If you are thinking of buying a tennis stringing machine or you already have one, then there are two accessories you should consider adding. They are a tennis string tension calibrator and string tension tester. These two items will help ensure that you string your racquet properly. They both sound the same, so you might ask what is the difference between the two? Let's get to it.
String Tension Calibrator
Both the tennis string tension calibrator and the string tension tester are similar. Still, the main difference is that the string tension calibrator measures the string tension that the tennis stringing machine creates.
Why is calibrating important?
It is important because if you set your tennis stringing machine tension meter at 50 lbs but your string tension calibrator shows 55 lbs, then you know that the tennis stringing machine is not properly calibrated. If both the tennis stringing machine and tension calibrator match 50 lbs, then you know that it is calibrated and ready to restring your tennis racquet.
How to Use a Tension Calibrator
- First, start by setting the tension meter on the tennis stringing machine to 50 lbs. You can set it at different levels if you wish.
- Take your tension calibrator. Place two pieces of tennis strings on each side of the tension calibrator.
- Set your clamp as if you were doing your crosses, not your mains
- Take the tennis calibrator and place one side of the tennis string set into the clamp
- Take the other side of the tennis calibrator tennis string and place it in the tension head
- Pull tension until the break stop pops out (each stringer machine will have a different method)
- Check the tension calibrator and record the tension weight. If it is at 50 lbs, then you know the tennis stringing machine is properly calibrated
How often should you calibrate your tennis stringing machine?
It is recommended that you use a tension calibrator before every use. If you use your tennis stringer once a year or every day, we recommend that you calibrate your machine. If you own a tennis pro shop and you restring 20 racquets a day, we still recommend that you test it once a day, ideally, before you start restringing tennis racquets.
What tension calibrator should you purchase?
There are different types of tension calibrators out there. There are industrial tension calibrators; you could even use a scale if it had a way to connect the tennis strings, and there are tennis calibrators. Suppose you don't want to mess around with something like that, then we recommend the three different options for you:
1. Klau Portable Heavy Duty Crane Scale
The Klau Portable Heavy Duty Crane Scale similar to the Visiontechshop scale but more affordable. The scale has a large LCD screen with backlight that is easy to read. It has a capability of 0.4 lb and 0.2 with the Max.cap.500 kg/1000 lb. More than what you will need for a tennis racquet but the quality is exceptional.
It is easy to change between KG or LB units. All you need to do is hold the unit conversion functions for two seconds. You can also use this scale to measure the weight of parcels, fish, luggage and more.
2. VisionTechShop Digital Crane Scale
This is a mini industrial scale that is of high quality. It has a digital scale that has the ability to measure up to 0.1 of a pound or 0.2 of kilogram. This scale is not necessarily designed for calibrating a tennis stringing machine but that doesn’t matter. You can easily use this for calibrating your tennis stringing machine. The tennis strings are easy to connect to. It also has an easy to read hanging scale touch key LCD Display.
3. Gamma Tennis String Tension Calibrator
Gamma makes their own tennis stringing machines such as the Gamma X-2, so you know you can trust them when they make their own calibrator. It's easy to use and weighs less than six ounces. The only thing that we believe can be approved is how easy it is to ready the tension because it doesn't have a digital scale. If you are trying to read a tension, let's say 53 lbs, then you really have to look closely, and you are probably guessing between 52-54 lbs.
The Gamma Tension Calibrator is currently out of stock.
Why should you consider purchasing a tension tester?
A string tension tester is nice to check the tension of your newly restrung racquet, or after a few uses, you can check to see how the strings are holding up. Especially, if you buy a top end tennis racquet. However, keep in mind we recommend using the tension tester as a broad tester because we feel that the technology is not there yet to be trustworthy. If you are a beginner tennis player at restringing a racquet, then this is a nice to have accessory. It will help identify if you are within range of your desired string tension.
One easy to use string tension tester is the Tourna String Meter String Tension Tester. It's affordable and easy to use.