Updated: October 12, 2015

Tennis Stringing Machine Reviews:

If you play tennis a lot, then odds are you are having to get your racquet strung every few months, maybe more often. I used to play quite a bit and would have to get my racquets strung every month, although I did use the more durable Prince Pro Blend string. I had friends that played on the Satellite and Challenger circuits for the tennis tour and they were stringing racquets almost every other day. If you are using natural gut then your stringing budget needs to be pretty high since those types of strings are very expensive. Most players go with synthetic gut since it's cheaper and should last just fine for beginner and intermediate tennis players. The most expensive part of playing tennis can be having to buy string and get your racquet strung. Racquets go for about $120 to $180 while stringing your racquet every month could cost you $300+/year. I don't want to worry you, most beginners and intermediate players don't even break strings (maybe once a year), but as you get better and hit more spins, your strings will start to wear and restringing is essential to keeping your game on track. I knew several local players that bought stringing machines to try and cut down on the costs of constantly having to get racquets restrung. Which tennis stringing machines are the best? What do they cost?
stringing machines

When looking into stringing machines, keep in mind there are 2 model types - tabletop and upright. The upright stringing machines are floor models that have a stand and can be setup almost anywhere. The tabletop racquet stringers need to be placed on a table or desktop. Tabletop models are cheaper, but for an extra $200 the upright machines allow you to string your racquets standing up and the process tends to be quicker. The standard machines (tabletop and upright) have either drop weight or spring tension head and cost between $400 and $1000. The difference between the drop weight and spring tensioners is small, as both are fairly accurate. Some reviews of these machines say you need to be more precise with a drop weight machine and there is less room for error. A drop weight machine has a rod with a weight on the end that is movable. As you move the weight towards the end, the tennis string is tightened and therefore you can adjust the string tension based on the placement of the weight on the rod. Spring tensioner machines are slightly different and with them you need to use a screw to get the proper weight and turn a crank to get your proper tension. Both types of tensioners string at about the same speed. Frame mounting systems vary from machine to machine but most offer 2 point, 4 point and 6 point systems. Six point mounting systems are ideal for support, but consider things like strength, resistance, and ease of use as well. If you plan on stringing the wider frame racquets, make sure your frame mounting system supports that type. The string clamp system is another feature to look into on the stringer you want to purchase. The 3 types are starting, floating and fixed clamps. Experts say the fixed clamps are the best for accurate stringing and ease of use for the stringer. Stringing machines do vary in price by $100's for what appears to be the same machine, quality plays an important role in determining price. Some machines come with longer warranties while others expect you to fix them from day one. The tension on the parts of a stringer can wear them out over time if you are stringing quite a few racquets each week. For professional stringers, there are electronic machines that are as precise and accurate as you can get, although you will pay a hefty premium for most of them. Prices range from $900 to $3000 and the machines are really made for those doing high volumes of racquet stringings like pro shops and tournament sites. The top makers of tennis racquet stringing machines are Gamma, Eagnas, ATS, Klippermate, Alpha, Mutual Power, Silent Partner, Babolat, Prince, and Ektelon. We have also included many of the manufacturer websites in the reviews down below. In terms of finding reviews on certain machines, there is no site better than Stringforum.net which offers up expert reviews on all the latest stringing machines from all manufacturers. You can browse the top selling stringing machines here.

Drop Weight Stringing Machines:

Drop weight machines range in price from around $90 up to $800. You can imagine all the models in between. The Klippermate ($135) is a very popular model - it's a table top drop weight tensioner with floating clamps and a 2 point mounting system. Owners say the system is easy to setup and stringing is not overly difficult, but the time involved is more than the manufacturer says. Most reviews we looked at pointed at times of 1.5 to 2 hours while Klippermate says you can string racquets in 30 minutes. Klippermate.com does give a lifetime warranty on their product which is commendable and the price is very affordable. The one drawback that we heard more often than not is that the tensioning arm is hard to get horizontal each time so string tension is not as accurate as you would like. The Gamma X-2 Stringing Machine ($135) sells at stores like Midwest Sports and is very similar in design and style to the Klippermate above. We found several reviews of owners that have used both stringers and they all agree the Gamma stringer is more stable and solid for roughly the same price. If you are looking to string more often and want a high quality drop weight machine, consider the Laserfibre MS200 TT Eco ($600). One big advantage to this stringer is it's ability to speed up the stringing process. You don't need the tension arm to be perfectly horizontal to get the required tension saving you valuable time. It will cost you about $450 more than the Gamma model mentioned above, but with time saved per stringing, it should pay you back in the long run. Quality construction and a 10 year warranty to boot.

Spring Tension Stringing Machines:

The Eagnas Flex 940 ($400) is a top selling upright, crank tensioner stringing machine with a 6 point mounting system and 2 swivel clamps. Eagnas machines are definitely less expensive than the competition (Mutual Power Titan 6700 is $600) but some owner reviews say when things go wrong the customer service is lacking at Eagnas.com. For those on a budget the Flex 940 does a good job. For a little more mone you can get the Gamma Progression ST II ($650) which comes in with high praise from owners. The table top machine features a manual spring tension winder, 6 point quick mount system, swivel clamps, 360 degree turntable rotation, and a 5 year limited warranty. There is an optional floor stand if you so desire. For quality construction and design, get the Gamma products.

Electronic Machines:

There are inexpensive electronic stringing machines like the Silent Partner e.Stringer for around $300, but we found the mix range models like the Mutual Power Hercules 880 ($580) to get the best reviews. The upright machine with electronic tensioner and 6 point mounting system with 2 fixed clamps strings racquets easily and proficiently. The 5 year warranty is solid with a 1 year on the electronic tension unit (part most likely to fail though). Mutual Power gets good reviews on their customer service, although the maual is noted as not being very helpful if you have never strung a racquet before. We read one owners comments that he went to the Silent Partner website to watch their video on stringing to get some pointers. The high end Babolat stringers are $2000+ and meant for professional shops doing dozens of stringings per day. RECOMMENDED - See the complete list of all the most popular tennis racket stringing machines here.

How Often Should I Restring my tennis racquets?:

Restring as necessary is what I advise. String tension naturally loosens up over time, so even if you haven't gotten your racquet strung in a year or so and don't play that often, it's not a bad idea to put fresh strings on it. Places like GolfSmith charges about $30 (string and labor included) for a stringing so that is pretty fair. If you only own 1 racquet then make sure your string is in great shape if you plan on entering any tournaments. No sense in having your racquet strings break and be out of luck. Some strings start to "fray" and give you an idea of when it's time to get a new string job. I have found that those that string their racquets at a higher tension tend to need restringings more often as well as those that hit with more spins.