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penholdWhen learning or playing table tennis, how you perform is importantly affected by your playing style or grip. The next factor is the bat or paddle you are using. Although not many players in our Sydney table tennis club use the penhold grip, it's important that you know the differences between the various penhold bats.

If you play with a penhold style, make sure that you choose one that suits your grip. Clueless on which one to pick? If you have no idea which one can offer the best value for the money, we will list some of the top picks for the best penhold paddle available on the markepenhold paddle available on the market, as well as the reasons why they are exceptional.

What is a Penhold Grip?

Gripping a paddle is one of the basic skills that you have to learn when playing table tennis. It is not as easy as grabbing the handle with your fingers and swinging it. There is a right technique that you have to learn.

The shake hand grip is the most popular grip in table tennis. The next most popular is the penhold grip, which is the focus of the rest of this post. As the name implies, this is all about imitating the way you hold a pen in your fingers. Because of this, it is also known to some people as the pencil grip.

It is important to note that there are two types of penhold grips. The first one is the Chinese penhold grip. With this style, the thumb and the index fingers will be placed in the front and the remaining three fingers will be curled behind the handle. This will allow the wrist to move freely, which can provide you with excellent control of the paddle.

The second is the Japanese penhold grip. The thumb and the index finger will also be positioned in front of the handle. The three fingers, on the other hand, will not be curled. Instead, they are extended straight. This will provide you with more power in your forehand attacks, although this can limit the movements of the paddle.

Chinese penhold handles are more rounded (see above) whereas Korean or Japanese penhold handles are oblong. You can change the forehand grip with under the bat when playing a forehand shot or have your little pinkies spread on top of the bat when playing backhand. The Chinese play with all their fingers spread on top of the bat due to the shape of the handle. Things change when carrying out a reverse backhand shot but this is outside the scope of this article.

 jap penholdJapanese penhold bat with cork square shaped handle.

Choosing the Best Penhold Paddle

With too many options that are available, these are some of the most important things that will allow you to differentiate the possibilities and end up with the right decision:

  • Performance: In most cases, the penhold ping pong racket will come with a performance rating, which is from a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 100. These ratings are for power, speed, and spin. The higher the number is, the better they perform in terms of the category at which they are rated.
  • Weight: Whether you have to buy a lightweight or heavy paddle will be a matter of personal preference. A lot of beginners will pick one with a minimal weight as this does not require a lot of wrist strength. More experienced players, on the other hand, will choose a heavier paddle because it tends to be more powerful. In most cases, they will weigh 70 to 100 grams without the rubber.
  • Comfort: Table tennis may seem like a simple game to play, but it can be exhausting. With this, pick a racket that can promote your highest level of comfort. The shape of the handle and the weight of the racket are important things to consider.
  • Materials: Look at the materials that are used in the different parts of the paddle. The rubber, for instance, should be strong enough to withstand long-term use. The same thing should be true in the case of the wood. Natural wood is a good choice. According to the official rules of table tennis, the paddle needs to be made of a minimum of 85% of natural wood.
  • Blade: This is one of the most important parts of the racket. It is made of wood, which can also be mixed with synthetic fibers. This will have a huge impact on the power, spin, and speed that the racket can deliver.


I hope that choosing the best penhold paddle is now an easier task for you. Do not just believe the claims of the manufacturers or pick a product that comes with the cheapest price. Take the time to evaluate the possibilities. Keep an eye on the seven options that I've listed above to make a decision that you will not regret!

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