If you’re a serious ping pong player, one thing you need to be on the lookout for is an indoor table tennis table. Having one for yourself, assuming you have the space for it, is instrumental to improving your skills and becoming a better player.
This is doubly true if you don’t have somewhere nearby where you can practice consistently such as a club. However, searching for tables can be a daunting task as there are so many on the market and a dozen brands claiming they’re the best. So, we’ve set out to clear things up a little for you and reviewed one of the best indoor tables on the market, the Stiga Master Series ST3100 competition indoor table tennis table.
Before we go into deeper detail about the specifics on why we highly recommend this table for serious ping pong players, we’ll take a look at this table’s specs from a glance. Starting off, the Master Series ST3100 is a full-size indoor table tennis table and has the dimensions of 9 feet long by 5 feet wide. These are the standard dimensions of competition-ready, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) approved tables.
The tabletop is performance-level and has an integrated ball storage apron. The tabletop has a thickness of ¾ inches. This is not the standard for tournaments but is still an appropriate thickness. The apron of this ping pong table measures out at 2 inches and it has a ball holder on each end, where each one holds 12 balls. This table also comes with a net and post set.
Moving on to the legs and undercarriage, they are 2 inches in diameter, durable, and made from strong steel with high durability. The wheels are 3-inch casters that have a locking mechanism. In terms of the assembly process, this table has straightforward instructions but they take a while to get through and if they’re not followed correctly.
Overall, with just one person this can definitely take a long time and we highly recommend having another person assist you. We also recommend having a power drill as there are a lot of screws to this table and this will make things go by a lot faster, just be careful not to tighten things too much. This table is foldable once completely assembled and also is able to be put into a playback mode.
Stiga Master Series ST3100 Overview
Now that we’ve gone over the basic specs of the ST3100, we can now take a deep dive into what makes this table such an excellent purchase.
For those of you who don’t know, table thickness is a huge factor when it comes to choosing the right ping pong table. The thickness directly correlates to the overall quality of the table, thinner tables tend to be of lower quality and thicker tables tend to be of higher quality. Also, table thickness will ultimately depend on what you’re looking for in a ping pong experience.
If you’re a serious or professional player looking for the best ping pong table that is what is actually used in tournaments and big competitions, then you need to look for a ping pong table that has a 1-inch thick tabletop. These tabletops give the best, most consistent bounce and are of the highest quality. If you truly wish to be a serious practitioner of ping pong, only look for this kind of table. Anything below ¾-inch should not be used if you intend to practice seriously.
The ST3100 is not a full 1-inch thick like the most pricey indoor ping pong tables but it is still an excellent purchase. This table measures to be ¾ inch, which is the next best quality tabletop next to a full 1-inch. This type of thickness is perfect for players who are looking for something that isn’t as expensive as a tournament-ready ping pong table while still delivering excellent performance. It is great for practice or casual play with friends, family, and work colleagues.
When we tested its playability, we found the bounces to be consistent across the playing surface, though they obviously were not as good as a 1-inch thick tabletop. Regardless, it was a joy to play on and easily one of the nicest surfaces we’ve used for ping pong. Like all high-quality indoor ping pong tables, this one is made out of wood. Specifically, it is made out of medium-density fiberboard (MDF).
Frame, Undercarriage, and Legs
Other important parts of good ping pong tables are the legs, undercarriage, and frame. An excellent tabletop isn’t worth a dime if it can’t be supported properly. Without the proper reinforcement, your table will jostle all around while you play and collapse if you’re somehow too rough with it.
Thankfully, that problem won’t be happening with this Stiga table. This table’s undercarriage is made with a sturdy-link chassis and durable silk-screen striping. This will ensure that no matter how many bumps and scrapes this table gets while you’re moving it around, you’ll be sure to incur little to no damage on it.
When we fully assembled the undercarriage, we were impressed by how well all the parts interlinked and locked together smoothly. It would certainly take a pretty hard knock for this table to withstand any large amounts of damage. Moving onto the legs, these are very sturdy as the rest of the table’s supports. They are 2-inches in diameter and made with durable steel that keeps this level table upright for a long time.
All of the best indoor tables have wheels of some sort to aid in their transportation. The best ones have some sort of locking mechanism on their wheels to prevent the table from being jostled around during intense matches. Since this is one of the best tables you can buy right now, it should be no surprise that the Stiga Master Series ST3100 has some of the best wheels an indoor ping pong table can have.
This table sports four caster wheels on either side of the middle of it that are 3 inches in diameter and are made with rubber. These wheels are larger than what you might find on other ping pong tables and allow for easier movement. You will not be impeded by the carpet or other less agreeable terrains in your house with these wheels.
In addition, these caster wheels can be locked with the easy flip of a switch right next to them to ensure that your table won’t be moved around a lot during even the most fierce of competitions. When we tried it out, we found that the table barely moved at all unless we were purposefully trying to move it. Even then, it just caused the wheels to skid and drag, the locking mechanisms held up wonderfully.
Foldable Halves and Playback Feature
Like any good indoor ping pong table, the ST3100 has the ability to fold up, allowing for compact storage. When we tried it out for ourselves, we didn’t see any problems with the folding process. In fact, the transition between the play position and the folded position of the table was rather smooth. Everything comes together nicely and doesn’t take a lot of effort to put away, one person could easily do it. Redeploying the table was simple as well.
