7 Best Table Tennis Paddles for Intermediate Players: Perfect Marriage of Quality and Efficiency

We reviewed the best table tennis paddles for intermediate players currently on the market and ranked them in a list of favorites.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 20, 2021
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Are you finally finding your groove with table tennis? Maybe you’re no longer a beginner, but you don’t feel ready to match up with the pros. If that sounds like you, an intermediate-level table tennis paddle may be right for you.

While you may be ready for an intermediate-level paddle, we know how stressful it can be trying to find the right fit. However, there’s no need for fear because we’ve found the best table tennis paddle for intermediate players. In this article, we’ll give the details on seven of the best table tennis paddles for intermediate players. We’ll also provide you with an informative buying guide to ensure you make the most informed decision possible.

Top 7 Table Tennis Paddles for Intermediate Players Reviewed 2021

1.

Killerspin JET 800Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Material: 2 Carbon + 5 Wood, Nitrx-4z 2.1 mm rubber
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control: 75
  • Spin: 90
  • Speed: 90

The Killerspin jet 800 is a professional quality paddle that works best for players who want a good spin. It’s made of 7-ply wood and carbon fiber, both of which enhance the player’s accuracy. This paddle also comes with a storage box for safekeeping.

This paddle is perfect for anyone looking into entering competitions. It’s ITTF-approved for competitions, and the paddle’s build gives the wielder a durable paddle to maintain accuracy and speed. It’s also a great option for anyone that needs a lightweight paddle. The rubber used on the handle isn’t heavy and is easy to maneuver around during matches.

Why is it special?

  • We like this one specifically because it’s a great paddle to begin the competition circuit with. We also like it because of its professional quality. While some paddles only use 5-ply wood, this one uses 7-ply. A larger ply means more durability and power with each hit. Both of these, added with the convenient storage case, make this the ideal ping pong paddle for intermediate players to take to competitions.

What are the flaws?

  • Although this paddle has several great benefits, there are a few drawbacks we noticed as well. For players that need a heavier paddle, this one may not be ideal. Some customers have complained that the rubber doesn’t feel heavy enough in their hands during gameplay. Along with that, the paddle is on the pricier side, so unless you’re serious about getting into competitions, it may not be feasible to get this one.
2.

JOOLA SpinForce 900Premium Pick

Features
  • Material: 2.2 mm soft sponge, 7 plywood carbon blade
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control: 78
  • Spin: 112
  • Speed: 105

The JOOLA SpinForce 900 uses competition-quality blades and rubber to make a table tennis paddle for competition newcomers. The 7-ply carbon plywood offers durability and power during gameplay and uses the maximum rubber thickness allowed in competition by the ITTF. It also uses a flared handle for easy grip and spin technique.

This brand-new paddle series is better than its predecessors because of its enhanced speed and spin capabilities. With the unique features, the SpinForce offers, like 7-ply wood and thick rubber, players are guaranteed to have a satisfying gameplay experience. The paddle is also best for those looking to take an aggressive approach to their gameplay technique.

What do we love it for?

  • We like this one because it challenges its user to master a heavy spin technique. As the official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, this paddle is definitely a tried and true, trusted one to work with. Along with these great benefits, we recommend this paddle because it has an extremely comfortable grip to encourage accuracy and power while competing. The flared handle, along with good wrist support, make this a great paddle for using both forehand and backhand strokes.

What were we disappointed with?

  • Despite these benefits, there are also a few things that are less than ideal. If you’re trying to find a budget paddle, this one may not be right for you. It’s another paddle on the pricier end of options and isn’t necessarily good for those with a tight budget. Along with that, the thick rubber handle can cause issues if you have small hands. Despite the extra rubber providing comfort, the grip can be tricky when you can get a good hold on it.
3.

JOOLA Blizzard Blackout Racket SetBest for Families

Features
  • Material: 5 plywood
  • Handle style: ergonomic flared grip
  • Control: 91
  • Spin: 90
  • Speed: 91

The JOOLA Blizzard Blackout Racket Set comes with two rackets and two ping pong balls. Both paddles in this set are made with 5-ply wood, and the set comes with one white and one black paddle. The paddle’s wood is made of a combination of Basswood and Tungwood. Both sides of each paddle have rubber and have ergonomic flared handles. The balls included in this set are white and black and are of professional quality.

These professional-grade paddles are perfect for serious competitors and general recreation alike. Because this comes in a full set, it’s also ideal for families as it’s easy to determine a winner by paddle color. Along with that, these paddles are great for people who need to increase their ability to control and spin the ping pong ball. The wood composition of the paddle allows players to achieve this. The Blizzard Blackout paddles are also ideal for players who like doing tricks as both sides of the paddle are rubber-coated.

What makes it stand out?

