If you are here, I know you love tennis. It is a great sport indeed. I know you’ve heard of Rafael “Rafa” Nadal from Spain, Novak Djokovic from Serbia and Roger Federer from Switzerland and you might even be following their games closely.
Avid tennis fans and players idolize them and get inspired by their success. What made them great players is their dedication and passion for the game. They are willing to practice their swings and strokes to perfection. To be a good player, continuous training is necessary. To do that, you need a partner. A tennis ball machine can do the job. It is portable so you can bring it and practice anywhere you want.
Our Best Picks
— Best Overall: Spinshot Player
“Mid-range tennis ball machine with plenty of advanced features. Has a great value for money.”
— Best High-End: Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five LE
“There are plenty of ways to customize the drills for more unpredictable throws.”
— Best Entry-Level: Spinshot Lite
“An affordable and basic tennis ball machine. Great option of juniors and beginners “
— Best Under $1000: Lobster Sports Elite Liberty
“Great option for beginners that are looking for more features than a basic tennis ball machine.”
Best Tennis Ball Machines 2020 – Entry level, mid-range and high-end options
Top 13 Tennis Ball Machines of 2020 – Reviews
1. Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine
The Spinshot Player is an advanced tennis ball launcher machine. The machine can offer limitless training capabilities according to Spinshot. Users can manage and customize their own drills too. A great feature of the Spinshot Player is it independently control the spin, height, speed and angle of every shot.
Speed: 18-68 mph
Ball Capacity: 120 balls
Weight: 41 lbs
Spin: Top and Back spin
Users can control the machine wirelessly with the use of DrillMaker app. You just have to download the app for free. With the app, you can select 12 programmable drills that can really improve your game in different areas.
The app and the machine itself is incredibly user-friendly, users will definitely having an easier time operating the machine and tweaking the settings.
The machine’s weight is around 20kg. The machine’s speed is ranging from 30kmph – 110kmph. While the ball feed rate is from 2 seconds to 10 seconds every shot. Partner it with a great tennis racquet and you’re gonna improve much faster.
- Easy to set up and program
- Perfect for all skill levels
- It is not made from cheap materials
- Only supports IOS and Android phones
2. Lobster Sports Elite 3
This machine can hold a total of 150 tennis balls that are useful in improving your fitness and game. Furthermore, the tennis balls have range speeds of 60 to 80 mph which is suitable for average and intermediate players.
On the other hand, it comes with a few non-compulsory accessories like the remote control which is helpful for easier customization of settings. Nevertheless, it is ideal for both intermediate and beginner players.
- Helps the player to improve and learn spin shots
- It will definitely improve your overall play
- It is very easy to operate
- Can be used without using a remote control
- Smaller hopper holes
3. Spinshot Plus 2
If you loved the original Spinshot Plus model, you would love their latest Plus 2 model. This one is a combination of all the best features of the original Plus model, and Player model all rolled into one. It has the OLED screen of the control panel in the Plus model and the programmable feature of the Spinshot Player.
Speed: 18-68 mph
Ball Capacity: 120 balls
Weight: 46 lbs
Spin: Top and Back spin
With the inbuilt App for drill making, you can now program all drills and settings to 12 different variations. On top of it, you can also program a new drill or adjust every drill per your liking. The speed feed ranges between 18 – 68 mph and can be adjusted to 20 different levels from the control panel.
It comes with 18 different possibilities to spin the ball embedded in the ball machine. Make your choice between 9 backspin levels and 9 topspin levels along with a possibility for a flat shot. You can now control Spinshot Plus 2 via your smartphone (both iPhone and Andriod) and an added Apple watch connectivity.
Recharging takes between 8 – 15 hours which will last you about 2 to 3 hours in court. It comes in a stable construction of powdered metal that can take hardball hits repeatedly.
- Can adjust speed accurately
- Light enough to be carried around by juniors and ladies
- Only 2-3 hours of battery usage
Spinshot Plus 2 is ideal both for the intermediate and the advanced player. The full programmability will replace repeating shot drills that can get boring after a while. The drills come pre-programmed, but you can program your own drill if you feel it doesn’t cater to your needs
4. Lobster Sports Elite Grand Five Limited Edition
One of the most advanced machine on this list. The Grand Slam V LE allows you to program shot locations, speed, spin, and feed rate allowing you to convert your weak points into strengths through constant practice. The combinations are infinite thus having a Grand Slam V LE can truly help you improve your game by focusing on your weaknesses and improving them.
Grand Slam V LE allows fully random oscillation with varying speed and spin, simulating a real game with a real opponent. Other portable tennis ball machines can’t surpass this feature making Grand Slam V LE one of the best tennis ball machine in the market that can greatly improve your performance through practice.
