Stringing gut with drop weight ?

#2
It is not harder to string, just have to take a little extra time to be careful stringing it. You cannot kink the string, or you will ruin the set. Clamps should be cleaned so will grip properly without slipping. Best to take string and do a light prestretch to lessen the coil memory, so less chance of kinking. The Luxilon gut is a little more kink resistant, so it is easier to string. Nat gut is a great string as it hits well right up till it breaks. You should be a clean hitter, as shank shots can snap the string, if not when you shank it, but later when you remove it from your bag next time out, and you will wonder what happened. If you place a little lube like tri flow in the main string grommets, that will greatly lessen the chance of shank shots snapping the string.
Go for it. It's a great string to hit with, and if you go for a quality gut, it can take relatively high tensions, as that's a good quality of gut it can feel great at high tensions and give you better control.
 
#3
Gut does not like kinks. If you kink it, it might create a weak spot, and you will definitely see the area where the kink happened as a white spot on the string.
Gut is a little harder to push through tight spots in grommet holes because it is rather soft and deforms easier.
You need to be careful with adjustment of clamps as if clamps are too tight, you will overcompress the string and clamps will leave unsightly white spots which probably could also weaken the string.

It is not hard to string, but it requires more attention and a finer touch and therefore takes more time. On top of that, if you screw up the installation for whatever reason, cost of error is the highest possible across all strings. Poly can survive any kind of handling, it is very resilient.

Gut is like wine glasses. They are not difficult to use or wash, but if you are not careful, you will break them. When you handle a wine glass, you are probably more careful than when you handle a frying pan.

On a positive side, compared to some polys which may feel as stiff as metal wire from the Home Depot, gut is soft and easy to cross-weave. It is nice on your fingers.

If cost is a non-issue for you, why do you use a dropweight?
 
#5
I prefer a compact stringer. Also, the economics of a $2000 stringer does make sense.
With guy, I get something better. With a machine, I am basically getting the same outcome.
 
#6
I might try natural gut.
What do you like?
Cost is a non-issue for me.
I stock/recommend Babolat Tonic and VS gut.
For most, I'll recommend Tonic, since it's the same string as VS and less expensive (but may have a slight color irregularity or slight variance in diameter, compared to actual VS gut).
I'll recommend the VS gut if the person:
a) is elitist (i.e. doesn't believe what I've told them regarding Tonic's very good quality)
b) wants 17g/1.25 gauge (because Tonic is not available in 17g... only 16g or 15L)

Does gut last longer or shorter than Poly?
Trick question. Longer/shorter in terms of playability or durability?
In terms of playability, gut lasts much longer. You can play it 'til it breaks. Maintains tension (and elasticity) really well.
In terms of durability (resistance to notching/breaking), poly is a harder material, so it is more durable than gut (resistant to notching, however loses tension much faster than natural gut).
Gut's durability will depend largely on how much spin you tend to use. If you're a flatter hitter, then gut will last MUCH longer than poly (as far as playability goes).
However, if you use heavy spin, gut mains will notch/break faster than poly mains would.

I never break Poly.
Poly lasts 10-15 hours before getting harsh.
That's because poly is one of the poorest materials, when it comes to tension maintenance.
Gut will last far longer than 15 hours (unless you hit with massive spin). Again, play it 'til it snaps.

Why is gut so hard to string?
As others have mentioned, it isn't "harder" to string. You just have to be more careful with it.
If you kink the string, it's not the string's fault, it's your fault for not handling it with due care.
The wine glass analogy, provided by @AndI, was an excellent one.

What is different about it than Poly?
Natural gut offers almost the complete opposite of what poly offers.
Gut: Best tension maintenance/playability. Most power, comfort, and feel, yet less control (compared to other string materials). Good durability, when not using tons of spin.
Poly: Poor tension maintenance/playability. Least power, comfort, and feel, yet more control (compared to other string materials). Best durability, even if you use heavy spin.

Below, I've copy/pasted how I explain strings to new students/clients (using a simple 0-10 scale to represent elasticity/stiffness):
---------------------------------------------
"Gut" or "Natty Gut" = Natural Gut string
EVERYTHING else falls under the umbrella of "synthetics", of which, there are many types (see all the remaining categories below).
Examples: Babolat Tonic+, Babolat VS, Wilson Natural Gut, etc.
Highest elasticity/comfort of all strings (think like 10 on a 10 scale). Also, natural gut has the best tension maintenance of all strings.

"Multi" = Multifilament string
Still not made of natural fibers (so falls under the synthetic umbrella) but is composed of hundreds (and sometimes THOUSANDS) of microfibers (filaments) that are bonded together, giving the string much more elasticity/comfort/power. This construction most closely replicates that of Natural Gut, therefore these are the closest playing/feeling option to actually using Natural Gut.
Examples: Babolat Xcel, Prince Premier, Wilson NXT, Technifibre NRG2, etc.
Plays softer than everything else, except Natural Gut (think around 8 on a 10 scale).

