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Nov 042010

which badminton racket

This is one of the most common questions that badminton players will ask. Well, after playing badminton for many years and reading badminton rackets feedbacks, I recommend there are several areas you may need to know before buying a racket.

–        Brands

There are many badminton brands available to choose, such as Yonex, Wilson, Victor, Carlton, Head, LiNing etc. Among all the brands, Yonex is the most well established brand among international badminton communities. Yonex badminton rackets are generally more expensive than others. Good quality comes with good price as it is in most cases. Other brands are  almost as good as Yonex but with lower price. Recently I have been impressed by good rackets produced by Victor and LiNing.

–        Weight

The power of badminton rackets does not solely depend on the weight. It is not heavier the rackets are, more power they could generate. Don’t forget who is the one swinging the rackets. Use the following formula to understand more of the power generated from a racket.

[Racket head speed x Racket head weight = power]

To obtain the optimum power, you need to be able to generate maximum racket head speed with a given weight of racket. How to generate optimum racket head speed depends on your muscles and correct techniques which are covered in other posts of this website.

Yonex has a very good system in indicating the weights of rackets they manufactured. 2U <90g, 3U 85-90g, 4U<85g. 3U rackets are the most popular ones as they could generate optimum level of power. 2Us are heavier with less racket head speed and 4Us are lighter faster but with less mass.

–        Weight distribution of racket

There are three kinds of badminton rackets available, head-light, even-balanced and head-heavy. Generally head-heavy rackets are more powerful than head-light racket. But they are offset by the slower racket head speed. Most players would use head-heavy rackets for singles, and head-light or even-balance rackets for doubles. Even-balance rackets are good for both doubles and singles. My personal preference is ArcSaber 10, which is being used by Taufik and Pete Gade. Fast Smasher Tan Boon Heong has used NanoSpeed 9900 and Ti 10 (purple). His strength and techniques are good enough for him to generate tremedous shuttlecock speed by using even with head-light Ti 10.

Here is a rough guide. Balance point from handle without string or overgrip.

Head-light <285mm, Even-balance 285 – 300mm, Head-heavy >300mm.

Yonex head-light rackets: NanoSpeed and NanoRay series. Head-heavy rackets: Armortec and Voltric Series. Even-balance rackets: ArcSaber series.

–        Strings

Professionals use string tensions stronger than 26lbs as high strings tends to have better control and power and also they don’t need to pay for the rackets and strings. Amateur players should be ok with tensions between 23-26lbs.

–        Grips

Grip size comes in three types, G3 G4 and G5. G3 is larger than G4 and G5. Most rackets sold in Europe have G3 grip size. You have more choices in Asian markets. G4 is ideal as you can increase the grip size by adding your favourite type of grips without taking the orginal grips off.

Finding a suitable racket is really individual. You need to feel it is the right racket for your style, e.g. your physical build and your way of swinging the racket.

Note: since the publish of this post, there are more and more good rackets have been produced. It is difficult to keep track of all of them. This post only acts as a guideline for you when choosing a racket.


  53 Responses to “How to choose a badminton racket”

  1. hi i wanna ask ..coz i want to try victor brand of racket ,could u recommend a racket on this kind of brand and im just amateur ..

    and im also playing doubles & mix ..i love being aggressive in the court and love to smashh..i dont know any racket from victor brand ..Hope u could help me ..


  2. its awesome …article is helpful ….i am wasim ali from pakistan… i got my arm fractured in an accident… but i still play badminton..its my life….!!!

  3. hello sir,
    a very informative and well written article.I have been playing badminton since childhood, but since the last one year i am seriously pursuing the game and i really enjoy myself.
    The point is that in a country like India we dont have many options other than yonex in terms of variety(simple beginner to semi-pro to full pro) and financial considerations.my friend once brought carlton, but soon switched back to yonex…. amazing rackets…

    i would like to ask sir, does increasing the girth(width) of the racquet grip helps in any way or is it a myth(they say it helps in even better and faster smashes)??? like some people have a tendency of using double grips on a standard G4. and are towel grips bbetter than normal grips???

    • The standard grips on Yonex racket are not good to me because they are not absorbing sweat well and the rackets are difficult to hold firm as a result. I never try towel grips. I only use overgrips which will not damage the orginal grips.

