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Best Lobster Tennis Ball Machines [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

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Lobster is a tennis equipment brand that offers a wide variety of products, including their line of popular tennis ball machines. If you’re a tennis player looking to practice alone or otherwise develop your tennis skills, having a tennis ball machine can be extremely beneficial. 

In this Lobster tennis ball machine review, we’re going over our top picks from the Lobster line of tennis ball machines, along with reviews and comparisons to help you pick the best tennis ball machine for you.

The Best Lobster Tennis Ball Machines

Top Pick

Lobster Elite 2 Portable

(9.0)

Versatile midrange option, great for intermediate-level players

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Budget Option

Lobster Elite Liberty

(8.7)

Lobster’s basic offering, no-nonsense, great for beginners

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Premium Pick

Lobster Elite Phenom 2

(9.6)

Lobster’s commercial-grade premium offering that’s great for all player levels with full customization of drills

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Why Lobster?

Harry Giuditta founded Lobster in 1970. He bought a failing tennis ball machine manufacturer called Green Brook Developing Company and made major reforms to the company. He recalled all the ball machines Green Brook ever offered, redesigned, repaired and brought them back to their customers at the company’s expense. This started Lobster’s mission “to enrich the lives of our customers through [their] unparalleled quality sports equipment products and services.”

For over 40 years since then, Lobster is now one of the top tennis and pickleball equipment brands in the market today. They have managed to cement themselves as a staple in many tennis and pickleball courts today through their core values of honesty, integrity, discipline, vision, respect, and passion.

Lobster Tennis Ball Machine Reviews – Our Top Picks

Before we dive into our top picks and reviews of the Lobster tennis ball machines, let’s talk about their line of products. The naming convention can be a bit confusing because they are all named similarly. We’ll break it down for you.

As you may have noticed in the previous list, Lobster categorizes their product line into three: the Elite, Elite Grand, and Phenom.

For the individual products, you can notice that they have numbers in their product line: Elite Portable 1, 2, 3 then the Elite Grand 4 and 5.  Keep in mind that the next iteration of the product basically just has features that are built on top of the previous iteration; for example, the Elite Potable 2 just has more oscillation settings than the Elite Portable 1; the Elite Grand 5 LE has more pre-loaded drill features and oscillation settings than the Elite Grand 4; the Phenom 2 has more customizable settings than the Phenom 1. 

The numbered variation is also a great way to remember which tennis ball machines are more appropriate for each player’s skill level; the Elite Portable line is great for level 1.5 to level 3, the Elite Grand for levels 3.5-5 and the Phenom can be used across all player levels up to level 7 professionals.

Elite Liberty

Elite Liberty

  • (7.5) Feature Set
  • (9.5) Ease of Use
  • (9.5) Transportability
  • (8.5) Durability
  • (9.5) Reliability
  • (8.7) Overall
$
Ball Capacity 150
Weight 16 kg (35 lbs)
Size 21″ H x 21″ L x 14″ W
Battery Life 2-4 hours
Speed 20-80 mph
Feed Rate 2-10 seconds
Spin Topspin and backspin
Oscillation Random horiz
Control Panel, Remote control (sold separately)
Drills No
Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Great for beginners
Cons
  • Relatively long charge time
  • No programmable drills

The Elite Liberty is Lobster’s most basic tennis ball machine product offering. It can throw a top and backspin ball at 10-70 mph with a random horizontal oscillation. This is great for beginners that want to train to be more familiar with basic positions and strokes.

The Elite Liberty is also available on the OnCourt OffCourt store.

Elite 2 Portable

Lobster Elite 2 Portable

  • (9.0) Feature Set
  • (9.2) Ease of Use
  • (9.5) Transportability
  • (8.5) Durability
  • (9.0) Reliability
  • (9.0) Overall
$$
Ball Capacity 150 balls
Weight 19 kg (42 lbs)
Size 21″ H x 21″ L x 14″ W
Battery Life 4-8 hours
Speed 10-80 mph
Feed Rate 2-12 seconds
Spin Topspin and backspin
Oscillation Random horiz, random vert
Control Panel, Remote control (sold separately)
Drills No
Pros
  • Versatile functionality for beginners
  • Electric elevation setup
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Long charge time, no smart charger to protect from overcharging
  • No programmable drills
  • Remote sold separately

The Elite 2 Portable is a great tennis companion for mid-level players who want to work on having better strokes and ball familiarization. The Elite Two has triple oscillation which the Elite 1 does not have; this gives the opportunity to simulate matches to help you improve reaction time and agility.

