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If you’re in the market for a new set of tennis strings, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve carefully selected 10 of the best tennis strings for 2018 and built this guide to help you find the exact set that fits your needs.
For your convenience, here’s a table of our top 10 picks that we’ve categorized our based on the different types of strings as well as specific goals you may be looking to achieve with your purchase of a new set for yourself or as the perfect tennis gift.
|Natural Gut||Babolat VS Touch||Natural Gut||$$$$$|
|Polyester (poly)||Luxilon ALU Power||Polyester||$$$|
|Synthetic Gut||Prince Synthetic Gut||Synthetic Gut||$|
|Hybrid||Wilson’s Champions Choice||Hybrid||$$$$|
|Topspin||Babolat RPM Blast||Polyester||$$|
|Power||Tecnifibre X-One Biphase||Multifilament||$$$|
|Control||Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour||Polyester||$$|
|Durability||Luxilon Big Banger Ace||Polyester||$$|
|Comfort||Prince Premier Touch||Multifilament||$$$|
To help you get the most out of this article, here’s an overview of what we’ll cover – click any of the following links to jump to that section:
- How to use this guide
- Tips for selecting a set of strings
- Our selection process
- A comprehensive review of each string
To learn more about each string we selected and why we think it’s the best in its category keep reading or click any of the following links to jump to that section.
How to Use This Guide
When selecting a new set of tennis strings, we’ve found there are two common approaches that many players find useful to think about when looking for the perfect fit.
- Type of string
- String features
The different types of strings that we cover include:
- Natural Gut
- Synthetic Gut
Here are the string features that we find players ask for most frequently:
Our goal with this guide is to provide you with a strong recommendation that we feel best represents each of these categories regardless of which of the above ten categories is top of mind for you.
For example, if topspin is your main priority then we feel confident our string selecting will deliver to that end. However, one thing to keep in mind is that with tennis strings there are often going to be tradeoffs and in this guide, we’ve worked to highlight those so you can make the best decision.
Tips for Selecting a Set of Tennis Strings
To help you get the most out of this guide, we’ve also included a few tips to help you select a tennis string.
Tennis String Gauge
Once you’ve found a new set of tennis strings that you’d like to try, many players will get tripped up with what gauge or thickness makes the most sense for them. There are two key factors to consider when thinking about string gauge which is durability and spin potential.
Typically, the thicker a string the more durable and less spin potential, while the thinner a string the less durable and more spin potential.
Strings are widely available at 17 or 16 gauge with 17 being a thinner string and 16 thicker. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we tend to suggest players start with one of those based on whether they’re looking for more durability and spin and then adjust from there.
If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, check out our article on tennis string gauge, which gives an in-depth explanation.
Tennis String Tension
While string gauge is one of the last questions players have before buying a set of strings, tension is frequently the first question afterward.
Different types of strings can require slightly different consideration, but to keep things simple you’re typically making a tradeoff between more power with a lower tension or more control with a higher tension.
Luckily, racquet manufacturers don’t keep players guessing and provide players with a tension range that their racquets should be strung at which they print directly on the frame. A good starting point is typically the middle point of their recommendation. For example, if your racquets tension range is 50-60 pounds then a good starting point is 55. Once you hit at that tension, you’ll be able to better gauge whether to increase or decrease from there.
String tension can have a fairly substantial impact on performance so if you’d like to dive into the finer details of string tension we’d recommend you check out our article on how to enhance your game with the right tension which goes in-depth on the topic.
If you’re not already familiar, hybrid stringing is where one type of string for the mains and a different string for the crosses.
The result is a blend of string attributes with the string used in the mains dominating the overall feel and the crosses having an influence on the feel and performance of the mains. The result is even more flexibility and options when stringing.
Some string sets such as Wilson’s Champions Choice, our pick for the best pre-packaged hybrid, include two different types of strings. In this case, natural gut combined with a polyester string. However, you can combine any two types of strings as a hybrid.
