Best pressureless tennis balls?

btpayne13

New User
I've heard that the Tretorn Micro X pressureless tennis balls are the best. Is this true? I want to buy some tennis balls that I can practice with on the weekends. How are Penn's pressureless tennis balls?
 
It has been overwhelmingly reported by hundreds of members on this forum that the Tretorn Micro X balls are the best "pressureless" balls. I've heard from just a couple of members that their next favorite pressureless ball was the Penn.

The Tretorns are more expensive than the Penn. I'm not sure how much more. I would be interesting to hear and know more from others who are familiar with the overall playability of these 2 balls, and if they felt that the Tretorns were definitely worth the difference in costs!? Or said in another way - if the savings on the Penn's were enough to justify the difference in play, feel, longevity (whatever) over the Tretorn Micro X.

I just bought a ball machine and am interested in all aspects of playability, feel, costs, durability, felt longevity, etc. regarding any/all balls - pressureless AND pressured. I don't necessarily need or want to just (only) consider the "initial costs and long term savings" from using the Tretorn Micro X. Nor do I necessarily need or want the "longevity of bounce" that Tretorn is famous for to be the primary deciding factor I buy and use them.

I must say that I am quite concerned about the "loss of felt" that the Micro X is also famous for. Balls with no felt, that are simply not dead, do not travel, bounce, spin, hit, feel realistic AT ALL. How does the felt hold up on the Penn's? How much sooner will the Penn's go dead before the Tretorns? How do the Penn's "feel" compared to the Tretorn and/or normal pressurized balls? Is there an inexpensive (relatively) "pressured" ball that will last somewhat, or even considerably, longer than the typical "popular" match play pressurized balls? Probably won't know till I try them out for myself. But would love to get a "short" list of what balls to consider and look at, price shop, try out, etc.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
I have been using Tretorn Micro X balls in my ball machine for the past 3 months. I use my machine around twice a week for an hour or so. I have probably used it 20 times with the Tretorn Micro-X balls. I typically refill the machine hopper 5 or 6 times each use.

I am very happy with the Tretorns. 85% of the balls still have the a very consistent bounce and the felt is holding up nicely. The other 15% of the balls bounce a little more inconsistently (some bounce higher than others) but the felt is also fine. Since I typically don't hit standing in one spot, the bounce doesn't really bother me. So I definately recommend them for a ball machine.

I also pulled out three balls and played singles with them 3 times for 9 sets in total (plus warm up rallies). I was using them in cold outdoor weather this winter because of the good consistent bounce. After the 9 sets of singles, the felt was really worn to the point I didn't want to play with them anymore. Bounce was fine -- felt was not so good.

So if you want balls to play with -- Tretorn Micro X may not be the best solution as the felt seemed to wear on them after only using them a handful of times. Regular pressurized balls last about as long.

In a ball machine, where every ball does not get the constant pounding of rallies, they are great because you can use them for months (so far) without worrying about buying replacements. Just my thoughts.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
When it comes to the felt on Tretorn Micro X, I find that interesting. You would think that the preferred pressureless tennis ball from TW users would have good felt, but that's apparently not the case with the Tretorn Micro X. Do Penn's pressureless balls have more durable felt? Here's a link to them:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1SBJJ5M26C7MZYY4VE8M


Actually, the felt on the Tretorn Micro X (in my opinion) holds up better than the Penn pressureless balls I tried (and substantially better than Gamma). I bought some Gammas and Penns to check out before buying the Tretorns. In addition a high percentage of the Penn balls had a much more inconsistent bounce after using them a half dozen times.

So as far as comparing pressureless balls - Micro X balls seemed to out perform the Penns in every place except price. I decided the extra expense was worth it.

My point above was really more to the effect of the Micro X balls really don't outperform (as far as felt wear) regular pressurized balls when used for regular play. I find that when I use pressurized balls (Wilson US Open, Penn Extra-Duty, etc.) they are worn to the point of getting tossed in the serve practice hopper after about 6-9 sets. Micro X balls tend to have similar felt wear.

