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-   -   Drop Weight vs Crank (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=419279)

Ramon 04-03-2012 01:20 PM

Drop Weight vs Crank
 
I'm thinking about getting a stringing machine soon after taxes. It will primarily be for myself and maybe a few friends and family. If I happen to get outside business, that's fine, but I know you can't make a lot a money from stringing when you look at the hourly rate anyway, unless you own a pro shop and use it to get people into the door.

The machines within my budget are either drop weights (with clutch) or cranks. I eliminated the basic drop weights because there's no way I want to regrip and retension every time it doesn't drop to parallel. I know crank machines are faster but they are also $200-400 more, and I like the idea of getting constant pull accuracy with drop weights.

For those who have had experience with both, how do they compare as far as ease of use and efficiency? I know the cranks are better, but I want to get an idea of the extent of the difference.

sstchur 04-03-2012 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6444877)
I'm thinking about getting a stringing machine soon after taxes. It will primarily be for myself and maybe a few friends and family. If I happen to get outside business, that's fine, but I know you can't make a lot a money from stringing when you look at the hourly rate anyway, unless you own a pro shop and use it to get people into the door.

The machines within my budget are either drop weights (with clutch) or cranks. I eliminated the basic drop weights because there's no way I want to regrip and retension every time it doesn't drop to parallel. I know crank machines are faster but they are also $200-400 more, and I like the idea of getting constant pull accuracy with drop weights.

For those who have had experience with both, how do they compare as far as ease of use and efficiency? I know the cranks are better, but I want to get an idea of the extent of the difference.

I have owned all 3 (drop weight, crank, and electronic). I current own a Gamma 6004 crank, and a Gamma 5800 electronic.

I can honestly say that I enjoy stringing on the electronic the most. It's the most efficient for me, and just an all-around more enjoyable experience than crank or drop weight.

That said, between the crank and drop weight, I enjoyed stringing on the 6004 MUCH more than I did on the drop weight. But to be fair, my drop weight was Silent Partner Swing with flying clamps and a rotational gripper.

A huge part of why the 6004 was so much more enjoyable to string on than the drop weight was because of the overall quality (self-centering mounts, fixed clamps, switch action base clamps, linear gripper, etc..)

If you had all those features in a drop weight, then I suppose a drop weight would be just fine, assuming your volume isn't super high.

For me personally, I'd never want to go back to a drop weight -- just too tedious a process for my liking. It's true that it doesn't take THAT much longer, but it's a bit more "involved" and I just enjoy both crank and electronic better.

What specific models are you considering?

Irvin 04-03-2012 02:35 PM

I have never owned a drop weight but I have used one. I too like the electronic the best. You can use a lockout to string like a constant pull but it is more trouble.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aYI5...QnF7HurnLeagk=

Ramon 04-03-2012 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sstchur (Post 6444908)
A huge part of why the 6004 was so much more enjoyable to string on than the drop weight was because of the overall quality (self-centering mounts, fixed clamps, switch action base clamps, linear gripper, etc..)

If you had all those features in a drop weight, then I suppose a drop weight would be just fine, assuming your volume isn't super high.

For me personally, I'd never want to go back to a drop weight -- just too tedious a process for my liking. It's true that it doesn't take THAT much longer, but it's a bit more "involved" and I just enjoy both crank and electronic better.

What specific models are you considering?

I'm considering machines that have fixed clamps at minimum, so the type of tensioner would be the biggest difference. I'm going back and forth on whether I should get an Alpha or Gamma and buy with confidence, or take my chances on an Eagnas. Alpha's drop weight machines are very tough to find, but that's probably my first choice if there were actually any for sale. I don't particularly like the gripper on the drop weight Gamma machines. Eagnas has the most features for the money, so I'm tempted to get one if I can't find an Alpha that isn't ridiculously marked up.

sstchur 04-03-2012 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6445121)
I'm considering machines that have fixed clamps at minimum, so the type of tensioner would be the biggest difference. I'm going back and forth on whether I should get an Alpha or Gamma and buy with confidence, or take my chances on an Eagnas. Alpha's drop weight machines are very tough to find, but that's probably my first choice if there were actually any for sale. I don't particularly like the gripper on the drop weight Gamma machines. Eagnas has the most features for the money, so I'm tempted to get one if I can't find an Alpha that isn't ridiculously marked up.

