Table Tennis Table Buying Guide
We have been selling Table Tennis Tables in Australia for over 50 years and like to think we know a thing or two about Ping Pong. We are always more than happy to give you free friendly advice over the phone, but our comprehensive Buying Guide might give all the answers you need to be able to make the right choice when it comes to buying an Indoor or Outdoor Table.
Who is this guide for?
Nearly everyone has played Table Tennis at least once in their life, be it at school as a child, at a friends house, at home or even at a club. Table Tennis is one of those games that is always fun to play and one of the best things about the game is anyone can play regardless of age and/or skill level. We won't bore you with too many facts and figures, but there are plenty of studies about the benefits of playing Table Tennis, from helping kids with their eye-hand coordination or helping our senior citizens improve their balance and lower their chances of falls and injuries.
If you have never owned a table before, you probably want to do your own research or rely on friends and family for advice. We would be more than happy to help you make the right choice as we like to think we know a thing about the subject as we have been selling the best international brands since 1971.
This guide is basically for anyone looking to buy an Indoor Table Tennis Table or an Outdoor Table Tennis Table, but more so for someone who is buying their first table and not sure which the best one is to buy. We are here to help you make the right decision.
Who are we and what we have to offer
Aussie Table Tennis was established in 1971 so we are the first, biggest and longest running table tennis shop in Australia. You can purchase our products online, over the phone or by visiting our stores in Sydney and Brisbane.
We sell the best international brands including STIGA, Cornilleau, Butterfly, Yasaka and Y&T and we are always prepared to offer you friendly expert advice. We are also proud to offer our own table tennis products under our SUMMIT brand.
We are also happy to provide a bat assembly service free of charge when you purchase from us. For the more serious player, it is important that you use blades and rubbers that suit your playing style and skill level. Very few people in the world have unlimited funds and we don't think you should spend money on products that you don't really need. This is why we are happy to help you make the right choice when it comes to buying table tennis equipment.
Measure out the above dimensions of the table on your floor space. Stand behind where the edge of the table would be and swing your arm and see if you have enough room to play. Allow for sideways movement and your arm being outstretched for wide shots. Generally, the more room you have the more fun you will have. If it turns out you don't have enough room inside you might want to consider an outdoor table instead. You could also consider a Mini or Midi table for smaller indoor spaces.
Looking after your table is very easy. If you have an outdoor model, occasionally wipe it over with a damp sponge or chamois. If you have an Indoor table, we recommend using Windex. It will bring out the colours of your table more than they remove marks. Unfortunately, no cleaner will remove all ball scuff marks on a wooden table surface. At the most you should only have to clean your table 3 or 4 times a year. Use the cleaner sparingly. Too much cleaning can make the surface shiny. Remember NEVER put any food or drinks on your table.
Table covers are recommended, especially for outdoor tables which are stored outside and exposed to the weather. For indoor tables a cover is not essential unless your storage area is prone to lots of dust. A table cover will NOT make an indoor table weatherproof.
All Table Tennis Tables are not created equal
Anyone researching table tennis tables would be surprised by the wide range of models available. The last few years have seen an explosion of new brands, nearly all of them from Asia. It can be very confusing as to which table to buy. Two tables with the same RRP can appear to be very similar, but once you have a closer look at the specifications, you will find that they can be very different. The size of the frame, legs and wheels are normally where the tables will differ and as a general rule, the thicker/bigger these are, the better/stronger the table will be.
Customers often ask us the question, what is the difference between European and Asian made tables? Before we answer that, we want to make it clear that we sell both European and Chinese made tables. We have personally visited the factories and seen for ourselves the materials and processes that produce the tables. We are also proud to say that all tables we offer are made in the best factories from around the world and because of that nearly 90% of Clubs and Associations in Australia use our tables.
The best quality tables are made in Europe. These tables are made by laser-cutting technology and state of the art modern industrial machines. European manufacturers source high quality materials in Europe and the bounce on these tables is unparalleled, The fibreboard used is highly compacted, which is much more dense and harder in structure, but it is not just down to the better quality of wood. The paint used in European factories is of the highest quality and tends to grab and kick the ball higher than the equivalent Asian table. Numerous coats of paint are applied and sanded before the final surface is produced. It is also important to know that every European table is approved to a European safety standard (EN 14468-1).
