You have seen during a tournament on TV or maybe just during training, a player cut the strings of the racket. But, why do badminton players cut the strings?
Badminton players cut the strings of the racket once one string is broken, in order to avoid building pressure into specific parts of the frame, which could damage and break the frame.
Let’s have a look into why this happens.
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Why do badminton players cut the strings? The In-depth answer
As I just mentioned, players cut the strings of the racket when one string is broken. They do it because they want to avoid building up pressure in specific areas of the racket frame, which could damage and break the racket frame.
The higher the tension you have in your strings, the more important this step becomes. This is because of the difference between the part that is broken, which no tension, and the part that is still tensed. The higher the tension, the more difference there is, so the higher the risk in damaging the frame.
When the strings are not broken and the racket is functioning properly, the tension is equally distributed throughout the frame, so everything is in balance. However, this stops being the case when one string breaks.
To understand a bit better why this happens, imagine that you and four friends are pulling from a rope from one side and there are five friends that are pulling from the other side. If, all of a sudden, one person from one team stops pulling, what would happen? Most likely, there would be an imbalance and the team with five people will manage to bring the rope closer to their side until they win. The same happens with the frame. As one part becomes less tense, the frame becomes unbalanced and, given enough time, one side might end up “giving in”.
You can have a look at the image below where I explained what can happen with the frame. As you can see, the part where the string is broken (red straight lines) is not pulling inwards, whereas the other side keeps pulling inwards. Because of the difference in how much the string is pulling on both sides, that can cause damage to the racket frame.
Are there any other situations where players cut the strings of the racket?
In addition to when one of the string breaks, there is only one situation where a player might choose to cut the strings of the racket. This is if the player has a schedule for changing the strings was I explained in the article “How Often Should You Change Your Badminton Racket String?“.
In this case, there are two circumstances where players might choose to cut the strings themselves. The first circumstance is very obvious. If they are the ones doing the stringing job, they will also be the ones cutting the strings. The second circumstance is not so obvious. If they are not sure the person restringing the racket will cut them in the right way, they might prefer to cut them and hand it over with the strings already cut.
Cut them in the right way you may wonder? Yes, there is indeed a specific way to cut the strings. Let’s have a look at that.
How should I cut the strings of my racket?
The idea behind the proper way to cut the strings is to keep the balance of the tension as even as possible. Therefore, there is not a specific order you should always follow since this will depend on which string has broken in the first place.
So, what you need to keep in mind is, keep the tension as evenly distributed as possible. So, if you break a string that is on the left of your racket, you should start by cutting one string that is on the right side of the racket, roughly at the same distance from the center of the racket than the one that broke.
After that, you basically need to be cutting evenly through the racket to ensure that there is no tension built-up in any specific area of the racket frame.
Which tool should I use to cut the strings of my racket?
In general, string cutters are the best tool to cut the strings since they are designed precisely for this specific task. There are different types of string cutters and the availability will differ depending on your country, so just check badminton string cutter on Google and see what comes up. It is not rocket science so I will not bother giving specific recommendations. Xuron and Tamiya cutters do a great job, but you will find other options that work well also.
If you do not have a string cutter and you need to cut the string urgently, you can also use scissors. They are not as well suited for the job as string cutters are and the cut might be a bit more difficult to do, but if you are careful it will be find.
How long can I wait to cut the strings of my racket?
You might be playing a tournament once one of your strings break and you don’t have any tools available there and might be wondering if cutting the strings can wait until you go back home.
In general, the recommendation is to cut the strings as soon as possible. So, if that happens during a match, as soon as the match is over, it would be better if you cut the strings.
If it happens during a training session, it is even better to just stop the training session and cut the strings and then go back to train with another racket.
Whenever that happens and you do not have a tool that can do the job, just ask around. Some other player or coach will for sure have a tool that can help you cut the strings and you will save your racket a great deal of stress.
Are there situations where it is not needed to cut the strings?
So far I have been very strict in the advice given. However, there are instances where it might not be necessary to cut the strings are all.
For beginners, the string tension is not such an important characteristic and does not have a huge influence on the quality of the game. In these situations, it might be an option to only partially restring the racket. Instead of cutting all the strings and restringing the racket, the idea is that only a small part of the strings is removed and changed.
This is only recommended for beginners because they use much lower tensions and the impact of a slightly unequal distribution of the tension in the racket will not impact dramatically the quality of their game.
The advantage of this system is that it is much cheaper and faster than changing all the string, which is something that beginners will also value.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you have any further questions about why do badminton players cut the strings, please let me know in the comments below.
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