Finding the best badminton racket is not an easy task as you might have been thinking! It’s quite overwhelming to decide on one option when you have several models from multiple brands to choose from.
Moreover, all the brands are claiming to be the best brand, so it’s a tough task to select the best bet for you.To clear the air and help you to get rid of all the marketing gimmicks, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive badminton racket reviews guide.
So allow me to do the legwork and please read through this article to get a clear picture of some rackets for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players.
Things that I considered before choosing a particular model are,
- It’s cost-effectiveness.
- Whether the racket is a perfect option for a beginner or an intermediate or an advanced player.
- The racket’s weight, stiffness, head balance, grip, string tension, etc.
- Whether the racket offers the latest technologies or not.
- Who suits best with that racket – aggressive or defensive players, and many more.
So, without any further ado, let’s begin!
Comparison Table For 18 Best Badminton Rackets
06 For Beginners:-
12 For Intermediate and Advanced Players:-
At First, Let Me Review Top 06 for Beginners!
1.Senston N80 Graphite
When everyone is praising all the Yonex products, I thought I would put this Senston N80 on top of the list.
Indeed, I found enough reasons that set itself apart from the crowd.
In general, what attracted me most is its ability to satisfy a beginner with its multiple beginner-friendly features.
On top of that, when you buy a racket for a beginner, you should go for quality but a less expensive ones. Senston N80 has that quality, and it is cost-effective too.
So, in my opinion, this is the perfect racket for beginners.
I’ve already mentioned the core values in the Pros section. Let me cover some points in a bit of detail.
As I said, this is an isometric head-shaped racket, which offers a larger sweet spot than an oval-shaped racket. Consequently, you will get extra power for almost every shot you make.
Moreover, a larger sweet spot means the string bed is more forgiving.
It’s quite easy to maneuver and swing because of the pyramid frame rim design. With air mechanics, it minimizes the swing resistance.
The grip comes separately. Therefore, you have to put it on yourself, and it’s an easy task.
Consider adding extra grip if you are not ok with a single grip. As this racket is head-heavy, so in case you want to have more weight at the grip, then add one or two extra grips.
Nonetheless, it comes with carrying case/cover. So, it’s a plus.
This is a quite handy choice for anyone who is about to learn this fantastic game of badminton.
It’s lightweight, responsive, stable, offers a larger sweet spot, easy to carry, maneuver, and swing. Altogether, it’s worth the money.
2.Senston Professional Woven
This specific badminton racket from Senston is built using the latest Woven technology, which also gives it a quality look.
While the string tension is 25-26 lbs, it can hold up to 30 pounds. So, yes, you have the customization options. Nonetheless, I believe you shouldn’t bother if you are at a very early stage of learning this game.
The one-piece design and T-joint help to minimize the deformation of the racket for constant playing hence enhance the durability as well.
Again, you can add as many grips as you want to make it more handy for you. But I don’t think as a beginner you should over complicate things. Go for extra grip only if you need one.
Like the previous Senston racket, this one also comes with a cover.
I was a bit skeptical about including any brand other than Yonex on my list. But these Senston rackets have proven me right.
All in all, this is a quality racket that you can get spending very little money compared to other good options on the market.
Have I mentioned earlier the reason behind choosing a carbon fiber material racket?
It’s because this material makes the racket strong and reduces the deformation of the frame.
The one-piece construction and built-in T-joint also help to reduce the deformation of the racket caused by continuous playing.
As a starter, you will want to play for long without facing any shoulder pain. You can expect that from this racket as it’s quite lightweight.
I was saying about the string protected technology in the pros section. It’s nothing but a design with a small bulging point on the frame that protects the string. Eventually, you will get a better life from this model.
This is the most inexpensive racket among the other models from Senston on my list.
Being said that, it’s not cheaply built. It offers everything you require from a beginner badminton racket.
If you want to go for a budget racket without compromising the necessary quality, this is the best bet for you.
4.Yonex Nanoray 20
Is this racket flexible or stiff? – It’s flexible. As I said, this is another critical feature that helps a beginner.
