Released in 2019, the Butterfly Dignics 05 is Butterfly’s top-of-the-line grippy offensive rubber. Since its release, Dignics 05 has overtaken Tenergy 05’s spot as the most popular grippy rubber used by professional players.
Dignics 05 brings a reputation for being one of a kind in terms of its balance of spin, power, and control.
To try it out for ourselves and draw our own conclusions, we bought a new sheet specifically for this Dignics 05 review. We tested it for around 50 hours to understand how this rubber performs.
Some players who use the Dignics 05 are Tomokazu Harimoto, Lin Yun-Ju, Patrick Franziska, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Kanak Jha, among others. Should you be joining them?
The strongest attributes of the Dignics 05 I found are its spin and power. It excels at looping, powerlooping, blocking, and counterlooping while being better at touch shots than most of its competition. The key characteristic of the Dignics 05 is that it isn’t as springy as the Tenergy series, but it is more powerful when you hit hard. Butterfly was able to achieve this effect due to the addition of an even grippier topsheet and a harder sponge.
The harder sponge on the Dignics gives the rubber a lot more gears than the Tenergy line while making it more stable. It is slower and more controllable in touch shots while being more powerful on all-out powerloops. The main downsides of this rubber are its price and that it requires proper technique and a high swing speed to get the most out of it.
Perfect for: For advanced offensive players on their preferred attacking side, or advanced defenders on the forehand side. 4-10+ years of playing.
Alvaro brings 7+ years of playing experience. He’s tested 20+ rubbers for Racket Insight and his style is The Controller.
Blade Used: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC, Tibhar Stratus Power Wood
Rubber Thickness: 2.1mm
Hours Tested: 50+
Table of Contents
- Recommended Playstyles
- Design of the Butterfly Dignics 05
- Dignics 05 vs Tenergy 05
- The Durability of Dignics 05
- Is Dignics 05 Good Value?
- Playtesting the Butterfly Dignics 05
- Alternatives to the Butterfly Dignics 05
- Overall reflections on the Butterfly Dignics 05
We recommend the Butterfly Dignics 05 for high level attackers who want a controllable yet extremely powerful offensive rubber.
Design of the Butterfly Dignics 05
I want to preface this review by saying that this is a special one. If you’ve ever read a Racket Insight review, we usually test rubbers for around 10 hours on a Tibhar Stratus Power Wood.
This time, we tested the Dignics on the SPW as usual, but I thought that it made sense to put it on my personal racket with a Fan Zhendong ALC blade as well.
As a result, we’ll go over how this rubber fared over time, how it performed in tournament play, how it plays on all-wood blades, and how it plays on an ALC blade.
In fact, all the footage for this review will be from tournament play.
The Butterfly Dignics 05 comes in a high-quality sealed package. It’s the same packaging as every other regular Butterfly rubber.
We think that Butterfly could’ve done something different with the packaging considering the Dignics’ price point. The Dignics’ packaging is literally the same quality as the $5 Yinhe Mercury 2 we reviewed some months ago.
Upon opening the package, we find the rubber. The version we ordered is a black 2.1mm sheet of Dignics 05.
The topsheet of the Dignics 05 is the grippiest we’ve ever tried despite it having very little tackiness. The sponge is crimson red and it is very hard at 40 degrees. On the ESN scale, the Dignics 05 would probably be around 51-53 degrees.
In terms of weight, the Dignics 05 is great, as it weighs just 48 grams when cut to my Fan Zhendong ALC.
The Dignics 05 incorporates many groundbreaking innovations since the Dignics line was basically built from the ground up by Butterfly.
Dignics 05 vs Tenergy 05
Upon its release, many reviewers concluded that the Dignics 05 wasn’t necessarily better than the Tenergy 05, but that it was very different.
However, professional players didn’t think that was the case, as virtually every high-level professional adopted the Dignics from the get-go, so something about the Dignics 05 was clearly better than the Tenergy 05 for them.
In fact, the vast majority of players who now play with Dignics used to play with Tenergy, so this means they consider the Dignics to be the superior rubber.
At Racket Insight, we have tested both of these rubbers extensively, and we have also listened to the opinions of high-level players.
