Toughest Racket You String?

graycrait

Hall of Fame
My late Pro Kennex Micro Mid was tough, especially when I strung it with Ashaway Kevlar x Ashaway Zyex. A 22x30 pattern in a 93" headed racket makes those last few crosses kind of hard to weave:)

I look at my double string bed Blackburne 107 alongside my NEOS 1000 and still shake my head. They don't match. So far the Blackburne is the only racket I can't yet string on my NEOS. I have no issues with O-Ports with the NEOS and its brake.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I really have no issues with O Ports.

I am sure the more experience guys will help me... for me, I don't recall the Wilson model but it was older and the hoop was hollow with a bigger "power port"/hole I think it was called on the inside of the hoop and then a standard like string hole on the outside so on the crosses when pushing the cross into the hoop no problem... after weaving then trying to put the string through the grommet if I missed the outside part of the hole the string would funnel its way inside the racquet itself. I would pull it back out and try again and miss... I would then have to get my eyes at racquet level and shine a flashlight to make sure I put the sting through the bigger port on the inside of the hoop and found the hole on the outside to pass the string through.

It was a complete pain. Hopefully, I described it so you can picture the issue.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I really have no issues with O Ports.

I am sure the more experience guys will help me... for me, I don't recall the Wilson model but it was older and the hoop was hollow with a bigger "power port"/hole I think it was called on the inside of the hoop and then a standard like string hole on the outside so on the crosses when pushing the cross into the hoop no problem... after weaving then trying to put the string through the grommet if I missed the outside part of the hole the string would funnel its way inside the racquet itself. I would pull it back out and try again and miss... I would then have to get my eyes at racquet level and shine a flashlight to make sure I put the sting through the bigger port on the inside of the hoop and found the hole on the outside to pass the string through.

It was a complete pain. Hopefully, I described it so you can picture the issue.
@LOBALOT I think I know what you mean. At least one earlier iteration of the Wilson Five BLX had those port-ish openings on the sides of the hoop, with the grommet hole buried inside the center. Wilson also made some squash racquets like that. They are also quite a joy to work on.

Edit: like this?

 

vandre

Hall of Fame
the racquet i dislike stringing the most is my 90s donnay academy pro oversize. it isn't that i'm worried about the frame breaking but it takes a bunch of string (every bit of 40 feet and if i string from a reel i give it a little more than 40) and the tension range is so high that i cannot string it as tightly as i want to because i used a drop weight machine that maxes out at 75 lbs.

 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
@LOBALOT I think I know what you mean. At least one earlier iteration of the Wilson Five BLX had those port-ish openings on the sides of the hoop, with the grommet hole buried inside the center. Wilson also made some squash racquets like that. They are also quite a joy to work on.

Edit: like this?

I have strung a lot of these too.

It is basically this racquet but without the grommitish things in the side and just a hole on the outside. I have been googling and trying to find what the heck the racquet was called but the thing had to be like 35 years old if not more.
 

PrinceYonex

Rookie
A friend of mine uses a Babolat that seems to me to be a fake. The grommets are very cheap, and there’s really only two holes that one can tie off on without trying to enlarge a grommet (which I don’t want to do because, as I said, the grommets are pretty cheap). So I’m forced to do a one piece string job, ATW pattern, and it’s a pain.
I also have found stringing Wilson blades to involve multiply blocked holes, along with weirdly incorrect info on the Wilson site itself with regard to stringing instructions (tie offs etc).
My Yonex vcore pros are, in comparison, a joy— loads of enlarged grommets for different possible tie offs.
The TF40 also seems like it has a very thoughtful grommet design. Blocked holes are easy to deal with because the grommet itself has a kind spacing that allows the strings to line up alongside each other. Hard to explain.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
A friend of mine uses a Babolat that seems to me to be a fake. The grommets are very cheap, and there’s really only two holes that one can tie off on without trying to enlarge a grommet (which I don’t want to do because, as I said, the grommets are pretty cheap). So I’m forced to do a one piece string job, ATW pattern, and it’s a pain.
I also have found stringing Wilson blades to involve multiply blocked holes, along with weirdly incorrect info on the Wilson site itself with regard to stringing instructions (tie offs etc).
I haven't had issues with blades. I string the 16x19's and 18x20's 2 piece and I don't have a problem with blocked holes. Just be sure to guide the string that will block the hole either above or below the hole as you tension it.
 

