If you’re an intermediate ping pong player, chances are you’re trying to find out what paddle is right for you.
There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect table tennis racket, whether it’s the sponges, or how thick the blade is, there’s a lot of factors. However, it’s also very important to find what grip style feels the most comfortable to you.
To help you out, we’ve tested out and reviewed the 7 best pen-hold grip ping pong paddles that can all be conveniently purchased on Amazon. As always, all of them are also International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) approved.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 21 hours of research:
7 Best Penhold Grip Ping Pong Paddles In 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6 – 7).
1. Butterfly B302CS
- BUTTERFLY 302 CS – The Butterfly 302 Chinese Penhold Table Tennis Racket Set will give you good spin, speed, and control for competitive ping pong games.
The Butterfly B302CS is by far the best option when it comes to buying a pre-made pen-hold racket. If you’re a ping pong fan, then you no doubt already know that Butterfly Table Tennis is an extremely reputable brand that is well-known for producing some of the best ping pong tools on the market used by the world’s top players.
This pen-hold paddle is no different from the rest of their product lineup. First, we’ll take a look at the components of this Chinese pen-hold paddle to show you what you would be working with. This paddle’s stats boast a high control without sacrificing speed and spin.
You’ll find that this paddle has pretty all-round ratings, save for the high control. These stats provide a very solid foundation for anyone who’s trying to introduce themselves to the pen-hold style. But what gives this paddle these stats?
Well, of course, it’s the fantastic blade and rubbers that it has. Taking a look at the blade first, it’s a 5-ply wood blade with a short handle. The lighter weight of this blade offers a little extra speed while making it perfect for looping. This paddle is also quite flexible, making it ideal for more controlling players who prefer a slower game.
While a well-constructed paddle is obviously important for a successful paddle, rubbers are arguably more important. The red and black rubbers on this table tennis paddle are both Butterfly Yuki. Both sides feature this rubber as you’ll only be using one side of the paddle when using the pen-hold grip style.
Overall, these are very good rubbers. They sport a thickness of 2.1mm and are pretty tacky. It makes them perfect for adding lots of spin to your forehand, which is what the pen-hold specializes in. Something nice about this paddle is that it actually comes with a case and a gift box.
These little additions make it the perfect gift for any aspiring table tennis player. While this ping pong racket says that it’s recommended for beginner players, we found that you can use it at any skill level. The reason that this paddle is described as being suitable for beginners is because of how well its stats, rubbers, and even the blade complement the grip style.
You’ll be creating a lot of spin while using the pen-hold grip, so it makes sense to have a paddle like this one. That being said, this paddle definitely accomplishes what it sets out to do. We found it very easy to get the necessary spin on our shots.
Our players who were already proficient in the pen-hold style found that the paddle felt very natural to use. Even if they had custom paddles that were more fitted to their playstyles, they could easily use the B302CS.
- Good price
- Perfect for both amateur pen-hold players and experts
- Comes with a gift box and convenient carrying case
- Lacks in power, compared to some paddles
2. DHS 6006 New Series Superstar
Now, this is a ping pong paddle you’ll definitely want to look into if you plan on taking your pen-hold game to the next step. This particular model of the 6006 by world-renowned brand, DHS, is a sight to behold. Not only does it have an aesthetically pleasing look, but it also boasts an excellent blade and rubbers.
If you’re someone who generally prefers a more offensive playstyle, then you’ll love this paddle. It starts off with a 5-ply blade made from pure wood, perfect for a player who loves extra control. Because it’s pure wood, the handle feels very natural in the hands and it feels extremely comfortable.
Then, there are the table tennis rubbers. This model uses a DHS Hurricane III smooth rubber on one side, with the other side sporting the Tin Arc III. The Hurricane III is a perfect rubber for players who want that extra “oomph” when attacking to smash ping pong balls across the table.
Meanwhile, the Tin Arc III has a specialized pimple structure that allows it to absorb energy, making it an excellent defensive tool while also generating lots of power while far away from the ping pong table. The handle is something that needs to have some attention called to it.
It’s unique in that you can grip it using a typical shake0hand style or a pen-hold. Additionally, we found that it had a little extra friction to it, making gripping it easy. Even during the sweatiest of matches, you’ll find that this paddle will sit comfortably in your hands.
- Great for beginners and pros
- Two different rubbers make this paddle versatile
- Comfortable, natural wood handle that won’t fall out of your hands easily
- Pretty high price tag due to the very high-quality materials
3. DHS Hurricane-I
This is the most expensive ping pong paddle on our list today. What we have here is probably the most premium pen-hold ping pong paddle you can get your hands on. The only way you could find something with a higher price tag is if it were a custom-made paddle.
But, more importantly, does this paddle warrant the priciness? It absolutely does. This paddle uses some of the best parts that are on the market. The blade is a 5-ply Hurricane II that is amazing at allowing the player to have some extra control over the ball and their strikes.
It’s made from imported wood and is one of the best blades that money can buy. The handle of the blade is shaped in a way to provide extra wrist support while making use of the pen-hold grip. Additionally, the handle is slightly larger than usual and can actually be used for a typical shake-hand grip.
This makes this paddle pretty versatile and easy to use. The rubbers on this paddle are very tacky, which helps it to produce a lot of spin. It will have a lot of grip on the ball as well and help you to gain control over otherwise difficult shots.
Additionally, this paddle has a larger sweet spot than other paddles, adding to the ease of use and control. This paddle is very expensive but for good reason. With this thing, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your gameplay and will be able to start shredding through opponents.
If you’re an expert or even an intermediate player who’s looking to take their pen-hold game to the next level, you should seriously consider buying this paddle.
