What are the best table tennis bats for beginners keen to improve their skills? It’s a very important question. As a beginner, you don’t need to have the best table tennis racket in the world. But you do need a bat (sometimes called a racket or a paddle) that allows you to generate good levels of spin and develop feeling/control over the ball.
How good is your current table tennis bat? You might be playing with a useless racket and not even realise it! It’s not your fault. Most of the big table tennis brands sell a range of cheap premade bats that are no good for anything but the bin.
So, we’re going to start by showing you what not to buy. Then we’ll move on to making a few racket recommendations of our own. Hopefully, we can point you in the direction of a decent bat or two.
To help our European readers, we’ve paid to have this page professionally translated into a few different languages. Please click the link below that serves you best…
- German: Der Beste Tischtennisschläger für Anfänger
- French: La Meilleure Raquette de Tennis de Table pour Débutants
- Spanish: La Mejor Paleta de Tenis de Mesa Para Principiantes
- Italian: La Migliore Racchetta da Ping Pong per Principianti
Table Tennis Rackets to Avoid
These table tennis bats are very common among beginners to table tennis in the UK. The names are hilarious… ‘G-Force’, ‘Nitro’, ‘Blaster’, ‘Blackstorm’, and our personal favourite, ‘Venom Power’.
Dunlop table tennis bats tend to be extremely heavy. Many of them even have random gaps and holes in their handles – some sort of desperate attempt to make them weigh a bit less. They typically cost £15-30, which is very cheap. But still, we wouldn’t suggest buying one if you can help it! After all, you can buy a Palio Expert 3.0 for £29.99.
Cornilleau Tacteo Rackets
These Tacteo bats look quite cool as they are made of plastic and rubber. They are extremely long-lasting and can be used indoors and outdoors. Many schools choose them for PE lessons, as other table tennis bats tend to get ripped to shreds by teenagers. If you’re a school or youth club, we recommend buying a load of these!
You’re probably thinking, “These sound great!” But the problem is that you won’t be able to play with them in any competitions. Not even local or school-level ones. If you’re looking to play ‘proper’ table tennis, you’ll need a ‘proper’ bat – with a blade made of wood and normal ITTF-approved rubbers .
Cheap Premade Branded Bats
These table tennis rackets are deceptive because the companies are normally able to make the packaging look quite attractive. They use professional players on the cover and often name the bats after them too. Personally, we don’t think this should be allowed as it gives the impression of a premium product.
As a general rule of thumb, we would advise you to avoid any table tennis bat that has its rubber covered by a fancy looking piece of paper with a top player on it. You want to be able to see the quality of the rubbers and this is a clever way of hiding that.
So, we’ve covered what not to buy. Now it’s time for the interesting stuff. Here are the best table tennis bats that we recommend…
The Best Table Tennis Bats for Beginners
Here are the five best table tennis bats for beginners…
- Eastfield Allround Table Tennis Bat
- Palio Expert 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
- DHS A4002 Table Tennis Racket
- Stiga Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket
- Palio Master 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
We’ll now review each of these table tennis rackets in detail.
#1: Eastfield Allround Table Tennis Bat
This is by far our favourite table tennis bat for beginners.
Eastfield Sporting Goods Company was started in late 2014 as a distinctively British brand producing premium table tennis goods. By November 2016, the Eastfield Allround was on sale to the general public.
The Eastfield Allround Professional Table Tennis Bat was designed to be the perfect racket for players that are learning the game and value control, spin and feeling over raw speed and power.
And this is probably a good time to mention that if you’re a beginner or improver, you MUST value control, spin and feeling, over raw speed and power. Please don’t buy the fastest carbon racket you can find! It will only make it even more difficult for you to learn the game and master the basics.
A-Soft Rubbers & Allwood Blade
The Eastfield Allround is a custom racket setup. That means it’s made up of a wooden blade and two sheets of rubber (that have been glued together and cut by hand, by a skilled member of the Eastfield team).
The Eastfield Allwood Table Tennis Blade is a classic 5-ply allround blade offering medium speed, exceptional control, and fantastic feedback. This blade makes it easy to loop, smash, and attack. But is also perfect if you want to block and control the ball, even chop.
It’s modelled on classic allwood blades of the past (such as the Stiga Allround and Donic Allplay) and is perfect for serious beginners or intermediate players. It’s the kind of blade that coaches are always recommending to their young players and has a flared handle for comfort.
The Eastfield A-Soft Rubbers give you an unprecedented level of control. With these soft Japanese-style rubbers, you’re about to play with greater spin and stability than ever before!
Crucially, the rubbers are ITTF approved (meaning you can legally the bat in all sanctioned leagues and tournaments). They feature a 2.1mm thick sponge, with 36° hardness.
By purchasing the complete Eastfield Allround bat, you’re saving £15 (or $20) compared to buying an Eastfield Allwood blade and two Eastfield A-Soft rubbers individually. As far as we’re concerned, that makes the Eastfield Allround the best table tennis bat for beginners!
