Tennis Strings 101: The Different Types of Tennis String Explained

Are you looking to take your tennis game to the next level? One of the best ways to do so is by choosing the right string type for your racket. Different strings have different characteristics that can help you optimize your playstyle and improve performance.

In this article, we’ll dive into the different tennis string types available, from natural gut to polyester and multifilament. We’ll also discuss some key factors in choosing a string such as tension and gauge, as well as provide tips on how to make sure it’s properly installed in your racket.

Features To Look For in Different Tennis String Types

String gauges

String gauges indicate the thickness of a string, and a higher gauge means a thinner string. However, there is no universally standardized chart for gauges.

For instance, what one company labels as 16 gauge might be labeled as 16L (L stands for light, indicating it is equivalent to halfway between two gauges, like 16.5) by another company. Thinner strings give more power and spin, while thicker strings provide more control and durability.

String Construction

What are the different materials used to make tennis strings? The main categories of modern tennis strings are synthetic gut, multi-filament, natural gut, polyester, and hybrid.

String Tension

The term “tension” refers to the tightness of the strings on a racket. Manufacturers recommend a tension range of 22.5 to 27 kg, and exceeding this limit could void the warranty.

Higher tension provides more control, while lower tension provides more power. Experienced players who generate their own power prefer higher tension, while beginners prefer lower tension.

Different Tennis String Types Reviewed In This Guide

Luxilontennis String

Luxilon Tennis String is the number one string on tour. It has been used by an overwhelming majority of ATP’s top 100 pros.

With its proprietary poly-ether-ether material and aluminum fibers added, this string gives players amazing power and control that ensure accuracy in their shots. Luxilon Tennis String stands out from other tennis strings with its superior feel and performance qualities.

This string is perfect for any level of play – from beginner to professional – as it provides consistent results for all types of different tennis strokes.

Tier One Sports Firewire Boost

The Tier One Sports Firewire Boost string package offers the ideal combination for players looking for great spin and enhanced control with arm-friendliness.

This setup comes with a one-half set of T1-Firewire, rated #1 in Spin for three years, and a one-half set of Ghost Wire—a round co-polyester that has been tested as one of the softest strings in its category.

Delivering exceptional ball bite while remaining comfortable to play, this configuration is perfect for NTRP levels 3.5 to 5.5, and UTR 4 – 10.5 respectively; it also includes 16g or 17g gauges in red and white colors (1.30mm/ 1.25mm + 1.27mm/ 1.22mm & 1.20mm / 1.17 mm).

Each set comes with a length of 6m/ 20 ft each so you can enjoy a long-lasting performance during your tennis matches!

Gamma Synthetic Gut Series Tennis Racket String

Gamma Synthetic Gut Series Tennis Racket String is the perfect choice for players looking to add more power and enjoy a longer-lasting playing experience.

This string is coated with WearGuard, a fiber wrap around the string’s core that increases durability and makes it resistant to wear and tear. The solid core construction adds extra power while keeping the feel livelier for longer.

Plus, Gamma’s patented irradiation process further enhances strength and resiliency with high-energy gamma radiation. All of these features combine to make this an ideal option among the different types of tennis string available today.

Tecnifibre Triax Natural Tennis String

Tecnifibre Triax Natural Tennis String is the perfect choice for players who want control without sacrificing comfort.

Constructed with 50% polyurethane and 50% TPI (Thermo Polyester Improved), this string offers a 15% firmer stringbed than a typical multifilament, as well as increased durability and shock absorbency.

It also provides excellent resistance to notching. With this superior composition of different tennis string types, Tecnifibre Triax provides ultimate firmness, control, and comfort in one package.

Moreover, it comes available in three gauges: 16 G / 1.33 mm | 17 G / 1.28 mm, so you’re sure to find the right fit for your game regardless of tension or style preference.

Babolat VS Touch Blue Tennis String Set

The Babolat VS Touch Blue Tennis String Set is a great choice for players who are almost at the competitive level and have standard or medium-sized rackets.

It features Thermogut Technology, which makes it more durable and resistant to humidity, giving excellent elasticity, tension, and ball touch. 50% of the top 100 ATP players rely on its performance as proof of its quality.

This 16 gauge/1.30mm set comes in blue and offers superior levels of control with maximum power for any style or playing ability.

Different Tennis String Types

Tennis strings come in a variety of types, each with its own distinct features.

Natural gut strings

Natural gut strings are the most traditional of tennis strings and are made from sheep intestines that are treated and twisted into a string. These strings provide excellent shock absorption and comfort but can be expensive.

The advantages of natural gut tennis strings are their excellent playability, ability to maintain tension well, and arm-friendliness even at high tensions. However, they are also quite costly.

Synthetic gut strings

Synthetic gut strings are often cheaper but don’t provide quite the same feel as natural gut strings. They are still a good choice for players looking for a combination of playability and durability.

The Synthetic Gut is affordable but has average performance and playability without any exceptional features.

Multi-filament strings

Multi-filament strings feature multiple strands of nylon twisted or braided together, usually with a coating to add durability. These strings are very responsive and provide a great feel but can be prone to breaking.

Multi-filament strings have great playability and come in a wide range of prices. They offer a soft feel which is easy on the arm and have excellent tension maintenance.

