Best Ball Machine (Feature-rich and compact)

Avinj86

New User
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to take my game to the next level by investing in a ball machine (and also to get some more cardio workouts in). For me, SIZE is important since I live in an SF apartment, and don't have much storage space; the ideal would be to leave it the trunk of my car (a mid-sized sedan).

I know there are a number of ball machines that are known for being compact (tennis twist, tennis cube prolite), but these are all generally lacking in features I am looking for- 70+ MPH top speed, random horizontal/vertical oscillation with spin variation.

Which machines would you all suggest I look at? I am especially interested in size comparisons- ive searched previous threads and didn't find much focus on this. I generally have found that Lobster Elite Grand 4+, Tennis Tutor, Silent Partner Quest, Spinfire Pro 2, Spinshot Plus (although it seems like Spinshots are not too well reviewed here) but its hard to tell how they compare in size/portability, as well as general quality and user experience.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

Keendog

Professional
Pretty much all of these will fit in the boot/trunk of a sedan. One thing to note is you will need further space for a box of balls as well as you can't keep them in the machine once folded up. I have the Elite 1 and with the ball tub upside down over it you cant lift it easily, and it is heavy. So I put the tub over my box of balls which is what takes up the space. Otherwise you will need to lift it into your car, put the handle up, put the tub on then lower the handle. Reverse again to take it out.

I'd buy on features not size
 

dimadima

New User
Silent Partner Smart (look at eday auction site with nice discount)
Lobster 4 or 5 or 5LE (twice as expensive)

They are all of the same size.
 

dimadima

New User
Found this comparison chart here: http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/issues/201607/ball-machines.php

It seems like the SP is quite a bit bigger than the lobster if these dimensions are to be believed; SP smart is 28 x 22 x 18, where the Lobster Grand IV is 21 x 14 x 20.

I'm not sure if these dimensions square with real life experience, so any perspective based on real experience would be appreciated!

SP Smart is 1300 with remote, Lobster IV is 2300 with remote.
 

nvr2old

Professional
I love my SP smart but it’s not small or light. It fills the front or back seat of my full size tundra truck when I transport it and then put basket of balls and tennis bag on floor in front of it.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
2012 Honda Civic sedan.
Lobster Grand 4
Two Gamma Buckets of 48 balls
One Gamma 75 ball hopper

It’ll all fit in the trunk but sometimes it’s easier to put things in the back seat too. Oh. I use a Wilson’s 15 pack bag which doesn’t fit in the trunk with the others. 1/2 gallon water jug does.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
I’ve also owned Tennis Tutor machines and Silent Partner. They’re all good. If I didn’t get the Lobster for a steal ($500), I’d buy another Silent Partner. Probably a Quest but maybe a Smart.
 
I've got a Silent Partner Edge Lite and it fits in the trunk of a Honda Civic no problem. I take one of the removable wheels off as I put it in sideways. Also in the trunk goes a bag of 200 balls and my racquet bag.
 

dimadima

New User

This is a very strange list. It looks like a bunch of referral links to Amazon to get 5% off the purchase. They reviewed a Lobster Grand 4 and they said that negative point of it was "Customer support is very slow ". Dude, I talked to Curtis from Lobster via email, he replied instantly. Read threads on this forum, there is enough info.

IMHO, if you like Mercedes you should get a Lobster 5 or 5LE. I've got SP Smart. :)
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
This is a very strange list. It looks like a bunch of referral links to Amazon to get 5% off the purchase. They reviewed a Lobster Grand 4 and they said that negative point of it was "Customer support is very slow ". Dude, I talked to Curtis from Lobster via email, he replied instantly. Read threads on this forum, there is enough info.

IMHO, if you like Mercedes you should get a Lobster 5 or 5LE. I've got SP Smart. :)
What’s wrong with the Smart?

My personal preference is that I just need the following:
-remote control
-Spin Control
-portability
-two line features; narrow, medium, and wide
-good battery life

Programs are overrated. I don’t understand front and back oscillation. Why do I want to endanger myself by running toward the net and possibly stepping on a missed ball? Side to side random oscillation is okay but I definitely prefer the two line feature. I can run the legs off of me on just about any of the two lines by practicing running around the ball.
 

dimadima

New User
Nothing wrong with Smart. It is awesome machine with highest bang for the buck ratio if purchased on eday. Lobsters are fantastic machines, but are expensive.
 

alexbog

New User
What’s wrong with the Smart?

