Is it the game of ping pong or the thrill of table tennis? Some say it doesn’t matter, but it should come as no surprise that professional players choose their paddles to get the best spin. Do you know what features to look for? Whether you choose a paddle for the long-term game or just want something for at-home play, there are a lot of rackets out there that will do the trick. However, some rackets can actually improve your skills and give you a better experience.
So how do you elevate your game?
Your racket has a lot to do with how you play the game. Your playing style will determine whether or not you can beat your opponent, but if your racket has high-quality rubber and a better construction, you will probably feel more comfortable and secure in using it to make those strikes and topspins worth it.
You can find the highest quality table tennis rackets online now. This guide goes through the top paddles available, as well as how to pick one that’s going to be right for your game. Here is a brief comparison table of the paddles we have rated in this article, followed by our top picks, and then all the details on features you should look for in a paddle.
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These ping pong paddles are all at the top of the food chain when it comes to construction and speed, but do they have the right ratings for control? Will they match your playing style? This guide goes into a little bit more detail below.
Ping Pong Paddle Reviews
These are the top paddles on the market right now. When you pick a paddle, you really want one that will give you control, power, and spin. These paddles were judged on their craftsmanship, performance ratings, spin rating, and playing style (offensive or defensive).
This set of ping pong paddles comes with a free case and has a very stylish look. You can pick from a variety of different colors or pick up just a single paddle if you are only buying for yourself. The design is completely new from Sport Game Pro, but the ride, yellow, and orange with black trim really make a statement. So if you like a little flair with your game, this is the table tennis racket to use.
High-quality rubber means that you get nice control over your spin. The rubber padding on this is about 2 millimeters, which is important for a fast spike. It was also given a very high-performance rating with a fast speed of 82, unpredictable spin at 91, and stable control at 78. The 5-ply wood structure makes for a pretty classic design, but you get the same FL tennis racket handle and the color makes up for the construction a bit.
Overall, the construction of this paddle is pretty unique, but it isn’t incredibly easy to control the ball at times with this racket. Players find it a little bit difficult to get the same spin on the ball every single time due to the way that it is made. However, if you do get control of it, then you have an incredible racket that will get you noticed on the court.
This highly-rated racket is one of the best if you want a solid rubber paddle, decent construction, and super fast spin. However, this paddle is a little bit heavy and has a handle shape that may cause discomfort for the wrong sized hand.
- High spin rating
- Good construction
- Very unique design
- Includes free case
- Can’t change out rubber
- Players complain of an awkward grip
STIGA Pro Carbon Performance — $
STIGA is a popular brand for table tennis rackets for those who play at-home or who are tournament participants. This racket was actually made for tournament-style play, so it has regulation rubber and design. However, this paddle was also made with carbon technology.
This is an ITTF approved rubber paddle that was made for tournament play. You get a lot of power and speed from this handy racket. It certainly has an incredible performance rating for speed at 99, while it’s spin is the best you can get at 100. For control, it’s above average at 80.
The difference between this paddle and others is that it has a 7-ply extra light blade construction. The 2 mm sponge is standard, but the comfort of the grip and lightweight design make it easy to whip and smack at the ball.
This is definitely for a shakehand player. You don’t want to use this racket if you are a penhold. Other than that, this is a really incredible racket for the price.
If you are serious about your table tennis and want a racket that has a wonderful design and great construction, STIGA really nails it. You can also change out the rubber on this paddle, so it will last for a very long time.
- Two layers of carbon
- 7-ply lightweight construction
- Comfortable grip
- High-performance ratings in speed and spin
Some customers complained that the lightweight construction made the paddle flimsy and easily breakable. However, we have not experienced this is in our trial run.
STIGA Evolution Performance-Level — $
The STIGA Evolution is another performance-enhanced table tennis racket that is approved and made for tournament play. This means that the rubber has been approved by ITTF, and it is allowed at all table tennis competitions. It features a shock dispersion technology barrier and has pretty decent performance ratings, although not as high as the Pro-Carbon model.
