Best Tennis Rackets Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Now a racket isn’t necessarily required to be good in order to give the player the power they need to make that perfect strike. If you know what you’re doing as a tennis player, you can get the same thing done with the worst equipment on the face of the planet just as with the best. However, not everyone is that good, and thus the racket helps a lot along the way. Even if you’re that good, it always helps to have the best equipment imaginable. If you’re looking for a very powerful option, then you need to find the one with the largest head, the stiffest frame, and the longest stem. These generate the most power when swung, allowing the ball to move the fastest and farthest.
A tennis racket is a tool that, if you plan on going pro in this sport, will be used for hours on end, multiple times a day in a row. So, you need to find one that feels good to be held and swung at the same time. For this you need to find an option that accomplishes a few things for you:
Shock absorption: Shock is the feeling you get when your racket hits the ball, that little feeling of recoil you get as you swing it at high speed and hit a ball that’s traveling even faster, and then rapidly altering its course. There are a number of ways that it can cancel out the shock so that you don’t tire out your arm quite as fast with overuse. Because that shock may not sound like much, it may not even feel like much, but eventually, it will start wearing you down. Thus, altering your ability to keep going. Unless of course, you reduce its effects
Vibration decrease: But the shock is only half the battle, the other half is the aftershock or vibration of the racket. This can definitely mess with your swings if you let it. When you hit the ball, you, of course, feel the shock first. However, there’s an aftershock throughout the racket, that can seriously impede your ability to swing as well, especially since by the time you notice it, the other person has already served the ball back to you. A good product structure itself specifically to combat the vibration that otherwise comes after hitting the ball. Thus, leaving you open to freely strike the ball again.
This is something that you’ll naturally start looking for as you become better and better at the sport. This is because the better you become at the sport, the more you realize the importance of directing the ball at exactly the point you want it to land. This is where you come into conflict if you also still want to have power behind your swings because a racket with a lot of control will typically have looser frames and smaller head sizes. The idea here is to make sure that you find the best possible medium between all of the different sizes.
A maneuverable racket will feel very light when you hold it and will be by far the easiest to swing. All are at least somewhat maneuverable, of course, but there are quite a few that are specially designed to be more maneuverable than others. The reason a more maneuverable option will feel lighter in your hand is that of a combination of the overall weight and the balance of the frame being what’s known as “head light.” This refers to when the weight is focused less on the handle, and more to the head.
10 Best Tennis Rackets
1. Wilson Tour Slam
Coming in 1st place is the venerable Wilson with their Tour Slam. When it comes to tennis brands, no one does it better than Wilson, which is why this is definitely not the last we’ve seen of them after this entry. So, what does this one have going for it? Let’s find out.
Volcanic frame technology
If there is one thing that no tennis player wants, it’s for their racket to spontaneously break during a match. Fortunately, that is not a problem with the Tour Slam, which utilizes volcanic frame technology to ensure power and stability is yours on a constant basis. And on top of that, it’s also pretty durable to boot.
One thing that every tennis player needs to learn to deal with and compensate for is the vibration of the racket when hitting the ball. It can really throw off how well you hit the ball if you aren’t careful. But the Tour Slam at least helps you cope, by using stop shock pads to decrease vibration, increasing your control, and thus the ball.
Cost and Value
Once again, this runs for a rather average price for a tennis racket. However, this one tends to lean more into the expensive end of the “average” grey area. It all depends on the retailer you consult, but typically speaking, this will go for more than the previous entry.
2. Wilson US Open
In our next entry, we have Wilson once more with the Wilson US Open. While not necessarily one of Wilson’s greatest accomplishments, we dare not say it’s anything less than a classic. So, what makes it such a stone-cold classic? Well, let’s pop the proverbial hood and find out.
Arc 2 technology
Between woofer and arc 2, it seems everyone has a gimmick to describe the way they lay out their frames. But sure enough, the arc 2 technology does indeed get things done. Using a unique way of laying out the frame, including increasing the size of the gap in the center of the racket, this option allows for greater control through added stability.
Perfect for beginners
This added control, stability, and the lower price makes this the perfect starting out option for the beginning tennis player. And speaking of cheaper price.
