11 Best Tennis Ball Machines [Reviews & Comparison]

Getting good at tennis is not easy.

I know from experience as I had dreams of becoming a pro but I just wasn’t (anywhere near) good enough!

If you are reading this you have probably decided that investing in a tennis ball machine is the best way to take your game up a notch and I would agree with that as they allow you to perfect your returns without the need for a another person to play with.

I have put together this 11 best tennis ball machine reviews and buyers guide to help you choose one.

I have played with quite a few in my time which means I can give you advice on what to choose from my own experience.

How to Choose a Tennis Ball Machine

A Lobster tennis ball machine

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 opt for a more basic and affordable option

What you choose is up to your budget, expectations, and what you are really looking for.

If there is a specific feature you require, start by looking for a machine that satisfies that need.

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

Compressed Air:


  • Compressed air isn’t as hard on the tennis balls during use.
  • A less expensive option than those with a rotating wheel.


  • Compressed air tennis ball machines can be noisy.
  • Not accurate when using different types of tennis 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.

Types of Ball Spin Offered

Different tennis ball machines offer different topspin and backspin shot 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 tennis ball machines let you shoot directly at yourself; while other machines will shoot the ball from side to side. Being able to change the delivery direction of the balls means you can recreate any type of shot you would face in a real tennis game.


A woman returning a shot from a tennis ball machine

Being able to set the speed the ball is fired at is important as it allows you to practice different types of shots, from baseline returns to shots close to the net.

The option to program different speeds also means you can create a drill that will be as close to real play as possible. Most tennis ball machines allow you to control these.

The functionality of the Machine

Some tennis ball 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 programmed in the shooter’s onboard computer, which could be helpful during long workout sessions.

Remote Control

All the models have a built in control panel but it can be hard to control the function of your ball 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 the setting without having to walk over to the control panel on the machine.

Portability of the Machine

Smaller tennis ball machines can be easier to transport between locations, which is especially important if you plan on taking it to multiple locations.

Compare Key Features

This table will help you to compare the key features for each machine at a glance:

MachineOscillationBall SpeedFeed rateElevationBall capacityUse time
Spinshot Player 2 All – fully customizable 18 to 68 mph 2-10 seconds Fully adjustable 120 2-3 hours
Lobster Elite Tworandom horizontal, random vertical10 to 80 mph2-12 seconds0-60 degrees1504-8 hours
Lobster Elite Onerandom horizontal10 to 80 mph2-12 seconds0-60 degrees1504-8 hours
Spinshot PlayerAll – fully customizable30 – 110 kmph2-10 secondsFully adjustable1202-3 hours
Spinshot Prorandom30 to 110 mph2-10 secondsFully adjustable1202-3 hours
Playmate iSmashrandom12 to 80 mph1-60 seconds15 to 55 degrees3004 hours
Lobster Elite Grand 5fully random35 to 80 mph2-9 seconds0-60 degrees1504-8 hours
Lobster Elite Freedomrandom horizontal35 to 65 mph2-10 seconds0-50 degrees1502-4 hours
Lobster Phenom 2 ClubRandom, vertical and horizontal35 to 80 mph2-9 seconds0 to 50 degrees2502-4 hours
Spinfire Pro 2vertical and horizontal20 to 80 mph2-15 seconds8 to 55 degrees2002-5 hours
Match Mate RookieNone10 to 27 mph10 seconds0 to 45 degrees704-5 hours

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My Reviews of the Best Tennis Ball Machines

Below, I have compiled a list of the best tennis ball machines.

1. Spinshot Player 2 Plus Tennis Ball Machine

[Top Machine on the Market]

The Spinshot Player 2 Plus is one of the most advanced tennis ball machines on the market. Offering almost every type of oscillation that perfectly emulates pretty much all shots real tennis players can make, the Spinshot Player allows you to enjoy a highly realistic on-court experience.

This tennis ball machine is available in two models: battery-powered or AC. The battery and charger come included with the battery-powered version, while a rechargeable power pack can be purchased separately for the AC model.

One great feature of the Player 2 Plus is the ability to pair it with your smartphone and phone app. Replacing the traditional remote, your phone can be used to program the speed, angle, feed rate and height of the ball. As the launcher provides custom programming, you can also feed in your customized drills.

