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04-10-2012, 10:44 PM #1
Badminton Central Guide to Stringing Tools
There is an old Chinese saying, “for a job done well, first sharpen your tools.” to have the proper tools will make the stringing process much more enjoyable. Aside from the stringing machine itself, here is a list of essential tools for badminton stringing. I also recommend a few popular and best of these tools.
A good cutter is the minimal tool that one need to string a badminton racket. If you have nothing else, you still need to cut the string at the end of the string job. The quality of the cut is not important at the tie offs, where it matters is when you cut the string tip when you try to thread a shared hole. a sharp tip often make the difference between success and endless frustration.
Xuron cutters are well known to be one of the best cutter for stringing. The extra hard cutting blades slices through the string and leaves a very sharp clean cut. Lower end Xuron goes for under $10 and goes up to $20 or so for the best of the best.
Plastic Model Side Cutter
Side cutters for plastic modelling are equally sharp. Cost can go from under $10 to over $30 depending on the source. The top of the line Tamiya cutter cuts through strings like a hot knife through butter, the result is even better than Xurons. Unfortunately Tamiya (model 74001 and 74035) comes in a premium and cost even upwards of $20 in Asia and can go up to $30+ on Amazon and ebay.
For budget conscious stringers you can use a Nail Clipper. They do give a clean cut but the action is not as smooth and the shape of the tool is not easy to use when you need to trim that string end hidden below the racket head.
A pair of pliers are used most often for pushing the string through a shared hole, or pulling fibers of it out of a blocked non-shared hole. The perfect pair of pliers for badminton stringing should have a small tip to reach through those tight corners as well as a tight jaw and strong gripping action to push and pull the string, esp trying to fish out the string from just a few fibers.
Most pliers comes in this category. Again one of the most renown is Xuron which has both serrated and non-serrated versions. I like the serrated one for better gripping power. Alternative option is to find a pair of beadmaking pliers. They too have miniature tip and very tight grips.
In my opinion the bent tip pliers is a better alternative. This is the only type i use and the bent tip allows access to the internal of the frame with ease, or go under that side support. Again Xuron or a beadmaking pliers wiorks very well here.
The primary use of an awl in badminton stringing is to open up a shared hole that is blocked by the mains string. The secondary use is to nudge and move a string that blocks a grommet opening. As a result, the badminton awl is designed to be slim with rounded tip to avoid damaging the occupying string.
The best awl that i have used is the Yonex badminton awl that was gifted to me by AK. Unfortunately this awl is hard to find and usually come with some expensive Yonex tool kit.
Alternative great awls are Kimony awl which are quite pricey at $25 each. Kimony awl has both thick and thin, only the thin ones are suitable for badminton.
I also have the Gamma awl which has a huge handle but actually very good for badminton use as the shaft is thin and smooth. The size of the handle tend to get in the way sometimes.
Kimony has a Bent awl that is good for opening a hole from the inside of the frame.
Flying Clamps are essential in a stringing machine that doesn’t have fixed clamps. and can also be useful for machines with fixed clamps to do different styles of stringing as well as for occasional use in place or in addition to the starting clamp.
there are two general types of flying clamps. main factor of differentiation being the width of the jaw. most clamps that comes with flying clamp machines have thinner jaw that is suitable for main strings spacing. while the Yonex flying clamp and also some similar type like the orange MBS clamps have wider spacing suitable for cross.
MBS / Alpha
these are mainly metal clamps that are more weighty and larger. their jaws are thinner for mains spacing. the quality and design of the MBS/Hiqua tends to be better and higher.
Yonex clamps are hybrid metal plastic design. they are compact and lighter than the HiQua clamps and they have spacing suitable for cross. the clamp teeth are smoother. The AEF/MBS clamps have a rougher teeth which should mean they grip better than the Yonex one but extra care is need to make sure they don’t marr the string.
Starting Clamp serves a few different purposes. The main one is to clamp the string outside the frame to temporarily holds the string there, either for starting the cross/main, or to hold a string to free up the fixed clamps. The other use is to use as a string extension, this is useful when the end string become too short and cannot reach the tensioner gripper. A third use is to provide a hold onto the string end when tightening the knot.
