Sunday, 25 May 2008

Yonex Badminton Rackets

Yonex badminton rackets are the most popular badminton rackets in the world, used by the most people, and used by most of the top professional badminton players. The reason why i am writing this post is simple, most of you will be buying one, or perhaps thinking of it. To put it simply, Yonex is badminton. They sponsor all the top tournaments, they supply all the equipment like the courts, nets, shuttles and so on. They sponsor the top players with rackets, shoes, clothing and badminton bags and luggage. Yonex are also the official equipment suppliers of the olympic games. Badminton needs Yonex, without them we would struggle to find someone to sponsor all the tournaments, and pay the prize money.

Because of this i am now going to list every yonex badminton racket from their current 2008 ranges, and i will try to find out how much you will expect to pay for them, with a little digging around from the various badminton equipment retailers on the internet. I will start with the cheapest to the most expensive, so here goes.

YONEX BASIC SERIES

We have two rackets in this range which are the
B500 BASIC
B600 DF BASIC

The B500 BASIC has a steel head and a steel frame. This is the bottom of the range. Being made from steel it will be very heavy, and it will not do your wrist, arm and shoulder much good if you play with this for any amount of time. I could not find any badminton store that actually sells this racket!!

The B600 DF BASIC has a little bit more going for it. It has a steel shaft, but has an aluminium frame with dura-frame technology. I do not have a clue what dura frame technology is, but this yonex badminton racket is for a complete beginner, or social player. I have managed to find a price for this racquet: £7.50, though this was a special offer, the usual price is £15 plus p+p. There is no reference as to what weight these two rackets are,or the flex of the racket, even from the Yonex website, my guess is they are around 95-100g.

YONEX ISOMETRIC SREIES

We have two rackets in this range which are the
ISOMETRIC 22 JUNIOR
ISOMETRIC 24 VF

The Isometric 22 Junior has a steel shaft and an aluminium head, however we now get a little more information. The flex is medium and the weight is 2U (90-94.9g)Remember the Yonex weight system from the earlier post?

The Isometric 24 VF has a graphite shaft and an aluminium head. The flex is medium and the weight is also 90-94.9g. We now have graphite introduced in this badminton racket, which should make it lighter than the steel shaft of the Isometric 22 Junior. My guess is that it will be towards the 90g mark. Both of these rackets are Isometric, which means the head has a more squared shape, which will give a larger sweet spot and compensate for mis hit shots, which is ideal for a beginner.

The best price for the Yonex Isometric Junior is £7.87 and the best price for the Isometric 24 VF is £8.99. I have yet to find out what the VF stands for


YONEX MUSCLE POWER SERIES

We have five rackets in this range which are the
MUSCLE POWER 7
MUSCLE POWER 10
MUSCLE POWER 19 LT
MUSCLE POWER 22 LT
MUSCLE POWER 99

The Muscle Power 7 has a graphite shaft and aluminium head. It has a medium flex and weighs 90-94g. It also has an isometric head shape. This is the same spec as the Isometric 24 VF, so not too sure what the difference is between these two rackets. Best price i have seen is £12.37.

The Muscle Power 10 has a graphite shaft and head. We have moved up in technology now. As a result the weight is 85-89.9g, but the flex is now "flexible" as opposed to the "medium" flex of the lower priced yonex badminton rackets. This extra flex will give you a little bit more power, but a bit less control in your shots if you are a beginner. Best price for this is £12.36.

The Muscle Power 19 LT has all graphite shaft and head, weighs 85-89g and now has a medium flex. This is slightly stiffer than the 10, so it will be less forgiving in terms of power, but you get a tiny bit more control as a trade off. Best price for this racket is £24.99.

The Muscle Power 22 LT has all graphite shaft and frame, weighs 85-89.9g but has a "flexible" flex rating, so we are back to a bit more power in your shots. Best price is £32.00. The badminton stores now decide that this racket is good enough to give a product description, which states the it is aimed at the improving club/league player and is well balanced for ease of use. I can't argue with this description, but i am not so sure about the balance being even, as there is no mention of this in the Yonex spec on their website.