- Large sweet spot
- Comfortable handle
- Tacky rubber that adds control and spin
- Very expensive
4. Killerspin Jet 600
- COMPETITION LEVEL PADDLE: Designed for intermediate to advanced players, this ITTF-approved paddle puts away the competition with ease
If this is the first time you’ve heard of the Killerspin brand, then this paddle is the perfect introduction to their amazing line of products. They are creators of tournament-ready products that can stand up to the other big brands such as STIGA and JOOLA.
This is especially evident with their line of paddles. The Jet 600 is a marvel of ping pong ingenuity, a competition-level paddle designed for experts and intermediates alike. It’s ITTF approved and even comes with a special case. You’ll definitely see the difference between playing with a normal paddle and one of these instantly!
Let’s start off by looking at the blade. Like any good pen-hold paddle, this one uses a lightweight, 5-ply wooden blade that is 6.0mm thick. The blade provides excellent, balanced gameplay that perfectly compliments the pen-hold grip style.
Additionally, the thick blade helps to provide an extra advantage to those of you who enjoy a more aggressive playing style. The rubbers of this paddle are Nitrx 4z high-tension rubbers. It’s a very tacky rubber that provides a lot of grip.
Therefore, it’s perfect for defending against shots that have a lot of spin, while also giving you a lot of grip on your shots. This superior level of grip will give you all of the extra spin you need to make some devastating serves and other shots.
Using this paddle was an absolute joy. It is comparable in quality to the DHS 6006 and was a lot of fun to use. This paddle sports some pretty high ratings, especially in terms of speed. Therefore, we would definitely recommend this paddle to some more experienced players who can handle it!
- Excellent speed rating
- Rubbers are tacky and have a lot of grip
- The blade is expertly designed
5. Butterfly Nakama P1
- Butterfly's most popular rubber with Carbon Fiber power
Now, this is a truly unique paddle that definitely deserves a place on anyone’s list for the best pen-hold paddles. First and foremost, it’s made by the Butterfly brand, one of the powerhouses of the ping pong community. Branding isn’t everything though, and we’ll show you what makes this paddle so special.
There are two very unique features of this paddle: the back and the handle. Firstly, the handle is specially designed for pen-hold players. It’s carbon fiber and has an extension on it to make it feel more like a pen. For those of you that find the pen-hold grip style to feel a bit unnatural, this handle will certainly aid you.
The back of the paddle works in tandem with the pen-hold handle. It’s completely made out of cork and allows your fingers to rest more comfortably. However, this means that there’s no rubber on the back. But, it’s not like you’d need to use that since you’re using the pen-hold grip.
This paddle uses the Butterfly Sriver rubber. It’s 1.9mm thick and is one of the more popular choices that Butterfly has on offer. The tacky surface helps you give your shots that extra amount of spin and lots of speed. When we used this paddle, we found it very accessible.
Even those of us who were not fans of the pen-hold style was able to pick up the paddle and use it pretty effectively! If you’re someone who would like to make use of the pen-hold grip, but just can’t get the hang of it, this paddle will certainly help.
- Specially designed handle to make the pen-hold grip easier
- Excellent rubbers
- Weak control ratings
6. Butterfly Nitchugo
- Maximum control for the beginning penhold player
While the Nakama is certainly an excellent choice for someone who’s looking to use the pen-hold grip, there’s actually a better choice for beginners. The Nitchugo prides itself on being the best beginner-friendly pen-hold paddle. Not only does it have a lot of accessible features, but it also has a very affordable price
This paddle was designed, from the ground up, to be used by beginner pen-hold players. The Nitchugo boasts a specially made handle, like that of the Nakama, and also has a blade that is more squarely shaped. This table tennis blade provides a little bit more surface area, without compromising the performance.
The rubber on this paddle is an Addoy, by Butterfly. They’re 1.9mm thick and provide a lot of the extra control necessary for beginner players. In fact, this paddle has one of the highest control ratings we’ve ever seen on a paddle. If you’re someone who’s been wanting to use the pen-hold grip, then this paddle is the perfect starting point.
We had players who had never once used the pen-hold grip try this paddle and were able to use it to great effect. They were even having an easy time with backhand shots. With a low price point and how accessible it is, we’d say this is necessary for the beginner.
- Perfect for beginners
- Amazing control rating
- Affordable price
- Low spin and speed ratings
7. DHS 4006
This paddle is essentially the cheaper, less powerful cousin of the 6006 that we reviewed earlier. It prioritizes spin over raw power. That being said, it’s still worth checking into due to the fairly low price point and the excellent quality of the paddle.
This paddle is definitely what we’d call a “great value” paddle. Its quality is honestly comparable to that of paddles who are a lot more expensive, even into the $100+ range. But what makes this paddle such a great choice for such a low price?
Well, it’s mostly due to the tremendous spin that this paddle outputs. Honestly, it puts so much spin on the ball that we are cautious to recommend it to beginner players. However, if that is something that fits your playstyle, then this is definitely a paddle to look into.
The other side of the argument here is that if you’re a player who favors power, you should look at one of the other paddles that are on this list. This one simply lacks the strength of other options. When we used it, we could definitely feel the difference in terms of how much spin we were able to put on the ball.
It wasn’t as dramatic as the Hurricane-1 but it was still a sharp improvement. This is definitely a paddle that intermediate players should keep their eyes on if they’re looking for a lot of spin at an affordable price.
- This paddle applies lots of spin
- Affordable price
- Lack of power and sub-par control
While all of the paddles on this list are winners in their own right, there’s one that beats all of them easily. The Butterfly B302CS is simply the best ping pong paddle in terms of power, control, spin, and price.
Whether you’re using a Chinese pen-hold grip or the Japanese pen-hold variation, you’ll easily smash your opponents once you get used to the immense spin it puts on the ball!