The Yonex Voltric 5 badminton racquet was introduced at 2011 All Englands, almost under the shadow of top-of-the-range Voltric 80. Voltric racquets have been a huge success for Yonex, combining several technologies which have received world-wide acclaim. Voltric 5 is the last of the current Voltric range for review and it’s also the least expensive.
The Voltric arrived in a full length bag, which is now standard for the Voltric range. Yonex have continued to improve on the graphics and Voltric 5 is very striking in black with yellow graphics. In my opinion, it’s a good looker and more striking than Voltric 7.
This particular model is only available in 3U (weight 85-89g) in UK, and grip size G4 which is the smaller of the grip sizes on offer in UK.
The Voltric range is a combination of Armortec, Nanospeed and Arcsaber science. So far it’s worked remarkably well on the high end Voltrics. But, what about Yonex budget end models? The frame is noticeably thinner all around. There’s no trace of the bulges evident on VT70. In fact, I’d say it’s very similar to Nano9900 in frame size.
Balance wise, this is a head heavy racquet, but certainly not as heavy as the other high-end Voltrics. I’d say this is very close to the weight on Armortec 900 Power although wouldn’t say the weight is all at the top. Potentially it could be a good alternative to AT900 T. Balance is very similar to Voltric 7 however it’s a slightly heavier racquet due to its 3U grading compared to 4U on Voltric 7.
This racquet has a medium flex shaft this time which will certainly suit good club and league players.
Maximum recommended tension on this racquet is 24lbs which appears to be a typical feature of Yonex racquets.
On with the review…
I always test racquets straight out of the bag. Surprisingly the tension on this racquet felt considerably tighter than usual and as a result, it played so much better. Tension wasn’t too tight that it could hinder club players or those playing with plastic shuttles. However, if this is the standard stringing for this racquet, most players wouldn’t need a custom restring. The racquet is strung with Yonex BG55 string which is a little thicker than I’m used to, but still played very nice.
It’s hitting time…
I tend to favour head heavy racquets so there’s no surprises that this racquet played very nicely. Despite the smaller grip size which I have been accustomed to, I really enjoyed the racquet. The extra string tension really contributed and I felt it played better than Voltric 7. To be honest, there’s not much difference between Voltrics 5 and 7 except the materials used in the racquet head. Balance and feel are similar.
In the power department, clears were effortless and I really felt that I was getting a strong positive response from the racquet. The slightly increased string tension certainly made a difference here and makes me wonder how much more I could get from the racquet if strung in my favourite string at my usual tension. I expect the racquet will deliver a lot more.
As I commented with Voltric 7, you can still feel the weight in the head however, it’s noticeably lighter than VT80. There isn’t the power I experienced with VT80, however, let’s be fair, this racquet is a third of the price. And, I can’t generate three times the power from a VT80 which may influence your buying decision if you’re considering a new Voltric.
Whether I played clears, drops or smashes, this racquet was on the money every time. I really love the weight in the head. It’s not too much for most players, and certainly generates enough speed to satisfy more defensive styles of play.
So, what else does Voltric 5 have to offer?
As usual I asked Mark to thunder a few smashes at me to see how the racquet coped in defence and flat rallies. The slightly lighter head really came into play and demonstrated superb speed whenever I required it. The weight in the head still gave me enough meat to hit with and feel the direction of the racquet but it certainly wasn’t a hindrance. The extra string tension helped here in repelling the shuttle faster and despite a number of defensive shots in succession, there wasn’t that feeling of tiredness that can so often hit a player.
Although I’m not particularly a defensive player, I felt that the racquet would suit this style of player and provide a bit more meat into drives and a more positive feel on the stringbed for touch shots.
Onto the net, and as expected, the racquet was great, no issues to report here. It was crisp, it was fast, it was controlled, despite the lower tension. We did a lot of net kill exercises in the coaching session that evening and I felt confident to have a go at the tightest of feeds and the racquet delivered without any feeling of it being head heavy or slow.
Having already sung the praises of Voltric 7 I have to say that I enjoyed Voltric 5 even more. I do believe this was purely down to the higher string tension.
In my opinion Yonex have far too many racquets in their range and this creates more confusion rather than answer player’s prayers. I’ve tested all of the racquets in the Voltric range now. I understand the difference between VT80 and VT70. However, I can’t see enough difference between VT5 and VT7 (VT 7 head made of HM carbon) for the need for one of them to exist. It could be me, but based on my findings with this racquet, which could be slightly coloured by my preference on the weight and increased string tension, VT5 is a far nicer racquet than VT7.
With an RRP of only £70, this is a better value for money proposition than Voltric 7! With online discounters you’ll probably pick one up for around £55-60. Having tested a lot of mid-priced racquets, this has got to be near the top of your list for trying. It’s a good looking racquet, performs really well in all departments and it’s a great price!
So how do I rate this racquet? After careful consideration, I gave Voltric 7 a 5 star rating. My experience with Voltric 5 was better than 7 and therefore I have to give Voltric 5 the same 5 star rating and I’ll still stand by my initial rating for Voltric 7.
Some players may want further advice regarding the differences between VT70 and VT5 or 7. It’s a tough question to answer because they feel different. There are such minor differences between VT 5 and VT7 and I’d be hard pressed to tell them apart if the string tension was identical. Of course, there are massive differences between these racquets and VT80. But, is VT80 worth three times the money? For most players VT5 or 7 will do the job for them in abundance and therefore they could purchase two or three racquets compared to one VT80. This could be the ultimate trade off for these players and I have to admit and I can see the reasoning behind it. If I hadn’t liked the VT80 as much as I do, then I would certainly select VT5 as my racquet of choice.
As with all my reviews, they are based on my personal thoughts on a racquet. My likes and dislikes will not be the same as yours. Also bear in mind my technique, style, physical build and muscle structure are different so I will always feel a racquet different to you.
To sum up, if you’re looking to spend around £70 for a new racquet, and you want your racquet to pack a punch and yet still be quick in defence and around the net, then this racquet has got to tested. I think it’s the best in Yonex mid-priced range along with VT7. Watch out because Voltric is going to make a huge impact in badminton.
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