The best air hockey table under 500$

The best and most memorable days of our lives are the ones that we’ve spent leisurely, and what a better way to spend a day than to play air hockey with your kids! Of course, air hockey is one of those indoor games that is increasingly becoming popular nowadays. Hence, a lot of house owners are getting into the bandwagon of buying the best air hockey table under $500 to have one in their home.

best air hockey table under $500

Yet, there are myriads of air hockey table models and brands on the market today. So, if you intend to buy one, chances are, you may get a bit confused as to which is the best to buy. In order to help consumers like you to zero in on the best air hockey table under $500, we spent several hours evaluating the different diy air hockey table models, and we came up with a list of three of the most popular air hockey on the market today:

The Top Three Best Air Hockey Table under $500

Using various criteria like design, ease of assembly, durability, and warranty to evaluate the top air hockey tables on the market, we are giving you our take on the top three air hockey tables under $500.

1. Playcraft Derby 6′ Air Hockey Table

If you’re looking for an air hockey table under $500, the Playcraft Derby 6′ would surely be a great choice for you. You can choose between a Black PVC laminate or a Cherry wood grain finish. With this choice, you’ll get a very stylish table in your recreational room.

The good thing about this table is that it is fashioned out of MDF materials which is environmentally safe. The table top is propped up by pedestal-style legs that readily provide awesome stability for the table. Moreover, the legs are equipped with helpful leg levelers that let you balance the table and easily adjust its height.

Out-of-the-box, you would readily notice that the table is mostly pre-built, and thus, you will not be required to do a tiring assembly. All you need to do is engage in quick and simple final assembly and off you go playing immediately.

With regards to its playing surface, it is made of high-gloss and scratch-resistant PVC. Thus, you can readily engage in action-packed and snag-free play on this glossy table. Furthermore, the table is equipped with a 110V high-powered motor fan that readily provides air cushion for a more smooth and free-flowing playing surface.  

Additionally, the Playcraft Derby 6′ is equipped with an electronic scorer that features different game settings. It also comes with four 3″ pucks and two 3.75″ strikers. Lastly, it has the dimensions of 72 x 36 x 31 inches; 202 pounds and it weighs around 202 pounds.

Pros:

  • The table shows sterling durability and could last for years depending on how actively it will be used.
  • Out-of-the-box, it is easy to assemble and comes almost pre-built and ready to use.
  • Its greatest come-on is its price which is very much affordable.

Cons:

  • The felt situated at the bottom of the pushers seem to come off too easily after active use. Though, this issue can be readily fixed.
  • The customer service is hard to contact.

2. Atomic Blazer 7’ Air Hockey Table with Electronic Score Keeping with Rail-integrated Display

Another great option if you are looking for an air hockey table under $500 is the Atomic Blazer 7’. It is an air-powered table that is solidly built. It also has a stylish design that could readily fit into your recreation room. Moreover, with this table, you can readily take your playing excitement to another level.

The Atomic Blazer 7’ comes with many advanced features. First, it features an electronic scoring system that comes with an entertaining rail-integrated display. It also features a hardworking and heavy-duty 120V blower for quick and fast play actions.

The Atomic Blazer 7’ comes with leg levelers to help you get the best even-playing surface for the table. It also works like a conversion top that allows you to position a tennis table on top of it. Moreover, it is quite easy to assemble out-of-the-box.

Its dimensions are 84″ L x 48″ W x 32″ H and it weighs around 155 pounds. Lastly, it comes with a 180-day limited warranty.  

Pros:

  • This table is sturdy and easy to assemble.
  • It is designed for holding a table tennis likewise.
  • It also provides you with wide area of playing surface.

Cons:

  • The wood cover (Formica) of the side railings tends to chip off after continuous usage. 

3. MD Sports Air Powered Hockey Table

We have included the MD Sports 80-inch Air-powered Air Hockey Table because of its sterling and seemingly durable design. Its table top is supported by sturdy legs. It also comes with leg levelers for an even playing surface. 

The MD Sports 80 Inch comes with playfield aprons and top rails for extra reinforcements. It also features a LED scorer that allows you to keep track of the score during the game. Moreover, this scoring unit comes with awesome stadium sound effects.

The MD Sports 80 inch is also equipped with a motor fan that provides great air cushion during the game. It is also easy to assemble out-of-the-box, and it comes with all the needed accessories to start the game.

The dimensions of this table are 80 x 42 x 32 inches. It weighs around 125.4 pounds. It also comes with a limited warranty.

