***Lightweight, portable stringing machines...a compromise? ***

#1
Hi everyone,

There are a few machines out there and the question I pose: Is it possible to have a portable lightweight machine (intended for travel, but maybe the goal is to save space in your home) that performs well as a stringer in its own right, without compromise?
 
#2
Yes. Stringway, Gamma and Alpha make machines called table tops for the US market. Only issue you could be worried about is the stiffness of the turntable. I do not think it matters as long as the string jobs are repeatable and on spec. Lousy stringing technique makes more of a difference than machine. 3¢

"Without compromise" is a silly throwaway line. All machines are compromises. You can have heavy tanks like the Baiardo, Sensor; medium like most of the LO; lighter machines. They all do the job. Some are easier to use than others; some are more ergonomic; some have more features.
 
#3
just because it's a tabletop doesn't necessarily mean it's lightweight or space-saving. the smallest/lightest machines i've seen are the 2 point mount drop weights like the Gamma X-2
 
#5
I've had my Pro Stringer(4kg and very small) now for 4 years, its still doing a good job especially after I bought a set of Stringway Clamps.
TD
Two questions about the Pro Stringer: can it be calibrated? If so, how can adjustments be made to it? If it can’t be calibrated, is the display and the tension pulled the same after 4 years?


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#6
Hi PBarre, There is a good review of the Pro Stringers strengths and weaknesses here: https://bigtimetennis.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/testing-the-pro-stringer-portable-stringing-machine/
My answers to your questions are:
  • Two questions about the Pro Stringer: can it be calibrated? If so, how can adjustments be made to it? It is possible, there is an adjustment screw under the tension knob, I've never done it however.
  • If it can’t be calibrated, is the display and the tension pulled the same after 4 years? As per the above review, I've found my PS to be consistent with the tensions pulled but the display is off by a couple of pounds at some tensions. I get around this by cross checking the tension pulled with my tension gauge and adjusting for the desired tension if required.
Cheers,
TD.
 
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#8
There are just a few portable stringing machines on the market. Mistringer, Pro Stinger, Brazilian TMS and Stringway MS140.
As Esgee48 already said, they all do the job.
I recommend to you to take a look at Stringway MS140. The machine weight is about 7 kg and it fits in travel size case.
It has very rigid turntable with truly constant pull. The machine produces very consistent results and real pleasure to use it.
 
#11
MS140 is a professional level stringing machine. It has better turntable, better tensioner and better clamps than Pro Stringer.
Currently, MS140 is the best portable machine on the market.
 
#12
I have a MS140 and have tried my friend's Pro Stringer. The Pro Stringer is a little lighter at 4kg but you can only pull the first several mains at the throat at sharp angles, and requires an electric outlet which could be hard to find depending on where you want to set it up especially if your are outside. MS140 has better and wider racket supports and allows you to pull the first throat strings straight. I also agree the MS140 has a more rigid turntable as well. I used to have the Eagnas Hawk 10 a long time ago but that had many problems and can never recommend that.
 
#15
Does anyone know of a portable stringer that can string better then the Stringway MS140?
I'm only aware of the portable stringers listed above, the SW MS140 looks like a solid machine but it does weigh in at 10kg(with case) compared to 4kg for the Pro Stringer. The MiStringer is the lightest at 3kg which is pretty amazing and it also seems to go a good job according to the reviews.
All the machines have their strengths and weaknesses and you have to rate them on what you features you feel are most important.
TD
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
#16
Any time a new poster that never posted before praises a machine makes me wonder of their association with the company
But Tenniswarehousecustomer has the benefit of being backed up by John Doe and MrSmith (who collectively have 19 posts)--sounds credible to me.:rolleyes: Sadly, I suspect the SW MS140 is pretty darn good from what I have seen on other threads--alas, fictional endorsements dilute rather than enhance its perception.
 
#17
I don't have any connection with Stringway and I paid full price for my MS140. If you provide your email address, I can send you my receipt. I have over 16 years stringing experience and it's not my first machine. So far I'm happy with the machine.

This forum is for sharing information, but sadly, if you recommend the machine, people suspect you in association with the manufacturer. Lol.
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
#18
^^^ Cool. Welcome aboard then. How about a full review for the OP on the MS140--there were some threads on here about it's development and a video but would be interested in the stringing experience and how truly portable (and easy to set up it is).
 
#19
I don't have any connection with Stringway and I paid full price for my MS140. If you provide your email address, I can send you my receipt. I have over 16 years stringing experience and it's not my first machine. So far I'm happy with the machine.

This forum is for sharing information, but sadly, if you recommend the machine, people suspect you in association with the manufacturer. Lol.
I too have the MS140L, bought it to travel with my son and I through Canada for tennis. Been on planes (as carry on... security has had no issues with this thing, despite not knowing what it is). It supplements my Alpha drop weight I have been using for the past 7 years, which I leave at home now. Reason for buying it? My experience with Stringway clamps primarily, and that it was a constant pull, not a fan of LO stringers. I can show the case opened and the stringer bolted in, if anyone wants to see it.