So it depends on how frequently you play. With felt wear being the same - the question becomes does the ball lose its bounce before you wear out the felt.

With me, the answer is no because I play two or three times a week. I typically switch balls because of felt wear, not the bounce.

Now if I only play once a week or a couple times a month, the Tretorn's may be the better choice because they don't lose pressure. So where a regular ball would have good felt and no bounce after only one or two infrequent uses, a Tretorn may still be fine with both good felt and a good bounce.

This is why they work so well in a personal ball machine. Each ball only gets hit a half dozen or so times each session. It takes a while to wear the felt out on a ball doing that. So the consistent longlasting bouce is more important.
 
Outstanding analysis and information from HitItHarder from his/her personal experience. THANKS!

So unless $$ are of no concern, does that pretty much eliminate any/all pressurized balls "from the mix" of choices when it comes to needing balls for a personal ball machine? Is getting a couple of months of decent bounce from a pressurized ball just impossible? Even if there was and you could.........I'm not sure what the economics or costs would be on 150 of these "alleged pressurized balls" compared to the Tretorns or Penns. I've never priced pressurized balls in quantity or cases. It really does all come down to money. I do love that pressurized ball feel off my racket..........at least and until they go dead.
 

walkman

New User
Penn pressureless balls are acceptable and easy to purchase at Sports Authority in a convenient quantity. Micro-X are considered to be the best.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
Outstanding analysis and information from HitItHarder from his/her personal experience. THANKS!

So unless $$ are of no concern, does that pretty much eliminate any/all pressurized balls "from the mix" of choices when it comes to needing balls for a personal ball machine? Is getting a couple of months of decent bounce from a pressurized ball just impossible? Even if there was and you could.........I'm not sure what the economics or costs would be on 150 of these "alleged pressurized balls" compared to the Tretorns or Penns. I've never priced pressurized balls in quantity or cases. It really does all come down to money. I do love that pressurized ball feel off my racket..........at least and until they go dead.

A case of quality balls like Dunlop Grand Prix XD or Wilson US Open XD (24 cans or 72 balls) will cost you approximately $56 to $65 plus shipping of $6. These are Tennis Warehouse prices and seem to be as good as anyones unless someone is having a sale.

A bucket of 72 Tretorn Micro X balls are $117 plus the $6 shipping. So the Tretorns cost about twice as much as a quality regular pressurized ball.

I have never had an opened can of pressurized balls last longer than three weeks, even just sitting in my bag not being used after the first hit. So I don't think that it is realistic to think pressurized balls will last longer than three or four weeks, even with minimal use. Flat balls are terrible in a ball machine (they land short and don't bounce). I have been using the Tretorn's for three months in my personal ball machine. Still lots of life left in the felt. The balls still mostly have a great consistent bounce. My ball machine, if set to a spot, still throws them within a four foot radius. So while I spent more on the front end to buy the Tretorns, I am actually saving money now by not having to buy replacement balls.

The crack on the Tretorns is not the felt or the bounce. Rather some people consider them to be heavier or harder than traditional pressurized balls. They are a little heavier, but not enough that it bothers me personally. I don't personally find them hard or harsh. I also like balls with a little weight (such as a Dunlop GP or ProPenn). So for me they are cheaper than buying pressurized balls for my ball machine and still play very close to the "real" thing.
 
Once again, HitItHarder "hit" all the nails (questions) I had on the head! Not only were all my questions, concerns, doubts about tennis balls for my ball machine answered.........hidden problems were even exposed. Having not gotten my ball machine yet and therefore having no experience with it, he made me aware of something I might have been able to guess, yet still did'nt know. And that is that ball machines will toss a dead ball very poorly, or not at all (in the net).

The jury is in and the winner is Tretorn Micro X. I will probably still try the Penn pressureless one day just for the hell of it however.

