Best Tennis Racquets Under $100 in 2020 Review
With so many choices on the market, it’s not surprising that you’re having a difficult time finding the right tennis racquet well. Which ones should you consider buying? What features should you look for in a budget-friendly, good-quality tennis racquet?
In this article, we’ll help you out by taking you through the 11 of the best tennis rackets under 100 dollars. You’ll also learn how to choose one that meets your age, skill level, body build, and strength.
11 Best Tennis Racquets Under $100 Review
HEAD Titanium Ti S5 Comfort Zone
The HEAD Titanium Ti S5 Comfort Zone is suitable for beginner to intermediate level players, who have a swing speed of slow to moderate. Weighing at 8.5 ounces, it’s one of the best lightweight tennis racquets for the money.
Thanks to its patented Comfort Zone technology, it’s easy on the arms because of its vibration reduction of up to 25% and a larger sweet spot. If that’s not enough, it has an open string pattern and cone-shaped grommets to further improve the sweet spot.
The Ti S5 is made of titanium and graphite fibers for a strong and lightweight construction, without sacrificing control and power. It has a SofTac grip, which perfectly combines a soft elastomer compound and a unique perforated traction surface for a dry, comfortable, and secure grip.
Pros:A perfect size for teenagers Light and comfortable One of the best tennis rackets for beginners and intermediate players Makes you feel each hit, without too much impact vibrations
Cons:Extremely tight string tension More suitable for players with strong wrists and tight grip
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3
Whether you’re a mid-level tennis player or a recreational tennis player, the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 is for you. It’s a good tennis racket that combines power and control.
It’s easy on the arm, shoulder, and wrist, thanks to Wilson’s Hyper Carbon material. Compared to a titanium-made racket, Hyper Carbon reduces the strung weight (includes the weight of the strings) of the Hyper Hammer 5.3 by up to 65%.
The Hyper Hammer 5.3 is available in two models with different head sizes:The Hyper Hammer 5.3 Midplus (95 square-inch head) gives control, maneuverability, and power, while still offering extra surface area for mishits. The grip size is 4 5/8 inches, which is suitable for adult players. The Hyper Hammer 5.3 Oversize (110 square-inch head) weighs less and has a larger head, which offers ample power and forgiveness on mishits. It’s designed for people with a tennis rating of 3.5 to 4.5.
Pros:A good choice for beginner and intermediate players A forgiving racket, thus you make fewer mistakes at the net Helps improve your technique Produces excellent control, precision, and power in every hit
Cons:Increased vibrations Flimsy frame
Wilson K Zero Tennis Racket
The Roger Federer-inspired Wilson K Zero Tennis Racket is one of the lightweight tennis racquets in the K Factor series. It has the ultimate frame for beginning, intermediate, and recreational players, as well as those with a short, compact swing.
The K Zero is constructed using three engineering technologies that make it firm, maneuverable, and stable, while still offering a nice feel:
The [K]ompact Center Technology is responsible for the frame’s excellent stability, maneuverability, and stiffness, which in turn decreases the twisting of the racket in the hand and prevents power loss when you hit a ball off-center.
The [K]arophite Black construction makes sure the K Zero tennis racket is strong and stable, without sacrificing any feel.
The [K]ontour Yoke technology further increases the stiffness at crucial stress points of the frame. This helps the racket to become more stable, so you can have better control and accuracy when hitting the ball.
Pros:Good and comfortable handle grip Helps you better your game due to its large face Perfect for players who lack strength to play well Has an excellent feel
Cons:Repeated string adjustments while playing Can result in more vibrations due to its light weight and power
Babolat Boost Strike
Babolat Boost Strike is another best tennis racquet for beginners and junior players seeking control, power, and forgiveness on the court. Compared to its predecessor, Babolat Strike, this beginner tennis racket offers a few significant upgrades:It has more power and spin, so you can hit harder the ball and still stay in play. The frame is slightly stiff and the strings provide cushion. This helps prevent muscle strain and the painful tennis elbow.
The Babolat Boost Strike has a standard length of 27 inches. It’s available in five grip sizes: 4 0/8, 4 3/8, 4 1/8, 4 1/4, and 4 1/2. It has a generous head size, which measures 102 inches.
Designed with the Woofer Technology, the Babolat Boost Strike provides you with better control of the ball and spin. The frame is made of graphite, which is an ideal material for beginning players who usually commits plenty of mishits because it sends fewer vibrations and is more flexible.
Pros:Cool design and color scheme with its white finish and red and black accents Provides a combination of power, precision, and control Great string tension Feels light (10.1 ounces) and sturdy at the same time
Cons:May feel too light for adults Missing cover (seems to be an isolated case)
Babolat 2019 Boost D (Boost Drive)
If you want to step up your game, the Babolat 2019 Boost D (Boost Drive) should be on the top of your list. This is an ideal tennis racket for beginner, junior player, and recreational players who are looking for a cost-effective racket that offers a solid performance.
