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All tennis players can benefit from continually training on a ball machine, especially if they have a lack of consistent tennis partners to play with.

Every level of player, from beginner to advanced, can benefit.  Each level of a player’s training should be different – and can be – as long as the ball machine has the correct features.

But if you’re searching for the right tennis ball machine for your skill level and training needs, it can be difficult to know the right product to choose, with so many options available.

In this article, we’ll compare two popular options — the Tennis Tutor vs. Lobster brands — to help aid you in your decision.

Training needs for tennis skill levels


Beginners can work on stroke production, movement to the ball, footwork and recovery. 

Ball recognition is also a skill that beginners need to learn. This is the ability to track the ball in flight by its basic characteristics of speed, spin, depth, height and direction.

Advanced players

Advanced players often feel they have reached a level in their game that they do not need training on a ball machine. Nothing could be farther from the truth! 

What is usually lacking for advanced players is the number of shots they are able to master.

Advanced players should be using a ball machine to increase their array of shots by practicing as many different strokes as possible. 

The Tennis Tutor and the Lobster Elite tennis ball machines are both great choices when shopping for a ball machine regardless of your skill level.

Let’s take a closer look at a few popular products offered by each of these brands.

Tennis Tutor vs. Lobster: A closer look

Tennis Tutor Plus

The Tennis Tutor will sharpen your skills, build your confidence and raise the level of your game. With its small and lightweight construction the Tennis Tutor is portable enough to take anywhere you want.

The Tennis Tutor is powerful enough to challenge top-level players. The Tennis Tutor is used by teaching professionals at the ATP- Association of Tennis Professionals-training center in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. 

The Tennis Tutor Plus features includes all the features of the Tennis Tutor, but with the addition of spin control capability. A simple dial controls the amount of topspin or backspin. 

The Tennis Tutor Plus is also the only portable ball machine that displays the elevation setting on the control panel. A 10 segment display shows the elevation setting so you can set it to your favorite setting before starting. 

The Tennis Tutor Plus comes with a rechargeable heavy duty battery that allows for 4-6 hours for plenty of court time play and also is available in an A/C model. 

Players looking for an above average tennis ball machine to help improve their game will find the Tennis Tutor to be the perfect choice!

The AC/DC capability in the Tennis Tutor is important.

You can play at your home or school court using AC power, then take the machine with you to a court without an electrical outlet and use it there too. 

There is no separate battery charger necessary as the machine charges the battery itself anytime it is plugged into a live AC outlet.

There is also no need to worry since the internal smart charger will always keep your machine ready to play without overcharging the battery. 

Specs and features of this product include: 

  • Ball capacity: 150 balls
  • Trajectories: Groundstroke to Lob
  • Ball ejection speed: 10-85 mph
  • Ball feed rate: 1 ½ to 12 seconds
  • Oscillator: built-in
  • Playing time: 4-6 hours with heavy duty battery
  • Recharge time: 12 hours
  • Weight: 46 pounds

The battery is included and also included is a 3 year warranty from the manufacturer. 

Lobster Elite One Tennis Ball Machine

You can view the Lobster Sports – Elite One Tennis Ball Machine at Amazon to learn more about how it might work for your training needs.

Lobster Sports has been manufacturing quality ball machines since 1971.

If you are passionate about improving your tennis game, Lobster Sports has designed a battery-operated tennis ball machine better than the rest! 

The Lobster Sports Elite is loaded with features that provide everyone from the beginner to the advanced players with every skill they could possibly need from lobs, strokes and reaction time.

The Lobster Elite has been engineered for durability and made from high-quality materials. The Elite is professionally assembled to withstand frequent use. 

The inclusion of oversized wheels makes it easy to transport over grass, gravel, or curbs and onto the court. Its ergonomic design allows for easy transport.

The Lobster Elite is packed with features more often found in more expensive tennis ball machines. 

Enjoy playing against advanced options such as corner-to-corner random oscillation. This will help you to work on forehands and backhands and up to 60 degree lobs to practice overheads. This lob overhead feature is not available on any other machine. 

Speeds of up to 80 mph will enable you to work on your reaction time, and heavy top and back spin choices are there to perfect your ability to return whatever comes your way. 

Protected with a two year warranty, this tennis ball machine provides tennis players and coaches with a professionally designed machine at an exceptional value.

You can purchase many accessories to enhance the Lobster Elite as we have described below.

Features and benefits highlighted from the manufacturer include:

  • Easy to Move: The portability of our machine cannot be understated. The large, 8 inch thick, all-terrain wheels make it easy to push or pull over any surface.
  • Easy to Transport: With an inverting hopper and folding handle, the Lobster Elite is easy to transport to and from the court and even your car seat.
  • Easy to Store: The Lobster Elite’s small footprint makes it easy to store in your garage, spare room, or closet. When folded down, the machine measures 29”x21”x15.5”.
  • Extent Court Time: If you need more playing time, the optional external battery pack simply plugs into the Elite’s fast charger port to give an additional 4 to 8 hours.
  • Charge Faster: Average charging time is 18-24 hours with the basic charger. Reduce charge time to 3-6 hours with the optional premium charger.
  • Take Control: You can Control both the feed and the sweep operation on any Lobster Elite ball machine with our optional remote control.
  • Unlimited Power: If you have access to a power outlet then the optional external AC power turns any Elite machine into an AC machine for unlimited playing time.
  • Ball Speed: Ball speed is an average of 10 to 80 mph.
  • Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
  • Feed Rate: 2-10 seconds
  • Ball Capacity: 150 balls 
  • Compatible with orange-dot and green-dot balls: Red felt balls are too big for the Lobster. The machine throws a soft orange ball at 15 mph for beginners. 

Using the orange balls at no spin (flat) at 40 mph is great for a 10 and under player.

Above 40 mph and a lot of spin, the orange balls will quickly become ultra fuzzy.

The green balls can be used exactly like the adult balls.

Which is right for you?

When trying to choose between the Tennis Tutor vs. Lobster, here are some important considerations:

  • Both are solid machines with lots of positives for players of various skill levels
  • When replicating a player, the Tutor is supposed to do this by changing the side-to-side position as well as the depth of shots. While the Lobster oscillates side to side constantly, the Tutor does not. The Tutor has less side to side movement than the Lobster.
  • A trick that can be used for both machines when trying to get variable depth is to use a combination of new and old balls. New balls carry much further.
  • The Tutor is said to ‘hang on feed’ once every few loads of balls. This means it misfires.
  • The Lobster’s warranty is 2 years and the Tutor is 3 years.
  • The Lobster is smaller and easier to move around. 
  • Both remotes work great

The Lobster Tennis Ball Machine tends to have better statements, however, they are both great for practicing and exercise on the tennis court. Simply put, both machines are great! 

Since they basically do similar things, you may choose by deciding which machine fits your budget.

Either way, a tennis ball machine is a great investment and will enhance your love of the game.

Anytime we play better, we enjoy it more. Ball machine practice will ultimately make you a better and happier tennis player!

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @agencyby