So, what kind of string do you use?

({John15}) #61

Oh my goodness @codinghorror, you’re all over the place with this. My brain hurts.

People have preferences. That’s pretty much it.

Why haven’t nylon strings dominated the current market? Who knows, I’m pretty sure you’re the only one who cares. Old habits die hard I guess. Just play with yoyos.

Playing with yoyos brings me happiness, this conversation [debate?] about strings is not fun for me. There are thousands of things to take a stand for, there are thousands of hills to die on. You can have this hill as far as I’m concerned, just take it. Everyone should play with poly strings, nylon sucks and people who use it are crazy. People who sell nylon strings are even crazier because it sucks and is inferior because if it were superior it would have dominated the market by now. Why is it so expensive anyway? What are they trying to charge for their labor or something? I’m going to throw all of my handmade nylon strings in the trash, and my whole string making rig to. What was I thinking?! I’m going to buy Kitty and OD bulk strings because that’s what all the pros use anyway. Because I want to be a pro just like them when I grow up. Why would I even think about doing something that isn’t popular? You are so correct about all of your opinions, in fact your opinions should become yoyo law. Enforced by yoyo police. Hey, could I be a yoyo Sheriff? I’d make a good one, trust me, I love justice. I would make sure that anyone who owns yoyo would have a properly lubed and strung yoyo. Can’t believe all these rebellious yoyo kids thinking they can do what they want, like yoyos are some kind of toys or something. Pfffft. MAKE YOYO GREAT AGAIN!

Cool, can we stop talking about this now that I’ve made a fool of myself? Is that what you wanted? I’ve tried reasoning with you very politely, and this seems to be what you want.


It’s just interesting to me that people have such strong feelings about nylon and strings. Exhibit A ↑ … but you’re far from the only one as you can see from reading the replies here!

For example, I’d never say that

  • titanium “outperforms” aluminum by a landslide
  • bimetal “outperforms” aluminum by a landslide
  • V shapes “outperform” O shapes by a landslide
  • ceramic bearings “outperform” stainless steel bearings by a landslide

Although, I would kinda say that

  • aluminum “outperforms” plastic by a landslide
  • full size “outperforms” undersized by a landslide
  • bearings “outperform” fixed axle by a landslide

… but I think there’s ample evidence for the above three based on what people use in high level competition. They use aluminum, full size, bearing yo-yos, exclusively. Not that everyone needs to be competing, of course – far from it! – but things that confer an actual competitive advantage at the professional level are quickly adopted by everyone on the professional circuit, because if they didn’t, they’d be at a disadvantage… right?

So therefore I can only :thinking: at the admonition that nylon clearly “outperforms” poly strings. Which, again, does not mean I am against them in any way, just that I can’t… really believe that nylon strings offer a huge performance advantage over poly.

More durable, fine, totally concede that point and I agree.

({John15}) #63

Totally agree with you man, if the pros don’t endorse it, then all of the laity who actually use the stuff are just crazy people. I can’t believe those people, with their nylon performance nonsense. Their own experience, psssh. What do they know? I’ll tell you what they don’t know, they obviously don’t know that pros and large string manufacturers don’t even bother with nylon. :roll_eyes:


On the positive tip, I will say that the airetec that I finally strung up is the very first nylon/poly blend string I’ve tried that I didn’t strongly dislike. So maybe more blends are out there, but the playing field seems to be all artisanal stuff at this time?

I need to get a OneDrop Choice Long Cuts to try one of these days, but I’m afraid because I strongly dislike rough strings, and I’ve heard over and over these are super rough. (Not that super soft is that great either, the Spool thread I had was so weirdly fake-soft and bouncy it was kinda freaking me out.)


Every day I check up on this thread again and I’m like “yo I just want my string to be long enough… Just throw it on there man… I don’t care what kind of string it be… it does what it do…” I never get aggressive about my string preferences other than length, but I do really wish more string types came with a longer option. Though it probably costs more to produce longer strings because it takes more material, it can’t be that hard for bigger string manufacturers like kitty string to make tall nylon strings, yeah? I’m pretty much just limited to kitty normal and fat.