Gamma makes great machines. I have two of them an have been very happy. Their customer service is also very good.

kimbahpnam 04-03-2012 03:52 PM

trust me, after a few stringings on the drop weight, you'll want something more efficient.

QuadCam 04-03-2012 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kimbahpnam (Post 6445128)
trust me, after a few stringings on the drop weight, you'll want something more efficient.

strung my racquets probably 100 times back in high school and college with a klippermate. The drop weight never bothered me. If I was stringing other people's racquets for business, then I'd likely have a different opinion. But, if you are solely stringing for yourself, a drop weight won't bother most people.

Winners or Errors 04-03-2012 06:55 PM

I'm with QuadCam. I have a 20+ year old Klippermate, and if you take care of a drop-weight, there are just so few moving parts it'll last forever.

I only string my own racquets. If not, I'd be looking for something more efficient, as I think efficiency is really the only plus of going to something else.

Ennismt 04-03-2012 07:31 PM

I own a Gamma X-2 and a Gamma X-ST (need to sell the X-2). I'd say the difference to me is that it is easier to be more consistent with the crank than with the dropweight. However, you can be inconsistent with both as well. Variability of tension applied with a dropweight is introduced when you vary from horizontal, though it has been documented that the variance is relatively small up to something like 5 degrees +/- (there's thread that explains this better than I do here). With a crank, variability in tension can vary with cranking speed. Fixed clamps are easier to be more consistent with than flying clamps, IMHO.

more racquets, stringing for others and the desire for faster (say 5-15 min) all suggest a crank. But...either works and can work very well. I invested in a crank because I string for a few others and its a hobby. For pure utility and stringing my own sticks, I would have stayed with the X-2.

Bottom line: I don't think there is a wrong decision just one that you need to figure out your use, personal priorities in a stringer and certainly budget.

yem 04-06-2012 09:24 AM

Another vote for the X-2 here. It does a great job and is built well. I have strung with crank and electronic model stringers and while they are easier/faster, I can get the same results with my X-2 in 30-45 minutes.

The real question is how many rackets you plan to string. The X-2 is great for your own rackets and a couple of friends rackets here or there. Anything more and I would recommend investing in a crank or electronic machine.

WildVolley 04-06-2012 09:33 AM

Unless you get one of those trick drop weights which doesn't need to drop to parallel to tension correctly, I'd stick with a crank.

I started with a drop weight but now string with a crank because it saves me a lot of time, even though I'm only stringing a few rackets.

Ramon 04-06-2012 10:16 AM

I just ordered the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for $429 with free shipping. At that price an equivalent Eagnas would have saved me only $20 after shipping. A cheaper Eagnas with similar features would have saved me $80, but I heard too many bad things about the company to want to take a chance and add to their sales. The comparable Gamma machines had less desirable features and cost more money. I decided on the drop weight because I will mainly string for myself. Thanks for your input!

mikeler 04-06-2012 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6450126)
I just ordered the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for $429 with free shipping. At that price an equivalent Eagnas would have saved me only $20 after shipping. A cheaper Eagnas with similar features would have saved me $80, but I heard too many bad things about the company to want to take a chance and add to their sales. The comparable Gamma machines had less desirable features and cost more money. I decided on the drop weight because I will mainly string for myself. Thanks for your input!


Congrats. Have you strung before or will this be your first time?

Ramon 04-06-2012 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 6450141)
Congrats. Have you strung before or will this be your first time?

