Badminton rackets are one of the most important equipment you need in order to play badminton. I was curious to know the different materials badminton rackets are made of so I did a bit of research online. I didn’t find any website that gave the complete overview, so I decided to write this article to sum up all the information I gathered.
Badminton rackets are mostly made of either graphite, aluminum, or steel, depending on the manufacturer producing them and on the quality of the racket itself. For high-quality rackets, graphite is used. For low-quality rackets, aluminum and steel are used.
There are also other materials used for smaller parts of the rackets. In the table below we have highlighted all the most common materials and where in the racket they are located.
|Location within the racket||Material||Target group|
|Badminton racket frame & shaft||Graphite||Advanced players|
|Badminton racket frame & shaft||Aluminum||Intermediate players and beginners|
|Badminton racket frame & shaft||Steel||Beginners|
|Badminton string||Nylon||All levels|
|Badminton string||Natural gut||Advanced and intermediate players|
|Badminton handle||Wood||All levels|
|Badminton grip||PU (polyurethane)||Intermediate players and beginners|
|Badminton grip||Cotton||Advanced and intermediate players|
Let’s have a look at all the different parts of a badminton racket and which material is used for each.
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What are badminton racket frames made of?
The most important part of the badminton racket is the frame. In rackets for intermediate and advanced players, the frame is usually produced together with the shaft, so they form one single piece. In rackets for beginners, these two parts are usually separated and can even be made of different materials.
If you don’t know what the badminton racket frame and shaft are, I recommend that you check our post “What Are the Parts of a Badminton Racket? All You Need to Know“, where we explain in a lot of detail all the different parts of a badminton racket.
Let’s have a look at which materials are used for badminton frames and shafts.
Graphite is one of the most common materials for badminton racket frames and it is usually used for high-quality rackets. Even though it is sometimes not stated, in most cases graphite is combined with resin to form the frame.
Graphite rackets are also sometimes referred to as carbon or carbon fiber rackets. For example, Li-Ning uses Carbon Fiber in the description of most of its rackets.
Yonex also uses some fancy words to describe specific variations of the same material. For example, they have H.M. Graphite, also called High Modulus Graphite, and they also have CS Carbon Nanotube and Neo CS Carbone Nanotube, materials that have slightly different mechanical properties than the normal Graphite.
For Yonex, you can see the description in the Arcsaber-11 in the official website, where these different materials are explained.
The second most commonly used material is Aluminum. Aluminum is mostly used in the racket frame or head in rackets done for intermediate players or beginners. When aluminum is used in the racket frame, either graphite or steel is used in the racket shaft.
Rackets that are aimed at intermediate players and that have an aluminum racket frame will usually have a graphite racket shaft. On the other hand, rackets that are aimed at beginners will have a steel racket shaft.
Another material typically used in badminton racket frames and shafts is steel. This material is mostly used in the shafts of rackets made for beginners, although some rackets also have a steel frame. In any case, a racket done with steel is usually a sign of a cheap and low-quality one.
Other materials used in badminton racket frames and shafts
In addition to this three materials that are the most common ones, there are other materials that are use in a badminton racket frame and shaft. They are the following.
Titanium is sometimes used as a material for the frame and shaft of the racket, although the amount of rackets offering a full titanium frame is very low.
In addition to that, titanium is sometimes used in specific parts of the racket frame. This is the case of Yonex and some of its rackets, such as the Arcsaber-11. In this case, Yonex uses a material they call Sonic Metal. According to the description;
SONIC METAL is an exceptionally strong, lightweight, and flexible new titanium alloy which YONEX positions at the top of the frame. This has two advantages. Firstly, it gives you a higher repulsion power, especially in attack. Secondly, it creates a clear strong sound when the shuttlecock is hit.Sonic Metal description within the Arcsaber-11 page
This acoustic, combined with the dramatic increase in repulsion, will put your opponent under immediate pressure.
