The Best String Lubricant Is...

Discussion in 'Strings' started by db10s, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I went out and tried some various string lubricants. I ranked them below. Note: all tests were performed on Dunlop Ice with various stages of wear in a Biomimetic MAX 200G. I found RemOil and PTFE spray to perform so similarly that I grouped them together.

    Overall Performance

    1.RemOil with teflon (Gun Oil) and PTFE spray.

    2. Armor All (Original)

    3. Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)

    4. Vaseline Moisturizing Lotion

    5. Baby Oil

    Best Initial Performance

    1. Olive Oil

    2. RemOil with teflon (Gun Oil) and PTFE spray.

    3. Armor All

    4. Baby Oil

    5. Lotion

    Best Long Term Performance

    1. RemOil with teflon (Gun Oil) and PTFE spray.

    2. Armor All

    3. Lotion

    4. Baby Oil

    5. Olive Oil


    Summary


    RemOil with teflon (Gun Oil) and PTFE spray: Stays on and offers great performance.

    Armor All: Offered great performance but I found that it didn't stay on as well.

    Lotion: No crazy spin but it lasted longer than I expected.

    Olive Oil: Scary spin for the first 5 minutes.

    Baby Oil: Spin was alright but the durability wasn't
     
    #1
  2. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Nice thread! I would agree with all of them.
     
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  3. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Great thread.
    Just curious how does the olive oil feel in long term?
    Thanks
     
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  4. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    How do you apply the PTFE spray without hitting the frame? Lubricants that touch the frame make my lead tape peel.
     
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  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Performance of these lubricants only last for a set or so, and they do not restore the string to its original freshly strung condition.

    They also gunk up the balls. Olive oil is just nasty for tennis balls.

    Definitely not the nivarna that people are trying to suggest.
     
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  6. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    It's still cool to see the bewilderment of opponents. What happened to these balls?

    Least gunky is PTFE spray?
     
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  7. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    PTFE spray is gunky as well.

    All oils whether gun oil, olive oil, baby oil are going to be gunky and attract dirt.

    I have to admit that I've not convert to this lubricant stuff. Between this and a fresh string job, I'd have a fresh string job everytime.
     
    #7
  8. corners

    corners Legend

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    Composition of Rem Oil looks to be very similar to WD40. I can't recall the reason why, but someone who sounded like he knew what he was talking about said that WD40 is not a good thing to put on plastics like copoly.
     
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  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    Well, yeah, of course everyone would prefer a fresh string job. I think the point is just trying to get longer performance out of strings.
     
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  10. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    The olive oil didn't last very long at all....

    I think the long term effect of the gun oil isn't good on poly, but I restring every 4-6 days anyway.

    I think the Teflon in the gun oil makes it perform well.
     
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  11. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I made a card board ring that goes around the string bed and frame.
     
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  12. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I silicon spray (B'laster brand) onto a tennis ball and rub it onto the strings... it lathers up and gets into the string crossings and notches then it dries. Works great and doesnt leave marks when dry, lasts and helps me get around 21 hours per gut/poly hybrid. Gut is toughgut 16L and cross is weiscannon silverstring .
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
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    #12
  13. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    The best string lubricant is a slippery string saver

    The best string lubricant is a slippery string saver.

    I tried baby oil, olive oil, canola oil, various cooking oil, armor all, wd-40, etc.
    They only work for a day than I have to re-apply again.

    I tried Babolat elastocross string savers and they are much, much better compared to the different oils/lubricants I tried to date.

    They make the strings more slippery (reduces string friction) allowing greater snap-back to help generate more spin.
    They last until the string breaks.
    They don't collect dirt like the oil based lubricants.
    They help extend the life of my natural gut mains.

    Forget about oils/lubricants to make your strings more slippery.
    Use Babolat elastocross string savers instead.
     
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  14. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    With a multi or gut I would probably use those but poly goes dead quick and I restring a ton. Now that I think of it, would they be allowed for ITF play? You can't put a dampener above the first cross.
     
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  15. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    String savers are allowed.
    You only put them on the sweetspot (8 mains/10 crosses).

    For my 16x20 racquet, I put 10 down (crosses) and 8 across (mains) around the sweetspot area only.
    It means I put SS beggining from the 6th cross (from the bottom cross) and from the 5th main for 8 mains.

