If you plan on making your own custom ping pong paddle, then you will obviously need to buy parts that are fitting to your playstyle. However, there is a very overlooked piece that goes into your paddle and that is the glue.
Most people don’t understand how important it is to have the right glue. That’s why we’ve gone and reviewed the 5 best types of glue on the market right now that can all easily be found on Amazon. We’ll also cover other things you’ll need to know about table tennis glues.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 21 hours of research:
The 5 Best Table Tennis Glues in 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks.
The Types of Table Tennis Glue
Before we begin our reviews of the best glues on the market right now, it is important that we first educate you on the different types that are available. As you know, a lot of table tennis accessories like paddles, rubbers, and blades, are approved by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for competitive play. But something you might not know is that only certain glues are approved by the ITTF.
As surprising as this may be to hear, there is a good reason for it. Some glues contain chemicals that are very harmful to people and can also greatly affect the weight of the ping pong paddle, thus giving the player an unfair advantage. We will be going over these types of glues to ensure you don’t buy the wrong type if you end up looking for something that’s not on our list.
First up on our list of glues is the VOC glue, which stands for Volatile Organic Compound. This particular type of glue was banned in 2008 by the ITTF for obvious reasons. It is extremely dangerous to its users because of the poisonous organic solvents that it is made with.
On top of that, this glue weighs a lot more than others. Paddles with this glue will give off a very distinct smell, so be sure to research what is in your glue or if this type of glue was used on a premade paddle. Thankfully, most table tennis manufacturers don’t make this type of glue anymore. That being said, it’s still smart to double-check what you’re buying doesn’t contain these chemicals.
This type of glue is the only kind that is authorized for use in official tournaments by the ITTF. It is completely safe and does not use any of the kind of harmful chemicals or compounds that are seen in VOC glues.
This is the type of glue that is used by professional table tennis players and makes up all of the glues that we will be reviewing soon. This VOC-free glue is the only type we will be recommending as it allowed in tournaments and won’t cause harm to players. These glues are temperature sensitive and should be kept at room temperature.
This is an interesting type of glue, whose name provides all the information you need to know about it, really. This glue has the special effect of expanding the rubbers of your paddle, causing high tension within it. The high tension in the rubber causes the paddle to then have increased speed (by up to 10%) as well as increased spin (by up to 20%).
However, there are some big drawbacks to this glue. For starters, the effect it has on the paddle’s rubbers is only temporary and once the vapors from the glue dissipate, it will cause the rubber to stop expanding and revert to its original form.
Also, the compounds within this glue are extremely harmful to its user. In fact, it is thought that the volatile compounds within this glue can actually cause cancer! Therefore, this glue is banned in official competitions. It is not worth the risk to use this glue as not only is it very toxic, but the very telling smell of the solvent allows officials to easily detect if you use this glue.
Booster glues, also known simply as “boosters” are a type of glue similar to speed glue. Like the speed glue, they are very toxic and thus banned by the ITTF and are not used by professional players or useable in real competitions. The difference between this type of glue and speed glues is that it doesn’t increase the speed of the paddle as much but has a similar expansion effect on the rubber.
Also, this glue is not known for an obvious smell but can still be detected by judges or inspectors. Some manufacturers of this glue, such as the Falco brand, claim that it is usable for competitions. However, the ITTF has banned all types of it, so again, we do not recommend using this type.
While this is not really a type of glue, this is still something that deserves mentioning in case it’s something you’d like to use. Gluing a rubber onto a ping pong blade can be a tedious process and can take some practice getting used to. Rubbers and glue can also be pretty pricey, so if you’re looking for an easier solution, self-adhesive rubber sheets are a better option for you.
These are just rubbers that have a glue sheet on the back for your convenience. If this is something you’d like to buy, please be sure to look and see that the rubber uses water-based glue as some of them might use a VOC glue.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the table-tennis glue, let’s look at the 5 best ones that are available on the Amazon market right now!
1. Butterfly Free Chack Glue
- TABLE TENNIS GLUE: Glue for assembling table tennis rubber and sponge to wooden blade
First up on our list is a glue by the world-renowned brand, Butterfly Table Tennis. They are known for making top-quality table tennis equipment and their glues are no different from the rest of their product lineups. We found that this glue hit all of the necessary requirements to be an excellent one.
For starters, this glue is extremely easy to apply and doesn’t take a lot of to be effective, requiring only a thin layer. The Free Chack also has a relatively fast drying time. Also, this glue was very easy to remove when replacing table tennis rubbers, it peeled right off.
The sponges that are included with this glue made the process as easy as could be and didn’t absorb too much glue in the process. In fact, we felt like artists applying paint to our table tennis rackets with this sponge. The Free Chack is made with natural caoutchouc or natural rubber. This bottle of glue also comes with 50 applicator sponges.
This glue is honestly perfect for anyone who is looking to assemble a custom table tennis paddle. The ease of application, coupled with how quick and easy it was to remove, and its affordable price point make this easily the best blue that you can get and is perfect for first-time makers of custom paddles.
- Easy to apply
- Easy to remove
- Comes with 50 sponges
- Affordable price
- Can clump up if you don’t apply the layers right
2. Joola X-Glue
Next up we have a glue by the Joola brand, another very well-known maker of ping pong products. Like Butterfly, they pride themselves on making great products and their glue is no different from their other ping pong accessories. The Joola table tennis rubber X-Glue, like the Free Chack, was very easy to apply and was on about the same level as it when it came to ease of application.
We did find that, compared to the Butterfly brand glue, it took a little bit longer to dry but overall this isn’t much of an issue unless you’re in a hurry to replace your rubbers. Also, it was very easy to peel off our rubbers from our table tennis blades with this glue.
