Excelling at any given sport takes a lot of time and dedication. With tennis, things can get complicated if you don’t have a partner ready to hit the courts whenever you’re game.
This is where the best tennis ball machine can be a priceless asset! These devices help you practice various elements of the sport at your convenience and train in those areas of your game that you find lacking when playing with a partner.
We’ve selected seven of the best tennis ball machines in the market for your consideration, with the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine emerging as the best overall machine.
The best tennis ball machines include:
- Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine
- Lobster Sports Elite One
- Lobster Sports Elite Liberty
- Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine
- Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five LE
- Pickleball Tutor Plus
- Wilson Portable Tennis Machine
The Best Tennis Ball Machine
Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine
Best Overall Tennis Ball Machine
The Spinshot-Player is what you class as an all-arounder. This is why it’s taking the top spot as the best tennis ball machine on our list. Whether you’re stepping onto the court for the first time or a seasoned player, you can utilize this model to take your tennis game to the next level. It allows you to practice almost any type of drill that you can conjure in your mind. All you need to do is select the program of your choice and the machine will oblige. This drill customization extends to various specifics such as the height, speed, direction, and spin on the ball, allowing you to focus on particular aspects of your game that need strengthening. You can also plan them with the help of a handy phone app that enables you to program and control the machine remotely. As this model weighs only 41.8 pounds and measures 18 x 12 x 20 inches, it’s extremely easy to move and store when not in use. It features a metal design that adds a great deal of durability to the exterior. This means that you can transport it in the trunk of your car without worrying about damaging it. Another stand-out feature of this model is the compatibility with a one-button watch remote that allows you to control the tennis ball machine. Using this nifty feature, you can look forward to some intense training sessions without anyone having to assist you when spending some quality time on the court.
Lobster Sports Elite One
Runner-Up in Best Overall Tennis Ball Machine
If you’re looking for an alternative to the top model featured on our list, then the Lobster Sports Elite One could be an excellent choice based on its design and incredible features. The connection between the Lobster brand and quality tennis ball machines has been around since 1971. Their expertise becomes evident when we look at the design of the Elite One model. This is an extremely well-thought-out product, offering enough features to satisfy professional players and enabling amateurs to work on their fundamentals. You can take advantage of the features of this machine to practice various aspects of your game, such as groundstrokes, returns, lobs, reaction time and overall fitness. The corner-to-corner oscillation function allows you to master forehand and backhand shots, while the 60-degree lob setting helps you perfect your overhead shots. Your reaction time can be sharpened tremendously with the high-speed option on the machine, allowing you to generate pace up to 80 mph on the tennis balls. You can even apply topspin or backspin on each delivery to help you further enhance the quality of your strokes. A storage capacity of 150 balls helps you stay in the flow during your practice sessions without having to break to refill the machine. The rechargeable battery offers four to eight hours of court time based on your usage.
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty
Best Tennis Ball Machine Under $1000
If you’re looking to pick up a tennis ball machine under 1000 dollars, the Sports Elite Liberty could be a suitable option. The manufacturer prides itself on providing quality equipment across a wide range of budgetary options. This model includes multiple features of a top model without the accompanying price tag, including a 150-ball holding capacity and a max speed of 70 mph. You can also adjust the elevation of the delivery manually between 0 to 50 degrees, and add either topspin or backspin to the ball to make things more challenging. Other important training modules in this machine include corner-to-corner oscillation and a 50-degree lob for overhead shots. You can also adjust the feed rate from two to 12 seconds based on your requirement, and the optional remote control helps you launch the balls from any location on the court. Transporting this machine is easy thanks to the all-terrain wheels that enable easy movement over various court surfaces such as grass, gravel, and clay. The compact size and the lightweight design of 38 pounds greatly assist in the maneuverability of the device. It’s powered by a dual-voltage charger with in-built trickle technology that prevents overcharging. In terms of charge time, it tends to vary from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the existing charge of the device.
Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine
Best Tennis Ball Machine for Intermediate Players
Based on the experience level of the user, a tennis ball machine tends to serve different purposes. This selection is dedicated solely to those who are at the intermediate level in terms of their skill, and the Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine could appeal to such individuals. Spinshot likes to advertise this product as their best offering for family use as well, thanks to the wide range of features on offer. You can adjust the speed settings from 12 to 70 mph, which is suitable for both children and adults, while the random oscillation mode can be fun and challenging for all age groups. The Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine can be adjusted to deliver topspin and backspin while serving, thereby allowing you to practice two highly important aspects of the game. A metal exterior provides stability to the overall machine and allows you to transport it from one point to another with minimal fuss. The fact that it measures only 18 x 12 x 20 inches and weighs only 35 pounds makes things even easier when you’re on the move. The device is powered by a default battery that sits inside a power cage and can be charged using a port provided on the front panel. You also have the option of using external batteries, offering numerous additional hours of usage.
Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five LE
Best Tennis Ball Machine for Advanced Players
Professional players require a tennis ball machine that can provide an intense challenge to their training routine. If this is your requirement, then the Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five LE is a strong contender. This device includes 12 unique pre-loaded drills. These have been specially designed by tennis professionals to enhance your positioning and help you develop better strategies against a wide range of playing styles. An expanded oscillation function allows for three distinct positional settings—narrow, medium, and wide. You can use this feature to vastly improve your forehand and backhand strokes while focusing on your footwork. Multi-directional drills are proven to be a vital element of a complete training program in tennis and you can use this machine to practice exactly that. You can even use the screen of this machine to create your own customized drills. This allows you to place the ball in one of 18 different locations around the court, as well as dictate the ball speed, ball spin, and feed rate for each serve. Controlling these advanced features is possible by either your smartwatch or smartphone and they’re also compatible with all IOS and Android devices. You also have the option of taking things to the next level by selecting add-ons to improve your experience on the court further. This includes a premium charger that takes 3-6 hours off the regular charging time of 12-24 hours, purchasing a 20-function remote control, or having access to an unlimited power supply by opting for an external AC power.
Pickleball Tutor Plus
Best Lightweight Tennis Ball Machine
The Pickleball Tutor Plus weighs only 34 pounds, making it the best portable tennis ball machine in our selection. It allows for easy transportation when you require a quick and effective training session. Despite its ergonomic design and compact size, this machine packs in various features, such as a top speed of 65 mph and a ball-holding capacity of 110. You can adjust the launch frequency from one to 10 seconds and customize each delivery with backspin or topspin to make things more challenging. While many devices use a manual knob control to change the elevation angle, the Pickleball Tutor Plus comes with an electronic switch for greater accuracy and control. If you want to practice your forehand or backhand shots specifically, you can rely on the two-line oscillator to switch between two present court positions. The built-in rechargeable battery offers four hours of court time on a single charge. Another nice touch is the inclusion of a wireless two-button controller. This allows you to turn on/off the feed and oscillation.
Wilson Portable Tennis Machine
Best Entry-Level Tennis Ball Machine
We’ve covered machines that can help intermediate and professional level players on our list, and we would be remiss if we didn’t include a model that can be useful for beginners. This is why we’ve selected the Wilson Portable Tennis Machine as our best tennis ball machine for entry-level. Wilson is a noteworthy name in tennis and has always been closely associated with the development of the sport. Creating a reliable line of tennis ball machines is just one of the ways in which the company continues to contribute to the field and the lives of young professionals around the world. This device has a top speed of 75 mph and offers incredible spin variation—ranging from underspin to topspin. You can adjust the launch frequency from one to 10 seconds based on your comfort level, and the electronic elevation control helps you find the right angles for your training session. The machine comes with an in-built, rechargeable battery that offers up to four hours of uninterrupted practice. When you’re done, the towing handle and large wheels allow for easy transport whenever necessary.
