Badminton racket stringing is an important aspect of the sport for players, especially since even minor changes in the racket string tension can play a huge role in how the shot-making responds to it. The piece below is an exhaustive guide to everything there is to knowing about badminton stringing including the tension, machines and how to do it yourself.
If you are a badminton player, you know that the most important piece of equipment is your racket. The weight of the racket needs to be right for your age, size and strength, and the strings of your racket need to be the right tension. Anything too loose or too tight will change your game entirely.
There are some rules to badminton racket tension as the right tension will help you play a stronger and faster game.
You also have some choices when it comes to racket stringing: you can do it on your own, by hand, or you can do it with a stringing machine.
Badminton coaches often have their own badminton stringing machine; it makes their lives easier with their pupils, as well as offering a little extra income. Many players learn how to string their rackets by hand, and we are going to look at all the options for you.
Table of Content
If you are a beginner badminton player, you will probably choose a fairly standard racket. As you get more involved with the game, you may want to move on to a stronger and more luxurious racket.
You need to take into account the size of the racket, the weight, the grip and the tension of the strings. You get a wide variety of rackets and if you are going to be playing a lot, get a good racket. You can read all about our guide on the factors to consider before choosing your early badminton rackets.
Of course if you are playing a lot, you know that badminton racket strings tend to snap after a certain amount of time. We’ve all heard the snap sound, as you hit a ball and your strings go. They may snap because of age, or because they’ve been strung too tightly. Let’s take a look at the best string tensions.
Badminton String Tension
There are guidelines for badminton string tension, and it really depends on the level of badminton the player is at.
- Beginners – 20 to 23 pounds
- Intermediate/High Performance Players – 27 pounds
- World Class Players – 28 to 34 pounds
A word that you will often hear in badminton is the string repulsion. The lower the string tension, the more repulsion. The higher the string tension, the less repulsion.
Less repulsion gives more power, higher repulsion gives less.
Repulsion is what gives you power, but you need to bear in mind that while your badminton racket is important, your style, shots and accuracy are as important. It’s not all about the racket, although a well strung racket is really important.
Having the right badminton racket for a new player is important, simply because it will give the player a lot more confidence. Correct string tension gives power, but also, the ability to control the shuttlecock better.
If you are a new player and borrowing a racket, check the string tension. Old or second-hand rackets may tend towards having looser string tension, so you may want to check this before you start playing.
Once you are a regular badminton player, you will understand the importance of string tension even more.
Professionals like their strings at a certain level, fairly taut, but they also know what works for them. Many professionals have their own specialist badminton stringing kit, a badminton stringing machine, or a coach/badminton store who does their restringing for them.
Badminton Stringing By Hand
It is really easy to do this, especially if you just play the game socially. You obviously need to buy the strings, which you can get from most sports equipment stores or Badminton specialist stores. Badminton Stringing Kits are not expensive and are a good thing to have.
A badminton stringing kits comes with instructions so you don’t have to panic about how to use it. Just follow the rules. A few things to note:-
- You need a racket (obviously!)
- You need string
- You need a cutter
- A string hooker or awl
The string comes as one long string, neatly bound up. Your badminton racket frame has holes.
You will unwind the string, knot it on the outside of the racket, and then – begin.
You do the ‘top to bottom’ stringing first but then, and read the instructions, skip a few holes so you can start making patterns. It’s the patterns and cross sections that give you the tension. After going top to bottom, there is some over and under, a few cross strings, and a final knot.
- You need to knot the string on the outside of the racket.
- The knot should be as close to the racket frame as possible.
- Use pliers to slide the knot tightly down the frame of the racket.
- Make the tension high by using an Awl / string hooker / needle.
- The Awl string hooker threads the strings.
- You will know the tension is good when you the strings have little give.
- Make one strong knot at the end, and cut off any excess string.
The tension on the strings need to be fairly high. Once strung, you should be able to push against those strings and not have them bounce all over the place, but also, not be too taut. You want to aim for the right amount of ‘give.’
Start off by knotting the threading the string through the top hole, as per the instructions, and knotting it on the outer side of the racket face. The closer the knot is to the frame, the better the tension. Use pliers or the tools provided.
When you string your own badminton racket, it’s easiest to hold the racket between your legs at an upright angle, and have a table nearby for your tools.
Sometimes the most complicated thing – apart from the pattern – is not letting the string get all knotted up. As long as you have good hand-eye and are pretty dextrous with using small tools, you should be fine. It also helps to know how to sew, as stringing a badminton racket is a bit like sewing or knitting.
How Long will the Strings Last?
