Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, deciding on the best table tennis bat for your game can be quite difficult.

From sponge thickness to rubber tackiness, to blade type and weight – how do different bats affect your game? And which is best for your style and playing level?

In this guide, I explain the different aspects of table tennis bats and how the materials and designs suit different play styles and ability levels. From fast and attacking players, to slow and spinny, to controlled and defensive.

I also recommend 10 bats for different playing levels that I think are the best table tennis bats available to buy currently. These are the bats I recommend to players based on their budget, skill level and playstyle, and I’ve compared and reviewed over 30 different bats to get to this list of 10.

I’ve selected 3 beginner bats, 3 intermediate bats and 2 advanced / pro bats, and included bats for different play styles in each category to provide a choice. 

I’ve also included a budget pick for casual players who just want a fairly decent table tennis bat at a cheap price.

And finally, an outdoor table tennis bat that’s waterproof and sturdy, and can get left out in the rain – great for kids and casual players.

About Me

About Me

Sam Hodgson - Table Tennis Guru

I’m Sam, a table tennis addict and expert. I’ve been playing table tennis since I was old enough to hold a bat, and I love helping and coaching people with their game.

I’m also a professional writer, and I’m passionate about writing well structured, information packed guides that genuinely help people.


Choosing the best table tennis bat for you

The best table tennis bat for you is one that:

  • Suits your ability level (beginner / intermediate / advanced)
  • Suits your play style (fast and attacking / slow and spinny / defensive and controlled)
  • Fits your budget (generally, the more advanced, the more expensive)

So, the first step in your decision making process should be asking:

  • What is my playing level?
  • And what is my playing style?

What’s Your Skill Level?

    Your playing level should be fairly easy to assess:

    If you’re new to table tennis (first year or so of playing), you’re a beginner

    If you’ve been playing for a few years, play at your local club and perhaps compete in amateur table tennis tournaments, you’re an intermediate

    And if you’re competing regularly at high standards you’re probably an advanced player. 

    What’s Your play style?

    If you’re unsure, think about the types of shots you like playing the most: are they choppy and defensive? And do you value consistency and ‘just getting it back’ more than going for winners?

    Or do you love a loopy spin shot or a devastating slice? (That’s me).

    Or are you an all-out attacker that plays aggressive and fast with lots of smashes?

    Don’t worry if you don’t fit into any of these categories (or if you fit into all of them equally). We all have varying aspects of our game and play lots of different shots. And just because you choose a spinny table tennis bat it doesn’t mean you can’t smash – and visa versa. 

    Just think about whether you want your bat to lend itself more to one specific aspect of your game. 

    And if not, then perhaps you just want more of an ‘all-rounder’ table tennis bat: you can play defensive when you need to, use spin shots at the right time to build pressure, and then go in for the kill with a smash at the right time. 

    You’ll find that cheaper, more ‘beginner’ friendly bats are more suited to control, and all-rounder play styles, while the more intermediate and advanced bats get more tailored to fast and spinny play. 

    You can also create your own bat with a specific blade and a different rubber for your backhand and forehand – but this guide focuses on ‘ready made’ table tennis bats.

    Choosing a bat

    You might notice when comparing table tennis bats that many of them seem to ‘do everything’. They’re super fast and lightweight, ultra spinny, with loads of control, and only £15!

    Well… this is marketing for you.

    Table tennis bat brands don’t really want to highlight the weaknesses of their bats – they focus on the strengths – but I find this makes it hard to actually compare them and make a decision. 

    So in my buying guide, I try to be honest about the pros and cons of each table tennis bat and what kind of play style they’re best for, based on the below criteria.

    Sponge thickness

    Table tennis bat sponge thickness typically ranges from about 1.5mm to 2.3mm. 

    Generally, a thicker sponge suits a faster and more aggressive play style, while a thinner sponge suits a slower and more controlled play style.

    This means thinner sponges can be better for beginners because they’re good for control. But they can also suit intermediate and advanced (and even pro) players that need controlled and defensive elements to their game – again, you can still get plenty of power out of a thinner sponge!


    Generally, soft and tacky table tennis rubbers suit a more spinny game, while firmer rubbers suit a faster and more offensive game.

    A very tacky rubber means that your shots will be more spinny, but your opponents’ spin shots will also jump off your bat more – so keep that in mind. 

