Ping pong, sometimes called table tennis, is a sport enjoyed and played worldwide, even at the Olympics.
You may or may not own a ping pong table, but everybody who plays ping pong, even once a month in a recreational center, should own their ping pong paddle.
Sure, there are advantages of using rented, borrowed, or old ones, but you can never get the correct feel from a paddle and blade that is not yours.
So, the ping pong paddle is a necessary accessory for anyone who wants to dabble into playing table tennis.
Of course, a complete beginner will not need the same ping pong paddle like a professional player, because skill and paddle go hand in hand.
For professional players, a quality ping pong paddle can decide the winner of a match, and even of the whole tournament.
Looking for the best ping pong paddle for your playing style and needs, but don't know where to start?
The answer is: right here and right now!
Of many table tennis paddles that I've tested, these are the 10 best ones.
Whether you're pursuing table tennis professionally, or only learning to play, these are the best paddles that will make your experience ten times better.
Table of Contents
- The Best Entry-Level Ping Pong Paddle
- The Best Intermediate Ping Pong Paddle
- The Best Professional Ping Pong Paddle
- Factors You Should Consider Before Buying a Ping Pong Paddle
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Comments
The Best Entry-Level Ping Pong Paddle
What you need to look for in the best entry-level product is that the spin and speed are not too high, so that beginners can achieve the necessary control of the ball while they play.
Killerspin comes from a Chicago-based company that is considered to be a household name when it comes to the production of best table tennis paddles and sports apparel.
So, it is no wonder that their paddles are the first to be featured on my list of the best paddles.
Although Killerspin JET first and foremost caters their paddles to the needs of a pro ping pong player, they make it seem quite effortless and accessible to recreational players as well.
A beginner's (to intermediate) paddle such as Killerspin JET 200 is made to either launch your professional endeavors or simply support your hobby.
Either way, what does not disappoint is the quality of the table tennis racket, which is precisely why it has managed to uphold its bestseller status.
Made and designed to be both durable and aesthetically-pleasing, this paddle is enforced with 5-ply wood, and it will undoubtedly help you improve your skills.
Speed, accuracy, spin, and control of the ball are not going to be some abstract qualities that you cannot reach with the Killerspin racket.
This is basically where every beginner will feel elevated in the game as I surely have because the grip is really comfortable and natural.
One feature that distinguishes this paddle from all the other on my list is its design. It comes in three varieties - mocha, lime, and navy blue - whereas the standard when it comes to table tennis are red-and-black table tennis rackets.
So, while Killerspin JET 200 is not the best for professional use, these colors undoubtedly look great, and this paddle deserves the highest grade for the best design.
Killerspin is also famous for the Killerspin memory book, in which you can record your scores, notes, etc. One is included here, too!
Franklin Sports is a family-owned company with a longstanding tradition and reputation as a global sports brand.
Unlike my previous choice, in this package, you get two paddles and three balls, so it is completely optimized for a 2-player game.
To be clear, this brand does not claim that their paddles are the best ping pong paddles, but that they do what they are made for – which is, recreational usage in a no-pressure game.
These paddles are the perfect solution if you are going to play a game of ping pong or two once a month with your family and friends.
They are designed with a core of 3-ply wood and enforced with a pips-out rubber surface, which means that they aren't the sturdiest paddles out there.
As I said before, they are not made to be used professionally or frequently, but from time to time, in a relaxed environment or weekend games.
With all this in consideration, they are reasonably priced according to the quality. Franklin Sports paddles are there to do the job.
These paddles and balls come without any additional bells and whistles, and I appreciate they aren't advertised like that, too. You get precisely what you expect.
Also, they are great for beginners who have never in their life played a game of ping pong. It's a nice, not too ambitious of a starting point.
Kevenz offers a pack of two table tennis rackets that come at an incredibly tempting price.
This set is among the best-selling and best-ranked table tennis paddles.
So, naturally, I had to lay my hands on them and decide whether this was only because of the low price.
I was pleased to learn that the paddles performed exquisitely when I put them to the test.
If I were to categorize them, I'd say that they were not made for professionals who want a racket that will last for years.
But other than that, for beginners, intermediate players, and pros who need a paddle for practice, I recommend getting this set.
Namely, these are the classic, 2-mm sponge, 5-ply lightweight blade paddles with an anti-skid handle.
But the signature of these paddles is the Blade Encircle Technology patented by Kevenz. It means that the blade and the handle feature rubber edges that ensure the maximum control of the paddle.
