Here are more categories/levels of stringing machines.
Table top cranks
-If you're going to string more than a few rackets per week, say 5-10 racquets per week, these machines are for you. A standard these days for table top cranks are sturdy turntables, fixed clamps (spring assisted or not), 6 point mounting, and most times, a table brake. Cranks allow you to string much faster, so if you're short on time, get a crank. Note: Most tabletop cranks come with a screw brake. Although it works well, they're inferior to disc brakes.
Also, remember that cranks are capable of being faster, but shouldn't be cranked faster just to go faster. Crank at a moderate, consistent speed. Cranks can also be less physically demanding because you are turning a handle rather than lifting a dropweight.
- Alpha Revo 4000 ($599)
- Silent Partner Crump ($499)
- Gamma Progression ST II ($679)
- Gamma X-ST ($699)
The Alpha Revo 4000
The Alpha Revo 4000 is one of the most praised machines on this board. Great value for the money. Mounting is top notch. The clamps work well, and service of Alpha is known as one of the best. Besides, there's a reason they're always on backorder.
Table Top Electrics
-Table top electrics
are table top machines that use an electric
tensioner. These are usually inferior to higher end electronic tensioners by a long shot. They're usually not true constant pull, and even the Gamma machines, which use the same tensioner, lock out to a certain degree. For more information, refer to the electric tensioner descriptions. Coming standard with 6 point mounting and fixed clamps.
(I put table top electrics right after table top cranks because I believe that a machine with a stand beats any kind of table top assuming that it works just as well.)
Please Note: The Gamma Machines ARE constant pull, but they use spring loaded constant pull rather than traditional load sensor constant pull.
- Gamma Progression ES II+ ($979)
- Gamma X-ES ($999)
- Silent Partner Jive ($699)
Gamma Progression ES II+
Haven't heard any faults with this machine. Not sure if the Gamma progression tables' problems occur here too. YULitle has firsthand experience with this machine, so it's best you ask him. But, the tool tray is tiny. Also, there is no brake on this machine. The Gamma X-ES may be the better option as it has a bigger tray, but the machines are pretty much similar.
Stand alone Cranks
-These are the machines with the stands and crank tensioners. More often than not, you'll find these in a pro shop. Here is where we get nitpicky. The price range is very large because there are little features like self centering mounts, disc lock brakes, wheels, etc, that call for different machines from the same company. I've chosen to keep this as one category because in the end, they're all cranks with a stand. Again, the standard of fixed clamps applies here, but 6 point mounting is NOT universal here. You'll notice 2 point mounting, 4 point mounting, and 6 point mounting here. I'll provide a link on such a topic later.
- Prince Neos 1000 ($1100)
- Gamma 6004 ($1299 2 or 6 pt mounting)
- Alpha Apex 2 ($1099)
- Alpha Axis Pro ($799)
-The Alpha Apex 2.
-This machine has spring assisted clamp bases, and a self centering mounting system. The six point mounting system is usually considered more secure, and protects the racquet better. Also, the disc lock brake is easier to use than the screw brake. Honestly, at this point, the machine choices are more user preference. The Neos' two point mounting system allows for more deformation, but takes away the trouble of blocked holes, and it will protect racquets as well. Plus the thing is a workhorse.
Any of the machines in this category work well. I simply prefer the Apex 2.