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28 Mar 2022

101 On Buying Air Hockey Tables: Guide and Tips

101 On Buying Air Hockey Tables: Guide and Tips

Air Hockey Table types

  • Arcade-Style Air Hockey Tables


The name of the arcade air hockey table says it all! They are similar to the ones we usually see in an arcade. However, you don’t need to insert money to play the game. These are the air hockey tables used by professionals as they are robustly made and can last longer than other air hockey tables. 


These types of tables usually have a length of 6-8 feet and can cost from $300 to thousands of dollars based on the quality and features it provides. The more expensive the arcade air hockey table is, the better features it has: more powerful motors, smoother playing surface, even sound or music effects.


  • Basic Air Hockey Tables


This is a simpler version of air hockey tables and has fewer features than the arcade air hockey table does. For instance, most basic air hockey tables don’t possess a digital air hockey table scoreboard


Accordingly, these tables are less expensive and are built for the ones who want to spend fun evenings with their friends or family members and not focus on professional play.


  • Tabletop Air Hockey Tables


Before buying an air hockey table, pay attention to the place you’re going to put it. You can choose tabletop air hockey tables if you don’t have enough space in your house for a full-size air hockey table. 


The tabletop air hockey tables provide a low-cost and portable option for those who don't have enough space. They're also perfect as party favors or gifts!


  • Multi-Game Air Hockey Tables


Multi-game air hockey tables are a good option if you want to play more than one type of game. These tables may include the popular foosball and table tennis, but they aren't designed specifically for those two sports alone--they also have space where other types could be played with relative ease!


  • Coin-op Air Hockey Tables


Coin-operated air hockey tables are the best choice for public spaces where you can sell game credits. Coin mechanisms allow these games to be adjusted or disabled, so they suit your needs perfectly, making it easy when converting them into contactless versions that require no coins at all! 


Coin-op air hockey tables are an easy way to expand your business by offering more services. You can start charging for game time with just one card swipe or sell tickets at higher profits using credit cards!


  • Indoor vs Outdoor Air Hockey Tables


Air hockey is a game that can be played both indoor and outdoor. Outdoor air hockey tables are the perfect way to stay cool during hot summer days. They can be used outside and will come with fully waterproofed electronics as well as a rust-proofed playing field made out of metal or another high-quality material that ensures long-lasting use! You can have your own table cover if you want it completely protected from rain but remember there are unique covers available.


An indoor air hockey table is a great way to have some indoor fun. This is a game that people of all ages can enjoy. The table is easy to set up, and it is also very portable. You can take this game with you wherever you go. There are indoor air hockey tables available in different price ranges. 


The best thing about an indoor air hockey table is that you can play it anytime, anywhere with anyone who has the same interest as you do! Indoor air hockey table comes with everything needed to play this game, including pucks and mallets. You just have to set up your favorite surface for playing, and you are good to go!

When it comes to indoor air hockey tables, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First of all, make sure that the area where you will set up the table is clear from any obstacles. You also need enough space for players to move around. 

Secondly, always place the indoor air hockey table on a hard, flat surface. You can put it directly on your floor, or you may use some sort of protection to prevent damage. Make sure that the indoor air hockey table is secured, so it does not move while being used. 

Finally, make sure that there are no obstructions in front of the goals before starting play.

Home vs Commercial Table - what’s the difference?

The home air hockey table is excellent for family fun or when you want to play with friends at your local bar. They're not as fast-paced and require more work on behalf of the player due to their size, but they have amazing sounds that make up for it! Homeowners can choose from shorter, six-foot models all the way up to seven-footers if they want plenty of space on their flooring area as well! 


Commercial air hockey table may be found in public places like bars where players battle it out using hardwood floors instead - these versions will often have abilities that increase speed and strength. Hence, each game goes quicker than average without sacrificing too much power when shooting pucks into goal openings at high speeds.


Commercial air hockey tables are built to arcade standard, which means they're tough and well-engineered. Their fans create plenty of uplifts so you can play with confidence, knowing that your game will be great no matter where it's played!


The air hockey table for home is lightweight, making it easier for people who want to move around the house. They often use a centrifugal fan similar in design to commercial versions, but not all models have this extra feature, and some only come with flat fans instead! 


The heavier weight can be attributed to their construction material - MDF rather than composite like some cheaper options on the market today. This means they won't break as easily if you happen to hit it hard while playing (although better safe!). Home layouts may also include an arched top frame over where scoring occurs; however, most don’t.

How Much Space Does Air Hockey Require?

