Butterfly Tenergy Range Compared: Which is the Best?

Butterfly Tenergy table tennis rubbers are some of the most popular on the market, but which is the best? There are plenty of options to choose from which can make selecting the best Tenergy for you quite difficult. In this article, I’ll compare all types of Butterfly Tenergy in terms of their spin, speed, control, durability and suitability for different playing styles and backhand/ forehand.

I wanted to pack this article with as much information as possible so it’s a reasonably long one.

Here are the contents:

  • Range Overview
  • Overview of Each Rubber
  • Characteristic Comparison
  • Best for Spin
  • Best for Speed
  • Best for Control
  • Playing Style and Backhand/ Forehand Suitability
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Range Overview

Butterfly Tenergy rubber is a Japanese tensor-style rubber which has a pimple-in (inverted) design which is not very tacky. It has a high-tension sponge and rubber sheet to give it a trampoline-like effect used to generate high levels of speed and spin. Tenergy is a popular choice amongst professional table tennis players.

You can purchase Tenergy rubbers in 3 thicknesses: 1.7 mm, 1.9 mm and 2.1 mm. Thinner sponges give the player more feeling and control but thicker sponges give the player more speed and spin capability.

There are 5 main types of Butterfly Tenergy:

  • Tenergy 05
  • Tenergy 19
  • Tenergy 25
  • Tenergy 64
  • Tenergy 80

There are also variants of each type of rubber.

  • Tenergy FX: these have a softer sponge layer which feels easier to spin and control but offers less speed and maximum spin capability. For example, Tenergy 05 FX has a softer sponge which feels like it gives more spin when hitting the ball with less force than the standard Tenergy 05 which is faster and offers more spin when hitting the ball with maximum force.
  • 05 Hard: Tenergy 05 is the only rubber with a hard variant which has a harder sponge layer which adds more speed but less spin and control than the standard 05 rubber.

All types of Tenergy have an FX variant except for Tenergy 19. For lower-level players, the FX variant is usually better as it is easier to control and makes it easier to spin the ball. However, for professionals or players who hit the ball very hard, they will be able to generate more spin with the harder sponge (standard Tenergy).

TenergyVariants Available
05FX and Hard
19No variants
Tenergy rubber variants

Looking at Each Rubber Individually

Before we jump into all the specific comparisons, I wanted to take you through each type of Tenergy rubber and explain who it’s most suitable for and the pros/ cons. For each rubber, there is an FX version (except Tenergy 19), which will have more touch and control but less speed and spin capability.

Tenergy 05

  • Pros: good for looping
  • Cons: poor for blocking and smashing
  • Style: offensive, close-to-mid distance from the table
  • Suitability: either forehand or backhand but mainly forehand
  • Professional players who use Tenergy 05: Elizabeta Samara and Shunsuke Togami
  • Professional players who use Tenergy 05 Hard: Lin Yun-Ju and Kanak Jha

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Tenergy 19

  • Category: balanced
  • Pros: good for looping
  • Cons: poor for blocking and smashing
  • Style: all-round/ offensive, close-to-mid distance from the table
  • Suitability: either forehand or backhand but mainly backhand
  • Professional players who use Tenergy 19: Kanak Jha and Suthasini Sawettabut

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Tenergy 25

  • Category: counter-attacking
  • Pros: good for smashing
  • Cons: poor for blocking
  • Style: counter-attacking, close to the table
  • Suitability: mainly backhand

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Tenergy 64

  • Category: high-speed
  • Pros: good for smashing and blocking
  • Cons: poor for looping
  • Style: offensive, mid-long distance from the table
  • Suitability: either forehand or backhand but mainly backhand
  • Professional players who use Tenergy 64: Sofia Polcanova and Thomas Schmidbeger

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Tenergy 80

  • Category: balanced
  • Pros: good all-rounded
  • Cons: average performance for most shots
  • Style: all-round/ offensive, mid-long distance from the table
  • Suitability: either forehand or backhand
  • Professional players who use Tenergy 80: Zhang Jike and Miyu Kato

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Looking for some cheaper alternatives to Butterfly Tenergy? Check out my top 5 Tenergy alternatives for plenty of great options.

Comparing Characteristics

There are two main physical variables to consider when comparing the different types of Tenergy rubber:

  1. Sponge hardness
  2. Pimple density

Sponge Hardness

Harder sponges provide more power and hence, more speed, but are harder to control because the ball will catapult off the paddle faster. Butterfly Tenergy rubbers fall into three-categories of sponge hardness: medium, medium-hard and hard.

  • All Tenergy FX rubbers have a sponge hardness rating of 32 according to Butterfly which is classified as medium.
  • All standard Tenergy rubbers have a sponge hardness rating of 36 according to Butterfly which is classed as medium-hard.
  • Tenergy 05 Hard has a sponge hardness rating of 43.
TenergySponge Hardness Rating
05 FX, 25 FX, 64 FX, 80 FX32
05, 19, 25, 64, 8036
05 Hard43

Pimple Design

Another difference between the Tenergy rubbers is related to the pimple design. All Tenergy rubbers have an inverted (pimples-in) design, but the distribution of the pimples facing the sponge sheet still affects certain characteristics such as control, speed and spin.

