The Babolat Pure Drive has been one of the most popular tennis rackets amongst pro and club players for many years now as it offers a good mix of power and spin with a large sweet spot
However, there are some drawbacks to the Pure Drive as it is a very stiff racket, and is not the best when it comes to control.
So today, I thought I would take a look at one of the alternatives to the Pure Drive, the Dunlop FX 500, to see whether it is a good option for players looking to make a switch.
Dunlop FX 500 vs Babolat Pure Drive
For this racket comparison, we will be using the 2021 Version of the Pure Drive (or “PD”) and the 2023 version of the Dunlop FX 500 (or “FX 500”).
I was surprised by how similar these rackets are in terms of racket specs as the only differences were the FX 500 having a slightly lower swing weight and stiffness rating when compared with the PD (see more details below).
|Strung Weight:||320g (11.3oz)||318g (11.2oz)|
|Head Heavy or Head Light:||4 Pts Head Light||4 pts Head Light|
|Power:||Low to Medium||Low to Medium|
|Beam Width:||23mm / 26mm / 23mm||23mm / 26mm / 23mm|
|Colors:||Blue and Black||Blue and Black|
|Grip Type:||Dunlop Synthetic||Babolat Syntec Pro|
Strung Weight and Swing Weight
The FX 500 has a strung weight of 320g (11.3oz), which is just 2 grams more than the PD (318g (11.2oz)).
The FX 500 also has a slightly higher swing weight at 321g versus the 320g of the PD so the FX 500 will be slightly less maneuverable than the PD but it isn’t a huge difference.
Length and Head Size
Both rackets have a standard 27in length and a 100in Head Size.
Both the FX 500 and the PD have a 4pts head light balance.
Frame Stiffness Rating
The PD has a stiffness rating of 71, which is two more than the FX 500 (6().
If you have had arm or elbow issues in the past then you are probably better off going with a less stiff frame like the Wilson Clash 100 or the Head Boom MP.
Both rackets have the exact same beam width (23mm / 26mm / 23mm).
Although both of these tennis rackets are in the low to medium range in terms of power, I would say they are closer to medium than to low as I had no issues generating power on my shots.
If you are an advanced tennis player then you may find the rackets give too much help with power and not enough help in terms of control.
The FX 500 and PD both have an open 16×19 string pattern which should make it easier for you to generate topspin on your shots.
If you want to find out more about how string patterns affects a racket then check out our article on Tennis Racket String Patterns.
Both of these rackets are available to buy on online shops such as Amazon, Tennis Warehouse, and Tennis-Point.
In terms of specs, both of these tennis rackets are very similar so you are not going to feel a huge difference between playing with either one of these rackets.
If you are someone who already plays with a PD then I wouldn’t see any major advantage to switching to the FX 500.
However, if you are someone who trying to decide which of these two rackets to buy then I would recommend that you go with the FX 500 as the slightly lower swing weight will be bigger for the average recreational player.