Last Updated on June 20, 2022 by Sorin Petroj
The most popular brand develops the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade. The Harimoto Innerforce Blade is one of their newest additions to the ALC branch.
Butterfly implemented the innerforce layer ALC technology, making the blade easy to maintain. The Harimoto Tomokazu Innerforce ALC was designed in cooperation with Japanese table tennis champion Tomokazu Harimoto.
The blade is made of 5 plies of wood and 2 layers of ALC (ALC stands for arylate-carbon, a popular material for table tennis blades). In addition to providing a softer touch and producing more spin on the ball, this blade is light and easy to maneuver but maintains stability and precision.
This is the blade for you if you are a fast attacking/counter-attacking player and desire excellent touch and control. I saw many excellent reviews on Harimoto Innerforce when I started looking for a BTY blade, but I wanted to know if they were legit. Trust me, they are!
The build quality is impeccable, and the feel of the ball once it contacts the blade is something else. If you like hearing that hard crack of the ball leaving the face of your ping pong paddle, this is your blade. Using a rubber with a good grip on this blade will skyrocket the speed and control statistics of the blade.
Overview of the Harimoto Innerforce Blade’s Arylate Carbon Technology
Arylate-Carbon is a Butterfly innovation that combines the hardness of carbon with the vibration control of Arylate fibers. The result is an innerforce layer alc blade that provides increased speed and ball control.
In essence, it is the best of both worlds, combining the large sweet spot and power of carbon with the improved touch due to the vibration control that Arylate provides. The ideal for backhand play and to improve a proper technique.
Difference Between ALC and ZLC
Speed – Blades using ZLC tech are noticeably faster, but it is not game-changing. ALC blades have a moderate speed and are in a league of their own. These blades can hit the ball with tremendous speed. ALC blades are at least three times faster than super ZLC blades.
Control – I would say that both ALC and ZLC are very controllable. What’s to note here is how easy/hard it is to adjust to the playing properties of both carbons. ZLC is harder to get used to due to the flex, which engages quite easily, but once you get the hang of the ALC blade, it becomes more controllable in both the short and loop playstyles.
ALC blades are overall compatible with all kinds of playstyles. You will get used to ALC blades more easily than ZLC blades, plus ALC blades have better control. As usual, it depends on your preferred style of play.
Stroke quality – Innerforce layer alc blades have a soft but rigid surface. That is why you won’t feel any resistance when you hit the ball with the center of the blade. Make your every stroke fluid and consistent.
On the other hand, ZLC blades have a hard sweet spot. So, every time you hit the ball, you will feel resistance. You won’t hit the ball efficiently unless you are a professional player. New or intermediate players might get put off by the characteristics of ZLC.
Rigid (ZLC) vs. flexible (ALC). The ALC, no question, IMO. I couldn’t get used to the ZLC and felt I could never play on feel or backhand flicks. Too rigid and elastic launched the ball, which killed spin and power. The ALC blade is much more forgiving, and you can feel the ball much better.
Looping – If you are an all-around aggressive player who needs both speeds and spins with good feeling and control, ALC is better, in my opinion. As the carbon will flex during a counter loop/loop, it can negate some spin, while ZLC has a higher margin of error, making it more challenging to loop these shots.
Sweet Spot – In my experience, the sweet spot in this blade doesn’t feel any more prominent than its wood counterpart. I can say that even though the sweet spot is not more comprehensive, it FEELS bigger because you really can’t tell when you don’t hit the ideal place with a composite blade.
With a regular wood blade, you can feel when you hit a “dead spot,” but with this carbon-infused blade, it has an almost dead spot. You will still get excellent ball speed and travel. The dead zones are very challenging to notice until you play long sets regularly.
When it comes to ball touch, ALC is the clear winner here. ALC’s softer mid spot provides extra balance when the ball makes contact with the blade. The soft-touch feel will allow you to hit the ball at more incredible speeds accurately. But the same cannot be said about the ZLC blades. ZLC blades will only flex when you hit the ball hard enough.
