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The Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons look good in the bag but are clearly game improvement at address. Good feel. Decent forgiveness.
From fall of 2018 to now, Mizuno has released a total of seven iron models. The MP-20 HMB borrows its name – Hot Metal Blade – from the JPX family and is the most forgiving of the 2019 models. Does this iron clearly differentiate itself from the other Mizuno releases? I tested a set to find out.
Check out the latest version of the HMB, the Mizuno Pro 225 HERE
The MP-20 HMB irons tell two very different stories in the bag and at address. In the bag, this hollow body iron looks like a blade. The branding is minimal, giving it a very clean appearance.
When you set this iron in a playing position, it’s clear that, despite the name, this is not a blade. There isn’t much offset, but the top line is substantially thicker than either of the other MP-20 models.
Sound & Feel
The metal used in the MP-20 Hot Metal blade is billed as being “stronger” than that in the MP-20, so the feel is predictably firmer. Impact produces a sensation that feels more fast than soft which is matched by the sound – a moderately loud “snap.”
Despite the more forgiving design, feedback from the MP-20 HMB is quite clear. Mishits feel even firmer, and it’s easy to tell where the ball struck the face.
In testing all of the Mizuno MP-20 irons head-to-head, the Hot Metal Blade clearly fills its role as the most forgiving. Thanks to tungsten weights in the heel and toe, you can miss the center of the face by a small amount and still hit the green. Substantial mishits, however, can still cost you a club or two of carry distance.
Though the difference wasn’t that large for me, the HMB is the longest of the MP-20 irons. Thanks to stronger lofts and a harder metal, the peak ball speed was slightly higher with the Hot Metal Blade than the MMC or standard MP-20. The HMB was also the lowest spinning of the three, though the difference was quite small.
For those looking to use the MP-20 HMB in a combo set, make sure you keep an eye on the lofts. These irons match the MP-20 MMC with their slightly strong lofts, but do not line up with the MP-20 blades. If you want to make the jump from Hot Metal Blade to real blade, make sure you adjust the lofts to create even distance gaps.
The Mizuno MP-20 HMB is a fine iron. It looks slick in the bag and offers enough forgiveness for players with handicaps in the low teens.
The question I’m left with is, “Who is this iron for?” With the JPX919 Forged (review HERE) in the lineup, the Hot Metal Blade seems redundant.
Mizuno MP-20 HMB Irons Specs & Price
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Is it more like the p 790 not really a blade but has some help with it ?
This is certainly not a real blade, but it’s also not as forgiving as the P790.
How do these compare to the i500?
My recollection is that the i500 is longer and more forgiving.
Just played my 1st round with the MB20 HMB irons. They look like a blade in the bag, but have plenty of forgiveness.
Way more forgiveness than what is stated here. I have an original set of P790’s and was impressed by these so much that they have been relegated to my backup set
How does these compare to Miura IC601 in terms of looks, feel, forgiveness and performance?
I have a full review of the IC-601 here: https://pluggedingolf.com/miura-ic-601-irons-review/
I210 vs HMB? Any feedback?
My preference is the i210, but I’d suggest anybody looking to buy a set get fit.
The i210 is great but it’s tough to beat the feel of the HMB with forged chromoly (thru 8i and then 1025E) and the copper layer in the HMB, The i210 relies on a huge elastomer piece in the back for its soft feel. I am hitting the HMB 5i longer and higher than the 919F. I also found the 919F longer in distance over the i210 – but power specs might even it up. I like both irons but 1A would be the HMB, and 1B the i210. Who is the HMB for? A player who likes a blade look, distance, medium forgiveness and GREAT feel. Mine are in Accra iCWT95 shafts – sweet. The Recoil 95 is a stable shaft but lacks liveliness to me – Accra offers more “feel.”
Thanks for the review Matt. I know the lofts of the Hot Metal Pro are slightly stronger, but in your opinion how do these two compare to each other? I’m looking for a players distance iron but still want something that has good peak height.
For my money, the Hot Metal Pro is a better club because it has a clear purpose. The HMB just feels like a tweener to me – not really great looking, not really forgiving, not the longest.
Thanks, as always, for your review, Matt. Hmm. For such a hyped product launch — and let’s face it, this launch has been hyped, I was disappointed to see your “meh” review. It won’t stop me from testing these out on the range, but I’ll go in with even keel expectations, especially since Mizuno seems to be backstepping just a bit on their “no up-charge policy” on shafts. Again, thanks.
I dislike this “new” category of faux blades, and blame pxg for triggering the trend… Triumph of marketing over function… I’m glad you finally provided a clear headed review of this club.
Actually, it could be argued that the trend PXG triggered…..was the intro of expensive, high-end, “look what I’ve got” clubs and the debate over their relative worthiness.
In your main review you say the MP20 HMB ‘looks slick in the bag’, then you contradict yourself in a response saying it’s ‘not really great looking’. I have owned the MPH-5 and MP-5, and the MP20 HMB looks and performs better than the MPH-5, and is every bit as good as the MP-5. I’ll be putting these in my bag, and the fitter I’m dealing with has indicated there’s no up-charge for a premium shaft.
