Monofilament and Multifilament Tennis Strings

What are you looking for in a racquet string? Do you need power, control, or durability? Or maybe you’re looking for more comfort?

If you dive in the types of strings available and do a little bit of research, you’ll discover how much there is to know.

Let me make this process a bit easier for you.

What Are Tennis Strings?

These are the network of strings which hit the ball in a tennis racquet. These strings are made of different materials which have various properties, tension, and thickness.

They’re strung in special patterns for maximum efficiency.

What Are Tennis Strings Made of?

Material

Tennis strings are made of a variety of material, some are natural and others are synthetic. They differ in many aspects like tension, elasticity, thickness, durability, cost, and more.

When buying a racquet, each player must try out several string materials and test which one is the most comfortable and which one suits his game style and performance best.

Here are some examples of string material:

●     Natural gut (catgut)

●     Synthetic gut

●     Multifilament

●     Nylon

●     Polyester

Gauge

A gauge indicates thickness. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the string is and vice versa.

So although thinner strings are easier to be damaged or broken, they achieve higher performances, have better ‘feel,’ and better control.

On the other hand, thicker strings are more durable and heavy-duty.

Stringing Pattern

There are special racquet string machines that place the strings in the racquet in a certain process called ‘stringing’. This means that strings are woven into a network of horizontal and vertical lines.

At some point in history, double-strung racquets, also called ‘spaghetti racquets’, were available but later banned. Afterward, other similar racquets were introduced, which are legal to use up to this day.

Racquets can be strung in 2 ways; either with a single string (which creates 2 knots) or with 2 separate strings (which create 4 knots). Two ‘different’ types of strings can be used in the same racquet. This is called ‘hybrid stringing.’

Monofilament vs. Multifilament Strings

The two main types of strings used for tennis racquets can be summed up in 2 types: Monofilament and multifilament strings.

Monofilament Strings

Monofilament strings (like polyester) are quite stiff. Stiffer strings generate more control over the ball but less power. Control comes from the bouncing of the ball or the ‘trampoline effect’ when the ball contacts the racquet.

Stiffer strings cause more fatigue to the arms because they don’t absorb the hit of the ball as much as the multifilament strings do. But what pros love about this string is that you can swing big and it’ll give your ball a lot of spin!

In terms of durability, polyester monofilament strings are the most resistant.

Summary

●     Great control

●     Great durability

●     Great stiffness

●     Less power

●     Less comfort (arm fatigue)

Multifilament Strings

Multifilament strings are pretty flexible strings. Flexible strings generate more power but decrease control over the ball.

These strings have the best ‘feel’ as players usually describe it. This happens because multifilament strings somehow absorb the hit of the ball and create less vibration of the strings

This creates less trauma on the player’s hand and gives more comfort when playing for a longer duration.

Since multifilament strings aren’t stiff strings, they’re less durable and can get damaged sooner than monofilament strings.

Summary

●     Great power

●     Great comfort

●     Great ‘feel’

●     Great flexibility

●     Less durability

●     Less control

When to Use Monofilament and When to Go for Multifilament Strings

Health is one of the most important things to consider, so if you have any arm issues or some sort of injury, you should go for the multifilament strings. Polyester monofilaments are much harder on the arms and may cause trauma.

If you’re a string breaker or have a more muscular physique, polyester monofilaments will be a better match for you.

If you’re looking for more power and ‘feel’, then try the multifilament strings, but keep in mind that you’ll have less control over the ball.

If you need more resistant strings and you don’t have any health problems, go for the polyester monofilament strings. You’ll get more durable strings with lots of great control over the ball.

How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Racquet

Although choosing strings might seem like a minute task or an unimportant detail to think about for a beginner in tennis, racquet strings can alter the performance of a player. There are certain criteria to consider to choose the right string for your racquet.

String Tension

The strings are secured to the racquet by various tensions.

Each racquet comes with a recommended range of string tension, usually printed on the racquet.

Players who are just starting out in tennis often adjust their string tension to be somewhere in the middle of this range, until they get the hang of it and be able to decide which tension suits them best.

Loose Strings

●     Farther shots

●     More power

●     Less controlled and unpredictable hits

Tight Strings

●     More control on the shots

●     More finesse

●     Less power

Extremely Tight Strings

●     No ‘feel’ over the ball

●     Fine and delicate shots become more difficult

●     Too much power can result in tennis elbow

Dead Strings

●     Little or no control over shots

●     Little or no power

●     May cause shoulder and arm pain and/or fatigue

Type of String According to Your Racquet

Now that we’ve discussed the strings and their types and uses, it’s important to talk a little bit about the racquet itself.

Weight

The weight of the racquet can make a lot of difference.

If you’re an occasional player who doesn’t have a strict regimen or schedule of practice, it’s preferable to use a lightweight racquet (less than 300 g).

Lightweight racquets are easier to play with, and they don’t strain the arms. However, they’re less powerful racquets and get more shock from the opponent’s hits.

If you’re a professional player with intensive practice schedules or even a regular player who practices at least once a week, you need a more heavy-duty racquet (more than 300 g of weight).

Heavy-weight racquets are much more powerful to hit a ball with and are more effective as shock absorbers. This property will decrease your chances of getting injured in the long run.

However, to compensate for the weight of the racquet, you’ll need to have strong muscles or train your muscles to be able to withstand the weight for long durations of practice. Otherwise, you’ll have shoulder pain.

How to Choose the Strings According to Your Racquet?

If you have a lightweight racquet (less than 300 g) which isn’t a very good shock absorber, you’ll need a more powerful string that will ensure comfort as well. A great choice here would be multifilament strings.

If you have a heavy racquet (more than 300 g) which is already very powerful on its own, you’ll need more control and durability which a polyester monofilament can guarantee. Only make sure you don’t have arm issues or shoulder injuries.

If you have recurring pain in your shoulders or arms, you may need to check which type of string you’re using and change it if it’s the wrong type.

Look out for the type and weight of the racquet you’re using and ask your coach or a professional to help you find the proper one according to your physique, playing frequency, and style.

Conclusion

Some people might underestimate the importance of tennis strings and the great impact they can have on the player and the game.

There are many types of tennis strings available on the market, but if you don’t know the advantages and disadvantages of each type and how to choose the best type for you, you’ll end up buying the wrong one.

It’s always great to know what you’re looking for and then choose wisely.