Lightweight badminton rackets: 4 charming choices (2024)


I was at the court the other day, casually looking at lightweight badminton rackets at a small adjacent shop while resting in between games.

A girl from our group came up to me and we got talking about rackets as she showed me her ultra-light Li-Ning racket.

Since my return to the court as an adult, I have played with rackets of all types. For someone who loves defense, I’ve found lightweight badminton rackets to be fun as they allow me to have slower reactions than other types of rackets.

To give you an example, look at this clip, where I was testing the Yonex Nanoflare 1000 Game, and notice how late I’m reacting while still being able to block the shot (the first block – I’m the guy in the white t-shirt).

While I was asleep behind the wheel for a moment, this would’ve normally not been possible with rackets that weren’t as nimble as this one.

This experience led me down the rabbit hole researching this modern type of racket to get a better understanding of what’s available in the market right now, why one might want one, and if one of these could be suitable for someone like me who is used to power. In this article, I’ll show you examples of the best lightweight badminton rackets.

Before we dive in: if you’re looking for a racket as a gift for a badminton fan, consider reading this guide. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a racket set for the gardens, you’ll find the best in this guide.

The player best suited for a lightweight badminton racket

When we look at racket recommendations, it’s easy to get confused if the categories are similar, such as the best choice for singles or the front court in doubles. 

Recommendations for, say, head heavy rackets, and lightweight badminton rackets are usually intended for different players with different strengths and preferences. It’s like comparing apples to oranges as the player preferring a head heavy racket likely isn’t trying to achieve the same style of play as someone with a head light or lightweight racket.

For many of us, it’s necessary to take a step back to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are, and which playing style we prefer before selecting a racket that accommodates that.

If you’re simply looking for a lightweight badminton racket without caring much about other details, anything in a lower weight class such as 4U, 5U, or even 6U will do.

Lightweight badminton rackets tend to be good for players who prefer being fast over raw power and attack. They’re often particularly suitable for doubles players where games are faster and there are more drives, pushes, and counterattacks taking place rather than the classic hammer-smash in the ground to win points (but there are exceptions as you’ll discover later in this guide).

Many beginner and intermediate players like light badminton rackets as they are easier to play with if you’re just getting started and want to have fun.

On the other hand, the downside often is that it can feel difficult to generate enough power in your smash, clears, and late backhand, especially if you’re out of position. If that’s you, you might find yourself outgrowing a light badminton racket soon.

Alternatively, you might need to compensate for the downsides with faster footwork, better positioning, or different shots. I’ve also noticed that “power blocks” where you block a smash and feed off of the energy from your opponent’s shot without needing to do much else, are off-limits or at least difficult to pull off with lightweight rackets.

If you prefer that your racket amplifies your strengths, it makes sense to use a lightweight racket if you’re looking to win points by forcing errors from your opponent in fast doubles duels or playing tight net shots.

If you’re a power guy like me and think of a lightweight racket that helps compensate for your weaknesses, you might find that flat drives and shots on your body become easier to handle, especially under pressure. The downside is that you’ll have to adjust your technique on power shots to add more body weight to gain the power you’re used to from similar rackets.

Lightweight rackets can also be good if you tend to get tired in your shoulder after playing or want to go one step further to avoid injuries.

Before, it felt more clear-cut that rackets would fall into one of two categories, either being heavy and hammer-y or light and nimble. The modern generation of badminton rackets is more complex and blends these two approaches in new combinations to adjust to the evolution in gameplay.

You should look at these suggestions as a starting point for further research as I’m unable to get access to all rackets that are available in the market. 

It’s tricky to find in-depth tests and English reviews from some brands, like Li-Ning, than from Yonex, so it can feel as if this is unbalanced. I figured offering plenty of information online and sending demo rackets to influencers would be an affordable no-brainer marketing strategy for all racket brands, but I guess not.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Four of the best lightweight badminton rackets

Many of these rackets come in different weight classes, so since you’re looking for a good lightweight badminton racket, you’ll likely be better off picking a weight class of 4U or lighter for any of these rackets.

