When you’re looking for a new badminton racket, finding the perfect balance of quality and price is not an easy task. Racket reviews and roundups rarely cover options under $100, and sports stores can be hit or miss when it comes to cheaper models.
Needless to say, budget badminton rackets don’t always get the recognition they deserve — and finding a good one can take time. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best options to help you on the journey.
Below, discover six of the top budget badminton rackets in 2023, along with their features, best uses, and where to find them.
Finding the Right Budget Badminton Racket
Budget badminton rackets may not have the same bells and whistles that expensive ones do. But if you’re a beginner, casual player, or just don’t want to break the bank, many lower-cost rackets can still be well worth investing in.
Better budget rackets are coming out every year, offering higher-end performance in areas like:
- Materials: Tempered steel rackets are some of the most common budget options out there. These are sturdy (aka they won’t bend during racket clashes), but the downside is that they’re not quite as elastic as graphite. Luckily, you can now find many graphite rackets at cost-friendly price points.
- String tension: Many well-made budget badminton rackets can now support string tension up to 30 lbs (and sometimes beyond).
- Overall weight: With graphite rackets becoming more affordable, you can now find plenty of lightning-fast, lightweight (75 to 85 grams) rackets for cheap.
Best Budget Badminton Rackets of 2023
Without further ado, here are the best budget badminton rackets of 2023:
1. Senston N80
The Senston N80 is one of the most popular options in the world of beginner badminton rackets, and for good reason. At the time of writing this post, a set of two is less than $70 – meaning that each racket comes out to about $35 apiece.
This racket is made from full carbon fiber, weighing just 75 grams when unstrung. Like other higher-end rackets, it has a solid construction held together by a built-in T joint. And when you add this to its aerodynamic design, smooth handling, and overall durability, it’s one of the best options you can get for its price.
2. Apacs Edgesaber Z Slayer
For around $50, the Apacs Edgesaber Z Slayer is a top badminton racket for players who love to smash hard and move quickly on the court.
Built with high modulus (HM) graphite and carbon nanotube, this 85-gram racket can handle string tension up to 33 lbs. It also comes with a medium-flex shaft and Apacs’ Whip-Slim Frame, which helps to boost swing speed and handling.
Overall, this racket’s features make it one of the best budget options for a balance of speed and strength.
3. Yonex Arcsaber 11 Play
If you’re a fan of badminton legends like Viktor Axelsen or Kento Momota, then you’ve probably heard of Yonex. While many of this brand’s rackets are geared toward pro players, they also offer “Play” models for players on a budget.
The Yonex Arcsaber 11 Play (83 grams) is one of the best choices for an all-around blend of speed, power, and control — all for a great price. It’s made of full graphite, offers a medium-flex shaft, and has an even balance point to help players of any skill level dominate the court.
4. Li-Ning Air Force 77 G2
If you’re looking for a well-made racket for around $60, the Li-Ning Air Force 77 G2 is a solid option to consider.
Weighing just 77 grams, this racket’s head-heavy design effortlessly slices through the air with rapid speed. Plus, its high-flex shaft adds a boost of repulsion power to every shot. And when it comes to durability, it has a military-grade carbon fiber frame that can handle string tension up to 30 lbs.
5. Yonex Carbonex 8000 Plus
The Yonex Carbonex 8000 Plus is another well-rounded choice for casual and newer players. It offers a graphite shaft and medium flexibility — making it suitable for both attacking and defensive styles.
Since it’s one of Yonex’s older options, it has an oval-shaped head with a smaller (but more concentrated) sweet spot. While it doesn’t have the same specs as newer rackets, it’s been called “underrated” and has gained high reviews from those who’ve tried it.
Overall, it’s a great option for players seeking high performance without breaking the bank.
6. Yonex Nanoray Light 18i
If you’re after lightning-fast speed and lightweight handling, the Nanoray Light 18i is the way to go. Everything about this racket was built with aerodynamics in mind — which is why it has a head-light balance point and weighs just 77 grams.
It also comes with a built-in T joint, aero-box frame, and carbon fiber material that can handle string tensions up to 30 lbs.
Choosing Your Budget Badminton Racket: The Takeaway
Whether you’re a weekend badminton warrior or brand new to the sport, it’s natural not to want to spend a fortune on your racket. Luckily, there are budget options out there to suit any playstyle — whether you need an all-arounder like the Senston N80 or a powerhouse like the Apacs Edgesaber Z Slayer.
In any case, don’t be afraid to test out some of your friends’ rackets before you settle on a new one. And if you want to get even more bang for your buck, it may even be worth looking into used options from more experienced players.