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While any kind of tennis ball machine is an investment, it’s one that definitely pays for itself. These machines are known to last for years, regardless of what kind or model you choose.
That’s why it’s so important that you find the right one for you – if you choose one you’re not happy with, you’ll be stuck with it for quite awhile!
Battery powered options are great for tennis players who spend a lot of time training on the go.
Maybe you’re someone who plays outdoors where outlets aren’t available. Maybe you’re on a travel tennis team and having a portable, battery-powered tennis ball machine means you can practice on your own terms before a match. Maybe you’re just looking for convenience.
Whatever the reason for your interest in machines with a battery, there are a few things to consider to help you find the best battery powered tennis ball machine for you.
Types of Tennis Ball Machines
Though we’re considering battery-powered options, it’s important to note that there are a few other types to choose from.
There are battery-powered options, machines with outlets (electric), handheld machines (not recommended), and then there are a few machines that offer both battery functionality as well as outlet functionality.
Electric tennis ball machines are tennis ball machines that do not offer a rechargeable battery back.
Instead, they have a cord (or a place for a cord to plug into) that allows you to use energy from an outlet.
This is a great option for those who play mostly indoors or have outlets readily accessible.
Battery-powered machines are tennis ball machines that use a battery pack to recharge, as opposed to a plugin or outlet.
These machines can vary in how long the battery will last for and how long the battery pack will need to charge to be reused.
Battery Powered Advantages
Battery-powered machines are great for players who play outdoors or who might not have outlets readily accessible.
You can simply recharge this machine overnight and take it to practice the following day; it’ll be all set and ready to go!
It’s also a quick setup, too. Just place the machine and turn it on. There’s no need for extension cords or outlet searching.
Generally, the battery-operated machines are also easier to carry around, as they aren’t as bulky or heavy.
Just make sure they’re heavy enough (around 30 pounds or so) to withstand the throwing power it gives so it stays stable.
What to look for in a good battery powered ball machine for tennis
A few common features to consider when purchasing any kind of tennis ball machine can include the following:
Weight of machine: Stability and mobility
The weight of the machine dictates how stable and solid it will be on the court.
Typically, you want to look for machines around 30-40 pounds. Most machines have wheels on the bottom to make transporting them easier, but you still need to consider the weight, as it’s a huge consideration for mobility, too.
The shape of the machine might need to be factored in as well.
Some machines might be lighter, but me more awkward in shape; this could make mobility trickier.
Be sure to think about how often you’ll be transporting your machine and how often it will need to be stored.
If the machine is too heavy to lift or too big for your storage space, you might find out it’s too much of a burden to use regularly.
Ball capacity simply refers to the amount of tennis balls the machine can hold at one time.
Most people tend think more is better, but even in a match you would take a break. Consider reloading your machine that break you would normally have.
As long as your launcher holds more than 50 balls, you should be good to go.
If you are someone who tends to play longer with less breaks, then you might want to purchase a machine that holds somewhere around 150-200 balls to be safe.
Again, just consider your needs.
When purchasing a tennis ball machine, it’s important to think about what speed you need the balls to be launched.
Minimum speeds start around 10-20 miles per hour. Consider how you plan to use the machine and match the speed accordingly.
For example, if you want to practice your form, slower might be better so you can ensure you’re hitting properly.
But if you’re seeking to gain consistency or improve reflexes during rallies, faster might be more appropriate.
Keep your skill level in mind as well, as a machine that goes too fast or too slow for you won’t be as helpful as you hoped.
Settings and features
There’s a wide range of machines on the market; you can find a machine that does the bare minimum and machines with so many settings you might be overwhelmed.
You can find machines with pre-set drills, mobile apps, spin features, oscillation features, make-your-own-drills settings, etc.
Just be sure to think about what features you need first, before thinking a certain setting or feature is needed simply because it’s neat or appealing.
Oscillation is simply referring to how the machine can move. Some machines offer options to feed the balls in different directions.
Simpler machines offer horizontal movement, but there are others that offer both random horizontal and random vertical movement.
The more movement that’s offered through the machine, the more similar your practice will be to a match.
This consideration is mostly for those wanting to practice their overall game during a match (skill sets like consistency, reflexes, speed, etc.).
If you plan on practicing alone and you’re looking for convenience, you might consider a machine that comes with a remote control.
Usually, there’s a delay before the machine starts working to allow enough time for you to get to the other side of the court, but it’s never a bad idea to have control of the machine remotely.
As we mentioned above, these machines are built to last for quite awhile. As such, customer support for these machines is crucial.
You’ll be dealing with this company for as long as you have it; they’ll be you’re go to if you need new parts or have questions.
Find a partnership with a company you love.
Best Battery Powered Tennis Ball Machine
There are a number of battery-powered options that may work for you, including the options below.
Lobster Sports – Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine – Smaller Battery Operated – Lightweight – Full-Featured Tennis Ball Hopper – Random Oscillation – Battery Charger Included – Optional Accessories
This ball machine was designed with convenience in mind.
Some quick features include:
- Weighs in at thirty-five pounds which is heavy enough to ensure stability and light enough to be mobile
- Made of plastic
- Easy to transport with its three over-sized wheels and sturdy handle to roll it around over all types of terrain
- Ideal size; Big enough to train with and small enough to fit in your standard-sized car
- Ball speed settings range from 20-80 mph
- Can load up to 150 balls at a time
- Random Horizontal Oscillation
- Spin Features: Top Spin and Back Spin
- Battery Powered
- Lasts 2-3 hours when used
- Fairly long charge time
This machine is a mid-range model (best suited for beginners to intermediate players) that offers just enough to keep you on your toes.
The horizontal oscillation spans from corner to corner and is great for encouraging realism while training.
It offers a 2-10 second range on the ball feed which gives just enough time to make some quick changes between shots since a remote control isn’t included with this option.
If you want to improve your consistency, ball control, rallies, your footwork, anticipation or shot selection, this is a great machine for you.
The only thing to keep in mind is that some players report concerns of the machine jamming with wet tennis balls; if you’re someone who needs a machine that can endure a wet climate, this machine might not be the best for you.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for your training needs.
Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine
This machine is a mid to high level tennis ball machine, designed with intermediate players to more advanced players in mind.
That’s why you’ll see a larger selection of features with this model, including the following:
- Durable, not made from plastic like the model above
- Weighs in at forty-five pounds which means it’s a bigger and sturdier machine but can also be slightly more difficult to transport
- Two average-sized wheels and a sturdy black handle to make transporting easier
- Dimensions are 18”x12”x20” which should fit in most trunks
- Phone-Based Remote Control that lets you adjust your machine’s settings from your phone and download drills to the machine
- Pre-programmed drills that can be adjusted based on your individual needs
- Create Your Own Drills Feature that allows you to save them for later use
- 30-110mph Ball Speed
- Spin Features: Top and Back Spin
- Horizontal and Vertical Oscillation so you can mimic a match and cover the whole court
- 120 Ball Capacity (not as many as previous model, but still enough balls to minimize downtime between training sessions)
- Lasts 2-3 hours for training sessions
- Moderate charge time
- Battery Powered (but note that the battery is shipped separately)
If you’re an intermediate to advanced player looking for more control as you train on your own, this battery operated tennis ball machine is perfect for you.
View at Amazon for more information on how this ball machine may work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @mikdam