The 10 Best Blades for Table Tennis in 2022

Once your table tennis game begins to improve and you become an intermediate to an advanced player, you might find that the normal pre-made ping pong paddles don’t quite suit your style of play. It’s then that you’ll want to consider building your own racket. There are thousands of combinations of different rubbers and blades to choose from, and it can be hard to know where to start. I remember my first time purchasing a custom blade, I was a little overwhelmed by all the options!

This is why we at Ping Pong Ruler have put this brief guide together on the best blades for table tennis. It should help you understand the world of custom-built paddles and push you in the right direction towards the ideal blade for you.

The Best Blades for Table Tennis in 2022

Table Tennis Blade Buyer’s Guide

Butterfly Viscaria - Straight Handle

Why Build Your Own Paddle?

Once you have developed some basic table tennis skills, it’s common for players to shift from a premade paddle to a custom-made one that suits their gameplay and style. Some bats are made to suit offensive-style players, while others are built with defense in mind. As you improve, you’ll find that your game changes and want to try different things. By choosing a table tennis blade and rubbers, you can personalize your racket according to your preferences and the amount of power and spin you want to generate in your shots. 

Different Types of Ping Pong Blades

Like pre-made paddles, there are a few different types of blades to consider, and they fit into three sub-categories.

A. All-round blades

The all-round blade is better suited for players who have maybe just started experimenting with custom-built blades and want to try different combinations of rubbers to see what works. These blades will usually feature hard inner and soft outer plies, and tend to be medium speed to allow players to have good control.

B. Attacking blades

If you have plenty of experience and are more of an advanced player who likes to go on the offensive, then you’ll want to get a blade to match. Blades built for offense tend to have hard outer plies to bring lots of power.

C. Defensive blades

For players with a defensive style, you might want to choose a blade with flexible plies to slow the ball down and neutralize your opponent’s shots.

Read More: The Best Table Tennis Paddles

Different Table Tennis Blade Handles

When choosing a blade, you must ensure you get the right kind depending on how you hold a table tennis bat.

Penhold-style

penhold grip

This blade style is for the players who prefer to grip the paddle like a pen. This paddle features a thick and short handle. It is a blade you hold between your forefinger and thumb, which is very popular with Asian players. This grip style has several advantages and disadvantages, and it isn’t recommended for beginners.  

Shakehand

shakehand grip

The shakehand style grip is more popular with western players. It’s called the shake hand grip as you hold the handle like you’re shaking hands with someone. This style is much more flexible, allowing you to comfortably play a full range of shots. We recommend it for beginners.

Flared, anatomic and straight handles

Within standard shakehand blades, there are three different styles of handles.

  • Flared – Flared handles are probably the most popular style. They get wider towards the end of the handle to stop it from slipping out of your hand.
  • Straight – Straight handles are, as the name suggests, completely straight to allow you to change how you grip the bat mid-game and give you more options.
  • Anatomic – Anatomic-shaped handles get wider in the middle so that they fit comfortably in your palm.

We recommend trying out the different types of handles to see which one suits you, but it’s best to opt for a flared grip if you’re unsure.

What Makes a Good Table Tennis Blade?

What constitutes a good blade will vary from player to player. Fundamentally, you need to choose one which complements your style — it might not work well with others, but it will be the best ping pong blade for you. Yet, despite personal preferences, there are qualities that we universally value across all blades:

  • High-quality, durable wood
  • Good level of feeling
  • Well-weighted

Now that we know universally appealing qualities, it’s time to get into the specifics. Each blade is rated on four main qualities. By looking at these qualities in isolation, you can determine whether a blade is a good fit for your style. These qualities are control, speed, stiffness, and hardness. 

Control: The level of difficulty to make an effective return. Many specific factors go into this, such as spin, placement, and dwell time, but ultimately, speed dictates control. The faster the blade, the less control it has.

Speed: The pace at which your blade propels the ball forward. Fast blades are harder to control and give you less time to react to incoming shots. However, they put more pressure on your opponent and increase the likelihood of hitting the ball past them.

Stiffness: A measure of your blade’s ability to bend. Flexible blades hold the ball for longer, allowing you to rotate the ball more for increased spin. Stiff blades, on the other hand, hold firm, making them much better for smashing.

Hardness: This affects the feeling of your blade and its performance. Hard blades are faster and have low dwell. Soft blades, by comparison, hold the ball longer, resulting in better feeling. They are also slower.    

Distinguishing between stiffness and hardness

Two qualities many players mix up are stiffness and hardness, and I’m hardly surprised as they are pretty similar.