  4. Hi……. I have been using ArcSaber 100 (limited edition) and Carbonex 25 since october last year….. I would like to know your opinion on this rackets….. n which string should use in particular??? I m using Yonex BG 65 in my Carbonex and Yonex BG 98 in the ArcSaber… I would like to know your opinion on this as well….. Pls suggest me how I enhance my wrist power….

    thank you……

    • I never use Carbonex series. I use ArcSaber 10 with BG80 24lb. AcrSaber is good racket with well balance for defence and power. Wrist power can be a misunderstanding. You only use wrist power when in net play, forecourt push, midcourt drive and backcourt drop or pinpoint smash. Most of the time, wrist power is combined with fore arm rotation. Swing power is a better concept then wrist power as swing power can be generated from fingers, wrist, fore arms, elbow and shoulder. Hope this help.

  5. You can also try
    Khelmart.com for Yonex and Head badminton racquets.
    They have good collection of Badminton Racquets

  6. hello,

    i got a ques 2 ask… is yonex better than kennex??
    my friend is using both racket n he said its better using kennex.
    actually, im using pro ace… ive never use kennex racket…
    i love 2 smash

  7. Sir, may i know what kind of racquet should i use being a powerful/well built and offensive intermediate player? I have a Nanospeed racquet…. a light weight & head light one

    • Nanospeed series are head light balance. They are good for defensive players. For offensive players, I would recommend Armortec, Voltric or ArcSaber series.

  8. i think wilson brand is what i like,I am Nino Alivio badminton is my choice and my daily sport I am alredy in Grade 6 I am asking you now that is my choice alright.

    • I personaly like Yonex rackets and will not discourage other people using other brands. As long as you feel the rackets are working out for you. If you prefer Wilson, I would suggest buying a Wilson mid-range racket before going for a pro racket.

  9. i have been using yonex muscle power since last december…i wish to change my racquet.what should i choose for my next level of training???im 15 and i am an established player in my school.

    • I would suggest going for pro range rackets if you have the money to spend. The earlier the better. Go for a 3U attack/defense racket with tension of 23/24lb. If you do not clash your racket with others, your racket should last for a few years. After a few more years down the road when you are better built physically, you may choose a different racket.

  10. hi i hv started 2 learn badminton own…i can’t find the best racquet fo me…i want to be best in defend and attack too…plz help me out i’m going 2 plan for nanospeed or head…

    • Nanospeed rackets at head light balance and they are better for defense. Arcsaber rackets are well balanced and good for defense and attack. Armortec 900 technique and Voltric Z force rackets are also good for attack and defense.

  11. thanks for this but it wasn’t very helpful. Think of it like this:

    the heavier the racket the more power u can generate that is why I use the heaviest racket around, thus my smash delivers a lot of power. I am malayali and i am 18.

    • The swing speed is also very important. if your theory is right, then a tennis racket would be better than a much lighter badminton racket. I guess what you mean is that you would use 2U rackets because of the swing power you could generate.

  12. hi , i have been using carbonex series from the last year , now i am going plan to buy li ning racket uc3900 , so plz suggest me to is it good one or not, i am player like both affensive and deffensive shots , soo plz suggest me it is better one or not to me

    thank u

    • For offensive and defensive shots, I would suggest

      – Armortec 900 technique: head heavy balance but with aerodynamic head shape for fast swing
      – Arcsaber series: even balanced, designed for both offensive and defensive shots

  13. i am 42 year old and am playing doubles badminton for last 4 year . my basic playing style is to keep opponent in third court by hitting good clear shot & force him to make mistake. pl suggest racquet for hitting good back gallery shot with ease.

    • I would suggest you to try yonex Nanoray series.

      NANORAY is designed for players who force their opponents into the back of the court with extreme speed. The thinner top of the frame sides minimize air resistance for greater head speed, while the thicker sides at the bottom of the head generate maximum repulsion through greater frame stiffness.

  14. Hi,
    I have been playing Badminton for two years now and love it, the only problem is that I am a 62 year old woman and would like to have more power with my shot.
    I have ‘Tennis elbow’ at present, it is getting better, but my arm does hurt still when I play.
    I need a racket to help my shot to be more powerful without me having to hit with all my strength so that my forearm muscles are not wrenched and pulled. I am quite strong but I am average build for my height..5 foot 5 inches tall…and I have long thin arms !
    I play with a Head Power Helix 5000 racket, G3, 85grams, flexible tension:22-28lbs…..the feel of this racket and the weight are very comfortable but I just need more power to protect my vulnerable hitting arm as I really like to smash my opponent ( my husband ! ) and I would like to win the game more often.
    Please reply with your advice as soon as possible, thank you so much,
    kind regards, Jo.

