Looking for the best table tennis bat for your skill level? Read on for our top picks
Whether you play competitively, are a complete beginner or you’re just looking to get into the sport a bit more, choosing the best table tennis bat for your ability level and experience can make a big difference to the satisfaction you get from playing.
Much as in any sport, each and every player’s needs are different, so what works for one might not work for another. Here, we’ll explain what to look out for when buying a table tennis bat, as well as providing the best choice for different budgets, skill levels and playing styles.
So, which table tennis bats are the best? Read on for some key information to consider before you make a purchase.
Best table tennis bat: At a glance
How to choose the best table tennis bat for you
How much should I spend?
As you’ll see from our list, table tennis bats vary considerably in price. You can certainly find cheap table tennis bats for as little as £5 but they’re likely to offer pretty poor control and spin. We think it’s worth spending a little bit extra to ensure that the quality of the table tennis bat helps you improve your game.
A bat’s inherent control, spin and speed are the defining factors when it comes to making the right choice. Beginners should always opt for the middle ground, with ready-made, medium-speed bats. As they become more proficient, they will want to move up to custom bats, models where the player can specify bats that use particular blades, rubbers and foam backs that better suit their characteristic playing style (attacking, defensive or all-round).
Depending on your expertise and how often you play, it may make sense to invest in an even higher-quality table tennis bat that will carry you through many games and tournaments over the years. This is more relevant, however, to heavily invested competitive players.
A good, ready-made beginner’s table tennis bat, like our top budget and all-round picks, start at around the £25 mark, but can run all the way up to £250 or so for the top custom models. Rest easy, though, there’s an option for every budget and skill level, as you’ll see below.
Should I be shopping for a particular brand?
When shopping for a table tennis bat, try not to be swayed by a particular brand name. Instead, it’s much more useful to check and see if the model you’re looking at is recommended for your current particular experience or playing level.
Keep an eye out, too, for the abbreviation “ITTF” when shopping. The letters stand for the International Table Tennis Federation governing body and bats certified by it are recommended, or made from materials that it has approved, so it’s a great seal of approval.
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The best table tennis bats to buy in 2022
1. PRO-SPIN Table Tennis Bat: The best all-round table tennis bat
Price: £24 | Buy now from Amazon
When it comes to the best all-round table tennis bat, this one from PRO-SPIN is an ideal option for both those at a beginners’ or intermediate level. This bat’s key strengths are that it’s relatively lightweight, while still being weighty enough to play a shot with some spin, and is comfortable to hold for prolonged periods.
It’s affordably priced and allows those looking to improve their game and progress within the sport the opportunity to do so. The inclusion of high-tech materials such as carbon fibre, normally seen on higher-end table tennis bats, also makes this great value. Naturally, it also comes with a case to keep the paddle of the bat covered when it’s not in use.
Key details – Weight: 180g; Skill level: Beginner/intermediate
2. Scorpion Table Tennis Bat: The best-value table tennis bat
Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon
Suitable for players with a wide range of abilities, this budget-friendly table tennis bat is one of the best-value examples we’ve found. Equipped with a comfortable, sweat-absorbing handle, it’s easy to control for a variety of shots and playing techniques.
At 193g, it’s also a pleasant weight to hold, being neither too lightweight or overly heavy. This table tennis bat has also passed ITTF certification, making it an approved and recommended choice by the governing body.
Its five-star rubber is also ITTF-approved, with different types of glue applied to fix the sponge rubber on either side of the paddle, one being better for forehand shots while other is optimised for backhand ones.
Additionally, it comes with a protector case to keep your table tennis bat clean, as well as making it easy to carry or take with you to matches. That makes it even more worth the £26 price tag for us.
Key details – Weight: 193g; Skill level: Intermediate
3. Palio Expert 3.0 Table Tennis Bat & Case: The best table tennis bat for beginners
Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’ve just started your table tennis journey, finding a bat that will enable you to learn the basics and become confident is especially important.
A reasonable medium speed performance is one of the key factors that make this table tennis bat a better option for beginners, as it allows you to build up your control and precision. The all-wood blade, or handle, here is comfortable to use, enabling new players to improve their accuracy and playing techniques.
Great for learning how to spin, executing certain strokes and hitting the ball more generally, this bat handily comes with a fully enclosed storage/carry case, making it a great option for beginners or those who are new to the sport.
Key details – Weight: 258g; Skill level: Beginner
4. BRIBAR Allround Professional Table Tennis Bat: The best table tennis bat for intermediate players
Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon
For intermediate players, we recommend the BRIBAR Allround, which sits at the upper end of BRIBAR’s Custom Collection of bats. Those looking to progress from a beginner’s bat who aren’t quite ready for a considerably faster high-end bat will appreciate the step up that this bat provides, both when playing and in feel.
This specific model has more spin and speed than beginner’s bats or alternatives at a similar price point, while still remaining manageable for intermediate players, allowing them to ultimately keep the ball on the table for longer. It provides a good amount of topspin, with increased accuracy and precision, too. The thick rubber of this bat is also incredibly durable and gives a pleasingly springy feel with each shot played.
Key details – Weight: 175g; Skill level: Intermediate
5. STIGA Prestige Carbon 5-Star Table Tennis Bat: The best table tennis bat for competitive players
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon
Those who play at a competitive level who are looking for high-intensity action and speed will want a little more challenge from their table tennis bat. This model is the fastest option available in STIGA’s excellent Star Series of bats, partly down to the inclusion of carbon fibre. This gives players a more stable bat, with the material also having a beneficial effect on the area where the ball reacts best, known as the “sweet spot”, because of its improved balance.
It may sound amazing but if you’re just starting out, don’t rush to buy the most advanced table tennis table bat you can afford. It takes time and experience to be able to use a competitive bat like this to its full potential, so view it as one to aspire to, not learn on.
Key details – Weight: 175g; Skill Level: Professional
6. PRO-SPIN Table Tennis Bats: The best table tennis bat set
Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon
If you want to introduce your family or friends to the game of table tennis, or are looking for a great all-in-one set that includes everything you need, then this is the one to get. Sure, you’ll still have to supply the table, but opting for a high-quality, pre-packaged set such as this is a brilliant way to get started with the minimum of fuss.
This set includes four PRO-SPIN bats, from the same brand as our best all-round pick, each faced with sticky ITTF-approved rubber, along with eight durable table tennis balls, all housed in a handy storage/carry case.
Both adults and children will easily be able to get to grips with these bats and balls and, given the excellent price, this set is great for those who are on a budget or don’t want to spend too much at this stage on a complete set of table tennis bats and balls.
Key details – Weight: N/A; Skill level: Beginner