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Tennis Ball Machines

 

2018 Ball Machine Comparison Tables

Choosing the right ball machine is a daunting process, and unless you've got time to sift through pages of information, we know you will benefit from our advice. Feel free at any time to call us on 1300 585 844 to ask questions or read our FAQ page. However, to make things really easy, we've created some comparison tables between the models:

To start with, we had to find models that were comparable across the brands. So we've come up with 3 categories:

  1. Beginner/Intermediate (less than $1,995)
  2. Advanced ($2,000 - $2,995)
  3. Advanced with the lot ($2,995+)

Beginner/Intermediate Range:

These machines are simply designed to run you around the court for a bit of exercise & practice. With maximum top speeds of 115km/h & only these are only recommended for beginners & intermediate players. If you want a machine you can grow into, we recommend the Advanced category 2 or 3.

Model

i-Sam

Lobster Freedom

Tutor ProLite

Product Image

 

isam-green-mini.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Speed Km/h

25-100

45-115

16-100

Feed Interval

2-7 seconds

2-10 seconds

2-10 seconds

Battery Life

2-3 hours

2-4 hours

2-3 hours

Ball Capacity

250+

150

125

Weight

13Kg

18Kg

13Kg

Propulsion

Counter Rotating Wheels

Counter Rotating Wheels

Counter Rotating Wheels

Spin

Manual Elevation

Electronic Elevation

Horizontal Oscillation

Vertical Oscillation

Electric

Option

Option

Battery

Portable

Low Noise Level

Optional Remote

Heavy Duty Battery

Optional Spare Battery

Optional Storage Cover

Warranty

3 Years

3 Years

1 Year

Good Features

  • Large ball capacity
  • Cheap
  • Fast Oscillation
  • Very portable
  • Good top speed
  • Well Built
  • Well built
  • Compact
  • Reliable

Bad Features

  • No wheels - carry handles.
  • Elevation handle is easily damaged
  • None
  • Ball flaps can be a bit flimsy
       

Our Rating

Price

$1,795.00

$1,899.00

$1,815.00

 

Advanced Range:
This range is designed for the player aspiring to be a champion who doesn't want any of the bells and whistles such as a 2 line drill or triple oscillation.

Model

Spinfire Pro 1

Lobster Elite 1

Tutor Plus

Product Image

 

Spinfire Pro 1

 

 

 

 

 

Top Speed

130 km/h

130 Km/h

137 Km/h

Slowest Speed

32 km/h

32 km/h

16 km/h

Ball Feeds S/I

2-15 seconds

2-10 seconds

1.5-12 seconds

Spin

Electronic Elevation

Elevation Degree

60°

60°

***

Horizontal Oscillation

Vertical Oscillation

Electric Option

Battery

Battery Life

3-8 hours

4-8 hours

4-6 hours

Battery size

20 A/h

18 A/h

14.4 A/h

Charge Time

11 hours

18 hours

20 hours

Fast Charger (option)

Ball Capacity

200

150

150

Portable

Weight

18 kg (external battery) or 24 kg (internal battery)

18 kg

21 kg

Remote

Option

2 Line Drill

Optional Spare Battery

Heavy Duty Battery

Optional Storage Cover

Warranty

2 Years (Optional 5 years)

3 Years

1 Year

Good Features

  • Internal Oscillation (disguises delivery)
  • LCD control panel with membrane touch buttons
  • Large ball capacity
  • Optional external battery - decreases machine weight and simplifies charging (only take the battery inside for charging)
  • Huge Battery
  • 2 year warranty with an option for 5 years.
  • Best spin levels we've seen
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Very portable
  • Huge battery
  • Fast Oscillation
  • Great Warranty
  • Good build quality
  • Fast oscillation speed

Bad Features

  • Travelling wheels could be larger
  • A little bit bulky
  • No 'Electric Only Option'
  • Bulky design
  • Ball flaps are a bit flimsy
  • Small handle makes wheeling a little difficult

Our Rating

Price

$2,395.00

$2,499.00

$2,783.00

*** We were unable to obtain the degree of elevation but were advised by Tennis Tutor that their machines could produce any type of lob required for practicing purposes.

 

Advanced 'with the lot' Range:
This range is designed for the player aspiring to be a champion who wants a ball machine with all the extras. For the purposes of comparing 'apples to apples' we've added in some of the extras automatically.

Model

Sam-SP4

Elite 3

Spinfire Pro 2

Tutor Player

Product Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Speed

140 km/h

130 Km/h

130 Km/h

140 Km/h

Slowest Speed

32 km/h

32 km/h

32 km/h

16 km/h

Ball Feeds S/I

2-13 seconds

2-10 seconds

2-15 seconds

1.5-12 seconds

Spin

Electronic Elevation

Elevation Degree

55° *

60°

60°

**

Horizontal Oscillation

Vertical Oscillation

Triple Oscillation

Internal Oscillation

LCD Display

Player Simulation

Electric Option

Battery

Battery Life

4-6 hours

4-8 hours

3-8 hours

4-6 hours

Battery size

14.4 A/h

18 A/h

20 A/h

14.4 A/h

Charge Time

8 hours

18 hours

11 hours

20 hours

Fast Charger

Option

Option

Ball Capacity

300

150

200

150

Portable

Weight

22 kg

20 kg

18 kg (external battery) / 24 kg (internal battery)

18 kg

Remote

Included - 10 Function

Extra Cost (2 Function)

Included - Full Function

No

2 Line Drill

(wide & narrow)

(wide & narrow)

(wide, medium & narrow)

(wide &  narrow)

Optional Spare Battery

No

Heavy Duty Battery

Optional Storage Cover

Yes

Warranty

2 Years

3 Years

2 Years (Optional 5 Year Warranty)

1 Year

Review

Read Now!

