Babolat Starting Clamps

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
#1
Can anyone say with some authority which of these is genuine or are they both?

As you can see one has black springs, the other silver.
One looks like a gear shaped hole for the pin that holds the clamp together, the other looks round.
and finally the handle almost looks a little different … like one the seam between black and red looks very smooth and the other looks a bit more defined.


 
#2
I personally only seen it in black so...
i am not aure if it is a fake but i never remember any of the past generations of babolat starting clamp to be silver
 
#5
Same here. Mine looks like the bottom bigger picture, with gear shaped hole and silver-gold spring.

One cannot exclude,though, that the design of this clamp has changed over the time.

The clamp with the round hole typically can be seen in current pictures of Babolat tool kit. This makes me wonder if it could simply be a newer model of the same clamp.
 
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gmatheis

Hall of Fame
#6
thanks everyone … will have to do some digging.

My gamma clamp lost an insert I think (don't know when but it slips now and looks like something is missing on one side)

I found the top picture for $55 , just worried it's not authentic maybe.
 
#7
Not by my machine at the moment. But the bottom picture looks like my Babolat starting clamp, almost certain of it.
 

kkm

Professional
#13
That was my concern, it's sold by the uk depot of racquets (if you catch my drift) for about $55. , not sure if they are trustworthy or not.

Is there a way to buy a clamp directly from Babolat ?
The depot you mentioned is a good place to buy from. I have a pair of Babolat starting clamps from the previous generation (dark almost black handles), and the springs on those are dark/black.
 
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kkm

Professional
#15
Keep in mind that Babolat probably outsources the actual production of their stringing tools - starting clamps, awls, and so on.

I imagine that they do what car manufacturers do - design stringing machines, have component manufacturers make the parts, and do final assembly of the stringing machines in-house.
 

kkm

Professional
#16
I don’t have my (most recent generation) red-handled Babolat starting clamps handy, just my blue-handled ones, and it’ll be a couple days until I can check what color the volute springs on those (most recent generation red-handled) are.
I will say that the depot mentioned earlier, and s t r i n g e r s w o r l d, are legit sources.
 
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#17
As noted, my new Babolat clamp has a gear shaped hole. A good friend gave me a blue handled VS starting clamp (no bridge holes) and it has a round hole. I don't know that it makes a bit of difference. I agree with @kkm and others that the source vendor is legit and a great source for those items you can't buy here.
 
#18
I think the top photo is a stock picture put out by Babolat. It is on several sites. Could be wrong, but I have seen it on multiple sites.
 
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#19
Thanks , as a funny side note I was stringing a racquet yesterday and a heard a little metal "clink" drop from the tower area somewhere onto the turntable.

It was my missing insert from my Gamma starting clamp , so I may be able to save it. Until that insert disappeared it worked really well.
 
#20
*UPDATE*

Ordered the Babolat clamp from the previously mentioned site along with a couple reels of string and paid for the 2 day shipping.

Just got it today and WOW! The difference is night and day between the Babolat clamp and even the Gamma clamp (which works well as long as the texture plates don't come out)

The Babolat Clamp is about 40% wider than the Gamma, only has 2 springs but I can feel it has more clamping power, and no texture inserts to worry about falling out.

If anyone is debating … don't … just get the Babolat clamp :)
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
#22
I’ve got two old Babolat clamps. One is red and very old and the other is blue and just old. They’re both very good. I’ve pulled out the springs and they’re longer than the others which is why they’re so strong.

I have an Alpha clamp. It’s definitely the newest. It’s big and strong. I’d recommend one of these for buying new. It’s definitely as strong as the Babolat clamps and maybe stronger. It doesn’t have the crappy plates either.

I’ve got two more clamps that are unbranded; at least, I can’t see a brand. One has the inserts and it has the weakest springs. It’s junk. It has three weak springs which are all at least 1/2” shorter than the other clamps’ springs. The other is okay.

I’d buy an Alpha or Babolat without hesitation. I consider them equal. If there’s a price difference, I’m frugal so I’d buy the less expensive.

Note: I’ve never purchased any of these new. They were all acquired in lots of tennis stuff I purchased. The Alpha definitely looks newest. One of my Babolat clamps has the old VS logo.
 
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