This table tennis racket has a speed performance rating of 96 and a spin performance rating of 94. However, if you are looking for control, this is a really great racket to have as it averages out at 90. This is a premium rubber paddle with a brilliant red design and 6-ply construction.
You’ll be able to easily control the paddle and give every ball the right spin, but you may not get the speed that you want as with the other STIGA model. However, it does have a flared handle grip, which means that you can use it for both open grip or penhold grip.
The STIGA Evolution is a great starter paddle if you are looking for more control and like to change up your playing style. The handle on this racket is made for those who like to grip the paddle differently, whether you are in open or pen-hold grip. It weighs about 6 ounces and has a manageable feel in the hand.
- Lightweight but sturdy construction
- High control rating of 90
- Decent speed and spin ratings (not hitting 100)
- The paddle does have reports of splitting and cracking after two months. We have yet to share this experience.
Idoraz makes a great racket for at-home and tournament play. This model is a very bright design, and it comes with its own carrying case. For the price, you do get a lot of value with this racket. However, you may see some changes in speed.
The performance rating for a spin on this ping pong paddle is 93. It has more balance and control than other rackets, and it’s also approved by ITTF. The speed rating is 99, which means that you can definitely launch this ball around the court with ease. In fact, it’s very easy to pop off a fast shot on your opponent.
The weight and construction of the paddle are a little stiff, which can make getting the perfect spin a bit difficult. You may have to change your playing style for the racket, becoming more aggressive in the way you hit the ball.
The Idoraz ping pong paddle is a great buy for anyone who wants to get started and doesn’t want to spend over $50. However, there have been some issues with spin, and it may take some getting used to for those who want more comfort in the handle.
- Lightweight, durable construction
- High speed and control ratings
- Decent spin rating
- Comes with its own carrying case
- Stiff construction makes for a difficult spin
The STIGA Tournament-Quality Titan Table Tennis Racket has a really well-made blade that hits the ball back with amazing speed. The 2mm sponge and Italian composite handle also make it a great racket to get started with professional play.
Despite getting a really great spin with this paddle, it does have lower performance ratings on average. It only gets a rating of 77 in spin and an 80 in speed. However, control is 82, which is a pretty high rating considering some of the others on this list.
STIGA makes this racket mainly for those who want a practice racket that maybe doesn’t have the same spin as other rackets so that you can practice and force yourself to hit shots with more intensity and control.
The performance ratings are a little bit lackluster on this model, but it’s a good racket for those wanting to get started. With a 5-play extra lightweight construction, the paddle has been known to crack within the first couple of months of use.
If you don’t have the money to spend on a sturdy racket, this one is a pretty decent model with a comfortable handle and great control.
- Great design and comfortable handle
- Decent control rating
- Pretty low speed and spin ratings
- The paddle may feel too light or break easy
Want the ultimate in professional table tennis rackets? Then you would have to go with the DHS Hurricane-II, a tournament ping pong paddle that is made for shakehand and comes with a KAMTS wrist guard. This racket was made with red and black pimples, and it comes with a case, two balls, and a gift box.
This racket is a little different because it has a “hurricane” side. However, you really need to be an advanced player to get the hang of controlling this racket. If you are a great backhand player, then this probably won’t be your favorite unless you only use the 555 side.
One of the major issues of this racket is the smell. Basically, it’s a bit fishy.
This is a high endurance racket that comes with a money back and return policy. It’s highly rated by all who use it for a reason. It can hit the ball very fast on the hurricane side. It’s the best racket if you have the right playing style.
- Great for shakehand players
- Fast “Hurricane” side
- Long-term use
- May be slower spin and speed than other rackets, especially if using 555 side
- Smells like fish
Killerspin is one of those brands that consistently puts out great products for the table tennis community. The Killerspin JET800 is no exception. It has an incredible carbon fiber blade with a flared handle and 7-ply construction. This is a professional-grade paddle, so you will get a higher spin and speed with this model than with many others on this list.
The superior construction includes a blade that has 5 layers of wood sandwiched between two layers of carbon fiber. The Nitrx-42 rubber also provides a professional-grade balance and grip for sharp strikes and heavy spin.