With the battery connected, the Spinshot Player tennis ball machine weighs 42 pounds. This lightweight makes it easy to move around the court and lift in and out of your car boot. If you’ve got a private court, you may prefer the AC powered model. This way, you can enjoy the stationery machine without needing to recharge the battery.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate tennis player, the Spinshot Player 2 Plus tennis ball machine will allow you to practice shots and improve your game.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: fully customizable
  • Ball Speed: 18 to 68 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-10 seconds
  • Elevation: adjustable
  • Spin: top and back
  • Ball capacity: 120
  • Power: battery or ac
  • Use time: 2-3 hours
  • Weight: 42 lbs


  • Preprogrammed drills
  • Electronic elevation control
  • Two-line function
  • Create drills on the mobile app
  • Full customizable oscillation, spin and speed
  • Excellent manufacturer support


  • Short battery life
  • Unable to set speed during drills

2. Lobster Sports Elite Two

[Excellent All-Round Choice]

The Lobster Elite 2 tennis ball machine with remote

The Lobster Sports Elite 2 tennis ball machine is up there with the Spinshot Player Plus as the best machine on the market. It offers everything that the Lobster Elite 1 has, but comes with an advanced triple oscillation option that combines horizontal and vertical oscillation meaning a greater range of possible shots.

This tennis ball machine is suited for 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 1 but it’s worth the extra money to get that triple oscillation.

Another advantage of the Elite 2 tennis ball machine is that it features many options and settings that cannot be found on other tennis ball 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.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: random horizontal, random vertical
  • Ball Speed: 10 to 80 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-12 seconds
  • Elevation: 0-60 degrees
  • Ball capacity: 150
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 4-8 hours
  • Weight: 42 lbs


  • Triple oscillation
  • Great choice of speed and spin settings
  • Up to 80mph shots
  • Easy to transport
  • Greater simulation of match play tennis
  • Great features


  • Remote control not included
  • No preset drills

Read the full review here.

3. Lobster Sports Elite One Tennis Ball Machine

[Most Affordable]

The Lobster Elite 1

If affordability is your main concern the Lobster Elite 1 is the best choice of tennis ball machine for you. It is a great entry machine if you are a beginner. It is cheaper than the other machines but still offers enough to practice your shots on the court.

This tennis ball machine provides a full corner to corner horizontal random 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 tennis balls and the maximum capacity for the hopper is 150 tennis balls.

The Lobster Elite 1 is battery-operated, but can also be powered through an AC mains outlet and you should be able to use the Elite 1 tennis ball machine for up to 8 hours of ongoing use.

It is very light in comparison to other tennis ball machines making it very portable and easy to move from one court to the next.

One drawback to this tennis ball machine is that it can be a little noisy during extended periods of use, which can be distracting but it’s no big deal really.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: random horizontal
  • Ball Speed: 10 to 80 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-12 seconds
  • Elevation: 0-60 degrees
  • Spin: top & back settings
  • Ball capacity: 150
  • Power: battery or a/c
  • Use time: 4-8 hours
  • Weight: 42 lbs


  • Light & portable
  • More affordable than the Lobster 2
  • 60-degree lob program
  • Battery-powered
  • Corner to corner random oscillation


  • Slightly noisy when in operation
  • No custom drills

Read the full review here.

4. Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine

The Spinshot player offers almost everything the Player 2 offers but at a more affordable price. The Spinshot Player tennis ball machine is an excellent piece of kit to help you work on your, shots returns and generally improve your game. One really cool feature is the ability to operate the machine with a phone remote using an app on your smartphone, or even using a smartwatch, what will they think of next eh?!

As the name hints at the strong point of the Spinshot Player tennis ball machine is its ability to replicate shots with a large amount of spin on them which gives an added element of realism and allows you to return a wider array of shots.

You can also program other details such as the height, direction, and speed for the shots and save the settings for the future.

Next to the Spinshot Player 2 plus it is one of the most advanced of all the tennis ball machines on the market.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: any
  • Ball Speed: 30 – 110 kmph
  • Feed rate: 2-10 seconds
  • Elevation: Adjustable
  • Ball capacity: 120
  • Power: battery or a/c
  • Use time: 2-3 hours
  • Weight: 19kg


  • Remote control using a smartphone
  • Program oscillation, speed and height for custom drills
  • Easy to use


  • Doesn’t support all mobile operating systems (Android and iOS only)
  • Max speed slightly lower than other models

Read the full review here.

