Making your own ping pong paddle can be a very wise investment, especially for players who are looking to create something unique to them that fits their playstyles. There’s a lot that goes into making your own paddle: rubbers, the type of glue, and most importantly the blade. It’s the core of your paddle and is what you’ll be holding onto whilst playing.
A paddle with an unbalanced blade can really throw off your game. That’s why we’ve compiled the 7 best table tennis blades to help you make the best possible choice. All of the products we review can easily be found on Amazon for your convenience.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 22 hours of research:
The 7 Best Table Tennis Blades Reviewed in 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6 and 7).
1. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC
- The Butterfly Timo Boll ALC blade is a perfect marriage of speed, control, and feel
We are starting off this list of reviews with a table tennis blade that we consider the best of the best. It is manufactured by the Butterfly brand, a world-renowned name in the sport of table tennis, and for good reason. They make some of the highest quality products on the market, especially when it comes to paddle blades and rubber.
The reason this blade is considered one of the best on the market is because of the huge amount of versatility you can get from it. This blade does not specialize in one style of play, instead, it is the best all-around blade you can get on the market. With this blade you will see unmatched speed, put devastating amounts of spin on the ball, and it will all feel natural in your hand. Flicking and looping will also be much more effective as this blade allows for such diverse spin play.
As for features specific to this paddle blade, it is made from an arylate-carbon fiber plie. This makes the blade lighter and will give you a longer dwell time. Also, this blade comes in three different handle styles: anatomic, flared, and shake-hand. This blade is truly meant for all different types of playstyles and will surely feel amazing during gameplay.
- Arylate-carbon plie makes the blade lighter for a longer dwell time
- The perfect combination of speed, spin, and control
- Comes in the standard three different types of handle style
- The most expensive blade on this list
- High Quality Arylate Carbon Blade
Up next we have another amazing table tennis blade by Butterfly. Unlike the previously reviewed one, this blade specializes in delivering powerful, high-speed shots and giving more control over them, perfect for offensive players who like to put a lot of topspin on their balls. Like the preceding blade, this is the best in terms of power and control and is used by big-name players like the world champion Zhang Jike.
What causes this blade to provide so much power, you might ask? Unique to it is the pronounced sweet spot that’s in the middle of the blade. Like the Timo Boll, this is due to the high-quality arylate carbon that this is made with, allowing for a large sweet spot, compared to traditionally made wooden blades. This blade also features a compact head which makes it ideal for counter-looping.
Another excellent feature about this blade that aids in making powerful shots is its ability to keep energy dissipating from the ball upon impact. All of these features together allow this blade to deliver consistently powerful shots, even back from the table.
- Pronounced sweet spot and alc blade allow for consistent powerful shots
- Compact head, perfect for counter looping
- Gives you more control over your shots
- The Korbel SK7 is the consummate 7-play all-wood blade for attackers
Once more, we have another blade made by Butterfly. In fact, you will notice that most of the spots on this list will be taken by products made by this brand. This paddle blade is different from the previous ones made by Butterfly in that it is not a carbon blade like the more expensive models. It is instead made with 7-ply wood. Do not think this makes this blade at a disadvantage though, as it is still an excellent product.
What you might not expect to hear is that the 7-ply wood makeup actually allows this blade to perform with unmatched speed. Seeing as speed is its most prominent feature, this allows it to always deliver extremely powerful shots, even if you’re playing from a long distance away from the table. If you’re an offensive table tennis player that prefers power and speed to overall control, then this blade is practically made for you.
Because this particular blade is made out of wood, rather than arylate carbon, the feel of this blade is much more natural than others. Swings with this blade will certainly feel more authentic and you won’t have to spend extra money on expensive composite materials present in other table tennis paddle blades.
This blade also comes in three different types of handle.
- 7-ply authentic wood makes this blade feel natural
- This blade specializes in powerful shots
- Unmatched speed
- Lacking in spin and control
4. Butterfly Primorac Carbon Table Tennis Blade
- The Primorac is one of the best selling rackets in the Butterfly line
The Primorac is another interesting blade. It is very similar to the Korbel, in that it’s a fast blade designed with an offensive playing style in mind, however, the Primorac feels more like the little brother to the Korbel. For starters, it is made out of 5-ply wood, rather than the thicker 7-ply. This allows you to have more control over your shots.
However, it should be noted that the Primorac is still very much an offensive blade, though it is a more all-around option. This table tennis blade still provides a lot of power and speed compared to others but it allows you to have a lot more control compared to the Korbel. It’s perfect for nailing a forehand shot. Therefore, a blade like this is perfect for players who are looking for a blade that packs a punch without sacrificing control.
Intermediate or beginner players may favor this blade as it will allow them to get used to making more powerful shots while practicing. Because of this blades balanced offense, it is also an extremely popular choice among many players. In fact, it is one of Butterfly’s best-selling blades. You can’t go wrong with a blade like this as you send balls flying.
- 5-ply wood allows you to have more control over your shots
- Excellent all-around offensive option
- Much more affordable than other paddle blades by Butterfly
- Only comes with the flared handle style
This blade is the most impressive (and expensive) item we will review on this list, a collaboration piece between 2012 Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zhang Jike and Butterfly. It is also the Brand’s most innovative blade to date. The most notable thing about this already noteworthy blade is the technology used to create it.
Unlike most ping pong blades that are made out of wood, the Zhang Jike Super ZLC is made from a special type of layered carbon composite, known to Butterfly as super ZL carbon. Essentially, this technology allows the sweet spot on the blade to be much larger than other ping pong blades allowing you to generate much more power and speed on your shots. But this blade does more for you than just generate crazy amounts of power.
