YULitle Guide to String Tools

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by YULitle, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    Is teflon tubing, powerpads, and some cleaning gear, ie. isopropyl alcohol, white shoelaces, toothbrush, etc. out of scope? Maybe more supplies than tools.

    Also, I almost hate to bring up stringmeter, ERT, etc. Maybe you could make an "interesting but not necessary" category :)

    Another nice guide YULitle!
     
    #51
  2. ryohazuki222

    ryohazuki222 Semi-Pro

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    isopropyl is pretty much a necessity for me....
     
    #52
  3. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    GSS doesn't sell strings or rackets or grips, etc. I doubt TW has much to worry about as far as competition from them. I think that TW probably views them as a complimentary business rather than a competitor.
     
    #53
  4. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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    In that case, let's see a Sticky for this thread TW. :)
     
    #54
  5. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Consider this thread stuck (the S&S section doesn't have a comprehensive sticky yet, but once it does (if I ever feel bothered enough to do one, or if anyone else wants to volunteer...) I'll move this thread out of the sticky category and link it (to save some clutter).

    Comments:

    Sheers: I think these are incredibly convenient. Even a cheap pair of gardening shears from a dollar store will do just fine. The nicer ones are probably just a little more comfortable, and the blades stay sharper longer. I also noticed that the cheaper blades tend to "warp" from the strings snapping.

    Guide awl: I have never NEEDED this tool. I think if you think ahead a little bit, and know how to use your simple tools (pliers, a little force, scrap string, etc) you should be OK without this one. I can't even recommend a pathfinder awl as a convenience tool in most situations. I think YL got it right tools you "MIGHT" want to consider.

    Parallels: I use these all the time, and they are GREAT! However, the parallels you linked aren't so great. I have a pair, and the action on them is WAY too stiff. The serration is very aggressive. i've snapped quite a few poly strings on the tie off(s), but I always give a little slack, so it's never been a problem. If you can find a gently textured pair of parallels with a spring action, I bet you'll be happy as a clam with them. A substitute for these is a starting clamp, although I think a nice pair of parallels (or even better: CAM assisted pliers) is a nice luxury to have. (It makes the job more convenient and enjoyable! invest!)

    Flare it: It works alright, a heat gun is helpful, but I don't like the potential crushing of a frame. The twist down force is much higher than people would think! I have one, but rarely, rarely use it.

    Awl: I'd like to point out (haha, get it?) that the length suggestion also goes another way: If the awl is too long, it is likely the taper is too mild, and it won't be useful for wiggling around in a hole in the case that you need to enlarge it (not so often, but it does come up). As far as bending motions, you're right, it shouldn't be used with much force, but there are cases where lateral tension is applied (i.e. when installing a bumper strip). Too thin of an awl in that case is really frustrating. I like the TW awl, but haven't had the pleasure of trying the GSS awls.

    Starting clamp: I can't say that this is a necessity in terms of: if you don't have one, you can't successfully string a racquet, but I can't imagine stringing without a starter. I (now) start my crosses using a starter. i've had several, too: the Gamma clamp (3 spring, SUCKS), Alpha old clamp (RAB/Alpha non branded, 2 spring), and the new alpha clamp. Both Alphas are excellent, and I don't really have a preference, but I definitely think the newer alpha is more aggressive. A balance between the two would be nicer.

    Callibrator: it's the tool that you should consider buying even though you will rarely use it. 'Nuff said.

    Tools you need:

    Cutters: yes, the xurons are nice, but there are other options out there that do the job JUST AS WELL (quality wise, really!) as the xurons for tennis related purposes. Just google around for flush cutters, there are several options for cheaper. (Not that the xurons are out of the question in terms of price). I found a nice set of tools at home depot, although they're not available on their website any longer. i bought them two winters ago, they were the crescent flush cutter/mini plier set. The flush cutters have a similar styling to the xurons, if not slightly more flat, for a better close quarter cutting surface. the mini pliers are extremely thin, and slightly textured (not really serrated). They grip string VERY well, and give plenty of push-power. They're also extremely nice to handle. And since i don't use my pliers to tighten my knots, they work perfectly in my stringing 'system'. I personally HATE the cutters and pliers (sears brand) that you mentioned, but to each his/her own! (Also, I don't think serration is a bad thing, i think it translates to less physical force required to grip a string securely, I find this important in maneuvering a string through a blocked hole at times).