The ideal room size for an air hockey table is at least 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. You should also consider how easy it will be to get the table into your home, as well as if there's enough space near each end. This will allow the players to stand comfortably while playing without bumping into anything or getting in one another’s a way (ideally about 1 meter). 

Unlike pool tables that require a lot of space, air hockey tables fit into smaller rooms as they are way shorter than other types of games. This means you can squeeze the table into smaller rooms if you have a problem with space.

What Table Sizes Are There?

A standard size air hockey table has 3 different specifications. According to the regulations, regulation air hockey table sizes are:



Air Hockey Table Size Chart





Mini Size Air Hockey Table 

24 inches 

(2 feet)

12 inches

32 inches

Mid Size Air Hockey Table 

48-72 inches

(4-6 feet)

30 inches

32 inches

Full Size Air Hockey Table 

84-96 inches

(7-8 feet)

50 inches

32 inches


  • Mini size


These are usually the tabletop air hockey tables. The tabletop air hockey tables are best suited for children and beginners. They're inexpensive, easily stored under your bed or in a closet when not playing. How? With just one simple fold!


  • Mid size


These are the 6’ air hockey tables designed for indoor use. They are perfect for clubs, pubs, and other spaces that don't get a lot of exposure. These can also be taken anywhere without worrying about weather conditions because they're made of durable materials that don't get affected by rain!


  • Full size


8 foot air hockey tables are the ones used by professionals, including the arcade air hockey table. They are perfect for air hockey tournaments and leagues and include all the features ( air hockey table scoreboard, super flat table surface, etc.) for a quality game.

What power supply is required?

All air hockey tables are electrically-operated, with powerful electric fans providing the air current. These tables are ready to be plugged in with a UK plug wired into them. However, it is important that you have a power source nearby the table's intended location.

Tables based on the skill levels of the players

When you're looking to buy an air hockey table, consider who the item is for. This will help you narrow down what features are important in a quality game room accessory! We'll break this section into three categories: those that could probably be broken down even further but let's take these three as a starting point now:


  • Beginner tables


Are you a beginner to the world of air hockey? If so, it's best for your first time not to invest too much in an expensive table.


The beginner's air hockey table isn’t expensive at all and will suit your needs just fine. However - as with any other hobby- an enthusiast might want something more professional to give their passion proper time and attention.


Cheaper models can break easily under pressure from players who have learned how much force is needed for each shot relatively quickly. So they don't last very long, but higher quality tables may seem like a big investment at first glance until one falls deeply invested into playing every day!


  • Intermediate tables


Air hockey tables come in all shapes and sizes, but if you're just looking to take your game up a notch without breaking the bank, then an intermediate table might be right for ya! They tend to have more features than their standard beginner counterparts. 


The intermediate product often offers higher build quality as well-meaning they can last longer even when being used daily by many people around town or at family gatherings alike; great news since those sales prices won't break any budgets either. If it isn't competitive play where size does matter or space is limited - this could very well suit what YOU need from air-hockey equipment today...


However, these products also lack some advanced capabilities found only on pro models.


  • Advanced tables


A full-size arcade quality air hockey table will be your best bet as they are well-built and durable. These tables are able to withstand wear from time without denting or scratching easily like some cheaper models on the market may do. 


They are, of course, more expensive than the beginner or intermediate tables but if you buy them once, they’ll serve you forever! You may need to repair your table from time to time, but there’ll be no need to buy a new one.

Playfield types

Besides paying attention to air hockey table size and room requirements, you should also consider the air hockey material. As the playfield is the game’s part, it should be made of the most durable material. Based on the air hockey types, the playfields differ too.


Air Hockey Type

Playfield Material

Home air hockey table 

Wood, plastic, with a low-friction vinyl covering

Commercial air hockey table

Metal (usually highly polished steel), high-quality polycarbonate, or methacrylate


As you can see, the playfields of both home and commercial air hockey tables differ. Home tables are mostly plastic or wood and have a vinyl covering. Tables with such construction are perfect for family fun, casual use with children and friends. 


Commercial air hockey table is made of more durable materials like polished steel. The latter is highly resistant to damage. 

Outdoor commercial tables are also crafted with high-quality methacrylate or polycarbonate. This gives the feeling of a metal playfield when you play on them. Besides that, the mentioned materials make the playfield transparent to provide a better style with lighting effects and printed graphics.

The main similarity between home and commercial air hockey tables is that most playfields are flat, although some companies started manufacturing air hockey tables with curved playfields. The latter allows the puck to slide back to the center of the playfield naturally. 