To clarify, my comment about “not really great looking” referred to the way they look at address. In the bag, they do look slick. But with any of this, it’s subjective.
Thank you for the review.
I currently play the 919 forged which doesn’t have a 3 iron in the line up so I emailed Mizuno support to suggest a 3i to blend into the set 2 weeks ago. Mizuno suggested the new MP 20 HMB as the club for this yet it’s so new I’m sceptical as i have yet to see and feel this club in person.
As someone who has played both would you believe these to be the best blend or would you suggest another perhaps older model?
I think the MP-20 HMB is certainly one good option for a 3I. Depending on what you’re looking for (more forgiveness, launch, speed), you might also look at the JPX919 Hot Metal Tour.
Hi I have a dilemma at the moment regarding shafts and a new set of irons .
I am a 14 handicap player with a driver swing speed on average of 88mph. I have a challenge get a higher ball flight with irons and been advised to look at lighter shafts .
I’m looking to buy either a new set of Taylormade P790 irons or Mizunomp20 HMB’s. The 790 is renowned for lower spin and ball flight due to the lofts . I have been recommended to go for the KBS Tour 90 shaft (in stiff) in the 790’s but feel this shaft might hit the Mizuno MP20 HMB’s a bit too high and was encouraged to look KBS C Taper Lite 105’s in regular as an alternative.
Your feedback and help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Campbell
Why have you narrowed it down to these two? More importantly, have you been fit? The only way to know definitively which head, shaft, and combination will work best is to work with a fitter.
Would you choose the Mizuno MP20 HMB’s over the Taylormade P790’s based on my earlier post ? Thanks Campbell
Neither of these would be near the top of my rankings, but between them I would opt for the Mizuno. The P790 would never hold a green for me.
What ones would be in your ranking for my handicap level if not these two ?
Tried both novels at my local pro . Needed the KBs 90 to get the P790’s in the air . HMB’s were going to high with the kbs 90 hence the c taper lite 105 in reg
The Cobra King Forged Tec is a great iron – distance without the silly low spin. PXG’s pricing is way down at the moment, so the 0211 or GEN3 are great choices. Callaway’s Apex is strong as is the MAVRIK Pro.
Also considered the new cobra king Forged Tec Irons
I just finished a fitting with Mizuno irons – FYI, I have a set of 919F, 919 HMP and it’s like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Like them, but they were not quite loveable. Played well with them. But the short irons in the 919F were a bit too big, and the 919 HMP were longer but a tad too big.
I hit the 921F without knowing it (didn’t look at the badging), and wasn’t overwhelmed. I then his the MP-20 HMB in the same shaft, and my spin shot up a bit and my dispersion was very tight. Carry was good, hardly any roll with 7i. Felt solid, yet had the Mizuno soft feel. Forgiveness? I was hitting them well.
I like Pings but the i500 was jumpy, and the i210? Almost went for it but it would be another Goldilocks situation. Not as long as Mizunos.
Mizunos were all longish, but I ended up with the MP-20 HMB due to consistent spin and tight dispersion. And the HMB wasn’t even on my radar. The feel was excellent and the distance was comparable to the other Mizuno’s. HMB has a Chromoly face and neck with the steel body and tungsten inserts. With Accra ICWT95 shafts, I hope they are just right.
I like to be more exact in my facts above – After further searching, the HMB is Chromoly in 2-8i but the 8i has no tungsten weights. The 9-PW are 1025E.
When I receive the custom clubs, and Covid has slowed everything down, I will post more thoughts. So many irons, so little time.
I know your review is old at this point, but yours is the only one I’ve found that addresses loft gaps in mixing MP20 irons. I’m curious about the following possible sets and how lofts and lengths might need to be adjusted, in your opinion:
HMB 2, 3, 4
MMC 5, 6, 7
MB 8, 9, P
HMB 2, 3
MMC 4, 5, 6
MB 7, 8, 9 P
Thank you. Any insight you might have would be sincerely appreciated.
And yes, I really do carry a 2 iron. driver, 2-wood, and then irons all the way up. :-)
First, I wouldn’t try to use length to smooth distance gaps. Figure out the club lengths you need and make those gaps nice and consistent. With regard to loft, without knowing a lot more about your swing, I’d only be guessing. My suggestion would probably be that you should order the heads that make sense from a forgiveness standpoint and just expect to play with the lofts a bit when you get the clubs in hand.
Matt, I just got fitted for the mp20 hmbs with c taper lite shafts but my launch seemed a bit high at 20. With a 85 mph swing speed. Spin at 6000. Currently I’m gaming 919 f with kbs tour 120s the distance was a little more than the 919s at 163 vs 160 but the dispersion was closer with the hmbs … do you feel the launch is too much? Should I do another fitting and see if it’s the same or keep the 919f and wait I do like the way they look and the workability offering
Are those numbers with a 6I? I don’t see anything wrong with them, but if you’re uncomfortable with those numbers, get something a bit lower launching.
