What Are Badminton Strings Made Of? (Full String Guide)
When you look at the strings of a badminton racket, they all may seem the same from the outside, but that certainly isn’t the case. There are many materials and different types of badminton strings that can be focused on power, control, durability, shock absorption, and you name it.
In this article, I will teach you everything there is to know about badminton strings and how to choose the best strings for your personal skills and needs. But first, you need to understand what is badminton string is made of?
Badminton strings can be made out of nylon, polyester, or natural gut. Nylon strings are the cheapest option and often best for beginners and recreational players. Polyester strings are cheaper than natural gut strings, and natural gut strings are the most expensive original strings.
That’s a rough but accurate description of these strings. Next up, let’s dig deeper into these strings and see what benefits and disadvantages they hold.
- What Different Kinds of Badminton Strings Are There?
- How Does String Construction Affect The Strings?
- What String Tension Is Best for Badminton?
- What Thickness (Gauge) Is Best for Badminton?
- How to Choose Badminton Strings?
- How Long Do Badminton Strings Last?
- What Strings Do Professional Badminton Players Use?
- My Favorite Badminton Equipment
What Different Kinds of Badminton Strings Are There?
There are 3 main materials that badminton strings can be made of: Nylon, Polyester, and Natural Gut.
Nylon strings are the most common and most affordable string material out there. That’s because Nylon strings are easy to mass-produce, and the synthetic material doesn’t cost much.
The benefits of Nylon strings are that they are really durable, strong, and won’t absorb moisture, unlike natural gut strings. On the conside, Nylon strings don’t have a good feel and elasticity as the natural gut or polyester strings.
I highly recommend nylon strings for beginners because, at first, the string type really doesn’t matter if you don’t have such skills to take advantage of them. Nylon strings are cheap and durable, so beginners can really start easy with them.
Polyester string’s price range is between Nylon and Natural gut strings and can come in various construction styles, giving them specific features and specializations.
The great thing about polyester strings is that that they fit well for control and spin-oriented playstyles. Also, the durability is quite good. On the con side, they can be quite stiff, so if you are suffering from a tennis elbow or other arm pain, they might not be the most comfortable strings to use.
Polyester strings are great from beginners to world-class professionals because there are so many different styles and models.
3. Natural gut
Natural gut strings are made out of what it sounds like, gut. Specifically, natural gut strings are made out of the cow’s intestine, so they aren’t cheap. In fact, natural gut strings are the most expensive ones. They are the original strings used in badminton, tennis, and other racket sports that became before nylon or polyester strings were invented.
Anyways, natural gut strings are great for power and feel, which is why many professional players use them. On the other hand, they are less prone to break, can absorb moisture, and won’t like excessive hot sunlight.
I recommend natural gut strings for people that take badminton seriously because they aren’t cheap and will break sooner than nylon or polyester strings most of the time.
A badminton racket can be equipped with a hybrid stringing as well. Don’t mistake hybrid strings as a material because this means that the racket is stringed with two kinds of different strings.
For example, you could string your badminton racket ( learn the cost) with nylon and polyester strings, creating characteristics that wouldn’t be available otherwise. This depends on the different sets of strings, and I wouldn’t recommend making hybrid strings if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.
The most common hybrid string job is setting monofilament strings in the mains and multifilament strings in the crosses. This gives durability because the durable mains take the most of the shock from the shuttlecock, whereas the softer multifilament strings on the crosses give more feel to the game.
Now, what are monofilament and multifilament strings? And how does the string construction affect the features? You’ll find that out next.
How Does String Construction Affect The Strings?
So many things need to be considered before deciding the strings of your own. Here is some information every badminton player should know about strings:
- More elastic strings equal more power.
- Elastic strings lose tension faster than stiff ones.
- Longer strings produce more power. String length depends on the racket head size.
- Soft strings are easier for your arm because they create less vibration.
These are important things to keep in mind when browsing different strings that could be good for you. Then, there are monofilament and multifilament strings. Let’s look at the difference between them.
A monofilament string means that they are made from a single thread of material. There are Nylon and Polyester monofilament strings, and the benefit of a single thread is superior durability.
Often, durable strings are stiff, which means a lesser feel to the game and more vibrations to your hand. However, thanks to advanced technology, there is no longer only one kind of monofilament string because there are also variations in the hardness.
But in general, monofilament strings are harder and more durable than multifilament strings.
Multifilament strings are made out of hundreds of extremely thin threads that are combined by weaving them together. Most multifilament strings are polyester strings.
By weaving hundreds of threads together, you will get softer, feel, and control-oriented strings compared o monofilament strings. On the conside, multifilament strings aren’t so durable, and they will lose tension faster. Also, multifilament strings are more expensive than monofilament strings.
Take a look at the table below and see where each string type is best for. I have graded the features with + and -. + Means in favor of and – means against.
|Feature||Monofilament String||Multifilament String|
|Cost||Cheaper +||More expensive –|
|Durability||More durable +||Less durable –|
|Control||Good +||Good +|
|Feel & Comfort||Worse –||Better +|
|Power||Lower –||Better +|
Take notice that the string thickness, tension, other factors you learned above have a drastic effect on the playability and features of the strings. So don’t blindly think that monofilament is always cheaper than multifilament strings, and so on.
What String Tension Is Best for Badminton?
Before going into how different string tensions affect the game, you need to understand one thing about tension as a whole. If you have two sets of the same string and you add the strings to two different sized rackets, your string stiffness will be different, and so will the playability, even when the string tension is the same.
Now, here is some information that you should know about string tension:
- Lower string tension equals more power because of the trampoline effect.
