We all know that the best way to improve is to practice and the same can be said for Tennis. Tennis, however, is a two-man game. Even if you want to improve his game, the other might not be as dedicated or skilled to be able to provide challenges that will lead to improvement.
This is where the concept of a tennis ball machine comes in. No more waiting for your partner or having to deal with the hassle of finding someone actually good enough to have an enjoyable session with. More importantly, nothing between you and getting the practice that you need to take your game to the next level.
But the question still remains: which tennis ball machine should I buy? We here at Railwayzero have gone ahead and compiled a list of the best tennis ball machines for your needs. Starting with the best of the best.
The Best Tennis Ball Machine for All Skill Levels: The Spinshot Player
This is the best of the best. Why? Well because it embraces the power of modern technology and makes something old and seasoned as a Tennis ball Machine takes it into the future.
Alright, I am going to cut to the chase, the reason this is so amazing is because of its integration with a Spinshot mobile app, at first glance, it might just seem like another remote controller or rather a “free remote controller”.
But that’s not all, the app allows you to make custom routines by setting spin, oscillation, feed rates and elevation level. This level of control was unheard of as having such fine-tuned customization on a standard machine would confuse the average buyer.
Although, in this it just adds to the experience as you don’t have to tinker with anything if you don’t want to, but if you decide to you can train any part of your tennis game in isolation and improve it.
There are still a lot of good things about the ball machine other than the app, it’s just an overall good Tennis ball machine. We will highlight pros and its cons, as there is always room for improvement, down below.
|Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine (Best Seller Ball Machine in the World)||$1,849.00|
- Mobile App and the implementation/creation of custom drills.
- 2-line ball delivery available.
- Adjustable spin, speed, feed rate, direction and trajectory.
- Featured packed even for the most skilled player.
- Potential for getting even better as the App matures.
- Max Speed might be a bit to slow for advanced players
- No on-board control panel
- Should add ability to download other people’s custom drills.
- Skill Level: All
- Ball Capacity: 120+
- Feed Frequency: 2-10 seconds
- Oscillation: Horizontal & Vertical
- Speed: 19-68 MPH (30-110 KMPH)
- Spin: Topspin and Backspin
- Control: Drill Maker app for Android and IOS or apple watch to pause and start
- Size: 21h x 20l x 14w (inches)
- Weight: 46 Lbs with battery
- Battery: Rechargeable battery included, Lasts 2-3 hours
Our Top 7 Tennis ball machines Reviewed
Okay. So, we showed you our top pick of the best of the best, but maybe it doesn’t have something that fulfills your particular need.
Well not to worry we have a list of Top 8 Tennis Ball Machines for you and you are sure to find something that satisfies all your needs in the list below.
The Sport elite 2 by Lobster is a traditional tennis ball machine through and through. It does all the things expected of a Machine made for shooting tennis balls great, even beats out our top pick The Spinshot player, it has a top speed of 80 mph higher than the player by Spinshot and has a max ball capacity of 150 balls.
It can also be powered via AC source, so no problem in running out of juice with this one. Although it doesn’t have battery protection in the included charger i.e. if you don’t unplug once fully charged the battery is going to get bloated or worse explode on you.
It doesn’t include a controller though and buying one is an additional cost but it does have on board controls and a smartphone app, if you want to save the cash. Here are the pros and cons of the lobster Sport Elite 2.
- Vertical and horizontal randomized oscillation.
- 4-8-hour Battery life + plus can be powered by AC source
- 10-80 mph speed control
- 150 maximum ball capacity
- The included battery/charger doesn’t have over charge protection.
- Doesn’t include a remote control and has to be bought separately.
Alright the Spinshot pro (also called the Spinshot plus)is quite literally the Spinshot Player without the ability to do custom drills, Its cheaper than the Player by Spinshot as well, basically if you need a Tennis Ball Machine to get a physical workout and don’t nt6eed any fancy bells and whistles. This is the machine for you.
Pro by Spinshot is both cheaper than the Player and the Sport Elite 2 by Lobster, that said it has all the capabilities that the Player has compact size, good feed rate, spin, oscillation, the whole package. It includes a remote as well, So. You don’t have to fondle with your phone to operate it.
|Spinshot Plus Tennis Ball Machine (Best Model for an Intermediate Player)||$1,799.00|
|Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine (The Best Model for Easy Use)||$1,549.00|
- Feeds Tennis balls that people of all skill levels can practice with
- Oscillates Horizontally for a great Lateral Workout
- Easily carryable and movable due to its compact size.
- Has an included remote.