The Muscle Power 99 has an all graphite shaft and head, but we also have a new technology called HM Ultimum Ti in the shaft, and UHM Ultimum Ti in the frame. In case your wondering, HM stands for high modulus and UHM stands for ultra high modulus. The marketing crap states that the head is meshed with ultimum titanium and the shaft has high modulus graphite overlaid with ultimum fibres, the result is an extra hard hitter's racket which gives maximum power and at the same time refinement in control.

The weight is still 85-89.9g but the shaft now has an "extra stiff" rating, which means this yonex badminton racket is about as unforgiving as you can get. If you do not have a quick enough swing speed you will lose a bit of power, so this is for advanced level players only, who have good technique. This extra stiffness will send vibration down your arm into your shoulder, even if you do have a good techique, so beware of this. The recommended stringing tension is 24lbs. To get the most out of this yonex badminton racket i would suggest at least this tension, a lower string tension will take away any slight advantage the stiffness will give you.

There is a big difference in price with the Muscle Power 99 compared to the other rackets in this range. The best price i found was £79.00. To find this out i had to click on the "checkout price" again, which makes me laugh. I had a little snoop around the badminton stores and guess what? Yep, they all sell it at the same price, and they all make you click the checkout price button to find this out. Smells a bit funny don't you think? All the rackets in the Muscle Power range are isometric.

YONEX ARMORTEC SERIES

We have five rackets in this range which are the
ARMORTEC 150
ARMORTEC 250
ARMORTEC 700
AMRMORTEC 900 TECHNIQUE
AMRMORTEC 900 POWER

The Muscle Power 150 has a graphite shaft and a graphite super alloy frame, the weight is 85-89.9g and it has a medium flex, so it is quite forgiving. The advertising says it is a good all round badminton racket with a slightly head heavy balance which will give you more power. Aimed at improving club players. As the entry level racket it offers a bit of everything. Best price is £39.99.

The Yonex Armortec 250 has a high modulus graphite shaft and a graphite gForce Ti frame. Not sure what gForce Ti is all about, but it must mean there is a bit of titanium in the head. The flex is medium and the weight is 85-89.9g. This racket apparently has the new Yonex Delta Power frame which creates a more aerodynamic shape and a solid hitting surface. I can guarantee you will not notice the decrease in air resistance. Best price for this yonex badminton racket is £59.99.

The Yonex Armortec 700 has a UHM graphite/ ultimum Ti shaft and a UHM graphite/ gForce Ti head. We have moved on in technology again, and the result is an extra stiff flex, so it's as unforgiving as the Muscle Power 99. The weight is 85g. The product description says that this badminton racket is used by more top players than any other. It is aimed at the serious player with a medium to fast overhead hitting action who prefers a head heavy balanced racquet. The ultimum and titanium offer more stability when you hit the shuttle. This yonex badminton racquet is also for good singles players and players who like to smash in doubles play.

Jesus, i think i need to go out and see if i am suitable for this racket. The spec is the same as the Muscle Power 99, so it will have the same charcteristics. In case you are interested, Lin Dan uses this racket according to the website i got this info from, yet the official yonex wesite says that Lin Dan uses the Armortec 900 Power, so someone is lying here. It doesn't really make any difference though, you will not play like him if you use this racket, no-one will. This is just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the racket, after all, if it's good enough for Lin Dan it must be good enough for you right? The best price is hidden again, but it turns out it costs a whopping £95.99. Guess what? yep, it's the same price at all the badminton stores i looked at.

The yonex Armortec 900 Technique has a high modulus graphite/Elastic Ti shaft and a ultra high modulus graphite/Micro Ti/Elastic Ti head. How do they fit all this into one racket? It must be to justify the cost. The flex is stiff, and the weight is 85g. It says is designed for control players, probably because it is less stiff than the Armortec 700 and Muscle Power 99, and so they are assuming that control players have slower swings and will benefit from the extra flex. The diffence will hardly be noticable however. The price is £119.99. Good grief, how can you justify that price? We are reliable informed on the yonex website that Taufik Hidayat uses this badminton racket, so perhaps this will justify the cost when you tell your friends how much you paid for it.

