Lost in a sea of options, which pitching machine should you choose?
A quick search of online pitching machine retailers (like pitchingmachinesnow.com) will leave you feeling like you’ve gone through a whirlwind. There are too many options, too many reviews, and too many questions. Hopefully, the following tips will help guide you through the major points you should be considering.
- How long do you predict that you’ll need the machine?
- How many people will be using it?
- How fast do you want the ball to travel?
- Do you want it to be portable?
- Baseball? Softball? Combo?
- Arm style? Wheel style? Non-electric?
How long will you need the pitching machine? How many will use it?
This is important. If you have an eight-year-old who is just beginning baseball, you may want to hold off on the $1,000 to $3,000 JUGS Jr. However, if you have multiple children or a college bound baller, a top of the line pitching machine is not a poor choice. Look for machines with five-year warranties or more to ensure quality.
How fast do you want the ball to travel?
For young children, 40 or 50 mph is fast enough.
For high school and beyond, it needs to travel at least 75 mph.
Do you want it to be portable?
It seems like the obvious answer would be yes to a portable pitching machine, but stationary pitching machines are more durable and hold more balls at one time.
Baseball? Softball? Combo?
Again, this has to do with who will be using the machine, but it is important to note that there are other ball options.
- Mini balls travel faster and are meant to increase hand and eye coordination
- Lite balls are great for young kids or to get perfect curve balls
- Pitching machine balls are made for improved accuracy
- Actual regulation game balls are not recommended for use in a pitching machine. They can break the machine even if the machine is labelled for game ball use. If you must use them, make sure they are high quality.
Arm style? Wheel style? Non-electric?
Arm style machines are stationary and hold many baseballs. These pitching machines are typically for baseball teams (You may have heard them called an Iron Mike pitching machine).
Wheel style is the most popular type of pitching machine. They come in one- to four-wheel versions, the later of which can launch practically any throw for a batter in MLB.
Non-electric pitching machines use either compressed air and a rechargeable batter or are spring-loaded. The obvious benefit being that they require no electricity so can be used anywhere.
These tips should get you started on your journey. Happy hunting!