Should I buy a stringing machine?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Jay_The_Nomad, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I'm not so sure the whole point of having a stringer is to break some kind of speed record---I find the advantage is in doing the job right and well, without regard to how much time it takes me. I average about 50 minutes. But then, I pause a bit, stop and double check stuff, etc.

    I think the only person who values speed-stringing is the guy who employs kids in his tennis shop to string racquets.
     
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  2. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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    Thanks for the input. Totally agree with you on the difference in machines. Thats why I had mentioned around 45 min on an entry level machine on my first post.
     
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  3. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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    I think most people would agree with me that under 30 minutes on a klipermate is fast even for professional stringers. The reason I put up my first post was not to achieve some sort of a time frame. Sure anyone can string a racquet under 30 min on any machine, but doing so with complete accuracy (the same accuracy required by a player on the atp tour) are two completely different things.

    The main reason I posted the high learning curve was because the main argument in the thread that Jay_The_Nomad asked is whether it is financially better for him to get a machine or get the racquets strung for $20 per racquet.

    This is my take on that. So lets say just for argument sake that it would take 50 racquets of practice to start stringing at a rate of 30 min per racquet on a klipermate machine.

    According to the first post, Jay_The_Nomad plays 3 times a week with a full bed of poly. String breakage would be minimal with this option, but lets say the poly goes bad after a month of use. So even if it took 50 racquets to achieve a good speed, that is essentially 5 years of practice before perfecting both speed and accuracy. And that time frame is a very conservitive one, as a more average figure is around 45 minutes on a klipermate machine.

    If you were to purchase a more professional machine, such as a good prince or babolat, the price may be around 2000-3000. At a very conservitive interest of only 5%, that would be around $100-$150 per year on an investment of a good machine. That would be enough for 5-7 string jobs.

    Taking all this into account, it would really depend on the current wage you make to really determine if stringing yourself is worthwhile financially or not. Is 30-45 min of your time worth $20 after at least 5 years of practice (not taking any interest into account?

    For most people, I would think the financial answer would be no. However, I would like to say that stringing your own racquets has many benefits. These include convienience of stringing at any time. Knowing that you are in control of the technique used for accuracy. So obviously if you are stringing your own racquets, it should not be for speed, but purely based on accuracy and if you actually enjoy the activity.

    The speed only comes into account when calculating financial benefits. I am not trying to scare anyone with the high learning curve. I just wanted to clarify the financial benefits, as most people that have suggested to string by yourself did not address this issue.
     
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  4. lcalamar

    lcalamar Rookie

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    I typically take 1+ hours to string a racket. On the higher side if I'm stringing gut (extra careful when using gut).

    Unless you are doing this for a business - then enjoy the process. If it feels like a dredge job, and you need to rush through it - perhaps stringing a racket isn't for you.
     
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  5. Imago

    Imago Semi-Pro

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    If you want to experiment with strings and patterns, even invent new patterns that would perfectly fit your playing style, then the answer is self-evident - buy a cheap and robust stringing machine under $400 and take your time with pleasure.
     
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  6. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I really have no idea of how all the above relates to my disputing your initial assertion that it takes stringing 1000's of racquets to be able to string one in between 15 to 30 minutes. Your arguments are all over the place and don't address that issue.

    To say that the time spent stringing is only relevant when calculating financial benefits as a blanket statement for all stringers is wrong because in my own case that time is important even though I make no money from stringing and would not be using the time spent stringing to earn income over and above my salary. Its importance for me is derived from the fact that this time is part of my available discretionary time and I only have a limited supply of that to allocate.
     
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  7. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    consider 30 minutes a solid time.

    many of us could string faster but like others I just relax and string over a beer and a football game or whatever. i don't mind if it takes me 45 minutes for that matter.

    BUT, it doesn't take 1000 rackets to do that, not even 100.
     
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  8. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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    You claim that "this time is part of my available discretionary time and I only have a limited supply of that to allocate."

    In economics, the time that it takes you to string a racquet is your "opportunity cost" to do so. If you spend 30 minutes stringing a racquet, you do not have 30 minutes of your discretionary time to do something else.

    As you claim that you have a "limited suppy" of this discretionary time, you must value your time. I would assume you do not put this value as zero because speed in stringing is important to you.

    So what I mean by financial benefits are not just actual money you can make by stringing, but instead all financial benefits as defined by economics. This would include the discretionary time that you have saved with whatever value you associate with it.

    I understand that this concept may be hard for you to understand, as most people do not have set values of what their spare time is worth.
     
    #58
  9. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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    I mentioned in my previous post that anyone can string a racquet under 30 min on any machine, but can they do so with accuracy (the same accuracy that a professional stringer has)?

    Is only 50 racquets of practice enough to achieve this level of accuracy?

    Regardless of the timeframe of 50 racquets or 1000 racquets, in the financial analysis that I posted, I agreed with your timeline of 50 racquets.

    Like I have already mentioned, I am not here to argue about timelines, and instead would like to address the initial question asked when this thread was started.

    I noticed you have not commented anything on the financial analysis that I posted.

    I would like it if you / and other members would give input to address the initial question asked at the start of the thread, and not agree about minor points that do not address the real question.

    Again, I used your timeline when doing the analysis, so I am not arguing with you over that point.
     
    #59
  10. am1899

    am1899 Rookie

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    IMO the financial aspect is a no-brainer. The OP has 2 racquets strung each visit to the stringer ($40 per visit). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that long term he stands to save money by investing in a stringing machine - so long as the machine is maintained and cared for properly.

    To the OP - do you have any friends with a machine? If you don't know how to string yet, I would suggest learning first - before you take the plunge and buy a machine. That way you could get a glimpse of if stringing is for you or not.

