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Ashaway Powernick 19 guage strings

Published: 22 Aug 2011 - 12:51 by Squish

Updated: 07 Feb 2015 - 04:33

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 Hi everyone!

I'm enjoying developing my style of play and am looking to try different setups. However, I've trawled the interwebs like a good internaut and can't seem to find any useful reviews on Ashaway's (relatively) new Powernick 19s. 

Just wondered if anyone has had a chance to try them yet and would be kind enough to post some feedback or perhaps a review, either here or in the One Stop String Shop thread (




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From rkhcheung - 07 Feb 2015 - 04:32   -   Updated: 07 Feb 2015 - 04:33

I've tried to string PN19 on 2 different racquets, Head Cyano2 115 and Dunlop Revelation 125, both at 25lbs. The Head racquet feels great. I didn't believe such a string even exists. The feel is springy; power is paramount. And I have good control with the racquet, especially with depth (I can hit shots which land just before the backwall more accurately than before). The Dunlop racquet feels awful however. The feel is dull, so is the sound. 25lbs is simply too loose, no matter how hard the PN19 is. I would probably try PN18 @30lbs next time I go to my stringer. Ashaway suggests 10-20% lower tension than nylon strings but I think I can try to break this general rule for the Dunlop racquet. If it still does not work I will go with SuperNick XL Micro @ 30lbs. My previous string on the racquet is Head Evolution Pro @ 30lbs. It works great but the tension loss is quite noticeable after a short time. So I would prefer Ashaway.

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From sixstring - 29 Apr 2012 - 22:18

I can report that I really love the powernick 19 string. I string the opposite of Adz, using pretty low tension(22lbs) on my Dunlop Venom 115s. I have some shoulder issues, and this seems to help, along with the injections I get from my squash buddy/ortho surgeon. In my opinion this is the best string I've used. I've used all of the ashaway models, and tried technifibre once which I didn't like, plus whatever factory strings come on the racquet, which I immediately cut off, unless it's  something from ashaway. The PN19s feel pretty lively, have good grip on the ball, good power. The powder blue 18s felt kind of  stiff, and the standard old school ashaway 18s,19s, feel a little more dead. Personal preference. I hope this helps. 



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From Chilli_palmer - 29 Apr 2012 - 17:56

Hi All - any updates on your experiences with PN 19 and 18 and with different string tensions used? Any better strings available you reckon? Cheers!

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From Adz - 29 Feb 2012 - 03:32

OK some updates. Out of the original 4 sets of stringing I have managed to break 2 rackets (1 through accident the other.... well....). Out of the two remaining sets 1 finally gave up the ghost last week. Quite an impressive forehand volley returning a serve even if I do say so myself. I broke the strings in 3 places at the same time. Not my all time record (4 times using Head Evolution string), but not a bad effort.

Interestingly I decided to try a slightly different tension this time around and do the 2 replacement rackets at 26lbs. HUGE difference in power but sadly a detriment to control. I'll be playing my first proper match with the new set up in a few hours, so it'll be interesting to see the outcome under match conditions.

All fun!



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From Adz - 12 Jan 2012 - 01:57

It depends on what the stringer has set up on the machine. I used a tension guage to set my machine correct @ 26lbs and string the rackets 2lbs tighter on the machine settings. Even if the machine isn't that accurate this should still give me a tension between 27 and 29lbs (in my opinion anyway!). I always used to string my rackets around 26lbs (firm) but after a discussion with a guy from Tecnifibre I was tempted to try a racket at 28lbs. After getting used to it I've never looked back and now string all my own rackets at that tension.


One point to note..... Different rackets have different tension recommendations. Mine are all ok from 24-30lbs. Some I've seen have a max of 26lbs, so be careful not to place any undue stress on the frame!


This reminds me about fillet steak. I eat mine blue (less cooked than rare). To most people this is crazy and I've actually had people who can't have dinner in the same room as me as they find the idea repulsive, but as I tell them, it's an acquired taste/texture. I think the stringing is the same. Many people will prefer 24-26lbs. Some will take the chance and go higher (or lower?!?) and like the results. Others won't like the results. Find the best solution to suit you and enjoy your meal

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From tomdenners - 10 Jan 2012 - 23:25

I just couldn't decide so I've opted for 1 racket with UN18 and one with PN 19 both @ 28lbs.

