There is no doubt that one of the most important gears for playing badminton is the badminton racket, which is divided into two parts: strings and frame. As an ex-professional badminton player and instructor with 30 years experience, I had been recommending strings for over 10000 students, while I have restringed at least 2000 rackets by myself.
After all, I gotta say, choosing the right badminton string suitable for your need is just as important as choosing your racket and shoes.
In this article, I am going to share some useful tips about how to pick the most suitable badminton string for your level, and for sure will recommend some of the best choices we’ve tried in the market.
Yonex BG 65 – very popular Yonex strings, durable, flexible, and suitable for almost all levels of players. You can enjoy it even you have only a few weeks of experience.
Yonex BG 80 – sold, high repulsion strings which is great for generating a powerful smash
Yonex BG 80 Power – an advanced version of BG 80 but also even easy to worn out
Yonex BG 66 Ultimax – a thin, all-around string provides great control and power
Best Badminton Strings – Our Picks
Here is my most recommended badminton strings.
This is probably the most popular Yonex badminton strings, sort of like the “must try” badminton strings for all badminton players. Yonex BG 65 was used by a lot of World-class players.
With the thickness of 0.70mm and multifilament structure, Yonex BG 65 is a durable, flexible string. The drawback is it is difficult to generate powerful shots unless the tension is over 28lbs.
Why we love BG65
- Very durable
- Flexible and soft feeling
- Pretty forgiving feeling, suitable for almost all level of players
What we don’t like
- You need high tension for generating powerful smash
- It’s a string with not much character
BG 80 is the classic Yonex badminton strings designed for players who love powerful smash! Very popular and comes with high repulsion. Although it said that’s medium feeling, however, I gotta say it’s more like medium to hard feeling.
The multifilament structure brings this string a very flexible characteristic, but then the drawback is it will lose tension quicker than other strings from the same range too.
Why we love BG 80
- It’s from Yonex
- High repulsion
- Powerful and yet with high flexibility
What We Don’t Like:
- Price is slightly more expensive than other options on the market
- It will lose tension quicker than other strings
- Yonex BG80 Power is a super-duper powerful smash. It generates even more powerful smash than BG 80 but also worn out even quicker…
- I tried using BG 80 stings with one of the best Yonex rackets for smashing, the Astrox 88D, and that was just a killer!
I love BG 66 Ultimax, it’s an advanced version of BG 66 there is another version, the BG 66 Force. The difference between BG 66 Ultimax and BG 66 Force is BG 66 UM is more a control type string while BG 66 Force is more for aggressive players who love powerful shots.
However, I believe that BG 80 offers better performance as a string for powerful smash, so we are going to give a pass for BG 66 Force this time.
BG 66 UM is a very great string, great performance for both control and powerful shot. Also almost perfect “pop” sound. However, it’s very easy to break because they are so thin.
Why we love BG 66 Ultimax
- Very balanced strings, offering great performance for all sorts of skills
- Generates the best “pop” sound among all the recommendation
What we don’t like
- Very easy to break, BG 66 used to be the thinnest strings in Yonex collection before the Aerosonic strings were developed, you can break the strings simply by hitting the wrong spot
- It costs more money to play with these strings because you may need to replace them frequently
Who Should Read This?
Anyone who is planning to play badminton more than 4 times a month could benefit from this article. If you happen to have a racket with broken strings or are planning to get a new racket for improving your performance, it may be a good idea for you to read this article before restringing your badminton racket.
What is the Structure of Badminton Strings?
A badminton string is made by 3 main components:
- Center Core
- Cover (also known as a jacket or wear layer, is the layer wrapping the center core)
- The outer coating (apply on top of the jacket)
Center core is the most important part of a badminton string, it determines the flexibility, durability, and tension of a string.
