So you want to buy an air hockey table, but you don’t know which one to buy. We have found that the Playcraft Sport 40-inch Air Hockey Table is the best in-home air hockey table among its competitors.
We all know and love the game of ice hockey, anticipating the beginning of the hockey season each year. Hockey is the sport of all time and some of us just can’t wait to start yelling at the team members to shoot the puck. With all its fame it is to no surprise that many manufactures created the infamous air hockey table. To honor this fantastic game and help you bring home the best air hockey table, we have conducted extensive research to provide you the best of the best air hockey table guide.
Top Pick: Playcraft Sport 40-inch Table Top Air Hockey
The Playcraft Sport 40-inch Air Hockey Table is at the top of the best air hockey table list, with a value for your money price tag. It has a durable MDF frame, measures 40-inches long with sturdy legs and is ideal for all ages. As mentioned in the title of the product, this is a table top air hockey table and is compact in size (ideal for small spaces).
Runner Up: Stiga 37-inch NHL Stanley Cup Rod Hockey Table Top Game
The Stiga 37-inch NHL Stanley Cup Rod Hockey Table Top Game is a high quality air hockey table designed with the official NHL colors and logos. It comes with 3D molded players and the option to purchase additional team member. With a higher price tag, this table is meant for the fanatic gamer who doesn’t mind doling out a little extra cash. This Sitga measures 37 inches in length and consists of aluminum rods and plexi shield protectors.
Budget Pick: Sport Squad HX40 Electric Air Hockey Table
The Sport Squad HX40 Electric Powered Air Hockey Table is one of the best sellers in its category, with an affordable price tag. The Sport Squad is designed with a high out-put fan enabling for a fast action play. Measuring at 40 inches in length, this means that the Sport Squad will be easy to store away when not in use.
Table of Contents
- What is an Air Hockey Table?
- Hockey Table History
- Different Types of Air Hockey Tables
- Basic Rules of Air Hockey
- Parent’s Guide to Choosing an Air Hockey Table
- How we Picked
- Our Pick
- Faults but not deal breakers
- The Runner-up
- The Budget Pick
- Faults but not deal breakers
- Specialized Pick USAA Approved Air Hockey Table
- Best Kid Friendly Hockey Table
- The Contenders
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it Up
What is an Air Hockey Table?
An air hockey table is a two player sports game which can be used for at home use, in an arcade or bar. It consists of a two-player held mallet and a puck. Typically air hockey tables are designed with a rail surrounding the table to prevent the mallets and puck from exiting the table/rink, a smooth surface to play on and slots which serves as goals. Generally, air hockey tables contain a fan which produces air with the objective of reducing friction and increasing the playing speed.
Air hockey is an exhilarating game which people of all ages can enjoy. With many styles and variations there is an air hockey table designed for everyone. Depending on your age, skill level, budget and space, the availability is endless. You can purchase a table top, free-standing or arcade style table. Which ever style meets your requirements is up to you. Either way you will have endless hours of fun.
Hockey Table History
Hockey tables were first invented in 1932 by a Canadian gentlemen named Donald H. Munro Sr. Don. Munro was facing a time of depression in the market, married and raising a family. It was Christmas in Canada and Munro did not have money to purchase his children Christmas gits. So he decided to build a hockey table. He collected metal scraps and other materials, including coat hangers, and crafted the first hockey table for his kids. One day, a salesman happened to spot Munro and his kids playing with their hockey table. He walked over to Munro and urged him to take his product to Eaton’s. On the advice of the salesman, Munro did just that. Munro and Eaton’s signed a consignment deal that day for his hockey table. By the time Munro arrived home, his hockey table had sold and many more ordered.
From that day forward hockey tables would enter peoples’ homes and become the next sought after in-home sports game of all time. Today, hockey tables have evolved
Different Types of Air Hockey Tables
As we’ve mentioned there are various styles of air hockey tables. There are your arcade style tables, recreational style tables and your tabletop style tables. Let’s break it down.
Arcade Air Hockey Table
An arcade style air hockey table is the most durable. It measures 8 feet long, has a powerful blower motor, sound effects and offers electronic scoring. Arcade air hockey tables are very well created and has a smooth playing surface which provides a high quality air hockey experience.