5. Spinshot Pro

[Best Portable Tennis Ball Machine]

The Spinshot Pro tennis ball machine is the best in terms of portability. It is super lightweight and portable with a set of wheels and handle making it a good choice if you are on the move a lot to different courts and want to take your machine with you.

It can produce top and backspin shots as well as vertical and horizontal oscillation. As with the Spinshot Player it offers a high maximum ball firing speed of up to 110km, you need to be speedy to return those, my friend!

Keeping this from being higher up my list is it doesn’t quite have the same level of advanced features some others do and the fact it doesn’t come with a digital remote (though you can control it with your Android or Apple iPhone smartphone so it doesn’t matter too much if you have one of those).

Key Features

  • Oscillation: random
  • Ball Speed: 30 to 110 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-10 seconds
  • Elevation: adjustable
  • Ball capacity: 120
  • Power: battery or AC
  • Use time: 2-3 hours
  • Weight: 18-20 kg


  • Multi-function speed control
  • Adjustable ball delivery
  • Horizontal and vertical oscillation
  • Topspin and backspin options
  • More affordable than the Spinshot Player
  • Easy to use control panel


  • No custom drills
  • Can’t be used with remote control

Read the full review here.

6. Playmate iSmash Tennis Ball Machine

[Ideal for tennis clubs]

The Playmate iSmash

The Playmate Smash tennis ball machine is the best choice for a tennis club. It is Playmate’s base Chameleon Series model.

This means that it can be upgraded to the iGenie, allowing the machine to develop as you do. This tennis ball machine is suitable for tennis players who want to start with the basics and work their way up.

The Smash has enough features to keep the most avid player satisfied. With a 300-ball hopper, variable topspin and backspin and a 7-position programmable electronic direction, although the ball machine is suitable for players of all abilities t will be advanced players who will get the most from it. The Smash is also compatible with the Playmate Serve Lift, allowing you to use the machine from an elevated position.

The Smash tennis ball machine is AC powered and weighs 73 lbs, making it suited to tennis clubs or tennis players with a private court. This way, the heavy machine won’t need to be transported to and from the court. The Playmate Smash has a host of innovative features and a user-friendly control panel. It is the most expensive machine on the list though.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: random
  • Ball Speed: 12 to 80 mph
  • Feed rate: 1-60 seconds
  • Elevation: 15 to 55 degrees
  • Spin: variable top and back
  • Ball capacity: 300
  • Power: AC
  • Weight: 73 lbs


  • Variable electronic height
  • Easy feed rate adjustment
  • User-friendly control panel
  • Remote control
  • Variable topspin and backspin
  • Serve lift friendly


  • Heavy so not very portable
  • Expensive

7. Lobster Elite Grand 5 Tennis Ball Machine

[Most programmability]

The Lobster Elite Grand 5 tennis ball machine

The Lobster Elite Grand 5 is the best choice for preprogammed drills whiuch allow accurate real match play simulation.

It also includes the ability to program a different speed, spin rate and trajectory for every ball, fully random oscillation and the option to program up to 6 of your own custom drills. These options most other tennis ball machines to not have.

It is a little pricer than some tennis ball machines but it is worth the extra investment if you are looking for features and programmability that can accurately emulate a real game of tennis when you get on the court.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: fully random
  • Ball Speed: 35 to 80 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-9 seconds
  • Elevation: 0-60 degrees
  • Ball capacity: 150
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 4-8 hours
  • Weight: 44 lbs


  • 12 pre-programmed drills
  • Program up to 6 custom drills
  • Full oscillation options
  • Fast charging


  • More expensive than other models

8. Lobster Sports Elite Freedom Tennis Ball Machine

The Lobster Elite Freedom

The Lobster 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 and on good wheels, it is extremely portable.

If you’re on a tight budget, then this Lobster Elite Freedom tennis ball machine could be a good choice but I must admit it is not up to the same standard as the other 2 Lobster machines above, so if you can afford a little extra go for one of those.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: random horizontal
  • Ball Speed: 35 to 65 mph
  • Ball feed rate: 2-10 seconds
  • Elevation: 0-50 degrees
  • Ball capacity: 150
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 2-4 hours
  • Weight: 35 lbs


  • More affordable than other machines
  • Very portable


  • Only horizontal oscillation
  • Slower ball speed than others

Read the full review here.

