Tenergy 05 Alternatives: The Best of the Rest

Tenergy 05If you’ve ever played with Tenergy, you’ve probably wondered if there are any decent Tenergy 05 alternatives. Since its release in 2008, Tenergy 05 has been practically worshiped by table tennis players the world over!

Butterfly describe it as “the world’s best table tennis rubber”. It’s used by almost all of the world’s top players. Players even describe a feeling of “never being able to go back to another rubber” after playing with it. So what’s the problem? Well it’s too darn expensive!

In the UK, Tenergy 05 sells for £49.99. In the US, $79.99. And this is per sheet! You obviously need two sheets of rubber to play. So you’re looking at £100 per change of rubbers and you’ll probably need to change at least twice or three times a year. This is getting expensive.

So are there any cheaper alternatives? In this post I’ll be talking about two of the best Tenergy 05 alternatives and having a look at how they match up. The two rubbers are;

  1. Donic Bluefire M2
  2. Andro Rasant

Before I start, I should point out that I haven’t actually played with either of these rubbers. My reviews are collations of personal opinions and experiences from the table tennis forums.

Donic Bluefire M2

bluefireBluefire M2 is probably my favourite Tenergy 05 alternative. It was the only rubber to be consistently compared to Tenergy 05 in terms of its feeling and just the general way it plays.

Here are a few comments from Bluefire M2 users…

“Bluefire M2 is the first Tenergy 05 alternative I’ve found to be acceptable. I have tried many other so-called ‘alternatives’ and most I’ve ripped off after about five minutes of play.”

“You can play the same way with Bluefire M2 as with Tenergy 05. You don’t have to change your game to adjust, as you would with many other alternatives.”

“Bluefire M2 is the only rubber that even comes close to Tenergy 05. It plays in much the same way but isn’t 100% identical.”

Overall, Donic Bluefire M2 appears to be a fairly good Tenergy 05 alternative. It sounds as if it has the same high throw and sharp arc when looping, and comes in at £36.99, a saving of £13 per sheet, 26%.

It is also said to be faster than Tenergy 05. One player even said that Bluefire M2 in 2.0mm was faster than Tenergy 05 in max thickness. It’s not completely identical to Tenergy 05, you should expect a slightly different feel, but if you’re looking to save a bit of money and switch away from Tenergy, Bluefire M2 could be for you.

I also found this video of a guy comparing Donic Bluefire M2 to his Tenergy rubber.

Andro Rasant

andro-rasantRasant is a rubber that is often compared to Bluefire. I don’t think that it is as good an alternative to Tenergy 05 as M2 but I decided it was still worth a mention and some players may even find they prefer playing with Rasant, if their style fits the rubber.

Here are some comments from Andro Rasant users…

“Rasant is quite similar to Tenergy 05 but I find it harder to control because it’s bouncier and faster.”

“Rasant is the best of both worlds. Good power and decent spin.”

“Despite being similar, I found Rasant to have less spin than Tenergy 05.”

It seems that Andro have managed to make a faster rubber than Tenergy 05 but haven’t managed to matched its spin. Tenergy 05 has a great ability to allow you to spin balls with excellent feeling whether it’s a slow loop or a faster over-the-table shot.

Rasant is priced at $59.99 at Megaspin.net. Bluefire M2 was $56.96 and Tenergy was $79.99, so Rasant is similarly priced to Bluefire. If I was picking between the two I would probably go for Bluefire M2 as it has had the more positive reviews of the two.

However, if you are more of a ‘hitter’ than a ‘looper’ you may prefer the faster and flatter dynamics of Rasant. The rubber appears to have less spin than Tenergy and Bluefire, and therefore could be more suited to flat hitters or players with a strong backhand punch. It also has a green sponge (if that’s the kind of thing that excites you).

Other Rubbers

There are a number of other decent table tennis rubbers available at the moment (October 2012). If you’re a ‘Tenergy addict’ you may be disappointed by these but if you’re just looking for a good attacking rubber, or you’re willing to spend the time changing your game and adapting to your new equipment, you may be interested in the following;

  • Adidas P5
  • Andro Hexer
  • Donic Baracuda
  • Stiga Calibra LT
  • Xiom Vega Pro
  • Tibhar Aurus
  • Yasaka Razka 7

Personally, I tried Calibra LT about 18 months ago thinking, “As a student I can’t really afford Tenergy and how different can they be?” How wrong I was! I put them on just a few days before a major tournament (as my Tenergy’s were well and truly dead) but I hated them so much I switched back to my dead Tenergy and put the Stiga rubbers on an old blade to use for Multiball feeding etc.