This only affects the rubber layer, so the pimple distribution is the same for say Tenergy 05 and 05 FX, but it causes differences between say Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 19.

There are three factors to consider: pimple length, pimple width (diameter) and pimple distribution density.

TenergyDistributionPimple LengthPimple Width
05MediumShortMedium (1.7 mm)
19Dense ShortThin (1.5 mm)
25MediumShortWide (2.65 mm)
64Loosely packedLongThin (1.7 mm)
80Medium LongMedium (1.7 mm)

Best Tenergy Rubber for Spin

Tenergy 19 is the best Tenergy rubber for spin, followed by Tenergy 80. The standard versions of Tenergy offer more maximum spin capability, but make it harder to generate spin as more force is required compared to the Tenergy FX variants. Tenergy 64 offers the least spin capability.

Best Tenergy Rubber for Speed

Butterfly Tenergy 64 is the fastest rubber in the Tenergy range, whilst Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 19 are the slowest table tennis rubbers in the range. The FX versions of the Tenergy rubbers are slower due to their softer sponges than the standard versions of each type of rubber.

Best Tenergy Rubber for Control

Control is quite subjective, as some players find some rubbers easier to control than others depending on their playing style. In general, most players find Tenergy 25 and Tenergy 64 quite difficult to control. The unique pimple structure of Tenergy 25 can feel awkward some players, whilst the speed of Tenergy 64 can be difficult for some players to control. Tenergy 19 is considered easy to control for most players, and Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 80 are also relatively easy to control.

The best thing to do is to try the rubbers out yourself and see which feels best to you. What’s easy to use for one player may be a total nightmare for another so it’s a good idea to test them out and see for yourself.

If control is your priority, choose an FX version as these have a softer sponge which provides more feeling and generally feels easier to play with. Also, choose the thinnest version (1.7 mm) as this again is the easiest to control for most players.

Playing Styles

Now we’ve been through some key characteristics, we can start to tie things together so you can identify the best rubber for your style of play. I’ve split this section into three parts:

  • Shot Types
  • Distance from the Table
  • Backhand and Forehand Suitability

Shot Types

Some Tenergy rubbers excel for looping because they generate tonnes of spin, but others suit blocking and defensive styles of play more. It’s best to consider what types of shots you use the most frequently to identify which rubber is best for you.

Here is a table to show the suitability of each type of Tenergy rubber to different types of table tennis shots. The maximum score is 5 but keep in mind that there is not a great deal of difference between all of the rubbers. For example, a score of 5 does not mean the rubber is 5x better than a rubber that scores 1 for a particular category. The table is just designed to highlight the differences clearly.

TenergyPower TopspinLooping TopspinSmash BlockCounter Topspin
05 Hard3.
05 FX1.52233
25 FX1.53.53.523.5
64 FX3.
80 FX323.532
Best Option6405 Hard/ 2564 FX64 FX05 Hard
Worst Option05 FX/ 25 FX64 FX05 Hard05 Hard64 FX

Distance from the Table

Some players prefer to stand very close to the table and use a counter-attacking style, whereas others prefer to stand much further back. The different Tenergy rubbers are designed to suit different playing positions so there’s something for everyone.

TenergySuitable Playing Distance
25Close to the table
05Close to mid-distance from the table
19Close to mid-distance from the table
64 Mid-distance to long-distance from the table
80 Close to mid-distance from the table

Backhand and Forehand

It is possible to use any type of Tenergy rubber on the backhand and forehand, however the type you pick will depend on your playing style and some rubbers are generally more suited to one side of the paddle.

Butterfly Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 64 are well-suited to the forehand, whereas Tenergy 19 and Tenergy 25 work very well on the back-hand. Tenergy 80 is a balanced rubber which works equally well on either the forehand or backhand side of the paddle.

05Either but mainly forehand
19Either but mainly backhand
25Primarily Backhand
64Primarily Forehand

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some common questions you may still have about Butterfly Tenergy ping pong rubbers.

Which is best, Tenergy 05 or Tenergy 64?

Tenergy 05 offers more spin but less power and speed than Tenergy 64. Tenergy 05 is a more balanced rubber and is suited to looping, whereas Tenergy 64 is more suitable for smashing and blocking.

Which is best, Tenergy 05 or Tenergy 19?

Tenergy 05 offers more speed but less spin than Tenergy 19 which feels softer. Both rubbers are suited to looping and less suited to blocking and smashing. Either rubber can be used on the backhand or forehand, but Tenergy 05 is more suited to the forehand and Tenergy 19 is more suited to the backhand.

Which Tenergy Rubber is the Most Durable?

All Butterfly Tenergy rubbers have a similar level of durability and should last between 120-150 hours of playing.

Is there a price difference between Tenergy rubbers?

All Butterfly Tenergy rubbers are a similar price.

Check out the 5 Best Tenergy Alternatives for some excellent and more affordable options.

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Game and Entertain

Hey, I'm Heather, the owner and creator of gameandentertain.com. I made this website to help you learn more about setting up a home entertainment and games room. My favourite games are ping pong, darts and pool, but I also have experience in other games which I aim to share using this website.

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