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Tennis & Racket Sports

Best Badminton Racquet

Choosing a badminton racquet is all about personal preference. What works for one player doesn't always work for another, particularly true if you're dealing with different skill levels. For beginners just learning the basics of the game, you may want to be frugal with your racquet choice and be careful not to purchase one too advanced for you.

For starters, these best badminton racquets we’ve chosen (with the exception of the Wilson which is intended more for casual use) meet standard game specifications with  accepted length being 680 mm and total head width not exceed 230 mm with the standard weight of a regulation racquet being 100 grams.

Weight plays an important part in the development of freshman players and trying to overcompensate for using a heavy racquet could develop bad habits in arm and wrist movement. When looking for a racquet, the weight will be graded by designations 1U, 2U, 3U and 4U, running from heaviest to lightest in that order. Since this is a matter for the player to decide, we made sure each of our picks are available in a range of these weight designations.

We also looked at the materials used in the construction of each racquet, with these picks all incorporating a mix of various different components for quality, durability, and flexibility to suit just about any type of game play. Elements such as graphite, steel, and carbon will factor into the weight of the racquet in your hand. Some players prefer a heavier frame and shaft for more power, others like a faster option made of lighter materials for speed and response. We urge you to see for yourself which materials you prefer.

Grip is also an important component of any good racquet, and almost all of our picks provide a variety of choices starting from largest to smallest (G2, G3, G4, and G5). For example, some aggressive players select a bigger grip versus players gravitating towards a smaller grip so the racquet maneuvers better in their hand. You can decide which grip size is the best by grabbing couple and give them a swing before you make a final purchasing decision.

Yonex ArcSaber 11 Badminton

Yonex has built the ArcSaber 11 for true versatility, offering an even balance of flex, response, and power for the best all-around racquet on the list. Whether you're a player who likes to play offense or a defensive minded adversary, the ArcSaber 11 has got you covered. The racquet incorporates the company's Neo CS Carbon Nanotube and CS Carbon Nanotube materials for more response on the shuttle cock as the frame bends just ever so slightly to cradle and hold it, before springing back to its original position for rapid-fire return. The result is a racquet which lets you apply whatever power and speed is required at the time. With this much flexibility, the racquet remains perfectly weight balanced without being top or bottom heavy either, so every player is bound to find something they like about this pick.

Victor Thruster K8000 Badminton Racquet

The Victor Thruster K8000 racquet is for aggressive players who like a heavy head and just a little bit of flexibility in their shaft. You get a lot of power behind every swing, shots are strong from mid and far court, and you can feel the control it gives you on the shuttle. The Thruster reacts well on defense too with the larger head managing blocks and drops with ease; the faster your swing, the stronger your drive will be.

As with many heavy-head racquets, there's a tendency for some players to get a little bogged down by the extra weight at the front. However, with the amount of power it offered by the Thruster, it's worth the effort getting used to this racquet. The Thruster comes unstrung so you can set it up however you want, up to maximum tension strength of 28 pounds.

Yonex Nanoray 10 Badminton Racquet

The Nanoray 10 has been engineered using a combination of graphite, nano mesh and carbon nanotube in the frame and shaft for strength and rebound. The top of the frame is thinner for lesser air resistance and the bottom of the head has been made thicker at the sides for a more powerful return. Hitting the shuttle with some extra force always helps, but with this racquet you don't need it. Players who don't come at the game with much aggression might prefer this racquet because of its quickness. The Nanoray 10 is lightweight but the flex in the shaft will add a little extra burst to your swing.

Victor Brave Sword 12 Badminton Racquet

Shot speed and control are just some of the selling points on the Brave Sword 12. Coming in at a 3U specification, this is a lightweight racquet delivering consistent power to drive the shuttle with authority. With a lighter racquet head, the overall balance of the Brave Sword 12 delivers strong shots from across the court and reacts quickly at the net with minimal effort. It has enough flexibility to smash those overhead slams while keeping the speed and agility intact. While previous Brave Swords have been faster on the stroke, the 12 doesn't lose much in comparison and each swing combines the best of both worlds every time. The slim frame balances all its components on a frame with medium stiffness and weight making this a well-rounded racquet.

Wilson Matchpoint Badminton Racket

In contrast to the rest, the Wilson Match Point Pro is the most affordable choice on our list. You can get your hands on this Pick for under $20 at just about any online retailer. For that price, Wilson has made the frame out of "ultra-strong steel", but don't expect to take it into serious competition. This one is strictly built for families and casual weekends where you can set up a net and knock the shuttle cock back and forth between friends. The Match Point Pro may not be a perfectly-balanced, fine-tuned weapon for domination but it will bring you hours of fun anytime you want to get a game going.

Marc Gottlieb
I'm a rabid sports-aholic who's been to Super Bowl XXI, the Indy 500 and witnessed Doug Flutie's hail mary pass to Gerard Phelan live in Miami. Sundays are sacred in my household and I'm a two-time back to back champion of my fantasy football league. I played a lot of sports in high school; football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and I was on the school ski team. I even tried my hand at racquetball in college. I've jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes and bungee jumped off a construction crane. Since then I've worked for one of the top product placement companies in Hollywood, coordinating with most of the major sports apparel labels to get their products featured in films and TV. But it's a life-long obsession with music and film that has given me years of experience with the latest technologies and innovations in electronics. If they've built it, I've tried it and likely bought it. Laserdisc, DVD, Bluray players; I own multiple units that cater to all of these formats and more. A misspent youth immersing myself in pop culture meant I craved the hottest devices through which to enjoy it all, and at the highest possible quality. What I learned over time though, is that the most expensive items aren't always the best.
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