What Badminton Racket Should I Get? A Buyer’s Guide

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Every badminton player, whether new or experienced, will always end up asking themselves what badminton racket to buy next. After all, rackets to badminton players are like wands to wizards and witches – they’re a part of your identity and can affect your gameplay based on its own unique properties. There are, however, so many rackets to choose from! So what is the best way to choose from them?

How to Choose a Badminton Racket

While there are many different factors in badminton that can affect one’s choice, we’ve found that using the following information helps narrow down the options:

  1. Skill Level – decide whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player
  2. Play Style – assess whether you prefer power, speed, or a combination of both
  3. Budget – determine how much money you are able to spend on a new racket

We’ll go over why each of these are important and what rackets we recommend for each of these different factors in the tables at the bottom of the post. Make sure to read these above sections first to make sure you have a good idea as to why we recommend a certain racket. We don’t want you getting a racket that you won’t like!

Before going on, you may wonder if playing singles or doubles should be a factor in what racket you buy. We don’t add it here as a factor because we think there isn’t a clear cut answer to that. Play styles are very different even within a particular discipline that it doesn’t become a deciding factor. There’s an excellent discussion over here that talks just about this topic which we encourage you to take a look at.

Skill Level

Skill level is a very important part of determining which racket you should buy. A common misconception people have is that advanced rackets are just better than other rackets. But the truth is that rackets are designed specifically for different skill levels so that they can be used to their maximum potential. Beginners, and even intermediate players, would not be able to take advantage of the properties of an advanced racket and would actually make their gameplay worse. This is because advanced rackets are usually much stiffer and are also designed to perform better with higher string tensions – both of which beginners and intermediate players usually cannot handle. 

Using the correct string tension based off of skill level is equally as important, and our post about What Badminton String Tension Should I Use? goes more in-depth about why high string tensions should be only used by advanced players and also what string tensions each level should use. Make sure to get your string tension right or else your game play can be drastically affected.

Roughly speaking, we consider skill level based on how long you’ve been playing and if you’ve had professional training before. Beginners would be players who’ve played between 0 and 2 years and who are still learning to perform all the basic shots. Intermediate players usually have played for more than 2 years and know how to execute all of the basic shots well and are experimenting with different types of shots. Advanced players have generally played for more than 5 years and have had consistent professional training and have mastered a large set of shots that they can execute at will.

Skill LevelNumber of Years PlayingDescription
Beginner0 – 2Still learning to execute the basic shots
Intermediate2+Can execute all the basic shots well
Advanced5+Mastered a large set of shots and has had professional training

These are rough estimates as to how to determine your skill level but you know yourself the best. Make sure to be honest with your own assessment of your skill level so that you buy an appropriate racket.

Play Style

Play style refers to the way you like to play and is used to help you determine what type of racket series may fit you the best. The 3 most distinct styles are power, speed, and balanced. Players who like power tend to like smashing from the back and constantly hitting the shuttle downwards. Players who prefer speed like to cut shots off and change the direction of the shuttle quickly with a flick of their wrists. Balanced players are somewhere in the middle. If you’re completely new to badminton and don’t know what your play style is yet, we recommend starting out as balanced to start.

Each play style calls for a different type of racket balance, which nicely map to the above play styles. The 3 types are head-heavy, head-light, and even balanced. Head-heavy rackets favor power, head-light rackets favor speed, and even balanced rackets are in the middle.

Depending on your play style, you should be able to narrow down your choices of rackets. We recommend choosing among the Yonex racket series because Yonex is known for their excellent quality among all of the badminton brands. Each racket series has its own unique signature trait, which you can see below. Determine what racket series you’re interested in based off your play style and then you can take a look in the below sections as to which racket you should look more into based off skill level and budget.

The below table summarizes the different Yonex series and their signature traits. We highly recommend you to research your favorite rackets or series more in the below posts before making a final decision on your racket. The posts go into detail on what makes that racket series special and also goes over every racket in the series to help you make the best decision possible.

Racket SeriesSignature TraitPost
AstroxSteep AttackLink
DuoraDual ImpactLink
NanoflareRapid FireLink
NanorayLightning SpeedLink
VoltricCrushing PowerLink

Power players should choose between Astrox and Voltric rackets – both of which have all head-heavy rackets. Astrox rackets focuses more on the steepness of the shots while Voltric rackets are designed more for power. Both are great options for power players, but the Astrox series is actually going to replace the Voltric series, so you may see fewer Voltric rackets for sale in the future.

Speed focused players should choose a racket in the Nanoray series. Every racket in the Nanoray series is head-light and is specifically designed to help players move their racket head quickly.

Balanced players should choose a racket from the Duora or Nanoflare series. The Duora series is a new and revolutionary way of making rackets – with the 2 sides of the racket having different properties, making it great for players who like a combination of power and speed. They aren’t like other rackets though, so it’ll likely take you some time to get used to them. The Nanoflare series is an all head-light racket series that attempts to add power that you see in head-heavy rackets with new state-of-the-art technology. This gives its rackets a boost in power while maintaining a head-light balance.

