Updated: October 13, 2016

Air Hockey Table Reviews:

Whether you are putting a new air hockey table in a game room or a man cave, you will get hours of entertainment from it. Air hockey tables come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to measure the room you want the table to go into so that you know it fits. Tables are generally 3 feet to 8 feet in length. There are basic air hockey tables for kids/families and mid-level tables which still provide plenty of features for the more competitive players. High performance arcade style tables are more resilient with harder surfaces that resist denting. Arcade style air hockey tables measure 8 feet in length and are built for speed with powerful blower motors that allow the puck to glide effortlessly across the tables top. Which table is right for you? What brands rate the highest? How much are you going to have to spend? We answer all those questions plus include a brief buying guide down below.

Choosing an Air Hockey Table

One of the first things that buyers want to know is - How much assembly is required on the table they choose? The good news is that many of the modern air hockey tables are much simpler to put together than even a few years back. The Viper air hockey tables are considered some of the best with playing surfaces that have a glossy white laminate that play fast and look great. A 3-inch black top rail and silver apron have rounded corners for smooth puck movement. Look for tables with strong rink walls as this increases deflection from the walls and the puck from slowing down. Electronic scoring systems keep the point tally automatically and the standard 110 volt motor creates a cushion of air for consistent puck glide. Take a look at some of the best-selling air hockey tables here (a good 6 foot table will set you back about $300-$500). Most air hockey tables come with 2 pucks and 2 paddles. The table should be sturdy and well constructed - flimsy legs are not a good sign. A quality motor to run the air through the surface is a necessity. The motor should run strong, quiet, and pump air evenly across the surface. Sportscraft makes a variety of air hockey tables and some are made of dark wood with industrial strength laminate cabinet and a powerful cushion of air for the authentic arcade style action. The Brunswick V-Force air hockey table is a true classic with translucent plastic mallets and pucks, aluminum rails, and manual slide scoring. Other top brands of air hockey tables are Carrom, Great American, Valley Dynamo, DMI Sports, GLD, CHH, Murrey, and Excalibur.

REVIEWS - The best websites for finding invaluable customer feedback on the latest air hockey tables are Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Sears.com. It seems that the quality of tables has come down in recent years and they are made cheaply. Sure, you can still get a well built table, but materials are not what they used to be. Amazon probably has the best source of owner reviews with dozens of consumer opinions and comments for models like the Viper Arctic Ice, Triumph Sports 84 inch table, and the Fat Cat Detroit table. The most common complaints are for things like errors with the electronic scoring mechanism, paddles that don't move well on the surface, pucks that fly off the table, and less than sturdy or balanced legs. The Viper Vancouver Air-Powered Hockey Table gets the highest marks from owners, although many say watch out for shipping problems as these heavy tables can get damaged in transit. You can browse the entire list of air hockey tables here.

Best Air Hockey Tables:

RECOMMENDED - Based on consumer feedback and expert analysis, the Viper Vancouver Air-Powered Hockey Table earns the top spot here. The table sells for about $750 and compared to the cheaper models, it holds up well. Features include a nice triangular electronic scorer, a 110V motor with air flow of 80 cubic feet per minute, and an excellent glossy surface that is smooth for consistent puck movement. Owners like the dual end rail puck returns and the deep inner rails. The bad part of this table is the assembly. Many owners said it took 3 hours (yes that is a long time). What we have found in our research is that the higher quality tables take longer to build than the cheap ones. Essentially, you get what you pay for and Viper has a solid reputation. Another excellent quality table is the American Heritage Monarch Air-Hockey Table for about $1000. The overhead arch scoreboard is a nice touch and many owners comment that the 'table is well made' (over 250 pounds) and 'not too bad to put together'. The DMI Sports HT280 Extreme 7-Foot Air Hockey Table rounds out the mid-range tables on our list. Reviews are positive although we didn't like playing with the build-in blind that goes across the playing surface and really limits your vision. It's supposed to enhance the game but we found it annoying. Valley Dynamo tables are the high end tables you see in arcades and bars. Materials are top notch, scoring systems work seamlessly, and the playing surface is like 'glass'. You will pay handsomely for these tables as they start at about $3000.

Air Hockey Tips and Strategies:

Air hockey can be a fun game at all levels, but the most exciting games to watch are those between 2 players that understand the game and use for good offense and defensive techniques. First, hold the air hockey mallet, or paddle, behind the knob instead of at the top. This is a common mistake made by most beginners and will give you less control if not done properly. By holding the paddle behind the knob you will be more accurate and cover your half of the board much better. When you are playing defense, keep your mallet about a foot from your goal for the best protection. On offense, shoot for the corners, keep the puck away from the walls except for powerful one wall hits that come in at sharp angles and can confuse your opponent which sudden change of directions. For your own safety, keep your off hand (the one not on the paddle) away from the edge/lip of the table. I have seen countless beginners place their fingers over the edge of the table and get balance that way only to have a puck come smash into their fingers at 30 MPH and cause damage. The faster you hit the puck the less time your opponent has to react which should create plenty of scoring opportunities for you.