  • We like this paddle because it comes in a full set, complete with two paddles and two ping pong balls. Whether you’re a family looking to add a set to your family room or you’re a competitor that wants different options before gameplay, the set has it all. We also like the Blackout paddle because of its ergonomic flared handle. Having an inverted handle gives the player more control and flexibility to move around.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Although having a full set like this is great, the paddles are only made with 5-ply wood. Unlike other paddles on our list with 7-ply, this one may not be as effective at delivering power. If you’re looking for something to take to serious competitions, this one may not be ideal. Instead, it’s more suited for recreational play. These paddles may also prove tricky to use for people with large hands. The handles are slimmer as they’re made to be used by kids and adults, so there’s less rubber to grip onto during play.
4.

Butterfly Bty 401 FL Racket SetBest for a Spin

Features
  • Material: soft 2.1mm sponge layer, rubber on both sides
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control: 85
  • Spin: 80
  • Speed: 80

The Butterfly Bty 401 FL set uses tacky rubber on the paddle to allow for an optimal spin, and its spongy layer functions as a speed enhancer. This Yuki Rubber also helps you maintain good control. Along with the paddle, you also receive a protective cover to keep it in when not playing. The handle is also slightly flared to help you maintain your grip while playing.

This specific paddle is mostly geared toward those who want a slight step up from a beginner paddle. It’s a very easy paddle to get the hang of based on its design and helps you maintain a consistent rhythm during gameplay. The tacky Yuki rubber is on both sides of the paddle too, so this is a good paddle for those who like flexibility and doing tricks.

What stands out?

  • We like this paddle specifically because it’s a good option for a “first paddle.” If you’re starting to become confident enough in your gameplay and you’re ready for competitions, this is a popular paddle to use. We also chose this one for our list because of how it feels when in use. The tacky Yuki rubber allows for major spin action, while the sponge layer offers a speedy and "springy" feel after each hit.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Although this one has definite benefits, there are a few things to bear in mind too. If you like a lighter paddle, you may not mesh well with this one. It's heavier than other paddles and can be difficult to get used to. It doesn't take much effort to launch the ball with this paddle, and this can be troublesome for accuracy when you're first starting out with it. While less effort means greater speed, it isn't always helpful, especially if you want more accuracy.
5.

JOOLA Infinity OverdriveMost Lightweight

Features
  • Material: combination of 5-ply wood and 2-ply Carbon-Kevlar to make a 6.1mm thick 7-ply blade, Micron 48 rubber on both sides
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control: 92
  • Spin: 99
  • Speed: 100

The Joola Infinity Overdrive comes in a variety of styles: red with black rubber, red with red and black rubber, yellow and black with black rubber, and yellow with red and black rubber. It’s ITTF regulation size and is acceptable to use in ping pong competitions. The paddle is a mixture of 5-ply wood and 2-ply carbon-kevlar. The wood used is a mixture, and each type of wood has a variety of benefits.

This paddle is optimal for those who really want to get serious about competitions. The mixture of woods used gives this paddle an edge on control, feedback, nimbleness, speed, and strength. Because of the way, it’s designed, it is good for wearing out your opponent during gameplay. If you like tactical gameplay, this is definitely a paddle you should consider.

What do we love it for?

  • We chose this paddle for the list based on its functionality. With the different types of wood, you get a variety of skills, all packed into one paddle. The wooden layers of the paddle consist of Hinoki, Koto, and Ayous woods. The Hinoki layer serves the outer layer because it helps create more control and increases feedback. Koto is nimble and lets players block faster counter quickly. Ayous is lightweight and is good for keeping the ball in play.

What were we disappointed with?

  • Despite the mixture of wood, there are a few things to think about with this one. For starters, the handle is mostly wood and maybe uncomfortable after prolonged use. However, this could be prevented by adding a grip onto it with separate materials. Along with that, it has a high-speed rating that may not be optimal for someone that prefers accuracy. Although speed is definitely a good thing at an expert level, it’s better to master accuracy before speed.
Features
  • Material: thin rubber
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control:5
  • Spin: 4
  • Speed: 4

The Killerspin Canvas Swirl Outdoor Paddle is specifically designed for outdoor use. Although it’s designed and marketed for outdoor use, it can be used indoors as well. The paddle handles are padded to help with grip during gameplay, and its durable design allows for good control and spin. The paddles are made of durable plastic and hard rubber to ensure weather resistance too.

As one of the least expensive options on our list, this one is perfect for anyone on a serious budget. On top of that, it would suffice well in family homes as the paddles can be used both indoors and outside. The paddle is commercial grade designed, which is optimal for recreational centers and other commercial businesses.

What do we love it for?

