubber with 2.1 mm Sponge
  • Blade Weighs around 80 grams (Without Rubbers)
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
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This paddle is basically a custom made ping pong paddle that you don’t have to assemble and glue yourself. In fact, this model is hand-assembled by the manufacturer and you can even choose the type of handle that you like. It is made of high-quality parts and it is a perfect choice for professionals, which is also reflected in its high price. Of course, this paddle is ITTF approved as well.

The blade of this paddle is made from an extremely light type of wood called balsa and the wood is sandwiched between two carbon plies. The blade is covered with high-quality rubber Tenergy 80 FX. All in all, it is a very lightweight paddle that offers a lot of speed and spin without losing any control, ideal for offensive-minded players that like to use their forehand the most.

It is hard to find any downside to this paddle, except for the very high price. Without a doubt, it is one of the best table tennis paddles on the market. That being said, you may need some time to get used to it, especially if you are used to playing with less expensive paddles.

Pros:
  • Hand-Assembled
  • Balsa Wood Blade with Carbon Pliers
  • High-Quality Rubber
  • Multiple Choice Handle (Flared, Straight, Anatomical)
  • Great Speed
  • Powerful Spin
Cons:
  • Very Expensive
  • Takes Time to Get Used to It

Killerspin Jet 800 Table Tennis Paddle

The Best Ping Pong Paddle for Spin

killerspin jet 800 table tennis paddle
  • 7-Ply Blade (5 Wood Pliers and 2 Carbon Pliers)
  • Nitrx-4Z Rubber with 2 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
  • Weighs Around 190 Grams
CHECK PRICES

This ping pong paddle is great for intermediate and professional players and it is approved by the ITTF for competitions. In fact, it is a preferred paddle for many American and Chinese professionals, including the gold medalist Chen Qi.

This paddle has a blade that consists of 5 composite wood layers and two carbon fiber layers that are added for durability and return power. In total, it has 7 plies that contribute to the paddle’s great spin and speed ratings. However, this paddle is also pretty lightweight and provides solid control, although it may take some time to get used to it if you are upgrading from a cheaper paddle.

Another thing that contributes to better control is the high-quality Nitrx rubber with 2.0mm high tension sponge. The paddle also has a flared handle that provides exceptional grip. We really like this paddle and it has many great reviews but some users reported that it is not very durable, which can be an issue considering the price.

Pros:
  • Composite Wood Blade with Carbon Pliers
  • High-Quality Rubber
  • Great for Intermediate and Advanced Players
  • Lightweight
  • Great Speed
  • Powerful Spin
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Takes Time to Get Used to It
  • Not Very Durable

STIGA Pro Carbon

The Best Intermediate Ping Pong Paddle

stiga pro carbon
  • 7-Ply Blade (5 Balsa Wood Pliers and 2 Carbon Pliers)
  • S5 Rubber with 2 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
  • Weighs Around 185 Grams
CHECK PRICES

If you are looking for the best ping pong paddle under 100 dollars, Stiga Pro Carbon is a great choice even though it isn’t exactly cheap but rather in the mid-price range compared to other paddles. Still, for the performance you are getting, it is a great value for money.

This paddle has a blade made of 5 balsa wood layers and 2 layers of carbon, so it’s a very rigid paddle that provides a lot of speed and spin. Of course, it will take some time to get used to the increased speed and the paddle generally doesn’t have the best control rating.

The rubber that covers the blade on this paddle is called S5 rubber, which is a pimpled, sandwich rubber that includes a 2 mm sponge. This paddle also comes with a flared handle for additional comfort and tight grip. On the downside, some players complained about the construction of the paddle, especially related to the glue that keeps the rubber on.

Pros:
  • Balsa Wood Blade with Carbon Pliers
  • Replaceable Rubbers
  • Great for Intermediate and Advanced Players
  • Lightweight
  • Great Speed
  • Powerful Spin
Cons:
  • Takes Time to Get Used to It
  • Not the Best Control Rating
  • Not Very Durable

JOOLA Infinity Overdrive

The Best Ping Pong Paddle for Control

joola infinity overdrive
  • 7-Plier Blade (5 Wood Pliers and 2 Carbon Kevlar Pliers)
  • JOOLA Micron 48 Table Tennis Rubber
  • Flared Handle
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
CHECK PRICES

This is another great paddle for intermediate players looking to make a jump to a more serious level of play since it can provide more speed and spin without sacrificing a lot in the control department. It is also reasonably priced, although not exactly cheap.

