There’s something extremely satisfying about using a racket you’ve strung yourself. Plus, it’s a great way to make a little extra cash on the side when some of your friends need their rackets strung.
Unfortunately, knowing which tennis stringer to choose and how to use it can be fairly tricky.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together this guide on the best tennis stringing machines, which should hopefully allow you to find the right machine for your budget.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a ton of different options out there, from extremely budget and somewhat basic machines to professional standard machines costing thousands of dollars.
To make things a bit easier, we’ve broken our article down into 3 sections. I’ll quickly break these down for you, and what you can expect from the machines in each section.
- Machines Under $500 – These are going to be the most basic machines. Although they can definitely get the job done, they’re likely to be drop weight machines that aren’t as accurate or as fast as the more expensive options.
- Machines Under $1500 – These are the mid-range tennis stringing machines, likely to be crank machines, much faster, and decently accurate.
- Machines Over $1500 – The price range here can vary from anything around $1500 to over $5000 and are professional standard machines.
Before we dive into the various machines, I’d like to start with a recommendation, which is to go for a mid-range machine. Yes, it will be more expensive than a budget option, but it will save you time and yield much better results. That said, the budget options we’ll list below will certainly get the job done, and to an acceptable standard.
Right, enough chit-chat, let’s get into the tennis stringing machine reviews.
Best Tennis Stringing Machines Under $500
1. Gamma X2 Stringer – Best Cheap Tennis Stringing Machine
Up first we’ve got the Gamma X-2 stringing machine, which is an awesome entry-level machine for people shopping on a budget. The machine itself uses a 2-point mounting system, which admittedly isn’t the best, but is to be expected from a machine at this sort of price.
Again, as you’d expect from a machine costing less than $500, it utilizes a drop weight tensioning mechanism. One thing to be aware of is that you’ll likely lose around 10-15% of the tension when using a drop weight tensioner, however with a bit of practice, you can get used to this.
The machine itself is pretty compact and doesn’t come with a stand, so you’ll need a surface that you can use to do the stringing on.
All in all, this is a super easy-to-use machine, that doesn’t require much setting up and will likely last decades if looked after properly.
- Easy to use
- Extremely durable and well made, can last for decades.
- A 2-point mounting system is not as good as a 6-point mounting system.
- Drop weight tensioner may not be accurate – may need to compensate for the loss in tension.
2. KlipperMate Tennis Racquet Stringer
This is a classic tennis stringing machine that every tennis player and their cousin is familiar with. All jokes aside, this is a great little machine perfect for beginners looking to try their hand in stringing without spending a fortune.
The machine itself comes ready to go out of the box, so you don’t have to waste time setting everything up.
Similar to the X2 Stringer, the KlipperMate uses a 2-mount system, which as I previously mentioned, is the norm at this price range. In terms of the tensioner, KlipperMate uses a counterweight system that does a pretty good job of getting the tension just right.
As you’d expect, the machine comes alongside all the tools you need to get going. All you need is some string and a racket and you’re ready to go.
For the money, you really can’t go wrong with the KlipperMate. The machine has been around since the ’80s and is used on every racket going, so you can rest assured that it’ll handle your rackets just fine.
- Tried and tested – been around for decades
- Easy to use – extremely beginner-friendly
- Small and portable
- Fairly basic design with its 2-point mount and drop weight tensioner
Best Tennis Stringing Machines Under $1500
1. Tourna 300-CS Crank Stringing Machine
Ok, stepping things up a notch now, starting with the Tourna 300-CS Stringing machine. This is a much better machine than the two previous options in every way.
First of all, it uses a crank mechanism to create the string tension, which results in a far more accurate tension in the string. It also allows for the stringing process to be a lot faster, usually taking 15-25 minutes.
Tourna have also used a 6-point mounting system and 2 movable clamps that are adjustable for different types of strings.
You’ll also notice that the machine itself comes with a built-in stand, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on your preference. The stand is adjustable, so you can get it to a height you’re comfortable with.
All in all, this is a top-quality, mid-range machine that’s more than capable of stringing rackets both quickly and effectively.
- Comes with a stand
- Easy to use
- Fast stringing times
- Good quality crank tensioner
- 6-point mounting system – keeps racket securely in place
- Starting to get fairly expensive
- Fairly large – not great if you’ve got limited storage
2. GAMMA X-ST Stringer
Up next we’ve got a great option if you’re looking for a top-quality stand-alone machine. Of course, you can always get a GAMMA stand to go with the X-ST as well, however, that’ll increase the cost by a good bit.
Ok, so what’s so great about the GAMMA X-ST?
Well, first of all, it allows for some seriously accurate string tension. This is thanks to the crank design that allows for the machine to keep the desired string tensions throughout the stringing process. Unlike some of the cheaper options, that’ll do a fantastic job of stringing the racket, without losing 10-15% of the tension throughout the process.
As you expect from a top-tier machine like this, the X-ST uses a 6-point mounting system. This keeps the racket securely in place, without applying too much pressure to the frame of the racket – no one likes a racket to shatter mid stringing.