Due to its size, a large rec room or available space is required, as you can not store this style of air hockey table away. That being said, if you are searching for a table which will with hold the hands of time, then you may want to consider this style of air hockey table.
Recreational Style Air Hockey Table
The recreational style air hockey table is much more affordable than an arcade style table, however, you will not get all the bells and whistles that the arcade table offers. This style of air hockey table come in various sizes and price points. Recreational air hockey tables are best suited for younger children, but don’t expect to gain an extensive amount of skill.
Tabletop Air Hockey Tables
The tabletop air hockey table is typically the most popular style for in-home use. Due to its portability, this table is ideal for small spaces (easy storage), play anywhere there is a table or take it to your friend’s/families house. Tabletop air hockey tables are designed with rubber feet, which provide a non-slip grip on your dinning room table and it won’t scratch the surface of your table. This style of air hockey table is the smallest in its category and the most cost-effective. Since this is a tabletop style, this means that you can place it at any height, which makes it ideal for younger children also.
Basic Rules of Air Hockey
Although one may purchase an air hockey table for the mere enjoyment and not want to bother with rules, there are individuals who might want some guidelines to follow. We felt that it was important to provide a list of these basic air hockey rules for those who wish to play more competitively.
Here is the breakdown of the basic rules to air hockey.
1. The player who gains seven points is the winner.
2. Which ever player succeeds at entering and dropping the puck into their opponent’s goal receives a point.
3. Players must alternate sides after each game.
4. The player who scores is the next one to serve the puck.
5. There must be only one mallet on the playing surface. If there is more than one mallet at a time this results in a foul.
6. Any part of the mallet can be to strike the puck.
7. There are only seven seconds for a player to execute the puck across the centre line.
8. Once the puck is in the centre line, the puck can be struck by either player.
9. A player can not stand anywhere passed the centre line.
10. A player’s hand, body, arm or clothing can not touch the puck. This is called “palming”.
11. Each player is allowed a ten second time out period once per game.
12. A player can only request a time out period when he/she has possession of the puck or the puck is not in play.
13. A player has ten seconds to remove the puck from their goal and return it to the playing surface.
These rules may seem a little daunting and deterring, but don’t shy away from the great sport of air hockey. Keep in mind that at home air hockey is meant for the purpose of pure enjoyment and you do not have to follow the above rules. Create your own or don’t have any rules. However, if you are competitive than perhaps following the basic air hockey rules are ideal and would add a feeling of real tournament style air hockey play. Either way, how you play is up to you.
Parent’s Guide to Choosing an Air Hockey Table
Once upon a time, we had to take our children to an arcade or sports venue to enjoy the sport of playing air hockey. However, this has all changed and now you can bring this fun loving sports game right into the comfort of your own home. Although we have the luxury of purchasing an air hockey table for home use, it can feel a bit over whelming when trying to choose the right air hockey table for your child. When choosing an air hockey table for your son/daughter, you must consider the size and style of the table. Air hockey tables can be foldaway, free-standing, light weight or heavy. In addition, a parent should also consider the child’s age and skill level, budget and available space.
Our top three picks mentioned in this article, are perfect for all ages. Definitely kid-friendly and suitable for small spaces, with easy storage, affordable pricing and quick and easy setups. Children will love their air hockey table and parents will gain brownie points for bringing home the best sports game. Let your son/daughter show off their inner hockey player to their friends at their next sleepover.
You might also want to check out our Best Kid Friendly Hockey Table.
How We Picked
Aside from providing a great game experience, air hockey tables should provide a few important features. When choosing our recommendations, we considered the following air hockey features. The construction of an air hockey table should be durable and provide you with options that suit your desires. We searched various options that would bring you a special experience, but also fit your lifestyle. For instance, if space is an issue than purchasing a tabletop air hockey table would be the best choice for you or if you wish to invest and have the available space, then a full size air hockey table is the ideal choice. Features like electronic scoring or all the sounds and whistles is desirable, but not necessary. Therefore, when investigating the best air hockey tables, we did not focus only on air hockey tables with desirables features, but instead we focused on air hockey tables to suit each persons needs.
A tabletop air hockey table will offer you the portability, durable construction of the table and the great experience of the game. In addition, these styles are also ideal for all ages from children to mature adults. Full size table are perfect for those who are more competitive, have the available space and will provide you with features like electronic scoring with addition of sound effects.
