how to choose tennis strings

How To Choose Tennis Strings: Easy A-Z Guide For You

Last updated on September 30th, 2022

Tennis strings are the only thing that connects you to your racquet. Tennis strings are the string that attaches to the racket and is used for hitting. They come in different thicknesses, tensions, materials, and colors. The type of tennis player you are will determine which kind of string will be best suited for your game.

They not only provide tension for the ball to bounce off, but they also determine the type of spin that will be generated on shots. But there’s more to choosing a string than just picking one based on preference and cost! 

It is very difficult to find the perfect tennis string, but there are some ways that you can make your decision easier. Read this article to learn how to choose tennis strings wisely.

What Type Of Player Are You?

Your tennis strings may not be the most glamorous purchase, but they can make a huge difference in your game style.

The type of player you are will determine the strings that suit your game. If you’re an offensive player, then thin strings with high spin potential would be ideal for you. If you play at the net, the powerful string might work better, and all-around players should get a mix of durability, power, and spin.

Why tennis strings are so important?

Tennis strings are what hold your tennis racket together. Without them, you’d have nothing but a handle with the strings dangling at the end of it. They are also used to control how fast or slow your ball travels when you hit it. 

Tennis strings are the key component to a tennis racquet and they offer a multitude of benefits:

Playing experience

If you use the wrong string, it could cause an injury to occur or make your game less enjoyable. For example, using too light of tension may lead to more errors and not enough power when playing shots near the net or on groundstrokes. 

They’re also one of the most important parts because they determine how much power your shots have and control over where you send them with spin, slice, or placement.

The right tennis string will help you play longer without getting hurt and improve how well you hit balls with different areas of impact for different types of games (i.e., rallies vs points).


The right tennis strings can make a world of difference for your racquet’s feel and performance.  For players who want more feel on their shots, softer string options will be best. More power and control is available with stiffer strings that have extra durability for those who don’t mind feeling an arm ache after playing long hours on the court.

Nylon stringsA little stiff but generally nice to play.
Kevlar stringsFeel stiffer than usual
Natural Gut stringsBy far the most comfortable and softest tennis strings you can get for yourself
Multifilament stringsBalanced and quite elastic
Polyester stringsPolyester strings are better at lower tensions
Tennis string types and their appropriate string tension

Aiding your strategy

If you’re looking for more spin, try strings that are designed to produce topspin and high ball bounce. Players who like power should use gut or synthetic gut which offers great durability with a little bit of feel at the expense of comfort. 

For those players who play from the baseline, I recommend using the natural gut as these offer superior control without much vibration on contact. 

Those who rush to the net need multifilament nylon strings or natural got because they have low tension but still provide good ball response and depth perception while keeping things soft enough for touch shots around the net. 

And finally, if consistency is what you’re after then go with natural gut strings – these will give you a long-lasting feel and playability.

Fulfilling play style of a player

If you want your tennis game to be at its best, don’t neglect the strings. Stringing a racket is an art and not all players are experts in this process. It’s important that when selecting a string type, you think about it in relation to your playstyle so that you can find one that will work best for achieving your goals on the court. 

No sudden breakage

You can’t play tennis with a broken racket, but you also won’t be able to play the game well if your strings are loose or too tight. Tennis players should always keep an eye on how their strings feel so they know when it is time for a replacement.

Replacing tennis strings

Do tennis strings really matter?

Tennis players, do you ever wonder if your tennis strings really matter to your performance? The question of whether tennis strings matter to your performance is a difficult one. There are many variables that come into play for any given player, and it can be hard to say with certainty what will work best for you. Well, the answer is yes and no. 

Tennis strings provide a variety of benefits for players, such as: reduced vibration and shock, improved grip on the ball or racquet handle, increased spin on shots like serve and forehand, they also help with control of the ball. 

For these reasons, many pros use expensive premium strings that can be more durable than other types. However, lower-priced brands work just as well for recreational players because durability isn’t an issue when playing less often. So I’ll leave it up to you.

How much do you want to spend on strings?

That’s a tough question. It depends on how much you want to spend, what kind of strings you need for your specific needs, and level if there are any special features that make the string stand out from others in its price range, etc.

It is important to know where you stand when it comes to your budget. For some, the cost of tennis strings can be a major factor in their decision. If you are on the lower end of your budget and want an inexpensive option for your game, then I recommend using synthetic strings. The more expensive options would include natural gut, but these higher-quality string sets may last longer than less expensive ones.