The machine is equipped with 12 pre-programmed drills. These drills have 6 shots simulating the three popular styles of play namely: grinder, all courter, power baseliner, forehand plus, attack/defend, and transition. You get to choose what playing style your opponent uses and practice how to overcome each style.
Grand Slam V LE is equipped with a paralleled 3 line function namely, narrow, medium, and wide. With this feature, you get to practice your forehand and backhand and improve your swings. It can also serve as your warm-up routine.
It is also equipped with an innovative control panel which allows you to personalized your drill by programming 18 shot locations with various speed and spin without the outdated knobs and dials.
This control panel uses touch buttons and has a digital LCD screen that shows all the functions. Above all the new control panel is user-friendly.
If you are busy with your game and you want an instantaneous change in speed, spin, oscillation, and feed or you just want to pause or play the machine, adding the 20-function wireless remote control is a good option.
- Longer Battery Life
- Packed with great features
- Completely random oscillation
- Not suitable for beginners
- Its remote control not included
5. Lobster Sports Elite 2
This machine weighs about forty-four pounds and is very durable; it also has wheels that are larger than life which makes this device very easy to move as well as to set up and to even tear down.
When the machine is charged it can last anywhere from four hours to eight hours and when it is charging it charges at a rather fast rate. Most machines almost only create sweeps that are random from the left and the right but this machine is able to set up random patterns for the left and the right as well as for shots that are short and even shots that are deep.
This machine has a great oscillating system and can hold around one hundred and fifty balls at one time. You can have the balls be shot either horizontally or vertically or you can have it set to random.
The pros of this tennis ball machine are endless but the price tag can be kind of steep. The average price for this machine is above $1000 but with that being said it is worth getting a machine that does it all and more and is still affordable when compared to other tennis ball machines that are out on the market right now.
I think that this machine is perfect for anyone and everyone. Kids, as well as adults, can easily use this machine just as easily as they can all enjoy this machine.
6. Spinfire Pro 2
This Tennis ball machine will make you work hard. It comes with vertical and horizontal oscillation capabilities so that you can practice your shots to the left, right, the front and back side of the court.
There is a wide variety of controls, and you can design your own unique practice section as if you were playing with a personal coach. It is also good for juniors or kids, teens, amateurs and professional tennis players.
Speed: 20-80 mph
Ball Capacity: 200 balls
Weight: 50 lbs
Spin: Extreme topspin and slice
The ball speed in this tennis ball machine varies from 20 to 80 mph with a ball interval of 2 to 15 seconds and a variable underspin/topspin. This ball hopper can hold up to 200 balls and comes with a unique handle and solid wheels for easy transportation. With a fully charged battery, you can enjoy a continuous running time of 2.5 hours approximately, and if you include the ball pick-up time, it can last for a good 8 hours.
Unlike most tennis ball machines, the shots here are less predictable because it oscillates internally and moves fast. You can set the vertical path to skim the net so that it gives great lobs and groundstrokes.
The triple oscillator makes it possible for the machine to give shots at random patterns with variation in direction and/or depth. If you use it separately, it will also give you alternating backhand feed to the single-shot forehand.
- Lots of advanced features
- Can give you a high level of practice
This Spinfire Pro-2 is highly versatile. It will provide just the right amount of challenge for professional and advanced tennis players but can also be tamed for intermediate players and young children who use regular and mini tennis balls. The ball machine also quite compact and versatile for a full-featured, high-quality professional tennis ball machine.
7. Lobster Sports Phenom II
The Lobster Sports Phenom II can hold more than 250 tennis balls and can be positioned anywhere within the court. Moreover, this machine allows every player to practice and dial in according to their own drills.
Unlike the Lobster Elite 3, its remote control is sold individually and does not come with a mobile phone application. Furthermore, it features vertical oscillation and random spin modes that make things easier.
Even though it is considered one of the best tennis ball machines, it is not created for everyone. Nevertheless, if you’re planning to buy a tennis ball machine for your own court or tennis club the Lobster Phenom II can be a great option for you.
- You can set up, program, and retain your personal drill
- Large capacity
- Has several oscillations, spin, and randomization settings
- Fully programmable
8. Spinshot Plus Tennis Ball Machine
Spinshot Plus is solid and stable enough with its metal construct but mobile enough to be carried back and forth between your home and court. You will find it is more compact and lighter than other mechanical tennis practice partners with similar features in the market. In terms of pricing and features, it can’t get any better than this.
