How to String a Tennis Racket
You have many advantages if you string your tennis racket yourself. Firstly, you have the possibility to choose your tennis string freely and are not bound to any manufacturer. Since there are many different variations on the market, there are no limits to what you can do. And if you want to try a different string, you can string your racket again in a short time.
If you have an important game or tournament on the weekend and suddenly your string breaks, that’s no problem for you either. You can take matters into your own hands and don’t have to look for a sports shop that is still open at the weekend.
If you regularly re-string your racket, a stringing machine pays for itself quickly and you can save a lot of money in the long run. That’s why we have created this detailed tutorial for you, where you learn how to string your racket step by step.
You will need the following tools and materials to string your racket:
- Stringing machine
- String bed cutter
- Needle-nose pliers
- 40 ft string
The most important tool here is the stringing machine. In the sector of stringing machines there are different models, from manual to electric machines. An overview of all machines and their technologies can be found here. You will also need a string cutter, needle-nose pliers and an awl.
Of course, the new stringing machine should not be missing either. Plan for the stringing about 40 ft of string material. Most tennis strings are sold in single packs. In these packages the string is already cut to 40 ft.
If you have a reel of string, you have to measure the length yourself and then cut the 40 ft piece.
A small tip: Some stringing machines have an integrated length measuring device.
Now you prepare the tennis racket. Here the old strings have to be removed. Now you take the string cutter and cut the strings. Start in the middle of the racket head and then cut circularly outwards. Then you pull the strings out of the racket frame.
Check in the next step if all grommets in the racket frame are intact. This is important because a broken grommet could damage the new string. If a grommet is broken, it is best to replace it. There are replacement kits available for this.
Now clamp your racket into the stringing machine. Many rackets have a mark in the head of the racket to indicate the middle of the head.
Make sure that the frame sits firmly in the machine so that it does not slip when you string it. However, you should also not clamp the frame too tightly, as you could damage the frame by the pressure.
Then adjust the correct string tension on the stringing machine. In the next step you take the string in your hand and make sure that the string is not bent or knotted. This could cause the string to break when being tensioned.
For the main and the cross strings we need two sections of equal size. You measure the string and cut it in the middle so that both sections have a length of about 20 ft. If you have chosen hybrid strings, check which of the two strings is used as the mains and which as the crosses.
Now you start with the stringing of the main string. Pull the string ends through both middle holes of the frame. In General, there are two possibilities. For this, you have to take a look into the heart of the racquet.
If your tennis racket has 6 holes in the throat, pull both ends through the throat first. If your racket has 8 holes, you start at the top of the racket head.
After you have pulled the string ends through the holes in the frame, hold both ends with your fingers and pull the string until it is tensioned. This way both halves of the string are of equal length.
Now you take a clamp and fix the string at the point where you started to pull it in.
Now take the other half of the string and tension it with the machine. The tensioned string is fixed with the second clamp. Always try to place the clamps as close as possible to the racket frame to avoid loss of tension.
When you have fixed the clamp, you can release the tension and take the string out of the tensioning device of the machine.
You then pull the string through the next hole, tension the string and fix it with the clamp. Repeat this process until you have tensioned 4 mains on the right or left half.
Then continue with the other half. With this procedure the frame is loaded equally on both sides. After you have completed one half, switch back to the other half and tension the remaining strings.
Make sure that you have to skip some holes, because they are used for the cross strings. Most tennis rackets have markings (e.g. dots) in the frame to help you find the right holes for the main strings.
You can also check whether the grommets are aligned more horizontally or vertically. The string pattern of the racket also helps you to determine the number of main and cross strings.
To finish the main strings, only the knots are missing. Choose a hole through which you have already pulled a string and where there is still enough space to thread the string end. You can use the awl for support and enlarge the hole if necessary.
After you have pulled the end through the hole, form a loop around the respective main string. Then you put the string end through the loop and pull it in your direction with the pliers.
The knot is finished. Make the same knot at the other end of the string. You can then release the two clamps.
Now it’s time for the cross strings. For this you need the other section of the new string, which you cut in the preparation phase. We recommend that you always pull the cross strings from the racket head to the throat, i.e. from top to bottom. This method is particularly gentle on the frame.
Unlike the main strings, you start with a knot here. First look for a suitable hole of a main string. Pass the end of the cross string through this hole and tie the same knot as in the previous step.
Now pull the other end of the string through the first hole of the cross string. At this point the string is woven across the main strings. So you always pull the cross string alternately over and under the main string.
When pulling through, it is especially important that the cross string remains in motion. Otherwise the main strings could be damaged by friction. To prevent this, simply push the cross string down a little while you are pulling.
Next you pull the second cross. Note the order of weaving here. If the cross string of the previous sheet runs at a point under a main string, the cross string of the following sheet must be pulled through above the main string.
After the second cross is finished, you tension the string of the first cross with the machine. Afterwards you secure the tension with the clamp.
Before tensioning the second cross, you should first pull the string for the third cross. Experience has shown that it is easier to pull in a string where the previous string has not yet been tensioned. When you have tensioned the second cross, you fix it with the clamp. Then pull in the fourth cross and tension the third one.
Continue this procedure for all remaining crosses. To fix the string finally, you need a knot here. You proceed according to the same principle as with the main strings. Find a suitable hole in the frame, put the end of the string through the hole and tie the knot.
Then you can loosen the clamps.
Finally, cut off the excess string at the knots. Use the string bed cutter to cut about 5 mm away from the knots. Check all strings and align shifted strings with the awl to form an even string bed. The last step is to remove the racket from the stringing machine.
You have successfully strung your tennis racket. Now it is ready for the next match.