Butterfly 401 Shakehand Review

The Butterfly 401-Shakehand is a shakehand style paddle for beginner/intermediate players. It features a 2.1 millimeter sponge which is quite thick for any paddle. The thickness helps to create extra power while the extreme tackiness (stickiness) helps to generate great spin.

While this paddle is loved for its tackiness and ability to generate some real spin, I don’t believe this paddle was designed for the right players in mind. The 2.1 millimeter sponge, while positively affecting the power and spin, negatively affects the control.

Expert and professional table tennis players recommend purchasing a paddle with a sponge density of 1.5-1.8 until the player is confident with their skill and has thoroughly developed nice control. At only $39.99, the price suggests an intermediate/beginner level paddle while the paddle’s attributes signify a player that has already developed a keen ability to control the variety of shots available in table tennis.

Specifications:

  • Made by Butterfly and extremely tacky rubber on both sides offers high spin
  • Soft 2.1 millimeter sponge layer provides springy feel and has inverted surface
  • Includes racket cover
  • Butterfly Yuki Rubber on both sides
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Advantages:

  • Tacky surface, strong spin.
  • 2.1 millimeter sponge, powerful shots
  • Comes with racket cover
  • Great value purchase
  • Crafted by Butterfly, a leading table tennis manufacturer

Disadvantages

  • Tacky (stick) surface attracts dust quickly. (use the cover included)
  • Loses spin unless cleaned
  • While it’s advertised as having good control, I disagree.
  • Not ITTF approved
  • Attracts sweat, will smell at first
  • Slightly shorter handle

I would purchase this racket if you are a beginner or intermediate player focused on buying a paddle with strong spin and power. While I wouldn’t recommend this paddle for most beginners, its tackiness and the ability to generate spin and power make it a fun paddle to play with friends. The tackiness may wear down quickly, but it comes with a cover, so use it. Overall, for only $39.99 for the paddle and the racket cover, it’s a quality purchase if you are looking to have some fun.

I would not recommend this racket if you are a serious intermediate or experienced table tennis player. It’s not ITTF approved so you can’t play in tournaments with this racket, and the quality overall will not suit an experienced player. The tackiness and its ability to generate spin are welcomed, but its stickiness is rumored to dissipate quickly unless properly cared for. If you are looking for a quality table tennis racket and don’t mind paying a little extra, there a paddles better suited for your needs in the higher price bracket.

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