    You can also get Chinese style rubbers that are hard, but also tacky – so they offer a good combination of speed and spin. You might find it difficult to control the ball though with so much spin and power depending on your level. 

    Related: How to take care of your table tennis bat and rubbers.


    A light blade and bat is better for faster and more attacking play, while a heavier bat gives you more control. 

    So, when you see a bat with multiple layers and consisting of lightweight materials like carbon-fibre and titanium carbon, that’s a great bat for speed – but you might sacrifice some control too.

    A fully wooden blade will help absorb power from your opponent’s shots, slow the game down and help you control the point.


    This ties into the blade type, as your blade is the biggest contributor to how heavy your bat is. 

    As above, a heavier bat is better for control and defensive play styles, while a light blade is great for fast attacking shots. 


    There are three main types of table tennis grips and handle shapes:

    • Straight
    • Flared
    • Anatomical

    The grip you choose really depends on personal preference as it won’t have a huge impact on your game – you can get used to any shape if you use the bat enough. 

    Some people find that a tighter grip suits a straight handle, while a looser grip suits a flared handle as the flared ends help you keep control without clenching too rigidly.

    Anatomical is my favourite as the handle is ergonomically designed to fit your hand – but not all bats come with this option and it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

    Related: My guide to the best table tennis tables: indoor and outdoor.


    Think about what you value in a table tennis bat – speed, spin, control, or a bit of everything, and keep this in mind when you’re comparing table tennis bats. 

    Hopefully you now feel confident in deciding on the best table tennis bat for you. So, on to my recommendations.

    Best table tennis bats for beginners (3 bats)

    Here are 3 of the best beginner table tennis bats to choose from – they’re among the best value beginner bats on the market from trusted, high quality brands. 

    I’d say the Bribar is the best all-rounder, the Palio is the best spinny bat, and the JOOLA is the fastest and most offensive. 

    Bribar Winning Loop Table Tennis Bat

    The Bribar Winning Loop table tennis bat is my go-to recommended bat for new table tennis players.

    It’s not too spinny with great control, while still being fairly fast. 

    You can also select your colour, grip type, and choose between a 1.5mm (more control) and 2.0mm (more power) sponge thickness for a little extra customization which is great. 

    My preference is the 2.0mm, but if you’re very new to table tennis, go for the 1.5mm.

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    Price (approx) £36.99
    Sponge Thickness 1.5mm / 2.0mm
    Rubbers Medium and tacky
    Blade 5-ply wood
    Weight Approx 250g
    Grip / Handle Flared / Anatomic / Straight


    • Great for:
    • Beginners
    • Balance of speed and spin
    • Control
    • All rounder
    • Not Great For:
    • Intermediates

    The Bribar Winning Loop is the best ‘all-rounder’ beginner table tennis bat in my opinion. 

    It strikes the balance between control, speed, and spin just right for this playing level. 

    If you want a more spinny bat (and slightly cheaper), consider the Palio Expert 3.0 (up next), or if you want maximum control look at the Pongori Club Table Tennis Bat reviewed later. 

    But in general, I’d say this is the best tennis bat for beginners in most cases.

    Palio Expert 3.0 Table Tennis Bat

    At around £30, the Palio Expert 3.0 gives you the best spin and control for any table tennis bat at this price point.

    While it’s not the fastest bat out there, that’s usually a good thing when you’re starting out. The spin gives you a lot to work with offensively anyway, and it’s definitely not ‘slow’.

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    Price (approx) £29.99
    Sponge Thickness 2.2mm
    Rubbers Soft and tacky
    Blade Wood
    Weight 260g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Beginners
    • Spin lovers (like me)
    • Control
    • Defensive players
    • Not Great For:
    • Intermediates
    • Out-and-out fast / attacking players

    The Palio Expert 3.0 is heavy at 260g. This and its soft rubbers give you more control and allow the bat to absorb the power of your opponents shots. 

    The soft and tacky rubbers also give you a lot of spin potential (keep in mind this also means your opponents shots will spin off your own bat more, too).

    The 2.2mm rubbers also pack a punch, so although it’s best for spin, you can still generate a lot of power on your smashes. 

    If you’re new to table tennis and want to get those topspins really looping and your slices cutting across the table, this is an excellent bat!

