Choosing the Right Strings for Your Tennis Racket: A Comprehensive Guide - Exposed Magazine (2023)

Nick Hallam

Tennis players know that the right racket can make all the difference in how they perform on the court. But what about the strings? Choosing the right strings for your tennis racket is just as important as choosing the right racket itself. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are best for you. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate through all of your options and find the perfect set of strings to improve your game and bring out your full potential on the court. So let’s get started!

What is a Tennis Racket?

A tennis racket is a tool used by tennis players to hit the ball. It consists of a frame with strings attached to it. The strings are usually made of nylon, gut, or Kevlar. The frame is typically made of aluminum, graphite, or composite materials. Tennis rackets come in different sizes and weights. They also have different shapes and string patterns.

Why are Strings Important for a Tennis Racket?

(Video) Response to my Ultimate Tennis String Guide Video

Strings are an important part of a tennis racket because they provide the main source of power and control for the player. The right strings can make a big difference in a player’s game, and it is important to choose the right ones for your racket. There are many different types of strings available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to experiment with different types of strings to find the ones that work best for you.

Different Types of Strings and How They Affect Performance

There are many different types of strings available on the market, and each has its unique properties that can affect your game. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular types of strings and how they can impact your performance on the court.

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing strings is the gauge or thickness. The thicker the string, the more durable it will be, but it will also have less give and may be more difficult to control. Thinner strings are typically more responsive and offer a better ball feel, but they may not last as long as thicker strings. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what type of string gauge works best for your game.

Another important consideration is string tension. Strings that are too loose will cause the ball to bounce off erratically, while those that are too tight will make it difficult to generate power. You’ll need to experiment with different tension levels to find what works best for you. Just remember that you’ll need to adjust your racket’s tension frequently if you switch between different types of strings.

The material of the string is also important. Natural gut strings are made from animal intestines and offer excellent durability and ball feel. They’re also quite expensive, however. Synthetic gut strings are a cheaper alternative that still performs well, though they don’t usually last as long as natural gut strings. Polyester strings are another popular option, especially among competitive players. They

Choosing the Right String Tension

(Video) Best Tennis Strings for Control (options for every level player: comfort, value, etc.) ⭐︎

If you’re a tennis player, then you know that choosing the right string tension for your racket is important. The wrong tension can lead to less power and control, while the right tension can help you play your best game. So how do you choose the right string tension?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right string tension for your racket. First, think about your playing style. Are you an aggressive player who likes to hit the ball hard? Or are you a more conservative player who prefers accuracy over power? Your playing style will dictate what string tension is right for you.

Next, consider the type of racket you’re using. Is it a power racket or a control racket? Power rackets are typically strung at lower tensions, while control rackets are usually strung at higher tensions. If you’re not sure which type of racket you have, check with the manufacturer or a professional stringer.

Finally, think about the type of strings you’re using. Different types of strings (e.g., synthetic gut, multifilament, etc.) require different tensions to perform their best. Again, consult with a professional if you’re unsure which type of string is best for your racket and playing style.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, it’s time to decide on string tension. A good rule of thumb is to start in the middle range and then adjust up or down based on your individual needs. For example

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Set of Strings

  1. Know your string type. There are three main types of tennis strings: natural gut, synthetic gut, and multifilament. Natural gut is made from cow intestine and is the most expensive and fragile string type. The synthetic gut is made from nylon or polyester and is less expensive than natural gut but more durable. Multifilament is a newer string type that combines features of both natural gut and synthetic gut strings.
  1. Consider your playing style. Different playing styles require different types of strings. For example, players who hit with lots of spins might prefer a multifilament string that provides more grip on the ball. Players who hit with more power might prefer a synthetic gut string that provides more control.
  1. Think about tension. The tension of your strings can affect both playability and durability. Higher tensions result in more control but can decrease comfort and increase the risk of injury. Lower tensions result in more power but can make the sweet spot harder to find and decrease durability.
  1. Choose the right gauge. The gauge, or thickness, of your strings, affects both playability and durability. Thicker strings (higher gauges) last longer but are less comfortable and have a smaller sweet spot. thinner strings (lower gauges) provide more power and spin but break more easily

Maintenance and Care for Your Strings

(Video) PODCAST String Debate: What’s the best tension for your tennis racquet? Benefits of low tensions!