- No customizable drills
- Oscillation is in a set order and not randomized
- Ball feeding depth must be set form the on-machine panel
We have discussed some of the best offerings when it comes to Tennis Ball feeding machines, but what if you don’t need the highest end, maybe you are just starting out and need a basic machine that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet.
This machine will do the job for beginners very well, but you have to keep your expectations in check. It is not for pro players, it is however a good machine and will do the job on the cheap, especially if you are on a budget.
- Cheaper than alternatives.
- Customize feed rate and get a bit of topspin at high rates
- 5-hour battery
- Only for beginner players
- No remote, only onboard controls
- Missing advanced features.
Much like the Elite 2 by Lobster, The Elite 1 packs almost the same features as it elder brother, it weighs a little lighter but not by much and does not have oscillation capability on the vertical access
That said, this tennis machine has 150 ball capacity and random horizontal oscillation. So, you can get a pretty good workout in and even train really well, as its top speed and feed rate are enough even at the advanced levels.
- Great for beginners to advanced players
- Oscillates side to side, results in a great lateral workout
- Easier to move than the Elite 2
- Has height adjustment so can be made to provide a fake kind of vertical oscillation.
- No custom drills.
- No vertical oscillation.
- Remote sold separately.
The iSAM Extend by Match Mate is the cheapest Tennis Ball Machine on the list, that said, it actually has some advantages over all the other Tennis Machines. Firstly, its massive 300 tennis ball capacity.
Secondly its 5 to 7-hour long battery, honestly for how cheap this is, the fact that, iSAM does these two things is just a bonus. Other than that, it comes with the regular restrictions of being cheap. No remote control, No custom drills, No smartphone integration, No vertical oscillation and no spin.
- Good feed rate
- Good Speed
- Light and easy to carry
- Long lasting battery
- Massive tennis ball capacity up to 300.
- Manual Vertical Oscillation
- No remote
- Only for Beginners to Intermediates
- No custom drills or smartphone integration.
- No topspin/backspin.
Another great Tennis Ball machine and this one comes with a 3 year warranty, other than that it’s pretty standard, will do the job well in all areas, of course it doesn’t have programmable drills or smartphone functionality.
But it has a speed of 10 to 85 mph, has a feed rate of 1.5 to 10 seconds, does 150 balls in one go and has a random oscillator. Bonus the included charger is overcharge proof. So, this one unlike some machines won’t go boom. Plus, you can get a remote if you want for it otherwise it has on machine controls.
- Variable amount of shots
- Random Shot oscillations
- 4 to 6 hours of play time on a single charge
- No over charging with the included charger
- 3-year warranty
- Remote sold separately
- No drills preprogrammed, all shots are random or set to a specific kind.
- No option for smart drills.
We couldn’t end the list without including one of the biggest brand names in tennis, Wilson. A machine related to tennis well of course Wilson makes one and much like Wilson other offerings it’s a great Tennis Ball Machine at a reasonable price.
It has a ball speed of 10 to 75 mph. a ball capacity of 110 which could have been higher, 1.5 to 10 second feed rate. It has 4 separate backspin options and 4 topspin options as well.
You can also set vertical and horizontal oscillation and have random oscillating shots fired at you as well, All of the settings have to be done via the panel on the side of the machine, no remote included, the battery provides 4 hours of play time per charge and includes a smart charger.
|Wilson Portable Tennis Machine w/Remote & 2-Line Oscillation - from The #1 Name in Tennis - Wilson Sports||$1,695.00|
|Wilson Portable Tennis Machine - from The #1 Name in Tennis - Wilson Sports||$1,295.00|
- Highly customizable Spin settings
- Random oscillations
- Groundstrokes to lobs
- Overcharge proof system
- Easily portable
- No programmable drills
- Remote sold separately
- Two-line oscillation variant costs more.
Comparing Specifications of Tennis Ball Shooters.
|Spinshot Player||Spinshot Player||Lobster Sports Elite one||Lobster Sports Elite two||Wilson Portable||Tennis Tutor plus||Match Mate Rookie||Match Mate iSAM|
|Ball Feed rate||2-10 Sec||2-10 Sec||2-12 sec||2-12 sec||1.5-10 sec||1. 5-10 sec||Varies based on speed||2-10 sec|
|Ball Speed||19-68 mph||19-68 mph||10-80 mph|
|10-75 Mph||10-85 Mph||10-27 mph||15-70 mph|
|Spin||Topspin and backspin||Topspin and backspin||Topspin and backspin||Topspin and Slice||4 topspin and 4 backspin settings||Topspin and backspin||Some topspin at higher speeds||Topspin|
|Oscillator||Yes||Yes||Yes||Only horizontal, manual vertical adjustability||Yes||Yes||Nope||Yes|
|Play time per charge||2-3 Hours||2-3 Hours||4-8 hours||4-8 hours||3-4 hours||4-6 hours||4-5 hours||5-7 Hours|
|Remote||No, smartphone app||Optional||Not included sold separately||Not included sold separately||none||2 functions, sold separately||None||none|
As you can see most Tennis machines are quite similar and that’s why you will see not just us but almost every Tennis Gear reviewer recommend the Player by Spinshot the smart capabilities of that device put it in a league of its own.