How To Pick The Perfect Tennis Ball Machine
Tennis is a highly invigorating sport that is also known to be one of the most effective forms of exercise. Due to the intervention of technology in various aspects of the game, like many other sports, it’s undergoing radical changes.
Specialized equipment such as state-of-the-art tennis ball machines can greatly elevate an individual’s skill level, which is why it’s important to pick the best tennis ball machine for your needs. We’ve compiled a list of pointers to help you make this decision.
Ball Speed and Spin
The maximum and minimum launch speed of the ball from the machine dramatically affects the overall intensity of your training. Take your experience level into consideration. You may not need a machine that can expel balls at a top speed of 110 mph. However, if you play at an intermediate or higher, speeds of 65-70 mph are an absolute must.
Spin is another crucial element in tennis and it’s essential that your machine can offer a wide range of options in this department. The variation in your training basically comes down to the number of spin options that can be set before launch. You would ideally prefer to pick up a device that can vary from topspin to backspin as per your requirements.
The option of programmability becomes compulsory if you’re a professional player. Most basic models come with a handful of preset training modules, but high-end devices allow you to tailor your training based on a wide set of variables such as ball position, spin, and speed.
If you are looking to push your boundaries while training with a tennis ball machine, it’s essential to think about a device that can be programmed to execute a multitude of modules.
The capacity of most tennis ball machines varies between 100 and 200 balls. The more balls you can load into a machine, the longer your practice will last. But there is a trade off between a load capacity, weight and size. If you have a car with a small trunk, then expect to adjust your desirable capacity.
Regardless of the capacity, picking up balls has been always annoying for me. A well-design ball hopper makes this task less arduous and maximizes your time on a court.
The feed rate is the pace at which the tennis balls are launched toward you once the machine is running. This usually ranges from one to 12 seconds and is meant to provide you with varying levels of intensity while training.
As you can imagine, having a ball lobbed towards you every second is far more intense than facing one every minute. A healthy speed rate like the one mentioned above helps you stay on your toes during your training, which is why it’s an important factor while selecting a tennis ball machine.
Random oscillation is a crucial part of a well-rounded training program and it comes down to the variation in angles between serves. This function offers a real challenge to the trainee and provides a full range of mobility training options to help you develop your overall skills.
Try and ensure that your device includes the random oscillation feature. Otherwise, the balls can be launched only in a single direction and that can get pretty monotonous pretty fast!
As most people cannot leave their tennis ball machines at the courts, owning a unit that is both lightweight and portable is something to consider. Quality models tend to vary from 34 to 50 pounds, but anything beyond that can become a real chore to lug around.
Furthermore, look for features that are going to make moving your tennis ball machine more convenient. Large wheels tend to tackle the terrain better, plus a robust handle will make transporting it less challenging.
A remote control allows you to take full control over your training sessions. This convenient device helps you to avoid relying on another individual to operate the machine based on your specific requirements.
You’ll find that some models include these gadgets as standard, however, this isn’t the case for all. When comparing, check to see whether the remote is an optional extra. It could also make a difference to your final budget.
You’ll find that most machines are rechargeable battery operated and court time can range from two up to eight hours.
However, it’s not just the battery life you should think about. You should consider the length of time it takes to top up your power source. Some of the best tennis ball machines offer the option to upgrade the charging device, cutting down the time you have to wait between uses.
If you’re a big fan of tennis and would like nothing more than to improve your backhand, serve or volley, then the best tennis ball machine has to be the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine.
This model is reasonably priced despite its many high-end features and it can offer you quality training sessions in order to substantially boost your skill level over time.
The customizable drills will help you take your training regime to the next level. These drills can be programmed using the free app provided by Spinshot, thereby offering you unparalleled control over your training.
Our first runner-up is the Lobster Sports Elite One, and it’s a worthy competitor to our number one. Alternatively, if you consider yourself currently at an intermediate level, the Spinshot Pro could appeal.