Last Updated on May 7, 2022
Table tennis is one of the famous sports played professionally and as a hobby. Compared to other sports, table tennis needs a minimal playing area. So you can play it both indoor and outdoor with two or four players as a team.
You will find tons of ping pong accessories when searching in the market and you might be confused about which to choose, right? But, again, many filthy brands create their fake star rating but do not deliver quality products.
Don’t worry; we have cleared that mess for you. In this guide, you shall know about making the right choice for ping pong equipment.
Basic Ping Pong Equipments:
- 1 1. Table
- 2 2. Net
- 3 3. Balls
- 4 4. The Ping Pong Racket
- 5 5. Glue for Racket
- 6 6. Rubber Cleaner for Racket
- 7 7. Table Tennis Bag
- 8 8. Ball Holder
- 9 9. Net Gauge
- 10 10. Ball Picker
- 11 11. Ping Pong Robot (Partner)
- 12 How Important Is Table Tennis Equipment to Me?
- 13 Final Words
Best brands: Butterfly, JOOLA
The table is the first and most fundamental part of the game. There are many ping pong tables, starting from tables for recreational play to the highest quality and professional level.
The table surface is painted in a solid dark color like blue or green. Dark grey or black are rarely used. Remember that the table color is not an essential factor but the surface should be matte or smooth to reduce friction.
The table surface is made with either of the following materials:
- Know your playing level: indoor or outdoor.
- If you do not have enough space for a table, consider buying a conversion tabletop.
- For competitive matches, check if the table has a standard ITTF dimension.
- Check if it is foldable so that you can fold it when you’re not playing.
- Try finding 1-inch thickness tables. If you fail to find one, opt for tables with 0.75-inch thickness.
- Check if the table has wheels for better portability.
- Opt for adjustable height tables if you want a shorter or taller table than the ITTF standard tables.
ITTF Standard Table Dimension
According to the International Table Tennis Federation, a standard ping pong table should be 5 feet wide, 9 feet long and the height should be 2.5 feet or 30 inches.
Additionally, the tabletop thickness should range up to 30mm at best. This allows you a good and accurate bounce during the match. With a smaller thickness, the ball might bounce incorrectly and might slip.
After you purchase, keep your table in good condition, somewhere cool and dry. However, beware of extreme weather variations as they can warp and damage the table surface.
Consider using a table cover. If your table folds in the upright direction, choose a table cover for proper maintenance. But, if your table is non-foldable, you can cover them with a waterproof tarp preferably made out of vinyl.
Different Kinds of Tables
The ping pong tables come in a wide range of materials and shapes. Let’s break them down in more detail for you to choose the best table:
Adjustable Height Table
The ideal height of a table is 30 inches. However, some full-sized tables can be adjusted. The adjustable height tables are the same dimensions as other full-size tables with only the simple addition of telescopic legs.
You can adjust the table legs to different positions and heights, starting from 2 feet to a little less than 3 feet. These tables are appropriate for all beginner, intermediate and professional players.
Conversion Top Table
Love playing table tennis but don’t have enough space? Then why not get a conversion top instead? This can save a lot of your space than full-size ping pong tables.
What Is a Conversion Top?
A conversion top is nothing but the surface part of the ping pong table. It is designed to fit over a dining table, pool table, or equivalent surfaces. The bottom layer is a rubber top to grip and protect the table surface. These can be made fit in any place without any trouble.
Many people prefer a floating ping pong table in a swimming pool, especially during a party. But, have you thought how fun that would be?
These tabletops are 30×60 inches in size and they provide you with a tough surface so that the ball can bounce well. This fun equipment comes along with its net and floating rackets and balls. You can also use these as conversion tops other than tabletops.
Outdoor tables are designed to resist weather conditions. They are designed with galvanized steel undercarriages and weatherproof surfaces to make them durable and long-lasting. However, they tend to be quite expensive than indoor tables.
Best brands: Stiga, NIBIRU Sport
If you have purchased the best ping pong table, invest a little more and buy a high-quality table tennis net from brands like Stiga or NIBIRU Sport. It keeps you ahead in the game no matter how good you are.
The ping pong nets are located just at the center of the table. They come in two side clamps to hold firmly. You can secure the net from either side of the table. This is where you can extend it for 6-inches.
- Notice if there is a white tape attached at the top of the net.
- The standard height of the net is 6 inches.
- Consider buying dark-colored nets and avoid colorful ones.
- Focus on the clamp, screw net and posts coming with the net package.
- In length it should be 1.83 meters.
- To ease setup, consider using clip nets as clamp and screw ones take time to set up.
- If you are planning for a tournament, buy a height adjuster net.
- Consider waterproof nets if you are buying a net for an outdoor table.
The standard nets are 6 inches high and it is attached with white tape at the top, which is about 15mm wide. Therefore, the lower part of the net should be slightly touching the table surface. Moreover, to maintain proper tension and for an easy setup, the net length should be 6 feet.
Table tennis nets are made out of nylon mesh or plastic. The color of the material used should be dark matte color. Usually, dark blue, green and black nets are widely made.
