If you are serious about the game, a portable tennis ball machine is the smartest investment you can do in the long term. They don’t come cheap, though, and picking one in an overfilled market can be like playing Russian roulette; you don’t want to bet a lot of money on a low-quality one. To make your journey easy, we came up with a selection of the best portable tennis ball machines after months of research and analysis.
Regardless of your age or skill levels, improving your techniques and getting that workout in can be tremendously helpful, even when training alone. In this guide, we’ll also explain everything you need to know before buying one by breaking down the most important features to consider. Keep scrolling!
- Best Overall: Lobster Elite Ball Machine
- Runner Up: Spinshot Tennis Ball Machine
- Best Budget: Scifanta Portable Tennis Ball Tosser
- Best under $1000: Slinger Slam Pack Tennis Ball Machine
- Best for Intermediate Players: Wilson Portable Tennis Machine
- Most Compact: Sports Tutor Tennis Cube
- Best Small: Lobster Elite One Tennis Ball Machine
- Also Consider: Siboasi Tennis Ball Machine
Best Portable Tennis Ball Machines Reviewed
In the list above are our top picks of the best tennis ball machines from different brands, designs, and a variety of features. Players of all skill levels can find something suitable for them, in different ranges of prices.
We consider the Lobster Elite Ball machine to be the best overall in today’s market. This machine is an excellent option for beginners who are serious about the game and committed to improving their skills. It has a unique design and is incredibly easy to use. This machine is incredibly versatile, and all the features have been enhanced.
The ball speed can go from 20 to 70 miles per hour, with a manual elevation of 0 to 50 degrees and a feed rate of 2 to 12 seconds giving you an intense practice session. It also offers manual oscillations and 50 degrees lobs, allowing the player to practice overheads. One of our favorite things about the Lobster Elite machine is the spin control feature, which allows players to adjust both topspin and backspin at different levels.
It weighs only 38 pounds and is small in size, meaning it is a lightweight and easy-to-store machine. On top of that, it is also very easy to transport from your car to the court due to the folding handle, inverting hooper, and oversized wheels making it the best portable tennis ball machine. The machine has been manufactured to resist constant use, so it’s very durable and will be your loyal training partner for a long time. The price is quite affordable, so by choosing this ball machine, you’ll be making a smart investment and get good worth for your money.
- Size and weight: 38 pounds (17.2 kg)
- Ball capacity: 150
- Feed frequency: 2-12 seconds
- Spin control feature
- Lightweight and durable
- Easy to transport
- Remote sold separately
Get the Lobster Elite Ball Machine on Amazon.
The Spinshot Tennis Ball Machine is an impressive selection on our list, standing out for its high quality and versatile features. This machine is a mid-range model, modeled after two more advanced offerings from the same brand. Its design makes it particularly well-suited for intermediate-level players looking for a challenge on the court that can help elevate their skills to new heights.
The machine’s ability to hold up to 120 balls at once, with a feeding rate varying from 2 to 10 seconds, ensures continuous play. This allows you to focus on improving your game, rather than pausing frequently to reload the machine. Its full drill programmability and quick oscillation settings offer a wide range of training scenarios. This versatility means you can customize your practice to target specific areas of your game, improving your agility and reaction time in various game situations.
An additional feature that enhances your training experience is the free remote app. This can be installed on your phone or smartwatch, giving you the power to control the machine’s operations at your fingertips. Whether you want to start or stop the machine, switch between different drills, or change spin options, you can do it all with a simple tap, without having to approach the machine.
The Spinshot machine’s lightweight design, extended hopper, and convenient square shape are not just about aesthetics; they ensure easy transportation and storage. This feature makes it possible to take your training sessions to different locations and ensures the machine fits comfortably in your storage space without any hassle.
- Size and weight: 37 pounds (16.7 kg)
- Ball capacity: 120
- Feed frequency: 2-10 seconds
- Remote control by phone or smartwatch
- Very durable
- Easy to transport
- It takes a long time to charge
Get the Spinshot Tennis Ball Machine on Amazon.
The Scifanta ball tosser is one of the best tennis ball machines that also come with the best price. This is a fantastic option for a wide range of players; beginners, recreational, juniors, or intermediate level who are aiming to refine their techniques. This machine can hold up to 30 plus balls at once and has an automatic system release every second, with multiply throwing ranges. The feeds are precise and accurate, allowing the player to practice different drills for hours, from volleys, groundstrokes, short balls, footwork, etc.