The main differences between the Dignics 05 and the Tenergy 05 are
- The Dignics has a much harder sponge and a stiffer topsheet, which makes it less bouncy but more powerful.
- The Dignics is grippier.
- The Dignics is around 2x more durable.
We’ll go into points 1. and 2. more in-depth in the “playtesting” section. For now, I want to focus on our third point.
The Durability of Dignics 05
Most players agree that the Dignics 05 price is way too steep. I’m not so sure.
Paying nearly $100 for a rubber seems stupidly high. I agree that the vast majority of players don’t need a rubber that’s so expensive, but I’d also argue that some players benefit from the more expensive rubbers.
If you’re an offensive player who takes the sport seriously and wants a high-performance rubber, you’ve got many options.
Both of these are very durable and relatively affordable but they aren’t as powerful, spinny, or controllable as the Dignics.
You could also go for high-performance European rubbers such as the Donic Bluestorm Z1, the Donic Bluestorm Pro AM, or the Tibhar Evolution MX-P.
These rubbers are very fast and spinny, but they aren’t as controllable as the Dignics, and they lose grip and power very quickly because they’re heavily factory tuned.
The Dignics 05 is one of the best rubbers on the planet in terms of performance and it lasts more than 3 times longer than a Tibhar MX-P would.
Is Dignics 05 Good Value?
If you think about it, you can get a Dignics 05 for $95 and it would be a more economical choice than most of the heavily boosted ESN rubbers, as one Dignics rubber lasts many times the life of the average boosted ESN rubber.
It’s also a lot more economical than the Tenergy series, as the Dignics 05 lasts roughly twice as long as Tenergy lasts while being just $15 more expensive.
Therefore, I think that the Dignics makes sense at this price point. It’s a top-tier rubber and it lasts for a long time.
Speaking of durability, I think that it’s one of the Dignics’ main strengths, not only because it needs to be replaced less often, but also because it retains its playing characteristics for longer.
If you’ve played with rubbers such as the MX-P, its performance varies drastically from week to week as the topsheet starts to deteriorate and the factory booster evaporates.
This makes it so that you’re always playing with a different rubber and with a worse version of the rubber you initially bought every time you play with it.
I have played the Dignics 05 for 50 hours in a month and it’s practically brand new. By this time, an MX-P would already be in bad shape and would need to be replaced.
The performance of the Dignics 05 hasn’t varied one bit since I got it, and this really helps when adapting to the rubber.
I remember that when I finally got used to one sheet I had of the Donic Bluestorm Pro AM, it was nearing the end of its life, as I only got around 50-60 hours out of it before the center was light gray and the ball was slipping very often, especially when countering.
Overall, I believe that makes Dignics 05 fantastic value for money despite the expensive price point.
- Weight (Cut): 48g
- Speed: High
- Spin: Very High
- Control: Medium-High
- Tackiness: Slightly Tacky
- Hardness: Hard
- ITTF Approved: Yes
- Sponge Thickness: 1.9mm or 2.1mm
Summary: Dominate the whole pallet of offensive strokes with the ultimate grippy rubber.
Playtesting the Butterfly Dignics 05
As we said before, we initially tested the Dignics 05 on our usual testing blade, the Tibhar Stratus Power Wood.
However, I didn’t feel that the Dignics 05 was a good fit for the SPW. I thought that the combination of an OFF- blade with this rubber didn’t have enough speed to hit winners past my opponents.
Don’t get me wrong, the Stratus Power Wood is a superb blade, but given the Dignics 05’s moderate base speed and its hardness, you really had to work hard to make the ball go.
Other bouncier rubbers such as the Tenergy line or most European tensors work a lot better on ALL+ or OFF- blades than the Dignics 05. I wouldn’t recommend pairing the Dignics with a blade that doesn’t have a high base speed unless you’re willing to boost the rubber.
I thought I wasn’t doing the Dignics any favors by pairing it with the Stratus Power Wood, so I decided to try it on my personal racket. A Fan Zhendong ALC OFF blade.
If you think about it, the Dignics is a top-tier rubber, so it was engineered to be paired with top-tier blades.
