Question re: effects a worn string can have


Been throwing a modern, unresponsive yoyo for a few months. All of the sudden, yesterday, it became rather responsive (tug high enough and it would even return).

I cleaned the bearing thoroughly with lighter fluid, wiped down the bearing seats, no change. So I decided to change the string.

Now, I never change strings, but I did notice there was a little wear. Didn’t look bad, but you could tell the difference between the old and new strings.

Well, that did the trick. Yoyo is completely unresponsive now. I really didn’t know that string could have this effect, as this is the first time I’ve had this problem. I have a lot of yoyos, and each doesn’t get a great deal of time, but I’ve been throwing this one consistently over the last…maybe 3 months.

Just curious to hear any of your thoughts or experiences with string, as I know little about string other than buying a good brand.

Both strings (old and new) were normal Kitty Tall. Yoyo was an Iceberg.


Worn string creates more tension.


How old was the string, just out of curiosity?


Used it for about 3 months…which is about the same amount of time I’ve been doing finger spins.

FS’s are really the first trick I’ve learned where there is a lot of contact between string and pads (occurring on the throw, prior to popping the yoyo up onto the finger). Would explain why worn strings haven’t been an issue before now.


Wow 3 months on a single string… was this a regular poly string???

(Tyler) #6

A worn string can cause all different kinds of issues. If they get too dirty or frayed, it could cause you to bind when you don’t intend to. With bulk string, I’ll sometimes change them after just a few hours of play. With a better string, it might be once a week (probably 10-12 hours of play).


I give the details in the OP.


Oh, my bad, regular kitty tall used for three months… pretty sure that string was destroyed after three months of continuous play! From what I read, most people who play actively would change a plain poly string after one week, if not even sooner!


Haha, wow! I don’t throw for hours on any given day, and always use 2-3 yoyos in any session.

Like I said, most all of my tricks have been kind of non-contact between strings and pads. This one, the Iceberg, I’ve done lots of flops and finger spins (forgot about the gyro flops)…but I probably play less than your average person, and again, usually use multiple throws.


I think the fuzziness can definitely make the yo-yo more responsive. Conversely, the oils from your fingers can cause you to not get tight binds. Even if the fuzzy, oily string doesn’t make your yo-yo responsive, it can be more grabby , or at least slow the yo-yo down during play, and at the same time make it seem like you’ve lost power due to it slipping.

If you’re ever thinking, “Man I thought I liked this yo-yo…”, It’s possible you just need a new string! …or a clean one. I wash my nylon strings. For me, the oil issue happens more with them, since they last longer. The poly strings usually get fuzzy on me before they get oily.


The yoyo will tell you when it wants a new string by misbehaving. I don’t go by how long I’ve been using a string; I let the yoyo’s behavior be my guide.


All this is GREAT information for me. Thanks, everyone!

(Chris Francz) #13

I am NOT an authority on unresponsive but I have had that problem and a new string and 2 drops of thin lube has always corrected the prob.

(Chris Francz) #14

Now I feel like a fool! As soon as I see significant fray I swap out and notice a HUGE difference in the smoothness of throws, tricks, and returns. I may be wrong but I think lack of experience (mine) and not always having perfectly straight throws wears my string faster due to friction on the sides of the gaps.


Yeah everything I’ve read about string indicates to change it out frequently and often. My off the cuff guideline would be change plain poly string once a day, if you play all day? Bulk string is cheap, ends up being like 10¢ a string or even less.


I dunno. It’s like the old heuristic that you should change your car’s engine oil every 3000 miles. Modern automobile engines don’t need their oil changed that often, but keeping that rule of thumb in the public’s consciousness sure is a good way for petroleum companies to sell more product.

Clearly you don’t want to run your car to the point where old oil is having an obvious negative impact on its drivability, but I think you can definitely do that with your yoyos.

(Chris Francz) #17

I usually buy 100 packs. I rotate usually between 3-4 yoyos a day and play them pretty hard for probably 45 min - 1 hr. each total. I think how oily a person’s skin is has an effect because even with clean hands after a day the string won’t move smoothly over my fingers for mounts. When I swap the string out the new string is like butter and everything goes super smooth.