({John15}) #66

Finally, some reasoning. The realm of blending is still in its budding phase in my opinion. There are strings that work that are well-known, but innovation is happening in shops and garages and living rooms all over the world. My guess is that in a couple of years, some of these blends are going to start going more mainline. Right now it’s basically a niche market inside of a niche market, but there is so much potential. We’re starting to see little gems pop up here and there with these boutique string companies, but they’re usually hit or miss. Which is exciting to me, but I still prefer to spin my own. It’s easy enough and I know how to make what I like to use.

It kind of reminds me of the whole Duncan empire. In the string manufacturing Realm, I would compare Kitty(or poly in general) to Duncan. That’s the one everybody knows as industry-standard, but once you dip your toes you realize that there are hundreds of other manufacturers was all kinds of unique designs. It may be hit-or-miss until you find exactly what it is that ticks those boxes for you.


I stopped posting on this thread for a bit because I’ve come to realize coding might be even more stubborn than I am :rofl: but I guess I’ll hop in again.

The string you use doesn’t matter enough. Pros can make do with what they have and most of them have been using kitty strings for years, they don’t care enough to change or even try different strings, especially ones that are more expensive.

As for the price argument, cheap poly is about as good as cheap nylon (kitty poly vs kitty nylon) but feels nicer on the hands so people use that.

As far as wooly nylon goes(which is the only nylon anyone on this thread is defending but you seem to kind of be ignoring that), I’m not a string maker so I don’t know exact prices but it’s substantially more expensive from what I understand considering everyone that’s ever sold it has sold it for close to $1 a string if not more.

I remember when logi(creator of epic threads) was selling samples of wooly nylon for $6 for a 10 pack. I loved them, it was my first experience with wooly nylon. A few months later they began selling on YYE for $1.80 a string and I was baffled, was giving him flake about the prices. He told me was actually losing money when he was selling them for 60 cents a piece. I’m not sure how accurate that is but that’s what he told me, and considering I’ve never seen wooly nylon sold for less than maybe 90 cents a string maybe that’s close to true.

Strings don’t matter enough for pros to care. Hence why most people use kitty and not YYSL or toxic. I’d bet many pros haven’t ever even bought YYSL to try. I think the fact that so many people use kitty over other bulk strings like Buddha, blueprint, etc. shows again, pros don’t care enough to even try different strings, even at the same price range.

I did say nylon is superior to poly in pretty much every way. I still believe that, but in the grand scheme of things, the string you use doesn’t matter enough for pros to care to even try different strings. It’s just string after all.

Kitty just came first, got big, and stuck cuz many players don’t care what string they use so they just use what they always have.

Make wooly nylon 100 packs $18 and kitty $1 a piece though. Who’s gonna be buying kitty? Nobody. There wouldn’t even be that niche for nylon like there is now. That’s because kitty isn’t the best string, it was just the cheapest, most well known.

(Mk1 Yoyos) #68

There are a lot of types of Nylon thread (just as there are many types of Polyester thread) and bonded is inappropriate for making yo-yo strings. The Nylon I like to use (thread art woolly nylon, maxi-lock stretch nylon) are each about 2x as expensive as various types of polyester I use (thread art tri-lobal, maxi-lock serger).

I don’t know where Kitty sources their Nylon but it’s different from either of the types I use.

({John15}) #69

I noticed that too, but I wasn’t going to say anything.

(Mk1 Yoyos) #70

I’ve been meaning to make a post about thread materials but here I am!

I think it makes a lot of sense that yo-yos are sold with bulk strings included - they’re inexpensive, readily available, consistent, bright & visible, and, in the case of a customer that doesn’t like those bulk strings, no loss if they’re tossed out. In the same way that some folks replace every flat bearing with concave.

It’s definitely an area where a manufacturer can distinguish their product a bit, but getting special orders of color-matched strings adds to the cost.

