If you’re new to table tennis and just looking for a good quality first bat then I would recommend you check out my post The Best Table Tennis Bat for Beginners. If you’ve been playing for a while, and you’re looking to build your own custom table tennis bat, then this is the page for you.
Stepping up from a pre-made bat to a custom-made bat can be daunting.
After all, there are so many different types of rubbers and blades. Some of them are super expensive! How do you know which ones to buy and then once you’ve decided that how do you actually go about building the bat?
This post will tackle these problems and I’ve even made a video going through the process of how to best glue your new rubbers to your blade (and cut them to size).
If it’s time to buy a custom-made table tennis bat the first decision you need to make is which rubbers and blade to go for.
Ben’s top tips for buying rubbers and a blade
If this is your first time buying rubbers and blades separately here are a few tips…
- Ignore any of the numbers given to rubbers for speed/spin/control etc. Or at least take them with a pinch of salt. These numbers are highly subjective and can’t really be used to compare between products.
- Resist the temptation to buy the most expensive/most popular/fastest equipment. As you look through the catalogue or website you will be drawn to the fanciest of rubbers and blades but you probably don’t need these and you certainly don’t need to spend that much!
- If you are a standard allround/attacking player look for a blade that is relatively cheap (£20-£40) and is marked as ALL, ALL+ or OFF-. There should be plenty available and they’ll all be great compared to your premade bat.
- Do the same with rubbers. You probably want to pick a rubber with a medium or soft sponge and one that isn’t too expensive. You should be able to find something in the £20-£30 range that will do the job.
That means that in total your custom bat is going to cost you somewhere between £60 and £100 (or $100 to $160). Don’t spend any more than this, it isn’t worth it!
Here are a few examples of some suitable rubbers and blades. Prices are accurate at TeesSport.com as of 13th December 2013.
- Donic Appelgren Allplay Senso V1 (ALL) £24.99
- Stiga Allround Classic (ALL) £24.99
- Donic Waldner Senso V1 (OFF-) £24.99
- Butterfly Timo Boll (ALL+) £28.99
- Butterfly Primorac (OFF-) £31.99
- Butterfly Timo Boll (OFF-) £31.99
- Stiga Neos – £23.99
- Butterfly Sriver – £25.99
- Yasaka Mark V – £25.99
- Donic Desto – £26.99
- Tibhar Auras – £29.99
You’ll need to get one black and one red rubber and I recommend getting the max thickness available. Sometimes this will be called “max” other times it’ll be 2.0mm or 2.1mm or 2.2mm.
Some of those are faster than others but they are all pretty good, pretty good value and will create a very nice first custom set-up.
How to build your bat
Once you’ve got your blade and rubbers you’ll need to know how to put them together. Most equipment stores will do this for you, for a small fee, but it’s worth learning how to do it yourself.
To help with this process, which can be a tad complicated for the beginner, have a watch of my video below…
As I say in the video, if you are going to buy your rubbers and blade separately you will need some table tennis glue to attach your new rubbers to your blade. You do need this glue to build your bat. Please do not try to attach the rubbers with any other type of glue!
When it comes to actually gluing your rubbers to your blade there are a few things you need to remember;
- Completely cover the sponge is a thin layer of glue.
- Allow the glue to dry fully so that it is not wet to touch.
- As your sponge is new you may need a second layer as the glue often absorbs into new sponge very quickly.
- Only glue on rubber at a time.
- Place a thin layer of glue on one side of your blade.
- When the glue on the rubber and blade is dry to touch you can attach them.
- Use a pair of scissors to cut around the rubber, close to the blade. Do not cut the rubber before attaching it to the blade.
- Repeat with the second rubber.
- Make sure you cut the first sheet of rubber before attaching the second as it is very difficult to cut the rubbers to shape once both are attached.
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