6 Best Tennis Ball Machines (Reviews and Comparison)

You don’t need to pay a tennis coach to feed you every time you practice. A good ball machine can help you practice without a coach or a partner, and help you improve your game. With a ball machine, you don’t need to sync your schedule with anyone else to practice.

Even a simple tennis ball machine can feed you a variety of balls consistently.  I recommend the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine to take your game to the next level. It has customizable drills and comes with a phone app to make your practice painless.

Best Tennis Ball Machines

Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine – BEST OVERALL

Unlike most other ball machines that are made of plastic, the Spinshot-Player is made with steel. It weighs about 42 lbs and will easily fit in the trunk of your car. 

This 120-ball capacity machine comes with 12 drills pre-programmed but you can also set up personalized drills and save them. You can adjust the height, direction, spin, and speed with vertical and horizontal oscillation to suit your practice needs. You can use the free Drillmaker app for control and programming. The machine can also be controlled via the front panel.

Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine can feed you balls with topspin or backspin. It uses a patented De-Jam design to prevent balls from jamming the machine. It can feed a ball every 2 to 10 seconds. If you are a 4.5 player or higher, you may find that even the max speed is too low.

Note that the machine does not come with a manual but you can download it from the Spinshot website.

Specifications
Size: 18″x12″x20″
Capacity – 120 balls
Weight: 42 lbs
Custom Drills:  12 pre-set drills, and up to 6 shots per drill
Oscillation – 5 Oscillation modes, controlled from the front panel
Phone app – iPhone and Android
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Well-built ball machine
Handles a variety of drills by varying height, direction, spin, and speed 

Cons
Advanced players may find the speed too low
App is average

Tutor Prolite Tennis Ball Machine Best Budget Ball Machine

Tutor Prolite Tennis Ball Machine doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the expensive ball machines in the market have but is an excellent choice for those on a budget. It weighs about 29 lbs and is made of rugged injected molded plastic. 

The machine can feed balls at 1.5 to 10 seconds at 10 to 60 miles per hour. It holds 125 balls and the built-in battery provides 3 hours of playing time. The machine has horizontal oscillation and elevation can be adjusted manually. 

Given its price point, this machine does not have the option to program your drills. It also doesn’t have topspin or backspin adjustment. But despite these drawbacks, it will work well for most tennis players.

Specifications
Size: 12″ x 19.5″ x 18″
Capacity: 125 balls
Weight: 29 lbs
Oscillation: Horizontal oscillation, manual elevation adjustment
Speed: 10-60 mph
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Excellent price points
Great for beginner to intermediate players
3-yr warranty

Cons
Cannot program drills
No topspin or backspin 

Spinshot Plus Tennis Ball Machine – Best Ball Machine For Intermediate Players

Consider the Spinshot Plus ball machine a slightly scaled-down version of the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine. The Spinshot Plus provides randomized horizontal and vertical oscillations with topspin and backspin. So you will be able to practice a variety of shots to improve your game.

Maximum speed is about 75 MPH and balls are fed at 2 to 10-second intervals. The robust metal design makes it easy to transport and the green machine will shine on the court. 

The settings can be changed in the front panel or using the phone app. It doesn’t have the ability to customize the drills like Spinshot-player.

Specifications
Size: 18″x12″x20″
Capacity – 120 balls
Weight: 42 lbs
Custom Drills:  No 
Oscillation – 5 Oscillation modes
Phone app – iPhone and Android
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 2-3 hours

Pros
Well-built ball machine
Works great for all skill levels
Handles a variety of drills by varying height, direction, spin, and speed 

Cons
No customized drills
Speed too low for some players
App is average

Match Mate Rookie – Best Ball Machine For  Juniors

Match Mate Rookie is geared towards junior players. It is lightweight (weighs only 22 lbs) and its battery lasts 5 hours, which is ideal for an extended practice session.

This machine can feed balls at 18 to 30 MPH with some spin. Given its price point, it doesn’t have the ability to adjust oscillation or program custom drills. Still, it’s a great machine for young players to work on their game until they are ready to move up to a more versatile machine.

Specifications
Size: 11″x22″x11″
Capacity – 30 balls
Weight: 22 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Oscillation – No
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 5 hours

Pros
Great ball machine for kids and juniors
Lightweight, easy to carry
5-hour battery life

Cons
Cannot program drills, no oscillation
May need to upgrade as kids improve their game

Wilson Portable Tennis Machine

Wilson is one of the most recognizable names in tennis. The company makes tennis racquets, tennis balls, and other accessories. 

