Good Starter Stringing Machine

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I currently have 4 racquets at a different stringer (my primary one is out of town due to a death in the family), and I've decided that it's time to get a stringing machine and learn myself for both convenience and to save money. I'm wondering what are good "starter" level options that won't be a pain to use but won't break the bank?
 

cknobman

Legend
klippermate with stand.

Cant beat the quality, easy to use, and affordable. lifetime gurantee too.

It has saved me thousands in stringing costs.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
KM is the cheapest with metal clamps. Next step up are the tabletop cranks and DW with fixed clamps. After that, you're in the or near the $000 range with cranks and eCP w/ stands. Everything depends on your budget and your volume.
 

hadoken

Semi-Pro
Personally I think the best bang for buck is be patient and look for a used crank machine locally...I would say ~$400 for a decent old Gamma, Winn or Alpha. They are out there. I strung years ago on a dropweight and I just can't be bothered with stringing if I had to go back to one. It's not just about money but time and convenience as well.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
So if there's a good chance I string for other people as well, would you all recommend a crank machine vs the drop weight ones?
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
If you have multiple racquets to do daily, then a LO or auto dropweight (Swingway) is the better option. If you plan to do only 1 or 2 frames a day, then a starter is OK. Odds are though that you will end up (over time unless you turn down overnight business) with more work. I am sort of lazy and try to do no more than 3-4 frames a week. Most times, it is 1 frame every 2 weeks, but every once in a while I could get 3. They'll get it 2 days later when I see them. :eek:

You should be aware that final SBS (DT) in the racquets are significantly different comparing LO vs DW vs eCP. If your frames were done on eCP, then you'll need to adjust the tension on the LO upwards by at least 4-6# depending on how elastic they are. More elastic -> bigger adjustment.
 
Agree with esgee48. If you're doing a couple racquets a week, go simple and get a starter. 2 of my playing buddies just started with basic drop weights and it's perfect for them. They didn't want to string 10 other people's racquets, so they went simple and just string thier own stuff. Still saves them money and they know exactly what goes into thier string job. You want to string a little more it's probably worth the jump to go to a LO.
 

mrw

Semi-Pro
Klippermate was my choice and after close to 10 years it remains my choice. I did not buy the factory stand but instead use a Black & Decker workstand that cost me all of $19. at Home Depot. Add a Guinness and you are good to go
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
So I did the math, and with breaking a string a week, even if I conservatively guessed that I'd only end up going through 40 stringjobs this year, with labor that's still a minimum of 720 dollars, and that's not including potential income from stringing other peoples racquets/stringing for family members etc. So really I can justify the more expensive machine if it makes a big difference in time saved.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
So I did the math, and with breaking a string a week, even if I conservatively guessed that I'd only end up going through 40 stringjobs this year, with labor that's still a minimum of 720 dollars, and that's not including potential income from stringing other peoples racquets/stringing for family members etc. So really I can justify the more expensive machine if it makes a big difference in time saved.
Whatever savings you get is quickly diminished by the String Acquisition + Experimenting Disorder that you'll soon be inflicted with. But overall you'll still save money.

That said... Check out the Alpha Revo 4000 or Axis Pro.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Whatever savings you get is quickly diminished by the String Acquisition + Experimenting Disorder that you'll soon be inflicted with. But overall you'll still save money.

That said... Check out the Alpha Revo 4000 or Axis Pro.
haha I'm hopeful to avoid that, I'll be in my grad program starting in August so I don't think I'll be eager to cut strings and try new ones constantly just to "try everything..." I learned an expensive version of that racquet when I switched to the Pro Staff 90, a leaded up blade 104, back to my old Six One 95s to the RF in about an 18 month period :D

Do you all think that one of the electronic pull machines would be worth it? Or am I better off sticking to crank?
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
This is a great machine that won't break the bank, they are $509 new. I got one used for $250.
I would definetly recommend fixed clamps, if you buy a floating clamp machine most likely you will have the itch for a fixed clamp machine.

Gamma Progression II 602 FC Stringing Machine.
 
haha I'm hopeful to avoid that, I'll be in my grad program starting in August so I don't think I'll be eager to cut strings and try new ones constantly just to "try everything..." I learned an expensive version of that racquet when I switched to the Pro Staff 90, a leaded up blade 104, back to my old Six One 95s to the RF in about an 18 month period :D

Do you all think that one of the electronic pull machines would be worth it? Or am I better off sticking to crank?
Be careful, my string acquisitions went through the roof when I got my stringer. It's part of the fun. IMHO I wouldn't go with a electronic pull if this is your first stringer. Learn with simple machines and upgrade if it's something you're going to continue to pursue.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
This is a great machine that won't break the bank, they are $509 new. I got one used for $250.
I would definetly recommend fixed clamps, if you buy a floating clamp machine most likely you will have the itch for a fixed clamp machine.

Gamma Progression II 602 FC Stringing Machine.
Fixed clamps made stringing enjoyable for me. Have a KM, but hated the clamping and multiple attempts at adjusting the string to get the drop weight level. Gave up stringing my own after that experiment.

Bought a Gamma X-ST this year and now enjoy stringing racquets. My budget is bigger than it was when I bought the KM so that was a factor as well, but I wish I bought a fixed clamp crank machine the first time around. I only went table top as it made more sense for the room I sm stringing in, if space was not an issue I would have gone with the Gamma 6004.
 

clutch21

Rookie
I'd suggest going with a machine that has fixed clamps and at least a crank weight or better. Especially if your budget is more than a few hundred bucks. Drop weight machines and floating clamps are quite a hassle. After that, can't really go wrong with whatever machine you pick. Personally, I went into stringing for the same reasons as you about 5 years ago and decided on a gamma ST II. Best decision of my tennis life. After using the crank weight for a few years I decided on upgrading with a wise tensioner. Perfect set up for the home stringer who strings for a few buddies IMHO.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Well I got my first two checks after an HR fiasco, and my birthday is coming up, so I'm planning on picking the machine soon-- based on advice here it sounds like either an alpha crank or an electronic pull is the way to go?
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I've been happy with my Gamma X-2 for several years at maybe a 2 racket a month pace. Has a very solid metal base.
It's an intro drop weight with floating clamps. Can string quick with it if your not shooting for a high tension.

I did have to buy a Stringway metal clamp to use on the crosses because the Gamma ones kept slipping.

Also had to reglue the little black part on the top of the pedestal, but no biggie.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Well I got my first two checks after an HR fiasco, and my birthday is coming up, so I'm planning on picking the machine soon-- based on advice here it sounds like either an alpha crank or an electronic pull is the way to go?
The Alpha Speed from newtechtennis or Alpha Apex 2 from tennisMachines look the same and have everything but electronic pull.
-suspension mounting
-gravity release clamps

These are features that only come on much more expensive machines.
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
i bought a slightly used gamma drop weight for $60 6 years ago.. best thing i have done for my game. for my own needs i string 2-3 a month..and during tennis season 15 a month for my team.. 6 years and not a single problem..never needs any real upkeep or maintenance.. works as solid as it did when i started.. 45 minutes per.. while watching tv. built a table out of scrap lumber in my garage..holds everything..string tools etc. i always said i will move on to a better machine. maybe someday
 
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