Dunlop FX 700 Racket Review
Dunlop have partnered up with Srixon over the past few years to bring us a new dynamic range of tennis rackets. They have employed new technology to increase comfort and stability in their rackets whilst retaining that classic feel that old school players love.
This includes innovations such as the Sonic Core and Infinergy technologies that employ an elastic material in tactically placed areas of the frame to offer better dampening and shock absorption on impact.
Dunlop also uses a new Flex Touch Resin in the racket’s handle which reduces shock traveling through the grip into your hand.
Not only have they got you covered from a comfort perspective, but Dunlop have also introduced a new grommet design with a Power Boost Groove.
This gives the racket a nice amount of extra pop, helping you to generate as much power as possible.
The grommet is shaped with a power groove that runs through the entire circumference of the frame, allowing the strings to move more in their holes and helping the racket to be more aerodynamic as it travels through the air.
The new grommet structure increases the size of the racket’s sweet spot, so even mis-timed or off centre strikes will feel comfortable.
The 107sq in head size is also great for generating power, as it has a massive sweet spot and creates a springy trampoline effect as you contact the ball.
It is great for the player looking to get as much help from their racket as possible, whilst retaining a good amount of comfort and control.
Dunlop have also introduced a new string layup, which packs the strings more densely in the centre of the racket and dissipates them slightly further apart as you move up the string bed towards the head of the racket.
This gives a more uniform distribution of power and increases the sweet spot size towards the tip of the racket, making this the ideal weapon of choice for the modern player looking to maximise their power and racket head speed.
Not only have Dunlop focussed on power and comfort with this racket, but they have also taken steps to maximise the FX 700’s stability.
They have widened the throat of the frame and given it a 68 stiffness rating, meaning the energy transfer between your arm, the string bed and the ball itself is maximised.
Dunlop have also incorporated their new Flex Touch Resin into the FX racket line, which is an elastic material that does a great job of dampening shock waves that travel through the racket as you contact the ball.
A racket that is built with a relatively high stiffness rating will tend to send more vibrations through your arm.
This is because the racket itself does not flex very much so fewer of these vibrations get absorbed by the racket frame, meaning the racket can sometimes feel jarring on off centre hits.
However, with this new technology and the Sonic Core we mentioned earlier makes this one of the most comfortable oversized rackets on the market today.
This combination of power, comfort and stability means you will get a consistent and reliable feel on the ball, whilst maximising the work the racket does for you and not suffering any adverse impacts from excess vibrations.
This makes the Dunlop FX 700 a great choice for a player that has previously suffered from tennis elbow (thanks to the enhanced shock absorption technology), a beginner that is looking for a forgiving racket to maximise their enjoyment on the court, or an improving player that needs a stable and reliable platform from which they can work on their technique.
So, it is clear that Dunlop has pulled out all the stops to make the FX line of rackets, in particular the 700 version, as technologically advanced as possible, but let’s see how it actually performs on the court!
8out of 10
Off the ground it is clear to see why this is a power friendly racket. The large sweet spot allows you to be a little more relaxed with your timing, as even mis-hitting the ball or contacting it a bit late can still yield good results. That is not to say you can get away with being lazy with your footwork when playing with the Dunlop FX 700, but you can get away with more compared to a standard midplus racket.
The stick does feel stable thanks to its high stiffness rating but is very comfortable despite this. All the technology Dunlop has put into this racket does make a big difference to the way it feels. An oversized racket typically can feel cumbersome due to the large head size, head heavy balance point and thicker beam width. However, whilst you can’t escape its size, the Dunlop FX 700 does feel more nimble than most rackets in this sector.
The Power Grooves and unique frame construction do a good job of hiding the frame size, as the racket feels easy to maneuver. You can still pick your spots and hit them with confidence with this racket, as the stiffness and stability means you won’t be pushed around despite the low weight.
It is clear that Dunlop have created this racket to compete with the Babolat Pure Drive 107, as they would typically offer their over sized models in 105 sq in form.
The FX 700 definitely leans on the comfort and maneuverability side compared to the Pure Drive 107, as it has a lighter static weight and has a slightly more head light balance. Where the Babolat feels solid, the Dunlop feels stable and well damped.
Both rackets have their merits, but the Dunlop also makes use of its additional half inch in length to give you more leverage. The Dunlop also has more feel than the Babolat, so you can dial in to your shots a bit more quickly, making this quite a versatile racket.
The lightness makes the racket incredibly easy to swing, yet the stability and stiffness (along with good dampening and comfort) means you can ramp up your swing speed whilst having confidence that the racket won’t feel jarring as you hit.
7.5out of 10
Volleying with the FX 700 felt better than expected. It is quite a feelsome racket for something with such a large head size.
The addition of the damping technology makes it a very user friendly racket to volley with, absorbing pace and hitting volleys on the stretch wasn’t too difficult at all.
The extra surface area made the racket quite forgiving, which gives you more confidence to take a bit of a larger swing at some volleys when looking to be aggressive and close down the net.
However, whilst the racket is definitely stable and well damped, the light weight does show when you want a solid racket to feel robust and block back fast balls.
Whilst the racket felt comfortable, it was not always the most stable when my opponent ramped up their ball speed and I needed to put the ball back deep in the court consistently.
This was not a major point that detracted from the overall experience, but it is worth noting that the racket’s incredibly light weight does hold it back slightly when you need a firm stick to block balls back with ease.
8.5out of 10
The Dunlop FX 700 gave a good amount of pop on the serve, feeling pretty powerful and comfortable to swing when ramping up the pace. The 16×19 string pattern meant I could generate a lot of spin to control the pace, which made the racket feel great on both first and second serves.
The light weight meant it was easy to swing and generating power was a breeze throughout the playtest.
You won’t struggle with fatigue with this racket, as the large sweet spot and extended length help you feel in the driving seat when bombing down serves!
It is definitely a confidence inspiring racket that urges you to go for your serves, but it is not overwhelming thanks to that classic Dunlop feel.
7.5out of 10
Again, the light weight of the 700 version of this racket had its benefits and drawbacks when returning serve.
Whilst it was very comfortable and easy to swing, it did feel a little airy at times. While this was not a major issue, it did take a bit of time to calibrate my inputs, especially when returning faster first serves.
That being said, it was easy to get the racket prepared early thanks to the lack of mass, so being well prepared and setting up your racket and body in good time won’t be a problem with this stick.
Just bear in mind that it doesn’t always offer the plow through you may want, so you may want to follow through your swings a bit more than normal to get the ball deep.
8out of 10
Overall, the Dunlop FX 700 is a good all rounder for the player that is looking for an oversized frame that won’t feel too cumbersome.
It is a lightweight stick that is whippy and easy to get into position nice and early, meaning you can swing the racket fast and generate a lot of power. Despite its high stiffness rating it is a pretty comfortable racket to hit with due to its supreme dampening technology.
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