Stringing machines have always been a popular subject in the tennis world, and I have heard so many times a conversation about whether stringing machines are worth it or not. This inspired me to write this article because I want to help people determine whether stringing machines are worth it for their individual needs.
You should buy a stringing machine if you play a lot of tennis and need to string your racket often. Also, if you have multiple rackets to string and use a service, the costs can get quite high, so buying a machine would save money. Also, you can make money stringing for others, which is worthwhile.
In addition to that, the stringing process is quite fun, at least in my opinion, so if you think you could enjoy it, that’s another reason to get a machine. There can be things when it wouldn’t be worthwhile to get a stringing machine, but more on that later.
- When a stringing machine is worth it
- When a stringing machine isn’t worth it
- Can you string a racket at home?
- How much does it cost to string a racket?
- Why are stringing machines so expensive?
- How to choose a tennis stringing machine?
- What is the best tennis stringing machine?
- Can you make money stringing rackets?
- My Favorite Tennis Equipment
When a stringing machine is worth it
Now, let’s dive deeper into the factors that make stringing machines worth buying.
1. You need to restring often
If you need to restring your racket often, you should get a stringing machine. As a general rule, you should string your racket as many times per year as you play per week. However, if you take tennis more seriously and use polyester strings that don’t hold the tension so well, you probably restring far more often.
Meaning that if you need to restring your racket often, the price you pay from the service can add up to the point that it would be smart to get a stringing machine, even financially. So do some math and see what’s your case.
2. Your string job costs are high
Let’s talk more about the cost. Depending on the stringing provider you use, the average cost of a string job is somewhere near $20. It might be $10 in some areas, and it might be $30 in some.
If your stringing cost is high, then investing in a stringing machine would pay itself back eventually, whether that is quickly or somewhere in the future. For example, if you string your racket 5 times per year and pay $30 per string job, that’s $150 per year just for the labor.
Thus, a Gamma X-2 stringing machine would be financially beneficial in less than 2 years! Throw in a couple of string jobs for a friend with a small cost, and it could be paid itself back within a year!
3. You want to string your own rackets
The stringing process can be enjoyable and even therapeutical for some people. So if you think you would like the stringing process, it is definitely worth it to get a machine of your own.
Depending on the type of the machine and the skill set of the stringer, it takes between 10 minutes and 1 hour to string a machine. So if you want to get a new skill, have the time for it, and would enjoy it, I say go for it!
However, you shouldn’t get a $2000 stringing machine if you haven’t done a string job before because if you don’t like it, that is a significant money loss even if you sell it.
4. You want to make money stringing rackets
Finally, if you know many people who play tennis, are club members, or want to find creative ways to find people that need string jobs, you can make it as a side gig or even a full-time job.
Let’s say that you would charge €15 per string job and could get 10 people to come to you per month. That’s an extra $150 per month, and if you can string a racket in 30 minutes, that’s a decent salary of $30/hour. In addition, if you enjoy the process, it doesn’t feel like work, and you could listen to music and audiobooks while at it to give extra benefits.
Let’s say that you have done string jobs a while and you can produce more high-quality work so that you can charge $20, and you are skilled enough to do a strong job in 20 minutes. That’s $60/hour, and if you can find more clients, like 30 per month. That’s 20 minutes per day, and it would generate an extra $600 per month.
If this is something you would be interested in, I highly advise you to get your own stringing machine. You could start with a cheap model such as the Gamma X-2 that gets the job well done.
When a stringing machine isn’t worth it
Now, there are some instances when a stringing machine wouldn’t be worth it. Let’s learn about those next.
1. You don’t play tennis much
If you are a recreational player or simply don’t play tennis that much, it wouldn’t be beneficial to get a stringing machine because you don’t need to re-string your racket more than a couple of times per year at max.
2. You like convenience
If you aren’t a do it yourself kind of person and like to pay for the job and get things done nice and easy, then a stringing machine isn’t for you because it takes time to do a string job and some learning curves would make you annoyed.
3. You don’t like the stringing process
Finally, if you find the stringing process annoying and too time-consuming, don’t get a stringing machine because if you don’t like doing so, it would be wasted money.
Can you string a racket at home?
Stringing a tennis racket is possible at home. You can use either a drop weight, crank, or an electronic constant pull stringing machine to do so. Drop weight machine is the cheapest option with a manual using experience, whereas an electronic one is the most expensive with the fastest string job time.
If you are stringing rarely or just for yourself, I highly recommend purchasing a drop weight machine because they are by far the least expensive. They take more time to complete the string job, but it’s a great choice if you only use it occasionally.
However, if you do string jobs for other people or even professionally, I recommend getting an electronic stringing machine because of ease of use and really fast string job time. Even tho the price is higher, it will pay itself back.
Anyways, you can find more information about how to choose a tennis racket below.
Recommended drop weight training machine: Gamma Progression Drop Weight Stringing Machine
Recommended electronic stringing machine: Tourna 600-ES Constant Pull Machine
How much does it cost to string a racket?
When buying a string job on your racket, you are paying from work and the strings. On labor, expect to pay around $20, which can be more or less. Depending on your string choice, a set of strings can cost between $5 to $50, so the final price would be between $15 to $75.