You can use pressureless tennis balls in the machine as long as their diameter is less than 7.5 cm. The design of the Scifanta Portable Ball Tosser is simple yet reliable, effective, and very practical. This is the most lightweight machine on our list, weighing only 3.5 pounds. The small size makes it also easy to transport and store. You can carry this on the court, or use it in your own backyard, to get some workout in without needing a personal coach or a tennis partner.
- Size and weight: 3.5 pounds (1.59 kg)
- Ball capacity: 30
- Feed frequency: every 4 seconds
- Affordable price
- Suitable for a wide range of players
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and portable
- Limited ball capacity
If you are looking for an affordable tennis ball machine, look no further. Slinger Slam Pack tennis ball machine is the best option with a cost under $1000 and will probably be the smartest equipment you’ll ever buy. This is portable tennis back, which you can transform into a machine ball. Impressive, isn’t it? It comes with a unique oscillator plate, in which you can put the Slinger Slam and allowing to oscillate.
It has a variety of features that can be adjustable independently according to your needs, such as ball speed, feeding rate, or elevation degree. You can control the settings with a remote from across the court. It looks like a big suitcase, but it is lightweight, portable, and easy to carry around.
There is plenty of room to put your rackets and gears, and it comes with accessory pockets where you can place your personal stuff. It is a great option for beginners and lower intermediate tennis players that need something practical to keep up with their training sessions.
- Size and weight: 49 pounds (22.2 kg)
- Ball capacity: 144
- Feed frequency: 2 – 10 seconds
- Very cheap
- Doubles as a tennis bag
- Practical and easy to use
- Adjustable settings
- Always shots the ball with topspin (no flat, no slices)
Get the Slinger Slam Pack Tennis Ball Machine on Amazon.
We recommend Wilson Portable Tennis Machine as the best option for intermediate players. It has the high quality and the versatility of features that one can expect from such a well-known brand as Wilson. It offers the option to shoot balls with topspin or underspin, which can be adjustable from light to heavy, according to your needs and desire.
The ball speed can go up to 75 miles per hour, with a feeding range from 1-½ to 10 seconds. The ball trajectory is electronically controlled, allowing the players to adjust different drills, from groundstrokes to lobs. The two-line oscillator, which is sold separately as an upgrade feature, offers the option to practice alternating backhand and forehand slices.
The battery is built-in within the machine and can last up to 4 hours before it needs a recharge. The machine weights more on the heavy side, which was the only drawback we could find, but nonetheless, it is relatively easy to carry around due to the build-in towing handle and oversized wheels that roll on all kinds of surfaces.
- Size and weight: 38 pounds (17.2 kg)
- Ball capacity: 110
- Feed frequency: 1-10 seconds
- Extremely versatile
- Great value for the price
- Adjustable feed rate and elevation
- Three years warranty
- On the heavy side
Sports Tutor Tennis Cube is the most compact tennis ball machine available in today’s market. This is a great option for beginners, and even low intermediate players, that are looking for something practical and of high quality. The machine can hold up to 70 balls at once, and the speed can go from 10 to 50 miles per hour.
The feeding rate varies from 2 to every 10 seconds allowing the player more than enough time to get back into position. This machine is very easy to use and does not require programming. The oscillator shots the ball in a random direction on the court to hit while on the run. The Sports Tutor machine has a built-in battery that holds up to two hours of playing time.
It also includes a smart battery charger that recharges fully during the night and shuts off automatically when it’s needed to prevent overcharging. The machine comes at a reasonable price, with a three years warranty.
- Size and weight: 28 pounds (12.7 kg)
- Ball capacity: 70
- Feed frequency: 2-10 seconds
- Easy to use
- Smart battery charger
- Not very advanced features
The Lobster Elite One Tennis Ball Machine comes in a very small size. It’s also lightweight, easy to carry around, and takes minimal space storage, making this machine a great option for all those players who are worried about convenience. It can hold up to 150 balls, with an electrical elevation option that can be customized from 0 to 60 degrees. This is an option that isn’t available to any other machine and a great way for many players to practice their lobs or overhead shots.
The machine has a wide speed range that can vary from 10 to 80 miles per hour, with a feeding time set between 2 to 12 seconds. It also features a spin setting that offers both topspin and backspin on four different levels. The oscillation option is only horizontal, shooting balls on both sides of the court but without stimulating match exchanges during the practice.
The battery is of capacity and long-lasting, offering the player 4 to 8 hours of playing time. Overall, this is one of the best tennis ball machines and a great option for a wide range of players, from beginner to low-advanced.
- Size and weight: 42 pounds (19 kg)
- Ball capacity: 150
- Feed frequency: 2-12 seconds
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- Versatile advanced features
- Affordable price
- Flimsy construction
- Not programmed drills available
Get the Lobster Elite One Tennis Ball Machine on Amazon.
