12 Best Ping Pong Paddles in 2023: Unleash Your Potential

  • Post category:Equipment / Racket
  • Post last modified:May 24, 2023
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:65 mins read

“Unleash your potential with the best ping pong paddle”. This is the motto of writing this article. Believe me or not, you will find a noticeable improvement in your game within a couple of months if you find the right table tennis racket for you.

Ping pong, also known as table tennis is a fascinating and fast-growing sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world. You may be a beginner, an intermediate, or a recreational player looking for fun but to build your skills, you need a good quality racket. 

But how do you find the right one with too many choices available? The difficulty associated to pick up a top-quality paddle is judging its performance that fits your playing style and needs. 

With my experience and lots of research, I have compiled the 12 top ping pong paddles and reviewed each of them with pros and cons to find the best one for you to step up your level of performance.

  1. Palio Expert 3.0 (Beginner)
  2. Killerspin Jet 200 (Beginner)
  3. Palio Master 3.0 (Advanced Beginner)
  4. STIGA Evolution (Advanced Beginner)
  5. JOOLA Infinity Balance (Advanced Beginner)
  6. Butterfly 401 (Advanced Beginner)
  1. STIGA Pro Carbon (Intermediate)
  2. Killerspin Jet 800 (Intermediate)
  3. STIGA Raptor (Intermediate)
  4. Palio Legend 3.0 (Intermediate)
  5. JOOLA Infinity Overdrive (Intermediate)
  6. Killerspin Jet 600 (Intermediate)

Best Ping Pong Paddle: At a Glance

Don’t have time to go through all the technical analysis! Let’s check the best out of the best.

Best Ping Ping Paddle for Beginners: Palio Expert 3.0

Best Ping Pong Paddle for Intermediate Players: STIGA Pro Carbon

Best Recreational Ping Paddle Paddle: Killerspin Jet 200

Best Budget Ping Pong Paddle: JOOLA Infinity Balance

Best Ping Pong Paddle: Reviews for Beginners

For the selection of paddles for beginners, more value should be given to control rather than speed and spin.

Preview

Name

Features

Rating

View

Palio expert 3.0 table tennis racket

Palio Expert 3.0

  • Tacky Chinese rubbers

  • Redesigned blade

98%
Killerspin jet 200 table tennis paddle

Killerspin Jet 200

  • Blade: 5W

  • 3 vibrant colors

91%
Palio master 3.0 table tennis racket

Palio Master 3.0

  • Master 3 blade

  • Tacky rubbers

96%
Stiga evolution table tennis racket

STIGA Evolution

  • Blade: 5W

  • Rubber: 2.0 mm

94%
Joola infinity balance/ the best budget ping pong paddle

JOOLA Infinity Balance

  • Blade: 7W

  • Rubber: 2.1 mm

94%
Butterfly 401 table tennis racket

Butterfly 401

  • Blade: 5W

  • Rubber: 2.1 mm

94%

Palio Expert 3.0/ Best Ping Pong Paddle for Beginners

Palio expert 3.0, the best ping pong paddle for beginners
BladeAll Wood
RubberPalio CJ8000
Rubber TypeInverted/ Smooth
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed6/10
Spin9/10
Control10/10
Weight174 grams (0.38 lbs)
ApprovalITTF

The Palio Expert 3.0 is an upgraded version of the famous Palio Expert 2.0 with a redesigned blade for more power, wider edge tape for the protection of rubbers, and a better-carrying case. 

It consists of an all-wood Expert 3 blade and tacky CJ8000 rubbers. The Expert 3 blade is widely experimented with and specially designed for more feeling and control. The typically Chinese tacky rubbers produce lots of spins. Also, the soft nature of rubbers enhances the dwell time of the ball during impact which helps beginners to build up consistency.

Palio Expert 3.0 is the ideal beginner’s paddle that gives impressive control with a sufficient amount of spin. This is not the type of racket that generates massive power. Rather it is designed for more control over speed. This feature helps to develop the basic techniques in the early stages.

Another good thing is that you don’t have to pay much to get this control king. You can get it at an affordable price of around $40 on Amazon. Considering the excellent price-performance ratio, the Palio Expert 3.0 is an excellent choice for beginners.

