One of my favorite childhood memories was spending hours playing air hockey at the local bowling alley. I wanted to share that experience with my kids and buy an authentic, high-quality table so we could enjoy it in our home. So I started shopping for the best models.
The best air hockey tables are the arcade models, they are built sturdy and come with commercial-grade motors. The downside is they’re expensive. You can find some standard models that work well and have suitable motors at a much more reasonable price.
An air hockey table is a perfect addition to your game room and is a blast to play with your family. It’s a game for all ages and helps you hone your reflexes.
In this article, I detail how to find the best air hockey tables. First up is a review of the best models followed by a buyer’s guide with information about features and benefits so you can make an informed decision before buying one. (In a separate article, I review portable air hockey tables.)
Best Air Hockey Tables
1. Gold Standard Games Home Pro Elite Air Hockey Table – Top Choice
Coming in at about $1800, the Gold Standard Games Table is a premium air hockey table. It is by no means cheap. Therefore considering the price, you should expect incredible performance.
Fortunately, this is exactly what it delivers. It is hands down one of the best air hockey tables you can buy. It comes with tons of features that more than justify its hefty price tag.
The first thing you notice when you see this table is the premium design and build. The materials used in making the table are of the highest quality.
The design shows that it isn’t merely for leisure but serious business. The design isn’t surprising; after all, it was designed by one of the best air hockey players ever: Mark Robbins.
The playing surface is made of MDF with a standard thickness. The sides of the table are made of aluminum, which makes it durable and improves gameplay. If you seek a table for intense competitions, look no further than this bad boy. If you have the funds for it, you can buy it for leisure as well.
However, be prepared to have your home bombarded by friends seeking to play on your air hockey table. The gameplay is pristine on this table. There is no stumbling or glitches whatsoever.
Your puck floats across the playing surface. As said earlier, it is merely one of the best air hockey tables money can buy. It might not be found in an arcade, but it runs a similar mechanism. The fan found on this table is identical to those found on arcade-style air hockey tables.
The gameplay is almost as good as that of arcade-style tables. As a bonus, it doesn’t use a manual slider to keep a tally of scores; instead, the electronic slider automatically does this for you. Click here to see the best price.
2. ESPN Air Hockey Game Table – Best Value for Money
The ESPN Air Hockey Table is a worthy addition to your rec room. Although it has large dimensions, if you have the space for it, it can be an excellent companion to keep you busy.
The table offers decent performance reminiscent of arcade-style air hockey tables. The design of the table looks quite intriguing.
I really like the old-school feel to it that transports you back to the years when you snuck out to the arcade to spend hours on the air hockey table.
It even comes with sound effects that evoke those pleasant memories. Although it is a medium-level table, it comes with impressive features that make playing on it quite exciting.
Installation is straightforward since the table comes pre-assembled. All you have to do is to find the space to put it. It comes with top rails and corner caps that are rarely found on these types of air hockey tables.
ESPN clearly put a lot of thought into designing this air hockey table. The corner caps are designed to protect users and are especially useful if you have kids. It features leg levelers that can be customized, and they assist in creating a level playing surface despite the nature of the floor it is placed on.
The height is adjustable to allow shorter players to comfortably join in the game. The table features a blower that moves the puck. The gameplay is impressive and intuitive. ESPN really put in work with this table.
Many tables that cost more than the ESPN table lack the power, great gameplay, and features that it comes with. At this price, it is an absolute steal!
Overall, there are almost zero complaints about this table. The only issue we had was the three-month product warranty. Click here to see the best price.
3. EastPoint Sports Air Hockey Table – Best Cheap 4-Player Table
If you wish to play in a group of four, it can be hard to find the right air hockey table: it is either cheap and poorly made, or cost more than you want to spend.
The EastPoint Sports Air Hockey Table is a relatively cheap solution to your dilemma. It comes at a reasonable price, yet has features that make playing in a group of four highly enjoyable.
It comes with a quartet of pucks and pushers; hence, there is something for every player to use. It is a multi-purpose table that can be used as a table tennis board.
With a playing surface size of 84″, there is enough space for a group without feeling crowded. However, you have to ensure that you have enough space to place it in your games room.
The coat on the playing surface ensures that the table is resistant to scratching, so you can play for long periods without fear of ruining the beauty of the table. The classic design of the table ensures that it improves or maintains the décor of whatever room it is placed in.
