If I wanted to start stringing my own rackets

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Before recommending anything:
What is your budget?
What volume do you anticipate per week? per day?
Are you mechanically inclined or wish to do this long term? 'Dip toe in water mentality? Read sticky to compare features.
If you have SO, what does that person say?
Do you have a lot of room to store stuff?
Answers would help to provide guidance. :)
 

RVAtennisaddict

Professional
Before recommending anything:
What is your budget?
What volume do you anticipate per week? per day?
Are you mechanically inclined or wish to do this long term? 'Dip toe in water mentality? Read sticky to compare features.
If you have SO, what does that person say?
Do you have a lot of room to store stuff?
Answers would help to provide guidance. :)

Not sure what my Budget will be, but possible up to 1000 dollars. Would be stringing my rackets and possible my friends, for fun. If I get one, will do til I hang up my sticks. So hopefully a long time. As for mechanical. I can hold my own I guess. Volume 1-2 /week.
Space shouldn't be a big issue.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
In order:

Automatic dropweight from Stringway. Nothing to break and can be buried with you when you kick the bucket. FC may be over $1000.
Tabletop Fixed Clamp Lockout from Gamma or Alpha. Get a WISE as volume increases or you could just stay with the LO.
Buy a used LO with stand (Tennis Machines has warrantys). Same caveat re WISE.
Table top eCP from Gamma or Alpha. These will be slowest.

Some other responses will probably switch 1 and 2. 2 cents.

edit - 1 or 2 frames per week is nothing. I was thinking you needed like 5-6 frames a week. LO are best for speed outside of high end eCP which are over your est. budget though the Ghost can be had for about $2600.
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
Not sure what my Budget will be, but possible up to 1000 dollars. Would be stringing my rackets and possible my friends, for fun. If I get one, will do til I hang up my sticks. So hopefully a long time. As for mechanical. I can hold my own I guess. Volume 1-2 /week.
Space shouldn't be a big issue.
1-2/wk and you're willing to spend a thousand dollars?!?! Sounds like serious overkill
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
For ~$200, OP can get a basic dropweight from KM, Alpha or Gamma. KM has metal flying clamps. The other 2 have plastic clamps, which I don't think much of, but they do work. The latter 2 also have ratchets.

Next step up are ~$600 for FC DW. They're are better and you can also put a WISE on them as an upgrade.

Chris - Some people have $$ to use/burn. Others are more frugal. :D
 

RVAtennisaddict

Professional
At the same time, if stringing labor is $15, and they go through 1 racquet a week, 15x52= 780. Thing still pays for itself in a year and a half.

Yes. And interested in playing around with strings. But I only said I would consider up to 1000 not that I was going to spend that much. I won't ever be stringing to make money. It is for me to tinker with my tennis stuff and try to save a little money over the long haul. And for cheap strings, it is 17 per racket in my area. So if I play for a couple of years (read 20-30) and I also enjoy working on it. In my mind up to 1000 would be reasonable. Much better than spending 300 or 400 and then hating or worse damaging my racket.

So my max budget would 1000. I am hoping to be told x model is great, consistent and reasonable to use and only costs y 300 but you can find them used in good shape for 150.

And esgee48 thanks for the input. So the km would be your recommendation? What is a WISE.

Besides strings and the machine are there other equipment costs/tool costs?

How long does it take you to string once you have gotten a few under your belt?
 

clutch21

Rookie
The questions you have can also be answered by scrolling down or searching the stringing section.

A wise is an electronic tension head. It can be added to a crank/drop weight machine if you eventually feel like upgrading. The wise can help streamline the stringing process, allowing for more efficiency and less work when stringing. It's definitely nice to have, but not a necessity. Especially if you're only stringing a racquet a week.

My N=1 is get a fixed clamp machine with a 6pt mount system. Can't go wrong with which model. They are all built like tanks and meant to last. I personally went with the Gamma ST progression II and added the stand to it for about $800 total. Then I added a wise to it after about 5 years. If you're not looking to spend as much, get a drop weight or look for a used machine.