    Hope this helps.

    This setup enables the mains to snap back and remain straight after every shot. In addition, the slippery quality lasts until the strings break.
     
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  16. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I realize that they are allowed, but it seems like they wouldn't be....
     
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  17. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    String savers are allowed. Even Roger Federer uses string savers..

    String savers are allowed. Even Roger Federer uses string savers..
     
    #17
  18. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Nosegrease.
     
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  19. Fintft

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    Bow string wax!

    String savers make my strings too stiff.
     
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  20. corners

    corners Legend

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    I haven't found elastacross string savers to promote main string sliding and snapback. I've used them in a pattern in the center of the stringbed and my perception is that they a) separate the strings enough to increase the angle of the weave, which effectively increases the forces pushing the strings together, and b) constrain the strings so that they must move more linearly along the crosses than they otherwise would. Together, these two effects reduce the distance the main strings slide sideways and effectively increase string-on-string friction, which would reduce the speed at which they snapback. But they do reduce wear at the intersections and after hours of play they should allow the stringbed to function pretty much as it did when the stringsavers were first installed. So taken together, I think a pattern of stringsavers constrains and reduces the efficiency of the snapback mechanism but also allows the mechanism to continue to operate at that reduced level of efficiency for a longer period of time.

    A better stringsaver would be flat and very thin, so that it wouldn't increase the angle of the weave and wouldn't constrain the strings and force them to move along the "track" of the stringsaver. This guy's aluminum string savers are almost ideal: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=246634 Even better would be if you could attach small, thin, flat sheets of teflon at each intersection. If this could be done you could use natural gut mains and crosses and get poly-like main string snap back that would not diminish as the strings aged.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
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  21. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    That sounds like a good idea, corners. I hope you or someone else can playtest it. I would, but I'm just focusing on technique atm.
     
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  22. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I tried a silicone spray and thought it worked well, but PTFE could be better - but, seriously, I think it's between those two.

    Although PTFE is far more expensive unless of course you don't need to respray it every time you play as with silicone.
     
    #22
  23. treo

    treo Rookie

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    I use syn gut mains with poly crosses and the best lubricant for me is Adidas Pine Tar Stick. It does everything I want.

    *Strings slide back in place.
    *Get rid of any creaking noises caused by string friction.
    *Makes strings last longer.
    *Doesn't get hands or balls greasy and dirty.
    *Easy to apply and can be applied while playing.
    *Fits in your pocket and is like a large chap stick dispenser.
    *Increases grip.

    At every other changeover, I rub a little pine tar on my left hand fingertips, then rub on to strings.

    At ball impact, the pressure must be great at the string intersections. You don't want to use a light spray oil at high pressure points, you want to use something heavy and pine tar is about as heavy as you can get.
     
    #23
  24. corners

    corners Legend

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    One can buy sheets of thin PTFE with a very strong adhesive on one side. I doubt, though, that it would be flexible enough to wrap around the string and still stick. But I'll try it when I get a chance; I've been meaning to buy some of this stuff for another project.
     
    #24
  25. corners

    corners Legend

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    Isn't pine tar sticky?
     
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  26. v-verb

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    I think he was being sarcastic
     
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  27. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Pine tar is like wax in the way it is both a lubricant and sticky. Surfers use wax on top of boards for stick and snowboarders use it on the bottom for speed. I use beeswax on wood screws to make them screw in easier.
     
    #27
  28. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hmm, I see what you're saying. And I can see what you mean about wanting something thick or heavy or sticky at the intersections. Initial impact really concusses the strings and then the strings vibrate quite violently - one would think that a thin lubricant would get blasted or vibrated off the strings. The best lube I've used is Mira-fit, a Japanese product specifically for this purpose - it's a silicone-based cream with a lotion-like consistency.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    #28
  29. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Has anyone tried candle wax?
     
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  30. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    There is no candle wax, candles can be made from many different types of wax. Sometimes a mix of different type of wax.

    I am working on a review of my own homemade wax spray, will post after more play testing.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
    #30
  31. Sander001

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  32. corners

    corners Legend

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    Cool. Look forward to hearing about it!
     
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  33. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    Just try some baby oil. Cheap and very good.
     
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  34. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The main negative with spray is that string beds have holes, so the miss to hit ratio is high.
     
