Best Ping Pong Paddle

Ping-pong paddles, also known as table tennis bats, are available in a wide range of models. When you first start playing the game, an entry-level paddle will do and as your skills develop and you begin to master your backspin and drop shots, you will want to upgrade to a better model.

A ping-pong paddle has two components: the blade (the wood base of the paddle) and the rubber that’s secured to it. There are over 1,000 types of rubber that can be placed on the paddle for varying levels of players and their style of play from all-round and aggressive to defensive and fast.


There is a wide range of ping-pong paddles on the market for all skill levels. 

What are the Components of a Ping-pong Paddle?

Before buying a ping-pong paddle, it’s a good idea to know a little bit about the components of the paddle and what they are made from as this can help you to select the right one for your skill level and playing style.

Blade

The blade is the main part of a ping-pong paddle and is usually made of wood and a small amount of carbon fiber or compressed paper. Composed of five or more layers of wood, an ITTF-approved competition standard ping-pong paddle must be made up of at least 85% wood. If other materials are present, they must make up no more than 0.35mm or less than 7.5% of the total thickness, whichever is smaller.

Carbon vs Wood

The main difference between carbon and wood is that it affects the predictability of the blade. Due to being a natural material, wood is non-uniform and takes some time to get used to its quirks and idiosyncrasies. Although all blades need to be at least 85% made from wood, a small percentage of carbon fiber can be included to add some predictability to the paddle.

A ping pong paddle with some carbon fiber in the blade will provide:

  • precision
  • uniform bounce
  • stability
  • speed

A 100% wooden paddle will provide:

  • better spin
  • better control

Rubber

The blade of a ping-pong paddle is covered with rubber on the side which is going to make contact with the ball. There are two permitted types of rubber: ordinary pimpled rubber and sandwich rubber.

Also known as pip rubber, ordinary pimpled rubber is made from a single layer of non-cellular natural or synthetic rubber with evenly distributed pimples known as ‘pips.’ These pips can face inwards, so the ball connects with them or outwards facing the sponge.

Sandwich rubber, on the other hand, features a single layer of cellular rubber (sometimes called a ‘sponge’), covered with a single outer layer of ordinary pimpled rubber. The thickness and density of the inner layer or the sponge affect the speed of the ball.

Beginner players are best off getting a paddle with a thinner sponge layer as it offers more control over the ball, whereas more experienced players can go for a paddle with a thicker sponge as this offers more speed.


The blade of a ping-pong paddle is covered with rubber on the side which is going to make contact with the ball. 

Handle

The handle of a table tennis bat can be straight, anatomic, flared or penhold, covered or uncovered, short or long. You will need to choose what shape handle is most comfortable for you and best suits your needs.

The penhold handle allows the wrist to remain flexible (allowing more spin) and keeps the paddle close to the table, however, can make it difficult to apply backhand spin.

A flared handle is well-suited to beginner players because the paddle stays firmly in the hand while during play. This type of handle is also more suited to players that don’t vary their grips often and is ideal for players who predominantly use front hand play.

Straight handles are better suited to players who change their grips, however, they are slightly harder to control and best suited for professional players. Anatomical handles are simply designed for comfort and are suited to players who keep to the same grip.

Straight handles are better suited to professional players. 

Choosing a Racket to Suit Your Playing Style

When deciding on the best ping-pong paddle to buy, you need to consider a few things.

1. Type of Grip: How Do You Hold Your Paddle?

The way you hold your paddle will determine the type of handle that will suit you best. There are two main ways to hold a table tennis bat: the Penhold grip, which involves holding the paddle like a pen or pencil; and the Shakehand grip that uses an outstretched index finger over the rubber and the rest of the fingers closed around the handle. The Shakehand grip provides better power distribution for both forehand and backhand shots.

2. Aggression Level

When we talk about aggression in table tennis, it roughly fits into the following categories:

– Defensive

– All-rounder (or counter-attacking)

– Aggressive (also called offensive, attacking)

Most beginners and intermediates use an all-rounder style of play and require a mid-weight paddle, while more advanced aggressive players will go for a heavier paddle.

Advanced aggressive players will go for a heavier paddle. 

3. Speed, Spin, and Control

There are three main functions of a ping pong paddle – speed, spin, and control. The type of ping-pong paddle you choose will depend on what you want to focus on in the game. Beginner players will benefit from better paddle control while they are mastering their skills and it is best to choose a paddle with thin rubber as this provides better control.

Intermediate players can go for a paddle with thicker rubber as they master control and can start to add speed and spin into their game.

