If you’ve got an air hockey table - and if you’re reading this article, that’s a fair bet! Then you’ll know not only the fun they provide but the pain in the butt that comes when you lose or badly damaged a puck. There are plenty of replacements out there. But to paraphrase George Orwell, not all pucks are created equally, some are created more equal than others!
So, where do you start to distinguish which are worthy of your hard-earned money? Well, here actually! This comprehensive guide will tell you what to look out for, then list our top ten, with their respective features so you can choose for yourself which is best for you. Without further ado….
Things you should know about Air Hockey Pucks
You know the basics: they are spherically-shaped accessories, hit by the striker, aiming at their opponent's goal. Quite often, with as much force as their arm can muster!
The force of the strike often makes them look like they’re actually flying across the surface.
The average diameter is 3.25mm, and the average hockey puck weight is between 20-40 grams.
So what else should you consider?
The puck’s diameter
Certain size pucks are designed for certain size tables. Your table's instructions should make this clear. As this directly affects the gameplay, this is the most important of these ‘things you should know’!
Large pucks are about 3.2 inches and are designed for 7 or 8 footer tables.
Light-medium is 1.7 – 2.5 inches and is usually made for the 4 or 6 footers. A check of the goal size will soon let you know!
The hockey puck weight
This is just as important, as it also needs to match the table and the strength of their blower. It’s mostly common sense though, the larger pucks designed for the bigger tables - the small ones might work on the bigger tables, but the blower strength makes them much more likely to fly off. We’ve all seen that one before…
The materials used
Sturdier material makes for a more durable puck: it stands to reason. The fewer replacements you should need to buy. All the ones that make our top ten are made from high-quality plastic, helping them maintain their shape, whack after whack after whack! They also are less likely to chip or bend if you press on the center (unless it really is some whack you are hitting it)
Avoid recycled materials. They might be marginally better for the environment, but they are nowhere near as sturdy, and you’ll have your hand in your pocket again before you know it.
Quality of puck
You’re looking for the USAA stamp of quality here. It should also be free from any dodgy chemicals or toxins. If they peel when you scratch a nail across, it can be a red flag for this one - suggesting they were colored after they were molded.
Do you need a fluorescent one?
If you play primarily in darker rooms - a bar or party, for example - you need to consider their visibility in weaker lighting. It’s not rocket science here, but it’s something easily forgotten when you are shopping for them.
Do they come with a guarantee?
If you take a chance and find, for one of the reasons above may be, that the puck just isn’t best suited for your table, then having a warranty to back you up is worthwhile. No, pucks aren’t a massive expense, but the money is better in your pocket than yours, right?
What are the best air hockey pucks of 2021?
[Please note these are NOT in order - their price and features will determine which is best for you and your table]
1. Dynamo Air Hockey Pucks Set
These babies are bright green, so perfect for playing at speed or night-time. They are on the light side of medium weight and have a diameter of 2.5mm.
Their high-quality polycarbonate grade plastic has high tensile strength and sturdiness to withstand the different types and intensities of shots you play in the game.
The bottom has a smooth finish to slide on the tabletop with high speed and nearly no zero friction. The puck is designed with its center of gravity right at the middle. Hence, the directional flow and levitation will always be parallel to the tabletop, and the probability of flying off the table is almost non-existent.
- Fluorescent green for clear visibility
- Medium-lightweight for speed and direction
- Engineered construction for quality play
- No obvious negatives
2. Super Z replacement pucks
These are great whether you take your air hockey seriously, or whether it’s your warm-up for beer pong.
They have a 2.5 diameter, with sturdy construction and a smooth finish. The bright red color makes it perfect if you play at night too.
The one slight negative is the softness of its edges which makes it more likely to fly off these table walls towards the goals.
- Designed for all types of air hockey tables
- High resistance to stress and striker impact
- Bright red color for maximum fun
- The probability of flying out is high on large air hockey tables
3. ONE250 Air Hockey Pushers and Pucks
These come in a decent selection of different colors, so you can choose your favorite or switch them up with the teams.
This set comes with four paddles, too, so you can have a spare or play in teams if you like. Made with high-quality ABS plastic, even if you’re playing every day, they'll last the pace. The rounded tops are a comfortable size for adults without being too big for the kiddos as well, which is a bonus.
- Variety of colors
- Good value price
- Decent materials
- Fairly small pucks
4. Suzo-Happ Group Dynamo
The fairly large size means they are suitable even for tournament play, and their thickness ensures they won’t fly off the table no matter how hard you are playing them! The construction is sturdy, and their grain-free bottom finishing makes for a smooth and friction-free slide whilst maintaining the control you need over the shots.
Though they cost a bit more than many others, you can, at least, see where your money has gone with the effort they’ve made in engineering.
