Taylormade Stealth Vs. Taylormade M4 Irons Comparison Overview

It’s fun to compare older clubs to newer clubs – especially ones from the same manufacturer. That’s because you really get to see and feel how the clubs have improved – or regressed – over the years. We had one such opportunity recently when we tested the Taylormade Stealth irons against the M4’s.

Of course, the Taylormade Stealth irons are much newer than the M4’s but newer doesn’t always mean better. In the following overview, we highlight the key differences between these two iron sets and give our opinion as to which is better.

Taylormade Stealth Irons Overview

The new Taylormade Stealth irons see Taylormade continuing to try new things and take left turns.

The Taylormade Stealth irons build on the Cap Back design that originated with the SIM2 irons. This time, the cap bleeds into the toe and cuts mass from it. That mass is then repositioned in the sole right under the middle of the face.

We really liked how easy it was to launch the ball with these irons but it is clear that the Taylormade Stealth irons are yet another set in Taylormade’s long list of game-improvement irons. The Inverted Cone sweet spot and Speed Pocket really make these irons more forgiving than anything else.

That’s good news if you are a beginner or high handicapper; but for more advanced players, the Taylormade Stealth irons won’t offer much.

Taylormade M4 Irons Overview

The Taylormade M4 irons sport a traditional cavity back and the Speed Pocket undercut that has made Taylormade clubs famous.

When we tested the M4 irons, we were reminded of what makes Taylormade clubs so desirable for beginners and high handicappers. Ball speed was effortless in the long irons of this set. In fact, they kept up surprisingly well with the much newer Taylormade Stealth irons.

To give you an idea, we were getting 177 yards on average with the 4 iron of the M4 set and 1812 yards with the same iron from the Taylormade Stealth set. And as you can imagine, an M4 set will not cost nearly as much these days as a new Taylormade Stealth set.

In most respects, these iron sets were interchangeable. Where the Taylormade Stealth irons shined a bit brighter than the M4’s was on short approaches. It was much easier to launch the ball higher with the Taylormade Stealth irons than the M4’s.

Taylormade M4 Irons

Category: Game Improvement Irons

Taylormade Stealth Irons

Category: Game Improvement Irons

Taylormade M4 Irons First Impressions

The Taylormade M4 irons have a clean, cavity back design with an extended sole in the rear which looks very comforting for beginners.

This feature also made them play very well in the rough. It is very easy to launch the ball high (and far) even from the rough. We were very pleased with the feel when we struck the ball right in the sweet spot.

However, the feel gets a little thin and the sound gets a little hollow unless you are dead-center on the sweet spot.

Taylormade Stealth First Impressions

The Taylormade Stealth irons have a striking design that we didn’t really know what to make of at first.

These are some of the most uniquely designed game improvement irons we ever tested. The cap back system that wraps around the rear toe area looks striking but it didn’t make sense to us at first.

Then we started playing with this set. One of the first things we noticed was that even with the 4 iron, it was very easy to find the sweet spot. The offset helps yes, but more than anything, that extra mass in the sole beneath the sweet spot helps to square up.

It’s like a giant target for your alignment. And since the face was designed to flex to a ridiculous degree, you don’t need a fast swing speed to get decent distance out of these irons.

With the 5 iron in the Taylormade Stealth set, our testers were able to establish an average distance of 161 yards. Of course, as game improvement irons, they suffer from the typical short-game pitfalls.

With the shorter irons, spin is very hard to control. Roll distance was a problem on short approaches and if you are playing a particularly fast green, you will need to rely on your wedges for longer shots.

Taylormade M4 Selling Points

  • Ribcor design
  • Speed Pocket
  • Thick sole
  • Plenty of offset
  • Premium shaft options
  • Strong loft

Taylormade Stealth Selling Points

  • They have an innovative cap back design
  • They do work to soften harsh vibration to a moderate degree
  • Reduced toe mass
  • Increased sole mass under the center of the face
  • They feature Taylormade’s inverted Cone Technology (ICT)
  • 450 stainless steel face

Who are the Taylormade M4 Irons for?

There’s no question that the Taylormade M4 irons would be great for anything struggling with distance on the fairway.

At the end of the day though, these irons do much more for beginners than play long. Beginners, who will often find themselves in the rough, will benefit from the beefy sole and strong lofts of these irons.

Even intermediate players who don’t quite have their swing speeds where they would like it to be would benefit from these irons. Even if you are mixing and matching and only using the longer Taylormade M4 irons, they could be great assets as purely distance irons.

The Taylormade M Family of Irons

The Taylormade M family of irons also includes the M2 irons. The first thing we noticed about the M2 irons compared to the Taylormade M4’s is that the M2’s don’t do as good a job at dampening harsh impact vibrations.

On full swings, the M2’s feedback gets muddied by unwanted vibration. The M2’s do have the same lofts as the M4 irons though so the flight trajectory is very similar with these two iron sets.

It should also be noted that the M2 irons don’t feature the same Ribcor design as the Taylormade M4 irons. The main difference this makes is lesser distance – or at least, harder distance.

In other words, you will have to have good accuracy and a fast swing speed to get the same kind of distance with the M2’s as you would with the Taylormade M4 irons. As such, the M2 irons are better in the bags of low handicappers.

Distance: 95/100

Accuracy: 91/100

Forgiveness: 94/100

Feel & Control: 92/100

Overall Score: 93/100

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Who are the Taylormade Stealth Irons for?

The Taylormade Stealth irons would primarily benefit high handicap players who are struggling chiefly with distance.

While they offer a moderate degree of forgiveness, it’s clear after testing these irons that most of the R&D went into improving ball speed and distance for players with slower swing speeds.

Most of the testers in our party with swing speeds under 90MPH were keeping up remarkably well with testers with faster swing speeds. Just don’t expect impeccable feel from these irons.

While Taylormade claims that the polymer cap back material gives these irons a “forged feel” we would classify this as a dubious claim at best. At the end of the day, there is simply no mistaking a forged iron and these are not forged irons.

The Taylormade Iron Family

While the Stealth irons are a stand-alone class, Taylormade makes a ton of iron sets. One of the most notable for beginners and high handicappers is the SIM2 Max irons that sport an oversized face profile so that it’s much easier to nail the sweet spot.

The SIM2 Max irons also feature the predecessor to the cap back system, the Speed Bridge. The Speed Bridge is a rear brace that connects the crown and sole, allowing the face to be disconnected from the body just like the Taylormade Stealth irons.

The result is the same: higher degree of flex and ball speed. However, the SIM2 Max irons will do more for you if you are struggling with iron accuracy. They offer comparable distance to the Taylormade Stealth irons; but with a higher emphasis on forgiveness.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 92/100

Forgiveness: 93/100

Feel & Control: 89/100

Overall Score: 92/100

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