    Honestly, in your situation the question I would be asking myself is why should'nt I buy a stringing machine?
     
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  11. am1899

    am1899 Rookie

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    IMO the financial aspect is a no-brainer. The OP has 2 racquets strung each visit to the stringer ($40 per visit). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that long term he stands to save money by investing in a stringing machine - so long as the machine is maintained and cared for properly.

    To the OP - do you have any friends with a machine? If you don't know how to string yet, I would suggest learning first - before you take the plunge and buy a machine. That way you could get a glimpse of if stringing is for you or not.

    Honestly, in your situation the question I would be asking myself is why shouldn't I buy a stringing machine?
     
    #61
  12. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I used to be WAY into handicrafts as a boy. . . made an Indian chief's warbonnet myself, various models and rockets, ran my own photographic darkroom, built various things out of wood, did a ton of light carpentry on my folks house. Jack Armstrong, that's me. . . um, I like stringing because it's a nice, exacting hand craft kind of thing.

    By the same token, I've enjoyed repairing, and trying to repair, winding alarm clocks.
     
    #62
  13. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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  14. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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  15. lcalamar

    lcalamar Rookie

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    I agree that under most circumstances the financial aspect IS a no-brainer. However this will vary greatly per person. Of the list of reasons to string yourself - here are the benefits that work for me:

    - I am not dependent on a pro shop or stringer's backlog or schedule to get my racket strung

    - I don't have to spend time in my car dropping off and picking up my racket

    - I don't have to get the racket to a shop during their hours of operation

    - The total amount of time it takes for me to string a racket is less than the amount of time it takes to drop off and pick up a racket (obviously this varies greatly by person depending on how far from your stringing service to your home or work)

    - If a break strings, I can string the racket immediately and have it ready to go for my next time on the court

    - I am very consistent in my tension, no more variables caused by someone else stringing it. I really had issues with this over the years... from multiple high quality stringers...

    - I now replace my strings when I should, not just when they break (mostly due to the convenience factor)

    - I can afford to try different strings and tensions and only pay the price of strings (this is a double edged sword, just because you CAN do this - you need to be careful it doesn't become a hobby)

    - Affordable path to finding the best string/tension for you... and then test it out from time to time. I never would have gotten to my current string and tension had I not had my own stringing machine.

    - I enjoy stringing my racket - if you don't think you'll enjoy the process or the benefits, then you shouldn't even consider getting a machine.

    - I enjoy the feeling of heading out to play with a racket I have strung... I know what I'm getting and I have a sense of pride.
     
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  16. getagrip

    getagrip New User

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    Now this post has put ideas in my head, can Anyone explain some terms? Floating clamps, drop weights etc and how they work. And things and pitfalls to watch out for while stringing?
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Floating are clamp that are not fixed to the turntable and clamp two are more strings together to hold tension. Fixed clamp on the other hand are fixed to either the turntable or a bar. Fixed clamps are double action (usually) one action locks the clamp in position on the turntable and the other action lock the clamp on the string. If you have a glide bar machine the bars move in one direction and the clamps glide up and down the bar in the other directions. These clamps are usually single action and only one action is required to lock the clamp on the string and bar.

    Drop weights use a lever action and a small weight. Because of the lever action a 6 lb weight moved so it is fixed on a bar that provides 10:1 leverage provides 60 lbs of tension.

    EDIT: for a much more detailed explanation see this post:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=213946
     
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  18. am1899

    am1899 Rookie

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    @ beernutz & donnaypro: As you guys have pointed out, there are other factors to be considered. Addmitedly, my argument was over-simplified. The bottom line is, there are advantages and disadvantages to stringing your own vs. not. For the OP, weighing those pluses and minuses may well help answer his original question - to buy a machine or not. A little captain obvious I know...just my 2 cents.
     
    #68
  19. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    None of this will really mean much if you don't know anything about stringing. Safe to say, fixed clamps, or at least not floating ones, much better.
     
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  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know, I think Mansewerz's Guide says a lot. Which do you think it would have been safer to say, Not floating ones or fixed clamps? Neither really says much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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  21. getagrip

    getagrip New User

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    Thanks for the posting mansewerz thread ... there is lots to read , and i do get excited seeing my racquet being stringed ... think i'll try my hand at it
     
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  22. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I'm not saying you should or shouldn't have said anything, just that alot of that post could be confusing to someone who has no experience. Was a good description though.
     
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  23. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    In hindsight maybe I should have said floating clamps are not fixed to the stringer but suspended by being clamped to the strings. Whereas fixed clamps are fixed to the machine. "Drop weights" get their name from a weight being lowered to apply tension. To find out more about stringing machines see Mansewerz's Guide to Buying Stringing Machines.
     
    #73
  24. illzoni

    illzoni Rookie

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    I read that guide several times before making my purchase last spring and couldn't be happier with my Pioneer DC+. I'm probably doing about four (4) racquets a month, almost entirely my son's. This past Saturday was my longest (most racquets; very first session was longest as first racquet took 1:50) session as I did all three of his racquets.

    If the OP is still seaking information, I highly suggest Yulitle's Youtube videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/YULitle). Alpha provided a DVD of him with my machine that was very helpful. Tips I take for granted because I used them from the start, I see more experienced stringers learning of them for the first time here on the boards.
     
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  25. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Hall of Fame

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    As for the OP's question, "should I buy a stringing machine".. I would say in almost all cases, "Yes"!

    The cost can be very low if money is a concern, and even pricier machines can pay for themselves in a reasonable period of time if you're a frequent player.

    Add to that the convenience of having a newly strung frame in an hour (or less) compared to a day or two, and it makes the argument one-sided.
     
    #75
  26. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I was being a bit facetious with my last reply. I really think you are correct that buying a stringing machine or not is typically a very simple straightforward decision.
     
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