Better Beginner Stringer: Klippermate or MiStringer?

BDAZ

Professional
Just looking for opinions. Don’t want to spend a ton. I know a lot of people start out on the Klippermate, but the MiStringer looks interesting. Anyone have experience with this one? Not that I’m a super picky tournament player or anything, but I just like the idea of the MiStringer’s tensioner more than a drop weight. What do you guys think? Thanks!
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
Can't go wrong with the klipper, easy to learn and string with (and dozens of years of satisfied customers).
MiStringer seems great and portable but it *looks* a bit more cramped to work with it's low profile. I've never used one though...
 

tennisjunky

Rookie
Learned stringing on the ole Klippermate.
Nice little simple stringer.
Not to mention there line of strings and accessories pretty nice!
 

esgee48

Legend
A beginner stringer needs to learn how to weave efficiently. The MiStringer will not help you there. You cannot get a hand below the string bed easily. If you are interested in portability and you already know how to string/weave yada, then the MiStringer is a good option.

edit: duplicate 'easily'
 
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aarenes

Rookie
Your options are really klippermate or ganmas every level stringer...8 think it's called progression (do search).

The later is tad bit more expensive but has a clutch to tighten strings at the jaw.

I have a klippermate and like it a lot ... But sometimes wish I had the best set of features (just like having a car).

The klippermate is very portable too. Mine is always stowed in the garage and taken out conveniently when I want to strings all my 4 racquets

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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max

Legend
This is a classic TW thread.

IMHO, the best people to respond here are people who have direct experience with both machines.

I have used a Kmate since 1999. It is solid and built like a tank. The only thing I can speak to here is the quality of the string clamps. The Kmate's are modified vise-grip type clamps, made of steel, and work excellently. Their size makes them very easy to get into spaces. The gamma clamp (I bought one and use one) is plastic and works horribly. It slows things down. I have not used the Gamma clutch head, but I do not find the Kmate stringjaw to be particularly "slow," especially once you have experience in using it.

Generally, I think using "speed" as a measure for the quality of a string job makes no sense; I usually budget more than enough time to string a racquet because I want to have as much time as it takes to do a great job. Knocking them out fast would make me more likely to screw up.

The reason why I bought the Kmate over the Gamma was because I was reading through a number of tennis supply catalogues and a number solid replacement heads for the Gamma, which made me think this part would be more likely to have problems in the future, certainly should the magic "diamond dust" wear out.

My only "service issue" was when I stupidly bent with pliers a small screw on a clamp. Klippermate sent me a half dozen to replace it, free. And they're always great on the phone hashing out unusual situations: stringing squash racquets, doing old wood frames, etc.

The Gamma is the snazzier machine, and I think you can buy it here at TW.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
Klippermate. At $180 certainly more bang for your buck than the MiStringer at almost $400. If you've got $400 to spend I would put an ad in the wanted forums for a used, fixed clamp, crank. It will save you time and accelerate your learning curve to not have to deal with floating clamps.
 
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max

Legend
Savvy's got a good point. Very good point. I found myself stringing a frame last week and wishing I'd stuck another $300 into a better stringer. OVER TIME, you might wish you had the better machine. Just more lux.

That's said, the Kmate does the job and I ain't stringing more than but one frame a week in the summertime. It's appropriate to me.
 

[d]ragon

Hall of Fame
I started with the Klippermate before getting a table top fixed clamp drop weight (SP Hip Hop, discontinued). Since I've moved on to standing crank and various premium electronic machines; I string in a pro shop and for some challenger tournaments. Here are the big questions you should ask yourself:

1. How many racquets will I string for myself?
2. How many racquets will I string for other people?
3. How much time am I willing to spend stringing racquets?

If you're only stringing your own racquets once in awhile, I think the Klippermate (~$180 new) or Gamma Progression 200 (~$230 new) are the best choices. You could spend $300+ more to get fixed clamps and 6 point mounts, but IMO these are not that much better for the home stringer. Fixed clamps are more secure (less prone to slippage = tension loss) than flying and you don't have to start mains or crosses pulling 2 strings, but the constant pull tension should be able to compensate enough to produce a reasonably consistent stringbed. 6 point mounting secures the racquet more but so long as you lock down the racquet properly, the 2 point mount will be enough to prevent any racquet breakage.

