One thing you gotta love about badminton is just how inexpensive it is. All you need is a good badminton racket, a few good quality shuttlecocks, a pal (or more) to play against, and you’re good to go. (Well, unless you’re travelling for a tournament.)
In this article, we’re going to talk about the best badminton rackets you can get for under $50. There are plenty out there for that price range, and we’ve been checking them out and have hand picked our favorite 5 to show you.
We decided to concentrate on badminton rackets for adults, and rather than children. If you know of a youngster who wants to learn to play, then we would recommend learning with an adult’s racket anyway, as they are quite different in size and shape to children’s ones.
Badminton equipment is often sold as a set rather than as just one racket alone, and our top 5 rackets under $50 does include some entire sets. Also, please note that although all of the rackets shown were under $50 at the time of writing this article, this is subject to change.
Our reviews will be coming up very shortly. And after that we’ve also got a handy buying guide, which you can scroll through to check you haven’t forgotten or overlooked anything, followed by an FAQ section. And if you’re a beginner we definitely recommend you look through these last two sections because they explain some of the specs.
Now, let’s get to it…
OUR TOP PICK
The Stenson N80 is one of the most lightweight badminton rackets on the market. And it’s certainly one of the brand’s most popular ones too.
Made with 100% full carbon fiber, in both the shaft and the frame, it weighs just 75 grams unstrung. And this lightness really helps the player’s agility and maneuverability. It also helps prevent your arms from tiring too quickly and is easier on the wrists and shoulders.
And to aid your speed and agility even further, there’s a unique pyramid frame rim, which is designed to reduce air resistance as you swing.
The racket has a solid one piece construction, which is great. But what we really love is the powerful built in T-joint, which provides great stability and high precision control as you play.
And speaking of control, the strings are quite tight too, which certainly helps.
We also love the isometric square head shape frame structure, where the vertical and the horizontal strings are kept at a similar length, for a bigger sweet spot in all directions. Which not only improves your hit rate but also brings about greater accuracy in your game.
The racket is strong and durable, but also has that all important bit of flex, which helps reduce the risk of frame deformation.
It has a nice non-slip handle, which is important but too easily overlooked. The handles are wooden, which helps the racket’s shock absorption.
The after sales service is great, should you ever need it, and they’re happy to answer any queries you might have.
- Very lightweight
- Powerful T-joint
- isometric frame
- Some customers have reported the racket breaking, but in these fairly rare cases they find the after sales care to be very helpful
Yonex are a big name in badminton rackets and equipment, and their Nanoray 7000i is currently one of their best sellers.
This baby is built for speed. With it’s special technology, it’s a more streamlined and aerodynamic racket, built for delivering shots fast as lightning.
This speediness, which allows the player to move with more agility, is also helped by the head light balance point, which is something we’ll talk more about in our buying guide later.
It also has that much coveted isometric head shape. It’s more square than a traditional badminton racket, and it keeps both the vertical and the horizontal strings at a similar length, for a bigger sweet spot in all directions. Which not only helps with your hit rate, but also helps bring about greater accuracy in your game.
It’s made up of a sturdy, durable aluminum frame, combined with a lightweight carbon graphite shaft. With its weight set at 3U (again something we will cover later on), it’s not going to tire out your arms or strain your wrists or shoulders.
The string tension is 19 to 24 pounds, which is very good, and is also quite variable should you decide to tweak it to your liking.
And it has the standard grip size, G4.
- Built for speed
- Great strings
- Head light balance point
- Isometric head shape
- Customer feedback has been fairly mixed on this one
I bet you thought you couldn’t get an entire professional badminton set for under $50 huh?
This is a great little racket and shuttlecock set from Kevenz. It’s super lightweight and built for speed.
It’s made from 100% full carbon fibre material in both the frame and the shaft, and is very resistant to cracks.
It weighs just 75 grams unstrung. And this lightness really helps the player’s agility and maneuverability. It also helps prevent your arms from tiring too quickly and is easier on the wrists and shoulders.
The balance point, which we talk about in the buying guide, is only just within the even balance bracket, and is almost head heavy. This gives it the versatility of an even balance racket, but with a little more power.
The racket has a solid one piece construction, which is great. But what we really love is the powerful built in T-joint, which provides great stability and power, as well as high precision control as you play.
And while there’s much going for it in terms of speed, it’s actually quite powerful at the same time, with a string tension of 24 to 26 pounds, to provide some real bounce and really help you smash that shuttlecock over the net. There are no vibrations on impact.
The square frame design expands the sweet spot, which helps you to really improve your hit rate, and helps you to hit with more accuracy.