Generally speaking, the center core could be divided into 2 types:
- Could be made with nylon, polyester, polyether or a mix of different materials
- Could exist in the form of a single, thick filament which is made by different fiber being chemically bonded with each other
- Used to be very hard and unforgiving, but then now more soft and playable strings are available
- Transfer more shock to the arm because they are harder and more unforgiving
- Instead of a single, solid center core like monofilament, the center core of a multifilament is made with numerous fibers twisted together but they are not chemically bonded. These fibers are wrapped with an outer coat under the most outer coating for more protection
- Generally more flexible than monofilament core made with same materials, it is because multifilament is made by numerous thin fibers twisted together but not chemical bonded)
- Very likely it’s gonna be with better shock absorption and more playable than monofilaments, however, it’s also easier to lose tension and tend to be more expensive
If you are players looking for more power smash, go for the monofilament core, if you prefer more controls on the birdies, do look for multifilament cores strings.
Whenever we start playing a game, the main strings (straight strings) will move back and forth against the cross strings and create a “sawing” effect. Without a cover with high abrasion-resistant, The main string may break after playing just one game.
It also holds the core filaments together and provides texture to the surface of the string for offering more control when you hit the birds.
The outer coating is the additional layer apply on top of the cover, other than providing extra protection to the string, they will provide different feelings and response when you hit the shuttlecock.
Best Badminton Strings – How to Pick?
Consider the following factors before choosing the most suitable badminton strings.
Pick the Right Strings Tension
The first factor you want to do is set the right tension on your strings, the basic rule is, the lower the tension, the less power it will be generated because of more bouncing time, and vice versa. The higher the tension, the strong power, and shock to your arm will be generated.
Suggested Strings Tensions for Different Level Players
When it comes to setting the tension of your string, the lowest tension I’ve set for my students was 18 -19 lbs, however, it’s really rare, even a beginner should use a 20+ tension.
For beginners, a range of 20 to 23 lbs tension is a good range, with this range, less shock will be transferred to your arm and a larger sweet spot will be formed and hence it is easier to generate a powerful hit, just your hit will be with less power than a high tension one.
When you hit the birdie at the sweet spot of the string bed of your racket, you can generate a powerful hit with the least effort, most of the time, you will hear a “pop” sound.
For intermediate to advanced level players who have a few months experience, I would suggest a tension range from 24 – 27 lbs, when your skills and body strength improve, you can start trying an even higher tension.
For 28-36 lbs, it’s suitable for advanced level competition badminton players. For world-ranked competition badminton players, with current technology, they may use a tension up to 34 – 36 lbs
I am using 28 lb now because I need to teach competition badminton, however, when I was a professional player, I was using 32 – 33 lbs because at that time, the main component of badminton strings was nylon and it’s not flexible enough. Nowadays, with the flexible synthetic material strings, world-class competition badminton player students can use stings with tension up to 35 – 36 lbs.
In such a case, it’s just as hard as a piece of wood you can imagine using a baseball bat to hit the shuttlecocks. You need to be strong and with enough skills to master that.
With a 35 – 36 lbs or above tension, you are left with almost no flexibility, but that would favor a very powerful smash, and this is why a badminton shuttlecock is considered as the fastest recorded sports object in the world.
According to this article by team Canada, Tan Boon Hoeng (a Malaysia player) set out the world’s new record of 493 km/h via a badminton smash in a new racket technology test. While Lee Chong Wei (World Champion Malaysia player) set the highest competition hit at the speed of 417 km/h when he was playing Japan Open Final in September 2017.
Check this video out of Linden smashing a shuttle into a watermelon:
A summary regarding strings tension: the lower the tension, the less chance a crispy “pop” hit can be generated because less power can be transferred to the shuttles, the nice part is there would be less shock and pressure transferred to your arm and elbow and the string will last longer. And vice versa.
The sweet spot is where the area makes the most effective contact with the shuttlecock, if you hit the bird with the sweet spot, you can generate the hit with the least effort.