My personal preference is that I just need the following:
-remote control
-Spin Control
-portability
-two line features; narrow, medium, and wide
-good battery life

Programs are overrated. I don’t understand front and back oscillation. Why do I want to endanger myself by running toward the net and possibly stepping on a missed ball? Side to side random oscillation is okay but I definitely prefer the two line feature. I can run the legs off of me on just about any of the two lines by practicing running around the ball.
Hi
I personally own Spin Fire Pro 2 for last 4 years.
Machine is very reliable, runs well, handle dirt from the balls and courts also very well. The last one is important, especially in my case. I'm using normal balls and courts where I'm playing are not takec care well.
Not sure about other machine but Spinfire Pro 2 is relatively easy to open and clean up inside (again I have no experience with other machines).
It also handle well if you strike it with the ball from outside and into inside. Happend multiple times and so far no issues (some machines I know sensetive for that).
Battery time when it is new - 2:30 - 3:00 hours. It goes down with use and time.
Original battery has warranty - 6 month. Make sure you watch it. If time is less that 2 hrs report it and and get free replacement (I missed it). My batter died after 1 year. Probably was defective. But company gave me discount on the new one.
Next batter I bought with 2 years warranty. It lasted alsmost 2 years and I got replacement for new one.
Personnaly I expected battery to run longer ... not sure how it is working out with other machines.

And about features - the osciallation, especially horisontal is a must in my opinion.
And it is not about to run your legs out. It is about variety.
You can get every single shot at different angle, with vertical osciallation deeper or shorter, so it is never the same like with two lines drills. You will defeinetelly run your legs plus you will master footwork.
I would love to have programming feature to setup some patterns of play and run through them. But so far my machine does not have it.
The one I like is - http://www.spinshotsports.com/Spinshot-player-us.html but have no idea how it runs or how good is it.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PS: I made quick internet research and also asked couple of owner of the SpinShot and I dont feel like it is reliable product.
Amazon reviews very alarming. Especially in product support part.
 
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tennisjunky

Rookie
For what its worth here are my 2 cents as I had much of the same requirements for a BM many years back.

I purchased a standard Tennis Tutor (speed/feed/oscillation with D/C) in 1996 and its still going strong!
I've re-couped my original investment easily 10x.
It has seen extremely heavy use!
I've taken it apart numerous times to clean it, and I'd consider the construction to be excellent and very sturdy.
One modification I did do to cut down on the weight and make it easy to get in and out of the car and move around is to remove both batteries so I can carry them separately.
I drilled a hold in the bottom and run the wire through the base to the battery. I also have a collapsible pull cart that the square BM fits right into along with 2 baskets of balls and bag.
Have other modifications that make it easier to handle as well.
One time I did damage (totally my fault) one of the buttons; I called up service gave them my serial number and they were VERY HAPPY to assist and gave me a free elevation button. They could have easily charged me $20 but they didn't.
I was very happy!!!
 

str33tspirit

New User
A friend wants to sell me his tennis tutor Plus for $800 but I'm really tempted by the Spinshot Plus 2. It looks like this latest model has corrected some of the flaws of the previous models. However, I don't see many threads about that machine. Is there a reason why?
 

blablavla

Legend
1. As someone already mentioned, consider as well space for balls
2. If the courts are dirty, the machine & balls together with their storage will be dirty as well

3. I own a Spinfire Pro 2 machine.
Agree to everything that @alexbog mentioned.
It is compact, yet robust.
When the ball will hit it - nothing happens.
When occasionally a ball will fly inside - again nothing happens.
Speed & spin - shall be enough.
Oscillation - works fine.
The only problem I encountered, is related to IR sensors, and that prevents me from using it in a "random" mode.
When the sensors fail, the oscillation mechanism gets lost in space.
But, even so, the 2 line drill (right - left - right - left) works fine.
Vertical oscillation as well works fine.
Combination of the 2 line + vertical works fine.
 

blablavla

Legend
P.S.
As I wrote about the issue with my Spinfire here, I was contacted by their customer care, and they will try to solve my problem.
Must say that I am very pleasantly surprised by this, as today too many companies don't care about their customers after purchase, including things that are much more expensive than a ball machine.
So, while the end result is not there, and I can't compare this to other manufacturers in the US, I still would give Spinfire a solid + already for having a Customer Care employee checking such forums and pro-actively getting in touch with users like me.
 

