Top 10 Professional Table Tennis Blades – Excellent Quality

Top 10 Professional Table Tennis Blades – Excellent Quality

Today, I explain to you how to choose the best table tennis blade. This tutorial is based on my several years of training, playing and coaching. I also have some occasions to discuss this topic “How to choose the best blade and rubber” with some Chinese coaches.

You will learn:

  1. How to choose the right blades for your styles
  2. Top 10 professional table tennis blade

I will help you choose the right blade and then combine with the best forehand rubber, and the best backhand rubber. This combination should fit your playing style. If you don’t have time, you can also choose the best competitive paddle (a set of the blade and 2 rubbers) based on the Chinese coaches experiences.

Understand the function of a blade

The table tennis racket is made by the blade and the rubbers. The main difference between Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy about the racket is Speed and Spin.

Chinese coach says “The blade should be an extension of your hand”. The blade gives you the feeling, and that’s the blade will help you “SPIN” the ball.

Feel of the ball through the good vibration of the blade - The key to choose the right equipment in table tennis
Feel of the ball through the good vibration of the blade – The key to choose the right equipment in table tennis

While some Western coaches emphasize the “Speed” behavior of the blade. So in general, Western players will choose OFF, OFF+ blade to gain speed, and combine with softer rubber. While in China, players prefer OFF- blade, and play with very hard rubbers.

I’ve tried and played with both combination “Fast blade + Soft rubber” and “Flexible blade + Hard Rubber”. And I can confirm with you, the latter setup will help you “Improve faster!”.

If you are still confused, read my own experiences in coaching young and beginner players!

Feeling is crucial in table tennis. Chinese kids spend a lot of time to feel the ball.
The “feeling” is crucial in table tennis. Chinese kids spend a lot of time to feel the ball.

How to choose the best table tennis blade

In all of the equipment in table tennis, I would say the blade is the most important one! You know that the rackets are made by the blade and the rubbers.

The composition of a racket: one blade and 2 rubbers

Table Tennis Blade is the wooden part of the racket.

The blade is considered the soul of your playing style. Defender, Allround, Offensive players choose a different type of blade.

Choosing the right blade is crucial in table tennis because the blade decides:

  • 80% of your playing style. Rubber decides only 20%
  • give you the best feeling when you touch the ball
  • give you the ability to spin, or to accelerate the speed of your shots (due to dwell-time)
  • provide the kick effect (the first speed of the bounce) based on the stiffness of the outer layer
  • the main power for your shots when you play far from the table

Liu Guoliang once said:

“Table tennis blade should be an extend of your hand“, said by Chinese National Team Head coach

Liu Guoliang explained about penhold grip of Ryu Seung-min
Liu Guoliang explained about penhold grip of Ryu Seung-min

That’s the reason that you should focus on your blade! Choose the highest quality possible!

Always pinch your racket (shakehand grip) best tips to improve power and quality in table tennis
Always pinch your racket (shakehand grip) best tips to improve power and quality in table tennis

So if you can investigate 120$ for your racket, spend about 80$ for the blade, and 20$ for the rubber (2 sides cost 40$).

What is a high-quality table tennis blade

The high-quality blade is not the cheap and mass production one. It’s the premium quality professional bat made by the experienced maker.

Best table tennis blade offers more spin and crisper feeling during ball contact.

It is the key to increase your potential of winning. So focus on the quality blade which matches your playing style.

Remember, a good racket can make the same spin with a shorter stroke than the low-quality racket.

Butterfly Acrylate Carbon Viscaria - the most popular blade among professional table tennis players
Butterfly Acrylate Carbon Viscaria – the most popular blade among professional table tennis players (Read review/ check price 1/ price 2)

Butterfly Viscaria (Read review/ check price 1/ price 2) is considered one of the very good blade in table tennis. It provides a good balance between “Speed”, and “Spin”. The “spin” quality is good. (This is the word of Zhang Jike during an interview).

Or Stiga Infinity VPS? Which one is high quality table tennis blade?
Or Stiga Infinity VPS? Which one is a high-quality table tennis blade?

