Looking to get into the world of competitive ping pong? Well, obviously you’re going to need the appropriate gear to get started.
And what could be more important than choosing the right ping pong paddle? But with so many choices out there on the market with a variety of different blades and rubbers, it’s hard to pick your first paddle. But don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the best beginner paddles so you can make an easy first choice!
As a quick side note, all of these paddles are International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) approved. Additionally, they can all be conveniently purchased on Amazon!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 21 hours of research:
7 Best Ping Pong Paddles For Beginners In 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6 – 7).
1. Palio Expert 2.0 (Our Winner)
- The Palio Expert 2 is an exclusive collaboration between Palio and Expert Table Tennis
Now, this is a high-performance table tennis paddle that’s perfect for beginners. It’s made by the Chinese brand, Palio, and they’re best known for making some top-quality, but affordable, ping pong gear. Any table tennis player worth their salt will likely have heard of this brand and knows what they’re capable of.
But what makes it such a good racket for beginners that we’ve put it at the top of our list? Well, it mostly has to do with the ratings that this paddle has. Of course, these ratings are a product of the excellent blade and rubbers that make up this paddle.
Regardless, this paddle sports an above-average speed rating with very excellent control and spin ratings. Obviously, the reason we recommend it so highly to beginners is because of the high control rating that is partly due to the tackiness of the rubber.
With this much control on a paddle, it will be very easy to accurately place your shots. That way, you don’t have to worry about other factors as you’re practicing the fundamentals. Additionally, the high spin rating on this paddle means it’s perfect for practicing how to put a spin on the ball.
If you favor putting a lot of topspin or backspin on your shots, you’ll love this paddle. While it does lack power, this shouldn’t be a worry for players of a low skill level. It makes up for this one weakness in all other aspects. Overall, we cannot recommend this paddle enough.
- Perfect amount of spin and control
- High-quality paddle
- The perfect racket for beginners.
- Speed is a little lacking
2. Killerspin Recreational Ping Pong Paddle
- RECREATIONAL PADDLE: Perfect for learning basic strokes and perfecting ball control, this racket is designed for recreational ping pong players who want to improve their game
This is another excellent option for beginners. Killerspin is another fairly well-known brand that also makes high-quality gear. They have a line of exceptionally impressive paddles. Even this one, that’s labeled for recreational play, is perfect for beginners.
Again, just by looking at the performance ratings for this paddle, you can see that it was specifically designed with beginner players in mind. This ping pong racket has a high control rating, which is perfect for learning all of your basic strikes as well as ball control.
This makes it a very handy practice tool. This paddle is comprised of a 5-ply all-wood blade and is made with Jet Basic rubbers. These rubbers are specifically custom made for this paddle Therefore, you can’t get anything like them anywhere else.
Additionally, PVC tape surrounds the outside of the blade and rubber for extra protection. A cool feature that comes with this paddle is a memory book. This is something that comes with most other Killerspin paddles. This memory book also doubles as a carrying case for the paddle.
You won’t have to shell out any extra cash on a fancy storage case and you’ll be able to record scores or even signatures. Beginners will definitely enjoy using this paddle. While none of us here can really be considered amateur, we still found this paddle very enjoyable to use.
We could really feel all of the extra control that this paddle offers due to the tacky rubber and light blade. While it’s not as pronounced as some of the best paddles, anyone can tell the difference between this paddle and a generic one.
- High control rating, excellent for beginners
- Custom-made for beginners
- Convenient memory book and carrying case
- The spin could be better
3. Butterfly 401
- BUTTERFLY 401 PING PONG PADDLE – The Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set will give you the perfect amount of spin, speed, and control for competitive ping pong matches.
Next up we have a paddle that was made by Butterfly. They’re a Japanese brand that has been in business for quite a long time. You can see many of their paddles being used by professional players all over the world. Therefore, it’s no wonder that they have paddles that are perfect for the budding table tennis player.
The reason that this particular performance-level paddle is such an excellent choice for a beginner is because of how balanced it is. All of its performance ratings are almost identical to each other and are pretty high, to boot. A balanced paddle like this can be ideal for beginner players who have a good hold on the basics of table tennis.
The blade is also very nice. It’s made entirely of pure 5-ply wood. This makes it extremely light and maneuverable. Additionally, when we tested it out ourselves we were very surprised by how solid it was. Usually paddles like this need to be mixed with some sort of carbon in order to be rigid.
The 401 is equipped with the Yuki rubber. This rubber is extremely sticky and gives players a big advantage. The sticky surface allows the player to have more control over the ball and lessens the momentum of particularly hard shots.
- Sticky rubber for defensive play
- Excellent all-around stats
- Well-constructed blade
- Not the best for people who are still learning
4. STIGA Titan
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any experienced player that a STIGA brand paddle would make it on this list. While they don’t have a paddle that’s explicitly labeled for beginners, we have found that the Titan is an excellent choice for anybody getting into the sport who favors a more powerful playing style.
What we liked about this table tennis bat was the amount of control and speed that it had. While many beginner-friendly paddles tend to favor strictly control, or control and spin, this one has a high speed rating. It’s quite noticeable, especially when compared to the other paddles on this list, and is perfect for offensive players.
It uses a lightweight, 5-ply blade that is made with something known as crystal technology. Essentially, the blade is infused with carbon crystals to harden the wood blade. This technology effectively increases the speed of the paddle.
