How to Choose the Best Badminton String

​Whether you have just started getting into badminton or you have been doing it for years, you may not know just how important racket maintenance is.

The right racket can last you for several years if you care for it properly, and the most important part of the racket to maintain, the strings, can be rather difficult, especially when it comes to restringing them.

That is why we made this thorough buying guide that answers nearly every question you may have about finding and changing the best replacement strings for your racket, including why it is so important to pay attention to certain details.

Take a look at some of the best strings that you can get today along with their similarities and differences.

Our Top Rated Badminton String for 2020

1. Yonex BG 66 Ultimax - Top Pick for 2020

​When it comes to the appearance, this is one of the more appealing strings to look at depending on the colour. It is available in metallic white, black, yellow, neon pink, pearl navy, red, orange, and light green. All of the colours are the same size, but their prices do vary; some being nearly twice as much as others.


If you are the type to 'smash' (over swinging), then you will probably like these strings since they are less powerful than some of the others. However, you will have to have good aiming control if you over swing to make up for the lack of power, making it a little more ideal for intermediates or beginners who want a challenge.


It has a pretty average sound, too, giving a moderate noise despite any over swinging. Although, it is a little less durable than expected, even for a smaller-gauged string. Because of this, you may want to have the tension slightly looser than you normally would but only by a half-pound to a pound. This can help to prolong its life by a few weeks to months.

Pros

  • Has a medium sound 
  • Available in many colours
  • Is great for beginner and intermediate players

Cons

  • Not the most durable

​This is another string by Yonex, and it is actually really similar to the previous one. It is available in multiple colours, but this one actually has a different gauge size (0.68mm) and feeling (hard), making it a bit more durable and noticeable by the player when hitting the shuttlecock.


Because it is a little more durable but has a hard feeling, this is one of the best choices for new users who want better control but still want a powerful swing.These strings are also available in different colours, too; black, royal blue, bright green, sky blue, violet, white, and yellow.


This string is one of the loudest out of all of the others on this list, which is probably due to the harder feeling of the string.


Despite being thicker and more durable than the last string, this one also tends to snap at higher tension levels, like the last string. Also, despite the easier control, the loudness and power can take some time for new users to get used to, making it more suited for intermediate players.

Pros

  • Has a louder sound 
  • Available in several colours
  • Is great for intermediate players

Cons

  • Is a little too powerful for beginners

​ASHAWAY strings are a little less popular than the last few strings, but this is actually one of the better strings for beginners. They only come in ivory white, so they are less customizable than the other strings, but they can actually support higher than average tensions; between 23 and 30 pounds. This is mostly because of the unique, multi-material base that the string is made of.


Despite being thinner and more powerful, this one possibly one of the most durable strings on this list. It can handle many overswings often, even if the tension is set to the higher limits we just mentioned.


The biggest downside would have to be that because the model is older, they are not in stock as often as the other strings and finding them in stores can be very difficult.


Still, as long as you are not a constant slammer, you may want to give this string some serious thought, especially if you are a beginner and want a good balance between power and durability.

Pros

  • Can support stronger tensions (23 to 30 pounds) 
  • Is great for beginner players
  • Is a multi-material-based string

Cons

  • Is less popular

​Li-Ning is one of the more popular overseas brands, but they can be more expensive depending on where they are being sold and if they are a less popular model. Unfortunately, that is the case for these strings despite being one of the higher quality ones that they make.


These strings are very similar to the first product since it has an average sound and is meant to be more powerful than it is durable. They are also ideal for beginners because of their power level, but they are also a little more for intermediate players because of their lack of control.


The biggest vice with this product is the lack of durability, which is possibly the biggest reason it is less popular than the others. Even though the gauge is smaller than most, this one seems to snap more often than some of the other strings. It seems like the only way to prevent snapping is to have the tension between low and low-medium.

Pros

  • Has a medium sound
  • Is more powerful
  • Is great for beginner and intermediate players

Cons

  • Is less popular

​The last on this list, this is yet another string by Yonex, but this is one of their longest spools that they have; being 200 meters (656 feet) long. It is also the thinnest string on this list, having a gauge of only 0.61mm, and it is only available in an opaque white.


