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14 Lacrosse Stringing Tools For a Perfect Pocket
Overview of the Tools of the Trade:
Some of the most experienced lacrosse stringers perfect their pockets using lacrosse stringing tools. Though they are not needed & more of a comfort, they can still help you! They can especially be useful if your learning to string your first stick.
1. Needle Noose Pliers
For the Advanced Stringer? These are a must.
If you are one of those guys who is focused on stringing perfect sidewalls and spends a lot of time adjusting knot placements then your will want a pair. The pliers always can help with tension problems and grabbing strings that you can’t quite snag with your fingers.
For The Average Stringer? Not Needed, But Useful!
They are by no means a necessity for the average Joe, but are very handy and save your hands. Especially when untying knots on your sidewalls or getting the string through small holes in your head. I would keep a pair with my lacrosse string tools if you have some laying around.
For Stringing Traditional? Yes.
It’s always good to keep a pair of needle nose pliers around when stringing traditional. Unless you’re a master at tying and tensioning a pocket, needle nose pliers always allow you to get the job done easier.
2. Leather Cutter
These are only used when stringing traditional pockets and when you want to cut slits in the leather to tie off the knot. Leather cutters are not necessary, but they are handy when you are trying to use that strategy to tie off a knot.
If it isn’t obvious scissors are for cutting strings. Make sure to snag a pair of nice scissors, such as fabric scissors, that have a sharp edge so you aren’t sawing on the strings. Some people prefer using a lighter/torch to cut out (see what a did there) using scissors when removing excess string because they burn the edge anyway; but, a good pair of scissors is much better for shooting strings, mesh, and paracord.
This is by far the most useful tool that you can buy for traditional stringing. The TradiTree comes in multiple different styles for all types of different pockets. This tool allows you to tension the leathers for a pocket before you are done stringing so you can work out the shape of the pocket from start to finish. I would highly recommend a TradiTree for anyone looking to take their traditional stringing to the next level.
5. Butane Torch
A lighter will work just fine for any application that a butane torch would be used for, but the flame is more precise and controllable. This is by no means a necessity but is still heavily used to string a lacrosse head because it is very effective for burning the ends of strings.
6. Wine Cork
Ever have a rattling lacrosse head? Put a wine cork in the top of your shaft and when you screw your head on the rattle should be gone. The cork will secure the screw and prevent rattle much like Shaft Lock but it can be used on any shaft.
A rather self-explanatory tool that every stringer should have on them when working on a stick. Frayed Knots can come undone or slide through sidewall holes, but they can be easily solved by burning the edges.
8. Leather Punch
Another tool for the traditional stringer, the leather punch allows you to put holes in a leather in order to string through the leather. This does compromise the strength of the leather and some stringers really prefer to not string through their leathers but to each their own.
The tape may not be used for “stringing” but it is always useful for lacrosse. Whether you need a fresh tape job, you are trying to secure your head on your shaft, or you need to do a quick fix for the time being; tape is the answer! Medical tape is an option, but using a sports oriented tape is a much better option. This is because medical tape is not designed for grip, it does not last as long as sports tape, and it can leave behind a residue that is hard to remove. StringKing makes a great tape that comes pre-cut for more options of taping and Howie’s Hockey tape also provides a great tape for grip/lasting performance.
10. Ball Stop
This handy piece of rubber attaches to the bottom of your head. When the ball hits it, instead of bouncing out of your pocket it stops and stays in. Keep one around just in case your ball stop ever comes off and if you ever string a stick for someone who doesn’t have one, putting one on for them is a good move. So put some with your lacrosse stringing tools kit.
11. Chopsticks (or a Metal Rod)
Chopsticks and a tennis ball are used to hold your leathers in place when stringing traditional pockets. This serves the same purpose as a TradiTree (mentioned above), but if you don’t have a TradiTree this is a great alternative for creating a well tensioned traditional pocket.
12. Screw Driver
Always a good idea to keep a screwdriver in your stringing kit. If you don’t like stringing heads on shafts then you’ll need it to get the head off. If you do like stringing heads on shafts then you’ll need it to adjust a loose head, or one that rattles, so you aren’t wiggling as you tighten or pull. Always a good idea to keep a screwdriver in your stringing kit.
13. Baby Oil
Using baby oil for traditional stringing is our pro tip if you can’t get your leathers to break in. Many stringers say that you don’t need any oil or softener for a solid traditional, just determination and patience. However, if you aren’t having very much luck try taking the leathers out and using a very small (very very small) amount of baby oil. This will treat the leather but make sure to let them dry overnight to be safe.
Pro Jerome Thompson, is also a fan of this technique and he has had some pretty evident success with traditional pockets. So, if you need any more convincing check out this clip of him nabbing an OT game winner. He is using a traditional he strung that was dyed for him by Lacrosse Unlimited.
14. Jewelry Snips
There was a trend for a long time in which stringers would cut slits with either these or a leather punch. They then would tie off strings at the end of a traditional pocket, utilizing the slits. Since technology has changed and lacrosse heads now have larger and more holes its not used as much. The trend has shifted to not cutting leathers due to the loss of strength of the leather.
If you are gonna be stringing a lot of sticks you need to be prepared with your lacrosse stringing tools. Keeping all of those items in you kit will not only keep you ahead of the game in an emergency. It will also give you more options for stringing. Being creative with your stringing is the best way to get better. If you have everything you’d need to string all the time, you could always try something new.