If the blow and rustle of air hockey (also called glide hockey) brought you here, no one is blaming you. Most people get hooked (and by most, we mean ALL dudes we know) as soon as they get a hold of the paddles, start pounding on the puck, and bask in the grandeur of victory, and that’s why you need one at home!
Before thinking of bringing the fight and friendly trash talks in the comfort of your living room, we would advise you to hold your horses on a sec and consider some important things first.
Choosing at a wide array of air hockey tables can be a little daunting but it will save you a lot of headaches later. After all, we really don’t want to decide hastily on the best air hockey table because of one or two good-looking online images and then hate it as soon as it arrives, don’t we?
Top 4 Air Hockey Tables For 2018
Like many products, selecting the best air hockey table is totally subjective. Are you a newbie, skilled, competitive, or a pro? Is it for the little kids or the hormonally-charged teenagers? Pro air hockey tables are larger than the ones manufactured for homes, so the size can also be an issue.
Without further ado, we are going to make your work a little bit easier by compiling the best air hockey tables on the market, which one is best to use at home and other specifics on how and what to look for in the hunt for the best air hockey table out there.
|Name||Style and Type||Size (WxHxD in inches)|
|Playcraft Sport PSAH4001||Tabletop||40x8x20|
|Sport Squad HX40||Tabletop||40x5x20|
|Carmelli NG1009H||Full Table, Arcade Style||64x7x34|
|Playcraft AHCI07BK||Full Table||84x32x48|
Now that we have listed the best air hockey tables in the table above, we’ll dive deeper into each and every one of them.
Playcraft Sport PSAH4001 – Most Ideal For The Kids
Unless your kids (or grandkids if you’re much older) is some sort of an ice/air hockey prodigy, there is no point in buying them a full-sized table now, isn’t there?
The Playcraft Sport is the perfect air hockey table for the kids built with a durable MDF hardwood frame that could rest on any table just fine.
Of course, while we say it is best for younger air hockey players, that doesn’t mean you have to sit this one out. Adults who have limited space at home will find this 40-inch tabletop a blessing. You can set it up in a flash and take it out of sight just as fast.
It comes with two paddles (or strikers), two pucks, and a 110V air power motor. At such a low price you can do a lot worse for a cheap air hockey table.
What We Liked
- User and kid-friendly
- Has that arcade “feel”
What We Didn’t Like
- Could be a little too small for adults
- There are sturdier materials than the MDF hardwood, that’s for sure.
- Too much on the lighter side (19 pounds)
Sport Squad HX40 – The most Budget-Friendly Product
More to the kid-friendly air hockey tabletops, the Sport Squad HX40 is probably the cheapest and most popular among them. The design is obviously catered for the kids, with easy set-up features and convenient storage after use.
It comes with two pucks, two pushers, and manual scorers, which I’m sure you won’t mind because it will only add to the kids’ counting proficiency.
It is electric-powered to ensure continuous airflow and of course, uninterrupted fun!
What’s not to like?
What We Liked
- Very affordable
- Surprisingly sturdy
- Sure hit with the kids
What We Didn’t Like
- The fan’s power could be a bit problematic
- Too small for adults
- Fan is a little noisy, makes a whirring sound
Carmelli NG1009H – Best Air Hockey Table for Adults
We can’t just let the kids have all the fun, can we? The Carmelli NG1009H not only brings the arcade “feel”, it also exudes arcade style quality in the comfort of your own home.
The legs are thick and sturdy, and the legit MDF construction creates a level playing field for more serious players as it prevents the usual twists and shimmies of a cheap air hockey table.
Aside from the excellent graphics, the digital scoreboard is a joy to behold and makes it easy for everyone to monitor who’s ahead of the match.
What We Liked
- 1/8 CARB Certified MDF material
- 110V UL Approved fan
- Automatic puck return system
What We Didn’t Like
- Puck tends to get stuck in the corners
- Goal is too small
- Quite heavy at 150 pounds
Playcraft AHCI07BK – The Golden Choice
The Playcraft AHCI07BK is the go-to choice for people who want an arcade experience without having to pay for an arcade price tag. Sounds like a great deal, right?
