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Darker Imperial Hinoki 2020 (9mm)

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Number of Layers : 1
Blade Type : OFF+
thickness (mm) : 9
The Darker Imperial Hinoki 2020 is exceptional. It is a single ply, made of the best quality Kiso Hinoki wood. Every single component and step of the development is excruciatingly carefully selected and controlled, making it one of the most exclusive blades on the market. Japanese Kiso Hinoki wood is so rare that we can only hope that Darker will continue to have access to the high-quality Hinoki wood from that area for many more years to come because once they run out, it will be another 250 years until the newer Hinoki trees will be aged enough to be once again used in the making of these beautifully crafted blades. Let's just say that the price is warranted. Any lines on the blade are characteristic of Hinoki wood. They are neither cracks nor signs of glueing/bonding. These are single-ply blades, made of pure HINOKI and each surface is very unique. Darker never glues pieces of Hinoki together but uses glue only to attach the grip pieces to the blade. Hinoki is a very fragile material. Very weak under the strong impact. Even with the rubbers, if you place the blade too roughly on the table it could possibly crack. That is why many Japanese users always carry spare blades, just in case. Handle with care. Resin is one of the characteristics of HINOKI wood. It may come out over time. It does not affect the function of the blade.

Customer Reviews

All reviews listed are from verified customers who have purchased this product.

