Is a pickleball machine worth your time and investment? Only you can answer that question, but I am here to give you the information you need to make that decision.
I enjoy working out and practicing things over and over whether I am with other people or by myself jamming to my favorite songs. If you are not that type of person and lean towards a more social player, I think you will get bored of a pickleball machine quickly. If you enjoy a good solo workout and you love drilling, then you will love having a ball machine.
You can see all the various models above that Sportstutor offers, and the prices depend on how they are configured. The Pickleball Tutor Plus starts at $1099.
I recommend going into the site and adjusting the options to see what the final price would be for you as it varies a lot depending on the options you add.
All right, enough of that let’s get into what I learned over my first month with the Pickleball Tutor Plus and check out the stats below.
Also Check out: Best Pickleball Practice Machines
Pickleball Tutor Plus Specs
|Ball Speed:||Up to 65 MPH|
|Ball Feed:||From every one second (for quick-reaction volleys) to every 6 seconds.|
|Ball Capacity:||110 Pickleballs (Indoor or Outdoor)|
|Features:||Smart Battery Charger – Fully charges the battery overnight and shuts off automatically to prevent over-charging.|
Shoot any type of shot including:
Pickleball Tutor Plus Review
The Pickleball Tutor Plus goes up to 65mph so you will have no issue with getting the speed you want.
The feed lets you go from 1 to 6 seconds giving you plenty of time to reset between shots. I did enjoy using the remote but at a $200 option, I could see not getting it as you have time to make it across the net in time to start hitting.
The first time I tried the machine out was at my house and I shot a ball over my house trying to adjust the power. Don’t let your kids use this unsupervised.
You can simulate serves, groundstrokes, dinks, lobs, drives, and 3rd shot drops easily with the Tutor Plus.
My first time using the Tutor Plus it took me 2-4 minutes to set up each new shot because I wasn’t used to adjusting the controls.
In my second session and onwards it was taking me about 30 seconds and let 4-6 balls go to program the shot I wanted. I was surprised by how easy it was to adjust the elevation, spin, and power to get the shots I wanted to practice.
Check out these drills from PrimeTime Pickleball for ideas on how to use the ball machine.
The expected battery life is four hours, and I had no issue with the battery lasting three hours or with performance. I couldn’t make it the full four hours because you get too good of a workout with this machine.
I think four hours is plenty of time for a ball machine and if you need more than that they offer a model you can plug in.
Drawbacks of the Pickleball Tutor Plus
Let’s talk about some of the issues I faced using the Pickleball Tutor Plus.
My first issue is with the handle.
The handle does not extend so I must wheel it while hunched over.
If you need to transport this machine long distances from your car you might need to figure out an alternative to wheeling it. At 34lbs I could carry it by the handle, but it is an awkward carry.
Other models do come with an extendable handle, and I hope they add that to this model in the future.
My second issue is the more power you use the more the feeds vary from shot to shot. For example, when I wanted to practice deep serve returns, I couldn’t find a feed that would consistently land in.
It seemed the depth could vary by 5 feet at times. Sometimes the feed would stay consistent and sometimes it would not. I could not figure out why it was doing this. I did talk to the manufacturer and this seems to be unavoidable due to inconsistencies with pickleballs.
I see all these issues as minor problems and did not detract much from my overall positive experience using the Pickleball Tutor Plus.
Using the machine to train dinks, volleys, serve returns, forehand rolls, backhand rolls, overheads, and anything else I could think of was valuable to me and I could see the practice transfer over to games. Adjusting the settings to get the shot you want to practice is easy to learn and intuitive.
I used a giant dustbin that I bought from Home Depot for $15. You could just as easily use the bag that your balls come in, but I think using the dustbin helps scoop them up faster.
I used Franklin X-40s and that seems to be the preferred ball machine ball as the Duras break easier under the pressure the ball machine puts on them. After using the ball machine for 20 hours I had zero balls break.
I recommend getting the Pickleball Tutor Plus if you find yourself wanting to drill at non-busy times in the day, you don’t mind drilling alone, and you want to improve your game through repetition. You can use the ball machine with more than one person, and I will link videos to show different drill ideas you can implement.