The new Carlton range features the Fireblade and Aeroblade series, which recently replaced the old Powerblades and Airblades. The prices range from £80 for the flagship Fireblade Elite, to around £30 for the bottom of the Aeroblade range. A welcome addition to the Carlton range is the isometric head shape. Almost all the range have this alternative, and is comparable to the Yonex rackets. The isometric head offers an increased sweet spot, making off centre shots a little more forgiving, and helping you to gain more consistent power.
The Fireblade range has proved to be a huge success, and is geared towards more advanced players. The Aeroblade rackets are aimed at intermediate players, but in all honesty, if you have good technique, you can use just about any badminton racket and be successful.
In the past, Carlton have had some quality problems, especially where the shaft meets the handle. A little glue usually sorts this out, but really you should not have to do this. You can contact Carlton, and you will get a response. As long as you have not destroyed the racket, you should get a replacement.
Now that Carlton have these new ranges, the old Powerblade and Airblade rackets will slowly be phased out. This provides a great opportunity to save some cash, as these badminton rackets will have big discounts if you look hard enough.
The technology in the most expensive Carlton’s is nanopulse carbon, which can also be seen in many Yonex rackets. Nano technology is the most popular at the moment, until the next generation comes along, which happens every couple of years.