Detailed difference between 3U vs 4U, for major brands

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by ChocoChipWaffle, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. ChocoChipWaffle

    ChocoChipWaffle Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Americas
    A racket usually comes in 2 versions: 3U and 4U versions, or lately 4U and 5U.

    Just wondering for those who have both the heavier and lighter versions, what specific differences did you find between 2 versions.

    Victor: Some on BC report that the difference is only in the wooden handle - the 4U has a hole made with a slightly bigger drill. This means the carbon mould (head + shaft) is essential the same. In my experience (tried 3U4U Braveswords, MX's), the balance was a total crapshoot, sometimes even the 4U had a higher balance point than the 3U sometimes. But the interesting thing is, for the most part, the 4U counterpart always played a bit more flexible than the 3U. So I'm suspecting, could they be using a softer grade shaft for the 4U's, or perhaps a shaft with a more hollowed center?

    Li ning: I haven't tried

    Yonex: Tried an Armortec 700 (original) 3U and 4U. From the few times I've tried them, the extra weight seemed to be more evenly distributed to head, shaft, and handle. Because the head-heaviness and overall balance felt similar, but the racket felt heavier. Stiffness was similar, but the power shots felt more solid, possibly due to more material on the head.
     
  2. seanc6441

    seanc6441 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Ireland
    If the weight was only added and reducted from the handle I couldn't see how 3u rackets could be claimed as more powerful than 4u.

    Also all 4u rackets would have a higher balance point which is not the case from the data I've seen on this thread.

    I would think there's some difference to the weight of the head to create a power disparity.
     
  3. ChocoChipWaffle

    ChocoChipWaffle Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Americas
    I think you're probably right about the handle

    But there are people on BC who definitely reported some victor 4U's to have a wider hole in the wooden grips than the 3U's. Maybe they measure the carbon mould's weights before gluing the handle, and then put lighter handles to control the final weights if need be?

    But have people noticed any difference in shaft stiffness as well? This is really my biggest question for victors - whether 4U's feel at all more flexible than the 3u's.

    People usually say the 3U feel more solid than 4U, and we assume the weight has been distributed equally to the racket. This would mean around 5 grams have been distributed equally to the head, shaft, grip, which means, around 2 grams have been added to the head, shaft, and the grip. If not, that means on average the 3U have a different balance point than the 4U (assuming we're talking about a manufacturer with a good QC like Yonex Japan Factories).
     
  4. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    UK
    The difference between 4U and 3U rackets is not always exactly 5 grams. It could be only 3 grams but it just means a racket slips into a different weight category. 1g off the head, 0.5g off the shaft, 1g off the handle and you could easily go from a respectable 3U (87g) to heavy 4U (84.5g) You could probably achieve that with sandpaper and a bucket of elbow grease.

    As paint has weight so could more paint be added to alter the balance and total weight? Also, the weight saving could be in different places for different manufacturers or even the racket range. The mind boggles.

    I have played around with lead tape and even 1g is quite obvious. You can't easily hide it under paint or stickers. Therefore, the visual difference between a 4U and 3U should be easier to spot unless the weight is removed internally???

    Difference between astrox99 3U and 4U
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #4 Ouchie, Jan 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  5. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Indonesia
    I think it just plain simple as production error but it still in acceptable value.
    Its hard to maintain the very same spec in all of product especially in a large batch production. Machine error, mould wear/teardown, human error affect the result.

    So having a product that vary in a wide range will look bad for them, so instead they hid it with 3U or 4U category & claim the minor error would be +2 or -2. It would be easier to paint the product following the nearest spec rather try to maintain the quality in the production line. Tho with all the technology nowadays, they would be able to minimize the error & get more accurate spec.
     
  6. ChocoChipWaffle

    ChocoChipWaffle Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Americas
    i'm reading some reviews from other sites, including someone reviewing a nanoflare 700 4u and 5u (both with same setup, measured 4.6 grams apart which is decent QC)... and apparently he preferred the 5u because it felt stiffer! Not sure if anyone felt the lighter version was stiffer for the other yonex rackets.
     
  7. kwun

    kwun Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    40,223
    Likes Received:
    1,220
    Occupation:
    BC Janitor
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA, USA
    I have measure the exact same racket model and same weight grade, and there are differences. Just go to any racket store with a scale and you will usually find 2-3 gram differences for the same U!

    composite racket is a combination of rolled carbon soaked in resin, it is hard to control exactly the weight. the 2-3 gram is just 2-3% variation.

    I have a Yonex cab20 U (1U!) which I think was just a off spec outlier but since it measured that way, they just labeled it so.
     

Share This Page