The Yonex Arcsaber 5 badminton racquet is one of three new releases by Yonex in Arcsaber range.
It’s a good looking racquet with graphics in purple, black and silver. Like Arcsaber 7, this racquet has a medium flex shaft and is a 3U (weight 85.89g) and a G3 grip (larger of grip sizes on offer). That’s where the similarities end.
There’s a question mark hanging over this racquet in terms of where it really fits, as the Arcsaber series tends to be liked and used by the better players along with high-end Armortec and Nanospeed series racquets.
The Arcsaber 7 has been a very good racquet for Yonex, although for some, they loved the flex in the shaft to give a touch more power, but felt the head was on the light side. For those critics, the Arcsaber 5 should be the perfect answer.
In the Arcsaber 5, Yonex have combined a medium flex shaft with a bit more weight in the head. This way, you get the best of both worlds in terms of smashing power, if you need the racquet to do that bit extra for you. You can certainly feel the extra weight in the head when you move the racquet although it’s not so much that you’d expect your arm to drop off with continuous use.
As usual, I used this racquet straight out of the bag, without re-stringing to suit my particular tastes.
Overhead clears are easy and you can certainly feel the additional weight in the head. It’s a more solid feel and provides confidence that there’s some beef in this racquet. There’s slight drag on the frame but nothing concerning, so don’t expect this racquet to move as fast through the air.
The extra weight kept everything together for me in a controlled way. Drops, slices, smashes were very contained. The extra weight in the head is really noticeable when smashing, and this combined with the flexible shaft provides more power for me than Arcsaber 7.
Defensively, racquets with more weight in the head are slower to move. I have fairly fast hands so this wasn’t a huge problem for me and again, this is where the heavier head scores as there’s a bit more oomph in the drive return. Also, you can feel the racquet move where you want it to go. Whilst it’s a little slower to move, it’s very controlled and I can see this being very useful for a player learning how to defend because they are more aware of the direction the racquet is moving.
For some, the heavier head will be a turn off and considered too slow defensively. If you are a very defensive player and you like to counter hit rather than play an aggressive game, then I’d be surprised if you selected Arcsaber 5 as your racquet of choice.
Again, you can feel the direction of the head and this can be good for developing skills around the net. It’s a really solid feel. This is an area where you need extreme control and this racquet can deliver here, albeit slightly slower than other racquets. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it means that you’re less likely to snatch at the shuttle.
Returning smashes from the net area should be a joy as the superior solid feel will help provide control and direction to the shot.
RRP on this racquet is £140 which is expensive. I’d expect the major online retailers will be discounting this racquet and expect to pay £20+ less. If I had to describe Arcsaber 5 I’d say it’s a beefed up Arcsaber 7, designed for a power player rather than defensive style. It’s a solid hitter, a powerful racquet.
Whilst I liked this racquet a lot and I can see where it fits in the Yonex range, this is not a good all-rounder racquet. It provides plenty of power and control and will be an ideal racquet for a player who needs help to generate power or someone looking to get even more power from a racquet.
Because this racquet is “designed” for a particular style of play, it’s almost a one trick pony. But it does what it’s designed for extremely well. In view of this, and the current price tag, I rate this a 3 star racquet in my scoring system. For the right type of player, I’m sure they would rate Arcsaber 5 a lot higher.