A flexible racket offers more power than its stiff counterpart. That means it can add extra power with the energy you give during your shot. Therefore, it helps a beginner to play powerful shots.
This racket is crafted with some of the latest technologies.
A control support cap is one of them. It boosts your ability for high speed playing by offering a better grip. It creates an 80% wider flat surface than any standard racket that eventually helps you to generate fast swing.
Nanomesh + carbon nanotube is another estate of the art technology embedded in this racket. It helps to increase the strength, impact strength within the racket, and impulse power.
The Aero-box Variframe is another technology I must not forget to mention.
It helps in minimizing the air resistance and increase the airflow across the curved surface. Consequently, you will get more speed and power to your shots.
I believe this is the most underrated racket on my list.
The price could have been better. But, I’m NOT considering it as a big no-no.
Because it excels in quality and you are going to buy from a famous brand here.
Altogether, Yonex Nanoray 20 is a solid badminton racket for beginners. An advanced player should not buy this, though.
5.Franklin Sports Elite
Franklin Sports is another famous brand in the sports industry. They know how things work and what it takes to make the right racket.
Therefore, you can rely on their brand without any doubt whatsoever.
This Franklin Sports Elite Performance badminton racket is not any exception.
It is crafted with several modern-day technologies. I’ve mentioned those already in the pros section.
As per the weight, shape, and balance are concerned, this racket is one of the most excellent options at a mid-range price.
This racket offers an unbeaten price, I must say. I think this is another best bang for your bucks if you want to spend less and get more.
Overall, I believe this one is a splendid racket for a beginner in terms of weight, maneuverability, power, control, and of course, price.
This one is a very basic racket and a stiff one. So, it will give reasonable control for your shots.
Therefore, if getting control from the racket is one of your primary concerns, then go for this one.
As this racket from Yonex offers the conventional oval shape head, so expect a smaller sweet spot than what you get from an isometric shaped head.
However, I don’t consider this a major drawback by any means.
Well, this is not the best of the best racket I must say. Too often, it’s what you get is what you pay for. For this model, it’s true, to be honest.
However, if you don’t want to spend too much but looking for a somewhat quality option, then you can go for this one.
Above, I’ve listed some good rackets for beginners. Better choose any one of them instead of this if you have become skeptical after reading my opinion.
Now, Let Me Review Top 12 for Intermediate and Advanced Players!
1.Yonex Duora 10
When it’s about choosing the high-end badminton racket, Yonex is a brand that comes to mind before anything else. I’m sure you will agree with me.
This Yonex Duora 10 was released in 2015, but still, I can’t resist myself to keep it on top of my intermediate-advanced racket list.
This is one such racket that was accepted by most of the top badminton players, and they switched to this racket after rigorous testing.
No wonder this one is equipped with some sophisticated technologies that set itself apart from the crowd.
It offers a hybrid design that allows a player to play equally well with both forehands and backhands. That is something that all the modern days’ players expect.
Its dynamic dual design helps it to provide both power and speed at the same time.
The dual optimum system is offering a box frame on one side that makes it a heavy-hitting racket. That eventually will help you to perform powerful smashes.
On the other side of the dual optimum system head, it has an aero frame that helps to cut through the air quickly. That helps for backhand and defensive shots too.
The shaft is slim and made from high modulus graphite and nanometric that ensures the strength of this model.
I must admire the aesthetic beauty of this model. It has two colors (orange and green) on a black base that make it stands out without any doubt.
As I said, practically, this one is a 2U racket, but it shouldn’t be an issue for an intermediate to advanced players.
Overall, this one is a perfect all-rounder racket that has something to offer for all kinds of shots you want to play as a modern-day player.
It won’t break your bank either.
2.Yonex DUORA Z-Strike
Yonex Duora Z-Strike is another extraordinary production from Yonex, many professional players have accepted that. Players like Vitor Axelsen, Lin Dan, Carolina Marin used this racket and found it a perfect fit for them.
It implements all the modern technologies that Duora 10 implements. I mentioned those above while I reviewed the Duora 10.
This one is a 3U category racket, which is an ideal weight range for all sorts of players.
