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Badminton 3u Vs 4u Racket – Full guide to the best racket for you

Just like other strenuous sports, badminton is a challenging one. Let alone consider only badminton rackets and you’ll find many options for the same. And it is easy to get confused while making a purchase decision.

The 4U is stronger and heavier. They are ideal for power shots or shots above shoulder height. The 3U racket has a lighter weight better suited to fast pace, short game play.

The task of selecting an ideal badminton racket and its correct type is quite daunting. But to ease things, we can break down the process into little parts.

Close-up of Badminton Rackets

While buying your first badminton racket or replacing an older one the primary question that you’ll have to ask is what type of player you are, or what player position you want to be in future?

  • All round
  • Power Attacking
  • Quick reactions to the Rallies
  • Touch and Control, through moving players throughout the court for making space

Many players want to play quickly, attacking game, but for winning you require a lot more than only a powerful smash.

To help you decide, you have to consider the reasons why you sometimes lose rallies: Is it because you have a slow reaction time? Do you have effective attacks? Do you have an all-round consistent game?

Depending on the answers to these questions you can work on the type of racket you would like to select. Generally badminton players select from 3U and 4U in Badminton Rackets.

Main Differences between 3U and 4U

3U rackets were used as the standard up until about two decades ago, making them nearly obsolete now. Their smaller head and lighter weight make them easier to handle over larger 4U rackets. Not as much power is generated with a 3U versus a 4U racket.

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The main difference between 3U and 4U is the size of the badminton racket. This in turn impacts the weight and also the power in the shot. Let’s take a look at a few of these differences.

5 differences between 3U and 4U rackets:

  • The head of a 3U racket is smaller than that of a 4u
  • The weight on the rackets are much lighter for 3Us
  • The power generated with a 3U is less than that of a 4u
  • A 3U is easier to handle over larger 4Us
  • There has been an outdated shift from using 3Us to 4us

Some players prefer playing with the 4U because it has a heavier head and more powerful shots. But playing with a 4U can be a really tough job because these rackets are heavier than 3Us, so players need to put in a lot of effort.

A lighter racket makes it easy for you to take full swings from your wrist or from your shoulder without requiring too much elbow movement. It gives you a longer reach and also reduces the strain on your arms, making it easier to play for long sessions.

On the other hand, a heavier racket makes it easier to generate more power from each of your strokes because of its increased mass. This is why players usually prefer using heavy rackets while playing defensive shots or smashes. This is because they have a lot of power and need less effort to be put in it while playing.

Power Rackets

As you’re searching for rackets that are helpful in smashing harder, it is suggested to have:

  • Medium shaft of flex racket
  • Head heavy badminton rackets
  • Badminton rackets with such specifications are known as power rackets.
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Whether you should select the 2U, 3U or the 4U? To get a clear perspective on this question it is best to try to hold the badminton racket and make a few gentle strokes.

Make sure to select the weight you’re most comfortable with. In this case, getting heavier racket wouldn’t mean that you’ll be able to get better smash shots. For newbies and intermediates alike a 3U badminton racket is a great choice. Many people currently use the 3U and having it wouldn’t be problematic as well. 

Besides badminton racket itself, the string tension that you’re using on the racket also determines the overall power that your racket has. Typically it is recommended to have the badminton string and string tension according to your style and type of play. 

What To Consider When Choosing a Badminton Racket?

Normally 3 important aspects are there for considering while buying as both can be modified:

  • Strings Used and Strings Racket Tension
  • Grip Sizes
  • Balance

All aspects have many differences with the type of play they’ve got.

3 general categories are there for aspects – Head light, head heavy and even balance. To put this in simple terms it means where the weight gets shifted in the racket. It is simple to find what racket balance is and balance racket shaft on the finger in middle. Depending on how it is falling, it will provide you its weight. 

  • Even Balance – For even balance rackets we need to consider even weight distribution of around 280 to 300mm. These are versatile rackets with all round styles for all game types. The rackets classified under even balance scope provide you with power at back and with speed for court front games. Also this helps you in reacting to any game style.
  • Head Heavy – Here the badminton racket’s head should be up to 300mm for power attack. This is preferred for players in back of the court, for smashing power and increased clear shots. Most are suitable for mixed doubles or singles game.
  • Head Light – In head light type rackets the handle’s weight is lesser than 288mm. This helps in providing quicker reactions for the Rallies. These rackets are Ideal for defensive shots that require quick reactions or fast flat and quick game style seen often in the doubles.
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Thus, in between these considerations there is a sweet spot, specific to all individual badminton players. Beginner players have improved techniques and the ones with reduced arm speed and strength often consider 3u heavy head racket with flexible shaft, because the balance and weight are helpful in sending shuttle further compared to lighter and non-head heavy badminton rackets. 

Players having more experience can be considered as intermediate or advanced and they benefit from light racket. This lets them reach the shuttle much earlier while aiding in better defense while driving rallies with improved airspeed to get better smashes. 

Also differences in playing techniques can also be a vital factor in the flex which is best suitable. A few players won’t use slow arm motion, while others use explosive wrist actions for their shots. It makes difference in the choice of racket.