Top Ping Pong Paddles (Updated in 2021!)

Choosing the right ping pong paddle may take quite a bit of time and research. But hey, that’s what we’re here for. In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to go over the top ping pong paddles on the market today. 

  1. Stiga Pro Carbon
  2. Stiga Titan
  3. Stiga Raptor
  4. Killerspin Jet 800 Speed N1
  5. Killerspin TC RTG Diamond Premium
  6. DHS Hurricane II
  7. Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL
  8. Butterfly 802 Arylate Carbon

#1. Stiga Pro Carbon: Top Pick for Overall Performance

Stiga Pro Carbon

ProsCons
Generates power suited for offensive playsNot suitable for beginners 
Wider sweet spotUsers have reported issues on durability.
Replaceable rubber

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings – Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
  • Dimensions (in inches): 22 x 7 x 2
  • Weight: 185g
  • Handle: Concave Pro with Weight Balance, Rate of Recovery, and Ball Sensitivity (WRB) System
  • Rubber: S5 with Air-Capsule System (ACS) Technology
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm
  • Blade: 7-ply Extra Light; 5 plies of Balsa Wood, two plies of Carbon with Crystal Technology
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

The Stiga Pro Carbon offers offensive players an impressive amount of power. From a power standpoint, the Stiga Pro Carbon is one of the top ping pong paddles out there. It is suitable for players who are either advanced or have already found their footing in the game. 

This paddle’s weight, combined with the WRB (Weight Balance, Rate of Recovery and Ball Sensitivity) system, enables the player to give strong smashes with high precision. Its ACS technology, together with the thick 2.0 mm sponge creates a catapult effect on the ball, contributing to the power and impressive spin this paddle offers.

In addition, The blade comes with Shock Dispersion technology,  which distributes every impact on this paddle evenly. This feature gives the player improved control when receiving powerful shots from an opponent. 

Meanwhile, the Stiga Pro Carbon’s 7-ply blade gives the player enough power to attack even when a player is far away from the table. The two layers of Carbon contributes to the paddle’s sweet spot’s effectivity, which further improves the power behind the paddle. 

Intermediate players have reported that playing with the Pro Carbon significantly improved their game, but the same players have also advised beginners to consider other paddles. The increased spin and speed levels might make working on control more difficult for players still learning the ropes. 

 

#2. Stiga Titan: Best Defensive and Beginners

Stiga Titan

ProsCons
Performance ratings are sufficient for all playing levels.Not suitable for offensive players
Relatively more affordable compared to other tournament-approved paddlesUsers have reported issues on durability.
The abundance of control plays well for the defensive player.

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings – Speed: 80 Spin: 77 Control: 82
  • Dimensions (in inches): 12 x 7 x 3
  • Weight: 159 g
  • Handle: Concave Italian Composite with WRB System
  • Rubber: Triumph Inverted
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm
  • Blade: 5-ply Extra Light; Balsa Wood with Crystal Technology
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

The performance ratings on the Stiga Titan makes it suitable for players of all levels. If you’re looking for versatility, this is one of the top ping pong paddles out there. It’s doesn’t specialize in a specific attribute (spin, power, control), but it does enough in all major departments. 

Like the Pro Carbon, the Stiga Titan also has the WRB system, which helps its players maneuver both the ball and paddle. The Balsa technology makes this paddle lighter than the Pro Carbon, which is suitable for fast-paced plays. The Crystal technology makes the Titan’s blade surface hard, supporting the sponge, and Balsa technology increases the paddle’s speed. 

This paddle would not be suitable for the offensive player, though, since it lacks power given that it’s lightweight. Users have reported that extra effort is needed to generate significant amount of speed on their shots. 

Based on player reviews, this paddle performs well as a recreational player’s paddle. The Stiga Titan allows them to have enough speed and spin without compromising on control. Its light weight and dimensions also allows this paddle to be suitable for children. 

 

#3. Stiga Raptor: For Intermediate Players Aiming to Improve their Game

Stiga Raptor

ProsCons
Stellar performance ratings made for the more experienced playerLeans toward the more expensive side
The sleek design makes it stand out among other paddles.The overall durability still needs work.
Its weight supports powerful and precise shots.

