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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2020, 10:08 
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Might be a bit of a longer post than my usual ones, going to tell my experience of ordering directly from the Minkow factory. If you have any questions about the process of doing it or about the balls, reply and I will try to answer them.


Some time ago I was browsing for 38mm balls (EJ gotta EJ) and stumbled upon the website for Shanghai Minkow table tennis factory.

http://www.minkow.com.cn/

To my surprise, they still listed their 38mm balls (albeit unbranded) and something, in particular, caught my attention, they sold them in abs. Having some experience with the 38mm celluloid (you can still buy Yasaka 3-star 38mm from tt11 at the time of writing) I was naturally curious. So I shot an e-mail to them and asked about pricing, I inquired about the price per ball if I ordered 100 of their 38mm abs balls (not going to waste their time for a handful of balls). I didn't have to wait long for a reply and the guy who contacted me (Franklin) told me that the price is $0.23 per ball, what surprised me was the shipping price, it's $20 to ship 100 balls to Latvia in Europe. Since I was in for pricy shipping, I asked about their currently ITTF approved balls (Kingnik 40+ premium 3-star seamed) for the same quantity. They replied with the price of $0.25 per ball and I decide to order 200, which bumped up the shipping cost to $30 with the 100 38mm balls included. I did also ask them about celluloid 38mm balls, but they said that 38mm balls aren't made in celluloid anymore.

    In summary:
  • 100 abs 38mm balls = $23
  • 200 Kingnik ITTF approved balls = $50
  • Shipping = $30

Total = $103 Paid with PayPal


    Stuff learned from the exchange:
  • 38mm abs balls = $0.23 per ball (100 balls)
  • 38mm celluloid balls = Not manufactured anymore
  • Kingnik 40+ premium seamed = $0.25 per ball (200 balls)
  • Shipping (100 balls) = $20
  • Shipping (300 balls) = $30

They did contact me with a working tracking number, pictures of the shipping label and photos from the inside of the box. Shipping wasn't as fast as it usually is from China, the package arrived one month after ordering (usually it's around half of that), but that's to be expected with the larger size of the package and that it was sent through Russia. It did look a bit beat up, but none of the balls arrived damaged or dented. One problem that I encountered was that they put the name from PayPal on the label (I did list a different name for shipping) and that resulted in me personally having to show up to the post office to claim the package instead of my associate, but it's nothing major. The balls were packaged in 3 zip-lock bags inside the box (100 balls each) and nothing else.

I haven't really tested the balls themselves because I don't have a table set up and have no access to my main paddle (damn you lockdown), but from some small playing around with my backup paddle (against the wall, up and down, etc) the 40+ balls feel quite similar to my DHS D40+ balls, maybe a bit thicker and heavier, but that might just be because they are new and not worn in. Regarding the 38mm balls (comparing to my Yasaka 3-star 38mm), same thing as with the 40+ balls (heavier and thicker), but with less spin and momentum (tested with the unscientific method of spinning the ball and catching it with the palm of my hand), again, results might be due to the balls being new. I can't compare the exact weight because I don't have scales that go in less than 1g increments, but the manufacturer lists the weight for 40+ balls on their website as 2.68g - 2.77g and 38mm abs as 2.35g - 2.55g.

I hope I can set up my table and robot soon and bring more information.

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File comment: Calipers on the Kingnik ball
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File comment: Calipers on the 38mm abs ball
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File comment: Calipers on the DHS ball
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File comment: Calipers on the Yasaka ball
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File comment: All of the balls side by side
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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 01:40 
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They've hung on to their old 38mm tooling, in that case.. A lot of their "other purpose" balls (such as the balls they sell for bingo and lotteries, which have numbers on them) are, I think, 38mm. I'll bet the new ABS 40+ balls are made using the same machinery with different-sized dies and ABS blanks.

I've got a LOT of balls from the Minkow factory, albeit from 2-3 years ago. I suspect it's the exact same factory that's labeled as the "DHS factory" in DHS ball manufacture videos. Their website (four years ago, before the Kingnik balls and the ABS balls appeared) listed DHS among their many OEM customers (Stiga, Joola, etc., can't remember the exact list any more).

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 04:08 
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AFAIK they used to/still make seamless balls for Xushaofa


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 04:12 
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Here's a screenshot from March 16th, 2015 with DHS listed
Attachment:
Capture.PNG
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They removed the list of OEMs around June 19th, 2015 for some reason.
Attachment:
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG [ 28.37 KiB | Viewed 2613 times ]

One interesting thing that I found through the Wayback machine is that there was no mention of 38mm balls anywhere back in 2015 until October.


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 17:26 
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If you emailed them they'd tell you about all the leftover stuff they had in stock and which you could buy. Celluloid balls, unlabeled balls, weird colored balls, private label balls, 38mm balls.. I ended up with a dozen 38mm celluloid balls, some balls for the blind (they rattled!) and a grab bag of old celluloid balls.. 55mm, private label, novelty.. they threw in the assortment for free. The celluloid balls went bad, though.. I kept them in a Ziploc and they eventually turned yellow and disintegrated. I think if I had kept them out in the open they would have been OK.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 20:10 
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Interesting, will remember to ask them next time when buying stuff.


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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2020, 01:41 
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iskandar taib wrote:
They've hung on to their old 38mm tooling, in that case.. A lot of their "other purpose" balls (such as the balls they sell for bingo and lotteries, which have numbers on them) are, I think, 38mm. I'll bet the new ABS 40+ balls are made using the same machinery with different-sized dies and ABS blanks.

