When things are literally spinning out of control, it’s easy to panic. But when it comes to tennis strings, finding your sweet spot for power and control is actually easier than you think. For the most part, when we think of control, we think of spin.
That same thinking is not to be confused with power. Giving up power completely is something we don’t want. Rafa, as we know, hits with a ton of spin AND power. The ideal combination for him may not be the ideal combination for you.
If you already have a lot of racket whipping tendencies, then you may be able to go with a string that has a little less give and has a little more durability. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie to tennis, it can be difficult to find out exactly what does what to find that balance.
That’s why we are breaking down the absolute best strings on the market for control. But first, let’s talk about why certain strings offer more control over others in the first place.
Table of Contents
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
|RPM Blast Black Tennis String||Buy Now|
|Luxilion ALU Power 125 Tennis String||Buy Now|
|Solinco Tour Bite Tennis String||Buy Now|
|Tecnifibre Triax Natural Tennis String||Buy Now|
|Luxilon Original 130 Tennis String||Buy Now|
The Different Elements of Tennis String
Different strings have different elements to them. This is the easiest way to answer why some strings will have more control than others. Some strings are made in mind for those who lack the ability to create spin themselves. The string shape may have edges that help with the rotation of the ball. Other strings will be thin and break often, while their competitors will do just the opposite and last a lifetime. OK, not a lifetime, but they are a lot more durable than the ones mentioned.
The string elements will remain the same from packet to packet or reel to reel. But what often happens is that a player will misconceptualize and claim it feels different. Likely, this is because of a tension loss or because the racket was strung differently.
In general, we can classify our tennis strings into four different sets of groups. Each of these groups is something a little different from one another and can be a better fit for some players and a worse fit for others.
The four types of tennis strings that a player can choose from are synthetic gut, multi-filament, natural gut, and polyester. These strings’ different materials will produce different results in terms of control, spin, power, and more.
Made out of Nylon (in most cases), it comes in a variety of colors and textures. Since it is one of the most affordable strings, it is also the string that is made more often by companies and widely sold to shops, players, and warehouses. Some synthetic guts are wrapped just once, while others may be wrapped around twice. When it is wrapped around more than once, it generally holds tensions slightly better and is a thicker string making it more durable. This string, in general, has a solid core and is not hollow, giving it an extra point in holding tension. When this translates to control, we can ultimately conclude that it offers some pretty good control because the looser your strings become, the harder it is to control.
Also having to do with control is how a company will tweak the angle in which it is wrapped around. This can make a string more receptive to spin and control or less depending on the style chosen.
Synthetic gut and natural gut are the absolute opposite of one another. In-between the two is Multi-filament. Natural gut feels great but breaks the bank and breaks often. Multi-filament offers a pretty good feel and a much lower price making it your next best option from natural and a step up from synthetic. Unlike the solid base of synthetic, multi-filament has thousands of micro-filament together. It sort of resembles what licorice looks like in a packet bunched up. This string, in particular, offers a lot of power because of its elasticity. If there’s no spin component, some may feel these types of strings lack control.
The string’s shock-resistant qualities and absorption rate will give you some fraying and a very quick loss of tension. This also contributes to a lack of control and can be startling for some.
Natural Gut is going to rank particularly low when it comes to control but very well when it comes to feel and comfort. It is a soft string and appeals to a lot of players who suffer from tennis and golf elbow. This string is costly and not ideal for those who break often. Because you will need to hit with quite a bit of spin to control the ball, it’s likely you will also break strings more than you’d like. The reason it’s so expensive? The string itself is made from cow intestines.
You may already be dismissing this string for the opportunity to bring control to your game. But don’t dismiss it yet. This string holds the best tension out of all the strings and has one of the best playability ratings in the game. It also offers a great amount of spin without having to give up power. If you string it at the right tension, it can actually be a great contender.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum of natural gut is Polyester. It is the ultimate control string for those who hit absolute bombs on the court and can’t seem time find any control no matter what they do. With absolute maximum durability, you don’t have to worry about breaking these baby’s much. Polyester is a monofilament string that allows players to take big swings without worrying about losing control. Beginners also love this string because they don’t have the tools to try and manage their own shots. In return, you have to expect a harsh shot as it is not an arm-friendly string.
