I've been stringing for years. Still not sure how tight to make clamps.

HunterST

Hall of Fame
#1
I know the standard answer is tight enough to hold but not so tight that it damages the string. To me that's little better than just saying "tight enough." I try not to make the clamp too tight, but I wonder sometimes if there is minor slippage that I'm not seeing. What about very minor damage to the strings? Sometimes I clamp and can feel some abrasion on the string where I clamped. Does that mean it's too tight? I can imagine that affecting playability our durability much.

Is there any guideline that can be used to know if you're clamping too tight or not tight enough? Which is better, slightly too tight or slightly too lose?
 
#2
Definitely better slightly too tight than slightly too loose. Slightly too tight means extra ghosting on soft strings, which is no biggie, but too loose and the string gets pulled through the closed clamps which f's them up more for sure. What I've done is marked the dials on my clamps with tape, so that when the tape is at 12 o'clock, they hold the most slippery 17g multi my club carries at 55lbs with the least amount of ghosting. It's not a perfect science, but that gives me a good reference point when I'm stringing, and it's fairly easy to adjust accordingly. The first time I strung using that particular multi, it slipped on me, then I think I overtightened . Then the next time it again took a minute to figure out how much to tighten the clamps. But now with the tape, it's way quicker since I have a visual marker to indicate where the clamp is currently set at.
 
#3
I agree with @loosegroove. A little too tight is much better than a little too loose.

I've never had a problem with strings that are slightly marked or slightly crushed. Obviously, the less marks you leave on the string the better. But even if you can feel a slight abrasion on the string, it shouldn't be a problem for Poly, CoPoly or Nylon strings. It is more likely to be an issue with Natural Gut if the string coating is damaged.

And keep in mind, that some strings will be roughed up a lot more than others. Even then, it should not pose a problem.
 
#4
If you want to check for slippage, use a magic marker to mark the string just in front of the clamp. Then release the tensioner, and you'll be able to see if it slips through the clamp or not.

Depends on the condition of your clamps too. Mine are fairly worn out, and by now the dimond-dust coating is probably all gone, so I have to adjust them pretty tight in order to hold. The result is that the string will always get slightly crushed, but that doesn't seem to cause any problems. I never had a string break at a clamping location, they always break in the middle of the stringbed from friction.
 
#5
Wow! I agree with EVERYBODY!

Here's what I do and I have saved the necessary code to post and repost these pictures ad nauseum.

My clamps are marked like this:



This allows me to get pretty close to the correct adjustment before I start stringing. Then I mark the first main strings with a flair pen as shown
below. The mark is placed between the clamp teeth closest to the tension head while the string is under tension. When tension is released I don't want to
see the mark move. I also don't want to feel like I am crushing the string. I do the same thing with the crosses. With most strings 4 marks will suffice, with particularly slippery strings (Babolat Xcel etc) and high tensions I may test repeatedly.

 
#6
I've found it's also much harder to adjust the Gamma composite clamps than the fixed clamps on my 5800els.

The composite clamps seemed to slip until I tightened them so much that they were almost crushing the string.

On the fixed clamps I only need to tighten until I feel minimal resistance when clamping and they never slip.
 
#7
I always, always, get a better grip right after I clean them,, no daaaa right,,,
but its true,
keeping clamps clean is a must,,, I no longer wait for xnumber of rakets to be strung, I just do it right before I start/finish a few,, the better I clean my clamps, the longer they will last me..
 
#9
One thing I'd add to this thread. Squishing the string a little bit is probably not bad because you clamp close to the frame, not in the middle were we all hit the ball. :)

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#12
I've gotten used to the feel of the clamp closing and can tell by the feel if the clamp is tight enough or too tight. There's that little muted "click" you get when the clamp closes. If that click is not prominent enough I know the clamp needs to be tightened. If the click takes to much pressure to get then I know it's too tight and needs to be loosened. I haven't had to test to slippage in a long long time. It helps that I only string on my machine so I've grown very accustomed to it.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#13
Thank goodness you are only stringing on one machine. Know a stringer with six Prince machines with that air compressor. p200???
 