Have used a couple of different stringers as well so I'll be adding some London reviews to that thread over the next couple of weeks.

Adz - I asked for PN19 @ 28lbs and he looked at me as if I was crazy! Said that he'd not normally string it higher than 26. I've stuck with 28 though as I do like a firmer tension.

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From sixstring - 19 Dec 2011 - 12:33


I wanted to thank you guys for sharing your stringing knowledge. I've been stringing my own and some friends racquets for a few years, and it's tough to find info on how different strings compare etc. I'm going to give some of the Powernick 19 a try. Happy Holidays.

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From Adz - 16 Dec 2011 - 00:11

Well here's my update to go along with the one from Squish......


I've deliberately left my strings go past the point of wear to see how long they'd last and in the past 2 weeks (I think it's been 2 months since my last post!) I've broken FOUR sets of strings. Most people reading that will say that the strings can't be much use if four sets have broken in 2 weeks, but please know that I have five rackets in constant rotation and play quite a few hours per week (currently about 8-10 hours). So between the five rackets each would get around 2 hours per week and it's been about 12-14 weeks since I put the strings in (about 25-30 hours of court time per set).

For a string that is this thin I think that is very good going and I'm happy with the longevity (especially as they were strung around 28-29lbs!). I gt loads of club-mates comment on how tight my strings feel and how nice the racket feels when they have a hit, so I think I'm onto a winner and will be sticking with these strings for the foreseeable future.


Good job Ashaway!


My only worry now is whether to try the new 305 TFs that are coming out in the new year ;)


Merry Xmas all!



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From Squish - 15 Dec 2011 - 22:27   -   Updated: 15 Dec 2011 - 22:27

 Hi everyone! 

Just a quick update! Apologies for disappearing for a bit, but work took over the last couple of months. Finally been able to play again! After the last flurry of posts on the topic, I couldn't resist anymore and decided my X-Ones were feeling tired and restrung with the PN19s @ 26lbs as a starting point. First off, just as Adz says, there's wonderful, effortless power generation and great bite. Imparting spin and direction is easy, but nothing as freakily outlandish as the X-One's seem to manage.

Getting used to them did take a couple of games, the feel was quite different to the X-Ones, but after I/they settled down I really enjoyed their playability. To me, the contact time seems very short, there's much less room for error in direction when striking. Off-centre, the feel seems to drop off drastically. They have survived (my) offcentre hits well, but it's been great training for hitting that sweetspot consistently.

They seemed to last quite well even with me striking harder because it's now so tempting :) Slight wear in the centre after 2-3 hours (fading to grey on the crosspoints) and they matured quite nicely, with them going strong past the 9 hour mark. Around the 12 hour mark, they began to feel much too loose for me. Truth be told, from the beginning at 26lbs, they felt a little loose for my taste so I'll be going up to 28lbs when I drop it off this week. A little tweaking and perhaps my attacking setup will be nicely sorted :)

Sad to say, they perished at the 15 hour mark (after 3-4 weeks) though not through my doing, Lent my racket to a friend who pushed its off-centre hit tolerance a bit too far and snapped a cross. The timing was nice though, as I was planning on a tighter restring to see whether I can get more control. 

To sum up, easy power generation, nice bite, relatively resilient this first time round. We'll see how round 2 goes.


Merry Christmas to all of you celebrating, and a peaceful rest for everyone! Adz, I hope you managed to keep up the routine and it's going well, it's been working here, but now with Christmas coming, I think I'll need a few extra games to offset things :D

Best wishes to all!


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From Adz - 14 Oct 2011 - 22:59

Very interesting RickRiot. I have to say that's not my experience so far, but I do like my strings very tight. I strung the PN19s at 28/29lbs (checked off a tension guage) and my first impression was that they'd be too tight compared with the UN18s strung off the same level, but when I started to break the strings in on court they've settled down perfectly.

I've put them in one other person's racket (at 27lbs) and they were very happy with the strings, but for me they felt too loose for my own liking.