I liked this system; it works very well and reduces any slips and, therefore, mistakes.
What is more, you get three premium quality Kevenz K3-grade ping pong balls in this package. They can also be used for tournaments, and they are very bouncy.
The only possible downside of these rackets is the design: they are a bit too much, with red, pink, yellow, black, and mahogany (there's even blue on the company's logo).
But really, this is a small price to pay considering what this set of ping pong paddles offers.
The Best Intermediate Ping Pong Paddle
Finding the best product for the intermediate games is tricky - you don't want something that cannot handle all the player's skills, but then again, spin, speed, and control need to be involved.
This is another set amidst table tennis sets - and what a rich one, if I may add!
You get as many as four Nibiru Sport ping pong paddles, and eight 3 star balls! It wouldn't be that impressive if this set didn't cost under $50.
When you do the math, you get four for the price of one.
Now, cheap ping pong paddles are notoriously unreliable, and I didn't expect much from this set, except that I can recommend them for people who don't expect bells and whistles.
Boy, was I wrong!
The moment I unpacked the rackets (yes, you also get a case!), I thought to myself: these feel too good to be true. But they aren't.
The red-and-black inverted rubber is of high-quality, and the weight and the thickness of the paddle are standard, tournament-grade.
What I also liked is the easy-to-control flared handle made from premium 5-layered resistant plywood. The quality of the materials is top-notch.
As I mentioned, you also get eight balls in the set. These are ITTF-approved, and I can tell you they are very durable - no dents after hours and hours of play. As for the specs, these are 40mm in diameter, and they are made from ABS plastic.
And about that case… It's more like a travel bag, with convenient handles. I know, this bargain simply cannot get any better!
I firmly believe that this cannot happen, but if you happen to be dissatisfied, there is a money-back guarantee on this set.
In the sea of the models that crashed my list, Stiga is probably the most famous one when it comes to quality table tennis equipment.
The company has rolled out the Stiga Titan racket, which has all of the features you want in a good, semi-professional ping pong paddle.
Why do I say "semi-professional"?
Well, simply put, this paddle was not designed to exert the maximum amount of power to the shots, and that is its weakest link. It instead concentrates on spins and improving your technique.
It is ITTF approved, so if you feel like your playing style is more spin and calculating than power, you can also use it in competitions.
It's reasonably priced for its incredible characteristics, such as the inverted tournament rubber, 2mm sponge, and 5-ply extra light blade in the concave Italian composite handle (considered a "shakehand style" handle).
Another feature that increases its speed is Crystal Technology, which reduces tacking.
For its quality build, it is incredibly lightweight, which can be both a pro and a con, depending on your playing style.
If you like to put a lot of spin into your shots and play faster, the fact that it is lightweight means it'll only be more natural to spin and control the table tennis paddle.
However, if you belong to more offensive players, search elsewhere.
My next pick by Sportout is for all the (upper) intermediate or advanced players out there.
It's time to consider some features that make the Sriver ping pong paddle so well-rounded and advanced.
It sports 9-ply wood and 8-ply carbon blade. This combination is unique and equals both powerful attack and defense.
The carbon dust on the handle further ensures the anti-slip construction of this paddle.
It is a flared one, which is the preferred type for many intermediate and professional players.
Some of you may assume that this implies that the table tennis racket is bulky and uncomfortable, but I'm happy to tell you that it's neither too heavy nor too light - just the right amount of both.
Another impressive thing is the quality of the base, as it was made from a professional Sriver-He rubber with 2mm high-elastic inverted sponge.
DCC Technology (Air-Dried, Tube-Cut, Composite wood) means that the blade is impeccable, and also that the air-dried glue ensures that the rubber will not separate under any circumstances.
It checks all the boxes of an excellent table tennis racket: durability, speed, spin, power, and control.
Oh, and I forgot to check the "free accessories" one - not the most important, but certainly a big plus. You get a beautiful paddle case with the company's logo to carry and protect your table tennis racket.
The Idoraz ping pong bat is an excellent racket to improve your game. It does take a bit until you get accustomed to it, but once you learn to control it, your shots will be superb.
This ITTF approved paddle is incredibly versatile because it is excellent for defense, attack, spins, loops, and intermediate to professional players.
As for the materials, it features a high-quality 2mm-rubber sponge and a 5-ply blade in the flared handle. It belongs to the category of lightweight paddles but is nevertheless pretty sturdy.
