What are the Top Tennis Ball Brands? Someone might ask, is there a specific type of…
What are the Top Portable Tennis Ball Machines [Reviews]
Do you enjoy playing tennis? You may be a seasoned player or are looking to learn a few tricks or hone your skills. If you prefer working on your own or would find it easier to practice that way, then you may find a tennis ball machine to be quite useful. With one, you may not need a partner or coach.
We have different preferences and when it comes to a match, they may not all be relevant. Every player gets a chance to showcase their skill and mastery of the game their way, and good tennis players have spent quality time working their games up and improving their performance.
Whenever you can, it is a good idea to practice drills. You may, however, find it challenging, when you cannot simply ask someone to coach you or partner up. Besides busy daily schedules, working with someone during practice may not always work.
Well, you can do it all on your own and still get great results! A tennis ball machine gives you the flexibility to practice whenever you want. Therefore, you will not need to depend on someone else’s availability or how much time they can spare. You can also play wherever you want, thanks to your full control.
Choosing the best tennis ball machine may not be easy, with all the available brands that offer great features. You may also find that some products have more useful features than others and determining which should take the day can get confusing.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the best available tennis ball machines. We will look at how each can serve you and how to go about your shopping, including factors that you should consider. Here is our list of the top seven products:
1. Spinshot Player
If you are hoping for full customization, then the Spinshot may be the product for you. It is great for both advanced and beginning players and offers just about everything you would need in a tennis ball machine. Its capacity can hold 120 balls and more, feeding them at a range of 3 and 110 kmph (19-68 mph).
You should be able to move from the court’s side to another, having an ability to program drills with spin. With a 2-10 feed frequency, you may find this machine to be suitable for working with fast paced volleys. A unique feature that you may not come across with every ball machine, is the app.
Spinshot comes with a mobile app that you can get on your phone. It gives you full customization ability, enabling the direction of drills in areas that are specific to you and your game. What is more, is that you can get well up to 6 shots in every drill from the 12 preset drills that the machine allows you to make.
With this machine, you may not need a coach or supporting player; you can handle everything on your own and even better, thanks to features that you will not get with a coach. One is the speed, the other accuracy, and economization, among more.
Summarily, you may love that this product is ideal for any skill level and the 120+ ball capacity. Its feed frequency is at 2-10s, with both vertical and horizontal oscillations. It has a 19-68 mph speed & spin, with back and top spins. You can set up to 12 custom drills, each at 6 shots.
The mobile app is an added touch to customization and the product weighs 46 lbs., measuring 20” (L) x 14” (W) x 21” (H). Its rechargeable battery has a 2-3 hours’ life and is separately shipped. A notable setback is that the 68-mph maximum speed can be a problem for advanced players.
- High adjustability
- Ideal for all skill levels
- Mobile app for customization
- The 68-mph maximum speed can be a problem for advanced players
2. Lobster Elite 2
Are you hoping to practice with a lot of balls or work up your singles fitness? Then this could be a worthy consideration. You may love how it feeds plenty of spins, paces and elevations. A large capacity gives you limitless practice possibilities but that is not all with Lobster.
You may love the speed at which it sends balls, which can go to as high as 80 mph. Such high speeds are ideal for advanced players; beginners may find 10 mph and other low ranges to be ideal and effective. You may also love this machine’s oscillation and feed frequency.
The oscillation direction that you get is random and can, therefore, be horizontal, vertical, or both. This allows you to come at shots from any side of the court and enables deep groundstrokes. You can also make simple settings adjustments for backhand and forehand shots.
Whenever you want to work with repeated one-shots, then you can simply disable the random setting. Drill customization may not be possible. Summarily, this product is ideal for any skill level and offers a 150-ball capacity. It has a 2-12s feed frequency and oscillates randomly.
It features a speed and spin of 10-80 mph and weighs 44 lbs., measuring 29” (L) x 15½” (W) x 21” (H). Its rechargeable battery has a life of 4-8 hours. Notable setbacks are that the remote control is sold separately, and the machine does not have customizable preset drills.
You may want to unplug it when charging is complete, since the battery may get damaged over time when left in the charger.
- Variety of pace & spins
- Easy maneuverability
- Easy adjustability
- The remote control is sold separately
- It has no customizable preset drills
3. Match Mate
Are you a beginner at tennis? You do not have to spend plenty of your money on a trainer; the Match Mate is built to help you work your skills up without straining your budget. You may love the pace at which this machine feeds balls; just the slow you will need, and at varied frequencies and heights.
It is also made to be lightweight, hence great portability and maneuverability. You may find it to be suitable for young players; so, if your children or teenagers would like something to help with practice, then you have a solution with the Match Mate.
Besides using the machine on the net’s other side, you also get to make settings as per your preference. Summarily, you may find this product to be great for beginners. It offers a capacity of 70 balls and has varied feed frequency, which depends on the speed.
