The Best 9 Ping Pong Paddles in 2017

Having the best ping pong paddle can make the difference between a win and a loss. In recent years, the pre-made table tennis racket market has grown a lot. There are literally hundreds of rackets to choose from. Even if you are not a beginner, this can still be a little bit overwhelming. We wanted to make it easier to choose so we reviewed the best table tennis paddles and rated them on a scale of 1 to 10.

table tennis man serving

This guide will teach you what are the most important things that you have to consider when choosing a paddle so that you can pick the best one that fits your current needs. By the time you finish reading this, you will be much better equipped to make a decision.

We looked at the top performing rackets out there and selected the very best 9 of them. It doesn’t matter if you are an attacking player, blocker or chopper, there is a paddle for every type of player on this list.

The manufacturer’s ratings measure the different qualities of a racket on a scale from 1 to 100 or 1 to 10(depending on the company). Because each brand has their own method for coming up with these ratings, they become useless when comparing a paddle with one from another brand. In the table below you will find our paddles ratings which can and should be compared to each other. You can sort by whatever stat you want, so you can find exactly what you need.

 NameWeightSpeedSpinControlScorePrice
STIGA Pro Carbon185g (6.5 oz)9989.7/10
$
Check
Killerspin JET 800 Speed N1190g (6.9 oz)10979.3/10
$$
Check
Stiga Evolution170g (5.9 oz)8899.1/10
$
Check
Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL Tenergy 80 FX160g (5.6 oz)101078.9/10
$$$
Check
DHS Hurricane II167g
(5.9 oz)
9978.7/10
$$$
Check
Palio Expert 2155g (5.5 oz)7697.9/10
$
Check
STIGA Supreme140g (4.9 oz)6597.6/10
$
Check
Killerspin JET 600178g (6.2 oz)55107.4/10
$$
Check
apex-smallSTIGA Apex149g (5.2 oz)54107.3/10
$
Check

 

Table of contents

This is a very comprehensive guide and can be a little hard to navigate. You can use the table of contents below to quickly jump to the section you want.

How to choose a table tennis paddle

You can buy the most expensive racket, but if it does not fit your playing style or current level of experience, you just wasted a lot of money for nothing.

The most important factor when choosing a paddle is knowing what type of player you are. Are you a beginner or intermediate? Offensive player or defensive? This alone will make your choice a hundred times easier. Next, you have to understand how a racket is constructed and how each attribute or material choice affects the overall speed, spin and control. We will go over each one of these concepts one by one.

Player Type

The level of experience will dictate the best kind of paddle that will allow you to improve at the fastest pace. Because you want to find the best ping pong paddle, I will assume that you want to win more games and improve fast.

If you are a beginner, you will want to get a paddle that will allow you to consistently land the ball on the table. At this stage, you want to work on your fundamentals and develop correct stroke mechanics. Speed and spin are not a priority right now.

Being an intermediate or advanced player, you can perform all the different moves and techniques with enough skill that you can comfortably win games. Now, speed and spin are crucial. An intermediate player should aim to get a paddle that has ratings that are close to the top while advanced players can go ahead and get the best they can afford.

At this level, you also have developed a playing style. If you find yourself attacking a lot or hitting the ball further from the table, then you will benefit from a heavier and faster racket. On the other hand, if you like to play more defensively, blocking your opponent’s shots or chopping the ball, then a lighter, slower and more controllable paddle will be best.

Racket Parts and how they affect speed, spin and control

There are two main parts that make up a racket: the blade(the wooden part, which also includes the handle) and the rubber (which includes the sponge).

Blade and Handle

The blade is typically constructed out of 5 to 9 layers of wood and can include other types of materials like carbon or titanium carbon.
Depending on the number of plies(more equals stiffer) and the materials used(carbon makes the blade more firm while keeping it very light weight) the blade can be flexible or rigid.

A rigid blade will transfer most of the stroke’s energy to the ball and it will result in a faster racket overall. On the other hand, a more flexible blade will absorb some of the energy and make the ball travel slower.