The moral of the story? These ‘other rubbers’ aren’t bad, but if it’s a Tenergy 05 replacement you’re looking for, I’d steer clear.

Conclusion

Bluefire M2 by Donic is probably the closest thing to Tenergy 05 available at present. It has similar characteristics in terms of speed, spin and ball trajectory. It also comes in at about 25% cheaper than Tenergy, so you can make a decent saving by switching.

For me, I’m sticking with Tenergy! In my opinion it’s the best rubber available at the moment and nothing can quite compare. It has a unique combination of feel, control, speed, arc and spin. Yes, it’s ridiculously over-priced but it is unique.

Remember, it’s also expensive buying new rubbers that you don’t like. I shelled out for two sheets of Calibra LT and never played a competitive match with them. If you’re not entirely pleased with your cheaper alternative, you’ve wasted a decent amount of money. At least with Tenergy you know you will be happy. Not to mention the possibly psychological influence playing with rubbers that you believe are sub-standard could have on your performance.

I believe that the gap between Tenergy 05 and the rest is narrowing but it’s not quite there yet. That’s why Butterfly can charge so damn much!

What do you think about Tenergy 05? Do you currently play with it? Have you played with it before and then successfully switched to another rubber? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your experiences.

For more table tennis discussion, please join the Expert Table Tennis Facebook Community, drop by and say ‘Hello’. Thank you very much for reading.

 
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38 thoughts on “Tenergy 05 Alternatives: The Best of the Rest

  1. one of my German teammates plays with bluefire and after a short hit, it does seem a reasonable rubber, also porter is your man regarding adidas and andro rubbers but from what I can tell andro is ok but not awesome but I was impressed with one of the adidas range (although I cant remember which one) although if I remember right the actual price difference between that and tenergy is minimal

    1. Yes, I read that somewhere else that Adidas rubbers cost so much that you might as well just buy Tenergy.

      As for Bluefire M2, I’d love to try it out.

      1. Hello Ben,

        1) I plan to buy Mark V rubber for my play.What mm rubbers should I buy & what is the best suited blade for it?

        2)I there a better option than Mark V in terms of spin & control? Pls let me know the best option in Blade, Forehand & backhand rubbers in India

        Thanks

        1. Hi Deepak, I would get max thickness if you are buying Mark V as it isn’t the fastest of modern rubbers. I’m not an equipment expert (I wish I knew more) but I normally just encourage players to buy a well known blade and rubber combination and then stick with it and focus on their actual game. I have found this is more likely to yield positive results than changing equipment and worrying about your bat often.

  2. What are your thoughts on Xiom products?
    I’m looking to purchase their penhold paddle “Zetro Quad”
    combined with XIOM Vega China VM &
    Tibhar Grip-S.
    I play RPB close to mid distance, loop & smash game.

    Great article!

  3. I switched from Mark V’s a few years back to Hurricanes (II now III). Just remember, speed and power isn’t everything! I wish I;d gone for spin and control and quick attacks years ago…

  4. Glad I switched to Hurricane from fast mark v. Sometimes players go for speed too quick. Develop control and touch first IMO

    1. Yes, very true. I always have my players being consistent at the basics before moving them on. It’s no good having a wonder shot that goes on 10% of the time if you can’t play a FH drive rally. I know Larry Hodges (coach in US) has a similar mindset.

  5. Dear friends
    What do you think about Dhs blue sponge national rubbers vs Tenergy series?
    I am also thinking switch to bluefire m2 after the mark v hps to my penhold yasaka ma lin carbon forehand.

    1. Hi Erbol, I have a friend that plays with Hurricane blue sponge on his forehand and Tenergy on his backhand. I don’t think you can really compare the two as they are such different rubbers. He much prefers the blue sponge to the standard Hurricane’s though.

  6. Well, I tried for a month a Bluefire M2 on my BH after having 05. I have to say that it is very very different rubber! First, M2 has much more bigger dwell time which results in slower returns and bigger/longer catapult arc which usually means the balls go way off the table.

