Gauge differences?...

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Ross K, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Okay, I'm principally thinking in terms of Polystar Energy; but also, just in general, what's the common understanding?

    16g, 17g, 18g...

    Which offers more power and spin? Which is for durability and lasts longer? Which is for feel and touch?

    Basically, I think I might be a bit muddled in my thinking here. Therefore could people please possibly help clear this up for me...

    How are they different?... what qualities does each represent?...

    Thanks in advance,

    R.
     
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  2. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    15g thickest
    16g thinner than 15g
    17g thinner than 16g
    18g thinner than 17g

    in general, the thinner the string, the more control, power & spin since the thinner strings have more "bite" on the ball. thicker gauge strings have less control and feel but are the most durable.
     
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  3. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    In general, it is a trade-off between playability and durability. However, the difference in playability are often overstated, IMO.

    Thinner strings for a given string type are going to be more flexible. For this reason, thicker strings are thought to offer more control than thinner strings as the stringbed deflects less for a given tension and in a more uniform manner. Additionally, there may be a slight increase in power because of the increased elasticity of a thinner gauge string.

    A very real advantage of thicker gauges is going to be durability, probably one of the biggest reasons very few professionals or recreational players grow up using strings much thinner than 17 gauge. Besides lasting longer before failure, thicker gauge strings seem to maintain their elasticity and playability slightly longer. Thinner strings, which stretch more because of their decreased stiffness, "wear out" quicker. String death.

    Finally, many claim that there is an increase in spin when using thinner strings. There is no evidence to support this other than the perception of those making the claims. As a side note, there is also no evidence I am aware of that proves an increase in spin creation using textured strings or when changing string tension.

    So, at the end of the day, if durability is not a concern, it's going to be a decision based mostly on subjective differences, with feel being the major concern.

    So far as actual data, such as physical dimensions of different gauges and such, check here:

    http://www.itftennis.com/technical/equipment/strings/stringing/

    The above link also presents some good explanations why a softer string bed decreases control, however, most of these are not complicated ideas. I don't believe that increased bite from thinner strings compensates for the decreased stringbed stiffness so far as control is concerned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
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  4. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    17g is a good gauge to start with. Polystar energy is 1.25mm in measurement which is 16l in some companies. It is a very good, average gauge. If you don't break it quick, go 18. If you break it too quickly, go 16g. If you are happy with it stick with it.
     
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  5. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    There is less material in the thinner gauge so they tend to stretch more which in turn flings the ball further. Thicker gauges with more material like 16, 15g wont snap as fast as 17 or 18g string.
     
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  6. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Especially when stringing Cyber Flash... :rolleyes:
     
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  7. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    ^^^ Cheers gents - good info there.

    R.
     
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  8. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Call me crazy but the thicker gauge is giving more directional control whilst the thinner is giving more depth control. The thicker gauge always feels more solid while the thinner feels more bitey and elastic. More and more these days I lean thicker.
     
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