Better Clamps vs Ratchet Gripper

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Matt21, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    Okay folks, I've been all over the boards on this. I've searched the web, these boards and read enough to make me tired regarding what appears to be the two most popular, under-$200 stringing machines out (the Klippermate and the Gamma X-2). From all I've read, it appears to come down to a choice between better clamps (Klippermate) or the ratchet system (Gamma). For those of you who have owned or used both machines...

    - Is the ratchet system (X-2) that much better than the cam system on the Klip? Yes or No and why do you feel that way?

    - Are the clamps that much better on the Klip than those of on the Gamma? Yes/No/Why?

    - Finally, having owned the system you have (Klippermate or X-2), would you swap out the clamps (on X-2) for Klippermate clamps? Would you love your Klippermate more if it had a ratchet/rotational gripper?

    Thanks for the help. I'm going to pull the trigger on buying one of these two machines by the end of the week.
     
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  2. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    BTW: I narrowed it down to these two based on price and general user reviews. In the last day or so, I've been flip-flopping on which one to go with for a few reasons, two of which are:

    At first I was leaning toward the x2 because the ratchet system seemed (in youtube videos) to make tensioning easier (not to mention the ton of free string with Gamma). Then I leaned toward the Klippermate because the guy in the youtube video seemed to finish his racquet in about 3/4 the time it took the X2 stringer. Also, the Klippermate construction just seemed more solid.
     
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  3. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    #3
  4. topanlego

    topanlego Semi-Pro

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    also. in the same price point there's the Alpha String Pal (which is often forgotten or not mentioned on these forums). You should consider that one as well if you're looking for a economical drop weight stringer.
     
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  5. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    When I bought my stringer, I was aware of the ratchet vs. clamp trade-off, so I skirted the issue and bought a Silent Partner Swing. It's a bit more money, but it has good metal camps and a smooth clutch that's better than the ratchet, and a mounting system that's marginally better than the X-2 or Klippermate.
     
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  6. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    Did you get any free string with it and if so, how much? Also, have you strung with it yet? If so, how long does an avg string job take you?
     
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  7. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    With the SP Swing, I got a full reel of their synthetic gut, but I do not see that advertised on their website anymore.
     
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  8. Icedorb217

    Icedorb217 Semi-Pro

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    I have the Klippermate and to tell you the truth the ratchet trade off was worth it to me. The cam gripper is good and once you learn its tricks you can become very fast at using it. Also the fact that klipper has EXCELLENT customer service and the life time warranty. To me it is the perfect machine
     
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  9. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    +1 for the Klippermate. I have both Gamma and Klipper clamps; the Klippers are much easier to work with. Also, I prefer the cam gripper to the basic ratchets. Once you're used to it, it's noticably faster.
     
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  10. aussie

    aussie Professional

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    There's plenty of debate on these boards as to which is the best drop weight portable to get. The answer is that they all have slight strengths and weaknesses over one another, but they all produce decent, replicable string jobs. If you are not stringing a reasonable volume of sticks, K'mate, X-2, Swing etc will all do a decent job and you get to have great fun with your new pastime.

    The gripper jaw/cam system of the k'mate works very effectively and you'll find with experience, that the jaws are as quick as a ratchet in their operation. The clamps look dreadfully agricultural, but work very, very well.

    Whichever way you go, you won't be disappointed. Get to it - there is an awful lot of fun to be had and you're misssing out on it!
     
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  11. pingu

    pingu Semi-Pro

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    It's the end of the week, hope you made your decision by now. Seriously, you can't go wrong with any of these machines.

    Good luck !
     
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  12. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    Man, I'm all OVER the place! Now I'm looking at Eagnas machines that have the same features as the Gamma 602/X6 FC machines but cost less than the fixed clamp machines from Gamma. A friend of mine who strings at a local pro shop told me I'd be better off spending $100+ more and getting fixed clamps. To tell the truth, all this racquet research has been driving me nuts. If I had to go sub-200 dollars, I think I'd like the speed of the cam gripper on Klipper (rhyme not intended), but the racquet mounts don't appear to be as "safe" as the two-point mount on the Gamma.

    I like the looks and pricing on the Eagnas (6-point mount, drop weight, fixed clamp) machines, but my observation has been about 50% satisfaction with their machines and about 90% dissatisfaction with their service (to include the video on youtube).

    If I were an ostrich, I'd bury my head in the sand with this! :(
     
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  13. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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  14. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    . . . better pick up some steel clamps! :)
     
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  15. tes

    tes Rookie

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    Do yourself a favor and tape up the sharp edges and c-rings of the X-2 clamps and wax the camming points.
    Enjoy your new stringer!
     
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  16. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

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    klippermates seem to do a good job
     
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  17. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    I get the "tape up the sharp edges and c-rings" part, but don't quite understand the "waxing of the camming points" part. Where are the camming points and why do you recommend waxing them?

    -Thanks
     
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  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The Klipper or the X2 is an argument that only you can decide. They BOTH have pros and cons and it's up to you which feature is more important. The Klipper clamps are better, but they are also very bulky. The Gamma clamps are cheap plastic, but they are smaller and more manuverable.
    Both machines are called "entry level" for a reason. They are no frills, basic, bare bones machines that will probably leave you unsatisfied in one way or another. It all depends on how picky you are about your purchases. Choosing between a X2 or a Klipper is like choosing between having a bologna or cheese sandwhich for lunch.
     
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  19. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I think the opposite of the above. I have both clamps and the Gammas are big and hang more awkwardly (meaning more likely to bump open) than the Kmate. I'm confused that someone would find them small.

    The Kmates are just small vise-grip style clamps with a 1.5" clamp head. I find them more accurate in terms of getting close to the frame.

    I think the Kmate's better, although it doesn't have the sexy name and red paint. The ratchet system some consider better, but as a Personal STringer, I'm chiefly doing my own racquet and know very closely how much string to initially put in the string puller, so the ratchet's a "macht's nicht" for me.
     
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  20. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    Max and I are on the same page. I have a set of Gamma upgrade clamps; they may be actually better than the ones that come with the X-2. They are large, clunky, generally difficult to open. No comparison to the Klipper vise grip clamps. They are small, easy to adjust (though they don't need it often),and easy to use. Mine are 20 years old and good as new after hundreds of racquets.

    The cam gripper is generally talked about as slow and difficult. It is anything but that. Once you've become used to using it, I find it's noticably quicker than a ratchet system. It's been left on the Klippermate for a reason. It works, it's secure, and it holds up forever.

    I don't think you can beat the Klippermate for a personal stringer.
     
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  21. tes

    tes Rookie

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    The camming points I am refering to are the half round part of the locking handle that 'cams' against the clamp body and locks the clamp shut. Waxing will reduce the friction for smoother, easier operation. a added benefit is that wear is reduced. I learned this idea on this forum, tried it and it works well.
     
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