Choosing the Best Tennis Stringing Machine: A Review

  • January 30, 2018
tennis-racquet-stringing-machine

Buying a tennis stringing machine is an important step in the development of any player. While the purchase price can look hefty up front, there’s a potential for big savings down the road. Paying someone else $50 to do a task that often takes under 20 minutes is not an effective way to spend your money. In addition to saving money, a racket stringing machine also provides an opportunity to make cash. By advertising on Craigslist or at your local tennis club, you can charge folks a hefty price to restring their racket.

Do a good job and they’ll come back again and again.This article will walk you through the factors to consider when purchasing a stringer. We’ll also provide our recommendation on the best tennis racquet stringing machines.

Stringing Machine Comparison Chart

Gamma X-STGamma 6900KlippermateGamma Progression II
Best All Around Tennis Stringing MachineBest Professional MachineBest Budget Stringing MachineBest Electronic Stringing Machine
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five-starsfive-starsfour-starsfive-stars
Spring Tension WinderElectronic w/ Digital Control PanelDrop WeightElectronic
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Table TopStand AloneTable TopTable Top
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Other Important Tennis Stringing Tools

String Meter

A string meter allows you to accurately check the tension of a string. Purchasing one of these devices will be especially important if you elect to purchase one of the cheaper drop weight stringing machines. As you become more experienced, you’ll have a better feel for the tension of a string and won’t use this device as much. But as a beginner, a good string meter is a must have. We recommend going with the Tourna String Meter.

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Extra Clamps

While many stringers come with a few clamps, you’ll be grateful if your purchase a few extra starter clampsThese devices make stringing a racquet much easier. You have lots of options, and generally they operate fairly similarly. So don’t worry too much about the brand. Check to see how many clamps (and whether they’re normal or starter clamps) the stringer you purchase comes with. Having four pairs of clamps you like to work with is ideal.

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Reel of String

One obvious thing you need to string racquets? String! If you already know what kind of string you like, get yourself a full reel. If not, get smaller packs of string so that you can toy around with different types. For beginners, I recommend buying a super cheap reel of tennis string. With this reel, you can practice stringing racquets and not worry too much about the string you may be wasting.  We like to purchase our tennis string on Amazon.com for quick delivery and the best prices.

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Electrical Tape

Wrap your clamps in some electrical tape before you get started. The clamps can break down over time and this will lengthen their life span. This is a great way to preserve the quality of your tennis stringing tools so that you don’t have to buy additional clamps as they wear down over time! Plus, this version has a bunch of different colors so you can not only protect your tennis equipment, but spice it up a bit too!

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Our Advice: The Gamma X-ST is the Best Tennis Stringing Machine

Our pick for the best stringing machine is the Gamma X-ST. While this machine does not qualify as a professional stringing machine, it is the highest quality entry level model available. Coming in at under $1,000, it does an impeccable job for its price when compared to the more expensive professional models.

The Gamma X-ST is the superior tennis stringing machine primarily because it uses a spring tension winder instead of a drop weight. This method provides the stringer with a more accurate and significantly easier way to string a racquet.

If you’re looking for a cheap stringing machine, keep scrolling and view some of the other top options below.

We recommend you buy the Gamma X-ST on Amazon.com. It’s slightly cheaper on Amazon than on Tennis Warehouse and on Amazon, the shipping costs and speed are slightly cheaper.

Top Tennis Stringing Machine Full Review: Gamma X-ST

best-tennis-stringing-machine

Tennis Club Supplies rates the Gamma X-ST the best tennis stringing machine for the money. It’s a fantastic model for beginners and experts alike. It’s easy to learn on but provides the consistency, speed and accurate necessary for an expert to string racquets with precision. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend purchasing a starting clamp as a complement to your purchase. As you become a more experienced stringer, you’ll be able to cheaply and easily upgrade to a normal clamp.

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Stringing Method: Spring Tension Winder

The Gamma X-ST uses a spring tension winder method to get racquets up to the appropriate tension. This method is halfway in between an electronic stringer and a drop weight stringer. Essentially, after feeding the string through the appropriate grommet, the stringer tightens the cross or main by winding a small knob. This method is considerably more accurate than a drop weight stringing machine. We simply couldn’t bring ourselves to rate a drop weight machine the best tennis racquet stringer because of its relative inaccuracy and difficulty of use.