Rail types

An air hockey rail is the raised edge that runs along the sides of the air hockey table. The rails help guide the puck in play and protect players from flying pucks. 

There are 3 main types of air hockey rails:

  • Standard rail

  • Rollercoaster rail

  • Euro rail

The standard air hockey rail is the most common type. It is a straight rail with squared edges that helps to guide the puck into play. The air hockey rollercoaster rail is more complicated, as it has both an elbow and a flat section of rails on each side. Euro air hockey rails are curved upwards at one end, allowing players to lift pucks off the table quickly.

Which air hockey rail is best?

There is no one "best" air hockey rail - it all depends on your personal preference. Some people prefer the standard rail, as it is simple and easy to use. Others find the rollercoaster rail more exciting, as it adds an extra element of excitement to the game. The euro air hockey rail is a good choice if you want to make it harder for your opponents to score goals. Whichever air hockey rail you choose, make sure you are comfortable using it before playing a game.

Scorer Types: Manual Vs. Digital Scoring

 You should decide how you are going to keep score. Some air hockey tables come with a digital scoring tool that tracks every goal made from start-to-finish while others offer an abacus or whiteboard for manual options if ease of play is your highest priority!


Some people like keeping track on paper and use manual air hockey scorers. According to them, it is helpful as it allows them to create their own rules. Besides that, they can ignore accidental goals. 


However, the digital air hockey table scoreboard makes things easier as you won’t spend your time writing the score on paper. They automatically track your scores, so you don't need to worry about writing everything down yourself. Some digital air hockey scoring systems can also keep track of other game statistics like the fastest goal and save percentage for each player in the game. Won’t these statistics make the game even more exciting?!


Digital Scorer

Manual Scorer





Automatic scoring

Can be expensive

Quick and easy to use

Require little maintenance

Keeps track of other game statistics

Not all scoring systems have the same features

Do not require any power or batteries

Easy to lose

Time-saving and convenient


Can take them anywhere with you

Time-consuming and inconvenient


Large puck or Small puck?

There are two different types of pucks for air hockey tables: small and large. The size matters because it determines how hard you can hit the pucks without them flying off your table, but there’s another factor as well - whether or not you want a quiet game with only minimal noise versus one that will keep everyone on their toes (and speaking louder)! 


Smaller 2 ¾ inch-sized games rely solely on fans, while larger 3-inch ones have powerful motors which enable more force when shooting downfield past the opponent's defenses. If players use too much power in this case, though, then everything could go sailing away, so kids prefer smaller pucks.


If you're looking for a puck that's easy to use, consider what type of material it is made from. Pucks in arcades tend to be made of high-grade molded plastic, which can handle speed well enough when picked up by an eraser or arcade quality air hockey table; however, these same qualities make them heavier than other types.


If you’re playing at home, look out for “low noise" versions - these thin plastics will make them springier, so they're easier to play with, but without all those arcade loud noises we associate!


Which puck is good for air hockey? 

That depends on what you’re looking for in the game. If you want a quieter game with less noise, go for the smaller pucks. However, if you want more of a challenge and louder gameplay, then the larger pucks are perfect for you! Whichever type of puck you choose, make sure to have fun and enjoy your air hockey experience!

Mallets? Pushers? Paddles?

The air hockey mallet is the tool used to hit the air hockey puck. It is also known as a paddle. The air hockey paddle has a flat surface that is used to hit the air hockey puck. The paddle is made from plastic or metal and comes in different shapes and sizes. There are mainly two types of air hockey paddles - the standard paddle and the Euro paddle.

The standard air hockey paddle is rectangular and has a rounded edge. The Euro air hockey paddle is more curved and has a pointed end.

What air hockey mallet should you use?

It depends on your playing style. If you are new to air hockey, you will want to use a standard air hockey mallet. If you play air hockey more often and have some experience under your belt, try using an air hockey pusher that is slightly larger than the standard air hockey paddle.

It should be noted that an air hockey mallet usually wears out over time with consistent use. The air holes that you see on each side of the air hockey paddle (which keep air flowing through the table’s surface) begin to wear down as well after years of play. As a result, your air hockey table air flow weakens, and it is harder for air to pass through the paddle.

To prolong the air hockey table air flow and stop any air leakage, you should replace your mallets on a regular basis. If your air hockey table is used frequently, it’s best to change them once every six months or so, depending on how often they are used. 

You can find replacement air hockey goalie mallets almost anywhere air hockey supplies are sold. Just make sure you get the same size and type as your old ones to ensure a perfect fit!

What Maintenance Does an Air Hockey Table Require? 

