Your main equipment on the tennis court is your racket, so ensuring you have a properly strung one is critical to playing a good game. Elysium Tennis offers convenient, fast, and reliable tennis racket stringing services. However, if you’re more of the ‘do it yourself’ type, it is possible to string a tennis racket on your own.
Some things to consider before you decide if DIY stringing is right for you:
- You will need special tools
*A stringing machine. Cost can range anywhere from $200 to $3000.
*A tabletop (or standalone) stand.
*Mounts: There are two, four, or six-point mounting systems available.
*Clamps: Floating or fixed clamps (with or without swivel).
*Tennis strings: Multiple materials to choose from ranging in price and quality (Natural gut, Synthetic gut, Multi-filament, Nylon, Polyester, Kevlar, Hybrids).
*Tennis racket: For practice!
*Awl: For loosening clogged grommets and tying knots.
*Pliers: Aids in pulling the strings; useful for finishing knots.
*Cutters/clippers: Must be able to cut cleanly through whichever material you procure for stringing.
*Yard stick/ruler (optional): For measuring equal lengths of stringing material.
- Are you an avid tennis enthusiast with frequent court time, or just an occasional player? If you don’t play often, it may be more financially sound to just get your racket restrung as and when it needs it. A frequent player will need to replace strings on a regular basis, so will recoup the cost of the machine by doing it themselves.
- Are you patient? Beginner stringers may take an hour or so to finish the process; however, with time and practice, that can be reduced to roughly thirty minutes.
How to String a Racket
(two-piece method with manual crank for tension setting)
Step ONE: Getting ready
- Measure the string: You will need approximately 40 feet of string per tennis racket.
- Straighten it out: Straighten to remove any unwanted kinks and twists.
- Cut the entire length in half: Half will be used for the mains and half for the crosses. Cut on a diagonal angle to ease threading through grommets later.
- Prepare your racket: A sharp knife works great to cut out and remove the old and broken strings. Check the grommets to see if they need to be replaced. If any appear blocked, you’ll use the awl to loosen them.
- Set your machine’s tension rating: Most players use a string tension of around 50 to 60 pounds.
Step TWO: Mount Your Racket
Secure your racket to the stringing machine. Mounts should be tight enough that the racket will not slip while you work on it, but not so tight that it causes damage to the frame. Do NOT block the grommets.
Step THREE: Determine Your Starting Point
Inspect the racket’s throat, counting how many holes it has. If there are six, you’ll begin at the throat; eight, you’ll begin at the top. Make a mental note of the opposite side and which hole aligns with where you are starting.
Step FOUR: Insert the Main Strings
Thread one of the halved string pieces into your starting hole. Do the same with the opposing hole ensuring you have equal amounts of string on both sides.
Step FIVE: Tension the Main Strings
Clamp one of the main strings at your starting end, as close to the grommet as possible to minimize tension loss. Now pull tension on your other main string. How you pull will depend on the type of machine you have: drop weights, manual crank, electronic crank.
Step SIX: Finish the Main Strings
Do not thread more than three mains at a time, to avoid uneven tension and pressure on your racket frame. Again, clamp as close to the grommet as you can, without blocking it. Be careful of skipping or sharing holes, as well. Insert string in the gripper, pull to desired tension, clamp, and repeat until all mains are done.
Step SEVEN: Tie the Knot
Double check all your clamps are still secure, then insert string ends into nearest hole with space on the outside of the frame. Use your awl if necessary. To tie the knot, bring the length of string down one side of the main string and then up, going through the loop you’ve created. Repeat for a stronger, more durable double knot. Go through and knot all your strings then remove the clamps and trim excess string. Do NOT cut the knots.
Step EIGHT: Time for the Cross Strings
If your machine requires it, reposition the clamps to accommodate the cross strings.
To begin, take the other half of the string you’d reserved for cross stringing and insert the end into one of the shared holes at the top (hole will be larger to indicate sharing). Tie a starting knot, then weave the string over and under the mains until you reach the opposite aligned hole.
Step NINE: Continue the Crosses and Tension
Work all of the string through, being careful to prevent kinks or twists. You can tension as you go, or all at once. If you choose to do it all at once, just leave a little loop on the over/under passes of the racket and clamp to hold.
Step TEN: Finish the Cross Strings
It’s easiest to first weave a cross and then tension the previous one, leaving a loop that can be inserted into the gripper. Insert the string through the correct hole, weave it over and under the mains, thread it into the opposite aligning hole, leave a loop, pull tension on the previous cross, and then clamp it off. Nearing the end you’ll discover less string available, making it harder to tighten. Use pliers to assist if needed.
Step ELEVEN: Tie the Cross String Knots
Revisit Step SEVEN
Step TWELVE: Remove the Racket
Remove clamps and take the racket off the stringing machine. Review your work, ensuring weave is even, unkinked, and that there is no damage to the frame or anywhere else on the racket. When satisfied, trim excess string (again being careful not to cut your knots).
It can be a lot to take in when you read it step by step so here’s a video we found that might make more sense:
If you know how to string a tennis racket and end up stringing your own tennis racket, that’s quite an accomplishment and we’d love to see it! Snap a picture and send it to us! If you have trouble, however, we offer convenient tennis racket stringing services here at Elysium Tennis in Dublin, Ohio.
And don’t forget to check out the tennis rackets available online from our Pro Shop, or stop in to see the ones we have in the store.