- Fluorescent color for night play and easy to find
- Suitable for the larger tables and more serious games too
- Sturdy with an excellent finish
- Not the cheapest
5. White Dynamo Air hockey puck
Dynamo is an industry leader here, and, as always, their name brings with it a guarantee of quality. And not just theirs - they meet USAA standards for construction and design so that they can be used in tournament play too.
Again, these aren’t the cheapest. But again, you get what you pay for.
Their high-density plastic makes them resistant to chipping or other damage from playing. They are 3.25 inches wide, weighing in at 1.4 ounces. They suit 7 or 8 footer tables best - any smaller, and you are better off with the 2.5 inches options they have.
This set comes with two replacement pucks and comes in three color options - white, green, or a mixture of the two.
The green pucks are loud and fast: best suited to the classic air hockey gameplay — the white ones, slower and not as loud, for those who prefer a more leisurely game.
The combo pack gives you an option for everyone!
- Sturdy construction
- USAA compatible
- Almost impossible to chip them
- Three color options
- Not the cheapest either
6. Hathaway Pro-Series Striker and Puck set
These are great if you have a home table. The ergonomic design means even kids can hold onto them, while the ABS material doesn’t sacrifice durability.
The pucks are 3-inches across, fitting nicely into standard air hockey goals. Dimples on either side help them float nicely on the table.
However, they are a bit light at only 12 ounces, so they may fly off the table if you hit them hard enough. You do need to be careful if you have any breakables or spectators in the vicinity!
A real bonus is the generous six-month warranty, so if they don’t do the job, you can change them without taking the hit.
- Ergonomic design
- Durable ABS material
- Might be a bit light-weight for some
7. Brybelly One
Ah, now these are a mighty-fine puck!
USAA standard, high density, and thickness have them flying around the table beautifully, good enough that you can execute your straight, elevated, or angular shots, and they will go where you aim. So long as you are good enough to make the shot, of course!
Their color means visibility won’t be an issue either.
- Superb control
- Fast, accurate sliding
- It might not be best suited for the smaller tables
8. Billiard Evolution 5
These come in octagon, circular, and triangle shapes in multiple colors - the variety here make them great for families and kids. Luckily this hasn’t led to any slacking off with the design though. They are sturdy and resistant to impact. The virgin plastic is also engineering-grade, free from any harmful chemicals or toxins.
The lightweight design and innovative construction make the pucks levitate and move faster when you play on air-jet tabletops, which is a lot of fun but can take a little getting used to for you purists out there!
- Colors and shapes are fantastic fun
- As is the gameplay!
- It can take a little getting used
- Spend a bit of time off the table too!
9. EpicGifts Mini Air Hockey Set
This mini set includes four pucks and two paddles and is geared - as the name implies - towards the mini tables. They fit little hands comfortably too, so there's nothing to stop the kids from getting involved in the fun too.
All pieces are made with ABS plastic, so they’re strong enough to withstand regular use, whether it's the little kids playing or the 'big kids'!
The paddles have rounded tops that are nice and comfy to hold. The raised edges protect your fingers, with a large surface to strike the puck with. The green felt on the bottom of these paddles protects the table surface while providing lovely smooth gameplay.
The pucks are lightweight, floating nicely on the surface of the table. The downside to this though is that they can fly off the table if you give them to firm a whack them. So you do need to be careful, especially when you are playing with younger members of the family.
Another great feature is the price. Compared to some of the others we have mentioned, they’re almost a giveaway. So if your games are less competitive and more kid-orientated, these are probably the sensible and prudent options.
They come with a money-back guarantee too, so if you aren’t happy, you won’t be crying about it too long.
- Great for kids
- Includes paddles
- Fantastic value
- Very light
- Not suitable for more ‘serious’ gaming
10. Bankshot Billiards Pucks
These boast a 3.25-inch diameter that is suitable for even tournament-level air hockey, so you can guess that the design is of high-quality construction and finish.
The elevated center base allows easy control over your shots, no matter how hard you hit them or at what angle.
They have high tensile strength and are built to last. These aren’t a purchase; they are an investment.
- Professional design and construction
- Fantastic control possible
- Elevated design allows for quicker floating shots too
- None that I can see!
You can also check our article on the 20 Great Bar Games: The Ultimate List.
Well, I bet you had no idea there was quite so much to know about the humble air hockey puck! Now, you can put your money down safely in the knowledge you are getting the very best value and quality you can from it.
If you have any air hockey-related questions or would like to look at our fine selection of tables (even if I do say so myself), then please pop over and have a look at The Game Room Plus. Our friendly experts are available on live chat to answer any queries you have, big or small.
“What hockey puck weight do I need for my table?”, “What table is best for me?”, “How do I play the perfect slice shot?”.
Okay, maybe not the last one…but anything else, don’t hesitate to drop us a message. We look forward to chatting with you!