Butterfly Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike Table Tennis Blades

Butterfly’s range of Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades are hugely popular. However, there are several signature blades available making it hard for players to be able to select the best option for their playing style. In this article, I’ll be directly comparing Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades so you can decide which blade is best for you.

Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike Blades

Butterfly Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades of the same type (e.g. ALC and ZLC) have the same thickness, and vibration/ reaction ratings however the weights can vary. Timo Boll blades have a slightly thinner handle on the straight-handle models compared to Zhang Jike blades, however the flared handles are the same size.

Butterfly Timo Boll ALC Blade

Butterfly Zhang Jike ALC Blade

Images link to Amazon

Physical Characteristics

Let’s first start by comparing the physical characteristics of each Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blade in order to understand the differences in how they feel and perform. We’ll be looking at:

  • Thickness
  • Weight
  • Composition
  • Handle size

Blade Thickness

Thicker blades tend to feel harder and stiffer which means they offer less “feeling” for the player as they do not vibrate as much. Some players prefer a blade which produces less vibrations, whilst some prefer the feedback that a thinner blade provides.

Thicker blades are generally more powerful than thinner blades. They feel more stable for blocking and the player will not need to put as much effort into the stroke in order to get the ball to move as quickly.

If you want to learn more about blade thickness and why it matter, check out my article comparing thick and thin blades.

The Timo Boll ZLF blade is the thinnest one available, whilst the Zhang Jike ALC, Timo Boll ALC ANDTimo Boll Spirit are the thickest. Timo Boll and Zhang Jike ALC and ZLC blades are the same thickness. However, the Timo Boll T5000 blade is 0.1 mm thinner than the equivalent Zhang Jike T5000 blade.

Here is a table comparing the thicknesses of each Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades.

BladeThickness
Timo Boll ZLF5.4 mm
Timo Boll ZLC5.5 mm
Zhang Jike ZLC5.5 mm
Timo Boll T50005.5 mm
Zhang Jike Super ZLC5.6 mm
Zhang Jike T50005.6 mm
Timo Boll CAF5.7 mm
Timo Boll ALC5.8 mm
Zhang Jike ALC5.8 mm
Timo Boll Spirit5.8 mm
Butterfly Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike blade thickness

Blade Weight

The weight of a blade affects two things: power and agility.

  • Heavier blades are more powerful so the ball will travel at a faster speed when hit with an identical stroke compared to if it were hit with a lighter blade.
  • Lighter blades allow the player to react more quickly and are better for counter-attacking and players who are positioned closer to the table.

If you want to learn more about blade weight, check out my comparison between heavy and light blades for all the pros and cons.

The Timo Boll CAF blade is the lightest, whilst the Zhang Jike Super ZLC and Timo Boll T5000 blades are the heaviest. The Zhang Jike and Timo Boll ZLC blades both weight 86 g. However, when looking at the Zhang Jike and Timo Boll versions of the ALC and T5000 blades, the weights are different.

Here is a table comparing the weight of each Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades.

BladeWeight
Timo Boll CAF82 g
Timo Boll ALC85 g
Timo Boll ZLC86 g
Zhang Jike ZLC86 g
Timo Boll ZLF87 g
Timo Boll Spirit89 g
Zhang Jike ALC88 g
Zhang Jike T500088 g
Timo Boll T500090 g
Zhang Jike Super ZLC90 g
Butterfly Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike blade weight

Blade Composition

All Timo Boll and Zhang Zike blades have a carbon and wood composition, however they use slightly different materials. All blades have a 5+2 ply composition except the Timo Boll CAF blade which has a 3+2 ply structure.

  • Acrylate Carbon (Spirit and ALC blades): designed to have a medium-soft touch and increased stability for versatile play
  • ZL Fiber (ZLF blade): lightweight and flexible due to its low density.
  • ZL Carbon (ZLC blade): has a medium-hard touch to increase spin and speed
  • Super ZL Carbon (Super ZLC Blade): medium touch and very high speed
  • CA Fiber (CAF Blade): has increased flexibility and control
BladeComposition
Timo Boll ALC/ Spirit and Zhang Jike ALC5-ply wood + 2 Acrylate-Carbon
Timo  Boll ZLF5-ply wood + 2 ZL-Fiber
Timo Boll and Zhang Jike ZLC5-ply wood + 2 ZL-Carbon
Zhang Jike Super ZLC5-ply wood + 2 Super ZL-Carbon
Timo Boll CAF3-ply wood + 2 CA-Fiber
Timo Boll and Zhang Jike T50005-ply wood + 2 TAMCA 5000 Carbon Fiber
Butterfly Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blade compositions

Handle Size

Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades vary according to their handle sizes when comparing the straight and anatomic models.

  • Straight handles: Timo Boll blade handles are 1 mm thinner and have an end with of 0.5 mm shorter compared to Zhang Jike blade handles
  • Anatomic handle: Timo Boll blade have an end width of 2 mm more compared to Zhang Jike blade handles
Handle TypeTimo Boll BladesZhang Jike Blades
Flared100 x 25 x 34 mm100 x 25 x 34 mm
Straight100 x 22 x 27.5 mm100 x 23 x 28 mm
Anatomic100 x 24 x 34 mm100 x 24 x 32 mm

Check out my complete guide to the Timo Boll blade range to learn the differences between each version.

Blade Reaction

The “reaction” score of a table tennis blade refers to how powerful it is. A blade with a higher reaction score will produce more power, meaning the ball will travel more quickly when hit with the same stroke compared to when using a blade with a lower reaction score.

Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades which use the same carbon material have the same reaction score according to Butterfly. The reaction scores only vary between compositions with T5000 blades having the highest score and the Timo Boll ZLF blade having the lowest score.

Here is a table showing the Butterfly-assigned reaction scores for each Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades.

BladeReaction
Zhang Jike T500012.6
Timo Boll T500012.6
Zhang Jike Super ZLC12.3
Timo Boll Spirit11.8
Zhang Jike ALC11.8
Timo Boll ALC11.8
Zhang Jike ZLC11.7
Timo Boll ZLC11.7
Timo Boll CAF10.6
Timo Boll ZLF10.5
Butterfly Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike blade reaction scores

Blade Vibration

The vibration score is used to measure how much “feeling” the blade offers. A blade with a high vibration score will have a harder feel whereas a blade with a low vibration score will have a softer feel.

Some players prefer a softer feeling blade as it helps to give them feedback so they can feel when a stroke has been successful or unsuccessful. This helps the player to improve more quickly. On the other hand, blades with a higher vibration score are often preferred by blockers and smashers who prefer the more stable feeling.

As with the Butterfly reaction scores, Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades with the same composition (e.g. ALC, ZLC, T5000) have the same vibration score.

Here is a table showing vibration scores from Butterfly for each Timo Boll and Zhang Jike blades.

BladeVibration
Zhang Jike T500011.3
Timo Boll T500011.3
Zhang Jike Super ZLC11.1
Zhang Jike ZLC10.8
Timo Boll ZLC10.8
Timo Boll CAF10.4
Zhang Jike ALC10.3
Timo Boll ALC10.3
Timo Boll Spirit10.3
Timo Boll ZLF9.4
Butterfly Timo Boll vs Zhang Jike blade vibration scores

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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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