Best Tennis Stringing Machine for Beginners

If you’re looking for a tennis racquet stringing machine for beginners, the Gamma X-ST is a great option. While the stringer does come with a how-to guide, we recommend checking out youtube.com for some how to string a tennis racquet tutorial videos. Watching someone else string a racquet while they walk you through their process is by far the most effective way to learn how to string a tennis racquet. In addition to the how to guide, the Gamma X-ST also comes standard with some string. While this is a nice way to get started (and an especially great string to use to practice a few times), we recommend getting a reel of higher quality string for your own racquet.

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Portability

Another plus of the Gamma X-ST is its portability. This tennis stringer is a table top. So unlike the professional model we recommend, you’ll need a dedicated stringing table to get to work stringing. We use this simple fold up table so that we can dissemble it when not in use.

Limited Cons of the Gamma X-ST

gamma-xst-close-upWhile we do recommend it as the best tennis racquet stringing machine available, the Gamma X-ST does have some limitations. However, the Gamma X-ST comes at a price significantly lower electronic models making it the best tennis stringer for the money. The few features that you don’t get? Primarily, you’re not getting an electronic stringing machines. These models provide by far the most accuracy and ease of stringing. With the Gamma X-ST you’ll spend a bit more time stringing your racquet (around 45 minutes), where as with a professional stringing machine, you could get that time down to under 15 minutes if you’re a true expert.

Expert Tip: Wrap your clamps in some electrical tape before you get started. The clamps can break down over time and this will lengthen their life span.

Gamma X-ST Buying Advice

Be careful, there are four options for this stringer on this amazon page. All are great, but the most expensive one is our recommendation. The other three are drop weight. Look farther down the page for more information on drop weight stringers. The X-ST, the most expensive model, is the crank, and this is the one you want. You can string rackets twice as fast and more importantly, with much more tension precision. For advanced players or stringers selling their services, this is a must.

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Best Cheap Tennis Stringing Machine: Klippermate Racket Stringing Machine

klippermate-best-budget-stringing-machineThe Klippermate Racquet Stringing Machine is cheap, effective, high quality, tennis stringing machine. This is an ideal stringing machine for beginners. If you’re not sure if you really want to dedicate yourself to becoming an expert racquet stringer, then consider buying this cheaper machine. If you’re ready to dive head first, then consider one of the more expensive models.

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Speed of Racquet Stringing

Compared to the other models on this list however, you just won’t be able to string racquets all that fast. Even if you’re an expert, expect to spend upwards of 45 minutes on stringing a racquet with the Klippermate. As with any drop weight stringing machine, the accuracy and consistency of your tension will not be as good as with a spin winder or electronic stringing machine.

Portability

klippermate-stringing-machineSimilar to the Gamma X-ST and most other cheaper stringers, this model is a table top. While this does require a spot to put the stringing machine, it also makes the model a bit more portable than a stand alone model. Sometimes, I bring my stringer with me to tournaments. If you think you may also do that, a smaller best tennis stringing machine like the Klippermate may suit you.

If you’re looking for a slight upgrade, check out the Klippermate website where a stand is available. Unfortunately, the stand costs about as much as the stringer does!

Con: Low Number of Points of Contact

One additional thing to keep in mind when purchasing the Klippermate is the number of points of contact. While some of the other higher quality models offer 6 points of contact between the stringer and the racquet, the Klippermate offers only 2 points of contact. While this isn’t a huge deal, it  can sometimes, on cheaper racquets, cause the racquet frame to twist a bit while stringing.

Conclusion: Best Tennis Stringing Machine for Beginners

Overall, we recommend the Klippermate tennis stringing machine as the best tennis stringing machine for beginners. This versatile machine will allow you to string up your sticks for a variety for a variety of racquet sports including badminton, squash and racquetball.

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Best Professional Stringing Machine: Gamma 6900 ELS

best-professional-stringing-machineThe Gamma 6900 is an absolute beast. If money is no issue, Tennis Club Supplies rates the the best tennis stringing machine available. It is fast, sleek, reliable, highly accurate, and fun to use. But whatever you do, don’t make this your first stringer! You can spend about 1/20th the amount and still get something that work. Try something cheaper before you dive into the world of racquet stringing!

