Our Top Pick for 2018: Playcraft Center Ice 7′ Air Hockey Table
Read our full review.
Air hockey started out as a game that was designed by an ice hockey enthusiast who wanted to have a similar style game to play with friends and colleges. Today, air hockey is a favorite pastime that can be found in arcades and game rooms across the nation, but what about when you want to play this enjoyable game at home? There are a plethora of different types of air hockey boards that you can invest in, but you will want to find one that is perfect for your gaming area. We have included a list of considerations to make before purchasing a new air hockey table as well as a few picks that you can enjoy hours of action gaming on.
Quick View of Our Top 4 Best Air Hockey Table:
|Playcraft - Center Ice 7' Air Hockey Table||41 Reviews||$455.84||Buy on Amazon|
|Hathaway Phantom 7.5-Foot Air Hockey Game Table for Kids and Adults, with Electronic Scoring, Dual...||15 Reviews||$601.46||Buy on Amazon|
|Viper Vancouver 7.5-Foot Air Hockey Game Table||34 Reviews||$799.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Hathaway Face-Off 5-Foot Air Hockey Game Table for Family Game Rooms with Electronic Scoring, Free...||122 Reviews||$82.48||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Playcraft Center Ice 7′ Air Hockey Table
Our gold pick is the Playcraft air hockey table, which is a seven foot table that is perfect for most home gaming spaces. It has dimensions that are 84 inches in length, 48 inches in width, and 32 inches high, and the entire table weighs about 160 pounds, so don’t expect to move it by yourself too much. The playing surface is designed from ¾ inch thick high gloss PVC laminate, which will give you a smooth playing surface for years. It has a sleek design that is mostly white with black details that really stand out.
The playing area has wide puck rails on all four sides of the machine, which is a great way to always have the puck in play and make extra stylish shots if you feel the need. This unit has an extremely strong blower that uses 120 volts of high output to allow the pucks to glide across the surface. If you notice that the table seems to be unlevel, then make use of the six inch adjustable pedestal style legs to make it more stable.
To turn on the air and the electronic scoreboard, you will need four AA batteries at the ready. You can set the game to last 15 minutes, 10 minutes, five minutes, or you can have a freestyle game that goes until someone reaches a score of nine. This can take a long time, so that is why you can choose a set time for your game settings. The scoreboard is located on the side of the table, and it even includes sound effects that let you know that you scored by yelling “score”, just in case you were not paying attention. One nice feature of this air hockey table is the fact that you can hide the scoreboard when you are not using it, so it cannot be easily broken when company comes to visit.
This Playcraft air hockey table comes with two red strikers and two pucks, so once you assemble the legs to the table, you will be ready to play. When it comes to reviews, there are only seven posted on Amazon, but they all were given either four or five star level reviews. Similar sites have similar results; not many reviews, but all of them are positive. Many of the consumers who purchased this table express how durable the construction is and how simple it was to put together. The one complaint is that the included pucks tend to fly off of the table, but many have solved this issue by purchasing slightly larger pucks.
Here is an example of one such review: “The table is sturdy, and both teenagers and their friends have played on it constantly since it was delivered. We did buy the 3.25 inch disks because the smaller ones were flying off the table with rapid play. The larger disks worked well. So far, I would buy this table again.”
#2. Hathaway Phantom Air Hockey Table
The Hathaway Phantom air hockey table is our silver pick, which is a little more arcade styled than our gold pick. The base of the device is blue and the corners and the edges are accented in chrome. The playing surface is white with black and blue details that remind you of an ice hockey arena. The unit is slightly longer than our gold pick, but that means that you will be able to pull off more intricate shots. It measures about 89 inches long, 48 inches wide, and 32 inches high; in addition, it weighs about 225 pounds, so it is a good bit heavier than our first pick.
The playing surface is coated in a high gloss that allows the pucks to glide smoothly across the field. It is also designed to be scratch resistant, which is great for a table that is used frequently. When a goal is made, the puck is sent to one of the puck return locations, which are one each end of the machine. This air hockey table features a dual air blower setup to give a more even air flow. Each blower has 110 volts of power that keep the puck floating. The three inch legs, which are designed with an arched pedestal style, are adjustable. This is a great feature that can make stabilizing the table in an uneven room a much simpler process.
The scoreboard has a LED display and it is located on the side of the machine. It features a built-in timer that allows you to choose how long your game is. It requires two AAA batteries to activate, but it is a convenient way to keep score while you play. It comes with two red mallets and four pucks so that you are ready to play upon assembly. This air hockey table also comes with a limited 90 day warranty from the manufacturer.