With 99 speed rating, and 93 for a spin, everything is clear - this paddle will leave your opponents way behind you.
If you haven't already mastered trick shots, they will be brought to perfection with this one, surely.
The red side of the paddles generates more spin to the shoots, whereas black is slower and a bit less tacky.
If something goes wrong, it's nice knowing that you have a 30-day guarantee.
So, if you buy the Idoraz ping pong paddle, and decide that it is not for your style of playing (which is very unlikely), you can return it for a full refund without any troubles.
Finally, I also liked the fact that the manufacturers included a carrying case with a strap and unique zippers that allow you to hang it anywhere you want.
The Best Professional Ping Pong Paddle
The best professional ping pong paddle is a product that simply enables the player to control the ball without any hassle and allow the appropriate amount of speed and spin while you play.
If you feel that your days of hit and miss, with many failed forehands, backhands and spins are behind you and you are looking for a new paddle to challenge and develop your skills, maybe you should stop and consider one of the best table tennis bats, Stiga Pro Carbon.
The Stiga Pro Carbon's constitution is from a 7-ply ultra-light blade in combination with a 2mm thickness of the sponge and S5 rubber (which means that it is ITTF approved).
Complete beginners might find this paddle challenging because of its 2mm sponge thickness, which gives it more speed than entry-level paddles do.
This is an excellent feature for players that feel "stuck" between the beginner and intermediate level, as it supplies them with the opportunity to advance their skills, and boosts up the play.
The choice of S5 rubber means that it gives this product very little speed and spin, which is excellent for optimal control.
This is a beginner rubber, which in combination with other, more advanced elements used to produce this Stiga Pro Carbon table tennis paddle, isn't to be considered a disadvantage.
All in all, if you want to improve your game from the intermediate level, Stiga Pro Carbon is a paddle that you should consider.
When you feel like it's high time you've swapped your paddles for ones that are marketed as "professional," Mapol's 4 Star is among the best ping pong paddles.
What struck me as different about this paddle, which definitely sets it apart from the rest, is the initial, slightly heavier feel.
This potential downside quickly proved to be an advantage, as paddles of similar quality and similar (or higher) price range tended to warp and, ultimately, disintegrate.
This one did not. Other than that, the table tennis racket proved to be comfortable.
The heavyweight elements included in its manufacturing are the blade made of 7-ply wood in combination with 2mm thickness of the sponge, and ultimately, a good performance rubber.
If you are looking to improve or tune your spin and speed, this is definitely the right paddle for you as you will be able to work on all your potential flaws.
While some other brand-name table tennis rackets of the same (or slightly lower) quality sell based on their old and established glory, this is definitely a name to be considered because it does the job quite well.
It has a peculiar feel, it's sturdy and durable, and I suggest that you try it out.
Now, let me introduce you to another leading contender to the professional, best ping pong rack throne - Pro Spin Elite Series table tennis racket.
In comparison with some other models on my list, you'll be paying a steep price for this paddle, but it is worth every penny.
As for the features, it was made from a professional-grade natural rubber, 2mm sponge, and the 7-ply blade (5-ply high-end wood and 2-ply carbon fiber).
It is precisely these two layers of carbon power that add power and spin to your shots, and account for the superior quality of Pro Spin paddle.
The fact that it is 7-ply does not mean that this paddle is on the heavier side; quite the contrary.
It is very well-balanced, lightweight enough to allow complete control, but sturdy enough to provide the necessary power.
Needless to say, this paddle meets the quality standards of ITTF and USATT, meaning that you can compete with it in all the major tournaments.
The company has indeed put in a lot of effort into creating this paddle, and it shows.
All the details are on point. Even the box in which you receive the table tennis racket was made so that it can be used as a storage case since it has a drawer-style tray.
And besides that, you get a stylish rubber protective case for your table tennis racket.
Factors You Should Consider Before Buying a Ping Pong Paddle
When it's time to select the best table tennis racket for yourself, you want to avoid any possible money wasting and time-consuming selections, because ping pong paddles can be quite expensive, and choosing the right paddle is imperative.
Even if you are a beginner, you should pay attention to what your playing style consists of, so that you can hone it in the right direction.
Whether you are a slower, more logical player or a fast one who likes aggressiveness, the right ping pong paddle will vary depending on your playing style, based on many factors.
To facilitate your search for the right paddle, I comprised a useful list of factors that should definitely come in handy when you are shopping for your brand-new ping pong paddle.
