The Butterfly Tenergy 64 is one of the best offensive rubbers that money can buy, often used by the best table tennis players of the last 20 years.
The Tenergy 64 is the fastest, softest feeling, lowest-throwing, and most spin-insensitive rubber in the Tenergy line.
Is it the right rubber for you?
We bought a sheet specifically for this Tenergy 64 review, testing it for 10+ hours to discover exactly how it behaves, and who should be playing with it on their blade.
Perfect for: Intermediate and advanced attackers on the forehand side, advanced offensive players on the backhand side, intermediate and advanced defenders on the forehand side. 4-10+ years of playing.
Table of Contents
Design of the Butterfly Tenergy 64
The Butterfly Tenergy 64 comes in a high-quality sealed package.
Upon opening the package, we find the rubber. The version we ordered is a shiny red 2.1mm sheet.
The topsheet is grippy and slightly tacky to touch.
The sponge is an intense orange color. Its hardness is medium-hard, around 48 degrees ESN. Because of its pimple structure, it does feel softer during play at around 45 degrees ESN.
Technology used in the Tenergy 64
The Tenergy 64 incorporates two of Butterfly’s groundbreaking innovations: the High Tension technology and the Spring Sponge. These technologies allow for powerful, versatile offensive play.
The Tenergy 05 (review) was the first rubber released with these two technologies in 2008. To this day, most manufacturers are still trying to recreate its playing characteristics, and they still haven’t been able to achieve them.
This explains the steep price of the Tenergy line. There’s simply nothing else out there quite like these rubbers.
The difference between the 5 models of Tenergy rubbers (05, 19, 25, 64, and 80), lies in their pimple structure.
The distance between the pimples makes a huge difference. The closer the pimples are, the more contact they will have with the ball, producing a harder feel and more rotation.
The more spread apart the pimples are, the more spin insensitivity, speed, and softer feel the rubber will have.
The Tenergy 64 has a structure in which the pimples are more spread apart than those in the Tenergy 80 and the Tenergy 05. This makes the Tenergy 64 the fastest of all the Tenergies and also the softest and less spin-sensitive offering in the Tenergy line.
The Tenergy 64 is also the least spinny rubber in the Tenergy range but its spin is more than adequate when compared to the average offensive rubber.
Its arc is also the lowest in the Tenergy series:
The Butterfly Tenergy 64 weighs in at 48 grams, a great weight for a rubber with these playing characteristics.
The Tenergy line is often compared with the Hurricane 3 given that professional players in Europe use Tenergy rubbers and professional players in China use Hurricane rubbers.
There is a substantial weight difference between the Tenergy 64 and the Hurricane 3 NEO (53 grams). This is one of the advantages European rubbers have over Chinese rubbers: their lower weight.
Playtesting the Butterfly Tenergy 64
Before analyzing the rubber, I must mention that we tested the Tenergy 64 on a Tibhar Stratus Power Wood, a balanced, all-wood OFF- blade.
The Tenergy 64 can be paired with ALC blades for extreme power (most professional players favor this combination), or it can be paired with defensive blades to perform vicious chops.
The Tenergy 64 is a medium hardness, medium-throwing, rapid rubber that’s known for its direct, spin-insensitive characteristics.
Lots of professional players made use of this rubber for a long time, especially on the backhand wing.
The direct throw, the spin insensitivity, and the acceleration this rubber imparts on the ball meant that this was and still is one of the best rubbers for backhand exchanges and counter topspin rallies.
Ma Long, the greatest player of all time, used it for years on the backhand side.
In addition to this, Jun Mizutani, one of the all-time greats from Japan, utilized the Tenergy 64 on both sides of his racket.
As evidenced by the number of professional players using it on either side, it’s an amazing rubber on both wings.
Driving and looping
The Tenergy line is made for aggressive looping, so unsurprisingly driving and looping with the Tenergy 64 is great.
The Tenergy 64 delivers a lively feel in the hand, one that’s softer and bouncier in contrast to the Tenergy 05 and the rest of the Tenergy line. Drives travel with a medium arc, feel stable, and have lots of speed.
You’ll find that there isn’t that much dwell time and the ball shoots off the rubber quite violently, so it’s ideal for flat hits as you can make use of its direct throw and high speeds.
The Tenergy 64 is great for looping. It’s an excellent rubber with plenty of unique strengths but it also has some quirks.
Loops travel with enough safety and instill a sense of confidence in the player from the word go.
The arc on the Tenergy 64 is flatter than the rest of the Tenergy line. I would say that the arc on the Tenergy 64 is what I’d expect to find in a high-end offensive rubber like the Rasanter R47.
Compared to the unique arc provided by the Tenergy 05 where the ball flies up and down rapidly, this rubber feels a lot more “standard”.
The arc on the Tenergy 64 is a lot more direct, and this, added to the higher speed, has many side effects. Some are positive, others are negative.
I found that the Tenergy 64 is quite unforgiving when trying to pick up low balls.
The Tenergy 64 has a medium throw and it’s also very fast, so you have to brush the ball upwards with excellent touch to get enough clearance over the net.
It’s very easy to overshoot the table because of its speed and its flatter throw. Other rubbers in the Tenergy line are a lot better in this respect.
However, the Tenergy 64 works amazingly when you contact the ball on top of the bounce, which is the main advantage of this rubber.
If you wait for the ball to rise and then contact the ball with a forward motion, then you get direct, rapid loops that you can’t get with any other rubber.
If you catch the ball on top of the bounce, the Tenergy 64 is very consistent and produces very high-quality loops. You can shoot direct bullets at your opponent.
I think that timing the ball correctly is essential with the Tenergy 64, and it’s a lot more important than with any other rubber I’ve tried.