I find it interesting that you talk about 35lbs of tension when most frames only recommend 30lbs limits? Wouldn't strings that tight place undue stress on the frame? Certainly some of the frames I've used in the past wouldn't have stood up to that kind of tension (nor I imagine the head flex-points??).



UN18 is still a great string. Very good all-rounder with excellent performance. Well worth trying for someone looking for a thin string with power and feel. I guess it depends on what characteristics you want from your strings. For me it was the cut and bite into the ball without losing the feel of the shots. PN19 provides this very well.



The strings are still going strong without any unusual signs of wear. To be fair I've loving them more now than when they first went in. Since coming back off that back injury I've been a man possessed, on court now about 12 hours a week. Did 1 3/4 hours last night and going over for another 3 hours tonight with the same planned on Sunday morning. Plus it helps that I'm making an active effort to drop some weight (well a lot to be fair ;) )


Catch you all soon!



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From rickriot - 14 Oct 2011 - 00:44   -   Updated: 14 Oct 2011 - 00:53

Hi all

has been interesting reading the replies about PN19 and I think I may be able to add a little to the forumn that you users may find useful.

I have been using the PN19 since its inception and was also trialing the string pre release. below is a piece about the difference between the PN19 and the PN18


"PN19 has a slightly thinner more transluscent core (maybe weaker) and 6 slighly thinner outer braids before the slightly thinner nylon jacket. Powernick 18 has 7 slightly thicker braids and a more dense core and thicker jacket hense the extra strength and stiffness"


One of the major points to bear in mind when using this string is that it is much thinner and has a completely different dynamic tension than other 17/18 gauge strings also the max tension is just 30lbs ... some 5 lbs less than the PN18 the biggest mistake you can make is over tightning the string, so for example if you string your normal string at say 28 then you DO NOT want to be stringing PN19 that high or you will most definitley experience poor performance and short string life much the same as you would get if you strung PN18 at say 33 pounds (As a pointer I would suggest stringing PN19 around 2-3 pounds lower) than say the PN18  (lower limit for fan patterns) this way you will get a softer feel and move away from the wirey feeling that you will get when over tightening any string in particular Zyex based strings. As a rule I have found that the max tension for this string is around 26lbs once you start moving above that your going to diminish all round performance.

Hope that was useful... rick

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From rickriot - 14 Oct 2011 - 00:21

From tomdenners - 13 Oct 2011 - 22:47

 Where do you stand on Ultranick blue then now Adz? I love the spin and cut potential of the PN 19 but lots of my set up play involves power which I don't want to sacrifice!

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From Squish - 13 Oct 2011 - 06:58

 You are a prince amongst men Adz! Just logged back on to update my string post with the second set of X-Ones, I did like the tighter bed at 27lbs; but now I can't wait to try the PN19s. Good to hear they survive off-centre hits well, it'll be nice to try them as there's just something about the feel of these X-Ones that seems both right and wrong for me. The quest goes on, hopefully I'll be able to offer a second opinion in a couple of weeks, cheers! :)

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From Adz - 05 Oct 2011 - 01:50

Well as an update..... I've played loads on court, more with one of my rackets than any other (it has a different paint finish so it stands out). I'm pleased to say that the durability on the strings hasn't been any issue. I've had my fair share on bad mis-hits (ones very near the edge of the frame hit at power which normally breaks strings) and everything has stood up very admirably. The strings have stretched a little but are still very firm and have a stiff bite to them. I'd estimate around 12 hours on court with the one racket and the others around 5-7 hours each (3 other rackets). Normally strings for me last about 25 hours before they get changed (8 hours a week with 4 rackets in rotation changing all 4 rackets every 3 months). I'll see how well these are performing when we get close to that time frame (if they last that long!).


I have to say I like these strings and certainly made the right choice in going for them. One thing I would add for anyone thinking about going for these..... You'll be better off with the 19s if you're a shot player (spin and varied pace), but if you want something powerful that lasts well then opt for the powernick 18 red instead.

