Expert Review: Dunlop FX 500 Racquet · Unstrung

Published on 12/03/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in October of 2022.
Brandon M., Tennis Expert
By Tennis Expert Brandon M.

All photos courtesy of Brandon M. 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in October of 2022.

My take

The Dunlop FX 500 is a modern player’s racquet ideal for intermediate to advanced players who play an aggressive attacking style. It offers power and spin with lots of maneuverability, perfect for hitting winners from all over the court.

About the gear I tested

  • Model: Dunlop FX 500
  • Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
  • String and Tension: Dunlop Explosive Spin 16 53lbs
  • Head size: 100
  • Racquet Length: 27
  • Any Customizations:

About me

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP with Head
  • Experience: 28 years of playing tennis
  • NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0

Test conditions

  • When I tested these: October 2022
  • Days tested: 5
  • Court Surfaces: Hard
  • Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
  • Where I’ve used it: Kingsford High School, Kingsford, MI

How it performs

Maneuverability
5/5
Power
5/5
Serve
5/5
Ground Stroke
4/5
Stability
4/5
Volley
4/5
Control
3/5
Feel
3/5

What I was looking for

I am not particularly looking to switch from my current Head Gravity MP, as it is one of my favorite racquets I’ve ever played with, but I am open to finding something that works better for my game. The Gravity MP offers controllable power and an outstanding feel but can be lacking in stability at times, so a racquet would need to keep the things I like about the Gravity while adding stability in order to replace the Gravity in my bag.

Why I chose not to purchase this gear

The Dunlop FX 500 is a bit too powerful for my game and has an overly stiff feel that I don’t like. It is a lot of fun to casually play with, though, because the pace and spin make for some awesome feeling groundstrokes, but for me, it doesn’t hold up to more competitive play where the lack of control and stability come into play.

What I love about it

  • Power: The FX 500 is one of the modern players' racquets modeled after the Babolat Pure Drive, which is meant to provide power and spin for today’s game. The FX 500 definitely delivers on this promise with a stiff beam and an easy swinging feel to have the ball jump off the strings.
  • Maneuverability: With a low, for a racquet with a static weight of 300g and 314RDC swingweight, the FX 500 offers easy racquet head speed, which helps get plenty of pace on the ball when out of position.
  • Serves: The inherent power and fast feel of the FX 500 combine to add a definite boost to my first serves.
  • Volleys: With great maneuverability, the FX 500 was easy to use at the net on reaction volleys.
  • Ground Strokes: The easy power and spin made the ball jump off the strings of the FX 500, and once I adjusted my strokes to compensate, it made hitting ground strokes a joy.
  • Stability: With a high stiffness rating, the FX 500 resisted twisting and made the racquet feel much more stable than a 314RDC racquet typically is.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Control: The FX 500 is a power-oriented racquet, and as a result, the control can suffer at times. With the light swingweight, it was easy to overswing, and I had to adjust my strokes to keep the ball in play.
  • Feel: The 71RA stiffness is the stiffest racquet I’ve tested all summer, and I can definitely notice the somewhat harsh feeling as a result. Dunlop has added dampening technology such as Sonic Core with Infinergy and Flex Touch Resin to try to improve the comfort level, which does help to a degree, but it is still a feeling I don’t enjoy in a racquet. It is more comfortable than the Babolat Pure Aero racquets, though, which have a lower stiffness rating.

Favorite moment with this gear

The FX 500 is a lot of fun to hit on the run forehands with. During testing, the power and racquet head speed let me hit aggressive shots from defensive positions and either get back to the point or hit outright winners when I shouldn’t have.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Dunlop FX 500 is one of the older racquets on the market right now, having been updated in early 2020, so retail pricing hasn’t seen the jump of the newly updated racquets released this year. At an MSRP of $229, it is a good value compared to the Babolat Pure Drive 100 and Wilson Ultra 100 V4. The Head Instinct MP 2022 undercuts quite a bit at around $149. With an update coming in early 2023 for the FX 500, Dunlop has the FX 500 on sale right now, so it directly competes with that Instinct MP.

Final verdict

The Dunlop FX 500 is an easy-to-use racquet for intermediate to advanced players looking for easy power and spin to take their games to the next level.

Brandon M., Tennis Expert
4.9
Brandon M.
Tennis Expert
72 Reviews
1445 Customers helped
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