Lobster Sports Phenom 2 Club Tennis Ball Machine

The Lobster Sports Phenom 2 Club

The Lobster Sports Phenom 2 Club is a stationary tennis ball machine. Boasting everything that a tennis player needs to improve his or her game, the electricity-powered machine is one of the most popular machines on the market.

This Lobster tennis ball machine features a 250-ball hopper, allowing you to practice for longer without having to refill, which is a very useful feature. It’s fully programmable and can be set to shoot out tennis balls at 35-80 mph, providing an optimal playing experience on the court.

At 99 pounds, this tennis ball machine certainly isn’t the lightest on the market. With this in mind, it’s suited to tennis players with a private court or playing area so it doesn’t have to be transported.

Like many of the other Lobster tennis ball machines, the Sports Phenom comes with three pre-programmed six shot drills to emulate playing with a partner. These settings simulate popular styles like power baseliner and grinder, allowing you to get to grips with more complex shots.

If you want to switch things up, the drills can be customized with more trajectory, speed and spin to take your game to the next level and make sure when the time comes for your next match, you will be ready!

Key Features

  • Random, vertical and horizontal oscillation
  • Ball Speed: 35 to 80 mph
  • Ball feed rate: 2-9 seconds
  • Elevation: 0 to 50 degrees
  • Spin: topspin and backspin
  • Ball capacity: 250
  • Power: AC
  • Weight: 99 lbs


  • Random oscillation for good range of shots
  • Variable spin and speed
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Includes reprogrammed drills
  • 3-line function


  • Remote control needs to be purchased separately

Read the full review here.

Spinfire Pro 2 Tennis Ball Machine

The Spinfire Pro 2 tennis ball machine is a new and improved version of the original Spinfire Pro. Boasting a range of innovative features, the launcher is popular amongst budding tennis stars.

One of the most notable features is the machine’s internal oscillation. Typically seen on more expensive machines, this allows the Pro to move quickly and makes shots less predictable as though you were playing with an actual partner.

Weighing 52 pounds, this tennis ball machine is light enough to transport to and from the court. Despite being compact for storage and portability, the Pro features a 200-ball hopper. This means you can enjoy the game for longer before having to refill.

When necessary, the 200-ball can be reversed to cover the machine for protection during storage and transport. As well as protecting the launcher, the cover makes the Spinfire Pro 2 appear neat and compact.

The Spinfire Pro 2 also offers a 2-line drill with 3 settings, extreme spin, LCD display and a membrane touch panel. The ball speed can be adjusted from 20-80 mph with variable topspin. The ball interval can also be adjusted and set anywhere between 2 and 15 seconds depending on your preference, which is a useful feature.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: vertical and horizontal
  • Ball Speed: 20 to 80 mph
  • Ball feed rate: 2-15 seconds
  • Elevation: groundstroke to lob
  • Spin: variable
  • Ball capacity: 200
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 2-5 hours
  • Weight: 52 lbs


  • Internal oscillation
  • Counter-rotating wheels
  • Two-line drill
  • Vertical and horizontal oscillation
  • Can be used with a remote control
  • Self-calibration


  • No preprogrammed drills
  • Remote to be purchased separately

Read the full review here.

Match Mate Rookie by Match Mate

The Match Mate Rookie is a battery-powered tennis ball machine. Instead of splashing out on an expensive machine, many beginners prefer to start with the basics. If you fall into this category, the Rookie will suit you perfectly for a virtual tennis partner to practice your shots.

Weighing just 22 lbs, the Rookie is one of the lightest machines on the market. The lightweight makes it easy to move around the court and even lift it in and out of your car boot. The Rookie’s features are similar to those of the iSam Value and the Lobster Sports Elite 2 Portable; however, the Rookie has the added benefit of being 18-20 pounds lighter.

Depending on your preference, the ball speed can be set between 10 and 27 miles per hour – this ball speed adjustment range is quite impressive for such a compact machine. The height can also be adjusted, allowing you to practice a range of different shots with a single machine, which is a great feature.

When fully charged, the battery lasts up to 5 hours. While this back-up isn’t overly generous, it’s enough time to fit in at least 2 practice sessions without recharging. With a selection of basic features, the Match Mate Rookie tennis ball machine is suited to new players who want to develop their skills rather than advanced players.