    JOOLA Club Table Tennis Bat Carbon Pro 5*

    Finally, the JOOLA Club Table Tennis Bat Carbon Pro 5* is a more lightweight, quick and controlled beginner bat.

    What sets this bat apart from other beginner bats is its carbon / wood hybrid blade, which you don’t usually get at this price point. 

    It makes it the lightest beginner bat, and certainly the lightest bat under £40.

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    Price (approx) £39.99
    Sponge Thickness 2mm
    Rubbers Soft, not very tacky
    Blade Wood & carbon
    Weight 200g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Beginners
    • Offensive players
    • Speed
    • Control
    • Not Great For:
    • Intermediates
    • Spin
    • Defensive players

    If you want a begginer bat that’s a bit nippier, with good speed and control (but with a slight sacrifice on spin), this bat is very hard to beat.

    Remember – a tacky bat means that your opponents spin shots will have a greater affect on you as they’ll ping off your bat – so a less tacky bat can be a good counter!

    Best table tennis bats for intermediates (3 bats)

    Here are 3 of the best intermediate table tennis bats to choose from – I think they’re the best value intermediate bats available online from trusted, high quality brands. 

    I’d say the Pongori TTR 900 is the best all-rounder. And while the Cornilleau is the most attacking intermediate bat, the Palio is not far behind but with a smidge more control thanks to its extra weight.

    Palio Legend 3.0 Table Tennis Bat

    The Palio Legend 3.0 is a serious piece of kit. It’s seriously fast and spinny (although at a sacrifice of control!). 

    The Chinese-style ITTF approved Palio Hadou rubbers suit an attacking play style, and the hardwood blade gives it extra power making it a real speed demon. 

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    Price (approx) £44.99
    Sponge Thickness 2mm
    Rubbers Hard and tacky
    Blade 5-ply hardwood
    Weight 258g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Intermediates and experienced players
    • Offensive players
    • Lots of spin and speed
    • Not Great For:
    • Beginners
    • Control
    • Defensive players

    If the Palio Legend 3.0 is anything, it’s lots of fun! 

    You can really go for your big topspins and power shots and test the limits of your game. 

    A word of warning: the rubbers take some getting used to. And you might find the loss of control too much to keep up with.

    If this is your first intermediate bat, the Pongori bat up next and the Cornilleau are a bit more forgiving.

    Pongori Club Table Tennis Bat TTR 900 Speed

    The Pongori Club Table Tennis Bat has soft and tacky rubbers, giving you a bit more control than the Palio Legend 3.0 and the Cornilleau Excell 3000 Carbon (next up). 

    But it’s also lighter, making it quick on the attack to compensate for the softer rubbers. 

    The result? A really nice all-round table tennis bat for intermediate levels. 

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    Price (approx) £49.99
    Sponge Thickness 2mm
    Rubbers Soft and tacky
    Blade 5-ply hardwood
    Weight 195g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Intermediates and experienced players
    • Balance of spin, speed and control
    • Defensive players
    • All-rounders
    • Not Great For:
    • Beginners

    A lightweight, fast and spinny bat for intermediates with a bit more control than the Palio Legend 3.0. 

    I really don’t think you can go wrong with the TTR 900 if it’s your first step up to an intermediate table tennis bat. Great value for money!

    Cornilleau Excell 3000 Carbon Table Tennis Bat

    The lightest of my intermediate bat recommendations thanks to the carbon / wood blade – remember, a light bat is great for offensive speed and power. 

    It also packs a thick 2.2mm sponge for even more power, and medium, tacky rubbers, for speed and spin. 

    Basically, it’s a handful!

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    Price (approx) £47.50
    Sponge Thickness


    Rubbers Tacky, medium / hard
    Blade 5-ply wood & carbon
    Weight 170g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Intermediates and experienced players
    • Attacking players
    • Crazy speed and spin
    • Not Great For:
    • Beginners
    • Control
    • Defensive players

    All in all, it’s a similar feel to the Palio Legend 3.0 but the main difference is the weight – at about 80g lighter it’s really nice to hold. 

    This also makes it a bit faster along with the thicker sponge, but you do lose some control. However, the softer rubber counteracts this slightly, and because of this I find it’s also slightly more spinny.

