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Whether you are trying to improve your swing as a competitor, for fun or are looking to nurture your child’s baseball enthusiasm, owning a pitching machine is infinitely useful.
Pitching machines mimic the conditions of a real-life pitcher consistently throwing fast pitches that overtime beef up your ability to knock it out of the park, so to speak.
There are a wide variety of pitching machines out there, each boasting unique features and benefits. Because of that, we have compiled a selection of the top pitching machines available right now.
This guide contains comprehensive reviews of pitching machines as well as a detailed buyer’s guide that should help you choose the right one for you.
Best Pitching Machines
|Junior Hack Attack Baseball||Jugs BP1 Baseball/Softball||Heater Sports Baseball|
|Pitch Speeds:||Up to 70 mph||15-70 mph||15-60 mph|
|Pitch Types:||Fastballs, risers, drops, screwballs||Underhand, overhand||Fastballs, grounders, pop flies|
|Weight:||100 Pounds||75 Pounds||15 Pounds|
Here is our list of seven pitching machines. They vary in their unique features, construction, speed and pitching mechanism. You’ll find that they each have something distinct to offer.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Pitching Machines For 2021
- Junior Hack Attack Baseball Pitching Machine
- Jugs BP1 Baseball/Softball Combo Pitching Machine
- Heater Sports Baseball Pitching Machine
- First Pitch Baseline Pitching Machine
- Louisville Slugger Black Flame Pitching Machine
- HEATER SPORTS Two Wheel Baseball Pitching Machine
- Louisville Slugger Triple Flame Hand Held Pitching Machine
Pitching Machine Reviews
- Pitch Speeds: 70 mph
- Pitch Types: Fastballs, risers, drops, right and left-handed screwballs
- Throwing Mechanism: Three-wheel
- Weight: 100lbs
If you are looking for a strong, but mobile pitching machine, the Junior Hack Attack is great option for you.
Besides offering a wide selection of pitches ranging from risers to fastballs, the Junior Hack Attack also offers portability.
Recommended for youths all the way up to high school age, this may be the best pitching machine for little league players.
Sitting on a three-wheel mechanism, the throwing head is powerful and can easily pivot in any direction for pop-ups and fly balls.
It is small enough to fit in the back seat or trunk and weighing in at 145 pounds without legs and 152 pounds with legs, it may take an extra set up hands to safely transport it.
Note: If you play softball, check out the Junior Hack Attack Softball Pitching Machine.
- Pitch Speeds: 15-70 mph
- Pitch Types: Underhand, overhand
- Throwing Mechanism: Tire
- Weight: 75lbs
This diverse pitching machine is great for practicing under the most realistic conditions possible.
Capable of overhand and overhand pitches at variable speeds up to 70 mph, this pitching machine is great for softball and baseball players.
Standing at a realistic typical pitching height, this machine is good for replicated the height and speed that a real pitcher would be coming at you with.
There is a digital display showing you the speed and it is easily adjustable. This pitching machine is also lightweight and has removable legs so transporting it is not difficult.
You can use 11” or 12” softballs and a variety of baseballs and polyballs with this machine. Smooth, 360 degree swiveling lets you recreate in game conditions for pop flys and groundballs.
- Pitch Speeds: 15-60 mph
- Pitch Types: Fastballs, grounders, pop flies
- Throwing Mechanism: Mechanical
- Weight: 15lbs
This small, plug-in or battery-operated pitching machine is simple and effective.
Featuring a twelve-ball spiral ball feeding system, you can be ready to crush another ball every eight seconds until it is empty.
It is easy to load and works with real baseballs, leather or otherwise.
The pitching machine itself is actually compatible with Heater’s batting cage, but on its own it is very effective and convenient.
You can plug this one straight into an outlet and start swinging, or you can get several hours of playtime with the battery pack. Both options are consistent and powerful.
The Heater Base Hit has accurate speed control and is a great option for children or teenagers of any amount of experience.
Being so lightweight, it is also highly portable and easy to set up. This is a great pitching machine for beginners or young players.
- Pitch Speeds: Up to 70 mph
- Pitch Types: Overhand, underhand, groundballs
- Throwing Mechanism: Tire
- Weight: 50lbs
This diverse, lightweight pitching machine is great for novice or budget baseball or softball players.