This is really an entry-level machine, if you’re an intermediate or pro-level tennis player, you’ll probably prefer something a little more advanced.

Key Features

  • Oscillation: no oscillation
  • Ball Speed: 10 to 27 mph
  • Feed rate: 10 seconds
  • Elevation: 0 to 45 degrees
  • Spin: groundstroke to lob
  • Ball capacity: 70
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 4-5 hours
  • Weight: 27 lbs


  • Adjustable ball delivery speed
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Adjustable feed rate
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a warranty


  • Slow feed rate
  • Short battery life
  • Too basic for advanced players

ONE TO AVOID: Lobster Elite Liberty

This is part of the Lobster range which is very good as evident from having 3 appearances on this feature. The Lobster Elite Liberty tennis ball machine, however, has had quite a few bad reviews so if you are investing the amount of money you have to for one of these machines, I would go with one of the other options.

There have been some concerns with reliability, ball speed and the battery life massively reducing over time which of course are all big concerns.

Will will review this again at a later date to see if anything has changed.

Key Features

  • Random & horizontal oscillation
  • Ball Speed: 10 to 80 mph
  • Feed rate: 2-12 seconds
  • Elevation: 0-50 degrees
  • Ball capacity: 150
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 2-4 hours
  • Weight: 35 lbs

About the Brands

The brands featured in my best tennis ball machines list are:

Lobster Sports




Match Mate


Which Ball Firing Option Is Better?

Illustration of a Lobster tennis ball machine

Like all products on the market, different tennis ball machines have their strengths and weaknesses and it all really depends on what you are looking for, how much you are willing to pay and if you are a beginner or more advanced player.

High-speed tennis ball 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 outlet if you want to use a pneumatic machine.

The strength of pneumatic tennis ball machines, however, is that they do not wear the tennis balls out as fast as the counter-rotating wheel option, so they could be a cheaper option overall.

Do any of the models deliver serves?

None of these emulate serves, if you want that try the Ace Attack.

Tennis Ball Machine Power Types


Illustration of a tennis ball machine 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 life for machines can be 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

Illustration of a tennis ball machine plug

AC powered tennis ball machines are the ones you typically see used at a sports center 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 or a battery charger with these models.

A female tennis player about to hit the tennis ballAdvantages of using a tennis ball machine

There are quite a few different ways to benefit from using a tennis ball machine, depending on the skill or technique you are trying to learn. They are a very convenient way of practicing when you don’t have a partner to play with.

A tennis coach or those who provide instruction to younger or inexperienced players will usually know of several practice sequences or drills that can be employed to work on particular areas of a person’s game.

Tennis ball machines have the following advantages:

+ Improving consistency

For newer players and even some more experienced players, striking the ball consistently can be a challenge. Setting up a tennis machine to target exactly the same position on the court each time means that players can practice any shot over and over again until it becomes second nature. This is vital if you are a beginner and also very important for any skill level.

+ Test your reactions

Settings that involve shots being fired towards different areas of the court at different speeds (and spinning) can provide the kind of challenge players who are looking to improve their reaction times will benefit from. Many tennis ball machines can be set so that they shoot tennis balls at the player with different spin ratings, directions and heights, meaning anybody using it must react quickly to the unpredictable combination of shots coming their way.

+ Alternate between shot styles

Though some budget models and homemade devices will not have this kind of setting, for intermediate and professional players, setting a tennis ball machine to fire tennis balls that need to be served either forehand or backhand, for example, will mean that you can practice combinations of shot styles, just like you would need to employ in a match against a real player.

+ Improve movement and agility

Using a setting that allows the tennis ball machine to osculate means that you can serve tennis balls to different areas of the court relatively quickly.

This means players will need to factor in their movements between balls, so for example, if a shot is served to the back of the court, they will need to move quickly to get to the right spot in time before playing their shot. This is especially great for intermediate to advanced tennis players. For any player who wants a good cardio workout while also improving their tennis game, this setting can be a fun and intense way to work up a sweat.

Jeremy Barnes

I’ve played tennis since I was 5 years old. I played on my high school team and one year in college before I tore my ACL. It’s been about 3 years now since my injury, and I’ve been able to come back and play in some tournaments. Find out more about me here.

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