2015 Babolat Tool Kit video Review

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#1
Babolat was kind enough to let me try out their newest tool kit and complete a review. With their long history of leading the industry in engineering and developing cutting edge stringing machines, we tend to forget how well their tools are made, which are not only made to last a lifetime, make the life of stringer a little easier and more pleasant.

This latest tool set is not only performance driven, but comfort driven. It includes the following tools:

Starting clamp,
Cam Action Plier,
String Bed Cutters,
Nips,
Bent Nose Pliers,
Long Awl,
Blunt Awl,
Brush

Here is the link to the Video Review, which also includes comparisons to some of their previous tools.

https://youtu.be/vvEnfFFV5og



Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions.
 

diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
#5
Now that you mention it, I like the sound of how you pronounce it. I feel like I have been living a lie, and need to re-evaluate my life. LOL.

Hope you enjoyed the review and are doing well.



Thanks. Glad you enjoyed.
Whoops, i even typoed my own pronunciation. In my head it's "drak-oo-lee."

Just finished the video, I have to say I find it hard to believe that those handles feel quite as solid as the older-school tools. Can you comment on that? I'm not really a fan of the plastic handles on tools in general. The highly-recommended craftsman starter set (http://www.sears.com/craftsman-5-pc-mini-pliers-set/p-00945671000P) Looks similar in implementation, but I'm sure the Babolat set is a step up in quality.

I've had springs fall out of the pliers, low grip strength (due to plastic flexion), etc. The tools also seem to have a laminated surface that flakes off. I'm really curious to see how these tools hold up over time...
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#6
Whoops, i even typoed my own pronunciation. In my head it's "drak-oo-lee."

Just finished the video, I have to say I find it hard to believe that those handles feel quite as solid as the older-school tools. Can you comment on that? I'm not really a fan of the plastic handles on tools in general. The highly-recommended craftsman starter set (http://www.sears.com/craftsman-5-pc-mini-pliers-set/p-00945671000P) Looks similar in implementation, but I'm sure the Babolat set is a step up in quality.

I've had springs fall out of the pliers, low grip strength (due to plastic flexion), etc. The tools also seem to have a laminated surface that flakes off. I'm really curious to see how these tools hold up over time...
Hey Dire.

The craftsman set is a nice tool set, but dwarfs in comparison to a Babolat Tool kit. Like I mentioned in the video, not only is a tool set like that "inexpensive" compared to a Babolat Kit, it is also cheap in comparison in regards to materials used to make it.

For example, the material on the handles of a tool set like that, begins to "harden" and eventually flake off. They also tend to get slppery over time, and are especially slippery if your hands are even a little moist. I've had a couple of their nips, and they have broken in a short amount of time, and the handles have flaked or even broken off in chunks, not to mention the edge of the nips cracking or developing dimples/bending from harder strings.

This new tool kit from babolat is more of a rubberized material for the handles that is not "hard" or slippery feeling. The metals used also seems to be more hardened and able to handle more pressure. The edges and/or teeth of the bent nose pliers for example are also more defined and abrasive, which mkes grabbing even the smallest piece of string sticking out of a blocked hole, much easier to grab and pull thru.

So far, they have performed very well.
 
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uk_skippy

Hall of Fame
#8
Thanks for the review. I heard the new machine will feature the black/red color way, which explains why the tools are those colors.
That was discussed at last years French Open when we saw and used the new tools; howevere red/black is normally considered Tecnifibre colours. But maybe a solid black machine with red trim may happen.

Hopefully I'll get more info at this years French.

Regards

Paul
 
#9
Drak great review !

Just getting back to the new machine coming out do you guys in the know , know if they will upgrade or change any parts in a significant way?
 

diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
#11
Hey Dire.

The craftsman set is a nice tool set, but dwarfs in comparison to a Babolat Tool kit. Like I mentioned in the video, not only is a tool set like that "inexpensive" compared to a Babolat Kit, it is also cheap in comparison in regards to materials used to make it.

For example, the material on the handles of a tool set like that, begins to "harden" and eventually flake off. They also tend to get slppery over time, and are especially slippery if your hands are even a little moist. I've had a couple of their nips, and they have broken in a short amount of time, and the handles have flaked or even broken off in chunks, not to mention the edge of the nips cracking or developing dimples/bending from harder strings.

This new tool kit from babolat is more of a rubberized material for the handles that is not "hard" or slippery feeling. The metals used also seems to be more hardened and able to handle more pressure. The edges and/or teeth of the bent nose pliers for example are also more defined and abrasive, which mkes grabbing even the smallest piece of string sticking out of a blocked hole, much easier to grab and pull thru.

So far, they have performed very well.
How about the plastic materials? Is there any flex when using them? If the metals of the tools don't go all the way through down to the tip of the handle(s), I worry that there will be some flex in the plastics. I agree with your assessment on the Craftsman tools, although i wouldn't even begin to describe them as "nice." They're cheap through and through. I'm not worried about the rubberized materials, tbh, although there is no rubber compound to date that won't wear/get hard/crack over time. It's just a fact of life. I prefer the plasti-dip style handles of the old stuff, but obviously I can't make any personal judgments without handling the tools first. Just curious on your take.
 
#12
That was discussed at last years French Open when we saw and used the new tools; howevere red/black is normally considered Tecnifibre colours. But maybe a solid black machine with red trim may happen.
Looking forward to any info you can provide! I spoke with a Babolat Rep about the new machine, but he's not versed in the art of stringing and couldn't elaborate much (other than it looking cool).
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#14
Thanks for the review. I heard the new machine will feature the black/red color way, which explains why the tools are those colors.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the review. My understanding is that the new machine will have a dark base color with red accents. Whatever color is chosen, I'm really psyched about the possibility of a new Babolat mahine and seeing what bells and whistles it will include.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#15
Drak great review !

