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Difference Between Steel and Graphite Shafts

golf-sports-pdSteel vs Graphite Shafts

Steel shafts and graphite shafts can be compared upon the difference in their weight, torque and vibration. When we compare weights, steel is heavier than graphite shafts, as it is made from a carbon steel alloy that is chrome-plated to make it anti corrosive. Graphite shafts are made from multiple layers of carbon fibers held together by epoxy resins that makes it light weight. Steel has low resistance to twist, or a low torque, compared to graphite that has a mild torque. Steel gives out more vibration than graphite, and more accuracy, but graphite absorbs shock, so it is generally recommended for everyone.

Golfers have been using steel clubs since 1920, and graphite shafts were introduced in late 1960’s. They gained widespread acceptance in the mid 1980’s. Steel shafts are cheaper and consistent from shaft-to-shaft because they are made from a single material, whereas graphite shafts offer a lightweight alternative to steel shafts.

Steel shafts can weigh around 80 to 120g, and graphite’s weight can be around 60 to 80g. Graphite shafts feel more comfortable compared to steel shafts, because of its light weight and swing speed. The weight of the shaft counts a lot because it produces a swing speed, so steel being heavier causes a slower swing speed than the lightweight graphite shaft. Another major difference is that steel shafts are more solid and stronger than graphite shafts.

The weight of steel shafts give golfers more support, balance and accuracy, because for swing tempo, a little heavier weight helps to gain more control. The graphite shaft’s light weight causes more vibrations to impact on the wrists of the golfer, which in turn affects the swing speed as well. With steel, the feel of the shot is crisper and sharper compared to graphite, whose feel is more dampened and softer.

Another comparison possible is on the basis of the distance the golfer wants to fit with his swing. Steel is again a better option if the primary goal is more distance.

Usually, older golfers and women golfers use graphite shafts. Steel shafts are standard shafts used by younger guys and experienced golfers. Senior golfers with joint problems also prefer graphite shafts, and an average player can switch to graphite to play better, and for a good swing and tempo of speed. The lighter weight also reduces shock impact, and covers good distance. Steel shafts are superior in quality to graphite shafts, and reliable too.


1. Steel shafts are heavier, and made of steel alloys that are chrome-plated.

2. Graphite shafts are lightweight, made with multi layers of carbon fibers held together with epoxy resin.

3. Steel shafts are preferred by experienced golfers who have a slow swing speed and want accuracy.

4. Graphite shafts are good for senior or woman golfers who want to have less shock impact on their hands to avoid joint pains.

5. Steel shafts are less expensive than graphite shafts, and they have a low torque compared to graphite that has a mild torque.

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