With adjustable pitching speeds topping off at 70 mph for baseballs and 60 mph for softballs, the First Pitch Baseline offers a well-rounded practicing tool.
The tire mechanism works well and feeds the ball with satisfying and realistic momentum. Capping out at 70 mph, the First Pitch Baseline can really pack a punch and get you ready for some hard throwing pitchers.
The adjustable, capped steel legs are sturdy and work well on all surfaces, indoor or out. The wielded steel frame body construction squeezes a lot of strength and sturdiness out of each of its 50 pounds.
For such a light pitching machine, it is quite strong. What also makes this one of the best pitching machines is that it works with a wide variety of balls.
You can load the First Pitch Baseline with baseballs or softballs that are dimpled or leather. You can fit softballs that are 11” or 12” and they work great especially at a slightly slower pitch speed.
- Pitch Speeds: Up to 50 mph
- Pitch Types: Ground balls, flyballs, straight pitches
- Throwing Mechanism: Mechanical
- Weight: 25lbs
Leave it to Louisville Slugger to make such a well-rounded, powerful pitching machine.
The Black Flame is Louisville Slugger’s mechanical baseball and softball pitching machine. Also, it is just as portable as it is good at recreating realistic pitching conditions.
Working perfectly with everything from plastic, dimpled, practice, hard and softballs, this machine is great for all levels of experience.
Whether you are slowly trying to bring yourself up to higher speeds using plastic or dimpled balls or trying to crush fast straight pitches to improve your game, this pitching machine is solid.
It has interchangeable parts that allow you to tweak the pitch type and it is easy to switch quickly during a practice session.
With a very generous price tag and varied features, this is without a doubt one of the best pitching machines. It lives up to its name.
- Pitch Speeds: 15-75 mph
- Pitch Types: Fast balls, curve balls, sliders
- Throwing Mechanism: Two-wheel
- Weight: 75lbs
This pitching machine is great for any practice session and is ideal for all ages, kids to adults.
Besides having an effortless two-knob speed knob control, the Heater Sports Deuce has a twelve ball loading capacity.
This makes this pitching machine perfect for a varied and easy practice session.
If you so choose, every ten seconds you can expect a ball to be pitched at you at speeds from 15-75 mph.
With pitch types including curveballs and sliders, the Heater Sports Deuce is great for practicing challenging pitches and adapting your swing to suit them.
The pitch height is also adjustable and allows anyone eight or older to take advantage of the strong and precise pitches this machine has to throw.
You can simply plug this machine into a wall or attach a third-party battery pack to it for hours of practice time.
- Pitch Speeds: 18-45 mph (hard balls), 18-60 mph (plastic balls)
- Pitch Types: Strikes, flyballs, grounders
- Throwing Mechanism: Mechanical
- Weight: 23lbs
The Louisville Slugger Triple Flame handheld pitching machine is just as the name suggests, small, light and portable.
Entirely manual, the triple flame requires no outlet or batteries whatsoever. This allows for a quick time between set up and play.
Weighing only a mere 23 pounds, this pitching machine can easily be taken on the go. Also, it works just as well in a cage as it does outdoors.
Each ball has to be loaded to be pitched individually but set up and loading is easy.
This is a great starter pitching machine but works well for all ages. It works just as well for softball giving a realistic 12 inch arch.
Pitching Machine Comparison Table
|Pitching Machines||Pitch Speeds||Pitch Types||Throwing Mechanism||Weight||Rating|
|Junior Hack Attack Softball Pitching||70 mph||Fastballs, risers, drops, right and left-handed screwballs||Three-wheel||100lbs||4.8 / 5.0|
|Jugs BP1 Baseball/Softball Combo Pitching||15-70 mph||Underhand, overhand||Tire||75lbs||5.0 / 5.0|
|Heater Sports Baseball Pitching||15-60 mph||Fastballs, grounders, pop flies||Mechanical||15lbs||3.8 / 5.0|
|First Pitch Baseline Pitching||Up to 70 mph||Overhand, underhand, groundballs||Tire||50lbs||4.0 / 5.0|
|Louisville Slugger Black Flame Pitching||Up to 50 mph||Ground balls, flyballs, straight pitches||Mechanical||25lbs||4.5 / 5.0|
|HEATER SPORTS Deuce 75 MPH||15-75 mph||Fast balls, curve balls, sliders||Two-wheel||75lbs||3.4 / 5.0|
|Louisville Slugger Triple Flame||18-60mph||Strikes, flyballs, grounders||Mechanical||23lbs||4.4 / 5.0|
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Pitching Machine
With our selection of the best pitching machines in mind, you can see that there are many things that make them unique and good.
