Welcome to the ultimate guide on picking the best pickleball machine for your needs. Below, you'll find our six top picks along with an extensive buying guide that'll help you make the right purchase.
Whether you’re new to the sport or you’re a seasoned pickleball pro with years of experience under your belt, you’ve come to the right place.
In the following guide, we’ll be taking a look at 6 of the best pickleball practice machines currently available on the market.
But not only are these some of the best practice machines available, but we’ve also broken them down into categories such as the best overall machine, the best premium, as well as the best value pickleball throwing machines.
So whether you have a tight budget, or you’re looking for the best machine your money can buy, keep reading and we’ll go over the best pickleball practice machines on the market.
|Pickleball Tutor Plus||Simon X||Pickleball Tutor Spin|
|Capacity||110 balls||120 balls|
|Weight||27 lbs||65 lbs||22 lbs|
|Dimensions||12" x 19.5" x 18"||38" x 14.5" x 14.5"||12" x 19.5" x 18"|
|Speed||10-65 MPH||5-70 MPH||10-65 MPH|
|Interval||1-10 sec||1.5-10 sec||1-10 sec|
|Battery Life||Up to 6 hours||Up to 12 hours||Up to 6 hours|
(battery 1 year)
(battery 1 year)
(Pitch wheels Lifetime)
(battery 1 year)
|Check on OnCourtOffCourt|
Check on PickleballCentral
|Check on Official Site||Check on PickleballCentral|
Top 6 Best Pickleball Machines for Practicing
1. The Pickleball Tutor Plus
- Ideal for practicing any type of shot
- Random oscillation
- Built-in wheels and towing handle
- Delay timer feature
- Smaller ball capacity than other machines
As the overall best pick on our list, the Pickleball Tutor Plus is ideal for any tournament player that needs practice with their backspin or topspin shots. The Pickleball Tutor Plus can easily be tuned to help you practice any other type of shots, including lobs, dinks, drives, serves, and even groundstrokes.
Capable of holding up to 110 pickleballs, the Tutor Plus can shoot balls up to 65 MPH and can be adjusted to feed you shots from one per second to one every 10 seconds.
One awesome feature on this machine is that it has a delay timer, which gives you plenty of time to get across to the other side of the net before it starts launching your shots.
It’s ideal for both indoor or outdoor uses and comes complete with a built-in rechargeable battery that provides you with up to 4 hours of continuous playtime.
Additionally, the Pickleball Tutor Plus comes with a smart battery charger, providing you with a full charge overnight. It will also automatically shut itself off when fully charged to avoid over-charging and ruining your battery.
Lastly, this machine is controlled by a single dial to control the amount of backspin or topspin on each shot. It also has a random oscillation setting and in-built 3” towing wheels for easy maneuverability.
2. Simon X Practice Machine
- Additional 60 ball hopper capacity (180 balls total)
- Longer battery life (10 to 12 hours)
- “Stealth oscillation” feature
- Wireless controller
- Lifetime warranty on pitch wheels
- The revolutionary "Super Ramp" feature allows for dynamic adjustments and fine-tuning
- Considerably more expensive than other machines
As one of the sport’s best-known manufacturers, the Simon X is the most advanced and powerful pickleball practice machine you’ll find on the market today.
On top of being complete with all the standard features you’d expect, the Simon X is built using military-grade materials such as heavy-duty aluminum and stainless steel. In other words, you’ll never have to worry about breaking or damaging your practice ball machine; the Simon X is built to last.
For practicing softer shots, the Simon X can be dialed down to lob your pickleball balls at a mere 5 MPH. But you also have the option to crank things up to a whopping 70 MPH, allowing you to practice like the pros, making this machine one of the fastest practice machines on the market.
The Simon X has a 120 ball capacity, but you’ll also have the option to add an extra ball hopper to ramp this up by another 60 balls, for a total of 180.
One of the things that I like the most about the Simon X is that it can be controlled via remote control from up to 100 feet away. Plus, the Simon X offers an extremely neat “stealth oscillation” feature, which means the oscillation occurs on the inside of the machine where you can’t see it, leading to more challenging practice sessions.
In other words, you’re not going to be able to tell where the machine is going to lob your balls, which makes the Simon X one of the most realistic ball machines to practice with.