When looking for a specific type of string that offers control, it’s good to get acquainted with some of the top brands that offer strings, to begin with. Solinco, Babolat, Wilson, are just a few of the best brands that offer all different kinds of strings.
Solinco has been a popular string among all kinds of tennis players for quite some time. It’s recognizable for its bright green Hyper-G. Despite being a newer brand on the market, they have been dominant in the market for quite a while. Most of their strings are polyester or monofilament that offer great durability, and in other words, awesome control. But they love power, so they have a unique chemical makeup that has made their company one to be reckoned with.
Luxilon screams power as they are a beautiful premium string company that has taken over more than 60 percent of the professional athletes on the ATP and WTA tours. Luxilon started making their strings back in 1959 in Belgium with sewing machines. Since they have been around as long as some of the racket manufacturers offered, they have been a massive success and deeply loved by many. They offer natural got and polyester, but most love their natural gut as it is their claim to fame. Players rave about the feel and feedback when playing with their strings, so it is best for players to give this brand a try if they are looking for quality control.
Babolat is an unbelievably popular brand. Rafa is one of the most well-known athletes that use athletes, so it’s worth taking a glance from that alone. Racket manufacturers often will make a string that bodes well with their rackets because they like to sell reels and packets with a specific type of model. For instance, Babolat will generally recommend one of their more popular strings with many rackets, such as RPM Blast (a fan favorite). Most of Babolats’ strings will offer many spin-friendly tactics and control because their rackets are powerhouses. This is very desirable for a lot of players.
Hearing a similar story from Babolat will be the Wilson strings. Wilson has a few different options on the market that players in particular love pairing with their rackets. Wilson has a few options, whereas some other companies may only favor one or two strings. Some of their strings are geared towards control, while others offer some serious bite and pop. Just like your other options, Wilson has long represented some of the best players in the game for quite some time. Not to name drop, but Roger Federer is one of them.
Top Tennis Strings for Control
So now that you have a better feel for some of the string types and what they produce we can start to look at actual string choices. The same companies we just spoke about are going to be the same types of companies you will see just below on the list. But when reviewing each of these strings we need to consider the following when it comes to control.
Does the string hold up well in comparison to its performance?
How does the string feel and what kind of feedback do you get?
These two types of questions can help us determine if the string is too bouncy and uncontrollable and if it will hold up with durability. This is what makes a great string and separates some from the others. Keep in mind within each category, a string may perform better than its competitors.
Price is something that we list here but is not considered a good or bad thing as to whether it is expensive or not. It is a bonus, however, if it is a good quality string that comes at an affordable price.
1. Luxilon Alu Power
Make your racket look attractive and work wonders during any game with Luxilon strings. These racket strings are exclusively designed for use by anyone, but most professionals use rackets with these firm strings attached to them. They are constructed with polyester strings which gives them outstanding appearance and function.
This string is highly advantageous when used due to its resilience and durability. The incorporation of aluminum fibers helps extend its tensile strength. Interestingly it is used by both men and women and is used by above 50 % of professionals. It enables you to have maximum control of the game as it progresses.
This is a great racket string that helps you gain control when playing tennis and keeps you active all through the game. It is incredibly durable and can last for long periods because of the firmness of the strings.
This string can be used by professionals who love to be in control of the ball. Enjoy the comfort of using Luxilon Alu power which gives you complete control over the ball. These lively strings give you a very comfortable feeling while playing due to their resilience and durability.
The string keeps you in charge of the game with heavy spins and faster strokes against your opponent. Luxilon Alu strings also allow you to play tennis for longer periods due to their great control mechanisms and durability. Your spins get better and increase your flexibility with the ball throughout different games.
2. Solinco Tour Bite
Solinco Tour Bite sounds just like its name. It offers a lot of bite and is quite frankly used by many players on the women’s and men’s tours, respectively. How does it get that much bite? Simply put, the rotation coming off the ball from the strings is due to its shape. It’s a four-edge string which makes it unique in itself. The edges cause enough friction between the ball and the strings to make it rotate a lot faster and add more spin. It almost feels like your shots just never go out.
Because of how firm it is, this string is not for players that A) can’t generate their own pace and B) struggle with any kind of elbow or wrist injury. There are not a whole lot of anti-shock properties, meaning it’s a pretty rough contact.