    • For players having tennis elbow, it is better to use less stiff rackets with lower string tensions e..g. 22-24lb, so that there is less vibration felt in the elbow area.

      In terms of badminton rackets, if you prefer to have more power, the head heavy balanced rackets are your choice, e.g. Voltric series. VT70 is a racket with medium flex, yet head heavy for more power. If your friends happen to have one, borrow for a game and try it out.

  15. Thank you so much for such valuable information.It was really helpful.

  16. very useful……thank u……

  17. I’m play attacking style.so which model for yonex should I choose

    • I would suggest Yonex Voltric series. For faster swing of racket head, go for VT Z Force. For medium flex, go for VT70. Otherwise, VT80 is good.

  18. Hi,
    I have an offensive style.. Could you please suggest me a racquet within 3000 rs range which is suitable for both def and off styles?. Please reply.

    • For both offensive and defensive play of single or double badminton games, I would suggest Yonex Arcsaber even-balanced series. Find the model which is within 3000rs in your local stores or on internet.

  19. My 11.7 year daughter is playing at intermediate level. Currently using Yonex Nanospeed 600 with NBG 99 string. She is not satisfied with the NBG 99.She saying more power required for smashes. Earlier she played with NBG 98 string. Suggest me the appropriate rackets & string (Yonex , Li-Ning). She is a left handed player playing offensive with power smash.

    • There are a couple of things you may want to look into when producing more power.

      – string: get string tension to around 24lb or above, give it a try with Yonex BG65Ti or BG80
      – racket: for power player, try head-heavy balanced rackets such as Yonex Voltric series, or even-balanced Arcsaber series.
      – techniques: things like timing, footwork, positioning etc.

  20. Hi,

    Thanks for the information.

    I have been playing badminton regularly for around 3-4 years and advanced from T-joint racket to ArcSaber (i have forgotten the number, I am guessing it was one of the lower end ones). But I happened to lose it unfortunately and I am looking for an updgrade.

    About my style of game, I am good with drop shots. I try to hit at the third court but it gets a little difficult for me, I need to muster all my effort in hitting the shot. The ArcSaber I used had the original gutting which I guess would be 22 psi?

    Here is the ask, I want a racket which helps me in power play where I can push the opponent to the back court and yet maintain the precision of my drop shots.

    Would really appreciate your guidance.


    • I would suggest going for Arcsaber 9FL, 10 or 11. Make sure it is 3U in weight, 4u is slightly too light and you would find it difficult to push shuttlecock to the backcourt. Increase string tension to 24 lbs. Arcsaber series are even-balanced rackets with longer time in holding the shuttlecock, which is good in producing ideal drop shots. Hope these help.

  21. Hi there,

    I have been looking to buy a new racquet but am not sure what to buy. I am an intermediate high school player and I currently use a Wilson blx blade. It is slightly head heavy and very flexible. I am looking for a stiffer racquet so I can take advantage of my power while still maintaining good defence/drops/net play. I do not know if I can handle an “extra stiff” racquet without getting a sore elbow and wrist though. Which should I choose between a voltric 70, 80, or z force II? Thanks.

    • If you like head-heavy rackets with medium stiff flex, then VT70 is the choice. VT80 and Z Force II are much stiffer. I would suggest borrowing it for a game if anyone around you who has a VT70. Just to see whether you like the feel of the racket. It would take sometime to get used to a new racket.

  22. Very useful info and properly explained.

    I’m an intermediate player and likes to switch styles in a game (45% offensive & 65% defensive play style). Relay mainly on my drop shots & placing as my shots are less powerful. So im looking for a head heavy racket of light weight (4u) and with a string tension around 26 (will set the strings manually afterwards).

    1) Head Heavy – to increase the power of my shot.
    2) Light weight for easy maneuvering.
    3) Medium flex and string tension as i play both singles & doubles.

    It will be really helpful if you can provide your insight on my choice of Racket and any not so costly model to choose from.

    • It looks like you know what you are looking for. The yonex rackets of your choice can be VT70 (4u), VT 80 is much stiffer. You can also expore older models of AT900 Power/Technique (4u) if you can find them. ArcSaber rackets are even-balanced rackets which are good both for attacking and defending.

  23. Hello Sir,

    I m playing shuttle for more than 5 years. I was using Carbonex 8000 Light but unfortunately racquet is broken now. Then I bought Li Ning windstorm 680 but being a left hander clashed with my partner and now it is broken. I am very good in smashing and my hand is small 😉 I would like to buy a smaller grip, light-weighed and Yonex racquet. Please Suggest me a good one. Budget is Rs. 3000 to Rs.5000.