Badmrfrosty

Rookie
I have an SP edge star. Couldn't be happier. The bigger battery with the remote that works great. I just leave it in the car and only recharge it after 2-3 sessions.

I also never understand the desire for people to play against some program. I'll set up cones I have to run around before the next shot if I want to simulate something or will just go to a group lesson or something. A ball machine randomly spraying balls about doesn't make sense to me. Half of the prep is seeing the person hit the ball and how it comes off the racket. Ball machine can't simulate that.
 

Spinfire

New User
If anyone has any questions about the Spinfire Pro 2 Tennis Ball Machine, we are the exclusive distributor for the US & Canada and are happy to help.
 

blablavla

Legend
P.S.
As I wrote about the issue with my Spinfire here, I was contacted by their customer care, and they will try to solve my problem.
Must say that I am very pleasantly surprised by this, as today too many companies don't care about their customers after purchase, including things that are much more expensive than a ball machine.
So, while the end result is not there, and I can't compare this to other manufacturers in the US, I still would give Spinfire a solid + already for having a Customer Care employee checking such forums and pro-actively getting in touch with users like me.
so guys, a quick update here.
Spinfire is in contact with me, trying to solve the problem, so far I guess without sending the machine back and forth.
So, up to now, I back the solid + for their customer care.
 

1stVolley

Professional
....I don’t understand front and back oscillation. Why do I want to endanger myself by running toward the net and possibly stepping on a missed ball? ....
A lot of club-level players don't move well forward and perhaps even more don't understand constantly adjusting positioning by moving up and moving back; they just move laterally on a straight line no matter what. You can easily swat balls laying on the ground if you want to practice front-to-back movement. Also, you can adjust the time interval slightly to give you a bit more time to do this.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
A lot of club-level players don't move well forward and perhaps even more don't understand constantly adjusting positioning by moving up and moving back; they just move laterally on a straight line no matter what. You can easily swat balls laying on the ground if you want to practice front-to-back movement. Also, you can adjust the time interval slightly to give you a bit more time to do this.
We can agree to disagree. I just don't believe the ball machine is the place to learn that skill.

Our profile pictures are very similar. Is that a GSD?
 

blablavla

Legend
We can agree to disagree. I just don't believe the ball machine is the place to learn that skill.

Our profile pictures are very similar. Is that a GSD?
if your ball machine has the vertical oscillation feature, it might help you.
the way it works with SpinFire:
1. you set the machine to hit the ball as close as you can to the net
2. then the machine will keep firing: very short ball, medium length close to the baseline
3. if you want to make it more complex, you can combine either with a 2-Line drill, or with horizontal oscillation
 

myth

Semi-Pro
Can i ask for a piece of advise?
I am thinking of buying a used ball machine; a Lobster Elite 3 from 2008 with a brand new Battery for 900 €.
Do you think it's worth it? Or is it too old?
I should pick it up tomorrow. What should i be looking for in buying it tomorrow?

Or should i wait and buy a brand new liberty for 1300€...

I am a bit confused...
Here's the offer with pictures
 
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dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Can i ask for a piece of advise?
I am thinking of buying a used ball machine; a Lobster Elite 3 from 2008 with a brand new Battery for 900 €.
Do you think it's worth it? Or is it too old?
I should pick it up tomorrow. What should i be looking for in buying it tomorrow?

Or should i wait and buy a brand new liberty for 1300€...

