Review: Dunlop FX 500 Racquet · Unstrung

Published on 07/19/2023 · 3 min readCurated Tennis Expert Brandon M. shares his experience with using the Dunlop FX 500 Racquet. Note that experts are not sponsored by any brands; these are their honest opinions.
Brandon M., Tennis Expert
By Tennis Expert Brandon M.
8 photos
Photo by Brandon M.

The Curated Take

4.0/5

The Dunlop FX 500 tennis racquet is ideal for intermediate to advanced players who prefer an aggressive game. It provides significant power and spin, high maneuverability, and a large sweet spot, allowing for hard, long strokes. Its stiffness, while providing stability, may feel harsh to some, suggesting a softer hybrid string setup for improved comfort. Perfect for players dominating from the baseline but versatile enough for confident net play, it stands as a great alternative to power racquets like the Babolat Pure Drive.

Ideal for
  • Easy swinging power
  • Big serving weapon
  • Fast moving at the net
Not ideal for
  • Very stiff
  • Easy to overhit with for higher-level players
Control
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The FX 500 has tons of power in reserve and an easy swing feel, making it easy to overswing and have the ball sail. I can harness this during more...Read more
Volley
Brandon M., Curated Expert
I find the FX 500 to be a lot of fun while at the net. With that really maneuverable swingweight, surprising stability, and outstanding power, I can really get a...Read more
Maneuverability
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The maneuverability of the Dunlop FX 500 is outstanding. With a low for its weight class 314 RDC swingweight, it's easy to get the FX 500 moving to help generate...Read more
Stability
Brandon M., Curated Expert
With a 314RDC swingweight, on paper, it would seem that the FX 500 leans towards speed and maneuverability over stability. However, it proved to be surprisingly stable during my test...Read more
Feel
Brandon M., Curated Expert
With the very high 71RA stiffness rating, thick beam, and firm polyester string in my demo racquet, the FX 500 has a pretty harsh feel on impact, which is not...Read more
Comfort
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The Dunlop FX 500 has the highest RA stiffness rating of any racquet I've tested over the past two seasons. As a result, it lets me feel the ball quite...Read more
Sweet Spot Size
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The Dunlop FX 500 racquet has quite a large sweet spot, making it a really good racquet for intermediate players looking to advance their games. It allows them to continue...Read more
Durability
Brandon M., Curated Expert
Tennis racquets, by nature, have to be quite durable to hold up to repetitive impacts. With high-quality carbon/fiberglass construction, most performance racquets last quite a while without issue. The Dunlop...Read more
Ground Stroke
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The big power, fast racquet head speed, and easy spin of the FX 500 make it one of what I call "guilty pleasure" racquets. These racquets are so much fun...Read more
Power
Brandon M., Curated Expert
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...Read more
Serve
Brandon M., Curated Expert
The FX 500 is a great fit for me when serving. I like to hit big first serves and use a high-kicking second serve to keep my opponent on the...Read more
Versatility
Brandon M., Curated Expert
With loads of power and spin, it is easy to assume that the FX 500 is reserved for power baseline players. However, its nice maneuverability and above-average stability work quite...Read more

Expert Reviews of the Dunlop FX 500 Racquet

 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. With its lower swingweight and fairly large sweet spot, it is a user-friendly racquet that helps players hit harder balls with longer strokes. The feel is definitely a weak point of the FX 500, as it is a very stiff racquet without much dampening. A hybrid string setup with a softer multifilament would go a long way toward improving the feel. This is a nice alternative to some of the bigger-name power racquets, such as the Babolat Pure Drive and Yonex Ezone 100.

Product Specs

Age GroupAdult
StringingUnstrung
Head size (sq in)100 sq. in.
Length (in)27"
BalanceHead light
Beam width23/26/23 mm

Review Ratings

Control

3/5
 gave 3 of 5 stars. The FX 500 has tons of power in reserve and an easy swing feel, making it easy to overswing and have the ball sail. I can harness this during more casual hitting and drills by aiming for larger targets. Still, I struggle in competitive play because I am forced to alter my swing and strategy too much to be as effective as I am used to.

Volley

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. I find the FX 500 to be a lot of fun while at the net. With that really maneuverable swingweight, surprising stability, and outstanding power, I can really get a good punch on my volleys and overhead. It struggles a bit on heavy topspin passing shots when I am out of position, which is to be expected for its swingweight. Overall, it makes volleying quite easy for a baseliner like me.

Maneuverability

5/5
 gave 5 of 5 stars. The maneuverability of the Dunlop FX 500 is outstanding. With a low for its weight class 314 RDC swingweight, it's easy to get the FX 500 moving to help generate lots of racquet head speed on groundstrokes and serves and reacts to hard-hit passing shots at the net.