Cost and Value
How very refreshing for the final entry on our list to not be bank bustlingly expensive. True, in larger sizes it can be quite pricey, but if you just want the base model, then it will give you a high amount of power for a shockingly low price.
3. Head Ti.S6
Finishing up our top 3 section, we have the Head Ti.S6. While this is one of the last Head products on this list, it should be noted that both of them got into the top 3, so it’s definitely the mark of quality. So, what does this have going for it? Well, to give you an idea.
Unlike other tennis rackets, this one’s length extends to about 27 and ¾” long, weighing about 8 oz. thus making it significantly longer than your average tennis racket. Thankfully its lighter weight balances out the longer length, keeping it from getting too out of control when you’re using it. Now you can reach those super-fast tennis balls that would otherwise be just a bit too far out of reach.
Whether it’s due to the thicker base or, the longer length or the synthetic build, or all three, this is tremendously easier to control than its peers. This makes it perfect both for pros, newcomers, and returning recreational players alike.
Cost and Value
The big drawback to this is the price, which stands very firmly in the expensive territory. Often this comes very close to the triple digits, which may turn a lot of people off.
4. Wilson Federer
In the #4 spot, keeping with Wilson, we have the Wilson Federer. This is considered more basic territory for the tennis manufacturing giant, but basic does not mean bad, far from it. In fact, even though it’s nowhere near as expensive as their other work (thank heavens), it’s still one of their best.
No, you can’t shred this racket like a sick bass. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t get the effect you likely desire. No, what power strings mean in this instance is that the main strings are longer. This may not seem like much, but this adds a lot of power to every swing. Your swings will, in fact, see significant improvement by having it.
Stop shock pads
One more, this is equipped with stop shock pads. These are special bits of padding strategically found throughout the base. This reduces the amount of vibration that occurs when you hit the ball and send it flying, allowing for added control of how hard you hit and where you send the ball upon hitting it.
Cost and Value
This is one of the cheapest entries in Wilson’s entire lineup and in fact one of the cheapest entries on the entire list. At less than half of what the previous Wilson entry was asking for at even its smallest price, this is definitely the better alternative when the budget is on your mind.
5. Wilson Hyper Hammer
In our #5 spot, we have our old friends from Wilson again with the Wilson Hyper Hammer. Expect to see a lot of Wilson on this list from here on out, because when it comes to tennis equipment, no one does it better and more consistently. And the Hyper Hammer is far from anything approaching an exception to this rule.
If your standard is short, compact swings, then you probably think you have to deal with working with smaller rackets, but this is here to prove you wrong. Even though it comes in a variety of sizes, each of them offers a durable power frame that works wonderfully with your style of swinging without shortening your range too much.
Oversized, heavy head
Now that may sound like a bad thing, but don’t fret, this is actually a very good thing for your rackets. The head is heavy, yes, but balanced as well, meaning that you have that much more control over it when you’re using it. And when using a racket, you’ll find that a small head will not forgive your swings the same way a larger one will.
Cost and Value
What put the previous Wilson entry above this one was the lower price. The previous Wilson option was half the cost of this one at its base form, but this also comes in multiple different sizes, which shoots up the price even more than that.
6. Street Tennis Club
Are you looking to get something for that young beginner in the family? This model from Street Tennis Club comes in three different sizes that were designed for children from ages 2 through 9. It is shaped and balanced in order to help your child develop their technique and strokes. Its durable, yet lightweight, build makes it easy to handle and play with.
Although you want a lightweight racket that is easy to swing, you also need something that is strong and can withstand impact, especially for a kid’s model. The aluminum frame gives you both, allowing for great mobility.
Thick Gauge Strings
Good contact with the ball is important. It helps with control and speed. The strings used on these models are thick, so there is more ball contact.
Cost and Value
These rackets are very affordable and a great choice for helping your child learn and improve their tennis skills. It is made from high-quality material that is built to last and even comes with a free video game!
7. Wilson Pro Staff RF97
Coming in at #7, it’s the Wilson Pro Staff RF97. Every unit is personally autographed by famous tennis player Roger Federer. This may lead some to believe this new twist on a classic is little more than a gimmick. But rest assured, there is far more to this tennis racket's story than one may believe.
