The Butterfly Tenergy 80 is a legendary table tennis rubber.
The Tenergy 80 has been the choice of many professional players since its release and it’s still used by thousands of high-level players across the world.
The Tenergy 80 lies in between the Tenergy 05 and the Tenergy 64, combining the blisteringly fast speed of the 64 with the enormous spin capabilities of the 05.
We bought a sheet specifically for this Tenergy 80 review, testing it for 10+ hours to discover exactly how it behaves.
Perfect for: Intermediate and advanced attackers on the forehand side, advanced offensive players on the backhand side. 4-10+ years of playing.
Table of Contents
Design of the Butterfly Tenergy 80
The Butterfly Tenergy 80 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 of Tenergy 80.
The topsheet of the Tenergy 80 is extremely grippy and slightly tacky.
The sponge on the Tenergy 80 is an intense orange color. Its hardness is medium-hard, around 48 degrees ESN. However, the topsheet isn’t stiff and the sponge is very dynamic, making it feel softer than it actually is.
The Tenergy 80 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 was first 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. It’s just that there’s nothing 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 05 has a structure in which the pimples are closer together than those in the Tenergy 64. This makes the Tenergy 05 the spinniest of all the Tenergies and also the slowest and most spin sensitive.
On the other hand, the Tenergy 64 has its pimples spread wider apart, which gives it more spin insensitivity, makes it softer, and a lot faster.
The Tenergy 80 lies just in between these two. This is why the Tenergy 80 is known as the “balanced” Tenergy. It doesn’t have as much spin as the Tenergy 05 nor as much speed as the Tenergy 64, but it strikes a great balance between the two.
Even though it’s touted as a balanced rubber, the Tenergy 80 is still super fast and spinny, as it’s essentially the combination of one of the spinniest rubbers ever created with one of the fastest rubbers in the market.
Its medium-high arc also lies in between that of the Tenergy 05 and the Tenergy 64:
The Butterfly Tenergy 80 weighs in at 48 grams, an excellent 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 80 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 80
The Tenergy 80 is a medium / medium-hard, fast, spinny rubber.
I tried it for hours on both wings before deciding that it suits my forehand best.
The Tenergy 80 is a great rubber for both wings. In fact, most professional players are likely to use the Tenergy 80 on their backhand side.
The reasons why it suited my forehand better than my backhand are its speed levels and its spin sensitivity.
I’m not a player who uses the backhand flick much, I generally prefer to touch short or push long.
One of the weaknesses of the Tenergy 80 compared to one of my favorite backhand rubbers, the Rasanter R42, is in its passive serve receive.
With the Tenergy 80, I really struggled when receiving my opponent’s serves. If I slightly misread the spin on the ball, then I’d pop it up or dump it in the net.
However, this is an amazing rubber for backhand exchanges. So, if you feel comfortable receiving serves, then you could use it on your backhand side and you’ll be very happy with it.
Driving and looping
The Tenergy line is made for aggressive looping. Driving with the Tenergy 80 is fine, but loops and flat hits are outstanding.
The Tenergy 80 delivers a lively feel in the hand. Drives travel with a high arc, feel stable, and have good speed.
When looping, the Tenergy 80 shows its true colors.
The Tenergy 80 is nothing but sensational for looping. Loops travel with plenty of safety and instill a sense of confidence in the player.
I found that I could get more forehand loops on the table with the Tenergy 80 than with a comparable rubber, the Evolution MX-P. This is due to its arc.
The arc on the Tenergy 80 is quite pronounced, whereas the arc on the MX-P is a bit flatter, making it more unforgiving.
Forehand loops with the Tenergy 80 carry great speed and spin, a lot more than conventional ESN rubbers. Loops hit with the Tenergy 80 had noticeably more speed and spin than those played with the Rasanter R47 or the Fastarc G-1.
A trademark attribute of the Tenergy line is its high arc and bounce. Loops hit with the Tenergy 80 “kick” upwards after bouncing on the table.
