At some point in the life of a racket, the strings need to be cut and replaced. This involves cutting the strings off the frame and pulling them through the grommet holes till the tennis or squash racket is completely free of any string.
While this task is as easy at it sounds, there are some important things to keep in mind to prevent the racket from breaking and make this job problem free.
- A pair of wire cutters or snippers
- A damp cloth (optional)
tennis racket strings cutting theory
Before you start snipping the strings in a randomized manner, its necessary to understand that the strings are currently in a state of high tension of up to 60 lbs and are evenly exerting that force all around the frame.
If you start cutting the strings without thinking, you risk making that stress distribution uneven around the frame which would cause it to deform and even crack. Therefore it is important to cut the strings in a manner that the stress distribution around the frame remains as even as possible.
cutting racket strings
Using the pliers, start at the very center of the racket and cut the first cross string. Then cut the main string to the right, followed by the cross string below the one you previously cut. Then the main string to the left.
Basically you should follow an UP, RIGHT, DOWN, LEFT cutting sequence, going in a clockwise direction working your way outwards. This way you will maintain an even stress distribution around the frame while cutting the strings and minimize its distribution.
UP, RIGHT, LEFT, DOWN
A practical demonstration of this cutting procedure is shown in the video below.
removing the strings from the frame
Now that all the strings are cut, the best way to remove the strings is to push them outwards through the grommets of the frame. By pushing them out, you will notice you create some loops on the outside of the racket. Pulling on these loops will make it easier to pull the strings out of the racket.
Take care to not pull the grommets out of the frame during this process.
dealing with knots
You will notice that the knotted strings are much more difficult to pull out from the outside of the racket. The solution to is issue to pull the knotted strings from the inside of the frame.
finishing the job
finish the job by using a damp cloth to clean the dust off the frame, especially between the grommets where it was previously hard to each due to the strings in place. Now the racket is ready for a restring.
To watch a demonstration of this process, check out our YouTube video.
There are three types of racket stringing machines. Click here to learn all about them.