The handle can be of 3 types: Flared, Anatomic or Straight.

A flared handle gets thicker at the bottom to prevent the paddle from slipping out of your hand. It is by far the most popular one. The anatomic one is wider in the middle to fit the shape of your palm and the straight one has the same width from top to bottom. If you are not sure which one to go for, either try some different handles in stores or from your friends, or go with the flared one.

Rubber and Sponge

Depending on the rubber’s tackiness and the sponge’s thickness, you will be able to put more or less spin on the ball. The softness and tackiness of the rubber are determined by the technology used and the different treatments applied when manufactured. A softer rubber will hold on to the ball more(dwell time) which will give it more spin. A stickier rubber, obviously, will also put more spin on the ball.

Racket Attributes

All of the characteristics mentioned above will give the paddle different amounts of speed, spin and control. Here are some useful things to consider when choosing your paddle:

Speed

This one is pretty straight forward, it refers to the maximum speed that you can imprint on the ball. What is not immediately obvious though is that if you upgrade to a faster paddle, you will have to exert less energy to give the ball the same speed as before. Coming from a cheaper racket, the difference will be huge. For example, if you just hold the paddle for a block, the ball will easily travel to the other side, whereas before it would have gone into the net.

Spin

The paddle’s ability to generate a good amount of spin is mostly given by the quality of the rubber(the weight of the racket playing a minor role too). The tackier and softer, the more spin you will be able to put on the ball. While speed is crucial only for attacking players, spin is important for most types of players. Offensive players rely on it to perform faster forehand loops while defensive players need it to inflict huge amounts of backspin when chopping the ball.

Control

Control is usually determined by the other two ratings. A faster or spin focused bat will give you less room for error which will result in loss of control. This attribute also tells you how consistent and accurate your shots will be. Beginners should aim for a slower more controllable paddle, while intermediate and advanced can go for more powerful rackets. Ultimately though, unlike speed and spin, control can be improved through player skill. So don’t worry too much if the racket is a little bit hard to control in the beginning.

Top 9 Ping Pong Paddles

9. STIGA ApexGreat Valuemoney_off

stiga apex paddle

First on our list, and the one that offers the least performance, is the STIGA Apex. This racket made our list because it offers tremendous value for its price. It is arguably the best paddle to get as a complete beginner as it easily surpasses the cheap wooden bats that usually come with the table.

Constructed only from 5 layers of light plywood, it is one of the lightest rackets on the market. Weighing only 149g, it will allow you to play match after match without even feeling it in your hand.

Featuring STIGA’s WRB technology, your shots will be faster and land with better precision on the table. Coming from a cheaper paddle the spin you will be able to generate will seem insane. But rest assured, you will get used to it after a couple of matches.

If you are looking for a great, affordable ping pong paddle to help you improve fast, then choosing the Apex is a no brainer. The biggest mistake a novice player can make is to get a fast paddle too soon. In the beginning, it is crucial to gain better precision in your shots and develop the correct stroke mechanics. Being a slow and controllable paddle, the Apex will allow you to do just that.

8. Killerspin JET 600

Killerspin JET 60 paddle

This is another great choice for beginner players. It is a little faster than the STIGA Apex, but it does manage to maintain a good level of control. Your game will definitely improve after playing a few matches with this racket.

One of the key benefits of the JET 600 is that it uses the same rubber as the higher end offerings from Killerspin. The ITTF approved, Nitrx-4Z rubber is a beast when it comes to spin. Forehand loops will be much easier to execute and your services will be way harder to return.

The one thing that this paddle lacks though, is speed. Since it only has 5 plies of lower quality wood, the blade will be pretty flexible and thus, will absorb a lot of the ball’s energy. The paddle does what it was meant to, and that is to give you great spin ability and a very high degree of control.

Beginners, especially those exercising a defensive style, will like this racket very much. It is a great choice for this stage in your table tennis journey. After a couple of months of practice you should be ready to graduate to a speedier option like the JET 800 or the DHS Hurricane II, both of which are on this list.

