You will often find air hockey tables in arcades and cinemas, but what if I told you that you could have an air hockey game in your home?
You may think that I am crazy or am talking about those small tables which sit atop a surface, and in both cases, you could be right, but you can have a full-size table in your home if you want it.
Air hockey is still an expensive luxury, but they are becoming more affordable all the time. If you love playing air hockey, and a table is your dream, then we say you should go for it.
Go for it, but only after checking out our buying guide. We will tell you everything you need to know about air hockey tables and what to look for in them. With our information, you can make an informed choice when it comes time for your purchase. Let’s jump in.
Buying Advice for Air Hockey Tables
Let’s Look at the Available Sizes
This is a very important aspect of your choice. If you do not have the room for a full-size table, then you are not going to be able to buy one. Your budget will also determine the size of your purchase.
A full-size option is eight-feet long. Do you have the space to house that size? Even with players moving around it? If you do, then do you have the money to buy a full-size one?
If you answered yes to all those questions, then you know what to go for. If you answered no to some, then you may have to compromise and get a smaller option.
The fan is very important when choosing your table. If you do not have enough air being pumped through the game surface, then the puck is not going to float properly and smoothly across the surface.
A good motor will give you enough air to ensure that the motion is smooth. If you can try the game before you buy it, you can check that the motor has enough power.
A good motor is going to cost you more money. A bigger option is going to cost you more money. Better materials and construction is going to cost you more money. But, these can all be worth it.
Decide on your budget before you buy. You should not go into this thinking that you are going to settle for the cheapest option you can find. The table may look good, but a cheap table will not last.
Spending a little more will save you money in the long run. If something goes wrong with an air hockey game parts, it can be expensive to fix. You should also try to find a one which comes with a warranty. This may cost you a little more, but it will be worth it.
Other Important Features Reviewed
Is the Construction Important?
You need a high-quality table if you are going to have great games of air hockey. There is no point getting one with sub-par materials, as it is going to wear down and break easily. You should also look at the construction. Has it been put together well? Is the surface flat and constructed well? Will it come apart easily? Do the legs have self-levelers? If the floor which your game is sitting on is not flat, then you are going to have to level the table yourself. There should be levelers at each corner. You can turn them to lower or heighten a corner.
You can keep score by yourself (as long as no one is cheating). You can also keep time yourself (as long as you have a stopwatch). This is all fine and well, but having a scoreboard makes life a lot easier and the game more fun. The scoreboard will keep track of your game for you, but a scoreboard will cost you a little more money. This is one of those optional extras which are not essential to the table or the game, but if you can afford to add it, it is a great addition to your table and one which your friends and family will love.
The walls of your table are often overlooked when it comes to shopping. The walls are integral to keeping the game going. The puck should bounce off the walls and keep the game moving at a fast pace. Nylon walls are fine, and you will often find them on the cheaper ones. The more expensive ones will have aluminum, which is what we would recommend getting.
New vs. Used
We would always recommend getting a new table. Even though they are more expensive, you know that they work, the parts are new, and often you get a warranty. You know exactly what you are getting with a new product. A used one is often a lot cheaper, but there are a lot of unknowns.
With a used product, you never know the history of it. It might have been used for years without ever replacing a part. The motor may be worn down, and you would not know. If you have to make repairs, then the cheap table could turn into a very costly one.
If you are buying a used one, try to find someone who has some reviews or feedback to better inform your choice. If you know someone who knows something about motors, then take them along with you. Do your homework and equip yourself with all the knowledge you can.
Buying anything with a motor inside can seem daunting, but buying an air hockey table need not be. With a little bit of homework, you will know what to look for and what you are looking for. Start with your budget and work from there.
We would recommend a new table if you have the money, but a used table can be a cheap option and a quality one too. It is never a bad idea to spend a little more to get the quality you deserve. Fun is only a few dollars away. If you are in the market to purchase other games, I would recommend visiting our comparison of ping pong tables.