- Lower string tension equals more durability (usually).
- Higher string tension equals more control.
- A racket with a smaller head has a higher string stiffness which gives more control.
That being said, always read the string tension from the package, consult your stringer about desired tension, and check the racket head size before stringing. You can always string your own badminton racket, but you need instructions if you are a first-timer.
Generally, badminton rackets have string tension between 16-30+ lbs. The higher the tension, the more advanced skills you need. Take a look at the table below to see how does the tension affects the racket.
|Player Level||String Tension||Power||Elasticity||Feel & Control||Durability|
|Beginner||Low / 16-20lbs||High||High||Low||High|
|Intermediate||Medium / 20-24lbs||Medium-High||High-Medium||Medium||High-Medium|
|Advanced||High / 24-28lbs||Medium||Medium||High-Medium||Medium|
|Professional||Highest / 28-30+ lbs||Low||Low||High||Low|
What Thickness (Gauge) Is Best for Badminton?
There is a rule of thumb to follow when it comes to the string thickness, also called gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the string when measured in American gauges, but when measured in International gauges, the higher the gauge, the thicker the string.
As you can imagine, the string thickness has a say on what it is like to play with it. Both thick and thin strings have advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at them.
|Feature||Thin Strings||Thick Strings|
|Power||Higher +||Lower –|
|Spin||Higher +||Lower –|
|Durability||Lower –||Higher +|
|Feel & Comfort||Higher +||Lower –|
|Tension loss||Higher –||Lower +|
Generally, you can get badminton strings between 0.60-0.70mm in diameter, where 0.60mm are the thinnest and 0.70mm are the thickest. As you can see, thick strings are better in durability and have less tension loss, but thin strings are better in playability.
That’s why all professional players play with thin strings, even tho they need to change and restring more often. For a recreational player or hobbyist at home, thicker strings may be a better choice because you don’t need to restring nearly as often.
How to Choose Badminton Strings?
When choosing badminton strings for yourself, you need to think really hard about what kind of player you are. Are you a recreational player that plays occasionally and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money? Are you a serious badminton player that wants only the best performance? Or are you something in between? Don’t worry; there is something for everyone!
Generally, there are three string categories: Power, Control, and Durable strings. (Click string to see example)
- Power strings, such as the Yonex BG-Aerosonic, are popular amongst advanced badminton players. Power strings are really thin and elastic, generating the maximum trampoline effect for power and speed. These strings are great for experienced players because power strings require great skill. Also, any offensive player will like power strings.
- Control strings, such as the Yonex BG-80, are popular in all player types, from beginner to professional. These strings are often somewhere between 0.60mm and 0.70mm in thickness. Control strings are great for all that prefer feel, control, and spin in their game.
- Durable strings, such as the Yonex BG65, are extremely popular in advanced, and especially beginner players. Durability strings are often the thickest size (0.70mm) because they last the longest and lose the least tension. These strings are great for players that train often and don’t want to constantly restring and want reliability to their game.
After deciding your player type, you need to think about the tension your strings added to your racket. Here are the recommendations for string tension, depending on your skill level.
- Beginner: 16-20lbs
- Intermediate: 20-24lbs
- Advanced: 24-28lbs
- Professional: 28-30+ lbs
The higher the tension, the harder it is to generate power and speed for your shots. That’s why more skilled players can use higher string tension because they can add great power regardless of what kinds of strings they use. Beginner players can use the power boost from the strings.
When you can generate great power from your body, the higher tension strings will bring great feel and control to the game, and that’s when you will start to dominate the game. When your skills improve, you can increase the string tension.
By thinking about your player type, and skill level, you can get the best strings you can have for your current situation. Refresh your memory by looking at the things we went through if you forgot something because there is a lot to learn at one time when it comes to badminton strings.
How Long Do Badminton Strings Last?
Many things affect the lifespan of badminton strings. However, what is the average time?
In most cases, badminton strings last from 6 to 9 months. However, the string construction type, tension, gauge, and material drastically affect the actual time. Also, how often you play and your skill level will affect the string’s lifespan. Overall, badminton strings last from 1 to 12 months.
As you can see, there are simply too many variables that determine an accurate average badminton string lifespan, so I would just have backup strings in my bag and forget about the time.
What Strings Do Professional Badminton Players Use?
Professional badminton players often use either power or control strings. Sometimes they will make a hybrid stringing, and as in all people, it really depends on the person. However, what is commonly used string amongst pro badminton players?
Nearly all badminton players use strings that are meant for speed and power. Strings such as Yonex BG-80 strung to +28lb tension is a very popular choice amongst professional Badminton players. These strings and a high tension provide great power and speed, in addition to incredible feel and control.
My Favorite Badminton Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find some badminton equipment that I love and think you could like!
- Racket: My favorite badminton racket is the Yanox Carbonex 8000 because it fits well with my controlling playstyle. This racket is made from graphite & aluminum and weighs around 85 to 90grams, so it’s medium weight and durable. I love the control and accuracy of this racket, and the design makes me want to play badminton.
- Shuttlecocks: I like to play with yellow nylon shuttlecocks because most courts I play badminton on have a light environment, and I’m not playing at a competitive level. So, I don’t want to spend insane much money on feathers shuttlecocks because they often break. That’s why Yonex Mavis 350 shuttlecocks are my absolute favorite.
- Badminton shoes: When it comes to badminton shoes, they need to have excellent support, shock absorption, and cushioning. As you can see, I’m a Yonex lover, and that’s why I play badminton with Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion Z badminton shoes!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.