This page contains information about the different types of stringing machines and helps you find the right kind if you consider buying one.
Fortunately the variety in stringing machines is not as large as in tennis racquets or strings. Nevertheless there's a stringing machine for every demand and every wallet:
As my pages are mainly aimed at the average tennis player I will from now on concentrate on the standard machines mentioned above.
At first you have to choose between a tabletop or an upright machine (floor model). As the terms imply tabletops are placed onto a table whereas upright models have their own stand and can easily be placed anywhere on the floor. Upright machines have some advantages: you can string standing up (which is in fact more comfortable than sitting down), you have more freedom of movement and stringing is a bit faster. But upright models cost about $200 more than corresponding tabletop machines.
Then you have to distinguish between the different
tensioners. There are drop weight tensioners and spring tensioners.
There are also differences concerning the frame
mounting system - 2-point, 4-point or 6-point mounting systems.
In principle you can say: the more supports the better; but also the
handling plays an important role. The mounting system should be easy to
use, strong and resistant. Considering the enormous stress the frame is
exposed during the stringing process the steady mounting of the racquet
is very important. Also make sure you can mount high-width frames like
Another important feature is the string
clamp system. There are three types of string clamps: starting
clamps, floating clamps and fixed clamps. The latter are the absolutely
best choice. With floating systems you have to fix the string to the frame
using a starting clamp, applying additional pressure on your racquet. The
following fixing of the strings is done using floating clamps which are
needed to fix two strings at a time. On the other hand fixed single action
clamps are much more comfortable. They can be moved on a glide bar alongside
the racquet and can be rotated by 360°. With such a system you're saving
both starting clamp and floating clamp because one fixed clamp is used
as a "starting clamp" and the other one fixes the current string.
There are many stringing machines that match all criteria mentioned above but show large price differences. The main reason for that is the quality of material. Doesn't mean that the most expensive machine is always the best. Beginners should decide on a special offer in the first place. When you want to continue you should already have enough experience and know what matters. Here and there something gets loose, the mounting threads get weak, the clamps misadjust themselves... Watch out for vendor's warranties.
If you're doing the right service on your machine
you can easily increase its lifetime. This includes for example lubricating
movable parts, but keeping other parts oil-free. Also tighten screws as
soon as they get loose.
Many people who are about to buy a stringing machine ask me
which manufacturer is the best and which is the worst. Unfortunately I can't answer these questions,
since I don't have experiences with different models myself.