Buying Guide: How to choose a Tennis Ball machine and what to check before buying a tennis ball machine.
- How often will you use the machine? Is a tennis ball machine worth the investment?
Yes, if you are someone who is invested in tennis and wants to improve his game or just enjoys the game and plays for fun. A machine can be worthwhile for you. A good machine like The Spinshot Player has capabilities which can literally mimic a session with a coach and pay for itself over time.
If you are someone who isn’t invested in tennis, they can be used to practice but honestly speaking the joy of the game is with people, first get into the game and then an investment like buying a machine to improve your game can make sense.
- What features of a Tennis Ball machine should I look at?
There are a lot of features in Tennis Ball machines, here is a list defining each one and why you should consider looking at them.
- Feed Rate
Feed rate stands for the number of shots a tennis machine will throw at you, important because some players need to be hurled balls at really fast and some just need one or 2 balls every minute to get the hang of it, most machines come with adjustable feed rates.
f this is something you are keen about, check the Elite 2 by lobster, it has top feed rate of of 12 per second
This refers to whether the tennis machine has the capability to throw the ball in different places on the court, i.e. does it have vertical and horizontal oscillation. Some machines have both and some have none, some have random oscillation and some have pre programmed drills, The Player by Spinshot has custom programmable drills.
So, it’s pretty important that the machine you have doesn’t just throw balls at one point in order to get a good workout.
- Ball speed
Ball speed is self-explanatory, referring to how fast the ball is coming at you. Some professionals need higher speeds to practice their game, while some obviously need slow speed to get the hang of the game, luckily most machines come with variable speeds and settings. if this is something you are keen about, check the Tennis tutor plus, it has top speed of 85 mph
- Ball spin
The amount of spin added to the ball thrown is referred to as Ball spin, there are two types of ball spin, front and back. Some machines only do one, while others both. It’s just another factor to look at when buying a machine. If this is something you are keen about, check the Wilson Portable, it has 4 settings for backspin and topspin.
- Custom drills
Custom drills are a feature introduced by the top pick of our and many other Tennis gear reviewers’ reviews. The Spinshot Player, This basically is the ability to program the machine to throw a certain kind of ball at you, or multiple kinds of shots at you, so, you can train them in isolation and really hone your skill.
Preprogrammed Drills however have been in Tennis machines a lot but the ability to custom program them is new and we believe that in the future this will become standard among most Tennis machines
- Control mechanism
Whether it has a remote, if it does is included or sold separately, can you use the smartphone as a controller. The only way to control the machine is through the panel on board. Are things worth looking into before buying a machine?
- Size and weight
Size and weight matters because you have to get the machine in place in order to practice with it and also it has to be manageable and fit able in your car to be taken somewhere, So Yeah. Look into it.
- Battery timings
How long the battery lasts on a single charger, also an additional thing to check is whether the charging mechanism is overcharge proof, overcharging can lead to battery bloating and exploding. If this is something you are keen about, check the iSAM by Match Mate, it has a battery timing of up to 7 hours.
- Ball Capacity
The amount of balls a machine can have in one round. If this is something you are keen about, check the iSAM by Match Mate, it has a ball capacity of 300 tennis balls.
- Can one Tennis Machine be used at all Skill levels?
Yes, some of the higher end machines although expensive can be used at all levels, the same cannot be said about the lower level ones.
- What are the best tennis balls for a ball machine?
Well that’s easy, just read our article on the best tennis balls for tennis ball machines.
Tennis ball machines are a great way to improve your game without need of anyone, they are reliable, they don’t get tired and are never not in the mood.
Plus, most machines pay for themselves after a little while of use as you don’t need a coach. You can just train the areas you know you are lacking at by yourself. If you want to know how you can do that, here is our top pick The Spinshot Player.
We hope you find this article helpful and do share it with someone you think could find it helpful, have a fun time playing and improving at tennis.