Ultimately, it sounds like you’re not enthused about the HMB, so I wouldn’t suggest pulling the trigger until you find something you unabashedly prefer to your current clubs.
Good morning. Mr Matt.
I am 16 yeras old golfer, 1.0 handicap, 110 driver speed, I was using mp59. Is the mp20 HMB a good option for me? Thanks
That depends on why you’re buying new irons. Ultimately the best option is to get fit and try a wide variety of things.
Update: Backstory is I went to a fitting for 921 Forged and came back with tighter dispersion on the HMB. Received HMB’s from fitter with Accra iCWT95 – hit them for several range sessions and the 5i-7i are truly impressive as to feel, height, forgiveness and distance. I guess it’s the Chromoly, but wow. I need more time with the 8i- Chromoly without the tungsten weight, and the 9i and PW. But if Mizuno can bottle more Chromoly for the 2021 MP22 intro, I’d really be in lust … love … And the copper layer must really do something. Have a set of 919F and 919 HMP – but for me, the HMB just seem to fit my player profile (good swing, needing more speed and great feel, wanting more forgiveness in mid-irons).
What is your opinion about blending the MP-20 HMBs 4i-6i with my 7i-PW JPX 919 Tours? Looking to get a little more forgiveness in the longer irons without redoing my whole set.
As long as the distance gap between the 6I and 7I work for you, I don’t see a reason not to do that.
Was looking at buying the JPX919 forged or HM but started looking at the MP20 hmb’s…
I’m a 12 hcp that doesn’t hit my irons super pure. I currently have the JPX 850 and am looking for an upgrade in forgiveness and distance. Do you think the MP20’s are a good option? Are they longer than the 919s?
Whether they’re longer for you will depend a lot on fit.
I don’t think the HMB is going to be an upgrade in forgiveness from the JPX850.
As always, my recommendation is to get fit and try a lot of things.
How would you compare the Mizuno MP 20 HMB set 2 – PW against the Mizuno MP H5 1 – PW… I’m not looking for a blade ( I have The Mizuno MP 33 in storage), but, I’m looking for a club that I can work and yet doesn’t kill me with slight miss hits..
I haven’t tested the H5, so I couldn’t offer an educated comparison.
I’m in the market for some new irons. Love the forged feel of Japanese cubs. Been using Mizuno’s for the last 18 years and love them. Really enjoy reading your reviews. Was thinking of possibly getting a set of Miura irons. Had my eye on the newer CB 301’s, but was at the golf shop a little while ago and just happened to try the Mizuno MP 20 HMB irons and was very pleasantly surprised at how nice they felt. Originally I was looking at the Mizuno MP 20 MMC and they look great! But similar to your review was a little disappointed with how they felt even on center strikes compared to what I’m used to with Mizuno irons. Was hoping you might be able to provide some insight on what you thought between the Miura CB 301’s and the Mizuno MP 20 HMB as a comparison in terms of sound & feel, forgiveness, and performance? According to your review on the Miura CB 301, it seems like the Mizuno MP 20 HMB may be a little more forgiving? I’ve played the Mizuno MX-23 irons then the Mizuno MP -52’s until I wore them out and went back to my MX-23’s that were still in great shape. Both look, sound, and feel amazing with great performance. But my current irons are almost 18 yrs old. Thought it might be time to upgrade. Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
If you like the feel of the HMB, I think that’s probably the way to go. I was not overly impressed with the forgiveness of the 301.
why, or how, would anyone compair Mizuno grain forged iron blades, to any other club such as ping, or TM who comes with a stick every six months or so?? i started with MP 33, to MP 67, then MP 18, and now mp20. i got a set of MP 20 hmb by accident actually, i play a pure blade i don’t like looking down at a shovel head. the series of Mizuno forged blades for a player, who is accustomed and attuned to feel, the club can’t be beat. i’ve played Slazenger, Titleist MB, Mcgreggor, blade clubs, and the performance is automatic. if one wants game improvement and or isn’t willing to work thru blade clubs on ranges, back yards, basements, etx., then buy ping, and Callaway and all the rest of the so called game improvement clubs. hey i’m all for novice golf. youth golf, and jr. golf. but grown men, should learn how to swing a club and impact a golf ball with compression and style, before critiquing blade clubs of any sort,
Please know that I’m allowing this awful post to see the light of day purely so I can make an example of it.
First, if you’re going to come to my website and post garbage, have the decency to follow the basic rules of English. To crib from your trash, “grown men should” know which letters to capitalize.
Second, your ignorance shows from line one. Mizuno releases new irons every year. So does TaylorMade. PING’s schedule can be more irregular, but they’re generally on an 18 month product cycle. So I’m left to wonder what the problem is with “compair”ing the three brands?
The rest of this crap…I barely know where to start. This kind of elitist s*** is why people get turned away from golf. Please know that any future comments will be sent to the trash where they belong. Enjoy shouting into the void.
Well said Matt.