With the Tenergy 05, for example, you can wait for the ball to drop a bit, hit more upwards and you’ll get a consistent, spinny loop.
If you’re looping in position and with correct timing, the Tenergy 64 works like no other, but when looping out of position it’s more unforgiving than most rubbers.
The arc on the Tenergy 64 has the least clearance over the net and the ball also bounces the deepest on the table. This makes the Tenergy 64 more unforgiving but also more dangerous when used correctly.
Forehand loops with the Tenergy 64 carry lots of speed and more than adequate spin, a lot more than conventional ESN rubbers. Loops had a lot more speed and slightly more spin than those played with the Rasanter R47 or the Fastarc G-1.
In the following clip, I’m performing an irregular drill (1-2 wide forehands, 1-2 forehands from the middle)
As you can see, I was very consistent with the Tenergy 64.
If I got to the correct position to play the shot, I’d hit forwards and the ball would fly rapidly and directly. Otherwise, I’d hit the ball upwards while controlling the speed of my shot so that I didn’t overshoot the table.
Playing away from the table requires little effort and the arc is ideal. In addition to this, the Tenergy 64 is quite spin-insensitive. This means that you can simply put your weight behind the ball, hit forwards and the ball will almost always land on the table if you contact it right.
I found that if I contacted the ball on top of the bounce and just hit forwards, the ball would land on the table with great consistency and speed.
If you have good timing, then the Tenergy 64 is one of the best rubbers for playing away from the table, but again, it can be quite unforgiving if you catch the ball while it’s on its way down
Counterlooping close to the table with the Tenergy 64 was also great.
If you let the ball rise and hit forwards when it reaches the top of the bounce, you can get great consistency and tons of pace on the ball.
The Tenergy 64’s spin insensitivity also helps when countering close to the table.
Opening up required little effort but good timing. As the rubber is very fast, you don’t get as much dwell time on the ball which forces you to have great timing and technique on your stroke.
Also, the Tenergy 64 doesn’t have as pronounced a parabola as say, the Tenergy 05, so you have to be more precise to get open-ups on the table.
When you contact the ball correctly, open-ups carry good spin and speed.
The star of the show, however, were backhand exchanges.
If you asked me, I’d use the Tenergy 19 over the Tenergy 64 on my backhand side because it’s a lot more controllable.
I don’t have the required timing to make use of the Tenergy 64 to its fullest potential on the backhand side.
While playing backhand exchanges, I would constantly overshoot the table or send the ball wide. You don’t have much margin for error as the ball shoots out very quickly.
However, when I contacted the ball correctly, I could understand why this rubber is so good for the backhand side.
With a very short stroke, you can generate tremendous amounts of power.
It’s a double-edged sword, really. In the right hands, Tenergy 64 can produce shots that no other rubber can (especially on the backhand side). However, if you don’t have the necessary skills and experience, you’ll find this rubber quite unforgiving.
Serve and receive
Serving and receiving are quite impressive with the Tenergy 64.
In addition to this, the Tenergy 64 is quite bouncy, so it’s harder to serve short with it than with most other rubbers.
In short, you can get a lot of spin on your serves but you’ll have to get used to the bounciness of the Tenergy 64 when trying to serve short.
Active serve receives are great with the Tenergy 64. Passive serve receives are better than with other Tenergies, but they’re still tricky to pull off.
The Tenergy 64 is a superb flicking rubber. Its speed, spin insensitivity, and hardness make it a great rubber for the backhand banana flick.
The passive serve receive with the Tenergy 64 is average. The rubber isn’t affected as much by incoming spins but you still have to know what you’re doing.
Even if it’s more spin insensitive, the Tenergy 64 is still a Tenergy, and it’s the fastest Tenergy at that.
If you slightly misread spin, you don’t get as punished as with the Tenergy 80 or 05, for example. However, touching short is harder because of its speed.
Blocking and chopping
I really liked blocking with the Tenergy 64.
The Tenergy 64 can cause lots of trouble to opponents because of its speed levels, and it isn’t as hard to block with because of its flatter throw and relative spin insensitivity.
The rubber is designed for direct shots. Active blocks and punch-type shots are spectacular with the Tenergy 64. With a slight flick of the wrist, you can add speed to your opponent’s shots, making your blocks very dangerous.
Blocks do require good touch, though, as the ball shoots off the rubber rapidly. The speed of the Tenergy 64 will reward good blockers but it’ll penalize players who don’t feel as confident in their blocking abilities.
If you have the required skills, the Tenergy 64 is one of the best blocking rubbers you can get.
You can feel that the Tenergy 64 is more spin insensitive than all the other Tenergies when chopping. Despite it being the fastest Tenergy of all, it´s a lot easier to chop with than the other Tenergies.
You can slow down a Tenergy 64 by using it on a defensive blade, but you can’t make the other Tenergies more spin-insensitive. Lots of high-level defenders are using it, and the best defender of all time, Joo Se Hyuk used it for years.
In this clip, we can see the great touch and safety the Tenergy 64 has.
It must be noted that we reviewed a 2.1mm sheet of Tenergy. Thinner variants of the Tenergy 64 would be a lot better for chopping, especially when paired with a defensive blade.
Overall reflections on the Butterfly Tenergy 64
The Butterfly Tenergy 64 is a superb rubber for anyone that can make use of its unique characteristics.
In short, I’d recommend the Tenergy 64 for hitters, high-level defenders, loopers who value speed more than spin, blockers, and high-level players on their backhand side.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 200 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: Tibhar Stratus Power Wood | Forehand: Nittaku Fastarc G-1 | Backhand: Rasanter R42
Playstyle: Forehand Looper