Drawing inspiration from their famous Pure Drive Series, Babolat designed the Boost D with less state-of-the-art features for affordability, while still providing plenty of benefits. Starting off with the 105-square-inch head that offers a large sweet spot for maximum comfort and power, even when your ball contact is less than perfect.
The Woofer Grommet System from Babolat gives the Boost D the impressive precision you need on full swings. It permits the carbon frame and strings to work together when you hit the ball for improved control.
To further increase control and power, the Babolat 2019 Boost D (Boost Drive) is strung with the SpiralTex synthetic gut. This synthetic string is made from polyamide, which consists of a large, durable center and is enveloped with one layer of flexible filaments.
In addition, it has a 16×19 string pattern, which permits more string movement. This string pattern strikes a great balance between control, power, and spin.
Pros:Light for easier swinging Larger head for more power Adequate string tension that can improve serve returns Allows better control and spin
Cons:Sturdiness issues involving the frame and string Serve speed and flat forehand power might drop
HEAD MicroGel Radical Tennis Racquet
The HEAD MicroGel Radical Tennis Racquet was based on Andre Agassi’s tennis racket. This updated version features HEAD’s MicroGel material, which surrounds the head of the racket to create a twist-resistant and solid tennis racket. It also makes sure the ball impact is evenly dispersed in the entire racket for a more comfortable shot.
This best budget tennis racquet is available in three models:Like what the name suggests, the HEAD MicroGel Radical Oversize provides a generous sweet spot for a better margin of error and overall performance on the court. This is ideal for intermediate to advanced players. The HEAD MicroGel Radical Midplus is a great choice for 4.5 tennis players, or those who are highly skilled players. Like the Oversize, the Midplus is forgiving, but it’s really more of a control-oriented racket. The MicroGel Radical Pro has a head size of 100 square inches and a 20-millimeter beam. According to HEAD, this is ideally suited for players with intensive training (5.0 to 7.0 rating).
Pros:Serves great Gives you more power than more expensive rackets Absorbent, comfortable, and supple stock grips Stable and won’t twist on ball contact
Cons:Might need a dampener to reduce the vibrations Might be a little heavy in the head compared to an entry-level Head Radical racket
Wilson Federer Tennis Racquet (EA)
Weighing at only 11.5 ounces (strung), the Wilson Federer Tennis Racquet (EA) makes it easier for any player to maneuver and swing it. It’s definitely the tennis racket for beginner adult players or anyone who just wants to test the waters.
The Federer comes with a control frame that’s constructed using Wilson’s Volcanic Frame Technology. The concept behind this is to strike a perfect balance between power and stability.
The oversized head, which measures at 110 square inches, allows more forgiveness and power in case you missed the “sweetest spot.” And to make it easier to strike the ball with depth, power, and spin, it has an open string pattern.
Pros:Basic but a great choice for beginning players Light and feels great in the hands Doesn’t slip from your hand, even if it’s sweaty Affordable
Cons:Has a wide handle (a bit hard to turn at an angle while playing) Might be a little too light for your liking
Wilson Tour Slam
The Wilson Tour Slam is a good option for people who aren’t ready yet to upgrade to an intermediate-level tennis racket. This has all the features a beginner or recreational player needs to master the basics of the sport.
If you’re just a beginner, you’ll love its large sweet zone—the ideal area of impact to tame your wild swings at the ball and create the most power and spin in your every shot. It weighs less, and it comes with Stop Shock pads to reduce racket vibration, giving you more control and power to your shot.
The Wilson Tour Slam best recreational tennis racquet features a free string pattern of 16×19, which gives more spin and strength when you hit the ball. It also creates a significantly higher ball rebound force, thanks to the large gap between the strings.
Pros:A good tennis racket for budget-conscious adult beginners or recreational players A balanced and control-oriented tennis racket Doesn’t cause too much vibrations Solid construction for an entry-level tennis racket
Cons:Not as light as others expected it to be Not a suitable tennis racket for big tournaments or doubles
The HEAD Ti.S6 is a complete game-changer for entry-level tennis rackets. It’s specifically designed to match the needs of beginners with short, compact strokes.
Considered one of the light tennis rackets on the market, you wouldn’t even notice that you’re holding it, even if you’re playing tennis for hours. It has a full weight of 8.9 ounces, and it’s made from a combination of titanium and graphite fibers. This reduces the weight of the Ti.S6, without sacrificing its power and stiffness.