This makes the opponent’s blocks return slightly higher, which gives the attacker more margin for error on the next shot.
If I had to choose one, I’d say that countering away from the table is the Tenergy 80’s best attribute.
Playing away from the table requires little effort and the arc is just perfect. The Tenergy 80 is very consistent and it’s also very good when picking up low balls.
It has tons of grip, plenty of speed, and a safe, high arc, making it ideal for rallies at mid-distance and away from the table.
As I said before, when the ball bounces on the table, it kicks forwards violently, making it harder for opponents to deal with. This effect is especially noticeable in counterloop rallies.
Another attribute I love about the Tenergy 80 is its very satisfying “cracking” sound, which is even more pronounced when countering away from the table:
As for counters close to the table, I initially struggled quite a bit, and it’s easy to understand why.
The high arc combined with a high spin sensitivity and high speeds made me overshoot the table over and over again.
The thing is, I like creating topspin with an open angle. With the Tenergy 80, you have to close the racket angle quite a bit.
Once I closed the racket angle more and more, I was able to topspin with great power and consistency.
Open-ups were also an area of strength for the Tenergy 80.
It’s more responsive than usual and it also has a relatively high arc, so you’re likely to overshoot the table if you contact the ball too thickly.
If you have good timing, however, open-ups require little effort and are loaded with spin.
Something that surprised me about the Tenergy 80 was its strength in flat hit shots.
The Tenergy 05 is said to be quite weak in this aspect and the Tenergy 64 is great for flat hitting. The Tenergy 80 lies just in between and it strikes a good balance between the two.
If you flat-hit the ball with good timing, the rubber will shoot out a very fast ball. The Tenergy’s throw also makes flat hitting quite safe, and its hardness makes flat hitting very stable.
I really liked flat hitting with the Tenergy 80 on the backhand side.
Speaking of which, backhand exchanges are phenomenal with the Tenergy 80 if you have good timing.
The Tenergy 80 is great at looping, flat hitting, and blocking, the 3 most used strokes in backhand exchanges.
In addition to this, its safe arc and its ease to generate power make it a deadly weapon on the backhand wing.
You can play a combination of loops, flat hits, and blocks, and your opponent will have lots of trouble considering the speed of this rubber.
In comparison to the Rasanter R42, I scored many more points with the Tenergy 80 in this regard. However, I did make more errors because of its lesser control.
In the right hands, the Tenergy 80 is a superb backhand rubber.
I liked it more on the forehand side because I was able to control it better, but I can see why so many high-level players choose the Tenergy 80 on the backhand side.
Serve and receive
Serving and receiving is great with the Tenergy 80. The only caveat is that passive serve receives can be tricky.
In terms of serving, the Tenergy 80 is excellent. Serves carry noticeably more spin than your average rubber.
Long serves are also better because of the trampoline effect of the Tenergy 80. The ball shoots off the rubber very quickly and the opponent receives a very fast, spinny ball.
However, it must be noted that short serves are more difficult to perform than with other offensive rubbers because of the bouncy nature of the Tenergy 80.
If you get used to serving with the Tenergy 80, then you’ll be able to serve with any depth and any spin you want.
In addition to this, open-ups and loops are great with the Tenergy 80, so it’s a very good 3rd-5th ball attack rubber.
You can serve backspin and open up, or serve long and loop-kill the following ball.
Active serve receives are great with the Tenergy 80. Passive serve receives, not so much.
The Tenergy 80 is a superb flicking rubber. Its high arc helps when clearing the net and its spin generation and explosiveness make it a great rubber for the banana flick (or strawberry flick).
The grip levels on the Tenergy 80 are superb, so opening up play against short backspin serves is easier than with most other rubbers we’ve tried.
However, the passive serve receive with the Tenergy 80 is definitely its weakest point in my opinion.
