Pros And Cons Of Blade Irons & Should You Use Them?
A Blade Iron is the traditional Iron, before all this fancy technology helping you to hit it straighter, higher, further and with more forgiveness, everyone played with blades.
From juniors, beginners, seniors, your weekend warriors to Professionals. This was normal and you just got on with it. It was a lot more difficult to play the game for the average player and even more difficult to take up the game, because it was so difficult.
There’s no wonder why the game has never been more popular with all the technology that is helping you nowadays. So why do some players still use blades? Well we will be answering that question and many more below.
Blade Irons Overview
What makes a Blade Iron, firstly it is made from Forged Steel, the steel is melted and then forged into its shape usually with a really heavy press.
Traditionally Blade Irons have a sleeker look, with a thin sole and small head size.
What you get from the forging process is a very soft feel off the club face and tremendous ability to be able to work and shape the ball.
Without all the technology from the modern day Irons, Blade Irons are harder to hit, but sacrificing forgiveness and distance gives you the consistency and workability a good player would be looking for.
Advantages Of Blade Irons
Due to the forging process a Blade Iron has a much softer feel than the Game Improvement Irons, which are Cast Steel.
The forging process binds the steel tightly together producing that soft feel.
A Blade Iron has a lot more consistency compared to a Game Improvement Iron.
Ball speeds will stay very consistent when struck well on the face, this is because of the forging process.
Game Improvement Irons are less consistent, as the technology that is built into the Iron sometimes produces ‘Hot’ shots that will fly unexpectedly long.
Because there is less emphasis on forgiveness and distance, you are able to work the ball a lot more, meaning it’s easier to shape the ball from left to right or right to left.
Better players prefer this as they are good enough ball strikers, and don’t need forgiveness and distance, and would rather have workability.
This allows them to attack flags more and shape the ball into the green.
This is a tough one. If you are good enough to play a Blade Iron then they will be more accurate, because of the consistency you get, but if your ability isn’t good enough these Irons won’t be accurate at all.
Disadvantages Of Blade Irons
There is no technology built into Blade Irons, this means they won’t be forgiving, as we said before, the better player isn’t looking for forgiveness, so this isn’t an issue for them.
For the mid to high handicap golfer this is an issue, as your ball striking wouldn’t be as good and you would need that forgiveness element a Game Improvement Iron will give you.
Higher Center of Gravity
Blade Irons have a High Center of gravity, this does two things; firstly it produces a lower more penetrating ball flight. And secondly it makes the Iron less forgiving.
When the CG is high and forward on the face the Iron becomes less forgiving.
Game Improvement Irons have the CG low and away from the face giving them high forgiveness.
Small Head Size
The head size of the Iron is very small. The bigger the head the more technology can be packed into it and the more forgiving it is.
The better player prefers the smaller head as it’s easier to work the ball and easier to control, whereas the higher handicap player prefers the bigger head as it is more confident building and forgiving.
Hard To Hit For Beginners
All of these aspects make it harder for beginners to hit these clubs, this will obviously be a big disadvantage if you play these Irons and your ability isn’t good enough.
How To Hit Blade Irons?
Blade Irons are not forgiving at all, so the first thing you need to do is hit them out of the middle. This is easier said than done.
To efficiently hit Blade Irons you need sufficient clubhead speed or you won’t hit them far. You also need to make a descending blow on the ball, in other words your angle of attack needs to be down. This will compress the ball and give you a decent result.
You have to be very precise in terms of contact. If you can not deliver the club consistently or with enough speed, we suggest trying out more forgiving Irons.
Forged Vs Cast Irons
These are the two manufacturing ways Irons are made. Each is very different and produces a different result.
Blade Irons and some other Player Irons are all forged, the process is done by melting the steel and forging or pressing the Iron into place, the Iron is then cooled and the final touches are put in place.
This process produces a more consistent result when hitting the ball, there is less emphasis on forgiveness and distance and more around precision and consistency. This process is also more expensive to do, making Forged Irons more expensive.
Game Improvement Irons are always Cast Steel, this process is a lot cheaper than Forging.
The performance from Cast Steel Irons are not as good as Forged, but they can pack the head with all sorts of technologies to improve distance and forgiveness, Cast Steel is extremely strong, allowing the manufactures to make the face of the Iron very thin, this promotes more ball speed, which equates to more distance.
Blades Vs Cavity Backs
A Cavity Back Iron is a Forged Iron similar to the Blade, however there are a few differences.
The Cavity Back Irons main focus is still mainly distance and forgiveness, ideal for beginners and less consistent players.
They often call game improvement irons as perimeter weighting can expand the size of the sweet spot on the club face.
In plenty of cavity iron sets, the clubs will get more workable as you make your way into the longer clubs.