Wes

Professional
My late Pro Kennex Micro Mid was tough, especially when I strung it with Ashaway Kevlar x Ashaway Zyex. A 22x30 pattern in a 93" headed racket makes those last few crosses kind of hard to weave:)
Before you even posted that, I was already thinking about you and that Micro Mid!


I look at my double string bed Blackburne 107 alongside my NEOS 1000 and still shake my head. They don't match. So far the Blackburne is the only racket I can't yet string on my NEOS.
I think that any of those Volkl racquets that have the "Power Arm" (PB 1, Organix Super-G 1, V-Cell 1, etc.) would also be an issue on a Neos 1000 or 1500 (as well as the 2pt. variants of the Gamma 5003, 6004, 6900, 7900 etc.).


I have no issues with O-Ports with the NEOS and its brake.
Really?
You're not concerned about the amount of torsional forces that your Wise tension head is being subjected to by employing the "brake method"? :unsure:

Personally, I would never do that with a Wise tension head. It's my belief that the unit is plenty strong for straight pulls (for which it was designed for), but I have some serious doubts about it's longevity when being subjected to forces applied sideways - due to the angles which get created when using the "brake method".

A number of people have had to send their Wise units in for repair/replacement after using the "brake method" or "hip method" when stringing O-Ports.
In my opinion, with a Wise unit, installing the crosses with the 50-50 method is the safest way to go.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I have strung a lot of these too.

It is basically this racquet but without the grommitish things in the side and just a hole on the outside. I have been googling and trying to find what the heck the racquet was called but the thing had to be like 35 years old if not more.
Oh def not it then. Five BLX not 35 years old obviously.

Maybe some of the more (cough, ahem) experienced stringers would have a better idea of what it might have been.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@Wes, Never thought about it. I have only strung O-ports with my NEOS crank. Never thought about how it may impact the Wise. Thanks. If someone asks me to do an O-Port racket now I will tell them to find someone else to string their "weird" racket.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Oh def not it then. Five BLX not 35 years old obviously.

Maybe some of the more (cough, ahem) experienced stringers would have a better idea of what it might have been.
The thing came to me so old and dusty... The guy who dropped it off in my backyard was old and dusty too!!!!
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
With regard to the V10 and V engine mid, I may be able to grant your wish.
Before you even posted that, I was already thinking about you and that Micro Mid!




I think that any of those Volkl racquets that have the "Power Arm" (PB 1, Organix Super-G 1, V-Cell 1, etc.) would also be an issue on a Neos 1000 or 1500 (as well as the 2pt. variants of the Gamma 5003, 6004, 6900, 7900 etc.).

Good points all. If someone ever asks me to string those "rare" rackets I will tell them find another stringer. I already tell plenty of folks who have "conventional" rackets to find someone else. The fewer people who ask me to string the better:)


Really?
You're not concerned about the amount of torsional forces that your Wise tension head is being subjected to by employing the "brake method"? :unsure:

Personally, I would never do that with a Wise tension head. It's my belief that the unit is plenty strong for straight pulls (for which it was designed for), but I have some serious doubts about it's longevity when being subjected to forces applied sideways - due to the angles which get created when using the "brake method".

A number of people have had to send their Wise units in for repair/replacement after using the "brake method" or "hip method" when stringing O-Ports.
In my opinion, with a Wise unit, installing the crosses with the 50-50 method is the safest way to go.
I think that any of those Volkl racquets that have the "Power Arm" (PB 1, Organix Super-G 1, V-Cell 1, etc.) would also be an issue on a Neos 1000 or 1500 (as well as the 2pt. variants of the Gamma 5003, 6004, 6900, 7900 etc.).
 

Wes

Professional
the racquet i dislike stringing the most is my 90s donnay academy pro oversize. it isn't that i'm worried about the frame breaking but it takes a bunch of string (every bit of 40 feet and if i string from a reel i give it a little more than 40) and the tension range is so high that i cannot string it as tightly as i want to because i used a drop weight machine that maxes out at 75 lbs.

What? :unsure:
It's a 16x19 oversize frame - same thing as stringing an POG OS (and countless others).
There's no way that stick requires 40' of string - even if using poly.