Speed: 18-68 mph
Ball Capacity: 120 balls
Weight: 46 lbs
Spin: Top and Back spin
One distinctive feature about Spinshot Plus is that it has a lot of features. It has 5 parameters – spin, speed, feeding interval, oscillation and height. Set to an interval between 18 – 68 mph and choose between 9 degrees of backspins and topspins and flat shots totaling to an impressive 20 shot variations.
Spinshot Plus also has 5 oscillation modes – horizontal random oscillation, horizontal 2-line oscillation, vertical oscillation, random vertical and horizontal oscillation, horizontal and vertical 2-line oscillation.
The downside to this tennis ball machine is that there are no pre-programmed drills, but it makes up for it plenty with a remote phone connection via iPhone and Andriod. With a 10 seconds lag after you press the button for play, it gives you enough time to put down your phone and get ready for the first shot.
It can last in court for 2 – 3 hours with a recharging time of 8 – 15 hours. The faster and shorter feed interval you use, the quicker the battery will use up.
- 5 oscillation modes (vertical, horizontal, combination, 2 line and random)
- Can set to 5 parameters (speed, oscillation, spin, feed interval and height)
- Solid and stable metal construction
- No reprogrammed drills. Get the Spinshot Plus 2 instead.
This tennis ball machine is ideal for both advanced and intermediate players. Price wise, it is in the middle range and offers quite an impressive list of features that other machines in this price category do not offer. It is hard to simulate the match conditions because there are no programmed drills but it is enough to practice your swings, and with a budget-friendly price, it can’t go wrong.
9. Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine
If you are looking for a high-performance tennis ball machine but cannot afford the high-end products, Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine is the answer. This mechanical tennis practice partner will help you improve your return and hitting techniques. You will be impressed by how well this machine can move the shots randomly from side to side.
Speed: 18-68 mph
Ball Capacity: 120 balls
Weight: 44 lbs
Spin: Top and Backspin
You can fit in 120 tennis balls in the ball feeder just like all Spinshot tennis machines. As for the speed range, you can adjust it between 18 – 68 mph and the feed interval is 2-10 seconds which is also adjustable according to user preference.
Spinshot Pro has an extensive spin variation with 6 different top spin levels and 6 backspin levels. This is better than other tennis ball machines in similar price range but is comparatively less compared to the more advanced models.
The fact that it sets up the height electrically is an added bonus because you don’t have to adjust it manually which can be time-consuming and just downright sloppy. There are two simple buttons in the remote control. With one button you can turn on & off the feed at the same time while the other button is for turning on & off the oscillation. When fully charged you can use it for 2 – 3 hours in court.
- An affordable option for beginners and kids
- Great portability
- The ball ejection speed is inconsistent
This tennis ball machine could have done better with more remote control functions and oscillation choices, but there are a lot of topspin and back spin choices to compensate for it. This is a good choice for any intermediate players or beginners who are looking to perfect their swings.
10. Lobster Sports Elite 1
The Lobster Elite Model 1 is a battery-operated tennis ball machine. The features of this machine include random oscillation or full corner-to-corner oscillation which will improve both your forehand and backhand.
The full corner-to-corner sweep will challenge both beginner and advanced players
The machine also fires out 60-degree lobs in order for you to practice your overheads. The speed of the balls ranges from 15-130km/h.
The Lobster Elite Model 1 is a great way to improve your technique as well your reaction time.
The product comes with a premium fast charger as standard, this will enable the tennis ball machine to be fully charged within just 2 to 3 hours.
There is also a trickle charge features which ensures that the Lobster Elite Model 1 never gets overcharged. The 19kg ergonomic design along with the large size wheels allows for easy transport and maximum durability.
The batteries will generally last for around 8 hours and the machine can hold up to 150 tennis balls.
This device is, therefore, a great investment for both beginner and advanced tennis players.
11. Spinshot Lite
The Spinshot Lite is an entry-level model for juniors, beginners and returning players looking to learn, improve or practice specific shot techniques over and over again. It looks attractive, is very easy to use and has a portable design.
With a capacity of 40 balls, a max speed of 60 kph and a whole range of features like feed speed, height and feed intervals, it’s the perfect tennis ball machine for amateurs.
Staying true to its name, Spinshot Lite is very small and makes it easy to transport and store. At just 40 x 25 x 25 cm in dimensions, even kids and women can move it around without a hassle. It can even fit in your car’s trunk.
Spinshot Lite is meant for repetitive shot practice and does not provide any programmable oscillation or drills. The star of the show here is the battery life. It can last for an impressive 7 hours depending on your speed set up. Recharging also takes 8 – 12 hours which is lower than the standard.