If you don’t hit the ball with enough power, the ball will go long and high, which can be very bad performance-wise. So, you will have to practice with ZLC blades quite a lot to balance your shots.
But, ALC blades are newbie-friendly. The carbon and the honeycomb shape of the blade will handle each shot’s stroke, speed, and delivery.
When it comes to ball spin, ALC blades take the cake. The double carbon layer of ALC can generate more ball spin than ZLC blades.
Serve – There is nothing better than ALC for a player with a decisive offensive game and an evenly balanced topspin attack. This is an excellent blade for intermediate players to use. Their serves will be the most accurate and robust with this blade. The forehand will also be accurate and powerful.
You can practice serves without any vibrations, unlike the other rubbers that produce spin with the vibrations. This is a tremendous advantage since I could focus solely on my techniques and learn them much faster than my previous rubber.
ZLC is a little hard to master. The player needs to practice more to get the correct flex on serve.
Playstyles – ZLC blade is a must-buy for every player who plays a Chinese/ Japanese loop-oriented attacking style. But if you are looking for a powerhouse European style of play, go for ALC blades.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Specifications
- Playstyle: Attack reaction
- Vibration: 9.2
- Reaction: 10.7
- Blade thickness: 6.0mm
- Anatomic handle blade size: 100 x 25 mm
- Flared handle blade size: 100 x 25 mm
- Straight handle blade size: 100 x 23 mm
- Manufactured: Made in Japan
- Blade Weight: 88g
- Innerforce layer alc Blade size:158 x 152mm
- Piles: 5 wooden layers + 2 ALC layers
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Composition
Harimoto Innerforce Blades are made with high-quality materials designed to give you the perfect balance between power and feel. With lightweight materials, these blades will not slow your game down while providing you with unmatched grip by other blades on the market.
If you’re looking for a competitive blade that will give you an edge in all aspects of the game, Harimoto Innerforce Blades are the perfect option!
The composition of the blade consists of seven layers. Five of them are KOTO wood layers. KOTO wood is a unique type of hardwood. This material makes the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade very durable and water-resistant.
The wood is not too heavy, giving the blade a lighter feeling. A light and flexible blade will consistently outperform the heavy ones. The KOTO wood’s crisp texture increases the ball’s dwell time. It also helps with spin shots.
The second layer of the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade is two layers of arylate carbon back to back. The Innerforce ALC makes the blade stable. These two layers help to generate power behind every shot. You don’t have to put too much pressure or force behind your shots.
The Innerforce technology will determine the required energy every time you go for a shot. This unique feature makes the blade very accurate and easy to use. The arylate carbon gives the blade a soft touch, excellent vibrations, and outstanding speed and power.
Harimoto’s Innerforce Blade is designed to be stronger than ever before. The blade is made of AL-6061, a lightweight yet durable alloy, and the outer shape of the blade has been enhanced. The Harimoto team has also calculated the best weight distribution to maximize speed.
Arylate-Carbon Blade Structure
With these improvements, your game will never be the same! Compared to the previous entries in the ALC series, the size of the current flagship ALC blade Harimoto Innerforce has seen a slight increase in its overall all-blade size. 3 mm, to be exact.
Harimoto Innerforce ALC is the ultimate blade for achieving a high level of control, feel of the ball, and spin. Made of high-quality arylate carbon, it has a longer blade that better controls the ball. The wider blade surface increases the proportion of the longitudinal fibers lying on both sides of the blade. This creates more stability when playing with a top speed.
The color of the blade’s handle is blue. The color blue was selected because it’s Harimoto’s favorite. The blade logo was designed using a bow sign resembling Harimoto’s signature. Since the blade was created with Harimoto’s collaboration, Butterfly decided to put his name as a logo.
