Best Ping Pong Paddles Under $50 (Updated in 2021!)

Best Overall
9.7
Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set – 1 Ping Pong Paddle – 1 Ping Pong Paddle Case – ITTF Approved Table Tennis Paddle – Ships in Ping Pong Racket Gift Box

Butterfly 401 Table Tennis Racket Set - 1 Ping Pong Paddle – 1 Ping Pong Paddle Case - ITTF Approved Table Tennis Paddle - Ships in Ping Pong Racket Gift Box

Best Value
9.5
Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle

Killerspin JET200 Table Tennis Paddle

Editor’s Choice
9.1
STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket Made with ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play – Features ACS for Control and Speed

STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket Made with ITTF Approved Rubber for Tournament Play - Features ACS for Control and Speed

 

Choosing the right paddle can get overwhelming, especially given all the options out there. In this article, we’re focused on affordability. That’s why we put together a list of the best ping pong paddles under $50.  If you’re looking for other budget ping pong products, check out our article on the best ping pong tables under $500

  1. Butterfly 401
  2. Stiga Evolution
  3. Stiga Supreme
  4. Stiga Apex Performance
  5. Palio Expert 2.0
  6. Killerspin Jet 400 Smash N1
  7. Killerspin Jet 200

#1. Butterfly 401: Best All-Around Paddle

Butterfly 401

ProsCons
Superior quality for a very reasonable priceThe tacky rubber collects dust quickly, so constant cleaning is required to maintain its quality
Yumi tacky rubber promises better ball absorption upon impactThe shorter handle might take some time for adjustment
Suitable for all playing level

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings (out of 10): Speed – 8, Spin – 8, Control – 8.5
  • Blade: 5-ply wood blade 
  • Handle: Rounded Flared
  • Rubber: Yuki 2.1 mm
  • Sponge: 2.1 mm 
  • Weight: 165 grams
  • Dimensions in Length x Width x Height order: 12 x 7.5 x 2 inches
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

The Butterfly 401’s overall rating shows that this paddle is suitable for all players, just like the Palio Expert 2.0. This paddle is still the most affordable and well-rounded choice in our list of best ping pong paddles under $50; despite the generously tacky rubber that quickly collects dust.

Hikosuke Tamasu turned his passion for tennis into something more prominent when he set up his company back in 1950. Since then, Butterfly has been a consistently reliable brand for Table Tennis equipment, with a research and training center located in Tokyo.  

The Yuki rubber the Butterfly 401 has gives their players more spin as it lets the ball stick long enough to have time to set up the move. The 2.1 mm sponge works to offensive players’ advantage, as it makes the ball spring right off to gain more power.

Butterfly 401’s handle being shorter than usual most paddles likely contributes to the lack of ability to give the full player control. But given enough playing time, a player could maximize the paddle’s strengths to work to his advantage.

The above-average performance rating across the board for this paddle shows that this is an excellent choice for any player. As a matter of fact, in our list of best ping pong paddles under $50, we’ve chosen this paddle as our top pick. 

 

#2. Stiga Evolution: Best Intermediate Paddle

Stiga Evolution

ProsCons
Impressive speed compared to other paddlesThe imbalance from the top and bottom parts isn’t ideal for beginner
Shock Dispersion TechnologyThe weight might need some time for players to adapt.

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings: Speed – 96, Spin – 94, Control – 90
  • Blade: 6-ply all wood
  • Handle: Concave Pro
  • Rubber: STIGA Premium rubbers
  • Sponge: 2.0mm sponge on both sides
  • Weight: 170 grams
  • Dimensions in inches: 10 x 6 x 0.25 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

Amongst the best ping pong paddles under $50, the Stiga Evolution is a paddle meant for more experienced / intermediate players. This paddle uses a Shock Dispersion Tube technology that dispels shockwaves caused by vibration. Stiga is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of ping pong paddles, with five variants already ITTF approved for tournament play. 

The paddle’s light weight makes this paddle ideal for the more experienced players who like to keep their game close to the net. The top ends up feeling more substantial than the handle, though, which could pose a challenge when maneuvering the paddle. 

Meanwhile, the paddle’s premium rubbers significantly increase a player’s ball speed compared to other premade paddles. The rate may be a feature that intermediate players would want to have to increase the ceiling and potential of their game. However, the paddle’s power may take some getting used to for the casual Ping Pong player. 

If you’re looking for a lighter paddle with more speed and power, this is the paddle for you.

 

#3. Stiga Supreme: Best for Defensive Players

Stiga Supreme

ProsCons
LightweightNot the paddle for offensive and intermediate players
WRB system and rubber material significantly help in defensive playsThe paddle does not create a lot of speed and generates enough power

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings: Speed – 90, Spin – 92, Control – 89
  • Blade: 6-ply extra light blade with Tube and Crystal Tech technology
  • Handle: Anatomic Italian Composite with Weight Balance, Rate of Recovery, Ball Sensitivity (WRB) System
  • Rubber: Future inverted with Air-Capsule System (ACS) technology
  • Sponge: 2.0mm sponge on both sides
  • Weight: 140 grams
  • Dimensions in inches: 10 x 6 x 0.25 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

Stiga Supreme’s features make it the most suitable paddle for defensive players on this list. Its Crystal Tech and Tube technology on the blade makes it significantly lightweight at 140g. The 2.0mm sponge combined the Future inverted rubber assures the player more ball control by making it stick longer than usual.