As this is a G4 style grip, so you should expect a slightly bigger grip. I love big grip because it gives me reasonable control over the racket.
However, if you want a G5 style grip, you can always remove the onboard grip and replace it with a new G5 grip.
The recommended string tension of this racket is between 20 lbs to 28 lbs. That is something that makes this one a versatile weapon for intermediate players.
Aesthetically it’s a good one, I believe. It has a combination of black and white color that makes it simple yet professional.
While this is an evenly balanced racket, at the same time, I should mention, I found it a tad head heavy one. Overall, it doesn’t make any significant impact on the mixture of power and control, though.
I must say, this one is an excellent addition to the Yonex Duora family, with very little increase in price.
As a whole, you won’t regret buying this racket for an intermediate or an advanced player.
It offers all it takes to perform remarkably with both backhand and forehand.
3.Yonex Voltric 80 E Tune
Yonex Voltric 80 E Tune is another Japan made racket for the intermediate to advanced level of players.
The heavy head feature gives you power, and the stiff shaft provides extra control. Altogether, it offers a delicate balance of power and control.
It’s a 3U category racket. So, no issue with the weight. It offers a G5 style grip, which is a substantially big grip for anyone who loves the bigger grip. I like a bigger grip.
The recommended string tension for this model is 20 lbs to 27 lbs. So, again, it is a perfect range for an intermediate or an advanced player. If you are an intermediate player, you would probably want to go for around 23 lbs string tension.
While this is an excellent aggressive racket, at the same time, this is not an ideal option for defensive shots. Mainly, when you are playing double or trying to defend a bit off-balance, it will be less forgiving.
I must admire the enormous power it provides during smashing. You don’t have to jump to give extra strength for smash shots. It offers an increased drive speed too.
As I said, I don’t like its color. But I don’t mind using a quality racket even if it doesn’t look good visually.
If you are a super aggressive player, then this one is the best bet for you.
However, if you want to go for something that gives you a balance between defense and offense, then the previous models from the Yonex Duora family are the perfect fit for you.
4.Yonex Voltric Z Force II
Out of many other famous rackets from Yonex, this Voltric Z Force II is one of the widely accepted badminton rackets around the world. Not only in the USA or UK, but it is also a popular one in other continents like Asia, Australia, and Africa.
As this is a head-heavy option and at the same time, it’s a stiff racket, therefore, you are going to get the right combination of power and control together.
This version of the Voltric Z Force improved the Tri voltage system that ensures more power than before and fast handling.
The Tungsten infused grommet increases the impact of power. The tips of the grommet are inside the frame that eventually minimizes the air resistance.
This is probably the thinnest shaft Yonex has ever produced, which increases the restoration by at least 25%. It is one of the reasons for increased power too.
You have both 4U (G4 grip style) and 3U (G4 grip style) version of this racket. So, go for the weight you like most.
It lacks the solid feel a bit from the stringbed, though.
If you got proper technique and strong arms, then this racket is the best bet for you.
As I said, as an intermediate player, you might not like this racket too much. But if you are an advanced player then don’t look for any other options.
However, no matter what level of player you are, once you get used to this racket, you will fall in love with this model for sure.
5.Yonex Nanoray 70 DX
As this one is a head-light racket, so you can expect excellent support for a doubles game.
A head-light racket is suitable for defensive shots, and defense is something that needs to be done correctly in a doubles game.
Let’s see the technologies that this version of Nanoray offers.
The combination of Nanomesh and Carbon Nanotube tries to make up the less power offered by any head-light racket like this one.
Nanomesh and Carbon Nanotube technologies that have been implemented at shaft and frame improves the power and movement.
The Aero-frame technology makes the head of the racket more aerodynamic. Eventually, you will get better swing speed.
The built-in T-joint lets you control the weapon better during the movement.
It has an isometric form that offers an equal spacing between the ropes. Consequently, you will get a consistent beat even if you miss to hit the center.
The string tension range is from 24-30 lbs, which is a perfect range for intermediate to advanced players.
All in all, this one is an excellent racket for an intermediate player, and it doesn’t cost too much money.