Unfortunately, this string does break the rare trend that we found with the previous products where some thin strings were still durable, but this is one of the most powerful strings both on and off this list.


This is actually one of the least durable strings that we have found, and it is all because of the gauge size. It is probably more durable than it could have been since it is a multi-material based string, but that is just one possibility.


Because it is so thin and sensitive, it is not recommended for beginners to use unless you are fine with changing the string every few matches. Otherwise, if you are use to knowing your preferred tension strength, swinging strength, and have experience with thin or thinner than average strings, this is still a good option for you.


Even if you do use too much strength occasionally and end up breaking the string, this 1 spool is enough for up to 20 restringing, making it one of the cheapest options in the long run.

Pros

  • Is one of the largest spools available 
  • Is great for experienced players
  • Is a multi-material-based string

Cons

  • Is less affordable (initially)

Comparison table

 

Product

Gauge

Material

Length

Feeling

Best for

Yonex BG 66 Ultimax

0.65mm

Nylon

10 meters (33 feet)

Medium

Smashing

Yonex BG 80

0.68mm

Nylon

10 meters (33 feet)

Hard

Control and power

ASHAWAY ZyMax 66 Fire Power

0.66mm

BETA Polymer

10 meters (33 feet)

Soft

Power

Li-Ning Brand Badminton String NO.1

0.65mm

Nylon

10 meters (33 feet)

N/A

Durability

Yonex Aerosonic 200m

0.61mm

Nylon/Polymer blend

200 meters (656 feet)

Medium

Buying in bulk

Choosing The Best Badminton String - The Ultimate Buying Guide

If you are new to the sport or you have not looked into your strings, here is a buying guide that can help you know what to look for when choosing a replacement string.

We also answered the most common questions that people ask when it comes to changing their strings including why and how it is so important. We also included a few simple steps on how to change your strings.

Material

For beginners, you may want to start with a simple single-based material like nylon or polyester. Other multi-material-based strings can seem a little confusing if you have little to no experience with the main, different types of materials.

If you have had more experience with the main types of materials and you are looking for a new feeling/power level, know that it can be a little more difficult finding a multi-material-based string, but they are usually the same price as a single-material-based string.

Feeling

If you have played baseball and like the feeling of the reverb from the ball hitting the bat, then you may be more prone to hard strings. The same can be said for softball and soft strings in the sense that you notice the contact much less, if at all.

While you should think about the string feeling, you probably do not want to base your buying decision on the feeling alone since you can always change the tension of the string, which can affect the feeling.

Gauge

The gauge refers to the thickness of the string which links directly to how powerful or durable the string it. The gauge is almost always measured in millimetres, the sizes are usually being between 0.62mm (being the thinnest and most flexible/powerful) and 0.75mm (being the thickest and least flexible).

The most popular gauges for beginners are usually between 0.65mm and 0.7mm since these are usually a good medium to start out with since they allow the player to get used to the power and durability.If you do not play too often, it can be a good idea to stay in the middle so that the varying strengths in your swinging will not affect the durability of the string. If you play more frequently or compete, then you may want to get a more customised gauge for your style of playing, but we will talk about that later.

Length

This has less to do with the quality of your performance and is more about the best deal you can get. Most strings come in 10-meter (33-foot) rolls since it is a little more than enough to restring a single racket. This can be great if you want to try out a new string type, material, gauge, or feeling.

If you have a favourite string preference and think you will stick with it for more than several months or years, then you may want to get a larger spool or a multi-pack since they can be more affordable in the long run. Some of the larger spools can be as long as 200 meters (656 feet), and some of the larger packs can come with up to 5 or more 10-meter rolls, sometimes in different colours.

Colour

This is a trait that is entirely up to your preference and has no effect on your performance unless you get easily distracted by bright or neon colours. If that is the case, then you may want to get a more neutral colour like white or black.

