Tired of getting hosed for sting jobs at local club...help!!

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by jmoore1, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. jmoore1

    jmoore1 New User

    Jul 25, 2006
    Hey guys:
    I'm tired of paying $32 bucks a pop at my local club for string jobs. I'm 4.5 NTRP rated and play about 3 x per week. I'm considering buying an inexpensive string machine (like a Klipper Mate, etc.) so that I can learn to string my own. I definitely do not have a lot of extra cash (nor space) for a larger more expensive machine...I would like something I could put in a closet when not using and place on a tabel top when stringing. Basically my question is...is it really worth it to by your own machine (I don't really see myself stringing other peoples racquets for money)? Also...I tend to be a mechanical moron and am wondering how difficult/time consuming it is to learn how to sting??
  2. dlo

    dlo New User

    Jun 29, 2006
    You can not go wrong with stringing your own rackets. This board is full of good advice. You should have a budget as the machines can range from $120.00 up, but they generally have reasons for costing more, which is the next question. You sound like a drop weight candidate, but biggest difference I know of with drop weights is the clamps. You can get fixed clamps or floating clamps. I spent a little more and got fixed clamps, but a lot of people use the floating clamps which are less expensive. Bottom line is get a stringing machine, these guys here will type you through any problems you may have.
  3. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

    Dec 2, 2005
    Stringing is easy once you get the hang of it. Since you are a 4.5 player, you are probably pretty picky about your strings. I suggest you string your own racquets. A Klippermate will pay off in no time for you. It will do a good job for yourself.

    Are you sure you won't string other people's racquets? If you do, I would suggest getting a crank in the $550-600 range.(Alpha Revo 4000) That would pay off fast too.
  4. andrew_b

    andrew_b Rookie

    Aug 24, 2006
    yes, definitely worth it.

    Your size constraints are going to lead you to a tabletop model. While you say you don't have a lot of extra cash, if you could tell us what your realistic budget is we could help more. I suggest buying as much stringer as you can afford, while the very inexpensive machines do the job, there are definite advantages as you move up.

    I suspect you'll end up with decisions someone else mentioned: crank or dropweight, and fixed or floating clamps. All alternatives have pluses and minuses.

    If you're looking for a very low-cost solution, you'll probably end up with a drop weight with flying clamps. I would suggest that if you go with a drop weight, get one that has either a clutch or a ratchet mechanism so that you can adjust the arm as you're tensioning more easily.

    FWIW, I bought a Gamma Progression dropweight over 10 years ago for about $300, it's still going strong, it's very consistent, not the fastest machine to use, but since I only do my own and a few friends frames, I don't care much abou the speed. At the time, I figured I'd upgrade it to fixed clamps. Haven't ever bothered.

    As far as complexity, you'll be able to figure it out.

    play well,
  5. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

    Nov 26, 2005
    When I bought my machine, it just sat in my room staring longingly at me for about a week before I plucked up the courage to do my first stringing job. It was such an exhilirating and liberating experience because it opened up new doors for experimentation and freed me from the grasp of the capitalistic pro shops! :D

    The truth is that the shops where I stay do not have any interest in recommending a string to improve my game. They are only interested in getting me out of their shop asap as their mortgage payments depend on fast turnaround.

    As for the cost of a machine, look at the longer term. It is easy to be penny-wise, pound foolish. I agree that for 4.5 player, string feel becomes more significant, and money saved by stringing your own frames will pay off for the machine. You may also find your friends asking you to string their racquets. Imagine if you make $10 per racquet stringing just one per week, you will make $520 in a year.
  6. Mr. Blond

    Mr. Blond Professional

    Feb 24, 2006
    There are many sub 300 dollar machines that are well worth the money and will produce great string jobs. I personally spent just a bit more for the gamma progression 602FC which has fixed clamps. It is a personal preference about fixed clamps at the end of the day.

    The bottom line is that if you spend 500 dollars on really solid machine, it WILL pay for itself in no time. If your dropping 32 bucks a string job, then you will only end up paying probably 10 dollars stringing it yourself (that is depending on the string you use of course). 20 dollars savings per string job will add up quickly to clear out your start up costs.

    I personally started out just to string for myself, and had no interest in stringing for others, but now string about 20 racquets a week. My machine has paid for itself time and time again, and now is quite a profit maker. You will hear over and over again, the more money you spend on quality now, the less you will regret later and eventually need to upgrade.

    I say at least go for the fixed clamps, I know I can personally see the difference in the stringbed. That is just my humble opinion though.

    Hope this helps.
  7. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

    Feb 25, 2004
    If you are low on cash, I would take a look at the SP Swing ($200). If you can save or borrow a little cash - the Alpha Revo is awesome (around $550).

    Either way you will save a bundle over the next year, and probably make a few bucks from your friends.
  8. aussie

    aussie Professional

    May 20, 2006
    Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia
    Definitely get your own stringer. Like you, I was tired of paying top dollar in Australia for somtimes very poor string jobs. Didn't know anything about stringing, and didn't know if I would enjoy it, but took the plunge and ordred a Klippermate from the US and had it deliverd to Australia.

    Sure, machines with fixed clamps etc will string more quickly, but will the end result be any better? I take about 1.5 hours to string my racquets, and the end result is the equal of any string job I've got from a pro shop. The big addiction is - I can't stop buying different types of string reels because I have a really good time experimenting with different strings, tensions, patterns etc. I should have done it years ago!! Go for it!!
  9. Mr. Blond

    Mr. Blond Professional

    Feb 24, 2006

    i too went through a stringing addiction when I first got my machine....hehe, I thought it was just me!!

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