The lower the tension, the bigger the sweet spot, but then it’s also more difficult to generate a more powerful hit. The higher the tension, the smaller the sweet spot, but once you hit the birdie with the sweet spot, a more powerful hit can be generated.
Structure of the String: Monofilament vs Multifilament?
Try to look for monofilament strings if you are looking for more power and durability because monofilaments are a pretty unforgiving string, but then your body (especially your arm will be facing more shock and vibrations). If you are not strong enough, you will likely be suffering from tennis elbows and wrist problems after playing with hard and unforgiving monofilament strings for a long time.
A multifilament string, on the other hand, is more playable and with high shock absorption. For the same tension string, a multifilament string is more flexible than a monofilament string. How it is also more expensive and easier to lose tension than monofilament, however, this could be solved by pre-stretching.
Because of the different characteristics of monofilament and multifilament strings, a hybrid set-up of monofilaments’ main string and a multifilament cross string could improve the balance of durability and playability.
Thickness of Strings
The most common badminton strings thickness in the market now is within the range of 0.60 – 0.70mm:
- Thin strings: below 0.66mm
- Normal or general strings: 0.67 – 0.69mm
- Thick strings: 0.70mm
How does the Thickness of Strings affect your Performance?
Normally, a thick badminton string is:
- More suitable for beginners, because it
- Offers a more forgiving feeling
- Causing less vibration when you hit the birdie and hence transferring less shock to your arm
- Less “pop sound” could be generated
- Less flexible and hence players need to use more power
Vice versa, a thinner badminton string would be:
- More flexible and suitable for advanced competition players and player who is less physically fit
- More “pop sound” could be generated
- Less durable and easier to lose tension
- Easier to break in a cold, dry area
- More expensive
I’ve read a very good article by Taiwan Racquet Stringers and Services Association, here are some of their suggestions:
- Choose thicker strings if you want more durability
- If you love “pop” sound, go for the thinner strings
- If you are looking for a powerful smash, it depends on your level:
- For the advanced level player, they may prefer thicker strings, with enough skills and body strength, thicker strings can improve durability and reduce the chance of out when one is using other skills
- However, we need to understand there is a difference between “like to smash” and “can perform a powerful smash”
- For less skillful players, we would suggest them to pick a medium thickness (around 0.65 – 0.68 thickness), but with 1 – 2 LB higher tension and strings made with more flexible material and structure to generate a more powerful smash.
- For defensive players, they may want to choose a more flexible thin string to improve their performance under high pressure from the opposite
- Thin strings with low tension may be harmful to your performance because you don’t want to hit the shuttles with a surface that is too soft
Racket Frame Material
A badminton racket is combined with 2 parts: strings + frames, to achieve high performance, we need both high-quality racket frames and strings. If you are reading this article, I believe that you are probably one of those players who loves playing badminton, and your strings are broken and considering restraining them, or you want to improve your performance by changing the strings.
Under both circumstances, I do believe it is time for you to consider getting a better quality racket frame instead of using the rackets from a badminton set. I prefer a lightweight, carbon fiber frame now but I have been using aluminum frames for a long time and the quality is also good.
A good idea is to talk to the shop before you make your purchase decision, tell them your level, playing style, what are you expecting from the new strings, and advise them on the racket you are using. An experienced badminton shop helper should be able to recommend some good strings suitable for your current equipment and ability level.
The technology of the Strings
Different technology applied to the strings will affect their durability, flexibility, and feeling when you hit the shuttlecock with your racket. Different strings producers have their technology like cup stack carbon nanotube technology, nano-coating, oval nylon fibers…
The best way to find out which one is the most suitable for you would be testing it by yourself, try different brands with the same tension and you will find out the most suitable strings.
Budget is always a very important factor, for sure the strings with the lowest price is probably not the best option, however, I would take into account the durability for the strings. If I find a slightly more expensive option but with much better durability, go for it since you will save a lot if you don’t have to replace it that often.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly setup, look for a hybrid set up as I suggested above.
