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Table Tennis Tips

A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Brand or no-brand name table tennis rackets?

Most table tennis manufacturers produce a line of pre-made or pre-assembled rackets or paddles. These “ready-to-play” rackets are built to last and generally get fully replaced when the rubber surfaces wear out. They normally have the same rubber on both sides. I’ve used Butterfly as an example here, since it is still the most highly recognised and well known brand in the world, although it varies a lot from country to country…

Most of the pre-made rackets have the identical rubber on each side. Prices vary depending on the quality of the blade (wooden part of the racket) and the rubbers. They are often a good choice for a first racket, or for those that only for want one for recreational use. The rackets of most brands use ratings or a star system, the higher the ratings the more speed, spin and control you’ll have, and sometimes it indicates quality as well. You can use the stars as a guide to pick something that suits your level, the higher your skill level the higher speed and spin ratings you can handle.

It’s important to note that the ratings can ONLY be used to compare bats from a particular brand. All the manufactures use their own ratings system, so comparing between say a Butterfly and Stiga brand, is meaningless.

Are brand name rackets better?

The answer to this is 'it depends'. Most people prefer to buy a brand name, since the associate it with quality, and feel the reputation of the manufacturer is at stake if the quality is not good. Most people know the brands like Butterfly, as associate it with Japan made equipment. However what most don't know is that virtually ALL pre-made bats are made in China, although a few are only assembled in China. They are re-badges for the different brands. 

These days the Chinese manufacturers CAN produce very good quality products, but there is certainly no guarantees that a top brand pre-made bats are  better than a similar looking unknown-brand bats.


 Welcome to One of a Kind Reviews site!
So how do you choose?

If you want something of decent quality and that will help your game (I assume you do since you're reading this guide), look at the rubber to see if they have the ITTF approval logo on them. ITTF approval for a rubber does not only mean it can be legally used in competition or tournaments, but it also indicates a level of quality. Sometimes the range of bats with ITTF approved rubbers is indicated by calling them "competition level" bats, which usually means the same thing. You'll probably find that these bats are a bit more expensive, as the rubbers on the bats are a lot more expensive. The bats without ITTF rubbers are commonly referred to as 'recreational' and 'entry' level bats. It's worth checking out whether the rubbers are ITTF approved or not, as this is one of the few indicators that is useful.

Butterfly table tennis bats

You'll find that the top brand name bats with ITTF approved rubbers are quite a lot more expensive. This is because these same rubber is commonly sold at much high prices. Lets look for example at the Butterfly range of bats at Megaspin, a major US online store.

First look at their range of Butterfly table tennis rackets

You'll see they have 'entry level' and 'recreational level' bats, with quite a wide price range. These bats do seem to have ITTF approved rubbers on them, although they are real base-grade rubbers (presumably Chinese made) such as "Pan Asia" and "Wakaba", mainly for control not so much for speed. Although this is an indication of quality, it's not up to the same standard as their higher range bats used by many competition players.

When you look at their Pro-line rackets, you'll see blade and rubbers in the pictures instead of the complete bat. This indicated it's no longer a pre-assembled bat, but the retailer assembles it for you. The rubbers are much higher quality, and the prices have risen accordingly as well.

If you look at Megaspin's Butterfly rubbers, sorted by price, you'll see why the prices are so much higher... the prices of a single sheet (and you need 2 of these for a complete bat) range from about US$30 to US$90! Similarly if you look at Megaspin's Butterfly blades, sorted by price, the price range from about $30 to $170. This gives you some indication of the value you get with a Pre-made bat.

Chinese brand table tennis bats

Now lets look at some of the less well known table tennis bats on our own store here. Virtually all bats there have ITTF approved rubbers, and these are the same rubbers as those sold separately for much more, and are also the same ones used by higher level players on the custom blade. So not only are these bats generally cheaper, but the quality is similar and the rubbers are the same ones used for custom bats, not the more basic ones designed specifically made for pre-made bats. Note that DHS brand bats tend to be a little more expensive as well, since DHS is the top Chinese brand, and their products used by many of the world top players.

So which ones are the better choice? Well for the cheapest ones, the Chinese ones tend to offer much more for the same price and similar quality, so they are usually the better choice. The more you're willing to spend, the closer the two types become. If brand or reputation is important to you, than you need to consider that as well...

One further point to consider is that when the price of the Pre-made gets to around the $40 to $50 mark, you can buy a basic custom made bat for the same price, which usually offer a far better quality bat overall... so this is another important considerations...


 For further information:
Return to: Table tennis rackets, paddles and bats guide

Continue to: Table tennis rackets, paddles, bats - choosing rubbers and blade (Custom bats)


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