Braided graphite construction
The way this is constructed is referred to as braided graphite construction. This is when a racket is made with a thin beam, a light balance on the head, and all topped off with a torsion control system, unique to this brand of racket, that puts more weight on the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock areas of the sides. This may not seem like a lot, but it adds canyon’s worth of control to those who know how to swing confidently.
Controlled hitting with slice
Ask anyone who uses this regularly what they love about it, and one of the first areas they’ll jump to would be hitting with a slice. Whether you’re going with a backhand, forehand, or even an approach shot, you will always feel like you’re the one in control of the racket and the ball.
Cost and Value
Obviously being autographed by one of the world’s greatest tennis players ever to live would bring with it something of an expense problem. And by expense problem, we mean that this is, without question, the most expensive entry on this entire list. Firmly found in the triple digits, regardless of the retailer you consult. True there is a non-autographed version that is, of course, cheaper. But if you want the autographed version, you will be paying quite the pretty penny.
8. Head Ti.Conquest
Head Ti have been around for quite some time, and in that time, have become one of the premier brands of tennis rackets out there.
Super oversized head
Every tennis player has had that moment where the ball was right in their sights, but they undershot it, and it got away, giving the other guy the point. Well, with the conquest, the head is made slightly larger, so as to give you an extra bit of space. Not by much (despite the ambitious title) but the super oversized head is just big enough to keep you in control, while still giving you that extra bit of reach.
Large sweet spot
The sweet spot on a tennis racket is the area in which you can make the best hits on the tennis ball. You hit a tennis ball on the sweet spot and the ball is guaranteed to go as far and as fast as you need it to. And the sweet spot on this is very large, making this an ideal for the beginner.
Cost and Value
This actually goes for a very reasonable price, for what it’s offering. You’ll rarely end up paying all that much for this, meaning you get one of the best of its kind on the entire market, for very good money
In our #9 spot, we have this OPPUM option. Now, OPPUM isn’t nearly as well-known as Wilson or Head, and that is a real shame. OPPUM’s tennis rackets are almost always of consistently high quality, and definitely deserved a spot of their own on this list. So, what does this do to be worth so much racket? Let’s find out.
The material that makes up this is a double-mix of carbon fiber and aluminum metal, with a sturdy wooden frame for good measure. The face is equipped with an incredibly tough mesh belt, improving its performance as well as the strength and stability of the ball you’re hitting.
Superior shock absorption
Wilson isn’t the only ones to use unique methods to absorb the shock of impacting the ball. But whereas Wilson does it with padding, OPPUM does it by building the very racket itself with the intent of absorbing the shock and reducing vibration. It does this through two methods; one, it builds the base of the frame with a triangular shape in mind, which properly redistributes shock. And two, it uses a wooden handle, which is not only more comfortable to use but is dense enough to stop most vibrations in their tracks.
Cost and Value
This high-quality tennis racket is actually one of the most affordable entries on this list. Obviously not the cheapest, but still highly affordable for what it gives you.
10. Babolat Pure Strike 16X19
We have our #10 pick, the Babolat Pure strike. Babolat is considered the third contestant in the big dogs of tennis equipment, alongside Wilson and Head, and their rackets often top other professional rankings of the best tennis equipment, with this one, in particular, being a favorite among list makers.
What is woofer technology? Before you make whatever cheeky dog joke you were going to make, allow us to explain. Woofer technology refers to the design of the frame being such to allow the strings inside the frame to move more freely than usual. This allows them to work together better, which culminates in a far more generous sweet spot at the center of the racket. It also grants you substantially more power with less shock.
This is one of the most maneuverable entries on the list. Weighing only 11.3 oz. with a swing weight of 323, this racket is smooth as butter to control when swung, making bringing the thing down for a groundstroke or transitioning to the net to hit a setup volley practically effortless.
Cost and Value
And now, for the bad news. This is the second highest priced entry on the list, only costing a little less than the most expensive entry. While it is cheaper, it isn’t by any notable metric.