I asked about other travel stringers because people have asked me and my only experience with stringers is this one from SW and my drop weight from Alpha, both of which continue to serve us well.




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#20
Thanks. I'll try to put something together, it may take me a few days.

Portability is not the best feature of MS140. The case with machine, clamps, tools will be about 10 kg. Nevetheless, one guy managed to bring MS140 on a plane in carry on luggage.

Stringway posted a good video on YouTube about MS140.
 
#21
Any time a new poster that never posted before praises a machine makes me wonder of their association with the company
I do not have any connection with any company. I just wanted a small machine that does not take up much space in my house that primarily strings the best with portability coming second. I rarely travel far but I do like to take it outside and set it up where an electric outlet is unavailable and so far the MS140 seems best for me. However there are compromises. I agree with John Doe "portability is not the best feature". Having to find a table to clamp it to is inconvenient. People always on the go may want something smaller and lighter alternatives such as the Pro Stringer or MiStringer. I do not have much experience with other machines then the ones I listed so if anyone has suggestions for something that could fit my needs better please post and I will consider that machine too.
 
#22
A club member dropped in a Babolat Aero 100" to be restrung tonight. Strung it with a hybrid of Solinco Barbwire 17 at 26kg in the mains and Solinco Vanquish 16 at 25kg in the crosses on the Pro Stringer. ;)

TD

 
#23
I purchased MS140 to replace my old bulky machine. I don’t travel, but I live in a small apartment and I needed stringing machine to be portable, easy to set up and put it back in the case. The machine that can produce decent quality of stringing jobs or as PBarre said the machine that “performs without compromise”

The manufacturer calls MS140 lightweight stringing machine, comparing MS140 and ML100 by stringing results, which are by Stringway are the same.

ML100 weighs 17 kg vs MS140 which is only 7 kg.

So, let’s try to compare MS140 with machines that be able to produce similar results.

After I received the machine, I immediately strung my 3 racquets using the same strings and the same tension. When played I couldn’t find any difference. All stringbeds sounded the same, produced the same power, etc.

“Lightweight” feature of MS140 came to me as a bonus. If Stringway manufactured MS140 version with the drop weight for a bit lower price, I would probably go for it.

MS140 has a 4 point direct racquet support with fast clamp system, table lock, knot function and 360 degree rotation.

I like that MS140 comes without heavy base. It makes the machine more compact. Instead of weak clamp, I use ratchet strap. It holds the machine much better.



If you have stand, MS140 is easy to attach to it using the bolt.

The tensioner level is below of stringbed. I don’t know if it makes any difference for stringing.



Stringway recommends to check the calibration on the MS140 and adjust it if necessary. Mechanical calibrator comes with the machine. For a few bucks, I bought on **** electronic scale, which I use as a calibrator.



Stringway clamps are really good. Compare with Gamma clamps, Stringway clamps are more gentle for the strings.

Stringing the racquet on MS140 is pleasant procedure. It reminds me crank machine, but stringing results comes much better and less dependable on human factor.

I can’t make the video, but you can find Stringway MS140 video on YouTube:


There are also a couple of diagrams of MS140.



MS140 fast clamp system is a nice feature, but it makes difficult to get access to central holes. If you start stringing from the bottom, you may need to insert the string before clamping the racquet.



Lots of small parts. When you pack MS140, make sure, you don’t lose anything.


 
#24
I purchased MS140 to replace my old bulky machine. I don’t travel, but I live in a small apartment and I needed stringing machine to be portable, easy to set up and put it back in the case. The machine that can produce decent quality of stringing jobs or as PBarre said the machine that “performs without compromise”

The manufacturer calls MS140 lightweight stringing machine, comparing MS140 and ML100 by stringing results, which are by Stringway are the same.

ML100 weighs 17 kg vs MS140 which is only 7 kg.

So, let’s try to compare MS140 with machines that be able to produce similar results.

After I received the machine, I immediately strung my 3 racquets using the same strings and the same tension. When played I couldn’t find any difference. All stringbeds sounded the same, produced the same power, etc.

“Lightweight” feature of MS140 came to me as a bonus. If Stringway manufactured MS140 version with the drop weight for a bit lower price, I would probably go for it.

MS140 has a 4 point direct racquet support with fast clamp system, table lock, knot function and 360 degree rotation.

I like that MS140 comes without heavy base. It makes the machine more compact. Instead of weak clamp, I use ratchet strap. It holds the machine much better.



If you have stand, MS140 is easy to attach to it using the bolt.

The tensioner level is below of stringbed. I don’t know if it makes any difference for stringing.



Stringway recommends to check the calibration on the MS140 and adjust it if necessary. Mechanical calibrator comes with the machine. For a few bucks, I bought on **** electronic scale, which I use as a calibrator.



Stringway clamps are really good. Compare with Gamma clamps, Stringway clamps are more gentle for the strings.

Stringing the racquet on MS140 is pleasant procedure. It reminds me crank machine, but stringing results comes much better and less dependable on human factor.

