You’re certainly not just a casual ping pong paddler. You’re a bit more than that. You’re the ping pong enthusiast who enjoys a game with your kids and a few paddling with the ping pong ball on your break. And now, you’re considering an investment to home entertainment, an investment for yourself and your family.
A good quality ping pong table is all you need, not some plywood board scrap but not quite the Olympics quality either. With this ping pong table, you’re imagining a reasonably good quality solid surface that will make your ball sing when it bounces off it giving you a satisfying bounce height as what you’d expect from a game ready ping pong ball.
|STIGA Advantage Lite — T8579W|
|STIGA Advantage — T8580W|
|JOOLA Rally TL 300|
|JOOLA Inside 15|
|STIGA XTR All-Weather — T8575W|
STIGA Advantage Lite — T8579W — An Affordably Well Made Ping Pong Table
STIGA specializes in building quality ping pong tables for professionals and amateurs who just want a casual paddling with family and friends. And they have come up with one that’s a bit more affordable for casual players. It’s called the STIGA Advantage Lite. It’s Lite because it’s a bit less in play surface thickness than the other models which consequently make it just a little lighter. It’s a quarter-inch less than the recommended thickness set by more serious enthusiasts.
Still, even at ½ inch thick, the STIGA Advantage Lite still weighs at a hefty 145.5 pounds, the full weight of an adult. It’s a compromise that doesn’t matter that much for the STIGA quality ping pong table at an affordable price. As such, STIGA Advantage Lite is truly a good choice for recreational indoor use for entry-level players and family activity. It’s 95% preassembled design makes it possible to set it up from 10 to 30-minute installation. You’ll just have to make sure you’ve got one or two other adults helping you as it is quite a weight.
At 60” x 60” x 4”, the STIGA Advantage Lite should fit through your doorway at home though you’ll have to make sure you have enough playing space wherever you plan on using it. Storage should not be difficult as the table comes in two halves held upright for storing when folded. One person should be able to speedily lift the play table up after any game and fold and latch each half to be rolled away on its caster.
As the STIGA Advantage Lite has a steel tube supporting frame of 0.75”, this table should be very sturdy and durable enough to last through years though there have been complaints that they may still be too thin. Its pretty slate blue tabletop is a beautiful addition to any home.
|✅ Affordable||⛔ Less Than 0.75-inch Play Top Minimum|
|✅ Hard Wood Surface||⛔ May Come With Scratches, Chips When Delivered|
|✅ Easy Set-Up||⛔ Steel Gauge May Still Be Too Thin|
STIGA Advantage — T8580W — A Next Level Ping Pong Table Choice
The STIGA Advantage is the next step up above STIGA Advantage Lite. It’s 5/8 inch thick, just 1/8 inch thicker at a shipping weight of 181 pounds, everything else is the same. This model has a dark blue tabletop layered in multiple roller coat and silkscreen striping for a smooth surface finish. It also comes in two halves foldable design. Its 3-inch lockable casters make for easy storage and positioning mobility. Its 72-inch removable tournament-grade net with clamps make for a fast and easy game set up.
The STIGA Advantage design’s QuickPlay feature allows for one person to practice by himself by easily folding one half of the table into its rolling frame and using it as his backboard. It’s a fast 10-minute set up that comes standard. Dimension is just slightly bigger at 63” x 56” x 5” than the STIGA Advantage Lite.
|✅ Costs A Little More Than Lite||⛔ Construction Parts May Not Be Strong Enough|
|✅ Slightly Thicker Play Surface||⛔ Delivery Might Not Include What’s Expected|
|✅ Slightly Larger Table Area||⛔ Post Purchase Support May Be Lacking|
JOOLA Rally TL 300 — A USATT Approved Black MDF Play Top Ping Pong Table
The JOOLA is another quality ping pong table brand that is, in fact, a supplier of game tables for tournaments including the Olympics within the last sixty years since it started in the 1950s. Its tables are approved by the USATT, the country’s table tennis organization ensuring the quality standard of practices, products and services within the table tennis industry.
Here’s a ping pong table that claims to be professional grade with a 15-millimeter Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF, the kind of material composition that’s ideal for gaming because of its high resin content that allows for a game prescribed ball bounce. This halved ping pong table comes in its foldable configuration for easy storage and QuickPlay capability. It’s supported by its 1.5-inch steel legs with rubber foot pad for a scratch-free floor and height adjustments for each leg for a more level playing surface in any given room.