Cavity Back Irons have a little more weight low and pulled away from the face compared to the Blade, this will help with miss hit shots.
Blades Vs Muscle Backs
There are very few differences between these two styles, the Muscle Back is almost identical to the Blade, however there is a little more weight low and back, but not as much as the Cavity Back.
This again is going to make it a little more forgiving compared to the Blade, but still with full emphasis on workability and forgiveness.
What Pros Use Blades
There are still many Pros that play Blades, however many of them play Muscle Backs, which nowaday are considered the ‘New Blade’, these players include, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas and Martin Kaymer just to name a few.
Any Pros Use Cavity Backs?
Yes, the majority of Pros, either play a Cavity Back or Combo set between Blades and Cavity Backs. The shorter Irons will be Blades and the longer Irons will be Cavity Backs.
Cavity Backs these days still provide Pros with all the workability and consistency that they need, the extra forgiveness is always a bonus.
These players includes; Jordan Speith, Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia just to name a few.
Can A Mid Handicapper Use Blades?
We strongly suggest Mid Handicappers not to use Blade Irons, there is no need to these days, rather go for something more forgiving. You can try Cavity Backs instead that will address whatever level of the game you play.
There are plenty of options out there that still provide you with enough workability and consistency, but will also give you loads of forgiveness. We suggest trying out the TaylorMade P770 or P790, Ping i210 or Callaway Apex irons.
Best 3 Blade Irons
The new TaylorMade P7MB Irons are described as ‘Pure, Buttery, Organic Steel’. They use 1025 Carbon Steel, and their unique forging process uses a 2,000 ton press 5 times to provide an extremely tight grain structure, giving you a solid feel and loads consistency.
The shape of the head has had the input of a number of their Professionals to give you an ultra clean look, it has a narrow sole and sharp leading edge to improve turf interaction.
The Machine Face and Grooves make every single Iron exactly the same, you can expect extreme quality from the P7MB Irons.
These are not your traditional Blades as they have a slight Muscle Back to them, however this classic look blended with modern technology gives you something you have never seen before.
- Consistent performance
- Incredibly soft feel off the face
- Forged from 1025 Steel in a 2,000 ton press
- Narrow sole and leading edge to help with turf interaction
- Not very forgiving
- Not your traditional blade
Overall Score: 94/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Callaway Apex MB
The Callaway Apex MB Iron is one of the best Blades on the market at the moment, although some of your traditionalists won’t call it a full-on Blade, it still has a classic look, thin topline, thin sole, small head size and magnificent chrome finish.
The new 20V Grooves are designed to give you optimum control and consistent spin, which all high level players would expect from a Blade Iron, the 20V Grooves are also designed to reduce fliers from the rough
The new look CG weighting firstly gives this Iron a fantastic look, it is positioned in the center of the clubhead, allowing the manufactures the dial in specific spin and flight characteristics.
- Thin topline and sole
- Chrome finish for an awesome look
- Incredibly soft feel off the face
- 20V grooves to help with consistency
- New CG weighting helps with forgiveness
- Not very forgiving
Overall Score: 96/100
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PING has always been your traditional club manufacturer, no flashy business but still producing unbelievable products. The Blueprint Irons don’t stop there.
They use a 8620 Carbon Steel to forge these Irons, this Iron gets pressed four times giving it incredible feel and control.
The PING Blueprint Iron has been designed from the input of many of their Professionals, they have been able to put together a Blade Iron with a small and clean look. It has a short blade length and thin top line, this combined with the narrow sole provides fantastic turf interaction.
The Hydropearl Chrome finish helps with impact as it disperses moisture.
There are over 50 steps in the manufacturing process to make these Irons, one of the final processes is the Machined Face and Grooves, this provides consistency and accuracy for the ultimate playmaker.
- A 8620 Carbon Steel is used to make these Irons
- Hydropearl Chrome, which helps disperse water
- Very soft feel off the face
- Machined Face and Grooves
- Thin sole, topline and narrow blade length for control
- Not adjustable
- Not forgiving
Overall Score: 93/100
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Blade Irons are not for everyone, not even all Professionals play with them. Technology has come a long way in the last 20 years, and the game has been made a lot easier.
Having said that I still play with Blade Irons in a Combo set, you have to be a good ball striker, and have to accept you will not have any forgiveness. I generate enough speed with my Irons to hit Blades, I don’t need help with distance, and would rather sacrifice distance and forgiveness and gain consistency and workability.
Blade Irons look, sound and feel amazing, but if you are not good enough to play them, they can really affect your game. Playing an Iron that is specific to your ability will give you the best change at shooting a good score.
We always suggest when buying clubs, to go for a fitting. You will be able to test a variety of options and see which ones work best for your game. Ultimately improving your handicap.