Pros

  • Massive control
  • Good spin
  • Perfect beginner’s racket
  • Reusable blade
  • Approved for tournament play
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced players
  • Tacky rubbers need frequent cleaning

Summary: Palio Expert 3.0 is made with an all-wood blade and soft, tacky Palio CJ8000 rubbers. The perfect combination of ultimate control and good spin with a sacrifice of speed makes this affordable Expert 3.0, the best ping pong paddle for beginners.

Killerspin Jet 200/ Best Recreational Ping Paddle Paddle

Killerspin jet 200/ the best recreational ping pong paddle
BladeAllwood (5-ply)
RubberJet Basic (1.8 mm)
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed6/10
Spin7/10
Control8.5/10
Weight175 grams (0.39 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalNo

Killerspin Jet 200, the basic paddle of Killerspin’s popular Jet series consists of a 5-ply wood blade and 1.8 mm thick Jet basic rubbers. It is available in three eye-catching colors i.e. Navy Blue, Lime, and Mocha. 

The 5-ply wood Shakehand style blade gives you a good feeling and control over your strokes. It builds with a flared handle for easy gripping.

This paddle is designed with 1.8 mm thick rubbers to edge control over speed. The lower thickness of the Jet basic rubber helps beginners build consistency in strokes with more feeling and for recreational players, it encourages them to enjoy the game of ping pong by bouncing the ball on more occasions which led to longer rallies.

Pros

  • Great control
  • Well-built and durable
  • Comfortable grip
  • 3 eye-catching color options

Cons

  • Not for serious players
  • Not approved for playing tournaments

Summary: The Killerspin Jet 200 is a combination of a 5-ply wooden blade and 1.8 mm Jet basic rubbers. This is a good racket for recreational players to play longer rallies with more consistency and is also helpful for beginners. It is available in three vibrant color options to add colors to your game.

Palio Master 3.0

Palio master 3.0 table tennis racket
BladeAll-wood
RubberPalio CJ800
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed8/10
Spin9/10
Control8/10
ITTF ApprovalYes

This paddle is an upgraded version of Palio Master 2.0 with a redesigned handle and wider edge tape to keep the rubbers intact and safe.

Palio Master 3.0 is a combination of Master 3.0 all-wood blade and CJ8000 rubbers. The wooden layers of the Master 3.0 blade maintain a perfect balance between high speed and control. The Palio CJ8000 rubber is very tacky and soft. The tackiness of the rubber creates a lot of spins on soft strokes with a little effort. Due to the softness, the ball dips more into the sponge and springs with higher speed and spin. Also, it gives you a little more time to react which ultimately enhances feeling and control.

Palio Master 3.0 is a perfect all-rounder for speed, spin, and control. The design motto is to execute a higher level of spin and power without compromising control.

Pros

  • Great spin
  • Good balance between high speed and control
  • Ideal for advanced beginners
  • It is easy to replace worn-out rubbers.
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not for novice players
  • Accumulation of dust on sticky rubbers is a matter of concern.

Summary: Palio Master 3.0 has a very good balance between speed and control. Also, the soft, tacky rubber has the potential to produce lots of spins. With a very reasonable price, the Master 3.0 is the best ping pong paddle for advanced beginners to upgrade themselves to the next level.

STIGA Evolution

Stiga evolution table tennis racket
BladeAll Wood (6-ply)
RubberSTIGA Premium 2.0 mm
Rubber TypeInverted
HandleConcave Pro (Similar to FL)
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed96/100
Spin94/100
Control90/100
Weight159 grams (0.35 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

STIGA Evolution is a lightweight paddle combined with a 6-ply wooden blade and 2.0 mm rubber. The racket has a very balanced composition. It is very good for control and also has sufficient speed and spin. 

The innovative Nano Composite Technology induces more speed and spin. The incorporation of ACS technology by inducing microscopic air capsules in the rubber balances speed with control.

The implementation of the shock dispersion technology separates this racket from the ordinary others. The Concave Pro (Similar to FL) handle of the racket consists of a hollow portion that absorbs the vibrations and transfers out of the handle in the form of energy. This gives a nice sound at the time of hitting the ball which gives you a good feeling.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Good control
  • Good all-round racket
  • Approved for tournaments

Cons

  • Not suitable for attacking players

Summary: STIGA Evolution has a 6-ply all-wood blade with 2.0 mm thick rubber. This popular paddle is the result of many innovative technologies that make it equally good in every attribute, i.e. speed, spin, and control. This lightweight racket suits players with all-round ability.

