The Beacon String Theory

Beacon offers two different string winders, the standard model and the pro model. Now to many people, what’s the big deal? They likely think string is string. But perhaps I should explain The Beacon String Theory.

String — or rope — is typically constructed in one of two ways, either twisted or braided. For many years Beacon only sold one type of string winder. The Standard String Winder used a twisted string where 3 different strands of nylon are coiled or twisted in the same direction. The fibers within each of the three strands must twist in the opposite direction as the corresponding strands. This produces a balanced string that hangs straight and doesn’t curl or kink. However, when you cut the end, it will start to unravel so ends must be taped, crimped or secured in some other fashion to prevent the string line from unraveling. This unraveling can be a problem when this string breaks under tension as it can then result in extensive unraveling. And we all know that string breaks are just part of the job.

In 2016 we introduced the Pro Cord String Winder, and the string or cord used in the pro version is actually a braided string. A solid diamond braided cotton with a core to be exact. A solid braided string is tightly woven producing a very firm and rounded construction. The lock-stitch construction prevents any unraveling when cut or torn. Solid braided string is the best option in an abrasive setting, like working on ballfields. The cord used for the Pro Cord String Winder is a larger diameter string which also makes it more visible than the twisted string of the Standard String Winder.

Finally, the twisted nylon string has very little stretch in it whereas the cotton braided string will have a considerable amount of stretch. This stretch is what helps you snap a more accurate, straight line. And isn’t that what it is really all about?

Paul Zwaska (contributor)

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been a frequent contributor to Beacon’s Ballfield Blog and other resources and products. Among other contributions to Beacon, he authored Groundskeeper University, the pioneering online ballfield maintenance training venue.