With that in mind, there are several things to look out for specifically when looking for a pitching machine.
You will find that some of these pitching machines are geared towards little leaguers, teenagers, adults or all ages.
They feature different pitch types, heights and speeds that offer a unique and challenging addition to your practice routine.
The first thing that may stand out to your eyes when reading the specs of a pitching machine is the pitching speed.
Depending on your experience level and desired pitching conditions whether they be for baseball or softball, pitching speed can be very important.
Many pitching machines have variable speeds that are knob-adjusted.
Some of the options in the above reviews even feature digital displays of the speed making it even easier for the user.
Most of our selection of the best topped out at 60 mph, with a few beasts reaching up to 70 mph.
If the pitching machine you are looking at works with softballs as well, then being able to adjust to a slower pitching speed will also come in handy.
Check to see the speed range and see what customers have to say about adjusting it.
Another key feature to look for is just exactly what kind of pitches this machine is going to throw.
Some pitching machines will only offer straight pitches. However, you will find that many provide a variety of pitches from sliders and curveballs to grounders and fastballs.
The kinds of pitches the machine in question can throw at you are very important. Pitching types will determine how much you can get out of a batting session.
If you want a well balanced and varied pitching machine, you are more than likely going to need a machine that throws challenging and varied pitches.
I have found that pitching machines that two to three wheel based offer a wide variety of pitches. However, our selection of the best pitching machines above features machines of all kinds of pitching mechanisms that can throw many kinds of pitches.
The mechanism by which your pitching machine launches the balls at you makes a difference in the feel and performance of it.
Wheel or tire-based machines (circular machines) work by feeding the ball through the wheels and pitching at you.
Often, circular mechanism machines are great for adjustable pitch variety. Mechanical mechanism pitching machines are usually powered by an arm action machine.
Arm action pitches may be more desirable if you want to focus on overhand straight on pitches that are more akin to a pitch coming off of the mound.
While it is mostly circular machine pitching machines that offer a wide variety of pitches, particularly two to three-wheel machines, mechanical mechanisms can also offer several options and speeds.
You will find great pitching machine options no matter what the pitching mechanism it utilizes is.
Depending on your situation and where you intend to plant your pitching machine down, the power supply is an important thing to consider.
Pitch machines differ in their power needs with some working by simply plugging into the wall, using battery packs or even being generator powered.
Power is not even an issue at all for some pitching machines. Manual pitching machines are the most simple option out there even down to not needing any power as the name would suggest.
There are so many incredible pitching machines out there. Before you go and buy the one that has your eye, you need to check what the recommended age range for it is.
Many of the pitching machines that we reviewed above have a wide age range, but some are recommended solely for children to teens.
The age range is often reflected in the pitching machine itself by the pitching height, speed and variety of pitches.
You will notice, however, that the “all ages” pitching machines are much more adjustable. These feature the variety that an adult only pitching machine may have.
If you are looking for a pitching machine for a little leaguer looking to improve their game or simply have fun, don’t worry, you can find some amazing and well-rounded young player pitching machines.
We even reviewed some of the best pitching machines for little league players above.
Ease of Use
While most pitching machines are very easily to assemble and require little maintenance, some are easier to use than others.
This can of course depend on your preferences and whether or not you are alone in your batting session.
You will find that some pitching machines let you load several balls at a time. Often up to 12, that are then pitches on a cycle of usually 5-10 seconds.
This is great for having a nice continuous run without having to reload a ball or have your friend load it for you.
Manual pitching machines on the other hand to need to be loaded manually. However they typically are easy to load.
If you are going to do batting sessions with other people you can always have a friend load it for you as to not break up the practice.
If you are going to be practicing alone, a pitching machine that features a ball feeder is worth the extra couple bucks it may add to the price.
One of the reasons you may be looking to get your own pitching machine is so that you can move it from cage to field, and field to home.
It’s nice not having to go out to the local batting cages to use a pitching machine and even better having one that you can take with you as you please.
The size and weight of a pitching machine is ultimately what determines how mobile it is.