On the plus side, there is much less string breaking overall.
3. RPM Blast
One of the most popular co-poly strings on tour and easily recognizable for its midnight black strings and octagonal shape. The edges can create massive amounts of friction, so you can imagine how spin-friendly this string is. RPM blast will go great with any of the rackets they produce because most of them are big powerhouses. Look no further than Rafa. He hits with so much power and so much spin from 10 feet behind the baseline sometimes, and the ball still goes in. He takes big confident, full swings with the racket.
The string itself is definitely underwhelming in power, so players can take such good cuts at the ball. It is much more of a control string which is also why you may find touch to be lacking in drop shots and other areas. Unlike other polys, as time goes on, you get a minimal trampoline effect because it retains tension decently and overall is a durable string.
4. Tecnifibre Triax Natural
Improve your games by adorning your racket with this nicely constructed string, exclusively constructed with 100 % polyester. You can play your games for hours comfortably. They are perfectly constructed for people who love to be in control of the ball.
The string is made of 50% Thermo polyester improved and polyamide fiber (50%). Enjoy this perfectly firm string racket which is highly durable and can last for long periods. Triax strings can absorb shock because their string is 15% stronger.
It can be used by both women and men and is ideal for players struggling with tennis elbow. If you are searching for that string that will give you an edge over other players, you should try this.
5. Luxilon Big Banger
Luxilon Big Banger has been popular since the ’80s. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s meant to indicate this is the string for big bangers and not those who need help banging bigger. If that makes sense, this durable polyester is quite the opposite of Luxilon’s natural gut strings. It’s known for being practically unbreakable. Ideal for players that love hitting through the ball from the baseline. But if you are a player who relies on an all-court touch and feel, then you should reconsider. This string is not soft on the arm by any means but is very complimentary to big-hitting rackets.
Big Banger will offer a generous amount of spin. This can be particularly helpful for those with big flat serves that want to continue to use their power but add some safety elements to their serve. While it doesn’t offer as much spin as other control strings it is not necessarily a bad thing. Some players who still enjoy playing flat will feel like even though it is a low-power string, it doesn’t reduce power even more by forcing rotation for those who prefer to play without it.
Things You Need To Know
Getting familiar with the brands and what the top strings are for control is important and making a good decision for you. Having said that, understand that there are other influences and qualities that go into rackets and strings that can alter how they feel. Considering these things below, you should know string tension, type of racket, etc., so you aren’t surprised when your ball is still flying.
Here is some of the extra information that is important in order to get what you need out of the string that you choose.
String tension will dramatically change how a string feels in your racket. Knowing what the recommended string tension range is will help you determine an appropriate number. But even then, the range is large. Going lower in the number will produce a bouncier string bed and less control. But going up in the number will keep things tight and sometimes can often make the strings feel like they are dead and not producing anything at all.
This is important to consider when thinking about the type of racket and string you have as you want to offset some things with the string tension.
If you want to select the right type of strings for you, it is always important to know what type of racket you are hitting with. This is because usually, strings should match their racket so they can balance out some of the weaknesses and increase the strengths.
There are really four different types of rackets that are offered on the market today. Sometimes the player may feel like the string is a bad choice for them when in reality, it’s the racket that is holding the player back.
The types of rackets listed below are the ones that you should be familiar with, also consider that different specs of rackets are going to offer different things. If you have more weight to a racket or more length, this is going to control how much access you have to power and spin. When this is combined with your string, these types of things can make a major impact on the game.
Four Types of Rackets
The four different types of rackets players can hit with really have different changes to the style of play. Each of them is meant for a specific type of player. Some of the categories have similar qualities, while others are quite drastic from one another.
The four types of players are traditional, modern, tweener, and power players. Each of these categories is pretty different from the other and can really offer a player with that style a complimentary racket.
Remember that each racket can be customized in dimensions to change some of the features, but the overall theme remains.
One of the more popular racket choices on the tour because of how well it works with short compact swings. Serena bombing serves may be the reason for that. In order to return any of them, the swing needs to be tight and compact. In general, men and women have increased their producing power in the last few years, which means their opponents will have less time to take big full swings. So the power, then, in turn, is supplied from the racket.