I found that the Dignics worked superbly on my Fan Zhendong ALC. It has just enough base speed, it shoots rockets when you hit hard, it has tons of gears, and it’s controllable in the short game and when playing counters.
If you’re planning on trying out the Dignics 05, I’d suggest that you pair it with OFF or even OFF+ blades.
As I mentioned before, the Dignics 05 doesn’t have that much base speed. This makes it a lot better than most other offensive rubbers when playing blocks, countertopspins, when pushing, and when serving.
Most professional players switched from Tenergy rubbers to Dignics rubbers to gain this edge in the touch game and when countering.
These professional players have very high swing speeds and they aren’t hindered that much from the loss of base speed, as they don’t need their rubbers to do the work for them.
Hence, the Dignics 05 is the ideal offensive rubber for high-level players, as its super hard sponge has tons of power reserves that are accessible only with high swing speeds, and when you don’t swing that hard, the rubber is really controllable.
However, players who don’t have high swing speeds won’t be able to get as much power from this rubber.
My forehand is my biggest strength, and I can barely make the Dignics 05 worth playing with. I think my forehand’s swing speed is close to the lower limit that someone should have if they want to utilize this rubber.
Driving and looping
Driving and looping is essentially what the Dignics 05 was designed for.
Drives have a neutral feel to them and they are super safe and easy to execute because of the Dignics’ moderate base speed. You never feel like the rubber is going to do anything strange.
The feedback the Dignics gives when driving is one of stability and control because the catapult effect doesn’t kick in when driving. Because the rubber is super hard,the contact always feels nice and controlled.
When looping, the Dignics 05 is truly a special rubber.
Loops have a medium / medium-low arc. The ball shoots off the rubber in a rather flat parabola and then it dips violently when it reaches the other half of the table.
The Dignics’ throw is towards the low and flat side, unlike the vast majority of the Tenergy range. The throw of the Dignics 05 when looping is essentially the opposite of the Tenergy 05’s.
The Tenergy 05 produces a high arc that lands relatively shallow on the opponent’s side. This makes the T05 a rather controllable rubber, considering its speed levels.
The Dignics 05, on the other hand, doesn’t produce as much of an arc, and most shots land deeper into the opponent’s side. This makes loops a lot more dangerous.
One would think that a lower throw would imply a lower margin for error, right? Well, that’s not the case with the Dignics, and that’s why it’s such a special rubber.
Because of the Dignics’ superb grip, the ball dips down on the other side of the table like no other rubber we’ve ever tried at Racket Insight.
This creates a special effect: You have the effectiveness of a rather low loop while having the safety of a loop that dips down tremendously.
In comparison to the Hurricane 3 NEO, the Dignics’ ball has the same flat parabola in the first half of the flight path, but the ball dips down a lot more in the second half, giving the player a lot more safety.
Once you get used to the angle you have to hit to clear the net, and provided you have a high enough swing speed, the rubber just does the rest, as the ball seems to dip down by itself.
In terms of power, the Dignics’ rubber activates more and more the harder and harder you hit with it. You can shoot rockets once you activate the sponge to its full potential, but if you don’t hit as hard, you won’t get much quality.
Here are some loops I played with the D05 in tournament play:
In terms of open ups, the Dignics behaves amazingly, as the ball doesn’t rebound off the racket too quickly, and the grip levels of the rubber really come into play.
I was able to force easy mistakes time and time again from my opponents just from my spinny open ups.
The Dignics 05 is also superb when it comes to counterlooping, as it has more grip than virtually every other rubber available, and again, the ball doesn’t shoot off the rubber too quickly.
When countering, you have lots of dwell time, and this is the biggest advantage the Dignics has in comparison to other rubbers.
You can really feel the ball in the topsheet, the sponge hardness gives counters lots of stability and the ball stays in the rubber for a fraction longer than most other high-performance rubbers.
This is also one of the main reasons why professional players switched from Tenergy to Dignics, as the Dignics line gives them a greater margin for error when trying to counter the fastest and spinniest loops in the world.
Here’s a clip of some of the counters I played in tournament play:
Serve and receive
Serving and receiving are some of the best areas of the Dignics 05. This is because the Dignics isn’t a bouncy rubber, and it’s one of the grippiest in the market.