This new technology by Butterfly intends to set the new standard for reaction times with ping pong blades and guarantees that you will feel more in control while you use this blade. It is the best choice for advanced players. When it comes to more specific specs about this table tennis blade, it is a 5-ply/ 2 carbon ply blade. The outer edges are also reinforced to prevent them from chipping. This blade comes in all three standard forms of grip.
- New, state-of-the-art super ZL carbon technology
- Increased power and control over other blades
- Higher reaction speeds than other ping pong blades
- One of the most expensive blades on the market currently
The next two final blades on our list will be more affordable than most of Butterfly’s lineup. If you’re looking for blades that are more budget-friendly without sacrificing quality, then these are for you. Starting off our budget picks is the Ma Lin Offensive by the YASAKA brand. Like some of the other paddle blades you’ve seen on this list, it is a collaboration piece between the brand and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Ma Lin.
This 5-ply all-wood blade offers a larger than average sweet spot that is very enjoyable to play with. Additionally, the blade is able to generate a lot of power without being too spinny, hence this blade containing “offensive” in its title. Interestingly enough, this blade is a decent choice for defensive players as well. The construction of this blade is very stable and solid. It’s perfect for blocking shots, backhand swings, and turning the game around in your favor. Also, this blade comes in the three standard grip styles to suit almost any playstyle.
- Generates a lot of power
- Surprisingly good defensive capabilities
- Affordable price
- Not as fast as other blades
Rounding out our list of reviews is this blade by the world-renowned JOOLA brand. They are famous for making all sorts of other table tennis equipment such as tables, paddles, and balls. While they are not the most well-known for making blades like Butterfly, they’ve still managed to create a quality product that is an excellent choice. One of the nicest things about this blade is its price point.
It’s cheaper than many of the blades on this review list but it doesn’t compromise quality for the price. Instead, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised when using this blade. First manufactured in 2009, this blade is a true classic when it comes to ping pong blades.
It is an all-around, 5-ply blade, meaning that it has a perfect balance between power, speed, spin, and control. Really, this medium-speed blade is excellent for beginner or even intermediate players looking to put together their first custom paddle. Of course, more experienced players can always enjoy using this due to the balance this blade has.
- A classic, well-balanced blade
- Affordable price
- Perfect for beginners putting together their first blade
- Only comes with a flared grip
When it comes to ping pong blades, the wisest choice is most definitely the Butterfly Timo Boll. This blade is easily one of the best combinations of speed, power, spin, and control we’ve ever seen in a ping pong blade. It is like it was engineered to be perfectly balanced.
This blade is truly a jack-of-all-trades and is the definition of versatility and balance. Being made with an arylate-carbon make it softer than traditional paddle blades without sacrificing durability and increasing dwell time. You’ll be able to easily perform all sorts of maneuvers and shots with this blade.
Despite being a very balanced blade, you can still create lots of power and spin with it. It’ll feel leagues better in your hands than your run-of-the-mill blade or pre-made paddle. Also, it comes in all three of the standard grip styles, so you can pick the perfect one that will fit your playstyle. It is one of the highest quality blades to ever be made and its performance truly shows that. With this blade, you’ll feel like a champion every time you use it.
Ping Pong Blade FAQ:
1. “What’s the difference between the three types of blade handles?”
Flared handles are a straightforward grip. As the name suggests, the end of the handle will flare outwards and be larger. The intention of this design is to stop the paddle from slipping out of your hand during play. Excellent for players that are getting used to handling a paddle
Straight handles, as you might have already guessed are perfectly straight. Generally speaking, the straight handles allow for more diverse play as you can change up the way you grip the handle pretty much on the fly. Anatomical handles are thicker towards the middle of the handle. They are designed to fit more comfortably in your hand and will feel more natural to use compared to the other three grip styles.
2. “Why should I consider making my own paddle?”
While it’s true that there are a lot of amazing pre-built paddles on the market, building your own paddle lets you make something that is unique to your playstyle. As you play you’ll develop your own way of playing and, in turn, want to try new things to see what works best for you.
You may find that you prefer making powerful shots that send the ball screaming across the table, or perhaps you prefer more strategic defensive play. Whatever you find you’re comfortable with, there will likely be a blade and a rubber that can be combined to create your ultimate ping pong paddle.
3. “What are the differences in the types of blades?”
Not all blades are created equally and can generally be split up into three categories: Offensive, defensive, and all-around. All-around blades favor balance in all areas of play. They are pretty fast, have plenty of control, and leave a lot of room for experimentation. It is highly recommended to use a blade like this if you’re just getting into the sport and are finding out what suits your gameplay and style.
Offensive blades are engineered to bring tons of speed and power to the table. A unique feature they will have is a hard outer ply, allowing the ball to conserve its energy as it bounces off of your paddle. Defensive blades are made to help keep control over the ball. They help to slow down the ball and essentially stop your opponent’s ball in its tracks, halting their momentum so you can take the time to adjust and strategize.
4. “Now that I have the right blade, what kind of rubbers should I get?”
This is a bit of a loaded question as to the type of table tennis rubber you put on your paddle blade very much depends on what your play style and preferences are. There is a lot of different variation in rubbers and things such as thickness, tackiness, the distance between pimples, and which way the pimple face can make a big difference in your shots. Also, it is common for many custom paddles to have two different rubbers for each side to vary shots. To that end, we also have an article about the 10 best ping pong rubbers on the market right now.
5. “Now that I’ve got the right rubber and blade, how do I put a table tennis bat together?”
Assembling your table tennis racket is quite an involved process and involves a bit of precision as you have to glue your rubber to the blade. Also, you have to buy a specific type of water-based glue as all others are actually banned by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
It’s a bit difficult to simply describe the process via text and it’s much easier to just show you. That’s why we have this video, where European champion Timo Boll shows you how he glues his rubbers to his blades.