Pros:

  • Its electronic sound and scoring bridge are definitely very cool and make the game more exciting.
  • It is also very affordable.
  • It also provides a wide area of playing surface.

Cons:

  • The table is “prone to develop dead spots after several months of use,” according to a buyer of this item, though we hope that this is just an isolated case.

Conclusion:

We have spent several hours evaluating the merits of the abovementioned brands and the other brands of air hockey table under $500. We’ve also studied the reviews left by customers who have already bought the abovementioned air hockey tables. Among these three top air hockey tables under $500, we believe that the Atomic Blazer 7’ appears to be the best air hockey table under $500.

First, it is a heavy-duty table that comes with electronic score and rail integrated display. It also comes with a heavy-duty 120V blower. Moreover, it comes with overhang rails that reduce the bounce of pucks, and it can accommodate a table tennis top. The other two are also great options, and for these reasons, they belong to our list of the best air hockey tables under $500.

How To Make A Air Hockey Table

A lot of people love to play air hockey and many of them show their passion for this game by buying their own air hockey tables. However, some air hockey enthusiasts are not content with ready-made air hockey tables. They instead show their passion for this game by building their own air hockey tables. They even record every step of their D-I-Y air hockey table in order to provide guidelines to others who would like to build their own air hockey table.

DIY Air Hockey Table

Of course, if you are not a craftsman or a handyman, you would surely find the idea of DIY air hockey table unappealing. But if you’re a handyman who can fashion out great and beautiful crafts out of different materials, then, you can surely engage in DIY air hockey table. So, if ever you decide to do it yourself, we would like to delineate the simple steps on how to go about with a DIY air hockey table.

Plan and then, Actualize your Plan

“Everything is created twice: first, in the mind; then, in reality,” according to Stephen Covey, the author of the bestseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Similarly, if you want to build a DIY air hockey table, first, you should create a design of your prospective air hockey table. Afterward, you should actualize this design. Building a DIY air hockey table, therefore, requires you to do your own research on the following:

  • the specific dimensions of air hockey table,
  • the materials out of which it is made,
  • the other things and other accessories that you would need to make the project a reality.

Of course, you would also need to consider your budget for this project. If you don’t want to make a sketch or plan, then, you can readily rely on video tutorials on YouTube and follow the simple steps outlined in that video. But on our part, we would like to outline the steps that you can take to build a DIY air hockey table.

Steps on How to Build a DIY Air Hockey Table

If you already have the master plan with all the dimensions and measurements indicated in the plan, then you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Secure all the materials for the project.

You need to buy the construction frame which is usually made of whitewood. Get the exact measurement and buy the materials based on the measurements you’ve made. For the construction frame, you would be needing woods for the two long sides, and two short sides. You would also need materials for the playing surface. Moreover, you would need small beams as supports for the top and a plate opposite the surface. You will also need an air source which can be a leaf blower, vacuum cleaner, or a centrifugal blower.

You will also need an air inlet consisting of around two meters of a tube with a diameter of 90mm. The size of the tube should depend on the size of the outlet of the leaf blower. You will also need a PVC sheet that measures around 250mm by 250mm. It should have a hole wherein you can fit the tube. You can also use a PVC muff if the tube doesn’t exactly fit into the hole. Additionally, you would also need 2 pieces of plywood. For the two goals, you will need wooden beams and a strong piece of fabric.

  • Then, prepare the tools that you would need.

The tools that you would surely need include the following: jigsaw, proper tenon saw, regular saw, hole saw, drill with bits, wood glue, sanding machine, Dremel with bits, hammer and nails, screwdrivers and screws, duct tape, and thermoplastic adhesive.

  • Begin to build the frame!

You will be needing your tenon saw to get the correct 45-degree angles on the eight pieces previously mentioned woods. You would also need to be extremely accurate in your measurement. “Measure twice and cut once,” is the rule of the game.

Attach the beams by using nails and polyurethane glue. Glue the smaller beams at the right height. Make sure that the clipboard fits perfectly into the ridge. Leave the pieces alone for 4 hours so that the glue can harden.

  • Predrill the four corners and attach the screws.

Then, mark the points where you are going to drill tiny holes. You can do this by making a grid on the surface of the MDF. Then, create a grid template and stick the template on the flat surface. By making the template as your guide, you can now start drilling holes based on the template. You can also use a Dremel using a 1mm drill bit. This will take you much time to complete. But be patient!

  • Remove Burrs on the opposite side of the sheet which is intended for the playing surface.

