Tornado Classic vs. Elite Foosball Tables

Written By Home Bar & Games

At the top of the high-end home Foosball tables list (right before you get to the pro tournament level tables) are the Tornado Classic and Elite tables. Both are extremely well-made tables by Tornado (arguably the best in the business).

But how do you decide on the Tornado Classic vs. Elite table?

The primary differences are that the Tornado Classic is less expensive, has a single-side ball return and just slightly less able to handle aggressive gameplay while the Tornado Elite is more expensive but gives you dual-sided ball return, thin-wall split Competition bearings for greater control and shot-blocking, stronger player rods, and a nice wood finish on the outside.

If you’re already committed to investing in a high-end table and want the one that is both higher quality and looks better in your home game room or man cave, then I’d recommend going with the Tornado Elite. You can CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.

Tornado Classic vs. Elite Comparison

Tornado ClassicTornado Elite
Cabinet Thickness1.5″1.5″
Playfield.75″ Laminate.75″ Laminate
Ball ReturnDual EndsSingle Side
Counterbalanced MenYesYes
LegsAdjustable (commercial grade levelers)Adjustable (commercial grade levelers)
Goalie Setup3 man goalie3 man goalie
Rods.125″ Hollow Steel.156″ Hollow Steel

Tornado Classic Foosball Table

The Tornado Sport Foosball Table is the most affordable option in the Tornado lineup.

Tornado is well known in the Foosball world for the superior build quality of its tables. They make some of the best tables in the world.

Tornado Classic

Exceptional Build Quality
Extremely Durable
Only Available In Black
Still Expensive Compared To Other Brands

Build Quality and Durability

Tornado is known for its build quality and durability when it comes to Foosball tables and the Classic is just a slight step below the best of the best.

Both tables weigh in at 225 lbs. when assembled and have a 1.5″ thick cabinet.

One significant distinction between these tables is the player rods. Both are hollow steel rods that allow for more speed while playing and less fatigue during longer sessions or tournaments.

But the Tornado Classic has .125″ hollow steel rods compared to the .156″ that the Elite has. What that means is that the Classic is just slightly less durable, especially for more aggressive gameplay.


There are actually very few obvious differences between these two tables.

Counter-Balanced Players

Both tables include players that are counterbalanced. Counterbalanced players mean that they stay in the position you put them in…even when you’re not holding the handle.

Counter-balanced players are a feature that are a necessity in any tournament Foosball play. So if you are looking for a table to practice for competitive matches, you’ll want to make sure the players are counter-balanced.


Both the Classic and the Elite contain solid wood handles. These are durable and high quality and will allow you to have precise control over your game.

Ball Return

One area where the Classic differs from the Elite is in the way that the ball return is set up. The Classic has a single side ball return. That means that no matter which side a goal is scored, the ball only returns to one side of the table. The other side does not have an opening.

From a practical standpoint, that means that the player(s) on that side will have to hand the ball to the other team to serve it.

It doesn’t really have any effect on the gameplay itself (other than a very slight delay in getting the ball back into play), but it is nice to have the return on both sides of the table.

Who Is The Tornado Classic For?

The Tornado Classic table sits in a little bit of a weird middle ground between the less expensive Sport and the Elite (keep reading for more on that model). I think that has to do mainly to the Classic having been designed first and then Valley-Dynamo (makers of Tornado Tables) adding the other two models to hit different price points.

There isn’t much difference between the Classic and the Elite so I would recommend going with your personal preference. If you like the all-black look and think that it would look at home in your game room, then go for it. You can’t go wrong with either of these tables.

If you’re interested in picking up a Tornado Classic table, you can CLICK HERE to see availability on Amazon.

Tornado Elite

The Tornado Elite Foosball Table is a step up in the Tornado lineup from the Classic.

I would consider the Elite to be the highest level “home” table. In order to get a more rugged table, you’ll end up spending a lot more and getting into the pro-competition level with the T-3000.

Tornado Elite

Exceptional Build Quality
Extremely Durable
Stronger Player Rods and Bearings

Build Quality and Durability

This is just about the peak of build quality when it comes to Foosball tables.

The Elite is identical to the top of the line tournament tables in the Tornado lineup in many ways.

It is 225 lbs. when assembled and has a 1.5″ thick cabinet. You can rest assured that this table will hold up to regular and consistent play.


Competition Bearings

The bearings are what connect the rods to the table. Because this table is designed for more aggressive competition play, it comes with thin-wall split Competition bearings for greater control and shot-blocking. That basically means that the movement of the rods will be smoother and easier to have more fine control.

These combine with the more heavy-duty rods to make this table ready for highly skilled competitions.

According to Tornado, their “patented split bearing design combines durability, function, and ease of replacement and removal for cleaning.”

Counter-Balanced Players

Both tables come with counter-balanced players. At this level of table (and cost), you should expect as much.


Like the Tornado Classic, the Elite has solid wood handles. They are exactly the same on both models.

Ball Return

An improvement over the Classic, the Elite table has dual side ball returns. That means that the ball will end up right in front of the side that was just scored on for them to put the ball into play again.

This isn’t a necessity, but it is a good feature to have…especially if you play more competitive matches.

One thing to keep in mind though…if you practice by yourself a lot, you can end up having to walk around to the other end of the table whenever the ball goes in the opposite goal. That’s one time where having a single side return can actually be helpful.

Who Is The Tornado Elite For?

The Tornado Elite is perfect for the Foosball enthusiast that wants a top of the line table but doesn’t necessarily need the tournament-ready T-3000. Unlike the more expensive model, the Elite has a nice wood finish and will fit well in most finished basements and mancaves.

This table would be the perfect addition to your high-end home game room setup.

CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.