You should also consider Siboasi Tennis Ball Machine when considering your option before placing a purchase. This portable tennis ball machine checks all the right boxes and is of very high quality. It features a wide range of advanced features that can be adjusted with a remote. It has a large ball capacity and fires every four seconds, enough to give you an intense practice session.
With this machine, the players can customize the drills by choosing speed, spin, and elevation degrees. The spin can also be adjusted according to personal preferences for both topspin and backspin. The oscillation option can be both horizontal and vertical, making it possible for the player to simulate a real game during their practices.
The battery is of high capacity and can last up to four or five hours. It’s also lightweight, easy to carry around or store, durable, and convenient. The Siboasi machine comes with a lifetime warranty, making this a purchase 100% risk-free.
- Size and weight: 48 pound (21 kg)
- Ball capacity: 160
- Feed frequency: Every 4 seconds
- Advanced features
- Customized drills
- High capacity battery
- Lifetime warranty
- Not beginner-friendly
Get the Siboasi Tennis Ball Machine on Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Tennis Ball Machine
A portable tennis ball machine will make your life easier and the game much more fun. Consider it as your unlimited hitting partner that will always be available on the court when you are. It will also encourage you to stay committed to the practice and hold yourself accountable for the progress you are making. But when choosing the best portable tennis ball machine for yourself, there are a few things to consider so you’ll know you have spent your money wisely.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are the two most important factors to consider when making a purchase. Unless you have a tennis court in the backyard of your own home, you need a tennis ball machine that is easy to carry around. That’s why a smaller size ball machine can be more convenient; you can toss it into your car when heading to the court. Another smart thing you can do is to look up ball machines with collapse components because they can reduce size when traveling.
As you’ll be carrying around a lot up to and down the court and loading continuously with fresh balls, the last thing you want is to strain a muscle. That’s why it’s better to stay within the range of 50 lbs or less for both convenience and safety reasons. Keep in mind that ball machines operate with batteries, which can be both internal and external. If you choose an external option, you can remove the batteries during transportation, which will make the machine 10 to 15 lbs lighter in weight.
The choice is always up to you and ultimately comes down to personal preferences and needs, but our best advice is to opt out of a machine that weighs 35 to 45 lbs. At this weight, it has easy portability, but also it won’t move when firing balls at high speed.
Your skill levels as a player are an important factor to consider when picking up the best portable tennis ball machine. The variety of the ball machine features and price range will change depending on your needs on the court.
- Beginner players don’t need a variety of features from their tennis practice machine. At this phase, most beginners are focused on improving their groundstrokes and mastering backhand and forehand slices. That’s why, if you are still a beginner, you can opt out of a cheap tennis ball machine that has less spin and speed, which you won’t need anyway.
- Intermediate level players won’t need all the variety of features at once, but you have to be picky with what you choose and think about your long-term goals. At this phase, it’s all about improving and upgrading your skills to the next level, so you need a machine that works for advanced levels, too, because eventually, you’ll get there.
- Advanced levels need the full variety of all features, including different levels of spin, height, or pace, that can be adjusted. These machines are expensive but are also a great investment that will cost you less than private lessons in the long run while still getting great benefits from the training sessions.
Portable tennis ball machines offer an array of features that are important to understand before you buy one.
- Ball capacity it’s an indicator of how many tennis balls for ball machines can the machine hold at one time. For a beginner, a machine with a 40-ball capacity is more than enough to avoid exhaustion. Higher levels of skills need a bigger ball capacity.
- Ball speed is about how fast the machine fires an individual ball. Beginners should choose a machine with a 40 mph speed, which is more than enough to keep them engaged in the game while still allowing time to get back into position. Intermediate or advanced players need higher speed for efficient practice, which can stimulate the pace of a real game.
- Spin refers to the amount of spin a machine can generate. Some machines generate zero spins, which works fine for beginners. Higher skill level players need a machine that can adjust spin and shot slice shots too to have a hitting experience similar to a real game.
- Drills is a great feature to have and can help to improve your skills dramatically by adjusting different drills your way.
- Oscillation is a feature that serves best intermediate and advanced players by feeding balls in all directions. There are two kinds of oscillations;
1. Vertical oscillations: indicates the height of the ball being fired by the machine, which is important during drillings. You can practice volleys, overhead shots, and high lobs by providing different vertical oscillations.
2. Horizontal oscillations: indicates the ability of the tennis ball feeder in both ways of the court, which is a great way for advanced players to practice backhand and forehand slices.