Regardless of whether you decide to experiment with hybrid string setups, it’s great to be aware of the option which has become more and more popular over the years.
As you look to buy a new set of tennis strings, it pays to have a sense of how frequently you should replace your strings. Typically, we find many recreational players will simply wait until their strings break.
While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it’s good to recognize that the lifespan and performance of a string (referred to as playability duration in the string world) are generally way shorter than the length of time it takes to break a set of strings.
At the end of the day, it’s entirely a personal preference, but these factors can help you determine when you should replace your strings:
- Frequency and length of play
- Style of play
- Level of competition
- Personal preference
To learn more about these factors, we have an entire article dedicated to providing more guidance on the topic of when to replace your strings.
As you can imagine, every set of tennis strings performs differently strung up in a different tennis racquet. Racquets, like strings, are designed to provide players with different attributes, i.e. spin, power, control, etc..
Assuming you’re sticking to the same frame you should expect a set of strings to deliver the attributes covered in this guide. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that your racquet will likely deliver a slightly different experience than someone else using the same string in a different racquet.
While there aren’t any rules to which strings should be used for a given tennis racquet, it’s worth keeping in mind, especially if a friend of yours that uses a completely different racquet is recommending a certain type of string.
Your Style of Play, Preferences, and Opinion
Last but definitely not least, one of the best tips we can offer when considering a new set of strings all come back to you as a player.
Taking into consideration your style of play, i.e. are you a baseliner that hits with heavy topspin or perhaps a serve and volleyer, your personal preferences or what you’d like to get out of a new set of strings, and your own opinion on what you like and don’t like is super important.
All too often, we find players swayed by what the pros are using or a teammate or friend with little or no consideration for the things that make them unique as a player. Of course, you can learn a lot by looking for outside feedback and we encourage you to listen to those thoughts.
However, we tend to find that players get a much better result and are happier with their string setup when they pause to consider their own needs versus what’s popular.
To that end, we can’t stress the value of experimenting to find the right set of strings. Rarely is it a one and done scenario to figure out what works best for a player and while paying for restringing isn’t super cheap we find it’s a sound investment for players that are serious about their game.
Our Selection Process
To select our picks for the best tennis strings in each category, we evaluated each set of strings across eight distinct attributes to provide you with the most objective ratings possible.
We then playtested each string and rated each attribute on a scale of 1-10. The average of all scores is calculated for the overall score.
Here are the attributes we used in our selection process.
Some tennis strings return significantly more energy when a ball is struck making it easier to generate pace. Higher power strings will require less effort to generate pace while low powered strings will require more of the player.
There are a variety of factors that can influence spin but ultimately some strings provide players with significantly more potential for generating topspin than others. Strings with high spin ratings enable players to generate more topspin while strings with low spin ratings will result in less potential for spin.
The ability for a player to direct and place the ball accurately and with confidence is generally perceived as control especially when taking big cuts at the ball. Power and control are frequently intertwined, i.e. a lower power string will generally provide players with more control while a high powered string will provide players with less control.
Most players will associate touch with feel or the ability to delicately and accurately place the ball with finesse. A higher rating of touch will help give players a greater sense of touch while a lower rating will reduce touch and make it more difficult to execute certain shots and thus require additional focus and attention from the player to execute.
The amount of shock and vibration felt by a player when hitting with different strings is going to be perceived as high or low comfort. Some tennis strings are better at absorbing and reducing shock and vibration resulting in a more comfortable feel.
The ability for a set of strings to limit wear and tear from hitting, moisture, debris, changes in temperature, etc… that can ultimately lead to breakage or reduce the lifespan of a string is referred to as durability.
The length of time a set of strings can maintain tension and quality play delivered is the playability duration. Many strings may be highly durable and not break easily but still require frequent replacement to maintain the quality of the strings attributes.