If you are an advanced player, you will probably want to avoid this option as I’ve listed some better options for you on my list.
The clear, drop shots are good with this model. Smash is ok. Still, I believe this one is a perfect choice for a defensive player.
6.Yonex Nanoray Z Speed
Yonex released this Nanoray Z speed in 2013. Since then, it has been gaining attention from the attacking players with its power and speed.
A good number of elite players of badminton played with this racket and satisfied with the performance of this model.
The latest version of this model that came in 2017 is a lime green based with black detailing racket.
Of course, I like this visual. To me, it looks more sporty. But it entirely depends on your personal preference. I heard some people don’t like it and think this color combination makes it look even cheaper.
This very Nanoray Z speed racket is very responsive in flat exchange and super handy racket for returning smashes.
Regarding control, Nanoray Z speed provides excellent control. You should be able to play net and drop shots accurately.
This racket gives a solid feel and pretty comfortable to hand with minimal vibration.
Normal clears, pressure clears, and punch clears; you can do all these with ease using this model.
Drive shots and returning smashes are fun playing with this weapon too.
As a whole, this one is an excellent powerful racket that provides a lot of fun to the smashers.
It’s fast. Therefore, you won’t need too much time to take momentum.
The price is ok but could have been better. If quality and performance are something you don’t want to sacrifice at all, then the price shouldn’t hurt you.
Overall, this one is a perfect option for both aggressive and defensive shots.
7.Yonex Arcsaber 10
Yonex Arcsaber 10 is available in a variety of weights and grip sizes. You will have both 3U and 2U versions for this model. On the other hand, you have the liberty to buy either G4 or G5 style grip.
This very racket that I’m reviewing here is the 3U and G5 grip one. As it has a G5 style grip, so you will love it if you are keen on a bigger grip.
This model is not 100 out of 100 for smashing. However, swinging this model is not a difficult task because of its stiff and thin shaft.
Regarding accuracy, I must say, it’s pretty accurate. Eventually, it gives you a good feeling during service shots.
While dominating the netplay requires a lot of practice and experience, at the same time, a perfect badminton racket can play a vital role to play that shot accurately. Your racket must offer reasonable control to achieve that, and this model does exactly that.
Due to the combination of high modulus graphite and cup-stack carbon nanotube, you are getting ample repulsion power and flexibility.
That means if you are an experienced player, then net-play with this model is as easy as pie for you.
Though this model won’t break your bank, still I believe the price could have been better than this.
In terms of quality and performance, no issue at all. I like the color combination too.
This one is slightly lean towards the defensive players. That being said, it’s an excellent weapon for aggressive players too.
As long as you are an intermediate or an advanced player, you are good to go. It’s not a good option for a beginner.
8.Yonex Arcsaber 11
Yonex Arcsaber 11 was released in 2013. Several professional players, including Taufik Hidayat and Tommy Sugiarto, are still using this racket because of its true nature to be a professional-grade model.
The string tension advice is 19-24 lbs for 3U ones and 20-25 lbs for 2U ones. I believe the range is perfect for intermediate players but not so ideal for advanced players. An advanced player will enjoy anything higher than 26 lbs.
While the accuracy of this version is remarkable, the ability to provide proper support for the smash shot is not up to the mark as the previous Arcsaber 10 model.
Yonex implements some of its latest technologies to make this model. ‘Sonic metal’ is one of them which is implemented in the head. It creates solid sound and feels when you hit the shuttlecock. It also ensures a fast response.
Beside Sonic metal, the frame is made of High Modulus Graphite and Neo CS Carbon Nanotube. The shaft is made of High Modulus Graphite and Ultra PEF.
The Neo CS Carbon Nanotube increases the strength, flexural modulus, the distance of break, and shock-absorbing ability.
It has the new grommet pattern that gives you better string retention, and overall reasonable control.
The solid feel core eliminates vibration at shuttlecock impact.
You can swing the racket quite efficiently due to the combination of the box frame and aero frame.
The control support cap is there to let you grip the racket comfortably.
Yonex Arcsaber 11 is an all-rounder racket that is priced reasonably compared to its competitors.