Utilize a sanding machine to eliminate the burrs on the intended playing surface. First, you can sand it with rough sandpaper. Then, you should smoothen it further using a finer sandpaper. Afterward, saw the wooden pillars. Ensure that the supports are sturdy enough. Place the pillars away from the edges. Then, affix the supportive pillars to the MDF’s rough side. Make sure that the pillars stay in place by using a clipboard on the pillars. Then begin making the air inlet by attaching the Leaf Blower. Attach the clipboard likewise.

  • Start Making the Goals!

Using the jigsaw, you should cut the holes at a certain height of the playing surface. Then remove the cutout. Afterward, sand the cutaway down. Then after, you can nail the long beams under and above the cutaway and put a strong fabric in the center.

These steps may help you build your DIY air hockey table. But if you want a more comprehensive and detailed procedure with video instruction on how to create your own air hockey table, you can check out some YouTube Tutorials on DIY air hockey tables.

How to Make Air Hockey Table Slide Better?

Air Hockey is one of those action-packed games that is played by both young ones and adults. It is best played on an almost frictionless playing surface by two players. In this game, each player tries to strike the puck towards the opponent’s goal. The more slippery the playing surface is, the more action-packed the game would be. Hence, most buyers of air hockey table usually ask the question of how to make air hockey table slide better.

Your Budget Determines the Air Hockey Table You Can Buy

Air hockey tables, however, come in various prices and made. The cheapest air hockey table is just over $70, while the most expensive ones may be priced at around several thousand dollars. Moreover, there are different brands and models of air hockey tables. But you would usually get what you pay for when buying one of these tables. This means that if you are willing to shell out several thousand dollars, you can surely get the best air hockey table available on the market today.

The Need for Regular Maintenance

The answer to the question of “how to make air hockey table slide better,” is “regular maintenance.” Since the game is action-packed and requires constant movement of the puck, the playing surface of even the most expensive table sometimes loses its slipperiness. Hence, to keep the playing surface in its prime condition, you need to regularly take care of the playing surface.

The Less Friction, the Better!

A lot of people who have bought air hockey tables would often ask this question: “How do I keep the playing surface slippery and of low friction?” Well, if you would search online, you would readily read a lot of answers to this question. Some of the answers are salient and helpful, while others are full of crap. So, you only need to sift through these answers and find the wisest and most appropriate one.

The slippery playing surface of air hockey tables is also marked with minute holes. These tiny holes vent out air coming from a motor fan located underneath the table. This airflow provides an air cushion to further decrease the surface friction. This air cushion also prevents the puddles and puck from straying off the table.

Regular Maintenance: Simple Steps!

Regular maintenance, of course, is the best way to keep the playing surface of the air hockey table slippery and almost frictionless most of the time. Regular maintenance includes the following several steps:

  • First, you need to make sure that the fan is turned on before you start cleaning the surface. This is to ensure that the air flow will prevent dirt and liquid from lodging into the tiny holes.
  • Once the blower is running, you should get a soft cotton cloth and dampen it a bit with a mild detergent diluted in water. One caveat, however, is this: you should not use a harsh cleaner or any abrasive that may inadvertently scratch the playing surface.
  • Then, begin to wipe the table top. Take care, however, not to dampen too much the surface. You should carefully scrape off foreign objects, dirt, and spills from the table. You should also clean the whole surface and make it free of blemish as much as possible.
  • Afterward, you should wipe the table again with a clean cloth that is slightly damp. This is to ensure that there is no leftover detergent on the playing surface.
  • Once the playing surface has dried up, you can put a bit of tabletop polish like that of the Wildcat 125 on a clean piece of cloth. Make sure that the fan is still on.
  • Then, wipe the playing table with the clean cloth. You should not over apply polish on the surface because it may clog the tiny holes.
  • As the polish dries, you should get another clean cloth that is dry. Smoothen up the surface with this clean cloth! You should also clean the pucks and paddles to ensure that they are dirt and blemish-free.
  • Once you’re done cleaning the playing surface, you can test the surface if it is almost friction-less by playing a game or two.

The question of how to make air hockey table slide better entails following the abovementioned steps. Yet, this regular maintenance also include cleaning the fan on a regular basis to keep it in perfect condition. This will surely prolong the lifespan of the fan and maintain awesome air cushion for the playing surface. Always remember that there are two factors that contribute to the slipperiness of the playing surface—the material out of which the playing surface is made and good air cushion.

One last thing to remember is this: that you should cover your air hockey table if it is not in use. This will surely keep dirt and dust from accumulating on the table and will prevent accidental scratches on the playing surface while the table is not in use.