7. STIGA Supreme Very Lightcloud_queue

stiga supreme paddle

The last option for beginners on our list, the STIGA Supreme, is a racket that focuses on control and is meant primarily for defending players.

Its main selling point is its weight. Made out of 6 layers of light wood and using the Crystal Tech and Tube technology, STIGA managed to produce a paddle that only weighs 140g. I don’t have to tell you how happy the players that play closer to the table will be.

While the rubber is not the best out there, it is good enough to generate a decent amount of spin for serving. The Future rubber was designed with control in mind. It is not reactive to incoming spin which will allow you to return a lot more balls to the table’s surface.

The Supreme uses many technologies that are also used in the higher end products in STIGA’s selection, so you can rest assured that this paddle has a very good build quality.

Like the other two rackets, this is not a fast paddle. It is a great paddle to learn the game with while not spending a lot of money on equipment.

6. Palio Expert 2

Palio Expert 2 paddle

Here we have a choice for the advanced beginner. Unlike cheaper, lower quality rackets, the Palio Expert 2 is a racket that will give plenty of ability to generate spin. Because of this and of its decent speed, it will help you improve at a much faster rate.

What makes this paddle special is that it uses premium Chinese rubbers. The Palio CJ8000 rubbers are very sticky and will allow for massive amounts of spin to be generated. They are custom built and can be bought separately, so you can replace each rubber side when they wear out.

The Palio Expert 2 offers a good balance between speed and control. It has enough power to send the ball to the other side effortlessly while maintaining a lot of safety in your shots.

This is a great paddle to get if you are serious about the game and want to get better fast. The racket comes in a carrying case at no additional cost and will help you to keep it dust free so that it can retain its ability to produce spin.

5. DHS Hurricane II Great Giftcake

 DHS hurricane 2 paddle

This is a paddle that is aimed at the intermediate player. While it is not the most powerful racket out there, its spin is in another league compared to what the main competitors have to offer. DHS is a Chinese company and we all know who the current table tennis world champions are. So you can rest assured that they know what they are doing.

One big difference compared to other paddles on this list is that this one has a different type of rubber on each side. On one side it features the Hurricane rubber which is designed for the offensive player. You can produce a huge amount of spin with it and will help you hit the ball further from the table at dizzying speeds. The other side has the G555 rubber. This one also has a very tacky surface, but because it focuses more on control, it is slower.

Another big plus is that racket comes in a very professional and elaborate package. It includes a carrying case, two balls and a protection band for the side of the paddle. All of this, packed in a book shaped case. Needless to say, this would make for an awesome gift.

The price for the Hurricane II is a bit high, but considering the attention to detail, the packaging and the craftsmanship of the racket, this is arguably one of the best paddles that you can get without building one yourself from parts.

4. Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL Tenergy 80 FX Proline Racket Massive Speedwhatshot

Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL Tenergy 80 FX Proline Racket

The best and most expensive racket on this list. This one truly has it all. Incredible speed and massive spin while being very precise and consistent.

It is essential to understand that this is not your typical pre-made paddle. It uses Tenergy 80 FX for the rubbers and the Butterfly BalsaCarbo X5 blade. These are very high-quality parts. Just the red rubber face costs more than the whole STIGA Evolution bat. This is basically a custom made racket that you don’t have to glue yourself.

Needless to say, this is a product aimed at advanced intermediate players. Especially for those that focus on offense. It is great for looping the ball from mid to far distance and even better for forehand drives or smashes.

Because of the big jump in speed, it will take you awhile to get used to it, particularly if you are upgrading from a sub hundred dollar paddle.

This Butterfly Proline paddle has by far the most speed and spin on this list. It uses very high-quality parts that blend together to produce a very high-performance racket.

So why isn’t this our first place you ask? Well, it would have been if not for the price. This is a very expensive piece of craftsmanship that does not fully justifies its price. It is twice as good as the STIGA Pro Carbon but costs four times as much.