Let's explore the elements that make a ping pong paddle the best one, and investigate the paddles on the market.
1. Paddle Types
The first important thing that you should know about ping pong paddles is that there is more than just one paddle type, based on various factors.
Choosing the most fitting of the types helps you bring your searching bubble to a much narrower one.
There are four basic types that you should be acquainted with.
The stupendous amount of choices when it comes to the blade selection may leave you feeling quite perplexed.
The official rules of ping pong state that each blade must be at least 85% made of wood, with additional materials allowed.
The blade types boil down to four most frequently used ones.
The sponge is the material that is layered between the blade and the rubber, and it is crucial and more than necessary if you think of playing ping pong recreationally and more frequently.
Sponges vary based on their thickness. There can be thin, medium, and thick sponges, and what they basically serve for is cushioning.
If you are a player that values speed above all else, you should definitely consider thinner sponges as they allow for a faster game. More sponge is good for players who develop their style as defensive.
What attacking players should avoid are thick sponge layers. Medium ones are great for balance, if you are still in the process of developing your skills, so be on the lookout for sponges that are 1mm or more.
My preferred thickness is 2mm, and I consider that the perfect balance.
Rubber, like all other elements of ping pong paddles, serves its purpose in the unique anatomy of your paddle.
Regular rubber for your paddle will grant you a considerable spin and backspin, but will undoubtedly affect the way you control and grip your paddle.
Short pimple rubber will allow you some control over the effect of your backspin, but the speed of the ball will still be noticeably slow. And after all, control is crucial when it comes to good play.
On the other hand, long pimple rubber is not something beginners should wrestle with, as basic strokes will be challenging to master with this kind of rubber, but it is an excellent choice for defensive players.
Different playing styles will be more easily mastered with various kinds of rubber, as each of them produces a different effect when you hit the ball.
That's why professional players usually practice with more than one paddle because it offers them a variety of different rubber types to try out.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's time to address some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.
As usual, I've got you!
Is there a difference between the red and black side of a ping pong paddle?
Firstly, I want to emphasize that beginners and amateurs can also use green, pink, and blue ping pong paddles.
However, the official ITTF rulebook (International Table Tennis Federation) states that the professional players have to use paddles with two sides: black and red. This is the so-called "two-color rule".
When you play a professional match, your opponent has the right to inspect your paddle, so that, during the game, the color of the side you're using can signalize what to expect.
But other than the regulations, the black and the red side of the paddle are NOT the same.
The red rubber is harder, less tacky, and faster. This means there'll be fewer opportunities for spins and trick shots, with a focus on the speed of the game.
On the other hand, black rubber is softer and tackier, meaning that you can alter your shots on the ball a bit more, but you lose on the speed.
Therefore, one is not better than the other - you just have to find your style for forehands and backhands, and then decide which side to use.
What ping pong paddles do pros use?
Professional players use a variety of ping pong paddles, depending on their style of play, i.e., whether they prefer to attack, defend, how often they use spin shots…
For instance, players who incline towards attack instead of tricks will usually go for heavier rackets. In contrast, those who like to elevate their lobs and spins choose lightweight and tackier rackets.
What is mutual for all of the professional ping pong paddles is that they are ITTF approved and that they were made from premium materials.
My recommendation for pro ping pong players is the Pro Spin Elite - one of the best professional table tennis paddle(s).
What is the best ping pong paddle for a spin?
It has an ITTF approved rubber, light handle, and a lot of space to maneuver your shots.
DON'T FORGET: After ensuring that you own the best table tennis paddle that allows for a lot of spins, like this one, it's all down to practice how to hit the ball and find that sweet spot!
Playing ping pong, no matter if it is once or twice a month in a rec center, or if you are angling to play professionally, has its essence rooted in owning a table tennis racket.
It is an essential ingredient of your game and your playing style, as well as it is crucial in the further process of upping your skills.
After all, is said and done, I owe you the proclamation of the winner.
Based on my testing, the best table tennis bat, as of now, is the Nibiru Sport ping pong paddle.
As you can see, the good news is that you don't have to splurge to get a high-quality table tennis paddle.
You get as many as four top-notch rackets and eight balls with this set. Two teams can immediately start playing!
If you're a seasoned professional, I do recommend getting the best ping pong racket of professional-caliber. It will last for years, and make a significant difference in your matches!
My pick here is the Pro Spin Elite ping pong paddle.
You will, without any doubt, be at the top of your game and control of the ball with this one.