This is our official list in search of the best ping pong paddles on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a in-depth guide to table tennis paddles.
- [star rating=”5″] STIGA Evolution Table Tennis Racket
- [star rating=”4.5″] Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle
- [star rating=”4.5″] Duplex Best Professional Table Tennis Racket
- [star rating=”4.5″] Caleson Table Tennis Paddle
- [star rating=”4″] Custom Gambler Professional Table Tennis Paddle
We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.
5 Highest Reviewed Ping Pong Paddles to Consider
Table tennis is a popular recreational activity, and although player skill is important, the quality of the paddle should never be ignored.
The best ping pong paddle can help players go from good to great, but with hundreds of different products to choose from, the thought of finding the best paddle can seem quite intimidating. Below, you’ll find reviews for five of the best ping pong paddles.
The STIGA Evolution is available in several different sizes, and it’s designed for players who need a high level of performance. The rubber on this product is approved for ITTF tournament play, and with built-in shock dispersion technology, it offers great control.
For maximum performance, this paddle offers 90 control, 94 spin and 96 speed. Since it’s made with premium rubber and has 2mm sponge, it’s great for returning shots. It features a six-ply light blade, and the shock dispersion tube absorbs and transfers vibrational energy out of the paddle. As a result of this built-in technology, the STIGA Evolution offers improved control and speed.
For tighter bonds within the paddle, it’s made with Nano composite technology, and the rubber increases the spin and speed of the ball. A decrease in blade weight gives this paddle improved recovery, and a recess in the handle helps to improve its sensitivity.
- Provides a competitive advantage
- Hollow handle for reduced weight
- Powerful friction creates strong ball spin
- Great for intermediate players
- Can be too bouncy for some players
The Killerspin JET200 is made with five-ply wood, and it’s designed for basic games. To make every ping pong experience more memorable, this paddle comes with a memory book, and the book can be used to collect personalized messages, signatures and scores.
The Killerspin JET200 is made with jet basic rubber and allows for superior control. The sides of the racket are covered with flexible PVC side tape, which protects the racket and improves its durability. The blade is designed with a flared handle, and in terms of performance, this paddle offers control, spin and speed ratings of 8.5, seven and six.
This product is best for recreational players, and it’s a popular choice for players who’re just getting started. The racket is durable enough for families, but it also has enough built-in technology for competitive matches with friends.
- Much better than cheaper paddles
- Offers improved accuracy, spin and control
- Made with high-quality rubber
- Perfect for beginner and intermediate players
- Not the best choice for tournaments
The Duplex professional tennis racket is rated for professional players, but it can be just as useful for novice players. With a balanced, weighted design, this paddle improves hit precision and recovery time, and it’s engineered for maximum performance.
The durable rubber is made to ITTF standards, and it remains sealed until the package is opened. The Duplex professional racket is designed for agility, power and control, and it’s made with seven-ply wood. For more accurate shots, it features a weighted, balanced design, and for a small price, it offers professional performance.
- Engineered for maximum power, speed and control
- Great for novice and professional players
- Handle is comfortable
- Grip is strong
- Rubber design could be better
The Caleson ping pong paddle is made from hybrid wood and offers professional performance. For improved speed, it has carbon fiber plies, and when compared to basic paddles, it offers significantly better speed and control.
Rackets that are made entirely from wood don’t offer nearly as much speed and spin as this product, and the Caleson table tennis racket is perfect for new and advanced players. This paddle features a lightweight handle, and it’s a popular choice for offensive players.
The speed, spin and control ratings for this paddle are 67, 54 and 78. The Caleson ping pong paddle has a comfortable handle, and it even comes with a high-quality carrying bag.
The performance offered by this product is much better than what is offered by many competing products. The rugged rubber delivers a great return and puts plenty of spin on the ball.
