Badminton Racket String Tension Guide

Most common dilemma players have on their rackets

How much string tension should I put on my badminton rackets?

In the years we've been operating as a badminton shop, we've had clients who feel the 'tension' whenever they have to decide on the tension level of strings to be applied on their rackets. Some like it high and some like it low. Not many are exactly sure of the purpose of having the specific tension level and what it can do to their games and performance. Not many turned out to consider the injury that would take place as well.

That is what this article is about, it's to explain on the misconception and common mistakes badminton players make even before starting playing on courts.

High tension rackets has smaller sweet spot than a moderately strung racket.  It depends very much on a player to know the exact spot to hit on the racket to enjoy the benefit of good control in a high-tension strung racket. Potential injury could also be caused when a player needs to put in excessive arm strength to return a shot. We recommend only highly accomplished country players to have the string tension more than 28 lbs.

High tension contributes to better control solely, but not increased power and definitely not string's durability. The max tension stated in racket manufacturer's specification means that it can withstand up to that tension before it breaks. Most strings can never stand tension that high.

We may see a lot of new rackets produced and manufactured nowadays with very high tension, which is very good news not for players to experience new and higher tension feel on the racket, instead, it generally represents better durability of the racket frames.

The maximum tension level specified on the rackets are factory tested limit which is usually the breaking point of the racket frame. Machines are involved in these stress tests, not human. These machine which we call the ‘destroyers’, apply pressures up to 50kg at several positions of a racket during damage testing, torsion testing as well as shelf-life testing to name a few. If the frames are durable, it does not mean it is playable at the maximum level of string tension.

Below are recommended string tension guideline:

Beginners: 19-21 lbs
Intermediate: 22-24 lbs
Advanced: 25-27 lbs
Professional: 28-32 lbs


String Tension Effect Table

String Tension Power Control Durability Vibration
Low Increase Decrease Increase Decrease
High Decrease Increase Decrease Increase


What if I'm using plastic shuttlecocks?

For plastic shuttlecocks users, we highly recommend tension level to be 2-3 lbs less than the tension level used on rackets playing with feathered shuttlecocks for better string durability.

The above article purely states our opinion and recommendation. We appreciate any comment and feedback. Email us at

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