I am a bit confused...
Here's the offer with pictures
The used 3 is a better deal. Just ask for a demonstration to be certain it throws balls. The liberty model has no features. It’s very boring.
 

hadoken

Semi-Pro
Spinshot is weird...they get a lot of online "recommendations" but doesn't seem to be a fave on this board. I have a Spinfire 2 and think it's fantastic. The only thing I don't like is their old remote has mediocre range and I need to be close to the net to trigger it
 

myth

Semi-Pro
Spinshot is weird...they get a lot of online "recommendations" but doesn't seem to be a fave on this board. I have a Spinfire 2 and think it's fantastic. The only thing I don't like is their old remote has mediocre range and I need to be close to the net to trigger it
The customer service is a big worry....I mean there's no perfect machine.
I am looking for a ball machine and what i can gather from reading reviews there and there:

Sports Tutor: Great customer service..... but terrible Maneuverability
Lobster: They look great out of stock in Europe. In France they are really really expensive. 600€ more than anywhere else in Europe....and i won't get the support i would with sports tutor.
Smart Partner can't be found in France
Spinshot: The machine looks good....but i am worried of the customer service.....I've read bad stuff from them. The new machines with the "De jam" feature looks good.

Which machine would you get between

1/ A brand new Lobster Elite Liberty
2/ A 3 years old Sports Tutor plus Player?
 
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Spinfire

New User
Spinshot is weird...they get a lot of online "recommendations" but doesn't seem to be a fave on this board. I have a Spinfire 2 and think it's fantastic. The only thing I don't like is their old remote has mediocre range and I need to be close to the net to trigger it
Thank you for your complement on our Spinfire Pro 2. We do have an extremely high customer satisfaction rate. The old remote you have should work from the baseline if the antenna is extended. Perhaps it is defective and you need a replacement. We did upgrade to a new sleek featherweight credit card size remote without antenna about 6 years ago and your machine can likely be upgraded to the new one if you are interested. Please call or email and we will assist in determing what the issue is so that we can get it resolved.
 
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2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Can i ask for a piece of advise?
I am thinking of buying a used ball machine; a Lobster Elite 3 from 2008 with a brand new Battery for 900 €.
Do you think it's worth it? Or is it too old?
I should pick it up tomorrow. What should i be looking for in buying it tomorrow?

Or should i wait and buy a brand new liberty for 1300€...

I am a bit confused...
Here's the offer with pictures
If I had to choose I'd go with the Elite 3.

I think first time owners who never owned one or only used their friends machine don't know the most important features. I think ever person who has owned a tennis machine will tell you the biggest peeve is lifting it in and out of their car and dragging the machine, ball basket with balls, racket bag to the courts, the lighter your setup the better. The Lobsters use about a 12lb battery, you can go on amazon and order a battery half the weight or less, course you loss out on battery time but it's worth it. I'm not going to hit a ball machine for 4 hours. I don't have that time or energy but my back thanks me for less weight.

I've been picked up a Playmate a huge one for $50 from a tennis club that closed down. It was probably many thousands but it's literally useless to me because it's too much trouble to put into a car and drag to the courts.

The the lobster battery only takes me 5 min to change out if I want a bigger or smaller battery. Or it has ac power cord adapter for US users. It fits in any trunk. Try it out, if it has a remote that's even better.

Having owned most of the other ones, tennis tutor has the best customer service ever, but the larger model with spin is a bit too bulky for my trunk, if you have an SUV it won't matter.
 
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Rally

Semi-Pro
How many court hours do your balls last before you have to change them out? I really want to get a machine because COVID is keeping me from playing with others, but I'm a little concerned on the repeated cost of balls.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
How many court hours do your balls last before you have to change them out? I really want to get a machine because COVID is keeping me from playing with others, but I'm a little concerned on the repeated cost of balls.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
There is no repeat cost for most who play, after the match the old balls go into the basket. Also you can get a box of penn coach or x out balls for very cheap. IMO I see some putting in expensive balls in ball machine. The machine is used to work on your technique, footwork, fitness, fine tune some shots etc. None of this requires expensive balls the penn practice/coach ball or any will work.