If you have spent any time looking for tennis strings, you will know that there are many different types and brands available on the market. It can be difficult to know which type of string is best for your racket, and even more difficult to find the right brand. This guide will help you understand the different types of tennis strings available, and how to choose the right type and brand for your racket.

The first thing to consider when choosing tennis strings is the material they are made from. The three most common materials are natural gut, synthetic gut, and multifilament. Natural gut is made from cows’ intestines and is considered the best type of string for tennis rackets. However, it is also the most expensive and can be difficult to find. The synthetic gut is made from nylon or other synthetic materials and is a good alternative to the natural gut if you are on a budget. Multifilament strings are made from multiple strands of material twisted together and are designed to mimic the feel of natural gut strings.

The next thing to consider is the gauge of the string. The gauge is the thickness of the string and is measured in millimeters (mm). The most common gauges for tennis rackets are 16g (1.30mm), 17g (1.25mm), 18g (1.20mm), 19g (1.15mm), 20g (1.10mm), 21g (1.05mm),


Now that you know the importance of strings in your tennis racket and how to choose the right ones, it’s time to make sure you have an optimal set-up. Remember to evaluate your playing style, understand tension patterns, and find a string that fits your budget. With this guide and some practice, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect strings for any situation!


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How do I choose a string category for my tennis racket? ›

Tennis strings are made of natural gut, nylon (multifilament), or polyester (monofilament). Natural gut and nylon strings are best for beginner to intermediate players due to their power and comfort properties, while polyester is best for advanced players due to its stiffer, control-oriented properties.

How do you select the string on a racquet? ›

Typically, players who generate their own power will string with a higher tension and vice versa for a beginner. If you don't know what tension to string with, we recommend you choose the the middle tension and then you can make adjustments from there.

What is the difference between 16 and 17 gauge tennis strings? ›

As an example, 16 gauge string has a diameter in the range 1.26-1.34mm, whereas 17 gauge will be in the range 1.16-1.24mm. As a result, 16 gauge string will be more durable, whereas 17 gauge will offer more feel.

How many feet of string do I need for a tennis racquet? ›

Measure out the string: You'll need about 40 feet of string for a tennis racquet, which most string packages come with. But if you are getting string from a reel (which is more cost-efficient), measure out ~40 feet and clip it at a diagonal angle (helps later to put strings through the grommets).

What are string category tennis? ›

Modern tennis strings fall under 5 main categories: synthetic gut, multi-filament, natural gut, polyester and hybrid.

How do I know what tension to get my racket restrung? ›

Typical tensions range from around 40-65lbs, but most players' tensions fall well within that range of extremes! Generally speaking, professional stringers tend to advise players to string their rackets as low as possible whilst still being able to maintain control of the ball.

What should I string my racquet at tension? ›

When it comes to the actual tension, most manufacturers recommend stringing elastic materials like nylon or natural gut around 50-60 lbs. If using a stiffer string like polyester, drop the tension to avoid arm injuries.

What string gauge do pros use? ›

010 gauge is the most commonly-used string gauge set. However, you again need to consider the source; Does the player favor a Stratocaster or Les Paul-style of guitar? This makes a big difference because the LP's shorter scale-length will make the .

Are thinner strings more powerful? ›

Thinner, high gauge strings tend to produce more power and more spin, but break a lot quicker than thicker, low gauge strings…

What is the difference between 16x19 and 18x20 string pattern blade? ›

Difference Between 16×19 and 18×20 String Pattern

In simple terms, an 18×20 string pattern contains an extra main string on each side of the racket head, and one extra cross string, in comparison to a 16×19 pattern. The 18×20 pattern is therefore described as more 'dense', as the strings are closer together.

Do you start tennis stringing from top or bottom? ›

If your racket has six holes at the throat, you can start pulling the strings through from the bottom side of the head. If there are eight holes, you should pull the strings through from the top of the head.

How many hours should tennis strings last? ›

Before you get back on the court, you should replace your strings. If you take your game seriously, restring your racket regularly every 10 to 15 hours of play if you use polyester. You can add a couple more hours if you use nylon or multi-fibre string.

How many times can you string a racket with a reel of string? ›

A reel is roughly 10 - 18 sets of string in one continuous roll. It is generally 330 to 720 feet long and can string up to 22 racquets, depending on total length.

