How To Choose A Badminton Racket – A Buyer’s Guide

A racket is the most important equipment in badminton. Like tea powder is crucial for making tea, similarly, badminton cannot be played without a racket.

Whether you are a beginner or professional player, you should be aware of important factors to be taken into consideration to choose a perfect badminton racket for yourself.

The type of racket you chose should match your playing ability and style of play and should not be a racket of your favourite player. Moreover, the racket should match your strength and capabilities.

Considering the popularity of badminton around the world, there is a wide range of badminton rackets available online.

In this article, I will guide you with key aspects to take into consideration while purchasing a racket and a list of racket options for professional and beginner level players.

Let’s dive right in.

How To Choose The Right Badminton Racket?

Choosing the right badminton racket is really important to play the game to your maximum potential. There are several factors you need to consider before choosing the perfect racket for you.

Well, the factors to take into consideration while purchasing a racket are: 

  • Weight
  • Balance Point
  • String Tension
  • Material Composition
  • Shaft Stiffness
  • Head Shape 
  • Grip Size 

Weight Of The Racket 

Generally, the weight of the racket is denoted by ‘U’. You can observe that the smaller the number, the heavier the weight of the racket. An ideal badminton racket should be around 80gms-100gms in terms of weight.

Choosing an appropriate weight for your racket depends upon your ability and skill. The weight of the racket changes when a string or grip is applied.

The weights of unstrung badminton rackets are as follow:

  • 6U (F): 70-74g
  • 5U: 75-79g
  • 4U: 80-84g
  • 3U: 85-89g
  • 2U: 90-94g
  • 1U: 95-100g

For beginners, a heavier racket might be hard to use when you have not built enough muscle memory to swing the racket. On the other hand, if the racket is too light it will be difficult to develop the muscle required to generate power. 

Lightweight rackets (<85 gm) generate faster swing speed and are used by many amateurs and advanced players. 

Heavier rackets (>88gm) generate more speed to your game that allows you improves your reaction time. Players with strong shoulders and refined techniques of play can handle heavy rackets for their power-packed game. 

Single players usually use a slightly heavier racket such as 3U rackets to ensure stability while doubles players use 4U rackets for more speed allowing them to react quicker against their opponents.

Balance Point 

The balance point refers to the weight distribution of the racket and is determined by where the center of balance lies in the racket starting from the base of the handle. 

To determine which type of balance your racket has, just place a finger slightly above the head of the racket and see which way the racket tilts. 

The three categories of balance are:

  • Head Heavy

These rackets feel heavier on the racket head and are suitable for players who like a powerful game from the backcourt as it yields more power in your smashes. 

  • Head Light

This racket has less weight towards the head of the racket. Therefore, it is easier to control and swing the racket. They are suitable for doubles as they are desirable when playing shots at the net, particularly if you look to finish off rallies at the front of the court.

  • Even Balanced 

This racket has an evenly distributed weight. It gives you enough power from the back and equally good control over the net. Overall, it gives a good feel and adds flexibility to your play. This kind of racket is suitable for beginners.

String Tension 

You can use different strings to optimize the combination of power and control according to your style of play. The most commonly used string is the Yonex BG65 string.

However, most professional players prefer to use natural gut which is expensive but provides them with the best comfort while playing. 

You can test the tension in your strings by pressing them and see how far it sinks. If you are an aggressive and professional player, you can have a higher tension in your strings.

Tighter stringing implies that the racket will be in touch with the shuttle for a shorter time and will transfer less power and more control to your shot.

Professional players, for whom precision and control are more important, usually get their rackets strung at high tension.

  • Beginner: 18-20 lbs
  • Intermediate: 20-23 lbs
  • Advanced: 24-27 lbs
  • Professional: 27 lbs

Rackets with lower string tension provide more power in the shots as the shuttle is repelled from the string bed like a spring effect. Beginners should get their rackets strung at low tension and as they graduate to intermediate level of play with better control of the racket, they can increase the tension of the racket.

Shaft Stiffness 

Badminton rackets range from flexible, medium flex, stiff, to extra stiff shafts. The stiffness is related to the flexibility that the racket offers. Moreover, the stiffness is proportional to the racket speed which means that a stiff racket produces more speed than a flexible racket.

In simple words, the quicker your arm and wrist speed, the more you will benefit from a stiff shaftand the slower your wrist/arm speed, the more you will benefit from a flexible shaft.

  • Stiff Shafts

Stiff shafts are suitable for professional players which refined technique. Here the return of shots is faster as the shuttle does not stay long on the string bed. It comes with better control and more power. 

  • Flexible Shafts 

Flexible shafts are ideal for beginners as it gives easy access to power using little strength. The players can focus on their technique and not on generating enough power for their shots. 

  • Medium Shafts

They are ideal for players with a developing technique and lesser speed.

Material Composition 

Badminton rackets come in three material compositions- Steel, Aluminium, and Graphite.

Steel and Aluminium rackets are cost-effective and made for entry-level players. However, they are heavy and not comfortable in the long run. 

Graphite rackets often come with some advanced material technologies. They are lightweight, durable, and high-performance rackets than aluminium and steel. However, they are more expensive than aluminium and steel rackets. 

Head Shape 

Badminton Rackets have two head shapes- Isometric and Oval.  

The only difference between the isometric and oval shape is the location of the sweet spot. 

