Spending around a thousand bucks or more on a tennis ball machine, is no trivial decision. Not many people have the privilege of making this decision. Tennis training with a machine gives you many options to improve various tennis skills, that you can’t find from the limits of bouncing a ball against a wall or using the boring old roped ball. Sometimes there’s nobody else to practice with. You get more out of lessons by training with machines between lessons. These ball machines can save you money compared to mid-term costs of drills, lessons or even hiring tennis ball machines.
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine
This ugly little beast is great regardless how skilled you are. It holds 150 tennis balls, which it can randomly shoot at you from speeds as slow as 20 miles per hour, to as fast as 80 miles per hour. It can even spin balls up to 50 degrees, with backspins and topspins. The more spin you set it to serve, the slower the balls travel. Balls can be set to throw within 3 feet of the landing zone. It runs around 4 hours on a full charge.
There’s many high priced accessories not included like faster chargers, extra batteries, AC power adaptor, lobster cover, and a remote for around $150, with just two features. At least one buyer used a different branded battery and charger for significantly less costs than the Lobster Sports versions. You can easily cart it around with it’s handle and wheels like a golf cart.
Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine
A quiet running, quality metal machine, that doesn’t weigh more than comparable rivals. You can have a breather by tapping pause on your remote, without having to dish out an extra $150 after buying the machine. It uses your phone as the remote, and has many features to control. So don’t worry about the machine spitting out balls when you go to turn it on or off. Turn on the machine before running the phone app for proper paring.
You can program your own drills. It sits on wheels and can be used by children. The machine can do mix drills of all its’ different ball moves. The battery should be on the inside to avoid possible problems caused by a weight imbalance. One buyer claimed the reset button stopped working after two uses, and also wireless communication problems after around 20 minutes of use. They have good customer service.
Match Mate Rookie Tennis Ball Machine
They don’t call it a rookie for nothing, and maybe that’s why there’s a big difference in price and sales. Perhaps people would rather double up on the price for a machine that they can practice with for their whole tennis career, rather than something they’ll soon grow out of. Nonetheless it’s a quality aluminum bodied machine, made in America. Some buyers insist that skilled players can appreciate this machine.
It’s the lightest of the top three at only 22 pounds. The battery can last you up to five hours. It can be set on gentle settings for small children, and has a maximum ball throwing speed of 30 miles per hour. There’s no remote, but when you switch it on it’ll give you ten seconds prior to shooting the balls. But it won’t wait for you when you want to switch it off, unless it’s out of ammo.
What to Look For
If tennis might be a temporary fad for you, why buy an advanced, expensive tennis ball machine for intermediate players? If for sure the machine won’t get booted after a few months use, then maybe you might want to consider one you can drill with for your whole tennis career. But consider the cost of the Rookie, it could save you the cost of five professional tennis lessons, or at least enhance your training practice, so you could save through fewer tennis lessons.
All the machines reviewed here are very reliable unless the user makes an error like putting a damp ball in a machine that requires dry balls. There’s a significant price and popularity gap between the top two machines and the third rank. The top two are far more advanced, designed to support beginners and intermediate players. The low ranking machine is small and intended only for beginners.