Should I use synthetic gut strings? ›

Synthetic guts are usually cheaper in price and offer a good middle ground between natural gut softness and co-polyester firmness. Synthetic Gut strings are often called nylon strings, though the constructions have gotten much more sophisticated by using different materials to enhance playability.

Which is better soft poly or multifilament strings? ›

Multifilament strings offer more comfort and power than solid core synthetic gut strings, but with slightly less durability and tension maintenance. Polyester or Co-polyester has very little power and it is extremely stiff (even the “soft” polys) thus not very arm friendly, but offers great durability and control.

What is a dead string tennis? ›

The longer strings sit around, the more tension will be lost and they become dead over time. This affect is similar to that of a rubber band; as time goes on, it looses its pop and becomes mushy. This dead feeling will promote a lack of feel, especially for experienced players.

How do I know if my thread tension is too high? ›

If the tension is too tight, the fabric can pucker and the bobbin thread may be visible on the top side of the fabric. If the tension is too loose, you may see visible loops on the top side of the fabric and the spool thread might be visible on the underside.

Should I get low tension or high tension racket? ›

Conclusion: Lower tensions are more suited for beginners who do not have good hitting technique and require more power in their game. Conclusion: Higher tensions are more suited for advanced players who have good hitting technique and require more control in their game.

How do you know if string tension is too high? ›

Another note that we want to point out is when a string tension is too high for you, it will normally cause vibration to your hand and arm, just like what an over-stiff racket will do to you, especially when you miss the sweet spot. Over the time, this will cause injury to your hand and arm.

How should I get my racquet strung? ›

Thread the string through two holes at one end and then through two at the other end, so from the throat to the head. Once you've done that, hold the two ends together so you know it's even on either side. Put both strings into the tension head so you can place the clamp where it needs to do.

Does higher string tension give more control and spin? ›

Because tighter strings produce less velocity, the ball will land shorter in the court. To make up for this, the player might swing harder generating more spin. In this case, it is not tighter strings that produce more spin, but the player's response to tighter strings.

What does higher tension on a racket do? ›

String tension is also important when it comes to the feel of a racket. Higher tension can make the strings feel stiff, while lower tension can make them feel softer. Players can use this to their advantage, as they can customize their racket to suit their own game.

What does L1 L2 L3 mean on a tennis racket? ›

What is L1, L2, L3 in tennis racket sizes? That just refers to the size of the handle on the racket. The larger the number (L5) the larger the handle on the racket. The smaller the number, of course, the smaller the handle. In general, we recommend ladies should choose grip sizes between L1 and L2.

How do you measure stiffness in tennis strings? ›

Stiffness is measured by how much a string stretches when it is quickly impacted, as in a tennis hit. The more it stretches, the softer it is, and the less it stretches, the stiffer it is (measured in units of how many pounds of force it takes to stretch the string one inch).

Can you measure string tension? ›

To calculate how much tension is on a guitar string: Measure your guitar's scale length in inches. Multiply this length by 2 and multiply the product by the frequency you want to this string to vibrate at. Square this value and multiply it by the unit weight of your guitar string in pounds per inch.

What gauge strings are the easiest to play? ›

As a rule, we recommend you start out playing using light gauge strings. These strings have a bit more forgiveness to them, and will help you break your fingers in slowly while getting used to the feel of them.

What gauge strings are easier to play? ›

In short, light gauge guitar strings are fundamentally easier to play than heavy gauge strings. And so if you are looking to hit big, Albert King style string bends and play with a fast B.B. King style trilling vibrato, then lighter string gauges could make a great choice.

Do all pros use poly strings? ›

Which Pro Tennis Players Use Polys? The vast majority of professional tennis players use polyester tennis strings. In fact, players that don't have become the exception. However, they're frequently in use as part of a hybrid string setup.

What string weight is best? ›

The best string gauge for most electric guitar players is either 9 or 10 gauge, and for acoustic guitars it is 12 gauge. The sets use the high E string as a reference, which is the thinnest string in the set.

Should I get thinner or thicker strings? ›

Thinner strings are easier to bend on an electric guitar, but they tend to sound brighter. Thinner strings are also more susceptible to breaking when playing or tuning. Thicker strings will put more tension on your guitar's neck due to the extra tension needed to bring the thicker material up to pitch.