The legs of the table are sturdy and ensure stability. Furthermore, the legs come with levelers. No matter the type of floor you place the table on, the levelers act to provide a level playing surface for you.
The table is powered by a relatively powerful blower that moves the puck on the table. Your scores are automatically logged and displayed overhead. Just as arcade-style air hockey tables, it comes with sound effects to enhance your experience. Click here to see the best price.
4. Rally and Roar Tabletop Air Hockey Table – Best Small Air Hockey Table
A lack of space might be the reason why you have not yet acquired an air hockey table. The Rally and Roar Tabletop air hockey table is what you need to solve your problem.
As a tabletop air hockey table, it is very portable and compact. The 40 x 20 x 9″ size ensures that you can place it on almost any flat surface.
Furthermore, you can take it along on picnics and similar activities since it is so lightweight. Storage is simple as well; the small size allows you to stow it away quite comfortably.
Despite the size, it features good quality of materials in its construction. For example, we observed that the body is of fiber wood. The bottom of the table is covered in felt, hence while you play; there is no fear of scratching the surface you place the table on.
The assembling of the table is quite easy to do. In a matter of minutes, it is ready to go, and you can have your game set up. During our test, we spent around 20 minutes setting the table up. We are sure that with practice comes shorter assembly time. It comes with the accessories required to play a game of air hockey.
The tabletop air hockey table is powered by a 12V motor. Click here to see the best price.
5. Harvil 5 Foot Air Hockey Table – Best For The Family
Harvil has consistently churned out some high-quality air hockey tables and the Harvil 5 Foot Air Hockey Table for Kids and Adults is the latest high-quality product from the manufacturer.
It comes in a compact size that doesn’t take up plenty of space, but that still delivers excellent power and performance. Adults and children alike will enjoy playing a game of air hockey on this table.
Although it is described as a table for kids, it allows intense, aggressive playing, even by adults, without any problems. While testing it, we expected to experience some wobbling or movement.
However, to our utmost delight, we experienced no such thing. It is highly stable, with levelers to keep the playing surface level at all times.
Powered by a 100V motor, the blower delivers enough force to make the puck zip across the playing surface. As you play, you do not have to record the scores manually: there is an automatic scorer that displays the scores. This LED indicator is powered by a pair of easy-to-find AA batteries.
Assembly is quite easy. During our test, we spent two hours setting up the table. Keep in mind that this was our first time. Subsequently, we believe the time spent assembling it will be reduced. If you want to set it up the first time, you don’t have to hire an expert to help you. All the required instructions are contained in the package. Click here to see the best price.
Air Hockey Table Buying Guide
Before you go online or walk into the game store looking for the perfect air hockey table, you need to understand some facts about the game and the tables. It is especially important to consider this information if you are buying your first air hockey table. In this section, we discuss the types of hockey tables available and the features that they have.
Types of Air Hockey Tables
Air hockey tables come with different features and in different styles. These tables are built to satisfy various requirements, and understanding these requirements will assist you in choosing the one that perfectly suits your needs. Let’s look at the different types available.
Tabletop Air Hockey Tables
As the name implies, these air hockey tables are designed to sit on a level surface. If your home or rec room is small and without plenty of space, a tabletop air hockey table might be exactly what you need.
They are often small in size and relatively portable. Thus, you can set up a game of air hockey wherever the party is. They come with rubber feet that allow you to place them on virtually any plane surface. From your standard table to coffee tables, and so on, the tabletop air hockey tables sit pretty wherever you place them.
If you have kids interested in playing air hockey, tabletop tables allow you to satisfy their needs without taking up plenty of space or costing you plenty of money. Furthermore, their size and height allow kids to play on them fairly easily.
Standard Air Hockey Tables
Walk into any games store or search online for Air hockey tables and the first type of air hockey table you usually find are the standard air hockey tables. These are undoubtedly the most common types available.
They are not too expensive to be out of reach for most folks, neither are they so cheap that they are tacky. They come in a variety of sizes and come with nice features. Adults and kids enjoy these tables. While they are not as pricey or feature-rich as the last type of air hockey tables we will discuss, they offer admirable performance.
Arcade-Style Air Hockey Tables
These are the crème de la crème of the air hockey tables. They have everything you want from a table. These are the real tables; everything else are imitations trying to provide a similar experience.