Hey HitItHarder - what make/model ball machine do you have and do you have any good "drills" for me? Thanks again for the excellent help and info on balls man!
 

mctennis

Legend
Tretorns X were horrible for my machine. I was getting balls dropping 2' before the service line to 3' behind the service line. No consistency at all. I took them back and replaced them with Gamma. I get a lot better consistency with them vs the Tretorn X. For me the Gamma has been the best tennis ball machine for me. I have used them all.
 

mctennis

Legend
The jury is in and the winner is Tretorn Micro X. I will probably still try the Penn pressureless one day just for the hell of it however.
I just bought two tubs of the Penn pressureless balls. Nothing special IMO. They are okay but still there are ones that are not consistent- probably 15%. I threw those inconsistent ones away. Gamma seems to be very consistent with their pressureless balls. Once I finish with the Penn balls I will go back to Gamma. If you lived close I would give you the Penn ones to use. See how you like them. For me I am not impressed with the Penn or Tretorn X. At 3 times the cost the Tretorn X were a huge disappointment.
 

esantoro

Rookie
I had been trying to find a source in China (shipping to the Middle East) for pressureless balls. I was looking at Teloon X-Ace and Teloon Coach, because I am under the impression that these and other Teloon balls are branded by some of the better known brands. However, a number of sources gave me contradictory information about whether the balls are pressurized or pressureless. I assumed that because the balls are sold in bags of 48 and 60 (not in pressurized tubes) that they must be pressureless balls. Even Teloon told me directly that some of those balls sold in bags are not pressureless balls, which doesn't make sense to me.

Not wanting to risk making a mistake in purchasing 200 balls, I heeded the advice of some in this thread and elsewhere to get the Penn pressureless balls from Walmart. I'm having a third-party shipping company forward me the balls to the Middle East. Walmart was a last-minute decision, as I was just about to buy Head pressureless balls from China, which at least come in a bag clearly marked "pressureless."
 

esantoro

Rookie
I just bought two tubs of the Penn pressureless balls. Nothing special IMO. They are okay but still there are ones that are not consistent- probably 15%. I threw those inconsistent ones away. Gamma seems to be very consistent with their pressureless balls. Once I finish with the Penn balls I will go back to Gamma. If you lived close I would give you the Penn ones to use. See how you like them. For me I am not impressed with the Penn or Tretorn X. At 3 times the cost the Tretorn X were a huge disappointment.


mctennis, if you can could you tell us the weight and diameter of a Penn pressureless ball? I was surprised to read that the Penn ball is a bit smaller than regular pressurized balls.
 

mctennis

Legend
mctennis, if you can could you tell us the weight and diameter of a Penn pressureless ball? I was surprised to read that the Penn ball is a bit smaller than regular pressurized balls.
Nope, I have no way of measuring that ball. I do not own a pair of calipers to do that correctly. I do not care much for the Penn pressureless ones so I will not be using them again after I wear them out. I will switch back to Gamma pressureless ones.
 
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esantoro

Rookie
Nope, I have not way of measuring that ball. I do not own a pair of calipers to do that correctly. I do not care much for the Penn pressureless ones so I will not be using them again after I wear them out. I will switch back to Gamma pressureless ones.


Thanks. My Penn balls will arrive from the U.S. in five days or so. I'll try to wear them put quickly and then find a replacement if I experience the same dissatisfaction.
 
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Big Ed

Rookie
esantoro don't sell the penn pressureless balls out just yet. I have absolutely no issues with mine. they all land within a 3' diameter thru my quest. of course I have never used any other pressureless balls to compare them to but I don't see how any could be significantly better for the price I paid from wm.
good luck,
Big Ed
 

esantoro

Rookie
esantoro don't sell the penn pressureless balls out just yet. I have absolutely no issues with mine. they all land within a 3' diameter thru my quest. of course I have never used any other pressureless balls to compare them to but I don't see how any could be significantly better for the price I paid from wm.
good luck,
Big Ed


My Penn balls from WM are due to be delivered within the next few days. I'll collect some data on them and post to the other thread I've created for comparing pressureless balls (mainly for machine use).