Is it easier to bend on thinner strings? ›

Thinner strings are easier to bend and thus make electric guitar string bending considerably easier. String gauge is the thickness of a string based on its diameter. The string gauges for guitars range between extra super light and heavy. The heavier the gauge, the thicker the string and vice versa.

What is the advantage of 18 20 string pattern? ›

18 x 20 String Patterns

This pattern means there are 18 mains (vertical) and 20 crosses (horizontal) which gives the player more control and better string durability. This string pattern is denser enabling you to hit more strings on impact which provides a much more stable shot.

Is One Piece or Two Piece stringing better? ›

For any racquet technician, working with two shorter pieces of string is easier than working with one longer piece of string. As mentioned above, the strongest point on a racquet is the yoke. Weaving cross strings toward the yoke ensures the stress is directed toward the stronger part of the frame.

How do I choose the best tennis string? ›

Tennis strings are made of natural gut, nylon (multifilament), or polyester (monofilament). Natural gut and nylon strings are best for beginner to intermediate players due to their power and comfort properties, while polyester is best for advanced players due to its stiffer, control-oriented properties.

How often should you rewrap your tennis racket? ›

There's no rule of thumb, players can usually tell when their overgrip needs to be changed by the look and feel of it. Still, it's probably a good rule to change your overgrip as many times a month as you play in a week. So, if you play twice a week, you'll want to change your overgrip at least twice a month.

How much string do I need for mains and crosses? ›

If your heart is set on experimenting with different tensions for mains and crosses (which is totally fine if that's something you want to do), my advice would be to keep the tension for your mains and crosses within about 3-4 pounds of each other.

How many rackets can you string with 40 ft? ›

That's because 40 feet of string will be enough material to string one racket (not a super oversize head). If you buy a reel of string, you'll have to measure out 40 feet of string for each racket. It's more cost effective to buy string in a reel, but it's a commitment to knowing you really like that string.

Is multifilament better than synthetic gut? ›

Multifilament strings offer more comfort and power than solid core synthetic gut strings, but with slightly less durability and tension maintenance. Polyester or Co-polyester has very little power and it is extremely stiff (even the “soft” polys) thus not very arm friendly, but offers great durability and control.

What is the difference between multifilament and natural gut? ›

Multifilament tennis strings are softer than synthetic gut, but not as soft as natural gut. They offer players a great, more affordable alternative to natural gut. Multifilament tennis strings have similar characteristics: higher tensions for more control and lower tensions for more power.

Is 16x19 better than 18x20? ›

With greater string movement, the 16x19 will generate a naturally higher arc with more spin potential. An 18x20 frame typically produces a flatter shot with a more linear trajectory. It would seem that with deeper reservoirs of power and spin, 16x19 frames would be the slam dunk choice.

What string patterns do the pros use? ›

The most common string patterns

18×20 is the most control-oriented string pattern, mainly targeted towards advanced players. Racquets such as the Prestige Pro 2021, Blade V8, Tecnifibre TF40. 16×20 is a bit more common. Used in racquets like: Yonex VCORE 95, Babolat Pure Aero VS, Toalson Forty-Love.

What tension should I string natural gut at? ›

A good recommended tension for a natural gut or multifilament string would be between 55-62lbs.

Should I use poly or multifilament? ›

Generally speaking, you should pick a polyester string if you're looking for more control in your game, and if you're hitting with spin. If you're looking for power and comfort, a mono/multifilament is the better choice.

What is the closest string to natural gut? ›

Perhaps the closest synthetic string to natural gut are multifilament strings made from high-grade nylon. Multifilament strings are produced by weaving together thousands of microfibers, which results in a string with similar characteristics to natural gut, including excellent playability and a soft feel.

Do pro tennis players use natural gut strings? ›

There are two main reasons why professional tennis players still use natural gut strings: Natural gut holds tension better than any other string. The feel of natural gut strings are yet to be copied into a multifilament string.

What are the pros and cons of multifilament? ›

Multifilament strings were designed to replicate natural gut strings.
Target Player.
Cost Effective
Good Tension Maintenance

What are the pros and cons of multifilament strings? ›

Multifilament strings are softer for your arm and will give you more free power. Those are the benefits, the cons are that you won't get the same durability, spin potential, and control.


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