Wilson Portable Tennis Machine has large wheels and a handle, which allows for easy transport to the court. This ball machine has a 110-ball capacity and can feed balls at 1.5 to 10 seconds. The maximum speed is 75 MPH. This machine provides 4 hours of battery, so it’s ideal for longer practice sessions.

These ball machines come with 4 backspin and topspin options. The ball trajectory can be adjusted from a groundstroke to a lob. This is a great ball machine for intermediate tennis players.

Specifications
Size: 22″x14″x20″
Capacity -110 balls
Weight: 38 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Oscillation – Random
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 3-4 hours

Pros
Flat shot + 4 topspin + 4 backspin options
Random oscillation

Cons
No customized drills
Extra cost to buy remote and 2-line oscillation (alternating forehand or backhand)

iSAM Extend Tennis Ball Machine Long Battery Life

iSAM Extend Tennis Ball Machine is reasonably priced and offers good but limited features. But there are some areas where this machine outshines its expensive competitors – its battery provides 5 to 7 hours of run time and the machine holds 300 balls, twice as much as most other ball machines.

This ball machine allows you to control ball speed, delivery times and shot selection from groundstrokes to lobs but there is no topspin option. Note that this ball machine does not come with wheels and weighs 39 lbs. It can be very bulky to carry to the court.

Specifications
Size: 19″x17.5″x18″
Capacity: 300 balls
Weight: 39 lbs
Custom Drills:  No
Battery: Rechargeable, lasts 5-7 hours

Pros

Budget-friendly
300-ball capacity
5-7 hour battery

Cons
Limited features
Bulky, no wheels

How to choose the best ball machine for you?

Skill level

Beginner tennis players just need a basic ball machine that can feed them balls to hit. Balls speeds and spin variations are not that important. Pick up a ball machine that can hold a large number of balls and has long battery life.

Intermediate tennis players need ball machines that can feed them challenging balls on the court. They need a machine that can feed topspin and backspin balls consistently to improve their game.

Advanced tennis players need a top-of-the-line ball machine to improve their game. Compare the cost of the machines to the cost of hiring a qualified personal coach. A good ball machine will pay you back quickly while giving you the flexibility to practice whenever you want.

Your Budget

Tennis ball machines range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Pick one that fits your budget and gives you the features you need. Remember that when you buy a machine, you won’t need to hire a coach to feed you balls every time you hit the courts for practice. Get a calculator and find out how quickly the machine pays for itself.

One way to save some money is to buy a used ball machine that is in good condition. Or you can share the cost of the machine with your friends.

Portability

Ball machines can vary in weight between 20 lbs and 40 lbs. Are you comfortable carrying around a bulky machine to save some money? Or do you need a ball machine that has a wheel and a handle that you can roll to the court. Ensure that whichever option you choose that the ball machine can easily fit in the trunk of your vehicle. 

Speed, Spin, and Height

While a junior player may be happy with a 30MPH speed, advanced players need 65-70 MPH balls to practice to improve their game. Intermediate to advanced players may also need topspin and backspin to simulate match play. 

Tennis players know that balls come to you at various heights and it is important to find a ball machine that has height controls.  Intermediate to advanced players will ball machines that feed balls at the same height are boring and not a good use of their practice time.

Phone Apps or Remote

Getting a  ball machine with a remote or a phone app is a no-brainer if cost is not a barrier. Being able to remotely control the ball machine remotely means that you are not moving from one side of the court to the other. 

Battery

Consider your longest practice sessions and check how they compare to the battery life of the machine. Most machines can easily accommodate 2-3 hours of practice. In most cases, you can also purchase an extra battery for an additional cost.

Warranty

A ball machine is an investment that should pay off for a long time. But it is also a machine with a lot of mechanical parts and electronics.  Get a ball machine with a good warranty from a manufacturer that will stand behind its products in case something goes wrong. 

Continue Reading6 Best Tennis Ball Machines (Reviews and Comparison)

Best Tennis Balls On The Market [Updated 2022]

When you shop for tennis balls, you will notice that there are several types of tennis balls. First, there are many brands such as Penn, Wilson, Babolat, or Dunlop. Second, you will notice that there are regular-duty balls and extra-duty balls.  Shopping for balls can be very confusing.

Our detailed guide will help you pick the right ball for your type of court and skill level. 

Best Tennis Balls

Wilson US Open

You can’t go wrong with the Wilson US Open tennis balls. They are used at the US Open and approved by the ITF and USTA for tennis competitions.

Wilson US Open balls feature excellent felt material, offer consistent bounce and, maintain pressure for weeks after you open the can. These balls have a couple of versions – regular, extra duty, and high altitude.  For hard courts, choose the extra duty balls for durability.

