If you’re someone who’s looking for a ping pong table, you might be overwhelmed by the staggering amount of options. Moreover, you may be a bit off-put by how expensive some of these tables are.
If you’re just looking for something that can easily be put together and will provide lots of entertainment for a relatively cheap price, then we’ve got something in store for you. The Harvard Edge table tennis table is a cheap alternative to a lot of the expensive brand-name tables meant to be used in tournament settings.
Harvard Edge Specifications
Before we give you a deeper look at this indoor table tennis table, let’s give you a brief overview of the specifications.
Dimensions: The Harvard ping pong table is a full-size ping pong table, and it measures out to be the standard size of 9 feet long and 5 feet wide.
Legs and Frame: The legs and frame of this ping pong table are made with 1-inch thick steel. They are also self-opening for extra convenience.
Foldability and Storage: Like most modern ping pong tables, this one can be folded in half for easy storage. Additionally, the individual halves can be folded to create a playback mode for easy single-player activity.
Table Thickness: This table is thinner than most standard tables, it is ½ inch and made of medium density fiberboard.
Harvard Ping Pong Table Overview:
Now that you’ve gotten a look at a glance at what this table is made of, get this ping pong table review started and see what it’s like to actually use this table. Overall, this indoor table is something that gets the job done for an affordable price.
This is not something we recommend buying for those of you who are looking for a competition-ready table. While it does meet the standards set by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the USATT, it does not stand up to top-quality tables like the Stiga Advantage or Joola Inside Table Tennis Table.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean that this table is of bad quality. It’s pretty durable, all things considered, but it also lacks a lot of the things that make tables from other well-known brands so sought-after. But to understand what we’re talking about, we’ll have to talk about the individual parts.
For starters, the table thickness is not something that you’d want if you’re looking for a ping pong table that simulates a tournament setting. Generally speaking, ½ inch thick MDF (micro-density fiberboard) is something that is seen on lower-end tablets. A thin table like the Harvard one we are reviewing simply will not give you the satisfying, consistent bounces that a thicker table provides.
That being said, the surface of this Harvard sports ping pong table is of good quality, despite how thin it is. During gameplay we found the bounces to be pretty good and there weren’t any flaws on the surface itself caused by shipping errors or because of manufacturing problems. It is great for casual games! Of course, we really have to drive home the fact that this tabletop doesn’t stand up to the thicker, higher quality materials of other tables. This is not something to be used in a competitive setting.
Frame and Legs:
Next up on the list of the things we should talk about are the frame and legs of this table. We were pleasantly surprised to find how sturdy this table actually was, considering its cheap price point and thin tabletop. It won’t stand up to any large amounts of stress, but as long as you take care of it, it’s sure to have a decent lifespan. That being said, the frame and legs of this table do not stand up to the competitors.
Comparatively speaking, the legs on the Harvard table are thinner and not nearly as durable as something you’d see from Joola or Stiga. You must be careful not to be too rough with this table. The legs do add a little bit of extra convenience though, as they easily fold in and out for added portability. Not even some of the more expensive models of tables have this and can be pretty cumbersome to deploy and store.
Finally, we’ll look at what else this table has to offer, besides the most important parts. Generally, when looking at ping pong tables you’ll want something that has some extra parts such as leg levelers or even spare ball holders on the corners. The Harvard table tennis table doesn’t have a lot of the special features that you’ll see on the most expensive tables but it does come with a few little things.
Most notably, as we said before, the legs can be easily deployed and stored. The wheels are something you will see standard on a lot of ping pong tables and this one is no different. The Harvard Edge sports double wheel casters that all have locking mechanisms. Not only are you able to easily maneuver this table around, but you’ll find that this table will remain steady during gameplay. It also comes with a ping pong net and post set
Beyond that, the other feature that we really liked about this table was the ease of assembly. Unlike a lot of tables, even the high-end ones, this table comes almost completely pre-assembled. It only took a few minutes for one of us to completely put this table together and start using it.
Closing Thoughts On the Harvard Edge:
In conclusion, we found that this table is an excellent choice for people who are searching for a ping pong table that can be used recreationally. It is perfect for casual or amateur players who are looking to get into the sport or someone who is trying to add an extra activity to their household or other similar space like a game room.
That being said, we don’t recommend this for more serious players. The bounce quality of this table is not good enough to simulate a tournament-style environment and isn’t the best thing to be practicing on. Also, it’s just not as sturdy as other competition-ready tables and won’t be able to keep up with the intense gameplay of high-level practice.
Ping Pong Table FAQ
1. “Does table thickness really matter that much?”
The short answer to this question is: Yes, table thickness has a huge impact on gameplay in ping pong, but there is a more in-depth answer that we should go over. First of all, ping pong tables tend to come in a few different varying thicknesses ranging from a ½ inch like the table we reviewed in this article to ⅝ inch, ¾ inch, and finally a 1-inch table.
We’ll quickly go over just how drastically the bounce quality changes between the different table thicknesses and which ones you should look for based on your preferences. ½ to ⅝ inch tables provide the worst quality of bounces out of all of the types of table tennis tables. These thin surfaces provide the cheapest out of all available options when it comes to ping pong tables.
If you’re looking for an affordable ping pong table for recreational purposes, or are looking to get into the sport, these are the types of tabletops you should look for. Honestly, an untrained table tennis player will likely not realize just how much the quality of the bounce changes but a professional will easily be able to recognize the difference. ¾-inch tables are where we start to get into the realm of more serious play.