The paddle is made by ITTF regulations and has a 7-plier blade with 5 wooden layers and 2 layers of Carbon Kevlar that reinforce the wood and reduce vibrations. Additionally, this paddle has a bit larger “sweet spot” compared to some other similar paddles, which provides better control of your shots.

The blade is covered with JOOLA Micron 48 table tennis rubber. It has a flared handle with a comfortable grip. This type of paddle is better suited for offensive players who like to use speed to attack quickly. All in all, we liked the paddle but we did have a bit of a problem with the glued handle caps and a few other users reported durability problems.

Pros:
  • Balsa Wood Blade with Carbon Pliers
  • Great for Intermediate and Advanced Players
  • Lightweight
  • Great Speed and Control
  • Respectable Spin
Cons:
  • May Have a Strong Chemical Smell
  • Not Very Durable

Butterfly Nakama S-8 Table Tennis Racket

The Most Durable Ping Pong Paddle

butterfly nakama s-8 table tennis racket
  • Fully Wooden Blade
  • Flextra Rubber with 1.9 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Weighs 238 grams
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
CHECK PRICES

This ping pong paddle is perfect for professional and intermediate players since it is ITTF approved for competitions. It is in the middle range of prices and even comes with 2 ping pong balls to get you started.

Nakama S-8 has a blade that is made from the high-quality wood and it doesn’t have any carbon added to the mix. This means that the paddle is good for controlling shots, at least in theory since the paddle doesn’t have the best control rating, so it’s not the best beginner ping pong paddle.

The blade is covered with the inverted Flextra rubber that adds more spin and speed. There is also a thick 1.9 mm sponge layer included to make the paddle even faster. The flared handle provides a comfortable grip for people with shakehand-style grips. The paddle is more durable than others on the list.

Pros:
  • Wooden Blade
  • Great for Intermediate and Advanced Players
  • Great Spin
  • Great Speed
  • Very Durable
  • Comes with 2 Ping Pong Balls
Cons:
  • Poor Control Rating
  • Not for Beginners

STIGA Raptor Table Tennis Racket

The Best Ping Pong Paddle for Speed

stiga raptor table tennis racket
  • 7-Ply Blade (5 Balsa Wood Pliers and 2 Carbon Pliers)
  • STIGA S5 Rubber with 2 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Offensive-Minded Paddle
  • Weighs Around 215 Grams
CHECK PRICES

If you are looking for a mid-price ping pong paddle that will improve your offensive game, STIGA Raptor is a great choice because it can add plenty of speed and spin to your shots. It is also ITTF approved, so you can use it in competitions.

The blade on this paddle consists of 7 layers, 5 of which are made from high-quality balsa wood and two carbon pliers to make the blade faster and lighter. That being said, the paddle is not especially lightweight overall. In fact, it is pretty much average in that regard.

Additionally, the blade is covered by an innovative S5 rubber that uses a unique new technology to make the rubber more durable and offer better control. Still, the paddle doesn’t have a great control rating, which is expected from offensive-minded paddles. There is also a 2 mm sponge to further improve spin and speed, as well as a flared handle to provide a strong and comfortable grip.

Pros:
  • Balsa Wood Blade with Carbon Pliers
  • High-Quality Rubber
  • Great for Intermediate and Advanced Players
  • Great Speed
  • Powerful Spin
Cons:
  • Takes Time to Get Used to It
  • Low Control Rating

Killerspin JET 200 Table Tennis Paddle

The Best Ping Pong Paddle for Beginners

killerspin jet200 table tennis paddle
  • 5-Ply All-Wood Blade
  • Jet Basic Rubber with 2 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Weighs Around 182 Grams
CHECK PRICES

If you are only starting with table tennis, this is one of the best paddles for learning basic strokes and getting into the spirit of the game. It is also the best ping pong paddle under 50 dollars, so you won’t be set back a lot at the start of your table tennis career.