For forehand playstyle, Butterfly created the DIGNICS 05 rubber. Butterfly made this new rubber surface that maximizes speed, spin, and spin reversal. The Innerforce Blade has precision-engineered blades to deliver the ultimate feel and control. The DIGNICS 05 rubber only increases those statistics.
For the backhand playstyle, Butterfly introduced the TENERGY 05 FX rubber. This new and evolved lightweight table tennis rubber is a game-changer. The Harimoto Innerforce Blade’s latest innovation in rubber surface performance is designed for durability and spin power.
The surface not only maintains its high level of control, but it also lasts 25% longer! The Innerforce arylate carbon Blade always provides the perfect balance between speed and a very good control that you want to win with.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Pros and Cons
- The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade can give you enough force behind every shot to pull off a topspin.
- With this blade, you don’t have to be an expert to perform power shots or trick shots.
- This blade is forgiving. You can quickly capitalize on your mistakes, thanks to the large carbon sweet spot.
- Harimoto blade is excellent for backhand and looping playstyle.
- The Butterfly rubber improves the grip.
- Harimoto Innerforce ALC blades are ITTF approved. These blades are still used in many international tournaments.
- Harimoto Innerforce ALC blades are not great at mid-table plays.
- It is expensive compared to other blades.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Price
There are many benefits to the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade. Which is cheaper, the cost of a new blade or the cost of going out to practice?
You may be saving a few bucks by buying a more inexpensive blade, but you’re losing money if you consider your time and effort as an investment.
This is especially so if you’re serious about your game and work every day to become better. The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade costs $179.90, but with it, you will fly through your competition and make short work of your next few opponents.
This beauty will be worth its weight in gold once you see how much time and money you save for years to come.
Tomokazu Harimoto vs. Hugo Calderano (Singapore final 2021)
This innerforce layer alc blade is produced after close instrumentation with Tomokazu Harimoto, based on his competitive playing style and family value. The blade is made with limba outer supported by InnerLayer ALC for control and looping, on a larger footprint for close-to-the-table blocking and counter-attack.
For best performance, pair the forehand rubber with a harder sponge (i.e., MX-P 50) for power-looping attack and the backhand rubber with spin-oriented features (i.e., EL-S) for controlled placement.
To enhance the Harimoto family value, the blade is used by Tomokazu Harimoto marked by his mother’s handwritten signature, which is usually written in Japanese calligraphy at the end of her letter emitted from Japan during World War II to her husband in the US when it was difficult for a Japanese woman to write such letter in English than a man could do in Japanese calligraphy.
Where Can I Buy the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade?
The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade is Butterfly’s top-of-the-line blade that is meant for both casual and professional matches. Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade has a fantastic texture; The blade is swift and has a soft sweet spot.
It’s an excellent blade for close-to-the-table attackers and defenders, adding power and touch to their already-great play.
If you want to purchase the authentic Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade, I recommend purchasing the blade from an authorized dealer’s point like Megaspin. You might be able to buy the Harimoto Innerforce ALC for a good discount from there.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Reviews By Users
I am sharing some of the reviews on the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade here.
“The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade is very nice. It has a soft touch and is pretty good for looping, but if you want to attack with this blade, you need to do it fast because the ball will fly off the top sometimes. I recommend this blade to anyone who likes to loop and block but attacks only if you can do it fast.” Max
“This is one of the best blades that I’ve tried out. The Innerforce ALC blade combines speed and control; it has a very nice touch and excellent spin capabilities. In addition, the Innerforce ALC blade is durable, which is a major plus for me. Overall, I highly recommend this blade to players transitioning from beginner to intermediate-level play.” Tim. R.
“I love this blade. I used to play with an off+ blade, but after playing with this blade, I have more control over my shots. Would recommend this blade to anyone close to the table, attacker/defender. The only downside is that it has difficulty looping against fast loopers, so you need to know how to brush loop and serve.” Dan.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade Final Verdict
The Harimoto Innerforce ALC table tennis Blade is a quality carbon blade with the latest technology in the industry. Designed for speed and to maximize your contact time, Innerforce is an excellent option for ambitious players. The Innerforce Blade is not only aesthetically pleasing but also durable and lightweight.