Read Now!

         

Good Features

  • Large ball capacity
  • Option for Electricity
  • Vertical Oscillation
  • Triple Oscillation
  • Very portable
  • Huge battery
  • Fast Oscillation
  • Great Warranty
  • Internal Oscillation (disguises delivery)
  • LCD control panel with membrane touch buttons
  • Includes a fully functional remote
  • Large ball capacity
  • Huge Battery
  • Optional external battery - decreases machine weight and simplifies charging (only take the battery inside for charging)
  • Vertical & Triple Oscillation
  • 2 year warranty with an option for 5 years.
  • Best spin levels we've seen
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Good build quality
  • Fast oscillation speed
  • Player simulation (one of the best features we've seen)
  • Vertical oscillation when in player simulation mode
  • Center alignment button

Bad Features

  • No vertical oscillation - very important
  • No player simulation
  • Poor spin
  • Top speeds seem lower than indicated
  • Slow oscillation is predictable
  • Bulky
  • Remote not included (need to pay extra)
  • Remote is only 2 functions (feed & oscillation)
  • Telegraphs the delivery
  • A little bit noisy
  • No player simulation
  • Travelling wheels could be larger
  • No player simulation
  • A little bit bulky
  • Player simulation doesn't change height settings often enough.
  • Bulky design
  • Ball flaps are a bit flimsy
  • Small handle makes wheeling a little difficult

Our Rating

Price

$2,995.00

$3,399.00

$3,195.00

$3,995.00

* Lob Enhancer will increase lob to 80° and is an optional extra.
** We were unable to obtain the degree of elevation but were advised by Tennis Tutor that their machines could produce any type of lob required for practicing purposes.

 

Lobster Elite V

 

Elite 5 Ball Machine Click Here

CALL US!

 

If you've read through this, then you are serious about finding the right ball machine. There are many factors to consider including:

1. Where you will be using it (home or local club)?
2. Will electricity be available?
3. Is it for you or your kids and at what level are they?
4. Will your kids coach use it in their coaching sessions?

These questions and more will have an impact on which ball machine is right for you. Why not take advantage of our experience and call us on 1300 585 844 to find out which model best suits your needs!

It doesn't matter where you are located in Australia, we deliver everywhere!

Call or email us to find out what bonus we throw in for free with every ball machine. We know you will be pleasantly surprised!

Please note, if you talk to your local shop about a ball machine, they will most likely have to order it from the importers who are all based in Melbourne or Sydney. We actually stock the machines and send them directly to you ourselves.

If you haven't already read our Frequently Asked Questions page about ball machines, then we recommend you do so.

What is Oscillation and Triple Oscillation?

Random oscillation is where the tennis ball machine replicates a match situation by shooting balls randomly around the court. Rather than groove a particular shot, this allows a player to focus on footwork, fitness and practice shots in a more realistic environment.

Most machines with oscillation are capable of changing from side to side (without varying the depth) which works both your forehand and backhand. However the very top machines are capable of dropping in short balls & deep balls as well. This is a feature of the Lobster Elite II, Lobster Elite III & Spinfire Pro 2 which are the only machines in their price range that can claim to have triple oscillation.

Below are some diagrams to show the difference between oscillation patterns of different ball machines:


Horizontal Oscillation (Single Oscillation)

This is the most common oscillation method found on all machines. The balls randomly move from side to side along the baseline. This is what the SAM SP Range, Tennis Tutor Plus Range, Spinfire, Silent Partner, Jugs and Lobster Elite Range are all capable of.

 

Horizontal and Vertical Oscillation (Triple Oscillation)

This type of oscillation is only usually found on high end machines worth $8,000 or more. Now the Spinfire Pro 2, Lobster Elite 2 and Elite 3 models offer this feature. This is achieved by sweeping the ball horizontally (along the baseline) while also oscillating vertically (up and down). The reason Spinfire & Lobster can offer this so cheaply is because the commercial machines use a more advanced method of dropping in short balls. They can actually reduce and increase the speed of the ball by changing gears (very quickly too), which is a much better way to achieve it and more realistic too. Spinfire & Lobster's triple oscillation is an amazing feature (especially on a residential machine), even though it uses a simplistic method to achieve it. It really gets your feet moving more than models without it.

 

Triple Oscillation with the 2 line drill

This is technically incorrect to say the machine is using triple oscillation in the diagram to the right. It is actually using the two line drill and vertical oscillation. The two line drill allows you to feed 1 forehand and then 1 backhand continuously. It can usually be set to a narrow (10 degree) or wide (20 degree) spread. The two line drill is offered by the SAM SP4, Lobster Elite 3, Spinfire Pro 2 and the Tennis Tutor Plus (Model 4).

However the two line drill with vertical oscillation is only offered by the Spinfire Pro 2 & Lobster Elite 3 and this is what you can see above. While alternating between forehand and backhand, it is also capable of changing the depth of the balls, making you work your feet more. Again this can be done on the narrow (blue lines) or wide spread (yellow lines).

The two line drill can be used when you have two or more players using the machine at once, allowing them to take it in turns to hit a ball.

The Lobster Elite 3 & Spinfire Pro 2 can provide all three types of oscillation and are the only machines in this price range capable of doing so.

If there is a particular make or model of tennis ball machine that you are interested in which we don't have on our web site, please email us here and we will let you know if we can help.

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