Additionally, the Simon X has a standard battery life of between 10 and 12 hours, which is about 3 to 5 times longer than any other machine on our list.
Finally, the Simon X can be adjusted to feed balls between 1.5 and 10 seconds apart and comes complete with easy maneuverability wheels and tow handle.
So if you’re looking for the absolute best practice machine for pickleball money can buy, I’d definitely recommend checking out the Simon X.
3. Pickleball Tutor Spin
- Easy and adjustable setup
- Time delay feature
- Lightweight and portable
- Basic model doesn’t have an oscillation feature
- Wireless remote costs extra
Available with all sorts of features and add-ons, the Pickleball Tutor Spin is ideal for younger players or those just getting into the sport.
The best part about this handy, smaller-sized machine is that it’s designed to be set up in no more than 5 seconds. All you’ll need to do is to open up the ball hopper, load in your pickleballs, and you’re ready to start practicing.
Like most other practice machines, the Tutor Spin is capable of variable speeds, ranging from gentle lobs for practicing drinks, through to 60 MPH hard-hitters to sharpen your skills for tournaments and playing against the pros.
You’re also able to adjust the machine’s ball feed, ranging from one every second for practicing those quick reaction volleys, to once every ten seconds for a more focused approach to how you receive shots.
Additionally, the Tutor Spin comes complete with a time delay feature, giving you time to start it up and get to the other side of the court before the machine starts to lob balls your way. This machine is also fully adjustable so that you can practice a full range of trajectories ranging from dinks, high volleys, groundstrokes, and lobs.
The Tutor Spin is also extremely lightweight, making it one of the most portable practice machines you’ll find on the market.
4. Simon 2 Pickleball Throwing Machine
- Large ball capacity, but compact in size
- Optional oscillation feature
- Wireless controller
- Adjustable ramp for practicing soft dinks or high volleys
- Lifetime warranty
- Not the most up-to-date practice machine
- Oscillation feature is only optional, and not included
Compared to the Simon X, the Simon 2 isn’t quite as powerful or as versatile. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an excellent option when shopping for an awesome pickleball practice machine. Plus, being one of the first pickleball machines to have hit the market, the Simon 2 is truly a classic.
One of the best features of this machine is that it has a larger, 160 ball capacity. But it’s still relatively small and compact, being only 12.5” in width and 31” talls. In turn, this makes the Simon 2 super easy to move around and transport to and from the pickleball court.
Capable of tossing balls from 0 to 60 MPH, the Simon 2 now comes with the option to add an oscillating platform. Additionally, it comes with a wireless remote that works from up to 100 feet away, making it ideal for both indoor or outdoor courts.
The Simon 2 also comes with handy “zero jam” technology, and can be dialed in to feed balls at anywhere between 1.5 and 10 seconds apart.
The Simon 2 has an adjustable ramp, making it one of the only machines on the market capable of throwing consistently perfect dinks to practice your soft game skills. Furthermore, the ramp can also be adjusted to serve you higher lobs, ideal for practicing overhead shots, high volleys, and returning high serves.
In the end, the Simon 2 may not be as high-quality as the Simon X, but it is nonetheless an excellent practice machine. So if you’re in the market for the best value on a practice machine, I’d definitely recommend taking a better look at the Simon 2.
5. Lobster Pickle Ball Machine
- Random oscillation
- Variable speed and feed rates
- Shorter warranty (2 years) than the Simon X or Simon 2
- Remote control costs extra
With its random oscillation function and adjustable speeds up to 60 MPH, the Lobster Pickle Ball Machine makes for an ideal practice partner, without the need of spending a small fortune.
Weighing in at only 35 lbs, the Lobster Pickle Ball Machine has larger 8-inch wheels, which makes it super easy to move around as needed. It also comes complete with an inverted ball hopper that holds up to 135 balls, ideal for lengthier practice sessions.
Because of its random oscillation feature, this machine is an awesome pick for anybody that wants a challenging way to practice their footwork. Plus, like most other practice machines, the Lobster can be adjusted to toss standard shorts, dinks, or lobs, making it perfect for players of any skill level.
This machine has a battery life of about 4 hours, and can be dialed in to feed balls from anywhere between 2 to 12 seconds apart, ideal for either more intense practices or slower, leisurely practices as desired.