When it comes to the reviews of this Phantom air hockey table, it only has a few reviews, but about half of them have a positive rating. Many of the other reviews are neutral. Here is one example of a five star review from a consumer who loved the durability and the easy set up of the unit: “Had the table over a month. Scoring is accurate. It arrived as expected. Easy assembly and plays like an arcade table. Kids and I love it!! But it’s only been a month so I say so far so good!!”
#3. Viper Vancouver 7.5-Foot Air Hockey Game Table
Our bronze pick, which is the Viper Vancouver, is a seven and a half foot long air hockey table that is easily comparable to our silver pick. It shares similar dimensions, coming in at 89.5 inches long, 50 inches wide, and 32 inches high. It is a bit lighter than our silver pick, but not as light as our gold pick; in fact, it still weighs about 200 pounds, so expect to need help lifting the table. The base of the table is black with silver details and the top of the playing field is white with red lines and features.
This air hockey table has a deep inner rail that is designed to keep the puck from leaving the playing field. It will also give you a great surface for banking shots and making the game more interesting to play. Each side of the machine has a puck return area, which makes it easy to score and keep playing without losing any time. If your puck seems to move on its own, then chances are that you need to adjust the legs to level it out. Each leg has a five inch adjustable level that will stabilize the unit.
The blower inside this table is a 110 volt unit that is powerful enough to keep the pucks from scraping the surface. With this much power, the puck is capable of blowing up to 110 cubic feet every minute. There is a triangle shaped electronic score board on one side of the board, which is designed to allow both you and your opponent to have a clear view of the score. The game can be customized to be ten minutes in length, 15 minutes in length, or you can select to have no time limit at all; in which case, the game would end when someone reaches a score of nine.
This Viper air hockey table comes with four pucks and four mallets, which gives you enough equipment to play teams if you wish to attempt that challenge. The pucks are all red, and the pushers come in two separate colors; two of which are black and two of which are blue. These pushers are designed to take a beating. There is even an edge that is raised up above the handle to protect your fingers from injury in the event that an impact with the puck occurs.
When it comes to the reviews of this air hockey table, there are more available with this unit than with our first two options. 72 percent of all of the reviews posted on Amazon have received a rating of at least four stars. Here is a five star testimonial from a consumer who’s kids adore this air hockey table: “I purchased the Viper Vancouver Air Hockey table a few weeks ago and so far it’s been played for over 3 hours and works great. I accidentally broke one of the parts during install and GLD (Great Lake Darts) is sending me the part free of charge. The table works as well as the ones you see at big gaming places. My kids love playing on it so far and they use a step stool right now (6 and 4) since the table is made for kids 8 and above. Table was shipped free to door which is a great deal. I highly recommend this item. “
#4. Hathaway Face-Off Air Hockey Table with Electronic Scoring
Whether you are ballin’ on a budget or you simply want a lower cost air hockey table that your kids can enjoy, our final pick may be perfect for your needs. The Hathaway Face-off air hockey table is a durable five foot table that is perfect if you need a more portable option. The unit is only 60 inches long, 29.6 inches wide, and 31 inches high; in addition, it only weighs 60 pounds, which makes it perfect for smaller children to play on, since the table length may accommodate their small arms better.
This table has a 110 volt blower that is designed to gently float the pucks across the surface with ease. The surface is poly sealed, and the entire machine comes complete with ice hockey decals and graphics that will look great in any game room. If you table seems to be uneven, make use of the adjusters that are located at the base of each L-shaped leg.
Even though this is a budget option, it comes with an electronic scoreboard that requires 2 AAA batteries to function. The machine also has a dual puck return, which makes it easy to grab the puck after a goal is made and continue playing. This Hathaway air hockey table comes with two red pushers and two red pucks to get your games started. It also comes with a limited 90 day warranty, which will cover the parts if any malfunctions occur.
When it comes to the reviews of this unit, there are 76 posted on Amazon currently, and 62 percent of them have rated this table with a positive four or five star quality. The one complaint that seems to be consistent is that the pucks that are included with this table are a bit light, so they tend to fly off of the table. Here is an example of a positive review seen on the site: “Got this for 6 year old twin Grandsons birthday. Perfect size for them and they love it! Sturdy, colorful, easy to reach, and we have NOT had any problems so far with score keeping.”
Types of Air Hockey Tables
There are a few different types of air hockey tables that you may want to consider purchasing before settling on the one you want. Here are four common styles of air hockey tables:
• Arcade Style – These types of air hockey tables are regulation size, which means that they are a full eight feet in length. They are solidly built machines that tend to have a lot of bells and whistles to them, so they also cost a bit more money to purchase. The air blower will be powerful and the surface of the table will be smooth. You can also expect to find a large electronic scoreboard on the table as well as sound effects and music each time a point is scored. This is a great option for you if you plan to use it for an extended period of time; for example, this is a great table for an actual arcade or a dive bar.