"Syn Gut" = Synthetic Gut string
Typically a single monofilament core with 1 or 2 additional wraps around it. This is NOT a multifilament string.
Examples: Prince Synthetic Gut (Original or w/ Duraflex), Kirschbaum Synthetic Gut, Dunlop S-Gut Biomimetic, etc.
Plays softer than a Poly, but firmer than a Multi (think around 5 or 6 on a 10 scale).

"Poly" or "Co-Poly" = Polyester based string
Almost always a monofilament string. Due to being extruded, it can be round , shaped (pentagonal, octagonal, spline/gear shaped etc.), or even shaped and twisted (along it's longitudinal axis). Textures can range from smooth to "rough".
Examples: ALL Luxilon strings, Babolat RPM Blast, Prince Tour, Solinco Hyper-G, etc.
VERY stiff compared to those above, with a much less lively stringbed. Early generations of poly are stiffer than more recent generations.
Recommended to string at least 10% lower than normal (nylon based) strings. Very frequently used in "hybrids" with another softer string.
Plays stiffer than everything except Kevlar/Aramid (think around 2 or 3 on a 10 scale).

Kevlar (or other Aramid fiber based) string
Originally (before poly strings gained popularity), used by those who broke normal (nylon based) strings chronically.
Seldom used anymore. When it is, usually ONLY for the mains, with something softer used for crosses.
Like polyester strings, also recommended to string Kevlar lower than typical strings.
Examples: Ashaway Kevlar, Prince ProBlend hybrid (only mains are Kevlar)
Plays stiffest of all strings (think like 0 on a 10 scale)

Class dismissed. LOL
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#7
@TimeToPlaySets the biggest problem I had stringing gut was tying the knots. Pull gut too hard and you will not have to trim off the tail after tying knots. Gut can be tensioned at over 100 lbs but tie a knot in it and you have problems because of the multifilaments.
 
#8
I kink the string when I unwrap it. I will be extra careful. ?
I place the coil of gut over one wrist, then remove the tie that holds it in a coil, and let it uncoil .You can hold both hands together and let string uncoil moving coil between both of your wrists, as that makes less chance of a bird's nest with string, as that's the last thing you need with gut.
I then clamp one end of string to machine fixed clamp, walk the string back feeling it with fingers carefully not to kink, and feel for inperfections in the string. I have found an inperfection in a set of VS gut this way before I even started to string with it. That set was given to me to string by the player. I carefully wrapped it back up and returned it back to player unstrung for him to deal with it.once I know string is okay, I manually pull back on the end to give the string a pre stretch to get rid of some of the coil memory, I have heavy machine and can pull string with string clamped to it. You can also use a door knob or something similar if you have a light weight machine. I then measure, cut and string Nat. Gut as 2 piece string job, as string is handled less that way, and string.g crosses top down as freshest string is at the top. I always weave the 2nd cross 1st, then the 1st cross with all string types that I string as 2 piece, as easier and less handling of string.Also with Nat gut, if I pull a string more than 1 time I will wrap the string around the Diablo a second time so the linnear tension jaws will be in a different spot, to lessen any wear on string.I string a decent amount of gut so I take more precautions with it.I also recommend using a lube like tri flo on the main string grommets, as that will lessen the chance of a shear break from mis hit, but you do have to clean your clamps good once you are finished.
Also, as @Irvin mentioned above, be careful cinching knots especially with gut, cinch knots with fingers with gut.
 
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#9
I haven't strung much gut, but back when I was testing a bunch of different brands, I didn't have hardly any issues with it. The kinking can be a problem as mentioned, but as long as you are a bit careful it's not that different than watching out for kinks with poly strings. The other issue was just being a bit more careful with the clamp adjustments. I did err on the side of crushing the string as opposed to letting it slip. This becomes more of an issue when using high tensions with gut, which I did eventually have to deal with. For me gut seemed much better when strung at high tensions, but that makes the clamping issue a bit more troublesome. In any case, being slow and careful the first time or two you string it will probably be all you need to do to get comfortable with it. And all the name brand guts I tried were pretty good. They do all have slightly different characteristics though, which was a little surprising. I didn't expect to be able to tell all that much difference between them, but they all have some individual character to them.
 
#11
You can string gut at a high tension as the string has great elasticity and resiliency. It will stretch like a rubber band and return to it's normal length to recover. It will still be comfortable on the arm. If strung at high tensions it will have greater control, but to string it high, you need a quality brand gut.
Most of my gut customers have it strung between 61-65 lbs. I had one hitter a few years back that had his always strung at 70 lbs. And it held up nice for him, but it was a good reputable brand. Don't be afraid to string it high as that is the beauty of gut
My own racquets are strung 61- 64 lbs depending on racquet used and brand of gut used, as some gut strings are firmer hit than others.
 