The Yonex Armortec 900 Power has the same spec as the Armortec 900 technique as far as i can see, so how in the hell is it any different. The weight is the same, it uses the same technology in the shaft and frame and the flex rating is the same, ie, stiff. The head shape is the same on the yonex site, ie i would have perhaps expected to see the isometric head shape on the power version, and an oval head shape on the technique, but it appears there is no difference. This must mean they are the exact same racket but with different paint. My guess is that the power has a heavier head than the technique. The price is also £119.99.

YONEX NANOSPEED SERIES

We have seven rackets in this range which are the
NANOSPEED 500
NANOSPEED 800
NANOSPEED 4500
NANOSPEED 6000
NANOSPEED 7000
NANOSPEED 8000
NANOSPEED 9000X

The yonex nanospeed 500 has a carbon nanotube graphite shaft and a graphite head. The flex is medium and the weight is 85-89.9g. This nanotube technology uses tiny particles of fullerene and carbon which gives a high performance molecular bond, creating very fast head speed and maximum power. It is aimed at a club player with a medium speed overhead action who prefers a head light balanced badminton racket. You got that? The price is around £44.99 and this is the entry level.

The yonex nanospeed has a carbon nanotube graphite shaft and a high modulus graphite head. the flex is stiff so it is less forgiving than the 500, and has a bit more technology in the head of the racket. The marketing woffle says you will get 5% more power, 10% more durability, and it is 30% more impact resistant. wtf? What does 10% more durability mean? Does it mean that it will last 10% longer than the other yonex badminton rackets? 5% more power? Only you will produce 5% more power if you improve your technique.

Will you be able to notice the extra power? will it make the difference between winning and losing? will your opponent notice you are hitting 5% harder? will they come up to you and say "wow, your hitting the shuttle about 5% harder than last time we played, you must have a new yonex nanospeed racket. Ok, perhaps i am being a little bit cynical here, but you get the message.

The yonex nanospeed 4500 has a high modulus graphite/fullerene shaft and a graphite head. The flex is medium and the weight is the same as the others. This is for good standard/county players with a high speed hitting action and prefer a head heavy balanced badminton racket for all round power. Wait a minute, i thought a medium flex rating was for players with a slower speed swing? I guess that the head heavy balance must compensate for this, and slow the swing speed down to match the flex. So,the head heavy balance and the medium flex will give you optimum power. This is getting complicated now! The price is £69.99. I am wondering why this racket is called the 4500, it just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the series. I guess we will never know.

The yonex nanospeed 7000 has high modulus graphite and fullerene in the shaft and head, has a sfiff flex rating and weighs 85g. It is basically the same as the 4500 but with a slightly stiffer frame and a bit more technology. The marketing states this is aimed at high standard club players with a medium fast hitting action. This does not make sense, the 4500, which is the next racket down from this is designed for county standard players, yet the 7000 is not aimed at such high a level. Anyway, the price is £103.99.

The yonex nanospeed 8000 is the same as the 7000 but with an extra stiff rating, so even without looking at the product description i can tell that this badminton racket is designed for fast swing players, and is similar to to muscle power 99, and the armortec 700. However, the badminton store i am looking at says that no, it's head light so it's aimed at players who want more control and manoeuvrability. Ok let's sort this out. I assume that control players have a slower swing speed so the extra stiff flex will not suit them, but because this badminton racket is head light it will compensate for the slower swing speed and in theory you should still be reaching optimum power on impact. This makes the nanospeed 8000 the exact opposite of the nanospeed 4500, yet you will still achieve the same power. This marketing bullshit is getting worse. It costs £111.99.

The yonex nanospeed 9000X has the same technology as the others except that it also has Elastic Ti in the head. It is the same weight, and is extra stiff. It is head light so it is basically the same as the 8000, except that it costs £127.99. so i can guess that the "Elastic Ti" costs about £16.