My hitting partner beat a WTA top five player and has amazing ability to read my slight racket angle changes for certain shots so against the ball machine I practice to have my backswing near the same and to make grip change as late as possible and to try to hit the down the line, cross, lob, drop off the same footwork and preparation to disguise it until the last second to practice the preparation for a drop shot and to try to get it to spin back into the net. To hold the shot until the last second, practice 150 drop volleys, 150 angled volleys, 50 straight lobs over the backhand, stuff that a hitting partner wouldn't appreciate seeing 150 drop shots.

Honestly a lot of this can be practiced against the wall which I did when the courts were closed for a few months and you save a $1000+. You just don't get the depth feedback.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
There is no repeat cost for most who play, after the match the old balls go into the basket. Also you can get a box of penn coach or x out balls for very cheap. IMO I see some putting in expensive balls in ball machine. The machine is used to work on your technique, footwork, fitness, fine tune some shots etc. None of this requires expensive balls the penn practice/coach ball or any will work.

My hitting partner beat a WTA top five player and has amazing ability to read my slight racket angle changes for certain shots so against the ball machine I practice to have my backswing near the same and to make grip change as late as possible and to try to hit the down the line, cross, lob, drop off the same footwork and preparation to disguise it until the last second to practice the preparation for a drop shot and to try to get it to spin back into the net. To hold the shot until the last second, practice 150 drop volleys, 150 angled volleys, 50 straight lobs over the backhand, stuff that a hitting partner wouldn't appreciate seeing 150 drop shots.

Honestly a lot of this can be practiced against the wall which I did when the courts were closed for a few months and you save a $1000+. You just don't get the depth feedback.
Yeah I hear you. I'm just afraid of needing to spend $150 a month on balls because the machine rips the felt to shreds or they go dead from not being pressurized anymore. If the ball expenses are that high just to play with lively balls, it's not worth the cost for me.
 

JEDI MASTER

Semi-Pro
Feature rich and most compact.. take a look at Hydrogen Sports Proton.. coming this Fall..
take a look at all the video...

 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Yeah I hear you. I'm just afraid of needing to spend $150 a month on balls because the machine rips the felt to shreds or they go dead from not being pressurized anymore. If the ball expenses are that high just to play with lively balls, it's not worth the cost for me.
My lobster at max spin doesn't chew through balls, I spend $0 on ball machine balls just use old balls from my finished matches and they last plenty. I can say the lobster is easily modded too. I put in a lighter battery to make it easier to lifter out of the car and down my stairs, it's been upgraded/modded to a slightly faster topspin motor, the ball feeds are made of polyur? it's different from the black feed wheels other companies make that can degrade and flake easier, the polyur wheels last a long time and throws a ton of spin. I may put grooves the ball feed throwers to put even more spin on it. I'm toying with the idea of getting a lithium battery and charger. If anyone has any other modded ideas or done them that makes it better let me know and I can try it.
 
Feature rich and most compact.. take a look at Hydrogen Sports Proton.. coming this Fall..
take a look at all the video...

Actually, not coming this fall unless you were able to take advantage of the crowdfunding campaign offered last year and even so it was promised for this summer and is already delayed. Note that Slingerbag, another crowdfunded product, was delivered 2 years late, had 1/2 the features and triple the weight promised and a less attractive design. I am not saying Proton will follow the same trajectory and yes Proton looks like a game-changer, but it's a fantasy to think it's going to be available retail this fall when crowdfunders likely won't even have it then. Such is the risk with products that are crowdfunded and/or announced but you can't even buy. It's vapourware until it's actually delivered and customers can also verify it is actually does what is promised. Furthermore, longevity and durability in the marketplace, like many of the other ball machines available today (Lobster, Tennis Tutor, Spinfire, etc) is also not a given as it's a brand new product from a unknown entity.

If you want a ball machine now buy what it is possible to actually purchase and enjoy. I love my Spinfire Pro 2 and the list of features on its website is unmatched and shows it's the most feature-rich machine on the market right now for the price. Nothing else even comes close.
 