Strings that snap back into place after hitting and don’t move a great deal or require constant straightening will have higher movement ratings. Strings with low ratings will move considerably and require players to continually straighten them.
As far as tennis strings go, natural gut is some of the best (and priciest) tennis string on the market
To the surprise of some players, manufacturers create natural gut tennis strings by weaving together multiple strands of cow intestine. The elasticity of the material is exceptional, it’s fantastic at holding tension, and it’s easy on the arm.
For 2018, we’ve awarded Babolat VS Touch as the best natural gut tennis strings.
Babolat VS Touch
Back in 1875, Pierre Babolat developed the first tennis string made of sheep gut, and Babolat natural gut has remained the gold standard for natural gut tennis strings ever since.
Players will find Babolat VS Touch delivers on power, comfort, and feel. The string has also received slight upgrades over the years to increase its durability and resistance to moisture – historically two pitfalls of many natural gut tennis strings.
Why We Love It
Hands down, natural gut is the most powerful string on the market and Babolat’s VS Touch stands at the head of its class.
The elastic natural fibers with Babolat VS Touch make for a string with unrivaled comfort. However, what’s unique about this string is that it also plays super crisp and doesn’t lose its comfort at higher tensions.
The cherry on top for Babolat VS Touch is the incredible feel that it offers even when strung at a high tension, which gives you a strong sense of connection with the ball and great touch.
The downsides to Babolat VS Touch are control and spin which go hand in hand. Some players will find it brings too much power and difficult to match the level of spin you’re going to get with a quality set of polyester strings.
However, again, what’s unique about this string is that you don’t lose out when you string at higher tensions which a great way to rein in the strings built-in power for more control.
Lastly, it’s worth noting the natural fibers with this string will result in fraying. While common with natural gut, this may be a turn off for some players.
Babolat VS Touch Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
- 16 Black
- 16 half set
Alternatives to Babolat VS Touch
If you like the idea of Babolat VS Touch but you want to explore some alternative natural gut options, then we’d recommend you start with Wilson Natural Gut. It’s an incredible string and comparable to Babolat’s delivering similar specs overall.
A few other options worth checking out are Pacific Tough Gut and the more affordable KLIP Legend Natural Gut.
If you’re not familiar, multifilament tennis strings are composed of thousands of tiny microfibers that are woven together to form a single tennis string with many similar qualities to natural gut.
In particular, multifilament tennis strings offer great playability and exceptional comfort. If you’re a player that suffers from tennis elbow or any other arm injury, then you’ll likely appreciate the added comfort they offer.
Today, there are a wide variety of multifilament tennis strings on the market and more than a handful of terrific options. However, Wilson NXT earns the label of the best multifilament for 2018.
There’s no doubt, Wilson NXT is a long-standing leader in the multifilament space with a strong following and proven track record.
Whether you’re stringing a full bed or combining with another string as a hybrid, this string is a great option for a wide range of players. Here are the few top reasons we love this string.
Why We Love It
One of Wilson NXT’s standout features is its power, which it delivers through the combined effort of 1,600 individual microfibers. However, arguably the best part of its power is that it’s not overbearing. As a result, most players will find the extra power a welcome feature that they can easily put to use without having to worry too much about overhitting.
Perhaps what Wilson NXT is best known for is its comfort which is the feature that Wilson highlights as the string’s strongest asset. True to their claim, NXT is a delightfully rich string that is easy on the arm without sacrificing the response and playability that players demand.
While Wilson NXT packs a punch on the power end of the spectrum, we still found it provided great feel and delivered all-around playability that we believe suits a broad range of player styles and skill levels.
The main thing you give up with Wilson NXT is durability, which is easily the biggest complaint about the string. To compensate, we recommend you go with the 16 gauge to help extend its life.
