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Cheap Table Tennis Racket Under 40 dollars

I’ve just received a long email from a player. He shared with me his true story about his improvement. He won the Provincial cup with a racket of less than $40.

And we also learned that choosing the right equipment will help you improve like a rocket.

So today, I want to share with you his story: “Cheap but effective table tennis racket under 40 dollars”.

The wrong setup ruin my dream

I currently am being dormant in guitar (was being active for 12 years) and resuming playing table tennis after pausing for 12 years (3 years experience starting around 15 years ago when I was 9 years old).

I would like to thank you really much for your passion for educating, showing us the Chinese (or the better) way of table tennis playing and your will and effort into growing one’s progress in table tennis.

I was skeptical at first regarding your equipment suggestion since I had a bad experience of friendship RITC (check info). It was a slow rubber and we never reglue every session. So on the first 3 hours was great, and it turned into very dull on the next day shall no reglue applied.

RITC 729 Friendship
RITC 729 Friendship (more info)

My dad bought me Kong Linghui special 3+2 alc (Check price), Anatomic handle, black tag circa 2003, paired it with a pair of Bryce 2.1mm sheets, and switched to pair Bryce fx 2.1mm sheets after fx version was released. Tried Butterfly Flextra (check price) though for once and some tsp rubbers. Some Donic and Tibhar rubbers as well perhaps.

Kong Linghui Special Butterfly Table Tennis Blade Old Metal Tag
Kong Linghui Special Butterfly Table Tennis Blade Old Metal Tag (Check price)

Speed Glue, No Fun at all?

And the worst thing is dad reglue with inferior speed glue, and reglue once in two weeks. At that time dad and I didn’t notice the short duration of speed glue’s effect.

So at first 3 hours, I was happy whatever the rubber is, and the next days were like torture when my dad yelled “spin and brush that ball”. The only TSP had the best among worse spin after the glue effect is gone, at that time.

I was lucky to win the city and provincial baby cup in my country, but table tennis was like a nightmare and crap, no fun at all. I was a blocker, able to block, and to loop only at the beginning but really in doubt because didn’t understand the benefit of spin and didn’t able to spin well.

The carbon blade is hell

What can I expect by having a pair of Bryce on a carbon blade for a 12 years old boy with no knowledge and no ability nor feeling of brushing spin?

It was really a nightmare when dad yelled at me to spin while I only get the mediocre feeling for 3 out of 20 balls by that carbon Bryce setup. I was so frustrated, cried a lot. And it was happening for 3 years. Every day of table tennis practice is just like being in jail or hell. Jail if nothing bad happens, hell if my dad yelled at me.

Butterfly Primorac Carbon Composition with Carbon Fiber
Butterfly Primorac Carbon Composition with Carbon Fiber (check price)

Then come 12 years of classical guitar career and I became 15 international awards winning guitarist and composer under my dad’s teaching which I felt far better instead of my previous table tennis career in my childhood. I started to have spare time and started again to play table tennis.

Worst setup ever

Oh, another trouble, dad bought me Galaxy T6s which was totally devastating for my touch, paired it with Donic Baracuda on FH and BH, then switched to 729 Focus 3 Snipe (check price) on Forehand and RITC 2000 on Backhand.

Worst setup ever, I really hate to employ RITC 2000 and using it as dead blocking rubber.

Galaxy YINHE T6s OFFENSIVE Upgrade long handle FL Blade
Galaxy YINHE T6s OFFENSIVE Upgrade long handle FL Blade (check price)


RITC 729 Friendship FOCUS III Snipe Attack
RITC 729 Friendship FOCUS III Snipe Attack (check price)


Worst setup ever (Baracuda, Galaxy  T6s)

Hell no more I play with this, I was severely frustrated.

Cheap but effective rackets

Then I saw your video regarding equipment.

Then I decided to buy Galaxy N9s (check price), DHS H2 on FH and DHS PF4 on BH.

