Yonex Voltric Z Force II Badminton Racket Review

  • Yonex Voltric z force II badminton racket

The Yonex Voltric Z Force II Badminton Racket was launched in 2014 prior to the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham. The racket is used by World Number 1 Lee Chong Wei, replacing his original Voltric Z Force, and soon adopted as the racket of choice for many other international players. The speed at which the original Z Force was removed from the market came as a surprise to many as it was a very popular racket.

Unlike previous releases from Yonex, the Z Force 2 us a noticeably plain black racket with few blue decals. It’s a good looking racket and a welcome return for many from “flashy” graphics and colours. It’s almost a throw back to the mid 1980’s when plain and simple looks were the norm.

ZF2 is a head heavy racket with a number of distinguishing features

  • a unique smaller head
  • the thinnest shaft in Yonex history
  • more aerodynamic
  • tungsten grommet strips

Aside from these unique features, from a playing perspective the difference between Z Force II and the original Z Force is that the original carries more weight at the top of the head.

My demo version is a 3U (weight 85-89g) G4 – standard grip size available in the UK. Accompanying the racket is the usual Voltric racket cover. Thankfully I was able to restring this sample which was strung in BG80 Power at a tension of 25/27lbs. Whilst the racket may have tunsten grommet strips, this can present a problem and incur additional costs in stringing. Rather than change one grommet, an entire strip will need to be changed and this is more expensive. Additionally, when reviewing this racket, the grommet strips were not available in the UK which is poor considering the price of the racket.

It’s hitting time…

As expected the Z Force 2 has a completely different feel compared to the original. The sweetspot feels a little higher and I thought this really helped when adjusting to the racket. Thankfully there are no framing issues to report that plagued the Z Flash.

The thinner shaft is noticeable and this combined with the new aerodynamic head work really well together although be aware that this racket has a unique feel because of it.

There’s an immediate recognition that this is a powerful frame. With these specs it easily sits in my favoured territory and from this perspective the racket does not disappoint.

Clears were strong, controlled, accurate even if hit off centre, and a joy to deliver. I could feel each element of the racket although must confess the thin shaft continuously surprised me.

The change in the head shape, size and weight distribution feels really sweet although for me, the feel of the shuttle on the stringbed was not as solid compared to the original Z Force. ZF2 is aerodynamically superior to the original. So, whilst the solid feel on the stringbed is lacking, the speed of the rackethead provided a different element and feel, still delivering a great result. Overhead shots in general were that little bit quicker and smoother and certainly didn’t require as much effort. It’s a bit like driving your car and finding that sweetspot in the gear. It just feels better.

Smashes were very powerful and accurate. Please do not be fooled that this racket will transform your smash – it won’t. If you have poor technique or require more flex in a racket then this racket is not going to transform what you already have. However, a good player may get a bit more pace from it.

Where the original Z Force struggled was in fast, flat exchanges, defence and the net area. The improved aerodynamics has changed all of this. Fast exchanges are easier without the early onset of muscle fatigue. What a relief.

There’s a noticeable change in defence too. The Z Force 2 is so much more maneuverable allowing a player to get their racket into place faster to return the shuttle. This in turn allows for greater selection of shot although you still need to strengthen your wrists and forearms to get the best from this racket.

There are no issues to report around the net although good preparation is a must with any head heavy racket. ZF2 is lively with the higher sweet spot providing a greater degree of control and response.

Summary

The last Yonex racket I reviewed was the Nanoray Z Speed. I did not like this racket and many players agreed with me. I was therefore a little apprehensive about reviewing ZF2 fearing I wouldn’t like this either. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and I soon enjoyed the playing experience.

I believe this is the best racket Yonex have released since Voltric 80. Putting marketing hype to one side, the racket performs extremely well in all areas although it would have been even better if Yonex had somehow captured that solidity in the hit that experienced with the original Z Force.

RRP on Voltric Z Force II badminton racket is a staggering £190.00 although thankfully online retailers are discounting, offering the racket at around £170.00. Aside form the price, this racket deserves high marks. Therefore I extend a 4 and a half star rating and congratulate Yonex on a job well done. The racket is extremely popular although sadly the price will force some players to remove from the must try list which is a shame.

I’ll chalk this racket up as one of my favourites and would certainly had considered retiring my VT80’s if I was still under contract terms with Yonex. Have I said enough?

To receive regular badminton help, advice and tips from me by email, click here to subscribe to my mailing list

40 Comments

  1. willyue March 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Hi Paul,

    I do not experience on a 4u racket, and I would like to try it on doubles.
    Will the stiffness of the shaft between vtzf2 3u and 4u versions different? I am using a arc8dx at the moment, and I like the extra stiff of it so much.

    thank you.