Wilson NXT Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
- 16 black
- 17 black
Alternatives to Wilson NXT
If you’re looking for an alternative to Wilson NXT then the good news is you’ve got options. The truth is, while we give Wilson NXT a slight edge, Technifibre’s X-One Biphase and NRG2 are borderline equivalents and we’d encourage you to check all three out. Babolat’s Xcel is also another worthy option to consider in the multifilament category.
Within the past 10-15 years, polyester tennis strings have become hugely popular allowing players like Rafael Nadal to take massive cuts at the ball and redefine our expectations and what’s possible with topspin.
Unlike multifilament tennis strings that are composed of thousands of microfibers, polyester strings are typically monofilament, i.e. a single solid filament.
Many players seek out polyester strings for their control, spin, and durability. However, this tends to come with a drawback that the strings aren’t as forgiving and can be harsh on your arm.
Our pick for the best polyester tennis string for 2018 is Luxilon ALU Power, which has developed a cult-like following and is widely popular on the ATP and WTA tour.
Luxilon ALU Power
In the tennis world, it’s hard to utter the word’s polyester without the Luxilon brand coming to mind. The sheer popularity among professional and competitive tennis players speaks volumes in terms of what this string brings to the table.
At the end of the day, Luxilon ALU Power defines what modern players expect from a polyester tennis string in terms of control, spin, and durability.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that make Luxilon ALU Power so popular, especially among intermediate to advanced tennis players.
Why We Love It
Without a doubt, Luxilon ALU Power delivers fantastic control without sacrificing great touch and feel, which can often be a drawback of other polyester tennis strings.
In particular, intermediate to advanced players will love the fact that you can take huge cuts at the ball without sacrificing control – you’ll know exactly where the ball is going.
However, Luxilon ALU Power still retains a liveliness to the extent that the string doesn’t feel underpowered or dull.
Luxilon ALU Power also delivers excellent access to spin.
True to most polyester strings, the lower power allows players to accelerate their racquet head faster to generate added spin without being afraid of sending the ball long.
Luxilon ALU Power does not disappoint when it comes to durability, one of the polyester category of strings trademark features.
In fact, Luxilon ALU Power stands out from the crowd because it’s hard to break but it also does an excellent job maintaining tension which helps extend the overall life of the strings.
When it comes to polyester tennis strings, the tradeoffs are generally low power and comfort. In some ways, it’s simply the cost of the spin, control, and feel that this category of strings delivers and ALU power is no exception to these rules.
Luxilon ALU Power Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
- 16L Blue, Green, Red, Teal
Alternatives to Luxilon ALU Power
When it comes to Luxilon ALU Power alternatives, our favorite place to look is among the line of Luxilon strings. From Luxilon ALU Power Rough to ALU Power Spin, ALU Power Soft, ALU Power Fluoro, and ALU Power Feel among others, they’ve taken their most popular string and morphed it to suit a wide variety of player preferences.
However, if you’re looking outside of the Luxilon family of strings then we’d definitely recommend you check out Babolat RPM Blast, Babolat Pro Hurricane, Wilson Revolve, and the incredibly affordable Volkl Cyclone for more of the same polyester goodness that you’ll find with Luxilon.
On the lower end of the performance spectrum, synthetic gut tennis strings provide players with access to a quality product without the higher price tag associated with natural gut, multifilament, and polyester strings.
The result tends to be an economical string that performs fairly well all around without the enhanced features associated with other types, i.e. the extra comfort available through many multifilaments or control familiar with polyester.
If anything, synthetic gut strings will tend to air on the side of durability which is a great feature for players looking for an affordable option because they’ll also last, which adds to their value.
This year, we’re awarding the best synthetic gut tennis strings to Prince Synthetic Gut, a classic string that offers comfort and reasonable power at a wallet-friendly price.
Prince Synthetic Gut
For years, Prince Synthetic Gut has provided recreational players of all ages and levels with a time-tested string that delivers all-around playability at an unbeatable price.