JOOLA Infinity Balance/ Best Budget Ping Pong Paddle

Joola infinity balance/ the best budget ping pong paddle
Blade7-ply All-wood
RubberJOOLA Micron 2.1 mm
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed92
Spin92
Control92
Weight179 grams (0.39 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

JOOLA Infinity Balance consists of a 7-ply wooden blade and 2.1 mm thick JOOLA Micron rubbers. The wooded blade has a combination of different quality premium woods to give a balanced approach to the game of table tennis. 

Limba: It is a classic Europeon topspin wood. 

Koto: It is good offensive wood. Works great for both looping and counter-attacking

Ayous: A control-oriented wood that is good for counter-attacking close to the net.

Kiri: Very lightweight but stiff. Creates little vibration.

JOOLA Infinity Balance is a great option for advanced beginners to step up their game to the next level with speed, spin, and a lot of control.

It is an affordable paddle priced well below $50. The Infinity Balance is also available in eye-catching green color to add to your delight.

Pros

  • Great for counter-attacking
  • Good for looping and smashing
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Slightly fast for beginners

Summary: JOOLA Infinity Balance, a top-quality paddle consists of a 7-ply wooden blade and 2.1 mm thick rubbers. It has a very balanced combination of speed, spin, and control and is suitable for advanced beginners. Considering its affordability and superior performance, the Infinity Balance is the best ping pong paddle for the money.

Butterfly 401

Butterfly 401 ping pong paddle
Blade5-ply All-wood
RubberYuki 2.1 mm
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed80
Spin80
Control85
Weight165 grams (0.36 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

If you are passionate about brands like Butterfly, then this Butterfly 401 is a good option for advanced beginners. It is like Palio Master, where you get everything, i.e. sufficient speed, decent spin, and impressive control.

Butterfly 401 has a composition of a 5-ply wooden blade and 2.1 mm thick Yuki rubbers. The thick 2.1 mm rubber is good for speed and the tackiness of the rubber helps to generate a lot of spins, particularly on your serves.

Also, the flexibility of 5-ply wood along with the thicker 2.1 mm sponge makes it easy for topspin play.

The downside of the paddle is that you can’t change the pasted rubbers to reuse the blade.

Pros

  • Good spin
  • Good balance between speed and control
  • Nice grip
  • A trusted brand like Butterfly
  • ITTF approved

Cons

  • It is not possible to replace the worn-out rubbers

Summary: The Butterfly 401, very similar to the Master 3.0, is made with a 5-ply wooden blade and thick 2.1 mm Yuki rubbers. This racket is a good option for those advanced beginners who want to taste aggressive topspin play.

Best Ping Pong Paddle: Reviews for Intermediates

For the intermediate level, you rely more on speed and spin to win points. But at the same time, control and placement are also important.

Preview

Name

Features

Rating

View

Stiga pro carbon/ the best ping pong paddle for intermediates

STIGA Pro Carbon

  • Blade: 5W + 2C

  • Rubber: 2.0 mm

97%
Killerspin jet 800 table tennis racket

Killerspin Jet 800

  • Blade: 5W + 2C

  • Rubber: 2.1 mm

96%
Stiga raptor ping pong paddle

STIGA Raptor

  • Blade: 5W + 2C

  • Rubber: 2.0 mm

96%
Palio legend 3.0 table tennis racket

Palio Legend 3.0

  • Tacky rubbers

  • Affordable

96%
Joola infinity overdrive table tennis racket

JOOLA Infinity Overdrive

  • Blade: 5W + 2C

  • Rubber: 2.1 mm

94%
Killerspin jet 600 paddle

Killerspin Jet 600

  • Blade: 5W


  • Rubber: 2.1 mm

94%

STIGA Pro Carbon/ Best Ping Pong Paddle for Intermediates

Stiga pro carbon, the best ping pong paddle for intermediates
Blade5w + 2c
Rubber2.0 mm S5 rubber
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed99
Spin100
Control80
Weight159 grams (0.35 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

STIGA Pro Carbon consists of a composite blade (5W + 2C) and 2.0 mm thick STIGA S5 rubbers.