The best bat for beginners to play with would have a five-ply wood blade that is lightweight with low aggression, thin rubber for maximum control and low spin, and a flared handle for easy grip and focusing on forehand play.

Best Ping-Pong Paddle

We tested a wide range of ping-pong paddles from bats for beginners to paddles for professionals and here’s what we came up with.

Best for Beginners

Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle

The entry-level Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle has an all-wood, 5-ply blade with thin rubber (1.5mm) and flared handle, making it easy to grip and allowing for maximum shot control. The Pan Asia table tennis racket rubber provides a good balance of speed and spin when striking the ping pong ball and contains aggressive rubber.

This is a great ping pong paddle for beginners but is also approved for International Table Tennis Federation tournaments. The Timo Boll 1000, 2000, and 3000 ping pong paddles come with two ping pong balls.

Pros

  • Thin rubber for good control
  • Ideal for beginners
  • ITTF-approved
  • Comes with two free balls

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced players
Butterfly Timo Boll Shakehand Ping Pong Paddle - Good Speed and Spin with Superb Control - Japan Series - Recommended for Beginning Level Players - International Table Tennis Federation Approved
  • BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS RACKET – The Timo Boll table tennis racket series is contains aggressive rubber and 2 ping pong balls
  • GREAT TABLE TENNIS RUBBER - The Pan Asia table tennis racket rubber provides a good balance of speed and spin when striking the ping pong ball
  • 5 MODELS – Each ping pong paddle has different sponge and rubber thicknesses. See the description for differences in the ping pong racket speeds and thicknesses
  • TOURNAMENT APPROVED – This ping pong racket is great for beginners, but also approved for International Table Tennis Federation tournaments
  • 4 PING PONG BALLS INCLUDED – The Timo Boll 1000, 2000, and 3000 ping pong paddles come with 2 ping pong balls to get your table tennis game started

Stiga Aspire Table Tennis Racket

The Stiga Aspire Table Tennis Racket is another great paddle for beginners with an all-wood, 5-ply blade, and concave handle. It features inverted rubber and a 1.5 mm sponge and has performance ratings of Speed- 37, Spin- 35, and Control- 52. This paddle is USA Table Tennis (USATT) approved.

Pros

  • Thin rubber for good control
  • 1.5 mm sponge for speed
  • USATT-approved
  • Concave handle

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced players
STIGA Aspire Table Tennis Racket
  • Recreational Quality Table Tennis Racket for Family Play
  • Performance Ratings: Speed- 37, Spin- 35, Control- 52
  • Inverted Rubber and 1.5 mm Sponge
  • Concave Handle and 5-ply Blade
  • USA Table Tennis (USATT) Approved

DSP ACE 860 Table Tennis Paddle

The DSP ACE 860 Table Tennis Paddle features premium ITTF-approved rubber for Tournament Play with an elastic 1.8mm thick sponge for excellent defense and speed. The 6mm-thick, -plywood blade has a comfortable flared handle and boasts performance ratings of speed: 92 / spin: 91 / control: 86. A premium racket bag is included.

Pros

  • Elastic 1.8mm thick sponge
  • Premium rubber for outstanding defense
  • ITTF-approved
  • Premium racket bag included

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced players
DSP ACE 860 Table Tennis Paddle - Competition ITTF Certified Double Power Racket Rubbers -Ideal for Advanced or Intermediate Ping Pong Players Looking for Speed, Spin and Control Includes Racquet Bag
  • Collaboration with Double Power Rubbers featuring Premium ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Performance Ratings- Speed: 94 Spin: 96 Control: 90
  • 6mm blade thickness, 5-ply wood blade with comfortable flared handle
  • Elastic 2mm thick sponge and premium rubber with premium characteristics
  • Premium racket bag is included

STIGA Titan Table Tennis Paddle

The STIGA Titan Table Tennis Paddle is great for beginners. Not only is it lightweight and approved by the ITTF, but it’s also one of the cheapest quality ping pong rackets on the market. It has a 5 ply extra-light blade and 2mm thick sponge. Performance ratings – Speed: 80, Spin: 77, Control: 82

Pros

  • 5-ply extra-light blade
  • 2mm sponge for speed
  • ITTF-approved

Cons

  • Designed for spin, not power
  • Low-quality sponge (which means not great speed)
STIGA Aspire Table Tennis Racket
  • Recreational Quality Table Tennis Racket for Family Play
  • Performance Ratings: Speed- 37, Spin- 35, Control- 52
  • Inverted Rubber and 1.5 mm Sponge
  • Concave Handle and 5-ply Blade
  • USA Table Tennis (USATT) Approved

Killerspin JET200

The Killerspin JET200 is a great entry-level paddle that is slow, low-priced paddle and perfect for beginners. Maximizing control, the ping-pong paddle has a fairly thin surface that doesn’t provide much power, making it easy to learn the basics of returning and serving. The 5-ply blade holds up well to play and high-quality rubber provides excellent control without compromising much spin.