The materials arcade-style tables are made of are of higher quality and are more durable than any other type of air hockey table. These tables come with scoring panels, lights, sound effects, and a plethora of other features.
The playing surfaces they provide are unbeatable and provide the best playing experience. If you walk into an arcade, these are the air hockey tables you will find.
These tables, as the name implies, are not just for air hockey, but can be converted to play various table games. You can use it to play multiple games. You can find combination tables that include table tennis and air hockey, or pool and air hockey, some tables are designed for playing three or more games.
Combination tables are great for folks that want several games but lack the space to install more than one table or want to save money. Despite the benefit of playing different games on one table, they are not ideal for serious players. They simply do not offer the same gaming experience that a dedicated table provides.
As you choose your air hockey table, consider these four types before making your choice. Additionally, there are essential features to look out for when making a choice. Let’s see them.
Features To Consider
Air hockey tables come in different sizes. The sizes fall within the range of 2 feet to 8 feet. Tables that have a size of around two feet are often tabletop air hockey tables. They are portable, lightweight, and ideal for small spaces.
An air hockey table within the range of 4 feet to 6 feet is the standard type of air hockey table. It can serve anyone interested in the game, whether kids, beginners, or enthusiasts.
The large tables between 7 to 8 feet are often arcade-style tables. They have enough space to contain extra features like a scoreboard panel and other functions. Since they are bigger and have more features than the average air hockey table, they are usually the most expensive type of table on the market.
The value partly determines the right air hockey table for you for the money it offers. If you spend a relatively high amount of money, you should expect it to have all the features you need to make it a great playing experience.
There are air hockey tables for every budget. While some cost around $30, others can cost thousands of dollars. The cheaper the table, the fewer features it has. In most cases, a table that costs around $30 is a waste of funds. They are usually flimsy, offer a poor gaming experience, and do not even last.
Your skill level
Your skill level is an essential factor in determining the type of air hockey table you purchase. If you are starting in playing air hockey or are looking for a table to buy for a child, you shouldn’t buy an expensive table.
Furthermore, if the table will be used infrequently, you should buy one that costs little. Tabletop air hockey tables are the ideal tables for folks like this. If the aim is to play frequently and you are moderately good at playing, a standard air hockey table will suit you right to the ground.
These tables are made of good quality and are quite durable. They provide an excellent playing experience and can assist you in improving your playing skills.
For the experts and professionals, the arcade-type air hockey tables are the best fit. They provide all the features to have an enjoyable playing experience and all you need to enjoy yourself. They come at a high price, but they deliver excellent value.
Type of power
Air hockey tables are either battery-powered or electrically powered. You should choose the model that will be more comfortable for you.
In most cases, tabletop air hockey tables are battery-powered. Their portability allows you to carry them around; hence playing air hockey at the family picnic is possible. All you need is to charge the batteries beforehand, and you can enjoy playing air hockey far away from electricity.
The best option is getting an air hockey table that can run on either batteries or electricity.
The type of playing surface will affect playability and your gaming experience. A thick playing surface will make your playing experience more enjoyable.
Construction and Build
Air hockey tables are made of different materials. The two main types of materials are wood, plastic, and metal.
Plastic air hockey tables are cheap and do not display sufficient durability. The best air hockey tables are made of both metal and wood. These tables are durable and offer excellent playability. They are stable and last far longer than the other types of tables.
Air hockey tables come with two main scoring methods. The table will feature either an electronic slider or a manual slider.
Low-priced air hockey tables often come with a manual slider. Hence, when a point is scored, you will manually take the count by sliding the scoring bead. The higher-priced air hockey tables feature an electronic score recorder. Hence, all you do is keep playing for as long as possible while the machine keeps a tally of your score.
Levelers are built into the air hockey table to ensure an even, level playing surface. The leveler will keep the surface of the air hockey table level also if it is placed on uneven ground. This way, you can be sure of a fair game where nobody has an unfair advantage over the other player.
The best air hockey tables come with a fan or blower that moves the pucks on the table; however, these models are more expensive. The cheap models lack a fan or blower. Therefore, you have to move the pucks manually.
While choosing the best air hockey table can be challenging, following this guide and review can help you to choose the best table.
Best Selling Air Hockey Tables
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