Top Professional table tennis players such as Xu Xin and Ma Long glue their ping pong paddles more often as it not only helps in keeping their rackets in a good condition but also increases speed and spin. Most amateur players are not aware of this fact. However, they suffer later on when their table tennis rackets wear off after using them for some time.
Being a table tennis player myself, I know how much important it is to take care of our precious table tennis rackets as they play an important role in making or breaking the game.
In this guide, I will be discussing different types of glues, which glue is allowed and which is not, the 5 best glues, how to apply them in the right way, and more. To find out all of this information, keep reading.
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Types of table tennis glues
Here is a list of five types of glues that are available in the market. Two of them are allowed and approved by ITTF while the rest of them are banned.
VOC-Based Glues (Banned)
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Component. It is a poisonous substance that creates serious health issues for players. That’s why any glue that has VOC in it, is banned by ITTF which means that you cannot use it in official tournaments.
However, few amateur players still use it for practicing and playing locally.
If you are planning to play at an official level, I would not recommend you to buy it. Although, glues that contain VOC dry quickly and increase speed they are not environment-friendly.
Speed Glue (Banned)
Speed glue is a glue that is used to attach the rubber to the blade but it is not the normal glue, it contains lots of VOC in it. Before 2008, there was hype about speed glue. Lots of players used it before official tournaments because it increases the speed of the ball by 10% and spin by 20%.
In 2008, it was banned by ITTF as it contains poisonous compounds which can cause serious health issues for players.
Although, some manufacturers still use speed glue while making table tennis rackets but it is allowed. Only using speed glue at home is banned.
Tuners and Boosters (Strongly Prohibited)
Booster which is also known as a tuner or expander is a strong chemical compound. Players use it to tune their rubbers before any official tournament because it adds up more speed and spin.
They are also banned by ITTF. However, it is difficult to detect if someone has used them or not. Players who have hard Chinese rubber use it.
It changes sponge density and thickness. If you have a hard Chinese rubber and don’t intend to play at an official level, you may use them at your own risk.
However, anything that changes/modifies the shape of rubber is strongly prohibited in official tournaments.
Self-Adhesive Sheets (Allowed )
Self-adhesive sheets are the pre- glued rubbers and as long as they are non-VOC, are allowed by ITTF.
Although, they are less common but still very popular among pimple players because it is difficult to attach pimples with the normal glue. If you are a pimple player, self-adhesive sheets are for you.
Non-VOC -Water-Based Glues (Allowed)
Since other types of glues are banned because of containing harmful chemicals, water-based glue is the only type of glue that is allowed and approved by ITTF.
Lots of professional players such as Timo Boll use- water-based glue to glue their rubber to the blade.
Although, non-VOC glues are less thick as compared to VOC glue and take a longer time to dry they are harmless for health.
Which type of glue you should buy?
So now, you may ask which type of glue I should buy. Well, you should buy water-based glue because it is the only glue that is approved by ITTF and is allowed to use in official tournaments.
If you are planning to participate in any national or international tournament, please don’t buy any glue that has even a little amount of VOC in it as it can badly affect your career.
5 Best Table tennis glues
Only water-based glues are the best. I would not recommend you to use any VOC-based glue, speed glue, or boosters because they are strongly prohibited and banned.
There are several methods to check if you have used any sort of chemical on your paddles before the tournaments. So stay away from any VOC (chemical-based) glue to avoid any mishap.
Here, I am recommending to you the 5 best Non-VOC table tennis glues that will keep your racket new as well as will be harmless for your health. . So, let’s get started!
Timo Boll uses this glue to change his table tennis rubber. It dries off quickly and is easy to remove. Professional Players glue their rubber before every tournament and at that time they need something that can save their precious time as well as not harm their racket by leaving dirty glue stains behind.
It is non-VOC water-based glue and is approved by ITTF. It is very clean to use as it comes with sponges and an application clip.
How to use it?
Simply apply a thin layer of butterfly free chack glue on the backside of the rubber and your blade with the help of a sponge and application clip. Now, wait for 5 minutes so it can dry off. Remember, it dries off when glue’s milky color turns transparent. Now carefully place rubber on the blade and press it gently. Apply roller on top of rubber to avoid bubbles.
I love this glue because it does not leave stains while most other water-based glues leave dirty glue stains behind that do not look nice and make the rackets appear old.
It is just like free chack except it is a little bit stronger than free chack. If you don’t change your rubber frequently, I would recommend you to use this glue as it will adhere strongly to the blade and will not peel off too soon.
How to use it?
Apply a thin layer of Butterfly Free chack II on the backside of the rubber and blade. Now, wait for 10 minutes so it can get dry. When glue changes its color from milky white to transparent, place it on the blade carefully and press it with a roller to avoid bubbles. That’s it. Your racket is now good to go.
3. Revolution 3 Glue
It is another one of the best non-VOC ITTF Approved table tennis racket glue that you can use for official tournaments. It is one of the best glue for hard Chinese rubbers.
How to apply?
As the name suggests, you have to apply 3 layers of it to achieve the best results. Wait for it to get dry after each application.
It is one of the best water-based, non-VOC, and ITTF-approved glue. Almost every professional player uses this glue because it works well. Although it is just like Butterfly free chack glue but is a little bit cheaper than that.
It comes with 15 sponges and one applicator clip.
I am listing its pros and cons below for your quick review.
How to apply?
Spread the glue evenly on the backside of the rubber and blade. Now wait for 12-15 minutes or until the glue changes its color from milky white to transparent. Place the rubber carefully on the blade and press it gently with the roller. That’s it.
After revolution 3, here is another good water-based glue for Chinese rubbers. Chinese rubbers are hard that’s why you need strong and thick glue for them. Unfortunately, normal glues are too thin for them and don’t work.
It has excellent elasticity and sticks rubber well.
Here are some pros and cons of it:
How to use it?
Apply a thick layer of No. 15 glue on the backside of your Chinese rubber and blade. Now, wait patiently -for about 10-15 minutes or until it gets transparent. Place it gently on the blade and press it with the help of a roller to avoid bubbles.
To get a thick layer of it, you have to add several layers of glue. It is mandatory if you have a hard Chinese rubber. This technique is developed by the DHS technology center and Chinese National Teams.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Water-based glue is best for table tennis rubber
No, you should only use Non-VOC (Water-based) glue because it is the only type of glue that is approved by ITTF
All of the glues mentioned above are 100% VOC-free and ITTF-approved. That being said, you can use them for official tournaments without any hesitation. All of these glues are the best but Butterfly Free Chack is my favorite out of all of them because it is economical and comes with sponges and a clip. If you choose this, you don’t have to buy a tool kit separately. Also, most professional players use this glue for their rackets. In the end, whatever you choose out of them, it will be the best and environment friendly. I hope this blog post will help you in choosing the best table tennis glue for your racket set. Good luck!