Dunlop FX 500 Lite Racket Review
The Dunlop FX 500 Lite is the most swing friendly, manoeuvrable and accessible racket in the FX line. Its large sweet spot, high stiffness rating and open string pattern allows the racket to generate a lot of easy power so you don’t have to. Aimed at beginners, improving intermediates and advanced level junior players, the FX 500 Lite is an easy to use all rounder that is a great base for customisation. This game improvement racket delivers a punch both from the baseline and at the net. Dunlop has offset the high stiffness rating with plenty of damping technology, to ensure players benefit from the crisp feel and power, without sacrificing comfort or playability.
7.5out of 10
Dunlop has developed their FX line of rackets for optimum power, speed and playability. The FX 500 Lite opens this model up to a wider audience thanks to the low weight, large sweet spot and thick beam, offering as much easy power as possible.
Built to rival the likes of the Babolat Pure Drive Lite, the FX utilises a high stiffness rating to increase energy transfer from your arm to the ball. Stiffer, power focused rackets are great for doing the leg work for you when it comes to adding MPH to your shots.
But, their rigidity can often lead to harshness and a lack of overall feel. Many powerhouse rackets tend to be a bit lacking in the finesse department, as their main objective is to get the ball moving as quickly as possible.
However, Dunlop has implemented their Sonic Core and Infinergy technologies to try and combat this. These silicone based materials help dampen any unwanted vibrations from the racket as you make contact, dialling out harsh noise.
The idea is that the harder you hit the ball, the more dampening you get. This, in theory, is the gift that keeps on giving and helps the FX line of rackets benefit from both power, stability and feel. The question is, has it actually worked?
Well, the Dunlop FX 500 Lite is most definitely a powerful racket. The ball pings off the string even when using compact swings, making it ideal for players that want the racket to do most of the heavy lifting for them.
Dunlop has even gone as far as redesigning the shape of the frame to make it cut through the air more cleanly. This helps you increase racket head speed and makes the FX 500 Lite easier to swing.
The upshot is that generating ample power with the racket feels effortless, even if you have short and slower swings.
The stability of the racket, considering it is so light, is actually pretty impressive. The high stiffness rating does of course help with this, but the steps Dunlop have taken to ensure the FX 500 Lite is as stable as possible, whilst also being very manoeuvrable and easy to swing have clearly worked.
The comfort and feel of the racket are pretty good, but by no means mind blowing. This is still a power focused racket that’s main aim is to generate as much force as possible, not give you the last word in finesse.
When you are crunching balls with heavy spin from the baseline, the racket is pretty spin friendly but of course lacks the plough through that a heavier racket would possess. The stiffness helps you generate power, but if you have a longer, faster swing, you may be better suited to a heavier stick.
I actually found that I had to reduce my swing speed a bit in order to stop the ball from flying long! The stiffness also deadens the feel of the racket somewhat. It is a bit of a blank canvas that isn’t particularly responsive in terms of feedback.
This is great for players that just want the racket to do as much of the spin and power generation for them as possible. Personally, I prefer a racket with a bit more tactility.
This is a good point and shoot racket from the baseline. The low levels of flex help the ball come off the string bed directly and with no fuss.
The main thing to bear in mind when using the Dunlop FX 500 Lite is that the racket is designed to do the work for you. This makes it ideal for beginners, improving intermediates or juniors that need a bit of extra pop from their racket.
It is not the most arm friendly racket in the world despite Dunlop’s efforts to dial out the harshness and extra vibrations. It is by no means uncomfortable to play with, but something like a Wilson Clash for example does a better job of remaining firm and stable whilst also being supple.
7.5out of 10
The Dunlop FX 500 Lite does a fairly good job at the net. It is a very solid feeling for such a light racket which definitely works in its favour when you need to punch a volley away.
The open string pattern does a great job of keeping the ball low thanks to the extra spin you can generate, and the low swing weight also makes the racket very easy to manoeuvre.
The damping Dunlop has given this racket has certainly helped dial out a lot of the vibrations that a stick with this stiffness rating would otherwise have. This definitely improves the FX 500 Lite’s comfort when volleying, but it still lacks a bit of feel and connection.
The lack of weight also shows itself when trying to block back really fast oncoming balls. Whilst the racket is stiff and pretty stable most of the time, it just doesn’t have that rock solid feeling that a 300g plus racket would possess.
Again, this is not a huge issue as the racket is perhaps aimed at players who are not as confident in their volley technique and need a large sweet spot and light weight to ensure they make clean contact. The FX 500 Lite is therefore a great option for a player looking to improve their volley technique since it is easy to swing and has easily accessible power.
8.5out of 10
Serve is an area that the Dunlop FX 500 Lite definitely stands out. The light weight and aerodynamic design makes it so easy to swing and you can generate a lot of racket head speed over head.
This, combined with the generous sweet spot, high degree of stiffness and open string pattern, means you can hit powerful, heavy serves on both first and second deliveries.
The access to easy power was a real asset of this racket. Again, letting the racket do the work for you is the way to go with the FX 500 Lite. The harder you try, the less the racket rewards you. The string bed feels surprisingly consistent for a 16×19, possibly thanks to the forgiving nature of the large sweet spot.
7.5out of 10
Hitting returns with lighter rackets is not always my favourite thing to do. Whilst they are very easy to swing and can get into position in a flash, the lack of stability and plough through always leaves me wanting more.
This didn’t escape the Dunlop FX 500 Lite entirely, but the damping technology, high stiffness rating and thicker beam all help to give the racket some much needed beef.
It is not the most solid feeling racket when you want to block back fast first serves, but the stiffness does help it feel more crisp and responsive when attacking second serve returns.
The open string pattern and how easy the racket is to swing make producing angles with heavy spin easy even with a compact swing.
Again, this makes it ideal for a beginner or improving intermediate player that is looking to fine tune their technique.
8out of 10
Overall, the Dunlop FX 500 Lite is a great beginner’s racket that is light enough to generate a tonne of racket head speed, power and spin.
The technology Dunlop has poured into this racket has done a great job of helping it punch above its specs.
The high stiffness rating and generous sweet spot give you lots of easy power and less is often more when swinging from the baseline.
The lack of feel and finesse may put some old school players off. But, if you are looking for a racket that will do a lot of the work for you when it comes to hitting heavy balls, the Dunlop FX 500 Lite is well worth a spin.
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