YONEX ARCSABER SERIES

There are two rackets in this range which are the
ARCSABER 7
ARCSABER 10

The ArcSaber 7 has a high modulus graphite shaft and a high modulus graphite/CS carbon nanotube head. The CS stands for "cup stack" which stores energy and this creates the power and control. The flex is medium, so it is more forgiving than the stiffer rackets. Medium flex racquets are usually aimed at club level players according to the marketing because they cannot swing the racket fast enough. I do like the added bit of crap at the end of the description which says "we have tested the arcsaber and it really is truly amazing! with awesome power and superb control" No shit. Do you really think they would say anything less? Of course not, they just want you to but one. The price is £111.99. gulp.

The Yonex ArcSaber 10 has a bit more technology such as super high modulus graphite and ultra PEF high modulus graphite, whatever that is. It has a stiff flex, weighs 85-89.9g and costs £127.99 so it is the most expensive racket in the yonex badminton range along with the nanospeed 9000X. There will no doubt be more from the ArcSaber range in due course, and my guess is that there will be stiffer flex one's.

So there you have it, the entire Yonex badminton racket range. Now that you know something about every racket you need to decide which one suits your game, but probably more importantly, which one suits your budget, because there is no fun in spending a fortune on a racquet, only to see it snap on your partners tatty old racket.

I will keep on saying this, but the difference between the top end bats and the starter one's is about 5%. Yes, you will certainly notice the difference between a steel racket and the latest arcsaber, the price will be the main difference! but good technique is the be all and end all. All the other badminton rackets in between these will give a tiny little difference if any at all.

25 comments:

Loki said...

Hi, great blog, it's taken me a while to read most of the posts, but it's been all good so far.

I currently use an old Prince Lite I racket, have done for the past 10 years, but have started looking for a possible replacement since reading some of the posts. I say possible, as I'm not sure if I want to restring the Prince again as it's not cheap, and the cost can go towards a new racket.

I found an Armortec 250 Red for £60, but I also found, on the same site, an Armortec 250 Silver/Red for £35. Is there any difference between the two rackets apart from the colour?

Also, would you know if the cover you get with the Armortec series are full enclosures as opposed to just covering the shaft and the head?

Your advice greatly appreciated.

antony said...

Hi Loki
Glad you like the blog. The Armortec 250 comes with a few different colour schemes, but it will be the same racket underneath. If you let me know the website you found them on i will take a look for you.
I am not too sure if this racket comes with a full length carry case, although most modern badminton rackets do. I'll tell you what though, i have loads of full length carry cases, and if you buy this racket and it doesn't come with a full length case, i will send you one of mine!

Loki said...

Hey anthony,

Thanks for the generous offer! I've still not committed to a purchase, but I may take you up on it if and when I do! :)

The URL for the Armortec 250 Red is:http://www.directsportseshop.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=1548cd9412aafc2/shopdata/0010_Rackets/0140_Yonex_Badminton/product_details.shopscript?article=0130_Yonex%2BArmortec%2B250%2B%3D28Red%3D29%2B%3D2851923%3D29

And Armortec 250 Silver/Red is:http://www.directsportseshop.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=1548cd9412aafc2/shopdata/0010_Rackets/0520_Yonex_Badminton_Clear/product_details.shopscript?article=0060_Yonex%2BArmortec%2B250%2B%3D28Silver%3D26slash%3D3BRed%3D29%2B%3D2857046%3D29

Although, looking at the site the Yonex Muscle Power 29 Light looks like a nice option at £30+p&p as it has more flex and has a balanced weight distribution (which is similar to what I'm used to). I can't find anything about this racket on your site, so I presume it is an old model? The link is:
http://www.directsportseshop.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=1548cd9412aafc2/shopdata/0010_Rackets/0520_Yonex_Badminton_Clear/product_details.shopscript?article=0030_Yonex%2BMuscle%2BPower%2B29%2BLight%2B%3D2846346%3D29

Many thanks, again!

antony said...

Hi Loki
I have had a look at the two rackets and they are the same spec, so the only difference is the price. One is probably the latest model (red one). The Armortec 250 rackets are both stiff flex and head heavy, so they are a lot different to the Muscle Power Light 29. The Muscle Power will be easier to play with, it is a very neutral racket, with medium flex and even balance.

