Since I uploaded my review of the Yonex Nanoflare 1000Z, so many of you have asked for a direct comparison of this racket to the other head light Yonex Nanoflare badminton rackets. And so to help you all make the right purchase decision, in this post, I will compare all the high-end Yonex Nanoflare rackets side-by-side, focusing more on what makes each model unique, their playing feel, their strengths and what you need to look out for when buying them.
If you would like to learn more about the specs of each Nanoflare racket, do check out my previous reviews.
The Nanoflare series for Yonex has been incredibly popular with both pros and amateurs alike. The recently launched Nanoflare 1000Z now complements the existing high-end Nanoflare 700, Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT rackets. All 4 models are designed for speed and are incredibly fast. As with all other high-end rackets manufactured by Yonex, the high-end Nanoflare rackets are made in Japan.
These rackets have 3 weight categories. The Nanoflare 1000Z and Nanoflare 800 are available in 3U and 4U weight classes; the Nanoflare 800LT is only available in the 5U weight class; and the Nanoflare 700 is available in 4U and 5U weight classes. Heavier rackets tend to generate power easier but they lose out in the speed or manoeuvrability department. For those of you who are familiar with my channel and site, I usually test rackets in the 4U weight category as that's what I normally play with. However, if there are no 4U options like the Nanoflare 800LT, then 5U it is.
So let's start with the racket feel. In the simplest terms, the Nanoflare 1000Z has the stiffest, and crispiest feel. It feels sharp and responsive. Repulsion is incredibly high and the shuttle will bounce or shoot off the racket extremely quickly upon contact. The Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT feel similar in terms of the racket feel. They are stiff rackets and also very responsive. Not as stiff or crisp as the Nanoflare 1000Z, but they feel very comfortable and smooth. If you want a scale representation from 1 to 10 for crispness, with 10 being the most crispy, the Nanoflare 1000Z would be around 9 - 9.5 and the Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT would be about 8 - 8.5, so not far behind at all.
If we then look at the Nanoflare 700, I find it to be much softer in comparison to the other 3 Nanoflare rackets mentioned above. Yonex rates it a "medium" racket and personally, I would put it around 4 - 5 for stiffness, which is pretty soft for me. I personally prefer slightly stiffer rackets with a sharper response. So if you like stiff rackets, the Nanoflare 700 may not be suitable for you.
The difference in crispness between the Nanoflare rackets may be due to the different racket frame designs. There are 2 distinct racket frame designs employed in these 4 rackets. The Nanoflare 700 and Nanoflare 1000Z share a similar frame design whilst the Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT share another similar design. Both frame designs are fairly unique in their own right. The Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT have the thinnest Yonex badminton racket frames I’ve ever come across at only around 9.3mm and 9.5mm thick, whilst the Nanoflare 700 and Nanoflare 1000Z are at the other end of the spectrum with two of the thickest Yonex frames at 12.4mm to 12.7mm thick.
From my experience, a thinner frame generally has a smoother swing feeling whilst a thicker frame gives a “draggier” feeling, even though the difference could be very small. All 4 rackets swing incredibly fast, but they feel slightly different.
Besides the racket frame design, their racket frame sizes are also different! For example, the Nanoflare 800, Nanoflare 800LT and Nanoflare 1000Z have a compact racket frame size, which means their frames are smaller than usual. A smaller racket head would provide faster swing speeds but at the same time, it also means it potentially has a slightly smaller sweet spot. For reference, the Nanoflare 800, Nanoflare 800LT and Nanoflare 1000Z have frame heights of around 23.5cm, compared to the 24cm of the Nanoflare 700. In terms of width, the Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT are the narrowest at only 18cm wide, followed by the Nanoflare 1000Z at 18.5cm and lastly, the Nanoflare 700 at 18.7cm.
This means the Nanoflare 800 and Nanoflare 800LT have the smallest racket frame, followed by Nanoflare 1000Z in second place and the Nanoflare 700 has the largest racket frame for the current generation Yonex badminton racket. To give you another reference point, the Arcsaber 11 Pro has a frame width wider than that of the Nanoflare 700 at 19cm wide, but shares the same frame height of 24cm. This is why the Arcsaber 11 Pro is so user-friendly as it probably has the biggest sweet spot of all.
