How Do Tennis Overgrips Work?

If you’ve never used an overgrip before, it can be a little confusing as to how they work. Your racket already has a grip on it right? So why would you put another grip over the top of it? Well, this article should clear things up.

Tennis overgrips are thin strips of material that you wrap around the grip that’s already on your handle. They help with comfort, grip, and sweat absorption. Overgrips are easier to apply and cheaper than standard grips so you can replace them regularly.

In the rest of this article, we’ll look at the differences between overgrips and regular grips, whether tennis rackets come with an overgrip already applied, whether you should put an overgrip on a new racket, and how overgrips stick to the handle.

Difference Between Tennis Overgrip and Regular Grip

You might think it’s counter-intuitive to apply a grip over another grip that apparently does the same job. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, and you can use a tennis racket without an overgrip, but there are advantages to using them.

Overgrips are thinner than regular grips which makes them less durable. However, they are cheaper and easier to apply which means you can replace them more regularly. Overgrips also come in a wider variety of materials so you can more easily find one that works for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between them:

  • Overgrips are thinner – This can be both a postitive and negative. The positive is that they don’t increase the grip size too much, but it also means they are less durable.
  • Overgrips are cheaper – Overgrips cost around a couple of dollars each if you buy in multipacks. Regular grips are sold individually and can be close to $10 each.
  • Overgrips are easier to replace – Regular grips are fixed with adhesive to the handle which makes them more fiddly to apply. Overgrips sit on top of the regular grip without any adhesive.
  • Overgrips offer more options in material – Regular grips are only available in tacky materials. You can get overgrips with a dry cloth-like material like Tourna Grips (link to Amazon) which are great for sweat absorption.

To be clear, you always want to have a regular overgrip on your racket. But putting an overgrip on top of the regular grip gives you all the benefits outlined above.

Do Tennis Rackets Come With an Overgrip?

Brand new rackets don’t generally come with an overgrip.

If you have purchased a used racket and you’re not sure if the previous owner put on an overgrip, you should be able to figure it out. The grip should have the make and model printed on it. You can look it up on Google and see whether it’s an overgrip or standard grip.

If you can’t find this information it does get a little trickier. The grip that comes with a brand new racket is usually their own brand. So if the grip is a different brand, it’s likely an overgrip. If there’s nothing printed on the grip at all, there’s also a good chance it’s an overgrip as they often don’t have anything printed on them whereas regular grips usually do.

If you have another racket laying around, you can compare the grips. Overgrips are considerably thinner than regular grips. If you still haven’t figured it out, you can gently start to peel back the grip. If it’s an overgrip it will peel off easily once the finishing tape is removed. A regular grip will have adhesive attaching it the handle itself.

Should You Put an Overgrip On a New Racket?

You don’t have to put an overgrip on a new racket but I recommend you do, at least to try it out. As I talked about further up the page, there are a few advantages to using an overgrip.

Now, you might be thinking about using the regular grip until it wears down and then start using overgrips. You could do that but there are a few things to consider. First, when you put an overgrip over a regular grip, it adds an extra layer of cushioning that you wouldn’t get without the overgrip. Second, an overgrip will make the handle a little bit thicker so when you come around to using overgrips, you won’t be used to how it feels. In my opinion, it’s better to keep it consistent.

How Do Overgrips Stick to the Handle?

If you’re new to overgrips, you might be wondering how they stick to the handle. Unlike regular grips, overgrips don’t have adhesive along one side. Instead, once you’ve finished wrapping the overgrip along the length of the handle, you secure it in place with a small strip of adhesive tape that comes with the overgrip.

Some overgrips have a tapered end with a tiny strip of adhesive. This is just to help keep it in place whilst you start gripping the racket.


To wrap it up, an overgrip is a thinner strip of material that you apply over the regular grip. They are used to add a little bit more comfort and so you can replace them more regularly. They are also available in a dry material which is great if you sweat a lot.

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