How to Choose your Badminton Racket - A Guide

How to choose a Badminton Racket  - Our Buying Guide

 How do you possibly know which Badminton racket to choose?   There are so many options on the market that it’s hard to narrow it down, so here is a quick guide

It can be hard to choose a racket and the manufactures don’t make it too easy with their descriptions but a starting point is as follows .

What kind of player are you .

  • Power Attacking , smashing , punch clearing
  • All round player smashing , good defence and moving the shuttle around.
  • Fast Reactions to Rallies and looking for better defence
  • Control and Touch, by moving players around the court to create space

Most players will say they want to play an attacking game where smashing is the most important shot but to win you need more than just a powerful smash.  Once you come up against better players you will not win the rally by smashing alone. You will need a racket that will smash hard and yet be manoeuvrable for finishing off the rally or to counter their attack.

In order to narrow your choice down you need to consider what are you struggling with in your game . How are your reactions, how is your defence, is your swing long or short, how accurate are you in placing the shuttle and also in finding the sweet-spot of the racket?

Based upon the answers to the above questions you can then work out what type of racket to choose.

Technically there's 3 important aspects you want to look for when choosing a racket:

  • Balance /swing weight
  • Shaft Stiffness / Flexibility
  • Actual Weight
  • Smaller degree racket string/tension

There's general 3 categories – Head Heavy, Even Balance and Head Light. To make it simple this means, where the weight has been shifted on the racket.

We can find the racket balance of a racket  by balancing the racket shaft on your finger in the middle, depending upon how it falls will show you it's weighting . A word or warning though every grip you put on your racket will change the balance to be lighter in the head .

See the chart below to help guide you as a player:


Weighted Area of Racket

Player Style

Head Heavy

Head of the Racket

`higher swingweight

Power Attacking, back of the court style players, increased clear and smash power. Most suited to the singles player or  physically stronger player

Even Balance

Weight evenly distributed

Medium swingweight or even balance

All Round, versatile style for all types of game. Giving you power at the back and speed at the front of the court. Helps you to react to any style of game.

Head Light

Weigh in the handle

Lower swingweight or handle heavy

Fast Reactions in Rallies. Great for defensive shots requiring fast reactions or for the fast, flat style of game often seen in doubles. Less power though for the physically stronger players


Shaft Stiffness / Flexibility

There's general 3 categories – Stiff or Medium and Flexible. This relates to the flex in the racket shaft.

Racket Flexibility

How it affects shots

Player Style


Good accuracy control from stiffer shafts and power too once you have the technique

Physically strong attacking player who can generate very quick racket head speeds. A stiff shaft will provide stability on the shot but you have to be physically stronger with good technique and timing to get the best from this .


Medium Accuracy, and some extra whip power from racket

All round style. More forgiving than a stiff racket, but there is enough rigidity to control power shots. This usually has a bigger sweetspot and easier on the arm


Poor Accuracy, but extra flex allows extra whip action shot power

Perfect for players struggling for power in their shots .however due to the extra whip action this can affect accuracy of shots


How fast you swing and how long your swing can also be a factor in which flex is most suitable. Some players will use a more slower arm action, whilst others will use more of an explosive wrist action in their shots. This can make a difference in racket choice.

This is based on the fact that when the shaft of a racket is bent in the middle of a shot and then released, the stiffer the shaft, the faster it unbends and unloads the power like a bow and arrow .

The best way to put it is if the bow is flexible you can pull the string back easier but the bow won’t be under as much pressure and so less power is returned.  If the bow is stiffer and your strong enough to bend the bow when you release the string there is much more energy transferred .

Therefore how fast you bend the shaft and how fast your forward stroke is will affect what flexibility you need.
In simple terms:
Player with short, explosive swings = Stiffer shaft needed as it'll unload faster for more power
Player with slower, more fluid hitting = More flexible shaft needed so that it'll flex all the way until impact.

If you're still unsure what to choose for yourself, we'd recommend going for a medium flex badminton racket especially if your intermediate player.

Weight can make a real difference to reaction speeds and power: Too light of racket may not be powerful enough; too heavy and quick movements needed for defensive or flat exchanges can become difficult.  Also in order to get the most amount of power you need to be strong enough to swing the racket fast . If you can swing a heavy racket at the same speed as a light racket you will get more power.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the racket the professional players are playing with will give you the same powerful results. Keep in mind that they are conditioned to play with heavier, head heavy or stiff rackets and their timing is perfect unlike the rest of us mere mortals

The way the badminton brands list the racket weights can be confusing so we'll make it as simple as possible for you via the grid below:

Weight Grade

Weight Range (grams)



94g or above

















59.9g and below


Most rackets are weighted around 3U (85-89g) or 4U (80-84g) because it's a good weight balance for players to hit hard without compromising on speed.

Typically singles players will use heavier rackets of these, 3U (85-89g). This weight provides a little more power in instances when the shuttle has gone behind the player into the deep corners. A quick racket head speed isn't needed as much in the singles game.

Doubles players however will usually want mid weight frames, staying clear of the top 1U and 2U weights.  The most popular weight for doubles being 3U or 4U. This is because the badminton racket will offer more speed for front court play and smash defence.  By going too light they lose the power needed to punch through a defence.