1. The boss of drive duels: Yonex Nanoflare 800

2. The one with the fastest smash: Yonex Nanoflare 1000Z

3. The head light singles racket: Victor Auraspeed 90K

4. Mohammad Ahsan’s choice: Victor Auraspeed 100X

Hey reader, a quick interruption

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Get ready for these rackets to charm your pants off fast (you have been warned!)

1. The boss of drive duels: Yonex Nanoflare 800 Pro

lightweight badminton rackets - nanoflare 800 example

The Yonex Nanoflare 800 was recently reintroduced in four variations depending on skill level. The flagship Pro and Tour for advanced players, the Game for intermediates, and the Play model for beginners.

While I haven’t had a chance to get one of them on court for a test yet, Yonex is positioning them as rackets specializing in counter drives. That’s especially relevant in fast-paced doubles games with a lot of midcourt action that requires quick reactions.

As such, the Nanoflare 800 has an ultra-slim shaft to make it easier to get ready between two consecutive attacking shots you’ll have to defend your way out of.

As is often the case with lightweight and head light rackets, don’t expect the most powerful smashes or clears.

If you’re looking for something even lighter (but possibly too lightweight for most players), there’s also the Nanoflare 800LT edition.

2. The one with the fastest smash: Yonex Nanoflare 1000Z

When Yonex released their teaser for this racket with a test to claim the most powerful smash in the Guinness World Record book, I was confused, to say the least.

Historically, that has been assumed to come from head heavy beasts, but as this is a marketing stunt it doesn’t appear like they’ve done a head-to-head test against any other rackets.

The Nanoflare 1000Z is far too demanding for most players, including myself. That’s why I instead tested the intermediate-friend edition called Nanoflare 1000 Game. There’s also a beginner-friendly one called Nanoflare 1000 Play.

When I played with the intermediate edition, it felt like new technology had made it feel more whippy, which can help generate power during contact with the shuttle as opposed to a longer, harder swing that generates power from the moment like we know it from head heavy rackets.

At the time of writing this, the 1000Z is used by top singles player Lakshya Sen.

3. The head light singles racket: Victor Auraspeed 90K

Anders Antonsen recently won the Malaysian Open 2024 and several other top international tournaments playing with this racket.

Interestingly, often one of the few, if not the only player in the top 10 of men’s singles on the World Tour to play with a head light racket (I say “often” because the rankings change regularly). Rather than machine gunning power smashes, he uses this racket to win points with precise shot placement and fast midcourt shots among other things.

Since he’s playing with it, it’s fair to assume that it’s a demanding bastard of a racket that doesn’t lend itself to most intermediate or beginner players.

4. Mohammad Ahsan’s choice: Victor Auraspeed 100X

One of the two daddies Mohammad Ahsan’s preferred racket is the Victor Auraspeed 100X. While it’s too demanding for intermediate players like me, it’s reported to offer good control and angles. It’s fast, making it easy to stay on the attack in doubles and move your opponent around the court.

Its head light balance point and nearly stiff shaft give a smooth-feeling swing to nail the fast drive duels on doubles. Despite that, you’ll still be able to get you and your partner out of trouble with clears despite this being a nimble racket.


  • It’s challenging not to look like you’re biased toward Yonex when recommending rackets as not all popular brands make it easy to test and review their rackets
  • Rackets are more complex these days and you’ll even see lighter rackets begin head heavy which can be confusing if you’re used to them either being a sledgehammer or feather-like
  • The best lightweight badminton rackets tend to be particularly good for doubles games as they tend to be faster, or for beginner and intermediate players who just want to have fun and experience the intensity of the sport


Which is the lightest badminton racket?

The lightest badminton racket is the Apacs Feather Weight 55 racket at 8U or 58g.

Which badminton racket is best for lightweight?

There are many subcategories within lightweight badminton rackets and there isn’t one racket better than all the rest.

But a popular choice is the Yonex Nanoflare 800 or the Yonex Astrox 88S Pro.

Are lightweight badminton rackets good?

Lightweight badminton rackets are good if you know what to do with them. If they suit your playing style of being fast and counter-attacking, this type of racket will likely suit you better than if you prefer short rallies where you hammer the shuttle in the ground with a powerful smash. These rackets are often popular in doubles badminton games.

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