Best Tennis Ball Machines for Practicing Your Game

Getting into the game of tennis can be a steep learning curve for many people. Not only do you need to focus on your opponent’s movements, you also need to be mindful of learning how to swing and serve accurately.

There are many different ways that you can learn how to hit the ball better in tennis from practicing to taking coaching lessons to watching videos on Youtube. But one method of practicing and getting better at the game that surpasses all other options is using a tennis ball machine.

Our Top 3

 NameCapacityWeight
Lobster Sports Elite Freedom150 Balls35 lbs
Lobster Sports Elite 2150 Balls44 lbs
Lobster Sport Elite 1150 Balls42 lbs

What is a Tennis Ball Machine?

A tennis ball machine basically fires out a tennis ball at you to mimic a shot from an opposing player allowing you to practice return shots without needing anyone else.

They are the ideal way for you to practice your swings with a high amount of accuracy. People like using these machines due to their relatively low cost to rent for the day.

You can set different speeds and intensities of practice. You can simulate how a real player would serve towards you, as well as adjusting the velocity and rate of fire.

 

A tennis ball machine isn’t something that you use every day, although they can be a handy tool to have especially for learning how to get better at the game with minimal fuss.

So what do you do if you are in the market for the best tennis ball machine? The good news is that we have compiled some of the best information available for those people who want to own their machines, as well as the top three products that you should look out for.

How to Choose the Best Tennis Ball Launcher

Like other products on the market today, there is no lack of variety when it comes to tennis ball machines. You can get machines that are top of the line options costing thousands of dollars, or you can simply opt for the more simple and basic route. What you choose is up to your budget, expectations, and what you are really looking for.

There are a variety of brands and tech that is available in tennis ball launchers. Generally speaking, it is best to choose a machine based on what works for you.

 Choosing the Type of Machine:

There are different kinds of machines that can use either compressed air or rotating wheel, with each machine offering their own pros and cons.

Compressed Air:

+ Compressed air isn’t as hard on the tennis balls during use.

+ A less expensive option than the rotating wheel.

Compressed air tennis ball machines can be noisy.

Not accurate when using different types of balls.

Rotating Wheel:

+ More consistent compared to the compressed air models.

+ Doesn’t make as much noise.

The tennis balls will wear out sooner with a rotating wheel.

More expensive than other options.

Types of Spin Offered

On offer is different topspin and back spin features. They are a good addition if you require them, as you can learn to get better at different kinds of swings and swerves.

Different Oscillations

Some machines let you shoot directly at you; while other machines while shoot the ball from side to side.

Functionality of the Machine

Some machines encourage the user to get a workout in between the shots, which is done by dodging side to side. There are other workout settings that can be programed in the shooter’s on-board computer, which could be helpful during long workout sessions.

Remote Control

It can be hard to control the function of your machine when you are on the other side of the court, which is why some of the premium models come with their own remote controls, so you can adjust your shooter’s setting without having to walk over to it.

Portability of the Machine

A smaller machine can be easier to transport between locations, which is especially important if you plan on taking it to multiple locations.

Which Ball Firing Option Is Better?

Like all products on the market, different tennis ball machines have their strengths and weaknesses, and are all really dependent on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay.

High speed machines required more power to use as is the case with pneumatic machines. These types of machines cannot be operated on batteries alone, which could be seen as a significant disadvantage as you will need access to an external AC power let if you want to use a pneumatic machine.

The strengths of a pneumatic machine however is that they do not wear the balls out as fast as the counter rotating wheel option, so they could be a cheaper option overall.

Uses of a Tennis Ball Thrower Machine

Tennis ball machines have dropped in price over the last few years, which has made them a cheap one time investment, especially in comparison to what you could be pay in terms of lessons and trainers fees. Here we’ll go over some of the most common uses of tennis ball machines.

The tennis ball launcher can provide the user with an immense number of benefits. First of all, ball machines can be used continuously for hours, without the reduction in accuracy, so you can practice your game for as long as you want to.

They can support a variety of strokes, serves, and other tennis techniques. The ball machines can fire in multiple direction, speeds, and angles. You can also set the machine to fire continuously in a single straight line for endurance practice. One can set the machine according to their own preferences and play style.

Most machines can hold between 50 and 300 balls, which means you can easily practice your game at your own pace. The majority of machines are also transportable and chargeable if they come with onboard batteries.

You can program tennis ball machines with different schedules that suits different play styles, and whatever kind of mood you happen to find yourself in. Ball machines are also great for building muscle memory. and they are great for working on your footwork due to the pace that they can fire balls at you.

In short, tennis ball machines can help to improve your game immensly.

Tennis Ball Machine Power Types

Battery

Tennis ball machines that are operated by batteries are generally smaller, as well as being easier to move around. The drawback to battery operated tennis ball machines is that they often lack some of the essential features of their AC powered variants. Battery operated machines can last between two and eight hours depending on the model. The portable models use lead-acid batteries.

A typical charge for a battery-powered ball machine should last between 10 and 12 hours. You just need to plug the battery operated machine into an AC outlet to charge, which should take you anywhere between three and nine hours.

AC Power

AC powered machines typically see use on sports course that have their own AC outlets. They offer more features than a battery-operated tennis ball machine, and come without the difficulties of recharging. AC powered machines are generally larger and heavier in nature, and as such they cannot be easily relocated.

AC powered machines can only use outlet powers and do not support batteries. The key advantage to an AC powered machine is that the user can use for them for as long as they want without fears of running out of charge. You do not need to buy batteries with these models.

The Best Tennis Ball Machines in 2018

Below, we have compiled our list of the best tennis ball machines for 2018.

Lobster Sports Elite Freedom

This ball machine features some of the best technology available for those who want to become better at tennis. The Lobster Sports Elite Freedom features a 150 ball capacity. You just need to press one button in order to get started, and it features multiple settings for speed, angle, and the rate of fire.

The machine’s mix of power and its relatively cheap price means that it is a great option for both beginners and advanced players to get better at their game, and at around 35 oz it is extremely portable. If you’re on a tight budget, then this is definitely for you.

Lobster Sports Elite 2 [Best Portable Machine]

The Lobster Sports Elite 2 machine offers everything that the first generation has, but comes with an advanced triple oscillation option. This machine is best suited towards intermediate and advanced players that want to bring their game to the next level. The Elite 2 is slightly more expensive than the Lobster Sports Elite.

One key advantage of Elite 2 machine is that it features many options and settings that cannot be found on other machines in its price range. The optional accessories available consist of a two function wireless remote control, a fast charger, and a premium fast charger. The weight of the device is 42 lbs. and its large wheels make for easy transport.

Lobster Sports Elite 1

If getting better at tennis is your ultimate goal then the Lobster Sport Elite 1 Portable Tennis machine by Lobster could be the solution that you have been looking for. The machine provides a full corner to corner horizontal oscillation that can help you perfect your forehands and backhands. The onboard hopper can be inverted to use as the basket to hold an increased amount of balls. The maximum capacity for the hopper is 150 balls. The Elite 1 is battery-operated, but can also be powered through an AC mains outlet.

The only drawback to the machine is that it can be a little noisy during extended periods of use, which could be distracting. You should be able to use the Elite 1 for 4 to 8 hours on ongoing use.