The Dignics is an absolute joy to serve with, as it’s easy to load serves with spin and control their placement and depth.
In terms of serve receive, the Dignics is also great.It’s not bouncy at all in the short game, so you can play short pushes with ease. It’s also a superb rubber for pushing long with tons of spin.
Flicking isn’t that easy, but if you get used to it, the Dignics 05 will produce very spinny flicks.
It isn’t so easy to play backhand flicks with the Dignics because of its relatively flat arc.
When you flick the ball, it doesn’t give you that initial safety that other higher-throwing rubbers give you.
The Tenergy 05 for example, clears the net on banana flicks almost by itself. With the Dignics, you have to work harder to produce high-quality flicks, but you can definitely do it if you adjust your racket angle.
Blocking and chopping
Blocking with the Dignics 05 is superb.
The Dignics 05 is very hard and stable, its arc isn’t high, and it isn’t too bouncy. This makes it the ideal rubber for blocking.
Tomokazu Harimoto, one of the best blockers in the world, uses the Dignics 05 on both sides and it’s easy to understand why.
The Dignics is superb for both active and passive blocks, as it’s easy to control fast shots due to its hardness and its lack of a pronounced catapult effect.
Blocking with most high-performance rubbers is very hard especially due to their bounciness.
The Dignics 05 has a massive edge over the other rubbers because of its moderate base speed and its hardness. It’s just a lot better at blocking than virtually every other rubber.
In terms of chopping, the Dignics 05 is also really strong. You can control the ball well because it doesn’t shoot out rapidly and you can put tons of spin on the ball because of the Dignics’ special topsheet.
However, it can be a bit tricky to get used to the Dignics’ low arc, so it’s sometimes a bit hard to clear the net, but once you get used to it, the Dignics 05 is actually an excellent chopping rubber.
Alternatives to the Butterfly Dignics 05
An excellent choice for modern, high-level European-Japanese style attackers.
The Butterfly Dignics 09c is, together with the Dignics 05, the most popular offensive rubber among non-Chinese professionals.
The Butterfly Tenergy 05 is the other alternative you have if you want a flagship European rubber. The Tenergy 05 is more explosive but less controllable.
The Andro Rasanter R47 is an easier version to play of the Dignics 05, as its also controllable, good at looping, counterlooping and blocking.
Overall reflections on the Butterfly Dignics 05
The Dignics 05 is a superb rubber, especially for modern offensive players with high swing speeds who don’t need their rubbers to do lots of the work for them.
It is especially good for players who want a balanced rubber that’s great in all of the areas of offensive play: Looping, counterlooping, and blocking.
If you’re an offensive player, you’re going to do these 3 things 99% of the time when playing rallies.
You’re either looping to push your advantage, you’re counterlooping to gain the upper hand, or you’re blocking your opponent’s attacks.
The Dignics 05 excels at these 3 things.
If we compared it to the Tenergy 05, it could be argued that the Tenergy 05 is better for looping, as it’s more explosive and it’s easier to get high-quality shots out of it.
I’d personally say that the Tenergy 05 is better for looping, the Dignics 05 is equal or better when powerlooping, and the Dignics 05 is better at blocking, counterlooping, and in the short game.
If you’re a player who wants a fast rubber that will add tons of speed to your shots, I’d get the Tenergy or a European rubber such as the Tibhar Evolution MX-P.
However, if you’re someone who has good technique, and you want to gain an edge when powerlooping, counterlooping, blocking, and when playing touch shots, the Dignics 05 is virtually impossible to beat. This is why professional players play with Dignics.
In addition, the Dignics 05 is very durable and its playing characteristics don’t change drastically as it wears down. After 50 hours of intensive use, my Dignics 05 is still nearly brand new, so it isn’t as overpriced as it may seem at first glance. I’d even argue that it’s good value for money.
Have you played with Dignics 05? Let us know in the comments below if you agree or disagree with my Dignics 05 review.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 100 in his native Argentina. He loves to compete in provincial tournaments and is always looking for ways to improve. Alvaro made his favourite memories with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight team to share his passion with other players!
Blade: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC | Forehand: Butterfly Dignics 05 | Backhand: Butterfly Rozena
Playstyle: The Controller