#2: Palio Expert 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
Palio is a Chinese table tennis brand that specializes in making high-quality and affordable table tennis rubbers and blades. Established table tennis coaches are well aware of the excellent performance of Palio products and have been recommending them to new players for years.
This is a great bat for players learning the game and starting out. The blade gives lots of control and great feeling while the high-quality Palio CJ8000 rubbers allow for lots of spin.
Palio gives the Expert 3.0 a 6/10 for speed, a 9/10 for spin, and a 10/10 for control. And, as this bat will likely be your first table tennis bat, Palio even include a free case to keep the bat in!
It’s also available, via Amazon, in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and India. If you’re looking for a decent table tennis bat at a reasonable price then the Palio Expert 3.0 should fit the bill perfectly. It even comes with free delivery.
In our opinion, the Palio Expert 3.0 is the best table tennis bat for under £30/$40. For more information check out our complete Palio Expert 3.0 Review.
#3: DHS A4002 Table Tennis Racket
If you can’t find anywhere to buy an Eastfield or Palio table tennis bat in your country, you’ll have to look at some other brands.
DHS is another Chinese table tennis brand. They produce a wide range of premade table tennis rackets and, as you’d expect, the cheapest ones are pretty useless but the most expensive ones are quite good.
WARNING: We have come across fake DHS rackets and rubbers in the past, and we believe this is a serious problem for the brand (Butterfly also suffer from fakes). As far as we’re aware, DHS and Butterfly are the only brands to have been targeted in this way.
The DHS A4002 is the most popular of the current DHS premade rackets. You get much better quality rubbers on the A4002 and up (A5002 and A6002) than on the more basic DHS rackets (A1002, A2002, and A3002). For example, the DHS A4002 comes fitted with Hurricane II (red) and G888 (black) – two well-known tacky rubbers.
Personally, we much prefer the softer feel of the Eastfield Allround and Palio bats to the DHS A4002. The DHS premade rackets can be quite heavy and hard, meaning you don’t receive much feedback from the bat and it can be a little more difficult to learn to control the ball. The Eastfield Allround has much softer rubbers than any of the DHS alternatives and that is why it is my first choice for beginners.
You can read our full review of the DHS A4002 here.
#4: Stiga Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket
We’re normally very quick to dismiss premade table tennis rackets from the big brands but Stiga has actually created a decent one, for a change.
It isn’t cheap, and you’re advised to stay well clear of their other four beginners rackets (Apex, Titan, Supreme, Evolution), but their top of the range Stiga Pro Carbon Table Tennis Racket is actually quite nice to play with and, therefore, we have included Stiga in this list.
The Stiga Evolution is an ok bat (you can read our full review here) but the Stiga Pro Carbon is the only Stiga racket we would recommend. The blade and rubbers are much closer to what you would expect from a professional racket and it’ll allow you to learn to play with proper spin strokes and techniques.
It’s pretty expensive though and if you are willing to spend $75 on a racket you might be better off looking for a cheap custom set-up.
#5: Palio Master 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
If you’ve been playing for a little while and are looking to add some extra pace to your game then the Palio Master 3.0 is a great option. The soft CJ8000 rubbers are still very forgiving, but the blade will give you a bit more power than the Expert 3.0.
Palio gives the Master 3.0 table tennis bat an 8/10 for speed, a 9/10 for spin, and an 8/10 for control.
The Palio Master 3.0 is ideal for players with a few months of playing experience and decent ball control. For more information check out my Palio Master 3.0 Review.
The Best Table Tennis Bats for Intermediate Players
Here are the three best table tennis bats for intermediate to advanced players…
- Eastfield Offensive Professional Table Tennis Bat
- Palio Legend 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
- Killerspin JET800 Ping Pong Paddle
These are all quite a bit faster than the beginners bats above, so we wouldn’t recommend them to players with less than one year of playing experience.
#1: Eastfield Offensive Table Tennis Bat
If you’ve been playing with a table tennis bat similar to the Eastfield Allround for a year or so, it might be time for an upgrade. The Eastfield Offensive could be the perfect next bat for you!
The Eastfield Offensive, released in November 2018, is aimed at intermediate all the way up to advanced-level table tennis players. In fact, this is the racket that Ben Larcombe is currently using – and he’s been playing table tennis for over 20 years!
The Eastfield Offensive comprises Eastfield’s Ashwood blade and two sheets of Eastfield A-Pro rubber.
A-Pro Rubbers & Ashwood Blade
The ITTF approved Eastfield A-Pro 2.1mm rubbers provide fantastic speed, spin, and control.
A-Pro is a European-style new-generation rubber with a medium-hard black sponge. It’s fast, but not too fast. It can generate huge amounts of spin, without being too sensitive to incoming spins.