Loki said...

Thanks Anthony,

Yeah I think the Muscle Power may be more suited to me. I remember reading from one of your posts that pros prefer more head heavy and stiffer rackets.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

Wire said...

Great stuff. Indeed, the entire sporting industry is overly hyped up.

btw, you missed the venerable Carbonex series!!!

antony said...

Hi Wire
I missed the Carbonex series only because they don't have it anymore here in the UK. They still have them in other parts of the world. The Cab 21 was/ still is a great racket. I think i will add a future post, dedicated to the Cab series!

Deepu said...

Hi

this was great information. But acn u also pls suggest the best wires for Badminton Racquets? I own a Yonex-Graphite-Carbonex Racquet. I would really aapreciate if u can drop a mail to deepakprasanna.s@gmail.com with the required information.

Regards..

Akash said...

hi, nice blog. I am looking for Yonex Arcsaber 10 racket. I found it around £136 on amazon wbsite but some seller on ebay selling it for £35 pounds. Can you please guide me that what is differenc between these rackets.

I am pasting link of that websites for your quick reference.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0018PFN6W/sr=8-1/qid=1247424550/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1247424550&sr=8-1&seller=

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-YONEX-ArcSaber-10-ARC-Badminton-Racket-Racquet-UK_W0QQitemZ170351625178QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Sporting_Goods_Badminton?hash=item27a9bf83da&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C72%3A1688%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

Waiting for your reply.

Regards

antony said...

Hi AKash

DO NOT BUY THE ARCSABER ON EBAY FOR £35!! It will cetainly be a fake racket. The arcsaber is a premium racket and so £35 is just too good to be true. The only way it can be real is if has just gone on auction from a private seller and has days left to run, so check this out first. If not stay well away from it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,
if you're still curious about the difference between the Armortec technique and power, I found this on badmintoncentral.com:
According to the flyer from Yonex, the placement of the Elastic Ti is different for 900P and 900T.
900T is at 10 & 2 o'clock and 900P is at 4 and 8 o'clock.

I like the way you get your viewers to pay attention to different kinds of racquets, even from less well known brands, but since you haven't used many of them yourself the information just seems a bit too distant, like you're just summing up what sites are saying. I understand you can't do much more, but that's just something that's been bugging me whenever I read one of your racquetbrands articles. And you forgot my racquet, the Armortec 500.. You do have some really interesting articles though, so keep up the good work.

antony said...

Hi Anonymous

It is very difficult for one person to go out and test every racket on the market as you can imagine. The different racket brand reviews are me just summing up what they are designed for and having a bit of fun at the manufacturers expense. The rackets that i have tested have all been legitimate reviews, and they have mostly been Apacs rackets because they have been nice enough to send me them to test for free.

Unless all the other manufacturers start sending me test racket, which is just not going to happen! then all i can do is just give my take on these rackets. What would be good is if any readers send me their own thoughts on these rackets, then it would be far more realistic. Cheers for taking the time to read all this stuff.

jeffrey said...

oii its jefff. umm, im thinking of buying a new racket and ive made the choice to buy a nanospeed 300 or a armortec 30. can you help me specify the difference between the two? They have the same weight and flex and i dont know which to choose! I think of myself as an all around player but i would like to have more power. that's why i ordered the lead tape from amazon. thanks a bunch :]

antony said...

Hi Jeffrey

Either of them is just fine, i would probably go for the cheapest one. You can experiment with the lead tape and the string tension to make the racket feel different and perform differently until you find the most suitable combination for your game.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antony,

Read your blog and it is really helpful and understanding. I have been playing badminton for over 10 years now but not able to attain much power. I like to move around a lot but I am only 5 Feet, 7 inch in height and with medium power in my shoulders. Can you suggest me a good Yonex Racquet which can suit me and improve my game.

antony said...

