Should I string my own tennis racket without a machine? Your full guide

Stringing tennis rackets is essential to the performance, feel, and life of a string job. Some players prefer to do it themselves to save money and maintain their equipment in top condition.

One of the most important factors in stringing a racket is tension. The tension will play a major factor in your feel and power/control of the racquet. Start off by going to a racquetball or tennis shop and getting a cheap digital gauge.

This article will guide you on how to string your racket without a machine.

For more information on tennis racket stringing and accessories, Check out our article on What is the Average Price for Tennis Racquet Stringing, Types, and Their Differences? and Tennis Essentials: What is The Cost of Tennis Grips?

How to String a Tennis Racket Without a Machine

A stringing machine is useful for stringing faster. However, it is expensive and, most of the time, not worth it as you can string a racket without it.

Before beginning the process, you need to find out what type of string job you want. You can decide to string your racket with the same string that is already on it or switch it out for more control/power.

There are a few steps to follow when you’re stringing your racket:

1) Assemble all your tools and parts.

2) Take out the broken, worn-out strings from your racket. Most factory-provided strings come pre-wrapped on a piece of plastic that keeps the string from fraying. Cut this piece off and throw it away, then pull the old strings out.

3) Take out your new stringing package of choice There will be an outer rubber shell along with a nylon inner sleeve that holds the string. These should be unrolled and cut apart into about 4′ lengths.

4) Take out your stringer clamp (you will need to pry it open with screwdrivers or something). Stringing is a tedious job, so prepare for at least an hour if you are new to this.

5) Pull it all the way through until it is equal on both sides and then place a knot into the string end by simply tying a regular shoe-tying knot.

6) Place a mark a few inches up from your knot with a permanent marker. This mark will come in handy later when you are measuring your desired tension. Now it is time to attach the stringing clamp onto the stringer. Start by prying open one of the clamps; This will allow you to put them on either side of your racket without restricting the clamp from rotating on the base.

7) Attach one of the clamps to your racket and tighten it by turning both screws on either side (picture below). Keep it as tight as you can while still allowing for some rotational movement.

8) Take out a string length and thread it through the top hole in your frame, then pull it all the way down to the bottom hole. You may need an extra set of hands for this step, especially when learning how to string without a machine.

9) Now that your string is in place, attach your tension gauge next to where you tied your strings together (unless it is too bulky, in which case, put it somewhere where it will not impede the stringing process).

10) Pull on the string until your tension gauge reaches your desired level of tension.

Pros and cons stringing a tennis racket with the machine and without a machine

Pros for doing it yourself with a machine:

  • It is Cheaper when you have good credit on your account at the store
  • Stringing takes half the time when you know what you are doing
  • It saves time

Cons for doing it yourself with a machine:

  • It is expensive when you don’t have good credit on your account at the store
  • Stringing takes longer when you are learning how to string for the first time
  • It can be quite costly when you break a needle in the machine. It is easier when you have an extra set of hands to help
  • It can be not easy to use your stringer’s clamp on the frame if you don’t know what you are doing
  • You need to find out what type of string job you want before beginning, which may not be an issue for some people

Pros for doing it yourself without a machine:

  • Can string faster than a machine because there is no warm-up time, and you can tie the knot as you go
  • No waiting for hours as your strings dry
  • You can string at your own pace and tie twice as many knots per hour than with a machine
  • Can string your racquets exactly how you want them strung

Cons for doing it yourself without a machine:

  • It is more expensive than using a machine initially (if you don’t already have one) – Doing it yourself without a machine is more expensive because you have to buy a hand stringer.
  • It takes longer when you are new to this process.

Fixing broken or damaged tennis racket strings

You can easily break a string in your hand stringer if you aren’t careful – Make sure to wear gloves, especially when starting out

Here are steps on how to fix broken or damaged strings:

1) First, you need to cut the string above and below where it is damaged.

2) Then, place your new string through the same hole and tie a knot onto your damaged or broken string using one half of the knot already there Repeat this on both sides so that when you pull on the string, you will not get any slack.

3) Pull the string until it tightens and the knot is against the racket. Make sure to pull each side evenly so that you do not put undue stress on one side over another.

4) Then cut off any extra string that might be sticking out, which can create a tripping hazard if stepped on by another person.

5) Finally, you need to glue your string or tape it because adding a new string will reduce the elongation of your frame and increase its stiffness.


Stringing a racket without a machine is not as difficult as it seems once you have all the right tools. The main thing to remember is that this method isn’t as precise as machine stringing because it has no guides or clamps to assist you. You can, however, change your racket’s tension without needing to go through a pro shop and spend money on the tools they require. By figuring out how to string a tennis racket without a machine, you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars and keep your racket at its optimal performance.

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