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32 Reviews for Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF

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  • The blade has a good feel and performs well for chops and blocks, and is recommended for a loop-oriented player looking for a larger sweet spot.
  • The blade is great for at the net touch shots and close to mid distance controlled placement looping. It also counter hits pretty well.
  • The blade is well balanced and comfortable to play with. It has a very wood-like feel, quite soft with a lot of useful dwell for looping.


  • The blade fails at doing anything more impressively than the ALC and is not worth the price. It loses a bit of control only for a slight increase of speed.
  • The blade struggles with softer rubbers glued to it, making the ball dive into the net when looped.
  • The blade is overpriced and the feeling is quite muted compared to all wood blades. It has too much dwell time with some rubbers.

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My level is around 1500 TTR (around 1800 USATT). I can compare this blade with a standard 5 ply wood and Timo Boll ALC. My TB ZLF is 86 gramm, 1400 hz. I am playing with 2x Vega Pro (2.0mm). It is not head heavy at all, and well balanced. Comparing the TB ZLF to TB ALC, the ZLF is much for forgiving. Biggest difference you can feel is that there is alot more dwell time on the ZLF, and more vibrations. You can feel the ball more, and even if you are not perfectly in position and your stroke wasnt clean, the ball still has a high chance to go on the table. At the same time, short game and loops with the ZLF are easy to do and confidence inducing. Comparing the ZLF to a 5ply wood: With 5 ply, loops are automatic, and it works well if you dig into the ball or go for thin brush contacts. For me, on the ZLF, it took some time to adjust with loops because digging into the ball gave me a lot more quality on spin and speed. With thin contact, opening up on backspin was difficult and the quality was lower. Adjusting to this was no problem though, took 2 training sessions. Away from the table, the ZLF felt alot better than 5ply wood. Just more power but same full confidence. Short game was easy with both, smashing was better with the ZLF for me. Flicking was way easier with 5 ply than with the ZLF at first . Once I opened my racket angle more, I was able to produce nice trajectories on the ZLF also. On blocking, it felt a little bit like the ZLF had some extra catapult, so at first everything went out. After some adjustment however, blocking is super easy and comfortable, passive and active blocks that is. To summarize, if you are currently using a 5ply wood, sticking to it is just fine. TB ZLF however can be an upgrade if you want to try something new. For me, the ZLF is my new blade. It offers me the same safety a 5ply wood has, but the shoot feeling is much more crisp. This crispness that is offered makes table tennis more fun than with a 5ply for me personally.
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i have two of them .... one recent serial 2022 with 81 grams and one serial N no dot no bty logo 82 grams sound like an old wood very pleasant ...... i must say it have so much dwell time like no other ..........made for technical players for topspin not for hiters because is not so fast ====== viscaria > long 5 > TB zlf ..... amazing pleasure to play tennis table best setup with tgy 05 hard . ( with this setup you can attack often the first ball of oponent ) . for pleasure nr 1 TB zlf nr 2 Dhs Long 5 nr 3 Viscaria and you have all .... zylon ... innerforce alc ...... alc
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I love this blade. Control, speed and rotation are excellent, we can play all the strokes of table tennis with a huge feeling of control. And all with good feedback and very good speed when we play hard on the ball. Mine is 84 grams, this wood is light and is often between 80 and 85 grams. In terms of speed, it is faster than the primorac or the korbel but has better control of timo boll ALC or Viscaria. This wood can be used as a stepping stone between a 7 ply wood and a carbon wood
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with this blade you can do everything, I tried over fifty blades but the control here is amazing
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This blade is good for all kinds of strokes but it does better in looping. It can launch the ball creating beautiful arcs and then, the sudden dive/drop of the ball for a bounce with a strong topspin kick. It plays very good with medium-hard to hard inverted rubbers. My current set-up: TB ZLF, f/h: Rakza Z 2.0, b/h: Rakza X 2.0
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9.5/10 for OFF style. FH: Butterfly Dignics 80, 2.1mm, 47g (0.23g/cm^2), 40 degrees (Shore A). BH: Donic Coppa X1 Turbo Platin, 2.2mm, 44g (0.217g/cm^2), 47.5 degrees (ESN), 37.5 degrees (Shore A). Blade: Butterfly Timo Boll ZLF, 87g, 157mm x 150mm x 5.4mm (Width x Height x Thickness). Plies: 7 (5 Wood + 2 Composite): Koto - ZLF - Limba - Kiri - Limba - ZLF - Koto.
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Plies: 7 (5 Wood + 2 Composite)
- 2 * Koto 0.5mm
- 2 * ZLF 0.25mm
- 2 * Limba 0.5mm
- Kiri 2.9mm
Width: 157mm
Height: 150mm
Thickness: 5.4mm
Weight: 87g
Speed: 8.5
Dwell/Spin: 8.7
Control: 8.8
Stiffness: 4.4
Hardness: 8.2
Value: 7.5
Overall: 9.4
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Very happy with it. It's light and consistent.