- Comes with carrying bag
- Great for novice and advanced players
- Rubber is thicker than most products
- Popular choice for offensive players
- Carbon fiber doesn’t help the design much
The Custom Gambler ping pong paddle is another top choice for professional players, but it’s also great for novice players. This paddle comes with a blue Gambler Competitor case, and for maximum quality, it’s made in a USA shop.
The rubber is professionally glued, and once it becomes worn, it’s not very difficult to replace. The Gambler IM7 blade is made with Koto wood, and for better performance, it’s fused with graphite and carbon fibers. With the IM7, it offers a different feel than most paddles, and the rubber is USATT and ITTF approved.
The Custom Gambler table tennis racket has rubber that is designed for mechanical spin, and the non-tacky surface is perfect for flat hitting and table play. The high-quality blade is lacquered by hand, and it’s a top choice for players who demand great spin and dwell time.
- Perfect for more advanced moves
- Excellent spin rating
- Superior control and power
- Ideal for aggressive and offensive players
- Might be too heavy for some players
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Brief Guide to Ping Pong Paddles
Most table tennis rackets are made from wood, and one side of the racket is covered with rubber. The purpose of the rubber is to bounce the ball back to the other player, and although most rackets are very similar, there are some important differences.
Ping pong paddles are not the same as regular tennis rackets because they aren’t made with string. With the help of a high-quality paddle, players can take their game to the next level and gain a competitive advantage over other players.
What Are They?
Ping Pong Paddles are also known as table tennis rackets, depending on where in the world you come from. They are used to play ping pong and are made of a wooden blade with handle, and rubber which is fixed to either side of the blade using glue.
Ping pong paddles are made from laminated wood, and since one side is covered with rubber, they’re able to bounce a ball back and forth. Most rackets are designed with a rubber grip, which makes it easier for the players to hold them.
Depending on the needs of the player, the coating might be made of pimpled rubber, or it might have a sponge layer. For spin resistance, some paddles aren’t covered with any amount of rubber.
For recreational play, most players use a standard paddle, but custom paddles are better for serious tournaments. To apply the rubber to the paddle, a sheet of glue is used, and it’s not uncommon for paddles to be made with different types of rubber.
What to Look for In a Good One?
When shopping for the best ping pong paddle, it’s important for players to consider their skill level. Everyone starts out as a novice and moves up.
First Consider Your Skill Level
A basic paddle can work great for novice players, but after graduating to an intermediate level, it’s time to consider a tournament paddle. Some players play more defense than offense, and there are different products for different playing styles.
As you progress pay attention to whether you are better at attacking or defense, and if you have quite an aggressive game and like smashing the ball down a lot, then go for a paddle with a lot of layers.
If you like spinning, then you’re going to want one with more elastic rubber. Try to keep getting a paddle that is a bit above your game so that you can keep progressing.
It’s quite common for high-end paddles to be made with more power than novice products, and they aren’t the best options for novice players.
The covering of the paddle makes quite a bit of difference to play – you will want the rubber to have quite a high amount of friction so that you have more control over it. This usually depends on how smooth it is and how the rubber is dimpled.
If the dimples point outwards it is called pimple rubber which gives more friction, and as a result, more control. If the dimples point inwards it is called reverse rubber, and this is smoother, so allows for more speed and different types of shots and techniques.
If you have a thinner sponge you will have better control and a thicker sponge will give you more speed. Some player use a slower rubber for the backhand, and a faster for the front. For beginning players a rubber thickness of 1.5 to 1.75mm is usually recommended, as it gives you control and a moderate amount of speed.
A heavier paddle will mean you can block more easily and have a better spin. It also gives more consistency and steadiness. However a light racket will mean you can move your hand faster, and if you play very close to the table then this might work better for you.
Children will also want to use lighter paddles, as it means they can develop good strokes and practice longer without getting tired.
Type of Handle
There are several types of different handles. Straight handles are often thought better for backhand strokes and defensive play, whereas flared handles are often preferred as they can be gripped more loosely without losing control of the paddle.
There are also anatomic, conic and left handed handles. These are all good for players who hold their paddles like they are shaking hands, called a shakehand grip.