Best brands: Butterfly, KEVENZ, Nittaku
Price: Training balls- $5-$15
Competition balls- $20-$40
Choosing the wrong ping pong ball would cost you a lot. If you select the wrong ball to save a few bucks, it would either break or go in an appropriate direction after hitting no matter how carefully you play.
Moreover, ping pong balls depend on the playing purposes. For example, the ITTF approved standard balls like Butterfly are made for professional or competitive matches. But, again, for hobby play or recreational matches, MAPOl or KEVENZ are suitable.
- Training and competitive ping pong balls are wholly different. So, buy balls according to your playing purpose.
- Check the ratio of price and quantity of balls in the package. Make sure you’re getting the best balls at a reasonable price.
- Make sure the ball is not too heavy. An ideal ping pong ball is 2.7 grams in weight.
- For unofficial or casual playing, one-star balls should be enough.
- For bulk purchases, buy from KEVENZ or MAPOL.
- Standard ball colors are yellow, white, pale orange.
Weight and Diameter
On average, the ping pong balls are lightweight and weigh about 3 grams. By diameter, they are 38-54mm. However, these are not considered standard balls, but you can use them for recreational matches.
According to the ITTF, a standard ball should be 2.7g in weight, 40mm in diameter and made out of plastic. That makes a standard ball appropriate for tournament plays. Still confused? Check our guide on choosing the right ping pong balls.
Ping pong balls are either pale orange, yellow or white. Make sure they have a matte finish to make it noticeable around the surroundings.
Previously, balls were made out of celluloid. However, after 2011, the ITTF started promoting plastic balls for playing purposes. Recently, ABS balls have arrived in the market and attained quite a fame for their versatility and performance.
Types of Package
Ping pong balls are sold either in bulk or in a piece of 3, 4 or 6 balls.
Buying in Bulk
For buying in bulk, brands like MAPOL, KEVENZ, Franklin sports are recommended to deliver a good quantity at a reasonable price.
Buying in retail
Ping pong balls are also sold in 3, 4 or other small packages. You can purchase either in bulk or small packages according to your need.
4. The Ping Pong Racket
Best brands: Franklin Sports, PRO-SPIN
Table tennis rackets are 6 inches in width and 10 inches in length, including the handle. Wood is the main material for the construction of a paddle, which should be 85% natural wood according to the ITTF.
The flat area used for striking the ball is covered with rubber. The rubber always plays a role in the pivot and force used after striking the ball. If you are a player who plays with topspins, select a paddle with maximum thickness.
Additionally, there should be a side tape around the racket to protect it from hitting the table. This makes the racket last longer.
- Before you purchase, know what type of spin or anti-spin capability you need. Rubbers are made differently for different levels of spins.
- Choose the grip according to your holding style. For example, flared or straight handle options are suitable for players who loosely hold the handle. For pen hold players, there are different paddles.
- Pay attention to picking your sponge. If you want to play attractive, choose a thick sponge. In contrast, defensive players look for thin sponges for their paddle.
- Make sure the racket is not too heavy.
- Check the reviews before confirming your purchase.
- There are different bats for beginner, intermediate and professional players. Choose according to your level.
According to the table tennis rules, the rubbers on both sides of the paddle must have different colors: red and black. However, after the recent update of October 2021, the rubbers are not just red and black, but they are in different colors like green, pink, purple, blue.
Primarily there are four types of rubber for your playing needs. Each rubber is differently made and serves different purposes. Let’s find out how-
- Smooth: These are commonly used rubbers. The shiny flat surface provides a greater spin than other rubber types.
- Anti-topspin: This kind of rubber comes in a smooth surface and players use it for blocking spins. Moreover, it is combined with inverted rubber on the opposite side. Therefore, the rubbers on the two sides of this paddle are not equal, making it a 2 in 1 paddle.
- Long pips: These rubbers facilitate counter-attacking your opponent’s spin. However, this rubber is found only on one side of the racket because it is one of the hardest rubbers to play with.
- Short pips: These rubbers are made for defensive play where the player doesn’t offer much spin in their game. These rubbers have a bumpy surface with a sponge layer beneath them.
Proper maintenance of ping pong rackets is essential for the racket’s good performance. The rubber blades need to be cleaned regularly with a water-based rubber cleaner. This maintains a high spin surface that makes the ball spin.
Moreover, do not leave your rackets outside where they can be damaged by weather or dirt. Instead, store them in a cover or casings.
Bonus tip: Do not use regular wooden paddles for swimming pool tabletop plays. The water can damage your racket. Instead, use waterproof pool rackets designed especially for pool plays.
Ping Pong Accessories:
5. Glue for Racket
Best brand: Butterfly
You don’t usually require glue unless you choose a special blade for your racket. Professional players most often require these. However, if you buy a ready-made racket, you do not need glue.
Previously faster glues were used for table tennis and players would need a new glue every workout. However, according to the current rules, new glues are used for up to six months.
What Else Should It Contain?
The glue package shall also contain sponges and a sponge gripper. This allows you to apply the glue precisely on the blade’s surface. After the applied glue dries, use a roller or hand to distribute the rubber on the blade properly. This process helps to keep the surface area smooth and clean.
