A good ping pong paddle can take your game to new heights, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to decide on the one that is right for your game. For example, depending on your playing style, you might opt for one that emphasizes spin over power.
In this article we look at the top paddles on the market, profiling a wide range of different types. With this list, there is sure to be something for everyone so read on to find the best ping pong paddle for your needs!
Our Top Picks
- Killerspin JET200 – Best Overall
- Abco Tech Table Tennis Set – Budget Option
- Stiga Pro Carbon – Premium Option
- Nibiru Sport Table Tennis Set
- Stiga Pure Color
Things to Consider When Buying a Ping Pong Paddle
Before we jump into the reviews, let’s talk about some things to keep in mind when choosing a ping pong paddle. Here are a few value-driven considerations that will help to ensure you get the most out of this purchase.
The Best Beginner Paddle – If you are a beginner, you should start by investing in a simple but effective paddle. The best beginner paddles are usually five-layered wood and feature thin rubber on the face. This lightweight combination emphasizes control and will allow you to experiment with a more aggressive playing style eventually as you grow in confidence.
Staying Right by the Rules – To keep yourself within the guidelines of the rules you will need to make sure that the paddle you buy is at least 85% wood. The remaining mass of the paddle will typically consist of some combination of rubber and sponge.
The Perfect Rubber and Sponge Ratio – Since the rubber and or sponge is usually what makes contact with the ball, this is among the most important considerations to account for. Generally speaking, a thicker sponge will provide lots of speed, while a thinner sponge lends the user some enhanced control.
Play Style – Determining your style of play is one of the most important pre-purchase steps you can make. While entry-level equipment is so basic that special considerations are not really necessary, when you get to player’s paddles, there’s no real point in investing if you haven’t taken your style into consideration.
Are you offensive or defensive? Do you play for lots of cunning spin or raw overwhelming power? There are paddles for each one of these approaches, as well as some high-quality units that favor a more balanced game, but in any case, choosing the right one can make all the difference.
Carbon vs. Wood – The blade, or wooden structure of a ping pong paddle, can sometimes be infused with a small amount of carbon. These blades tend to have more speed and precision.
On the other hand, purely wooden blades benefit from enhanced spin and control. Really outstanding wooden paddles are regularly chosen over carbon-infused models by serious players.
However, others find that they can get similar performance from a carbon-infused model. Ultimately, it is all about choosing the option most suitable to your budget and play style.
Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
And now, here are our reviews of the top ping pong paddles for your consideration.
In addition to being our best overall pick, the Killerspin JET200 is also distinguished in the best under $50 category. This moderately priced paddle features 5-ply wood and a “jet basic rubber” that has been rated at Control: 85, Spin: 70, Power: 60. This is one of the best ping pong paddles for spin.
For beginners, these ratings will allow you the opportunity to grow into your game. For more seasoned hands, they still leave room for self-improvement.
The lightweight build and thin, responsive face make it optimal for the player looking to refine their game with enhanced levels of control. While the power levels are not optimal for players with a more aggressive approach, it’s nevertheless a very accessible and competitive paddle for amateur players of a wide range of skill levels.
The Abco Ping Pong set is likely the best option under $30 featured here. For the money, you get four quality paddles that will do well to outfit your new ping pong table. This makes it one of the cheapest ping pong paddles available.
The construction features 5-ply blades with 5.6 mm thickness—perfect for players of any skill level that wish to utilize significant control over the ball.
The grips feature a flared, ergonomic design that will make the paddles comfortable to hold and the company even offers a money-back guarantee if you are displeased with your purchase. It has been observed that the rubber tends to bubble (usually signifying an imperfection in the adhesive process). However, for the price, this is not an unusual issue.
If you have a little more money to spend on this purchase, the Stiga Pro Carbon may be the right paddle for you. Carbon infused, this 7-ply blade allows for loads of power, without sacrificing any precision. The grip is ergonomic and designed to absorb vibration to provide optimal feel while also maintaining enhanced comfort.
The unit features an extremely impressive performance score of Speed: 99, Spin: 100, and Control: 80.
Though the price will render this paddle inaccessible to some, those who can afford it will enjoy a well-rounded product from a great brand.
The Nibiru Sport table tennis paddles are durable, having been certified for both indoor and outdoor play, and feature a slightly above average thickness that allows players to put some extra zip on the ball. The paddles feature performance ratings of Speed: 50, Spin: 49, Control: 64.
The grips have been designed for comfort and sweat absorption making them well suited for long term play. For the price, these are great quality ping pong paddles.
The Stiga Pure Color is a simple but affordable racquet rated at Speed: 75 Spin: 65 Control: 65. The paddle comes from a high profile brand and benefits from their technology. Consequently, the face of the blade has been hardened with its “Crystal technology” and outfitted with microscopic air capsules to provide a reactive face with good feel.
Though the handle is small and a little unnatural, the overall performance is such that many looking for a low cost, high-quality unit will be willing to overlook this.
Summary & Recommendations
Choosing the best ping pong paddle ultimately comes down to your preferences, budget, and play style.
If you’re looking for the best paddle at an affordable price, we recommend you check out the Killerspin JET200. It’s a well-rounded paddle that’s great for beginners and advanced players alike, and won’t break the bank.
If you’re willing to spend a little more and get your hands on one of the best paddles money can buy, try the Stiga Pro Carbon.
And if you’re looking for some inexpensive paddles that are decent quality and will get the job done, then the Abco Tech Table Tennis Set may be just what you’re looking for.
Have fun out there!