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart March 21, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Stiffness should not change between a 3U and 4U version of a racket. Only the weight changes and sometimes that is marginal. Arc 8DX was a great racket and sold very well. i used it for some time before switching. I expect you will a 4U ZF2 quicker than the 3U and worth the investment.

      Good luck

  2. jamesbadminton August 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for the great article.

    I’m considering upgrading from my ashaway viper xt900s (stiff head heavy) to the z force 2. I have the ashaway rackets in both 3u and 4u versions and I’m aware the z force 2 is available in both too. Considering I play mostly doubles would you advise the 4u version, I only ask becuase the 4u version of my racket severely lacks power compared to the 3u, thanks.

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 15, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Hi James – I haven’t used a 4U Z Force II as it is not available in the UK. It is therefore impossible for me to comment further.

  3. aaron9852 January 30, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Is the Voltric Z Force II LCW different from the original black and blue one? Or are they exactly the same except for the paint job?

    Many Thanks.

  4. condonlau@gmail.com January 23, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Thank you very much Paul for the great articles.

    I am a competitive singles player in Hong Kong who uses Z Force II. I have strong wrists and fingers so the 3U ZF II with BG80 at 31 lbs works quite well for me. I am now preparing for a high-level men’s doubles tournament (we will be playing against some of the players on the Hong Kong team) and I find my ZF II a bit slow during fast, flat exchanges. I tried switching to an Arcsaber 11 and my racket speed improved noticeably. However, I found the shaft too soft such that my flat shots were somewhat weak unless I took a bigger swing, which defeated the purpose of using a light racket. Can you recommend some even balance, stiff shaft rackets I can try? Preferably rackets that can be strong at 30+ lbs (I don’t care about warranty). Thank you very much.

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart January 23, 2017 at 6:07 am

      this is tricky because Arcsaber 11 is deemed a stiff frame and you didn’t like it.

      You could test Nanoray 900 or perhaps Victor Jetspeed 10.

  5. gibbohr10 November 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Hello Sir
    Any Difference between Yonex ZF 2 and Yonex ZF 2 lin dan limited edition? Which one is best?
    thank you

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart December 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      The only difference is the colour. There is no such thing as the best racket, only the best for you at this moment in time.

  6. mettoi November 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Hello Paul,
    The stringing advice for 3U G4 is 28lbs. Does it mean that main string is 28lbs while cross string is 30lbs?

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart November 15, 2016 at 6:32 am

      I would take this as an average 28lbs and string mains at 27lbs and crosses at 29lbs.

  7. anusha.sriragh June 7, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Hi Paul,
    I am training to play mixed doubles and women’s doubles mostly, and occasionally singles. I play at an intermediate/advanced level and I lack in power. I am currently using Li Ning woods N90 v2, and although i find the racquet good for offense (my smashes seem more powerful and drop shots more acurate), i find it hard to be quick at the net, which is especially a problem in mixed doubles. Also, i’m slower in defense with it. I’m looking for a racquet which will give me the power i need for smashes, but at the same time give me the speed in net shots, fast exchanges and defense. Would Voltric z force 2 be suitable for me? If yes, 4U or 3U? I tried the Duora 10, and wasn’t 100% satisfied with it – i found it confusing for one thing as to which side to use when. I would really appreciate your help! thank you!

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Many thanks for your question.

      N90 v 2 is a head heavy and super stiff racket. A 4U ZF2 may be more forgiving and faster on the assumption that you are using a 3U Li-ning racket now. Alternatively, Nanoray 900 is lighter in the head and will therefore provide a lot more speed. You could also consider Voltric 70 and 80 E-tunes.

  8. Alain Brosseau January 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Greetings from Canada,

    I just bought the ZForce II (NBG98 @ 22 pounds) and I love it. I previously had a Voltric 80 same stringing which I also like a lot. I find the ZFII to be better on all aspect except for the smash. When I bought the ZFII, I was told to use the same stringing as I had on the VT80. Changing racket and stringing might have been too much of a change at the same time. Would increasing the string tension give more power or should I consider using a higher gauge string to get the same feel as the VT80?

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart January 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

      HI Alain

      Personally I would have restrung your Z Force II with the same string and tension you use on VT80. This provides you with a much better comparison. Then, you can increase by 1lb next time to see if you notice a difference in your smash power.

      Good luck

  9. petapol November 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Very nice review! I am thinking about it.

