Originally Posted by tennisgeek84
I was thinking of buying this ball machine
off of Amazon. Anyone have experience with his machine here?
I've borrowed a friend's older version of that machine. Worked OK for a basic machine but I believe it didn't have any spin control.
In my mind, the Lobster Elite Freedom and the Silent Partner Lite & Lite-R occupy the same niche. Both weigh ~35 pounds and have wheels. This means they're suitable for transporting in a car to take to public courts. As a reference, a full BBQ propane tank weighs ~37 pounds. More deluxe machines from Lobster and Silent Partner weigh in the ~45 pound range. So folks with bad backs or older players should take note, especially if you have to lift up to a high tailgate in an SUV or truck. These things are heavier than they look.
I haven't used a Silent Partner (thinking about getting a Lite-R) but the lower-end models seem to have an edge over Lobster because you can control spin, and the Lite-R comes with a two-function remote to control feed & sweep. The Elite Freedom has the edge on battery run-time though, at least on paper. Both have 2-year warranties. Silent-Partner is in Canada and ships from Buffalo (you pay UPS shipping). Lobster is in California.
The Lite can also be customized to add the remote control (search for relevant threads) but I believe that will void the 2-year warranty. It's 12V sealed lead acid battery can be replaced without taking apart the machine. Not sure how it's done on the Lobsters.