11 Best Tennis Ball Machines [2020 Reviews & Comparison]

11 Best Tennis Ball Machines [2020 Reviews & Comparison]

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 11 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

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

Lobster-Elite-2-300x300

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

Lobster Sports Elite 1 Tennis Ball Machine

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

Spinshot Player 2 Plus Tennis Ball Machine

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

 

Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine

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

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 iSmash Tennis Ball Machine

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. This tennis ball machine is suitable for tennis players who want to start with the basics and work their way up.

The Smash 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

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

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

Lobster Sports Phenom Club Tennis Ball Machine

The Lobster Sports Phenom Club is a stationary tennis ball machine. Boasting everything that a tennis player needs to improve his or her game, the electricity-powered machine is one of the most popular machines on the market.

This Lobster tennis ball machine features a 250-ball hopper, allowing you to practice for longer without having to refill, which is a very useful feature. It’s fully programmable and can be set to shoot out tennis balls at 35-80 mph, providing an optimal playing experience on the court. At 99 pounds, this tennis ball machine certainly isn’t the lightest on the market. With this in mind, it’s suited to tennis players with a private court or playing area so it doesn’t have to be transported.

Like many of the other Lobster tennis ball machines, the Sports Phenom comes with three pre-programmed six shot drills to emulate playing with a partner. These settings simulate popular styles like power baseliner and grinder, allowing you to get to grips with more complex shots. If you want to switch things up, the drills can be customized with more trajectory, speed and spin to take your game to the next level and make sure when the time comes for your next match, you will be ready!

Key Features:

• Random, vertical and horizontal oscillation
• Ball Speed: 35 to 80 mph
• Feed rate: 2-9 seconds
• Elevation: 0 to 50 degrees
• Spin: topspin and backspin
• Ball capacity: 250
• Power: AC
• Weight: 99 lbs

Pros

• Random oscillation
• Variable spin and speed
• Easy to use control panel
• Preprogrammed drills
• 3-line function

Cons

• Remote purchased separately

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

Match Mate Rookie by Match Mate

The Match Mate Rookie is a battery-powered tennis ball machine. Instead of splashing out on an expensive machine, many beginners prefer to start with the basics. If you fall into this category, the Rookie will suit you perfectly for a virtual tennis partner to practice your shots.

Weighing just 22 lbs, the Rookie is one of the lightest machines on the market. The lightweight makes it easy to move around the court and even lift it in and out of your car boot. The Rookie’s features are similar to those of the iSam Value and the Lobster Sports Elite 2 Portable; however, the Rookie has the added benefit of being 18-20 pounds lighter.

Depending on your preference, the ball speed can be set between 10 and 27 miles per hour – which is quite impressive for such a compact machine. The height can also be adjusted, allowing you to practice a range of different shots with a single machine, which is a great feature.

When fully charged, the battery lasts up to 5 hours. While this back-up isn’t overly generous, it’s enough time to fit in at least 2 practice sessions without recharging. With a selection of basic features, the Match Mate Rookie tennis ball machine is suited to new players who want to develop their skills rather than advanced players. If you’re an intermediate or pro level tennis player, you’ll probably prefer something a little more advanced.

Key Features:

  • Oscillation: no oscillation
  • Ball Speed: 10 to 27 mph
  • Feed rate: 10 seconds
  • Elevation: 0 to 45 degrees
  • Spin: groundstroke to lob
  • Ball capacity: 70
  • Power: battery
  • Use time: 4-5 hours
  • Weight: 27 lbs

Pros

  • Adjustable speed
  • Distance
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable feed rate
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Slow feed rate
  • Short battery life

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 Sports – https://www.lobstersports.com/

Spinshot – http://www.spinshot.co.uk

Playmate – https://www.playmatetennis.com/

Spinfire – https://www.spinfiresport.com

Match Mate – https://www.matchmatetennis.com

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