The famous DHS brand, sponsor of the Chinese National Team, has a range of high-quality premade rackets. This time, we are going to be reviewing one of their mid-range offerings, the DHS 4002 premade racket.
To anyone who asks me for a good beginner racket, I’ve always recommended this one. That’s because it has rubbers with great spin, it is very cheap and it’s available all over the world.
This is a cheap $30 racket, but it’s full of surprises.
Perfect for: All-round players of all levels / offensive beginners and intermediates who want to learn proper technique and can ideally change the backhand rubber. 0-6 years of playing.
Table of Contents
Design of the DHS 4002
The DHS 4002 comes in a cardboard box with the image of Ma Long and Ding Ning. The packaging is very basic, inside the box there is just a piece of plastic to keep the racket in place.
My initial impressions were not visual, as normal, but rather olfactory. Once I took the racket out of the box, I was inundated with the characteristic fish smell of DHS rubbers.
I knew this smell from years of playing the Hurricane 3 NEO on my forehand side, but there are a lot of people who don’t know of its existence until they buy a DHS product and it really bothers them.
Honestly, it doesn’t hassle me at all, what’s more, I find it quite funny. If it annoys you that your racket smells strange, this one is probably not for you.
Moving on to a slightly deeper examination, I was able to find several things.
First of all, this racket has Hurricane 3 rubber on the forehand side (it does not specify if it is the regular version or the NEO version) and a G888 on the backhand side. In addition, it has a 7-ply blade.
Secondly, I was able to find numerous quality control issues. To name a few, I found the backhand rubber had many stains including one that never came off, the edge tape was poorly placed and the handle was misaligned.
From the first moment, we can see that this is a very industrial product. The fishy smell and the QC issues make us understand that this is not a premium product, far from it.
However, it would be very difficult for DHS to offer us these professional-grade components at such a low price if the build quality were not inferior.
Once I picked up the racket, it felt very heavy, which didn’t surprise me given its two Chinese rubbers and the 7-ply blade.
When I put it on the scale, my suspicions were confirmed, as the racket weighs 195 grams. For reference, a normal racket weighs between 170 and 180 grams.
One of its competitors, the Killerspin JET400, weighs 173 grams, a much better weight.
I strongly recommend replacing the backhand rubber with a softer and lighter one.
The DHS G888 is a very heavy rubber. If you change it to a soft, light, and controllable rubber you will reduce the weight by 10-20 grams and have a much better racket. Good options are the Butterfly Flextra, the 729 Focus 3 Snipe, or the Xiom Vega Europe.
If you swap out the G888 for a Focus 3 Snipe, you’ll have a 7-ply blade, a Hurricane 3 on the forehand side, and a light, spinny, controllable backhand rubber on the backhand side, basically a professional racket. All this for less than 50 dollars.
I think this racket has a lot of potential for its price, as the blade and forehand rubber are excellent, and the problem with the weight can be solved by changing the backhand rubber.
If we press on the rubbers, we find that both rubbers are very hard, which is not particularly good for beginners, especially on the backhand side.
When doing a tackiness test, the Hurricane 3 could pick up the ball from the table and hold it for 1-2 seconds, while the G888 could hold it for up to 8 seconds.
Playtesting the DHS 4002
Driving and looping
After using this racket, it is clear to me that it is made for offensive players. The speed of the blade is more or less ALL+ / OFF-, and it can reach very high speeds.
However, the rubbers do not have a rebound effect, because they are Chinese rubbers. You must have good technique and know how to generate the force of your shots yourself.
This is why it is probably not a great racket for beginners who want to loop right away.
It is very controllable for drives, pushes, and blocks, but when it comes to looping, you need very good technique to be able to generate spinny, powerful loops.
Softer European-style rubbers are much more forgiving for looping than these hard Chinese rubbers.
If you can learn to play with these rubbers, as I did a few years back, your shots will have a lot more power if you switch to European rubbers. It’s doable, it just requires some extra effort.
If you don’t have a coach to teach you proper technique, you may be better off going with more traditional, easy-to-use rackets like the Killerspin JET400.