Usually you will get about 3 months of badminton out of one set of strings but it will also depend on how often you play the game and if you are playing or practicing daily – as professionals do – you may need to restring your racket more often.
As an experienced player, you will be able to feel when your strings need to be made looser or tighter, or restrung completely. And of course if the string breaks, you will need to replace it immediately.
What is the Cost to String a Badminton Racket?
If you are doing your own stringing, the cost is just that of the badminton do-it-yourself kit. If you are using a professional badminton sports shop, or paying your coach to do it, you are going to pay a bit extra.
Usually, the cost of the actual badminton racket is the expensive cost. Stringing the racket is not going to break the bank.
You can look online for the prices of the DIY badminton stringing kit. There are different qualities. Some kits come with the string only, as you may already have the pliers and the string hook / awl. When you do make the purchase, make sure you purchase the right tools too.
Some DIY badminton stringing kits:
Badminton Stringing Machines
Badminton Stringing Machines are most likely to be bought by badminton coaches, small specialist badminton stores, and of course, major sports stores.
A good stringing machine is expensive, but it will pay for itself pretty quickly. Badminton stringing machines can be ordered online, come with the tool kit, full instructions and most of them come with technical support.
It is a good idea to buy a badminton stringing machine that does have tech support – it’s easy to watch a Youtube tutorial and learn what to do online.
There are various brands of Badminton Stringing Machines and you would want to choose one that is in your budget, but also, top quality.
Best Badminton Stringing Machines (but not limited to)
- Pro Stringer
- Prince NEOS
Each the above come in various sizes, designs and styles.
Gamma, for example, have a wide choice. You can get a premium stringing machine, the tools, a stand, or just the kit.
The best thing to do is look online, see what you need – is this for your personal use or are you going to be providing stringing for other people – and then make a decision based on budget.
Badminton Stringing Course/Certification
You are going to find courses and classes on badminton stringing machines online. You may find someone in your area who actually offers a course, but to be honest, you can just follow the online tutorials.
If this is part of your business, then you could do a one or a two day master class, ensuring you have all the skills necessary to string badminton rackets.
You get a certificate at the end, which is a good thing to have for future customers, or for your players. Certificates always instill confidence.
Badminton Stringing Tips & Advice
Looking for a few tips on badminton stringing? Here’s what could help.
Find a Stringer You Trust
Not everyone wants to do their own badminton stringing, and not everyone wants to own a badminton stringing machine.
If you have a badminton coach, they will do your stringing for you, or direct you to someone in your area who does. Once you have found a stringer that you like, stay with them.
They will get to know you, get to understand the level of your game and understand the tension you like. And this brings us back to string tension, which we mentioned in the beginning.
Find the Tension You Like and Stick to It
Having the right string tension will ensure you play the best possible game. The right tension helps you control your shots, while maintaining power.
If your tension is too loose, or too tight, you will not just play an erratic game, but you could be subjecting yourself to injury. The tighter the tension, the more your arm has to work. You do not want to hurt your wrists, muscles or shoulders, and you do not want to get tennis elbow.
This also, by the way, relates to your badminton racket.
Buy a racket that is the right weight for your body frame; a racket that is too heavy may also cause body injury. A racket that is too light may result in you playing in an erratic manner.
Remember, the lower string tension gives you higher repulsion or power. The tighter the string tension, the less repulsion and the less power.
Talk to Badminton Coach and Fellow Players
If you are a seasoned player, other people will be talking to you and asking for advice. But if you are a fairly new Badminton player, chat to your coach or the sports shop that you frequent.
They can look at you and your size, find out about your level of play, and suggest not just the type of racket but also, the string tension. Once you have a badminton racket, it should last you for years, especially if you buy a good quality one.
It’s the restringing that you need to think about, and your coach or fellow players will give you advice.
The Badminton Sweet Spot
In Badminton, there is something called the sweet spot. You want to try hit this spot all the time.
Hitting the shuttlecock on the sweet spot is all about practice, expertise, judgement, hand-eye coordination, the right badminton racket and the correct string tension.
Low string tension gives you a large sweet spot, but it has to be the right low string tension. High string tension gives you better shot accuracy. It’s important to find the right balance.
Decision Time. Should you do your own stringing or get a badminton stringing machine?
This depends entirely on you.
However, it’s always easier for someone else to string your badminton racket for you. It’s less stressful, quick and seamless.
Also, you know it is going to work and there won’t be any mistakes.
On the other hand, doing your own stringing means you can get the exact tension you want, as well as saving yourself some money. Take a look online, at the various options. And keep practicing and going after that sweet spot!