How to check string tension

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by tennisrick, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. tennisrick

    tennisrick New User

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    I just received my new Klippermate and successfully strung my first racquet. I strung it at 60 lbs but the strings seems to move fairly easily, especially the two side mains. Is there an easy way to see what the tension on the strings are? If not can you recommend a good tension tester I could purchase. I did use cheap synthetic gut to string the racquet but still it doesn't seem right to me. Thanks!
     
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  2. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    I am interested in an answer to this question too. In my search on the forum, the reviews of the Gamma tester seemed pretty low. I can't afford the ETR computer. And the software that registers sound to tell the tension was way over my head (plus I use a mac). Is there an inexpensive AND effective way to test tension?
     
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  3. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes the first racquet you string can come out a little loose because you have no experience with the clamps, tensioner and tieing off knots.
    The outside mains can seem looser because there is no string on both sides locking it into postition, like the other mains have.
     
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  4. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I was about to get the Eagnas TT-001 Tension Tester. About a third of the price of an ERT. Testing tension is not that important as long as you are confident of your string job.
     
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  5. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Il Mostro has the Eagnas and the ERT. He says there isn't much difference.
     
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  6. tennisrick

    tennisrick New User

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    So you all would recommend the Eagnas TT-001 Tension Tester? I want to make sure it is accurate before I buy it.
     
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  7. stanfordtennis alum

    stanfordtennis alum Hall of Fame

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    buy a tension tenster or an ERT 300
     
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  8. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I would, but it's not at the top of my list of things to buy.
     
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  9. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    Where is the best place to buy the Eagnas TT-001? I found it on their website but wonder if there is another place that might be better?
     
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  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Whether you use a tension tester or not your strings on the outside are still going to move. They do this for many reasons. The main reasons are:

    1) There is no main string on the outside to deflect the cross which holds the main.

    2) Drawback from untensioned string between the last clamp and the knot.

    3) Drawback from the clamps out of adjustment and poor technique

    4) drawback from floating or flying clamps.

    Irvin
     
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  11. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Some people increase tension on the last main to reduce this problem

    Irvin
     
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  12. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    The tension testers will not help much in this regard, It will not read 60lbs. if you check it after stringing, they are only useful for a baseline to know how much tension has dropped over a period of time, don't expect an accurate reading of the actual string tension.
     
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  13. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I'd buy it from the website.
     
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  14. Lefty5

    Lefty5 Hall of Fame

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    The STRINGMETER is by far the best tool for under $40.00.

    The Gamma knockoff is a total piece of worthless plastic.
     
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  15. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    This is easily the best point you can take from this thread, OP.
     
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  16. DrpShot!

    DrpShot! Semi-Pro

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    Stringmeter has been around for years and works, plus its only like $35. Also, if you're tying off the two end mains you may want to up the tension a bit on those. I always go up at least 5lbs on any string I'm going to tie off.
     
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  17. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    There is no good reason to up the tension before tying off, it is just degrading the job if the racquet is strung properly.

    Learn how to tie and cinch up a Parnell knot instead of raising the tension, the string will always feel looser than the rest because of the reasons already stated in this thread.

    I would invest in a starting clamp, and use that to cinch your knots properly, before worrying about a tension gauge, you won't be able to measure the individual tension of strings with a gauge anyways, especially the tie offs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
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  18. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Hey, I have been upping the tension of my tie offs since the 60's as I found out early that customers would pull on those end mains and judge the job that you did by that. They would pull on the end main,and say, "nice job",if it was tight, and if they did not pull on the string while you were there, they would later, I guarantee it.I even had customers pull on the end mains on a one piece job! I know that you do not hit with the end mains, but the customer precieves it differently. Plus by having the end mains at the proper tension, it keeps the string straighter do to the off set weave of the adjacent mains, so besides the customers preceptions, this is the most convincing reason to me!
    Also most tour stringers up the tension of the tie offs as well, and I'm sure that they have their reasons as well, also if you look on the gss site you will see that Tim S. their administrator who is on the Wilson string team, ups his tie offs 5kgs. which is a substantial amount, also R. Parnell ups his aprox. 3kgs. so I am not alone, also what is wrong with making the tie off strings the same tension as the remaining strings?
    Tying a good cinched up knot is the most important thing you can learn to do, and I also hit the knot button, as that what its purpose is and is why that button is there,and that 10% puts it just where it should be if you have good knot technique.
    While the USRSA says it is not necessary, they also said there is no harm in doing it as well, so they seem to stay neutral on this issue, I assume most likely do to all the tour stringers increasing the tie offs as well.Just be consistant with what you do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
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  19. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    I said no good reason, IMO a customer being ignorant of why the last mains are looser is not a good reason, I would rather educate them, than up the last strings to try to deceive them.

    I would bet the tour stringers do it for the same reason, not because they think it is making the string job more consistent, because it is not, you will not lose 5lbs of tension on the tie offs if proper technique is used, using the Parnell and learning to cinch it correctly.

    The USRSA does not recommend raising the string tension at tie off at all.

    I understand how some people don't understand why the last strings seem looser, and as a result, the integrity of the work comes into question by those that do not know better, I just refuse to let ignorance sway me.

