The Palio Expert 2 is another premade paddle from Chinese table tennis brand Palio and Expert Table Tennis. It’s hugely popular with beginners gathering lots of positives reviews and being recommended by professional coaches as one of the best options for beginners due to its high control rating and affordable price. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make it so popular.
- Paddle ratings – Speed: 6.0, Spin: 9.0, Control: 10.0
- Blade – All wood (not sure how many plies)
- Rubbers – Palio CJ8000 rubbers on both sides
- Grip – Flared
- ITTF Approved – Yes, you can use it in official tournaments
- Price – $ (Check the latest price on Amazon)
- Our rating – 9.3
Features of the Palio Expert 2
High control rating: Great for beginners
When you’re starting out in table tennis, you can’t go wrong choosing a paddle with a high control rating. The higher the control rating the easier you’ll find to place the ball on the table as it slows the ball down and makes it easier to control. This allows you to work on your basic skills before upgrading to a racket with more speed and spin.
The Palio Expert 2, despite its misleading name, has a control rating of 10 (the highest you can go) which makes it one of the best options for a beginner and one we recommend highly. It will allow you to develop and improve your shots whilst still being able to generate a bit of speed and spin once you’re ready.
Palio CJ8000 tacky rubber
To be able to generate spin and speed you need a good quality rubber. The CJ8000 rubbers on The Expert 2 are a good balance of both. Not too much for someone starting out. They are a tacky rubber, which means that the ball sticks to them slightly when you hit the ball. This allows you to generate topspin, backspin and sidespin when making contact. It’s also got a soft sponge, which gives you more control over the ball by slowing it down. The thickness of the sponge and rubbers isn’t advertised on any of the manufacturer’s websites but we think it’s around 2.00mm which is quite high but because it’s soft sponge it won’t speed the ball up too much.
The CJ8000 rubbers are ITTF approved so you can play with this racket in official tournaments. That being said once you’re past the basics and want to upgrade to something more suitable for an intermediate, it’s probably not the best bat for you as you’ll want a paddle which is able to generate more power.
The handle and grip
The Expert 2 is a shakehand style racket which means you hold it as if you were going to shake hands with someone. It’s not suitable for someone who uses a penhold grip sadly. The handle is flared to keep the racket from slipping out of your hand.
Speed and blade
Depending on your ability and skill level this bat might be too slow for you. It has a speed rating of 6, which is very low for an intermediate or advanced player and so we’d only recommend this paddle for someone starting out and growing their ability. When you do become ready for something with more speed though you won’t find the change too large.
Comes with a case
Keeping the rubbers away from dust is essential to keeping them tacky and from wearing out. We always recommend buying a case to keep your bat in when it’s not in use and thankfully it comes with a nice case included.
About the manufacturer
The Palio Expert 2 is brought to you by Chinese brand Palio and Expert Table Tennis. They’ve got two other bats out on the market, the Legend 2 and the Master 2. Here’s our review of the Palio Legend 2 if you’re interested in that as well. We’re big fans of the brand as they’re actually table tennis players themselves and from reading the reviews of previous customers their support has been really good too.
- High control rating – Perfect for beginners and those just learning
- ITTF approved – It’s ITTF approved which means you can use it in official tournaments
- Comes with a case included – To keep the rubbers away from dust you should use the included case when not in use
- Good reviews on Amazon – It gets great reviews from previous customers
- Very affordable – A lot cheaper than other similar models
- A little heavy – If you’re starting out you might find it is a little heavy
- Low-speed rating – If you’re an intermediate player or looking something with more power this is not the paddle for you
- Rubber peels off – Some customers have reported that the rubber peels off after a while (don’t worry though you can glue it back on)
Summing it up, if you’re looking for a pre-made table tennis racket that’s made for beginners to hone and develop their skills then you can’t go wrong with the Palio Expert 2. It’s been designed by table tennis players to fit someone starting out and so has the high control rating to slow down the ball that you want to look for. It gets great reviews on Amazon and comes recommended by us.
But that being said, we wouldn’t recommend it for intermediate or advanced players as you’ll want something with higher speed and spin ratings. This paddle was designed for beginners and you’ll find it very slow and you won’t be able to generate the spin that you’re used to by more expensive paddles. Click here to read our post where we cover some bats for intermediate and more advanced players too.