  • We chose this one for our list mostly due to how budget-friendly it is. It's inexpensive without compromising any of its quality. We also really like this one because of its versatility in being able to be used indoors or outside. This makes it great for any type of recreational area. Outdoor usability is also nice because it’s another way to get kids playing outside. The paddle also comes with a memory book too, so we think it would be perfect as a family gift.

What were we disappointed with?

  • Although the paddle is versatile, budget, and family-friendly, there are a few drawbacks to its design. Since it's made of plastic, it isn't quite as high quality as a wooden paddle would be. The handle is also only slightly flared, and the rubber is very hard. While this can help with grip, it may also be uncomfortable to use after a few rounds. Paddles with more flared handles are more ergonomic, and because this one only has a slight flare, it may be difficult to get a good grasp on it.
7.

Butterfly Wakaba 3000Best Control

Features
  • Material: 5 plywood, 2.1 mm sponge
  • Handle style: flared
  • Control: 70
  • Spin: 90
  • Speed: 90

The Butterfly Wakaba 3000 is a Butterfly paddle specifically designed for more seasoned players. The paddle is equipped with rubber that uses a more aggressive approach to speed and spin. It also comes equipped with a thick sponge layer for increasing power in each hit. The base of the paddle is made of wood.

This Butterfly paddle is the best option for advanced players who want to stick to a budget. The paddle is designed for players who want to master their skills in speed and power. The way the paddle is designed helps those players find a good groove during gameplay. It’s also an optimal paddle for players who don’t like a lot of rubber on the handle as it only has it on the front and back rather than all around.

What makes it special?

  • We chose this one for our list specifically because it’s designed for those who want to improve their skills and deliver a lot of power to their opponents. When considering buying a paddle for the intermediate level, it’s important to get one that will last you beyond your current level and into expert status. We also chose the Wakaba 3000 because it provides its user with great speed.

What cons did we find?

  • While this one is perfect for those who want to reach an expert level, it may be difficult to use if you’re only just reaching an intermediate status. It can be tricky to get the hang of it you aren't used to the way it feels and how it works. Along with this, the handle doesn't have much rubber on it. While this may not be troublesome for certain players, it can prove to be uncomfortable for others.

Things to Consider

When shopping for any table tennis paddle, it’s important to keep certain things in mind. This is especially true when you’re shopping for a paddle catered to a specific skill level. The power, spin, speed, and control ratings are key clues in determining the skill level they’re built for. Those ratings, along with overall performance, rubber style, and handle type, will be key deciding factors in this process.

Advantages of Table Tennis Paddles Designed for Intermediate Players

7 Best Table Tennis Paddles for Intermediate Players: Perfect Marriage of Quality and Efficiency

Choose the paddle that feels good in your hand.

There are a variety of advantages to using a table tennis paddle designed for intermediate players. The most notable advantage is that it allows you to play at your exact skill level. Paddles designed for the intermediate level are normally made with special materials that enhance different qualities of play like spin, speed, and power.

Using an intermediate-level paddle also means you can use one that works well with the skillset you already have. By the time you reach an intermediate level, you’ll know what materials are better for which skill. This knowledge allows you to buy a paddle made with materials specific to what you want in a paddle.

Along with that, using an intermediate-level paddle also gives you a fair fight amongst other competitors in your skill range. You’ll have a much better chance at winning a match against an adversary if you’re both using paddles catered to your specific skill level.

Overall, table tennis paddles for intermediate players are designed to be more durable and are typical of much higher quality than a beginner’s paddle. As you get better and more skillful in table tennis, you need something that can withstand more intense gameplay.

Important Features

When shopping around for table tennis paddles for intermediate players, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. These things include overall performance, control, spin, power, rubber, layers, and handle style. Being informed about these qualities will ensure you’re choosing a paddle that best fits you.

Performance

The overall performance level of a paddle can be determined by its ratings and the materials the paddle is made of. Before buying a paddle, you need to decide which skills are important to you and then choose a paddle that best fits those needs. For example, if you want something that has power and spin, you’ll want a paddle with a high rating in both of those categories.

Control

7 Best Table Tennis Paddles for Intermediate Players: Perfect Marriage of Quality and Efficiency

Paddles with higher control rating are great for beginner and intermediate players.

Control refers to how easy it is to keep track of the ball during gameplay. When a paddle has a high-speed rating, it typically means the control Trusted Source How is speed, spin and control calculated in table tennis rackets? - Quora Speed and spin are quite easy to measure, by ball velocity and ball revolutions. However, control cannot be measured because it is very subjective. In my opinion, companies usually inflate their “control” rating. Control can mean a great many things depending on the player. For me, the higher the speed/spin ratings are, the control factor is usually much lower. www.quora.com rating is lower because it’s harder to keep track of the ball when it’s going so fast. This is also true if the paddle has a high spin rating.