# Of RacketsFrequency Of PlayLevel Of PlayPriceBenefitsMore:
A tennis string set1-2Recreational and restringing every 2 or more monthsRecreational$10-$50One-time payment with no commitmentYou get the flexibility to change the type of string you want every now and then
A tennis string reel~17-18Restringing on a weekly basis, playing in higher levelsIntermediate-Advanced$150-$250A more economical solution for those who string a lotYou risk buying a reel of a string you won’t like or want to play with in the future
Should you buy a tennis string set or a tennis string reel?

How do I know what tennis string is best for me?

If you want to be a better tennis player, the answer is pretty simple. You need to invest in good equipment.

The best way to find the right string for you is by playing with a bunch of different strings and seeing what type suits your game. Once you decide which one feels best, it’s time to start experimenting with tension levels. 

Stringing at higher tensions will help get more power on shots but may not be necessary if that doesn’t work well for your style or body type. Lower tensions are good because they create less friction when striking the ball – allowing more spin and control of where it lands. Do some research before making an investment in new tennis equipment.

45-50 lbs50-5555-60 lbs60-65 lbs
Good For Type Of StringsPolyester, Natural Gut, MultifilamentsPolys, Multifilaments, Synthetic Guts, and Natural GutMultifilaments and Natural GutNatural Gut can provide liveliness within these ranges
For:Usually players with fine technique and confident strokesMost playersBeginnersMaximizing grip and control of the ball
How do different tennis string tensions play?

How to choose tennis strings?

Stringing a tennis racket is an art and science that requires the user to understand how elasticity, strength, material type, thickness, durability, and internal structure all affect playing quality. The more you know about these properties of your strings as well as those of your opponent’s racket stringing choices, the better chance you have at winning matches on court. 


When you are considering which strings to put on your racket, keep in mind that the elasticity of a string will affect how it plays. The more elastic properties the string has, the better playing qualities of your racket. 

The elasticity and strength of strings depend on the material from which they are made, the thickness, and the internal structure. Strings differ in their resilience (elasticity) and strength. Elasticity determines how much energy is absorbed at contact with a ball, strength determines resistance to tearing when string tension increases over time.


The power of a tennis player is in large part determined by the type and tension of their strings. A powerful game will be achieved with weaker string tensions, but only if they stay put on the racket. 

If you’re more concerned about maintaining a slow controlled play, higher string tensions are likely better for you because this means that less energy has been lost from their surfaces. In summary, it’s important to keep your desired playing style in mind when deciding which type of string to buy.


Durability is a key factor for tennis players. However, the trade-off between durability and playability can be difficult to manage since there are so many different types of strings available on the market with varying degrees of both qualities.

Durable strings are usually made from rigid and less elastic materials such as Polyester. But there are also great durable strings made from Nylon. Unfortunately for tennis players, increasing the durability of their strings will have the cost of losing playability.


If you want to generate more spin on your shots, it pays to be mindful of the type and thickness of string that is attached to your racket. For players who like topspin strokes, a thinner string may provide more benefit than thicker strings because they can chew up the ball at impact for greater rotation. 

Of course, there are many other factors in play when it comes to generating a good spin with a tennis shot.

Low vs High String Tension

String tension is a key factor in tennis string performance. Low-tension strings are more forgiving on the arm and easier to hit, while high-tension strings increase power by allowing for tighter ball contact. Consider your game style when selecting which type of string will provide you with optimal performance.

The same string tension can feel different depending on the person, but it’s best to experiment with what you prefer.

With the tension, you can gain power and control for your serve or groundstrokes. You also get a ball that feels better to hit as well as being less likely to cause injury. The type of string is important when it comes to how much tension the player prefers, but there’s more than one way to play tennis with great results.

Tight StringsLoose StringsBalanced
BenefitsA more condensed feel when contacting the ball, better grip of the ball in contact.Greater ‘trampoline’ effect when striking the ballA tradeoff between power and control
For:Those who feel insecure in their techniqueThose who want to maximize powerEveryone
Tight vs Loose tennis strings

String Gauge or String Thickness

Tennis string gauges are identified with a number and letter, such as 17G, ranging from 15 to 19 being the thickest. The thickness of a tennis string can affect the way it plays and feels. The higher the number on the gauge, the thinner and stronger it is while lower numbers indicate thicker and less durable strings. 

A tennis player will want to find a balance of durability and playability that suits their style; however, if they can’t get enough spin out of their shots then they’ll need to use thinner strings like 16G or 15G for more bite at impact time.

