View Full Version : Grommet, why do we need them?

12-27-2004, 11:53 AM
Simple question.

Why do we need a grommet? If the holes on the frame are smooth enough do we still need them? Or is it just cheaper to put a grommet?


12-27-2004, 01:56 PM
thats the thing. the holes in the frame are NOT smooth enough. they are sharp and can cut down string life greatly. check out the NXG i think. it doesnt not use grommets in the top i think, causing it to have premature breakage in the upper hoop.

12-27-2004, 03:01 PM
Frames with grommets do have sharp edges ("corners")that the grommets protect the string. Imagine pulling tension on the string without that protection. The protection also is there during play.

The Prince NXG frames don't have grommets, but are designed with smoothness and material which protects the string. Some of the earlier Prince MORE technology frames did experience some problems, but now Prince seems to have removed problems.

12-27-2004, 07:59 PM

I've read some storys about old (1st generation) pog not having grommet (or head bumpguard?). Does it mean Prince back then put extra effort to drill smooth holes? What about Wooden racqeuts? I have a old maxply and it doesn't have any grommet. Is it more difficult to drill smoothly on graphite than wood? I got curious due to the pic of new prince racquet ad in Tennis magazine. They seem to have big smooth holes but no grommet. Thanks!


12-27-2004, 09:06 PM
One variable is the frame's composition. Wood is much easier on strings than carbon is. Even back in the day, power pads were almsot always used along with tubing lots of times. Well, I'd guess rackets with no throats have harsher angles than today's frames, but wood is still much softer and flexible. Even with graphite rackets without grommets, you hardly see any evidence that the racket has been strung. The string just doesn't sink into carbon like it does wood. Worst case, a splinter will split a string into two--Not likely.

Also, graphite rackets are hollow while I think wood rackets were much more solid. This enabled manufacturers to smooth the holes in wood frames. If you attempt to do the same with a graphite racket, you'll just make the inner part of the hole very sharp because that's where the graphite ends.

It seems like a good idea to not have grommets, if possible, because then the string bed response will have a more direct path to the frame and ultimately your hand, feel. Also, there will be more power when strings are allowed to trampoline more. Less is more. But I would still stay away from Prince.

12-27-2004, 10:38 PM
Did anyone else see that weird Prince frame in this month's Tennis mag? Hang on, I'll find the name of it...

Hm...I can't seem to find my magazine. I know the 3 seconds of suspense was killing all of you (hah)

Anywho, basically, it looked like the racket had absolutely no grommets anwhere in it, but didn't exactly have any holes....per sey....

It more had large "O"s cut out of the frame where all the holes would be, with the strings simply wrapping around the remaining frame. I will update this with pictures etc when i track down that mag....

If anyone else knows what I'm talking about, feel free to chime in.

12-28-2004, 04:23 AM

Prestige covered why wood frames did not use grommets. I'm told that in the old days of wood frame stringing that one pulled tension by hand until it seemed right :lol: and then inserted an awl in the hole to bind the string while getting ready for the next pull.

The early Prince Graphite did not have grommets, but just smooth holes. Grommets in those days were just evolving and not too good. I remember in 1986, when taking my stringing certification test, borrowing a friend's POG with no grommets to use because the holes were bigger and eliminated the problems with frames like my Head Director.

Aluminum frames like the Prince Pro really cut into grommet barrels. For many years, grommets needed to be replaced often. But finally materials and design improved to the point of today. But for a long time, the tail wagged the dog. I inventoried grommets in order to provide timely customer service. Today, I rarely do that, except for racquetball racquets, which suffer because of hitting with a wall near by (bumpers take a beating and the ball hits the string near the bumper, bending the grommet barrels).

12-28-2004, 06:19 AM
The most popular no-grommet frames of the late 70s/early80s were the POG, Wilson Sting and Tony Trabert C-6. Unfortunately, many players who chose these 'state-of-the-art' models could also afford nat gut. You could have a part-time job cutting tubing and leather pads for these things. Once the finish coating in the holes chipped away, the string would begin to pull into the frame---not a pretty sight. I have a pre-grommet PG as well as a Head Graphite Edge with individual grommets...just a reminder of the good old days! The Aldila Cannon was another with quite a few exposed holes--GREAT frame!

12-28-2004, 06:45 AM
Ah, yes, I remember the grommetless Wilson Sting too.

I have a customer with the Sting Mid *with* grommets, who plays only on clay during the summer. He loves that racquet. I'd get him to try a frame every now and then, and he'd respond with it's nice to know I'll find a racquet when I drop the Sting.

At the end of this past summer, his Sting was wearing through on the head--he said this came from circling, on the clay court, out balls close to the line. He bought two (!!!) Volkl Tour MP, putting them away unstrung until next spring. I have strung his Sting 77 times :roll: , and I don't know how much it was strung before he started with me in 1985.

12-28-2004, 07:17 AM
All MORE rackets from Prince don't have grommets.

A tennis-shop-owner said to me that he didn't want to have any MORE frames anymore because of the poor string durability it causes.

He once sold such a racket to a beginner. The guy was back in an hour with a broken string...

12-28-2004, 07:59 AM
When constructing anything that consists of more than one material one always takes care about interaction - elasticity, hardness (etc). It is always calculated which one of two should "give in" and at what rate.

Grommet material fits better with strings, but it is not good as structural material. Also, if it is planned for grommets to be gentle on strings they decay in time, and can be replaced separately.

But with nano materials in the future... who knows (not me).

David Pavlich
12-28-2004, 06:35 PM
All MORE rackets from Prince don't have grommets.

A tennis-shop-owner said to me that he didn't want to have any MORE frames anymore because of the poor string durability it causes.

He once sold such a racket to a beginner. The guy was back in an hour with a broken string...

Hmmmm....I'm a shop owner and I strung 3 More frames yesterday. Sold a lot more (no pun). I'm not having problems with returns.

The first generation of More frames were having problems with shear breakage, but since then, Prince rounded the edges which seems to have eased the problem.


12-29-2004, 12:07 AM
No Grommets = Prince More range = Rubbish.

Can I say it any simpler than that?

12-29-2004, 12:57 AM
As CoachRick mentioned, grommets serve just as much to protect the frame from the strings as they serve to protect the strings from the frame.

12-31-2004, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone. Happy new year!


12-31-2004, 11:07 AM
the new prince technolgy is called the 03. I hear it is a pain to string

12-31-2004, 03:10 PM
I would think the o3 would be much, much easier to string. No tight shared holes of overlapping strings. plus, the grommet threading could be done effortlessly.

12-31-2004, 03:29 PM
I think it is learning the patteren that is hard rather then they gromets

12-31-2004, 04:01 PM
yeah im not i big fan of the "no grommit" tech myself.........i played with the prince more approach for a couple years b4 switching, but used kevlar so it woudent break! also i was told (not sure how true this is) but lack of grommits will cause some unwanted vibration to occur in some of these newer frames i.e. the NXG. thus causing some irratating elbow & wrist problems??

12-31-2004, 04:54 PM
Be careful with Kevlar and no grommets. Ashaway Kevlar cut through one of my frames. The stuff is so strong, and un-elastic, and with that rough surface, it just cut through some old grommets, and then began infiltrating the frame itself.