The paddle got very high ratings in performance, spin, and control. However, it didn’t get a perfect score for speed. For power, it got a 95, while speed was only a 90. Control came in at 80. The packaging makes up for it. The paddle comes with a storage case and space to record your scores.
This is another paddle that is best for a shakehand due to the type of handle.
If you want a paddle that has a high-quality construction, carbon technology, and fast spin, then this is a great one for professional play. You will be able to get sharp angles and incredible back-spin with this Killerspin racket.
- Carbon fiber layers
- High ratings for speed and spin
- Lightweight and easy to control
- Great for shakehand players
- Can fall apart quickly if misused
Most table tennis players in the world have used the Killerspin JET600. It’s a great paddle to start out on because it’s easy to maneuver, has high-grade Nitrx-4Z rubber, and 6.0 mm lightweight thickness. You can cut through the air with this blade.
For speed, you get about 80 and spin gets a 90. Control comes in at 85. While these numbers aren’t the best, control and spin are pretty high, which can make this a favorite racket for any player. The flared handle means that you can change up your playing style as well.
Some players have complained that the rubber isn’t consistent and causes the spin to go haywire at times. You will have to test this racket yourself to see if those issues can be replicated. So far this racket has been nothing but speed and power.
You should get the Killerspin if you want a dynamic paddle that has a high-quality construction and long-lasting lifespan. You can change out the rubber and use for both pen-hold or shakehand playing styles.
- Decent performance ratings
- Great control
- Lightweight construction
- Good value for a starter paddle
- Rubber can cause an unpredictable lackluster spin
Butterfly 603 Table Tennis Racket Set — $
Butterfly is a new brand that has been making waves with their stylish rackets and sturdy construction. The 603 is a performance-grade paddle that has ITTF-approved Waba 2.1 mm rubber. This makes for a speedy and powerful spin. The ergonomic grip means that you get solid control over this racket while you play.
You’ll get a performance rating for a speed of 82, while your spin will be a bit higher at 90. You also get a decent amount of control with this racket at 85. This means that the racket will let you hit the ball pretty fast most of the time, but you may have an unpredictable spin at times.
This isn’t a paddle that lets you change out the rubbers, unfortunately. While it is a high-quality rubber, you may eventually have to replace the entire paddle.
The Butterfly is a decent ping pong racket that will give you the spin you want most of the time. With its lightweight construction and free carrying case, it has a lot of value for the player who wants more control and power.
- High-performance ratings for spin and control
- Comes with its own carrying case
- Ergonomic, easy-to-handle grip
- High-quality Wakaba rubber
The rubber won’t last on this piece, and you can’t replace it.
The Butterfly Pro-Line is a highly refined racket for those who want to elevate their game to the next level. With ITTF-approved rubber and an Andrzej Grubba blade, it’s also one of the most sought-after paddles for those who play seriously.
You get a lot of control with this blade, which is one of the reasons why advanced players choose it over others. It has a Sriver-EL all-around rubber with a great blend of speed and spin, but the true value is in the control rating. It’s one of the only paddles to have a 100 control rating.
The construction of this paddle makes it the ideal choice if you want to make moves on the court. You can easily get short chops, blocks, smashes, and topspin with this incredible blade.
There are really no issues with this racket, except if you are looking for higher speed and less control.
You will love this paddle if you are an avid player who likes to perform various moves and have a great control over your spin and direction.
- High-quality rubber
- Perfectly designed for 100% control
- Decent speed and spin ratings
- Not the best blade for beginners
Ping Pong Paddle Buying Guide
Picking out a paddle is something that has to feel natural to your playing style. If you don’t know what kind of grip you like or if you are more defensive in your style, you probably haven’t hit the ball enough to know what type of racket is going to be better than another.
So what do those performance ratings mean? How did they get those conclusions on speed, control, and spin? Which one matters the most? To put it plainly, it all depends on your playing style. However, if you want more speed in every hit, there are some paddles that will meet your needs from the very beginning without having to change how you play.