Our top picks are based on tabletop air hockey tables, however, we provide you with other contenders that are full size air hockey tables.
Jen’s Top Pick
Jen’s Top Pick: Playcraft Sport 40 inch Table Top Air Hockey
The Playcraft air hockey table offers features like a scoring slide above each player’s goal and a 100 CFM motor which will deter the puck from sticking to the play surface. You will receive two pucks and mallets and a 90-day warranty (plenty of play time to decide if this is perfect for you).
The overall size of the Playcraft air hockey table is 40 in length, 8 feet high and 21 inches wide. It weighs approximately 20 pounds, making this table easy to carry and move around. The Playcraft is a non-battery operated table, just plug it in and turn the on/off switch to start it up.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
We all know that no one product can be perfect. There are some faults with the Playcraft Sport 40-inch Air Hockey Table, however the flaws that will be discussed are not deal breakers. For example, when trying to assemble the air hockey table, it posed a little bit of a challenge as the instructions were unclear. That being said even with unclear instructions it only took 15 minutes to assemble. Our second flaw that we encountered was that the legs on this air hockey table do not collapse, which means you might find it difficult to store it under your bed. Fold in legs would have been a desirable feature, however, not a deal breaker since you have the capability of storing this compact air hockey table in a closet or hang it on the garage wall.
This is an ideal air hockey table for those who would love the full size arcade style table, but don’t have the space nor budget. In comparison to our top pick, the Stiga will cost slightly higher, but extremely lower than an arcade version air hockey table.
This is a high quality air hockey table game designed with the official NHL colors, logos and comes with 3D plastic molded players. A great advantage with these plastic molded players, is that they are interchangeable and you can purchase additional team packs. In addition, the Stiga consists of aluminum rods, plexi shield protectors and measures 37 inches long, 3 feet high and 19.75 inches wide, making this an ideal for easy storage options.
The Stiga is recommended for children ages 5 and up and definitely for teenagers and adults. Over the years Stiga created revolutionary hockey tables with features like no other and the Stiga 37-inch NHL Stanley Cup Rod Hockey Table Top Game is no exception to this rule.
The Budget Pick
The Sport Squad HX40 Electric Powered Air Hockey Table is our third top pick and our budget friendly air hockey table. This quality air hockey tables has a high out-put fan which provides for a smooth surface to play on. It is easily assembled, only taking 10 minutes, portable and compact for easy storage. The Sport Squad playing field measures 19 inches wide, which makes this ideal for younger children who may find it challenging to reach the puck on a larger table.
A little fun fact about Sport Squad is that it partnered with Joola, who is the world renowned table tennis equipment manufacturer. They transfer the same innovations used for their tennis tables with the air hockey tables.
Faults but not Deal breakers
One specific fault which stood out is the fact that the Stiga air hockey table does not have an on/off switch, which means you have to plug it in to start and unplug to turn it off. However, on the bright side, you never have to replace batteries, which means hours of fun. During our research we discovered that the fan makes a whirring sound, which really is not a deal breaker if you consider how loud other products such as a ceiling fan or dishwasher can sound.
Another flaw that was uncovered is that the puck can fly off the playing surface if struck extremely hard. Now this is not a deal breaker, but the only downside or annoyance of this flaw is that you have to pick the puck up off the floor.
That being said non of these faults are deal breakers, and he Sport Squad HX40 Electric Powered Air Hockey Table is still one of our top picks for budget friendly and great quality air hockey tables.
Specialized Pick USAA Approved Air Hockey Table
The Gold Standard Home Pro Elite Air Hockey Table is our specialized top pick for a full size USAA approved air hockey table. This is ideal for the avid player who has the budget, space and wants a tournament style experience.
This durably constructed full size air hockey table was designed by the two-time air hockey champion Mark Robbins. It has been constructed with a wear resistant laminate top, 12″ side apron with legs set on the ends, low profile and contains professional aluminum rails. It weighs approximately 300 pounds and measures 85 inches in length and 45.5 inches wide. Some special features which tabletop air hockey tables may not offer, is that you can keep score electronically and offers sound options.
