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View Full Version : Same brand and model, same marked grip size....but different grip size?


BreakPoint
06-03-2008, 12:14 PM
In the past year, I've bought multiple racquets of the same brand and same model and that have the same grip size marked on the frame and even on the bare handles themselves (without grips), but the handles are noticeably different in grip size. Some are bigger and some are smaller. This confuses me because the handles are not part of the frames and are molded onto the frames after the frames have been produced. How do they mess this up? Each grip size has a different mold and they just fill the mold up with the handle material to make the handle. How can there be so much inconsistency in handle molds of the same exact grip size? Don't they check the molds before putting them into production to make sure they are all the same exact size?

This has happened to me with a few different brands, so it's not really brand specific. So now, not only do we have to put up with specs (i.e., weight, balance, swingweight, etc.) that are all over the map for supposedly identical frames, we now also have to put up with different grip sizes for the same marked grip size? Very frustrating indeed as the differences grip size is the first thing you feel when you pick up a racquet.

Has this also happened to other people?

Fumoffu
06-03-2008, 12:18 PM
Lemme guess. Wilson? Yeah, it happens to me all the time. My friends say I'm stupid and its the same, but its noticably different..

Bottle Rocket
06-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Has this also happened to other people?

Yeah... I have three frames right now made by the same manufacturer all labeled as 4 and 3/8. Two of them come in at nearly 4 1/2 while the one is pretty close to spec. I have found a variance in grip size with all manufacturers, some are worse than others.

When I bought a new Prince Hybrid Tour a while back at a local store (now a competitor of TW), we measured a whole bunch of them. We found measurable differences between the sizes of handles on the same frames all marked as the same grip size.

As far as the actual molding process, there is a lot of room for error in this process. Making molded products is not just as simple as "just fill the mold up with the handle material to make the handle".

First and foremost is the actual variance of each mold. Higher costs will give you greater precision on your molds and lower tolerances on the mold itself. Most racket manufacturer handle molds must be fairly similar, if not all made by the same tooling shop. A lot of the variance comes from this and until someone decides this variance is out of hand or people are willing to pay more, I doubt this is going to change.

There are most likely two halves to each mold and the mating of these two parts as the mold closes over the material is also a crucial tolerance. If the mold does not close completely, or "floats" on the material, this will cause a significant change in dimension.

Shrinkage is also a major consideration in the molding process. After the the molded material cools, it shrinks. This shrinkage will create a part that is not of the same dimensions as the mold. The amount of shrinkage of the whole part as well as in certain areas of the part depends on many things including the consistency and composition of the liquid used in the mold, the size and shape of the mold, and certain other methods to control the cooling rate. This shrinkage phenomenons can account for significant variances in molded parts.

I am writing all this assuming that handles are actually made using a molding process, which I would assume they are. I am not sure what they are actually made of though? Anyway, the point is, there are significant sources of error in a process like this. We're just spoiled because of the incredibly low tolerances used in the manufacturing of most other products.

BOZO
06-03-2008, 01:10 PM
Wilson too. I use N6.1 4 3/8 but K90 4 1/4 and my 2 KBlade Tour one is 4 3/8 and another 4 1/4

BreakPoint
06-03-2008, 01:13 PM
Wilson too. I use N6.1 4 3/8 but K90 4 1/4 and my 2 KBlade Tour one is 4 3/8 and another 4 1/4
So does your K-Blade Tour 4 3/8 feel small or does the 4 1/4 feel big?

How about your n6.1 and K90?

sureshs
06-03-2008, 01:14 PM
I found two Head MGPPs which had what seemed to be a 5/8 when they were supposed to be a 1/2.

VGP
06-03-2008, 01:47 PM
It could also be how tightly or loosely the grips are wrapped over the pallets.....

BTW, I feel a difference between two of my recent Chinese PS85s that are 4 3/8 grip.

BreakPoint
06-03-2008, 02:03 PM
It could also be how tightly or loosely the grips are wrapped over the pallets.....

BTW, I feel a difference between two of my recent Chinese PS85s that are 4 3/8 grip.
I checked that by removing the grips but the bare handles underneath are still noticeably different in grip size. I even checked to make sure they were not mis-marked with a wrong grip size sticker by looking at the bare handles which all have "4" stamped (molded) on them, meaning that they are from the 4 1/2 (L4) handle molds, but some still feel bigger than others.

nickb
06-03-2008, 02:17 PM
If they are wilson frames then its no suprise...

Dark_Angel85
06-03-2008, 07:02 PM
I have wilson frames, and prince frames with a supposed 4 3/8 but all had to be customised because they all feel oh so slightly different...

The balls in your court.
06-03-2008, 07:34 PM
Wilson is famous for very poor quality control.....I think Yonex has the best.

staedtler
06-03-2008, 08:27 PM
Yeah on a few of my tecnifibre frames, the grip sizes are a little different. One is definitely an anomaly as it feels close to one grip size bigger despite being marked the same. Its a little annoying.