Galaxy N9s (cheap table tennis blade)
Galaxy N9s (cheap table tennis blade ~ around $20)

Not buying Stiga blade because it was expensive, so I looked and was having window shopping on Revspin and bought N9s because it is 5 ply all wood that has a great review and the plies construction is supposed to be soft in the inner 3 layers. Koto Basswood Ayous Basswood Koto, only koto which is hard and similar to Viscaria (check price) outer plies.

Although the Revspin community said it was 6.9 on stiffness, the real thing N9s is even slightly more flexible than most N series blades which share stiffness scores around 5.0.

DHS PF4 Red (very cheap but good backhand rubber)
DHS PF4 Red (very cheap but good backhand rubber) (check info)

So I was thinking this is the best buy for $10.

I bought Hurricane 2  (Check price) (2.15mm 39 degrees) black non-Neo and unboosted since I thought, whatever it is, it will go right or burst, so nothing to lose with such hard rubber. $18 here for orange sponge H2.

DHS Hurricane 2 rubber
DHS Hurricane 2 rubber

Table tennis rackets only 40 dollars

Backhand is PF4 40+ because it is cheap, slightly softer than hurricane since here shop only sells H2 or H3 (Original version with orange sponge) (Check price/ Read Reviews), with neo variants but they offer the rubbers with only one hardness type (39 DHS degree) and one type of sponge thickness (2.15 mm).

Note: Provincial and National version are different.

I bought PF4 and use it unboosted which shares hardness similar to commercial Tenergy 05 (compared with Tenergy 05 Hard). I convinced myself because Ma Long and Xu Xin finally use DHS Hurricane on their BH. So I thought maybe if I use Chinese style DHS which is softer than those 2 are using will be okay.

And also many great Chinese players of past use Sriver or Bryce on their BH. So PF4 is also rumored as in one class and one era of Sriver, Mark V, and Mendo. The backhand is PF4 40+ 2.15mm around 36 degrees red unboosted (check prize).

DHS Hurricane 2 is a very good forehand rubber (read reviews/ buy online).

DHS Hurricane 2 39 hardness 2.15 mm is a very good forehand rubber
DHS Hurricane 2 39 hardness 2.15 mm is a very good forehand rubber (more info)

The total is around $40.

Just before this, I bought two sheets of 9000D for $5 each (buy brand new rubber), since I saw it is tacky, glued it to N9s. But soon after I discovered they are too soft. Then I changed to H2 on FH and PF4 on BH.

Yinhe 9000D pips-in rubber
Yinhe 9000D/E pips-in rubber (more info)

Total weight on N9s + H2 + PF4 is around 190 grams, which is much heavier than the previous setup I ever used before.


The champion’s congratulation

Things getting better day by day.

Although on the first two months many times had ball landed on the net due to lack of power caused by poor technique, i.e. missing power from the ground concept, or ball drift too far due to no brush and/or no acceleration on impact.

DHS Hurricane 3 has a higher throw than the H2 rubber
DHS Hurricane 3 has a higher throw than the H2 rubber (check price)

But after I fixed some of my techniques by watching some of your videos regarding technique and strategy and also tactics, I got better.
Now after putting effort on setup based on your suggestion for 5 months, today I beat the provincial number one player of 80’s era which is still considered as terror in my province.

Original DHS H3 with commercial version with orange sponge
Original DHS H3 (read review) with the commercial version with orange sponge

I am really surprised yet everybody is and even that 80’s champion congratulated me.

He is a blocker that is considered a wall. Many loopers failed on breaking his barrier and turned into lobbying during the game. Today I loop killed him from both wings, beat him 3-2 with 11-6 on the final game.

Thank you very much coach, I enjoy the progress that I achieved with the help of my dad (he is still giving advice) and your suggestions.

Warm regards,

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

20 thoughts on “Cheap Table Tennis Racket Under 40 dollars”

  1. So from what I understand the setup of H2 + PF4, would need to be boosted for effectiveness. Is there a preboosted system that one could try?