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  35. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I found that baby oil makes the balls dirty, and make the strings dirty too after a short hit. When the string bed gets dirty enough, the friction increases dramatically. Not the best to be used as a lubricant.
     
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  36. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    I play on hardcourts and never seen such thing, only if you play in clay...
    I use johnson baby oil when trying some multi/gut/poly setup, but on full copoly, isn't necessary.
     
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  37. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I see, I've tried using it on gut/poly on several occasions on hard courts and it leaves black lines on my balls even when I wipe most of the oil away. I'm not using johnson's baby oil though, perhaps it's better.
     
    #37
  38. parasailing

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    I also use baby oil but I would suggest not over applying it as well as let it sit overnight otherwise it will transfer over to the tennis balls and also make the strings pretty dirty.
     
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  39. corners

    corners Legend

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    Good point! :)
     
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  40. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Since you need to wipe off lotion and oil excess, the spray actually wastes less. To lotion or oil a string bed, I found I would need at least 8-10g or so to apply to all the surface and then wipe off, for spray, 5g/ml per application is more than enough.
     
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  41. Readers

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    First impression on my home made wax spray.

    I play with full bed Natural Gut, without the spray the string would move all over the place and do not snap back.

    Played 5 times, 1.5 hour each, twice I did not need to move string back at all, twice I needed to move the string once.(around 1 hour mark), and once I need to move the string twice.

    Added spin is noticeable, not sure how much though as I hit very flat on most shots.
     
    #41
  42. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    Tried Astroglide, not effective on strings...
     
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  43. Readers

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    Which one did you try? The Silicone one?
     
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  44. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I put some regular WD-40 on quite an old set of full Helix18 and gave it to my hitting partner so I could see the other end of it.
    He's a big strong dude who hits a very heavy shot anyway, but today his shots had quite more spin and the ball was jumping off the court like mad. He really liked it.
     
    #44
  45. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Why spray and not wax? Like bow string wax.

    I'm looking to buy more bow string wax, the ones that look like a chaff stick, also b/c the stringer feeds the string through it before doing the crosses (feeding them through the grommets).
     
    #45
  46. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I have bought something called Fast Fret. It is a sort of lubricant/cleanser for guitar and bass strings in a stick. It seems a waste with a spray with all that goes lost. Plus some of them are probably not so healthy to inhale. But still nosegrease might be nr 1.
     
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  47. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

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    I second this, with different brand: http://penray.com/products/silicone-spray/. If you ever touch new unstrung string that is slippery (Polystar Energy is one good example) it feels just like that. Dry fast and doesn't mess up the ball.

    Whether the silicon lubricant is applied on used stringbed or freshly strung one it definitely makes improvement. I just played with lubricated freshly strung stringbed and it was the best hitting experience I've ever had. Very stable and "obedient". I played a set of single and 2 sets of double and it lasted till the end - I sprayed some more after the session though.

    I never try the PTFE. I'm worried it does harm to the string yet the price is at least twice than the silicon spray (in my local store).


    Silicon spray, cheap good stuff. b^.^d



    I forgot. I used body lotion before and it's not even close. The performance is about half the silicon and you need to wipe the stringbed a little before use if you don't want to mess up the balls. It doesn't last long either. Extremely cheap though. :)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
    #47
  48. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Would you use that on natural gut, instead of wax?

    I use wax, trying to also clean the dirt that would notch the strings etc:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/NaturalGut.html

    "Even players who are hard on their strings can prolong the life of natural gut to get good value from the string. Several manufacturers recommend players in humid climates apply wax to their strings between usage. As well as keeping moisture out, cleaning the strings down with a cloth and rubbing wax on the stringbed prolongs string life by reducing friction and notching between strings. During play on clay, and even hard courts, dirt and grit lodged between the strings can increase friction. Friction creates notches on the surface of the string, leading to premature breakage. A little care taken to keep the strings waxed-up and grit free will lead to a much longer string life."
     
    #48
  49. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

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    Just copy from Penray Facebook page (I swear it's no advertising >_<):

    Since it won't harm organic things such as rubber and leather I think it should be okay with gut. 100% not sure though. :twisted:
     
    #49
  50. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    Really? You would use something that's extremely harmful to skin and body (according to the bottle) just to lubricate string? It's not worth it!
     
    #50

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