9 Best Tennis Ball Machines [2020 Reviews & Comparison]

A graphic of a tennis ball machine full of balls

Getting good at the game of tennis is not easy.

You need to learn to serve in tennis which is easy to practice on your own but you also need to perfect your returns which can be difficult to practice if you are on your own!

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 the ultimate way of practicing and getting better at tennis if you don’t always have a partner available is using a tennis ball machine.

Here we have put together our 9 best tennis ball machines reviews and buyers guides to help you choose one.

In our opinion, tennis ball machines are an essential investment as they allow you to practice tennis anytime without the need for a human opponent. This can give you an edge and that is highly important if you are serious about your tennis game

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Top Picks

Top Choice
Lobster Sports Elite 2
Most Advanced
Spinshot Player Plus 2
Most Affordable
Lobster Sports Elite 1
Most Portable
Spinshot Pro
Most Programs
Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five
For Tennis Clubs
Playmate Smash
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
Spinshot Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use - 42 lb
Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine (The Best Model for Easy Use)
Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five with External Battery Option
Playmate Smash Ball Machine, Green
Top Choice
Lobster Sports Elite 2
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
Most Advanced
Spinshot Player Plus 2
Spinshot Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
Most Affordable
Lobster Sports Elite 1
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use - 42 lb
Most Portable
Spinshot Pro
Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine (The Best Model for Easy Use)
Most Programs
Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five
Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five with External Battery Option
For Tennis Clubs
Playmate Smash
Playmate Smash Ball Machine, Green

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Reviews of the Best Tennis Ball Machines for 2020

Below, we have compiled our list of the top tennis ball machines for 2020.

Lobster Sports Elite 2

[Top Choice]

LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
  • ELITE 10-FUNCTION REMOTE CONTROL: This Lobster Sports...
  • TRIPLE OSCILLATION: This tennis ball machine is built with a...
  • FOUR TO EIGHT HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE: Lobster Sports has...

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lobster Sports Elite 2 tennis ball machine offers everything that the first generation 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 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 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.

All the features along with a reasonable price mean this is our top pick of all the tennis ball machines on the market.

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

Pros

  • Triple oscillation
  • Up to 80mph shots
  • Easy to transport
  • Greater simulation of match play tennis

Cons

  • Remote control not included
  • No preset drills

Lobster Sports Elite 1 Tennis Ball Machine

[Most Affordable]

Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use - 42 lb
  • ADVANCED FEATURES AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE: The Lobster Sports...
  • CORNER-TO-CORNER FULL SWEEP: This tennis ball machine...
  • FOUR TO EIGHT HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE: Lobster Sports has...

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If getting better at tennis is your ultimate goal then the Lobster Sports Elite 1 battery operated portable tennis ball machine by Lobster could be the solution that you have been looking for.

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 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.

The only 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.

Other than that this is one quality product and is without a doubt a great all-round choice for the money.

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

Pros

  • Light & portable
  • 60-degree lob program
  • Battery-powered
  • Corner to corner random oscillation

Cons

  • Slightly noisy when in operation
  • Battery life not very long

Spinshot Player 2 Plus Tennis Ball Machine

[Most Advanced Machine]

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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 Player allows you to enjoy a 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 of the greatest features of the Player 2 Plus is the ability to pair it with your smartphone. 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 is all you’ll need 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

Pros

• Preprogrammed drills
• Electronic elevation control
• Two-line function
• Remote control
• Full customizable oscillation

Cons

• Short battery life
• Unable to set speed during drills

Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine

Sale
Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine (Best Seller Ball Machine in the World)
  • Any Type of Drill Can be Easily Programmed on the Tennis...
  • Only Tennis Ball Machine not Made of Plastics, Weight Only...
  • Free Phone App Provided to Program Speed, Spin, Height,...

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This 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 Player 2 plus it is one of the most advanced of all the tennis ball machines on the market and one of the best models available 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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Spinshot Pro

[Best Portable Tennis Ball Machine]

Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine (The Best Model for Easy Use)
  • Only Tennis Ball Machine not Made of Plastics
  • Tennis Ball Machine with All Features Knob Controlable and...
  • Tennis Ball Machine with Flexible Power Options Available

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Spinshot Pro tennis ball machine 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 our 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).

Other than that it’s an excellent choice of tennis ball machine.

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Playmate Smash Tennis Ball Machine

[Ideal for tennis clubs]

Playmate Smash Ball Machine, Green
  • Simple to operate, lightweight, easy to maneuver, quiet,...
  • Exclusive ball delivery system offering a selection of...
  • Holds 300 balls.

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Playmate Smash tennis ball machine 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. As the base model, this tennis ball machine is suitable for tennis players who want to start with the basics and work their way up. The Smash can be purchased now and upgraded later to turn it into a top-line model.

Although the Smash is the base model, it 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. With a host of innovative features and a user-friendly control panel, the Playmate Smash Ball Machine is one of the top options on the market.

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

Pros

• Variable electronic height
• User-friendly control panel
• Remote control
• Variable topspin and backspin
• Serve lift friendly

Cons

• Heavy

Lobster Elite Grand 5 Tennis Ball Machine

[Most programmability]

Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five with External Battery Option
  • 6 Custom Programmable Drills with 6 selectable locations,...
  • 12 Pre-loaded Court Drills; Power Baseliner, All-Courter,...
  • Fully Random Oscillation with random ball speed, ball spin,...

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lobster Elite Grand 5 is a great machine in almost every way.

It has some great advanced features such as the pre-programmed drills that you can use for practice, 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 make it a cut above other tennis ball machines.

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • More expensive than other models

Lobster Sports Elite Freedom Tennis Ball Machine

Lobster Sports Elite Freedom Portable Tennis Ball Machine (21x14x 20- Inch)
  • Designed for maximum durability, its 35-pound ergonomic...
  • The full corner-to-corner sweep of the Elite Freedom will...
  • Oscillation: Random horizontal Speed: 10 to 70 mph Ball...

Last update on 2020-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This tennis ball machine features some of the most advanced technology available for those who want to become better at tennis. 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 is definitely for you but we must admit it is not up to the same standard as the other 2 so if you can afford a little extra go for one of those.

Key Features:

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

Pros

  • More affordable than other machines
  • Very portable

Cons

  • Only horizontal oscillation
  • Lower battery life

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 just 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
• Feed rate: 2-15 seconds
• Elevation: groundstroke to lob
• Spin: variable
• Ball capacity: 200
• Power: battery
• Use time: 2-5 hours
• Weight: 52 lbs

Pros

• Internal oscillation
• Counter-rotating wheels
• Two-line drill
• Vertical and horizontal oscillation
• Remote control
• Self-calibration

Cons

• No preprogrammed drills
• Remote to be purchased separately

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, we 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 our best tennis ball machines list are:

Lobster Sportshttps://www.lobstersports.com/

Spinshothttp://www.spinshot.co.uk

Playmatehttps://www.playmatetennis.com/

Spinfirehttps://www.spinfiresport.com

Match Matehttps://www.matchmatetennis.com

How to Choose a Tennis Ball Launcher

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

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

There are different kinds of tennis ball machines that can use either compressed air or rotating wheel, with each ball 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

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.

Speed

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. Being able 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.

FAQ

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 and how much you are willing to pay.

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 strengths 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

Battery

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 with these models.