If you’re willing to learn with this racket, it can pack some serious punch.
Topspin shots on the forehand side, as expected, travel with a lot of power, and it is very easy to control the depth and placement.
The trajectory is quite low, which is a plus because it means that your shots will be harder to counter. On the flip side, a low trajectory can also make it easier to clip the net or send the ball long. However, this didn’t happen often during my testing.
Another thing I should mention is that due to the heavy weight of this racket, it was more difficult for me to swing the racket and generate a lot of acceleration with my wrist and forearm.
As we all know, Chinese superstars use this type of rubber due to its amazing qualities for counter topspins.
This racket was no exception. Counter topspins away from the table had a lot of spin and it was very easy for me to get the ball on the table. The racket had enough strength and stability to play 2-3 meters away from the table.
I have to say that my favorite shot with this racket was the counter topspin near the table.
The great advantage of Chinese rubbers is that it is very easy to hit through spin. As the rubbers are sticky and not grippy, it is very easy to ignore incoming spin and put your own on the ball if you have good technique.
Counters near the table were phenomenal, and they would have been even better if the racket had been lighter.
Even though I had a hard time swinging the racket, the counter topspins were very safe, incredibly powerful, and consistent. The ball traveled with a low trajectory and the racket produced a very satisfying cracking sound when striking the ball on power shots.
Looking at these clips, it doesn’t look like I’m playing with a $30 racket. If we changed the backhand rubber to a better and lighter one like the Rakza 7 Soft, I would be able to use it in official tournaments.
Speaking of which, the backhand side of this racket is pretty bad if you want to attack. The backhand rubber is even harder and stickier than the forehand rubber. If you wanted to generate any kind of speed or spin you would need more power.
The G888 should not be on the backhand side of this racket. It is practically impossible to loop the ball with the backhand side. I could open up with some degree of consistency, but inside the rally, I would only drive and block the ball.
Also, the rubber doesn’t have any kind of speed and it won’t spin the ball unless you perform an active stroke. If you block or drive the ball, your opponent will receive a slow, no-spin ball that they can attack.
If you’re considering buying this racket, you should ask yourself 2 questions:
- Are you willing to play with Hurricane 3 on the forehand side and learn the right technique?
- Are you going to change the backhand rubber, or would you accept using the G888?
If you answered yes to both, this excellent offensive racket is for you.
Serve and receive
The serve and receive game with this racket is great, especially in terms of control.
Serves had good spin to them but above all, they were very easy to place. As the racket does not have a strong rebound effect, it is very easy to serve short or place the ball anywhere on the table.
Pushes worked great with this racket since both rubbers didn’t absorb much spin. It was also very easy to touch short due to the racket’s lack of speed and its tackiness.
However, I had trouble flicking, especially on the backhand side. The rubber doesn’t have any kind of inherent speed and is too hard to flick consistently and with good quality.
Blocking and chopping
Blocks with this racket were fine. It has tons of control and it absorbs incoming force well.
However, blocks work differently than with a conventional racket.
Both rubbers absorb the incoming force and return a very slow ball that has little spin. This is good from a control standpoint but you can’t really attack your opponent with blocks since the ball rebounds very little.
Chopping was also good, although it requires a different technique than with the European rubbers. With European rubbers, you can chop the ball by grazing it. With this racket, you have to impact the ball a bit more so that it crosses to the other side of the table.
Overall reflections on the DHS 4002
All in all, I think this racket is great for all-round or offensive players on a budget.
It’s suited for players who like topspin and counter topspin rallies or for those who value control on drives and blocks.
Its weight and its backhand rubber are its main cons, which can be solved by changing the G888.
Also, if you want to use it to attack, you must have good technique or be willing to learn, since the rubbers do not produce a strong loop by themselves, you must work hard to give the ball power.
If you have good technique, all shots are possible with this racket, with topspins and counter topspins being a very strong point of this racket.
Overall I had a lot of fun with this racket. It’s a great offensive racket and it’s the perfect under $50 racket for offensive players… but only if you switch its backhand rubber.