Graphite Shaft vs Steel Shaft

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Golf is a game of accuracy and intuition. You take the turf, wind and most importantly the golf shaft into consideration before taking your shot against the competitive golfers out there. Though the turf and the weather conditions may not be in your control, selecting the perfect golf shaft is something you should give utmost attention to and tackle with an in-depth research especially when your goal is to play with the right golf clubs.

Golf shafts can influence the outcome of your game. They come in different shapes and sizes which differ in torque, flex, alignment and various other parameters.

Graphite and steel

Mostly, golf shafts are made of graphite and steel. In order to figure out the best shaft for your game, better understanding of the features is essential. Let us examine the difference between a graphite shaft and a steel shaft in the following comparison.

Key difference and introduction

Steel shafts are a product of carbon steel alloy with a chrome plating that offers protection against hard impacts and corrosion while a graphite is a composite of carbon fiber layer topped with an epoxy resin that holds the fiber layers in place. Back in the day, steel shafts were the primary choice of golfers around the globe. The graphite shafts came into existence in the ’60s and became popular in the ’80s due to its robust performance and amazing longevity.

Graphite shafts gaining favor

Steel shaft manufacturing is a cost-effective process since they are curated from a single alloy. The modifications of steel shafts are limited to the dimensions and not the constituents. The cost of high-quality steel shafts is equivalent to that of mediocre graphite shafts. The creation of graphite shafts was to tackle the weight of steel shafts which are heavy and require more power in a swing. The weight of a standard steel shaft is 100 grams while a mid-level graphite shaft weighs around just 40 grams. This is a major difference which highlights the graphite shafts and facilitated their breakthrough in the global market.


The light weight of the graphite shafts lands the golf ball at an increased distance than the steel shafts with the same power due to the faster swinging motion. Graphite shafts are fixed on longer clubs, unlike the steel shafts.

Range of design

Graphite shafts beat steel shafts from a design perspective. As already mentioned, graphite shafts are multiple layers of carbon fiber held tightly by a layer of epoxy resin. Further customization in the layers of carbon fiber is possible. The strength of the material of each layer can differ with a provision for applying them at various degrees adding to the stiffness of the shaft and at the same time reducing the twisting motion during impact with the golf ball. This flexibility allows manufacturers to introduce a wide range of graphite shafts with unique features and specialties.

Cheaper shaft option

Due to the infinite possibilities that come with graphite shafts, they come at different prices depending on quality. For instance, an entry-level shaft can be as low as $10 while the high-end shafts end up as high as $1000 in the market. So, it is safe to conclude that a graphite shaft is generally costlier than the traditional steel shafts.

Shaft in drivers

Drivers are used for long distance shots and golfers prefer drivers equipped with graphite shafts due to its light weight, low twisting motion and better torque. But for golfers looking for distance as well as accuracy prefer steel shafts. Currently, there are newer versions of steel shafts that are light and comparable to graphite shafts.

To define the type of shaft that works best ultimately depends on your requirements as a player. It all comes down to the distance you want the ball to travel and how much control you want to have in place. Increased distance requires more investment.

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