Another nifty addition is that the racquet stringing machine comes with all the tools needed for the job, such as a pathfinder awl and pliers. Plus, it’s got a built-in tool tray for storage.
All in all, a great tabletop stringing machine that although is rather expensive, is worth every penny.
- Comes with all the tools needed and a place to store them – no more losing your tools!
- Secure 6-point mounting system.
- Specially designed clamps to hold the strings with less clamping pressure.
- Doesn’t come with a built-in stand like some other options at this price.
3. Tourna Progression 602
Moving onto the cheapest option in this section, the Tourna Progression 602. This racket stringer falls somewhere in the middle ground between an entry-level and mid-level machine.
What makes the Profession 602 somewhat high-end is its 6-point mounting system, something usually found in top-end stringers. As well as this, this is one of the best drop weight tennis stringing machines as well, as it’s able to keep a good amount of tension in the strings throughout the process.
As well as this, it comes with all the necessary tools needed for stringing a racket, as well as a nifty built-in tool tray to keep them in.
It doesn’t come completely ready to use out of the box, however, it’s pretty easy to get set up (less than half an hour), and then you’re good to go.
If you’re wanting a machine that’s not entry-level, but don’t want to spend north of a thousand bucks, then this is a fantastic option. That’s not to say you have to be an expert to use this machine, it’s definitely easy enough to use if this is your first machine – it’s just got some nice high-end features built-in.
- Great value for money
- Comes with all the required tools and a place to keep them
- Doesn’t have a floor stand – will need to buy this separately
- Drop weight isn’t the best tension method, but this machine does a good job despite this.
Best Tennis Stringing Machines Over $1500
1. GAMMA XLT Tennis Stringer – Best Electric Stringing Machine
Now we’re moving onto the big guns, but let’s be real here. These cost a lot, especially the GAMMA XLT. If this is your first stringing machine, or you’re just looking to string your racket a few times a year, this is going to be MASSIVELY overkill. That said, these are the best stringing machines around, so let’s take a closer look.
First things first, this is an electric stringing machine, which uses a system far beyond my understanding to string the racket. Undeniably, this results in top quality stringing that is both accurate and extremely fast.
What’s also extremely handy with electric machines such as the GAMMA XLT is programmability. The XLT for example can store 9 pre-made settings, allowing for even faster stringing.
I particularly like the mounting system of the XLT, which uses a 6-point design as well as top-notch diamond-coated clamps to keep tension in the strings.
As with a lot of these high-end stringing machines, the machine uses a constant pull mechanism. This essentially compensates for the stretch of the string, by constantly pulling equal to the strings stretch. This allows for the machine to maintain the correct tension throughout the stringing process.
It’s also worth mentioning that the XLT is also very good at stringing other types of rackets. This is thanks to its long mounting arms and its additional smaller clamps that can be used for other rackets.
Again, you get all the necessary tools of the trade, with a built-in storage box for them. You can also get a stand separately if you wish, as the XLT comes in a tabletop form out of the box.
- Constant pull technology
- Easy to use interface
- Extremely fast stringing times
- Accruate to a T
- Extremely expensive – likely, not ideal for a first machine
2. Tourna 600-ES Constant Pull Stringing Machine
From one beast of a machine to another, this time from Tourna in the form of their 600-ES constant pull machine. As the name suggests, the machine utilizes a constant pull mechanism to maintain consistent tension throughout the process.
First off, the machine comes with a handy adjustable stand. You’ll need to connect the two, and the machine itself is pretty heavy so you’ll probably need another person to help you out.
In terms of features and design, the Tourna comes with everything you need, and probably a few things you don’t need as well. There are 6 different pulling speeds, 4 levels of pre-stretch, tensions can be set from 10-90 pounds, a timer, and an easy-to-use interface.
Of course, the machine utilizes a 6-point mounting system as well as diamond-dusted clamps for the strings. Alongside this, you’ll get a few tools that you’ll need, which can be kept in the built-in compartment.
- Comes with a built-in adjustable stand
- Comes with tools and a tool tray
- Constant pull technology allows for pinpoint accuracy when it comes to tension
- Create your own custom settings
- Insanely expensive – probably not for beginners
3. GAMMA Progression 2 ELS
Last, and by no means least, we’ve got the good old GAMMA Progression 2 ELS. This is the most budget-friendly of the high-end machines on our list, costing a good few hundred dollars less than the previous two we discussed.
If you’re looking for something high-end, but don’t want to spend north of $2000, then this is probably the best electronic stringing machine for you. It’s got constant pull tensioning, 9 custom program slots, pre-stretch options, and an interface that makes using the machine extremely easy.
The clamps themselves are also designed in a way that makes them extremely versatile and can be used on other rackets besides tennis.
The only thing this is missing is a stand, but this can be bought separately, or you could just use a good old tabletop instead.
For me though, the stand-out here is the price. For the quality and amount of features you get with the Progression 2 ELS, I’d be expecting to pay significantly more than this.
