A tennis ball machine is a very useful equipment regardless of your skill level in tennis. It helps improve your reaction time and footwork, and it allows you to better anticipate ball movement. These are just some of the most important skills in order to excel in tennis, and you can enhance them with the help of a tennis ball machine. However, there are several kinds of this product out there. But before you buy one, here are the things that you should pay attention to when finding the best tennis ball machine.

How to choose the best tennis ball machines

Propulsion Type

First, there are two main types of tennis ball machine propulsion: pneumatic air pressure and spinning wheel. The pneumatic air pressure propulsion type uses air pressure to propel tennis balls through a tube. This propulsion type is an old technology which means it’s cheaper compared to spinning wheel types. Most machines of this type use A/C power since they require more power to operate than spinning wheel types. Meanwhile, spinning wheel types involve two wheels spinning in the opposite direction to propel tennis balls. This creates a more natural tennis ball propulsion, closely similar to when playing with another person. Additionally, some spinning wheel types allow you to adjust the spin control.

Speed Range

Next, the speed range of a tennis ball machine is one of the most important factors in training. The speed adjustment allows you to change the speed of the ball in order to cater to your skill level and play style. Beginner players can adjust the speed to make the balls go slower, while experts can increase the speed to match their skills. Most machines have a speed range between 10 mph and 80 mph.

Oscillation Feature

Aside from speed, oscillation also plays a vital role in practice. This feature allows tennis balls to be thrown in different directions. Most tennis ball machines have the option of different kinds of oscillation like vertical, horizontal, or random. Oscillation features also help make practice sessions more realistic and closer to a real game.

Ball Capacity

Ball capacity refers to the number of tennis balls that the machine can hold simultaneously. This factor does not directly affect your skill when practicing, but it is useful in terms of convenience. The higher the ball capacity means the less time you have to refill the machine, which is helpful since you’ll have to reserve your energy for the training itself.

Other Features

Some machines also come with various features, mostly for convenience. Some brands offer remote control feature so you can remotely adjust options in the equipment such as start, stop, speed adjustment, and spin adjustment.

Another extra feature that might be included is an extra battery pack. Since many tennis ball machines operate on batteries, an extra battery pack may come in handy for long training sessions and there is no electrical outlet available nearby.


Finding the perfect tennis ball machine for training isn’t as hard as it seems. You just have to know what you should be paying attention to. In this case, the most important factors are the propulsion type, speed range, oscillation feature, and ball capacity. Also, there are other features that may be worth looking into. All you need to do first is read this guide, and you’ll be ready to find the one you need.

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