Drop weight vs manual machine

cedm

New User
Those two machines are pretty different. Drop-weight is better than lockout, but fixed clamps are way better than floating and 6-point mounting is nicer than 2. If you can afford the pro's pro, find yourself a Gamma x-6fc and get the best of everything.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I disagree on the drop weight being better than a lock out. I have strung on both and much prefer a lock out. I do agree that fixed clamps are a must.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
If you’re going to string more than just your racket the last type stringer you want is a drop weight. That are too slow.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
drop weight allows for constant pull, lock out does not. If you're only stringing a couple frames drop weight should be fine. Doing any sort of volume (stringing for anyone side from yourself) get the crank. It'll be way faster and realistically deliver just as consistent of results as long as your perform consistently. Plus the crank will allow for an electric pull head upgrade at a later time.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
drop weight allows for constant pull, lock out does not. If you're only stringing a couple frames drop weight should be fine. Doing any sort of volume (stringing for anyone side from yourself) get the crank. It'll be way faster and realistically deliver just as consistent of results as long as your perform consistently. Plus the crank will allow for an electric pull head upgrade at a later time.
Drop weight allows for consistent tension assuming you always get the lever completely level to the same spot every single pull which you won't.
 
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MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
OP, if you check out the Search function you will see a ton of information about purchasing a machine, including pages of discussion about different models. As to the drop weigh versus LO debate, it's a total red herring--they simply operate differently--there's no more "accurate" as between the two anymore since it's all a matter of reference tension---LOs pull and stop at the tension while drop weights tend to pull constantly for that extra second or two it take to clamp the string--that's it. And like one poster stated above, the DW needs to be level each time. To the extent there is a difference in methodology, it can generally be compensated by adjusting the tension of the machine--e.g., pull 50 on a LO but maybe 47 on a DW, depending on string and many other variables. LOs are typically significantly faster (there is an "automatic DW" made by Stringway which helps solve the speed issue, but I suspect it's out of your price range).

Shockingly, the more you are willing to pay, the more choices you will have and generally, as price increases, so do feature. That stated, if you are simply stringing a few racquets a month for yourself, any of the budget DWs will be fine (they may take you longer and not be as efficient but with experience, you will be able to produce consistent results in an efficient time--many posters on here do just that). However, many stringers find that process too tedious and less enjoyable than more efficient stringing machines. In my view, I would look at good clamps first (and fixed are typically better (although there are a couple of non-budget flying clamps that are quite good) and then at the mounting system (6 pt is great but a Neos 4-pt is every bit as good and super quick (and I suspect also out of your range). From what little I can tell from your postings, the Pro's Pro you mentioned should be quite adequate for your needs--it's not a machine really built for the retail stringer, but it is more than enough for the player who wants to string his own and a few others, maybe experiment, save some cash and enjoy the stringing process. Good luck.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
drop weight allows for constant pull, lock out does not. If you're only stringing a couple frames drop weight should be fine. Doing any sort of volume (stringing for anyone side from yourself) get the crank. It'll be way faster and realistically deliver just as consistent of results as long as your perform consistently. Plus the crank will allow for an electric pull head upgrade at a later time.
A lock out does allow for a constant pull. That is a fact and easy to prove. Ask anyone to pull with a Wise in the LO mode and look at the tension it never drops to zero and because it never drops to zero it is constantly pulling. If it isn't pulling it would not show any tension.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
A lock out does allow for a constant pull. That is a fact and easy to prove. Ask anyone to pull with a Wise in the LO mode and look at the tension it never drops to zero and because it never drops to zero it is constantly pulling. If it isn't pulling it would not show any tension.
Well, that's not quite true. If you set tension at 55 pounds and set the Wise to constant pull, there will be constant variations in the tension, but it will stay basically at or near 55. If you do the same except putting the Wise in lockout mode, you can see a precipitous drop in the tension reading until you clamp. I think the last time I clocked it, 3 - 5 pounds in 3 - 4 seconds of measured tension. Does it make a difference? Probably not to 90% of those who play.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Well, that's not quite true. If you set tension at 55 pounds and set the Wise to constant pull, there will be constant variations in the tension, but it will stay basically at or near 55. If you do the same except putting the Wise in lockout mode, you can see a precipitous drop in the tension reading until you clamp. I think the last time I clocked it, 3 - 5 pounds in 3 - 4 seconds of measured tension. Does it make a difference? Probably not to 90% of those who play.
It is 100% true. It will not maintain the same tension as the string relaxes but it will always pull until you release the string.
 

ricardo

Hall of Fame
It is 100% true. It will not maintain the same tension as the string relaxes but it will always pull until you release the string.
It will not maintain the same tension as the string relaxes but it will always pull until you release the string.

