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How To Choose Your Table Tennis Blade

Top tips to help you choose YOUR ideal table tennis racket.
Part two - what type of table tennis blade should you choose?

Part One  |   Part Two  |   Part Three  |   Part Four  |   Part Five

 

Table tennis blade

In part one we looked at some basic information about table tennis rackets, and I recommended that you buy a customised racket rather than a ready-made one, and suggested that you need to consider your style of play before choosing your racket.

Here in part two we'll take a closer look at what you need to know about table tennis blades and look at the different styles of play which will influence your choice of blade.

Many inexperienced players only consider which type of rubbers to use and neglect to consider the blade, but your choice of blade will be just as important as your choice of rubbers.

So let's get started...


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What can blades be made of?

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

The rules of table tennis state that the blade must be made of at least 85% natural wood.

But the rules also allow for small amounts of other materials such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper - but these must be less than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.

Carbon fibre is generally used to make the blade harder and therefore faster, as well as enabling the blade to have a larger "sweet spot".

However, these blades are much more expensive than regular blades and they're not worth considering until you've progressed to an advanced level.

The majority of blades consist of 3, 5 or 7 layers of wood and the type of wood used in these layers will also be a major contributor to how your blade reacts.

But before we look at those options...


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What style of blade should you use?

There are two distinct styles of blades. The first is a...

Penhold Style Blade

Table Tennis Blade - Penhold style

The penhold style blade is for players who use the penhold grip, i.e. the racket handle is held between the thumb and forefinger. This style is used mainly by Asian players.

Table Tennis Blade - Pen grip style

I wouldn't recommend this type of grip and blade for a beginner or intermediate player because it's more difficult to play a full range of strokes using this grip.

 

I recommend a...

Western Style Blade

Table Tennis Blade - Western style

The western style blade is for players who use the western grip (also known as the shakehands grip because of its similarity to shaking hands with another person).

 

Table Tennis Blade - the grip

The racket handle is held in the palm of your hand so that the start of the racket head fits snugly into the "V" shape formed by your thumb and first finger.

 

Here's a video I found posted on YouTube which shows how Butterfly blades and rubbers are made in Japan...

Here's a video I found posted on YouTube which shows how Butterfly blades and rubbers are made in Japan...


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What shape of handle do you prefer?

Table Tennis Blade - Handle Styles

The choice of handle shape comes down to personal preference, with generally a choice of Anatomic, Flared or Straight.

I prefer the Flared shape, but you should use whatever feels most comfortable for you.

If you haven't been playing long enough to be able to make a choice, try asking other players if they've got any old table tennis rackets they could let you try out or buy. However, you don't need to be too concerned about this as your preference will evolve over time.

It's also worth noting that you can add an overgrip to the handle, or modify it however you want.

There are no rules about the shape of the handle or the grip, so you can customise it to your own preferences.


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What type of blade should you choose?

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Blades Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin & more


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Your style of play will help you to determine which blade to choose because you should use a blade which will complement your style. This means choosing a blade with the right combination of wood layers.

Fortunately, all the table tennis equipment suppliers categorise their blades, so you just need to choose a blade from the correct category and you can be confident that it'll be right for you.

There's no need to be concerned with all the subtle differences between blades - just choose one from the correct category.

After all, it's worth remembering that blades are made from wood and therefore every blade will be slightly different, because no two pieces of wood will be exactly the same.

It's also worth noting that blades vary slightly in weight - generally between 75-95 grams. But unless you're an experienced player, you don't need to be too concerned about this. Your preference will evolve over time.

Generally, a defensive player would choose a lighter racket, whilst an allrounder would choose a medium weight racket, and an offensive player would choose a heavier racket to help generate extra power in their shots.


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1. All-round / counter-attacking style

Table Tennis Blade - allround

If you're just starting to play table tennis, or you've developed an all-round, counter-attacking style of play, look for a blade that is categorised as Allround.

These blades will consist of hard inner plys of wood, with softer outer plys.

It'll be a medium speed blade and it'll help you to control the ball.

I recommend a...

Butterfly "Timo Boll All" blade.

You can buy this blade here.

The vast majority of players should choose a blade (and rubbers) in this category.


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2. Attacking / offensive style

Table Tennis Blade - offensive

If you're an advanced player and you've developed an attacking style of play, look for a blade that's categorised as attacking or Offensive.

These blades are semi-rigid with harder outer plys of wood which will enable you to generate more power in your shots.

I recommend a...

Butterfly "Primorac" blade.

You can buy this blade here.

However, the vast majority of players should choose a blade (and rubbers) from the "Allround" category.


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3. Defensive style

Table Tennis Blade - defensive

If you're an advanced player and you've developed a defensive style of play, look for a blade that is categorised as Defensive.

These blades will have soft flexible plys of wood which will give you better ball control.

I recommend a...

Butterfly "Matsushita Pro" blade.

You can buy this blade here.

However, the vast majority of players should choose a blade (and rubbers) from the "Allround" category.

 

When you've chosen your blade, you'll be ready to consider the next stage which we'll look at in part three...

What type of table tennis rubber do you need?

 

Part One  |   Part Two  |   Part Three  |   Part Four  |   Part Five

 


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CHOOSING YOUR TABLE TENNIS EQUIPMENT
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And get Exclusive Information via Email AllAboutTableTennis

Tips
Strategies
Techniques
Tactics
Rules
Equipment
Coaching
News & much more

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