Gold Standard Home Pro Elite Air Hockey Table provides professional tournament quality experience and ideal for beginners and professionals alike. Furthermore, this air hockey table has customizable options and accessories to suit every players needs.
Best Kid Friendly Hockey Table
Although our top picks are suited for all ages, we felt it was important to note that there are kid friendly air hockey tables available. The Westminister Air Hockey Table is really the best pick for children ages 5 – 10. It is battery operated and has a score slider. This compact size air hockey table is ideal when it comes to easy storage, small spaces and a cost effective product. The Westminister will provide your child with hours of enjoyment and is perfect for those rainy indoor days.
You will not get all the bells and whistles with this air hockey table, but if you are worried about your child playing with your air hockey table, or believe he/she would find it difficult, then at this low cost, you can give them an air hockey table to call their own.
There are several contenders which are comparable with our top picks. Here are five hockey table contenders.
At a higher price than our three top picks of the Atomic Blazer 7’ Hockey Table will be the air hockey table you can show off to your friends/family. It has many great features that will bring you long hours of playing fun. These features consist of, a sturdy build, a 120V blower which provides a faster game play experience, and an electronic score board.
The Atomic Blazer is equipped with sturdy pedestal style legs and an overhang which prevents the puck from bounces out of the game surface. It is much more reasonably priced then other full size air hockey tables, and has the advantage of converting into a tennis table.
The Redline Acclaim 4.5’ Hockey Table offers a great value for its cost. This air hockey table will not deliver you with the same features as a pricier hockey table, however, it provides you with hours of entertainment.
The Redline Acclaim has a PVC laminated playing surface and a 110V motor. In addition, this air hockey table has an external puck catcher, slide scoring and provides you with two mallets and two pucks, which means no buying accessories separately. It measures 56.5 inches in length, 5 feet high and 29.5 inches wide. This table weighs approximately 50lbs once assembled.
The Carrom 42 in. Power Play Table Top Air Hockey is another compact tabletop air hockey table. Carrom consists of a UL approved high out-put motor, removable legs and a manual scoring built-in to the table. With its heavy-duty construction you and your family/friends are sure to enjoy years of fun. Compact in size, means easy storage and you can take this wherever you wish. The Carrom measures 42.75 inches in length, 24.75 in width, 7.5 feet high and weighs 30 pounds.
There is a disclaimer stating that this not intended for children under the age of 13. However, reading the reviews, many of the customers purchased the Carrom air hockey table for children under this age. Just keep in mind, any product should be used under adult supervision.
The Harvil 40in Tabletop Air Hockey Table has an alluring price. This air hockey table is created of CARB Certified Wood, weighs 14.5 pounds (great for portability), and measures 40 inches long. This battery operated air hockey table can be assembled in less than 20 mins, so you can begin an exciting game of air hockey with your family quickly. This Harvil model is designed with non-marking padding on it’s 3/8″ L-Style legs, for the purpose of protecting your table or floor.
This unit is perfect for all ages, the right price, compact and delivers quality.
Our final contender is the Hathaway Face-Off Air Hockey Table with Electronic Scoring has been durably built from environmentally safe materials and created to endure years of playing. Besides its graphics and attention to detail, the Hathaway offers many desirable and convenient features. Some of the features include, an electronic scoring system, 110 UL approved high out-put blower and a poly sealed playing surface.
In addition to the great features that the Hathaway Face-Off Air Hockey Table with Electronic Scoring provides, this free-standing air hockey table can be converted into a tabletop style air hockey table by removing the legs. Whether you enjoy a tabletop or free-standing style air hockey table, Hathway Face-Off is a great product to bring into your home, and is ideal for children and adults.
Wrapping it Up
You can’t go wrong with any of our top picks when looking to buy the best air hockey table. The Playcraft Sport 40-inch Air Hockey Table is the best of the best for tabletop air hockey tables. That being said, our top picks share three things in common, they are reasonably priced, deliver hours/years of entertainment and are the best suited for all age groups. What will be the deciding factor for you will be your budget and what size air hockey table you want.
We understand that there are numerous styles of air hockey tables available and we hope that we have made this decision easier with information we’ve provided. Now that you know all there is to know about the best air hockey table, the history, different styles and our top picks, it is time for you and your family/friends to unleash the inner hockey player.