Does your Quest have soft silicone rubber wheels that can be depressed a bit with the finger or are the wheels of a harder substance? My Siboasi 4015, which should be arriving in a few days, has soft silicone rubber wheels that are supposed to be easier on ball felt. Are soft silicone rubber wheels pretty much the standard on ball machines now, or do some still have the hard rubber wheels? Back in the 90's, if I remember well, my Prince machine had hard wheels.
 

Big Ed

Rookie
My Penn balls from WM are due to be delivered within the next few days. I'll collect some data on them and post to the other thread I've created for comparing pressureless balls (mainly for machine use).

Does your Quest have soft silicone rubber wheels that can be depressed a bit with the finger or are the wheels of a harder substance? My Siboasi 4015, which should be arriving in a few days, has soft silicone rubber wheels that are supposed to be easier on ball felt. Are soft silicone rubber wheels pretty much the standard on ball machines now, or do some still have the hard rubber wheels? Back in the 90's, if I remember well, my Prince machine had hard wheels.
I will check that and get back to you. but, I do know that there is a lot of felt in and around the machine. so, the wheels aren't having any issues grabbing the balls and slinging 'em.
Big Ed
 

esantoro

Rookie
I just now received the Penn pressureless balls (this batch was manufactured in Thailand). Average weight per new ball is 58.34g. Average diameter is 65.19. Bounce results from 100": 56"/57" (142.24cm/144.78cm). Felt doesn't look extremely robust, but we will see.
 

mctennis

Legend
I ended up getting rid of my Penn pressureless tennis balls. Too much irregular bounces and I had about 10% of the tennis balls I could squeeze that would way too soft. I hope you, esantoro, have better luck than I did. I am going tomorrow and buying some Gamma pressureless ones.
My ball machine has the hard spinning wheels BUT they are sort of notched so they catch the balls anyway.
 

esantoro

Rookie
mctennis, do you happen to remember whether your Penn balls were manufactured in China or Thailand? I've seen these balls labeled as coming from either country. I recorded some data on the batch of 228 balls I received (recorded in the other thread for comparing pressureless balls from different brands). I did notice some discrepancy in weight and diameter. Is the range I recorded normal for good quality tennis balls? While my data for weight is very reliable, for recording diameter I used USD15 calipers and went by human sight and feel, not the most scientific of methods.

from the other thread:
5. Weight in grams: Avg. 58.34g (From one 12-ball bag, there was a range of weights: 58g, 58.6g, 58.1g, 58.9g, 59.5g, 56.5g, 58.1g, 59.1g, 58.9g, 57.6g, 58.4g, 58.4g)
6. Diameter in millimeters: avg. 65.19mm (there was a range: 65.21mm, 64.73mm, 65.85mm, 65.11mm, 65.07mm)
 
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scf

Semi-Pro
Today I received my order with tretorn x comfort balls. I'm surprised that they are stored in the usual pressure tubes?
 

esantoro

Rookie
Today I received my order with tretorn x comfort balls. I'm surprised that they are stored in the usual pressure tubes?

This is how my Teloon Mascot balls come. The Teloon factory has confirmed that the Mascot balls are not 100% pressureless. I wonder if the Tretorn X Comfort are the same. The Mascot's are more comfortable to hit than the Penn prsesureless I ordered from Walmart. If you can, measure and weigh your Tretorn X Comfort balls and compare the data with what I have in the other thread.
 