Hi there

I would suggest visiting a coach to work on your technique before you buy a new racket. The coach should be able to tweak your technique to help you gain more power. No racket will ever make up for a loss of technique. It will be the best money you ever spend, trust me. Any intermediate racket should be fine, go for one with a more flexible rating, avoid the top end yonex rackets as most of them are very stiff and this will actually give you less power. Have a look on the retail websites and look for a medium flex shaft, you should be fine with this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Antony,

I looked in the market and I am buying a Yonex Nanospeed 100, it specifies the shaft as flexible and would surely try to find a coach at the earliest to improve my technique.

Dr Badminton said...

hey try prospeed rackets it cost about 49 US dollars only!! try type it at yahoo search

or try visit www.prospeed.com.my

Anonymous said...

Hi,
(please excuse if my English sounds a bit strange sometimes - I'm writing from Austria, Europe, and my native language is German...)

I'm relatively new to badminton but used to play squash quite frequently until a friend recently convinced me to begin with badminton. Since my old racket already had its best years behind it and the string tension was also deteriorated I thought it's time to buy a new racket. A rather cheap one should do it for now as I still need some time to figure out my playing style and personal preferences. (But I wanted to enjoy the feeling to play a new racket and not an oldtimer...)

After some research on the internet I ordered a YONEX MUSCLE POWER 19 LT (2009 model) because just from its description I thought it could fit to me quite well. Today the racket was delivered but when I opened the parcel I noticed that they shipped me a YONEX ISOMETRIC ALPHA (the blue one from 2009) instead of the Muscle Power 19.

Both rackets have almost the same price. (The Isometric costs even 3 Euros more...)

However I liked the description of the Muscle Power saying that it allows fast(er) smashes and has less air resistance due to it's specific design. I'm aware that most of this is marketing technobabble but nevertheless I wonder if I should send the Isometric back and insist on the Muscle Power which I ordered.

What would do you think?
Would I notice any difference at all between these rackets? Or would you maybe even recommend me to keep the Isometric?

Thanks in advance,
Robert

antony said...

Hi Robert

I would first ask them why they sent a different racket to the one you ordered. Just e-mail or phone them up and tell them the problem. They should also pay for any return shipping costs as it is their fault and not yours. Make sure you ask about return costs before you send it back.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antony,

Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I'm sure they would accept an exchange and also pay the return shipping costs.
I'm just wondering if I should maybe keep the Isometric Alpha. Advantage for me would be that I could use the new racket already on Monday when I have my next badminton evening with my friends... ;-)
Otherwise I would have to wait another week and eventually recognize then at the end that the Muscle Power 19 feels 99% the same as the Isometric...

antony said...

Hi Robert

If you feel happy with the racket then go ahead and play with it. If you find you don't like it then just send it back and explain why you tried it in the first place, i am sure they would understand. Good luck!

nev said...

hahaha, nice post! this is how i choose my racket:

first, color. but i don't choose among the basic ranges they offer though. i settle for the higher ups and branded (like yonex), those with the "technology" crap written all over so that i can sometimes brag about it in the courts while waiting for my turn to play, of course aside from getting noticed about how pretty the color of my racket is! nyahaha!

second, weight. well, i use this to know that the racket will not give too much stress.

third, maximum tension it can hold. but that doesn't mean i'm going to exploit the tension for power/control. i just use it to know if the frame is durable.

nev said...

wow, i just broke my bat and will be looking for a new one. maybe it was a miss-hit because it broke in the t-joint when i smashed. can you help me find the specs of this racket? i just got accustomed on using it so maybe i can use it as a baseline when selecting my next one. its the wilson v-power v85 which was descendant of the k-factor series. thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am beginner -> Intermediate player. I Used Gosen graphitelite 18 (high module graphite 100% ) : (shaft-Soft flex) (weight 86-89) (balance-285-290 mm), my smash was good and had really nice sound with this racket. Now this racket is broken and I am in europe and this racket is not available in europe and seems only in malayesia. I am wondering if there possibility to get the racket with same specification ? I tried to some other new expensive rackets but seems i have to change my smash style in order to get better smash with other rackets. Please let me know if some one change racket from soft shaft to medium shaft, then one need to swing racket + arm fast or need to swing racket + wrist fast in order to get better smash ?