Think of it this way. Hardness relates to the feeling of the outer ply, whereas stiffness is the overall flex of the blade. This has multiple components such as the number of plies, thickness, and composition. For example, you may want a stiff, soft, flexible, or hard blade. 

Allwood Blades vs Carbon Blades

When picking out your blade, you will have to choose whether to go for allwood or carbon.

Allwood blades, while great for all skill levels, are particularly suited for beginners. These blades are rather flexible, which gives you more feedback when you strike the ball. This helps you ascertain if you have played an effective shot or not, assisting you in refining your technique. 

Carbon blades are composed of both wood and carbon. They are less beginner-friendly. These blades are much stiffer, which gives you less feedback when you strike the ball. However, they are lighter and faster than most allwood blades which is a big advantage. A carbon blade is likely the better choice if you are an advanced player with great technique.

Watch more: If you want to check out some great mid-range Joola paddles, we reviewed 5 of them head-to-head

Carbon Table Tennis Blade Reviews

Now we’ll take a more in-depth look at some of the best ping pong blades we recommend and who they are best suited to. In this section, we tackle carbon blades.

1. Butterfly Viscaria 

best blade table tennis viscariabest blade table tennis viscaria

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W+2ALC

Thickness: 5.8mm

Weight: 87g

Handle Types: Flared, straight

Recommended Rubbers: Tenergy 05, Rasanter R47

Rating: 9.4

Full review available here

As you’ll see from our list of recommended table tennis blade reviews, Butterfly holds almost all of the spots. And the Viscaria is one of our favorites. It’s made using a combination of five wooden layers and two arylate carbon fiber layers to make it fairly lightweight (around 87 grams) while still packing power and control. We were surprised at how large the sweet spot was, it’s a lot bigger than the allwood blades that we’ve played with.

It has a compact head that we loved for hitting quick counter looping returns, and it could be a good option if you’re an offensive player as you can generate a good amount of spin due to its moderate dwell time. It’s available in two handle styles: flared and straight, so make sure you get the right one depending on your preference.

The Viscaria is one of the most popular blades among professionals. It was formerly used by the legendary Timo Boll, and is currently used by 3 players in the top 50 that we know of: Liam Pitchford, Anton Kallberg, and Jonathan Groth. Therefore it would be silly for us not to include this exceptional piece of kit among the best table tennis blades.

2. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC

best blade table tennis timo boll alc

best blade table tennis timo boll alc

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W+2ALC

Thickness: 5.8mm

Weight: 86g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic

Recommended Rubbers: Tenergy 05, Rasanter R47

Rating: 9.6

Full review available here

Another blade to consider is the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC, it’s a seven-ply blade with the same five wood and two arylate carbon fiber layer construction as the Viscaria. It was designed by a partnership between Butterfly and three-time European champion Timo Boll. The result is this great blade that combines large amounts of power and control.

This is one of the reasons Boll uses the blade himself. He found that he struggled to keep the ball on the table for faster blades — the balance with the ALC is just right. As such, it is the best table tennis blade for 2022, in our opinion.

The Timo Boll ALC blade is available in three handle styles: anatomic, flared, and straight. So again, make sure you get the correct one.

 

3. Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC

best blade table tennis zhang jike super zlcbest blade table tennis zhang jike super zlc

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W+2SZLC

Thickness: 5.6mm

Weight: 90g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic, penhold

Recommended Rubbers: Tenergy 25-FX, Rasanter R42

Rating: 9.4

Next is the Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC, a seven-ply blade with five wood plies and two ZLC fiber plies. ZL Carbon is a combination of carbon fiber and ZL fiber (ZYLON) woven together to provide a strong and flexible blade. It’s hugely popular with players who want to generate power and be precise with their shots. It also performs consistently across its surface, making it a good choice for players who struggle to hit the ball at the optimal position on the blade. 

Weighing in at around 90g, it has a huge sweet spot that we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing with, and it’s available in four handle types: Straight, anatomic, flared, and penhold. A major drawback to this blade is the price. It is one of the most expensive blades you can buy. The Zhang Jike Super ZLC is sported by the Taiwanese player Lin Yun-Ju.

 

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W+2ZLF

Thickness: 5.4mm

Weight: 83g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic, penhold

Recommended Rubbers: Tenergy 05, Rasanter R47

Rating: 9.5

The Timo Boll ZLF is another elite composite blade by Butterfly, but unlike the usual carbon we are used to, this blade exclusively uses ZL fibers. ZL fiber is harder, lighter, and more flexible than carbon fiber, bringing many benefits to the table tennis table. Of course, there is no major difference between the ZLF and other Butterfly carbon blades, but it does excel in some areas. For instance, the flexibility of the ZLF fiber gives you an improved feeling than the Timo Boll ALC. But what players seem to love most about this blade is how controllable it feels.

