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Guide to Buying Used Foosball Tables



A foosball is a splendid addition to any gaming area. Safe, unplugged, competitive and easy enough for the entire family to enjoy. Looking for a quality used foosball table, which is in good condition, can be a difficult thing to do, but if you have patience (and know what to look for) you can get a great table for a great price!

Foosball tables are pretty simple in design: 4 legs, a boxed-in playfield and 26 plastic men impaled on 8 metal rods. Simple enough right? Right. So inspecting a table for defects is just as simple.

First you’ll want to check the playfield for cracking or warping from water damage. Run your hand along the field and feel for bubbling. Ask to play the table and check the field/table for its levelness by stopping the ball and watching for it to roll without prompting. If the table is unlevel and hasn’t any leg levelers, you don’t want it.

Next look for chips and dings on the unit, especially around the goals. If the unit shows a fair amount of chipping it is a bad sign that it is constructed from inferior materials.

Check the men on the rods to make sure that they are affixed to the metal rods and not loose. While examining the men, rotate the rods to check for any bent rods from overzealous players. If the players are loose or the rods are bent, they can be replaced but just figure this into the cost of the table. Rods and players aren’t too expensive to replace, so this isn’t a deal breaker if they aren’t perfect.

Examine the plastic men’s toes on the rods. They should have sharp edges and a crosshatch-like design for added grip and control. If they are smooth and rounded they are going to need to be replaced. While examining the men, check to see if they are counter-balanced. This means they are weighted specifically to rotate out of the way when not in use. Counter balanced players are a nice feature but not required for full enjoyment of the game.

Feel how heavy the table is. The better tables are usually heavier and some even have weights added to them. This is for added stability during game play making it harder for competitors to move the unit while playing. Remember that the more prone the game is to movement during play the greater risk of damage.

Now turn your attention to the outside of the unit. Look at the rod handles and take note of what material they are made from. This can be a subjective area as far as the ‘best’ material for handles. Some say wood is better because it absorbs palm sweat while others complain that wood handles eventually break over time. Both statements are correct but it just depends on what you are most comfortable playing on. There are also plastic handles with a rubber coating for added grip. You will want to try them all out to see which one you like best!

If you can, try to get a table with leg levelers or adjustable legs. This allows you to not only make sure you have a level playing field but will also allow the table to grow with your family as your children age and mature.

Some tables have the ball returns on the ends of the tables where some will feature them at the end of the unit. This only comes into play when deciding where to locate your unit in your residence. Some prefer the side returns because it allows for the table to be flush against a wall, thus conserving space.

If you can find a used foosball table that passes your inspection for the right price, you’ll be scoring goals on your family and friends in no time!