Finally, the Lobster Pickle Ball Machine is backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
6. Lobster Pickle Two Ball Machine
- 2-line oscillation ideal for practicing single or double games
- Electric elevation adjustment
- 4 separate power options
- Remote control optional and not included
- Heavier than the original Lobster
If the original Lobster wasn’t good enough, then you’re going to love the new and improved Lobster Pickle Two Ball Machine.
Although the Pickle Two Ball looks similar, it has a few awesome upgrades, such as a 2-line oscillation and electric elevation features, which make adjusting your launch angles as simple and as easy as possible.
Another notable upgrade is the new and improved battery, which allows for up to 6 hours of practice time without the need for charging. Plus, the Pickle Two is the first practice unit on the market that can be used as both a plug-in or a battery-powered model.
Like the original Lobster, the Pickle Two holds up to 135 balls and is capable of launching them at up to 60 MPH. At 42 lbs, it does weigh a bit more than the original Lobster, but it still has the same 8-inch wheels, which make it easy to move around on the court.
Overall, the Lobster and the Lobster Pickle Two offer an excellent range of features and options that allow for a fully customized practice experience.
Pickleball Machine Buying Considerations
As pickleball continues to grow in popularity, we’re seeing players and manufacturers coming out with an increasing number of new and innovative gear and practice tools.
Ranging from paddles made with high-tech materials throughout to pickleball throwing machines that are ideal for beginners and pros alike, there’s plenty to get into about this somewhat unconventional sport.
But because we’re talking about a relatively new sport, which has only been around since the mid-1960s, it can be hard to decide how to compare these newer products hitting the market.
Fortunately, I’ve put together this following buying guide to help you understand what to look for when shopping for a new pickleball practice machine.
So with that said, let’s dive into the 6 most important factors to keep in mind when purchasing a pickleball machine.
One of the hardest parts about practicing pickleball alone is that you don’t have anybody to toss balls your way.
Of course, this is remedied by using a practice machine. But machines that have smaller-sized hoppers are much more inconvenient since you’ll need to stop practicing once the hopper is empty to go over and reload it.
So with that said, I’d recommend looking for a machine with a larger hopper, such as the Simon X, which is capable of holding up to 180 pickleballs, ensuring that you’ll be able to hone your skills without needing to stop to reload every 10 minutes.
One of the trickiest parts about playing pickleball against an opponent is that they’re able to put a spin on the ball, causing it to veer its directions as it travels over the net.
So when you’re practicing, you’re going to want a machine that’s capable of putting either topspin, sidespin, or backspins on its shots to properly emulate pickleball serves from a real player.
Unfortunately, not all practice machines are capable of this. So if you’re looking for the best way to practice, make sure to look for a machine with this feature.
Weight And Maneuverability
Practicing pickleball, especially alone, is already rather inconvenient since you likely won’t have anyone there to help you set up.
Therefore, depending on your own physical capabilities, as well as where your pickleball court is located, you’re going to want to look for a machine that’s relatively lightweight and maneuverable.
Think about it! Having a practice machine isn’t going to do you any good if you’re not going to be able to move it onto the court and set it up by yourself.
Speed, Oscillation, And Interval Adjustments
One of the biggest downsides to practicing against a machine, rather than a real human, is that not every machine is going to be able to toss you different types of shots. On the other hand, when you’re practicing or playing against a human, the most challenging part is that it’s hard to tell where they’re going to send their shots.
Fortunately, many practice machines have different adjustment features, such as random oscillation, which allow you to truly hone your skills by sending you softer dinks or harder-hitting serves.
While this may not be the most important factor to consider for younger players or those who are new to the sport, for experienced players, being able to practice different shots and techniques is a vital component to honing your skills.
Construction And Warranty
Needless to say, not every practice machine is going to be built the same. Some are going to be designed with more fragile, lightweight materials like plastic, while others, like the Simon X, are designed with military-grade aluminum and stainless steel to ensure a durable build.
So when shopping for a practice machine, make sure to keep in mind what materials the machine is made from.
Also, many of the machines we’ve discussed are backed by differing warranties. For instance, the Simon X is backed by a much more comprehensive lifetime warranty on its two pitch/throw wheels which are the most important components on a throwing machine, while others are only backed by a 2 or 3-year warranty.
