Guide to Choosing a Table Tennis Blade
This first step is not always easy for the beginner, for that reason we provide a rating for most of our blades. The ratings give you the speed, control and weight for every blade we sell.
If you think that you are an all-round player then your best choice would be an all-round wood. If you are an offensive player, choose a faster blade which has a speed rating over 70. Most 5 ply blades are in the all-round range (50-70). 7 and 9 ply blades are faster for offensive play and provide extra strength.
Should you require a defensive blade just pick one of the slow blades. The slower a blade, the better the control factor. A fast blade is good for offensive shots but offers less control for touch returns. Carbon blades provide a larger sweet spot and more stability.
Handle shapes are strictly a matter of preference. The number one selling
grip has always been the flared handle. Anatomic is second and the straight
handle is third. From a survey it was discovered that 50% of the world
class players prefer the straight handle.
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by Jason R. Shaver (Megaspin.net partner)
What blade handle is good for my shakehand game? (anatomic/flared/straight)
With one exception, the answer is really simple, get whatever feels good for you. To cover the exception first, “combination bat” and defensive players who tend to ‘twiddle’ (flip their blade, switching what color is their forehand), will want a straight handle, as it makes it easier to rotate the blade. Here is a guide to the most common handles types:
- The most common handle shape, thinner at the top than the bottom.
- This shape is close to flared handles but has a bump in the center that fits the shape of your hand.
- The ‘normal’ profile for straight handles.
- Newer handle profile used by blades such as Butterfly’s Timo Boll ALC
- Normally used by oversized or defensive blades.
- Donic Dotec
- The Donic Dotec handles are very comfortable handles that are the next step beyond Anatomic handles. Some people with wrist injuries find this handle type the most comfortable.
- There are a few ‘special’ shapes out there. These can be fun as gimmicks, but also can be useful for disabled players.
How do blade thickness and number of plies affect blade performance?
The rule of thumb is that 5 plies are used for looping while 7 plies are used for blocking and driving. The idea behind this rule is that the fewer layers, the more the blade can flex, increasing the trampoline effect that promotes spin.
In the same thought process, thinner blades (less than 6mm) are used for looping while thicker blades (6 - 7mm) are used for driving and the thickest blades (7mm or more) are used for blocking. The reason for the thickest blades being used for blocking is that any attempt to block the hard loops found at the higher levels of play requires the face of the blade to be as ‘closed’ as possible, and any flex acts as ‘opening’ the face.
When in doubt, avoid the extremes and take comfort that the differences are hard to feel for all but the most active and experienced players.
What is the difference between an all-wood blade and a composite blade and do I need a composite blade?
Composite blades are all about the tradeoff between speed and consistency vs. ball feel and spin. That being said, there are wood blades that are faster than some composites and some composites that have a better ball feel than some all wood blades. It is all about finding the right blade for you and your style.
Sealing and Surface Treatments
Some blades come with blades pre-sealed with special surface treatments. Yinhe Micro-Crystalline (Yinhe M and Nano Series) blades are sealed with a special chemical layer that when baked by the manufacture, forms into small crystal structures. When looking at blades treated this way, the surface looks like it has small sparkles embedded in the sealing. This has two key advantages, 1) the surface becomes much harder and 2) the surface gets a powerful seal that protects the blade while taking off or re-gluing rubber sheets.
What blade composite materials should I know about and which are good for me?
Below is a list of some of the common composites used for making table tennis blades
- Single material
- Used by Butterfly such as T5000
- Black in color
- Yinhe T Series (T-1 through T-6, T-10, T-11)
- Used by Butterfly ZLF and Yinhe as ZL and ZLF
- Yellow in color
- Blue in color
- Cream in color
- Clear in color, but commonly dyed
- Mixed materials
- The vertical fiber is listed first
- Butterfy’s Carbon Aralyte e.g.Timo Boll Spirit
- Yinhe T Series (T-7, T-8)
- Yinhe V Series
- Butterfly ZLC series, Yinhe’s ZLC, Xiom Zetro Quad
How does Hinoki wood affect playing style?
When considering hinoki blades versus non-hinoki, the hinoki blades will be much softer feeling and give you a much longer dwell time, give great spin. There is a speed loss from the soft feeling though and hinoki blades rely on the thick (10+mm) construction and slightly heavy feeling. See Hinoki blades.
How to Choose a Blade by Greg Letts
Table Tennis Racket Assembly Guide
Guide to Choosing Table Tennis Rubber