It does not offer oscillations, and its speed and spin of 10-27 mph is ideal for newbies at tennis. It does not have customizable drills and weighs 22 lbs., measuring 11” (L) x 11” (W) x 22” (H). it runs on a rechargeable battery, which comes with a charger.
Notable setbacks with this product are that it is not ideal for advanced and intermediate players, it does not have any advanced features or oscillation and it does not come with a remote control.
- Beginners get great value
- 5 hours battery life
- It is not ideal for advanced and intermediate players
- It does not have a remote control, oscillation, or advanced features
4. Spinshot Plus
Coming forth on our list, is another product by Spinshot. You may find it similar to the Lobster that we looked into at second place. If you are hoping to hone your tennis skills, whichever area it is, then this product may serve you a great deal. What does it have to offer?
You may find it great for working on different shots like overheads, volleys, and groundstrokes, thanks to the paces it offers, along with the oscillation modes. A great feature that is not common with all tennis ball machines, is the Spinshot’s mobile app, which helps with control.
You may find it affordable, compared to the Lobster. You may also love it more for its compactness and AC-power, which enables you hours of uninterrupted play. The Lobster, however, offers a larger capacity for your balls and provides a higher pace than the Spinshot Plus.
You may come to find this product to offer great value. Summarily, it is suitable for all skill levels, offering a capacity of more than 120 balls. It has a 2-10s feed frequency, and 5 modes of oscillation. Its speed and spin are at 19-68 mph and it does not have customizable drills.
It offers a mobile app for control and weighs 46 lbs., measuring 20” (L) x 14” (W) x 21” (H). Its rechargeable battery has a life of up to 3 hours and is separately shipped. Notable setbacks are that it does not have preset drills and its maximum speed is only 68 mph.
- Suitable for all skill levels
- Compact design
- Mobile app for control
- It does not have preset drills
- Its maximum speed is only 68 mph
5. Spinshot Pro
Coming fifth, is another product by Spinshot that you may like, the Pro version. You may find this piece to be great for workouts, so, if you are hoping to get more from your practice, then this could be one way; you don’t have to worry about customizations, you get simple and excellent performance.
Because of its side-to-side feeds, you may find the workouts that come with using this product to be just what you need for your practice. It is great for all skill levels, so, if you are hoping to get positive results from your practice without customization, then this could be the product.
The Spinshot Pro also features a compact design, which you may love. Its battery life is decent, and you get various spin and speed options, keeping you on your toes with the shots. If you have young, advanced tennis players in your family or a junior, then this product could be suitable for them all.
You can set your practice on lobs or approach shots, on the machine’s control panel. Summarily, you may find it suitable for tennis players of all skill levels. It has a capacity of 120 and more balls, with a horizontal oscillation. Its speed and spin are at 19-68 mph and it has no customizable drills.
This product offers a remote control and weighs 44 lbs., measuring 20” (L) x 14” (W) x 21” (H). it is powered by a rechargeable battery, with a life of 2-3 hours. Notable setbacks are that you may have to set the ball’s depth from the control panel, and it has no customizable drills.
- Great for workouts
- Compact design
- Suitable for all skill levels
- You may have to set the ball’s depth from the control panel
- It has no customizable drills
6. Lobster Elite 1
You may find the Lobster Elite 1 to be great for workouts, like the Spinshot pro. You will be able to practice shots on your backhands and forehands, thanks to a random oscillation, which will make sure that you get balls from one side to another. What more does this Lobster have to offer?
You may, generally, find it to be of great value; let us have a look at its similarities and differences from the Spinshot Pro. You may love the Lobster for its large capacity. It also has a high speed of feeding balls, compared to Spinshot.
The lack of a remote control, however, along with this model’s bulkiness, set the difference between the two. If you do not need customizable drills, then this could be the product for you. It allows you to practice with many balls, with advancement over time.
Summarily, you may find this product to be suitable for players of all skill levels. It offers a large capacity of 150 balls and serves you with a 2-12s feed frequency. Its horizontal oscillation is random, and the speed and spin are at 10-80 mph. It does not have customizable drills.
You may, however, purchase a remote control. It weighs 42 lbs., measuring 29” (L) x 15½” (W) x 21 (H) and comes with a powerful rechargeable battery with a life of 4-8 hours. Notable setbacks are that it has no customizable drills, and the remote control is sold separately, adding to the overall cost.
- Suitable for all skill levels
- Easy maneuverability
- Great adjustability
- It has no customizable drills
- The remote control is sold separately
7. Isam Extend
While it is coming last in our list, this product can serve you in many ways that you will like. First, is its relative mobility, following that it weighs just under 40 lbs. Its lack of customizable drills does not affect its performance; it is great for working on the court’s side-to-side, thanks to the horizontal oscillation.