The price range of tennis ball machines varies anywhere from $300 to $9000, with an average cost of $2000. Yes, it is expensive, but it’s truly a smart investment, and in the long run, it will actually save you money and help you improve faster.
How may you wonder? Let’s suppose you buy a tennis ball machine for an average price of $2000, instead of paying $60 for private lessons twice a week. It will take you less than four months to start saving money while practicing every day if you want to. It will be worth every penny, and in this case, this is the best decision you can make. To cut the cost, you can buy one with your tennis partner, or rent one from tennis clubs.
Ease of Use
It’s not worth spending a lot of money on a tennis ball machine if it’s going to collect dust for the majority of the time. You should be honest with yourself and consider how often you can and will use it before making a purchase. If you are serious about the game and determined to improve and upgrade your skills, then buying a ball machine is the right thing to do. It will save so much time, money, and energy because you won’t be paying the bills of private lessons or struggling to find a tennis partner anytime you hit the court.
If tennis is just a way to have a good time while still working out and you are not as serious about it, you should take a second thought before ordering a machine. Unless you want to splurge on tennis equipment, maybe consider finding a committed tennis partner instead, or split the cost with someone else.
How We Choose the Best Portable Tennis Ball Machine
The best portable tennis machines are those which are easy to use, portable, and offer a wide variety of features, that can apply to as many players as possible. We based our selection on our own long market research, customer reviews, and tests. What we were looking for in the machines that made our list was if their features could be adjusted and how convenient it was to transport or store them. We are happy to say that all of these machines meet our requirements, with minimal drawbacks.
To our opinion, the best portable tennis machine is Lobster Elite Ball, which checks all the right boxes. It is very convenient, lightweight, easy to carry around, and has versatile and adjustable features. In other words, it fulfills all of the requirements.
Spinshot Tennis Ball Machine does not fall far behind. This portable machine has fantastic features, making it a great option for intermediate players. We also highlight Siboasi Tennis Ball Machine as the best option to simulate a real game experience during practice, which is perfect for advanced levels.
Before packing up your tennis gear and heading out to use a new portable tennis ball machine, you may still have some unanswered questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about portable tennis ball machines to help you get started.
Q: Why are ball machines so expensive?
Tennis ball machines are quite expensive because they require a lot of specialist technology to deliver consistent and high-quality performance. Almost all tennis ballmachines have complex moving parts and sophisticated electronics that enable them to project balls at various speeds and in different directions while consistently delivering accurate shots.
This means the design and development process is often costly, resulting in a relatively pricey final product. Plus, the two main types of tennis ball machines – automatic and manual – each come with unique features that can add even more to their cost tag. Automatic models generally include programmable functions like oscillation, random directionality settings for target practice training purposes, and spin control adjustments for simulating match conditions on the court; whilst manual ones usually feature adjustable height controls.
These specialized components are not easy or cheap to manufacture either, so there’s an additional labor cost associated with making these machines too – all factors that contribute towards why tennis ball machines tend to be quite expensive.
Q: What is a good weight for a tennis ball machine?
Finding the perfect weight for a tennis ball machine is essential to its performance. If it’s too light, that means it can move or tip when firing balls at higher speeds. However, if the machine is too heavy, it could be difficult to transport and often will require more energy from you during setup. So how much should your tennis ball machine weigh?
The sweet spot is between 35-45 lbs (16-20 kg). This weight range balances portability with stability. Machines in this range are also usually able to fire most types of balls up to 60 mph (96 kph). It also ensures adequate machine life since these machines are built to last longer than lighter models with less durability due to their construction materials and design elements.
Q: How much does a tennis ball machine cost?
The cost of a tennis ball machine varies widely depending on the make and model. Lower-end models can start at around $269, while higher-end machines from top brands like Lobster Sports or Spinshot can cost over $2,000. The more expensive ones tend to have features like programmable spin levels and oscillation modes that allow for a greater range of training options, as well as longer battery life and stronger construction overall.
Q: What is a good tennis ball machine speed?
If you’re new to playing tennis and are looking for something that can help hone your skills, then a machine with speeds up to 40 mph (64 kph) will be sufficient. This is because it allows you to adjust both spin rate and angle as well as practice groundstrokes accurately at varying speeds.
For more experienced players who want greater challenge and power from their machines, they may need to look for models that top out around 80 mph (129 kph). These machines allow advanced players to practice against shots of high intensity which gives them an edge while competing against stronger or faster opponents. Higher-end machines also provide more options, such as horizontal & vertical oscillation patterns, so you can customize drills according to individual needs or drill types for each athlete.
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