View Full Version : Auto tensioner versus ratchet versus electronic

02-10-2012, 07:28 AM
I was surveyng the dizzying array of models on the Eagnas website. I am looking at getting my first stringing machine. I had a couple of basic questions.

In the drop weight machines, they offer an auto tensioner that looks pretty slick, the Logic 90 model, that seems to compete with the Stringway ML100, only for $300 less. My question is whether the auto tension models are reliable and produce consistent tension. Also, I assume they are somewhat faster than a ratcheting system, but how do they compare speedwise with a fully electronic tensioner? Are they worth the difference over a ratcheting tensioner?

However, for slightly more than the auto tensioner, they offer several electronic tabletop units, eg Flex 865, Hawk 860, Pro 845. Why they have so many models and why they are so poorly differentiated on their website baffles me, but it is what it is. I know I don't need an electronic unit, as I will only be doing my own frames, but if you can get one for the price of a manual, it is intruiging.

I understand there have been some concerns expressed about customer service with Eagnas. How significant are they for someone who is just doing a few frames a month? I'm not running a shop where I have to have next day turnaround, etc.

Thanks for any assistance.

02-10-2012, 07:58 AM
You can't compare Eagnas with Stringway. Only the tension head looks the same. The mounting system of the Eagnas ( indirect mounting) is far different from the Stringway (direct mounting).

Indirect mounting stops the racket in deforming in with when it deforms in length. The direct mounting on the inside secures the frame of deforming in length, so it will never deform in with.

The clamps are also nowhere near the same.

Yes there is a price difference, but you should also look at customer service and guarentee. I have no experience with Eagnas customer service so I can't help you with that.

02-10-2012, 08:16 AM

02-10-2012, 08:35 AM
The logic 90 will probably be serviceable since it simply looks like a copy of the stringway mechanism on the Eagnas table.

I had a similar Eagnas machine with a ratchet before and it was decent. I did have to replace a couple of cheap screws and the bearings on the turntable, but that was $10 in parts, so not bad compared to what I saved on it.

I ended up selling that machine and upgraded to the Stringway machine. I like it better all around. The single drop weight system is really great and worth some extra money IMO. My only complaint with the Stringway is the mounting parts for the head and throat aren't quite universal and sometimes don't fit like I'd want, but it hasn't prevented me from stringing any frames. Just a little inconvenient at times. If you mostly string one frame it's a non-issue.

02-10-2012, 08:46 AM
Irvin, thanks for the links. I did do a search before I posted but I didn't have the specific model numbers so it wasn't very useful. It sounds like the concept of the auto tensioner is a good idea, and that the Eagnas machine is the kind of typical low quality chinese metal stuff we have gotten used to buying. I love top quality wrenches for example, but if you're not a fulltime mechanic, it's hard to justify paying three times as much.

What about the electronic tensioners? I feel like I would just be adding the potential for trouble with them, but maybe I am missing something. How much faster would they be?

02-10-2012, 09:07 AM
I have not have any experience with the Eagnas electronic machine so I can't address but I think they would only be a little faster.

02-10-2012, 10:29 AM
I think you need a high end electronic machine to string just as consistent as the automatic tensioner (on eagnas and Stringway).

02-10-2012, 02:30 PM
I think you need a high end electronic machine to string just as consistent as the automatic tensioner (on eagnas and Stringway).

I wondered if that might be the case. I don't know too much about any of these machines, Eagnas or anyone else's, but it seems obvious that there is more room for problems with an electronic tensioner than a simple drop weight mechanism.

I like the idea of the auto drop weight, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra expense. I just don't have a feel for how much quicker or easier it would be.

02-10-2012, 03:01 PM
The stringway type of dropweight does not have to be level to pull the reference tension, so it is very fast. Depending on electronics, you can vary the pulling speed (slow for polys, medium for everything else, fast - I've never used.) Also with electronic, you have to be aware of the sensor that detects when reference tension is reached. Some cheaper machines use spring like LOs whereas high end machines will use a load sensor. That has also been discussed here.

To me, it's the stringer, not the equipment. Consistent technique is more important. Equipment only makes the job relatively easier, but if you have poor technique, your string jobs will be very variable.