FOOSBALL TABLE BUYING GUIDE
First of all, it is important to know what type of foosball table you want to purchase: tabletop, stand-alone or multi-game? There are also tables that are coin operated which are used in pubs, arcades or businesses that want to charge their customers.
After that, you should have a budget in mind. If you want a tabletop fooseball table you can expect to spend under $100. However, a stand-alone, full-sized table can cost anywhere between $150 to over $2,000. It is important to keep in mind that generally the higher the price, the better quality of the table. This results in better game play and a table that will last a lot more time.
Once you have a budget in mind, you can look at our top foosball table picks to make an informed decision. We have reviewed tables by best overall quality, by budget and by purpose.
Who is the Table For?
Aside from choosing your budget and how much you are willing to invest on a table, the most important question to ask yourself is who is going to play? What is the age of the players? What is their experience?
If you want a table for children or beginners then it makes sense not to make such a big investment.
If you want a table specifically for kids, a tabletop might be a good choice, especially if you are not sure if they will like the game. However, there are some mid-sized tables that are also great for kids, as we specified in our top foosball table picks
If the kids don’t like the game, there is no problem as you won’t have made a big investment. If they do like the game however, you can upgrade and go with something bigger and better.
For those who have experience in the game of foosball there is a world of great options available.
You should look for mid-level tables with some essential features such as smooth rods, adjustable table legs for a good playing surface and high quality materials for a great durability.
Mid-level tables are generally priced around $500 and is the best choice for those that play often, like the game and want to improve their skills.
A good tip is to look for tables that weigh more than 130 pounds as they are usually more durable and stable.
For those players that are highly skilled or simply want to have the best playing experience available, you have to go for top of the line models.
These models are regulation sized, very sturdy and made with the highest quality materials available. These tables are also very heavy and can weigh over 300 pounds.
If you want to purchase one of these models you should be ready to shell out about $2,000. This may be pricey, but it will certainly be worth it.
The materials that foosball tables are made of play a very important part. First of all, with better materials your playing experience will be a a lot better than with cheap quality ones. Secondly, the types of material will determine the durability of the table you purchase. Lastly, materials obviously play a huge part in the price of the table.
If the table possesses a particle board then you should know that durability will be an issue.
Particle boards deteriorate easily over time, which leads to screws being loosened and the table just falling apart.
If you want to know if a table has a particle board you should look for walls less than 1/2 inches thick and the weight less than 75 pounds.
Tables with particle boards are good for people who want to buy a table for their kids or want to play casually from time to time. Beware though, what you save in money you will certainly lose in durability and playing experience.
Composite or Wood
The majority of quality tables are made with composite or solid wood. That being said, there are low and high quality types of these woods. They can be pressed wood and can deteriorate over time easily. On the other hand, composite is usually more resistant to moisture, humidity and is less prone to damage, making it the most durable material for a foosball table.
You should also take into consideration the thickness of the wood as well. Make sure you purchase a model that has wood thicker than 1 inch for more durability.
Most higher end models come with 1.5 inch thick wood, which helps eliminate unwanted movements and makes the game flow better.
Be careful of logos or patterns that are present in the tables, especially in the playing surface. If they are stickers, they will certainly peel over time and will affect the look and playability of the table.
There are three types of rods available for foosball tables: hollow, solid and telescoping.
Hollow steel rods are by far the highest quality rods available. They are lighter than the other ones which allow for higher speed and more fluidity in the game. They are ideal for experienced players. Mid-level tables usually have solid steel rods which are good for intermediate players since the game is a little slower.
Tubular steel rods consist of two pieces of metal, where the inner piece slides into the outer which makes sure the other end of the stick doesn’t poke out on the other side of the table. This is especially helpful for kids tables, however it does interfere in the playing experience a bit.
There also some high-end tables that come with machine grade cold rolled steel, which is the best steel you can get and provides great game play.
With smooth surfaces comes faster game play. It is common for American tables to have harder surfaces and European tables to have wooden surfaces that result in slower play.
When the surface is thicker, the more level and sturdy it will be. There are tables that have tempered glass to improve the quality of play as well.
As stated before, if the surface has markings, it is important to see if these are embedded or they are stickers. If they are stickers they can wear out and affect the quality of play and the appearance.
Adjustable Table Legs
Some tables come with adjustable legs which allow the height to be adjusted according to the players or, better yet, according to the floor level which can be uneven. Some tables have leg levelers which are specific for uneven floors as well and are a key feature to look for.
You should calculate how much room you have available for a foosball table. A full-sized foosball table usually has dimensions of 56 x 30 x 36. However, you also need to consider the space for the playing rods. Look for at least 7 feet of playing space around the table.
Three-man or Single Goalie
The three-man goalie table has a goalie with two other defenders. American tables usually use this model while European tables use the single-man goalie. Single-man goalie models require more skill and precision, therefore they are better for more experienced players.
Some tables have counter-weighted men, which means they remain in a horizontal position until the rod is turned. By staying in a horizontal position, they remain out of the way while you shoot.
Intermediate to advanced players usually look for this feature in tables.
In addition, players can be made out of plastic or metal, the latter being heavier and giving more power when shooting.
If the table has counter-weighted men you will know it is a table made for intermediate-advanced players.
Most foosball tables come with a one year warranty. However, tables that are more elaborately made can come with less warranty or no warranty at all because they are more decorative.
That being said, they are usually very well built and you will most likely not need any warranty.
There are also tables that come with years of warranty and even lifetime warranties.