They also have a real nostalgic quality to them that can’t help bring a smile to your face.
However, did you know that there are several different types of tables with each type serving a different purpose? If you didn’t, you do now, and you need to know that it is paramount in ensuring that you make the right choice without regretting your purchase.
That is why we have written a buyers guide so you have all the information you need at your fingertips to make the right choice. We have also selected the six best air hockey tables on the market, so you don’t have to spend hours researching this information yourself. We made sure to cover options that are suitable for all price ranges and all ages while also being well-constructed so they won’t break down the line.
- 1 Air Hockey Table Comparison Table
- 2 Air Hockey Table Reviews
- 3 Air Hockey Table Buyers Guide
Air Hockey Table Comparison Table
Air Hockey Table Reviews
American Heritage Monarch
This air hockey table from American Heritage is the best on the market at its price point. Not only does it look beautiful with its cherry finish, making it fit in with most decor, but it also performs very, very well – similar to the tables you find in arcades.
The table measures 7 feet in length and features a powerful blower that ensures maximum lift is provided, avoiding “dead-zones” that are common with cheaper tables. It’s good to see that the playing surface is quite deep, as this keeps the pucks on the table, even when playing with some intensity.
The electronic features include everything players could want from a table. These include an overhead arch that displays the scores electronically, and cheering sounds when a player scores. Manual scorers are also included.
The table is also very, very well-constructed, making it highly durable and guaranteed to operate like new for many years without any sign of wear.
4 strikers and 4 pucks are included, all of which are arcade quality. You should note that if adults or older children will be playing then this is the table for them.
The Hathaway Face-Off is a good option if you’re looking for a great, inexpensive table that is suitable for kids up to 13 years old.
The table which measures 5 feet is well-constructed, particularly for the price it retails at, and is also quite easy to assemble. At times you can expect the puck to deflect off the table after a very hard hit, but this is common with any table that isn’t arcade quality.
It’s good to see that the table comes with an electronic scoreboard, even if sometimes it doesn’t register that someone has scored correctly. The automatic puck return system is another nice touch that separates this model from other similarly priced models.
The table’s blower is reasonably powerful and keeps dead-zones to a minimum, which is always an important aspect of any model.
Two strikes and two 2.5” pucks are included.
If you’re looking to spend a little less than what the American Heritage Monarch retails for, yet are still looking for a very high quality table that is suitable for all ages, there is no better choice than this model from Viper.
The bells and whistles that come with this table are one of the main things that set it apart from others.
The Viper Vancouver displays scores on the right side of the center rink and it is also multidirectional, which is beneficial because players on both sides can see the scores easily. The game time is also displayed that countdowns the time as determined by you. Cheering sounds can also be heard when a player scores.
There are also puck returns built into the table on both sides, located right underneath each player’s goal for easy access and to keep the game moving quickly.
The blower on this table is fantastic, standing at an air flow rate of 100 cubic feet per minute to ensure a smooth, yet even and fast paced gameplay. 4 deflection walls can be found all around the table to minimize pucks bouncing off too.
It’s fair to say that assembly is a little tricky, but once it’s up it isn’t coming down. Materials are of high quality and are guaranteed to avoid wear.
4 pucks and strikers are included.
Sport Squad HX40
Tabletop air hockey tables should usually be avoided at all costs because they are often nothing more than a waste of money. The Sport Squad HX40, however, is the exception. This model suffers from a couple of problems, common with all tabletop models, but to a much lesser extent.
It should go without saying, but the HX40 is likely only good for young kids due to just how small it is. There’s also the size of the strikers to take into account too, which are only suitable for small hands. The goals are also quite large in relation to the table, which is a good feature for kids because it ensures that they won’t get frustrated and bored from an inability to score.
As you may expect, the only electronic function of this model is its blower – scores must be adjusted manually by the sides of each goal. The blower, however, is pretty good, ensuring that the pucks slide along the surface evenly and at a good pace. Keep in mind that there is no power switch, so the table has to be pulled from the plug if you want to stop airflow.
Considering that this is tabletop model the pucks fly off the table quite often, although this depends on just how hard the puck is hit – probably not too hard if young kids are playing.
Two pucks and two strikers are included, and assembly is very simple.
Playcraft – Center Ice
The final of the best air hockey tables we recommend for older kids and adults comes from Playcraft. It is less expensive than the other two models mentioned for this purpose, but is does more or less everything right.
The blower is able to deliver 223 cfm, which is impressive for a table at its price point. This ensures that the puck glides effortlessly across the surface at a fast pace. The playing surface is 3/4 inch deep and also has the benefit of being deep enough to keep pucks flying off the table.
Assembly is relatively straightforward, taking approximately an hour to get everything up and running, and once assembled the table is also very sturdy.