Just getting back to the new machine coming out do you guys in the know , know if they will upgrade or change any parts in a significant way?
Not sure. Stay tuned. But whatever happens, I'm sure they will still have plenty of parts for the curent model of machines.
 
#16
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the review. My understanding is that the new machine will have a dark base color with red accents. Whatever color is chosen, I'm really psyched about the possibility of a new Babolat mahine and seeing what bells and whistles it will include.
Me too. I'm interested in any new machine regardless of brand.
 
#17
That was discussed at last years French Open when we saw and used the new tools; howevere red/black is normally considered Tecnifibre colours. But maybe a solid black machine with red trim may happen.

Hopefully I'll get more info at this years French.

Regards

Paul
wait star 6 is coming out???
 
#19
That was discussed at last years French Open when we saw and used the new tools; howevere red/black is normally considered Tecnifibre colours. But maybe a solid black machine with red trim may happen.

Hopefully I'll get more info at this years French.

Paul
All this when I'm getting a star 5 !? Will it have an auto string button ;)
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#20
How about the plastic materials? Is there any flex when using them? If the metals of the tools don't go all the way through down to the tip of the handle(s), I worry that there will be some flex in the plastics. I agree with your assessment on the Craftsman tools, although i wouldn't even begin to describe them as "nice." They're cheap through and through. I'm not worried about the rubberized materials, tbh, although there is no rubber compound to date that won't wear/get hard/crack over time. It's just a fact of life. I prefer the plasti-dip style handles of the old stuff, but obviously I can't make any personal judgments without handling the tools first. Just curious on your take.
Hey DD, sorry I didn't comment earlier. I didn't see your post.

No, there is no flex in the handles. The rubber grip is a sort of sleeve over the steel handles. And yes, I agree the "dip-style" handles are awesome and seem to last longer than any other type of material I've tried.
 
#21
All I've heard about the new machine is that its called the Connect... Apparently super high tech and even something like alerting the customer when the racket is done via text?

Just prelim rumors.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#22
wait star 6 is coming out???
No sure what the name is, but it has a little of old babolat with new babolat machine engineering. For example, it has a large screen that can connect with your stores system to network with it so once you are done with the frame, all the data used is stored (string, tension, racquet, name etc). Sort of like the old 5502, 4002 machines. The center clamps are the same, but the base clamps are different, and the turn table is also different. one could rotate the base clamps 360 around the entire turn table. The tension head also pulls at an angle, rather than straight across. (hard to explain). Machine is black with red accents.

Also could come with a base that seconds as a platform to put advertisements on.
 
#24
No sure what the name is, but it has a little of old babolat with new babolat machine engineering. For example, it has a large screen that can connect with your stores system to network with it so once you are done with the frame, all the data used is stored (string, tension, racquet, name etc). Sort of like the old 5502, 4002 machines. The center clamps are the same, but the base clamps are different, and the turn table is also different. one could rotate the base clamps 360 around the entire turn table. The tension head also pulls at an angle, rather than straight across. (hard to explain). Machine is black with red accents.

Also could come with a base that seconds as a platform to put advertisements on.
wow very cool. thanks for the info. any pics you can share?
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
#25
Hey drakulie, Would you consider putting a post together of all of the photos of pros sticks you've strung? I'm fascinated by pics of pros sticks. :)
Hi, if you look and read thru these two threads, there are a bunch of photos of pro and pictures of their frames:

Priority One, Stringing and Customizing & The Hall of Fame
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438964

Professional Stringing; A Behind the Scenes look of the Delray ATP 250.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=372144

Both threads were started by me, and have tons of information including information of how it has been for me stringing at pro events.
Have fun.
 
#27
Hi, if you look and read thru these two threads, there are a bunch of photos of pro and pictures of their frames:

Priority One, Stringing and Customizing & The Hall of Fame
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438964

Professional Stringing; A Behind the Scenes look of the Delray ATP 250.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=372144

Both threads were started by me, and have tons of information including information of how it has been for me stringing at pro events.
Have fun.
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing these!
 
#31
Anyone know anything more about Babolat's new stringing machine?

They're calling it My Play Point, and like the Sensor & Sensor Expert it's got no diabolo! :(

Are they going to come out with a new RDC too?
Yes, but I'm not saying until Babolat release more info; or someone else decides to get ahead of the game.

No diablo :-(

No new RDC as far as we've been told

Regards

Paul
 

kkm

Professional
#32
Yes, but I'm not saying until Babolat release more info; or someone else decides to get ahead of the game.

No diablo :-(

No new RDC as far as we've been told

Regards

Paul

Thanks Skippy for your reply, I understand, though I hope someone else decides to get ahead of the game. :)
 

kkm

Professional
#37
Unless I'm mistaken I see rubber feet on the bottom of that machine.
The Star 5 and Sensors also have rubber feet on the bottom, but they're not that easy to transport. I bet the Sensor Expert is really heavy.


It looks bigger than the Star 5
These are the only pictures I've seen, and they only show the machine from one perspective. Tough to make a call one way or the other, but it probably isn't much smaller, if it's smaller at all.
 

kkm

Professional
#43
To @drakulie or anyone else who knows: is the metal shaft of the long awl in the 2015-present red-handled Babolat tool kit smooth, or is it a bit "textured" like that of the awl in the previous (blue-handled) Babolat tool kit?
 
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