While Butterfly racket has a huge market in the US, and Europe (because they are faster, and harder). Stiga racket is preferred in China. Many top provincial Chinese players use the Stiga Clipper (check price), or Stiga Infinity VPS (custom handle) (read review/ check price 1/ check price 2).

Important! The handle choice is also very important. You should read this article to understand why top Chinese players prefer larger (custom size) Flared handle.

Check for the several handle variations here for Stiga handle here: AN Winner, Champ Handle, FL Master, ST Classic, Wide FL Legend.

There are many reasons:

  • The good relationship between Stiga and the Chinese National Team
  • Stiga racket is in general cheaper than Butterfly blade
  • Chinese players prefer the “good old day of feeling” from Stiga blade
  • Stiga racket is somehow more flexible than Butterfly blade
  • Stiga racket in general used “Ayous” outer-plie. While Butterfly prefers using “Koto outer-plie”.

But nowadays, with the “New Trends In Table Tennis”, players tend to play with the harder, and faster racket to deal with the plastic ball. Search on my site “New Trends” to learn about this modern tendency in table tennis.

Composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan - Tabletennisdaily)
The composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan – Tabletennisdaily)

If you want to keep one racket from the beginning to a very high level, you can stick with the Stiga racket.

What are the characteristics of a good blade

Yes, we want the highest quality blade! But how to know which one has the top-notch quality. There are many things about a good blade, I will make a PingSunday video and explain it on my YouTube channel.

A good, high-quality table tennis blade must have these typical features:

  1. High quality and old wood
  2. Clear vibration, and good flexibility
  3. Strong power on the blade
  4. Good weight distribution between the handle and the head

Many things that I want to explain to you the “art of table tennis blade making”. But I need time. I will share and explain to you all of this when I have free time.

All wood blade vs carbon blade

In modern table tennis, professional prefer faster and harder blade. With the new ball, players get harder to impact the spin to the ball. Harimoto Tomokazu also confirmed that playing with a more flexible racket give him confidence.  So what is the wise choice here?

  • All wood blade is thin (thinner than 6.0 mm) and flexible, a must for beginner players. It provides feeling and flexibility. Some amateur players made the wrong choice. They have picked very fast carbon blade. And this ruined their early development stage in their ping-pong career. Even some top player like Xu Xin, prefer sticking with all wood players. To increase the speed, you can choose the 5+2 composition blade (5 layers of wood and 2 layers of ALC).
  • Carbon blade is hard and stiff. It’s not good for beginners. The hardness eliminates the feeling of the service and service return. The stiffness reduces the good vibration to your hand. All of these pieces of information are crucial to new players (to learn the techniques). Use only carbon blade if you are the advanced player, and your playing style is more close-to-table hitters.
  • At present, composition blades (5+2) are the most popular not only for the amateur level but also among top professional players.

 

Difference between hardness and stiffness

They are not the same. New players often confront these 2 terms.

  • Hardness is the feeling of the outer-ply of your blade. It depends on the hardness of the outer-ply of your blade. The soft outer layer will give a softer feeling.
  • While stiffness depends on the composition, the thickness of the blade. The stiff blade doesn’t have vibrations. Carbon blade is stiff. And stiffness is the opposite of flexibility. The stiff blade is less flexible and inversely, the flexible blade is less stiff.
Acoustic Carbon ST blade is the personal blade of Mima Ito
Acoustic Carbon ST blade is the personal blade of Mima Ito

Top 10 professional table tennis blade

There are many good table tennis blades out there. All of these rackets share the same properties: Sharp feeling, clear vibration, and powerful! In general, there are some very good brands like Butterfly, Stiga, Double Happiness, Nittaku, Darker, OSP, Tibhar, Yasaka, and Donic. This list is not exclusive! You should consider it as the reference for the very good blades for a serious table tennis player!