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scf

Semi-Pro
Measuring is not a problem. Not that easy with weighting :) Maybe it's time to finally buy some scale :D
 

esantoro

Rookie
Word from the Teloon factory is that they make four varieties of pressureless balls: Coach 1, Coach 2, Coach 3, and Coach 4. Coach 4 is only available as Gamma. I wouldn't be surprised if some Tretorn balls are coming from the same factory.
 

esantoro

Rookie
The next thing we have to do in the pressureless ball comparison thread is have some volunteers cut open defunct pressureless balls no longer used in the rotation and post images of the ball's cross-section. I'll do this with the pressureless balls I have: Teloon Mascot, Penn, Teloon Coach #2 (to be ordered around December 2018).
 

scf

Semi-Pro
Word from the Teloon factory is that they make four varieties of pressureless balls: Coach 1, Coach 2, Coach 3, and Coach 4. Coach 4 is only available as Gamma. I wouldn't be surprised if some Tretorn balls are coming from the same factory.
Well according to tretorn their balls use their own technology (these micro cells). So they must be different from other pressureless balls I believe.
 

esantoro

Rookie
Well according to tretorn their balls use their own technology (these micro cells). So they must be different from other pressureless balls I believe.

It was the post that mentioned Tretorn's having this special micro-cell wall that made me want to see cross-sections of a variety of pressureless balls. I'm very skeptical that in 2018 any particular tennis ball is sold by only one company. I could be wrong, but I am curious to find out. Weight alone would help to distinguish to some degree which balls might be more similar than others.
 

Big Ed

Rookie
My Penn balls from WM are due to be delivered within the next few days. I'll collect some data on them and post to the other thread I've created for comparing pressureless balls (mainly for machine use).

Does your Quest have soft silicone rubber wheels that can be depressed a bit with the finger or are the wheels of a harder substance? My Siboasi 4015, which should be arriving in a few days, has soft silicone rubber wheels that are supposed to be easier on ball felt. Are soft silicone rubber wheels pretty much the standard on ball machines now, or do some still have the hard rubber wheels? Back in the 90's, if I remember well, my Prince machine had hard wheels.
esantoro my sp quest has hard rubber,it appears,wheels. they aren't super hard nor are they squishy. I can depress the rubber some with my fingernail but not just a lot. don't know if that's what you are looking for or if it helps in the least but its what I can offer.
Big Ed
 

esantoro

Rookie
For the record, I am using a USD5 pocket scale, which I believe is accurate enough, due to experience weighing other things and getting confirmed results repeatedly. I have another pocket scale that is wildy inaccurate. If anyone is interested in the inexpensive pocket scale that performs well, I will provide the details. With inexpensive scales, it is a trial-and-error process to find one that works well.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
I tried Tretorn Micro X.
From the ball machine they were flying like stones...
Slightly better for the service training.
But I decided to not purchase them for a second time.
 

scf

Semi-Pro
I play with them for about half a year and happy with them. I practice with couch not ball machine though.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
I play with them for about half a year and happy with them. I practice with couch not ball machine though.

might be just a bad production batch / lot, so not trying to say that everyone shall stay away from them.
but as I read as well other feedback claiming similar "stone-like" behavior, decided to not purchase a second time.
 

scf

Semi-Pro
By the way, first I bought some cans of Micro X Comfort. Liked them and got a bucket of Micro X Trainers. Both kinds are mixed in my training bag and I feel them equally good.
 

mscot5

New User
Can we bump this thread up? Debating between Tretorn and the Wilson Triniti for my Lobster.

Which type will last longer?
 

tennis3

Hall of Fame
Can we bump this thread up? Debating between Tretorn and the Wilson Triniti for my Lobster.

Which type will last longer?
Tretorn is great. But I haven't used Triniti, so I can't compare.

New Tretorns will be really slow in a ball machine until the felt wears down some. For me, that's around the first 10 times. Then they are good for most of a summer before the felt is pretty worn down.

All balls will have the problem of the felt wearing off. Nothing you can do about that. I use Tretorns in my old "Matchmate" ball machine (the one from the 1980's) that are several years old and now bounce like superballs. Which is fine with me because they are much harder to control than normal balls. When I hit normal balls, it feels really easy to hit them and control them.

I really use new Tretorns for serve practice. When they get a bit too worn, I transfer them to the ball machine basket. But that takes a while. You get a pretty realistic serve feel with Tretorns. Much better than using old balls that are "flat". But not "quite" the same as regular balls. But close enough.
 
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