The most popular colours that badminton strings come in are white, yellow, black, red, blue, pink, and green, but there are some strings that come in purple, orange, and even metallic silver or gold.

What type of String Should You get? A Durable One or A Powerful One?

This depends on what kind of player you are, but the first thing you should know is what makes a string more durable or powerful.

Strings that are more powerful are generally thinner. These can be best if you are a beginner or use less strength when it comes to your swings because the flexibility of the string allows the shuttlecock to be thrown far without much effort. Of course, this also means that because the strings are thinner, they are more likely to snap, especially if you tend to over swing.

Durable strings are nearly completely the opposite; they are thicker and less flexible. Of course, this means that you will need to swing harder, but you are also less likely to break the string from over swinging; needless to say, you will not have to replace them as often, too. Because more strength is needed, you may not want to get a durable string unless you are used to playing the game or you want to train/play harder and build up your muscles.

Why You Should Pay Attention to the Sound of the String

You may notice that some strings tend to list their noise levels. This is less of a technical aspect that can affect the power of the strings, but it still can affect the quality of your performance.

For players who have plenty of experience with a specific string type or a new user who has no experience whatsoever, it can be a bit surprising when you have just changed your string and the sound the racket makes when hitting a shuttlecock is very different than what you expect.

Whether you are expecting a loud or a softer sound, when the opposite happens, it can make you hesitate and lose focus in the game because you are unsure of what happened.

It is actually quite common for people to think they either missed the shuttlecock because of how quiet the strings are or think they may have damaged their racket and/or the strings because of how loud the contact was. It can also be frustrating if loud or soft sounds bother you physically or psychologically, all of which can and will lead to your performance suffering.

How the Feeling can Affect Your Game

One thing that may pop out at you when looking at replacement strings is that nearly all of the packages have a note on them about the feeling, usually saying soft, medium, or hard.

These feelings are not about how the string itself feels. This is mainly the feeling of when the shuttlecock makes contact with the racket.

Essentially, the feeling of the string is how much you will feel the contact of the shuttlecock when it hits your racket. When you hit a shuttlecock with a hard string, you tend to feel it much more in your hand and wrist than if you were using a soft string.

If you have not gotten the chance to test out the different feelings, you might want to start with a medium string to see how it feels, and then you can choose to get a soft string if it is too uncomfortable or a hard string if you cannot tell if you hit the shuttlecock.

What Tension Level Should You have Your Racket at?

This aspect gets a little technical since it involves knowing the force that the string is threaded at, which is usually measured in pounds, but for now, we will just be telling you about how the different tension levels (loose, tight, or in the middle) can affect you and the racket itself.

Rackets that have a loose tension level, around 18 pounds or so, can make it easier for you to feel fewer vibrations when you hit the shuttlecock, similar to the feeling of the string itself. However, rackets with lower string tension tend to need a more powerful swing when compared to strings with higher tension. On the other hand, they also tend to last longer because there is less pressure on the string.

Rackets with higher tension, around 23 pounds or so, can make you feel the shuttlecock more during the swing. They also require less swinging strength, which can be better for controlling your aim, but they seem to be more prone to straining the string and causing fraying and/or snapping sooner.

Needless to say, strings with a tension between the two, around 20 to 21 pounds, can have mixed characteristics. If you want a more favored mix of traits (ex. lower or higher), you may want to try tensions around either 19.5 for lower levels or 21.5 for high levels, but trying to get exact tensions like this can be a bit trickier for new users.

How the Material of the String can Affect Your Game

Nearly all strings out there are made of nylon, but there are a few that are made of polyester or a blend of other materials. Choosing a string based on the material is very similar to choosing it based on the type (power vs durability).

Strings made from mostly nylon seem to be more durable than other materials, but they are usually less powerful than other strings that are made from materials like polyester. The opposite can be said for polyester strings though; they tend to be more powerful, usually because they are designed to be more flexible, but less durable.

The same basis can be said for strings that are made of a single material vs multiple materials combined. Single-material-based strings are usually more durable while multi-material-based strings tend to be more flexible and powerful; this only depends on what types of materials are used together.