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HunterST

Hall of Fame
#12
If you string Poly at 50, what should you string gut with?
Does higher tension offset the arm friendly nature of gut ?
Don't go up too high. That was a mistake I made the first time I tried gut. I went from 48 to 56 or so. Should have just gone to maybe 50 or 52.

I would try 52.5 if I were you, assuming you'll be hybriding with a poly.
 
#14
Yeah, you'll have to figure it out for yourself, and it does depend a bit on the particular gut you use. Some are a bit more controlled than others. I personally couldn't string it high enough and eventually just gave up on gut. It always seemed too powerful for me, but I don't think that's as much of a problem in hybrid with poly. The poly will tame the power. With full gut though, I don't think there is an arm unfriendly tension. It seemed pretty soft at any tension for me.

I think if I were to go with gut today I'd want to have an electronic machine to string it on and I'd do a machine prestretch on it. I also hit with an 18x20 frame now and I think that would help too. I'll probably end up going back to it when I get older to save some wear and tear on the joints. It's without a doubt the best thing to use for comfort.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#17
I'd rather err on caution.
I will start with 53 then.
Are you stringing full bed or hybrid with poly.

If full bed, you may want to go 60-62.
If hybrid, then you can look at 58/53 or some variation.

I think you hit harder than I do, so full bed gut at 53 might be a rocket launcher.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#18
must watch. But money is no issue so maybe you can skip it:

I've never had any issue with breaking gut except for a shank at the upper corner of my racquet. Right at the grommet.
I think my last stringing of gut, I forgot I was stringing with gut on one of my tie-off knots. But I dont' think I pull hard on my knots anyway. I was more gingerly with my other knots.

Make sure to do a light pre-stretch to get the coil memory out or else stringing will be more of a PITA.
 
#19
must watch. But money is no issue so maybe you can skip it:
Thanks for sharing! I guess it is a viable way of doing it, although one could argue that you trade friction for elevated risks of creating kinks, since you need to pull all the string through 3 times instead of 1 time.
I usually weave crosses one ahead, this also reduces friction quite significantly. Maybe not quite as much as in this method, but for what it is worth, I did not have issues.

Friction vs kinks could depend on what brand of gut is used, and to which extent the coating on the gut can withstand friction without damage. Not being a pro stringer, I use predominantly Babolat VS Touch, rarely Wilson gut. Other brands, especially the lower cost ones, might be more sensitive to friction or handling.
 
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#20
Yes, it does seem like kinking is more likely with that method.
The guy even complained about the tangling in the video.
I think I will just try the regular way. I hate kinks
 
#22
"Multi" = Multifilament string
Still not made of natural fibers (so falls under the synthetic umbrella) but is composed of hundreds (and sometimes THOUSANDS) of microfibers (filaments) that are bonded together, giving the string much more elasticity/comfort/power. This construction most closely replicates that of Natural Gut, therefore these are the closest playing/feeling option to actually using Natural Gut.
Examples: Babolat Xcel, Prince Premier, Wilson NXT, Technifibre NRG2, etc.
Plays softer than everything else, except Natural Gut (think around 8 on a 10 scale).

"Syn Gut" = Synthetic Gut string
Typically a single monofilament core with 1 or 2 additional wraps around it. This is NOT a multifilament string.
Examples: Prince Synthetic Gut (Original or w/ Duraflex), Kirschbaum Synthetic Gut, Dunlop S-Gut Biomimetic, etc.
Plays softer than a Poly, but firmer than a Multi (think around 5 or 6 on a 10 scale).

So, Multi is more gut-like than Synth Gut ?
If Gut ends up too floppy, and I want a hybrid setup,
I will try Syn Gut mains and Poly cross.
 
#23
Don't go up too high. That was a mistake I made the first time I tried gut. I went from 48 to 56 or so. Should have just gone to maybe 50 or 52.

I would try 52.5 if I were you, assuming you'll be hybriding with a poly.
Why was 56 too high? You could not get enough power?
Do you have a weaker swing? I swing pretty hard, so I think I need to go higher.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
#24
Why was 56 too high? You could not get enough power?
Do you have a weaker swing? I swing pretty hard, so I think I need to go higher.
It just didn’t provide the touch or ball pocketing that I was expecting at that tension. It wasn’t terrible, but it just felt average.

I’m a pretty big hitter and 52/49 did not feel overly powerful at all. Granted, I use a rf pro staff, so it could be different if you’re using a pure drive plus or something.
 
#25
Are you stringing full bed or hybrid with poly.

If full bed, you may want to go 60-62.
If hybrid, then you can look at 58/53 or some variation.

I think you hit harder than I do, so full bed gut at 53 might be a rocket launcher.
I need to decide what to string at.
I think I will do as you said.
58 gut main.
53 cross poly.
(I typically do 50 full poly)
 
#26
Stringing gut with drop weight is brutal on the string.
It's not kinking, per se, but the crank ratchet wheel impacts the string.
Floating clamps also dig into the string.
Just did the mains, and see a spot or two of fraying already!
 
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