The Pro Carbon uses lightweight balsa wood as a material for the blade. Balsa wood is soft, porous, and springy which is favorable for the generation of spin.

The paddle incorporates the following innovative technologies,

  • Crystal Technology: The outer carbon layers provide high stiffness to the paddle surface. So when you hit a ball, you will get more speed over a larger hitting surface.
  • Balsa Technology: The incorporation of balsa wood as an inner material increases flexibility and for that, the ball stays longer on the paddle surface. This results in more spin and increased control.
  • NCT: The Nano Composite Technology tightens the bonding strength among the molecules in the rubber. For this the elasticity of the rubber increases resulting in more speed and spin.
  • ACS: The introduction of tiny air capsules in the sponge increases the elasticity of the rubber.
  • WRB Technology: The handle is a concave pro which is very similar to the popular flared handle. To get a better feel during impact with the ball, the weight of the paddle is shifted towards the head area by running a hollow metal rod throughout the handle.

The lightweight paddle can produce havoc spin and speed in your strokes. It is the best ping pong paddle for those intermediates who love today’s modern offensive play.

Pros

  • Massive Spin
  • High Speed
  • Innovative Handle
  • Great for topspin play
  • ITTF approved

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • No carrying case

Summary: STIGA Pro Carbon, a combination of 7 layers composite blade and 2.0 mm rubbers gives you a wider sweet spot for powerful hits. The lightweight paddle works havoc for attacking topspin play.  It helps to raise your attacks to one step higher and to deceive your opponents with tricky spinny shots.

Killerspin Jet 800

Killerspin jet 800 table tennis racket
Blade5w + 2c
RubberNitrx-4Z (2.1 mm)
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed9.5/10
Spin9/10
Control8/10
Weight190 grams (0.42 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

This Jet 800 is a premium quality paddle designed by Killerspin, a Chicago-based company. If you are an aggressive player, this powerful racket will make you extremely happy.

The blade of Killerspin Jet 800 has 5-ply wood and 2 carbon outer layers. The stiff carbon layers widen the sweet spot and act as an additive for more power hitting over a wider area while the premium wood maintains the feeling and control.

Killerspin’s Nitrx-4z rubber is tacky and medium-hard. The tackiness creates more spin on soft strokes while the medium-hard 2.1 mm thick rubber is good for spin on hard strokes.

Killerspin induces a new Wooden Side Tape Technology in this paddle. The wooden side tape protects and increases the life of the stiff blade. You may never need to replace your paddle by simply changing the worn-out rubbers when needed. This racket has a flared grip handle that suits most players.

Pros

  • Extreme fast racket
  • Great spin
  • Longer life of the blade
  • Easy replacement of rubber
  • ITTF approved
  • It comes with a warranty of 30 days.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slightly heavy

Summary: The Jet 800, the top model of the Killerspin’s Jet series, is the close competitor of the Pro Carbon. It has a carbon composite 7 layers blade and 2.1 mm medium-hard rubber that gives massive power to your strokes with a good amount of spin. This heavy premium paddle is very good for offensive play away from the table.

Related Topic: “STIGA Pro Carbon Vs Killerspin Jet 800: Which is Better?

STIGA Raptor

Stiga raptor table tennis paddle
Blade5w +2c
Rubber2.0 mm S5 Rubber
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed33
Spin100
Control80
Weight0.47 lbs
ITTF ApprovalYes

STIGA Raptor is an offensive plus racket that has almost similar features as the popular Pro Carbon. The only feature that can differentiate between the two, is the weight. STIGA Raptor is heavier with a weight of 0.47 lbs in respect to the STIGA Pro Carbon of weight 0.35 lbs. Due to more weight, it gives more momentum to induce power in your shots.

The composition of the Raptor is the same as the Pro Carbon i.e. 7 layers (5W + 2C) composite blade and the STIGA S5 2.0 mm thick inverted rubber. It is also designed with the same five innovative technologies as mentioned above.

  1. Carbon technology
  2. Nano Composite Technology
  3. Balsa Technology
  4. ACT
  5. WRB Technology

STIGA Raptor is an excellent option for intermediate players who like a slightly heavier paddle to demolish their opponents with massive speed and spin.