The HEAD Ti.S6 has a head size of 115 square inches and a length of 27.75 inches. The large head size makes it more difficult for you to miss the sweet spot or the ball entirely. The longer handle helps you achieve more force when hitting the ball and guarantees bigger, faster serves.
It has a good grip, thanks to HEAD’s Softac Traction grip. It’s made up of a combination of a perforated elastomer surface for increased friction and moisture absorption and a soft elastomer compound for comfort. It also reduces the vibrations off the Ti.S6, so you can perform better on the court.
Pros:Easy on the arm and shoulder Allows beginners to swing faster Can hit the ball over the net without much accuracy Hard to completely miss the ball due to its large head size
Cons:Might be too light and too powerful for a beginner Durability issues
Wilson Blade Team Tennis Racket
The Wilson Blade Team Tennis Racket is suitable for a wide variety of tennis players—from people who are new to the sport to those who have already developed aggressive net play. If you just want a good-quality tennis racket that’s under $200, this is for you.
The Blade Team sports a clean design with a matte black and green finish and detailed pattern on the inside of the rim (above 3 and 9). The beam is thin to bring more accuracy, comfort, and control for every attacking style.
Unlike most top tennis rackets on this list, the Blade Team has a slightly smaller head size at 99 square inches. This may seem a disadvantage, but if you think about it, this will force you to focus on the ball and your footwork to better prepare for every stroke.
It comes pre-strung with the Wilson Sensation multifilament strings. These strings are made up of highly elastic nylon fibers, which greatly reduce vibrations. The open string pattern at 16×18 produces stronger rebounds, without requiring too much effort.
Pros:Can instantly make your serves better Provides plenty of control Allows you to hit the ball aggressively, while ensuring the ball stays in A suitable tennis racket for women and younger players (around 10 to 16 years old)
Cons:Weak strings Plenty of vibrations (especially if you don’t hit the ball in the center)
HEAD MicroGel Radical MidPlus
If you’re searching for a good tennis racket for intermediate player to advanced players, the HEAD MicroGel Radical MidPlus is one of your best bets. It’s specifically designed for players with a 4.5+ or above rating.
Many people find the MicroGel Radical MidPlus to be a highly control-oriented tennis racket. You’ll enjoy the control it offers from all areas of the court. Even with its tighter string pattern, it still produces enormous spin and keep the ball in play.
From the hoop of the MidPlus, you’ll notice some degree of flexing. This results in a great level of comfort to each shot, longer dwell time of the ball on the strings, and improved feel of the volleys.
When it comes to serves, this racket is all about precision. You’ll feel confident serving with it because it gives a very precise and solid feel. Although the downside with it is you have to supply your own power because it lacks that extra pop.
Pros:A suitable option for players of all skill levels Smaller sweet spot, but has a greater swing weight Light, but it still has good balance, control, and power Works really well
Cons:Easily worn-out grip (if you don’t keep your hands clean) Too tight strings
How to Choose Good Tennis Racquets Under 100
Knowing some of the best tennis racquets under 100 is often not enough. It’s also important to know the factors you need to consider to make sure you don’t shortchange yourself. We’ve outlined below some of the things you need to take into account before you purchase your first tennis racket or replacing your old one.
Tennis rackets can weigh anywhere between 8.5 ounces and 10.9 ounces. Their weight can also be divided into three major types:Heavy (more than 11 ounces): One of the advantages of heavy tennis rackets is they provide more power. They’re also stable, so they’re less affected by ball impact. This results in better control. Midweight (9.8 ounces to 10.9 ounces): If you want a combination of power and control, midweight tennis rackets are usually good choices. They’re constructed to meet the needs of players who want to up their game. Light (less than 9.8 ounces): Lightweight tennis rackets are usually best for beginners, juniors who are transitioning to a full-size racket, or people who are recovering from an injury. They might not generate that much power as heavier rackets, but they provide greater maneuverability and control.
Super-light tennis rackets also exist. According to some sources, these lightweight tennis racquets weigh between 9 ounces and 9.4 ounces. They could even weigh less than 9 ounces.
Note: A heavy racket isn’t necessarily much better than a lighter one, or vice versa. However, if you’re new to the sport, going for a lighter racket is a good idea. It allows you to train and play longer, as your muscles and skills start to develop.
When you say head size, it refers to size of the hitting area where the strings form the face of the tennis racket. The average head size of tennis rackets ranges from 85 square inches to 135 square inches.
The head size of a tennis racket is broken down into three categories:Oversize (107 to 115 square inches) Midplus (96 to 106 square inches) Midsize (85 to 96 square inches)
The rule of thumb is the larger the head size of a racket, the more power and forgiveness (on mishits). Tennis rackets with a generous hitting surface will greatly benefit most error-prone beginners and people who can’t move and see well.