  1. Butterfly Viscaria
  2. Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit
  3. DHS Hurricane Long 5
  4. Butterfly Primorac
  5. Darker Speed 90
  6. Nittaku Acoustic
  7. Stiga Clipper/ Carbonado
  8. Tibhar Stratus Power Wood
  9. Stiga Offensive Classic
  10. Yasaka Ma Lin Carbon

1. Butterfly Viscaria

  • Weight 90g
  • Thickness: 5.8mm
  • Plies: 7 (5 wood plies; 2 Arylate-carbon)
  • Composition: Koto, ALC, Limba, Kiri, Limba, ALC, Koto
  • Fit well: with Tenergy rubbers
  • Playing style: topspin counter-attack style close to mid. Very strong on backhand attack
Composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan - Tabletennisdaily)
The composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan – Tabletennisdaily)
Butterfly Viscaria Composition - Thin ALC blade fast but good feeling and have rather flexible blade
Butterfly Viscaria Composition – Thin ALC blade fast but good feeling and have a rather flexible blade
Viscaria FL handle vs ST handle
Viscaria FL handle vs ST handle

Viscaria (read review/ price 1/ price 2) is no doubt one of the most famous blades of all time. It’s popularized by the 4th Grand Slam player Zhang Jike. This blade is very all-round. Fast, spinny, and very good for the backhand flick, and backhand topspin attack. I wouldn’t recommend this blade is if you are a beginner still learning the basic strokes. You would be better with a classic 5 plies wood like a Nittaku Acoustic or Violin. This is an all-time classic blade for offensive players!

Many pro players are using Viscaria
Many pro players are using Viscaria
Butterfly Viscaria - one of the best paddle right now
Butterfly Viscaria – one of the best blade right now (read review/ price 1/ price 2)

2. Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit

  • Plies: 5W+2ALC
  • Thickness: 5.8mm
  • Head Size: (Medium size) 157x150mm
  • Weight: 87-93g
  • Composition:  koto 0.5mm – ALC 0.25mm – limba 0.5mm – Kiri 3.2mm – limbaALCkoto
  • Fit well: ESN, Tenergy rubbers
  • Playing style: topspin attack style close to mid. Balanced for both backhand and forehand.

Timo Boll Spirit (Read reviews/ FL handle/ ST handle) is supported by Timo Boll. It’s great for the European looping style of play. The blade has a good balance of speed and control. An overwhelming choice by many Butterfly sponsored players.

Note: Timo Boll is using the ST handle blade. While most Chinese players play the Timo Boll Spirit FL handle.

If your level is the intermediate level player to a national level, then this blade is for you. One of the best all-round blade in table tennis.

But if you found this blade is slow, then you can try Timo Boll ZLC (check price) or Zhang Jike ZLC (more info). Looping on both sides have a lot of control! When combined with ESN rubbers, or Tenergy rubbers, the racket creates heavy spin. This is a blade made for the playing style close to mid-distance.

 

butterfly timo boll spirit - flared handle
Butterfly Timo Boll spirit – flared handle (Read reviews/ FL handle/ ST handle)

3. DHS Hurricane Long 5 – Looping Machine

  • Weight 90-92g
  • Plies 5+2
  • Thickness 5.7-5.9 mm 
  • Composition: limba-ayous-arylate-ayous-arylate-ayous-limba 
  • Head size: Medium-Large 158 mm x 150 mm
  • Fit well with hard Chinese rubber on Forehand, ESN rubber on the backhand
  • Playing style: looping style mid to far. Favorite by forehand dominant player.
The head dimension of the Double Happiness racket
The head dimension of the Double Happiness racket
The composition 5+2 of Hurricane Long
The composition 5+2 of Hurricane Long

Hurricane Long 5 (Check price/ Read reviews) is a looping machine. It is fast but has excellent control! Good amount of flexibility makes easy to “spin” and “feel” the ball. Combined very well with hard rubber on Forehand H3NEO 40 degree, or Gold Arc 8 47-50 hardness). This blade is for looping style because it has a good dwell time and large head size.