While it doesn’t provide the unique strengths of other string categories, Prince Synthetic Gut is a superbly economical choice that will continue to satisfy the needs of players around the world. Plus, it comes in more colors you can shake a stick at, which is particularly fun for younger players where string performance isn’t a priority.
Why We Love It
When it comes to the synthetic gut family of tennis strings, it’s all about value and Price Synthetic Gut delivers with a price point under $5 per set.
While you won’t get access to some of the higher end features available with natural gut, multifilament, or polyester strings you should find that these strings are all around great performers for the price.
Prince Synthetic Gut isn’t a particularly high scorer in any single category, but we find it lacks the most in the durability, control, and feel categories. Generally, we find this is a great option for beginners who won’t have the technique and skill-set to notice a significant difference between strings.
Prince Synthetic Gut Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
- 16: black, gold, silver, blue, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, white
- 17: black, gold, red, pink, orange, green, white
Alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut
There are quite a few alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut. However, a near equivalent and one we highly appreciate is Gosen’s OG-Sheep Micro which is even more affordable and is another fantastic synthetic gut option. Another we’d recommend you check out is Ashaway Synthetic Gut.
One of the challenges that players have faced over the years is that different strings come with distinct pros and cons. For example, many players will find multifilaments to be too powerful and lack in the spin department, while polyesters are found to be harsh on the arm.
To make up for the pros and cons associated with different string types, players began to combine multiple strings (one set for the mains and another for the crosses) to get the best of both worlds, and it’s become a highly popularized approach to stringing.
While any two strings can be combined to form a hybrid we found Wilson Champions Choice to be the best pre-packaged hybrid.
With it, you’ll get Wilson’s Natural Gut coupled with Luxilon ALU Power Rough polyester to strike a delightful balance between comfort, power, spin, control, and feel.
Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid
If there’s any defining characteristic of this hybrid string set, it’s the fact that it’s the choice of the games greatest player – Roger Federer. Of course, beyond the name recognition, come the combination of two remarkable strings (and brands) blended together as a hybrid provide a unique balance of to suite a wide range of players.
As a reminder, the characteristics of the string used for the mains will dominate the overall feel of the strings, so if you’re going for durability and control we’d recommend stringing the Luxilon in the mains, while a gentle feel and increased playability can be found by using Wilson’s natural gut in the mains.
While it’s different for every player, we found the natural gut in the mains to serve as the ideal setup with the string set.
Why We Love It
With Wilson’s Natural Gut in the mains, Wilson’s Champions Choice delivers more than enough power while not being overbearing.
For players looking for great spin potential along with comfort, we find it hard to beat the combination of these two strings. While you can certainly get more comfortable with a full bed of natural gut, the tradeoff with spin and control is frequently too much.
However, this hybrid delivers it all.
The best part about hybrid string setups is you can combine the best of two worlds in natural gut and polyester tennis strings. This means you get a blend of each string category features which provides players with a balance that only a hybrid setup can offer.
One can argue that hybrid stringing with natural gut and a polyester is a double edge sword. While you get a blend of characteristics, you don’t get all the benefit of either string type and you end up meeting somewhere in the middle. For many players, this is a dream scenario. However, for others, it will leave them wanting.
In particular, we believe players used to full bed polyester string setups may find Wilson Champions Choice a bit too high powered and slightly lacking in the spin and control departments. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference.
Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
Alternatives to Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid
For many, the price of this string set is a bit too rich. With that in mind, we’d recommend players check out Wilson’s Control Duo Hybrid, which is a combination of Wilson’s NXT Tour and Luxilon ALU Power. While there are other hybrid string packs available, the possibilities are endless, as any two strings can be combined as an alternative hybrid setup.
With players like Rafel Nadal on tour, one of most sought-after attributes for tennis players is the ability to generate massive topspin.
If you’re looking to follow suit, then there’s no doubt that polyester tennis strings are a fantastic choice. Their slick surface and ability to snap back into place are a dynamic combination to help you generate maximum spin.