This high-quality product comes with a sleek design, a digital scoreboard at the side that actually works, and well-built pedestal-style legs that adjust according to your own preferences.
This thing also has timers – 5, 10, and 15 minutes– if you feel like throwing a changeup to make things more interesting.
The one possible negative thing about this product is that it makes you enjoy air hockey so much you might lose track of time and disturb the neighbors next door.
Other than that, it has everything you want from a nearly full-size air hockey table. It’s a little bit on the expensive side for a recreational table but everything is so well-made that at the end of the day, you won’t really mind
What We Liked
- Arcade style and feel
- Automated scoring and easy set-up
- Powerful airflow allows for a smooth game experience
What We Didn’t Like
- At 160 pounds, you won’t be moving this thing around by yourself anytime soon
- Puck has a tendency to fly off the table (Can be easily be solved by buying the heavier ones)
- A little pricey but not with an arcade price tag
Best Air Hockey Tables – Buyer’s Guide
Game rooms are bare when it doesn’t have air hockey tables or other arcade games machines. If you happen to have a game room, then having an excellent air hockey table is an absolute must. And while we’re primarily talking about game rooms at home, it is also perfect for a company arcade or bar where you want to feed the guests as much enjoyment as possible.
Obviously, you don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch friends, family, and guests try to destroy each other in air hockey. Trying to sharpen air hockey skills can both be fun and tiring, but it’s certainly worthy of your recreation time.
There are different kinds of air hockey tables sold on the market such as basic design tables, tabletops, multi-game tables, and the arcaded-style air hockey tables.
Another important thing to consider when buying an appropriate air table is the skill level of the users. Is it simply for fun and a way to develop basic air hockey skills? Or are you looking to be more adept and competitive at the game? Remember, tables are designed and priced with a certain type of player in mind.
What Is Air Hockey Table And How Does It Work?
Air hockey tables have been around since the 1970’s and it’s a fun, exciting way of recreation that basically knows no age. So how does air hockey tables work?
An air hockey table latter uses a power system that blows air through the holes on the table. Air hockey tables simulate the smooth ice surface of hockey better than a football table (foosball) does. This greatly reduces friction and allows the puck to glide and travel at such blinding speed.
The key to generating this levitating effect is the smooth surface of the table and the air that blows evenly below. That is the reason why you can hit the puck as hard as you can from across the board and it won’t get stuck – the puck will still continue moving even if you’re trying to stop it.
Overall, the construction and design of air hockey tables make for an interesting gameplay and makes it one of the fastest-growing arcade game in existence relative to its recent invention just four decades ago.
Types Of Air Hockey Tables
There are more than just one type of air hockey tables. We’ll now describe them for you.
Basic Design Air Hockey Table
Often less expensive than their counterparts, a basic style air hockey table comes with fewer features like bells and whistles. Don’t expect to be motivated by the flashing lights, or electronic scoreboards, or music.
An air hockey table with basic designs may be more suitable for kids or less avid teenagers, but the more ardent players may stay away from this one.
Tabletop Air Hockey Table
Constructed for people with lesser home space, air hockey tabletops is a sort of a plug and play “device” that you simply put on top of the table and store it out of sight when not in use. You can use these tabletops on floor surfaces, kitchen tables, and game room tables or whatever table is available for the moment.
Tabletops are mostly the cheaper kinds of hockey tables and are designed primarily for kids who are not tall enough to use a standard table. Same fun, same excitement but with the convenience and adaptability of table mounting.
For avid fans of ALL arcade games, multi-game tables are perfect for you. It is a foosball table, shuffleboard table, table tennis, bowling alley all rolled into one with some models even allowing board games such as chess and checkers to be played on. The name of the game here is diversity and that’s exactly what you get with the multi-game tables.
Arcade Style Air Hockey Tables
This bad boy is the real deal and it comes at a price–literally! They are often durably constructed, accentuated with powerful air motors, flashy electronic scoring, music, and other effects.