Last edited:
#14
I've gotten used to the feel of the clamp closing and can tell by the feel if the clamp is tight enough or too tight. There's that little muted "click" you get when the clamp closes. If that click is not prominent enough I know the clamp needs to be tightened. If the click takes to much pressure to get then I know it's too tight and needs to be loosened. I haven't had to test to slippage in a long long time. It helps that I only string on my machine so I've grown very accustomed to it.
My machine is around 25-years-old. It is an Eagnas (looks to be similar to some on the vendor website, with a blue base) but I replaced the crank tension head with a Wise constant pool tension head. One of my clamps makes the click noise you describe (& you can feel a little snap) while the other one doesn't, no matter how tight or loose I make it. These are very old clamps. lol.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#18
Pretty much the same here but only one clamp does that. The other doesn't. Just a soft clamp with no click at the end.
I used to have an Eagnas and both of the clamps I had worked the same way and felt pretty much identical. Having one without that click would probably bug me to the point I'd have to disassemble the clamp and try to fix it.
 
#20
I've gotten used to the feel of the clamp closing and can tell by the feel if the clamp is tight enough or too tight.
Yeah, just when I got used to the Prince 1500, I purchased a Mighty Dual Sensor. The pressure to close the Babolat Clamp is virtually nothing. Those are the best clamps I've ever worked with.
 
#21
Hi Guys!

I use gamma x-els, please tell me how to properly clean the clamps and the tensioning mechanism, what specifically to use (toothbrush, alcohol, etc. ??? thnx
 
#22
Hi Guys!

I use gamma x-els, please tell me how to properly clean the clamps and the tensioning mechanism, what specifically to use (toothbrush, alcohol, etc. ??? thnx
I take my clamps apart and scrub with a toothbrush. Watch out for little springs. Typically for the gripper I run a flat shoelace soaked in alcohol through it. About once per year I take the top (part that moves) off and clean with a toothbrush. Again watch for the springs. Use 91% alcohol. Also about once a year I take the clamp based off and clean the bottoms. Wipe the rails down with a paper towel soaked in alcohol. Canned air to keep things dusted off.
 
#23
On my machine clamps, different machine than yours , but fixed clamps, I take a white shoelace soaked with 91% alcohol and adjust the clamp to just hold the shoelace, and then pull the lace through the clamp. Do that a few times and it gets it clean, then dry with a can of compressed air. The volatility of the alcohol along with the compressed air dries it up fast. linear gripper cleans very similar.
You should also clean your starting clamp every so often as well, as those will slip if not kept clean. With starting clamp you can easily compress the springs to remove them and that makes cleaning them easier. The 91% alcohol works great with my machines clamps.
 
#24
On my machine clamps, different machine than yours , but fixed clamps, I take a white shoelace soaked with 91% alcohol and adjust the clamp to just hold the shoelace, and then pull the lace through the clamp. Do that a few times and it gets it clean, then dry with a can of compressed air. The volatility of the alcohol along with the compressed air dries it up fast. linear gripper cleans very similar.
You should also clean your starting clamp every so often as well, as those will slip if not kept clean. With starting clamp you can easily compress the springs to remove them and that makes cleaning them easier. The 91% alcohol works great with my machines clamps.
I use this exact method. Clamp a soaked shoelace (i double/coil it around to cover the hole surface....if i ya dig).

Let them sit for a bit, then drag the laces back and forth through a semi-tightened clamp. Same with starting clamps.

Haven't taken them apart in quite some time, but i could see why a man might want to scrub with a toothbrush and
search for tiny springs. Likely not a bad practice.
 
#25
I used to have an Eagnas and both of the clamps I had worked the same way and felt pretty much identical. Having one without that click would probably bug me to the point I'd have to disassemble the clamp and try to fix it.
Okay. So I decided to string up 16g tonight instead of 17g. The one Eagnas clamp (PN-7064 ) that doesn't have a feeling of clicking/locking, just popped open at times after clamping off! While expensive, I decided to order a replacement. Man, $60 for a clamp! I don't know that there are alternatives that work on the same glide bar? I will see if I can take apart the one with issues. However, my clamps are around 25-years-old. Might be time to replace at least one.
 
#27
Update. Eagnas didn't have the fixed clamp for midsize rackets in. So I ordered the one for oversize rackets. I actually prefer it and it is working great. However, then I didn't like having to use a smaller, 25-year-old midsize clamp. So I ordered another oversize racket clamp. The oversize racket clamp seems to fit the string pattern better and clamps more string area. Plus, zero slippage in the teeth and on the glide bar.
 
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