However, with more than a handful of polyester strings on the market one string stands out from the crowd as the best tennis string for topspin and that’s Babolat RPM Blast.
Babolat RPM Blast
Babolat RPM Blast takes topspin to the max. First, as a polyester tennis string, the strings are slick and quickly snap back into place upon contact helping to generate topspin.
However, this string set takes things a step further with a unique octagonal shape that helps grab the ball and increase the potential for spin that is second to none.
Perhaps, one of the most unique attributes about Babolat RPM Blast is that it’s surprisingly comfortable to play with for a polyester tennis string, which makes it a terrific option for anyone looking to test the waters with a poly to help push their topspin to the next level.
Why We Love It
It should come as no surprise that our favorite feature with Babolat RPM Blast is its ability to help maximize spin. Hitting forehands and backhands from the back of the court was a joy as the ball would propel itself off our strings with a level of topspin that’s only possible with a polyester.
The combination of spin and low power of RPM Blast allowed us to take full swings and huge cuts at the ball. The topspin allowed us to clear the net with confidence the ball would dip back into the court and we never felt we had to worry about the ball sailing long. Together these attributes gave us a strong sense of control which allowed us to dictate points and move players side to side.
While durability isn’t always the most exciting feature of a tennis string, Babolat RPM Blast delivers in this category and is a string you can count on to stand up to a beating and last. Most players will find they’ll cut the strings out to replace before breaking them.
As you might expect from a poly, the biggest tradeoff with Babolat RPM Blast is it’s lower power and comfort relative to other types of strings. While the low power is part of what makes this string fantastic, it does have the potential to leave some players longing for more.
From a comfort standpoint, there’s no doubt this string is a cut above other polyesters, however, it’s nowhere near the comfort delivered by gut or multifilaments which players will want to consider before taking the leap.
Babolat RPM Blast Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
Alternatives to Babolat RPM Blast
When it comes to topspin, there are plenty of options. However, our favorite alternatives include Luxilon Alu Power Spin and Diadem Solstice Power. We definitely give Alu Power Spin the edge as it delivers a more well-rounded experience, but Solstice Power packs some serious topspin and is another great option to check out.
As the game of tennis has evolved with stronger players and more aggressive styles of play, the ability to control the ball has become increasingly important.
Whether you’re looking to tone down the power of a stiffer frame or you’re simply looking to avoid overhitting to keep the ball in play, a control oriented string might be a great option.
The low power associated with polyester tennis strings make them a great fit for control. However, not all polyester is created equal. In this case, we’re naming Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour as the best tennis string for control.
Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour
What sets Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour apart from the rest is that its ultra firm and low powered, which allows you to take huge cuts at the ball to generate topspin and feel confident with your placement.
Similar to Babolat’s RPM Blast, Pro Hurricane Tour is a polyester tennis string and octagon shaped so there’s tremendous grip on the ball combined with the trademark ability of a great polyester to snap back into place to generate topspin.
Add to that a firm stringbed that provides a consistent response and low power and you have a lethal combination for controlling the ball even when you really turn up the heat and hit big.
Why We Love It
While there are a lot of similarities between RPM Blast, we give Pro Hurricane Tour the edge in the control department primarily because of the strings stay put and as a result provide such a consistent response. Part what gives a string a greater sense of control is feeling like you know what to expect every time the ball leaves the stringbed and that’s what puts Pro Hurricane Tour at the top of its class.
Another area where players gain a sense of control is through topspin, which allows you to swing through the ball and have confidence it’s going to clear the net and drop back into the court. As a result, it’s no surprise that Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour performs terrifically in this category which aids in the sense of control and confidence you have when swinging through the ball.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll find Hurricane Pro Tour is a leader when it comes to durability in the polyester space so you can count on the string to last.
Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour is a firm tennis string so it’s not exactly the most comfortable or arm friendly string out there. Another side effect of the firm feel is a lower sense of touch, which isn’t the strings strength.
