Best Tennis Ball Machines | Reviews & Guide (2020)

Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine

Capacity: 60

Challenge: 80

Build Quality: 90

Battery Life: 60

Why We Chose This Product:

This Spinshot tennis ball machine is one of the most popular on the market. Spinshot has an excellent reputation for making this kind of training equipment, and the Spinshot-Player is one of the best tennis ball machines we’ve tried. Users can adjust five individual parameters for their shots; the horizontal angle, the speed, the spin, the feed interval, and the shot height. Changing these parameters, you can create custom routines tailored to your trading needs.

You can adjust the horizontal angle to aim anywhere across the court’s full width, enabling you to target your blind spots. You can also configure the speed to as high as 110 km per hour. This maximum speed is higher than many of Spinshot’s competitors and is more than enough for most players to test their abilities. Combine that speed with any of the nine spin options that Spinshot provides, and you have one heck of a machine for testing your reactions and technique.

The unit comes with 12 pre-programmable drills, any of which you can adjust or replace as you desire. Each drill consists of six individual shots. You can set each shot to have different properties, so every shot tests a different response. There’s even the option for a random program where every shot’s properties are randomized, providing you with a totally unpredictable challenge to overcome.

You can adjust settings on the fly thanks to the free smartphone app. The app provides a digital recreation of the machine’s control panel and connects to the machine via Wi-Fi. The app is intuitive and straightforward. It does exactly what you want from a companion app. Even cooler than the companion app is the Apple Watch app. Using a smartwatch is much more convenient than getting your phone out while you are training.

There are two versions of the Spinshot: one with a battery, and one without. On a full charge, players can expect to get 2 to 3 hours of use. The precise battery life of the machine will depend on the settings you use. The faster and more frequently you set the machine to serve, the shorter its battery life will be. Recharging the battery takes a long time, between 8 and 15 hours. It is good to get in the habit of recharging the unit after every session.

The overall construction of the Spinshot-Player is excellent. It is one of the few tennis machines made primarily from metal. Most manufacturers are still using plastic cages. Plastic is lighter, but it is much less resilient than metal is.

Specs:

Battery life: 2 – 3 hours; 8 – 15 hours to fully charge a battery

Ball speed: 30 – 110 kph = 18 – 68 mph

Ball interval: 2 to 10 seconds

Ball capacity: 120

Programmable Settings: 12 drills of 6 shots

Weight: 19 kg / 42 lbs (21 kg/46 lbs with battery)

Pros

  • Program up to 12 drills consisting of 6 shots each
  • Adjust the existing presets or program entirely new drills to create the perfect routine
  • Adjust or set up to five individual parameters to produce the perfect shots for your practice
  • Control the unit with a free smartphone app
  • Supports connectivity with Apple Watch
  • A good tolerance for debris

Cons

  • Speed controls aren’t in exact numbers, making them harder to track
  • Relatively low ball capacity
  • It takes several hours to recharge spent batteries.
  • A large unit if you want to transport it in the trunk of your car

Spinshot Pro Tennis Ball Machine

Capacity: 60

Challenge: 60

Build Quality: 90

Battery Life: 60

Why We Chose This Product:

The Spinshot Pro features the same high-quality construction that defines the rest of their line-up. Like other Spinshot machines, the pro comes in both a battery-powered and AC only variants. The capacity is 120 tennis balls, which should be enough for most people.

The Snapshot Pro enables users to set four parameters: speed, ball feed interval, spin, and height. By altering these parameters, you can configure the machine to shoot the shots you need to practice defending against. Unfortunately, unlike many of Snapshot’s other machines, there is no way of creating your own custom programs on the Pro. There aren’t even pre-programmed settings that you can modify.

While you cannot program your own drills, the Snapshot Pro does include a random horizontal oscillation feature, which adds a degree of randomness to your training. Some people might find the relative lack of options to be restricting. However, newer players will get along just fine with the Snapshot Pro.

The user controls the machine via a simple two-button remote control. One button toggles the ball feed, while the second toggles the oscillation mode. If you want to make any adjustments to parameters beyond this, you will need to use the control panel on the machine itself.

You can expect to get 2 to 3 hours out of the battery-powered variant between charges. The exact amount of time you get out of a charge will depend on the settings you use. Fast balls at more regular intervals will drain your battery faster than a more relaxed session. If you run the battery all the way down, you will need 8 to 12 hours to recharge it. This recharge time might sound excessive, but it is one of the fastest on a machine in this price range.

Overall, the Spinshot Pro is a superbly built machine that is sturdy and comes with all the features that most tennis players want from their practice machines. The Pro model might be on the more expensive side for some people. But if you are looking for something reliable and trustworthy, this is it.

Specs:

Battery life: 2 -3 hours; 8 – 12 hours to charge

Ball Speed: 30 to 110 kmh (18 to 68 mph)

Ball Interval: 2 seconds to 10 seconds

Ball capacity: 120 balls

Programmable Settings: None

Weight: 18 kg (40 lbs) without battery. 20 kg (44 lbs) without battery.