    In general, I’d say this bat is the lightest and most attacking intermediate table tennis bat. – with a bit less control than the Palio Legend 3.0.

    Again, this bat is a handful and usually too much for beginners!

    Best table tennis bats for advanced players (2 bats)

    Finally, here are 2 of the best advanced table tennis bats to choose from – from trusted, high quality brands. 

    Aside from building your own custom bat with a specific blade and rubber combo, I’d say picking up one of these bats is your best option. 

    For a more rounded and controlled option, I’d recommend the Bribar Pro Offensive, and for an all-out-attack play style the STIGA Pro Carbon+ is just relentless.

    STIGA Pro Carbon+ Table Tennis Bat

    My go-to recommendation for advanced level table tennis bats. 

    It’s super lightweight at 159g (thanks to the 7-ply wood / carbon blade), and the hard and tacky Chinese-style rubbers create devilish spin and wicked power. 

    At around £115 it’s expensive (although still cheaper than a lot of bats), but aside from creating a customised bat choosing your own rubber and blade combination, I think this is the best premade table tennis bat for advanced players on the market.

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    Price (approx) £115
    Sponge Thickness 2mm
    Rubbers Tacky, medium / hard
    Blade 7-ply wood & carbon
    Weight 159g
    Grip / Handle Flared


    • Great for:
    • Table tennis experts
    • Fast attacking players
    • Maximum speed and spin
    • Not Great For:
    • Beginners (and most intermediates)
    • Control
    • Slower, defensive players

    Unless you’re looking to create your own bat with, for example, different rubbers on your backhand vs forehand, I think this is the best option for advanced, attacking table tennis players.

    Having test-driven a few of my friends’ STIGA Pro Carbon+ bats, it is next-level in terms of power, because it weighs so little. 

    You really feel like you can put maximum power into your shots – but to do this, you really need to have perfected your topspin curve and forehand technique so you can replicate it at top speed – which is easier said than done!

    If this is your first advanced table tennis bat, you may want to consider the Bribar Pro Offensive instead which has more control. 

    That being said, I’m a big advocate of throwing yourself in at the deep end and learning to swim one way or another – you’ll get used to any bat if you use it enough as an advanced player, so have faith in your ability!

    Bribar Pro Offensive Light Table Tennis Bat

    The Bribar Pro Offensive is an expertly crafted advanced bat thanks to the combination of:

    It’s designed as a light-weight all-rounder with vicious spin and speed while maintaining excellent control for a softer touch where needed. 

    You also get the ability to customise with Bribar, so for example you can go for a thinner sponge for more control on your backhand, and a thicker sponge for more power on your forehand, at no extra cost. 

    And you can also choose a specific grip type to suit your preference.

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    Price (approx) £110
    Sponge Thickness 1.8-2mm
    Rubbers Soft and tacky
    Blade 5-ply wood
    Weight 180g
    Grip / Handle Flared / Anatomic / Straight


    • Great for:
    • Table tennis experts
    • Customisation
    • Balanced play style
    • Excellent spin and speed
    • Not Great For:
    • Beginners
    • All-out attackers

    Weighing about 20g more than the STIGA Pro Carbon+ (although still super light), the Bribar Pro Offensive is the best table tennis bat for advanced players to suit an all-round game. 

    I think it’s also suitable for intermediate players because of the soft rubbers and great control. Although you may prefer to buy at a cheaper price point if you’re a less-serious player and still get an incredible bat (the tech is amazing these days!). 

    If you’re looking for customization without doing hours of research on rubber types, and a solid, powerful, spinny and lightweight bat: the Bribar Pro Offensive Light will not disappoint!

    Best cheap table tennis bat (budget pick)

    There are loads of cheap table tennis bats out there on Amazon and other online stores – it’s really hard to find the best one. Many of them are made from cheap materials and fall apart after a few games!

    And although you can pick up a Palio Expert 3.0 for about £30 which is an excellent all-round beginner table tennis bat, I’ve decided to include a budget pick on this list for casual players:

    If you’re looking for a good deal on a cheap table tennis bat, that’s solid and not of terrible quality, the JOOLA ITTF Approved Carbon bat is my advice.

    JOOLA ITTF Approved Carbon Table Tennis Bat

    Now, this bat does say its ‘for advanced players’ – but trust me, it’s not.