Outside of that, the string is very low powered. All in all, while a fantastic tennis string it requires players to have solid technique to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour Ratings
Gauge & Color Variations
Alternatives to Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour
If you’re looking to test drive a polyester that delivers plenty of control then we’d recommend checking out Luxilon Alu Power and Babolat’s RPM Blast. Luxilon delivers all around as a great alternative and tons of control, while Babolat’s RPM Blast is quite similar to Pro Hurricane Tour with a slightly more forgiving stringbed and stronger emphasis on topspin.
Unfortunately, all of us aren’t built with the strength to turn up the heat when we’d like. Perhaps you’re looking to hit a bigger serve, groundstrokes, or maybe you’d like to add a little pop to a more flexible control oriented tennis racquet.
If so, a string that naturally brings more power to your shots can be a great option, and Tecnifibre X-One Biphase delivers exactly that as the best tennis string for power.
Tecnifibre X-One Biphase
As a multifilament tennis string, Tecnifibre X-One Biphase is a technological powerhouse with features like PU 400 and Elastyl that help deliver more power with ease.
It’s also an incredibly comfortable string to play with, which makes it an excellent choice for players with tennis elbow as well as a great option for use as part of a hybrid string setup along with a more control oriented, spin friendly polyester.
Why We Love It
Technifibre X-One Biphase packs a punch and delivers power as it’s standout feature. From the baseline to serving and everything in between, players will find the ball really jumps off the strings. In fact, many players may find they need to tweak the tension to find the sweet spot between balance and control.
Generally speaking, multifilaments and the thousands of fibers that make up this family of strings provide for an arm friendly hitting experience. However, X-One Biphase really stands out as an ultra comfortable string that does a great job at absorbing shock and reducing the impact on your arm without losing the liveliness that makes this string a crowd favorite.
While powerful, Technifibre gets the ingredients right with a string that also delivers excellent feel and touch that we enjoyed from all areas of the court but really stood out to us at the net.
Hands down the biggest tradeoff you’re going to make with Technifibre X-One Biphase is with spin. As a multifilament, it doesn’t have the natural ability to snap back into place which aids in generating topspin.
Also, compared to a polyester tennis string, some players may find that X-One Biphase is a bit overpowering which materializes in feeling like it’s a bit harder to control the ball.
Lastly, while the playability duration or the lifespan of the strings is strong, the durability of the strings may be an issue for chronic string breakers.
Technifibre X-One Biphase Ratings
- 16: natural, red
- 17: natural, red
- 18: natural, red
Alternatives to Technifibre X-One Biphase
If your number one goal is power, then you might consider natural gut as an option. Unfortunately, the price of natural gut is simply cost prohibitive for the vast majority of players so it’s not our first recommendation.
Two strings that we’d recommend checking out as solid alternatives are Technifibre’s NR2 and Babolat’s Origin. Both are multifilaments with similar playing characteristics to X-One Biphase.
If you’re a big hitter that frequently breaks strings or you’re looking to extend the life of each re-string, then you’re going to want a durable string that lasts. After all, restringing too often can become an expensive habit.
Once again, polyester strings enter as the leader in durability due to their solid monofilament construction and slick surface that wards off notching.
While you’ll find most polyester tennis strings are considerably more durable than natural gut, multifilament, or synthetic gut tennis strings, the best durable string for 2018 goes to Luxilon Big Banger Ace.
Luxilon Big Banger Ace
Luxilon Big Banger Ace is a slightly less popular tennis string in the uber-popular Luxilon family of strings. As with most great polyester tennis strings, you’ll get plenty of spin, control, and feel.
However, perhaps most impressive is the durability of Luxilon Big Banger Ace at its thin 18 gauge thickness. Generally speaking, at this thin gauge strings become significantly more susceptible to breakage, especially if you’re hitting with a lot of topspin, but these strings held up to the task.