So in summary for racket head size, the 700 is the biggest with the 1000Z in second whilst the 800 and 800LT have the smallest head size, although all of the Nanoflare racket frames do have fully recessed frame profiles to help hide those protruding grommets for a faster and smoother swing.
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In terms of speed and manoeuvrability, which is often equated with better defence, this is a really hard one as all of them are incredibly fast when compared to other rackets, like the Arcsaber 11 Pro or my usual Astrox 88D Pro. But amongst themselves, there’s still a slight hierarchy for these speed demons.
In terms of ultimate speed, I find the Nanoflare 800LT the fastest, in part due to its 5U weight, followed closely by the Nanoflare 800 in 4U. Some of you might instinctively think that the 5U Nanoflare 700 would be faster than the Nanoflare 800. However, I just felt that the Nanoflare 700’s slight draggy-ness just puts it behind the Nanoflare 800’s smoothness in terms of pure speed and feel. Clearly, this is my personal opinion and you might think differently.
Obviously, the 3U Nanoflare 800 would lose out to the 4U and 5U Nanoflare 700 in terms of speed. The Nanoflare 1000Z would be the slowest of the bunch, as it has the most head weight amongst them, but certainly still ahead of other head-heavy rackets in terms of speed and manoeuvrability.
For Power, the ranking is almost the opposite of speed as head-heavier rackets tend to generate more power. However, I do want to stress that power generation in badminton is very technical and often down to personal technique, timing and physicality. If you give an advanced player a head-light racket like the Nanoflare 700, he or she will still be able to generate incredibly more power compared to a weak player who is wielding a super head-heavy racket. So the power that I’m trying to describe here is the raw power of the rackets, i.e. how easy it is to generate power with the racket which is often proportionate to the head heaviness or the racket weight itself.
The Nanoflare 1000Z clearly has the most power in this aspect with it having the most head weight. This would then be followed by, in order of most powerful to least powerful, the 3U Nanfolare 800, the 4U Nanoflare 800, the 4U Nanoflare 700, the Nanoflare 800LT and finally the 5U Nanoflare 700. I personally find the Nanoflare 800LT easier for power generation compared to the 5U Nanoflare 700 because I prefer the stiffer feeling, but that's completely down to my personal preference and technique.
Overall, you could even say the new Nanoflare 1000Z is an extra stiff version of the Nanoflare 700. If you’re looking for a user-friendly, easy-to-play racket. I would recommend the Nanoflare 700 or Nanoflare 800. Both are super easy to play with, especially if you reduce your tension a little for the Nanoflare 800 to compensate for the slightly smaller head.
Personally, my favourite amongst the bunch is the 3U Nanoflare 800 and it is rated extremely highly in my book! Many of you who follow my channel from the very beginning will know that I struggled to pick between the 3U Nanoflare 800 and the 4U Astrox 88D Pro in 4U when I wanted to move on from my old trusty Arcsaber 10. But because the UK didn't have the Nanoflare 800 in 3UG5, I decided to with the Astrox 88D Pro in 4UG5 spec.
The 5U models for the Nanoflare 800LT and Nanoflare 700 are super user-friendly beginner rackets, but once you graduate onto the higher levels of play, you might want to have more raw power from the rackets so make sure you are aware of that and it's down to your personal preference.
The Nanoflare 1000Z is probably the least user-friendly in this bunch obviously as it is the stiffest and head heaviest racket. But in the grand scheme of rackets, it's pretty OK once you get used to the crispy and sharp responsive feeling. I would certainly recommend dropping one or two pounds in tension to make it easier to play with, especially if you are on a stiffer feel string or a thinner string.
If you are based in the UK and want to order these rackets, do check them out at Central Sports and remember to use my discount code ‘CKYEW’ for extra discounts too.
What’s your favourite Yonex Nanoflare badminton racket? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll see you in the next post!