If you were stringing a Prince Precision Graphite OS or Precision Response OS (both of these are 18x21), then maybe I could see it coming close, but not on that Academy Pro OS.
Crikey, I've even strung an 18x21 131sq.in. Gamma Big Bubba with 40' of string (albeit, it was a very stretchy string).
 

Wes

Professional
The head prestiges are pain in the neck with the full cap on.
I don't find them to be particularly difficult.
If you can be more specific as to what's causing you troubles, I may be able to give you some helpful suggestions.

I also have found stringing Wilson blades to involve multiply blocked holes
I can probably give you some helpful suggestions (the suggestions/tactics differ depending on which Blade [98" 16x19, 98" 18x20, 104"], as well as whether it's to be a full bed vs. a hybrid).
Feel free to send me a PM.
 

USMC-615

Semi-Pro
Appreciate all the heads up, and I've read mention of these O-ports in other threads...in the future if an O-port comes a knockin' I'm sending the racquet down the road. :laughing:
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Appreciate all the heads up, and I've read mention of these O-ports in other threads...in the future if an O-port comes a knockin' I'm sending the racquet down the road. :laughing:
An O Port racket is no harder to string than any other racket. As a matter of fact some are actually easier because the grommet holes are so large. I’ve never had a tennis racket that was too hard to string, some strings are harder to string than others especially is you’re stringing a tight pattern with a stiff, rough, high memory string using a 1 piece pattern.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
same colour of racquet/grommet/string is more difficult/annoying for my ageing eyes... lol
i think the most difficult one for me is a black racquet with black grommets and fullbed of black string. :p
I forgot to note that! My stringing machine is black (Alpha Ghost 2) and when someone brings me a black racquet and want black strings....

As I have mentioned in the past the way I have my work area setup is when I am facing my stringing machine I have a workbench directly behind me. I purchased a jewelers lighted magnifying light with a boom arm and have it attached to the side of my workbench. I use it when I am trying to figure out what type of string someone has, etc. I also pull the light toward the turntable when I am having difficulty seeing.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
I forgot to note that! My stringing machine is black (Alpha Ghost 2) and when someone brings me a black racquet and want black strings....

As I have mentioned in the past the way I have my work area setup is when I am facing my stringing machine I have a workbench directly behind me. I purchased a jewelers lighted magnifying light with a boom arm and have it attached to the side of my workbench. I use it when I am trying to figure out what type of string someone has, etc. I also pull the light toward the turntable when I am having difficulty seeing.
good one.
my wife actually bought me a pair of gloves with lights attached to 2 fingers.... but i always felt weird wearing that...
i have also used my daughter's night reading light (the ones you can clip onto books)... didn't like/really work. lol
so i just have to have extra bright light bulb for these special occasions.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
good one.
my wife actually bought me a pair of gloves with lights attached to 2 fingers.... but i always felt weird wearing that...
i have also used my daughter's night reading light (the ones you can clip onto books)... didn't like/really work. lol
so i just have to have extra bright light bulb for these special occasions.
My stringing machine is in the basement. My original intent was to mount the light from a ceiling rafter upside down over the machine so I could move the light this way and that but didn't want to deal with the electrical cable and how to run it along the beams, down the wall, and to an outlet.
 
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LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Oh def not it then. Five BLX not 35 years old obviously.

Maybe some of the more (cough, ahem) experienced stringers would have a better idea of what it might have been.
I found it!!! It is a WILSON SLEDGE HAMMER 3.8 POWER HOLES 112 OS STRETCH TENNIS RACQUET and if you copy this upper case text and go to Fleabay you can see one with those goofy power holes in the side.
 

McLovin

Legend
Racquet ball racquets where the mains run through the handle. Never again.
Hahahahahaha. I saw this thread and immediately went to when my club asked if I could string a racquetball frame. I thought "sure, why not?". Well...

It was one of these types:





Where, if you look closely, you'll see the crosses don't go all the way through the frame, but rather go into the frame, then wrap back around inside the hoop. Have fun pulling those crosses...
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
How the heck did you get the string in the hole through the racket and back out the next hole? Some sort of button hook gizmo?

Hahahahahaha. I saw this thread and immediately went to when my club asked if I could string a racquetball frame. I thought "sure, why not?". Well...