Why We Love It
If you’re a heavy hitter that likes the extra spin and feel that a thinner gauge string provides, but can’t typically afford to go to thin because you easily break strings, then look no further than Luxilon Big Banger Ace. It’s one of the most durable strings out there.
With the thinner 18 gauge and polyester makeup of the string, Luxilon Big Banger Ace delivers fantastic access to spin. We particularly enjoyed the heavy topspin we were able to produce on our groundstrokes but also found it helped deliver tons of spin to our kick serve which helped the ball leap off the court and well out of most player strike zones.
When a string provides a great balance between spin and feel in a low powered package you frequently end up with excellent control and Luxilon Big Baner Ace delivers on this front which helped us move our opponents around and dictate points.
To get access to some of our favorite attributes this string provides, you’re going to need to give up in a few other areas. More specifically, Luxilon Big Banger Ace is a lower powered tennis string that while offering above average comfort compared to some polys is far from the most comfortable string on the market.
Luxilon Big Banger Ace Ratings
- TiMO 18
- TiMO 17L
Alternatives to Luxilon Big Banger Ace
If you’re looking for another durable string in the Luxilon line, then Luxilon ALU Power is another great option to consider and our selection for the best polyester tennis string. Beyond that, Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour our selection for the best control oriented tennis string is another great option.
Lastly, we’d recommend you also check out Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code which is also a highly durable poly that also packs tons of topspin.
One of the most common injuries in our sport is tennis elbow. If you’ve ever experienced it yourself, you’ll know how painful it can be and how it can sideline a player from playing the game they love.
Luckily for us, string manufacturers have continued to develop products that aim to ward off the harsh vibrations that can result from playing tennis.
In this category, we’ve selected the multifilament Prince Premier Touch as the best comfort oriented tennis string.
Prince Premier Touch
As a multifilament, Prince Premier Touch combines thousands of individual fibers to build a string that resembles the makeup of natural gut.
However, Prince took things a step further than most multifilaments and use a spiraled ribbon construction to more closely match the serosa fibers used in a true natural gut.
The result is the softest multifilament we’ve ever tested which all but matches the comfort of the best natural gut on the market and is the perfect option for players with tennis elbows where comfort may be at the very top of their list of priorities.
Why We Love It
We can’t sing the praise of the level of comfort that this string offers so it’s a no-brainer for players that require strength in this attribute and are willing to sacrifice in some other area. Another option for players that do want to strike a balance is to consider Prince Premier Touch as part of a hybrid string setup.
Prince Premier Touch also packs a highly respectable level of power. Even at a higher tension, the ball really leaps from the strings. Players that hit with a lot of topspin may find the string lacks control especially if they’re used to a stiffer control oriented tennis string.
As with all tennis strings on our list, there’s always a tradeoff and Prince Premier Touch is no exception. The areas where we feel like the string gives up the most is within the spin, control, and feel departments.
Relative to other tennis strings, we found we had to work significantly harder to generate topspin and even our best efforts left us wanting. Combined with the ultra-soft stringbed that lacked feel and we felt like the string really kept us on our toes because it just wasn’t as effortless to control and direct the ball with the precision that we’re used to.
Prince Premier Touch Ratings
Alternatives to Prince Premier Touch
If you’re looking for an arm-friendly tennis string that’s high on comfort and you can afford the higher price tag, we’d definitely recommend you check out a natural gut like Babolat VS or Wilson’s Natural Gut. However, there are plenty of other tennis strings worth checking out. A few that we’d recommend looking into are Babolat Origin, Wilson NXT, Tecnifibre NRG2, and Head Reflex MLT.
There you have it, our top 10 picks of the best tennis strings in 2018. What many players will find is that “best” is relative and subject to personal preference. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our list or at the very least it helped point you in the right direction.
What are your picks for the top tennis strings? We’d love for you to share in the comments below.
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