  2. Guys, after watching EmRatThich videos advising about beginner setup I simply followed the advice and ended up with cheap 7ply limba blade paired with Chinese rubbers – FH: “729 08-ES H47, 2.15mm” and BH: “Palio CJ8000 42-44”. Overall setup was cheap and very fun to play with. I was improving rather fast. More advanced players they all used Viscaria blades with tensor rubbers (Hype, MX-P, T05, Victas and etc). I really could not win matches, but yet had a consistent progress. However after 7 months I gave up to their advices and changed my setup to ALC blade, FH – Xiom Omega Asia 5, BH – DHS 3-60 H37. I played with this setup for 6 months, unitl I realised that my progress stopped! Most of my shots were going over the table, I simply could not improve anymore and developed a little “fear” hitting harder because ball was already going over the table in many occasions. Also because of the bouncines of the racket I developed a lazy block habbit and weak shots.

    Then I decided to come back to basics. I understood that crisp feeling of Koto top ply is very important for me to feel the racket but I wanted to go back to flexible slow all wood blade with Chinese hard rubbers. I needed to work on power but could not use my previous setup, ball was going too far. As adviced by EmRatThich, after some careful research I found the most optimal blade – flexbile, thin, high quality, slow (ALL+/OFF-) 5 ply all wood, crisp feeling, medium price – “Stiga Celero”. I paired it with hard rubber on FH: “729 08-ES H47, 2.15mm” (I knew it is going to work) and a little softer rubber on BH: “Jupiter 2, H38 (DHS scale, it’s like H3 Neo but a little softer)”. I knew it will be difficult to play BH because of hardish rubber, but I did it on purpose to polish technique. Also, I was expecting a lots of net balls because of loss of speed.

    I am writing this comment after 2 months of experimenting with this setup. As predicted – immediatelly after coming back to all wood blade I lost speed and power but got a huge increase in control. Slowly but steadily I started working on both loops and topspins on both sides. It was so difficult to do a slow loop with BH but so rewarding when it worked well. My progress like a big heavy train started to move forward after 2 weeks but very slowly. I was measuring my performance playing with same players. So after few months I absolutly loved hardhish H38 rubber on my BH. It is so fast now. During all that time I was enforced to use my abs and heaps muscules during FH attack and also wrist during BH. Because FH rubber is hard and tacky it is also slow, so my hand/shoulder muscule force is simply not enough, I had to compensate with body rotation. Experiment is not over yet but I have developed a good power in my both strokes BH and FH. Despite slower blade, I can hit with the same or even faster speed than before. But … ball is now landing on the table. It simply curves back down instead of flying over too far.

    Everything what EmRatThich explained about flexible blade and hard Chinese rubber and power from the gound is absolute true and must be taken seriously.

    Just to add some fun fact – I am totally committed to my all wood setup but out of curiuocity, I once taken my old setup to the club, just to try out in couple games. I simply wanted to compare. It’s been just 6 week since I went back to flexible + hard rubbers setup. When I played with ALC I still used power from the ground concept and body+heaps rotation (it is my habit now). Oh … I won 4 consecutive matches agains same players who I used to lose with high margin score – from 11-3 to 11-6. I mean with confidence! No more fear hitting as hard as you can without loosing control.

    I intend to stay with all wood for a long time. Maybe eventually I will come back to ALC but I will certainly use hard Chinse rubbers.

    Thank you EmRatThich!

    • UPDATE after 5 months. I play with flexible blade + hard rubbers for about 7+ months now (minus COVID lockdown). Still same blade – Stiga Celero.

      Because of this racket which is in ALL+/OFF- some unexpected things started to happen. For example, I noticed that there is a limit of how hard I can hit. In order to improve power of attacking shots this slow setup encourages me to go into lower stance (so that I could engage muscles of right hip even more) and also one more thing … I am now taking into consideration another factor – the contact position where ball hits my blade. I am trying to hit into 3,3 and it works. When I do it successfully I feel and see the that power of topspin attack increases significantly.