The Combination of these three things provides one of the best loopings and blocking blades in the market today. This is the blade for champions.
Many table tennis superstars have won significant tournaments with this blade. This is the right blade for you if you want to get into the sport and go beyond the amateur level. You can quickly get past the learning curve with the help of the Butterfly Harimoto blade.
The Innerforce ALC technology will give you every possible advantage to get ahead of the competition. The price might be a bit too high, but this isn’t an ordinary blade. This is a high-quality blade that capitalizes on the best technology available. So, it is worth every penny.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade FAQs
1. How much does Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade cost?
The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade cost 179 euros. It Is pretty expensive, but you will get an excellent high-performance blade.
2. How thick is the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade?
The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade is 6.0 mm thick.
3. How many layers does the blade have?
The blade has 7 layers – 5 wooden layers and 2 ALC layers.
4. How many handles does the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade come with?
You will get three handle choices with the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade.
- Anatomic handle for good grip and focused power shots.
- Flared handle for mid-range power strokes and forehand playstyle.
- Straight handle for speed and backhand playstyle.
5. What is the color of the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade handle?
The handle looks elegant. The butterfly brand selected three distinct colors for this blade. The primary colors are black and blue, with a white and light blue stripe going down the middle of the handle.
6. What is the Butterfly Innerforce technology?
The Butterfly Innerforce Layer ZLF’s blend of carbon and glass fiber layers and its ALC core produces the perfect combination of speed, touch, and control.
Firstly, carbon layers in the forehand for increased spin and softer touch on impact. Secondly, a wooden blade with a glass layer is sandwiched between two carbon layers for faster speed and better control.
Moreover, Butterfly’s most advanced blade only reaches its potential when matched with a high-tech rubber.
7. What type of playstyle does the Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blade support?
The Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC blades are famous for their aggressive forehand and backhand plays.
Overview of the Butterfly Brand and the Innerforce Series
In the spring of 1950, a young table tennis player opened up a small woodworking shop near the bustling market town of Yanai in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. Within 3 years, the workshop made hand-crafted table tennis bats, and by 1953, it had turned this passion into a full-time occupation.
By 1960, Butterfly had already become one of the world’s largest table tennis equipment manufacturers and, to this day, is still Japan’s largest manufacturer and one of the world’s biggest three brands with 1000 employees worldwide.
The blades sponsored by the Butterfly corporation are used by top players in many countries such as Korea, the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Poland. The Butterfly is known for its products and sponsors tournaments and training camps in the United States.
Players using Butterfly products have access to different materials such as carbon layers consisting of TamCa5000 or Uniaxial Light Carbon, thick fiber like Arylate or Zylon, and combination layers such as Arylate + TamCa5000 or Zylon + ULC. Some molarity materials, such as the Super ZLC (SZLC), are used in composite materials.
Tomokazu Harimoto is one of the immense talents of our time. His new “Innerforce” Blade Harimoto Tomokazu ALC will show off all his skills. His favorite combination: Topspin with high rotation and a soft touch. The latest Innerforce blade supports aggressive forehand.
With a handle size of 100×24mm (S) and 100×23,5mm (FL), the blade is also very comfortable to hold for my international colleagues who use more extensive hands.
Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce AlC – Conclusion
I wouldn’t consider ZLC to be for everyone. The rubber is more suited for one-wing loopers with full arm swing.
The other ones may be better suited for two-wing looper players due to their higher consistency. ALC is the “jack of all trades” within the product line and a good choice for players at any skill level.
It would be best if you didn’t go for ZLC unless you want it. I find that there’s only a slight difference if you play at a high level (as in the top 10 best table tennis players in the world).