Yonex / Kimony Starting Clamp Toyozouki Review

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Smittithekitty, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Smittithekitty

    Smittithekitty Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2017
    Messages:
    230
    Well, I ended up very lucky and got my hands on a Yonex/Kimony Starting Clamp. Basically, I got the Holy Grail of Starting Clamp from Albert Lee (The man is amazing).

    There are a couple thread about the clamp, but no actual photos and reviews.

    My first thought before evening owning one... “Why in the world would anyone spend 250USD on a Starting Clamp???”

    Honestly, that was how it felt because 250$ could be easily invested on the Alpha SW machine or brand new full stringing set which includes a nice starting clamp.

    Fast forward until today... After using it, I WOULD purchase a ultimate Kimony Starting Clamp... My wife already call dibs on this one because she fell in love with it when we strung a couple tonight.

    It’s made from a metal but feels like some sort of carbon plastic type material.
    Very light weight and feel nice to the hands.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had to opened it up to clean and of course tinker around with it:)

    What I found was this is literally a clamp in miniature form.

    The screw is a male that is embedded on on the short size

    [​IMG]


    The Long Side as the hole for the screw to go through and those two circular dots are where the spring goes in. The spring action and grab comes from that area.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The clamps are not diamond coated but has this rough almost powder coated feel to it. Either way Strings did not slip.

    It comes in 3 pieces
    This is the last piece that hold the other side of the spring also the opposing side of the clamp!

    [​IMG]

    The dial is smooth and can obviously be adjusted to tight or loosen. The clamp is way advance and does less harm to the strings in my opinion after seeing the design. When other conventional clamps has a hinge that opens like a V-Shape (alligator) and has 1-3 springs to hold the clamp close. The Kimony/Yonex Staring Clamp has a more evening and parallel hold just like the many clamps on string machines. Those springs inside tilt the center piece and equalize the clamp on both top and bottom with the string in between the two metal clamps.

    The feel when you lock the clamp is like Land O’Lakes Butter. The clam softly locks the string in the middle. Even with the minimal pressure on the dial it held the string well.
    I strung 16g VS Gut, 16g NXT and 16L Poly tonight. I usually use my Tecnifibre Starting Clamp which is usually a firm starting clamp. Tecnifibre didn’t leave crazy or ghostly marks but sometime you can definatelty see where the diamond dust slightly embedding the string. You can feel it a bit.
    The Kimony/Yonex Clamp did not have any, I was so surprised because I was expecting something. I basically didn’t feel or saw anything thing different.

    I used the starting clamp for starting both my Mains (Yuzuki method) and Crosses.
    For the Crosses using the Tecnifibre starting clamp cause Tiny bit of wear because it is on the string longer, the Kimony/Yonex like I said didn’t have a mark on it.

    I thought with the Kimony current version on the dial “badminton” & “tennis” sticker the dial would move in a click type feel, but it is just a normal dial.

    I would rate this a superior starting clamp and PERSONALLY the best starting clamp I ever used.
    I don’t use the starting clamp to tighten my knots (I use the cam action clamp) so I could see this being a draw back for those who used the Starting Clamp for tie offs.

    So many way to get the job done
    I was fortunate enough to get my hands on these and try before buying another one.
     
    ba4x, elkwood, R15 and 3 others like this.
    #1
  2. bigmatt

    bigmatt Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I have one, and it's the greatest starting clamp ever. The ability to adjust it to the string is magical: eliminates crushing and slipping.
     
    #2
  3. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,364
    Thanks . . . been hoping this would show up some day. Interesting.
     
    #3
  4. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    536
    You lot are a bunch of enablers! :p

    I finally come to accept the notion that I simply must dole out $55 for a Babolat starting clamp to experience it's magic... and now this carrot (and it's Excaliburesque quality) is dangled in front of me. :D
     
    #4
  5. siata94

    siata94 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    187
    now my clamps feel offended :)
     
    #5
  6. kkm

    kkm Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    The Kimony-branded version is priced at $250. The Yonex-branded version is priced at less than half of that. The Yonex price is ok, but I'd never pay the Kimony price for it - it's nice, but not that(250 bucks worth) nice. I've got this starting clamp. It's not my go-to starting clamp when I'm starting mains or crosses at high tensions. When I'm starting mains or crosses at high tensions (like for my customer who wants his racquets strung at >70 lb) I reach for the Babolat clamp.
     
    #6
  7. Smittithekitty

    Smittithekitty Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2017
    Messages:
    230
    I look at it in a very small scale way. That helps me justify...
    Like “Hey it’s only a retail value of a reel of Luxilon or whatever...” Then it doesn’t hurt as much.
    It is not something you need by all means, but if you had the chance to buy or own it is the only one you’ll need...

    We have a business so I consider this an office expense haha...

    I am also hair stylist and before stringing became our FT. My shears (scissors) were not cheap... yes, I could get $100-200 scissors but once I used a $900-1200 pair of shears made from Japanese Damascus Steel. You can tell the quality of the tool and the way it cuts the hair. Both cut hair, but one just was more of piece art vs mass made or cookie cutter.

    Anytime the Japanese has their hands on something you can always expect a price difference and quality!
     
    #7
  8. kenyee

    kenyee Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    Boston, PRofMA
    Where would you get the yonex branded one?
    Google can't find it...
     
    #8
  9. kkm

    kkm Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    I agree on stuff coming from Japan, most of what i’ve ever used has been made with an obsession with quality.
    I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making something better, and I know that making something 20% better doesn’t always cost just 20% to do - it can cost a lot more than 20% more. But there’s also marketing, companies convincing people people to part with a lot more money for “premium” stuff. Gotta say though that the word “premium” has been pretty watered-down.
     
    #9
  10. kkm

    kkm Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    If I were you I’d contact your country’s Yonex office or Yonex distributor. Check the Yonex web site to find their contact info.
    FYI the part ID for the Yonex starting clamp is AC618H.
     
    #10
  11. kkm

    kkm Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    #11
  12. kenyee

    kenyee Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    Boston, PRofMA
    That Google found...rakuten sells it for around $200 and a Amazon JP has it for $250. I wouldn't call it half price
    I'll ask Yonex in the US..
     
    #12
  13. kkm

    kkm Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    In the US less than half price (Yonex price vs Kimony price) is in fact the case.
    Remember that everything is a lot more expensive in Japan. That the Japanese sources that you found for the Yonex clamp price it at $200-$250 in Japan (though on both Rakuten and Amazon JP they’re 3rd-party sellers), when it’s priced much lower in the US, doesn’t surprise me at all. Look at the prices of tennis racquets in Japan compared to the prices of tennis racquets in the States - the difference is huge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    #13

Share This Page