Players at most skill levels can use this product. If you are hoping for a low feed rate, then this machine allows you to cut it down to up to 2s. You have more manual controls at your disposal; 5 adjustable elevation settings, great for practicing lobs, low groundstrokes, and even volleys.
Summarily, you may find this product to be great for beginners and intermediates. If you are more advanced, then you may not get the best from Isam. Its capacity is decent for 125 and more balls and it has a 2-10 seconds feed frequency.
Its oscillation is horizontal and random. The speed and spin are at 15 to 70 mph and it has no customizable drills. This product weighs 39 lbs., measuring 19” (L) x 17½ (W) x 18” (H) and has a powerful rechargeable battery with a life of 5-7 hours.
Notable setbacks are that it does not have backspin and topspin controls, or a remote control and its drills are not customizable.
- You may love the manufacturer’s customer support
- Relatively mobile at 39 lbs.
- Horizontal oscillation
- It does not have backspin and topspin controls, or a remote control
- Its drills are not customizable
You may not always find shopping to be easy. With plenty of available products, you can get confused on what to go for. You may want to keep some considerations in mind when you are shopping for a tennis ball machine.
Skill. It may not seem like much when you are looking for the best products; you may be thinking of performance and other features. Your skill level, however, is a determinant of your machine’s performance and its suitability for your use. So, are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Advanced players may be looking for, among other things, great pace, spin and height for different shots. If you are one, then you may need a more customizable tennis machine. You may, however, have to pay more than you would with simpler ones.
Since intermediate players have their teeth in the game and may be looking to up their skills, what works for an advanced player may as well work for an intermediate. With time, you will find the advanced features less complicated, as you get better and more skilled.
If you are a beginner, then you should be thinking about your groundstrokes. Your machine should be able to help improve your backhand and forehand shots. You may not need a high pace or spin, and should, thus go for a simple, affordable machine, then climb up over time.
Use. A tennis ball machine is handy for practicing and improving your game with time. When you have one, you may not need to see a trainer or have a friend to help with anything. How often you intend to use it, however, is an important factor.
If you hope to get better at tennis, then you may want to practice regularly, to up to four times a month. You will thus, with time, start to reap benefits of your work. If you do not work your skills our regularly, then you can split the price with someone for less strain on your budget.
Budget. A tennis ball machine is an investment, just like a coach is. What works best without straining you should be your go-to. As we have seen above, how regularly you intend to use your machine is quite important. One can cost you $1,500, while a session with a coach can cost $60.
You can use a tennis ball machine as many times as you would like, according to your practice schedule. With a coach, you may have to work with only one to two sessions in a week. Should you go for two, then you may incur up to $480 in a month, and $1,440 in three!
The following are some of the features that you may want to watch out for when shopping for a tennis machine:
- Capacity– how many balls can your machine hold at a time? Your desired capacity could guide you.
- Feed rate– time between shots. Advanced players go for higher rates, while beginners go for low feed rates.
- Oscillation– horizontal oscillation is your machine’s ability to feed the court’s either side with balls, while vertical oscillation is how high your ball can go.
- Speed and spin– speed is concerned with a tennis ball’s movement in every feed, while spin is concerned with its swirl. Beginners go for slice shot machines that can also hit topspin balls.
- Drills– machines with custom drills allow you to do what you would with a coach, by programming different approaches for getting into the net.
- Control– for control, some machines use panels, others remote controls, and others, mobile apps.
- Size and weight– get something with reasonable size and weight.
- Power– you can get a machine with a rechargeable battery, which is a common type, or one with a charging outlet.
There are plenty of ways that you can improve your tennis skills. If you would like to pay for or can afford a coach, then you will get professional guidance on how to about the game and make shots. A tennis ball machine, however, serves you with more benefits that a coach may not.
a tennis ball machine is more accurate at high speed feeds, and at the end of the day, will cost you lesser. A coach is a costly investment. You will not only be depending on someone for your play but will also be losing more money every after-sessions.
You will need to purchase a tennis machine only once and enjoy a range of features and possibilities for your game. We have discussed seven of the best machines in the market; there are plenty more. Each product has something to offer, which will serve you differently, depending on situations and other factors.
We have discussed some considerations that you should keep in mind when shopping, and some of the things that you should look out for. I would like to recommend that you get the Spinshot Player. While the other products are great, I particularly like this one for the following reasons:
It is ideal for all skill levels and has a 120+ ball capacity. Its feed frequency is at 2-10s, with both vertical and horizontal oscillations. It has a 19-68 mph speed & spin, with back and top spins. You can set up to 12 custom drills, each at 6 shots.
The mobile app is an added touch to customization and the product weighs 46 lbs., measuring 20” (L) x 14” (W) x 21” (H). Its rechargeable battery has a 2-3 hours’ life.
Is there more that you would need in a product? I hope that this machine satisfies it all. Buy the Spinshot Player today!