6. Rubber Cleaner for Racket
Good brand: Butterfly, JOOLA
For the good health of the rubber, you need to provide it with proper maintenance. Therefore, we recommend using a rubber cleaner for cleaning the rubber regularly. The rubber cleaner consists of a rubber foam cleaner and a care sponge.
How to clean the paddle rubber with a rubber cleaner?
Apply foam to the rubber and softly clean it with the rubber cleaner. Cleaning your rubber regularly increases its lifespan and makes the ball last longer with a consistent bounce.
7. Table Tennis Bag
Best brands: JOOLA, Killerspin
Have you wondered how to maintain all your ping pong equipment and accessories arranged without getting lost? Or consider you need to carry them somewhere, how would you do it then?
Therefore, avoid getting lost in the accessories and consider using a table tennis bag for easy portability. There are bags available for both training and tournaments.
The table tennis bags are designed especially with different pockets to keep different items at different bag parts. To illustrate: when you change T-shirts between a big match, you keep the T-shirt in a separate pocket, the racket and the towel in different pockets.
Make sure you keep different items in different pockets and not all in one pocket. High temperatures can damage your racket. There are many kinds of table tennis bags available, from smaller ones to large ones.
Moreover, since they are affordable, we recommend every player to get a table tennis bag for themself to keep things organized.
8. Ball Holder
Best brand: JOOLA
This item is quite necessary, however, used for convenience. If you already have a ball box or table tennis bag, you would not require a ball holder. However, in case of the absence of the ball box or if your bag seems wet, you might consider getting a ball holder.
Ball holders are often used for training and learning. This keeps the ball dry and maintains the original quality of the ball. In addition, coaches use ball holders for convenience.
9. Net Gauge
Best brand: Nittaku
Price: Around $1
You do not need a net gauge for regular plays. However, umpires often use net gauges before they begin any competitive match. It is used to see if the mesh is tightened enough to meet the ITTF standards.
The net height should be 15.25cm, so the net gauge is placed to see if that is correct.
10. Ball Picker
Best brand: JOOLA
Ball pickers are very useful for training purposes. For example, coaches use ball pickers to collect balls and other players who deal with many balls.
The ball picker makes your work easier and instead of frequently bending to collect balls, you can pick them up with this tool. But why should you consider buying a ball picker?
Because this tool increases your tournament speed as you don’t have to waste time picking up balls by yourself. Moreover, you have to bend frequently, which would prevent pain in the back.
11. Ping Pong Robot (Partner)
Best brands: Butterfly, Newgy
Have you noticed that we have not mentioned ping pong robots in the equipment but in the accessories? Because you can practice without it.
However, if you have no one to train or practice with, this could be important for you. This machine throws ordinary balls at you according to your programming and instructions. You can fix the frequency, ball speed, etc.
You can have a great partner if you can afford a ping pong robot since they are tireless and can work continuously. This can help improve your skills and they can throw balls in topspin, pimps and even serve according to your instruction.
Before you choose the right ping pong table, consider the following terms:
Is It Programmable?
Programmable ping pong robots are best for all-level play. In a programmable robot, you can customize the ball frequency, serve type etc. In addition, programmable robots allow you to adjust the settings precisely according to your needs and desires.
Ball Frequency and Capacity
Most balls have frequency up to a certain limit. For example, 90 balls per minute or 20 balls per minute. However, you can adjust the frequency according to your playing skills.
See how many balls the robot can store in its container so that you do not have to go and set up the robot every minute. For example, some can store 90 balls again, some robots can store 120 balls.
Additionally, a few robots like SUZ Table Tennis robots provide ball collection facilities, so you don’t have to collect balls on your own, which saves time and effort.
Some cheap robots seem to be noisy while playing. Excess noise can disturb other people in the home and even the neighborhood. Consider avoiding these items.
Some reputed brands like Butterfly and Newgy provide wireless controls so that you can give instructions from the other side of the table. In addition, mobile apps can control many robots.
Again, some other ping pong robots have attached remote controls with the robot, so if you need to change the frequency and adjust the settings, you need to go near the robot to fix it.
Note: Wireless control robots are often more costly than wired ones.
Want to learn more about ping pong robots? Check our detailed guide about Ping Pong Robots.
How Important Is Table Tennis Equipment to Me?
It is important to have the right ping pong equipment to have a smooth and proper match. Unless you have made the right choice, the equipment will pass out very often, ruining the whole set of table tennis.
Therefore, don’t compromise on items to save a few bucks. On the other hand, the wrong thing can damage your skills, reflexes and make you feel worse even though you play well. Therefore, have a warm-up session before every match to check if things are good.
After reading our ultimate guide on ping pong equipment, I’m sure you are capable of making the right purchase by yourself. When it’s time, buy the best ping pong equipment and accessories for yourself and use your knowledge. Lastly, whether you are playing on a full-sized table or a conversion top, be sure what you purchase and be confident about it. Please don’t purchase a full-size table unless you have the space for it.