Stability

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. With a 314RDC swingweight, on paper, it would seem that the FX 500 leans towards speed and maneuverability over stability. However, it proved to be surprisingly stable during my test period. I attribute this to the high stiffness rating, which really helps it resist twisting on impact. While it was more stable than I expected, it still struggles a bit against the biggest hitters I play with.

Feel

3/5
 gave 3 of 5 stars. With the very high 71RA stiffness rating, thick beam, and firm polyester string in my demo racquet, the FX 500 has a pretty harsh feel on impact, which is not what I look for in a racquet. It is similar to the Babolat Pure Aero and Pure Drive racquets in that I can feel the ball on impact. It lets me know exactly how the ball leaves the racquet, but I prefer more ball pocketing and a flexible feel from my frames.

Comfort

3/5
 gave 3 of 5 stars. The Dunlop FX 500 has the highest RA stiffness rating of any racquet I've tested over the past two seasons. As a result, it lets me feel the ball quite intensely on impact, which can be a problem for those with a history of arm issues. My recommendation with this frame for users of polyester strings is to go with a softer version than they typically would or to hybrid it with a soft multifilament string in the crosses to improve feel and comfort.

Sweet Spot Size

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. The Dunlop FX 500 racquet has quite a large sweet spot, making it a really good racquet for intermediate players looking to advance their games. It allows them to continue developing longer and faster strokes while being forgiving when they are slightly off at impact. The sweet spot is relatively high on the frame, which really suits the modern game, where players tend to hit the ball higher in the hoop.

Durability

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. Tennis racquets, by nature, have to be quite durable to hold up to repetitive impacts. With high-quality carbon/fiberglass construction, most performance racquets last quite a while without issue. The Dunlop FX 500 is no different. Even though my racquet was a demo with an unknown amount of use, it looked in excellent shape and held up throughout my test period.

Ground Stroke

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. The big power, fast racquet head speed, and easy spin of the FX 500 make it one of what I call "guilty pleasure" racquets. These racquets are so much fun to just stand at the baseline and see how big I can hit my groundstrokes with because they are almost effortless. Having a little more control would have made this a 5-star rating, but overall it's a blast to hit with off the ground.

Power

5/5
 gave 5 of 5 stars. 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.

Serve

5/5
 gave 5 of 5 stars. The FX 500 is a great fit for me when serving. I like to hit big first serves and use a high-kicking second serve to keep my opponent on the back foot. With easy power and spin, thanks to maneuverability, I successfully serve with the FX 500. When picking a target, I give myself a bit more margin for error, but the pace and spin I can generate make my serves more difficult to return without being as precise.

Versatility

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. With loads of power and spin, it is easy to assume that the FX 500 is reserved for power baseline players. However, its nice maneuverability and above-average stability work quite well at the net. As a result, it is suited for players who like to play aggressively from all over the court and are confident finishing points off when needed.

FAQs

What was your favorite moment with this gear?

I loved hitting on the run forehands with the Dunlop FX 500 during my test period. It's one of my favorite shots with any racquet. Still, the maneuverability and power really let me be aggressive when I should have been just blocking the ball back to reset the point. One memorable point, in particular, came during a doubles match against my sister and her husband. My wife and I were scrambling on this point, and a sharp volley pulled her off the court to the ad side where I was playing. My brother-in-law hit a deep volley in the deuce side alley, and on a full stretch, I could hit a hard, dipping forehand down the line that he couldn't get a racquet on. We were definitely in a losing position at that point, but I was able to hit a desperation shot, thanks to the FX 500.

Why did you choose this product?

I didn't end up purchasing this product after testing it because the control was lacking for me when playing competitive matches. Thanks to that big power and spin, it was an absolute blast to use more casually. I had to play too conservatively during match play to harness it, which affected my overall game too much.

What is the value for the money versus other options?

The Dunlop FX 500 was updated in 2020, and, as a result, it is one of the older racquets on the market for its class, with others such as the Babolat Pure Drive, Wilson Ultra 100, and Head Boom MP updated in 2021/2022. By being an older racquet, its price makes it quite a good value as it is $20-30 less than those racquets at retail. A new version of the FX 500 was released in early 2023, and this 2020 model can be found for as low as $100 unstrung, which is an outstanding deal.

What do you love about this product?

The Dunlop FX 500 is a great racquet for players looking to be aggressive with their games. It offers easy access to power to get the ball jumping off the strings. The swingweight is really maneuverable to help intermediate players generate longer, faster swings for good topspin. That maneuverability carries over when at the net to make reaction volleys a breeze. Finally, serving is fantastic with that fast racquet head speed and big power combining to make for explosive first and high-kicking second serves. Finally, for a racquet with a relatively low swingweight, the stability was really nice, thanks to a thicker, stiff beam that resisted twisting quite well.
Brandon M., Tennis Expert
4.9
Brandon M.
Tennis Expert
72 Reviews
1444 Customers helped
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