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Guide to Buying a Table Tennis Table
What type of table tennis table should I buy?
This is the most common question we get asked when people are looking to buy a table tennis table. There is no one answer- it all depends. Below are the questions we ask potential buyers to consider before purchasing.
Will it be used in a home, club, school?
The more a table tennis table is used the more robust it needs to be. Some of the cheaper table tennis tables might be fine for using occasionally at home, but if you are buying a table tennis table for a club, a school, college, sports centre or other recreation venue, it is likely to get much more wear & tear. Some table tennis tables have been designed to be more robust. The tables we generally recommend for schools & sports clubs include the 22mm Butterfly EasiFold Rollaway or the 25mm National League Rollaway for clubs looking for a slightly better playing surface. A table tennis club would be aiming to buy one of these if their budgets allowed.
Who will be playing and are they serious about playing competitively?
When buying a table tennis table for your home, unless the participants are playing competitively at club or national level you there is no need to be looking at the more expensive tables which can cost €1000s!
Don’t however just buy the cheapest. Not all table tennis table are the same. Make sure you check the thickness of the playing top. Most of the cheap table tennis tables only have a 12mm table top. Although this is fine on junior and starter tables, the surface is just not great to play on and affects the bounce and enjoyment of the game.
Even on a tight budget, It would be worth stretching it to buy a 16mm table and if you can afford it ideally a 19mm one.
If you are serious about table tennis and play competitively you may want to look at table which are similar to those used in tournaments with 25mm thickness.
Do you have space for a table tennis table? Or Will a table tennis table fit in my house?
Not many houses in Ireland or the UK have an allocated ‘games room’ where a table tennis table can be left permanently. A relatively big room is needed to play. A standard table tennis table size is 2.74 metres long by 1.53 metres wide however you will obviously need additional room to play, a metre on either side and 1.5 metres or more at the table ends.
If you have the space, but can’t set the table up permanently, you will want to buy a table which is easy to take down & put up. There are various storage & foldaway options for table tennis tables. Many of our Butterfly table tennis tables are foldable and portable with wheels and a brake and can be divided into 2 if needed.
If you are worried about where to store the table, compact table tennis tables are particular useful as they allow you to store them in tight places. One our Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Tables has legs which fold into the table and is only 12.5cm wide when standing.
If you don’t have room to set up a table tennis table you can always opt for a table tennis top and put it on a dining table. Those who do have a small games room sometimes buy the table tennis table top and use it on the pool table. The other alternative if you don’t have the room inside your house is to get an Outdoor Table.
Do you plan to use it indoors or outdoors?
Indoor tables table tennis tables tend to be cheaper and have a better playing surface than outdoor tables. If you are playing professionally, then it is important to have the same types of tables which will be used in tournaments and clubs which will all be indoor tables.
The downside to indoor tables is that they should not be subject to extreme temperatures. Leaving a table in a garage in the cold, wet Irish weather could result in it warping.
Outdoor Table Tennis Tables have weatherproof tops. The Butterfly outdoor ping pong tables have a coating of polyurethane paint which protects the plywood resin playing surface from the elements.
Outdoor Tables with galvanised steel legs, nets and posts like this Butterfly Playground Table Tennis Table are the most durable but are also more expensive.
What are the best Brands of Table Tennis Tables?
We of course advocate Butterfly as the ultimate table tennis brand. The brand was developed in Japan over 60 years ago. Butterfly’s Centrefold 25 tables have been used at many world championships and other international and national tournaments.
Other popular brands include Sponeta, Kettler, Donnay, Millets and Joola which is well know in the US, but we are still fans of Butterfly!