Asian tables are largely made by hand. The MDF wood is not as good as the fibreboard used on European tables and if you look hard enough on any Asian hand-made table, the imperfections, although minor, are often apparent with a close look at the table. In saying that, the Chinese factory we use also manufacture for most of the other top international brands and that is because it is the best Table Tennis Table factory in all of Asia. In our opinion, the main advantage of Asian tables is price, which is an important factor when it comes to buying a Table Tennis Table.
Questions you need to answer
There are 4 standard questions we normally ask anyone making an enquiry about buying a table tennis table. Once you have answered the questions, we recommend you give us a call on (02) 9670 0670, so together we can make sure you get the best possible table for your needs.
- Will you be using the table Indoors or Outdoors? What to consider: Just a little bit of rain can permanently damage an indoor table.
- A 1-piece or 2-pieces table? What to consider: 2-pieces tables are easier to move around as you can move only half the table at a time.
- Recreational or Competition table? What to consider: A competition table is much stronger and durable with a thicker surface for the best bounce. Recreational tables are much cheaper and should do the job for most families.
- What is your budget? What to consider: Allow for freight, bats and balls etc. if you need them
1. Will you be using the table indoors or outdoors?
The Golden Rule is: If there is any chance of the table being exposed to rain or humidity and/or excessive sun light, then buy an Outdoor Table Tennis Table!
It is okay to buy an Indoor Table if you place it outside for an hour or two as long as it is not raining or it is not a very hot day.
Outdoor Tables are more expensive compared to equivalent indoor tables due to their specialised weatherproof surfaces. The extra money you spend on an outdoor table is money well spent compared to the risk of leaving an indoor table out in the weather.
IMPORTANT NOTE! Please beware of retailers offering you a wooden table with treated surfaces as 'weatherproof'. These tables are not fully outdoor and they will not last if rained on or exposed to a lot of sun.
2. A 1-Piece or 2-Piece Table?
A 1-Piece table is where all parts (legs, frame and the playing tops etc.) are connected on a trolley system in one single unit. Many of the one-piece models have the advantage of the net being part of the table structure, so you don't have to put it on and take it off. They are also handy and convenient for someone who wants to play by themselves (playback practice mode).
A 2-Piece Table is in 2 separate autonomous halves. You then connect the 2 parts using the net and posts at the middle which keeps it all together. Most 2-piece tables have brakes for added stability although these are not essential. The 2-piece table design has a couple of advantages over a 1-piece. It is lighter and easier to move around if you only move one half of the table at a time and it takes up much less space when stored. If you move your table up and down stairs and/or don't have a lot of room in your playing area, then we recommend a 2-piece table instead of a 1-piece table. 2-piece tables also have playback practice mode.
Conclusion: There is no difference between the two versions once the table is set up. They have the standard measurements of 274 (L) x 152.5 (W) x76 (H) cm. A 1-Piece table is about 75 cm wide when stored and a 2-Piece table is just over 60 cm wide. If you don't have any storage problems and someone is always there to help you move/lift the table, then it doesn't really matter whether you buy a 1- Piece or 2-Piece table.
3. Recreational or Competition Table?
If the table is to be used for official competition or you simply want the best bounce and an ultra-strong table, then an ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) approved table is the way to go.
ITTF approved tables are always used for National, International and Olympic Championships. They have been fully tested by the ITTF for bounce quality before being approved with Approved status. An ITTF approved table is normally 22mm or thicker, so for recreational use you don't really need this kind of table but remember the thicker the table, the better the bounce.
ITTF approved tables are more expensive because they have a thicker playing surface and much stronger frame and wheel structure to carry the heavier surface. Being ultra-strong, an ITTF table will last a lot longer if properly looked after. Please note that there are no Outdoor Tables that are approved for official sanctioned competition.
4. What is your Table Tennis Budget?
This question together with the question 'will you be using the table indoors or outdoors?' are the most important. A few months ago we had a customer calling us saying that he wanted to buy a specific table. It wasn't cheap and from memory it cost around $1200. When we asked him how he came across Aussie Table Tennis, he said he initially wanted to buy a $100 table he saw in an ALDI catalogue, but after doing his research and knowing a little bit more about table tennis tables, he decided to buy a table for $1200 instead. This is very rare though and our best advice to you is to try and stay within your budget. As a general rule the thicker the table top, the better the bounce. The table frame and wheels also get thicker and stronger as the tables get more expensive. Sometimes you will be able to see the value in spending an extra $50 or $100 on a table. Remember to allow for freight, bats, balls and net in your budget.
Hopefully we have been able to help you in your decision to buy a table tennis table. If you have any queries please feel free to reach out to us by phone or email.