Here are some of the features to look at in your next ping pong paddle:
Most players either have a strong backhand or forehand. They may hold with a different grip such as a pen-hold, or perhaps they use a shakehand. This mainly means what side of the paddle are you going to use. With a flared handle, you don’t have to choose what type of stance as it will work with both. However, some people prefer to have different textures or rubbers on either side of the paddle to give more control for top spin while also being able to block.
Penhold vs Shakehand
You really have to figure out what grip you want to use before picking a paddle. This is more about the way you play and how it will influence your performance in the game. The most common grip for Western players is the shakehands grip. It was given this name because holding the racket looks how your hand would be shaking another handle.
The penhold grip has more control, according to some players. This means that the handle is gripped between the thumb and forefinger, almost like the way you would hold a pen. You can conduct a test by serving the ball a few times with each style to see what’s more comfortable.
Most players agree that returns are better with a shakehands grip, because you can get more force and spin on the ball.
Plastic vs Wood
There is no contest for those who are in tournaments. You always want a wooden handle, but they are more expensive and may not be the right choice just for playing at home. Cheap paddles can be great to practice with because it drives you to be better with a paddle that doesn’t have any advantages.
Whatever you do, you want to be able to feel the power when you hit the battle. There are some handles and blades that are not meant for tournament-play, so you want to make sure that your paddle is built for performance.
The performance rating for speed is a good one to measure by, but it only matters if you know that you have excellent control and can get a hard topspin without even trying. Basically, speed isn’t everything, and if you have at least a score of 90, your paddle is pretty great.
Getting a high level of control on a bill is difficult. Most paddles can’t even go over 85 in control ratings. There are only a few handles that can get you above 95 too. However, the Butterfly Pro-Line proves to be the handiest when it comes to getting the most out of the play.
You want to have high-grade leather that is meant to hit the ball and make it spin, zipping towards your opponent. Most people like a decent amount of control and spin.
Every player has to decide what kind of grip they like. Some will want a more ergonomic grip that gives them defining control for their backhand game. Flare handles are meant to adjust to any playing style and are preferred in intermediate tournament play.
You want to be able to feel the paddle in your hand but it should not be heavy. Most have a lightweight construction with a 0.4-lb weight. This is ideal for tournament-style play.
5-Ply vs 7-Ply Construction
Is 7-ply construction that much thicker? The chances are that a 7-ply paddle will hold together longer and be less likely to crack. However, 5-play can be sturdier if made from higher-quality wood.
Every paddle will have rubber on each side. You have to see what type of rubber the paddle uses and what playing style it is best for. Some are only good for shakehand players.
This means that the paddle is approved for use at an official table tennis tournament. If you are an advanced player, then this really matters. In addition, you want to make sure that you have a standard sponge size of 2 mm.
Some manufacturers understand the value of including a carrying case. It’s pretty essential if you are going to tournaments all the time, and it can even be promotional if you do well. You should look at brands that offer multiple paddles as well as carrying cases.
So what is the best-looking paddle to us? Here is a quick breakdown of the attributes we like to see:
- High-speed rating of 95 or better
- High spin rating of 90 or better
- Control rating of 85 or better
- Flare handle for intermediate players (or shakehands grip if we’re going with most popular)
- 7-ply lightweight construction
- ITTF-approved rubber
- 2 mm sponge
Ping pong paddles have changed over the past 100 years, but they are still basically the same concept. You want a high quality wooden paddle with rubber sides and a natural grip that gives you control and power. While your playing style may dictate which grip you want to use, you will most likely find that any paddle can be adapted to. You can even play well with a terrible handle, so long as you are using the right amount of force.
You should pick a paddle first according to your grip, then by features that you want for spin, speed, and control. With higher control comes a slower speed, and with fast speed comes a better spin.
Best Ping Pong Paddle – Our Choice to Buy
This list has all of our favorites on the market right now, but if we had to pick the best one that met all of our checkboxes, it would be the STIGA Pro Carbon Performance. This is just an amazing paddle made for balanced control with high speed and spin. You can’t beat a high spin rating, but you may have difficulty getting used to this blade at first. We recommend trying out different blades at a department store and then shopping online to get the best price.