Sure, if you want the absolute best table tennis racket and you think you can handle the massive power, then go ahead and get this. It is definitely one of the best ones out there. Otherwise, consider the ones below, as they have a much better price to performance ratio.

3. STIGA Evolution Superb Controlcall_split

Stiga evolution paddle

Our third place goes to the STIGA Evolution. It has the best control to speed ratio on the list and comes at a very affordable price.

Control plays a crucial role in the game of table tennis. Being able to send the ball where you want, often will decide if you win or lose. Fortunately, the Evolution has no such problems. Out of the top five STIGA paddles, this one was absolutely designed for control.

It is made from 6 plies of light wood and uses STIGA’s various manufacturing technologies which give the paddle plenty of power and a larger sweet spot for increased accuracy. The difference should be noticeable immediately, as you will land a lot more balls on the table’s surface. It is best used by players that want to improve their stroke technique and want to have a little bit more room for error.

The STIGA Evolution is arguably the best racket for defensive players that like to play closer to the table. Its light weight and excellent control will give you a big advantage when pushing or blocking the ball over the net.

While this is not the most powerful racket out there, it is no slouch either. If you are coming from a cheaper paddle, the speed will seem uncontrollable at first. But as with all things in life, if you practice, you will get better.

Considering the performance that this paddle gives you and at what price point, it is fair to say that this one is well worth the money.

2. Killerspin JET 800 Speed N1
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Killerspin JET 800 paddle

This is our second best choice for the best ping pong paddle that you can get right now. It is the best pre-assembled racket from Killerspin’s selection and has a lot of spin and power.

The Jet 800 is constructed from 7 layers of wood and 2 of carbon. This blend gives the blade a lot of rigidity while keeping the weight down. As you know rigidity equals power, and this racket has a lot of it.

Combined with the Nitrix-4z rubber, it will help you produce some explosive shots without compromising on accuracy. If you find yourself hitting the ball from further away, then you will most definitely love this racket.

The racket also produces an insane amount of spin. They don’t call it Killerspin for nothing. Its sticky surface will make serving a nightmare for your opponents and those long distance forehand loops will basically perform themselves.

The Killerspin JET 800 is an excellent racket. It packs a tremendous amount of power and its spin is out of this world. If it weren’t for the price this would definitely be our first choice. While not the most expensive paddle on this list, it is still a little pricy. It is faster than our number one but at almost double the cost. If you don’t mind this, then getting the JET 800 is a wonderful racket that will surely help you win more games.

1. STIGA Pro Carbon
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stiga pro carbon paddle

This is the best ping pong paddle you can get right now. We chose the Pro Carbon because it has a very similar performance as the JET 800 but costs almost half right now. It is a very fast racket and can generate more than enough spin.

Being STIGA’s best offering in the pre-made category you can be sure that it uses the latest manufacturing technologies. You can tell that this is a very high-quality product from the moment you first pick up the paddle.

The blade is constructed out of 5 layers of balsa wood and 2 of carbon which makes it a very rigid paddle. This gives the Pro Carbon a lot of power while not sacrificing precision. Players that find themselves hitting the ball from mid to far distance will get the most out of it.

You cannot have a lot of power and a lot of control right off the bat. You either choose speed and practice to improve your accuracy or you sacrifice power in favor of increased control. This being said, the Pro Carbon’s weakness is that it will take you some time to get used to the increased speed.

If you are an intermediate player and you feel that you cannot extract any more performance out of your current racket, then the STIGA Pro Carbon is a magnificent paddle to upgrade to. After a short adjustment period, you should begin to notice your game improving. You will struggle to find so much performance packed into a paddle at this price point.

Conclusion

These are the best 9 ping pong paddles that you can purchase today. Some will be best for beginners while others will others will be better for intermediate or advanced players. There are expensive, high-performance rackets and there are affordable ones that offer tremendous levels of speed and spin. No matter what you are looking for, there is a paddle that is right for you on this list.