Pros

  • High speed with spin
  • Good finishing
  • Great for offensive players
  • ITTF-approved

Cons

  • Not for beginners

Summary: STIGA Raptor, almost similar to the Pro Carbon racket, is also known as the New Pro Carbon. This offensive plus paddle is ideal for advanced intermediate players who want to dominate their opponents with massive speed and spin.

Related Topic: “STIGA Raptor Vs Pro Carbon: Which is Better?

Palio Legend 3.0

Palio legend 3 table tennis racket
BladeAll-wood Legend 3.0
RubberPalio Hadou
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed10/10
Spin9/10
Control6/10
ITTF ApprovalYes

This upgraded version of Palio Legend 2.0, suits players who love to generate lethal speed and massive spin in their strokes.

The Palio Legend 3.0 consists of an all-wood redesigned Legend 3 blade that gives high power and feeling. The ITTF-approved Palio Hadou rubber has the characteristics of a typical Chinese tacky rubber. Due to the high tackiness and hardness of this Hadou rubber, the Palio Legend 3.0 is capable to produce extreme speed and spin.

For a few weeks, it may be hard to control shots when the balls were spinning over the table. This is the major drawback of this bat.

Pros

  • Exceptional speed
  • High spin
  • Replaceable rubber
  • ITTF approved
  • Nice carrying case
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Low control
  • Frequent cleaning of rubbers
  • Not for beginners

Summary: It is the most advanced model of the Palio series which is designed for aggressive intermediate players. The hard wooden blade and hard tacky rubbers give you extraordinary speed and massive spin but the racket lacks control. With a very attractive price bracket, the Legend 3.0 gives the best value for money for aggressive players with good techniques.

Related Topic: “Palio Expert Vs Master Vs Legend: Which is the Best?

JOOLA Infinity Overdrive Ping Pong Paddle

Joola infinity overdrive ping pong paddle
Blade5W + 2C
RubberJOOLA Micron 48
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed100
Spin99
Control92
Weight190 grams (0.42 lbs)
ITTF Approval

JOOLA Infinity Overdrive is a good offensive paddle, the construction of which is easily comparable with any premium quality racket. The blade consists of 5 plies of wood and 2 layers of Carbon-Kevlar. Three different kinds of premium woods i.e. Hinoki, Koto, and Ayous are used to increase the effectiveness of the blade.

The tackiness of the top sheet, the JOOLA Micron 48 rubber grips the ball more during contact which is conducive for more spin in serves and pushes. The maximum sponge thickness of the ITTF-approved rubber helps to generate a good amount of speed and spin.

JOOLA Infinity Overdrive is a well-built racket that can boost your performance with powerful attacks and tricky spins. Though the command of control is decent considering the aggressive nature of the racket, it is not good enough for entry-level players to act as an additive for the development of skills in the early stages.

It is available in two colors (Black/Black, & Red/Black). Don’t choose the Black/Black, if you want to participate in tournaments. It is not legal as per the rules concerned. Be cautious about that.

Pros

  • Excellent speed and spin
  • Great for offensive play
  • Strong and well-built

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners

Summary: JOOLA Infinity Overdrive is a very good option for offensive players as a transition racket to step up from the Intermediate to the advanced level. The Infinity Overdrive offers massive speed and spin that takes your aggressive game to the next level. The added advantage is that you can get this performer at a price of nearly $50 on Amazon, which is a very good value for money.

Killerspin Jet 600

Killerspin jet 600 paddle
Blade5-ply All-wood
RubberNitrx-4Z
Rubber TypeInverted 
HandleFlared
StyleShakehand
Performance (Manufacturer’s Rating)
Speed8.0
Spin9.0
Control8.5
Weight175 grams (0.38 lbs)
ITTF ApprovalYes

Killerspin Jet 600 is the lightest and most balanced ping pong paddle in the Killerspin Jet series. It has a combination of a 5-ply wood blade and 2.1 mm thick Nitrx-4Z rubbers that can help you to deal with enormous spin. This is an ideal combination that makes your looping work easy.

The combination of three premium wood makes the blade thinner for a better feeling. The dense structure of the complementary wood adds more accuracy to the precise placement of the ball blended with power.

Killerspin Jet 600 mainly suits intermediate all-rounders with a balanced combination of spin, speed, and control.