- Great value for money
- Comes with a long warranty
- Clamps designed for multiple types of rackets
- Highly efficient stringing process
- Doesn’t come with a stand – has to be bought separately
How to Choose a Tennis Stringing Machine
If you’re new to tennis stringing, the machines can often seem a bit confusing and daunting. That’s, well, because they are.
You can get machines for as little as $200, or as much as $7000, and everywhere in between. With this vast range in prices come a ton of different features and mechanisms that determine how well each machine can string a racket.
With that in mind, we’re going to go over how to choose a tennis stringing machine. This way, you should be able to understand the different types of machines and their ability to string a racket accurately and to what standard.
Table Top vs Standing Machine
The first major difference you’re going to notice is whether or not a machine requires an elevated surface or comes with a built-in stand. Each one has its pros and cons which we’ll discuss below.
These tend to be cheaper than standing machines, however, you’ll need to have an elevated surface that you can put the machine on.
I would suggest going for a tabletop machine if you’re looking to save money where possible, and have an appropriate surface in your home that you can use to do your stringing.
They also tend to be easier to store, given that they take up a lot less room, making them ideal if you’ve got a limited amount of storage room at home.
Standing tennis stringing machines tend to have a more professional feel to them and can often be adjusted to a height that you like. They do cost more, however, it’s down to personal preference whether or not the additional cost is worth it.
What is a Mounting System?
A mounting system holds and supports the racket as you’re increasing the tension. When you pull either a main or cross string, you’ll notice that the racket bends slightly. If this bend becomes too extreme the racket can actually shatter.
Quick Safety Note: Check the racket for cracks before stringing.
2-Point Vs. 6-Point Mounting System
When it comes to mounting systems, you’ll come across 2 options – 2-point mounting or a 6-point mounting system.
The best tennis racket stringing machines use 6-point mounting systems. This is because 2-point systems offer less support to the racket, meaning that it’s more likely to break. Not only does this then ruin the racket, but can be dangerous.
All in all, if you’ve got the budget, go for a 6-point system if possible.
When it comes to choosing a tennis stringing machine, the type of tensioner the machine uses is debatably the most important aspect to consider. The tensioner, as you likely guessed, is what determines the tension of the racket.
Considering that string tension is one of, if not the most important feeling for a tennis player when striking the ball, choosing the right one is important. So, let’s take a look at the various types of tensioners and what you can expect from them.
First up is drop weight, which relies on gravity to hold the tension as you’re clamping. A drop weight stringing machine tends to be the cheapest, however takes the longest (usually around 40-minutes per racket) and can be less accurate.
That’s not to say you can’t do a good string job with a drop weight machine, it’s just going to be harder to get right. But if you’re on a budget, they’re still worth going for.
The next step up in terms of both speed and tension accuracy is the crank tensioner. Unfortunately, this means that the price also goes up as well.
A crank tensioner utilizes a spring-loaded mechanism to create the tension, which is done fairly quickly (15-20 minutes per racket) and to do a good degree of accuracy. Although more expensive than drop weight machines, crank machines are usually a lot cheaper than electronic machines.
If you have the budget, I would suggest going with a stringer that uses a crank tensioner, as it strikes a good balance between quality and budget.
Last up we’ve got electric, which is the ultimate type of tensioner used in tennis stringing machines. These use extremely complicated systems to determine the tension and are by far the most expensive types of machines.
What’s more, if one of these breaks, they’re extremely difficult to fix due to the complexity of their design. That said, if you’re looking for a top-quality machine then electric is the way to go – just be prepared to spend A LOT of money.
How to Use a Tennis Stringing Machine
Now you’ve got your machine and are ready to go, how do you actually use it? Well, it’s probably easier to show you as it’s a bit of a process, so we’ve compiled some videos below you can watch.
How to Use a Manual Crank Machine
How to Use a Drop Weight Machine
How to Use Electric Stringing Machines
How often should I string my racket?
Generally speaking, you should string your racket as many times per year, that you play per week. Meaning, if you play twice a week, stringing your racket twice a year should be fine.
Can I string other rackets with these machines?
You sure can! These machines can be used for all sorts of rackets.
Does the String Pattern Matter?
These machines can string any string pattern. The pattern itself is determined by the racket, so make sure you’re picking a racket with a pattern you’re happy with. We’ve got a full guide on string patterns if you need a bit more information.
Doest Tennis String Gauge Matter?
No, the gauge of the tennis string won’t matter.
Do I Need to Use a Starting Clamp?
While starting clamps aren’t required to string a racket, they do make the process a lot easier. Plus, they’re pretty cheap as well so they’re well worth the investment. We’ve got a full list of the best starting clamps that discusses some great options if you’d like to give that a read.
A tennis racket stringer is only as good as the person using the machine. With that in mind, make sure you take the time to learn the ropes and get the most out of your new machine.
With all that said, hopefully, you’ve found the best tennis stringing machine for your budget and preferences.
If you’ve got any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below.