(InvaderDust) #71

If i had to speculate why they are not as popular, it would be that nylons (as far as I can tell) are not nearly as available as poly is in bulk. Bulk manufactures need A LOT of thread and poly is cheap and gets cheaper when the spools go from tiny to industrial sized.

Outside of special (very large minimum order amounts) orders from specialty supply companies, What I saw was that we could only get our hands on a couple thousands yards spools at best without going bananas with a several thousand dollar minimum order.

That coupled with the difficulty and inconsistency (or the cost to have the pros dye it before distribution) of getting batches dyed those wonderful neons, which is lacking in the nylon world would make it an easy choice in bulk manufacturers.

That being said, there is a differnece between inexpensive and cheap. One is quality, one is cost. I find most bulk string very cheap feeling. To put a cheap crappy thing on a 300+ Ti yoyo feels dirty to my mind and yucky on my hands.

({John15}) #72

Well said, great points you’ve raised

It is notoriously difficult to find most popular neon colors in nylon. And the dying process is pretty extensive from what I know about it. That’s part of the reason why I blend it with trilobal, trilobal has excellent neon colors. So if I can get a neon green trilobal thread and match it with a similar shades of green, it ends up looking pretty decent

(YoYoStringLab) #73

Basically true with a few exceptions (one very glaring example who did well in Shanghai, Evan Nagao). Ann Connolly tried Type X at a contest, liked it and bought it, and used it well before we offered her signature colors. JD (respected previous World Champion) liked Type X before requesting a thicker version for slacks. Eric Koloski tried it while hanging out at JD’s before a BAC and had an eye opening experience, as he hadn’t given string much thought previously. Ed Haponik, Daniel Dietz, Patrick Borgerding, and Ty Goldman are ones I had heard tried it and liked it, so I work or worked with them. I have heard of others through the grapevine as well. [Okay, enough name dropping, already! Jeeze, Matt]

However, you are probably right. I would guess that most don’t give string much thought, and get whatever is cheap. After all, they go through a ton of it and, unlike the free yoyos, probably supply their own string or maybe get basic sting from their sponsor.


Nobody is being forced to comment here. I for one have enjoyed the thread because the nylon vs poly thing is one that has crossed my mind (being on the poly side myself) but I never thought to make a thread about, and it’s interesting to hear both sides. All things considered it seems to have been a pretty civil discussion in my opinion


Your last line sums up my thought on kitty. Competitors use it because 1) they go through so much string and 2) most competitors aren’t in their 30s making big bucks to spend on cases of boutique string

(ClockMonsterLA) #76

Boutique strings often go out of stock or the vendor stops making them all together, whereas you can always find Kitty strings in abundance from a great many convenient sources. Never underestimate the power of availability; after all, players can’t spend their money on strings that aren’t for sale anywhere, and they aren’t likely to form a long-term loyalty bond with a string that doesn’t have consistent availability (along with consistent quality and performance).

(InvaderDust) #77

Excellent point.

(ClockMonsterLA) #78

As a beginner, I don’t know yet what kind of string I like best. About all I can say is that I prefer strings that don’t make learning any harder than it already is for me. I think consistency (of feel and performance) becomes important because I want to eliminate the string from the equation in terms of what is making a particular trick difficult to master. I don’t want to be fighting the characteristics of a given string in addition to everything else. Being able to buy a particular string and know that it can be counted upon to not present any surprises is huge.


One thing that I just thought of, and sorry if it’s been brought up already, is consistency. This ties into your point well. Maybe they all acknowledge kitty isn’t the best string, but they know what they’re getting and they know what to expect from it. I’d imagine that could be a factor. Or… maybe again I’m reading too much into it lol and they just use it without giving it a second thought.

({John15}) #80

As a beginner, I don’t think you’re at a point yet where you can feel the difference between a string that was geared towards performance and just a regular run-of-the-mill poly string. You’re probably not at a point yet where you can tell if your string is holding back your progress. So I really wouldn’t worry about it too much until you get more proficient in your skill-set. Especially if you’re going to start doing slacky whippy type stuff