    OK, commentary aside, enjoy the sticky status!
     
    #55
  6. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    Consider Xcelite Tools

    I personally highly recommend a nice high end Shearcutters and Pliers. We have been using the Xcelite models for the last two years and they really do make a difference.
    We purchased ours from Tri-State Electronics for around $10 each.
    The 378M Pliers have very slight serrated jaws are better then your typical pointy nose pliers.
    [​IMG]

    The 2178M Shearcutters with the Safety Clip are the best cutter I have ever used! The Safety clip actually catches the small pieces of string when you cut the tip off and you do not have little pieces of string all over the place. Pay the extra couple of dollars and get the Safety Clip! :cool:
    [​IMG]
     
    #56
  7. zidane339

    zidane339 Hall of Fame

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    Congrats Yulitle on another great sticky!
     
    #57
  8. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Sweeeeet :D


    DD: What did you mean by a comprehensive Sticky?
     
    #58
  9. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    This sounds stupid but...what the hell is GSS?
     
    #59
  10. zidane339

    zidane339 Hall of Fame

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    #60
  11. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    If I (or anyone else that wants to volunteer) ever get around to making a single sticky, most of the current stickies will be linked under a "FAQ" question (to clear up the ## of stickies at the top of the page)
     
    #61
  12. 1hand4ever

    1hand4ever Rookie

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    The 4 1/2 inch diagonal pliers made by kobalt are the perfect pair of snips imo. I got a pair today and strung a racquet while using them. They are comfy and perfectly sized. And, you get a lifetime guarantee.
     
    #62
  13. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    dire i'll chat soon, got a lil busy
     
    #63
  14. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Hey YULitle, as a pro stringer what would you recommend, a newbie like myself, a stringing machine for about 200 dollars.
    Yes I know of the many topics in the string machine section that deals with this but I wanted an answer from a pro like your self.
    Thanks in advance.
     
    #64
  15. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Well, while it may be implied by some, I'm not technically a pro stringer....


    But, if I only had $200 to spend on a machine, I'd get the Gamma X-2 and a good starting clamp from GSS.
     
    #65
  16. tennisfever8181

    tennisfever8181 Rookie

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    So you would say Gamma X-2 > Kilppermate?
     
    #66
  17. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I've not used either, so I can't say for certain. But, that's just what I would do given what I know and the budget.
     
    #67
  18. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Thanks!
    So the clamps that come with it are not really worth it.
    Ok I'll check GSS for the clamps
     
    #68
  19. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    Why didn't I notice this thread before? This guy talks about an awl like he is in love with it. My kind of geek.

    Keep up the good work, YULitle!
     
    #69
  20. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    just to make sure, diagonal cutters work just as good as snips, right?
     
    #70
  21. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I believe so... They may be the same. Not sure.
     
    #71
  22. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Hey YULitle, I had asked you the question on the tube about flying clamps. You said the stringway was the best. 2 questions. 1. Who sells them and 2. What else what you recommend as other good flying clamps?
    Thanks in advance
     
    #72
  23. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    In the US they are sold by New Tech Tennis, I believe. They are the same people who distribute Alpha machines/strings.

    The only ones I've used are the Alpha and Gamma variety. I personally prefer the Alpha.
     
    #73
  24. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I think they are the same, too. I personally don't really like diagonal/wire cutters. Flush cutters is where it's at ;) (Nail clippers are also good, but much less maneuverable)
     
    #74
  25. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Hey YULitle next up on Tool Talk, clamps?!?!
    What do ya say?
     
    #75
  26. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Machine clamps or starting clamps?
     
    #76
  27. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Ah sorry about that. Yes floating clamps.. I guess if you buy an inexpensive stringer you may want to invest in a good set of clamps.
     
    #77
  28. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Well, I've only had experience using the Gamma and Alpha variety. Between those two I'd have to go with the Alpha's. But, someone posted a video once showing the SW triple clamp and it looked pretty darn good. It had very very little drawback. So little that they guy posting thought there was something wrong. :D :lol:
     
    #78
  29. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Are those the triple action clamps that you are referring to from SW? Or the double?
     