I found the Tenergy 80 to be very spin sensitive, so you have to perfectly read your opponents serve and angle your racket perfectly. Against a player with deceptive serves, this leaves you no choice but to actively attack when returning.
If you slightly misjudge the spin on the ball, you’re going to give your opponent an easy chance to win the point.
Touching short is also quite hard because of the Tenergy’s bounciness.
Blocking and chopping
I really liked blocking with the Tenergy 80.
The Tenergy 80 has great stability due to its hardness which makes it very confidence-inducing when blocking.
Active blocks also work wonderfully with the Tenergy 80. With a slight flick of the wrist, you can add speed to your opponent’s shots, making your blocks very dangerous.
I didn’t find regular loops hard to block, in fact, the Tenergy’s speed and high arc made blocks quite consistent and powerful.
The only time when the Tenergy 80 was a bit hard to control is when trying to block very spinny shots, but if you angle your racket right, then the Tenergy is great for blocking.
Chopping is good but hard to execute with the Tenergy 80.
You don’t really get much dwell time and the Tenergy 80 is quite spin sensitive so you need a really good touch if you want to chop with this rubber.
However, most professional table tennis defenders use Tenergy rubbers. Why is this the case?
The Tenergy 80’s potential for chopping is through the roof. The Tenergy 80 generates spin like almost no other rubber.
It must be noted that we reviewed a 2.1mm sheet of Tenergy. Thinner variants of the Tenergy 80 would be a lot better for chopping, especially when paired with a defensive blade.
This is why we’ve given it a 4/5 for chopping.
A 2.1mm Tenergy 80 on an offensive blade, like the one we reviewed, isn’t so good for chopping because it lacks control, but if you’re looking for a chopping rubber, the Tenergy 80 is excellent.
Just make sure to order either the 1.9 or the 1.7mm variants and stick them on a slower blade and the Tenergy 80 will make a superb chopping rubber because of its spin generation.
Butterfly Tenergy 80 vs Tibhar Evolution MX-P
The speed of the Tenergy 80 is around that of the Tibhar Evolution MX-P, but the Tenergy feels slightly softer, making it a bit less linear.
I’d say the Tenergy 80 is bouncier than the MX-P but it has less speed when you start to hit harder and harder. I definitely feel more comfortable receiving serves with the MX-P than with the Tenergy 80.
In terms of spin, the Tenergy 80 is slightly superior to the MX-P.
Another difference between the two is that the arc on the Tenergy 80 has more curve and it’s a bit higher. This gives the Tenergy 80 more margin for error when looping.
The last substantial difference between the Tenergy 80 and the MX-P is their durability. The durability of the Tenergy 80 is vastly superior to that of the MX-P.
Learn more in our review of the Tibhar Evolution MX-P.
Overall reflections on the Butterfly Tenergy 80
The Butterfly Tenergy 80 is a superb offensive rubber.
In the end, what surprised me the most about the Tenergy 80 wasn’t its spin nor its speed. I already knew before trying it that this rubber was something special in that regard.
What I wasn’t expecting was its consistency. I found it quite hard to miss the table when looping due to the Tenergy 80’s safe arc and softer feel than most ultra offensive rubbers.
In comparison to the MX-P, a rubber with very similar characteristics, I found that I was a lot more consistent with the Tenergy 80 because of its parabola.
The Tenergy 80 is a superb offensive rubber on both wings. I’d encourage you to try it if you’re confident in your timing and your serve receive abilities.
I personally liked it a lot better on the forehand side because that’s my stronger wing and I was able to make the most out of this fine rubber.
However, it also has great characteristics if you want to use it on your backhand side.
I personally made many mistakes on the backhand side because I couldn’t handle the speed and spin of the Tenergy 80. I like controlled offensive rubbers such as the Rasanter R42 better.
In conclusion, its strengths are looping, blocking, flat hitting, flicking, and counter topspins, so it’s a superb rubber for offensive play, provided you can handle its speed and spin sensitivity.
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