Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Tennis Ball Machine To Perfect Your Backhand

Last updated on May 11, 2022

We looked at the top 6 Tennis Ball Machines and dug through the reviews from 27 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Tennis Ball Machines.

Best Tennis Ball Machine

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Tennis Ball Machines

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Lobster Sports

Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Take

Best for BeginnersThis tennis ball machine folds down when not in use to take up less storage space.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Runner Up

Spinshot Player Programmable Easy Store Tennis Ball Machine

Spinshot

Player Programmable Easy Store Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Take

Versatile and ReliablePlayers of any skill level will get a challenge out of this high-capacity ball machine.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, The Tennis Tribe, Heavy, Sports Glory, Tennis Fuse, TennisFocusOn and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Good-quality machine that offers numerous different control options. Fully programmable operational modes."
Cons
"Max speed is 68MPH which is a problem for highly advanced players."
  We Also Like

Sports Tutor Child-Safe Beginner Tennis Ball Machine

Sports Tutor

Child-Safe Beginner Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Take

Great Kids' TeacherKids can learn the fundamentals with this lightweight unit.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus TennisFocusOn. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Rather cheap. Great for kids and beginners. Adjustable ball distance. Light and compact. Long battery life."
  Strong Contender

Wilson Adjustable Rechargeable Battery Tennis Ball Machine

Wilson

Adjustable Rechargeable Battery Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Take

Full of FeaturesPlenty of spin options make this machine a worthy opponent.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Heavy, Sports Glory, Easy Get Product, TennisFocusOn, Athlete Path, Racket Lounge and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Let's you easily control the ball trajectory and underspin and topspin. Ball feed time is adjustable (1.5 to 10 seconds) and there is a start-up delay to allow you to get to the other side of the court. The built-in..."
Cons
"Takes long to charge (overnight). Small wheels can make it difficult to move around when loaded."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
13

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the tennis ball machines available to purchase.
6

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

27

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Baseball Race, The Tennis Tribe, Heavy, TennisFocusOn, Athlete Path.

827

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 6 Tennis Ball Machines and also dug through the reviews from 27 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Tennis Ball Machines.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

User Summarized Score

8.0
115 user reviews

Our Take

Although this tennis ball machine is easy to use, it has plenty of attractive features. For example, it allows for a speed adjustment from 20 to 70 miles per hour, an elevation adjustment from 0 to 50 degrees and the ability to select topspins and backspins. Users will also appreciate that the unit can run for up to 4 hours before needing a charge.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Sports Tutor Child-Safe Beginner Tennis Ball Machine

Our Expert Score

0.0
1 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
49 user reviews

Our Take

Beginning players or kids just learning the ropes can do it faster and have more fun in the process. This tennis ball machine can throw out balls at variable distances for marathon sessions thanks to the long battery life. It's also light enough to be taken anywhere.

What other experts liked

Rather cheap. Great for kids and beginners. Adjustable ball distance. Light and compact. Long battery life.
- TennisFocusOn

What other experts didn't like

Ball speed and feed rate are not adjustable.
- TennisFocusOn

Overall Product Rankings

3. Sports Tutor Child-Safe Beginner Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 4

6. Hit Zone Kid’s Flexible Tennis Ball Machine

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 2

Our Tennis Ball Machine Findings


Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

What We Liked: Although this tennis ball machine is easy to use, it has plenty of attractive features. For example, it allows for a speed adjustment from 20 to 70 miles per hour, an elevation adjustment from 0 to 50 degrees and the ability to select topspins and backspins. Users will also appreciate that the unit can run for up to 4 hours before needing a charge.


Spinshot Player Programmable Easy Store Tennis Ball Machine

What We Liked: With a capacity of 120 balls, users of this tennis ball machine can expect long and fruitful practice sessions. It can deliver quick shots or slow lobs with equal accuracy, and there are 12 programmable presets that allow for customized training. There are plenty of control options, and customer support is robust.


Sports Tutor Child-Safe Beginner Tennis Ball Machine

What We Liked: Beginning players or kids just learning the ropes can do it faster and have more fun in the process. This tennis ball machine can throw out balls at variable distances for marathon sessions thanks to the long battery life. It’s also light enough to be taken anywhere.


Wilson Adjustable Rechargeable Battery Tennis Ball Machine

What We Liked: This tennis ball machine is lightweight, but not when it comes to functionality. Players can select from one of eight different spin levels, and the oscillating motion will keep them moving all over the court. There are plenty of settings for delay and a reliable remote control.