Pros

  • Massive spin
  • Great for looping
  • Perfect balance between speed and control
  • ITTF approved
  • 30 Days warranty

Cons

  • Slightly high price
  • Slightly heavyweight

Summary: The Jet 600, the most balanced, thinnest, and lightest paddle of Kellerspin’s Jet series, is made with 5-ply wood and 2.1 mm thick Nitrx-4Z rubbers. The optimum control and extraordinary spinning capacity make this paddle a very good option for advanced beginners and intermediate players who depend on both offensive and defensive play.

Best Ping Pong Paddle: Buying Guide

Anatomy of a table tennis racket

A ping pong paddle consists of a blade on which rubbers are pasted on both sides. The combined characteristics of the blade and rubbers determine the performance of the racket.

Types of ping pong paddles

Depending upon the holding technique, table tennis rackets are of two types, Shakehand style, and Penhold style. Shakehand paddles are the most common and easier to hold, especially for a beginner.

For a better selection, you should check the following factors before buying your paddle.

  • Blade Properties
  • Rubber Properties
  • Speed, spin, and control

1. Blade Properties

Table tennis blade

The power and control of your racket come from the blade and rubbers. Table tennis blades are broadly classified into three types, Offensive (OFF), All-round (ALL), and Defensive (DEF). Offensive blades give maximum power, defensive blades give maximum control, and all-round blades lie in between them.

Blade Types

Based on the material, blades are of two types, all-wood blades, and composite blades. In composite blades, in addition to wood layers, a different harder material like carbon, or glass fiber is used as the outer surface. The inclusion of composite material adds power over a larger sweet spot but the stiffer composite blade has less feel than an all-wood blade.

No. of Ply

Number of plies in a table tennis blade

The number of layers of ply also correlates with speed and control. A 7-ply blade will give you more speed whereas a 3-ply blade is better for control.

Type of Wood

The type of wood also influences the performance of a blade. I am giving a very brief idea of some popular woods used as a material for a blade.

Type of Blade woodNatureBest for
Balsa (The most popular wood for the core material of blades)Soft, Porous, and SpringyLoopers and choppers who want to produce a lot of spins
Limba (Classic European topspin wood)Heavy and fast but not springy. It has also excellent acoustic properties.Generates superb control for topspin players.
Hinoki (Classic Asian topspin wood named golden wood)Very soft. Maximum durability and preservabilityFor a nice soft touch but very fast at the time of hitting.

Type of Handle

There are three types of handles for gripping.

  1. Flared (FL)
  2. Anatomic (AN)
  3. Straight (ST)

Flared handle is the most popular one that has an enlarged portion at the end to prevent slipping from your hand. Anatomic and Flared handles are of the same type with a slight variation. Many advanced players prefer straight handles for easy transition from forehand to backhand and vice versa.

2. Rubber Properties

Table tennis rubber

The paddle’s performance depends on the thickness, hardness, and nature of the rubbers.

Sponge Thickness

Topsheet and sponge in a table tennis rubber

 A table tennis rubber consists of a top sheet and a sponge. The thickness of the rubber denotes the sponge thickness. Thicker rubbers give you more speed but less control whereas in reverse, thinner rubbers give more control but less speed. A 2.1 mm rubber is for speed and a 1.5 mm rubber is for control.

Sponge ThicknessRebound SpeedStyle of Play
< 1.5 mmSlowDefensive
1.5 mm – 1.9 mmMediumAll-round
2.0 mm – 2.1 mmFastTopspin Attack
2.2 mm – MaxVery FastPower Attack

Sponge Hardness

The degree of hardness of the sponge is related to speed, spin, and control. Hard rubbers generate more spin at high speed whereas soft rubbers produce more spin at low speed. Also, rubbers of higher hardness give more speed and less control. The reverse is true for soft rubbers. For a beginner, a medium-soft rubber gives the best result.

Nature of Top Sheet

The nature of the top sheet of rubber, like tackiness, and high tension also affects the performance. Tacky rubbers grip the ball for a longer duration which helps for more spin on soft strokes. High-tension top sheets rebound the ball with more speed and spin.

3. Speed, Spin, and Control

These three attributes ultimately evaluate the quality and style of the paddle depending on the above-mentioned two factors, i.e. the blade and rubber properties. Beginners should look for more control rather than speed whereas intermediate players should have their options open either to maintain equality between speed and control or to incline towards speed for aggression in their game.