If you’re a big hitter and want to generate more spin, consider changing your string size from 1.24mm to 1.10mm, and you will feel a substantial difference in your playability.

Gauge 16BenefitsPopularitySpinDurability
Gauge 151.41-1.49mmVery durable and stiff with contact with the ballLessMedium-LowHigh
Gauge 15L1.33-1.41mmDurability with a little thinner versionStill a very thick string, less for spin loversMedium-LowHigh
Gauge 161.26-1.34mmA lot of variations exist, good balance for power and spinVery popularMedium-HighHigh
Gauge 16L1.22-1.30mmAnother good power-control optionVery popularHighMedium-High
Gauge 171.16-1.24mmSacrificing durability over spin and powerVery popularHighMedium-Low
Gauge 17L1.10-1.20mmMost power and spinPopularHighMedium-Low
Gauge 181.06-1.16mmHighest spin potentialLess popularHighMedium-Low
Comparison of tennis string gauges

What gauge tennis string should I use?

As you can see, there are a lot of questions to answer when deciding which gauge tennis string is right for your game. You’ll find that most players have their own preferences and opinions on the matter.

The key to finding the right tennis string for your game is understanding what you want out of your strings. Do you need durability and power, or do you need more spin? There are a lot of factors that will determine which gauge is best for you, but we hope this article has helped point in the direction of getting started. The choice really depends on your preference.

Power PlayersControl PlayerBaselinersBig HittersServe n’ Volley
Recommended Gauge:16-1815-1616-1716-16L15L-17
Recommended string gauges for each type of player

Your level of play

If you’re just starting out in tennis, then it probably won’t make sense to start with an expensive set of tennis strings. When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to recognize the benefits of a more expensive set of strings like the natural gut. As a result, synthetic strings with a solid core and single or multiple wraps are a great option as you are likely to find a great string that is durable at your price point makes sense.

Playing Frequency

 If you are an amateur player who plays frequently, don’t worry about breaking the bank on a high-end set of tennis strings. For most players, playing frequency is key to how quickly your strings will lose tension and break—so opt for durable multifilament or hybrid string sets that offer a great feel without costing too much money.  

And if you are competing at a high level? You may be able to justify the higher costs associated with a more expensive set of quality strings because they will last longer before losing their tension. 

But remember, all professional players need to keep in mind what kind of feel they want from their racquet when choosing which type of string best suits them!

Fresh From The StringerFirst Minutes Of Play1-2 Hours2-5 Hours5+ Hours
Tension DropAround 10%The strings kick in their place and feel like new.The strings have lost some tension but settled on quite constant tension.Start of wear-off of the strings and tension loss.The more you play after the mark of 5 hours, the more worn and tension is going to get off the strings.
FeelGreatNewNewNew-A little differenceStarts to change
How your strings start to wear off once your string them?

Arm Injuries

With the right string set, you can reduce stress on your arm and still produce great shots. So don’t feel like you have to suffer through serious injury or discomfort for the sake of playing tennis with durability.

It is important to consider your arm health when choosing tennis strings. If you are prone to injuries, then the best string set for you will be multifilament or hybrid that incorporates multifilament. 

This type of string reduces stress on the arm while still providing durability and good sound quality. Tennis players should always take care of their arms so they can continue playing without any pain.

Style of play and personal preference

To get the most out of your strings, it is important to think about what you want from them.

If you’re looking for an edge on the competition, there are a few things that might make it easier to choose between what feels like endless options of string types. First off, consider your playing style- whether you play mostly from the baseline or mix-up shots from all over the court will influence how much spin potential you want out of a string. 

You should also think about personal preference when choosing a string type because this determines if something feels good against your hand and arm while holding onto a racquet grip during long points.

Replacing tennis strings

I’ve always had trouble keeping my tennis strings in good shape. I would string them, only to have the tension wear down and stretch out my strings too quickly. After a few weeks of playing with worn-out strings, I felt like it was time for an upgrade. 

Every tennis player has a favorite string. But for many players, the cost of their favorite string is prohibitively expensive. For example, An average set of strings costing $24.95. If you have two racquets and need to restring one every month or so, this could get expensive quickly! 

You might think that it’s just stringing the racket, but there are many factors to consider before buying a pack and going into the store. The type of strings will depend on your play style: do you like heavier or lighter strings? Do you want more power? When should your strings be replaced? These questions can help answer what kind of string would work best for you.

Find a stringer

The process of changing your strings is an exhausting one. You have to buy new strings, remove the old ones, restring them on your racquet and then break in the strings so they are ready for use again. It’s an arduous task that takes up time you could be using to play tennis with friends or family members. 