It’s just disappointing that it’s so pricey. But then again, with a premium Butterfly blade, you always know this will be the case. Fortunately, you never have to worry about quality regarding the brand. 

It’s used by quite a few pro players such as Diogo Carvalho, Lella Oliveira, and Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc.

5. Butterfly Petr Korbel 

best blade table tennis korbelbest blade table tennis korbel

Specifications

Class: All-around

Plies: 5W 

Thickness: 5.9mm

Weight: 91g

Handle Types: Flared, straight

Recommended Rubbers: Rozena, Mark V

Rating: 8.9

Full review available here

The Petr Korbel blade from Butterfly is an allwood five-ply blade that has been hugely popular with players since the 90s when it first came out. Unlike many of the other blades above, it doesn’t have any carbon fiber plies, which makes it feel more flexible

While the official speed rating is offensive, we feel this is a little out. To us, it’s more of an offensive-/all-round+ style blade. The control is remarkably high, so players who value consistency will feel right at home with the Petr Korbel blade.  

It’s got a large head (158x152mm), but we found the sweet spot is not as large as some of the other blades in our round-up. Yet it’s still a great buy, we think it is one of the best table tennis blades for intermediate players, perhaps those who are not quite ready for carbon. Another thing to mention is that we found the handle a little small, so we wouldn’t recommend it for players with larger hands as you might find it a bit uncomfortable.

This blade was personally used by the player it was named after, Petr Korbel. And it is currently used by several players such as Jeoung Youngsik and Andrej Gacina.

6. Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive

best blade table tennis ma lin extra offensive

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W

Thickness: 6mm

Weight: 86g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic, penhold

Recommended Rubbers: Rakza 7 Soft, Baracuda

Rating: 9

Full review available here

Next up is the Ma Lin Extra Offensive (YEO). It’s a collaboration between Yasaka and the former Olympic champion Ma Lin. It’s a five-ply allwood blade that feels somewhat stiff and stable, allowing you to hit good blocking shots. It has a pretty large sweet spot that you’ll enjoy playing with. The Extra Offensive is not fast, but it’s still quick enough to generate good power to suit offensive players. We’d say it only just scrapes into the offensive class; some players may perceive it to be more fitting of an all-round+ classification. 

The YEO is easy to recommend, weighing in at 90g and costing less than most of the top rubbers. It provides unrivaled value for money and only really suffers at far distances from the table due to a lack of carbon. The Ma Lin Extra Offensive is available in multiple handle styles: straight, flared, and anatomic, and there’s also a penhold grip version available.

7. Stiga Clipper Classic

best blade table tennis stiga clipper

best blade table tennis stiga clipper

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 7W 

Thickness: 6.6mm

Weight: 95g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic

Recommended Rubbers: Mark V, Vega Europe

Rating: 9.2

The Stiga Clipper Classic is a much older blade than the others featured on this list, dating all the way back to 1981. Therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if you overlooked it. Table tennis technology has come a long way in that time. And this blade pre-dates key changes to the sport, such as the 38mm to 40mm ball change, and the speed glue ban. And yet, it still performs marvelously. 

You have to remember that this blade was the choice of many ex-champions such as Jean-Michel Saive and Liu Guoliang, which speaks volumes about its caliber. In fact, Stiga has sold more than 1 million units since its release — it really is that popular!

It’s classified as an offensive blade but is probably on the lower end now that carbon blades are so common. Most players favor using it close to the table. It’s fairly hard and stiff, which makes countering and smashing rather effective, but as it’s not blistering fast, control remains high throughout. We’d say it’s one of the top table tennis blades for intermediate players.  

CHECK PRICE ON MEGASPIN

8. Yasaka Goiabao 5

best blade table tennis yasaka

Specifications

Class: Offensive

Plies: 5W 

Thickness: 6.2mm

Weight: 90g

Handle Types: Flared, straight, anatomic, penhold

Recommended Rubbers: Rakza 7 Soft, Acuda Blue P2

Rating: 9.5

Initially released to the Chinese market in 2015, the Goiabao 5 is now available worldwide. Its name literally means “nice wood,” and let me tell you, it packs a punch considering it has just 5 plies with no carbon. It has a thick middle veneer and a hard outer veneer, this translates to a hard feel when you wield it, making smashes and counters deadly. However, looping can be a bit troublesome if you have a rubber that is too hard. I recommend going for medium-hard or softer to get the most out of this blade. A rubber such as Rakza 7 Soft could be perfect.

