As pickleball grows, the number of ball machines on the market also grows. At Pickleball Central we carry the two most popular brands – Pickleball Tutor and Lobster. These two companies have proven themselves to make reliable products for players, instructors and clubs. If you're looking to keep your game sharp, there's no better investment for practice.
Both Lobster and Tutor Sports have continued to add features to their ball machines making it easier than ever for players to set up the kinds of drills and shots they want to work on. Now with the ability to easily set up six pre-programmed drills, the Tutor Plus Ultra Pickleball Machine offers the ability not only to hit different types of spin but also to practice the most commonly used drills.
With several models available from both Lobster and Tutor, we get lots of questions from people about which pickleball machine they should select. The good news is, they are all great machines that offer a variety of features, you just need to decide which of those are most important to you. The table below lists the specifications and features of all of the pickleball machines. They run the gambit from Pickleball Tutor Mini – a light weight and simple machine, to the Pickleball Tutor Ultra Series – machines with drills pre-programmed that can be simply activated with an easy push of a button.
One of the Lobster Pickle Ball Machine's main benefits are its 8' wheels which allow it to be easily maneuvered without the need for lifting or dragging. Its ability to put spin on pickleballs is unique, and makes it a great choice for learning how to counter tricky shots. It holds a slightly higher amount of pickleballs than the Tutor along with an extra hour of maximum charge in the base model.
The Pickleball Tutor has a lighter weight, longer overall warranty and has the least expensive model. If you often take your machine from court to court, the Tutor line is easier to get in and out of a vehicle.
How Are They Powered?
Both machines can be run through battery or AC power. The Lobster comes standard with a battery (internal or external) and has an additional component ( Lobster Elite Power Pak) that can be purchased to switch it to AC. The Tutor can be purchased with battery or AC power for the same price. The Tutor Battery Unit can also be used with an additional External AC Power Supply.
In addition to an External AC Power Supply, there are a number of options that both machines offer. You can add remote controls (Two-Function or Multi-Function and FM or Phone-based depending on the machine you choose) and an external battery pack that will add significant battery time on the court, and both have a cover that can protect the machine from debris and dust while in storage.
The Lobster also has the option of a Fast or Premium Charger which allow you to charge the unit more quickly.
Why a Ball Machine
Whichever model you choose, practice with a ball machine can improve your game. From developing muscle memory to being able to set up and practice against all kinds of shots, pros will tell you that drilling is vital to success. With a machine, you can drill on your schedule or work with a partner to develop good habits.
With so many great machines available, which one do you find suits your requirements? If you have experience with one or both, we'd love to hear your feedback on what makes these pickleball practice powerhouses handy around the courts.
To learn more about all of the models offered by both Tutor and Lobster, visit our Pickleball Training Machines page.