Best Air Hockey Table Under $500 (2018): Reviews For Home Gameroom Use
As you’ll see if you read our guide to the best air hockey tables, these pieces of equipment can be extremely expensive. An air hockey table can actually be the single most expensive thing you buy for your gameroom! Of course, it’s worth spending some money to get a high-quality centerpiece that will offer years of enjoyment. Still, we know that many buyers simply can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a single piece of equipment. That’s why we’ve created this guide to the best air hockey tables under $500!
Below, you’ll find our recommendations for affordable air hockey tables that offer a good gameplay experience without breaking the bank. Read on to find out why we recommend these models over the competition, and learn how to save money without cutting corners!
|Picture||Product Name||Product Information||Cost|
|Harvil 4’ Air Hockey Table||• Dimensions: 50.8 x 27.1 x 4.9 inches ; 36.4 pounds • Air hockey table comes with 2 sets of orange, 75mm paddles and 60mm pucks||$|
|Brunswick Shutout 7’ Air Hockey Table||• Dimensions: 83.5 L x 45 W x 33 H inches / Approximate Weight: 130 pounds • Dual style abacus scoring units help you keep score and it also comes with 2 pushers and 4 packs||$$|
Best Air Hockey Table Reviews Under $500
This Harvil table is a compact gem that’s ideal for anyone playing with kids, or shopping for a kids’ gameroom. It’s only 4 feet across, making it easy to fit in tight spaces for adults, too. We’d suggest it for dorm rooms, studio apartments, and other adult settings where space is at a premium.
There are a number of compact air hockey tables on the market, but we think the Harvil is the best by a long shot. The blower is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive setup, and that’s a big difference between this and other small, cheap tables. You can’t play without a decent blower, and this one is more than serviceable.
It’s also a well-designed package throughout. We think it’s quite easy to assemble, and everything you need is included. You get pucks, paddles, and the components to install an electronic scorekeeping system right on the table.
Most importantly, though, the Harvil is very, very inexpensive. You can usually find it for around the $100 mark, which is ludicrously cheap for an air hockey table. Sure, it’s half the size of standard setups, but it works better than a lot of more expensive tables! It’s also covered by a 90-day warranty, while most other cheap models aren’t backed up at all.
You’ll have to make a few sacrifices to go this cheap, though. The Harvil has a finicky scoring system. Even the updated version isn’t perfect. Sometimes it misses a goal, sometimes it logs a goal twice. Thankfully, there’s a manual slider that’s easy to use. After all, the scoring system is the least important feature! You may also find that quality control isn’t as good as it could be: the surface isn’t as flawless as premium models and we’ve heard some reports of parts missing out of the box.
This Brunswick is our other affordable recommendation for an air hockey table. It’s actually a little over $500, but we don’t think anything cheaper (aside from the Harvil) is worth spending money on. Spend a bit more than $500, and you can end up with this instead!
The Brunswick is nearly full-sized, coming in at 7 feet across. We like it because it offers size and power without any frills. Most other inexpensive models like this try to match all the features of the premium setups, but they end up being flimsy and underpowered. The Brunswick has practically no features aside from the blower. The upside is that everything it does have works perfectly!
Playing on this surface is remarkably good, considering how inexpensive it is. The blower isn’t as stellar as the ones you get on $2K machines, but it covers the playing surface evenly and keeps gameplay smooth. There’s a simple manual system for keeping score, and the frame is nice and sturdy. All in all, we think it’s a fantastic bargain–even if it’s not as zippy, versatile, or rock-solid as the premium models.
Which of the air hockey tables we’ve recommended here should you buy?
The Harvil is the obvious choice if your shopping for a kids’ gameroom, or for playing against smaller children. It’s also a nice alternative for casual adult players who don’t need a full-size table and just want something compact for an added option.
If you want a full-size table, go for the Brunswick. It may be a foot short of full-size, by competition standards, but it offers all the basics of a full-size air hockey experience for a much lower price than any decent 8-foot table.
Don’t Expect A Full-Size Table For $500 Or Less
There are no decent 8’ air hockey tables for $500. It’s that simple. Trust us, we’ve looked! All the big models in this price range are absolute garbage. The few that are actually made are underpowered, flimsy, and irritating to play on. The best we’ve found is the 7’ Brunswick for just over $500.
So, we suggest going for something more compact. The compact systems might not be as exciting, but cheap blowers can’t power an 8’ playing surface. The smaller options will actually be much more satisfying to use, when you’re shopping on a budget.
Focus On The Essentials
It’s easy to be tempted by affordable gameroom gear that claims to have all the same features as the premium models. Don’t fall for gimmicks like this, though! When you’re trying to save money, keep it simple.
Focus on what you really need to have an enjoyable experience: a durable surface, a powerful blower, and rails that won’t fall apart after a few rounds. You’ll want a sturdy frame, but everything else is extra. Don’t spend your money on scorekeeping systems or other electronics that are just going to fall apart.
Make sure you can play the game well, and then you’ll figure out how to make up for anything your system is lacking. You can always keep score on paper, but you can’t operate the blower manually!
Has one of the affordable models we’ve recommended caught your eye? Perfect! Click on the links in our reviews to find out more about these budget gems. Deciding whether to spend more money for a full-size system? Take a look at our guide to the best air hockey tables (at any price) to see what you get for your extra cash.