Pricing And Personal Budget
As with anything you purchase, the price, as well as your own personal budget should always be one of the most important factors to keep in mind while shopping.
Fortunately, the pickleball practice machines we’ve discussed today range in price, and some can be customized with additional features that will ultimately affect the price.
So just make sure to keep your own budget in mind while shopping.
I wouldn’t want you to end up buying one of the most expensive machines available, only to need to return it in a month because you can no longer afford it.
Also read: 9 Best Portable Pickleball Nets for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Wrapping It Up
In the end, pickleball is a sport that has a lot to love about it. And whether you're a new, younger player or an experienced pro, this relatively new sport has plenty to offer in terms of health benefits, and not to mention that it’s simply oodles of fun to play.
And with that said, using a pickleball throwing machine is one of the best ways to practice and hone your skills when you don’t have anyone else to practice with.
So if you’re in the market for a pickleball practice machine, just make sure to keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to playing like the pros.
Is a Pickleball Machine Worth it? If you want to improve your game, a pickleball machine is a great investment. Practicing repetitive shots can take your game to the next level. However, it's also important to meet with a coach from time to time.
Tennis ball machines have also been adapted for Pickleball as it proves to be a popular all-ages game with a large following. The Pickleball Tutor is awesome for all levels of practice and works with both indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Remember you can experiment with different variations by having the ball machine feed balls cross-
Beta Tester Feedback: "I love Slinger's new pickleball launcher and highly recommend it for pickleball players, coaches and facilities,” said Kalindi Dinoffer, Chief Marketing Officer at OnCourt OffCourt.
Top 4 Pickleball Drills To Master 4.0+ Skills - YouTube
Many of the premier pickleball players and coaches will tell you that their ratio of practice to play time is 3 hours to 1 hour at a minimum. Practice does not have to be mundane or boring or lacking in a great work out.
Balls for Slinger Bag
In 2022, Slinger signed a new partnership deal with Dunlop sports. They, together, developed and designed Dunlop Fort TR Plus pressurized tennis balls and Dunlop Fort XTRA Life pressureless tennis balls for use with Slinger tennis ball machines.
Because the Slinger Bag mechanism spins the ball at a rate related to the speed at which it shoots the ball, you need to set up a low speed setting in order to get very little topspin. That means you need to place the Slinger Bag quite close to the net and set up a steeper angle for the balls to travel longer.
The Slinger Bag will work with all premium quality standard (yellow) tennis balls including Green and Orange balls. Launcher performance when using Green and Orange Balls maybe reduced. We do not recommend using with Red balls and/or Stage 3 Foam balls.
The most important skill to focus on as a beginner is maintaining a rally. This means keeping the ball in play back and forth over the pickleball net. There are many pickleball drills for beginners that you can do alone to perfect your pickleball skills without needing a partner.
- Beginning to play more consistently in all phases of the game.
- Anticipates opponents shots resulting in good court position.
- Primarily plays offensively.
- Controls and places serves and return of serves to best advantage.
- Puts strategy into play in the game.
Pickleball Footwork-This Ain't "Sexy" Pickleball (but it wins games)
It's recommended to play pickleball no more than three times a week to allow your body enough time to rest between each session. So, get some friends together and have fun playing pickleball!
How To Practice Pickleball Against a Wall - YouTube
Pickleball Solo Wall Drills - YouTube
A standard pickleball court happens to be around the same size as a doubles badminton court and the court measures 44 feet long (inclusive of lines) and 20 feet wide (inclusive of lines). The net height of a pickleball court is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle.
9 Transformative Tips To Level Up Your Game - YouTube
If you want to get better at pickleball, you need to increase your practice time, not your play time. And by using a backboard to practice your shots, you will execute 7-10 times as many hits as you would in a doubles pickleball game.
Exercises to strengthen your wrists - YouTube
“You also want to choose a color that contrasts from the color of the pickleballs,” Gearheart said. Pickleballs are most often yellow, orange or lime green. “Generally, colors opposite from each other improve contrast. For example, if the balls are yellow, paint the court blue.”
Common types of court surface materials for pickleball include the following: Concrete: This type of outdoor court surface is the best in terms of both durability and value. Asphalt: This can be a good option if you want to go a more affordable route, but it can require additional upkeep.
The USAPA recommends a north-south orientation.