A sweet spot is a particular area on the string bed of the racket. Hitting the shuttle from the sweet spot will give you maximum power. 

The Isometric shape gives a larger and wider sweet spot than oval shape racket heads. Therefore, an isometric shape is suitable for beginners and the oval shape is suitable for advanced players. 

Grip Size 

Just like the weight of the rackets, there are different grip sizes. Yonex and Victor follow the following sizes:

G1: 4 in

G2: 3.75 in

G3: 3.5 in

G4: 3.25 in

G5: 3 in

G6: 2.75 in

A grip size should depend on your personal preference. A small grip size will enhance your wrist and finger movement and a bigger grip size utilizes more of the arm power. 

5 Best Badminton Rackets For Professional Players 

I’ve made a list of the best badminton rackets available in the market for professional players. If you’re considering badminton seriously, these rackets would be perfect for you.

Yonex Arcsaber 11

This racket is a signature racket of the backhand legend, Taufik Hidayat. It is designed for professional and powerful players, especially for the singles category.

It is a rounded, well-balanced racket with a long shaft and low flexibility. The CS nanotube used at both sides of the frame gives you unmatched control over your shots. 

Click the image to check the price of this racket on Amazon.

Yonex Arcsaber 10

YONEX Arcsaber 10 is a stiff racket with CS carbon Nanotube material positioned in fame. It is developed with Carbon Nanotube technology which controls the flex behaviour of racket during shuttle impact.

The shuttle holds on the racket in control way and returns with more power. Its weight varies from 85-89 gms and it provides players with fine accuracy and speed. 

Click the image to see the price of this product on Amazon.

Yonex Voltric 80

The Yonex Voltric 80 is a high-end model from the Yonex Voltric series. It is composed of HM graphite with sound filter and tungsten while the shaft is made of NANOPREME and Graphite.

With 82gm average weight and G4 grip, Voltric 80 gives superpower and control to the players. The nanopreme technology overcomes the limitations of carbon technologies to provide superior resilience, resistance, and stiffness.

Click here to check the product on Amazon.

Li-Ning Super Series SS-68 III Gen 

This is a super series racket with even balance configurations. It is a flexible shaft racket that is designed to deliver explosive power on smash and easy clears.

Being composed of graphite and with the ultra-carbon material technology, the player will get extra power on the smash. The usage of the Aerotech Beam system improves the player’s performance in various shots. 

Click here to check the current price of this racket on Amazon.

Yonex Voltric Z Force II

This is a revolutionary racket from Yonex and is suitable for advanced and aggressive players. It is developed with the ultra-thin shaft which is extra stiff.

Due to extra stiff shaft and ultra-dynamic head shape, the player will get powerful smashes and easy 3rd line clear. The ultra-aerodynamic technology and isometric head shape allow the shuttle to be hit with increased power. 

Click the image to check the current price of this racket on Amazon.

5 Best Badminton Rackets For Beginners

If you’re playing badminton for fun, then you would require a badminton racket that is not so expensive but durable and powerful. I’ve made a list of a bunch of badminton rackets you can buy that are of good quality in an affordable price range.

Let’s check them out.

Cosco CBX-450 Badminton Racket

The Cosco CBX 450 is one of the best rackets for beginners. The most attractive feature of this racket is that it is made up of graphite, which ensures the durability of the racket.

The weight of the racket is pretty low and its shape enables a power play. Overall, it helps to improve your game and comes within a good budget range. 

Yonex GR 303

This racket is designed for beginners and intermediate players. The racket frame is made up of aluminium which is slightly heavier than graphite but suitable for beginners to develop their game.

The weight of the racket is only 100 grams and it features a G3 grip size. The isometric head shape creates a larger sweet spot which helps to hit shots with maximum power. 

Click the image to check the price of this racket on Amazon.

Yonex Muscle Power 3

If you are a beginner and looking for a budget-friendly racket, then this is the best option for you. This Aluminium racket is isometric in shape which gives you a wider range to hit powerful shots.

It is durable and stable and is a 2U-G4 racket which is a little heavy and helps to develop your game. 

Click the image to check it’s current price on Amazon.

Yonex Arcsaber Lite

This badminton racket weighs 83gm with a grip size of G4, that is suitable for beginners and intermediate players.

The attractive feature is that it is made up of graphite and the NANO AIR SPRING provides excellent control, accuracy, and power.

Click on the image to see it’s current price on Amazon.

Li-Ning SS-20 III Carbon-Fiber Racquet

The Li-Ning SS-20 III badminton racket is designed for beginners and intermediate players. Made out of carbon fiber, the racket is extremely durable.

The isometric head shape with an average weight of 86gms and grip size of S2 (3.25 inches) makes the racket quite easy to use. Moreover, it is designed for challenging and attacking games. 

Click the image to check it’s price on Amazon.

If you’re an intermediate level player, you can check out this article to find some of the best rackets for that level.

Final Thoughts 

The popularity of badminton has increased tremendously across the world with millions of people playing the sport. Whether you are a beginner or professional player, consider all the above factors while purchasing a badminton racket for yourself.

Depending on your style of play and budget, you can go ahead and choose a suitable racket for yourself. 

I hope this article was helpful to you. If so, do share it so that others can also find it.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game!

Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

A guide to choose a badminton racket depending upon your style and level of play.