Fortunately, there are stringer services available where professionals will come to your house and do all this work for you at a fraction of the cost of purchasing everything yourself.

The cost of replacing a set of tennis strings will usually fall between 15-60$, depending on how much work needs to be done and what type of strings need to be used.

These services can help make it easier than ever before for players like ourselves who want to spend less time breaking their own strings and more time playing.

CostAvailabilityQuality Of Job
OnlineShipping + $10-$30MediumLow
At HomeCost of tennis stringing machine + $15-$70HighHigh
Local Tennis Shop$25-$70HighHigh
Professional Stringer$30-$70HighHigh
Where to restring your tennis racket?

How often to change strings?

In the end, it’s really up to you when you change your tennis strings. If you’re a casual player and don’t care about performance, there is no need for an exact date or frequency of string changes. However, if you want to get better at playing then more diligent attention should be paid in regards to changing your racket’s strings often.

It’s not as simple as changing your string often if you’re a pro player. If you don’t play very often, it doesn’t hurt to wait until the string breaks before replacing it. But for competitive players, or those who aim to improve their performance on the court with every step they take, knowing how frequently to change strings is an important part of playing well and winning more games than one loses.

The duration of time between string changes is all about how often you play, and what level your playing at. If you’re a beginner player who only plays once or twice a week, then it’s recommended to change strings every three months or two months. 

For competitive players, the frequency varies but for most, they will need to replace them around every few weeks – this rule may be different depending on their individual style of tennis. Even if you don’t have any plans to compete in tournaments soon, get into the habit of changing your strings periodically so that when you do eventually want to enter competitions again down the line, they won’t snap from being overused.

1 Time A Week2-3 Times A Week3-4 Times A Week4-6 Times A WeekProfessional
A Beginner1/year2/year2-3/year4+/yearEvery few matches.
A Soft Hitter/year2-3/year2-4/year4+/yearEvery few matches.
An Average Baseliner1-2/year2-3/year3-4/year5+/yearEvery few matches.
A Power Player1-3/year2-4/year3-6/year6+/yearEvery few matches.
How often to restring your tennis racket?

How much does stringing cost?

If you want to know how much it costs to restring your tennis racquet, the answer is different for everyone. Restringing a racquet can cost anywhere between 15$-60$, depending on where and who strings your racquet. String quality will also affect this price range–a lower-quality string may be as low as 10$. 

The bottom line, restringing a tennis racquet can cost you anywhere between 25-90$ depending on where and who your stringer is. Which is not too bad.

String patterns

The string pattern is a term in the world of tennis for how strings are laid out within the racquet’s frame. It tells you how many main strings there are and crosses, which indicates what kind of string tension distribution will be present when hitting balls.

Tennis string patterns can be dense or less dense. The more strings there are, the denser the pattern and the more power you’ll have in your stroke. If you’re looking for a way to change your game without changing any other part of your technique, try using different tennis racquets with different stringing density patterns until you find one that suits what you need most.


The less-dense the string pattern (lower number of strings) the more power and spin you’ll have in your stroke. 


The more crosses there are in the racquet frame, the less power and spin you will have on your shots.

Open PatternClosed Pattern
Examples18×19,16×19, 16×1818×20, 18×19, 18×18
BenefitsSpin friendliness, more powerBetter control, more confidence in your shots
PopularityVery commonCommon
Suits ForPlayers looking for precision and ease in producing spinBetter focus and higher predictability of the trajectory of the ball
Tennis string pattern closed vs open comparison chart

Types Of Strings

PolyesterSingle strand (or coated with a few other) PolyesterExcellent for spin based game and control oriented playersBad$10-$30Very popularVery stiff on the arm for those with arm problems
MultifilamentHundreds of filaments wrapped around each otherCan be good for balancing power and control, each brand has different optionsGood$15-$30PopularMany models and options are available
Synthetic GutSynthetic materials replicating the characteristics of the Natural GutGood power playGood$15-$35AverageGood for Natural Gut feel but not quite like it
Natural GutCow intestinesGood power, good control, and awesome durability and tension-maintenanceExcellent$30-$50Among pros and advanced playersGood value and price-performance ratio
HybridA bland of different materialsFor those who want to invest and find the best match of two strings for their best gameExcellent$25-$60Advanced playersStrikes a fine balance for those who find the right combination
Comparison Of Different Types Of Tennis Strings


Some players use monofilament strings as their only string in a racquet, but this is typically not recommended for those with arm injuries. 