    It also has ‘carbowood technology’ – honestly, this is just a marketing gimmick (something to do with carbon dust??). 

    Having said that, this bat will do the job for casual players, kids and families who just care about getting the ball over the net and want to develop some beginner techniques and strokes. 

    It’s got relatively good control, and you can generate some spin without the ball flying off your bat. 

    They’re also built to last and are made of decent materials (you can trust the JOOLA brand). Besides, they’re so cheap that if someone does leave them out in the rain, you can get a few for backups (or jump on the opportunity to upgrade!).

    It’s also ITTF approved (International Table Tennis Federation).

    • Great for:
    • Table tennis beginners
    • Kids
    • Families
    • Casual players
    • Bulk buys
    • Value for money
    • Not Great For:
    • Those who are serious about improving their game

    Pick them up on Amazon here: 

    Best outdoor table tennis bat (rain and weatherproof)

    Finally, here’s my pick for the best outdoor table tennis bat. 

    You can use any table tennis bat outdoors, so if you’re even mildly serious about your table tennis game, I’d pick one of the beginner or intermediate bats in this guide.

    But if you’re buying bats in bulk for kids and families that are going to get roughed, and battered and left outside in the rain, my advice is the Cornilleau Tacteo Composite Duo Table Tennis Set.

    They’re backed by the Cornilleau brand – reliable, table tennis experts – and they’re good value for money. Sturdy and durable bats for any weather! 


    What’s the best table tennis bat brand?

    Here’s a list of the best and most popular table tennis bat brands:

    • STIGA
    • JOOLA
    • Cornilleau
    • Butterfly
    • Palio
    • Tibhar
    • Killerspin
    • Pongori

    My personal favourites are Cornilleau, STIGA and JOOLA.

    How much should I spend on a table tennis bat?

    For beginners, I recommend spending at least £30 to £40 on a table tennis bat. 

    For intermediates, at least £40 to £60. 

    And for advanced players, I’d say a £50 bat probably does about 80% of the things a £100 bat can do (but if you want that extra quality, you have to pay for it).

    And consider buying separate blades and rubbers for maximum customization for your game.

    What table tennis bats do professionals use?

    Most professional table tennis players use bats backed by the biggest brands, but they’re highly customised. 

    Many pros are sponsored by table tennis brands (meaning they get paid for using their bats), but their specific customised bat isn’t often available for sale in my experience. 

    You’ll see pro’s names attached to certain bats a lot of the time – it doesn’t necessarily mean they use that bat (but it does mean they’re happy enough with the quality that they’re willing to put their name on it!).

    What is the fastest table tennis bat?

    The fastest table tennis bat is the STIGA Pro Carbon+ table tennis bat. (From my list of best bats). 

    The main things that make a table tennis bat fast are:

    • How light it is
    • Thicker sponge
    • Harder rubbers

    What is the lightest table tennis bat?

    The lightest table tennis bat is the STIGA Pro Carbon+ table tennis bat. (From my list of best bats).

    Bats with lots of ply layers (usually 5-7) are lighter, and bats with partially carbon blades are lighter.

    Does a good table tennis bat make a difference?

    A good table tennis bat makes a huge difference.

    There are some table tennis shots you simply cannot do with a cheaper or beginner bat. 

    A good table tennis bat allows you to get more spin and more speed, but at a sacrifice of control. 

    Having said that – it works both ways!

    A good bat can improve your game, but it can also weaken it if you’re not ready for playing at that standard. Faster bats tend to have less control, so if you’re a beginner, an intermediate bat might not be the best for you.

    Are soft or hard table tennis rubbers best?

    Soft rubbers are generally best for spin, while hard rubbers are generally best for speed. 

    You’ll find a hard, very tacky rubber (Chinese style) will generate lots of spin and lots of power, but also has limited control. 

    Read my tips on choosing table tennis rubbers.

    What’s the difference between a ping pong bat and a table tennis bat?

    There’s no difference between table tennis bats and ping pong bats. 

    Or, for that matter, ping pong paddles or ping pong rackets – they’re all the same thing!

    They’re just different names used in different countries.

    What’s the difference between a table tennis bat, a table tennis racket and a table tennis paddle?

    There’s no difference between table tennis bats, paddles and rackets – they’re just different terms used in different countries.