Here is a selection of some of the best reviews from the Table Tennis Database.
Butterfly Spin Art [Inverted Rubber] (by user AndySmith from the UK)
This is a hard version of Butterfly's spring sponge with a *slightly* tacky topsheet.
When you take it out of the packet it feels really hard and very heavy - like a concrete slab. Looks like a Tackifire topsheet on a harder spring sponge. I suppose a lazy way of describing it is a hybrid of Tenergy and DHS Hurricane 2/3.
It's not outright quick in general play, and it seems very controlled in the short game and for service returns. Flicks, pushes and blocks are all good. Looping is slightly tricky, because it's not massively tacky for brush looping and it's very hard for a euro style stroke. But I really liked hitting - if you put some beans into a smash, you get good results from the sponge. If you rip the 3rd ball over the table then you get good spin. A lazy stroke won't get you much spin though.
I bought the T05FX for a more controlled version of Tenergy, but I actually prefer this more. I don't mind hard and heavy rubbers though, so if you're into soft tensors then this will be quite an adjustment for you. Really very good!
Friendship/729 802-40 [Short Pips] (by user agooding2 from the USA)
The best short pips rubber for someone coming from inverted rubber. Very spinny for short pips, you can actually loop with it. Conversely, it doesn't have some of the advantages of less spinny pips in blocking, producing dead balls, and hitting through spin. The sponge makes a difference, so pay attention to the sponge that comes with it. Globe 889-2, Juic Patisuma and Dawei 388B-1 along with Hallmark Magic Pips and Dr. N. Tornado Ultra have almost identical topsheets to the 802-40.
Stiga Hybrid Wood NCT [Blade] (by user Hozze from Sweden)
It’s very fast but maintains excellent control. Stiff and hard, but not excessively so. I have tried it with a variety of rubbers and it feels quite good with most levels of hardness, although I prefer medium rubbers on it.
It really only has two negatives:
One is the price, which I personally think is a minor problem. After all you don't have to replace it every month or so like with your rubbers.
The weight can be more problematic however. Stiga rates it at 95 grams, but most of the ones I've heard of have been closer to 100g. I specifically asked my retailer to get Stiga to send the lightest one they had in stock and ended up with a 93 gram blade. Not bad, but don't expect them to get lighter than that.
UPDATE: After struggling a little with the head-heavy feel I got with heavier rubbers, I've now found a combo which is lightweight and balanced enough but also fast and spinny enough to really make the blade shine: Haifu Whale II National - red sponge on FH and Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft on BH. I've consequently learnt to appreciate the blade even more.
It does show that the weight can be a problem though and might limit your choice of rubbers somewhat. I'm not sure you'll like it if you stick a pair of Tenergy 05's on it.
My name is Arthur Lui, and I’m the founder of the Table Tennis Database (http://www.tabletennisdb.com).
Though I’m from Toronto (Canada), I love driving across the border and competing in the US Open. I've been to the US Opens in Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas so far. I was fortunate enough to get my rating to 2131 through those competitions.
I started the Table Tennis Database in 2008 to solve the problem of finding consistent ratings to compare equipment. I found that comparing the manufacturer’s ratings on the package did not work well across different brands, so there was a need to put them on a level playing field. There was also a lot of information that wasn't described on the package, such as sponge hardness, tackiness, weight and throw angle. I knew that the online community of players could provide a lot of useful insight when searching for what to buy next. After hundreds of hours designing, coding, and caffeinated beverages, the Table Tennis Database was born!
Since then the site has exploded; there are over 2800 products in the database, with over 12,000 ratings and 6,800 reviews.