The Babolat starting clamp has always been regarded as the best starting clamp around. It has a compact size head as well as a strong hold with just two springs. they tend to be harder to find. Grand Slam Stringer has an alternative one but i have not tried it.
Gamma is the one that i use because it comes with my stringing machine. It works well for me and in general for badminton we don’t need as much holding power as the other sport.
A string mover is essentially a hook with a T-handle at the end. Some place mis-advertise it as a tool to help weaving the cross against the mains, but i believe the true use is to help weave the cross into a hole that is occupied by the main string. Another use is to help pull pre-weaved cross strings.
04-10-2012, 10:45 PM #2
photos will be added later. along with some of AK's goodies.
04-11-2012, 01:56 AM #3
For rackets that use the "new style pattern" (NSP) where you have quite a few strings that overlap grommet holes, you often need to deflect these strings so as to clear a path for a cross string to go through the grommet hole. When using thin strings at high tensions, this can be a difficult job.
A good tool I have found for shifting these strings out of the way with virtually no risk of damaging the string is a blunt needle. I bought a low cost package of five different sized blunt needles as seen here http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coats-Tape...2-6pc/19757975
The smaller sized needles can more easily squeeze in between the frame and the string. But the larger size needles are stronger for prying on the string. In general, you want to use the thinnest needle you can that still has enough strength to deflect the string without bending the needle.
The blunt tips of these needles make them safe to poke in between the frame and the string. Before I found the Walmart package of factory made blunt needles, I made a blunt needle by rounding the point of a regular sharp pointed needle using a file. It ended up working ok, but it took quite a while to obtain what I thought was a safe point to use near string. If you can find a package of ready made blunt needles, I recommend using those over making your own.
04-11-2012, 03:17 AM #4
as promised, these are pics of tools that Alan Kakinami uses in his stringing. many of which he uses for tennis but may also be applicable for badminton. he has been stringing for... decades? so he probably has most of what is needed.
firstly is the comparison between the ES5 Protech (left) and ES5Pro swivel clamps:
next is the Yonex badminton awl. very similar to the one he gave me but this one is engraved old logo, and also a little bit bent from use.
a pair of parallel pliers, great for grabbing strings.
his Babolat starting clamp.
Alan also has a pair of Xuron cutter.
has anyone ever seen this? a Yonex starting clamp?
new logo Yonex awl for tennis and badminton. apparently they are part of a really expensive Yonex stringing tool set.
Yonex string cutter. we compared this with my Tamiya modelling side cutter and they pretty much come from the same OEM. whoever that is.
AK only uses bent nose pliers, this pair is a Made in France Snap-on miniature bent nose pliers. Snap-on makes some of the best tools. i tried looking for this pair but i think they don't make these anymore.
old logo Yonex grommet remover.
Loafers liked this post
04-15-2012, 01:07 AM #5
Btw Kwun, your missing a string mover picture
04-19-2012, 06:15 AM #6
04-20-2012, 11:03 AM #7
04-20-2012, 02:27 PM #8
04-20-2012, 02:39 PM #9
04-22-2012, 11:39 PM #10
Here is the pic sorry for the quility...lol iphone stuff hahaha
04-23-2012, 01:57 AM #11
04-23-2012, 04:14 AM #12
demolidor liked this post
04-23-2012, 04:38 AM #13
04-23-2012, 10:12 AM #14
i have no idea... maybe you should give Gamma a call see what they say...
and as for the string mover it is really nice the pointy end is slightly curved which hold the string much better then the MBS one that i have.
05-02-2012, 02:23 PM #15
Where did you get the black "Bent Pliers" (image # DSC02574) that just above "Awl" section? Thanks
05-24-2012, 04:15 PM #16
05-24-2012, 04:17 PM #17
after using the Xuron bent nose and the Xuron straight nose with serrated jaw, as well as the jewelery pliers, i find the Xuron straight with serrated jaw the best.
the reason being it can grab and pull a straight out with the smallest of protrusion. with just a millimeter of string exposed, it is has enough grabbing power to pull it out of a covered non-shared hole.
the bent Xuron is useful in some occasions but not strong enough.
the jewelery one is ok but after using the Xuron that seems rather bulky.
the Xurons 450S is a bargain for just US$13.
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