While starting clamps aren’t required to string a tennis racket, they do make life a ton easier.
I know people who have been stringing for years without one, that now love using a starting clamp and never re-string a racket without one.
Plus, they’re extremely affordable and last for ages, so there really is no downside to using one.
So, let’s get to it and take a look at some of the best starting clamps for stringing a tennis racket.
Best Starting Clamp for Tennis Racket Stringing
Gamma Sports Starting Clamp
Up first we have what many call the best starting clamp in the industry. The Gamma Sports starting clamp features a 3 spring design, which allows the clamp to apply a good amount of pressure to the string, preventing any slippage.
When looking to buy a starting clamp, the two most important aspects are the spring and the clamp head. The spring is what applies the pressure to the string, and a bad spring can result in slippage and a loss of tension. Fortunately, the Gamma uses top-quality, rust preventing springs, so the clamp itself will be rocking and rolling for years to come.
The clamp head is diamond coated, making it extremely durable and allows it to maintain a solid grip on the string when you apply tension, whatever the gauge of the string may be.
I also really like the small design of the clamp, as it doesn’t get in the way when doing the stringing.
The only downside is that it’s somewhat expensive for what it is, but the convenience that it offers is definitely worth the price. Plus, Gamma is known to produce the best in the business when it comes to tennis racket stringing,
All in all, if you’re looking to start using a starting clamp on your string jobs, then I couldn’t recommend the Gamma enough.
Babolat Starting Clamp
Up next we’ve got another extremely popular starting clamp, which is probably the most used around the world. The only downside is that it’s the most expensive starting clamp out there, however, if you’re looking for the best in the business, then this is probably it.
In terms of its ability to prevent any slippage when tension is applied, this is slightly better than the Gamma sports. Although it only has two springs, it seems to do a much better job of keeping the string firmly in the clamp head.
Babolat has also used diamond coating in the clamp head, which allows provides a good amount of grip, especially when paired with the heavy-duty springs. Both the head and the clamp handles are pretty large compared to other options, which can get in the way slightly when you’re moving the floating clamps but it isn’t a big deal at all.
Although the most expensive option out there, it is widely used by professionals around the world, and for good reason. If you don’t mind dishing out a few extra bucks, then this is definitely a fantastic option.
Pro’s Pro Starting Clamp
Up next we’ve got a more budget-friendly option that many consider being the best cheap starting clamp. Although cheap it gets the job done and has most of the features you’d look for when looking for a clamp such as this.
For example, it’s got rubberized handles that help with gripping the clamp. 3 good quality springs do a fantastic job at applying pressure to the string, and the clamp itself is a good size and doesn’t get in the way at all when doing the stringing.
The only downside is that the clamp head isn’t diamond-coated/ dusted, however, that isn’t too much of an issue if you place the string as close to the joint as possible. Just be careful if you do this with soft strings. You can always try and clamp a piece of string before you begin stringing the racket to make sure the clamp doesn’t cause any unwanted damage.
All in all, this is essentially a more budget-friendly version of the two clamps we discussed earlier. It certainly gets the job done and allows you to save having to fork out for a more reputable brand.
Pettyia Wide Head Starting Clamp
Moving onto the last option on our list, which is by far the cheapest of the lot. While it may not be the best starting clamp in the world, it offers a great way to use a starting clamp without spending more money than necessary – great for beginners looking to try out using a starting clamp for the first time.
The clamp itself is more than functional, with 3 decent quality springs and a nice wide clamp head. The handles are rubberized, so getting a good grip on the clamp is easy. The clamp itself isn’t diamond coated, so there is a risk of a small amount of slippage when tension is applied to the string.
If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to get the job done, then the Pettyia is definitely worth a try.
How to Choose a Starting Clamp
If you’re having a hard time choosing between the clamps listed above, I’ll quickly break down some of the key features that determine the overall quality of the clamp.
Diamond Coated/ Dusted
Most top-quality brands such as Gamma and Babolat will use diamond dusting or coating on the clamp. While this sounds extremely expensive, it doesn’t add too much to the price. The coating allows the clamp to maintain a stronger hold on the string, which is extremely important when trying to maintain tension.
The springs on a clamp are what allow it to keep constant pressure applied to the string. With poor quality springs, the clamp head may not be able to maintain a solid enough grip on the string. Over time, springs may start to rust and not work as well, so it’s important to find a clamp with springs that are durable and can last a long amount of time.
To be honest, most clamps will have a rubberized grip. While this won’t affect the quality of the string job, it does make life a lot easier when it comes to using the clamp, as your hands won’t slip when you’re using them.
Fortunately, most starting clamps aren’t too expensive – relatively speaking. While this is true, quality does usually coincide with price, with the more expensive options such as the Babolat or Gamma offering the best features and usability, however with a higher price tag.
Starting clamps by design are rather simple though, so cheaper options aren’t out of the question. Just be aware that they may not provide as good a grip on the strings as more expensive options.
The brand of the clamp will also tie in closely with the price. Big names in the stringing world such as Gamma and Babolat will nearly always be the most expensive because they’re well known to make the best tools in the business.
How to Use a Starting Clamp
Well, there we have it.
Starting clamps are insanely useful and make stringing a tennis racket so much more convenient and easier. Hopefully, you’ve been able to find the best starting clamp for your needs and if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to get in touch in the comment section below.
Thanks for stopping by.