If you tend to play more doubles than singles, then this model might prove to be a cracker of a racket for you.
9.Yonex Astrox 77
Yonex Astrox 77 is the perfect weapon for the steep attack, and it was released by Yonex in 2017.
It’s a 4U G4 style racket. 4U is pretty lightweight, and G4 is a substantially big grip for your comfort. Of course, you still need to add extra grip if you are keen on G5 grip. You can buy the 3U version too. But I’m reviewing the 4U here.
It allows the string tension from 20 lbs up to 28 lbs for 4U, which is suitable for both intermediate and advanced players.
A new type of graphite material, ‘Namd,’ was used to make this model. Namd distributes the weight throughout the grip end, joint, and all the way to the frame top. Eventually, you are going to get reasonable control.
The Solid Feel Core technology is also installed in this racket that cuts out the excess vibration, which is quite necessary to get a comfortable feel. It reduces the chance of wrist injury too.
This racquet is best when it’s about playing around the nets. It’s good for drop shots, smashes too.
Despite a couple of hiccups, I still believe Yonex Astrox 77 is a solid all-rounder racket for an intermediate or an advanced player. The price is ok too. You won’t regret buying this model.
It’s suitable for doubles as it provides excellent swing support. On the other hand, it’s ideal for singles too as it’s a lightweight option, which so many players look for their singles games.
10.Yonex Nanoray 900
Nanoray 900 is another quality production from Yonex that has been accepted by several good players, including Indonesian Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The Nanoray 900 is a 3U, G4 style racket. That means it’s light and offers a big grip. The grip is nicely cushioned for the sake of comfortable holding.
This is considered to be a king of drive racket that has an excellent color combination for my likings. The look is very classy and elegant, and it features a matt finish.
The shaft is made from high modulus graphite and X-fullerene. In short, these materials increase stability and repulsion power.
The frame implements Nanometric technology.
The head design is something that I must mention here. Yonex made the upper and lower part of the racket thick and stiff; at the same time, the middle inner part is flexible. This makes the head to hit the shuttle downwards at a steeper angle.
As a whole, this version of Nanoray 900 is a perfect racket for both singles and doubles games. Both aggressive and defensive players will find this racket a handy weapon to dominate the opponent.
The price is reasonable too.
11.Karakal CBX 7
This racket from Karakal is a tested weapon that suits for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.
You won’t regret buying this racket. However, this is not the best of the best on my list. Go for this only if you want something other than Yonex. Otherwise, I’ve listed so many good Yonex rackets here that excel in quality.
BN-60FF is one of the lightest rackets manufactured by Karakal. It’s quite a good option for intermediate and advanced players.
It comes with a 22×22 string pattern. This model has a balance point of 310mm.
The price is not high, either. So, if you are looking for an ideal racket for all types of shots, and you are an intermediate and advanced player, this one is a good bet for you.
How to Choose a Badminton Racket?
So, let’s get our butts off and learn about the factors that are directly related to choosing a badminton racket.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to make things over complicated. You got to consider very few points before buying a racket.
Here they are:
- Shaft flexibility.
- Head shape.
- String tension.
- Grip size.
Hold on. Things not over yet. Let me explain those points a bit.
Well, this is pretty straight forward. The badminton racket weight is denoted by “U” with a number before it. Like 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U. Here the smallest number is representing the heaviest racket. Meaning 1U is the heaviest one and 4U is the lightest.
The weight of a badminton racket typically ranges from 80g to 100g.
Here is the breakdown.
1U: 95g -100g
2U: 90g – 94g
3U: 85g – 89g
4U: 80g – 84g
If you are just about to start your badminton career go for the light one. 4U or 3U is the perfect one for you. Most of the rackets vary from 3U to 4U. 1U and 2U are used for the training purpose where you got to build your forearm and wrist muscles.
Racket balance is divided into three types.
- Head heavy.
- Head light.
- Even balanced.
What the heck are all these?
Let’s learn one by one.
Head Heavy:- Yes, some rackets have their head heavy. Meaning the weight of the racket is located mostly towards the head of the racket.