However, it can be harder to find strings that are made from multiple materials as opposed to strings that are made from a single material.

When You Should Change Your String

Obviously, if your racket has a big hole through it, you will need to replace it as soon as possible, but the same can be said if you have a smaller-sized hole or even a single thread that has snapped.

You might not think so, but even if only one thread has snapped, it can drastically affect each swing you make until you get the string changed, and this can be very inconvenient if you have competitions; local or professional.

String fraying is also a sign that you should replace it soon, too. Fraying threads can decrease the strength of the racket more than you think, especially if the thread is on its last limbs.

The least obvious way to tell if you should change your string is if they are not as strong anymore, despite no change in the strength of your swings or damage to the racket. This is usually because either the string has lost its tension, which is likely to happen the more you use the racket, or because the string is becoming weaker and is on the verge of fraying or snapping.

How Should You take Care of Your Racket and the String?

Make sure you keep the racket stored in a safe place where it cannot get damaged when you are not using it. The best place is usually inside a special carrying case, which is something you may already have since they are the most ideal way to carry your badminton equipment around.

Cleaning them can be pretty easy since all you need is a damp cloth. After making sure that the cloth is only damp with warm water (not wet), carefully wipe the racket down with little to no force.

This can lift up dust easily, but if you got it dirty to the point where it's coated, you may want to run it over some warm water from a sink or tub. Just make sure that the water pressure is not strong enough to move the strings before you wash it off.

When you are done, give it a quick wipe down with a dry rag before storing it away. It is also a good idea to check it for any damage after you clean it since this will be the easiest way to see any damage to the racket or threads.

How to Change A Badminton String

Expect to spend anywhere from a half-hour to 2 hours on restringing a racket depending on how skilled you are with your hands and how experienced you are.

Step 1: Get Your Tools

Some of the things that you will need are a pair of slip-joint pliers and a pair of utility scissors. If you do not have these, it may be more affordable to get a stringing tool kit, and it can be more convenient if you are planning on playing and/or needing to restring your racket often.

If you do not want to string it manually, there are special badminton racket stringing machines that can be quicker and easier, too. They can also help to get the tension level much more accurate than if you were doing it manually by hand, but prepared for the rather expensive costs.

Step 2: Clean the Racket and Remove the Old Strings

If you have not done it already, make sure the racket is cleaned before you start stringing. It the old string is still threaded on the racket, it can be easier to remove it if you clean the racket before you try removing it.

Make sure that there are no small pieces of the old string stuck in the holes are along the edge of the racket; this can cause delays or mistakes while you are putting on the new string.

Cleaning the racket again after the old string is out is a good way to get any dirt out of the holes, too. Read above to find out one of the best ways to clean your racket (how you should take care of it).

Step 3: Start Threading

Put the string through the bottom of the middle hole, through the top hole, over to the other middle hole (opposite to the one you started on), and then down through the bottom hole. Both sides of the string should be along the racket's handle. Make sure the lengths are even before threading each side until you reach the end of that area or you run out of string.

Once you are done with this vertical stringing, you will string the horizontal threads next in the same way with two exceptions: you will be weaving the threads along the vertical and you will be starting from the end instead of the middle of the racket.

For more thorough instructions with pictures, check out this instruction guide on ifixit.com.

Step 4: Tying the Ends

Once you get to the end of the string or racket, you will need to tie off the ends as tightly as you can to prevent the strings from becoming loose quickly after you finished the restringing.


It is a good idea to double knot the end of the string since it provides extra strength, and then you should use the scissors to cut off the ends of the knots. One of the best reasons to cut the ends off is to prevent it from catching on the inner part of your racket bag or carrying case.


Conclusion

Now that you know nearly all there is to know about your badminton racket strings, you can find one that is best for you and your playing; after all, everyone has different preferences.

Just remember, if you cannot change the strings yourself or you simply do not want to, many sporting goods stores can do that, but be prepared for any large or small fees that come with the service.

All that is left now is for you to head out and start getting used to your newly changed strings.

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