  10. sportfan48 October 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hallo Paul,
    deine Beurteilungen der Schläger sind sehr objektiv. Ich besitze mehrere wie VT80, MX80, N80 als auch jetzt einen Z-Force II. Griff 4U/G5, besaitet mit BG80 Power,10,5 KG/ ca.24Ibs.
    Ich spiele hobbymäßig in 3 Vereinen,spiele seit ca.10 Jahren und bin 65 Jahre alt.
    Ich kann den Referencen deiner Beurteilung des Force II nur beipflichten.Der beste Schläger, den ich bis jetzt hatte. Auch sehr gute Spieler die in testeten waren begeistert.
    Hans

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart October 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Lieber Hans

      Vielen Dank für Ihren Kommentar. Ich freue mich, dass meine Rezension hat Ihnen geholfen, einen Schläger zu wählen.

      Ich hoffe, dass Sie auch die vielen Coaching-Artikel und Videos habe ich auch genießen.

      Paul

  11. lovesmath September 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Paul what about the voltric 80 cause I tried our my friends yonex armotec 900 power and I can play better with it. I want a racket that is similar cause they dont sell yonex armotec 900 power, where I live. And when you played with the z force 2 is the sweet spot smaller and harder to hit.

    Thx

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart September 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Hi there

      There are only a few shops around the world where you can still buy Armortec 900 Power. My Badminton Store has them.

      Aside from that, a VT80 would be better choice to replace your AT900. The sweet spot of ZFII is a touch smaller but I still really liked the racket. However, it’s not for everyone.

      Paul

  12. lovesmath September 4, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Hi Paul
    I am currently using an arcsaber 7 bg65 @26 pounds. I was thinking of getting a new racket, is the z force 2 a good racket for me. I am an intermediate/ advanced player. I am very offensive. Or should i just get a voltric 80. And also i have one last question a lot of people say that the voltric z force 2 is hard to use because the sweet spot is smaller and you have to contact the sweet spot everytime.

    Thx

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart September 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

      I have no idea whether Z Force II will be a good racket for you. If you read my article on choosing a racket then you will know why. However, you are making a huge jump from a medium flex, even balance racket to a stiff head heavy racket and this may be an excellent move for you or could prove to be a disaster. You may hate Z Force II – it’s not for everyone.

      It may be best to wait until a friend has bought a Z Force II and then ask to try it. This is always the best method in determining whether a racket is right for you.

      Good luck

      Paul

  13. Raditya August 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Paul

    I have been reading you racket reviews for a while and i love them all.
    Thank you for providing these information for us.
    My previous racket is Yonex ArcSaber Z-Slash, and it cracked at 2 spots. I have just bought Victor TK9000 strung with BG 66 Ultimax 27 lbs and I totally love it, powerful smash, great net play, drop shots are just great, even though I am struggling a little bit with returning smash.
    Before I decided to get TK9000, I was very tempted to get VTZF2. Even though now I have got myself a new weapon, I am still intrigued by VTZF2. I would like to know about your opinion on these 2 great rackets. Is it worth it to have both rackets?

    Thank you very much

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Many thanks for your question. I had the pleasure of testing both recently in the same session. As I played with one racket the other was waiting at the side of the court. I won’t change my opinion and still prefer the TK9000. ZFII is very good and an altogether different feel. However, as I always say, choosing a racket is personal and you may prefer ZForce for all I know. At the moment I would suggest you give yourself time to get to know TK9000 and you may find it has more to offer. In time, somebody you know will play with ZFII and you will get the chance to try it. Then make a decision.

      If you do my armchair exercises you will find defence a lot easier with TK9000.

      Good luck

      Paul

  14. Markku August 25, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Hi Paul,
    Great review. I love everything about this racket from the looks to its performance in the court. Mine is a 4u VTZF 2 strung at 27 lbs using BG 80 POWER. I have no problems using the racket in my games – I play doubles, I have a very aggressive playing style, usually grabbing every opportunity when I’m confident that I can to attack and hit a flat and fast return with wrist and finger techniques. I love to pounce, flick, smash the shuttle to the ground as steep as I can and I do well in quick drives too and I think this racket does a really good job compared to my arcsaber 11 and NS 9900. This racket, in my opinion, is a very good offensive type of racket. But I have a question as I am about to change my string from BG 80 POWER to BG 66. Do you think that I am more likely going to break the BG 66 string if I play to attack and pressure opponent? I just like to have a turquoise color string on this racket and only 66 comes with that color.

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Markku

      If you change string from a 0.68 gauge to a 0.66 gauge then it is likely you will break more strings. However, if you prefer the feel, control and power from the thinner gauge string then you have to decide whether it is worth the trade off and cost of the potential additional restrings.