This paddle, which comes in an attractive storage case, is built for control, which makes it perfect for beginners. This is achieved by making the blade completely out of wood, with 5 plies of high-quality wood covered by Jet Basic rubber for spin and speed.

Of course, both speed and spin are not in the focus here, which is why these ratings are average to poor. The paddle also comes with a flared handle to provide a secure and comfortable grip. You can get this paddle in various colors but that means that it isn’t ITTF approved since competition-approved paddles must have one red and one black rubber on each side.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Powerful Wooden Blade
  • High-Quality Rubber
  • Lightweight
  • Great for Beginners
  • Great Control Rating
Cons:
  • Poor Spin and Speed Ratings
  • Not Very Durable
  • Not ITTF Approved

Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set

The Most Affordable Ping Pong Paddle

butterfly 401 table tennis racket set
  • 5-Ply All-Wood Blade
  • Yuki Rubber with 2 mm Sponge
  • Flared Handle
  • Weighs Around 165 Grams
CHECK PRICES

When you are only starting to play table tennis or you just want to play it occasionally and for fun, it makes sense to look for the best cheap ping pong paddle on the market. This paddle is probably the most affordable good ping pong paddle that’s available for less than $50 and also ITTF approved.

This paddle is good for intermediate and advanced players, although not as great as some other high-end paddles in terms of speed and spin. That being said, this is a great all-round paddle that has solid ratings for control, spin and speed. The blade is made of 5 plies of wood and it is covered by Yuki rubber with a 2.1 mm sponge for better spin and speed.

This paddle also comes in a very attractive storage case or gift box that makes it perfect as a gift as well. However, there are some downsides to this paddle, which is not a surprise for such a low price. The rubber is a bit sticky and may require frequent cleaning. Also, some users reported that the rubber was not glued well, which made it fall apart rather easily.

Pros:
  • Very Affordable
  • Quality Wooden Blade
  • Good Rubber
  • Great for Players of All Levels
  • Well-Balanced Ratings
  • Comes in a Gift Box
Cons:
  • Average Ratings
  • Not Very Durable
  • Rubber a Bit Sticky

How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Paddle

Whether you are a table tennis pro or just a ping pong enthusiast, having a great paddle is one of the best ways to ensure that you perform at the highest possible level. Hitting those ping pong balls is simply much easier if your paddle is quality and suits your style of play.

Before we discuss other factors, we will first talk about the parts of a ping pong paddle and how they can affect your performance.

What Is a Ping Pong Paddle Made Of?

Ping pong paddles are made of three main parts – blade, rubber and handle. In addition to this, they also include grip tape, side tape and glue, all of which are used to keep the main parts of the paddle together.

Also, most ping pong paddles have a layer of sponge between the blade and the rubber. This sponge is usually thick anywhere between 1.2 mm to 2.5 mm. A thicker sponge offers more power but less control and it is best suited for offensive players.

Blade

Probably the most important of the three main parts is the table tennis blade. The blade is a flat and round surface made of a number of layers of wood. These layers are called plies and a typical blade is made of 5 to 9 plies of wood.

Some ping pong blades are made entirely of wood but they can also include a percentage of carbon fiber, compressed paper or other carbons materials. That being said, the blade has to contain at least 85% of wood to adhere to the rules of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Adding carbon to the mix can make the paddle a bit more predictable. Also, carbon fiber and a larger number of wood layers will make the paddle stiffer and improve its speed rating. Meanwhile, a completely wooden blade will provide you with better spin and more control over the shots. Additionally, blades without any fiber materials are lighter.

Rubber

Another significant part of the ping pong paddle is the table tennis rubber. The rubber is used on both sides of the blade but many ping pong paddles have different types of rubber on each side. This way, the player can decide which type of rubber is more suitable for the specific situation during the game, depending on what type of shot he wants to make.

There are two types of rubber commonly used to cover the blade of ping pong paddles:

  • Ordinary Pimpled Rubber – This is a single layer of non-cellular rubber which can be either natural or synthetic. The pimples, also called pips, are evenly distributed but they can come in different density – usually in the range between 10 and 30 pimples per square centimeter.
  • Sandwich Rubber – This type of rubber is actually cellular rubber, or sponge, covered with a single layer of ordinary pimpled rubber with a thickness of 2mm or less. The pimples can be faced outward or inward.