Klippermate is cheaper and maybe more durable. The flying clamps are metal, heavier duty, and slimmer (easier to fit between strings) compared to Gamma's plastic clamps (kind of bulky). That said, the Gamma has a ratchet/clutch on the tension head that is much more convenient for applying tension. With the Klippermate, you have to allow the right amount slack in the string when placing it in the tension. This means you have to redo it again and again with small adjustments until you get it correct. With a clutch/ratchet on the Gamma, the amount of slack can be adjusted by simply lifting the weight slightly and turning the tension head. It is much more convenient, saves time, and makes the tension more accurate and consistent between pulls (you make finer adjustments in slack). See videos below. Plus I feel the Gamma tension head (more plastic) is easier on the string; Klippermate is more metal and potentially harder on the string. Personally, I would go for the Gamma. It also comes with a pathfinder awl (convenient although fragile).

Without ratchet vs ratchet

If you string frequently or don't want to spend a lot of time stringing and can afford to spend more, I suggest you do so. As max said, you may eventually find yourself wishing you spent more; I certainly did. As per SavvyStringer's suggestion, I'd go for a good crank machine. I like the Alpha Revo 4000 (~$740 new), but I feel most comparable machines will probably be as good. If you plan to string for other people, definitely get a crank.

Closing thoughts:
1. Learn how to string properly. YULitle's videos on Youtube are pretty good.
2. Get yourself a starting clamp. IMO, every stringer should have one. It's better than pliers for cinching knots, it'll save you if run short on strings, and you can use it to secure the tension head if it ever starts to slip (a few uses among many). I like the Alpha one. The Gamma one tends to slip after a bit.
3. Buy used if you can find a machine in good condition. Again, crank machines are the best value.

Good luck.
 
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SavvyStringer

Professional
I started with the Klippermate before getting a table top fixed clamp drop weight (SP Hip Hop, discontinued). Since I've moved on to standing crank and various premium electronic machines; I string in a pro shop and for some challenger tournaments. Here are the big questions you should ask yourself:

1. How many racquets will I string for myself?
2. How many racquets will I string for other people?
3. How much time am I willing to spend stringing racquets?

If you're only stringing your own racquets once in awhile, I think the Klippermate (~$180 new) or Gamma Progression 200 (~$230 new) are the best choices. You could spend $300+ more to get fixed clamps and 6 point mounts, but IMO these are not that much better for the home stringer. Fixed clamps are more secure (less prone to slippage = tension loss) than flying and you don't have to start mains or crosses pulling 2 strings, but the constant pull tension should be able to compensate enough to produce a reasonably consistent stringbed. 6 point mounting secures the racquet more but so long as you lock down the racquet properly, the 2 point mount will be enough to prevent any racquet breakage.

Klippermate is cheaper and maybe more durable. The flying clamps are metal, heavier duty, and slimmer (easier to fit between strings) compared to Gamma's plastic clamps (kind of bulky). That said, the Gamma has a ratchet/clutch on the tension head that is much more convenient for applying tension. With the Klippermate, you have to allow the right amount slack in the string when placing it in the tension. This means you have to redo it again and again with small adjustments until you get it correct. With a clutch/ratchet on the Gamma, the amount of slack can be adjusted by simply lifting the weight slightly and turning the tension head. It is much more convenient, saves time, and makes the tension more accurate and consistent between pulls (you make finer adjustments in slack). See videos below. Plus I feel the Gamma tension head (more plastic) is easier on the string; Klippermate is more metal and potentially harder on the string. Personally, I would go for the Gamma. It also comes with a pathfinder awl (convenient although fragile).

Without ratchet vs ratchet

If you string frequently or don't want to spend a lot of time stringing and can afford to spend more, I suggest you do so. As max said, you may eventually find yourself wishing you spent more; I certainly did. As per SavvyStringer's suggestion, I'd go for a good crank machine. I like the Alpha Revo 4000 (~$740 new), but I feel most comparable machines will probably be as good. If you plan to string for other people, definitely get a crank.

Closing thoughts:
1. Learn how to string properly. YULitle's videos on Youtube are pretty good.
2. Get yourself a starting clamp. IMO, every stringer should have one. It's better than pliers for cinching knots, it'll save you if run short on strings, and you can use it to secure the tension head if it ever starts to slip (a few uses among many). I like the Alpha one. The Gamma one tends to slip after a bit.
3. Buy used if you can find a machine in good condition. Again, crank machines are the best value.