These rackets will store the weight in the head of the racket rather than the handle. They need to be lighter overall, so the maneuverability doesn’t become too difficult to whip around.
We can come back to our example with Rafa here. This is another popular choice because it bodes well with Spanish-style playing. Think of a lot of spins and a lot of power. Rotation is what keeps the ball in play when you have big hitters and allows for more margin when taking full swings.
This spin-friendly racket tends to be lighter overall, just like the power racket. It offers a brilliant mix of a tweener racket and a power racket.
Less popular but usually aimed at the most advanced players is the traditional type. It’s a smaller frame that is usually stiff, which makes timing and precious and absolute priority for anyone trying to hit with this racket. You really must be close to a professional level to be successful.
Traditional rackets are mostly found on professional tours and are meant to offer control instead of power, which is why they are more found in the men’s game.
Any all-court player is going to love the tweener racket because simply its name is what is important. It will offer you the best of everything and has incredibly high playability. It’s an all-around great racket but will not really perform exceptionally well in one category over another.
These rackets can come in either headlight or head heavy depending on the manufacturer and what racket you choose. This is because the specs often have a range that may change depending on other categories.
The swing weight of the racket will differ between different brands and models, so it is really up to the player how they want the racket to feel in their hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably still have some questions left, as most of us do. It’s a bigger topic that really needs some nitpicking in order to understand thoroughly. Having said that, once you get a general idea, it’s easy to figure out. But now, how will you determine what is right for you? These are the types of questions that constantly come up, so this Frequently Asked Questions section will answer the remaining information you need to point you in the right direction.
Does it matter which strings I string my racket with?
The most common question is this. It absolutely matters and can be answered in all the sections above in thorough detail. A lot of racket companies will give you recommendations based on what will go best with their rackets. More often than not, it is their own string that they produce. But not all string companies and racket companies have to match. It is a personal preference.
Depending on your game style will depend on the type of string you choose to go for, and from there, you can pick the brand and the specific string.
You will want to consider how much power you have, how big your groundstrokes are, and what type of player you are. From there you can give yourself a better idea of what will be the best choice for you.
How do I find the right string for me?
It’s great to go to a demo shop and ask a pro there what strings they would recommend if you feel like you can’t find the right string for yourself. Often if you are considering buying from them, they may let you try one out on the house. However, you can also buy different single packets out and sample them yourself.
This is always the best way to find out what string you like best by personally testing it out for yourself. Many people will string multiple rackets and play with them side-by-side to get the full experience in comparison.
Do I have to buy single packs all the time?
Definitely not! Once you find out what kind of string you like, it will be much more effective and price-efficient for you to buy a reel of string instead. Reels can be offered in different sizes based on the number of strings they will give you. It could be 20, or it could be 40, depending on what you go with. It is a much better way of purchasing strings than to continually use single packets at a higher price.
Another idea is that if you are a good junior, collegiate, or professional player, you may be able to contact the company directly and work out a deal with them. This is common as they have their own logos stenciled on the rackets of many players. Even teaching pros get deals with these companies all the time because they are selling the rackets to club members for them.
How do I know which tension to string my racket at?
Not everyone is going to like or want the same tension. You, as a player, will have to try out different things for yourself to find out what is manageable in terms of control and power. A player with a racket that is low-power producing may want to relax on the strings a bit, whereas someone who has a trampoline may need to tighten up.
Some players don’t know that they may need to change their tension from time to time, especially the better you get at tennis. Playing indoor tennis versus outdoor tennis will change the tension of a racket. Also, as an athlete develops strength, they will need to consider upping the tension on the strings to feel a little more control.
The racket manufacturer will likely have put their recommended range for customers to follow on the racket somewhere. However, different strings will individually work better at different tensions, so you really need to demo it out yourself.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the information you just learned about how strings work. It’s understandable, but you can also use this guide to come back to, and the real education is testing the waters yourself. It allows you to fine-tune your game and what you need.
String type, tension, and quality are important things to consider when looking for your perfect match. You should always choose your racket first before choosing your strings because they will be a direct play-off of each other. Rackets are the most important thing.
Now for all the big hitters out there, you should have all you need from this list. These are the best strings for control, and they are loved by the beginner to the best professionals.