I've got a LOT of balls from the Minkow factory, albeit from 2-3 years ago. I suspect it's the exact same factory that's labeled as the "DHS factory" in DHS ball manufacture videos. Their website (four years ago, before the Kingnik balls and the ABS balls appeared) listed DHS among their many OEM customers (Stiga, Joola, etc., can't remember the exact list any more).

Iskandar

Speaking of factories in China do you know where the new Butterfy R40 ball is made in China.new factory exclusive to Butterfly or existing one rebranded as Butterfly?


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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2020, 13:54 
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I don't have any information on that, unfortunately.

Are they expensive? Might be worth trying a pack... If they're Chinese they're either from DHS/Minkow or from Double Fish. I haven't heard of a third manufacturer. It takes a lot of heavy machinery to make balls, and a lot of expertise to make balls of the quality serious players will actually use, so I doubt they've made a new factory.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2020, 14:08 
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Spookex wrote:
AFAIK they used to/still make seamless balls for Xushaofa


I wish I knew what the relationship between the two were. The process for making seamless balls is totally different, it requires totally different machinery, and from what's been posted (by people claiming to be connected to XuShaoFa), the person behind XuXhaoFa developed the process and patented it. Who put up the money to make the machinery to mass produce and sell the balls, or where it's located, I have no idea. I can't imagine there'd be more than one factory. It's true Minkow was/is selling Kingnik brand seamless balls (they're very good - I have a number of them but haven't used them in a while because they're white). But whether or not Minkow has a seamless ball machine set up in their factory, I don't know. It's possible, but it's also possible the balls were made elsewhere. On the other hand, Minkow (and Double Fish) had a lot of money invested in the machinery to make traditional two-part balls, so I'll bet they were working their rear ends off to develop a 40+ ball they could make and sell using the existing machinery, whether or not they were also making seamless balls. It's a fascinating topic, maybe the truth is already posted on Chinese table tennis discussion forums like this one!

(And then, I'll also bet Igor will post here, pretending he knows.. :lol: :lol: :lol: )

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2020, 04:58 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Spookex wrote:
AFAIK they used to/still make seamless balls for Xushaofa


I wish I knew what the relationship between the two were. The process for making seamless balls is totally different, it requires totally different machinery, and from what's been posted (by people claiming to be connected to XuShaoFa), the person behind XuXhaoFa developed the process and patented it. Who put up the money to make the machinery to mass produce and sell the balls, or where it's located, I have no idea. I can't imagine there'd be more than one factory. It's true Minkow was/is selling Kingnik brand seamless balls (they're very good - I have a number of them but haven't used them in a while because they're white). But whether or not Minkow has a seamless ball machine set up in their factory, I don't know. It's possible, but it's also possible the balls were made elsewhere. On the other hand, Minkow (and Double Fish) had a lot of money invested in the machinery to make traditional two-part balls, so I'll bet they were working their rear ends off to develop a 40+ ball they could make and sell using the existing machinery, whether or not they were also making seamless balls. It's a fascinating topic, maybe the truth is already posted on Chinese table tennis discussion forums like this one!

(And then, I'll also bet Igor will post here, pretending he knows.. :lol: :lol: :lol: )
TeesSport in England claim the new R40 will NOT be a rehash of any other ball!
Iskandar


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2020, 06:29 
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I got that Xushaofa connecting because of this review, nothing concrete, but seems like he did contact them.

https://www.equipmentjunkie.com/kingnik-40-plus-review/

There's also this thread from mytabletennis forum about manufacturing seamless balls and it might be that Xushaofa balls might be made by Guangzhou Hefu Sports Equipment Company.

http://mytabletennis.net/forum/how-many-varieties-of-seamless-balls-are-there_topic75700.html°

Another interesting thing that I found is that Minkow still lists DHS D40+ balls on their ecpaza page

https://minkow.en.ecplaza.net/


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 14:55 
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If you right out and asked them if they made seamless balls and they didn't, I don't know if they'd actually give you an answer, or give you a truthful answer. Business arrangements of this sort are often secret, and for good reason, I think. I'd dearly love to know, of course, for entirely non-business reasons, but I can understand if they'd rather it not get out. It could be detrimental to their business if people lower in the supply chain find out.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 11 May 2020, 17:14 
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I’ve tried to follow all the information in this thread, it’s all a bit confusing!! If I understand correctly, all seamless ball are the same - just rebranded by different companies? The reason I ask is that the in my country the most widely used ball in tournaments run by the national association is the stag seamless Peter Karlson. The associations must get supplied directly, otherwise it’s actually hard to find these balls in shops etc. but if I could just buy some seamless balls elsewhere in the knowledge they are all actually the same ball, that would be helpful.


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PostPosted: 15 May 2020, 05:47 
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1shot wrote:
I’ve tried to follow all the information in this thread, it’s all a bit confusing!! If I understand correctly, all seamless ball are the same - just rebranded by different companies? The reason I ask is that the in my country the most widely used ball in tournaments run by the national association is the stag seamless Peter Karlson. The associations must get supplied directly, otherwise it’s actually hard to find these balls in shops etc. but if I could just buy some seamless balls elsewhere in the knowledge they are all actually the same ball, that would be helpful.

I really don't think anyone knows for sure if all seamless balls are the same? Are they all made in the same factory?Are they all made to the same specifications?I wonder if the ITTF even know?
Of course we would all love to know the answers to these questions?


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