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings – Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
  • Dimensions (in inches): 26.5 x 15.5 x 4
  • Weight: 213 g
  • Handle: Concave Pro with WRB System
  • Rubber: S5 with Nano Composite and ACS Technology
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm
  • Blade: 7-ply Extra Light; five plies of Balsa Wood, two plies of Carbon with Crystal Technology 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

Based on the performance ratings alone, the Stiga Raptor is one of the top ping pong paddles for intermediate to advanced players. The level of speed and spin indicates it is for professionals or the more advanced player who wants a companion to keep up with the pace. 

Like the Stiga Pro Carbon, this paddle contains similar advanced, premium features. To be more specific, the WRB, ACS, Balsa wood, Carbon, and Crystal Tech are present in this paddle. What makes this different from the Pro Carbon is its added Nano Composite technology in the rubber, which contributes to the added speed and spin the Raptor has.  

Players who’ve had firsthand experience confirm that the Stiga Raptor not a paddle for beginners. They do, however, applaud Stiga for the way this paddle boosts their game. The additional speed and spin that this paddle provides is ideal for intermediate players trying to level up their game. 

The paddle also separates itself from others with its exceptionally sleek design. The durability is still something Stiga needs to work on, though, for there have been issues on parts of paddles like the logo falling off. 

 

#4. Killerspin Jet 800 Speed N1: For the Fast and Aggressive Player

Killerspin Jet 800 Speed N1

ProsCons
Performance ratings increase an aggressive player's offensive and defensive strategy.Even more expensive than the Stiga Raptor
The wooden side tape makes the paddle more durable than its competitors.The abundance of speed and spin might take some getting used to even for intermediate players.

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings (out of 10) – Speed: 9.5 Spin: 9.0 Control: 8.0
  • Dimensions (in inches): 6.1 x 6 x 0.5
  • Weight: 266 g
  • Handle: Concave Pro with WRB System
  • Rubber: Nitrx-4Z
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm; high tension
  • Blade: 7-ply Extra Light;  five plies of premium wood, two plies of Carbon 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

As the name suggests, this paddle is one of the top ping pong paddles for players who value speed and spin. The Killerspin Jet 800 Speed N1 is the last and top-ranking paddle in the brand’s 8-part release. This paddle was worth the wait, for its performance is fit for the players who reap their training rewards. 

One thing that sets the Jet 800 Speed N1 apart is the wooden tape wrapped around, which protects the paddle from chipping or breaking. The added protection sets this apart from the Stiga Raptor, but this paddle should be nothing less than durable for the price point. 

The Nitrx-4z rubber technology, together with the stiffness of the 7-ply blade assures powerful and excellent spins. This high-tension rubber allows the player to respond to an opponent’s shot-making with power and spin.. Together with the paddle’s hefty weight, these features work to the aggressive player’s advantage.

Playing with the paddle may require some adjustments, but users have reported that this learning curve has been worth the improvement in their game.

 

#5. Killerspin TC RTG Diamond Premium: For Professionals Who Don’t Mind Spending

Killerspin TC RTG Diamond Premium

ProsCons
The quality embodies the "tournament" in tournament approved.One of the most expensive paddles currently in the market
Fortissimo rubber improves on its spin and control compared to the Jet 800The price point limits its market to a professional or an extremely dedicated player.
Lightweight with a reliable grip

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings (out of 10) – Speed: 10 Spin: 9.4 Control: 8.2
  • Dimensions (in inches): 12 x 7 x 1
  • Weight: 178 g
  • Handle: Available in Flared or Straight, 
  • Rubber: Fortissimo
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm; high tension
  • Blade: 7-ply Extra Light;  five plies of composite wood, two plies of Titanium Carbon 
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

The Killerspin TC RTG Diamond Premium, like the Jet 800 Speed N1, is one of the top ping pong paddles for fast and aggressive shot makers. Its main difference is that this paddle would make quite a dent in the player’s wallet. The Diamond Premium would probably be more fitting for the professional athletes who would be competing in tournaments. 

However, its hefty price tag is justified, given the paddle’s supreme quality. Its stellar performance ratings are a strong signal to a potential buyer that this just isn’t an ordinary paddle. Just like the Jet 800, the 7-ply blade makes it possible for the player to produce powerful shots. 

Player reviews also confirm the excellence this paddle offers. The Fortissimo rubber enhances its spin but, at the same time, provides enough control to the player. In addition, the Diamond Premium is lightweight, and its impressive grip makes it easier to maneuver the paddle. 