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Rally

Semi-Pro
My lobster at max spin doesn't chew through balls, I spend $0 on ball machine balls just use old balls from my finished matches and they last plenty. I can say the lobster is easily modded too. I put in a lighter battery to make it easier to lifter out of the car and down my stairs, it's been upgraded/modded to a slightly faster topspin motor, the ball feeds are made of polyur? it's different from the black feed wheels other companies make that can degrade and flake easier, the polyur wheels last a long time and throws a ton of spin. I may put grooves the ball feed throwers to put even more spin on it. I'm toying with the idea of getting a lithium battery and charger. If anyone has any other modded ideas or done them that makes it better let me know and I can try it.
Thanks, that makes me feel a little better about Lobster. If you don't mind sharing your experience a little more, which machine do you have and is the two-line feature a must-have or something that in practice isn't a game changer? I'm debating between the Elite 2 which doesn't have the two-line feature and the Elite 3 which does, and $1420 is already a couple hundred abovecmy starting budget. If two-line is that important, I might hold off and wait for a sale.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Thanks, that makes me feel a little better about Lobster. If you don't mind sharing your experience a little more, which machine do you have and is the two-line feature a must-have or something that in practice isn't a game changer? I'm debating between the Elite 2 which doesn't have the two-line feature and the Elite 3 which does, and $1420 is already a couple hundred abovecmy starting budget. If two-line is that important, I might hold off and wait for a sale.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
I've worked with my friend who taught at an academy and no I don't think you need 2 line. Oscillation pretty much is 2 line depending on the interval you set it at. I've used them all from the elite 1 to grand 5 le, playmate, etc when visiting the academy and the elite 2 is good choice. IMO you need the remote option, the regular remote is fine, but I really like the multi function remote that can control all speed/elevation/spin/feed/sweep. etc. Also those come in handheld remotes or wifi remotes which imo reach a little further. What area of the country are you in?
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
I've worked with my friend who taught at an academy and no I don't think you need 2 line. Oscillation pretty much is 2 line depending on the interval you set it at. I've used them all from the elite 1 to grand 5 le, playmate, etc when visiting the academy and the elite 2 is good choice. IMO you need the remote option, the regular remote is fine, but I really like the multi function remote that can control all speed/elevation/spin/feed/sweep. etc. Also those come in handheld remotes or wifi remotes which imo reach a little further. What area of the country are you in?
Thanks for sharing. I'm in muggy and buggy Florida.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 
Great Thread! This forum was an invaluable, essential resource when I was researching before deciding, purchasing. I love my machine (Lobster Grand V LE with multifunction remote & iPhone software)! And it is obvious, evident that there are many other players, like me, who also love "their" particular/specific brand machine, irregardless of # of features, options, size, price points, etc. I had always dreamed of owning a ball machine, but was skeptical it would break or develop some "simple, minor" problem/issue, yet undiagnosable of/by myself, that would nonetheless render it dead & useless. Or that parts would become obsolete or companies/brands would fold and parts unavailable entirely. This forum & posts sufficiently relieved my concerns enough to continue researching and eventually decide, invest.

I was elated to learn that almost none of the above problems/issues is, are or were the case! Most machines are strong, reliable & dependable. Repairs/Fixes, when or if they occur, are relatively easy, simple and affordable. In 10 years I have experienced practically NONE. The one or two times I called Lobster, they immediately helped, resolved, replaced (free) the part or problem! When I called, it felt like and I was treated "like family".

I'm glad I "splurged" and got the most feature rich, programmable machine I could find. Yes, it cost more, but has proved to possess & offer a seeming "infinite" # of features, options, shot varieties, parameters, court location/placement options that I eventually used, needed as my game evolved, progressed and my abilities improved.....which definitely occurred! The thing I absolutely love about Tennis, is that "the game" and my abilities, God willing, are also "infinite"! I will never finish or perfect it; yet, I can & often do noticeably improve practically every time I practice, play! But you must play, and be challenged. And with a nuanced ball machine, one can dial up these infinite challenges, scenarios and specifically tailor, practice, experiment, refine, compare and then improve & obtain these results BY YOURSELF! Consider the costs of professional lessons vs a ball machine!?!

I love these ball machine threads and hearing/learning of the various companies, brands, features, benefits.....and the ongoing inventions, advancements, improvements, options & price points that will hopefully continue.

