This review has been a long time coming. The Palio Expert 2 is my favorite table tennis racket and the one I recommend to all beginners and improvers in my famous blog post, The Best Table Tennis Bat for Beginners. You will not find a better bat for under £30 or $40!
The Palio Expert 2 table tennis racket is the upgrade to the original Palio Expert that was released in 2013 and has been very popular, especially among club players and juniors in the UK.
Palio Expert 2 Review
In this review, I will be looking at the following factors…
- Customer Satisfaction
The Palio Expert 2 is a premade table tennis racket aimed at beginners and improvers. The blade is an exclusive collaboration between Palio and Expert Table Tennis. The rubbers are the brilliant Palio CJ8000, on both sides. A free case is included with the racket.
This is not a fast racket – but that is okay. If you are a beginner or an improver you really don’t need a fast racket. Too many players grab a carbon racket as soon as possible and then never have the opportunity to develop any feeling or control over the ball in their basic strokes.
The speed of a racket is determined by the combination of blade and rubber.
The Expert 2 blade has a really nice handle that feels comfortable in your hand and is generally much nicer than other cheap blades you might find on premade rackets. The quality of wood used by Palio is really outstanding! This gives a fantastic playing experience, without too much speed. That lack of speed allows for maximum control.
The CJ8000 rubbers aren’t slow at all. But they aren’t super fast either. As a beginner, you don’t want to be playing with something like Tenergy – it’s too fast for you. Palio CJ8000 is much better for your development.
The Palio Expert 2 gives you all the speed you need from a racket, but no more. If you really want a fast racket there are other options available. However, if you are looking for a premade racket then I’m assuming you are a relatively new player and, therefore, something slower will be much better for you. Trust me.
The main selling point of the Palio Expert 2 racket is its fantastic capability to produce spin. The majority of other premade rackets are lacking in this respect because they use cheap rubbers, instead of professional rubbers. Fortunately, CJ8000 are professional rubbers that can be bought individually and, therefore, perform really well.
If you’ve ever played with a cheap table tennis racket you’ll know what it feels like to have “dead” rubbers. They just don’t grip the ball at all so you have to hit the ball over the net instead of spinning it. Proper table tennis technique involves heavily brushing the ball and, therefore, a spinny racket is essential.
The control and feeling given by the Palio Expert 2 is really outstanding. I still remember the first time I used one of these rackets and I was blown away by how great it felt compared to other premade rackets.
The Palio Expert 2 really prides itself on offering maximum control. The Master 2 and Legend 2 rackets are faster and, therefore, a little more difficult to control. But this one makes it easy. You will be able to play great shots and still keep the ball on the table. It will also help massively when trying to control your opponents spin.
The Palio Expert 2 is priced near the middle of the premade racket market – at £29.99 in the UK, and $39.99 in the USA. It certainly isn’t the cheapest racket out there but then again there are also plenty of rackets selling for £100+.
I firmly believe that the Palio Expert 2 is the best racket you will find for under £30. The majority of rackets sold at this price are not very good at all. When buying from one of the big brands (such as Butterfly or Stiga) you usually have to spend at least twice this amount before you start getting a “decent” table tennis racket. Their cheap ones are no good at all.
The fact that you can buy from Amazon, with free shipping and a free racket case, makes the price even better value!
3. Customer Satisfaction
Here are some customer reviews I found on Amazon…
Great racket with loads of spin and plenty of control at a bargain price!
I’m a beginner and this racket feels worlds apart from the crappy ones you rent from sports centres. I will really enjoy this for learning!
Does exactly what I hoped. Completely revolutionised my table tennis game!
A racket that “feels worlds apart from the crappy ones you rent from sports centres”. Personally, I think that’s a really accurate review. If you are used to playing with the average rackets beginners are given then the Palio Expert 2 will open your eyes to what a “real” table tennis racket is like.
Is this racket for you?
If you are relatively new to table tennis I would highly recommend buying yourself a Palio Expert 2 racket. If you are serious about learning the game and developing a correct technique, this racket will allow you to do so. If you are simply wanting to enjoy playing with friends then this racket will allow you to play with a bit more speed and spin than your mates and perhaps even help you to beat them.
If you have been playing table tennis for many years and have already mastered the basics then this racket probably isn’t for you. If you are an attacking player and have already developed a good touch and feel for the ball, then you could probably do with a faster racket. Perhaps a custom-made set-up would be more appropriate.
Unfortunately, the Palio Expert 2 isn’t currently available with a penhold handle. If you are a penhold player looking for a premade racket I would suggest going for one of the DHS rackets.
For more information on choosing a table tennis racket, check out my blog post, The Best Table Tennis Bat for Beginners.