While high ratings in the other two categories may not mean less control for you, there’s a general consensus that backs it up.

Spin

Spinning a ball is one of the most important techniques to know in table tennis. Serving a topspin Trusted Source How to Serve a Ping Pong Ball With a Topspin: 9 Steps Putting spin on the ball is one of the most important techniques in ping pong. Serving with topspin can be a great way to throw off your opponent and get aces. If you have been trying to do it but are having trouble, or are learning for the first time, you might need some pointers on how to do this. This article addresses the different types of spin you can put on a ping pong ball and how to serve with a topspin. www.wikihow.com is how players throw off their opponent, and some paddles are equipped with special rubber that helps you achieve topspin serves. If this interests you, make sure to choose a paddle with a high spin rating, like the JOOLA Infinity Overdrive on our list.

Power

Power refers to the amount of weight transfer that comes between the paddle and the ball. Heavy-duty paddles typically come with a higher power rating than others lighter than it.

Achieving high power also largely comes from your ability to transfer all of your weight into the ball rather than just using your arm.

Rubber

There are several different types of rubber used in table tennis paddles. The first of these types is inverted rubber. This rubber has a smooth surface that creates a lot of friction during gameplay. This friction, in turn, creates a lot of spin in the ball. Players who like stumping their opponents will want a paddle with inverted rubber.

Short-pipped rubber is the second one on this list. Rubber with short pips is optimal for using to block, hit, and return short serves. If you like to stay up close to the table, a paddle with short pips is the best option for you.

Another option for you to look at is special-purpose rubber. This is rubber with medium/long pips and antispin material. This type of rubber is commonly used against opponents who like to play with speed and spin as the rubber dampens down the effect of these moves. However, paddles with this rubber are typically difficult to maintain control.

Similar to special-purpose rubber, long-pipped rubber is good for slowing your opponent down. While it’s difficult to create spin with this type, you can reverse an opponent’s spin back to them. This type of rubber is best for blocking, chopping, and attacking.

Layers

7 Best Table Tennis Paddles for Intermediate Players: Perfect Marriage of Quality and Efficiency

Every decent paddle has several layers that make it more ergonomic and reliable.

The number of layers also plays a major factor in the functionality of the paddle. The more layers a paddle has, the more durable it will be. For example, the JOOLA SpinForce 900 has seven layers of plywood and a sponge layer too. However, it’s also important to note that heavily-layers paddles may also feel heavier in your hand. This won’t do well with someone who likes lightness and flexibility.

Handle style

The handle style is important because it’s going to determine how you play your game. It’s best to get a paddle with an ergonomic handle because you won’t need to worry about stressing out your hand muscles. Many paddles come with wrap-around rubber for comfort and grip. Others use rubber on the front and back.

FAQ

You should clean your paddle periodically. Doing so will remove any dust that has built up over time. Keeping that in mind, you shouldn’t clean it regularly because it can cause the rubber to wear away over time. You can also prevent dust build-up by storing it in a table tennis paddle case or cover. Many paddles actually come with a case or cover that fits that specific model.

There are a few ways to store your paddle in between games. The first way is to store it in a case that snugly fits your paddle. Using a case that is too small won’t close, and using one that is too large makes the paddle more susceptible to dust. If you don’t have a case, you can store it in the cover the paddle likely came with. If neither of these options is available, buying a drawstring bag will also suffice.

Our Verdict

Keeping in mind the performance ratings of each paddle and sticking to what your skillset is will help you determine the best table tennis paddle for the intermediate player(s) according to you. That very well may be the Killerspin Jet 800 for its professional quality and durability. It may also be the JOOLA SpinForce 900, thanks to a comfortable grip. It could even be the Killerspin Canvas Swirl Outdoor Paddle because of its budget-friendliness. Each of the paddles mentioned in this guide come with their own positives and downfalls, and it ultimately boils down to which one best fits your tactical needs and the level of comfort you require. Regardless of the paddle you choose, we hope our guide has been helpful to you.

References

1.
How is speed, spin and control calculated in table tennis rackets? - Quora
Speed and spin are quite easy to measure, by ball velocity and ball revolutions. However, control cannot be measured because it is very subjective. In my opinion, companies usually inflate their “control” rating. Control can mean a great many things depending on the player. For me, the higher the speed/spin ratings are, the control factor is usually much lower.
2.
How to Serve a Ping Pong Ball With a Topspin: 9 Steps
Putting spin on the ball is one of the most important techniques in ping pong. Serving with topspin can be a great way to throw off your opponent and get aces. If you have been trying to do it but are having trouble, or are learning for the first time, you might need some pointers on how to do this. This article addresses the different types of spin you can put on a ping pong ball and how to serve with a topspin.
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