The unique concave shape of the frame enhances its ability to withstand tension on impact.
It has a standard size grip, covered in non slip high quality soft rubber for comfort.
It’s had some great customer feedback for such an affordable set of rackets. It’s got 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5 on the Amazon page.
- Very lightweight
- High string tension
- Large sweet spot
- The strong string tension may take getting used to
Please note, this review is for the Voltric 200 Taufik, and not the Voltric 100 or Voltric Lite, which also appear on the Amazon page.
If you’ve already scrolled down and studied our buying guide, you may have picked up that it’s hard for a badminton racket to offer both power and speed. The characteristics that normally help with the one aspect cause problems for the other.
But Yonex have managed to pull this off in their Voltric 200 Taufik. And this is thanks to its tri-voltage system.
It has a head heavy balance point to help deliver powerful shots, which is also helped by the stiff structure at the top of the frame. Which in turn can help with control and handling. You can really smash it.
At the same time though, you’ve got a great lightweight graphite shaft, which helps with speed, maneuverability and agility.
The other we love about it is its isometric frame. It’s more square than a traditional badminton racket, and it keeps both the vertical and the horizontal strings at a similar length, for a bigger sweet spot in all directions. Which brings about greater accuracy in your game.
It’s a lightweight racket, classed as 3U (more on that later), and the grip size is about standard at G4.
- Large sweet spot
- Not everyone likes their racket to be head heavy
This isn’t just a badminton racket, but an entire two person badminton set. You get two rackets, and each is easily identifiable by their color, a shuttlecock and a spare one, and a bag with a shoulder strap to carry them all in.
But better yet, unlike most badminton sets, you also get 2 overgrips included!
It comes from top brand Senston, a big name in badminton equipment.
The racket has a solid one piece construction with a built in T-joint.
The shaft of the racket is made of lightweight graphite, and weighs just 90 grams, so it's not going to tire your arm out, even if you were to play for hours.
The frame of the racket meanwhile, is made of a carbon aluminum composite to give it more strength, and at the same time reduce the risk of deformation.
The string tension is set at 20 to 22 pounds, which makes it the perfect choice for beginners, and improvers, and for more casual play.
We think the G4 size grip is quite comfortable, but you’ve always got the overgrips there if you don’t feel the same way.
- Comes as entire set
- Great value for money
- Perfect for beginners
- Rackets could be a little lighter
Best Badminton Racket Under $50 Buying Guide
Ok, so, here’s a quick run through of everything you might want to think about before buying your badminton racket.
There are two main brands of badminton rackets that are currently dominating the best seller lists with online retailers at the moment, and they are Senston and Yonex.
Luckily these brands do feature some rackets available under $50 in their line ups, so we were able to include several in our top 5 picks.
Weight of the racket
What weight of racket to go for depends on two factors, namely your level of ability, and believe it or not, the number of people playing.
Lightweight rackets, of say 85 to 89 grams (or 3U) are great for beginners, because they’re much easier to control. They’re also great for delivering quick stroke speeds and serves. And of course, they’re easier on the wrists, arms and shoulders. Many singles players use this weight of racket.
Doubles players however often use an even lighter racket, of 80 to 84 grams, so they get more speed and can react quicker to their opponents’ shots.
Tighter strings on a badminton racket give you more control of your shots, whereas looser strings give your shots more power.
You can test the string tension of a rocket by pressing your palm against it. The ideal tension for most players would be one where the strings sink 1mm when you do this test.
For beginners, 22 to 23 lbs is a good tension to start with. Then you can play around and try other tensions. If you’re not 100% happy with your racket’s string tension, you can always get it re-stringed.
Racket Length - A typical badminton racket length is between 665 to 675 mm.
Most racket grips come in four sizes. Grip size is denoted by "G" number, where the smaller the number, the larger the handle size. Bigger grips are preferred by players who prefer a tighter feel to generate more power, while smaller grips allow for better manoeuvrability.
You can always increase the size of the grip by buying an overgrip to go over it.
The balance point of a badminton racket is basically where the weight of the racket is largely located.
Even balance rackets are the most versatile and are what we recommend for beginners. Head-heavy rackets meanwhile will give your shots more power, whereas head-light rackets are better for speed.
Answers to your most frequently asked questions?
What do the U numbers mean in badminton rackets?
The U number of a badminton racket indicates its weight. Strangely though, as the weight of the racket goes up, the U number goes down. Here are the different levels:
- 4U: 80-84g
- 3U: 85-89g
- 2U: 90-94g
- 1U: 95-100g