Pros

  • Designed for learning basic strokes and perfecting ball control
  • Perfect choice for beginners
  • High-quality rubber for good control
  • Personalized storage case

Cons

  • Low-speed rating for advanced players
Sale
Killerspin Jet800 SPEED N2 Ping Pong Paddle with Storage Case Red/Black
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE PADDLE: Designed with the serious player in mind, this ITTF-approved paddle provides exceptional grip on ball strikes and heavy spin on serves
  • SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION: Blade consists of 7-ply composite wood and carbon fiber for extra pop, while professional grade Nitrx-4Z rubbers provide enhanced accuracy
  • IDEAL RATINGS: Features ratings of Control: 7;5, Spin: 9, Power: 9, ideal for an aggressive play style
  • PERSONALIZED MEMORY BOOK: Store your ping pong paddle in a gift-worthy storage case and record scores, collect signatures, and write personalized messages
  • PORTABLE SIZE: Measuring 6” x 6 1/8”, this racket is perfect for on the go competition

JOOLA All-in-One Indoor Table Tennis Hit Set

The JOOLA All-in-One Indoor Table Tennis Hit Set features four ping-pong paddles and eight balls – ideal for a family. Made from wood composite, the ping-pong paddles have smooth inverted surfaces and comfortable straight grip handles for enhanced performance and spin.

The JOOLA paddles have a performance score of speed – 33 / and spin – 34. Manufactured for both leisure and professional competition, the paddles and eight 40mm ping pong balls can be used for indoor and outdoor games.

Pros

  • Smooth, inverted surface
  • Straight grip handles
  • USATT-approved
  • Good performance score

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced players
JOOLA All-in-One Indoor Table Tennis Hit Set (Bundle Includes 4 Rackets/Paddles, 8 Balls, Carrying Case), Multi, One Size (59152)
  • JOOLA - AN OLYMPIC TABLE TENNIS BRAND TRUSTED FOR 60+ YEARS: Launched in the 1950s, JOOLA has been the proud sponsor of the biggest tournaments in the world, Including the Olympics, World Championships, and US Open. Equipment designed for all levels.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY PING PONG PADDLE SET WITH BALLS: This ping pong racket set includes everything needed to play table tennis. Includes 4 JOOLA ping pong paddles, 4 White and 4 Orange Ping Pong Balls for competitive play, along with a carrying case.
  • ITTF REGULATION SIZE: Prepare yourself for official competition. Each table tennis paddle comes with a smooth inverted surface and comfortable straight grip handle for enhanced performance and spin. Table tennis equipment for kids and adults.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY AND DURABILITY: Manufactured to withstand advanced competition; the 8 40mm ping pong balls are ideal for serving your first ace or hitting the game winner past your opponent as a professional player or in the family game room.
  • INDOOR AND OUTDOOR TABLE TENNIS PLAY: Ping pong racquet and balls are okay for indoor or outdoor use. The superior quality ensures the ping pong paddles set can be used by kids and adults. Great gift for someone who already owns a JOOLA ping pong table.

Best for Intermediate Players

As an intermediate table tennis player, you can start to think about finding a paddle that suits your playing style.

STIGA Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket

The STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket is the perfect bat for players wanting more speed and feeling during play. The offensive 5+2-ply blade boasts five layers of wood. and two layers of carbon fiber and Touch Carbon technology provide a larger sweet spot and a cleaner hit.

A concave handle with a comfy grip makes the paddle very comfortable to use, and the paddle features ITTF-approved STAR5 rubber for competition level. Comes in premium packaging that can be used as a bat cover.

Pros

  • 7-ply extra light blade
  • Touch Carbon technology
  • Concave handle with a comfy grip
  • ITTF-approved STAR5 rubber
  • Comes with a bat cover

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginner players
Sale
STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play
  • Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
  • ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Features Carbon Technology for Power and Speed
  • Performance Ratings- Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
  • 7-Ply Extra Light Blade, S5 Rubber, and 2mm Sponge

Best for Advanced Players

Advanced and professional players require ping-pong paddles that are of a higher quality than most other paddles. Experienced players are usually looking for a ping-pong paddle that can deliver the superior spin and extreme speed aggressive professional players need.

STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play

The STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play is a superb-quality performance-level table tennis paddle that is ITTF-approved for competitions. The ping-pong paddle features two layers of carbon for improved rigidity, power, and speed.

The 7-ply extra light blade features S5 rubber and a 2mm sponge for excellent speed and performance ratings of speed: 99 / spin: 100 / and control: 80. The paddle absorbs vibrations and transfers energy out of the handle and the ultra-light balsa-wood center increases speed and reaction time. ACS Technology increases control of the paddle.

Pros

  • 7-ply extra light blade
  • Double layer carbon technology for rigidity, power, and speed
  • 2mm sponge for excellent speed
  • Superb performance rating
  • ACS Technology increases control

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginner players
Sale
STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play
  • Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
  • ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play
  • Features Carbon Technology for Power and Speed
  • Performance Ratings- Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
  • 7-Ply Extra Light Blade, S5 Rubber, and 2mm Sponge

Tibhar Rapid Carbon Light FL Table Tennis Racket

The Tibhar Rapid Carbon Light FL Table Tennis Racket combines the lightness and extraordinary playing sensation of Balsa heart veneers with the power and precision of high-tech carbon fibers. The light-weighed blade enables excellent control, even at high speed and two carbon layers provide fast and powerful strokes at the table and half-distance.

Performance rating = Speed 7.5 / Spin 8.5 / Control 8.

Pros

  • 7-ply extra light blade
  • Double layer carbon technology for rigidity, power, and speed
  • 2mm sponge for excellent speed
  • Superb performance rating
  • ACS Technology increases control

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginner players

Butterfly Viscaria Table Tennis Blade

The Butterfly Viscaria Table Tennis Blade is made from wood, carbon fiber, and Arylate fiber, making it lightweight, flexible, and shock absorbent. The blade offers excellent control and power, with a sweet spot that is larger than a traditional all-wood blade and softer touch than a standard carbon blade.

The ping-pong paddle has a compact head size, which is ideal for quick counter-looping right off the bounce, but the bat is still capable of producing strong shots back from the table. The Butterfly Viscaria Table Tennis Blade provides a superior balance of offensive and defensive performance.

Pros

  • Made from wood, carbon fiber, and Arylate fiber
  • Lightweight, flexible, and shock absorbent
  • Excellent power and control
  • Superior balance of offensive and defensive performance

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginner players
Butterfly Viscaria Table Tennis Blade ALC Blade - Professional Table Tennis Blade - Available in FL, and ST Handle Styles - Made in Japan
  • High Quality Arylate Carbon Blade
  • The Viscaria Blade has a pronounced sweet spot which results in more consistent power play, as well as control
  • This blade is used by top players like World Champion Zhang Jike
  • Same carbon fibers as the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade
  • The handle types come in FL and ST. Made in Japan

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there a difference between the red and black sides of a ping pong paddle?

A professional player will use a different rubber on each side of their paddle and the reason they’re different colors is so their opponent can know which side they’re using and therefore what type of shot to expect.

  1. Are expensive ping pong paddles worth it?

Yes, but expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. The type of paddle you use will depend on your ability. If you’re a beginner then there’s no point buying a very expensive paddle as it won’t be suitable for you. If you’re an advanced player then absolutely you should spend a bit more as the quality of the paddle jumps massively when you move up the price range.

  1. What is the best ping-pong paddle for beginners? 

The best ping-pong paddle for beginners is one that has a high control rating. Beginners should go for a slower paddle to allow them time to learn the skills needed to level up their game.

  1. How do I clean my paddle? 

To keep generating good spin and maintain the tackiness of your rubber, you should clean the rubber on your paddle to get rid of dust and stains from time to time. Check out this guide to cleaning a ping pong paddle here to make your rubber last longer.

  1. What are the paddle ratings?

Each paddle’s performance is usually rated out of 100 (or 10) depending on how well they perform in three different categories. Those categories are:

  • Speed
  • Spin
  • Control

Speed

If a paddle has a quick speed rating, it means it is easier to strike the ball faster. Attacking players that tend to stand slightly back from the table and smash the ball will go for a paddle that generates a lot of power. This is created by adding thicker sponge and more plies to the bat. More speed, however, does mean less control.

Spin

Players that want to be able to generate more spin when they hit the ball will want to choose a paddle that has a lot of grips. Generally, players will have two different types of rubber on either side of their paddle, allowing them to choose the shot they want to hit.

Control

The most important aspect of a ping-pong paddle for beginners is control as they learn to master their skills and focus on getting the ball where they want it to go. Speed, spin, and power come later with more experience.