The electronic scoring display is a little on the small side, but it should be large enough for most people to read with a quick glance.
2 strikers and 2 pucks are included.
Harvil Air Hockey Table
This table from Harvil is the only 4 foot model we would recommend. It is a great choice if you are on a tight budget and want something that is suitable for both younger and older kids.
The fact that it can also be used on a tabletop, although this isn’t its intended purposes, is also a real plus. The table only weighs about 35 pounds, so it is relatively easy to move around too. The only real downside to this model is that the electronic scoreboard doesn’t always register goals accurately.
The electric blower is reasonably powerful and distributes airflow evenly without any apparent dead zones coming to play, which is arguably the most important aspect of any table.
The playing surface isn’t too deep so pucks will fly off the table more frequently than some of the more expensive models, but not so often to be annoying.
Two strikers and two pucks are included.
Air Hockey Table Buyers Guide
What is an Air Hockey Table?
Air hockey is a game that is played on a table like surface and is based on a concept whereby cool air is blown out of small vents, so players are able to hit a puck that glides on a flat surface into a goal. The aim of the game is to hit the puck into the opposition’s goal when attacking, and to stop the other player from scoring when not attacking by blocking the goal. This is achieved via the use of strikers.
Why Buy an Air Hockey Table?
If you’ve ever stepped foot in an arcade then you have likely played air hockey before and like many have fell in the love with the simplicity yet endless entertainment the game offers. It is a game that is suitable for both kids and adults, making air hockey tables a popular sight in homes, arcades, bars and clubs all across the country.
It also has the benefit of being very easy to play with no learning curve, so someone who has never played before can score a few points and may even challenge more experienced players after a couple of games.
Due to the frantic nature of the game it is also quite fun and exciting to be sitting on the sidelines watching others play.
Different Types of Air Hockey Tables
There are several different types of tables and becoming aware of what is out there will ensure that you will make the right choice. For example, some tables are better suited for young kids and may even be too small for older kids to play on, whereas others are designed for adults so purchasing the wrong type for adult settings like a bar would mean wasted money.
Arcade style models are undoubtedly the most expensive option on the market, but they are also the best air hockey tables too. They are very well constructed to ensure that they can handle the hundreds of games that may be played on them throughout the course of a day in an arcade. This also means that they can easily hold up for a very, very long time in less popular environments like your home.
Besides being very well constructed they also have the benefit of measuring 7-8 feet in length which is regulation size. The tables feature powerful motors to ensure that they don’t suffer from a problem that less expensive models suffer from – the puck not moving across the surface without someone having to hit it with their striker – i.e. dead-zones.
Other benefits include well-designed rink walls to avoid the puck deflecting off the table and potentially injuring others, electronic scoring, flashing lights, and even music.
Tabletop models are a good choice if you are low on space, have a tight budget, or are looking for a table suitable for young kids, particularly as they have the benefit of being able to be used at any height.
As you may have guessed, tabletop models are placed on surfaces like coffee tables or kitchen tables, which also means that they are highly portable and can be stored away easily when not in use. Most models are terrible, but there are a couple of good ones out there.
Standard tables are most commonly found on the market because they offer a good alternative to arcade style tables that may be too expensive for most to consider. They really are similar to arcade tables, but the main differences include a smaller playing surface, not as well-constructed, and fewer bells and whistles like music and flashing lights.
Multi-game tables offer a great deal of versatility. They are designed in a specific way so games like table tennis, foosball, bowling, and even a few board games, in addition to air hockey can be played on them. This is achieved via the use of interchangeable tops. If you’re looking for versatility at a budget without having to purchase each game separately, this is definitely the type of table for you.
Factors to Consider
Now that you’re better informed about air hockey tables you are close to being able to make the right choice, but there are a few other aspects to consider to be actually sure in your purchase.
They range in size from just a couple of feet all the way up to the eight feet. A couple of important considerations include just how much space you have to dedicate towards a table and who will be playing on the table. For example, if just young kids will be playing there is no need to purchase an arcade style model because they probably won’t be able to reach the table, and vice versa for adults.
It’s a good idea to set a budget, but you may have no choice to increase that budget under certain circumstances.
If you’re just looking for one of best air hockey tables for your kids then you’re in luck, as you can usually purchase a well-designed table for $100 or so. If you need an arcade style table then you better rethink your original budget because you won’t be able to purchase even a half-decent model for at several hundred dollars.
Of course, other factors can also change the price, such as the construction quality of the table and whether it comes with bells and whistles like electronic scoring, music, and flashing lights.
As already mentioned, there are a few different types of tables to choose from. Only you will know which type is suitable for your purposes, so ask yourself who is going to play on the table, how important is durability to you, how much is your budget, and how much versatility do you need?