Overall, it was designed to be as fast and spinny as possible whilst still maintaining lots of control. A-Pro helps you to make great shots, but also keep them on the table!
The Eastfield Ashwood 7-ply blade offers exceptional feeling and feedback. It’s called ‘Ashwood’ because ash is the hardwood that makes up the outer layer of the blade.
It’s a 7-ply all-wood blade without any carbon layers. This makes it fast but not crazy fast. You can go for big loops without the fear of blasting everything off the end of the table! It also has a very comfortable rounded flared handle. It feels great in my hand and allows me to hold it very loosely.
For more information, you can read our full review here.
By purchasing the complete Eastfield Offensive bat, you’re saving £30 (or $40) compared to buying an Eastfield Ashwood blade and two Eastfield A-Pro rubbers individually.
#2: Palio Legend 3.0 Table Tennis Bat
The Palio Legend 3.0 isn’t quite in the same league as the Eastfield Offensive, but it’s much cheaper and still nicely combines spin with power.
The Palio Expert 3.0 and Master 3.0 have soft CJ8000 rubbers. The Legend 3.0 features the harder Palio Hadou rubbers. Granted, these are a little more difficult to control. But they’re able to give maximum spin and power to any player with good forehand and backhand loop technique. They play very similar to the Hurricane series of DHS rubbers.
The Palio Legend 3.0 blade is a nice piece of kit and even has a couple of carbon layers. When combined with the Hadou rubbers you get a bat that is really good value at under £40!
Palio gives the Legend 3.0 table tennis bat a 9/10 for speed, 9/10 for spin, and 7/10 for control.
The Palio Legend 3.0 is ideal for “improvers” and intermediate players looking to upgrade their racket to something a bit faster. For more information check out my Palio Legend 3.0 Review.
#3: Killerspin JET800 Ping Pong Paddle
Killerspin is a fairly new American table tennis brand that has really focused on the recreational ping pong market. They have even labelled their bats/rackets “paddles” to appeal to the basement US audience.
Their paddles aren’t cheap but they are well-made, and the best ones are actually pretty decent too. They have eight different models (JET100 – JET800), which we think is a little bit excessive. Sometimes you can have too many options. Wee don’t think a brand needs eight premade rackets for you to choose from.
The Killerspin JET800 is their top-of-the-range “paddle” and is also our favourite from the JET collection. It features two ITTF approved 2.0mm high-tension Nitrx-4Z rubbers and a 5+2 layer wood and carbon fiber blade.
Killerspin is very popular in the USA. However, we don’t think their JET800 paddle quite measures up to Eastfield’s Offensive Bat. The Killerspin Nitrx-4Z rubbers just aren’t of the same quality. They aren’t professional-level offensive rubbers.
The Best Penhold Table Tennis Bat
Palio’s Expert, Master and Legend premade shakehand table tennis bats have been extremely popular ever since their launch in 2013. The good news is that players using the traditional Chinese-style penhold grip can now also play with Palio’s fantastic CJ8000 rubbers!
That’s because Palio has teamed up with Dynasty Table Tennis to create the Dynasty Extra Penhold bat.
The Dynasty Extra features a 5-ply allwood blade perfect for great control and consistency. The CJ8000 rubbers are the same as those used on the famous Palio Expert and Palio Master bats mentioned earlier. And, as with all Palio rackets, a free case is included.
We believe it won’t take long for the Dynasty Extra to become the #1 bestselling premade penhold table tennis racket!
Best Racquets in India
If you live in India you may have discovered that it’s difficult to find high-quality table tennis equipment. Lots of the bestselling bats and racquets from the USA and UK aren’t available in India. Instead, you are left to choose from a selection of budget GKI and Stag premade racquets that lack spin.
Fortunately, Mellonta Sports launched in 2018 with the sole mission of importing previously unavailable table tennis equipment into the Indian market. So, you can now buy Eastfield and Palio table tennis racquets in India via Amazon.
These Eastfield and Palio racquets are a little more expensive than most of those sold by GKI and Stag. But once you play with them you’ll notice the difference in quality and performance immediately.
So there we have it! Which table tennis bats to buy and which ones to avoid at all costs. Don’t be deceived by the big brand names, like Butterfly. Premade table tennis bats are really not their area of expertise.
- In our opinion, the best table tennis bat for beginners is the Eastfield Allround.
- If you’re on a tighter budget, the best budget racket for beginners is the Palio Expert 3.0.
- If you can’t buy an Eastfield or Palio racket in your country, a genuine DHS A4002 is the next best thing.
- For those with a bit more experience, the Eastfield Offensive is a great table tennis bat for intermediate to advanced players.
Finally, if you are a beginner looking for advice regarding bats or other equipment, we’re happy to help. Don’t get ripped off or fooled by fancy packaging. Feel free to contact us before you spend your money. You can message us on Twitter or Facebook.