A more seasoned player will instantly recognize the increase in bounce quality from the previous two thickness types. This is the type of table you should look for if you’re someone who already has some experience with table tennis and is looking to practice at home. There is, however a pretty decent price spike from this thickness to the previous ones.
Generally speaking, tables that are ¾-inch thick will cost around $1000. 1-inch thick tables are the most expensive tables out of the bunch. They provide the highest quality bounces for ping pong matches and are tournament tables that you will see in tournaments sanctioned by the ITTF. This is the type of table you will need to purchase if you plan on practicing at a professional level, nothing else will come close to it.
That being said, you must be willing to pay a large price for such a high-quality product. Tables of this thickness by trusted brands such as Joola, Stiga, Killerspin, or Kettler tend to run upwards of $1500 and those are not even the most expensive options. If you’re not sure what kind of ping pong table you want, we’ve reviewed some of the best ping pong tables on the market that you can get this year.
2. “Is table thickness the only contributor to the price of a ping pong table?”
No, while a table’s material composition and thickness certainly make up most of the cost of a ping pong table, it is not the only thing to worry about. We’ve actually got an in-depth article about the costs of ping pong tables that you can check out here.
3. “How do I take proper care of my ping pong table?”
This is a great question to ask and the answer really isn’t that complicated. Ping pong tables can be a very expensive investment and it’s very wise to want to learn how to keep one in good shape. The first question we must cover is if you’ve purchased an outdoor ping pong table or an indoor one as this drastically changes the way you have to take care of your table.
First, we’ll take a look at outdoor ping pong tables. These are undoubtedly the easiest of the two types of ping pong tables to take care of. These tables are specifically designed and built to withstand everything that mother nature can throw at them be it rain, wind, snow, or sunshine. These tables are commonly made with some sort of aluminum composite material, as opposed to indoor tables that are made with MDF.
The aluminum composite material makes the tabletops of these products extremely durable, however, it comes at the cost of decreased tabletop thickness compared to indoor tables. Additionally, outdoor table tennis tables usually have stronger frames than indoor tables.
The legs and frames will be a little bit thicker and will be comprised of some sort of heavy-duty steel. On top of that, the steel is usually covered in some sort of anti-rust coating. With all that being said, we’ll briefly cover what you need to do to take care of your outdoor table. The process is really quite simple, as we said, these types of tables are very durable and can withstand a lot of damage.
However, you should still do your best to keep the playing surface and the frame dry and clear of debris at all times for two reasons: A wet or dirty playing surface can cause inconsistent bounces, reducing the quality of your gameplay, and these tables are rust-resistant they are not rust-proof. Therefore, it’s best if you keep the frame and legs dry when you can.
Indoor tables are another beast entirely and require more work to maintain than their outdoor brethren. For starters, they are far less durable than outdoor tables because of the wooden playing surface. Compared to the aluminum composite surfaces, it is very fragile and the elements can wreak havoc on it. For instance, if an indoor table’s surface gets wet then the buildup of moisture can cause the tabletop to warp and curl, causing it to be nearly unplayable.
Even too much sunlight can cause the tabletop to warp! Therefore, it is very crucial that you never store this type of table outside or in an area where a lot of moisture can accumulate. Doing so runs the risk of basically destroying your table.
Surprisingly, another thing you must be on the lookout for is the accumulation of dust and grime on your table. This will not cause the terrible warping that happens due to moisture or UV damage but will certainly cause uneven ping pong ball bounces and will reduce gameplay quality.
If you’re looking to take the extra step when it comes to ping pong table care, then we highly recommend that you invest in a ping pong table cover. These are excellent at keeping out dust, moisture, and blocking harmful UV rays. They will increase the lifespan of your tables, especially the outdoor ones, by a lot. If it’s something you’re interested in, then you should check out our reviews of the 9 best table tennis table cover.
4. “Now that I have a ping pong table, what are some necessary accessories?”
There are a lot of different fancy accessories that you can use with your ping pong table since the sport has gradually made its way into the mainstream. However, the two most important things, by far, are ping pong paddles and ping pong balls. You literally cannot play the game without them and not every ping pong table comes with them included, sadly. Therefore, it’s important to consider what level you plan to play at before buying paddles and balls.
The reason we say this is because some table tennis paddles can be extremely expensive, especially if you plan on assembling your own. The parts alone can cost upwards of $100 if you’re looking to purchase the best ones on the market. If you’re just playing casually with friends, family, or coworkers then obviously you’re not going to care about things like the shape of your handle or the tackiness of your rubber.
However, if you plan on playing at a competition level, then these are all things you should care about and look into. If you’re an aspiring champion and are looking for the right ping pong paddle for you, then we highly recommend checking out our reviews of the best ping pong paddles that are on the market right now.
Moving on to ping pong balls, you’d be surprised to figure out that there’s quite a difference in quality between the ones you can just buy in bulk and the ones that are competition-ready. Generic, run-of-the-mill ping pong balls generally do not line up with the standards that have been set forth by the ITTF, will easily be damaged, and do not provide the best bounce.
Again, if you’re a casual player, this won’t matter much but a serious player should invest in high-quality, 3-star balls that are approved by the ITTF so they get the best experience while practicing. One last accessory you should absolutely look into if you’re serious about table tennis is ping pong robots!
These handy inventions are built to let you practice alone and have lots of different settings so you can practice retaliating to a variety of different shots. They’re excellent for people who don’t have a club close by or have others to practice with. If it’s something you’re interested in, we’ve reviewed the best ping pong robots for you to check out.