Here are some average string set prices for different kinds of strings:
- Synthetic gut strings: $5-$10
- Polyester (monofilament) strings: $10-$20
- Nylon (multifilament) strings: $10-$25
- Hybrid strings: $20-$40
- Natural gut strings: $40-$50
Why are stringing machines so expensive?
In short, tennis machines are so expensive because of the precise design, valuable materials, manufacturing process, logistics, advertising fees, and the brand’s profit margin. Also, whether the stringer is a drop weight, crank, or an electronic constant pull can have a price difference of thousands of dollars.
If you want to understand the subject in-depth, I highly encourage you to read my comprehensive post about it. There are additional gold nuggets of information about stringing machines as well.
How to choose a tennis stringing machine?
There are some things that you must know before selecting a stringing machine for yourself. I’ll walk you through the essentials to avoid making any mistakes that could cost money, time, and energy.
1. Select the right stringing machine type
There are 3 kinds of stringing machines:
- Drop weight: Cheapest, takes the most time to do a string job, least features.
- Crank: Costs between drop weight and electronic, takes a moderate amount of time to do a string job.
- Electronic constant pull: By far the most expensive, quick string job time and many features.
If you are a beginner, don’t play tennis so often, or on a budget, I advise you to get a drop weight racket.
If you don’t need a professional stringing machine but want to do the job faster than with a drop weight, and you have a bit more money to invest, then a crank machine is the right choice for you.
If you want all the features, quickest string job time, have money to spend, and want to do string jobs for other people, then an electronic machine should be your choice.
2. Choose between a tabletop or stand-alone stringing machine
In short, there are stringing machines that go on top of a table and machines that are held up by a stand.
The key differences between a tabletop and a stand-alone stringing machine are that if you want easily a machine that can be easily moved from place to place, you should get a tabletop model even tho they aren’t lightweight but still easier to move than a stand-alone.
For ergonomics, features, and ease of stringing, you should get a stand-alone stringing machine because they are sturdier, come with height adjustments, and can be stored on the floor.
3. Select a clamping system
There are three clamping systems to choose from: fixed clamps that swivel, fixed clamps that don’t swivel, and flying clamps.
Fixed clamps are connected to the machine, whereas flying clamps are not. Fixed clamps offer more tension consistency but often are more expensive than flying clamps.
The difference between swiveling and non-swiveling fixed clamps is that clamps that swivel have the best range of motion, which makes it easier to thread strings. However, claps that don’t swivel have the best stability.
Choose what features you value the most, and finding the right clamps is a piece of cake.
4. Get the right mounting system
There are 2, 4, 5, and 6 mounting systems. This means that the machine has 2-6 mounting points where the racket is secured.
Naturally, 2 point mounting systems are less secure, whereas 6 point mounting systems are by far the most secure. This is also seen in the price, meaning 6 point systems cost the most whereas 2 point systems are the cheapest.
However, machines with fewer mounting points have more room to thread the strings, and the mounting is faster. So think about whether you want great stability (recommended with large rackets) or more room to work with.
With these 4 things in mind, you leave very little room for getting the wrong stringing machine, and your choice will be more likely satisfying.
What is the best tennis stringing machine?
It is impossible to say the best one stringing machine because there are three types of stringing machines: drop weight, crank, and electronic constant pull. This is why I have gathered my top 2 stringing machine recommendations from the drop weight and electronic categories. Let’s start with the drop weight machine.
Best Drop Weight: Gamma Progression Drop Weight Stringing Machine
If you are looking for an affordable stringing machine and don’t mind stringing the old-school way manually (which I personally love), then this machine has your name written all over it. Check out the features that this machine is included.
With this price, these features for a stringing machine are over the moon. What I especially like about this machine is the ease of use. It maintains the tension really well, and the frame is held really securely. I also love the tool tray, which keeps the tools conveniently close and in place. ‘
If you string mainly for yourself and acquaintances from time to time, this machine is the go choice. This machine can easily pay itself back if you do string jobs for other people. However, remember that drop weight machines aren’t as fast as electronic ones.
Best Electronic: Tourna 600-ES Constant Pull Machine
What I love about electronic constant pull machines is the ease of use, using comfortability, and above all, the speed of the string job, and Tourna 600-ES checks all the boxes on that remark. Below are some great features that this stringing machine has.
If you have the funds to invest and intend to string for other people occasionally or even professionally, I highly recommend this stringing machine. With the Tourna 600-ES, you can effortlessly and comfortably string your racket in far less amount of time and with greater string tension precision.
For these perks, the price tag is justified especially if you are about to string for other people, which makes this stringer pay itself back in no time.
You can absolutely make money stringing tennis rackets. In fact, if you have an electronic stringing machine that makes the stringing process drastically faster and more comfortable and live in a popular tennis area, you could do it even full time.
However, you probably need to start it as a side gig because electronic constant pull-stringing machines often cost thousands of dollars, and you should dip your toes to the business before going at it full speed.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
As you have learned, it is quite personal whether a tennis stringing machine is worth it, and it can be overwhelming to decide, especially when stringing machines can be really expensive. However, following the 4 rules on choosing a stringing machine will get you close to the right one you need.
I hope that this article was of use to you and you now know whether you should get a stringing machine and how to find one just for your specific needs.