Many professional players usually use midplus and midsize tennis rackets because they get more control of the ball. The trade-off is they have to be highly accurate with their shots because of the smaller sweet spot.
On the other hand, a smaller head size normally increases control on the ball. The downside is it’s more difficult to hit the ball with precision. That’s why rackets with a smaller head size are usually reserved for more advanced or experienced tennis players.
Head-Heavy Racket vs. Grip-Heavy Racket
A tennis racket is head heavy if most of its weight is concentrated in its head. Meanwhile, a tennis racket is considered grip heavy if it’s heavier in the handle.
Let’s take a closer look at each type:
Tennis rackets that are head heavy are better options for less experienced players, who usually lack strength and have shorter and more compact swings, and those who like to hit the ball to the back of the court. If paired with a lightweight frame, they can help smaller players to easily swing and produce more power in every hit.
There are many advantages of using grip-heavy rackets or head-light rackets. For one, they provide spin and increased maneuverability over every shot. They appeal to experienced tennis players because of the level of control they offer. And since majority of their weight is concentrated in the handle, they absorb vibrations much better than lighter tennis rackets.
The grip size is an important consideration when buying tennis rackets for many reasons. If the grip is too large, you’ll have a hard time holding it or moving your hand to serve or hit because it restricts movement. If the grip is too small, you may strain your hand or develop blisters or injuries (e.g. tennis elbow) in the long run.
Tennis racket grip sizes usually range from 4 inches to 4 3/4 inches, with 4 3/8 inches as the average grip size. For men, the average grip size is 4 3/8 inches to 4 1/2 inches. For smaller women, the normal grip size is between 4 1/4 inches and 4 1/8 inches.
There are two popular methods for measuring a player’s tennis racket grip size: the ruler test and the index finger test. Ideally, it’s best to use both methods to make sure you find the ideal grip size for you.
Here’s how to perform each method:
Ruler TestPut your fingers close to each other. Get a straight ruler, and then place it on the palm of your hitting hand. The edge of the ruler should be aligned with the horizontal, single crease of your palm. Measure from the middle crease of your palm up to the tip of your ring finger.
Index Finger TestUsing an eastern forehand grip, hold your tennis racket in your hitting hand. To make sure the gap is not too big or too small, place your non-hitting hand’s index finger in the area between your palm and the index finger of your hitting hand. Your index finger (non-hitting hand) should fit comfortably, with little to zero space between to ensure a comfortable and secure grip.
Here’s how to do an eastern forehand grip:Put your hitting hand out, with the palm facing up. Place your tennis racket in your hitting hand. Make sure the strings are facing up. Close your fingers around the grip to form the eastern forehand grip.
String Pattern and Tension
The 16×18 and 16×19 are the most popular string patterns on the market. Although more players use the 16×19 string pattern because it produces more power and spin. The downsides of this string pattern are frequent breakage and early tension loss (thus, it requires frequent restringing).
When it comes to string tension, manufacturers usually indicate the tension range that’s appropriate for a specific tennis racket model. The typical string tensions could range anywhere between 40 pounds and 65 pounds.
The pros of high-tension string pattern:Has more control Has more spin
The cons of high-tension string pattern:Have less power Less comfortable Less durable (although not the case all the time)
The pros of low-tension string pattern:Comfortable More feel Usually durable Increased power
The con of low-tension string pattern:Provides less control
Which is better, high tension or low tension?
It really depends on different things, like your preferred tennis racket performance and what you’re searching for in your performance. For instance, if you have a small built, are older, or just lack the physical strength, you could greatly benefit from a low-tension string pattern.
Simply put, the beam width refers to the thickness of a tennis racket from the side. It’s typically measured in millimeters.
What’s considered a wide beam or a narrow beam?
The average beam width ranges from 22 millimeters to 24 millimeters. It’s considered wide if it’s more than 24 millimeters. If it’s 22 millimeters or less, it’s considered a narrow beam.
In general, a thick beam width means a more powerful and stiff racket, but it’s less maneuverable. On the other hand, a thinner beam width is more flexible, but it has lesser power.
The length of a tennis racket is measured in centimeters, inches, or millimeters. The standard length for an adult tennis racquet ranges from 27 inches (more common) to 29 inches (the legal maximum for tournament play).
Normally, the longer the racket, the more power and reach it produces. The disadvantage is it sacrifices maneuverability, which is a strong suit of shorter tennis rackets.
Our buying guide and list of the best tennis racquets under 100 dollars serve only as your references. If you feel overwhelmed, you can narrow down your considerations into three: head size, grip size, and weight. However, the right tennis racket for you is ultimately a matter of personal choice and feel.
Remember: Take your time and shop around, unless you want to pay for a tennis racket that’s not the best option for you.