The time it take to string is entirely dependent on the stringer, the machine, and the string/racquet you're working with. After a few months into stringing with my gamma crank weight, it took about 25-30 minutes for a quality job. 15-20 minutes if I hurry. Drop weights will take a little longer. Floating clamps over fixed clamps will take even longer.

The only additional costs I can think of is a starting clamp for about $40 (optional) and the maintenance/cleaning items for the machine (rubbing alcohol brush, oil, etc).

Good luck!
 

cknobman

Legend
Klippermate is bulletproof for a home stringer. Lifetime warranty too.

You dont need anything more unless you are stringing for a living and/or a bunch of people besides yourself.

You can get the stand they sell or do as another posted recommended and buy a cheap black and decker tool stand to put it on.
 

RVAtennisaddict

Professional
This information is very helpful, thank you all so much. Will start looking at machines to see what I can find. In particular new vs used.
 

Chappy

New User
I've bought two used machines off Craig's. Both great buys. You want to string a racquet on them to confirm it all works and all the parts are there.
 

LHM

Rookie
I have recently purchased a Gamma 602 FC drop weight with fixed clamps and it is excellent. I cant fault it at all. I had never strung a racket before in my life and my friend who strings came and shown me for a few hours the other day. Its very easy to use and very well built. It cost me £380 new. My friend who has a Pros Pro fixed clamp drop weight says this Gamma is leagues ahead of his.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
I bought a new klippermate in 2005 and used it for 5 years then sold it for about 60% of what I paid for it. It was a good starter machine and I looked a long time at a lot of used machines before deciding to upgrade. Coincidentally I just saw the guy I sold it to in 2010 on the tennis courts yesterday he had just sold it to one of his friends and bought a used Alpha Revo (a well-regarded table top crank stringer). He said he sold the kmate for the same price he'd paid me for it.

About 7 years ago I found a great deal ($500 plus a set of tools and flying clamps and 10 packs of quality strings) on a very gently used Prince Neos 1000 on craigslist in another city. The Neos is not a perfect stringer for everyone and every racquet but I love mine and will use it until the day I can no longer string.

I am glad I started out with the kmate as I had no previous stringing experience when I bought it and I learned a lot using it.
 

frank52

Semi-Pro
I suggest either the Alpha Revo 4000 for around $680 or the Gamma Progression ST II for around $760.
These are manual lockout (crank) machines that will last many years. A little more money than a drop weight but you won't feel like you are ever outgrowing the lockout.
 

MathieuR

Hall of Fame
I would advise to do some reading on the cons and pro's of different tensioning mechanisms.
As I understand the advantage of a lock-out is, that you can upgrade with a Wise; on the other hand, a Wise seems to be a necessity to make it a decent machine.
 

am1899

Legend
As I understand the advantage of a lock-out is, that you can upgrade with a Wise; on the other hand, a Wise seems to be a necessity to make it a decent machine.

Here we go. :rolleyes: What does "decent" even mean?

OP - I think you'll find this opinion to be in the minority. Lots of people use lockout machines at home. There's even a few large scale retailers in the USA who still use lockout machines to string customer racquets (without WISE tension heads). A WISE head is certainly a nice upgrade...however there is a significant cost to consider in doing so.
 

graycrait

Legend
I went through this same search process a couple of years ago. I went with a used Neos 1000 from Tennis Machines. Seems like a lot of money but it will last the rest of my playing life at a rate of 1-3 racquets a week. The downside is that it probably doesn't save you money. I have spent stupid money the last two years on string just to try different stuff out. A friend purchased a new Gamma lockout for about the same amount of money I spent on the NEOS, he seems to like it and feels it takes up less room in his apartment. I put casters on my Neos stand and just wheel it into the corner.
 

MathieuR

Hall of Fame
I think you'll find this opinion to be in the minority.
In the US, in Europe it's the other way around.

There's even a few large scale retailers in the USA who still use lockout machines to string customer racquets
It took a while before the last dinosaurs were extinct.

Just kidding, I know you can do an excellent/fast/consistent/"decent" stringjob on a LO. I just don't like the tensioning-principle.
 
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