I was training at ISH last night in Central London with Sam. I hadn’t been there for a while and it turns out they have replaced all of the nets during that time. They used to have some old competition standard ones. Now they have brand new cheaper ones. I’m not really sure which I prefer.
That got me thinking… What would I have recommended? What are the best table tennis nets? Obviously the club doesn’t want to spend a fortune on nets, but at the same time there is no point wasting money on cheap ones, especially when they need to be used for competitive league matches etc.
In this blog post, I will go through some of the options available to you when buying a net and point out some of the things to look out for. If you are looking to buy a table tennis net I hope I can help you.
Retractable Table Tennis Nets ($)
There is nothing worse than a rubbish cheap net that is always falling off or sagging in the middle. You could have a £1,000 table tennis table but if the net is rubbish it will ruin your game. If you want a good but cheap table tennis net there is only really one decent option; the “rollnet” or “retractable net”.
These rollnets are brilliant. They have only been around for a few years, but have already had a massive impact on the recreational net market. With a rollnet you can play table tennis on any table. They extend up to 2 metres in length but can also be used on much smaller tables without any need for adjustment. They are compact to carry around and can attach to any surface less than 5cm thick.
I think the term “rollnet” may be a trademarked term of the brand Artengo but you can get buy retractable nets from all sorts of brands and unbranded companies. They are all pretty much identical in quality, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
The version being sold on Amazon.co.uk is made by a company called Tera. The Tera Retractable Table Tennis Net is the #1 best seller on Amazon with loads of positive reviews. You can grab one for under £15.
On Amazon.com, you can also buy the Tera net, although it is the Champion Sports version which is the most popular. It only costs $20 and is sold with a couple of cheap rackets and balls as well (if that’s something you need).
I can’t recommend these nets enough! For years, recreational players have struggled with terrible nets that are continuously sagging, or don’t fit the table properly, or keep falling apart. Finally, there’s a solution!
Clip-On Table Tennis Nets ($$)
Firstly, a warning… Pretty much everyone talks about a “table tennis net” but technically what they mean is a table tennis net and post set – you need both parts. Some retailers sell “table tennis nets” as replacements without posts, so make sure you double check that your net comes with the posts too, if that is what you need. Okay. Hope you’ve got that!
As great as the rollnets nets are; if you are buying a net that will be used at a club, school, league, or anything mildly competitive, you might want to upgrade to a more serious clip-on net. These nets use a strong spring system to attach to the table tennis table, which gives them a much firmer grip and means they are less likely to move around. The clip system also makes them very easy to put up and down. They will also have a string inside the top of the net which allows you to tighten it. A tight net is a good net.
Again, there are many different types of clip-on nets, sold by all the major table tennis brands. There is very little difference between them all. Here are the ones I recommend…
On Amazon.co.uk, you can pick up a Butterfly Clip Table Tennis Net & Post Set for just over £20. I’ve used these nets a lot and they are very good for the price. These are actually the ones they use at my club, ISH, now. They aren’t professional nets, but they get the job done.
The popular clip-on net on Amazon.com is the Stiga Premium Clipper Net & Post Set. The Clipper net posts actually have the ability to fold down so that they can be stored more easily. Often I would avoid foldable nets, as there is more to go wrong, but from the reviews it appears Stiga have done a great job. This net is cheap too, at only $25.
Of course, feel free to do your own research and choose another clip-on net. These are just nets that I know are good and popular.
Professional Table Tennis Nets ($$$)
If you are going for the best quality nets available then you are looking at buying quite a bulky net with a clamp fixing. Generally, the bigger and beefier the net looks the better it is. Small, skinny nets can be a bit flimsy. Professional nets have a lot of, what appears to be, unnecessary metal.
Professional nets also give you the ability to adjust the height on the net. This is important if you are going to be using the net for competitive matches, as the net should always be at the correct height.
You can see from the image above that professional net posts allow the net to actually slide in and out of a metal cylinder. There is then a screw underneath that can be used to increase or decrease the height of the net. This isn’t usually available with the cheaper clip-on nets. If you look back to the Butterfly Clip net you can see that the net simply goes over the post and cannot be adjusted.
In the UK, I like the Butterfly Matchplay Table Tennis Net & Post Set that is sold by Amazon.co.uk. It is a strong net, with everything you’ll require for competition, and only costs £30. There are many other similar nets though.
It all comes down to your budget and what you are looking for.
- If all you want is a recreational net, the rollnets or retractable nets are brilliant.
- If you want something a bit more substantial, a clip-on net is a good choice.
- If you need a professional quality net, make sure you pay a bit extra for one with a clamp fixing and an adjustable net height.
I hope that post has helped you to understand a little more about table tennis nets. What do you think is the best table tennis net? Leave a comment below and share your experience with the community.