The WRB system is a feature developed by Stiga that improves the blade’s impact absorption and power, giving the player more time to set up his move. ACS is another technology developed by Stiga, which offers a massive improvement in the paddle’s elasticity and springiness. This feature increases the speed of a player’s shot without compromising control of the ball. 

Stiga’s Tube technology builds the middle ply of the blade with micro-channel lengthways in the middle veneers. The materials that make up the channels depend on the needs of the blade. In addition, its Crystal Tech technology works on the paddle’s speed by using a transparent hydrophilic gel lacquer that Stiga has personally developed.

Whether you prefer to play up close or far away, the paddle gives ample amount of control and speed, with a sufficient sweet spot to help. While the WRB helps set up moves and ball recovery, it does not generate much power, making this paddle a better fit for defensive players. 

 

#4. Stiga Apex: Best for Recreational Players

Stiga Apex

ProsCons
Cheaper than other Stiga paddlesThe performance ratings limit this paddle’s capability to be more than a starter paddle
Balsa plywood technology
Basic features make a good fit for beginners and recreational play.

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings: Speed – 65, spin – 52, control – 80
  • Blade: 5-ply extra light wood blade with Balsa Technology
  • Handle: Concave Italian Composite with Anatomic grip and WRB System
  • Rubber: Drive inverted with ACS technology
  • Sponge: 2.0mm sponge on both sides
  • Weight: 149 grams
  • Dimensions in inches: 10 x 6 x 0.25 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

The Stiga Apex is the cheapest among the five ITTF approved paddles manufactured by Stiga. Even in our list of best ping pong paddles under $50, this paddle is one of the most affordable. While it may not boast the premium features of the more expensive variants, it’s still a definite improvement over the usual wooden paddle.

Stiga aims to decrease the paddle’s weight with the Balsa center plywood technology. This feature gives the Apex enough speed and reaction time without compromising precision and comfort.

Like the Stiga Supreme, this paddle has the WRB and ACS technology, which provides enough defensive abilities.  

In terms of performance, this paddle doesn’t offer much for competitive play. Even with powerful strokes, the speed resulting ball speed will still be too low for professional players. However, the control makes up for what the paddle lacks, and the paddle does more than enough for those ping pong players who just want to play casually with friends. 

 

#5. Palio Expert 2.0: Flexible from Beginners to Experts

Palio Expert 2.0

ProsCons
Very affordable compared to similar paddlesNot suitable for players who prefer penhold grip 
The level of spin and control makes up for its lack of speed, making this paddle suitable for all player levels.

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings (out of 10): Speed – 6, Spin – 9, Control – 10
  • Blade: All wood with 2.0 mm thickness
  • Handle: Flared
  • Rubber: Palio CJ8000 tacky rubber on both sides
  • Sponge Hardness: 36-38 degrees
  • Weight: 174 grams
  • Dimensions in inches: 11 x 7.3 x 0.9
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

The Palio Expert 2.0‘s price point makes it an excellent choice for beginners, but its performance allows playability for the even more experienced athlete.

This paddle is an upgraded version of a comeback from the obsolete Expert 1. With a softer sponge, this paddle’s rubber makes the ball stick slightly longer than usual. This feature lets the player work on his spins upon impact.

The flared handle in this racquet signifies that it requires a shakehand style of grip. Palio made is as such to keep the racquet from slipping away from the player.

Expert 2.0’s capability for generating good spins creates better player control, which makes up for its lack of speed. The rate at which this paddle performs is suitable for beginners and a momentum level that could work on intermediate players who like to take their time. This performance rating makes this paddle flexible from players who are starting to the novice and experts.

 

#6. Killerspin Jet 400 Smash N1: For the Beginner Going to Advanced Player

Killerspin Jet 400 Smash N1

ProsCons
The paddle is suitable for all levels of playing experienceLike the Palio Expert 2.0, this paddle is not ideal for players who prefer penhand grip
Its weight is suitable for offensive athletesThe weight may add to exhaustion as the game progresses.

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings (out of 10): Speed – 7, Spin – 9, Control – 8
  • Blade: 5-wood ply with 6.35 mm thickness
  • Handle: 3.88 inches, Flared
  • Rubber: 1.8mm high-tension Nitrx-4z
  • Sponge Thickness: 1.78 mm
  • Weight: 182 grams
  • Head Dimensions and Length:  6 x 6 1/8 inches; 10 inches
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

The Killerspin Jet 400 Smash N1 works perfectly for a player who’s familiar enough with the sport and wants to step up his game. Killerspin is an American brand that, just like Stiga, is one of the top manufacturers of high-quality ping pong paddles. 

The blade’s firmness plays well for forehand drives. As for its materials, the Nitrx-4z rubber is the same material Killerspin uses for its premium variants, which gives a sufficient spin but does not compromise control. The sponge allows enough absorption of every ball impact to let the player plan his shots precisely.