Check out their Elite 2 Portable variation with the external battery pack and an AC/DC powered pack that is lighter than the variation with the battery packs.

The Elite 2 Portable is also available on the OnCourt OffCourt store.

Elite Grand 5 LE

Lobster Elite Grand 5 LE

  • (9.2) Feature Set
  • (9.5) Ease of Use
  • (10.0) Transportability
  • (9.5) Durability
  • (9.7) Reliability
  • (9.3) Overall
$$$
Ball Capacity 150
Weight 20 kg (44 lbs)
Size 29″ H x 21″ L x 15.5″ W
Battery Life 4-8 hours
Speed 30-80 mph
Feed Rate 2-12 seconds
Spin Topspin, backspin
Oscillation random horiz, random vert, fully random
Control Panel, remote control (sold separately), smartphone app
Drills 12 preloaded drills
Pros
  • Highly customizable drills that can be saved
  • Portable and foldable
  • Ability to fully randomize shots
Cons
  • Remote and phone compatibility come with additional price

The Lobster Elite Grand 5 LE is probably the most versatile mid-range Lobster product offering that is great for most player levels. The Grand 5 LE features a sophisticated 12 pre-programmed drills that can be highly customizable to fit your practice needs. The controls are also very user-friendly, allowing you to set adjustments according to player drill levels–Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You can set the Elite Grand 5 LE to an all random drill that mixes up the speed, trajectory, spin, and location of the shots to simulate actual gameplay; aside from that, you can have complete control with full customization features.

The Elite Grand 5 LE is also available on the OnCourt OffCourt store.

Elite Phenom 2

Lobster Elite Phenom 2

  • (9.8) Feature Set
  • (9.2) Ease of Use
  • (9.0) Transportability
  • (9.5) Durability
  • (10.0) Reliability
  • (9.6) Overall
$$$$
Ball Capacity 250
Weight 99 lbs (44 kg)
Size 32″ H x 25″ L x 50″ W
Battery Life None, AC/DC powered
Speed 35-80 mph
Feed Rate 2-9 seconds
Spin Topspin and backspin
Oscillation Random horiz, random vert, full-random
Control LCD panel, remote control, phone app
Drills 12 preprogrammed drills, full customization of drills
Pros
  • Great for all player levels
  • Full customization of drills
Cons
  • Remote control and phone compatibility come at an extra price
  • Heavier than most Lobster machines

The Lobster Elite Phenom 2 belongs to Lobster’s commercial-grade Phenom line meant to be used across all player levels. Lobster was able to create a fully-customizable ball machine with drills you can save aside from the preprogrammed drills that the Phenom 2 offers. It has complete random short, mid, deep horizontal oscillation and left, middle, right vertical oscillation for complete variety and randomization to simulate advanced level game play. 

The Elite Phenom 2 does come with a separate additional 20-function wireless remote control and additional iPhone remote control compatibility.

Spinshot vs Lobster

Spinshot is one of Lobster’s top competitors in the tennis ball machine market. 

Spinshot boasts their multifunctional, simple to use, robust construction, portable power, excellent customer service and support, and affordability. For our complete comparison and review guide of Spinshot tennis ball machines, check it out here.

The Spinshot Plus-2 is our top pick in our review of the best tennis ball machines. It has a high level of programmability, patented jam-prevention technology, and a convenient OLED screen for its control panel. It can also be controlled and customized through the Drill Maker app, which isn’t found on the Lobster products of the same price point. 

The Spinshot Lite is our budget pick for Spinshot, which can be a solid competitor against the Lobster Liberty, though the Liberty can hold more balls and has random horizontal oscillation.

Summary and Recommendations

Lobster has a wide variety of products you can choose that are appropriate for every player level. It’s a really great court partner with the amount of customizability and programmability their ball machines have especially when you’re practicing and playing by yourself.

The Elite Liberty and Elite 2 Portable are great for beginner- and intermediate-level players looking to improve their strokes and ball familiarization skills. The Elite Grand 5 LE and the Elite Phenom 2 are great to use for most player levels with the amount of customizability they offer. 

You can find the Lobster tennis ball machines for sale on Amazon or OnCourt OffCourt.

You might also check out our post on where to find used and refurbished tennis ball machines as well.

Post last updated on April 6, 2022

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