    #79
  30. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, they're from SW. They have three sets of teeth so instead of anchoring to just once string, it anchors to two.
     
    #80
  31. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Do you have to triple pull the center mains or something then?
     
    #81
  32. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    No, it's used in conjunction with a regular double flying clamp.
     
    #82
  33. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    So what is this pirate hook-like handle that I got with my Alpha machine supposed to be used for? I always assumed it was for straightening the crosses, but I just used my fingers for that.

    http://www.eagnas.com/maxgen2/pn3092.html
     
    #83
  34. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    You got it. It's for straightening crosses. It saves your fingers when you've been stringing racquets all day.

    It's also helpful to move crosses on highly textured strings (like Gamma Rough.) When you pull a cross through, you have to move it up and down the mains to keep it from burning the strings up. Having this tool to move the cross for you saves your fingers.
     
    #84
  35. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    What a great thread, YULitle. I've been away for quite some time and have missed out on a lot. Excellent sticky. [​IMG]
     
    #85
  36. Applesauceman

    Applesauceman Semi-Pro

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    Anyone ever used the Mutual Power starting clamp? Thoughts?
     
    #86
  37. b0oMeR

    b0oMeR Rookie

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    I have, and its a starting clamp works like its suppose to. I don't find much differnce in the red and the mutual power one. Maybe longitivty but can't test that can you? :)
     
    #87
  38. NadalFan1990

    NadalFan1990 Guest

    I have used that starting clamp. You're referring to the one they are selling on e b a y, I assume. They work really well. I have never used any other starting clamp but I really like the mutual power one and I can see myself using it forever. The spring between the grips works like I believe its supposed to and it can grip strings really well. The first time I used it, I noticed that when I put an awful lot of pressure when I was tying my knots, the clamp slipped, but im pretty sure I was probably using too much pressure and thats why the clamp slipped.

    In short: BUY IT IF THEY STILL HAVE ANY!
     
    #88
  39. Ronny

    Ronny Hall of Fame

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    hey yulitle can u make a vid on how to use a guide awl? i have one which came with my machien and am clueless :p Thanks!
     
    #89
  40. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    #90
  41. rafael17_13@hotmail.com

    rafael17_13@hotmail.com Rookie

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    Some of these items I can't find some of these items on tennis warehouse where else can I get them. The snips or are they the gamma stringing tools kit??
    The setting of awl, parallel pliers, and Flare-it C clamps. So where can I get these items??
     
    #91
  42. gocard

    gocard Semi-Pro

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    There are two starting clamps on the TW website. One is by Gamma, the other one is Alpha (?) I couldn't quite tell from the angle.

    What's the difference, do you prefer one over the other? I see one has 3 springs whereas the other has two, but it might just be the design rather than function.

    Are they different from the one sold at GSS? They all look the same to me, other than the number of springs :)

    Thanks!
     
    #92
  43. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    what about a string stretcher? what is its function and how do you use it? I see that it comes in some of the tool kits that are available right now.
    Anyone.
     
    #93
  44. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    Anyone here used the mutual power flying clamps are the new spring loaded Eagnas flying clamps. And yes the Eagnas one is for tennis
     
    #94
  45. NadalFan1990

    NadalFan1990 Guest

    YULitle,

    When you say GSS, does that stand for Grand Slam Stringers.com?
     
    #95
  46. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Yep :D That's the one.
     
    #96
  47. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    String mover and the setting off awl, stupid question here, do they perform the same functions?
    Is it a must to have these both?
     
    #97
  48. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Pretty sure what you are talking about are both the same things.
     
    #98
  49. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    well the string mover has a hook on the end and it is said to be able to help pull the crosses on the strings, while the setting off awl straightens the strings crosses.
    do i need to have these both in my tools.
    YULitle i am learning from you and get all the tools i need to be a good stringer.
    i have watched your videos and ready to go stringing.
    thanks for all that you do for us.
     
    #99
  50. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I see now. I suggest the setting off awl. This can be used to move your crosses up and down when you weave them across the mains. Typically, your fingers work well enough for this, but if you start to string large volume, it helps to keep your fingers off the string at the point (especially with textured strings.)
     

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