This paddle works best for offensive players who like to finish strong. Its hefty weight accounts for the promising power this paddle provides for smashes. Chopping or blocking with this paddle would not be ideal because of its heavy weight, which could be wearisome as the game progresses. 

 

#7. Killerspin Jet 200: A Step Up from Pre-packaged Paddles

Killerspin Jet 200

ProsCons
Perfect for beginners Not ITTF approved
DurableThe colorway is far from tournament quality
Shakehand Flared grip

 

Specifications

  • Performance ratings (out of 10): Speed – 6, Spin – 7, Control – 8.5
  • Blade: 5-ply wood, extra-light blade at 5.9 mm thickness 
  • Handle: 3.88 inches, Flared
  • Rubber: Jet Basic
  • Sponge Thickness: 1.78 mm
  • Weight: 182 grams
  • Head Dimensions and Length:  6 x 6 1/8 inches; 10 inches

 

Just like Stiga Apex, the Killerspin Jet 200 is geared towards beginners and recreational players. The paddle does not offer much, and unlike the Stiga Apex, this paddle is not ITTF approved. This difference makes the Killerspin Jet 200 fall under the Stiga Apex in our rankings, with the former even costing more than the latter. 

The difference should not hinder users from considering this paddle though. Despite its limits, its performance as a basic paddle is quite solid.

As a recreational paddle, the Jet 200 is a considerable step up from the free paddles included when enthusiasts purchase Ping Pong tables. The unorthodox color, however, is a bit disappointing because it doesn’t let the player feel like one is using tournament-quality paddles.

Nonetheless, the ample amount of control provided by the paddle is perfect for players who are starting out in the sport. In addition, the durability of the materials used in this paddle is a testament to its how this paddle is surely a step above those free paddles that come with Ping Pong tables. 

 

Top Pick: The Butterfly 401

Butterfly 401

 

 

The Butterfly 401 comes out at the top in this list of best Pong Paddles under $50, thanks to its perfect balance of speed, spin, and control. While the Stiga Apex or Palio Expert 2.0 could have been the better choice, their inconsistent performance ratings make them a close second to the Butterfly 401.

The dedication of Tamasu’s company to provide meticulously engineered equipment shows in the Butterfly 401. Their initiative to continuously collaborate with coaches and athletes worldwide indicates that they do not settle for anything less than excellent. For a price point that is borderline cheap, this paddle’s quality goes well beyond a player’s expectations. 

That being said, the paddle’s performance certainly does get 10s all across the board. Nonetheless, the paddle’s versatility makes it more adaptable than any other choice in this article. 

Things to Consider When Buying a Ping Pong Paddle

As mentioned earlier, choosing the right Ping Pong paddle could ultimately help any player in improving one’s game. Choosing the right paddle isn’t a walk in the park, however, because this process alone requires a lot of time and effort to narrowing down a player’s specific needs.

The first thing to consider is budget. When people check Amazon for Ping Pong paddles, hundreds of options immediately pop up. The price point you’re willing to pay for a paddle is likely going to hinge on your use case. Are you a recreational player? Then, this list of best ping pong paddles under $50 may be perfect for you. However, professional players would likely be willing to spend much more than $50.  

Another thing to consider is the brand of the paddle. In our list of best ping pong paddles under $50, we’ve made sure to narrow down our list to only the most reputable brands. That way, you can be assured of the paddle’s quality. 

Finally, you’ll want to also consider you’re playing style. For example, some ping pong players may have a more defensive style while others enjoy hitting with a lot of spin. This will dictate the type of paddle you’d like to purchase since ping pong paddles will cater to different playing styles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between a shakehand grip and a penhold grip?

A: As the name suggests, the shakehand/handshake, or the open handgrip on the paddle requires more hand coverage. The penhold is the opposite, concentrating on the handle of the paddle more. While the way to regulate swings should depend on the player, paddles have a default set up. The handle and the player’s preference are a few things to consider when choosing a paddle. 

Q: How do I know if I want a heavy or lightweight paddle?

A: The decision on whether or not lightweight is the answer depends on the player’s style. Usually, a lighter paddle would give an impressive speed but would lack power, and the contrary would go for the heavier ones. If the goal to assist in the player’s agility, lightweight paddles are the ideal choice. But for more powerful smashes, an increase in the paddle’s weight would be needed.

Q: What does the sponge do?

A: The sponge, together with the rubber, works on the paddle’s reaction upon ball impact. A thicker, tackier sponge would lead to the ball sticking longer, which gives the player more time to set up for his move. A thinner sponge would work best for fast play, although it would require an intense level of control in terms of trajectory. The sponge is usually preset, but some paddles offer customization. Again, choosing which is which would depend on the kind of game the player wants to play.

Q: Why are these paddles so much more expensive?

A: The usual sets’ paddles are not as durable, with the playability on a hit and miss basis. Established manufacturers offer these paddles at a relatively higher price point because they promise a level of quality to the more dedicated player. The willingness to shell out extra bucks would only be natural once a player has distinguished his level of commitment to the game.

 

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