The Killerspin JET series are an interesting range of rackets with the JET200, JET400, JET600 and JET800 available. The range becomes more premium as you increase in number between 200 – 800, so the JET400 comes in as a mid-range racket in the Killerspin JET lineup.
I’ve reviewed the Killerspin JET400 extensively alongside similar beginner-intermediate rackets to see how it stacks up, based on 15+ years of playing experience and 8+ years of coaching beginners. Was I impressed by the JET400?
Perfect For: Beginners looking to improve to Intermediate / Club and develop good technique. 1 – 5 years of playing.
That’s a very positive summary of the Killerspin JET400, so let me dive into why I think this is such a great racket for beginner and intermediate players.
Table of Contents
Killerspin JET Range
Killerspin is an American Table Tennis manufacturer, founded by Robert Blackwell Hr. in 2001. His background was in IT consulting, so it was quite a shift into Table Tennis. Since then, Killerspin has developed a reputation for stylish, premium products such as their crazy daVinci Table Tennis table.
In recent years, they’ve expanded their range of equipment to suit beginners. That’s where the JET paddle range comes in, moving from JET200 up to JET800. The higher the number, the more advanced the racket is.
Killerspin bring a solid reputation in the US but lack awareness of their brand across the world. Fortunately, this has no bearing on how good the racket is. Let’s see how it got on.
Design of the Killerspin JET400
Your JET400 will arrive in a white cardboard case, smartly designed with the Killerspin logo front and centre. Just from delivery, the corners had been bashed a little bit and there were a couple of dents in the cardboard. This suggests you wouldn’t want to use this as a carrying case long term. Instead, check out my top recommended table tennis racket cases.
Inside, you get a cute memory book with 21 spaces to get signatures/notes from players you play against with your racket. In fact, they suggest you get that person’s signature on your paddle itself which doesn’t sound like the best idea for your racket! Regardless, you receive a silver marker in the box which can be used to sign on the paddle. I wonder how many people have done this.
On the surface, the Killerspin JET400 looks like a normal racket. There’s a black rubber on one side, red on the other. The handle is slightly flared to make it easy to hold, where they’ve used a light coloured wood. I think it looks stylish and wouldn’t look out of place at any level of the game.
They’ve used a slightly thinner edging tape which I’m not a massive fan of as I feel it exposes the rubber to more knocks/rips on the edge. That’s important because it’s where you’re most likely to catch it on the edge of the table. It’s not a major issue and many people prefer to be able to see the sponge.
- Weight: 173g
- Speed: 7
- Spin: 9
- Control: 8
- Handle: Slightly Flared
- Blade: 5-Play Wood
- ITTF Approved: Yes
- Sponge Thickness: 1.8mm
Playtesting the Killerspin JET400
The Killerspin JET400 weighs 173g which feels nice in the hand. Most standard rackets are between 170g – 180g so it doesn’t feel particularly heavy or light, just comfortable.
The handle is a standard flared handle which is comfortable to hold. The slight flare helps it sit against your palm like an extension of your arm. Whilst it’s nothing special, it’s exactly how a Table Tennis racket should feel.
Serving & Return
I was able to serve consistently and comfortably, adding reasonable side, back and topspin to my serves. The weight of the racket makes it easy to serve consistently for a long time without getting tired which is perfect for practising different serves.
Where I struggled was trying to create fast, spinny serves deep into the table. The ball wasn’t coming out of the racket very fast so I quickly switched to shorter, spinnier serves which proved much more effective. This would prove to be a recurring theme for the Killerspin JET400 but as a beginner or intermediate player, you don’t really need (or want) the additional speed.
It was very easy to place my serves low over the net and short on the table, preventing my opponent from attacking off my serve. With the backspin you can generate, plenty of returns were even dropped into the net.
Returning serves was incredibly easy, with the racket absorbing much of my opponent’s spin and allowing me to simply control the ball back where I wanted it. I had no problems gripping the ball when playing attacking flicks close to the net as well.
Driving and Looping
This is where I felt the Killerspin JET400 was a standout racket for beginners to intermediate players. I’ve rarely played with a racket that gives you such high confidence that you can return the ball back on the table. I found it exceptionally forgiving even when shots were slightly mistimed or I misread the spin.
I was able to drive and loop with incredible consistency and never felt like I was going to miss a shot.
This is exactly what a beginner needs to develop their confidence in playing drives and loops, with that forgiveness helping you get a real feel for the different kinds of angle/spin you get in rallies. I even found no problem digging out heavy backspin shots, feeling very similar to my own racket.
This racket plays at a medium pace which allows you to play consistent shots without worrying about sending the ball long off the table. However, this means it can be quite difficult to return shots and win rallies away from the table as you need to hit the ball hard (losing control).
Blocking & Chopping
It’s important to note that even though this racket lacks a really explosive touch, it’s still quite lively when blocking. You need to block confidently and with the right bat angle or it can easily end up overshooting the table. On the plus side, you’re able to make awesome block returns that can completely flip the rally in your favour.
This really isn’t designed to be a chopping rubber (not many beginner rackets are) and is much more suited to an all-round style of play. I was able to chop consistently away from the table but struggled against very heavy topspin, or if I needed to generate a lot of the power myself.
Overall Reflections on the Killerspin JET400
The racket is perfect for anyone who’s looking to level up their game and work up to being an intermediate player. This includes any younger players who are still developing their shots, as well as older beginners who want an upgrade to their existing racket.
I feel like this racket will last most beginners at least 3-4 years before you would need to look for an upgrade, without any limits to your game. It will allow you to build a fantastic all-round style whilst you identify what your personal playstyle is.
If you’re a total beginner who’s looking for a casual home racket, this may be a little too hot to handle.
If you’re looking for a forgiving, consistent, all-round racket to level up your game, there’s no need to look any further than the Killerspin JET400.
Have you tried this racket before? Let me know what you thought in the comments below! I hope you found my Killerspin JET400 review useful.