Air hockey is one of those games that people of all ages at different levels of experience and different levels of sobriety can enjoy. Easy for both kids and adults to learn with little frustration, it’s a great way for families and friends to spend time together and peacefully duel out their differences. An air hockey table uses one or more motors to power blowers that create a cushion of air that the puck skims over. Many newer air hockey tables use electronic scoring units to keep track of goals depending on the game settings selected by the players. When the puck is bouncing from one end of the play field to the other, it’s hard to keep track of the score yourself. Leg levelers are another great feature to adjust for slight dips and angles in your floor.
A prime example of one of the best air hockey table models is the Gold Standard Games Home Pro Elite. This air hockey table is a great product, with features like a powerful motor, durable play field surface material, and automatic electronic scorekeeping, but it has a high price. We tested other air hockey tables on the market in search of a comparable table that could be purchased for a low price. After dozens of games, we decided that the American Legend Power Play table was the best alternative that had a low price without sacrificing quality. Both have similar lengths and widths, so you have plenty of room for bank shots and other strategies. We hope our quick-and-simple air hockey table reviews and comparison help you on your way to getting an awesome home air hockey table.
The Gold Standard Games Home Pro Elite almost gets an automatic seal of approval for being designed by an air hockey champion. However, it also has a lot of great features. The slick laminate play field is smooth and durable, and the automatic electronic scorekeeping system has different game options to keep things fresh. Its heavy 270-pound weight makes it a great permanent game room fixture. Since this table was designed by a pro, it is a great option for people who play air hockey competitively and need a great practice table. The standard sizing and heavy weight provide an accurate practice game that can stand up to a lot of action. It can be a sturdy addition to a “man cave” or adult game room. However, for a family game night table or casual players, it may not be necessary to cough up for this air hockey table’s high price when there’s a nice alternative option right around the corner.
The American Legend Power Play air hockey table has a comparable motor size to the Gold Standard Games table as well as a slick laminate surface. It weighs 155 pounds, so it is a better option for people who live in apartments (it’s easier to take with you if you move out) and who want to be able to easily move this air hockey table off to the side to create more space for other activities. It also has a “handicapping” feature that the Gold Standard Games air hockey table lacks. This feature is especially handy for playing with kids. It allows you to adjust the width of one or both goals, which are denoted by LED lights. It’s an easy way to change the difficulty of the game, either to mix things up or for fairness’ sake. There are over 80 other play settings as well, which is helpful for kids who tend to get bored with the same thing after a while. That’s why we recommend the American Legend Power Play air hockey table as a great cheap alternative for families, apartment dwellers, and casual players of all ages.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table has a single 110 Volt 3000 RPM motor. This motor blows air through the holes in your air hockey table to make the puck “float,” and is often the most expensive part of the table.
The American Legend air hockey table has a single 120 volt motor 2500 RPM. That small difference in RPM is insignificant for most players, and a powerful motor combined with a low price is a rare opportunity.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table has a play field covered in a ¾-inch thick layer of slick laminate. This ultra-smooth surface helps to give the puck an easy glide for fast, smooth gameplay. Other air hockey tabletop materials you might see include particle board, which tends to be less smooth and easier to chip.
The American Legend air hockey table also uses ¾-inch slick laminate, a surface that might remind you of a dry-erase board. It’s easy to clean. Unlike bubble hockey tables, air hockey tables don’t require periodic waxing, but keeping dust from building up in the play field holes is a great way to keep the motor happy.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table has “pro style” solid aluminum rails with a low profile. A good rail design doesn’t absorb the puck’s momentum, so you can get the best “bounce” and ricochet for your bank shots.
The American Legend air hockey table has ½-inch aluminum rails similar to the Gold Standard Games table, although the American Legend play field is rounded at the corners, while the Gold Standard Games’ table has pointed corners.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table has leg levelers, so it’s easy to adjust the playing field. Your floor might be generally even, but small imperfections can cause the table to sit at a slight angle. This convenient feature is a lot easier to use than trying to DIY your own height adjustments.
The American Legend air hockey table also has leg levelers. If you notice the puck tends to favor one side of the table more than the other, adjusting the leg levelers is a quick fix to even up your game. The levelers can adjust up to three inches in height, which is enough for most floors.
Although the Gold Standard Games air hockey table has an electronic scoring system, the goal widths are fixed. As a result, it is difficult to set up handicaps in games against inexperienced players or children, making it a less family-friendly air hockey table design.
The American Legend air hockey table has an electronic scoring system combined with a flexible goal width option, indicated by ten LED lights. You can set a custom width to each goal for extra difficulty or to give young players more opportunities to score.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table comes with two pucks and two strikers. This is pretty standard for included accessories, but is an inconvenient option for family homes where things tend to go missing or break more often than average. Each puck is the standard 3.25-inch size, weighing 32 grams each (or a little over one ounce).
The American Legend air hockey table comes with four pucks and two strikers, so you have a little more of a buffer before you have to go out and buy new pucks. These pucks and strikers are designed similarly to the Gold Standard Games accessories. Pucks should be replaced when the sides are noticeably worn down from play.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table automatically tracks your score and allows you to play timed games or race-to-the-finish games as well as free play.
The American Legend air hockey table also has an automatic electronic scoreboard with over 80 game options pre-programmed along with the flexible goal.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table measures 85.5 by 45 inches around and is 31 inches tall. This size is the “regulation-size” air hockey table used in competitions. It is very close in size to the American Legend air hockey table.
The American Legend air hockey table is 84 by 46 inches around and 31 inches high. We think most players won’t notice the size difference between the two tables, and neither is significantly more compact than the other.
The Gold Standard Games air hockey table weighs 270 pounds, over one hundred pounds heavier than the American Legend air hockey table. This table is a very solid choice, but the heavier weight makes it difficult to pack up or move.
The American Legend air hockey table weighs 155 pounds. While still being heavy enough to remain stable during rowdy games, this table weighs 43% less than the Gold Standard Games table and is easier to move around if needed.