Handle

The third main part of the ping pong paddle is the handle, which is attached to the blade. There are no regulations to the type of handle that players use – the choice is entirely up to you when it comes to type, length and coverage of the handle.

There are four types of handle used for ping pong paddles:

  • Straight Handle – This type of handle is the most common among professional players but it is not recommended for beginners because it is harder to control and can easily slip from the player’s hand. It is a handle best suited for players who like to change their grips.
  • Flared Handle – Beginners should go with this type of handle because it is slightly longer than other types and has a flared end that can help with keeping the paddle in your hand. It is best suited for players who don’t change their grips and like to use their forehand.
  • Penhold Handle – The Penhold handle is designed for players who prefer the penhold grip, which basically means holding the paddle as you hold a pen. This handle is short and mostly used by Asian players, while it is less common in Europe and North America.
  • Anatomical Handle – This type of handle is the hardest to come by, especially when it comes to low and mid-range prices. But if you are looking for comfort and try hard, this handle will feel like a natural part of your hand. It is suitable for players who use the same grip.

In addition to these four types of handles, you can also choose between a rounded and a square handle. Of course, square handles are used by the vast majority of players and they are more readily available.

Other Factors to Consider When You Choose a Ping Pong Paddle

In addition to the anatomy of a ping pong paddle, there are a few other important things to consider before you buy a paddle and run to try it out at the nearest ping pong table.

Your Playing Style

When we talk about playing style, we usually include a few different things in this – your experience level, grip style and aggression level.

Your experience will affect your choice because beginners should choose an average, middle of the road paddle that allows them to adapt to the game and develop their playing style.

After you play for a while, you will decide whether you prefer the penhold grip or the shakehand grip. We already mentioned the penhold grip and how it looks – the same as the way you hold a pen. Meanwhile, the shakehand grip looks like you are about to shake hands with someone.

Lastly, you will settle into the aggression level that suits you the most. Your game style in this area can either be defensive, offensive or all-rounder. This mostly depends on the paddle’s weight and anatomy but most novice and intermediate players use the all-round style. So, if you are new to the sport, choose a mid-weight paddle instead of a heavy, more powerful one.

Performance Ratings

Performance is measured based on three components – speed, spin and control. Ratings are either awarded on a 10-point scale or a 100-point scale and they are measured by the manufacturer. With that in mind, they shouldn’t be taken too seriously but they can still indicate what you can expect from the ping pong paddle.

  • Speed – This rating is awarded to describe the speed of the paddle. How fast you will be able to hit ping pong balls depends on the type and thickness of the rubber. Thicker rubber means more speed.
  • Spin – Just like the speed of the paddle, spin is also measured based on the thickness of the rubber. Thicker rubber provides more spin. Additionally, a lighter blade can improve the spin on the paddle as well.
  • Control – Ping pong paddles that offer more control will have a thin rubber, so it’s basically a tradeoff with the other two performance ratings – the more control you have, the less spin and speed you will be able to create. Paddles with a higher control rating are more suitable for beginners.

Price

Although the price of the ping pong paddle shouldn’t be the most important factor in your decision, it can certainly affect it. This is particularly true if you are shopping on a budget and have to remain within a certain limit.

Basically, ping pong paddles can be found in three price ranges:

  • Low Price Range – Under $50
  • Mid Price Range – Between $50 and $150
  • High Price Range – Over $150

The price of the paddle may give you some idea about the quality but there are many good and even great paddles to be found in each price range.

Conclusion

Choosing a ping pong paddle may not be as simple as it may look, especially if you are new to the sport of table tennis. When you shop for a ping pong paddle, you need to consider the anatomy of the paddle, your playing style and performance ratings, among other things.

We hope that our reviews were helpful and that you were able to find a perfect ping pong paddle for your needs.

About The Author

Vladimir Kovacevic

Vladimir is a former journalism student and an active freelance writer. He has a lifelong passion for sports, especially soccer, basketball and tennis. His basketball playing days ended after high school but he still likes to play hoops with his friends. Vladimir also likes to ride his bike at some of the most popular green areas in Belgrade, Serbia.

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