Budget

Budget is determined by how much you’re able to spend at the moment for a new racket. Unfortunately, badminton isn’t the cheapest sport around but we hope to help you get the most out of your money. The good news is that you may be able to still get the perfect racket for you even if you don’t buy the expensive rackets. Just because it’s more expensive doesn’t necessarily make it better for you – just like how advanced rackets are not better for you if you can’t utilize it.

Roughly speaking, rackets under $100 USD are considered low, rackets from $100 – $200 USD are considered medium, and anything more than $200 USD is considered high. Of course, prices are always changing, so who knows, maybe you’ll find a racket on sale at some point if you check often!

In general, beginner rackets tend to be the cheapest while advanced rackets tend to be the most expensive. This is because beginner rackets use cheaper material and use less advanced technology. And this is a good thing. Advanced rackets break easily when they clash with other rackets while it’s much more difficult to break beginner rackets. And guess who clashes rackets more? You got it, beginners.

Not only will you save money as a beginner when you buy a beginner racket, it will also be more difficult to break your racket (please don’t try testing it on purpose though) – saving you even more money. The moral of the story is to buy a racket that fits your needs.

Other Badminton Racket Considerations

Besides the above factors of skill level, play style, and budget, there are 2 other considerations that you should take note of before buying a racket – racket weight and grip size. Each racket normally offers several options for both weight and grip size so make sure you select the one that fits you when you buy the racket.

Racket weight is indicated using units of 1U to F, which would probably be strange to you if you aren’t used to it yet. Take a look at the following table to see how that is converted to grams:

UnitWeight
1U95g – 99.9g
2U90g – 94.9g
3U85g – 89.9g
4U80g – 84.9g
5U75g – 79.9g
F70g – 74.9g
2F65g – 69.9g
3F60g – 64.9g

In general, beginners tend to do better with lighter rackets because they allow beginners to swing more easily and not get tired as quickly. Beginners usually don’t have a strong forearm or wrist so lighter rackets allow them to use less effort to move the racket around. We recommend that beginners get a racket no heavier than 3U (max of 89.9g).

Grips use units of G1 to G6, which measures the circumference of the handle.

UnitGrip Size
G14 in / 10.2 cm
G23.75 in / 9.5 cm
G33.5 in / 8.9 cm
G43.25 in / 8.3 cm
G53 in / 7.6 cm
G62.75 in / 7 cm

Most rackets use G4 and G5 grip sizes, which are towards the thinner end of the grip sizes. If you want to make your grip larger or use a different grip, there are many options for you to do so. We’ve covered exactly how to choose the perfect grip for you in What Badminton Grip Should I Buy? and also spent days researching all of the Yonex grips to make The Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton Grips. You’ll definitely find the grip that works best for you if you go through those 2 posts.

Racket Recommendations

Now that you know your skill level, play style, and budget from the above exercise, it is time to explore some rackets! We’ve organized the below sections into racket series, each of which have our recommendations based off your skill level and budget. Happy exploring!

Astrox: Steep Attack

Recommended for power focused players.

Skill vs BudgetLowMediumHigh
BeginnerAstrox SmashAstrox FBAstrox FB
IntermediateAstrox 6Astrox 55Astrox 77
AdvancedAstrox 38DAstrox 22Astrox 100 ZZ

Duora: Dual Impact

Recommended for balanced players.

Skill vs BudgetLowMediumHigh
BeginnerDuora 33N/AN/A
IntermediateDuora 55Duora 7Duora 10 LT
AdvancedN/ADuora 10Duora Z-Strike

Nanoflare: Rapid Fire

Recommended for balanced players.

Skill vs BudgetLowMediumHigh
BeginnerNanoflare DriveNanoflare 160FXN/A
IntermediateNanoflare 270 SpeedNanoflare 600Nanoflare 700
AdvancedN/ANanoflare 380 SharpNanoflare 800

Nanoray: Lightning Speed

Recommended for speed focused players.

Skill vs BudgetLowMediumHigh
BeginnerNanoray 10FNanoray 20N/A
IntermediateNanoray SpeedNanoray 750Nanoray GlanZ
AdvancedNanoray 200 AeroNanoray Z-SpeedNanoray 900

Voltric: Crushing Power

Recommended for power focused players.

Skill vs BudgetLowMediumHigh
BeginnerVoltric 0FVoltric LiteN/A
IntermediateVoltric 8DG SlimVoltric FBVoltric Glanz
AdvancedVoltric 11DG SlimVoltric 21DG SlimVoltric Z-Force II

We hope that we helped you find a racket that is right for you! As your budget and skill level grows, you may want to try out some new rackets. Come back here for the latest news as we’ll be updating our recommendations as new rackets come out!

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