One of the reasons this blade is so great in my eyes is because it is very well priced. It hangs with the best blades in table tennis while being a fraction of the cost. Even if you’re not entirely convinced that it’s for you, there’s not much harm in trying it out. It doesn’t decimate your wallet like a lot of Butterfly blades do.

And as a small bonus, Yasaka seals this blade for you, so there is no need to varnish. You can remove your rubbers easily.

CHECK PRICE ON MEGASPIN

Defensive Table Tennis Blade Reviews

9. Yasaka Sweden Classic

best table tennis blade sweden classic

Specifications

Class: All-round/defensive

Plies: 5W 

Thickness: 5.5mm

Weight: 82g

Handle Types: Flared

Recommended Rubbers: Mark V, Curl P1R

Rating: 8.8

The Yasaka Sweden Classic is an all-time favorite with all-round players and defensive players alike due to its super level of feeling. With its 5 wooden veneer construction, you get plenty of feedback, which is perfect for a beginner or a seasoned veteran who likes very high levels of feeling. 

As its pace is fairly low, you need to put a decent amount of power into your strokes if you want to put your opponent under pressure. I would also recommend keeping fairly close to the table if you want to attack — there is no carbon to help you here. However, the high level of flex does make producing spin rather easy. Perhaps a slow spinny loop or two can be your offensive route to winning points.

Whatever the case may be, the Sweden Classic is hard to go wrong with as a defender. Its super level of feeling and forgiveness are just what a defender needs.

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10. Donic Defplay Senso V3

best blade table tennis defplay senso v3

Specifications

Class: Defensive

Plies: 5W 

Thickness: 5.5mm

Weight: 74g

Handle Types: Flared

Recommended Rubbers: Curl P1R, Feint Long III

Rating: 9.3

As a staple of the chopping world, the Donic Defplay Senso V3 is a top table tennis blade to enhance your defensive game. Soft with lots of flex, it’s a great rubber for producing spin. It’s also very lightweight at just 74g which makes it comfortably the lightest blade on this list.

In terms of rubber pairings, you’ve got lots of options depending on how you like to play. Long pips are always a good choice, but a defensive inverted rubber is equally a quality option. You could even opt for an offensive rubber to attack on one side — just know that you’ll need something fast as the Defplay Senso V1 is pretty slow. 

Another aspect you’ll like, as for the Sweden Classic, is that the blade is remarkably cheap. It represents incredible value and kind of makes me jealous I’m not a defensive player, as my wallet would certainly thank me for it. 

CHECK PRICE ON MEGASPIN

FAQs

Do Table Tennis Blades Matter?

Your blade choice has a major impact on how you play, so if you choose wrong your game can suffer, and equally, if you choose wisely your game can flourish. Take an offensive looper, for instance, a fast and flexible blade is a good choice for this player. However, if this player chooses a slow and hard blade instead their performance will take a hit.

What is More Important the Blade or Rubber?

Most people will lean on the blade being more important and we have to agree. It’s the main part of the bat you hold and is effectively an extension of your arm. 

Which is the Best Blade in Table Tennis?

This depends on what style you like to play. While we personally prefer the Timo Boll ALC over the rest, it may not be the best blade for you. Choose a blade that matches your style.

What is the Fastest Table Tennis Blade?

According to players, the following three blades are the fastest:

  1. DHS Hurricane Long 5X
  2. Butterfly TriCarbon
  3. Yasaka Spelancer

We also find the Butterfly Sardius to be pretty damn quick. 

What Blade Does Timo Boll Use?

Timo Boll currently uses the Timo Boll ALC blade. In the past, he has also used the Timo Boll Spirit and Viscaria too.

How Do I Choose a Ping Pong Blade?

The first step is to identify how you like to play and your strengths on the table. Then custom select your blade to match your preferences. For instance, consider a stiff and hard blade if you like to smash.

How Long Does a Table Tennis Blade Last?

The great thing about blades is that they last a damn long time. If a blade is well protected and not left outside in the elements, it could last anywhere from a few years to a lifetime.

This ultimately depends on how heavy-handed you are. The main reason to bin a blade is from natural wear and tear. This occurs during match play when you dent the edges, and during rubber removal where you might splinter certain sections. Over time these small but successive areas of wear can leave your blade looking beat up. However, if it doesn’t affect the blade’s performance, by all means, keep using it!

Summing Up

So, to sum up, we liked the Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF a lot, and we think this is one of the best table tennis blades for the money. It’s quite flexible and should suit a good range of players who play a fast attacking game. 

However, the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC is our top pick. Used by the legend Timo Boll himself, it ticks all of the boxes for an offensive looper, making it the best blade in table tennis that you can buy. Click below to check its availability and the best price.

Decided on your blade but not your rubbers? Sounds like you need to read our rubber guide
Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.