I used to string with a $200 TR machine (crank with flying clamps that needs to be braced on a table). My past experience is probably the biggest reason I chose to get fixed clamps.

fortun8son 04-06-2012 12:58 PM

I'm sure you will be happy with the Alpha.
I've been using the Eagnas Combo 810 for 2 years now and it works just fine.
I still prefer the Neos 1000 but that's in a different price class altogether!
Good Luck! Enjoy!

bigmalik76 04-06-2012 01:43 PM

I am stringing on a klippermate now but I am saving up, to upgrade to a gamma STII. For me I think fixed clamps and crank is a must now after using drop weight for a while. It is just more efficient especially because the klippermate does not have a ratchet mechanism.

nutcase 05-05-2012 04:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6450126)
I just ordered the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for $429 with free shipping. At that price an equivalent Eagnas would have saved me only $20 after shipping. A cheaper Eagnas with similar features would have saved me $80, but I heard too many bad things about the company to want to take a chance and add to their sales. The comparable Gamma machines had less desirable features and cost more money. I decided on the drop weight because I will mainly string for myself. Thanks for your input!

I got the same machine and love it. You can always upgrade it with a Wise tensioner, thus making it an electronic for $400, if you really need to speed it up some. But I find that the drop weight works just fine for me. ;)

SwankPeRFection 05-05-2012 07:57 AM

Personally, I would go the route of constant-pull. So, with that you're stuck with going either drop-weight or electronic. I picked an Alpha drop-weight knowing full well that in the future I'll just pick up an electronic head for it. I thought I was going to hate stringing with the weight, but it's actually not that bad. The best thing I like about it most is the ability to wait on the tensioning of each string to stretch it out so that once it's done, it won't stretch much more in the bed just after the string job is done. With a crank, you simply cannot do this, no matter if you pull twice to try and duplicate the constant pull effect of non-crank machines. At least this has been my experience.


As for the Alpha you just bought Ramon, make sure you go by the hardware store and pick yourself up some larger washers for the two mounting towers on the machine. The washers on the bottom of that machine that are under the table where the two knobs are are useless and don't engage the bottom of those rails enough to hold the towers in place when you string. If you don't replace the washers with bigger ones, you could run into what's called creep, where the tower gets pulled and slides on it's rail a bit while you're stringing and the racquet comes loose. Don't freak out, it's a good machine, but they overlooked this small aspect of things and it causes some small issues for some users, even though supposedly it doesn't happen with everyone. Replace the washers and you should be ok. Just make sure you really righten down those towers before you string.

Ramon 05-05-2012 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwankPeRFection (Post 6508620)
As for the Alpha you just bought Ramon, make sure you go by the hardware store and pick yourself up some larger washers for the two mounting towers on the machine. The washers on the bottom of that machine that are under the table where the two knobs are are useless and don't engage the bottom of those rails enough to hold the towers in place when you string. If you don't replace the washers with bigger ones, you could run into what's called creep, where the tower gets pulled and slides on it's rail a bit while you're stringing and the racquet comes loose. Don't freak out, it's a good machine, but they overlooked this small aspect of things and it causes some small issues for some users, even though supposedly it doesn't happen with everyone. Replace the washers and you should be ok. Just make sure you really righten down those towers before you string.

Great advice! I noticed exactly what you are talking about. The towers do creep. I'm going to pick up some larger washers this week. Thank you!

SwankPeRFection 05-05-2012 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6508640)
Great advice! I noticed exactly what you are talking about. The towers do creep. I'm going to pick up some larger washers this week. Thank you!

No problem, glad I could help. Ace or True Value have some perfectly sized one. They're about an inch to an inch and a quarter diameter and pretty much cover both side of that bottom part of the rail really well. The hole in the middle is also exactly the same as the stock washer that's on there. Oh yeah, take that stock washer completely off... I noticed that with both on there, I still couldn't put enough torque on the surfaces to get a good bite. I think it's because the stock washers are a bit smaller in diameter than the black knobs and that's losing just a bit of engagement surface. I was playing around with the idea of maybe doing a lock washer as well, but if mine continues to slip with this new set up at all, I'll just take the knobs off and get some hex screws and use an alen wrench to tighten the towers down. That'll keep them from slipping for sure. It's either that or I'm going to strip the smooth blue paint off the bottom of the rails under the table and see if that improves things. I just didn't want to do that because I don't think that table is made of a non-rusting metal and I don't want to have to deal with rust surface stains from any moisture in the air over time.


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