 

#6. DHS Hurricane-II: For the Player Who Focuses on Speed AND Spin

DHS Hurricane-II

ProsCons
The difference of rubber on each side gives the player better control.Also on the higher price range 
Both sides are optimized to deliver speed and spin.Maneuverability limits this paddle to the more experienced players
Replaceable rubbers

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings – Speed: 8.5 Spin: 9.3 Control: 8.0
  • Weight: 167 g
  • Handle: Shakehand
  • Rubber: G555 on one side, Hurricane II on the other
  • Sponge: 2.0 mm
  • Blade: DHS Hurricane-II with 5-ply wood
  • ITTF Tournament Approved

 

The DHS Hurricane-II is one of the top ping pong paddles for players who want the best of speed and spin in one paddle. DHS may not be as much of a staple name that comes up on every review, but their paddle’s performance is undoubtedly something players cannot ignore.

What makes this paddle stand out is the difference of rubber on each side. This feature is why we believe this paddle has the best of both worlds. Usually, paddles find the middle ground to get both speeds and spin maximized on both sides. But with the Hurricane-II, players have the liberty to choose which side to use, therefore giving them full control of every shot.

One side has the G555 rubber, which works best for defense because of its tackiness. This side optimizes the spin feature, while the Hurricane II’s tackiness and added bounce increases the speed. This side is the one that works best for offensive plays.

DHS stands for Double Happiness, and it most certainly lives up to its name. The quality of this paddle justifies the price tag. Its rubbers deliver excellence, and while some users took some time adjusting, the benefits were worth the learning curve.

 

#7. Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL: For the Aggressive Player with Enough Spending Power

Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL

ProsCons
Excellent speed and spin rating make this perfect for the fast, aggressive players. The price tag, like the Killerspin TC RTG Diamond, is one of the most expensive.   
The quality of the craft is astoundingTogether with the price tag, the performance ratings limit this paddle to the advanced and professional players.
The weight makes the paddle comfortable to use

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings – Speed: 100 Spin: 95 Control: 80
  • Dimensions (in inches): 11 x 7 x 1
  • Weight: 160 g
  • Handle: Available in Flared or Straight
  • Rubber: Tenergy 80-FX
  • Sponge: 2.1 mm
  • Blade: 5-ply; 3-ply Balsa wood, 2-ply Carbon Fiber
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

This paddle’s combination of blade and rubber materials make the Balsa Carbo X5-FL fit for the player who values speed and power. As the recommendation suggests, the paddle is not for the player on a budget. The price tag may be hefty, but the paddle’s performance lives up to it.

The Balsa wood on this 5-ply blade makes this paddle lightweight, and the Carbon Fiber gives it a fuller sweet spot. These features make the paddle suited for aggressive playing because it provides the player with the speed he needs without compromising accuracy. The carbon layers also make the blade more shock- absorbent, which helps in blocking.

Balsa Carbo’s Tenergy 80-FX rubbers balance its speed and spin capacity, which favors players who like attacking from a distance. The same rubber also lets the player produce powerful shots, making the paddle suitable for playing near or far from the table. 

The abundance of speed and spin makes this paddle better suited for the advanced to professional players, though, as beginners might struggle to find control.

 

#8. Butterfly 802 Arylate Carbon: A Less Confusing Option for Speed and Spin

 

Butterfly 802 Arylate Carbon

ProsCons
Excellent speed and spin rating make this perfect for the fast, aggressive players. Slightly cheaper than the DHS Hurricane-II, but still on the more expensive side of paddles  
Having a more balanced blade makes this a more effortless adjustment than the DHS Hurricane-II.Not suitable for players who are still finding their footing
Heightened sweet spot increases the paddle's accuracy.

 

Specifications

  • Performance Ratings (out of 10) – Speed: 8.0 Spin: 9.0 Control: 8.0
  • Dimensions (in inches): 12.5 x 8.5 x 2
  • Weight: 170 g
  • Handle: Long Shakehand 
  • Rubber: Flextra and Inverted Wakaba
  • Sponge: 2.1 mm
  • Blade: 5-ply; 3-ply wood, 2-ply Arylate Carbon
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Approved

 

Just like the DHS Hurricane-II, the Butterfly 802 Arylate Carbon specializes in speed and spin. 

With this paddle coming slightly cheaper than DHS’s offering, it does not come as a surprise that players would favor this variant. Maneuvering the Butterfly 802 would be a more effortless adjustment given its blades equal capabilities.

Combining the Wakaba and Flextra rubbers make a perfect balance of speed spin and control, making this paddle a more effortless adjustment for the advanced player. Meanwhile, the reinforced Arylate Carbon layers on the blade enhance this paddle’s speed without compromising its ability to absorb impact. This feature also widens the paddle’s sweet spot, which makes for improved accuracy and control.

