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Best Tennis Rackets

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 15 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 127 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best tennis rackets

    Last Updated November 2018

    Tennis, anyone? Tennis is a great way to enjoy exercise, fun, and a bit of competition. You can play tennis all year long if you have access to an indoor court, and outdoor courts are pretty easy to find, too.

    Owning the right tennis racket can make your tennis experience even more fun and fulfilling. There is some variation between different rackets; they’re definitely not all the same. For example, beginners would benefit from a racket that is more forgiving of errant shots.

    If you’re interested in buying a new tennis racket, we invite you to check out our favorites and purchase with confidence. If you’re looking for more information about tennis rackets in general, you can find that in our shopping guide.

    Tennis rackets are no longer made of wood. Aluminum and graphite are the preferred materials now, as they are stronger and lighter than wood.

    Best tennis rackets for different players

    Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you need to have the right tennis racket for your experience level. Some beginners erroneously think that an “advanced” racket will make them an advanced player. In truth, a tennis racket with advanced features doesn’t help a novice player because he or she cannot take advantage of the racket’s features. Plus, advanced rackets tend to cost more.

    Tennis rackets for beginners

    Head size: A racket with a larger head is more forgiving of shots that are not struck properly. Head sizes of 105 square inches or larger are good for tennis beginners.

    Length: A racket length of 25 to 27 inches is good for beginners, as it provides more control over the serve.

    Weight: New players may want a lighter racket of 310 grams or less. A lighter racket allows the beginner to practice for longer periods of time without tiring. However, a lighter racket doesn’t deliver the power that a heavier racket does.

    A mid-sized tennis racket, also called a midplus racket, offers more control on shot placement than an oversized racket.

    Tennis rackets for intermediate and advanced players

    Head size: If you’d like a little more control over your shot placement and ball spin, a smaller head size is desirable. A racket head of 100 square inches or less will give you more control over your shots.

    Length: Rackets that are 28 or 29 inches in length give intermediate and advanced players more power on their serves.

    Weight: A heavier racket of 320 grams or more can help an experienced player gain more power on shots. An advanced player should be able to handle the extra weight thanks to muscle memory built up over the years.

    The thickness of the head of the racket’s frame is called beam width. A racket with a thicker beam width delivers more power than a racket with a thinner beam width.

    Tennis rackets for kids

    Head size: Kids need a racket they can swing and control easily. Although it would make sense to give a youngster a racket with a large head because it’s more forgiving, a racket with a larger head may be too heavy for a child to swing properly.

    Length: A shorter racket of 21 inches or less is good for preschoolers. Preteens can use rackets that are 22 to 24 inches in length. Teens can use adult-size rackets most of the time.

    Weight: A lighter racket makes more sense for a child. If you opt for a shorter racket, you’re likely to save on weight automatically.

    Tennis racket manufacturers do make rackets sized appropriately for children, so look for that type of racket with the length to match the child’s age.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Don’t buy a racket that’s too heavy for you to use for an entire match or practice session without suffering fatigue. If you do, you could suffer an injury.

    Tennis racket materials

    Frame

    If you have an old wooden tennis racket in your basement, you are way behind the times. Tennis racket frames have been made from materials other than wood for a few decades. Two of the most common materials are aluminum and graphite.

    • Aluminum frames: The least-expensive types of tennis rackets tend to have aluminum frames. These frames deliver a nice level of power, but they can be dented, bent, and scratched easily. Precise shots may be more difficult to make with an aluminum frame.

    • Composite graphite frames: Some racket manufacturers mix graphite with other materials, such as fiberglass or titanium, to create a composite frame. (Graphite is a material derived from carbon.) A composite frame is tough but lightweight, and it has some flex to it. If you need a forgiving racket that puts less pressure on your elbow and wrist joints, consider one with a composite graphite frame.

    • Graphite frames: A graphite tennis racket frame feels light but is stiff, tough, and powerful enough for regular use. Notably, a racket made of this material can be tougher on the elbow and wrist joints.

    An oversized tennis racket gives you a bigger sweet spot, which yields more forgiveness on errant shots.

    Grips

    The grip on the handle of the tennis racket may consist of rubber, leather, or synthetic materials.

    • Rubber provides a sticky grip but is the least-durable choice.

    • Leather grips have a comfortable feel, but they can become slick with sweat.

    • Synthetic materials may have texture on the surface, which improves grip.

    Although it’s tempting to purchase the lightest racket available, a slightly heavier racket will give you better power.

    Strings

    Nylon is the most common type of string material. Manufacturers offer nylon strings in varying levels of firmness, helping the player gain the exact ball control desired.

    Some manufacturers combine polyester and nylon strings to create more “feel” and shot precision. The most expensive and desirable string for advanced players is made from animal intestines, called natural gut. These strings are only on found on the priciest of tennis rackets.

    EXPERT TIP

    Longer tennis rackets give you slightly better coverage of the court, but they’re far more difficult to control.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tennis racket prices

    As with most types of sporting equipment, you can find tennis rackets in nearly any price point. However, that doesn’t mean you have to purchase a racket at the highest price point to receive the best quality for your skill level.

    • $20 to $50: A low-priced tennis racket will be aimed more at kids, as it will be a small racket. Such rackets probably won’t have the highest-quality strings installed, which means you will need a restringing relatively quickly. You may find rackets made from aluminum in this price range.

    • $50 to $200: A mid-range tennis racket will fit the needs of most beginning and intermediate players. It will have quality materials in the frame, such as graphite or composite graphite. Rackets with larger heads fit in this price range, too.

    • $200 and Higher: If you want the highest quality, look for a tennis racket in this price range. The frame will be tailored to the specific needs of intermediate and advanced players in terms of head size and stiffness. These rackets allow for precise shot-making for experienced players.
    The thickness of the head of the racket’s frame is called beam width. A racket with a thicker beam width delivers more power than a racket with a thinner beam width.

    FAQ

    Q. What type of tennis racket will yield more power on shots?
    A.
    To gain more power, select a tennis racket with a large head size and a long handle length. A heavier weight will deliver more power, too, as long as you can handle the weight without slowing down your swing speed and stressing your joints. Bear in mind that you’ll probably have to sacrifice some shot control if you buy a racket focused on increased power.

    Q. How do I find the right grip on the racket?
    A.
    Most rackets have a grip circumference of between 4 and 4.625 inches. If you pick the wrong size of grip, and you could suffer wrist or elbow strain. To find the best grip for your needs, measure the distance between the middle of your palm and the tip of the fourth finger on your dominant hand. Match this measurement to the circumference of the racket handle.

    Q. How important is the quality of the strings on a tennis racket?
    A.
    Better string quality certainly helps give you the ball control and speed you want. However, strings in a racket can be replaced easily at any tennis pro shop and most sporting goods stores. In fact, you will need to have your tennis racket restrung regularly, perhaps two to four times per year for novice and intermediate players. Daily players and advanced players will need to restring more often. So because you can have the racket restrung so easily, string quality when you buy the racket isn’t overly important.

    Q. How do I use a tennis racket properly to enhance the longevity of my investment?
    A.
    One of the biggest factors in terms of racket longevity is how the player treats is. Throwing or dropping a racket causes microfractures in the racket frame which add up over time, eventually causing a failure. When making ground strokes, avoid having the racket drag against the ground, as this could cause it to break down over time.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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