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Choosing and buying the right equipment can be a nightmare experience for anyone. What appears to be a great bargain can turn out to be a costly disaster that could have so easily been avoided.

Allow us to guide you through this costly maze so that you end up with the right stringing machine for your individual needs. UKRSA Training Courses provide a variety of machines to learn on so that you gain an insight into what type of machine suits you best. These are usually available for sale so that on returning home you can start your stringing business with a machine that you are confident in using.

Drop Weight Table Top machines. These are generally quite inexpensive and as the name suggests, they are placed on a table for use. Many stringers have started out on this type of machine before graduating on to more professional equipment. Although relatively cheap, they are not easier to use and are often used by travelling pros who wish to do their own stringing whilst at tournaments. The string tension setting is determined by the position of an adjustable weight arm and maintaining tensioning accuracy can be difficult.

Another option within the Table-Top category is the Lock-Out variety, in which the string tension is controlled by a spring release system. When the chosen string tension is reached, the spring mechanism "locks out" hence the name. Although this type of machine will be more expensive than the Drop-Weight type, it is regarded as a better buy as the string tension accuracy is much easier to achieve.

The next and most popular category is the Free Standing Lock-Out machine. This has its own stand instead of having to use a table. A new machine of this type can cost up to £1000 depending on where you look. There are many cheap models of this type around and like a cheap watch, they look good to start off and then things begin to go wrong and you will be left with a useless machine. A good machine of this type will last many years and will require minimal maintenance. The UKRSA can now provide selected manual and occasionally electronic stringing machines direct to members. This is especially valuable at training courses where the course member can take away the machine they have become familiar with. Each new machine is assembled out of the box and checked for correct ease of operation and tension calibration before being used.

Electronic machines are at the top end of the market and are the choice of many professional stringers, whether in the home, shop or at tournaments. There are two types, Rotational Pull in which the string is pulled around a rotating drum and Linear Pull, where the string is pulled in a straight line. Linear Pull is the more preferred but also more expensive due to motor and traction engineering arrangement. Electronic machines are not cheap and you can expect to pay up to around £4K for a new machine. Electronic machines are classified as Constant-Pull machines due to the action of the tension head, which continues to pull the string until it is clamped. This action results in a slightly longer pull than the Lock-Out type in which the pulling action stops immediately when the spring tension is reached. As string will always continue to stretch whilst being pulled, the resultant stringbed tension from a Constant-Pull machine will be around 10% higher than the Lock-Out variety. Many Tennis Tournament players will prefer to see an electronic machine in use as they are used to this type of stringing machine and will know what tension to ask for. The Wimbledon Championships will have twelve electronic machines in constant use throughout each day although Monica Seles used to have her rackets strung on a Lock-Out machine at a very high tension of around 92lbs! A crash hat was advisable during the stringing of her rackets, as the requested tension was way past the recommended Tension Range set by the manufacturer!

What is the best machine? The simple answer is the machine that you feel most comfortable with, can afford to buy and which can produce stringing operations to a consistently high standard.

Spare machine/Tools that you wish to sell?
We have many members who are looking for used machines, so send us the details and hopefully a buyer will be found for you. Some members have managed to swap their electronic machine that they no longer needed for a more modest new manual machine and come away with some welcome extra cash. Equipment can be collected. Contact or 07861 380981

" The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping stone in the pathway of the strong" Thomas Carlyle


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