Pros
Comes in regular duty, extra duty, and high altitude
Excellent felt material

Cons
Balls wear out after a couple of hours of play

Penn Championship

Penn Championship tennis balls are a great value for the money. They do come with come tradeoffs – they don’t as long as the Wilson US Open tennis balls after you open the can. But if you are looking for good tennis balls to play for a couple of hours, these balls work great.

Penn Championship balls come in regular duty and extra duty. If you playing on hard courts, pick up the extra duty balls. For clay, pick up the regular duty balls. It is the official ball of the USTA league and is approved by the ITF.

Pros
Great value
Comes in regular duty and extra duty

Cons
Don’t last long after you open the can

Tecnifibre X-One

Tecnifibre X-one balls are not as popular as Wilson, Penn, or Dunlop balls. But Tecnifibre X-One Ball delivers excellent performance – it will last longer than any other ball on the market. 

The balls are made with 72% real felt, which improves the ball’s durability. The balls fluff up a little, which is not bad as it allows you to apply more spin. Note that these balls are expensive and are usually priced twice as much as usual tennis balls. 

Pros
Best ball on the market
Long-lasting

Cons
Expensive 
Not available widely

Pro Penn Marathon

Pro Penn Marathon balls feature Encore technology for improved visibility and LongPlay felt for durability. These balls will last for a long time for advanced players who hit the ball hard.

The ball is approved by USTA and ITF for league play. These balls offer even bounce and maintain their fuzz longer than other balls.

Pros
Long-lasting
Excellent visibility
Maintains pressure for a long time

Cons
Slightly heavy

Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Ball

As the name suggests, these balls are used at Wimbledon. In fact, Slazenger balls have been used at Wimbledon champions for more than 100 years. These balls are not just for grass, they can be used for clay and hard courts as well.

Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls delivers consistent performance and improved visibility. These balls tend to fluff up on hard courts and get slower over time but will help you play longer points.

Pros
Official ball at Wimbledon
Great ball for intermediate and advanced players

Cons
Expensive

Wilson Triniti

Wilson Triniti balls are unique in many ways. First, they come in an eco-friendly cardboard box and not in a can like typical tennis balls. These balls last longer and feel great on contact.

This ball features a new core, named Engage, and is made of plastomer. This keeps the ball fresh much longer than other tennis balls (Wilson claims 4x longer). If you are frustrated with buying new cans of balls every week, Wilson Triniti is the ball for you.

Pros
Eco-friendly can
Balls stay fresh longer

Cons
Expensive compared to other tennis balls

Pressurized Vs Pressureless Balls

Most tennis balls you see on the court are pressurized. These balls lose pressure and don’t bounce as much over time. So you have to replace them often. On the other hand, pressureless balls don’t lose pressure. The only time you have to replace them is if the felt on the balls wears out (which takes a very long time).

Pressureless balls are used in ball machines. They are also used by amateur players. If you need pressureless balls, you can buy them in bulk since they are cheaper.

How to choose the best tennis ball for you?

Type of court

If you play on hard courts, choose extra duty balls. For clay and grass courts, choose regular duty balls.

Altitude of your location

If you are playing at high altitude (much higher than mean sea level), choose high-altitude balls.

Skill level

If you are a beginner, you will be fine with cheaper quality balls.

Advanced players need balls that offer consistent bounce and last a while. Consider the Wilson US Open balls or Pro Penn Marathon.

Cost

What’s your budget? If you can afford it, get the Tecnifibre balls because they are high-quality balls. If you are budget conscious, choose cheaper balls such as the Penn Championship balls. Remember that cheap balls don’t last as long.

Why do tennis balls have numbers?

Have you noticed that tennis balls have numbers such as 1, 2, 3 on them? The balls are numbered so that they can be easily identified if they go to the next court, and you have to get them back.

Most balls are numbered but not all. For example, Tecnifibre balls do not have numbers but Tecnifibre balls are not as popular as Wilson or Penn. Once they get popular, I am sure Tecnifibre will add numbers like the other ball makers.

Tennis balls for kids

There are a few kinds of tennis balls made for kids. These balls don’t bounce as much as regular tennis and are sometimes bigger in size. 

  • Red ball  – for kids 8 years and under, larger size, low compression, 75% slower than a regular tennis ball
  • Orange ball – for kids 9-10 years, low compression, 50% slower than a regular tennis ball
  • Yellow ball with a green dot  – for ages 11+, 50% slower than a regular tennis ball

Tennis Balls To Avoid

Avoid store-brand tennis balls. These balls may be cheap but they are of poor quality and don’t last very long.

Don’t buy balls from stores that don’t sell a lot of tennis balls. Tennis balls sit on the shelves at these stores for months and tend to lose pressure.

Continue ReadingBest Tennis Balls On The Market [Updated 2022]