Pros

  • Shorter recharge time than other models
  • Offers 12 types of spin, 6 topspins and 6 backspins.
  • Enables you to set up to four individual parameters for your shots
  • Predictable ball delivery
  • Unit is operated via a simple two-button remote control
  • Metal construction is stable and resilient

Cons

  • Only has one mode of oscillation
  • Speed and feed interval settings aren’t given in precise measurements
  • No option to program your own drills
  • No pre-programmed drills for you to use
  • Manufacturer’s warranty isn’t great
  • Prone to faults

Wilson Portable Tennis Machine

Capacity: 50

Challenge: 80

Build Quality: 60

Battery Life: 80

Why We Chose This Product:

The Wilson Portable Tennis Ball Machine is one of the most popular tennis machines on the market, and with very good reason. There aren’t many names that are as revered throughout the worlds of professional and amateur tennis. Wilson is a brand that many people rightfully trust.

The Wilson Portable Tennis Machine is impressive on multiple levels. For one thing, it offers an impressive challenge for users brave enough to max out the speed and ball interval settings. Unfortunately, the machine is held back by a few minor complaints. First and foremost, the low ball capacity is disappointing when paired with the lowest interval settings, as you can easily deplete your stock before you’ve managed to get into a proper rhythm.

It’s also a shame that it costs extra for the two-button remote control that controls the machine. It also costs money to unlock another axis of oscillation. These are both nice features, but it’s hard to think of a good justification for making them premium extras.

But if you can get past the add-ons and enjoy the product without them, it is one of the best machines we have used.

Like other machines in its price range, the Wilson Portable Tennis Machine doesn’t offer any programming features. However, it does provide a battery life of 3-4 hours of continuous play, which isn’t bad at all. Once the battery is depleted, it takes around 18 hours to charge. Fortunately, Wilson have included overcharge protection to prevent the machine’s battery from degrading due to overcharging.

Overall, this is a very strong tennis machine at a very reasonable price. Professional players might find this machine to be a lacking practice partner. But for most of us, this is an excellent way of improving your game and honing your technique.

Specs:

Battery life: 3 -4 hours; 18 hours to charge

Ball Speed: 16 to 120 kmh (10 to 75 mph)

Ball Interval: 1.5 seconds to 10 seconds

Ball capacity: 110 balls

Programmable Settings: None

Weight: 17 kg (38 lbs)

Pros

  • Choose from eight different spin levels
  • Electrical elevation adjustment
  • Overcharge protection comes as standard
  • Random horizontal oscillation
  • Suitable for beginner and intermediate users alike
  • Lightweight if you need to move it

Cons

  • Remote control costs extra
  • No ability to program drills
  • No pre-programmed drills
  • Balls sometimes get stuck
  • Ball capacity is lower than competitors

Spinshot Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine

Capacity: 60

Challenge: 80

Build Quality: 90

Battery Life: 80

Why We Chose This Product:

Spinshot is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the world of tennis machines. The Plus-2 is yet another excellent entry from a manufacturer who rarely disappoints. The Plus-2 brings together many of the best features from previous iterations of Spinshot’s tennis machines. The result is a more capable machine than its siblings, offering the full suite of features that most users would expect from a machine in this price range.

Adjusting settings on the Plus-2 is easy, thanks to the LED screen on the control panel. If you install the accompanying smartphone app to control the machine, you will notice that the app also uses the same layout as the control panel.

The wide range of speeds for you to choose from, ranging from 18 to 68 mph, ensures that even the most skilled players can find a challenge in the Plus-2. The option to randomize your shots lets you make things a bit less predictable, forcing you to sharpen your reactions and your senses. Unfortunately, you can’t set the speed by precise mph number. Instead, you have to choose from one of twenty settings. Twenty settings provides a lot of variety, but it would be better if you could set an exact speed.

The Plus-2 comes with 12 drills already pre-programmed. You can adjust the settings of these drills so they are better suited to your training goals. Alternatively, you can program your own drills from scratch. Each drill consists of six balls, which you can adjust individually.

Like Spinshot’s other machines, users have the option of a free smartphone app for controlling their machines. Having to get your phone out all the time isn’t ideal when you are training. But thanks to the inclusion of Apple watch connectivity, you can control the machine without having to get your phone out every time. Spinshot has also released a remote watch that pairs with their tennis machines. This watch contains a single button that you can use to start or stop the tennis machine. You can also toggle between your preset drills by using several short button clicks.

The Plus-2 brings together all the best features from Spinshot’s other tennis machines and packages them together in a single unit that blows the competition out of the water.

Specs:

Battery life: 2 -3 hours; 8 – 15 hours to charge

Ball Speed: 30 to 110 kmh (18 to 68 mph)

Ball Interval: 2 seconds to 10 seconds

Ball capacity: 120 balls

Programmable Settings: 12 drills of 6 shots

Weight: 19 kg (42 lbs) without battery. 21 kg (46 lbs) without battery.

Pros

  • Features 12 drills of 6 shots each
  • Tweak the preset programs or set your own
  • Adjust up to five parameters for each shot
  • Control panel with clear, crisp LED screen makes it easy to adjust settings on the fly
  • Capable of simulating match conditions realistically
  • Control via free smartphone app
  • One of the best tennis machines on the market

Cons

  • Relatively small capacity for the price (120 balls)
  • Minimum 8 hours charge time is faster than competitors but still slow
  • The speed control and feed interval settings take time to get used to