A great racket for players looking to make the leap from being a beginner to a solid intermediate-level player. Its lightweight build makes it easy to play all day, and the technology in the frame allows for heavy topspin (when complemented with the right strings).
The weight of it takes an adjustment period to ensure you have good rhythm on baseline strokes.
A basic tennis racket with a solid build — though affordable, it earns praise for not feeling "cheap." Comfortable hand grip adds to control. Lots of power — doesn't take a forceful stroke to send balls far.
Serious players may prefer a lighter racket. The frame doesn't feel as well made as pricier models.
A balanced tennis racket with a lot of head power. Fairly lightweight. Offers good maneuverability and limited vibration. Sold unstrung so you can customize how you want your strings to feel. A good racket for players who don't generate a ton of head speed.
Cracks developing in the frame have been reported — especially if you let your temper get the best of you.
Offers a nice balance of spin and power thanks to the aerodynamic head shape and lightweight build. The attractive finish also stands out on the court. Extremely effective tool for both men and women players.
You might hit the frame more frequently right after switching to this racket until you get used to it.
Offers a quality build comparable to adult models — aluminum construction and a lightweight feel. Comes in various sizes to fit each child's age range. Available in 3 fun colors.
Strings have been known to break after relatively gentle use. A few complaints of the grips slipping-falling off.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.