    Just for fun let's say upping the tension of the last mains made the strings feel tighter, so what, it certainly doesnt improve the play of the racquet.Why would anyone want to lower power on the edge of the frame where it is already 30% less powerful than the sweetspot , it is not going to make the racquet play better at all. Basically raising tension on the outside mains of the frame makes the sweetspot smaller if anything.
     
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  20. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Amen + 1,000,000
     
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  21. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I can say that again, Amen! Right on. Some thought the world was flat for hundreds of years but that did not make it flat.

    Irvin
     
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  22. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    If you go to the other site, g s s , Richard Parnell (who they named that knot after), can be quoted to say that he increases the tie offs 3kgs. which is a substantial amount.He also stated that is why those knot buttons are on the machines for the tie offs as well. Personally I am going with what Tim S. from GSS(he increases his even more so) and Richard follow,as I have followed that for some time, so each to their own, as it does no harm, as no matter how cinched up your knot is there is some draw back on the knot tie off.So when I pluck that end main after it is tied, it sounds just as it should.BTW I have used that Parnell knot since the 60's and tie a good cinched up knot.
     
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  23. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    I think an ert-300 is an excellent piece of equipment if your stringing a bunch. Of course it will not give you a exact reading (it comes with a little conversion chart, but the accuracy is questionable). The important thing is that you are consistent.

    If you string your racquets and your tension is set at 60 and its too tight then drop a couple pounds off, too loose then up it. If you can't do a consistant job then making those adjustments won't work. Which is why an ert comes in handy. You measure the DT(dynamic tension) and keep track to see if your constantly getting the same DT


    Every string plays different depending on the tension so experimenting is key and once you figure out what you like. Even if you don't up the tie off etc its still the same concept.

    For example: if you up the tension at tie off say it increases your DT by 2, well you'll know if its too tight or too loose by playing with it. But you have to up it every time in order to get consistent results.

    I hope that my customers don't pick their tension based on the lbs and actually on how it plays. Which is why i explain to ALL of them that every stringer + machine can vary. Some can be +2 lbs some -2 lbs. its all about consitancy.

    Plus it keeps them coming back to me =)

    Different strokes for different folks.

    OP take into account string pattern also, as a denser string pattern strings tend to move less, and the string material.
     
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  24. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    I have been on GSS for years, yeah a few do it and why? because of the ignorance of players and customers, not because it improves the racquet performance, You just decided to pick out a few pro stringers that do it, and left out the fact that quite a few on that site do not do it and actually list the reasons why not, the ones you mentioned give no good reason for increasing tension of the last strings, I stated facts why it is not a good idea. If you read what Liam Nolan has to say about it at GSS, you will see more reasons not to do it.

    The only reason to increase the tension of the last strings would be to deceive someone into thinking they are at the same tension as the rest of the string bed, when in fact they are actually well over tensioned. We are talking at the very most a loss of 1-2 lbs no where near the 5-7lbs you are advocating to increase. If they feel as tight as the rest of the mains, I guarantee that stringjob is not improving play whatsoever, and the strings are well over tensioned on the outside mains, thus reducing the sweetspot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
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  25. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I usually just hit the knot button and that increases the pull 10% on that pull only. On the tie off once that is done, the end main string sounds just slightly and only slightly higher pitch from the adjacent main string when plucked, which tells me that the tension is very close to the rest of the mains. Its probably why the manuf. of those machines made it so.Therefore there is no over tensioning as you say.
    Look, if you like to keep the end mains slightly looser as it is a shorter string, as a shorter string will give in less(kind of following proportional stringing), thats fine, I like to keep them all the same, and I adjust for it. As long as the job is done the same way each time, things are consistant.
    Greg Raven from the USRSA emailed me and said that they feel it is not necessary, but it also does no harm if you wish do increase it, so they seem to stay out of that controversy, and thats exactly what it is at this point in time, a controversy, so no wrong way on this issue, as long as consistancy is followed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
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  26. matchace

    matchace New User

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    Try using Stringmeter

    I rely on Stringmeter. It's been around for ten plus years and it works.
    I note that it has a US Patent and is made in USA. That's a rarity nowdays.
     
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  27. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    BTW the way if you plan on using a Stringmeter to test the tension on the outside main it will not work. Too close to the edge of the racket for the little fingers to get on the outside side without the meter hitter the frame. Also it was not designed for that. You readings will be bogus. Those outside mains are going to move more then the other mains no matter what you do.

    Irvin
     
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  28. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I though my ears were burning...

    Yes, both are equally effective. I maintain a database of all string jobs, incsluding dynamic tension. The value of these devices is not absolute measurement, but measurement of tension changes over time. They both hit the bullseye in this respect.

    The best feature of the Eagnas is the way it translates the DT to actual pounds/kilograms, so it is easy for customers to understand. It also has a feature that estimates ball contact on the strings in milliseconds. (I have never used this.)

    I find myself using the ERT more. First, it looks swell. Yes, aethetics count. I also like the fact that it generates its own vibration to calculate DT. The Eagnas requires a tap on the frame to do this. No biggie, though.

    I use the ERT at the machine and also on the court. It confirms both tension loss and bad strokes. I cannot count the number of times people have told me they are hitting long because of their strings, and the DT reveals their strokes are the culprit. :)
     
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