BLACK MICRO CORE
This is another material that is part of some Yonex rackets. According to the description;
Black Micro Core is a stiff, high-density vibration-dampening material equipped into the upper part of the VOLTRIC FB frame letting players hit with solid feeling and power.Black Micro Core description within the Astrox 100 ZZ page
Other materials used in a badminton racket
In addition to the material used in the racket frames and shafts, there are also other materials that are used in badminton rackets. These are the materials used for the badminton string, the badminton handle, and the badminton grip. Let’s look at each one separately.
Material for racket string
Racket strings are made usually of either nylon or natural animal gut. Whilst nylon is the most common option, a minority of players still prefer to use natural animal gut. This material gives more control and power than nylon but lasts much less. However, with the advances of technology, nylon is closing the gap on the control and power while maintaining a big advantage on durability and cost. As a result, the natural gut has almost disappeared from the market. Let’s have a look at each of these two.
Nylon is the most common material used to make the strings of the badminton racket. This material is also present in the badminton nets as we explained in our post “What Is a Badminton Net Made Of?“.
Nylon is cheap to produce and it is very resistant. As I explained in the post “What Are the Parts of a Badminton Racket? All You Need to Know“, the gauge of the nylon strings usually vary between 0.62 millimeters (thin) and 0.70 millimeters (thick).
Thicker strings tend to be more durable and give you more control over your shots. Thinner strings, on the other hand, are better for building power.
That we could find online, it looks like only Babolat is still producing natural gut strings for badminton. This shows how close to extinction this type of string is.
If you are curious about this type of string, the only available Babolat VS Touch Badminton, and it comes in diameter either 0.75 mm or 0.70 mm.
Material for racket handle
The handle is the part of the racket where you hold it from. In most rackets, the handle is made out of wood, which can seem a bit surprising as compared to the rest of the racket body which is usually made from metallic elements.
In this page from Instructables (a site where people share how-to guides), you can see the process of changing a handle or even how to create your own handle. It is interesting to see how, despite all the high tech that goes into the design and the materials of the frame, the handle is still made of something as natural as wood.
Material for racket grip
The last big part of a badminton racket is the badminton grip. If you want to know a bit more about badminton grips, we have an in-depth post where we cover the badminton grip in much more depth. The article is called “Badminton Grip Guide – How to Hold a Racket, Types of Grip and Product Recommendations“.
For racket grips, there are mostly two materials used, PU (polyurethane) and cotton. Let’s look at each separately.
This is the most common material for grips. It is usually used as an under-grip (the grip that comes as a standard from the factory). In some cases, it is also used as an overgrip (the grip that players add on top of or in place of the under-grip).
This material has the advantage of not requiring any maintenance and of lasting much longer than cotton grips. However, the feeling is not as good and the friction is also lower.
Cotton is the material used for the other type of grips, the towel overgrips. This is the type of overgrip that a lot of professional players use. This material is the best option for sweat absorption and for slip resistance. However, it deteriorates much faster than PU so it needs to be maintained and changed much more often.
Materials for smaller parts
In addition to the main parts of the badminton racket that we have already discussed, there are also smaller parts that use slightly different materials. These are the grommets and the butt cap.
The grommets are located on the badminton frame and are used to pass the string through the holes on the frame.
The butt cap is located at the bottom of the handle, the very end of the racket.
Material for grommets
The grommets, as I have just mentioned, are designed to protect the string from breaking when it is tensed and passing through the holes in the badminton frame. The grommets are usually made of infused plastic. Because of that, they can be made of any color, but they are usually black.
Grommets should be checked and changed periodically. If not, the hole will not be protected and the friction between an unprotected hole and the string will cause the string to break faster.
Material for butt cap
The butt cap, as the grommets, is made of plastic. This piece, as we explained in our post “What Are the Parts of a Badminton Racket? All You Need to Know” usually contains the logo of the company that has manufactured the racket.
And with this last material, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you have any further questions about the materials that are in a badminton racket, please let me know in the comments below.