    P.S : Anyone can suggest me to buy a new one.

    • Rackets with grip of G4 or G5 size and weight of 4u will suit you well. I personally will spend a little more money in buying a pro type of racket. If you play a lot and your game improve quickly, soon you will be looking for a new racket.

  24. Hello Sir,

    It’s a well written article. Now coming to the point, I am an amature in badminton and having been playing it since 6 months,
    I have recently been through a online website for YONEX badminton racquets i found a sleek and beautiful one “Yonex Muscle Power 29 Light G4 Strung Badminton Racquet (Weight – 3U)”.
    Is it worth buying? Is it well suited for both offense and defense?
    I play both offensive usually in doubles. But sometimes defensive also.
    And if this Badminton Racquet is not good enough for my play which one i should use?


    • It is a even-balanced racket, good for defensive and offensive play. It is an entry level racket, suitable for people starting to develop badminton games. If you are getting more serious, I would suggest buying a pro badminton racket.

  25. As i reside in india her the yonex racquets are quite expensive as a beginner i will buy this and after a year or so, I will surely go for a good one then.

    Anyways thankyou for the advice sir.
    Loved your website great tricks and techniques you have posted in here.

  26. Sir,

    Whether the head heavy racquets are difficult to counter-attack or return the powerful smashes ? Will the head heavy racquets will feel heavier than balanced one ?

    If I play both offensive and defensive style, then which series of racquet is really good ?

    • In theory, even-balanced rackets (Yonex ArcSaber) are good for both offensive and defensive badminton shots, but not the best in both departments.

      Some head-heavy rackets can swing faster than the others, such as 4U in weight, slimer in head shape (VT-i-Force) or aerodynamic head (AT900 technique).

      You can use a head light rackets to play offensive shots by high string tension and faster racket head speed.

      If possible, try different rackets in order to find the most suitable one for you.

      Hope this help.

  27. Ok sir.

    Will goto a store and will try head light racquets (especially Nano Speed and Nano ray) which suits for me.

    Thank You for your advice

    I will always be in touch with you sir.

  28. Hi,
    I am a professional playing badminton since hildhood. Now I am close to 30 and I get pain in my right elbow when I play smash. My usual style is being aggressive and likes to smash alot. I also recently broke my racquet while playing a smash. My query is that is it because that I have played a wrong stroke that I get this pain or has it got anything to rely on the weight of the racquet that I use. How do I overcome the pain and what racquet is a better option a light weight or mid-heavy ones. Please advise.


    • Rackets with ex stiff shaft and high string tension are more likely to cause elbow pain to players who do not know how to smash properly. The key is the following through and allowing the power to offload after smashing.

  29. Hi, im 38, intermediate/advance doubles player, stops for years before making a come back 2 years ago.

    Started with cheap APACS (head heavy and stiff), was doing fine for few months till i felt the shaft flex during my smash.

    So i bought Yonex ZFII (head heavy and stiff) – very stiff shaft which is good but the racket feels light…less than a month frame broke as it hits the shuttles hard! Send for warranty claim.

    So i bought LiNing Woods N80 (head heavy and stiff) – too heavy to handle, good for wrist practise tho lol…used for few months for wrist practise….until….

    So i bought Yonex VT80 (head heavy and stiff) – Excellent choice for power smash and intermediate drive but i broke the frame again hitting a shuttle hard. Used for bout 8months. Send for warranty.

    My game has change from where i start off. I’m more into offensive gameplay and fast pace return.

    From the above rackets that i used, i do realize my return of a drive is slow due to grip changing and weight of the racket.

    Therefore, i am looking at a lighter racket but wish to maintain the power play.

    All the above rackets are 3U with Yonex String BG66 Ultimax @ 27lbs

    Any racket recommendation for me?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Sorry for late reply. Looking at the rackets you have tried, I would recommend a few options.

      1. Arcsaber 11, an even-balanced racket, good for decent power play and defence.
      2. LiNing Wood N90II S-type, less heavier than N90II but lighter and faster.
      3. Victor Jetspeed 8PS, good defence/drive, power can be generated by faster swing.
      4. Try a 4U version of Yonex power rackets, but the frame is weaker than a 3U version.

      It would be good if you could try some of the rackets before buying them.

      Hope this help.

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