Player reviews show that this paddle delivers top-notch speed and spin capabilities, making it worth the price for them. It also works effectively for counterattacking, which makes this paddle fit for both defensive and offensive shot-making.

The paddle comes with a box, which is something that the users found convenient, since not all brands offer one, and it makes preserving the equipment more accessible.

 

Top Pick: The Stiga Pro Carbon

Stiga Pro Carbon

 

 

While it is true that there are paddles that may be superior in specific areas, the Stiga Pro Carbon outshines the other paddles in this list of top ping pong paddles, thanks to its versatility on top of its affordable price tag.

The DHS Hurricane-II could have been a good second for its highly-specialized blades, but adjusting and maneuvering the paddle ultimately caused it to fall short of the top spot. The Killerspin TC RTG Diamond Premium was also an option for its stellar performance rating, but its price tag made the Stiga Pro Carbon a more practical choice.

Since all of the paddles are fit for tournament use, judging them based on its playability would be unfair. Stiga Pro Carbon effortlessly sweeps the performance ratings with the user reviews to confirm its quality.

Giving this paddle the highest ranking in the brand’s pre-made line only affirms Stiga’s dedication to making this product one of the top ping pong paddles in the market. All of the technology put into building this paddle deliver excellence – it is no surprise that users have struggled to look for another racquet to match its stellar performance. 

How to Choose the Right Ping Pong Paddle

The blade and handle are a combination of smaller components that, when chosen correctly, leads to having the perfect paddle fit for its user. It is best to begin familiarizing with the different parts first so that choosing among pre-made paddles becomes doable.

A paddle’s handle could either be straight, anatomic, or flared. Straight handles, from the term itself, is one straight pole. An anatomic handle would have a fuller midsection that would fit the user’s hand. The flared handle is the most popular. Paddles with this handle are more extensive at the bottom, which provides a better grip to avoid slipping.

The blade consists of the base, rubber, and sponge. The base usually is made up of wood or is combined with other materials. This part is paddle’s primary source of power, so choosing the material and thickness depends on the kind of attacks the player wants to do.

The spin capabilities depend on the tackiness of the rubber and the sponge’s thickness. A thicker sponge and a softer rubber would create more absorption time, which increases a paddle’s spin. Finding the middle ground of both elements would radically improve a paddle’s spin and speed.

Learning about the basics would ultimately lead to making educated choices in searching for a player’s ping pong paddle. It is best to do ample research first instead of recklessly diving into assumptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do we know if we want a thick or thin paddle? 

A: As mentioned in the article, the thickness would depend on the style the player has. It would be more logical for aggressive, offensive players to have thick paddles because they can produce more power than thinner ones. The thickness also accounts for the paddle’s speed, so if you’re more into fast-paced shot making, thicker paddles would be more suitable.

Q: How do you determine the paddle’s level of control?

A: Initially, judging the paddle’s speed and spin ratings would give you an idea of the paddle’s capacity to control the ball for you. Looking at the ratings is usually sufficient, but taking a closer look at the technology in the paddle could also provide a bit more information. Finally, sweet spot size is also something to look at. Some paddles make their sweet spots wider to increase accuracy and precision, increasing the paddle’s level of control.

Q: How do I determine the kind of handle I want?

A: This would depend on how you want to hold the handle. A flared or anatomic handle would require a shake or openhand kind of grip. Straight handles would expect the opposite, making it a more suitable choice for players who prefer penhand or closed grip.

Brand on Spotlight: Stiga

With the Stiga Pro Carbon being this article’s top choice in this list of top ping pong paddles, it’s only fitting to widen one’s knowledge of the brand. 

Since 1944, Bengt Bandstigen’s company has exerted unparalleled dedication in innovating table tennis equipment. Before he passed away in 2015, Mats, Bengt’s son, and then head of the company expressed his goal of becoming the top distributor of ping pong products worldwide. 

Even in its early stages, the company has employed only the best players to improve their equipment’s technology. This effort has captured the attention of the Chinese National Team.

The company’s research and development department is in Sweden, with table tennis experts comprising most of the group. Mats himself was a European champion back in the 1980s, along with approximately six employees who have played in advanced leagues. 

While the company aims to establish itself in table tennis’s competitive side, they also dedicate some of their products to players who are just starting in the sport. Their wide range of products performs at varying levels, which makes the brand appealing to players of all levels. 

 

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