Table Tennis Table Review

Most people enjoy playing table tennis since it is suitable for
just about everyone, no matter what their age or ability.
This Table Tennis Table Review investigates
what to look for when buying a table tennis table.

Photo of JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table How much fun can you have with a table tennis table? Heaps! We love table tennis (or ping pong as some people call it) as an indoor activity. Although normally the table is folded up and rolled away so we have more space in our living room, it only takes a few minutes to set it up and enjoy the fun of a quick game or two, particularly when friends drop around.

So, what are the secrets to choosing a good table tennis table? Over the years I have played on numerous tables, from a home-made particleboard table (complete with bumps and lumps where it had swollen after it got wet!) to wonderful tables that felt great and really helped my meagre skills as a table tennis jockey. I'm no expert but I have learned some of the key things to look for in a good table.

Firstly, don't expect million dollar performance from a cheap table. Quality materials cost a lot more than cheap parts and an inexpensive table will never be as good as one costing hundreds of dollars. Some of the tables I have played on had thin metal legs that soon buckled and had table tops that flaked and chipped after only a little use. I'd suggest that you should be looking at tables that cost at least $300 for reasonable quality, although tables that cost even more will be worth the extra cost.

Photo of table tennis gameSecondly, a good table will be quite heavy. A light table may seem to be more portable, but unless you are lifting it up to the ceiling for storage, a good set of caster wheels will easily compensate for the added weight. A heavy table will absorb the bumps and knocks while playing a vigorous game without damage and without being pushed around. Look for solid steel legs that are welded - square section legs are much better than the cheaper tube legs. A heavy table will also have reinforcing beams to make the table much more stable and durable, such as a continuous frame around the base of the table top.

Photo of partly folded table tennis table Thirdly, look at the quality of the table top more than anything else. Some materials are better than others for bounce. Most tables are made of masonite or other composite timber materials. Cheap tables will have rather thin tops that easily flex and bend, producing a very poor bounce that will soon become tiresome. The top should be at least 16mm (5/8"), although a thicker top will generally be better. If you are wanting to keep your table outdoors or in a place that suffers temperature/humidity variations (such as garage or outdoor courtyard) look for synthetic tops that will not degrade with exposure to weather, although sometimes the bounce is slightly reduced with some synthetic materials. Outdoor tables tend to cost more but they are worth the investment. Unfortunately, indoor tables with covers (either purpose-built or a simple tarp) do not really stand up to harsh conditions and, from experience, they become such a hassle to uncover and re-cover that you often can't be bothered to play a game. The regulations for table tennis tables specify that they should be either green or blue, with low-friction, low-glare surfaces.

Photo of folded table tennis table Fourthly, check the portability of the table. Some people may have a dedicated room for table tennis and other activities but most of us have to make do with multi-use rooms. Some tables fold in two halves with one set of caster wheels, while others are made from two separate half-tables that butt together, each with their own caster wheels. (Check for the number of wheels; four on each side means two separate half tables while only two on each side shows a simple bi-fold table.) Neither has any particular advantage, although you may find it easier to store the second type since each half can be transported and stored separately, often partly nesting into each other to take up even less space. An added bonus for both types is that you can fold up one side and use it for playing a solo practice game. If your play area is not level and flat, look for legs that can be readily adjusted to compensate for different heights and uneven ground. Most foldable tables can be stored with the net in place, although tables with storage for bats and balls are handy.

In summary, expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a quality table, one that is heavy yet portable with a good top and solid steel legs. If you are willing to pay for a good table, it will give you many years of service and fun and, after all, that's what table tennis is all about. Amazon sells some great table tennis tables, including the JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table, a bifold, indoor table, the Butterfly TR21 Personal Table Tennis Table which is a dual split table for indoor use and the Butterfly TW24B Outdoor Table Tennis Table which is another dual split table that has a synthetic top for outdoor storage and play. Choose any of these tables and you can be sure of hours of fun for many years to come. Enjoy!

Photo of Joola Inside Table Tennis Table
JOOLA Inside
Table Tennis Table
Photo of Butterfly TR21 Table Tennis Table
Butterfly TR21 Personal
Table Tennis Table
Photo of Butterfly TW24B Outdoor Table Tennis Table
Butterfly TW24B Outdoor
Table Tennis Table

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