Another advantage is the construction. The powder coated metal makes it stable on the court and kind of resistant to damage.
It doesn’t have a remote control either can you connect it to your smartphone. But Spinshot Lite makes up for it by giving 10 seconds delay between turning on the power button and shooting the first ball.
- Impressive battery life of up to 7 hours
- Small dimensions and lightweight
- Easy to use
- Perfect for repetitive shot practice
- Ideal for intermediate players or beginners looking to perfect basic shot techniques repetitively
- Does not have a remote control
- Does not have an oscillation mode
Spinshot Lite is great for practicing repetitive basic shots. At an impressive 5 – 7 hours of battery life, you will get to enjoy extra long hours of practice at court. At just slightly above $500, this is a reliable tennis ball machine for intermediate players and beginners who are looking for an extensive practice of basic shots.
12. Lobster Sports Elite Liberty
This machine only weighs about thirty-five pounds and is very durable; it is designed for it to be easily moved and can hold up to one hundred and fifty balls at once. With this machine, you can control both the spin of the ball and the speed of the ball.
The speed of the ball can be adjusted from anywhere between twenty miles per hour and eighty miles per hour and the spin can be a topspin or a backspin. There is also so much more and this machine comes with a battery charger and is normally priced at around nine hundred dollars for everything.
It is all that it can be when it comes to a tennis ball machine that is portable, overall I would recommend it for other people to use, especially schools.
13. Match Mate Rookie
This tennis ball machine is perfect for aspiring individuals who want to become a professional tennis player someday. It features a five hours battery life to make sure that the already gets tired before it will turn off. Moreover, you can bring this machine every day during your training because it only weighs 22lbs.
On the other hand, its settings are appropriate for all beginners but not for children. It will also help you to improve your own technique because its fire or ball speed can be adjusted. Nevertheless, the Match Mate Rookie does not come with custom oscillation and spin settings.
- Can be bought at a very affordable price
- Perfect for beginners
- Adjustable settings
- No custom oscillation and spin options
How to choose a tennis ball machine?
Because there are so many different kinds of tennis ball machines that are out there it means that there are a lot of different aspects that you need to keep an eye out for.
Make sure that you can get enough of practice time with the machine. A good battery life is around 4 to 8 hours before you need to recharge the tennis ball machine.
Some machines have programmable oscillation allowing you to create different shot sequences for your own drills. Higher line machines will even allow you to program a change of speed and spin in the oscillation program.
It is the direction of where the ball will be thrown at. The machine usually had random, vertical and horizontal oscillation.
In machines with spinning wheel, propulsion spin is created by moving one wheel faster than the other. Topspin and backspin are created this way. Pneumatic machines cannot create spin without an attachment.
The variety of speeds that you can set the machine to throw the balls at and the angles that the balls can get thrown at. Most machines can fire between 10 mph to 80 mph.
The feed rate should be 2-10. It should also be accurate and reliable.
You also want to look at the number of tennis balls that the machine can hold, an average tennis ball machine can hold about 100 balls or more and usually tennis ball machines that have three hundred balls or more are labeled as professional machines. If you’re looking for tennis balls to use for your tennis ball machine, you can read our article here.
The smaller machines are more common with younger players and at smaller schools and or organizations and the bigger machines are more common in high schools, colleges, country clubs and even batting cages and or at the homes of professional tennis ballplayers.
It is also important to know what other useful accessories for the machine. For example, extra battery pack, remote control or the machine cover.
For some tennis ball machines, you can buy a remote control accessory. Some remotes only allow you to stop and start the tennis balls while others allow you to change the speed, spin and so on.
What is a Portable Tennis Ball Machine?
A tennis ball machine is a device that shoots tennis balls from it in which they come out of a pipe; they can come out at different speeds and at different angles as well.
All kinds of people from all ages use tennis ball machines. Kids use tennis ball machines for fun or even for practice like when they are in a little league or a small school team.
And adults use these machines for fun as well as for work as if they are practicing because they are a professional tennis ball player or if they play tennis in tournaments.
There is a long list of different tennis ball machines and some are designed for certain reasons so before you go and buy one you should do some research first to get a better understanding of everything and help with determining which tennis ball machine is going to be the right one for you to use.
Benefits of Having It
Tennis tests your skills, endurance, and strategies, aside from being a fun game. To practice your swing’s accuracy and timing, you need a partner who is as dedicated as you. You might be willing to wake up at six in the morning to practice and play, but it is hard to find someone who is willing to do the same. This problem has a simple solution: owning a tennis ball machine. It can be your patient and perfect tennis buddy. Whether you have a beginner or intermediate tennis racquet, the tennis ball machine won’t mind!