      You can read about 3,3 point here: https://pingsunday.com/contact-point-max-spin-table-tennis-serve.

      Interestingly, 7 months ago I never even thought about such thing as “contact point”. And even if I did, with ALC blade and bouncy rubbers I could not even feel where ball hits the racket.

      Improving fast, thanks to EmRatThich!

  3. I have a similar story I use 729 C-5 blade Price USD5.00 ALL ROUND blade, FH Neo H3 2.2 mm 41 deg Unboosted, Bh Tin arc 5 2.15mm 35deg Loopers dream 2 wings Less than usd30/-
    unbeleivable control from blade , all shots on table. i beat everyone in my club 1 fine day. that was the best day of my life. 🙂 .

  4. Hi Coach

    This is inspire me, i try to use set up like this, im use Yinhe N9S , FH 729 Super FX Blue Spons and BH Yinhe Mercury II.
    This set up help me to get feeling, and spin the ball. Then after 1 Year use this set up, i can beat my senior in my office. Before it i always lose.
    Om very happy for my improvement.
    Thanks Coach.

    Now i try my old set up, Donic Ovtcharov Carbospeed, FH 729 Super FX Blue Spons, BH MarkVAD. I want to try carbo Blade. Do you have tips?

  5. One last thing,
    I switched from “DHS H3” to “729 Friendship Battle II” on forehand. This sheet is mor foregiving, I think. And in combination with Stiga Allround blade it gives me spin, speed, power and CONTROL, amazing!
    Battle II is a very tacky rubber, sponge is 47 degree, rubber is more flexible and very very tacky. Is makes huge spin. Now I can play the cick-effect. It is fantastic, after 20 years of tabletennis I steped into a new level.

  6. Ah,
    Just Write an e-mail in english to this shop.
    They are very flexible as Long as they can sell the products! : )


  7. Just one mor comment to the article.
    Stiga Allround blade is not to expencive.
    When you search a little bit on the internet you can find it for about 22,50 EUR.
    So did I and is was in good quality.

    Kind regards,

  8. Hi everyone
    I bought a Galaxy Mercury Y-13 and 2 rubbers Galaxy Mercury II.
    I recently started to train on a club, but the coach says my equipament is not ok, and wants me to use club’s equipment only.

    What are your ideas on this?
    I feel my blade is not that bad, and as coach says, better equipment might cause me to deleop less than I could…

  9. Hallo Coach!
    I made the same experiance. I play tabletennis for many years but I always played the wrong set up. My blade was too fast and too stiff and my rubbers were too soft and too bouncy.
    After I saw your videos on youtube I changed to Stiga Allround blade and DHS H3. Since then my play is getting better and I am getting more and more confidence in my strokes.
    Thank you coach for your help. I can not belive that I played wrong set up for so many years.

    Best regards,

  10. i used ternergy 64 for forhand and ternergy 05 back hand it ok
    please tell me which one is the best for me
    i was playing table tennis for 03 year my rate is 1500

  11. You are right Spinnerz. The set up that gives you the confidence will make you improve faster. The set up that coach provides is the way to go to better level. I can confirm.

  12. Hello Coach Emrathich,

    In a similar narrative as above, when I first started TT 18mths ago at a ripe old age of 42, ( yes, I started a totally new sport at such an age because I wanted to get fit again ), my first set up was mainstray European, that is to say, hard offensive bat ( All-wood seven ply ) with FH & BH soft spinny rubber.

    Then I came across your video on equipment and I told myself, why not try it out?What have I got to lose? So, I bought a Stiga All-round [ 5 ply flexible blade with lots of feeling] and for FH, I am using DHS H3 Neo 40 degree hardness and for BH I am using Donic Bluefire M1. The two rubbers mentioned are hard or medium hard.

    From a user perspective who have now used the set up for six months or more, I can tell that what Coach Emrathich said is all true. The flexible set up with hard rubber is so much more fun to play especially with the “kick” effect. I am now using more of the flexible set up than the old ” European style ” set up.

    Thank you coach.


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