I am confused Master (@Irvin). How can this be?

I always thought that a crank machine (never used one myself) locks out automatically when the reference tension is reached.
I always thought that when it locks out, it is the same as clamping the string. Thus, any further string relaxation(tension loss) is ignored.

When you say it continues to pull, is it equivalent to a clamp pulling the string and ignoring further string relaxation?

I know from experience that when I clamp the string (i.e @50lbs reference tension), the tension does not drop down to zero.
There is still tension but lower than the reference tension.

Am I just mis-understanding your statement Master?
 

ricardo

Hall of Fame
I know I said that but it will maintain a tension. That means it is constantly pulling.
Thank you Master (@Irvin).

So an eCP will constantly pull to maintain the reference tension until you clamp.
A crank machine will also constantly pull to maintain a tension until you clamp.
The clamp itself will also maintain a tension higher than zero.

There is so much I don't know.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
So an eCP will constantly pull to maintain the reference tension until you clamp.
No an eCP wil not maintain reference tension. An eCP will pull to some value over reference tension (usually) then stop and hold the string just like a LO. When the string relaxes the eCP recognizes the drop in tension and restarts.
A crank machine will also constantly pull to maintain a tension until you clamp.
The LO will not maintain tension. The tension will continue to drop (even after you clamp.)
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I know I said that but it will maintain a tension. That means it is constantly pulling.
This is very much akin to your "I can string a racket in 4 minute" video. You're dealing in word games. The term CP means to maintain tension; i.e. the tensioner will pull and refresh the tension necessary to maintain the selected poundage. A lock out, by definition doesn't adjust tension once the mechanism has been tripped. In the definition then it is not a constant pull even though it maintains its position once the tensioner has been "locked out".
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
CP means Constant Pull. A lock can pull for as many times as you want to turn the crank.

When a string is tensioned it is stretched out. If I want to stretch a string by 10% you could do it just as well with any type of tensioner.
 

RyanRF

Professional
  1. When used correctly, both systems are accurate and repeatable. People who say drop weight is inconsistent because you can't get the weight to exactly horizontal don't know what they are talking about. If you do the math, small variations in drop weight angle result in negligible differences in tension. (+/- 5 degrees weight angle equates to about +/- 0.2 lbs tension)(https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/the-physics-of-a-dropweight-tensioner.170414/)
  2. When it comes to speed and ease, there is no comparison. Lockout/crank systems are faster. If you are doing a lot of racquets (imo more than 1 per week) it's worth considering. Also the option to later upgrade to an electronic tension head is nice.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about constant pull vs lockout. Constant pull systems apply a constant force to the string. Lockout systems instead apply a displacement (i.e. stretch distance) to the string until the desired tension is reached, then hold that displacement.

Is this good? Is this bad? Is this a big deal?

I refer back to #1: When used correctly, both systems are accurate and repeatable
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
CP means Constant Pull. A lock can pull for as many times as you want to turn the crank.

When a string is tensioned it is stretched out. If I want to stretch a string by 10% you could do it just as well with any type of tensioner.
Yes, and just to elucidate the rest of us, how many times when you used a lock out did you turn the crank? One? I thought so.
 

elkwood

Hall of Fame
Like the others have said u can do well with either a drop weight or a crank. I have strung
with both a ratchet drop and a auto drop weight and its night and day difference. I love
my auto drop weight. I picked it over the others as with the auto drop almost nothing
to wear out or break.

If i had to choose between a ratchet drop and a crank i take the crank. In the price
range u have listed i take the crank with the fixed clamps as a no brainier.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
If I were to buy a machine all over again, I would choose a crank for ease of operation. Also, with a DW, you need more string to wind around the tensioner in order to pull. So in some racquets especially with 18mains and stringing two-piece, you run out of string and need to use bridge with a starting clamp.

I do agree that you could end up with higher tensions with a DW because you are ratcheting the tensioner so pulling and relaxing the string a few times.

I think if you are consistent with your tension technique, than you can adjust your reference tension to account for any variations in tensions between the two platforms.

But back to the OP's question. It probably depends on how deep your pockets are and how often you will string. If you string once a month, then DW just fine. But I've strung over 60x in the span of 10mos so I now wish I picked up a crank machine.
 
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