The X-Glue also comes in a different version in a larger bottle with something known as “green power.” After some testing, we found that this is a different formula glue that essentially helps to increase the performance of the rubber, making it faster and adding more spin. It’s kind of like a booster glue but it doesn’t use any of the harmful chemicals.
While it is similar in performance to the Free Chack and we really found this to be an excellent glue at a reasonable price, there is one point you may want to watch out for. Though this is a water-based glue, it has a fairly strong smell that might be off-putting to some.
- Easy to apply
- Easy to peel off and replace
- Affordable price
- The smell is a bit strong
- Doesn’t come with sponges
3. Butterfly Free Chack Pro
- The new Free Chack Pro glue is more viscous compared to the original Free Chack.
This is another glue made by Butterfly that is a straight upgrade from their original Free Chack glue. But what makes it so much better? You might ask. Well, the new formula for this water-based ping pong paddle glue makes it more viscous than the original one and can provide added benefits to the player who puts their custom-made paddle together with this glue.
One of these benefits is increased dwell time on the blade of the paddle. This means that you will get an increased spin, compared to a paddle that does not use this glue. Upon testing, we found this claim to hold true. While the increase in spin was not dramatic, it was by no means something to sneeze at.
Therefore, if you’re a player who favors putting as much spin as they can on their shots, this glue should be a priority purchase for you along with other components that aid in increased spin. Beyond the increased spin, this glue is nearly identical to the normal Free Chack glue by Butterfly. It’s very easy to apply and to peel off when a rubber needs replacing. Another added benefit of purchasing this glue is that it comes with clips and sponges for application.
- The improved formula makes this glue more viscous for added dwell time on the paddle
- Easy to apply
- Easy to replace
- Comes with clips and sponges for easy application
- Expensive for a ping pong glue
4. Butterfly Free Chack II
- Newly formulated, water-based adhesive designed for assembling table tennis rubber and sponge to wooden blade
This is the third and final Butterfly brand glue on our list. Like the previous two, this glue performs extremely well. There are a few key differences though, which causes it to land lower on the list than its brethren. Perhaps the biggest difference between this glue and the other two on this list is that it was specifically designed to be used with a type of rubber made by Butterfly known as “spring sponge” rubbers such as the Tenergy.
These rubbers are essentially more elastic and precise than others and allow their user to have more speed on their shots. That doesn’t mean you can’t use this glue with other rubbers, of course. In fact, we didn’t use the specified rubbers and still had great results.
Beyond being specifically made for spring sponge rubbers, what makes this glue better than the original Free Chack and the Free Chack Pro is that it has a stronger adhesion bond than the other two types of glue. This means you won’t have to worry about the rubber peeling off of your blade prematurely and won’t need many layers of glue for it to stick properly.
The only reason we put this glue towards the end of our list is because of how it’s specifically made to work with certain kinds of rubbers. Again, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use it on other rubbers, but with how steep the price is for a ping pong glue, it’s best to buy this one if you’re using a spring sponge rubber made by Butterfly.
- Stronger bonds than the previous glues mentioned
- Easy to apply
- Easy to peel off and remove excess glue
- Comes with sponges
- Specifically made for spring sponge rubbers
5. GEWO Hydro-Tec Glue
Rounding out our list of the best table tennis glues is this water-based glue made by GEWO. This glue should be considered our budget pick. It is not made by a very well-known brand like Butterfly or Joola but still manages to provide a pretty solid product, overall.
Obviously, being a water-based glue, you won’t find any VOC’s so there’s no need to worry about the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals or having your paddle being rejected by an inspector or judge. What separates this glue from the other five in this list is that it preaches that it is made for modern table tennis sponges. Essentially, many new rubbers today use large-pored sponges, especially in rubbers that are more designed for offensive play.
When it comes to the actual use of this glue, we found that this product held up pretty well when compared to the “old glues” on this list. It doesn’t sport a formula that has strong bonds like the more expensive glues, but it absolutely gets the job done. You’ll only need to replace your rubber often if you’re playing a lot and putting your paddle under a lot of stress. We also found that this glue dries very quickly, so the replacement process whilst using this glue is quicker when compared to other ones.
To add to that, the Hydro-Tec glue is also very easy to remove. We found that it was even a bit easier to remove compared to the glues made by Butterfly. If the bond strength and overall reliability of this glue were improved, it would easily be higher on the list.
- Very easy to remove
- Dries very quickly
- Bond strength not as good as other glues
As you saw at the beginning of our list, the definitive winner when it comes to the best ping pong glues is the Butterfly Free Chack glue. This glue repeatedly performed extremely well, showing off its tough bonds and reliability. On top of that, this glue is very easy to remove and dries pretty quickly allowing for an easy replacement process. On top of all this, it also comes with a set of application sponges and clips, something that is not included with most of the other glues in this list.
What also makes this glue stand out is that it is not specifically designed for one type of rubber. As you no doubt may have noticed, some of the glues on our review list are specifically designed to be used with specific rubbers. While you can absolutely still use these glues on other rubbers, you won’t get the desired effect on your paddle. Therefore, the Free Chack glue is a big winner in our eyes due to it being perfect for every type of sponge out there.
Additionally, the Free Chack is one of the most affordable glues on our list, considering the high quality it has. It is a glue that will get your rubbers a lot of mileage without breaking the bank like some of the other glues that are made for certain types of rubbers.
In conclusion, we highly recommend the Butterfly Free Chack as your first choice of ping pong glue. It is super easy to apply, remove, comes with application sponges and clips, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s made to be used with all types of rubbers, rather than one specific type.
Bonus tip: If you’d like to see an example of gluing a ping pong paddle, world champion Timo Boll has a video describing his process that you can see here.