Aside from being available whenever you want to practice, it can also deliver balls without faults. Unlike human opponents, tennis ball machines can shoot balls continuously at you without fail. The time wasted in service faults can be added back to your training time. You get to maximize your time for practice.
Repetition is the key to mastery. That is why you have to practice your backhand and forehand over and over again. Learning tennis requires a step by step process. When you are starting to learn the game, you are conscious of your stance, follow-through, swing, body position, footwork, and eye focus.
You need to master the proper way to do them, but it isn’t easy. It requires time before your body can do these unconsciously, like driving. When you’re just learning to drive, you’re conscious of everything that needs to be done and mastered, but when you finally learn how to do it right, it comes as easy as breathing.
To retain everything, you need to make thousands of swings and your tennis ball machine can help you do that. It feeds you with balls at different speeds and spinning from different angles. The ball can be shot from any part of the court simulating a real tennis game. Training like this can improve your reflexes making your swings almost automatic in time.
Buying a machine is an investment in your game, but taking into consideration that there are quite a few machines on the market today, it is necessary to do a bit of research in advance.
What to avoid?
When it comes to all of the different settings that there can be on a machine it can be a bit overwhelming at times, there is a lot to choose from and you have to work your way up to some of the settings but from time to time there can be an issue or even a mechanical failure.
A mistake happening is not all the common; there are even very little accounts of tennis balls being misfired. In fact, tennis ball machines are just designed to simply throw the balls so whoever is using the machine can get better at hitting the balls.
They can mean something different to everyone, like how it represents their life and career if they are a professional tennis player and how it represents their childhood and fun when they were young and in school. What you get out of the machine is all about how you see the machine and it is all about what you put into the machine itself as well.
Types of tennis ball machines
There are all kinds of tennis ball machines out there and there are even more kinds of companies out there that are making all of these great machines. For example, the machines from Lobster are very versatile, are considered to be top of the line when it comes to quality but they come with a price.
They are known for having more models to choose from than other companies because they make so many for both people who are just starting out and for people who have been playing for years.
Why are tennis ball machines so expensive?
Tennis ball machines are expensive because of their many different advanced features. They are complex machines and requires a lot of effort to make one. Fortunately, there are also entry-level models that are really affordable.
Are tennis ball machines useful and are they worth it?
In my opinion, they are worth it because they can help you improve your game and teach you good techniques and refine them. It also allows the players to bring them anytime and anywhere.
Does a tennis ball machine help you to improve your game?
Yes, it is! Tennis ball machines especially the higher-end models have a lot of features like fully-programmable drills, different levels of speed, oscillations and spins. These features make the shots unpredictable and can really make you work hard.
Who Invented the Tennis Ball Machine?
René Lacoste, the man behind the famous polo shirt and the brand Lacoste also invented the Tennis Ball Machine back in 1920.
Are there any good Tennis Ball Machine drills?
Yes, of course! I will make an article about it soon! Kindly stay tuned.
What are the best balls to use with it?
Manufacturers often adviced that players must use pressureless tennis balls with their ball machine because of its longevity and can provide consistent results.
After hours and hours of countless research, the entire industry for tennis ball machines has been gone through and everything that needs to be known is known and described in this article. The machines mentioned are some of the best tennis ball machines out there.
Each machine is meant to do different things and each kind of machine is better used by certain people. There are some machines that are better for children and then there are some tennis ball machines that are better for adults.
With that being said there are machines that are better for portability and are easy to set up as well as easy to take down and then there are machines that are better when they stay in one spot at all times. This is because a machine like this is very large and holds a lot of balls and takes a lot of time to put up and is heavy and sometimes hard to move.
Tennis ball machines are great for several reasons and they are there when you need to practice one move over and over again until you get it right and they are there when you can’t find someone else to play with. These machines are also used in tennis drills; they are perfect for ongoing practice and help with bettering your ball placement, your speed, your endurance, your strength and so much more.
Overall tennis ball machines help both serious players and players of tennis for fun to have a better level of play. There are several different tennis drills and the average tennis ball machine can you allow you to practice for up to six or eight hours a day without stopping before you have to plug it in to charge and you can do each drill just a few times before you can already begin to see as well as feel the improvements from using the machine.
Whether you play for fun or play as a job a tennis ball machine is all you need to improve yourself to become the best that you can be and use one of the tennis ball machines mentioned above will be able to get you there in a little amount of time to no time at all. Just be sure to do some more research on the different kinds of tennis ball machines that are out there and only pick the one that is right for you in every way.