How To String a Tennis Racket

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Tennis Racket with Balls

Play lots of tennis and want to save some money? You’d be surprised at how easy it is to string a racket once you’ve learned how to do so. If you’re a somewhat regular tennis player (ie. a couple times a month or more), it will be worth the investment for you to look into getting a stringing machine that will help you string your own rackets.

How Much Can I Save Stringing My Own Racket?

Some quick math shows that, depending on how often you play and how much you pay for your string, you should, on average, be able to pay off your stringing machine in a year. From then on out, your saving money. Look at it this way – every time you roll into the tennis shop to get your racket strung, you’re shelling out $20+ to get your racket strung.

On the low end, you might be stringing your entire racket with synthetic gut (one of the most common, least expensive, but also least durable strings). A pack of synthetic gut, purchased online, typically costs $4, give or take a few cents. The tennis shop is charging you about $15 labor each time they string a racket for you. And the way they get around selling you only the string is by simply factoring in the stringing cost.

In other words, a pack of synthetic gut at a tennis shop that offers a stringing service will usually run you around $15 – $20. You can save even more by buying a reel of string (reels typically come in lengths of 660 feet or so, and since one racket should take no more than 40 feet of string, you should be able to get at least 17 rackets out of a reel).

How Long Does it Take to String a Tennis Racket?

The length of time it takes you to string your racket will depend largely on the experience you gain stringing for the first few months, but also on the type of string you have.

What Types of Stringing Machines Are There?

There are two main types of tennis stringing machines:

Drop-Weight

A drop-weight stringing machine pulls tension in the string via a weight that you have to let drop and balance out between the tensioning of each string. Drop-weight stringing machines are known to be very accurate (in terms of the pounds of tension you get on the strings), but it will also take you longer to string your racket (ie. they are slower).

Crank

A crank stringing machine uses a crank to quickly apply tension to a string via a loaded spring. You can typically string a racket faster with a crank-based stringing machine, but you will also lose some accuracy as far as your tension goes. However – in our experience, once you find a comfortable weight for your racket – just leave it on that setting, and even if it’s not the exact poundage indicated on the crank dial, you’ll be getting consistently the same amount of tension – which is what’s really important (otherwise your racket would feel different every time you play and you’d have to make all kinds of adjustments).

What Is the Best Stringing Machine For Tennis?

Your tennis stringing machine will not necessarily get better with price, although a crank-based stringer tends to be more expensive than a drop weight. A stand-alone stringing machine also tends to add some cost over one that you set on a table (ie. a table top stringing machine).

Tennis Stringing Video

Here’s a video of tennis stringing in action.

Okay, How do I Go About Selecting a Good Stringer?

Here’s some tennis stringing machines I recommend based on your budget:

Under $250: Gamma X-2 Stringing Machine

Gamma X-2 Stringing Machine

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The Gamma X-2 is a table top model with 2-point mounting system and drop-weight tensioning that features:

  • Drop weight ratcheting tension mechanism (8-90 lb. range)
  • Patented diamond coated, ratchet gripper
  • 2-point racquet mounting system
  • Nickel chrome plated steel bar turntable
  • Strong, light-weight aluminum extrusion construction.
  • String Package Included ( 3 set of Gamma String, USRSA Stringing Tutorial and RSI Magazine )
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty
  • Tools included (Gamma Pathfinder Awl, Awl, Pliers, Razor Cutter)
  • Optional floor stand sold separately
  • Price:  Check Amazon for availability

Under $850: Gamma Progression 602FC

Gamma Progression 602 FC

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The Gamma Progression 602FC is a table top model with 6-point mounting system and drop-weight tensioning that features:

  • Drop weight tensioning mechanism
  • Patented diamond coated, ratchet gripper
  • 6-point Quick Mount System
  • Dual action, diamond coated swivel string clamps with self locking adjustment knob
  • Base with tool tray
  • 6 sets of Gamma Strings
  • 1 Gamma Overgrip
  • USRSA Stringing Tutorial
  • USRSA Racquetech Magazine
  • Price:  $849.99

Under $1,100: Gamma X-ST Stringing Machine

Gamma X-ST Stringing Machine

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The Gamma X-ST comes with a 6-point mounting system and crank tensioning that features:

  • Manual spring tension winder (9-90lbs/4-43kg) tension range.
  • Patented rotational string guide.
  • Diamond coated string gripper.
  • 6-point Quick Mount System featuring a top-side clamp down system to minimize obstructions that can snag string.
  • Quick action rotating swivel string clamp bases.
  • Slim profile all metal diamond coated string clamps with a unique self locking adjustment knob to hold strings with less clamping pressure.
  • 360 degree turntable rotation.
  • Built in tool tray.
  • Floor stand and custom cover sold separately.
  • 5 year limited warranty.
  • Price:  Check Amazon for availability

$7,000 Or Less: Wilson Baiardo Stringing Machine

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Wilson Baiardo stringing machine

The Wilson Baiardo is one of the most technically advanced stringing machines on the market. Here are some of its features:

  • Wilson’s B.E.S.T. System (Biomechanically Efficient Stringing Technology) adjusts the height and tilt to make your stringing more comfortable and efficient, and adjusts the machine three times during a string job:
    1. First when mounting the frame
    2. Second when stringing the mains
    3. Latsly when stringing the crosses
  • Modular Design – The parts for this machine were created for easy replacement, so should a part need service or a replacement, it should be easy to remove or install.
  • Customizable – Customizable settings include mounting height, mounting tilt, main string tilt, cross string tilt, cross string height, main string height, pull speed, pre-stretch, knot over-pull, pounds or kilograms, cross string tension difference, tension reached sound on/off, and multiple languages. And it has a built-in memory, so when you make a change, Baiardo will remember it for the next time.
  • Pullerhead – The design of the puller head allows for one motion to lock the string and pull tension with the flick of a finger. You won’t need to look where the string is going, the machine does that for you.
  • Easy Set-Up – This machine only requires six screws to attach the base and column, and six more to attach the base to the top. There are two cable connectors, and a power cord that plugs into a regular outlet.
  • Touch Screen– Features the industries’ first LED touch screen user interface.

Up Your Game With A Tennis Ball Machine

If you really want to take your game to the next level, take a look at our tennis ball machine reviews.

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How to string a tennis racket video – nice finally! There are so many lousy stringing videos on Youtube that I decided to do a Google search. Came across your article and voila, finally one I can use. Personally I am a fan of drop-weight stringing for accuracy. It’s a meditative practice for me so I don’t mind taking my time.

The Tecnifibre TF 8000 at $10,000 is my pick! It’s shiny, it’s red, it has sex appeal. Seriously, why would I put my hard earned cash towards a new car, mortgage payment, or college tuition for my kids when I can have this sexy stringing machine and be the envy of all my golf buddies. Oh wait! I don’t even play tennis – dou! You have any golf putter recommendations?

Great article. I prefer a crank over the drop-weight stringer. I’m going to put my vote in for the Alpha Revo 4000 Stringer. Bought it for around $550, and have had it for several years now. It’s a crank, which helps me string a racket in about 30 minutes or more. My first racket took hours to string, but I’ve gotten it down to about half an hour, if I don’t get distracted.

If anyone is considering the drop-weight because of the tensioning accuracy – I would like to put in an argument for a crank machine. While it might not be as accurate, it’s consistent. So once you find a tension you like, you simply use the same tension consistently, and you’ll be in business. The upshot is that you can string a racket way faster with a crank stringing machine. All my friends that use a drop-weight string their rackets in 45 minutes max. Think about all the time that saves you over the years.