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2 vs. 6 Points of Contact

If you’re already going to spend this much on a stringing machine, do yourself a favor and get the 6 contact point model. The additional contact points will make you quicker and furthermore, will help prevent racquet flexing when you string up your sticks. While it does cost a bit more for these additional points of contact, when people see you stringing their racquet, they’ll be glad to see that you’re using a safe machine that prevents racquet flexing.

Electronic Wonder

The control panel on the Gamma 6900 ELS is amazing. It puts all of the advanced features and settings of this model right at your fingertips. To be honest, I’m not an advanced enough stringer to know what they all do! Some of your different settings include speed, lb vs. kgs, calibration, and string meter operation. Don’t even think about getting a string tension meter with this machine. You won’t need it!

Included Perks

gamma-6900-in-useThe Gamma 6900, as should any top-rated tennis stringer comes standard with a plethora of tools. These tools include the Pathfinder Awl, a Hex wrench set, straight pliers, a cleaning stone, bent pliers, a straight awl, and a custom cover. Everything you need is right in the box. Including, if you chose to buy this stringer when you are a beginner, a USRSA Getting Started Stringing Guide. As a nice bonus, the package also includes 6 free sets of Gamma performance string.

Speaking of speed, another nice feature of the Gamma 6900 is a foot pedal. This means you don’t have to click anything to tighten the racquet string and can just use your foot. Talk about Speedy Gonzalez!

Conclusion on the Gamma 6900 ELS: Best Tennis Stringer for Experts

This machine is not for the faint of heart. It is expensive and in my opinion, not quite worth the money unless you happen to stringing racquets every day. If you are stringing that often, then get this stringer! It’s truly one of the best professional stringing machines available.

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Best Electronic Stringing Machine: Gamma Progression II ELS

best-electronic-stringing-machineOur pick for the best electronic stringing machine, assuming you don’t want to shell out over two grand for the machine noted above, is the Gamma Progression II ELS. This is a solid, reliable, and easy to use stringing machine. We recommend it without reservation (so long as you don’t need it to be super portable).

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Precision

The Gamma Progression II ELS stands out when it comes to precision and consistency. Relative to using a drop weight stringer, you will be blown away at how consistent every pull of an electronic machine is. This stringer will assist you with stringing racquets at the highest levels possible. It is one step more accurate than the spin winder method found in our best all around stringing machine.

Lack of Portability

While smaller table top machines like the Klippermate are technically portable (albeit still heavy) this machine is an absolute beast. I would not recommend planning to take this tennis stringer with you to your tournaments. You’ll throw out your back before you even get on the court! If you’re looking to purchase this stringer and want a stand to go with it, there are stands and covers for this particular model that work perfectly. This is a cheaper way to get a stand alone model than paying for the best professional stringing machine above.

Extras Included

As with most stringers, the Gamma Progression II ELS includes a number of goodies. These extras include a starter pack of 3 free sets of Gamma performance strings, the USRSA Gettings Started Stringing Guide and some included tools. Those tools include straight pliers, a hex wrench set, a straight awl, and the pathfinder awl. This, along with the short list of extras we present at the top of this article, is everything you need to have to begin stringing racquets from Day 1.

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Conclusion on the Best Tennis Stringing Machines

restringing-a-tennis-racquetLearning how to string racquets is a fantastic idea for players looking to take their games to the next level. Stringing up your own stick is an impeccable way to get in touch with the inner workings of your racquet. It can help you feel in tune with your equipment while you’re out on the court! Another great way to start to feel more in tune with your game is to practice your shots in these tennis ball machine drills.

But before you can begin learning how to string racquets, you need to purchase a tennis stringer! Of course, we recommend looking at what we’ve rated in this article as the best tennis racquet stringing machines. We did our best to point out a few different (budget stringers, professional machines, electronic stringers, and the best tennis stringing machine for the money) in hopes of helping you arrive at the right decision for you.

Happy hitting out there and if you’re looking for a tennis racquet to put to use with that new stringer, be sure to check our article on the best tennis racquets of 2018!

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Choosing the Best Tennis Stringing Machine: A Review
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Choosing the Best Tennis Stringing Machine: A Review
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Read more for an in depth look at the best tennis racquet stringing machines available. These racquet stringer reviews provide a guide during your search for a top tennis stringing machine, whether electronic or drop weight, for both beginners and experts. Learn how to string a tennis racquet with one of these!
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Tennis Club Supplies
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