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Air hockey is for everyone. Adults can re-live the thrill of childhood arcade memories, and kids of any age can get into a fun, competitive game without a screen. It’s a great addition to a dorm, office, basement, or really anywhere people congregate. But it’s also an investment — of money, time, and space. To make sure you’re getting one with everything you want and need, we’ve broken down the essentials of what to consider before you drop the puck.
What To Look For Before Buying an Air Hockey Table
Electronic scoring capabilities: Keeping score may be the most basic electronic function, but other options like flashing lights and sound effects can also increase the enjoyment. Depending on what your list of absolutes are, decide what extras you won’t need, and save some money. If you’re really looking to be frugal, manual or optional battery-operated scoring is available on some models, though it’s easy to lose track once you fully get into the game.
Number of players: Some sets only include two pushers and pucks, and aren’t designed for double-team matches. If you’re getting one for a family, frat house, or wherever there’s going to be a crowd, double check that it’s for multi players. A table cover comes in handy too for when it’s not in use, especially in a crowded environment where it could get damaged.
Motor: A coated table lets the puck glide and slide better than a non-coated one, so make sure the motor is up for the task. 120V will provide a consistent and even airflow. Some even have dual-powered motors to keep the game moving along smoothly.
Measurements: It may sound like a no-brainer, but make sure your table’s going to fit in your desired space, with extra room for each player to move around it comfortably. Folding it up for storage is an available option on some models, and a smaller table makes portability possible if you want to bring it to parties and other events. We’ve included table-top versions too that you can easily place on a table to play, and tuck in the closet or under the bed when finished.
Stability/Durability: A wobbly, flimsy table is enormously frustrating to play on, and the last thing you want is that one winning shot where you reach across the table to score, only to bring the whole thing crashing down. To avoid this, go for a sturdy table with solid steel or wood legs, or if not, one that’s adjustable with built-in levelers.
The most important factor, of course, is fun. This is what it all comes down to. We’ve selected four different models here that will bring everyone to the table.
1. Best Choice Products 40-Inch Air Hockey Table
At only 8.5 inches tall, this mini air hockey table is designed to be played on top of a regular table. The 100V motor runs quietly, and provides enough air to keep the game going on the smooth surface – just plug it in and let the battle begin.
Scoring is done manually, using sliders that highlight bold numbers. And a convenient puck-return slot lets you resume gameplay quickly after a goal has been scored.
Best of all, at only 16 pounds, it’s easy to take along to your next get-together or family event, and even easier to store away after the fun is done.
PROS: Simple assembly, quiet fan, and designed for portability.
CONS: The pushers are small and can be difficult for adults to grip for long periods of time.
2. Triumph Fire ‘n Ice LED Light-Up 54” Air Hockey Table
The first thing you’ll notice about the Triumph are the striking colors of its LED lights.
Fueled by dual, air-powered motors, the 60 x 30 x 41-inch table brightens up any room with its cascading lights along the perimeter. Both the two pucks and two pushers are lit up too, meaning you can play a full game in the dark. Scoring is electronic (and also lit up – the corners flash when a player scores), so you can fully focus on going for the goal. This also plays music too, intensifying the game until the very end.
The table itself features hockey-rink style graphics, and four leg cross-braces to provide extra support and durability.
PROS: Easy to assemble, very sturdy, ideal for a kids’ game room or office lounge.
CONS: The table is designed for kids and teens, and some taller adults might find the height uncomfortably low to play at. Also there’s no on/off switch, meaning you’ll have to unplug it after every match, and the LED lights require three AAA batteries (not included).
3. Hall of Games Edgewood 84″ Air Powered Hockey Table
At 84-inches long and 44″ wide, the Edgewood is one stable table, but make sure you have space for this unit before you buy.
The surface area is massive, which makes for a real arcade-type experience right in your home. Air flows evenly throughout the table, and is powered by a 120V AC motor to keep the puck sailing smoothly. An LED-lit board keeps track of the score for each player, along with sound effects to enhance the whole experience.
The legs here are extremely sturdy, and reinforced with metal bars for extra stability. This table is ready to stand up to even the most intense players who get a little too into the game.
PROS: Fast, smooth gameplay, with plenty of space to move around. A modern, solid table design that’s built to last.
CONS: Very heavy, and difficult for one person to set up solo (getting the legs on is especially difficult). The “puck catchers” don’t always catch the puck, and sometimes it gets stuck higher up.
4. Sport Squad HX40 40-inch Air Hockey Table
Depending on the space you have and what you plan to do with an air hockey table, this 14-pound legless set can come in handy. It’s much easier to travel with than any other model, can easily be played on any tabletop, or even on the floor. No legs also means that it’s significantly easier to store – just slide it under a bed when the game is done.
Scoring is manual, and the 12V motor is minimal, but still provides enough airflow to keep the game going. Padded feet on the bottom protect your tables, floors, or whatever surface it’s on from getting all scratched up. The set is smaller than most, meaning that adults can easily reach over to the opposite side to score, but for kids, it’s a clear winner.
PROS: Extremely easy assembly, only requires two parts be put together.
CONS: Fan can be very loud.