ST-101 Pathfinder Tool

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by hyperion99, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    #1
  2. David 110

    David 110 New User

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    I tried this item. The short length piece is a tube made from some very soft metal which bent the second time it was used. Tried to straighten it, but the tube was deformed when it bent and the tool was completely useless after that.
     
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  3. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I have the Gamma pathfinder but have never used it.

    I hear they break really easy, hopefully I'll never need one.
     
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  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Unfortunately, it is a fragile piece of equipment. Not worth the cost. As others may have suggested, use a scrap piece of string when stringing a main that blocks a cross hole. Use the scrap string to move the blocking string so you can access the grommet.
     
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  5. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks.
    Is there any other tool similar to this?
     
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  6. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Both the Gamma and the Eagnas pathfinder tools are useless. They are too thick to be of any use. I own both as well, because they came with machines I've owned.

    I do however own the Kimony pathfinder. It's much thinner and much more useful than the other two. Except I don't use it either. :confused: I just bought it to complete my set of Kimony Awls.
    [​IMG]
    The bottom two pictured. The silicone sleeve is just to keep the two pieces together.
     
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  7. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I used my pathfinder awl quite a bit over the last few years. More often than not when using the awl you insert it from the inside out not like it's shown in the Eagnas photos. This means if you have the Eagnas you have it resting up against the stringbed. Looks like it is going to be difficult to use and prone to bending. I would go with the Gamma.

    Unless you have a shared hole the only time you would have two strings in one grommet is for tie off and the always go in from the outside.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
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  8. andtapes

    andtapes Rookie

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    I have the gamma (I had 2, both broke so I bought the 3rd one), the kimony and ST101. I prefer the ST, I have mine for 5 years or more. When I bought mine it cost $12. But it was long time ago!! LOL It was cheaper at the time, but I think it is the better!
     
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  9. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    IMHO pathfinder awls are not worth buying. The Gamma version is poor. I have the Kimony (as with Lakers4Life I have it just as part of the complete Kimony set), and never use it. If a grommet hole is going to be blocked I just enlarge it before mounting the racquet.
     
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  10. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

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    I bought one just for fun and it's pretty useless. A scrap piece of thick poly will do the job.
     
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  11. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Why do you guys think pathfinder awls are useless? How do you break them? I will admit they are best used as a proactive tool and not in a reactive situation. For instance. If you have a 16 main racket that skips 7&9T and your mains tie off at 8T you should realize you may have some trouble getting the tail in 8T for tie off so insert the pathfinder awl in 8T before you put in the 7th main. When you are ready to tie off slide the handle back and insert the string in the pathfinder awl tube. Side the awl out and you're done. That awl will slide out just as easy as a scrap piece of string. Wax the outside and it slides out even easier. the beauty of this awl is it pulls your string with it. What is so hard about that?
     
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  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Another example is when you 16 main racket that skips 7&9T and your mains tie off at 6T. Now you going to have two strings blocking 7T. Put the awl in before you run the 7th main run one string under the awl and the other over. When you're ready to tie off slide the handle back insert the tail to be tied off and remove the awl.

    In this situation you will have a blocked hole (7T) on each side of the racket so a second pathfinder awl will be useful. For those of you that have one and don't want it let me know.
     
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  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    EDIT: Maybe in this situation the ST model where you can take the handle off would be useful as it gets it out of the way. Just remember one goes outside in while the other goes inside out (opposite direction of the string.) if you get them both in the wrong way run in the bottom cross before the one above it.

    Sorry for the double post can't get used to the iPad and Tapatalk.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My Gamma pathfinder awl did not break but it is bent.
     
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I can't believe I just thought of this proactive method. I used to always used my pathfinder as a last resort to a blocked hole. I was always very careful thouh and usually put gulf wax on it before using it and tried to always make sure I was not pointing it directly into the string blocking the hole. I have probably used mine at least 25 times but it is still as good as new.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I should note that I have not used it in years. I like using a tiny allen wrench better when I need to clear a blocked hole. The end is not sharp but it will still get through and widen the area for the string.
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I would not use an Allen wrench on the bottom cross tie off on a Prince O3 White. There is no grommet an Allen wrench under pressure is sure to damage the inside of the hole.

    Also the awl should go in first so there is no blockage, then the string that will be tensioned to create the block, and finally the string to be tied off goes in the awl. I would still lubricate the awl with wax just as a precaution.
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Too much work. :) I've never had a problem doing it on the Exo Tours.
     
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  19. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I had to do a Wilson with power holes yesterday. If the pathfinder would work for finding the grommet hole with those racquets, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
     
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  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You only have problem with the power holes going from inside out because you can't see the hole. With the pathfinder you put the awl in from the outside and you can see the hole. But you don't need a pathfinder awl though a small piece of tubing would work as long as it fits in the grommet and the string fits inside the tubing. Maybe a heat shrink tube at Home Depot would work.
     
    #20
  21. kato669

    kato669 Rookie

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    Never had a problem with the Gamma pathfinder awl. Just put some lube on it (chapstick or the like) and it should work with no problem. If it's really tight you can try using your standard awl w/lube to work a path out first for the pathfinder awl.
     
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  22. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks everybody for your thoughts.8)
    So if you are going to get one which one would be better?
    From my perspective I'm kind of sticking towards the Eagnas tool.
    Is the Gamma or the Kimony one better?
    If so explain why.

    Thanks
     
    #22
  23. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    The pathfinder awl is useful when going from the inside of the frame out wards. It's a PITA to use to go from the outside in wards, especially when you have a clamp in the way.

    Pathfinders are useful with multifiliments and natural gut that fray easily. That said, I was string my Steam 99s, with Global Natural Gut. I tried my best to tie off at T7 but it would not go through easily, plus I was using a 15g+ natural gut. I ended up tying off at T11.

    It's great if you can use it, but most of the time it's easier find other ways.
     
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  24. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Laker:)
     
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  25. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    It would depend on your situation but I would go for the one with the longest tube which excludes the Eagnas.

    Stringers would be better off not thing of this tool as an awl. An awl is pointed tool for making holes. The purpose of the tool is to pull the string through a hole not make a hole that's why there isn't a sharp point.
     
    #25

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