Apart from the paddle characteristics, some other factors influence the buying decision.

(Important: Don’t forget to check the ITTF logo pasted on the bottom of the rubber to ensure the quality)

ITTF logo punched at the buttom of the rubber
ITTF logo punched on rubber

Other Factors

Playing Level

Choose your paddle based on your playing level. If you are a beginner, you should opt for a control-oriented racket whereas experienced players look for paddles with higher ratings of speed and spin.

Playing Style

Playing style, i.e. offensive, defensive, and all-rounder should match with the nature (offensive, defensive, and all-rounder) of the paddle you opt for.

Player’s Preference 

Personal preference i.e. brand savvy also affects the buying decision.

Budget

Last is the budget, you should get the best within the limit of your budget.

How to Care for Your Ping Pong Paddle

During play, the rubbers attract dust from the ball and lose their feeling of stickiness. You can simply clean rubbers by wiping them down with a bit of water on a clean cloth. Alternatively, you may use spray cleaners used for table tennis rubbers from manufacturers like Butterfly, or Tibhar.

Apart from cleaning, you also need to protect your paddle from dirt, dust, and external damage when it is not in use. A good quality racket cover not only improves the performance of your paddle but also enhances its life span.

Conclusion

For Beginners: Ping pong paddles play a big role in developing your technique in the early stage. You should focus more on control rather than speed. As you get used to controlling your shots, go to add some power to your strokes.

Palio Expert 3.0, an affordable racket, priced well within $40 is the best performer for beginners due to the exceptional control that this paddle offers.

Palio Expert 3.0

The best ping pong paddle for beginners

The Expert 3.0, the starter of the Palio series, is designed to exhibit ultimate control and good spin with a little sacrifice of speed. With a very attractive price, Palio Expert 3.0 is the best racket for beginners which helps them to successfully advance to the next level.

  • Excellent control

  • Value for money

  • Not for offensive play

For intermediate players: The intermediate players should look for more speed and spin with adequate control.

Stiga Pro Carbon with its unique feature for producing high speed and spin with decent control is the champion paddle in the intermediate category.

STIGA Pro Carbon

Best Ping Pong Paddle for intermediate players

STIGA Pro Carbon is an offensive ping pong paddle that has the combination of a composite blade of 7 layers and 2.0 mm thick rubbers. This racket is the result of many innovative technologies that make it a great performer, especially for intermediates. This lightweight racket is very good for topspin attacks which is the most used shot in modern table tennis.

  • Excellent offensive racket

  • Great for looping

  • Not for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there two colors, black and red on a ping pong paddle?

The two colors system is used in table tennis to distinguish between rubbers used on the forehand and backhand side. Though only red and black color is allowed for better visibility, after Tokyo Olympics 2021, bright colors like blue, green, pink, and purple are also included to use along with red on one side but on the other side, it must be black only. 

Which side of a table tennis racket is better, black or red?

Black rubbers are slightly softer and tackier than red rubbers. So black rubbers are marginally more spinny, whereas red rubbers are marginally more speedy.

What is the most popular grip in ping pong?

Shakehand Grip is more popular than Penhold Grip. For beginners, Shakehand Grip is more convenient for holding a paddle.

Is a light or heavy paddle better?

Though lighter rackets are easy to maneuver, heavier paddles force more momentum to induce more power. It is better to use a heavy paddle that you are comfortable with.

Are expensive paddles worth it?

No, it’s not always true. They are expensive because of the use of innovative technologies and superior-quality materials to give better results. But paddles well above $50 are not for beginners. They can produce more speed and spin with less effort but lack control. These pricer paddles are designed for experienced players who have the skills to handle them. 

How long does a table tennis bat last?

After about a year of decent usage (2 to 3 times per week), rubbers slowly lose their spin and should be replaced. If the rubber is removable, then you have the option to replace the old rubber with a new one. Alternatively, you may purchase a new racket.

Related Post:

1. “The 5 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Spin Reviews

2. “5 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Control to Build Consistency

Indranil

I am a table tennis enthusiast and with a playing experience of 20 years, I like to share what I have learned for the development of skills in the early stages and proper equipment reviews for the best outcome. For any queries, mail me at info@tabletennisarena.com

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