The JOOLA Rally TL comes with something extra. Other than its 72-inch ping pong net set with its easy clamping design, this JOOLA model has four corner ball holders in the form of inset space on its 1.5-inch side steel apron. It also comes with two magnetic abacus scorers. Each inset ball holder can hold three 40 millimeter ping pong balls. It’s 5/8 inch thick charcoal gray tabletop surface and its 1.5-inch steel powder coated legs make this table a sleek gaming furniture in any room. It has a dimension of 108” x 60” x 30” with a product weight of 155 pounds. It stands at a height of 63.5 inches when laid out for gameplay.
|✅ USATT Approved||⛔ Delivery May Lead To Dents & Scratches|
|✅ Medium Density Fiberboard Surface||⛔ Quality May Be Inconsistent|
|✅ Four Corner Ball Holders & Scoreboard||⛔ Post-Purchase Service Might Be Subpar|
JOOLA Inside 15 – A USATT Approved Blue Wood Composite Ping Pong Table
The JOOLA Inside 15 is yet another quality ping pong table with a medium-density fiberboard composite play top surface that is USATT approved. It comes with its 72-inch tournament-grade net and post set with quick clamp design. It comes in two halves enabling single-player playback capability and compact storage.
It comes with a sturdy undercarriage giving its weight of 189 pounds. It’s got a lot more play space of 108” x 60” x 30” at a table height of 29 ½ inches. It’s got a 15-millimeter thick surface. That’s about 0.1 more than JOOLA Rally TL. Instruction for this ping pong table model is accessible in its Joolausa website or by its YouTube clip.
The JOOLA Inside 15 has a blue top bordered by a 1.5-inch apron. It’s got locking casters for easy mobility and precision of table alignment for gameplay. USATT has approved of JOOLA Inside 15 as a qualified ping pong table for practice and tournament that raises the value of this table.
This table is appreciated for its quality of construction, looks and ease of use with its precise casters, quality feel of its play top and easy assembly. Just be forewarned of how it turns up when delivered to you and the consistency of this model’s quality as there are buyers who have complained scratches, evidence of tabletop warping upon receiving the package and concerns of post-purchase service.
|✅ USATT Approved||⛔ Risk of Receiving Subpar Condition|
|✅ Medium Density Fiberboard||⛔ Deliver of Scratched or Bent Parts|
|✅ Broader Play Surface||⛔ May Lack Post Purchase Service|
STIGA XTR All-Weather — T8575W — An Affordable Outdoor Ping Pong Table
The STIGA XTR is designed for all-weather use, but don’t take it literally. This ping pong table is meant to bear weather changes in temperature and humidity such as what you’ll expect in the changing of seasons. However, it doesn’t mean it’ll last under direct sunlight, rain, snow or sleet. It won’t last with a pool of water on it. Care is still necessary if you want the STIGA XTR to stay playable. The STIGA XTR’s aluminum composite top enables it to be all-weather. It resists rusts, sun damage and warping. It’s the highlight of this model.
Designed to be affordable, riding over its all-weather capability. It’s got 1.25-inch steel legs with levels to even out the play surface. Its square galvanized steel frame and its welded cross brace contribute to its stability during gameplay. It’s supported by its steel apron that lines its borders with its surface silkscreen striping laminated on its 6-millimeter tabletop for a gameplay finish. Dimension of 63” x 57” x 4” with a weight of 180 pounds. It’s got a beautiful blue top.
Because of the prescribed lamination fo the STIGA XTR to make it all-weather, the layering does not allow the ball to bounce as well as it does with indoor models. And as it comes in a high gloss finish, using the table outdoors might be inconvenient because of surface glare. For many, it’s a slight sacrifice to bear for this table’s versatility and durability at an affordable price.
Many appreciate being able to take this table out in the backyard, its ease and relatively fast assembly of 30 minutes, completeness of assembly parts and its sturdiness. People also appreciate its looks, ease of mobility and single-person practice capability. Just be aware that a huge ping pong table this heavy does come with its risks when delivered with buyers having experienced delivered boxes with scratches. Some deliveries have been difficult.
|✅ All-Weather Capability||⛔ Might Encounter Delivery Difficulty|
|✅ Affordable||⛔ Might Lack Parts|
|✅ Steel Frame Construction||⛔ Post Purchase Customer Service Uncertain|
When you’re considering what factors to consider when you’re making a decision, it often comes down to a few things. In fact, with all the possible features to consider, there really are only two main points: the thickness of the playing surface and the material composition of it. Everything else is nice to have.
The thickness of Playing Surface
The rule of thumb for playing surface thickness is the thicker the better. However, the range of what’s available in the market spans from ½-inch to 1-inch. At the minimum, it has to be ¾ inches or 19 millimeters thick. For surfaces made from wood as often the case, anything less than ¾ inch is susceptible to the dramatic effects of warping as wood loses its moisture as time passes. And warping affects the quality of ball bounce.