• Basic Design – A basic design table is one that is durable and sturdy, but without the extensive arcade features. There will not be an electronic scoreboard or sound effects present on this table. Of other importance is the fact that these tables can vary in size, so don’t always expect a full regulation sized air hockey table.
• Tabletop Design – These air hockey tables are small and portable options that can be placed on any table or surface, which makes them a great option for kids who may not be able to reach a regulation sized table. If you have limited space, then you may need to consider this type of table.
• Multi-game – These are tables that incorporate other table games into the same package. Often times these games include shuffle board, table tennis, or foosball, but they can also include board games like chess or checkers. This is a great choice for teenagers or children who tend to get bored easily. They will have a variety of games to choose from to keep them entertained.
Different air hockey tables are designed for different skill levels to play on. If you are a beginner, the chances that you want to spend a thousand dollars on an advanced table are slim; on the other hand, a high end player will not want to play on a table that was designed for children to play on. Here is a little bit of information about each skill level:
• Beginner – A beginner or a child may want to start on an air hockey table that can be purchased for around $100. These tables are often constructed from particle board; and therefore, they are less durable than most of the more expensive ones. These tables are designed to learn on, not play for years. As time goes by, it is likely that these types of tables will warp and wear.
• Intermediate – These tables are typically around six or seven feet in length. They are a more durable option than those designed for beginners. The surface will also be more durable against scratches and surface abrasions. These are typically the type of air hockey table that you use in a basement or a game room inside your home.
• Advanced – An advanced air hockey player who competes in tournaments or plays at a high skill level for fun will not want to play on anything but an arcade quality, top of the line air hockey table. These tables have extremely smooth surfaces, and great walls for bank shots and deflecting the puck, but they are also the most expensive option available to you.
The size of the air hockey table is important to make sure that it fits into your game room with plenty of space to play, but it also can be an important aspect of the game itself. Having a table that is at least six feet long gives you the opportunity to utilize bank shots and make the game a little less predictable. These types of shots add a certain degree of skill and extra flair to a game that will make it even more fun to play.
Have you ever been playing a game of air hockey when the puck mysteriously floats of in a random direction? It’s like the puck is haunted or has a mind of its own, but in reality, the table is most likely not even. If you have an air hockey table that has adjustable legs, the issue can easily be taken care of before your game is beyond saving. Having adjustable legs is a much simpler solution than being required to stop the game to lift the table and place a coaster under the leg to stabilize the playing field.
Air Blower Power
The air blower is what keeps the puck off of the table surface. If you do not have a powerful enough air blower, then the entire game will suffer. Some cheaper tables use smaller pucks to accommodate for a less than optimal blower, which is fine for a child’s table, but an adult will need that air current to accommodate a standard sized puck. When you have a table that has a lightweight or an undersized puck, you will experience the puck leaving the table more often, as the puck will easily ricochet off of the mallets and the walls much easier. A standard sized puck will not have this issue, so make sure you purchase a table with an air blower that can properly lift a large puck.
The whole point of the game is friendly competition, but who likes to keep the score manually to find out who won the game. The best and most fair method of keeping score is to have an electronic scoring system that will keep track of your goals for you. The scoreboard can be mounted on the side of the table where both of you can see the score or it can be over the table in more of an arcade fashion. The type of scoring system you choose will often depend on the amount of space you have to display it.
Price and Warranty
An air hockey table is an investment in fun for your family, but it can cost you a pretty penny. Tables typically range from about $100 to nearly $1,000; in fact, some of the highest quality tables can even cost more than that. First consider who will be using the table; will it be teenagers or young kids who may be extra rough with it or will it be used to practice and get your skills up for tournaments? If the table will take abuse, you most likely will not want to get one that costs you an arm and a leg. Also, make sure that you get an air hockey table that has a warranty included with the purchase. If you are going to spend money on a high quality table, get one that the manufacturer stands behind.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Whether you are thinking of purchasing an air hockey table for your entertainment or for the entertainment of your kids, there are plenty of options available that will fit your home and gaming area. Perhaps you want a specific design to match your décor, or maybe you want to have an exceptional score display that can be seen from afar. We hope we have provided you with a guide that will help you make a purchase that is good enough to compete on. If our picks are not up to your gaming standards, then reconsider our pre-purchase considerations to help you pinpoint what features you need to make a goal and secure an air hockey table that will lead you to victory.