DHS Hurricane Long V (5 Wooden + 2 Arylate-Carbon) OFF++ a looping machine blade for a serious player
DHS Hurricane Long V (5 Wooden + 2 Arylate-Carbon) OFF++ a looping machine blade for a serious player (Check price/ Read reviews)
DHS Hurricane Long V Hurricane Long 5 Chinese penhold Short Handle
DHS Hurricane Long V Hurricane Long 5 Chinese penhold Handle (check this version for Penhold player)
Chinese penhold handle with DHS code
Chinese penhold handle with DHS code
DHS HL5 code on the handle with 2 ALC layers visible
DHS HL5 code on the handle with 2 ALC layers visible
Ma Long portrait on the handle
Ma Long portrait on the handle

The biggest con of this blade is that it is really heavy and when you put 2 hard rubbers it goes around 200 grams. This blade is more for professional players, if you are new to the sport I don’t recommend it.

(Unboxing HL 5 by Tabletennis11)

 

4. Butterfly Primorac

  • Plies: 5 Wood layers
  • Thickness: 5.5mm
  • Made in: Japan
  • Weight: 88g-91g
  • Composition: limba-limba-ayous-limba-limba
  • Fit well with Chinese rubbers

Primorac (Check price/ Read review) is one of the Butterfly’s overall best-selling shakehand blades. This blade provides good feel and control. It is an excellent all-round offensive blade. It’s the best-selling Butterfly blade for a reason – very well balanced – its 90g, very comfortable handle, good control, good speed, the feeling is pleasing. One of the best all-wood blade right now!

Composition of Butterfly Primorac FL Flared handle
The composition of Butterfly Primorac FL Flared handle
Butterfly Primorac 5 plywood offensive blade
Butterfly Primorac 5 plywood offensive blade but is slow for the modern game

However, for the new ball, you can consider the Primorac Carbon (review/ check price). This is a 5-Plies blade (3 Wood + 2 Composite). The composition exact is: (Hinoki 1.2mm, Tamca 0.25 mm, Kiri Core 4mm, Tamca 0.25 mm, Hinoki 1.2mm).

  • Plies: 3 Wood layers + 2 Composite
  • Thickness: 6.9mm
  • Made in: Japan
  • Weight: 88g-91g
  • Composition: cypress – carbon laminate – Kiri – carbon laminate – cypress
  • Fit well with Chinese rubbers on FH, ESN rubbers on BH
  • Dimension: 157mm x 150mm
Butterfly Primorac Carbon Composition with Carbon Fiber
Butterfly Primorac Carbon Composition with Carbon Fiber
Butterfly Primorac Carbon-FL AZ
Butterfly Primorac Carbon-FL AZ (review/ check price)

5. Nittaku Acoustic

  • Weight 85g
  • Speed: OFF-
  • Plies 5
  • Thickness 5.7mm
  • Composition: Limba Limba Tung Limba Limba
The composition of 5 ply Nittaku Acoustic
The composition of 5 ply Nittaku Acoustic
Acoustic - The Gem - One of the best 5 ply all round blade
Acoustic – The Gem – One of the best 5 plies all-round blade

The Nittaku Acoustic  (check price/ read review) is an amazing 5 Ply Offensive blade with Limba outer layers. It has an amazing feel with a very clear vibration. One of the old blade used by Ma Long. Power and speed are very good for an all wood blade. The main strength is the feel and consistency. Great for developing players and advanced players. Very high build quality by Nittaku.

Nittaku Acoustic 5 ply wood Offensive - Flared handle
Nittaku Acoustic 5 plywood Offensive – Flared handle version (more info)

This blade is #1! If you have one, keep it as a gem. It’s a unique feeling, control is wonderful!

Nittaku Acoustic ST handle
Nittaku Acoustic ST handle – best blade for backhand slow loop spinny style (more info)

6. Darker Speed 90

  • Composition: 1-ply Kiso Hinoki 9mm
  • Weight 82g ~ 100g
  • Dimensions: ~ 158 x 150mm
  • Thickness: 9mm
  • Suitable for strong offensive topspin attack
  • Speed: OFF to OFF+
  • Fit well with ESN and Japanese rubbers

This blade (Hinoki blade more info/ check price/ read review) is a legend! It’s the best one ply Hinoki blade in the world!

Nothing can replace the feeling that you get from a Darker Speed 90 in your hand. This blade is highly dynamic, offering great touch and the slow speed at low impact and huge power with a high spin at high impact. The optimized thickness and shape provide a highly stable blade with the largest sweet spot. If you don’t like vibration, Darker Speed is for you! It gives virtually zero vibrations.