My advice is to JUMP, GO, BUY, START! And if you're able, to spend (invest) MORE. I'm sure I would have been happy and even somewhat "amazed" with practically ANY machine. But "you don't know what you don't know"! Yes, I do seem to like & utilize the simple 2-line feature plenty. But, I'm also certain I would not have improved/advanced to the player I am today by training, practicing against a (primarily) a basic 2-line machine. Nor would I have attained the more "well rounded, versatile" game, player & strokes I possess today as QUICKLY!

These are my own thoughts, experiences - given to assist, help anyone researching. For myself, I decided that the additional $300, 500 or 700 dollar investment for a machine that I would likely never "beat" or tire of, "trumped" an original $1,000 - $1,500 investment that might "plateau" or go unused! Again, for myself, I made a wise decision investing in the Grand V LE.

However, knowing what I know now, I realize that any machine is better than none. And that by hook/crook, buying/obtaining ANY machine NOW - from the most simple/basic with no remote - to NONE/NO machine is preferable. The only thing I wonder or worry about, is that had I not invested, purchased & been exposed to the various options, benefits in a feature rich machine like I did, I might not have experienced or known what I was missing, and likely not traded, sold or upgraded latter!?! I thus would not have obtained the broad range of improved strokes, skills, results that I did!

A ball machine offers FREEDOM & CONTROL, and the ability to PLAY when, how & where you want now! And if one loves tennis, craves the knife-edge challenge it uniquely provides, and intensely desires to confront/overcome the infinite range of minute (millimeters) of adjustments needed in order to notice & refine ones strokes; a good, multi-faceted ball machine is invaluable and practically unmatched at providing/feeding the "same, precise, repetitive" balls needed in order to overcome the immense challenge an advanced player must personally confront, overcome. The dilemma is that a good forehand/backhand (2-line) is not enough. There are practically an infinite # of shots, players, styles, spins, speed, etc. And then there is FOOTWORK which is mega/mucho PARAMOUNT and MUST BE executed, performed well and quick! A versatile Ball Machine ALSO provides, challenges, offers this in spades!! If for none/no other reason or purpose, the physical exercise, training, conditioning & health benefits alone are worth the investment!

The above challenges, noticeable improvements to one's game & health are available QUICK/FAST (or at whatever level/pace one prefers) with a good ball machine! They are remarkable, almost miraculous devices!!
 
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blablavla

Legend
If I had to choose I'd go with the Elite 3.

I think first time owners who never owned one or only used their friends machine don't know the most important features. I think ever person who has owned a tennis machine will tell you the biggest peeve is lifting it in and out of their car and dragging the machine, ball basket with balls, racket bag to the courts, the lighter your setup the better. The Lobsters use about a 12lb battery, you can go on amazon and order a battery half the weight or less, course you loss out on battery time but it's worth it. I'm not going to hit a ball machine for 4 hours. I don't have that time or energy but my back thanks me for less weight.

I've been picked up a Playmate a huge one for $50 from a tennis club that closed down. It was probably many thousands but it's literally useless to me because it's too much trouble to put into a car and drag to the courts.

The the lobster battery only takes me 5 min to change out if I want a bigger or smaller battery. Or it has ac power cord adapter for US users. It fits in any trunk. Try it out, if it has a remote that's even better.

Having owned most of the other ones, tennis tutor has the best customer service ever, but the larger model with spin is a bit too bulky for my trunk, if you have an SUV it won't matter.
for the lifting and dragging matter, I would choose a Spinfire if I had to buy a ballmachine again.
reach in features.
great customer care.
 

blablavla

Legend
Thanks, that makes me feel a little better about Lobster. If you don't mind sharing your experience a little more, which machine do you have and is the two-line feature a must-have or something that in practice isn't a game changer? I'm debating between the Elite 2 which doesn't have the two-line feature and the Elite 3 which does, and $1420 is already a couple hundred abovecmy starting budget. If two-line is that important, I might hold off and wait for a sale.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
what do you want from a ball machine?
what is your level, and which drills will you be using with it?

I decided to take the SpinFire Pro 2, cause it had more features and I don't regret it.
But due to some factors, most time when I use the machine, I use the 100 balls sent to the same point, to brush my technique, and automate as much as I can.
For real human play, I go and hit with humans.
 
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