A Guide to Choosing the Right Tennis Strings

There are two categories of tennis players when it comes to discussions about strings. Either you don’t care at all, or you care passionately, deeply and non negotiably about what kind of stings belong in a tennis racquet. Then there are discussions about relative quality of brands. You can even stir up a discussion about color if you want to. Understanding the different types of tennis strings is a great place to start.

Types of Tennis Strings

Nylon, polyester, and animal intestines (natural gut) are the three main materials - each with their own strengths

 

 

Synthetic Gut

Multifilament

Poly/co-polyester

Natural Gut

Construction

Wrapped nylon strands

Hundreds of tiny nylon strands

Single strand molded poly

Strands from serous membranes

Playability

High

Good

Less

High

Arm Comfort

Good

Better

Lowest

Highest

Typical Cost

Lowest

Variable

High

Highest

Power Generation

Average

High

Low

High

Durability

Better

Average

Highest

Good (when dry)

5 Things to Consider when Choosing Strings

  1. 1. Your Overall Ability
    • If you are just getting going in tennis, a quality synthetic gut is usually the best way to go. It gives you the best overall playability and is reasonably priced. If you are starving for increased power, spend a few dollars more for a multi-filament.
    • If you have moved up into intermediate level play or are trying hard to get there, a multifilament is a great fit. It will also help you if some tenderness is popping up in your elbow. If your budget allows, natural gut is a great way to make your arm happy and allow you to hit just about any shot in your arsenal.
    • If you are an advanced player, either a polyester or natural gut string will be worth your while. Lean to the natural gut if your game is more control oriented.
  2. 2. Power, control, or arm comfort?
    • Of course you want it all, but by prioritizing your needs you can get the best string for you.
    • If you are playing in constant elbow or shoulder pain, then it is probably worth it for you to step all the way up to natural gut.
  3. 3. What string can you afford?
    • While it is a good assumption that natural gut will be the most expensive, it may pay off for you in the long run. It will retain its tension longer if kept dry.
    • Synthetic gut is the most value priced.
  4. 4. What about the weather or my playing style?
    • If you are playing in highly humid conditions or if you play on damp, clay courts, you may find that natural gut strings break more easily. While advances have been made to improve their longevity in dampness, other strings are definitely better if things get damp.
    • If you are a real basher, and your game is relatively advanced, polyester (or sometimes called co-polyester) will really be the string for you. These strings won’t generate power - you have to do the work.
  5. 5. What color is best?
    • It really doesn’t matter. Given the same brand, model and gauge, the color will not impact playability.
    • There are some players who believe if you use a color similar to the ball it makes it tougher for your opponent to see the ball leaving the strings.
    • Others think black or darker colors make it easier for you to disguise the type of shot you are hitting.

What Strings do Pros use?

At the highest levels of competition, many pros will combine natural gut strings going one way and poly strings going across. This is called hybrid stringing. This method is available to all players and is getting more popular although it can be expensive. See our Guide to Tennis Hybrid Stringing for details.

Where can I get my racquet strung?

Tennisracquets.com is fully equipped to take care of your stringing services. When purchasing a new racquet use the custom stringing options on the racquet page to make your string selection. If you’re local to Michigan and need your racquet re-strung, use our online stringing service and simply drop off your racquet at your convenience. Some people have purchased their own stringing machines and tools and successfully string on their own. Most clubs have stringing professionals on staff. Hybrid stringing, in particular, is generally done by professionals and can be expensive.


Tennisracquets.com stocks a wide variety of strings, bumpers, and of course racquets all at competitive prices. Everything we do is dedicated to helping you be the best player you can be. It’s a great game and fun for a lifetime. Call us with questions. We love to help.