Best Ping Pong Paddle

A paddle at your local retail store will run you about $10 but is it the best ping pong paddle? Far from it, these types of paddles are more for family fun. For example, it’s kind of like using one of the those mini-golf clubs for a real game of golf. It technically works but it’s not the best equipment out there for the sport. Therefore, purchasing a quality ping pong paddle is an investment in your development as a player and a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. This article will focus on the best paddles ranging from beginners to advanced players. From budget friendly to more pricier, quality paddles for the serious players. So, let’s continue and find out what makes the best ping pong paddles!

How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Paddle

Blade Category

Blade Category

Are you an all-rounder, offensive, or defensive player? All-rounder paddles often have harder inner plys of wood with softer outer plys for more control. For this reason, the majority of players fit into this category. Players who enjoy attacking should consider an offensive blade. These types of blades have semi-rigid harder outer plys of wood that helps produce more power. Lastly, defensive blades have soft flexible plys of wood for better control. Regardless, there really isn’t a best ping pong paddle blade, it’s mostly about what fits your playstyle.

Paddle blades have performance ratings for the amount of speed, spin, and control it has. Speed ratings can vary from offense, all-around, and defense. But the rest is pretty self-explanatory we think.

Material

Material

A genuine ping pong paddle that meets the official rules of table tennis must have a blade that is at least 85% natural wood. Any lower and you won’t be able to use it for tournament play. Additionally, you can use other types of materials for better performance, such as carbon fiber, glass fiber, or compressed paper. However, additional materials must make up less than 7.5% of the total thickness.

Size

Size

A paddle can be of any size although most are around 6 inches in width (15cm) and 10 inches in length (25cm). In this case, bigger isn’t always better since you need a quick swing to keep up with the ball. Therefore, we suggest choosing a paddle that you can swing easily while being able to generate good spin.

Plys

Plys

The less plys, the faster the paddle. The more plys, the heavier the paddle and thus the more power. Most paddles are either made with 5, 7, or 9 plys of wood.

Shape

Shape

A paddle can be any shape although there are two prevalent styles: penhold style blades and western style blades. Penhold style blades often come in the shape of a square, used mainly by players with a penhold grip. In contrast, the more common shape is the familiar circular blade that western players are often accustomed to. These types of paddles are dominantly used by players with a shakehand grip although it can also be used with a penhold grip.Penhold-Vs-Shakehand-Blades - How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Paddle

Weight

Weight

A paddle can be any weight and you’ll want to consider this option carefully. A heavier weight can produce more power, a medium heavy is best for all-rounders, and a lighter weight is more aerodynamic and better for defense. Most paddle blades vary anywhere from 70-100 grams. You should also consider a paddle that you can swing easily with no discomfort. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to choose yet, your preferences will change over time.

Rubber

Rubber

This is the part of your paddle that covers the blade, which is important for producing spin. Additionally, rubbers come in a variety of thicknesses, the thicker the sponge, the more offensively you can play with it. You can also choose whether you’d like pimples out–with your choice of short or long pimples–or pimples in where you use the smooth side of the rubber. This is probably the most popular type of rubber since you have complete range of strokes.

Only table tennis rubbers authorized by the ITTF can be used for official events. Check out this page for official rubbers approved by the ITTF. The official rules of ping pong calls for a paddle that has bright red rubber on one side and black on the other. We’ll cover the best ping pong paddle rubbers in more depth later on so stay tuned.

Table Tennis Rubber - How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Paddle

Handle

Handle

There are a couple of options you can choose from when picking out a handle and it all boils down to preference. The most common shapes are Anatomic, Flared, and Straight handles although you can customize it however you choose. Don’t worry too much about finding the best ping pong paddle handle though. This is really something you should experiment on and your handle preference may change over time.

Paddle Handles - How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Paddle

Best Ping Pong Paddle Comparison Chart

Under $50 Best Ping Pong Paddles

ModelRatingsCategoryPlys / Rubber / HandlePriceRating
Stiga Evolution
Speed: 96
Spin: 94
Control: 90
ALL-ROUND / Intermediate6 ply / ITTF approved rubber / Flaredcheckprices4.4 Stars4.4 / 5
Killerspin Jet-200
Speed: 60
Spin: 70
Control: 85
DEFENSE / Beginners5 ply / 1.8mm performance / Flaredcheckprices4.3 Stars4.3 / 5
DHS A4002
Speed: N/A
Spin: N/A
Control: N/A
ALL-ROUND / Intermediate7 ply / Hurricane II/G888 / Flaredcheckprices4.0 Stars4.0 / 5

$50 – $100 Best Ping Pong Paddles

ModelRatingsCategory Plys / Rubber / HandlePriceRating
Killerspin Jet-800
Speed: 95
Spin: 90
Control: 80
OFFENSIVE / Advanced7 ply / Nitrx 4Z / Flared
checkprices4.4 Stars4.4 / 5
Stiga Pro Carbon
Speed: 99
Spin: 100
Control: 80
OFFENSIVE / Intermediate-Advanced7 ply / S5 rubber / Flared
checkprices4.3 Stars4.3 / 5
Butterfly 603
Speed: N/A
Spin: N/A
Control: N/A
Intermediate-Advanced5 ply / Wakaba rubber / Flared
checkprices4.4 Stars4.4 / 5

Over $100 Best Ping Pong Paddles

ModelRatingsCategoryPlys / Rubber / HandlePriceRating
DHS Hurricane-II
Speed: 70
Spin: 85
Control: 70
ALL-ROUND / Advanced5 ply / Red HURRICANE III & Black G555 / Flaredcheckprices4.6 Stars4.6 / 5
Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5
Speed: 100
Spin: 95
Control: 80
OFFENSIVE / Advanced5 ply / Tenergy 80-FX / Flaredcheckprices4.9 Stars4.9 / 5
Killerspin Kido 7P
Speed: 90
Spin: 85
Control: 90
ALL-ROUND / Advanced7 ply / Nitrx 4Z / Straight / Flaredcheckprices4.5 Stars4.5 / 5

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