Trying to select the right ping pong table can be confusing for the first time customer. This article will help you understand the features and help you make a more informed decision.
Top: the thicker the top the better the bounce. Indoor wood tops are usually made with compressed particle board while outdoor tables are manufactured with synthetic laminate made of melamine. The higher quality table tennis tables are sealed back to prevent warping. A wood top that is at least ½ inch thick is suitable for home or recreational play. Tournament tables should be 5/8 to ¾ inch thick. International quality tables are 7/8 to 1 inch thick. It is recommended never to leave a wooden-top table outside.
Rail/rim: A heavy gauge steel rail will reinforce the structure of the table and provide additional support. It also serves a cosmetic purpose, adding to the beauty of your table.
Legs: heavy gauge steel legs provide a solid foundation for the table. Round legs are sufficient but the square legs are more structurally sound. A few models offer a 2 inch solid square leg made of wood offering a classic finish.
Wheels: Look for tables that have wheels that caster so the table will roll easily. Most institutional tournament and international level tables offer a rubber ball bearing wheel system, which offer smoothest rolling possible.
Net: Ping Pong Nets can be either a simple plastic version or a higher quality cloth net which clamps directly to the table. Expensive nets typically offer padded clamps and a dual precision height adjuster.
Playback position: These models allow you to fold up one half of the table and use it as a backboard. This will quicken reflexes and sharpen eye hand coordination.
Adjustable feet: Many of the high end professional tables have adjustable feet to ensure that the table is level.
Approval: Look for the ITTF or USATT logos or remarks to indicate that the table is approved to tournament play.