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Ratings for 88g. I have used Timo Boll ZLF blade for years with various rubbers on it: Tenergy, Spin Art, Rasanter and various Hurricanes. They all work well close to mid distance. I found that harder rubbers work better on this blade to provide extra gears away from the table when needed. The materials are Koto outer, ZLF 2nd, Limba 3rd and Kiri core. My blade fluctuates between 88 and 90 grams depending on humidity. This blade has no obvious downsides. I really like it.
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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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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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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 'ZLF' composite blade. As usual with BTY, it's overpriced, as one expects. 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. I sold mine not long after trying it - wasn't for me.
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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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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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Good blade. 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 84-85g Viscaria.
Old Timo Boll ZLF over 85g is the perfect blade: very forgivable, easy to play with, huge control, top spin machine, sharp placement for every block close to table. I love it!
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Good blade. Great quality and good control, but expensive for this!
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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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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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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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I started using this blade today with a multiball training and then some matches. I paired it with BlueFire M1 on FH and Rasant on BH and this blade is very controllable. I can make some fast low loops I have problems with high loops (classic ones) but that is because I dont practice them. Will update later
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Very good control, however not enough speed for my game even with tenergys, the control is immense
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This blade is a cannon. I was using Donic burn OFF- with tackspeed 2000, and wanted more grunt. I've certainly got it with this blade with Mark V on. Will take getting used to, I notice serve is not as ripping due to rubber tackiness, but boy my topspin forehand is like a tracer bullet. I'm one wing looper and my BH will be te biggest adjustment due to speed increase. Love it though
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perfect for looping and topspins, not a hammer, little bit slower than Spirit and Maze OFF but with bigger control or sensitivity. I have nice ST handle -for me. Really nice product from Butterfly but too expensive.
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Absolutely love this blade. I use it with DHS Hurricane 3 NEO and the spin and control are amazing. Expensive, yes. Worth the money? Absolutely!
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The blade is good but not good enough.
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Satria : Bryce or Tenergy 05 is good enough. i used Bryce on FH and Bryce FX on BH.
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what rubber would suit better than the TG3 skyline on my backhand on this blade? i prefer an easy spiinny topsheet. and off rubber. also not the chinese sponge again
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very nice blade very good balance between speed and control,gives a lot spin at the ball,very good near to the net and fantastic block .the only negative is the price, but if you love pink ponk and play many times of the week buy this blade and you will not regret!!!!!
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really nice blade, nice loops & control. try this one, no regret!!
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One of the nicest blade I played with. I couldn't be more happy with it. I get nice loops with this blade and it's fun to use.
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one of the best blades in the world .
Great balance of speed and control . But only can shows himself with tenergy ruber.
With tenergy it seems faster than a jet!
I love this blade with tenergy 64 in forehand and tenergy 05 or 25 in backhand.
Totly great blade!
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This is a really nicely balanced blade. It's not outrageously quick - more of an ALL+ or OFF- and certainly a touch slower than BTY rate it. But what I really like about it is the feel.

It has a very wood-like feel, quite soft really with a lot of useful dwell for looping. But the ZLF layer gives you some of the benefit of a composite blade, with larger sweet spot and minimal vibration. It avoids the carbon "numb" feeling.

Mine was slower than my old TBS and Maze, but not by much. Control was amazing though. If you're stepping up to carbon blades and find it all a bit too much, I'd give a ZLF blade a try.

Very well made, looks damn fine too. Expensive. Worth the money? Not sure. Suits my game really well and I'm happy enough, but it's a lot of cash if you pay full retail price.
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