Chinese and Japanese handles are designed for players who use a penhold grip, and the Japanese style also have a ledge to hook your finger around. Generally you should try and get one that feels good to you, and comfortable.
Before deciding on a specific product, it’s important to consider its power level. Some paddles are designed to deliver significantly more power than others, and the power is based on the materials used. The hardness of the wood affects the paddle’s power level, and the type of rubber is also important.
Every ping pong paddle consists of two wooden blades, which are glued together. To reduce energy absorption and weight, some products are made with a layer of fiberglass or carbon fiber sandwiched in the middle of the two layers of wood. The power of a paddle determines how much energy is absorbed when the paddle is used to return a shot.
A higher number equates to a stronger return, but the downside of more power is less control, which isn’t good for players who prefer a defensive style. Most players who prefer offense look for a higher power level.
Control and Spin
Table tennis rackets are also rated for spin and control. A racket’s ability to spin the ball is based on the quality of the rubber. Whether playing defense or offense, most players look for paddles that have a great spin rating.
By delivering more spin to a ball, a paddle can make it much more difficult for the other player to return a shot. Control is about how well the racket strikes the ball, and it’s also determined by how long the racket holds the ball.
Tackier rubber can provide more control, and it can provide better returns. A couple extra millimeters of foam can make a huge difference in the level of control provided by the racket.
Who Can Benefit
If you have a ping pong table, or are buying one, you’re going to want some paddles to go with it. And if you are a serious player and want to play well, then a better brand will go further and help you become more competitive.
Maybe at work they have just brought in a ping pong table and you want to play with your co-workers? A good quality paddle will help you out, and you’ll never go back once you’ve started using one.
What To Avoid?
Don’t buy a really cheap paddle, or one that is too heavy, especially if you’re just starting off. A bat that is too heavy will make it hard to get used to playing when you’re learning the technique. Also avoid getting a paddle that is obscured so much that you can’t see the quality of the rubber and sponge.
If you’re a beginner don’t buy a paddle that is all about speed. When you’re starting off you need to have control over the ball so that you can get used to the game and learn the basic techniques.
How should I store my paddle?
If you’re going to buy a good quality paddle, get a nice cover to keep it safe, dry and clean between games.
How should I hold my ping pong paddle?
Some players use a penhold grip, and others a shakehand grip. You need to try them out and decide which feels more comfortable as you play.
The shakehand grip is more traditional in the West and feels like you’re shaking hands with someone. It is good for playing with force and helping the ball spin.
The penhold grip is where you grip the downward paddle between your forefinger and thumb, and is good for quick brushing strokes.
Why do some paddles have a red and black side?
Often this is because one side is designed more for backhand strokes, and the other for offensive shots, so they can be flipped easily and you can tell which side to use. It is also for competition purposes so that your opponent can also see which side you’re using and be better prepared too.
How should I clean my ping pong paddle?
It is important to clean your paddles so that they last longer, and also perform better – since if dirt builds up it can mean that you lose some control of the table tennis ball.
You should be able to clean it with some soapy water, and just wipe it gently so that the rubber doesn’t get damaged. You can also buy special cleaning sprays for a more in depth cleaning.
How long does a paddle last?
The rubber usually wears out over time, and becomes damaged from playing. This means that you will have less control over the ball.
Usually the rubber on a paddle will last about 60 hours of playing, although if you have an anti-spin rubber it can last 2-5 years since there is no friction. You can then either buy a new one or resurface your current paddle.
Are there any rules about the paddle for competitions?
There are quite a few rules to be aware of if you’re going to play in competitions. For example, 85% of the blade’s thickness should be of natural wood. If you’re buying a paddle to play in a competition, we recommend you check the rules first to make sure it is compliant.
The best ping pong paddle can take any player’s game to the next level, and it can provide the spin, control and power needed to win matches. With the best paddle, players can dominate professional tournaments or recreational activities.