Find a Professional Stringer to Restring you Racket
I’ve been teaching many group lessons in the last 30 years. Sometimes, the club will provide rackets for their students. Usually, these rackets are all identical, with the same strings and tension, and yet there is a difference between the performance of the racket.
Such a problem may be caused by the stringers, an unprofessional stringer may damage the outer coating and cover of a string and hence causing the string easier to break. While a proper stringer, they know many techniques such as pre-sketch, tension release, and how to make a very firm knot.
All these will improve the durability and performance of the strings. Normally, showing a short video about how you play to your stringer and he will make a great recommendation for you.
Best Badminton Strings – When Should Badminton Strings be Replaced?
You would like to replace the badminton strings (restringing) when:
- You can feel that your badminton racket is lacking in power
- Your performance dropped, like less control or power
- The sound of your shots are no longer pop or crisp
- Your strings look old, worn, or moving
- A string broke
Best Badminton Strings – Additional Tips and Information
- Changing the Grommets of your racket from time to time would be about to extend the lift of both strings and the frame.
- I tend to purchase the badminton racket frame and string separately so I don’t need to waste the factory preset string which may not suits my need
- Don’t step on the string while you are trying to string your racket because it may damage the coat and structure of your strings
- Choose a flexible, lower tension multifilament with lighter frame if you are a smaller person with less strength, it is a good idea if you have injured your arm or wrist before too
- Put on an elbow brace and wrist support is always a good idea to protect your arm
- When you see a lot of tiny little, silky like fibers are sticking out of your strings, probably you may need to prepare to change the string. That’s the outer covers were sawed out and soon it will break when the cuts reach the inner core.
Best Badminton Strings – FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions relating to badminton strings and their quick answers.
What strings do professional badminton players use?
Yonex BG 65 Ti, Yonex BG 66 Ultimax, and Yonex BG 80 are the most commonly used strings by many professional badminton players:
Professional players using (used) BG 65 Ti:
- Praveen Jordan (India)
- Tan Boon Heong (Malaysia)
- Rajiv Ouseph (England)
Professional players using (used) Yonex BG 66 Ultimax:
- Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
- Chris Adcock (England)
- Yamaguchi Akane (Japan)
- Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia)
- Mathias Boe (Denmark)
Professional players using (used) BG 80:
- Lin Dan (China)
- Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus (Denmark)
- Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (India)
- Greysia Polii (Indonesia)
- What is hard feeling in badminton strings?
Hard feeling strings, compared to soft and medium feeling strings, give the shortest contact time with the shuttle, and hence you will feel it is very stiff and not so bouncy, sometimes, just imagine you are hitting the strings with a piece of wood.
Hard feeling strings will generate more powerful shots but will cause more stress to your arm and hand, also you will require a higher level of skills to master it because it has less tolerance for mistakes.
How long should badminton strings last?
You should change your strings when you feel your shots and net drops are not that sharp or crisp as it was right after you’ve changed the strings. I change my strings every week because as a professional badminton coach, I teach and play a lot (around 45+ hours per week).
Generally speaking, regular or intermediate players who are going to play badminton once a week may consider changing their strings every 4 – 5 months even if it’s not broken. It is because the filling of the strings (some players consider those as inside hardness) will soften and lose the tension over time.
What string tension should I use badminton?
The badminton string tension you use should depend on your physical fitness, level, and style, generally, you may want to follow this guide:
- Beginner level: below 20 lbs
- Intermediate: 21 – 24 lbs
- Advanced players: 25 – 28lbs
- Professional Players: 28lbs or more
Female players may consider using lower string tension than male players.
Finding a string suits you and your racket frame can improve your game performance, lower the risk of suffering from injuries, and extend the lives of both products.
I hope you found this article useful for choosing a strings option that fits your need, before making your buying decision, try to consider your level, style, frame compatibility, and your expectation with the shop so they can recommend you the most suitable option.
If you have any questions, please feel free to give me an email!