It’s a boon to any beginner who finds powerful shots to be important in their toolkit. When we tried it out, we could definitely feel the added speed in this paddle. Especially when compared to other beginner paddles that lack this advantage.
It’s a lot of fun to use and is pretty affordable to boot. You’ll especially like hitting the ball right on the paddle’s sweet spot!
- Higher speed rating than other beginner rackets
- Crystal technology keeps the blade durable and adds speed
- Affordable price
- Really shouldn’t be used by advanced players
5. Butterfly Addoy
- TABLE TENNIS RACKET – The Addoy table tennis racket series by Butterfly Table Tennis is assembled with sponge and rubber allowing easier shots to beat your opponent
Here we have yet another ping pong paddle made by Butterfly on our list. While the previous paddle, the 401, boasted very balanced performance ratings. Meanwhile, this one is heavier on the control rating. In fact, this has the highest control rating out of all of the beginner paddles we’ve reviewed.
Additionally, the Addoy boasts a pretty high speed rating. With these ratings, beginners will have the edge on the competition when they start going to tournaments. The table tennis rubbers, like all Butterfly rackets, are black and red, ITTF approved.
They are Addoy rubbers, hence the name of the paddle. They’re inverted, hence the ability for this paddle to supply the necessary control and speed. This paddle also comes in three different variants. However, the difference between them is really only in the color of the shake-hand grip and its shape.
Therefore, it’s all up to personal preference as to which one you’d like to use. The 2000 model uses a rounded, flared handle while the 1000 and 3000 models use a squared, flared handle. All of them are very ergonomic and fit comfortably in your hand.
We had a really good time using this paddle. It’s cheap enough to be used in recreational, casual play while at the same time being perfect for low-level competitions. It’s very clear that this paddle was made with high-quality parts, as is typical for Butterfly. Overall, this is another perfect example of a beginner’s table tennis racket.
- Highest control rating of the paddles on this list
- Good speed rating
- High-quality blade and rubber
- Shouldn’t be used by intermediate players
6. STIGA Pro Carbon
- Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
This paddle should be considered the next jump up when looking at beginner paddles. This premade paddle has a very high spin and speed rating. It has good control as well, though not as high as some of the other paddles on this list.
That doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for beginner players though. One of the things that makes this paddle so unique is the carbon-fiber technology. This is the component that adds all of the extra power to the paddle. Specifically, the balsa wood blade and anatomic handle are made with two layers of carbon which makes it more rigid and light.
Beyond that, the table tennis blade also has what’s called a shock dispersion tube. Within the blade, the tube will absorb the vibrations that are caused by when your paddle hits an incoming ping pong ball. This is a boon for defensive players and allows for an extra layer of control and stability during the heat of a match.
This paddle is excellent for players who are looking to master forehand and backhand drives away from the ping pong table. New players might be intimidated by just how much power this ping pong paddle has but we can assure you it’s more forgiving than it sounds.
Once you get the hang of this paddle, it won’t feel like much. This paddle is definitely what you should be looking for if you’re a beginner who wants a premium option. Between the high price tag and the extra features that this paddle has, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.
When we tried it out, we were very surprised by how much the shock dispersion tube made a difference. Blocking powerful shots usually is a problem and can throw you off but with this paddle, it’s easy. On top of that, hitting powerful shots is made easier too. The shock dispersion adds extra stability during forehand and backhand drives.
- Shock dispersion and carbon technology
- Excellent speed and spin ratings
7. Eastfield Allround Table Tennis Racket
- It's the perfect custom table tennis racket for beginners
Finally, we end with the list with this racket by Eastfield. They’re a brand hailing from the UK that prides itself on making premium table tennis equipment. But what makes this paddle from a lesser-known brand worthy of being on this list?
The rubbers were definitely the deciding factor for this paddle. They’re known as A-Soft rubbers and they provide a lot of spin and stability with tackiness and a soft sponge. These two components, as you’ve no doubt seen, are instrumental to beginners.
There is another unique factor about this paddle that’s not seen in the other ones. Interestingly, while this is still a pre-made paddle, it isn’t made in a factory. That’s right when you order this paddle, you’re buying something that someone actually had to sit down and put together.
Despite this, it’s cheaper, if not on par, with some of the best rackets out there. When we tried it out, we were pleasantly surprised to see how well it performed. The craftsmanship was excellent and we had no problems with the quality or durability of the paddle.
This paddle easily earns its space on our list as a tool for developing your style of play.
- Rubbers provide excellent stability and speed
- Great for beginner players
- Heavier than other paddles takes more effort to swing around
For a final verdict, we have to say that we cannot get over just how great the Palio Expert 3 is. It is really the best table tennis paddle for beginner ping pong players. There are plenty of excellent options out there, but this one should certainly be at the top of your list.
The super high control rating is obviously one of the driving points behind the praise for this paddle. Amateur players will definitely have the easiest time learning the ins and outs of ping pong using this paddle. Executing basic strokes and techniques will be a breeze, all thanks to this excellent ping pong paddle.
When you’re using this paddle, you’ll certainly feel like a champion. There’s really no other paddle out there that’s made for beginners quite like this one. While the control and spin ratings are higher than the control one, it combines into a fine balance.
You’ll easily be able to practice all sorts of techniques using this paddle. If you’re just starting out, we urge you to buy this one. It will make practicing fun and will ensure your first big competition will go in your favor!