Good luck.
I agree with the alpha clamp. I haven't had any trouble with the one that came with my Alpha ghost but I also bought a secondary one that has the Alpha logo stamped on it. That one is available on TW (I think). The stamped one is a monster. It's one of the best bridging clamps anyone makes. It is almost double the thickness of a normal clamp.
 

[d]ragon

Hall of Fame
I agree with the alpha clamp. I haven't had any trouble with the one that came with my Alpha ghost but I also bought a secondary one that has the Alpha logo stamped on it. That one is available on TW (I think). The stamped one is a monster. It's one of the best bridging clamps anyone makes. It is almost double the thickness of a normal clamp.
My all around favorite is actually the Wilson one, but they aren't easy to come by so the Alpha is my next pick. For bridging and starting, the Yonex/Kimony one is super solid. It's not good for cinching strings and is super expensive though.
 

max

Legend
Good stuff from dragon.

re: Kmate stringjaw adjustment. . . since I am stringing the same frame at the same tension with the same string, the whole process goes much faster than one might imagine: it's not a lot of back and forth, usually I'm in the strike zone most the time. And the re-take goes especially fast by pushing in/out string in the jaw with the other hand. It's all pretty fast; perhaps 2 seconds or 3.
 

max

Legend
You know, I chiefly string for myself. Wish I had 2-4 other people to string for. . . then that Alpha machine would be totally right. Would be nice to do this.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
My all around favorite is actually the Wilson one, but they aren't easy to come by so the Alpha is my next pick. For bridging and starting, the Yonex/Kimony one is super solid. It's not good for cinching strings and is super expensive though.
The Wilson on that comes with the machines? I have one and haven’t even taken it out of the plastic. Why do you like it?
 

[d]ragon

Hall of Fame
The Wilson on that comes with the machines? I have one and haven’t even taken it out of the plastic. Why do you like it?
I got mine from a friend a long time ago. It's at least 10 years old which would put it right around when the Baiardo was introduced (2009?) so maybe it came with it. It's held up like a dream even without cleaning (I'm lazy). I feel like it is easier than most clamps to open but that could be because it's older.
 

BDAZ

Professional
Thanks all for the responses. I think when I originally posted, the MiStringer was on sale. Certainly wouldn’t spend $400 on it. I guess now the question is between the Klippermate and the Gamma Progression 200. Many people talk about Klipper’s great customer service. Would that and the slightly lower cost (once you factor in shipping) make it any more with it in anyone’s mind?
 
I have a gamma I bought 12 years ago and am happy with my purchase. The pathfinder awl that came with it is an essential tool for me - I would have a tough time stringing a racquet without it. Never had to replace a part.

The ratchet is well worth it and I am glad I chose the gamma instead of the klipper for that reason. The only negative for me is that there is an obvious bonehead design flaw on the gripper that causes the string to often slip into the gap between the springloaded part of the gripper and its mount - annoying but not a big deal (there is a thread devoted to this).
 

camohommed

New User
I've been extremely happy with my Klippermate.
Solid machine though not fast by any means. I purchased a couple starting clamps - one gamma and one alpha. I like the alpha better.
I also have the stringway clamps. Faster to adjust than the Klippermate ones.
 

DanF1961

Rookie
I have the Gamma Progression. I have a starting clamp and a set of Stringway Flying Clamps. A friend I work with has a Klippermate. I went over to his house recently and strung a stick on his Klipper, and I like the Klippermate better. True, the Gamma has the ratcheting feature, but after a little practice, I could get the weight/rod in the horizontal position on the first try a lot more often on the Kliiper than my Gamma. You can get replacement parts with the Klippermate as well. If I were to do it over again, I would have gone with the Klipper, or I would have spent more money and gone up to a crank with fixed clamps, probably an Alpha Revo which is a good value.
 

struggle

Legend
I don't think the mistringer should be an option. No, I've never used one but anyone that has done much stringing can
see the problems ahead of time with that unit.

Kmate is fine, as are the Gamma, Alpha or even Pro'sPro/Eagnas offerings in that range. For good customer
service I'd stick with the first three brands I just mentioned.
 
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