They are the closest thing to the natural gut. However, they may not be as control-oriented and some types can feel “mushy”. They may not be durable enough for big hitters.

Polyester strings

Polyester strings are the stiffest of string types and provide maximum control. They can be very durable but don’t offer as much comfort or ball pocketing as the natural gut or multi-filament strings.

The advantages of using polyester strings are that they are strong and provide good control and spin. However, they have some disadvantages such as low power, can cause discomfort to the arm, and loss of tension more quickly.

Hybrid strings

Hybrid strings combine two different string types in one setup to give players the benefits of both elements. One of the most commonly used hybrid combinations in tennis is natural gut and polyester.

Hybrid stringing offers benefits such as increased durability and improved playability of the racket. However, it could cost more depending on the hybrid setup chosen.

Common Questions About Tennis String Types

Are different tennis string types necessary?

Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, understanding what type of string is best for you will go a long way toward improving your game.

With so many different types available, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type before choosing one for your racquet. With different tennis string types, you can maximize both comfort and playability on the court.

Is natural gut better than poly for spin?

The natural gut string is ideal for players who require maximum feel and control. This is because of its low dynamic stiffness which results in better ball “pocketing.” Additionally, its slightly textured surface increases ball grab, which is advantageous for an enhanced spin.

On the other hand, polyester strings are very durable but not recommended for those who rely on power or feel in their game as they are designed for string breakers.

Is multifilament better than synthetic gut?

Compared to the single-filament synthetic gut, multifilament strings have the following advantages: better tension retention, higher elasticity, and increased power. Additionally, they are softer which can be gentler on the arm, making them a more suitable option for senior players.

When is a good time to re-string your racquet?

It’s not necessary to break a string in order to re-string your racket. If you’re a casual player, a good rule to keep in mind is to re-string as many times in a year as you play in a week.

For instance, if you play 5 times per week, you should aim to re-string your racket at least 5 times a year. However, if you use a polyester string, you may need to re-string your racket even more frequently.

When a string has become “bagged out,” it has lost most of its tension, resulting in a decrease in power, control, and feel.

Is your level of play important when choosing different tennis string types?

Your Level of Play

If you are a beginner in tennis, it is not necessary to buy expensive tennis strings such as natural Guts because you may not notice their benefits yet. Rather, it is recommended to look for synthetic gut strings with a solid core and single or multiple wraps as they are durable and affordable.

Should you consider how often you play when choosing different tennis string types?

Playing frequently can cause your strings to lose tension or break. High-level players may choose expensive, high-quality strings, but most recreational players can opt for durable, affordable strings that offer a great feel and playability. Multifilament and hybrid strings are good choices for frequent players.

Does your style of play matter when choosing tennis strings?

To choose the right tennis string, it’s important to consider your playing style. For instance, if you prefer staying at the baseline and hitting groundstrokes with a lot of topspin, a low gauge polyester string might be the best for you as it can increase your spin potential.

On the other hand, if you’re an all-court player, a hybrid setup that provides a balance between spin for groundstrokes and the feel at the net may suit you better.

What is the best set of strings for arm injuries?

For those who have arm injuries or discomfort like tennis elbow, it is recommended to use natural gut or multifilament strings. In case it’s not a serious issue, a hybrid incorporating a softer string can also be considered. Such string setups can help minimize stress on the arm without compromising the durability and playability of the strings.

Do the stings on your racquet lose tension?

Even if the strings don’t break, you still need to replace them periodically because they lose tension over time due to constant use and exposure to elements like sun, humidity, dryness, and debris.

When strings have a high power rating, they eventually become less springy and don’t provide as much power. Strings designed for comfort eventually become stiff and lose their ability to absorb shocks. Even stiff strings like polyester lose their ability to bounce back and give you the topspin you need.

Video Types of Tennis Strings [Detailed Explanation + Examples]

Are you looking to up your game with the best tennis strings? In this video, you’ll learn about the different tennis string types and discuss their pros and cons. Learn about polyester, gut, multi-filament, and more! Find out which type of string is best for you.

Final Thoughts

Choosing among different tennis string types for your tennis racquet can make all the difference in your game. Natural gut strings are considered to be the best option if you’re looking for ultimate control and comfort, while polyester or nylon strings provide a stronger feel with more power potential.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference so experiment around and find what works best for you! With this guide as your starting point, you should have no trouble finding the perfect string type that meets both your playing style and budget needs. So get out there on the court and start smashing those balls with confidence knowing that you’ve chosen the optimal string setup!


Photo of author
David Anderson is a tennis expert from Los Angeles, California, who has had a lifelong passion for the game. He studied journalism at UCLA before focusing full-time on researching and writing about all aspects of tennis. His experience playing the sport since he was a kid, combined with countless hours spent researching, interviewing professional players, and analyzing their performances from courtside, gives him unparalleled expertise in the game.
Photo of author
David Anderson is a tennis expert from Los Angeles, California, who has had a lifelong passion for the game. He studied journalism at UCLA before focusing full-time on researching and writing about all aspects of tennis. His experience playing the sport since he was a kid, combined with countless hours spent researching, interviewing professional players, and analyzing their performances from courtside, gives him unparalleled expertise in the game.