 Your air hockey table is one of the most important pieces in your game room, so you want to make sure that it's performing at its best. 

Just like with your car, it's important to perform some basic maintenance on your air hockey table to keep it running smoothly. 

There are a number of reasons to clean your air hockey table, but here are just a few: 

  • The dirty surface of the table prevents the puck from sliding.

  • The dust and other particles clog the air holes and make the puck stop in the accumulated places.

  • Your table surface will have black marks instead of a glow.

  • If your table surface is dirty, the puck will bump, fly off or jump instead of sliding.

By following these tips, you'll be able to keep your table looking and playing great for years to come!

How to clean air hockey table?

Use an off-the-shelf surface cleaner and an air hockey table polish with a rag every few weeks or months, depending on how often people use their hands on top! Be very sparing when applying cleaner. 

Any extra will go into those pesky holes, which could cause them to be blockaded by dirt particles leading up to all sorts of issues like decreased airflow, causing greater friction than necessary. This reduces performance and makes for unpleasant playing conditions where plumes of dust are kicked up with every shot.

If your table is used outdoors, you'll need to clean it more often to protect it from the elements. In addition, make sure to apply a sealant or wax at least once a year to help keep the playing surface in good condition. If your table starts showing signs of wear and tear, you can purchase replacement parts from the manufacturer or an online retailer.

Always make sure that your table is completely dry before folding it up and putting it away - if any moisture gets trapped inside, it could lead to mold or mildew formation.

And lastly, never use abrasive cleaners or solvents on your air hockey table - they could damage the playing surface and affect the way the puck moves.

How to make air hockey table slide better?


Applying air hockey table polish will make it slide better. You may apply furniture polish for wooden tables by spraying on a cloth first. Then wipe over the surface of that particular area where there are small imperfections to remove any accumulated dirt or dust bunnies from their hiding places! The results will be an almost-flawless shine with a smooth puck sliding. 


Don't forget about applying some air hockey table polish onto the legs/sides made of wood to give it the gorgeous shine! However, you shouldn’t polish the legs if they aren’t made of wood.

How do you clean air hockey mallets? 


Regular cleaning of air-hockey paddles or mallets will help keep them in good condition. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth and then dry thoroughly. 


If not, you can put some water on the air hockey paddle and let it sit overnight to ensure that all residue is gone before you use your air hockey table.

Can I Assemble It Myself?

Yes, you can assemble an air hockey table yourself. It usually takes one person about an hour to assemble an air hockey table. The most important part of the process is making sure that all the pieces are correctly aligned, so take your time and be careful!


Please note that your air hockey table weight matters, too. While most air hockey tables weigh around 100 pounds, some can weigh as much as 200 pounds. 


Make sure you know the air hockey table weight you're buying before you bring it home, so you can be sure it will fit into the space you have available! The heavier the air hockey table is, the more difficult it will be to assemble the table.

Air Hockey Glossary

Before you start playing air hockey, you should be familiar with the basic elements of the game. Have a look at the picture below to get the main understanding of how air hockey is built:


Other commonly used words include:


Air Hockey 




The game accessory used to hit the puck for shots. It is also called a paddle, pusher, goalie, or striker.


The disc-like object players strike with the help of the mallet in order to score a goal.


The fake shot performed by the attacker before the actual shot.


The elevated part of the mallet.


A foul when the player puts the mallet on the top of the puck.


Either possessing or losing the puck; the changing of players' role from offender to the defender, and vice versa.


The fast striking motion towards the puck to force it into the opponent's goal.


When the defender uses the mallet to block the shot.

Straight Shots

When the player shoots the puck across the centerline directly into the defensive player’s goal without any banking.

Over the mallet shots 

When the player hits the side rail, then crosses over the top of the defender's mallet before entering the goal. Over the mallet, shots can be LWO (left-wall over) and RWO (right-wall over).

Under the mallet

When the player hits the side rail then crosses behind the defender's mallet before entering the goal. Under the mallet, shots can be LWU (left-wall under) and RWU (right-wall under).


Having control over the puck.

Bank shot 

Shooting the puck so that it bounces off the rail wall, then goes in the goal.


The act of setting the puck in play with hands at the beginning of the round or after each goal.


A foul occurs because one of the players placed a hand, finger, or any other non-mallet object on the top of the puck.


Or defender; The player that doesn’t control the puck.


Or attacker; The player that is currently possessing the puck.


The sidewalls of the air hockey table that help to keep the puck in play.


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About the Author

Margarita Chichyan

Our very own content manager/table games enthusiast is happy and ready to share her knowledge and love towards games and teach you a thing or two.

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