Wooden boards for ping pong tables are constructed as particle boards of which, the medium density boards are ideal. These boards have a higher percent of resin within its composition which limits the effects of warping, being less dependent on the natural density of moisture.
One way of testing the quality of the ping pong play surface is the bounce test. If you drop a ping pong ball onto the ping pong table top from 30 centimeters should yield a return bounce of 21 centimeters.
Another consideration of the quality of a ping pong table play surface is how it is finished. There are two ways the industry uses to apply this finish: screened on line and the tape line. Screened finish is preferable with an even surface layering over the tape line treatment which does lead to micro-peeling in time that disrupts ball bounce.
- Layering over wooden particle boards is not simple. Typically, for quality ping pong tables, layering involves quite a list of components that differ between the desired composite wooden top and the patented aluminum composite top.
- A typical composite wooden top would have a layer of UV resistant finish, a top pigment coat, screened lines, base pigment coat, Ultra Violet sealing compound, the wood or resin board, an aluminum profile trim, a PVC edge band, a UV sealing compound and a finish coat.
- A patented aluminum composite for a weatherproof top might have an Ultra Violet resistant finish, screened lines, a top pigment coat, a base pigment coat, an aluminum top sheet, a resin treated board, a square aluminum frame, dimpled aluminum underside and an aluminum profile trim.
- A ping pong table’s capacity for outdoor use has more to do with this surface treatment. However, in general, the ball bounce is better on an indoor ping pong table than an outdoor. But when it comes to being weatherproof, one made for it certainly is more lasting. Be aware that a weatherproof ping pong table does not mean it’s ok to leave it under the rain, snow or direct sunlight. Care is still warranted and a cover or storing it indoors when not in use is advisable.
And since we’re in the topic of care, do find a place for your ping pong table in your house where it’s most dry, kept away from moisture, wind and the sun as best as you can. There’s a lot into treating the surface of a quality ping pong tabletop.
Next to the thickness of the play surface and the surface composition is the frame, the chassis or the under-carriage of the ping pong table, the very structure that holds the play surface up.
The under-carriage has to be sturdy, allowing for a stable playing surface while holding the whole structure together longer. This means having a better quality material holding it all up, the right frame thickness and geometry and the number of cross frames.
Lower quality ping pong tables use aluminum or galvanized tubing for its frame which tends to allow more wobble and instability over time. Those using heavy steel tubing with oval or square tubing for frames have shown more strength and stability that’s reliable. And having these in multiple cross frames multiply the table’s sturdiness, steadiness and durability.
So you’d want to look at what’s under the table too. You can also understand why good quality ping pong tables are on the heavy side.
Common Practical Features
These days, practical features for ping pong tables are common. These features allow you to store the play table more easily with less effort while opening up the capacity for one-person practice. These tables are designed for compact storage. That’s why the ping pong table is halved with its own standing frame that can be folded when it’s ready for storage. The hinges with locks allow for this folding function that can be done by one person.
To keep it in place and aligned to its other half for use, the ping pong table has locking casters, wheels that allow for ease of mobility for storage or relocation and keeping the table in place. This capability to fold one half allows for single person practice, paddling the ball onto the upturned half at the edge of the downturned table.
Detachable ping pong table nets are provided with the standard clamps that make it easy for net set up, manually clamped at the edge of a play table. Paddles and balls are not usually provided and require separate purchase.
Common Question — Dimensions
The official ping pong table size is much larger than what is often sold in the market for leisure gamers. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) that’s been the worldwide authority on competitive table tennis since its founding in 1926 have determined it to be 9 feet x 5 feet x 30 inches high of playing surface in a playing area of at least 14 meters long, 7 meters wide and 5 meters high for competitive play.
Home gaming doesn’t normally allow for such a table and space. Ping pong tables for home or personal use are far smaller by a third but they are still usable and practical.
Common Question — What Does It Come With
These ping pong tables are basically just the table structure itself that’s foldable and its net with clamp set. It also comes with their screws but you’ll still need your screwdriver. It doesn’t usually come with ping pong balls or paddles. You’ll have to purchase these separately unless it’s specifically indicated.
Common Question — Alignment and Floor Level Adjustments
The ping pong tables commonly available have alignment and adjustment guides. As these tables are often sold in two halves, you should be able to align the table edges precisely and lock the casters in place. These are wheels that have a locking mechanism to set them whether they’re standing on a wood flooring, cement, marble, grass or carpet.
You’ll have to consider the weather if you’re outdoors. As for the floor level adjusters, they’re set by the legs without casters for leg height adjustments for table surface balance.
Remembers the most important consideration of purchasing a ping pong table — the quality of the tabletop. Also, be aware that after-sale service from an online purchase may not be as reliable.