If you are thinking about buying an air hockey table, one of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is “How much does an air hockey table cost?” Well, unfortunately, there is no easy or “cut and dried” answer for that particular query.
That’s because air hockey games or tables come in a variety of forms and can range in price from about $50-$100 on the low side to those that cost $1,000 to even $5,000 dollars or more. Essentially, air hockey tables can be placed into three very general categories: the high-end or top of the line models, the mid-range air hockey tables and the affordable models.
To give you a better idea regarding the type of air hockey machines that typically fit into each category, below we will briefly chat about each type.
High-End Air Hockey Tables
If you have ever been to a commercial or professional arcade to play air hockey with your friends, you might have wondered or guessed about the cost of such a machine. Well, in this case, you can probably bet that the owner of that arcade probably paid between $3,000 and $5,000 dollars for that air hockey game when it was brand new.
True arcade-style air hockey tables are consistently in use, day after day, and they are even used for things like tournament play. As a result, they have to be very sturdily built and include a number of functions not found on other types of air hockey tables.
Also, and for the very same reasons, the motors found on the top-end air hockey tables are significantly more powerful and reliable than the cheaper brands.
High-end air hockey tables ALWAYS measure 8-feet in length, the regulation size for tournament play. They are also very heavy and sturdy, which means they are NOT easily portable.
Fortunately, this doesn’t matter to some owners, as they have no plans to move such a game once it has been originally placed.
Mid-Range Air Hockey Tables
When we speak of the mid-range air hockey tables, we are talking about a category with a very wide price gap, from about $300 dollars on the low end to about $2,000 on the high side. That’s a big difference!
So why is there such a huge price gap between these mid-range air hockey tables? Well, there are lots of reasons. First, mid-range tables are the most popular type of machines out there, and many manufacturers and retailers are competing for your business.
As a result, an air hockey table that may have had a higher manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) might be discounted heavily to set it apart from that of other competing companies.
From a distance, the mid-range air hockey tables look much like their high-end counterparts. Both are rectangular in shape, and both are supported by four legs.
But this is where most of the similarities tend to end. Mid-range air hockey tables are usually designed for home use exclusively, although sometimes they may end up in rec centers and the like.
And because most of these tables are designed for home use, the manufacturers of these machines do not always have to build a table that will be constantly used, every day of the week and for hours on end—like the commercial air hockey machines.
No, these machines will only be played occasionally, and because of that, the manufacturers can get away with cheaper materials, motors and other parts. Still, most homeowners are pleased with their air hockey table’s performance.
Some mid-range air hockey tables are made to the regulation eight feet in length, and those machines tend to have the highest price in this category.
Other stand-alone air hockey tables in this grouping are made to 7-feet or even 6-feet in length, which allows homeowners to more easily accommodate these tables into their prescribed room and in the allotted space they have set aside.
Affordable Air Hockey Tables
Last but not least are the “affordable” air hockey tables. Keep in mind that when we use the term “affordable” for this category of air hockey tables we are not assuming that the mid-range or even high-end tables or NOT affordable.
We are merely saying that these tables tend to be cheaper than those in the other classes.
Affordable air hockey tables can range in price from $50 on the low side for a budget air hockey tabletop game to about $250 on the high side.
While virtually none of the tables in this category are built to regulation size, a small few of them do look like genuine air hockey tables from afar—a rectangular playing surface atop four legs—but their reliability under periods of heated play is not something on which you should bet the farm.
The reality of the affordable class of air hockey tables is that most of them are of the “tabletop” variety. In other words, these machines usually have very short legs (if any) and are designed to be set atop a table.
These air hockey games vary in size, ranging from roughly 40 inches to 60 inches in length. Most operate just like other air hockey tables, but because you are not purchasing the “furniture” that supports the playing surface, the prices for these games are usually much lower.
Tabletop air hockey games can run on battery or AC power, and some come with a variety of extra features, such as adjustable legs, automatic scoring, LED lights and even sounds that mirror the crowd noise at a genuine hockey game.
Tabletop air hockey games are very lightweight and portable, especially when compared to the other two categories, and most include non-abrasive rubber backing or feet that allow the game to adhere to the table underneath without slipping.
Last Word about Air Hockey Tables Prices
As you can see, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to every price category of air hockey tables. And while a higher price tag may demonstrate the overall value, durability and functionality of a table, it should not be the only factor you rely upon when shopping for and ultimately purchasing your very own air hockey game.
Instead you should consider the factors and features that are most important to you (size, durability, sturdiness, portability, etc.) and research and find a table that offers all of these features—one that hopefully is also in your budgeted price range.