I can’t make the video, but you can find Stringway MS140 video on YouTube:


There are also a couple of diagrams of MS140.



MS140 fast clamp system is a nice feature, but it makes difficult to get access to central holes. If you start stringing from the bottom, you may need to insert the string before clamping the racquet.



Lots of small parts. When you pack MS140, make sure, you don’t lose anything.


I also really like the stringway clamps; glad I ordered a double and triple clamp, which has very little drawback it seems.

I leave the fast clamp parts attached to the machine when I pack it; saves time in putting it together. I agree that the fast clamp mechanism makes it a challenge to start the mains, so I just string the first couple of mains first (either H or T side).

Great tip on the ratchet straps. I will steal your idea. I think SW sell the balls on the base with rubber gaskets that go around each of them now. I just put the base on a silicon cooking mat, this stops the base from sliding around.

Nice review, John Doe




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#27
I never thought about using ratchet straps. That partially solves the problem of finding a table that will work with the clamp. This expands the number of tables you can use the machine with. I also agree flying clamps have very little drawback (especially the triple) and I think fixed clamps often have more.
 
#29
I don't recall Stringway providing a starting clamp, awl, snips, and pliers. You can buy a kit that has the last three tools in them. The starting clamp is my preference in starting the crosses as I don't like pulling on on a starting knot (grommets get beat up faster, and customers, and my son too, prefers that I try to preserve grommets). You don't have to have a starting clamp; this is just my suggestion that you have one.

Everything else you need comes in the shipment. There is a shipping cost from the Netherlands, and certainly the shipping cost to the US is less than what I paid for it shipped to Canada.


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#30
The machine comes with double and triple clamps. There are no other tools. I recommend to you to get extra triple clamp. I totally with PBarre about using starting clamp.
Depends on your weaving skills you may consider to get Stringway cross stringing tools.
If you have basic weaving skills you can look for StringWeaver. It's a cheaper tool.
I tried both and personally, I prefer Stringway cross stringing tools.
Both, Stringway and StringWeavers have videos, you can check them and choose what suits to you best.
In addition you will need cutters, tennis awl, hook and long nose pliers.
Babolat starting clamp consider to be the best. Cutter and pliers are off the shelf items.
Please note, MS140LS has better racquet support, but it doesn't fit in travel case.
 
#31
Hi PBarre, There is a good review of the Pro Stringers strengths and weaknesses here: https://bigtimetennis.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/testing-the-pro-stringer-portable-stringing-machine/
My answers to your questions are:
  • Two questions about the Pro Stringer: can it be calibrated? If so, how can adjustments be made to it? It is possible, there is an adjustment screw under the tension knob, I've never done it however.
  • If it can’t be calibrated, is the display and the tension pulled the same after 4 years? As per the above review, I've found my PS to be consistent with the tensions pulled but the display is off by a couple of pounds at some tensions. I get around this by cross checking the tension pulled with my tension gauge and adjusting for the desired tension if required.
Cheers,
TD.
Thanks for the reply about calibration, and that you have a work around; we all have work around on the stringers we use, ultimately.

For me, it was important that I only need to calibrate the MS140L stringer periodically, and if I am pulling 47 lbs, I know it is 47 lbs (I am not the only one using this machine as my son also strings for other people so we don’t have to communicate what is the “actual tension”.) I like that mine has a convenient switch that allows for increasing the amount pulled for the final crosses on a job.



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#32
We are always thinking about improvements.

But it seems that there are no technical things which need attention at the moment.

Out of the feed back that we got we have 2 questions:

Is it important to lower the weight, is it light-weight enough?

We heard that players have a price limit for a stringing machine. Is it important to lower the price?
 

MathieuR

Professional
#33
@Technatic / Fred, you could ad the question: "should we reduce the transport-volume"

All 3 can be answered by yes :).
(especially weight/volume).

Cost of the unit is "relative". But my gutfeel is, that if you could reduce weight by 30%, you can increase price with 30%.
 
#34
I spoke to our French agent who is the initiator of the LW project, and who sold most of the MS140’s.
He told me some interesting feelings that people have before they buy the machine and after they have used it for some time:
* “Lighweight also means Fragile”.
People think that they buy more value for money when they buy a normal heavy machine.
- Most of the weight is saved by replacing the lever plus the weight of the ML100 by the 2 springs (- 3,5 kg) and by replacing the bulky turntable by the LW version (- 6kg).
The tension head is exactly the same as of the ML100 and MS200. The rest of the tension system only consists of the screw that adjusts the force of the springs.

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Not much can go wrong with this system.

* More efficient use of the material of the turntable.
- The LW table has the same stiffness as the bulky aluminum one. Because the spindle takes all the force and the levers transfer the force from the support to the spindle the material is used much more effectively.

* Does the 10 year Stringway guarantee also count for the MS140?
Yes because the system is as solid as all the other machines.

* The playability of the stringbed is different.
Because the MS140 can not overshoot the adjusted tension all the elongation remains in the string for maximum playability.

* “Personal stringing friend”.
A number of the French users like the machine so much that it feels like their personal stringing friend.
 
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