Head heavy tends to provide more power than other types. This is an advantage. But keep in mind, you have to deliver your strength to perform well with this type of racket.
This type of racket can turn into a good weapon for shots from the back of the court.
One of the biggest downsides of a head heavy racket is, it will block you from a quick response. That’s why double players tend to avoid head heavy racket. Particularly if he/she is a beginner.
Head Light:- Just opposite scenario of the last point.
Yes, this time the weight is not located at the head but towards the grip.
Head light rackets generate less power than a head heavy racket.
But you have better control with a head light racket and responding quickly against your opponent’s shot is easier this time.
When you are going to play doubles, use head light racket as this will help you to defense well and respond quickly.
So, if you are looking for easy maneuverability, swing, and control go for a head light racket.
Even Balanced:- Should I give you the assignment? Or I must describe what does even balanced racket mean?
Ok, no assignment for today. Seat back, relax, and keep reading. I’m going to solve the puzzle for you.
The even balanced rackets are staying in the middle of the head-heavy and head light rackets.
Meaning this time the weight is equally distributed towards the head and the grip.
As a result, you will get a nice blend of power and control.
So, if you are in confusion, go with even balanced racket. Smash the shuttle and also defend it perfectly. Be the all-rounder.
Don’t expect extreme power or ultra control from even balanced racket though.
The flexibility of the racket is divided into three types as well like the balance of the racket.
Flexible, medium flex, Stiff.
Flexible:- More flexibility means more power but less control.
Returning is slower in this case as the shuttle remains on the string bed for a longer period.
Stiff:- More stiff means less power but more control.
If you are an intermediate or advanced player you will want this type of stiff racket.
Because, you have enough power in your hand, and now you need more control from the racket to deliver different fancy shots, flights, etc.
Medium Flex:- Medium flex means a nice balance between power and control.
So if you are a beginner, which one should you go for? Either the flexible one or the medium flex one.
Well, while you are about to start your badminton career, you must not be concerned about fancy flights and other skills. You got to stick to the basics.
So, naturally, you will want the shuttle to travel more without exerting too much energy. Meaning you need power support from your racket. Flexible or medium flexible rackets does exactly that.
Let’s discuss this part in as much simplest way as possible.
At present, you will find two types of head shape on the market for a racket. Either isometric or traditional oval shape.
What’s the difference?
The sweet spot is the only feature that is different between these two head shapes.
If you are not sure what the sweet spot is, it is the area of string bed that gives you the maximum power.
The isometric shape offers a larger sweet spot than the traditional oval-shaped ones.
Most of today’s racket come with isometric shape, so you don’t have to be extra concern about this part.
If you are a hard hitter or aggressive player you suppose to go for the tighter string tension.
Because tight tension ensures the shuttle to remain with the string contact for a shorter period. Eventually, this will give you more control.
Advanced players like to get higher tension, more than 25 lbs is best for them.
What does the lower tension string do then?
It makes the shuttle bounce back from the string bed like a spring bed, resulting in more power.
This gives you less control. Beginners will like to get lower string tension (around 18-20 lbs). Intermediate players will prefer around 21-23 lbs of string tension.
If you are confused about which grip size to go for, smaller grip or bigger grip?
Go for smaller grip, as you always have the option to add extra grip to make it bigger and more comfortable for you.
Ideally, grip size ranges from G2 to G6 where G2 is the biggest grip and G6 is smallest.
Not to mention, always buy a racket that is made out of graphite if you are an advanced or intermediate player.
A beginner can go for aluminum or steel but I don’t recommend that. Go for either carbon fiber or graphite composite racket. See Badminton Shoes Reviews….
Are you still with me? Wow! Congratulations.
So, by now, you are quite known to some of the top quality rackets out there for my likings. I’ve left no stone unturned to find out all the upsides and hiccups of those badminton rackets.
You can choose either one of those if it fits your requirements. None of the rackets will break your bank too.
I like the Yonex Duora 10 most; that’s why I kept that on the top of the list. If you are a complete beginner, then Senston N80 will get my vote.
Now it’s your turn.
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