Tennis Tutor Prolite Random Oscillator Tennis Ball Machine

What We Liked: Those looking for a quick practice session can be up and running in seconds with this tennis ball machine. The compact machine can send balls in a variety of speeds and heights, and the capacity ensures the fun won’t end too soon. The battery charges quickly and the remote control is a plus.

Our Tennis Ball Machine Buying Guide

If you want to improve your tennis game, good sparring partners are worth their weight in gold. But while real opponents are the best way to hone your skills, they can’t always be there when you’re ready to practice — and that’s why a tennis ball machine is the next best thing.

In its most basic form, a tennis ball machine is just a bin with a propulsion mechanism that can toss balls over the net. And if you’re a first-time player, straight shots might be all you can handle. But since the whole point is to step up your game, you’ll soon need a machine that can give you a little variation. Everybody plays a bit differently, so finding the right mechanical tennis partner means looking for features that will keep you challenged in a reliable — and hopefully, affordable — package.

The features you’ll hear the most about in a tennis ball machine involve the launch mechanism. You’ll want to know not only how the balls are launched but how fast and how often. The most basic machines have a standard rate at which the balls are fired, and faster isn’t necessarily better. You’ll want to be able to tweak the amount of time you have to recover between each successful return, and a good tennis ball launcher will have an adjustable feed rate that you can increase as your skills improve. The best ones will even have a random setting to keep you on your toes.

The next thing to consider is, where are those balls being sent? A machine that only launches to one spot will only help you improve one type of swing — and it won’t be much use for long. Most machines have a firing tube that can  oscillate, so it moves. Some of those tubes can oscillate from side to side, and you’ll ideally want as much distance as possible so that you get balls that cover the entirety of the court. A launcher that can also oscillate up and down, even to a slight degree, is even better.

Higher end machines will let you control both the feed rate and oscillation. Some may even have a remote that lets you program certain types of shots in succession so that you can work on certain returns. Just make sure the mechanism isn’t so complicated that you spend more time hitting buttons than playing.

Machines will typically launch their balls through one of two ways: A spinning wheel or air pressure. The first type feeds the “ammo” into a pair of counter-rotating wheels, and this process generally results in a more precise shot. It’s also easier for the machine to put spin on the ball. Pneumatic (or air pressure) launchers use jets of compressed air to launch the balls, which generally requires a bit more power. For that reason, they tend to be cheaper and will usually need to remain plugged in. On the other hand, they’re likely to be less expensive.

Once you’ve considered the ballistic features, don’t overlook one common statistic that will make a big difference in your practice sessions: The ball capacity. This number varies widely between models. The average number of balls is around 100-125 balls, which is enough that you won’t be stopping to reload your machine every five minutes. You can find more expensive machines that might hold up to 300 or more, though.

While more capacity is always better, it will come at a tradeoff. Depending on what kind of court you’ll be playing on — and how far away it is from home — portability will make a big difference. You don’t necessarily want a huge mechanism that wears you out even before you’ve turned it on. Make sure to also check whether your court has a power outlet handy. If not, you’re limited to battery-powered machines.

Finally, as with any outdoor device, take a look at the materials. You don’t want one rainy day to end your practice sessions forever.

DWYM Fun Fact

How long have tennis players been able to use mechanical sparring partners? The first practice machine was developed in the 1920s by French player Rene LaCoste in partnership with the Dunlop sports equipment company. It wasn’t much of a labor-saver for tennis partners, though, since it had to operated by hand crank. By the ’50s, players at high-end country clubs could avail themselves of automatic launchers that used a high-tension spring as the firing mechanism, though ball capacity was low, and it still had to be fed by a handler periodically.

It wasn’t until 1968 that Robert McClure introduced the first pneumatic tennis machine that propelled its balls by way of a modified vacuum cleaner motor. This innovation finally brought the machines into common use for players of nearly every income level.

The Tennis Ball Machine Tips and Advice

  • So you’ve got your machine set up and you’re ready to face off against it for your first few lessons. If you want to get the best use out of it, you should still seek out a tennis coach or at least an experienced player. If one isn’t available, just start by focusing on doing exactly what comes natural: Trying to hit the balls as they’re sent your way.
  • Once you’ve got some rhythm and accuracy, try to focus on where you’re returning those shots. One good way to do this is to set up the machine in the doubles lane and trying to keep your returns in the same lane. You might even try hitting the machine itself, if it’s durable enough.
  • Once that’s starting to feel natural, try varying your target. By this time, you should also be altering the machine settings so that you’re fielding balls in more than one area of the court.