It was one of these types:





Where, if you look closely, you'll see the crosses don't go all the way through the frame, but rather go into the frame, then wrap back around inside the hoop. Have fun pulling those crosses...
 

McLovin

Legend
How the heck did you get the string in the hole through the racket and back out the next hole? Some sort of button hook gizmo?
No, you thread it in and it loops around & out the next hole. While not exactly it, think of a 'U' shaped tube running from one hole to the next.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
No, you thread it in and it loops around & out the next hole. While not exactly it, think of a 'U' shaped tube running from one hole to the next.
i was just thinking about the "U" patch within the racquet.... interesting...
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
I only do tennis frames. I claim old age/stupidity as excuse for anything else and send those people somewhere else. I also do not do strange patterns like Blackburnes, etc or frames like the Ti.S7 or AirBow/Crossbow. I do Prince frames all the time and have no issues with O Ports. I try to turn away frames that are ready to crack or have cracks. If I have to do them and they break, the client has to pay for the string job anyway. :happydevil:
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Hahahahahaha. I saw this thread and immediately went to when my club asked if I could string a racquetball frame. I thought "sure, why not?". Well...

It was one of these types:





Where, if you look closely, you'll see the crosses don't go all the way through the frame, but rather go into the frame, then wrap back around inside the hoop. Have fun pulling those crosses...
Yeah that’s exactly what I was talking about, but even worse with that nonsense with the crosses.

Any of my potential customers would be well advised to take that POS somewhere else, b/c if you bring it to me…it’s going to go where it belongs - in the nearest trash receptacle.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I found it!!! It is a WILSON SLEDGE HAMMER 3.8 POWER HOLES 112 OS STRETCH TENNIS RACQUET and if you copy this upper case text and go to Fleabay you can see one with those goofy power holes in the side.
Oh Jesus. Yes. Those are a real treat. LOL

Edit: I’m reminded of the also hilarious Sledge Hammer “Outer Limits.” It’s not that difficult to string I suppose. Unless, you’re an idiot like I was on that day early on in my retail career…not realizing more than 40’ of string was required. Then you’ll either be stringing it twice, or engaging in some kind of hack patch job at the end.
 
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USMC-615

Semi-Pro
Those Wilson Sledge Hammer 3.8's are a dime a dozen on Flea-bay...I think enough for everyone in this thread to have at least four apiece. Who's jumping on the first four? :D
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Those Wilson Sledge Hammer 3.8's are a dime a dozen on Flea-bay...I think enough for everyone in this thread to have at least four apiece. Who's jumping on the first four? :D
The shape of the racquet face reminded me of the plastic burger flipper I have in my kitchen drawer.
 
A friend of mine uses a Babolat that seems to me to be a fake. The grommets are very cheap, and there’s really only two holes that one can tie off on without trying to enlarge a grommet (which I don’t want to do because, as I said, the grommets are pretty cheap). So I’m forced to do a one piece string job, ATW pattern, and it’s a pain.
Babolat Evoke by chance? Friend of my wife has one and I strung that thing twice now. Racquet seems fine, but the tubing is a POS…

definitely one to plan ahead if you’re going to string it
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Why does that racket take so much extra time for you?
Let me guess 18x20 with CAP grommets.

EDIT: I’m guessing your most difficult would be a Blackburn on a NEOS 1000. Not that is is all that difficult but some frames may not work well on some machines. Just like today I strung 2 racket with hybrid patterns (SG/Poly) that only had 4 tie off locations. When I do that racket that expand a very small grommet I tie an outer main and the bottom cross in the same grommet. I tied the bottom cross first around the anchor string and the SG main then tied off the main. 2 strings to hold in the same corner but only one clamp so I actually used a flying and a fixed clamp once I got to that corner.
 
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I had a couple of T2000s, a T3000 and a TX 6000. I was looking at them one day after looking at the stringing instructions and gave them away soon after that.

I looked at @Wes 's O Port videos and just won't string one. I'm about ready to shuck my Blackburne too.
The manufacturer recommends stringing the bottom plane of the Blackburne first, they using floating clamps to string the top plane. When I did mine, I did the top plane first, just as I would any racket. This allowed me to use fixed clamps. Then, I did the bottom plane. Stringing from the bottom with no place to put fingers was a pain, and it took a while longer, but at least I got to use the fixed clamps on both planes of string.
 
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