Similar to choosing a new racket, there is a LOT of choice when it comes to choosing your badminton string! The string you choose may significantly impact your game and many people do not know this.
A simple guide of how to choose the best badminton string:
0.61 - 0.68mm
0.66 - 0.72mm
0.70 - 0.75mm
The 2 main characteristics of badminton string are the string gauge and the feel. Therefore, this blog post will cover:
- String Gauge
- Feel of the String
- Hybrid String (Aerobite)
- What Badminton String Should You Use?
1) String Gauge
This is the thickness of the string, and it ranges from around 0.61mm to 0.75mm. Generally, the thicker the string, the more durable it is likely to be!
Yonex strings are currently the most popular strings on the market and we’re sure many of you will be familiar with them.
Strangely, the names of their strings don’t match up to their string gauge, to clear this up we have created the table below. This goes through Yonex’s most popular strings from the beginner end to their more advanced string.
This is the factory string many new rackets come with. This should only really be used for beginners who mainly play with plastic shuttles. You'll be doing well to break this string!
BG65 and BG65ti
These are popular strings amongst many club players, offering great durability and all-round playability.
This is a popular string amongst Yonex sponsored players. For example, I (Greg) string England's Marcus Ellis + Lauren Smith's rackets with this. They are currently ranked 9 in the world! It has a very hard feel and is more durable than other advanced strings.
This is a thin string with great repulsion and hitting sound. Many top players use this string such as Chris and Gabby Adcock. It does however lack durability.
This is a very thin string, and is used in the crosses of the popular new Aerobite hybrid range (this will be discussed later). Many top players are using this string such as Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota.
Victor name their strings in relation to the string gauge. For example, Victor have a range called VBS which has thicknesses of 0.63mm, 0.66mm, 0.68mm and 0.70mm. I use the VBS-66 Nano, and Jenny uses the VBS-68.
The VBS-63 is very popular with players such as Anders Antonsen who like a thinner string. Professional players who use a thinner string also usually have the luxury of being able to get their rackets restrung for free and as often as they like. They therefore don’t focus too much on the durability of a string!
All of the top Victor players now use strings in the VBS range. Lots of the Malaysian National team use VBS-68 (as they like to hit hard) and other players such as Tai Tzu Ying, Lee Yang, Greysia Polii and Robin Tabeling use either the VBS-63 or VBS-66 Nano.
Yonex vs. Victor String
After testing each of the Victor strings, they do match up quite closely to the Yonex strings. The VBS-70 is very similar to Yonex BG65 Ti, the VBS-68 is very similar to BG80 and the VBS-66 Nano is very similar to BG66 Ultimax.
I (Greg) used to use BG66 Ultimax and switched to VBS-66 Nano and I love it! In general I prefer thinner strings as they produce excellent control and have a very nice hitting sound. I would definitely recommend trying out a really thin string at some point if you haven’t already!
The string you regularly use should be determined by your playing style; this will be discussed shortly.
2) Feel of the String
The feel of the string is determined by the string core and coating. Strings will have a soft, medium or hard feeling and this alters how the string will play! The string core is determined by the materials used to make the string, however, I won’t delve deep into this as it’s a little boring and not a ‘need to know’. Usually the materials used in the string core are related to how thick the string is, which will inevitably impact the feel.
The string coating also has a large impact on the feel of the string, here are two interesting examples:
- Yonex have the BG80 and BG80 Power, which are the same thickness, however, they have a very different feel! This is because the BG80 Power has a different core and also a rougher coating, allowing for increased repulsion. This means you can get more power, hence the name!
- There is a difference in feel between different coloured strings. This is due to the coating on the string and its dye pigmentation. This is why many players will have a preference of colour.
For example, Yonex BG80 is available in a yellow and white version, and they have a slightly different feel. Despite the difference in feel many players around the world will still choose depending on what colour they prefer!
3) Hybrid String (Aerobite)
More recent developments in the feel of badminton string has come from hybrid strings such as the Yonex Aerobite string.
Hybrid string combines 2 different types of string together. A thicker, rougher string is used for the main strings and a thinner string is used on the cross strings.
There are 2 main advantages of this:
- Some people prefer the control and feel this setup can give you.
- When you break a string it is usually the main string that breaks so another benefit of having a thicker main string is that it should be more durable than stringing the racket with just 0.61mm string.
Tips For Stringing With Yonex Aerobite
If you are stringing with Aerobite, you should pay special attention not to tangle the string as it can easily kink and result in the string breaking. It may be a good idea to pre-stretch the string as soon as you remove it from the packaging to remove its coil memory.
The same does also apply to many other strings however Aerobite is the worst I have come across in badminton. It is similar to natural gut in tennis which is a nightmare! This is discussed further in our badminton string tension blog.
Another thing to note when stringing with Aerobite is that when tying the knots off on the cross string it is advised that you tie it off on the cross string and NOT the main string as you would usually do. This is because it can fray the main string and cause it to break.
5) What Badminton String Should You Use?
Your choice of badminton string should depend on your standard, playing style, personal preference and budget.
A thinner string (0.68mm or less) is suited towards more advanced players – this is because it will provide more control, feel and repulsion off the string bed.
A thicker string (0.70mm or more) is suited towards more intermediate / beginner players – this is because it will offer increased durability and potentially enable you to generate more power. You are also not likely to feel the benefits that an advanced string will offer you!
If you are a player who likes to use touch and control, then a thinner string will suit you more. In contrast, if you are a ‘power player’ then a thicker string may be more suitable.
I have also referred to the string feel in this post which provides additional factors to take into consideration. Once you know what your playing style requires it is down to your personal preference and budget.
If you don’t feel a massive difference between strings then it would make sense to choose a thicker string. This will be more durable, helping you break less strings and pay for less restrings!
For example, when I switched from Yonex BG65ti to Yonex BG66 Ultimax I went from breaking around 1 string per month to 2 strings per month and I even decreased the tension slightly! This may not seem a lot but it all adds up!
I have broken 5 strings in a session once and have seen players inside the top 10 in the world break 7 strings in a session! They definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this with a string over 0.70mm in thickness!
Having discussed all of this, there is no right and wrong – if you personally love the feel and sound of a really thin string (and don’t mind breaking more), then go for that! If you are an advanced player but are used to a hard, thicker string and don’t like the feel of thinner strings then stick with it.
A huge part of badminton is about confidence, so make sure you choose something that you are comfortable with and that suits your game.
The Next Step...
Once you have chosen your string, the second decision you need to make is what tension to have. This is just as, if not more important than the string in terms of providing control, power and desired durability.
To learn all about string tension (including what tension you should choose and how to test the tension) check out this blog post: Badminton String Tension – Everything You Need To Know!
Incase you missed our YouTube video on Badminton String: