Recommended Air Hockey Table Features and Qualities
If you are looking to buy an air hockey table, there are numerous things you should look for in terms of the features and quality of the parts. Tables vary greatly in price range and features so if you just quickly pull the trigger when shopping you might regret it later. The other thing that makes this product hard to shop for is a majority of the tables are now sold online so you can't get a good feel for the table in person before you buy. This is because only few retailers can afford the space to display a floor model that you can test drive. Overall, we suggest spending a little more to get a product that will hold up for years of enjoyment down the road. You can resell more expensive tables but the cheap models typically go in the trash.
That is why this site was created in order to compile all the research and table knowledge in one place so you don't have to scour the Internet to find information on a table. We provide unbiased information on all of the major table manufacturers and seek to help you evaluate each one for its specs. Below is a list of our recommended set of features you should look for in a quality table. However, if you are simply looking for a table for young children to use as a toy, you can be a little more loose on what features you need in your table.
- A three, four or five star rating - This may be the most obvious one but it is highly important to look for tables with good ratings on our site. The reason why a table with a three star rating is still a good quality table is because five star tables are typically thousands of dollars and made for professional tournament play. All of our manufacturers and tables are rated based on this scale so a good home model might come in at a solid three stars.
- At least 6 feet in table length - Size does matter in air hockey because you want a table that separates the players on both ends in order to open up the game for bank shots. You might think the longer time it takes for the puck to travel from one end to another would make it easier to react in time. In reality, the deeper table actually adds another dynamic to the game and adds additional bank angles angles open up to hit a bank in front of or behind your opponent's defense.
- Powerful air blower system - The air blower is the heart and soul of the table. This part can make or break your table and you typically get what you pay for in the quality of the blower. The tables that are thousands of dollars place a $400-$500 blower part to power their table. We guarantee any table under the $600 dollar range will have cut corners in selecting this part. Since manufacturers are constantly trying to cut their costs, you will notice cheaper tables use a smaller puck because their blower can't lift a full size regulation version. This is fine for children's use, but something to watch out for in your adult game room. Learn more about small puck vs. large puck tables.
- Electronic scoring unit - Who likes to keep score when we have the technology to do it for you? These range from high quality arcade style with flashing lights and sounds to simple score keepers. Most of the expensive arcade versions are mounted above the table with an overhead unit and the rest are typically side mounted to save space in a home model. Some of the cheap tables for $200 even have this feature so we definitely recommend looking for a model that includes one of these.
- Adjustable leg levelers - Having a level table is vital to the game and makes for more consistent play. Tables that don't come with this feature are prone to having the puck float in strange directions and it throws off the entire game. Save yourself a headache from trying to shim or coaster your legs and get a model with adjustable levelers so you can easily adjust when you need.