There’s a saying we use around here that I’m fairly certain originated at TW, and it’s, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Profound. You’ve probably never heard of it.
That saying basically sums up our feelings on the Prince NEOS 1000. This stringing machine has been around for more than 15 years, and it’s the only machine we use at Tennis Warehouse. It’s tried and true. It’s an oldie but goodie.
Nowadays, it can be overwhelming with so many different options and price ranges to choose from: starting from a couple hundred dollar drop weight to a machine that costs nearly $4,000 in the Prince 6000. Machines have come and gone, but yet, we stay committed to the NEOS 1000. And here’s why.
– Durability. There are no power cords, computers, motors or thing-a-mabobs on this machine that’ll easily break down. The entire machine is almost entirely constructed from metal and aluminum.
– Maintenance. Keeping these machines in tip-top stringing shape doesn’t take much work. If the few moving parts do break and need to be changed out, they are cheap to buy and easy to replace. Besides tuning the tensioner after 14-18 string jobs, the only other regular maintenance would be a terry cloth and rubbing alcohol.
– Consistency. Whether you’re stringing for yourself or stringing for the best tennis customers in the world (yeah, that’s you, and, yes, I’m pandering), the results needs to be consistent. And that’s what this machine delivers.
– Ease of use. The actual stringing may take you hours to master, but mounting of the racquet and set up is easy. There’s two clamps, a lock bar and the tensioner. Can’t get much easier than that.
Sure, this machine might not be for everyone. I’ll admit to that. It might be too expensive or maybe you really want a constant pull machine with all the bells and whistles. But know that with the Prince NEOS 1000 you’ll get a solid, reliable stringing machine that’ll last for years.
And if you still don’t know which machine you want, check out this comparison chart.
Have you ever thought about cutting out the middleman? The middleman who keeps charging you money every time you need to get your racquet re-strung. Yeah, that guy. Or have you even thought about being the middleman? Saving some money while possibly making a little extra cash, dough, cheddar, scrilla, moolah, dinero, loot on the side.
Well, either way, you’re going to need one key piece of equipment. No, I’m not talking about your hands, although you will need those too. I’m talking, of course, about the stringing machine. With so many varieties, how can you decide? That’s where my blog and I come into play.
Stringing machines can generally be broken down into three basic categories: drop weight, crank and electronic. Therefore we can break the stringer (that’d be you) into those three categories as well.
Positives: Compact, easy to store, price
Negatives: Harder to use, slower to string
Types: Gamma Progression II 602
The drop weight stringing machine is perfect for casual tennis players who want to start string their own racquets. These tennis players aren’t constantly breaking strings or changing their string setups. The drop weight machine is even great for stringing friends’ racquets every now and then.
Floor Stand Crank
Positives: Ease of use, speedy stringing
Types: Prince NEOS 1500, Prince NEOS 1000, Gamma 6004, Gamma 5003
The happy medium of the three stringing machine types, this is ideal for the constant string breaker or team stringer. This is also perfect for the home business stringer. Stand up crank machines can crank out (pun intended) the fastest string jobs. They are typically very easy to maintain and are consistently accurate. We at Tennis Warehouse only use the Prince NEOS 1000 machine and it has worked out superbly for us. With the Wise Tension Head, you can even turn your manual crank into an electronic constant pull machine.
Positives: Super accurate, pre-stretching capabilities, wow factor
Negatives: Price, heavy, need power source
Types: Prince 6000, Prince 5000, Gamma 8800, Gamma 5800, Gamma 6900
The crème de la crème of stringing machines. Professional stringers, owners of stringing/tennis shops or P.Diddy, are the demographics for this type of machine. They are expensive! But for a reason; they pull tension closer to the actual tension than any other machine. They are fully loaded and made with the highest quality material the companies offer. I think they might even come with Air Conditioning and anti-lock brakes. Point being, unless you’re serious about stringing racquets or have money to burn, this type of machine isn’t for you.
Once you narrow down your choice to what type, the hard part begins. What brand? Which model? I can’t help you there. But our Talk Tennis message board and customer feedback section for each machine has tons of feedback from people who’ve actually used the machines. Google is your friend. Remember, whatever machine you end up with, all that matters is that you have cut out the middleman.