Everyone knows that practice makes perfect when it comes to your tennis game, and there’s no better way to fine tune that stroke or shot combination that you’ve been working on than with the repetition offered by a high quality tennis ball machine.
Deciding to buy one is easy but actually figuring out which one will best fit your tennis training or tennis coaching needs can be quite difficult. We’ll walk you through some of the things you should consider when deciding which ball machine will best meet your needs and will responsibly help you reach your goals.
When we compare ball machines, we look at general features like price, dimensions and warranty. We also look at specific features like propulsion, oscillation and power. Each tennis player wants to use a training tool like this for a specific purpose and our aim is to ensure that you choose the best ball machine to meet your goals.
Things to think about before buying:
Budget: How much are you willing to spend?
Weight/Maneuverability: How easy will it be to store and move around?
Warranty: How long do you want it to last?
Skill Level: What types of shots do you need to practice most?
Also, no decent ball machine is cheap. Despite the high price, there is no better way to improve your game. It is an investment. With all that being said, let jump into a detailed and professional discussion of the different tennis ball machine brands that you can buy at Tennis Express!
Founded in the United States, Lobster is one of the older brands making full-sized ball machines. With an ergonomic design which is surprisingly light for the size, this ball machine will be easy to wheel on and off of the court. These types of ball machines have a ball basket that reminds us of the bottom half of a pelican’s beak, and with this construction it can hold a surprising number of balls. The Elite Model holds up to 150 tennis balls, which is by no means the most on this list, but is still a substantial number of tennis balls. Despite this machine’s size, it runs on a proprietary battery. It will last between 4 to 8 hours, but you will probably have to pick up many batteries if you are a tennis coach or very dedicated player.
Pros: Lightweight, Great Value
Cons: Short Battery Life
The Tennis Cube is one of the more affordable tennis ball machines that we have at Tennis Express, but that does not mean that it is lower in quality or durability. This machine only weighs 24 pounds, but it packs quite a punch. With the ability to hold up to 70 balls, you may have to refill this machine quite a bit, but if you are training in a large group, it will suffice. Despite all of it’s advantages, this machine does lack oscillation capabilities. The Tennis Cube line is perfect for intermediate players who are looking to quickly improve on basic shots and movement.
EDIT: We do have a model now with oscillation! Pick it up here.
Pros: Small and Light, 3 Year Warranty
Cons: No Shot Variety
Playmate Tennis Ball Machines
This is the gold standard as far as tennis ball machines are concerned. Playmate has been an industry leader for years because of their durability, innovation, and great warranty. These machines are by no means cheap, but they even beat the Tennis Tower in versatility. One feature that some of the Playmates have that the others don’t is the ability to program in a 2 shot progression. This allows you to 2 shot strategies such as attack shot to approaching shot, or taking the net with one shot and then playing the defensive lob over your head. The possibilities are endless with this technology! The interface is very easy, and if you still can’t figure it out, they have extensive guides on their website.
Pros: Reliable, Most Shot Variety, 3 Year Warranty
Cons: Relatively Expensive
These ball machines look huge, but they are actually quite compact for the variety and durability that they exhibit. We carry three different models, and they all have a very unique characteristic – the ability to change the trajectory of the ball. This means that you can practice normal groundstrokes, but then switch it up and practice attacking lobs too. These models also have spin control, a feature that just widens the variety of shots that you can practice combating. Weighing in at 60 pounds, this device is a bit harder to maneuver, but the shot variety – and ability to carry 225 balls at a time – more than makes up for it.
Pros: Large Ball Basket, Trajectory and Spin Control
Cons: Heavy and Hard to Move
I walked you through some of the basics of a tennis ball machine, but there is still way more to learn. Head over to our website to see the full list of tennis ball machines that you can peruse, and you can also pick up some other tennis specialty items while you are at it! See you there, and have fun with your tennis balls!