Stringing Machine Review: Tourna 600-ES
The tennis brand turns to the stringing machine market with an instant winner.
Stringing machines have a wide range of features and prices, and we cover the entire market in our annual “Guide to Stringing Machines” each August. Year after year, we list the same manufacturers in our guide. Some offer a wide range of models, while others have just one or two. Some target the high end of users and others the lower end.
Last year, we saw a new entry into the stringing machine marketplace — Tourna, a familiar name to players and those in the industry when it comes to grips, strings and accessories. Tourna entered the stringing machine market with two models, the 300-CS, a lockout crank machine, and the 600-ES, an electronic constant-pull machine.
“Our customer base in the United States and around the world for the past 45 years have come to appreciate the quality of our products,” says Kevin Niksich, vice president of Unique Sports, “and it was at their urging over many years to have quality stringing machines at a reasonable cost that moved us to develop our Tourna machines.”
We had the opportunity to test the 600-ES in our lab and put it through its paces. The machine proved to be a great workhorse that is easy to operate, quickly mounts racquets of all sizes and shapes, and holds them securely during the stringing process. We were pleasantly surprised at the ease of operation and features included at the $1,925 price point. If you don’t need a stand, there is a table model available for $1,825.
The machine’s total weight is 115 pounds, so it is a good idea to have a second person nearby to help lift it out of the box. Following the instructions to mount the machine on the stand was simple and straightforward. It took us just a few minutes to have the machine set up and operational.
The six-point mounting was easy to operate with two separate knobs on each tower. One operates the internal billiard mounts at 6 and 12 o’clock, and the other operates the articulating outside arms. We were able to mount a variety of frames without experiencing any problems. The table has a full 360-degree rotation and can be easily locked when necessary.
We strung several racquets on the 600-ES and it worked flawlessly. The display is simple and easy to read and has all the features expected in a top-of-the-line machine. With the push of a button you can select six pulling speeds and four levels of pre-stretch.
The machine also has a knot-tensioning feature for tie-off pulls. The control panel features a timer so you can pace your jobs. Tensions can be set from 10 to 90 pounds, and with the push of a button can be converted to displaying in kilograms.
The diamond-dust rotational tensioner was easy to use and held the string securely, with accurate pulls on a variety of string types and gauges. The five-tooth, slim-profile clamps were simple to operate and lock with one hand and held the strings securely without damage. The swivel base of the clamps easily rotates and slides in the table tracks and locks securely with a push of the lever.
In a market where stringing machines seem to be all about bells and whistles, the Tourna 600-ES emphasizes simplicity, but not at the expense of getting the job done. It offers all the features most users would expect — and probably more than most need. However, it comes at a price that makes it a good investment for any size operation.
“Overall, we tried to get as many functional items in the machine while still keeping the retail price under $2,000,” says Niksich.
As for Tourna, the 600-ES may only be the beginning.
“We’re planning to add more models to the line-up at both higher and lower price points,” Niksich adds.
Price: $1,925 / $1,825 (table model)
Weight: 115 pounds
Operation: 6 pulling speeds and 4 levels of pre-stretch
See all articles by Bob Patterson
About the Author
Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005. He is Executive Director for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
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