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From Squish - 14 Sep 2011 - 19:09   -   Updated: 14 Sep 2011 - 19:12

 Hi Adz, 

Wow, thanks for such a detailed review! I hope my post didn't push you into one of those, "let's do this for science!" tests :)

Sounds like they take a little getting used to, but I'm definitely intrigued now - going to shuffle off to find a reel myself as my TFs are feeling a bit flat now (sounds like a good reason for a restring :P ).

28lbs it is then, though I wonder how my wilson will take to 29lbs. Hope the PN19s turn out to be quite durable for you, sounds like their bite might suit you well. I guess though, sometimes you just know when they feel right. 




ps. thanks for keeping the "one stop string shop" thread alive :)

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From Adz - 13 Sep 2011 - 22:29   -   Updated: 13 Sep 2011 - 22:34

For reference the PN19s are strung at 28-29lbs. Every machine is different and mine isn't the most accurate at setting the tensions, but it's around 28-29 when measure on a tension guage.


So the outcome of my test was quite surprising. The PN19s, as expected, generated A LOT of power. When I hit the ball dead center of the face it really does fly with some power. In fact any cleanly hit stroke has a crisp feeling to it and you can sense the ball during every strike. It made accuracy with power very easy and even for "chopped" shots like stun-boasts or powered drops there were no issues. The big difficulty came when I was trying softer strikes (touch drops, lobs etc), when I lost the feel of the ball and found it difficult to guage the required swing speed for the best accuracy.

This is almost the exact opposite to the SNXLMs which were amazing for soft-touches but absolutely awful for power-play. I asked a few other players to come on court and give me their opinions too. Most actually prefered the SNXLMs but admitted that they struggled to get any power with them (also strung at 28-29lbs). For me the power isn't such a big issue as I'm a big guy and can throw some weight behind the ball, so my first reaction was to go with the SNXLMs. So being me, naturally I called up to buy a reel and changed my mind on the phone! I now have all my rackets strung in PN19 and played my first match with them last night.

During a match scenario the PN19s did become quite tricky to get to grips with. Power was never an issue, but when the ball began to move off center (tight shots, stretching etc) then I started to lose the feel for the ball and mis-hit shots. I got used to this reasonably quickly, but I still didn't get the same connection with the ball as I have from other strings, meaning I'll be waiting a while to get match-used to playing with these.


The biggest advantage I found was in the ability to cut and spin the ball. I'm a very strong wrist orientated player and like to add spin to my drives and boasts to effect the ball direction. The drives spin in towards the wall and the boasts drop shorter at the front. With these strings the boasts were perfection and were ending very far forward. After some getting used to I think these strings will be extremely useful, but I still question their durability, as with only around 3 hours on court the original set is begining to show the first signs of notch-wear (the string has light grey patches developing on the cross points). How long they last will be interesting to see!

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From Squish - 13 Sep 2011 - 17:44

Hi Adz!

Hope the back gets better,  I know I'm always too eager to play when I've got a twinge here or there! Those PN19s sound promising, I'm after a similar balance of power and control so it'll be good to see what you think. My current TF X-One 18s are strung at 25lbs; liking the power but missing some feeling - might try them alongside the PN19s at 27lbs for my next test. 





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From Adz - 07 Sep 2011 - 22:46

I've just put a set in a Karakal Tec Lite 130 and I'm waiting for a back injury to get better before trying them out..... Watch this space!

As for the "feel" of the strings going in, they seem pretty good. The string is more pliable than the Powernick 18 Red (as you'd expect as it's thinner). There is still an amount of stiffness in the string (similar to the Ultranick 18), and from just hitting a ball against my bedroom wall there certainly seems to be a large amount of "bite" into the ball.

Initial thoughts are that the string will be very good for power as it's quite stiff but does have a bit of spring to it, but it will also be useful for touch and control if strung tight due to its thin nature. One major question for me comes on durability. So far strings that are very thin (TF X-One 18, SN XL Micro, TF 305 1.1mm) all tend to break if hit off-centre will power, so it will be interesting to see how well this new string copes over time.

For my own personal test I've strung 1 racket with SN XL Micro and one with PN19. My own needs are a thin string, not too soft, not too stiff, not too springy. I have been using the UN18, but something just didn't seem right so I'm looking to change....

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