Monofilament strings are the most basic type of string construction, consisting of a single solid filament. They’re typically made from polyester or Kevlar and offer one of the strongest types of construction on the market today. 

This makes them an ideal choice for players who want more control than what other string constructions can provide without sacrificing power. 

Players with arm injuries should usually avoid using monofilaments as their only string because they lack some give that causes them to be stiffer than other types of strings which could exacerbate existing injury problems.


Multifilament strings, which have become quite popular over the years and are considered by some to be the best string category after natural gut strings.

They are a multistranded string that has been created through the natural gut-like process by weaving hundreds or thousands of microfibers together. This type provides a soft feel almost like a pillow and as such have become popular for players with arm injuries. 

One reason for this is because they provide increased durability so they are often found as part of hybrid sets with other materials such as monofilaments or even nylon co-polymer fibers. Why not try one of these types on your next set?


A polyester is a good option for players looking for extra durability. However, due to its more durable construction, it can feel quite hard on the arm and as such not recommended for those with arm injuries. It’s typically combined with natural gut or nylon strings which offer players durability while maintaining a softer, more natural feel.


If you’re a tennis player looking for strings that will last longer without sacrificing playability, then hybrid stringing is your best bet. By combining polyester on the main strings and synthetic gut on the crosses, you can get durability with a good feel while playing. The downside to this approach though is that it requires more maintenance than other types of string methods. That said, if longevity is what you want in your game then this type of stringing may be worth exploring.

Natural Gut

For the longest time, natural gut tennis strings have been considered to be one of the best types on the market. They are made up in an interesting way and it’s worth understanding how they’re created before you decide whether or not you want to invest in them.

So, if you are a tennis player and have been looking for the perfect strings that will provide the most control over your shots- the natural gut is what you want. They may sound gross to some people, but it’s really just cow guts turned into something different. 

If this sounds way too weird for you then just do a google search about them or anything else related to how they’re made because they are absolutely worth trying out.

Natural gut strings are made from cow’s guts and they tend to be the most common choice among professional players. They’re not your average tennis string, but if you can get past that fact then you’ll find out just how good natural gut is for your game.

Kevlar Strings

From Kevlar to polyester, there are a variety of types of tennis strings on the market. 

Unlike other materials such as nylon and steel, Kevlar is stiffer and stronger than most other strings available. It’s also immune from deterioration due to humidity or heat which makes it an ideal choice for players who break their string often–in fact, this type of string can be combined with softer nylon strings if stiffness becomes too uncomfortable for your arm injury.

Kevlar strings are a great option for players who have chronic string breakage, but may not be the best choice for everyone.

Synthetic tennis strings

Synthetic tennis strings are an excellent option for players who want to find the perfect string that suits their needs. The synthetic materials used in these types of tennis strings provide a plethora of features and benefits, not least of which is durability.

Synthetic tennis strings are a fantastic option for most players because they come with more variety and price. They also offer some unique features, such as durability, spin, and power. 

What is the best type of string for tennis?

If you’re looking for the best type of string for tennis, natural gut is a great option. This material has been used in tennis strings since the late 1800s and it remains popular because it’s durable with good feel on impact. 

The feel of this type of string is unmatched by any other tennis racket strings, and that may be due to its being made out of animal intestines rather than synthetic materials. That means it will more likely last longer without breaking down too quickly, making it a great investment in both time and money. 

It does have some downsides though – not only are they quite expensive but they also require special care to keep them from becoming brittle or frayed. So if you want an extremely high-quality tennis playing experience with all the benefits listed above then go ahead and try natural gut strings! Otherwise, there are many types of synthetic strings available that might do the work.

String savers

String savers are a low-cost, effective way to save your strings from wear and tear. If you notice the same areas of breakage over time, it may be worth installing string savers in those spots. The installation process is easy enough for anyone with basic DIY skills.

If string breakage is an issue for you, consider installing these plastic devices at all cross-sections between strings on your racquet. 

The installation process may cause a slight deadening in feel, but it should be worth it if you want to extend the life of your equipment – especially when they’re not too expensive.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s all about feel. What feels best to you? This is a personal decision that only you can make for yourself. If your gut tells you one type of string will be better than another, then go with your instinct and try it out.

If you have a better understanding of how to choose tennis strings for your specific needs and style then there’s no need to fear the process! You will be able to find a string that best suits your game. So don’t fret- take some time to read through our tips on what to look for when purchasing new tennis strings before you make any purchases. And most importantly, enjoy yourself out on the court.

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