15/07/2023 Tabletennis11 impressive Review by Cyrus S
Tabletennis11 informed me about detail before sending and shipment was super fast.
Blade is very nice - like a piece of art.
27/05/2022 Second to none Review by Stephen Kwok
Again TT11 found me a light one. This Hinoki blade is really so special that one has to try to feel the magic. Words simply do not do it justice.
And the delivery time was even faster than local couriers in my home town -- Hong Kong!!!
Highly recommend TT11!!!
20/05/2022 Simply the best! Review by Joseph Cyrus
It is a truly fast-performing blade with that touch control and feel when you need it.
24/02/2022 Excellent Blade for Speed and Control Review by Bing Lee
I've been using SuperZLC, ZLC, ALC blades for over 10 years. This Imperial Hinoki is so far the best blade I've ever tried before. You can master it on the first day without much adaptation period. It has the best hand feeling, fast, accurate, and controlled. The sweet spot covers almost the whole blade that allows full confidence in every stroke. When selecting rubbers, please try some soft rubbers that would allow the ball to catch deeper into the rubber and let the Hinoki wood explodes the ball out. I'm using Tenergy T19 2.1mm forehand and Killer Pro 1.5mm backhand. Just for your reference. It's perfectly alright for short pips with excellent control and power. But one final piece of advice, select blades with a weight over 90g preferably, for better strength/power, unless you are using very heavy rubber on both sides.
23/10/2021 good blade but there is variation Review by Chen Yuan Dong
I have a total of 5 from Tabletennis 11 and the service is great. The orders arrived quickly and were always in good form. The blades were bought in 3 batches at different times. When the blades work well, the feeling is incredible as except for other single-ply blades, no composite or ply-wood blades produce the same touch and feeling. The main problem, however, is the consistency among different blades. They all have similar weights but yet I found blades bought at the same time had a similar feeling, possibly because they were produced with the same batch of wood. Some were harder than others and vice versa. Among the 5 blades, I was really disappointed with one of them as there is considerable vibration and a small sweet spot issue. For this blade or Speed 90, it is best to pick the blade in-person to perform the ball bounce test. I also have other single-ply Hinoki or Taiwanese cypress wood and they perform at the same level as the Hinoki 2000 and at half the price. I was able to work with a local blade producer to tune the blade in the hardness and weight range I want. One Taiwanese red cypress single ply I bought was softer and had a vibration issue and I was able to return it to exchange for a brand new blade.
15/09/2021 Darker Imperial Hinoki bat Review by Kok Yip
It is made with care, not a fiber out of place, the woodgrains are tight, dense but the bat is surprisingly light. Incredible control when delicate strokes are needed and incredibly powerful smashes can be generated. It seems contradictory that it can be soft and hard. But think of water, so soft when slow, so hard at speed… because of this range from soft to hard, great control, finesse and power is achievable. So how can a piece of wood be so magical! Well, it was really a tree in a forest in the making for a few hundred years bathe in sunshine, wood is solid sunshine! Wood is the original carbon fiber… now you begin to understand why it's magical
29/07/2021 Excellent balanced blade Review by Asher Kaiser
Excellent blade with Tenergy 64 and Tibhar K1. Superb control with enough
power to get the job done if you don't try to hit every ball through your
11/04/2021 Terrific blade with good control and speed Review by Yury Semikhatsky
Very nice blade, I'm an intermediate player and was looking for something with better control than Jun Mizutani ZLC that I played before. A friend of mine recommended me this blade. I like the quality, bigger sweet spot, and that it is more forgiving than the other blade. Loopong is much stronger with Jun Mizutani ZLC but with this one, I have so much more control that I'm very happy that I switched to this hinoki blade. I was concern about the thickness (9mm) but it just takes time to adjust to it and then it's not a problem.
I paired it with Nittaku Fastarc C-1 and Yasaka Rakza 7 rubbers first as someone recommended. I like Rakza 7 on it but Fastarc C-1 is too unpredictable to my taste so replaced that with Tenergy 05.
The blade is indeed very brittle as people say. Mine cracked when I accidentally hit a wall with it (not too strong, just lost my balance), so be careful with it. I'm ordering Speed 90 as a replacement this time just because it's a bit cheaper, will see if the quality is on par.
09/04/2021 Absolutely Hinoki feeling Review by Yunhe Cai
It is most suitable for attacking players. The special Hinoki wood will give you power feeling, and also with fast speed. Be attention to rubber selection, soft rubber such as T05 or T80 will be an excellent choice. Never try hurricane 3, or you will not feel the Hinoki wood special feeling.
20/02/2021 Once in a lifetime, at least! Review by C Svensson
For the players that want to learn how to improve their footwork and fly around the table like Ryu or Kim Taek Soo.
Hit hard and you will smack it with a sound u think the ball breaks every time. It forces u to follow through each stroke and when you try to go for a slow stroke it kind of dies.
The touch on the slow strokes is great when you know you have to do more than with regular layered blades.
This is a classic, like a beloved old car, you have to drive with it and you have to know how to. When you do it is great for your game because the most important is to move well and give yourself the time to be there at the best spot to wack it in without hesitation.
29/12/2020 Excellent, the best blade Review by CR
I got this based on several reviews and I was not disappointed. It has the best feel of any blade I have used and the combination of speed and control is well balanced. I use the new Joola Dynaryz ACC rubber.
05/11/2020 Very good blade. Review by THAVORN KATERATORN
I really like it, compared to other blades you must try it. You will love it. It's very good for topspin and smashing.
14/08/2020 Simply amazing Review by Mircea Contiu
Truly amazing blade! Medium stiffness, crisp touch, excellent control, and feel, great for both looping (both spinny and fast) and flat drives, easy blocking, the whole surface of the blade is one large sweet spot, very stable on light touch play near the net and fast when the ball is hit with power, great for close to the table and mid-distance.
Pairs well with both medium-soft (Tenergy05FX) and medium-hard rubbers (Rakza 7, Nittaku Fastarc G-1). I am a versatile close to the table or mid-distance offensive player. The Imperial Hinoki - Rakza 7 is an amazing combination, it has great control - spin - speed characteristics and I can play anything I want with it.
I also own a Darker Speed 90. Both blades are similar in speed, but a more constant wood grain without any pronounced fibers is visible on the Imperial, which translates in better stability and a constant feel on the whole surface of the blade. This is in agreement with the feeling I get from the two blades.
26/05/2020 five stars Review by long ngauy
I do own some Darker Speed 90. I do like them a lot. But this Darker Imperial 2020 feels far better. I pair it with Dignics 09C 1.9 and Dignics 80 1.9. Thank you TT11 for getting me the lightest blade.
Best regards,
16/04/2020 The best of the best. Review by Jacek Kowalski
Hello everyone. I have been training for 30 years and have tested 129 blades. Darker Imperial Hinoki 2020 is the best: Great workmanship. The best control. Very good speed. Mine weighs only 84g. 158x151mm.
26/03/2020 excellent Review by jean andrian
I own the Darker Speed 90, I thought it was the best blade but Imperial Hinoki is even better, unfortunately playing in a very small room, I inadvertently hit the wall and the blade has never been the same. Still, it is by far the best blade I have ever used.
19/03/2020 Excelent Review by Sovea Sorin
It's worth all the money.
It's a little different from Speed 90 and maybe one of the best wood created by Darker.
I have tried blades like zj.szlc, Carbonado 290, Apolonia, Zelebro, Ishlion, Photino, Cresail, Waldner Hinoki, Septear, Gherghely, Xiom, etc etc..I've never met this feeling...
I use it with Xiom Vega X max and Dignics 05 1.9
I also tried DHS Goldarc 8,DHS Hurricane National Blue, Dignics 05 max, Tenergy 05, Rasanter R50, r53, Stiga DNA Pro S, M, H, Tibhar MX-P.
I recommend a thickness 1.9.

10/03/2020 A Super blade that you will not want to miss Review by Nic
It is a little on the pricey side but who cares when the quality is actually super!
28/02/2020 Отлично Review by Aleksandr P
Основание очень похоже на Speed 90, с ещё более качественным деревом, практически идентичным по всей поверхности. вес 84 гр. по сравнению с S90, fl ручка более наполненная (более прямоугольное сечение, а у S90 эллиптическое) и длиннее на 3 мм (103 мм). великолепное основание.
Darker Imperial Hinoki 2020 (9mm)