At a regulation size of eight feet, you’ll know it’s not intended for the Average Joes to handle in terms of price and skill level. For people with advanced skill and those who want to squeeze years out of the products they’ll buy, you might want to take a long look at an arcade style air hockey table.
How Skill Level Should Affect Your Choice
We can’t reiterate this enough but various tables are designed for players of specific skill type. Before buying, be sure to be modest (and honest) about your skill level, what your goals are as an air hockey player, and make the purchase accordingly.
Beginners or children
For this demographic, there’s no point in buying an expensive table. Anything below $100 bucks (or even way less) should suffice for kids and adults that want to develop basic air hockey skills. Naturally, these tables are not designed for long-term use but some products will stay standing long enough just in time for your skills to advance to the next level.
If you are a more experienced air hockey player, the thing you should look at is size. It should be larger than the first one and noticeably sturdier in build. If it feels comfortable enough, even a 7-foot table will do, although 4 to 6-foot tables is adequate enough.
Suppose you find your calling in air hockey and you decide to advance your skills further, be prepared to shed extra money for something larger and durable. That also means you have to up your level of competition while squeezing in enough practice sessions with a view to staying competitive.
Which also means, you have to have yourself a full-sized table for advanced players to do that. What you have to know is you will have to pay for this kind of a table.
Arcade style tables are excellent but if you have your mind set on pro air hockey leagues, the full-sized professional variety will be pricier than their arcade style cousins.
Whatever you choose, this investment will prove worth every penny down the road because it will last for a decent number of years. You won’t be looking to replace this air hockey table for a while.
What Common Problems Will I Encounter In Purchasing An Air Hockey Table?
When buying your air hockey table, you might encounter some problems as with most other consumer products. We’ll now dig deeper into the most common occurring problems when buying a new air hockey table.
Air hockey fan problems
Probably the most common problem you will encounter with regards to an air hockey table is an easily broken fan or blowers. The fan is understandably susceptible to damage because it is the most used mechanical part of the air hockey table. Dust and dirt, for instance, tends to accumulate in the fan resulting in higher friction and slower game speed.
The wires also have a tendency to sever over time or to other factors. Be sure to clean the fan blades once in awhile and ascertain that there are nothing obstructive in there.
Cleaning the fan regularly will prevent dirt and dust to clog the table holes which can become a pain in the ass. If you have been careless enough to let this terrible thing to happen, you can use a clean rag, a vacuum cleaner, or a pressurized air can to spruce the holes up.
Refrain, if possible, in using needles to poke the holes in an effort to clean them because it will result in bigger and uneven hole sizes. That’s basically the worst air hockey nightmare for it will make the air blow unsteadily across the table.
It should also be remembered that over time, the motor will wear out and you will eventually need a replacement. That’s alright because opting for a motor replacement is more economical than buying a whole new table altogether.
Getting worn down happens to the best of us and that includes our little, round gliding friend– the puck. The puck may lose its ability to float over time. In all fairness, anything who gets pounded that much would worn out, and the puck isn’t made out of Kryptonite.
Sadly, though, the puck is one of the things you can’t repair when playing air hockey and the best that you can do– and this is just a suggestion– is to collect the old pucks, frame and hang them in the game room (or wherever the air hockey table is located), just like the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
The good news is you can buy it online or at a local shop and everything should be back to normal in no time.
Scoreboards are either connected to the power supply of an air hockey table or are battery-powered depending on the model. Whichever applies to your case, it will be best to check the wiring to see if anything has become loose or make sure the batteries are still working.
If the issue is on the actual scoring, simply align the infrared sensors to make it function correctly. In most cases, that should do the trick.
Finding the perfect table for you and your needs is a process and a potentially arduous one at that. This guide, hopefully, will steer you in the right direction and help you make choose the right one.
The specific products described above, while not exhaustive, represent the most popular air hockey table brands in the market.
Whether you are low on budget or needing something for the kids and adults, our final pick may be the right one for you. The Carmelli NG1009H has everything you need for a basic table but also has electronic scoring and a decent size, giving you that arcade feel right at your home.
The kids will definitely enjoy this air hockey table but if you are planning to advance your skills, the Carmelli NG1009H will allow you to do so as well.