Darker - Unique feeling for serious table tennis player
Darker – Unique feeling for the serious table tennis player
Darker Speed 90 - offering great touch and slow speed at low impact, and huge power with high spin at high impact
Darker Speed 90 – offering great touch and the slow speed at low impact, and huge power with a high spin at high impact (more info/ check price)

7. Stiga Clipper

  • Rating: OFF
  • Thickness: 6.6mm
  • Weight: 95g
  • Construction: 7-Ply
  • Composition: limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba
  • Fit very well with Chinese rubber on Forehand, Tenergy rubber on the backhand

Stiga Clipper (Master FL handle, Champ Handle, CPen Chinese Penhold / read review) is a legend, used by many Chinese players. This blade is very popular in Asia. Used by Liu Guoliang, this blade is for players who want an all wood blade without sacrificing speed and power. Even in the modern plastic ball era, this blade is fast enough to compete with other offensive class carbon blades.

Stiga Clipper Classic - Old but very powerful. Real weapon in a good hand
Stiga Clipper Classic – Old but very powerful. The real weapon in a good hand

For the new poly ball, you can play with Stiga Clipper CR. Used by Gao Ning and several Chinese provincial team members.

Good alternative: Stiga Carbonado 145, and Stiga Rosewood NCT V.

Stiga Carbonado 145 - One of the best carbon blade of Stiga
Stiga Carbonado 145 – One of the best carbon blade of Stiga (more info)

8. Tibhar Stratus Power Wood

  • Weight 85-90g
  • Speed: OFF to OFF-
  • Plies 5
  • Thickness: 6.2 mm
  • Composition: Limba-Limba-Ayous-Limba-Limba
  • Good dwell = good power, good short game
  • Fit very well with ESN medium hardness
  • FH: Donic Barracuda, Xiom Vega Asia
  • BH: Donic Barracuda, and another good ESN rubbers
Tibhar Stratus Power Wood core composition
Tibhar Stratus Power Wood core composition
This 5-ply Tibhar Stratus Power Wood offensive blade is characterized by an unlimited flexibility
This 5-ply Tibhar Stratus Power Wood offensive blade is a very good flexible blade

Pair Stratus Power (Check price/ more info) with medium hard tensors and it will make miracles for you. This is the most balanced blade. Its main strength is the control and spin ability. Very good for European, 2 wings looper style. There are few blades as consistent and reliable as this one.

9. Stiga Offensive Classic

Stiga Allround classic - one of the best 5 ply flexible blade
Stiga Allround classic – one of the best 5 plies flexible blade

The Stiga Allround Classic (check price/ read reviews) is a truly classic blade. The best choice for all levels. Strokes of all kinds can be executed with precision and quality. High-quality spinny loop, high arc attack, and spinny serve! The best all-round ALL blade! Suite well for beginners and intermediate players! Very balanced blade! Very spinny, good vibration!

I think a lot of people complain about the lack of speed but I don’t think that’s really a problem. It’s all about the techniques!

If you feel that you lack power in your shot, you should consider buying: Stiga Infinity VPS V or Stiga Allround Classic WRB.

10. Yasaka Ma Lin Extra

  • Number of Layers: 5 Wood
  • weights: 88-90g
  • Blade Type: OFF
  • thickness: 6mm
  • composition: walnut-spruce-ayous-spruce-walnut
  • fit very well with 2 Mark V on both sides
Ma Lin Yasaka -a blade with very good speed performance, in own attacks as well as in the important blocking play
Ma Lin Yasaka -a blade with very good speed performance, in own attacks as well as in the important blocking play

Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive (check price/ read review) is a fast blade with good speed and a large sweet spot. Many players in my club play with this blade. I’ve also tested it. Very good control, and spin. It’s light also. If you want a good and light blade, which is easy to flick, to drop shot, backhand smash, this blade is for you. However, far from away the table, it lacks a bit of power. I recommend this blade for new players, to intermediate player.