      Kind regards

      Paul

  15. Jose August 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you for the review. I have been playing with VZFII, Since it was released , I felt the racket is well made and felt solid. I am intermediate player My previous racket was VT80, I completely agree the fact that smashing isn’t that easy as VT80, not an easy pick for an average player. I Struggled to generate speed in smashes initially, but what I liked is unlike VT 80 (my fav smashing power) is this racket is far easier in defence, so fast I barley miss anything this in fact reward me with more points than smashing. But honestly I still miss the ease of use , I liked it but not the best racket I would choose. My ideal racket would a racket with smashing power of VT 80 with The ease of Victor MX 60 (my old friend)and the solid aerodynamic character of VTZFII. Could anyone have any suggestion,what about victor TK 6000

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 26, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Jose

      Either TK6000 or 9000 in 4U could fill this gap. Both these rackets have the capability but I cannot say whether they will suit your game.

      Paul

  16. Nepali August 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks Paul. I will stick with my VT80 and continue to improve my game.

    Binayak.

  17. Nepali August 22, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the review. I am currently using Voltric 80 (4U) and I am certainly NOT a professional player. In your view, which one is more forgiving – voltric 80 (3U) or a ZF2 (3U)? I wanted to know how much more can we get out of Voltric ZF2 compared to a VT80 in terms of a player who just plays in some local clubs.

    Warm Regards
    Nepali.

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Nepali

      An average player will not get very much from a ZFII and maybe nothing at all. Whilst the final decision is yours, personally i would pay a coach to help you improve rather than spend the money on a racket.

      Paul

    • AlexLaw August 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Tried both VT80 3U and VTZF II 3U and 4U. While there is some difference between the 3U versions, I think the 4U VTZF II is superior to the VT80 3U. I think it is not difficult to wield the 4U at all. The VTZF II 4U has all the major benefits: superior swing speed, superior power, meaning better attack and defence.

      • gradors2i November 25, 2015 at 8:20 am

        I found the 4U ZF2 to have underwhelming power. Maybe my Victor Jetspeed Yoo Yeon Seong kinda spoiled me. I did find that I smash steeper with ZF2 than my Jetspeed but the shuttle speed is much slower.

      • Paul Stewart
        Paul Stewart November 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

        Thanks for your comment. I haven’t had the pleasure of using a 4U ZF2. I had a brief test of YYS and hope to spend more time with it over the coming weeks. I’m unsure whether I will write a review at the moment.

  18. chanfs August 22, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Hi Paul

    After reading about the grommet, I think I will not go for this ZF 2, and will instead consider Voltric 80 or 50 or Voltric Z Force.

    The price difference between Voltric 80 and Z Force is only about 10 US dollars. I played with Z Force for about 5 minutes before, I really like the feel, the smash , the only negative thing I have is during defense, i can’t really lift the smashes far and back to my opponent’s court. It was struck at 26 pounds.

    If I get it, I will string at 24 pounds instead.

    I have no chance of trying the Voltric 80. So I have a difficult time deciding between Voltric 80 or Z Force.

    Could you kindly advise me?

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart August 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Chanfs

      If you are concerned about your defence then go with VT80. Or, look at ZFII but a 4U version if you can buy it. I believe VT80 is a better overall racket for most players and ZFII will be too hard to handle. However each player has to make that final choice.

      Paul

  19. Woody August 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the review Paul, read it as I was standing in my local DECATHLON where the Z Force 2 is for sale at £129, I am seriously tempted.

  20. thepresiden August 21, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Hello paul..Im Amrie from Malaysia and have VTZF2 3UG5.100% agreed with ur review about this superb racket.
    Luckily, my brother in law (stay in Portsmouth) just came back to Malaysia (Vacation) and he bought Voltric Zforce 2 4UG5 at cost around GBR110 only..

  21. AlexLaw August 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Yay!!! The review that I have been waiting for has finally been posted!

    It’s a pity UK has a smaller racket and you don’t have a chance to test out the 4U version which I think is better and used by several of my A-class friends.

    I initially guessed you’d give it 4.5 stars before reading the article and thought you would be giving it 5 stars towards reading the end of the review. 🙂

    The balance point has shifted from 320 to 315 mm and the power seems to have been hurt a little. Still, this is still a higher balance point than the TK 9000 (305). While this is not as ‘solid’ as the original, it was still more than solid enough for me anyway…

    While this racket is superior to the original, I really missed those times where I could feel the drag/resistance when smashing with the ZF. As this is less head heavy and more aerodynamic, I feel depressed that I cannot launch anymore rocket smashes.

Leave A Comment