    1. I have heard similar stories. As I say at the end of the post no rubber series really compares as a true alternative to Tenergy, these are just a few of the closest ones in my opinion. Thanks for your comment!

  7. I have tried Andro Hexer HD , Its really nice and works wonder in many aspects of the game like opening loop, counter looping from mid-distance, Attacking push(Digging) and counter driving..and durablility is good too., The only problem is when facing really fast spiining topspin near the table.,..its playing angle is not easy in attacking blocks near the table, it just went to the net if you close your racket angle and just gone out of the table if you want to roll to the opponent topspin,but if you play from a little farher away..then fine…
    it plays close to tenergy 64 minus the feelings…
    i m really enjoying now with this rubber..on my Backhand

    1. Hi Ronel, I have heard this kind of thing a lot. It seems a number of the Tenergy alternatives play well if you take a step back to the table but struggle to compare when attacking close to the table.

  8. I just switched to T – 05

    I have played with Mark V and various other rubbers with over 20 years experience. .

    I was pleasantly surprised that the T 05 claims are not hype but real in my opinion.

    1. I’m currently testing the new Adidas Ten Zone Ultra which is definitely a possibility for those looking for a T05 alternative. The review post will be up soon :)

  9. hi Ben. i playing table tennis about 5 years of course without trainer. please guide me for improve my play and guide me about good blade and rubber too.
    at the front thank u buddy.

  10. Hi,
    I would like to clarify a confusion. Stuart said in the above comments that “Glad I switched to Hurricane from fast mark v”. I thought that Mark V was supposed to be the beginner versatile rubber compared to the H3 which is said to be a fast rubber. Now I’m really confused.

    1. Hi Arnab,

      I would expect Mark V to be slower than Hurricane but they just have very different feels. Perhaps Stuart prefers the feel of the much harder Hurricane than the softer Mark V.

  11. Hi Ben,i think you are doing a great job out there,helping everyone who wants to know about the science of tt.I just want to know,how you grade the xiom hayabusa Zxi with similar butterfly blades?thanks

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment. I have actually come across that blade before but I am going to try and test out more rubbers and blades soon. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

    2. I may be able to help you with that question as I have played with the xiom hayabusa zxi . It is a high quality blade with great power feeling and good control. I prefer the feeling to some top butterfly blades. I would recommend it if your an intermediate to advanced player as it is very fast. I use it to train with but recently switched to the boll spirit when I’m matches as I found the ball was flying off using the hayabusa. I love playing with it so will keep it and maybe switch between the two. But definitely a top quality blade worth the money.

  12. hi i am looking for a rubber to replace my T05fx as i dont want to spend £50 on a new sheet every time i need one. My coach is putting on an m2 to replace my Hurricane 3 but need another rubbber. i play a topspin attack game. any suggestions?
    thanks

    1. Hi Lukas,

      I am in a similar boat but I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and pay for the Tenergy! I’ve been hearing good things about the Tibhar Evolution series of rubbers but I haven’t been able to try them yet.

  13. Hi Ben

    Tibhar MXP is a good Fh Rubber.

    Sir , Just want to know from you which is your favourite equipment Ply + Fh and Bh Rubbers.

    As for me it is Timo Ball Alc with Fh Tenergy 05 + Bh Tenergy 64 Fx.

    Sir , can you please comment.

    Burzez

  14. Hi,

    I think that Sigma series of Xiom are something similar to Tenergy 05, especially Sigma Europe II in terms of speed + spin, yet the feeling is quite different.

  15. HI, I think the real alternative for T 05 is Galaxy/Yinhe Moon and it comes quite close to being a T 05 clone and that too at less than half the price.

  16. Hi Ben,
    I play Donic Baracuda 1,8 or 2,0 using a Donic Waldner Senso V1 wood. Without training a lot – the 1,8 is fast enough. My “tt-style” is “offense” but also “alround” playing 2meters behind the table.

    Could you recommend any alternatives to the Baracuda?
    I like the extreme “spin” but need also enough “power”. Are there any new blades?

    Thx

    1. Hi Dan,

      Sorry but I’m not really sure. I’m no expert in equipment. For the last 5 years I’ve played with Tenergy 05 and haven’t tried much else. Wish I could help more.

      Ben

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