The center veneer is a little bit thicker and harder, which gives additional power. One of the best 5 plies blade! Not very stiff, well balanced. Suitable for close and play away from the table, for both celluloid 40 and new plastic 40+ ball. Its Stiffness allows for stable passive blocking. Solid quality blade. Great for looping close and mid-distance. The CPEN version is also very good.

YASAKA Ma Lin Extra Special Handle-Chinese Penhold
YASAKA Ma Lin Extra Special Handle-Chinese Penhold – One of the best offensive blade for penholder player (more info)

I recommend you upgrade Ma Lin Extra Offensive to the Ma Lin Soft Carbon (which is faster) for the new plastic ball. This is the blade of Mattias Falck.

Mattias Falck is using Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon as the personal blade
Mattias Falck is using Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon as the personal blade (more info) (read review)

 

MA LIN SOFT CARBON (Ply: 7 (5+2) Weight: 89 g) has the same outer veneer as the famous Ma Lin EXTRA blade. Its medium-soft characteristics are appreciated by players who want increased ball feel. It’s a little bit faster than the Ma Lin Extra due to 7 plies. In SOFT CARBON Yasaka is using a special, very thin Carbon fiber to improve the speed and enlarge the Sweet-spot.

Together with the thicker wooden middle core, it gives good power. The combination of the “power part” (carbon+thicker middle veneer) and the softer outer veneer makes Ma Lin SOFT CARBON the perfect choice for power players who need a good ball feel for best performance.

 

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Lim
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Lim

Thank you coach. I really love nittaku blade. Very good wood material

James
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James

Hi Coach – thank you for the article.
Two questions:
1) Which rubbers would you pair with the Acoustic?
2) Do you have any thoughts on the OSP Virtouso OFF- blade?
Thank you.

JimT
Guest
JimT

Hai coach,
Is Stiga Nostalgic offensive is suitable for chinese’s hard tacky rubbers? The blade construction is wenge tanne ayous tanne wenge.
I need a good feeling blade to play 40+ plastic ball like My previous blade, Stiga Offensive Classic.

JimT
Guest
JimT

Hello Coach,
Is Stiga Nostalgic Offensive is suitable for chinese’s hard tacky ru bber on the FH and Stiga Mantra M on the BH?
FYI, the blade construction is wenge tanne ayous tanne wenge. The construction is similiar to Stiga Offensive Classic except for the topply.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Hi Coach, Thank you for your articles, I love them. I was playing with all wood – 7 ply (DHS PG7) with DHS H3 neo on FH, and 729 Focus 3 on BH. I like to play short to mid distance from table mostly topspin and counters on both FH,BH. I thought to improve spin and speed on my shots and have ordered a 5+2 composite blade now i.e., DHS Hurricane 301 and and thinking to pair it with Goldarc 8 on FH and Xiom Vega pro on BH. Is this a wrong decision that I made? Does this combination… Read more »

SPINNERZ
Guest
SPINNERZ

Using Stiga Allround Classic with Black Donic Bluefire M1 on FH and Red DHS Neo H3 40 degree hardness on BH. The Stiga lack of speed is compensated by me playing placement at hard to reach near the edge & net play. You’ll need a bat that gives you lots of feeling to play the placement strategy.

I’m luving it.

Noky
Guest
Noky

hi coach, is hurricane long 3 best for amateur players?

Pierre
Guest
Pierre

Hi Coach,
Do you like the new viscaria?
I get this one, et I am not able to get clear vibrations…
Am I unlucky or all new viscaria have some strange vibrations?

sdlvr
Guest
sdlvr

what do you think abouth carbonado ?

Marcus Allison
Guest
Marcus Allison

The Ma Lin Yasak blade is a really good blade. I have a pen holder version of it and the feel is just incredible. I use a Stiga Oversized Allround WRB handle blade. I love it. I own two of them. They are both getting old and I would like to get a new one but it is no longer being made. Can you suggest any oversized blades that feel like the Sitga Oversized blade?

Uri
Guest
Uri

Hi Coach,

What do you think about the waldner world champion 89(off) by Donic?

I have tried some blades, and found that this one suites me the best.

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