Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF - Chinese Penhold

Rated 4.5/5

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See also:
Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF - shakehand style.

The Timo Boll ZLF features the use of Butterfly’s newest ZL fiber.

ZL fiber is harder, more flexible, and lighter in weight than carbon fiber.

This results in a light weight blade which can produce a maximum amount of topspin with maximum control.

The Timo Boll ZLF is the perfect blade for the all-round looping style of the future.

Speed: 90
Control: 80
Weight: 86

Additional Information

FAQ: Does Megaspin sell Japan-made Butterfly blades?

Some Butterfly blades like Korbel and Grubba are produced in factories both in Europe and in Japan, so they exist in 2 variants. When a Japanese blade has a Europe-made version, we always carry the Japanese variant. Other blades like Butterfly Timo Boll Offensive are only made in China so we cannot carry a Japanese variant of these blades.

Official Butterfly Blade Comparison Chart

Blade FAQ and Guide - what you need to know when buying a blade.

Compare Blades - blade rating comparison chart.

Blade Weight Variations  - Actual blade weight may vary by up to 8g.

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Reviews of Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF - Chinese Penhold (23)

Add a Review   for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF - Chinese Penhold.
Review by ryno529 for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on March 28, 2018
Timo Boll ZLF is light weight and thin. I rate this blade as off- . It's speed is just a little faster than Korbel but slower than Timo Boll ALC. Being only 5.4mm thick you get some good flex but not too much due to the ZLF and Koto top ply. It is strange as you get a soft touch but when hitting or blocking you get that crisp Koto feel. Butterfly is right to label this as a looping blade. If you are looking to change from a 5ply all+/off- wood blade to a composite this is a great first choice.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on November 21, 2016
The blade is well balanced and comfortable to play with. The heavier rubber you put on it the more offensive it will feel.
Plies: koto 0.5mm - zlf 0.25mm - limba 0.5mm - kiri 2.9mm.
Dimensions: 157x150x5.4mm.
Weight: 84-90g.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on November 27, 2015
Mine was 82g. Amazing blade for looping (dwell time), however I found the feeling quite muted compared to all wood blades I've used. Even some thin carbon/thin hinoki blades (like Joola Rossi Emotion) I found were less muted. I agree with Mindtrip about it potentially being non-linear with drives or close to table shots. It has stacks of dwell time, and I'd say too much with some some rubbers. Would be interested in trying the LS ZLF to compare, that looks like a better option if I was buying another. As usual with BTY, it's overpriced - as expected. I paid $100 off RRP and still felt it was moderately overpriced. Good blade if you're focusing purely on looping and happy to overlook it's querks.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on August 4, 2015
I'd recommend this blade for a loop oriented player coming from an all wood blade who is looking for a larger sweet spot, but doesn't want a stiff carbon blade. This TB ZLF is great for at the net touch shots and close to mid distance controlled placement looping. It even counter hits pretty well. As with most blades, matching it to different rubber results in widely different experiences. This blade, maybe more so. I really struggled with softer rubbers glued to this blade. Tenergy 05fx and 64fx, Acuda S3 for example are nearly unplayable if you want to loop or loop drive. The flexibility of the ZLF blade and the softness of these rubbers made the ball dive into the net when looped. If I maintained more of a forward stroke when looping, I could loop with success, but the rubber was very very low throw. I have found Tenergy 05 or 80, Rakza 7, Rasant and Adidas P7 to compliment this blade well. Basically anything with a medium overall hardness. I rated this blade at 8.5 speed because it is slower than Viscaria, 9 control because it plays better at the net than Viscaria (Viscaria having more ratings as a base and I am very familiar with) and an overall rating of 8, because there are better playing blades available for much less cost.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on September 5, 2014
This blade has an awesome fell and is fairly has good control.but it isn't build for killing shots it's build for spin only and if you pair it with tenergy you'll get an awesome blade with good touch .the dwell time is also amazing but an all wood has all the caracteristiks and has an better feel if you campe from all wood
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on April 2, 2014
Good blade, but I find Viscaria better in every aspects. Expensive.
Update 03.09.2014: It's a very good blade after all. Works perfect for close to table style of play, with very good control at high speed. Good for BH pimples offensive play.
Update 13.11.2014: I bought another TB ZLF quite old and used but it has 87g. Hard to find this weight today. But, you know, it's an absolute dream: fast (comparable to Viscaria), feeling and control are huge, very easy to play close to table blocks and topspin. At this weight, 87g, I tend to believe TB ZLF is a better blade than a 82-84g Viscaria.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on August 31, 2013
Good blade. Great quality and good control, but expensive for this!
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on June 6, 2013
going to buy this blade, with bluefire m1 fh and tenergy 05 1,9 bh, is it good? or should i think of other rubbers like rakza 7, tenergy 80 for my fh? im a looper mid distance
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on February 17, 2013
I prefer the feel of ZLF, so I like this blade, but it fails at doing anything more impressively than the ALC and is not worth the price.

What the ALC has in control, the ZLF loses a bit of and only for a slight increase of speed. This blade does seem to perform chops and blocks better (and I'm being very forgiving) than the ALC.

Not a bad blade by any means, but it doesn't mark any improvement from the more widely used and endorsed ALC.
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 External Review for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF on February 13, 2013
10 out of 10 may seem excessive but for the playing style it is suitable for it is perfect. The consistancy is nothing less than every time, I never have a stray hit on a clean stroke. The control is great, 9.5 because the power is still a bit too high to facilitate a great short game, but blocks are easy and I find myself hitting angles my opponents can't anticipate. The power is just enough for me- I like to play a pretty varied offense and use angles and slices as much as loops to set up points. That being said, it has a lot of gears and can produce huge loops as well. If you are an offensive minded player who wants more control than you usually see in powerful blades don't let the price tag scare you off!

Still in love with this blade however I have some more specifics along with some caviots. I now use 2.1 fx-p on forehand and 2.1 tenergy 80 on backhand and that has been adapted from bluefire on both sides to start to adapt to this blade. With a hard rubber (m1) the ball explodes off the blade with a low throw angle which is very difficult to handle for most, includin myself (around an 1800 player, maybe a tad lower i can only base this off wins at my club). Both sides can produce great powerful loops but avoid hitting the ball very flat, good technique is needed and I would not reccomend for flatter hitters. I have come to nearly eliminate chops from my game, I rarely hit backspin at all asides from pushes and some returns. On this note, while flat hitting is not effective for a lack of power, pushes and blocks are amazing. You have a ton of control over where you put it, and with a rubber like tenergy, my backhand is nearly as much of a weapon as my forehand. The forehand I have come to use a much softer rubber because my big complaint is that is it difficult to keep serves short. I've found evolution to be much more effective for serving and returning as tenergy or bluefire on the paddle is almost a bit much for me. Overall, the game this blade is perfectly suited for is an all around offensive game that relies as much on angles, change ups, and counter loops/blocks as much as power looping. This may just be my game/rubbers/skill level but my advice is to stay away from this blade if chopping or back spinning is a big part of your game

***update again- now using xiom sigma 2 euro on fh and bluefire jp03 bh, still loving the blade for control but enough power
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