Because this table is easy to fold up, we had an easy time accessing the playback position of this table. Folding one side up so we could have one person test the table was simple and didn’t require more than one person. The playback mode, much like playing normally, was a fun experience and the rebounds from the table were satisfying and consistent during playtime. This is an essential feature of any good ping pong table and we’re unsurprised to see such a well-designed indoor table have this.
Net and Post Set
The Master Series ST3100 also comes with a net and post set. This is a professionally made post system that is durable and shouldn’t tear easily. It’s plenty long enough to go across the entire table and is the type of net you must lock and screw into place. This is the same type of net that is commonly used in competitions and tournaments. We found it easy to put together and it didn’t sag in any spots.
Unless we’re talking about tables that are made explicitly for professional play, all excellent indoor ping pong tables tend to have extra accessories tied to them. This one is no different and comes with the most convenient extra feature of having ball holders built into the apron.
On each end of the ST3100, there is a spot in the apron that holds 12 ping pong balls per side. We found this feature to be extremely convenient as we didn’t have to go chasing after a ball once it’d gone off the table. Of course, picking up all the balls after a play session is never fun.
Final Thoughts on the ST3100
Overall, we can safely say we highly recommend this table to anyone who is looking for a high-quality table for either serious play, entry-level play, or recreational play. It’s not thick enough to be used in the professional sense but with ¾ inches of MDF, it provides solid bounces that are perfect to practice with if you have it at home.
Additionally, it’s perfect for anyone looking to spice up their game room or add extra entertainment to an empty space in their home. The construction of this table is very solid. The frame, undercarriage, legs, and wheels did not disappoint.
All four important things were durable and sturdy. Whether you have very energetic kids or rowdy friends, this table will surely be able to take a beating if it needs to. Really, unless you’re a professional who’s looking for a 1-inch thick table to keep at home, buying this table is a no-brainer and it’s clear why this is a best-seller. It’s sturdy, reliable, and will provide hours of quality practice and fun.
Why You Should Buy A Ping Pong Table
If by some chance you’ve come across this review randomly and don’t have the slightest clue about ping pong and are wondering why you should even consider purchasing a table, then you’ve come to the right place. Ping pong tables are an excellent investment for anyone who’s looking to add some fun somewhere they’ve got a lot of space.
The sport of ping pong is very easy to pick up and play and if you’re willing to get invested in it, it can become a passion. Who knows, maybe you’ll even want to start competing in tournaments? If you’re a parent, then a ping pong table is probably one of the best things you can buy for your kids.
Because it’s such a simple game, even children can easily pick up a paddle and start playing together, it’ll keep them entertained for hours. If you’re worried about them not getting enough sunlight and they stay indoors too much, then an outdoor table is exactly the product you’re looking for. Not only will it provide hours of entertainment, but it’ll let your kids get some fresh air while they participate in a friendly competition.
Own an office space and looking for something to spice up that empty and dreary employee break room? Then look no further than the ping pong table! Table tennis is an excellent way for your employees to blow off steam while they’re on a break as opposed to sitting around drinking coffee and dreading going back to work. It can be a nice distraction from the day’s work and something fun to do in between shifts.
Apartment complexes or similar places like hotels can benefit from buying a ping pong table as well. It’ll give tenets and residents something to do if your building has a common area for people to use. Additionally, it’ll add that extra layer of appeal to possible tenants.
Of course, if you’re an aspiring competitive player, then a ping pong table to use at home is practically a necessity, especially if you don’t live near your club or another place you can practice consistently. If that’s the case, you do need to be a little careful about which ping pong table you invest in as some of them are not the best quality. Luckily for you, however, we have done reviews on a plethora of other tables that you can check out here.
How to Take Proper Care of a Ping Pong Table
Taking care of a ping pong table can be pretty easy or slightly challenging depending on the type of table that you end up buying. But, once you get the hang of things, it becomes a habit and will ultimately be pretty simple. We’ll start with the tables that are the easiest to take care of, outdoor tables.
Since these tables are usually designed from the ground up to stand up to whatever mother nature decides to throw at them, taking care of these tables is usually pretty easy. Really, you’ll just have to keep the surface clean, dry, and free of debris. You should be a little cautious if you’ve purchased a cheaper table as they may not be made with the same weatherproof materials that are found in high-quality tables.
You may want to pay attention to the legs and frame, while many outdoor tables come with rust-resistant coatings, they’re not totally rust-proof and may need maintenance from time to time. Indoor tables are a completely different type of beast and require more specific care.
For starters, under no circumstances should they be used or stored outside. High-quality indoor tables require stable circumstances to avoid being damaged. If they get wet or are stored in a place that has a lot of moisture, then the table will warp because of it.
This is not the only threat, however, as even exposure to sunlight can cause the table to warp as well. With all this being said, something an owner of a ping pong table may want to invest in is a cover for their table. These ensure that your ping pong table will remain protected by keeping moisture out, blocking sunlight, preventing scratches from debris, and keeping the table clear of dust.
These are an especially good investment if you’ve purchased an outdoor ping pong table and are looking to give it that extra layer of protection. We’ve actually reviewed table tennis table covers in the past, you can find a lineup of the best ones on this article.
Best Places to Set Up Your Stiga Master Series ST3100
The ST3100 is a full-size table, first and foremost, therefore you must make sure that you have enough space for it to fit. Moreover, you should leave ample space around the table so that people can move without running into something and will have enough space to swing their paddles. Because it’s meant for indoor play, an open area such as a game room or basement is ideal.