Thinking of making my own string. Any advice?

First off, I wasn’t sure if I should throw this in the help/recommendation section or not, but feel free to move it if necessary.

So anyway, I was thinking of getting some supplies together and trying to make a decent string. I’m more of a bulk string kind of guy myself, but I’ve always been fascinated by how different each and every string plays. With that being said, I do venture into the boutique strings every now and then. But before I go and start fooling around, I was just curious—What makes strings play so differently?

Let’s set material aside for the time being. Obviously, if a string is made of a different material, it’s going to change the play and feel. But let’s just assume that we’re comparing a handful of different 100% Poly strings. Why are some softer/rougher than others? Why are some lighter/heavier? Why do some slack better than other?

And probably the question I’m most curious about…

Why do some stringshold tension better than others?! This baffles me.

Everyone loves a string that can hold its tension well trick after trick, but what aspect of string design effects this characteristic? Now, I’m sure the answer isn’t quite as simple as my question makes it seem, but I’m just looking to learn more about what makes a good string.

These are a few of the aspects which I’m sure differentiate strings from one another, but I’m just not sure how. At the end of the day, I know it will come down to experimentation, but if you guys have any insight to guide me along the way, I’d really appreciate it. :slight_smile:

Quality of material — This is obviously key, but isn’t polyester just polyester? How do you go about getting a higher quality poly, or even distinguishing “good” poly from “bad” poly?

How loose/tight the string is initially tensioned — How does this effect the feel of a string?

Thread count — Not even entirely sure of what this means, or how to go about accounting for it when you make a string… But lets put this up for discussion as well.

Oh! And last but definitely not least, if you guys know of any tutorials or tips on string making, please share!

Thanks everyone. ;D

Quality of material- no, not all poly is equal. Different brands use different ratios of materials in their polyester. A lot of people like Maxilock. The color of string also makes I difference. As a general rule, the darker the color, the stiffer and whippier the string, although its worse at holding tension.

Tightness- tighter strings are stiffer and whippier, looser holds tension better.

Number of threads- this means the number of thread strands in the string. The standard is type 6, which has 12 threads. Thinner strings hold tension better, thicker is whippier.

Ply- this is the amount of strands that you see when you partly unravel the string. Yoyo string is nearly always two-ply. I made a four-ply once, and it was very smooth and whippy, and so stiff I can bend it into shapes and it will hold them reasonably well. It can’t hold tension at all though, and takes a very long time to make.

Just spend a couple bucks on a spool of pretty colored poly and try it. My first string blew my mind cause it was so easy to get decent results.

Turns out my first few were twisted too tightly, but they still played ok. With a little trial and error, I found a formula that works for me and I don’t think I’ll ever buy yoyo string again.

Sometimes I make them to play best and I use yellow or orange. Sometimes I make them to look cool and I use neon colors sometimes mixed with black. It’s all about what works for you and that will be found by making strings, so get your power drill and go to town…

Awesome, this is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. Thanks!

But I have found some contradictory information on Type 6, Type 8, etc. From what I understand, the Type 6 has 6 threads in the initial twist, and then it is folded over to make a 2-ply string (in a sense, making it “12” threads). Is this what you were implying or is one of us mistaken? Just curious, so I can accurately account for which type of string I’m experimenting with. :slight_smile:

I’ve been making strings for about three years now, and I’ve learned quite a lot about the subject. Just gonna ramble a bit…

Type 6 / type 8 is a fairly useless piece of information nowadays. Back when most string came from the same factory, or at least made in a very similar fashion, it was useful because you could tell how thick one string was in comparison with another. However, now that most “premium” strings are using softer, thinner fibers, it’s a useless measurement. A string with sixteen threads total could be thinner than an old type six string.

Typically, you’ll want 10-14 strands of thread total when using 30 tex thread (a common thread size)

Both material and twist tension affect softness and stiffness. String (generally) feels rough when over tightened and bumpy when under tightened. The tighter the twist, the stiffer the string (again, generally). String can play drastically differently depending on how tight you twist it. Through trial and error, you can find the right twist tension for different materials and different thicknesses.

The heavier the string (either from material or thickness), the better it’s going to perform with slack tricks, as the weight of the string carries the slack around. Thicker strings tend to hold tension better.

“quality” of material is hard to define. A very popular, high quality polyester thread that many string makers use is actually dirt cheap. Just buy lots of different kinds of polyester or nylon until you find what you like. Trial and error is required if you want to learn how to make yoyo string.

Making string can be fun, and I recommend that everyone try it at least once in their yoyo career. Being able to consistently make a string that you love is a great feeling, as you can make a string that fits your needs perfectly. Heck, I haven’t had to buy string in years!

Awesome. Ramble on String-Makers! I’ll take any insight I can get. I’ve been playing with a couple different materials, thread counts, etc over the past few days, and I think it’s safe to say that I’m hooked. The possibilities are endless. Hopefully one of these days I can create some unique quality string to share with you all. :slight_smile: