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What Badminton Strings & Tension Should I Choose? - Our Buying Guide

Firstly...do I need to restring my badminton racket?

If you've broken your strings during play or are a competitive player looking to maximise your rackets potential then the answer to this question is of course yes... (so if this applies to you then just skip the next few paragraphs)

However, for a casual or novice player, when buying a new racket, it’s often best just to use the original racket strings rather than worry too much about customising strings and tension.

Many rackets in the UK are supplied strung by the manufacturers, who will typically use a thicker, more durable string at a low tension. For a player still learning and developing their game this is often the best option as the thick string will usually last an extremely long time before breaking. The lower string tension will also help to keep the sweet spot on the racket head as large as possible, making the racket more user-friendly. 

Customising strings on a new racket can be compared to tuning the engine of a car. If you were to buy a new car then the standard factory engine would be fine to get you from A to B. However, if you wanted to compete in races the car engine would need to be tuned to get the best possible performance. A re-string is tuning the ‘engine’ of your racket.

So how do you choose a badminton string?

If you're confused or unsure about badminton strings then you are certainly not alone. There are a lot of aspects to consider, but we've tried to provide a breakdown of the information you need to make the best informed decision.   

There are 4 main things to consider when choosing a badminton string and tension:

1. What do I want to gain from the string? Power? Durability? Control? 
2. What tension should I choose when restringing a badminton racket?
3. How long do I ideally want my strings to last?
4. What type of badminton shuttlecocks am I playing with most?

 Badminton Racket Restringing

1. What type of string do you want?


Badminton strings are typically categorised into 3 main categories:

- Power string (sometimes referred to as repulsion strings)

- Control string

- Durability string


Look out on all our racket string product pages, for the playing characteristics each string is designed for. You can also use our filters to define which type of strings you wish to see. This will help you no end in achieving performance from your racket.

Power Strings:
As the name suggests, these strings are designed to inject pace and power into your game. Typically strings for power have a thinner string diameter gauge (0.68 or below). They are particularly suited to rear court doubles players and attacking singles players.

Popular Power Strings Include:

  • Yonex BG80 Power
  • Yonex BG66 Ultimax
  • Yonex Nanogy 98
  • Yonex Aerosonic
  • Ashaway Zymax 66 Fire Power
  • Ashaway Zymax 64 TX

 

Control Strings:
Control badminton strings are typically designed with more of a textured finish on the string. This helps you get more of a “bite” when hitting the shuttle. Control strings are particularly useful to front court doubles players, and singles players looking to play tight spinning net shots and delicate slices.


Popular Control Strings Include:

  • Yonex Nanogy 99
  • Yonex BG Aerobite
  • Ashaway Zymax 66 Fire
  • Ashaway Zymax 68 TX
  • Yonex BG80

 

Durability Strings:
Generally around 0.70 mm gauge or more, these strings are made for players who want their strings to last a bit longer and avoid constant costly trips to the local re-stringer . Suited to players for who train regularly or want to get the best value for money from their strings.

Popular Durability Strings Include:

  • Yonex BG65 (Particularly suited to beginners)
  • Yonex BG65Ti Titanium
  • Yonex Nanogy 95
  • Ashaway Zymax 69 Fire

Typically we would recommend a beginner player to choose a durability type string. The reasoning behind this is beginners are prone to mishitting the shuttle, which in turn puts more stress on strings outside of the sweet spot, causing breaks. Durability strings are thicker and more resistant to the stresses caused by off centre hits.

2. What level of tension should I choose when restringing my badminton racket?

This is based on 4 things:

  1. Player ability
  2. Racket tension range
  3. How long you want the strings to last
  4. Type of shuttle you're playing with

As a general guide on string tension see the below table:

Player Level

String Tension

Power

Control & Feel

Durability

Rebound

Beginner

Low (16-22lbs)

High

Low

High

High

Intermediate

Medium (23-26lbs)

Medium

Medium

Medium

Medium

Professional

High (27lbs+)

Low 

High

Low

Low

 

Player Ability:
As a general guideline we'd suggest the below tensions based on your level. This is adjusted by skill level because to make effective use of high string tensions you need to be able to hit the “sweet spot” on the racket head when playing, and this area gets smaller the higher the tension. 

  • Beginner - 17lbs-20lbs
  • Intermediate - 20lbs-24lbs
  • Advanced - 24lbs-27lbs
  • Professional - 27lbs – 30+lbs

Racket Tension Range:
Every racket has a maximum tension. Do check you individual racket tension range. We list on all our badminton racket pages the specific badminton racket stringing tension range for each racket. We don't recommend you stringing it higher than these because it can damage the racket frame or even cause it to crack or break completely.

 

3. How long you ideally want your strings to last?
If you're finding replacing your strings too often, you may want to look into getting yourself durable strings. Typically a good set of strings, strung correctly should last a couple months depending upon how often you play and how cleanly you hit the shuttle, plus the tension level.

 

4. The type of Badminton Shuttlecocks you're playing with
If you're playing with feathers shuttles all the above applies, however if you're regularly playing with plastic shuttles it's recommender to generally lower the racket string tension by 2-3lbs. This is because a plastic shuttle generally takes more effort to get the desired power 

 

Other Hints and Tips:

Players often want to string their racket at too high a tension just because that's what the professionals do, falsely believing it'll mean they have more power. Remember it's HARDER to generate power with higher tension, this can lead to injury later, particularly in the shoulder if trying to force the shuttle faster.