Most of the above reviewed pitching machines have removable legs or are at least light enough to lift alone or with an extra set of hands.
More compact pitching machines easily fit in the trunk or back seat of most cars.
Some of the more basic manual pitching machines are small in frame and much lighter than a bigger tire or mechanical pitching machine.
If you want to take your pitching machine on the go, pay attention to its weight, height and how easily it could break down to be transported.
Remember that power plays into portability. If the pitching machine requires a plug in or a generator, that may limit how mobile it can be.
Many pitching machines that are plug-in powered can also alternatively be powered by battery packs that provide hours of use. Check to see how it is powered and if it is worth lugging around.
With all of the bells, whistles and unique features that these best pitching machines have to offer, it is tough to determine which of them is best reflected in the price tag.
You will find that with some of the more expensive pitching machines, you will be afforded luxuries like a ball feeding mechanism with automatic pitching or even digital speed displays.
Those features definitely add convenience and ease of use to the experience, but often times they do hold slightly higher price tags.
Higher end pitching machines also usually have a wider pitch type variety and wider range of pitching speed.
However, you will no doubt be able to find less costly pitching machines that provide a variety of pitch types and impressive speed for a reasonable cost.
Often times, slightly cheaper pitching machines will have manual loading and maybe a slightly lower maximum pitching speed.
Ultimately, you should have no problem finding a high-quality pitching machine within your budget, high or low.
What Kind Of Balls It Can Pitch
Not all pitching machines are compatible with all types of balls. Some pitching machines do not handle real leather baseballs well, and you may need to use plastic or dimpled.
It is important to read the compatibility of the pitching machine before deciding to purchase it. If it is a must for you that it can handle real baseballs or softballs, then make sure that it can.
Not all pitching machines are compatible with softballs either.
If you want to be able to switch between baseballs and softballs, check to see if it can handle 11- or 12-inch softballs.
Some pitching machine manufacturers also produce their own balls that are optimal to use with their specific pitching machine.
If that is the case, it is worth checking out. It is important to use the best ball for the best machine.
FAQs About Pitching Machines
Q: Can a pitching machine throw a curveball?
A: Yes, a pitching machine can throw a curveball but not all pitching machines can. However, there are many that can be adjusted and set to throw curveballs.
Check the specifications of the particular pitching machine in question and see if it can throw you a mean curveball.
Q: How fast do pitching machines throw?
A: Pitching machines can pitch balls in a wide range of speeds.
Of the pitching machines reviewed above, you will find that they top out between 50 and 75 mph. However these machines can pitch as slow as 10 mph.
Check the specifications to see if there are specific balls that will actually be pitched faster with the pitching machine, as some manufacturers will indicate if that is the case.
Q: How does a pitching machine work?
A: A pitching machine can work by many different methods, but the most common that you will see are arm action machines and circular wheel or tire machines.
They are both effective and accurate but are unique from one another and offer slightly different experiences.
Arm action pitching machines, for example, act well replicates an actual pitcher’s overhands throw and even releases the ball from the end of the arm just like a pitcher would.
This is good for getting a close feel to what a pitcher will be throwing your way from the mound.
Circular wheel pitching machines on the other hand, works by feeding a ball through one to three spinning wheels before pitching at the batter.
Two or three wheel pitching machines especially are good for adjusting to several pitch types.
It is important to consider the factors stated in the buyer’s guide before you make a decision.
Even if your only options are from the choices above, you have several incredible options offering their own unique benefits.
Remember to most importantly consider your own practice needs as well as the age requirement.
For adults with children, an all ages pitching machine is an excellent choice. Eventually they will be able to use the same machine as their parents if they so choose.
Always exercise caution and safety practices while using a pitching machine.
If you are using a pitching machine that features a ball feeding system set on a timer, remember that a ball will possibly be pitched at you at high speeds in a matter of seconds and to not put yourself in its path.
More than likely, you will get more use out of a pitching machine that stands at the height that a real life, flesh and blood pitcher would be pitching from on a mound.
However, height adjustment is also important when it comes to little league pitching machines. As kids grow fast, you don’t want to have to buy a new pitching machine each time they grow.
Of course, no pitching machine is worth buying if it is not within your budget.
No matter what your budget is, you should be able to find the perfect pitching machine for you. One that offers a varied, challenging and fun experience.
Remember to refer to the guide and consider your own needs, style and budget.
Also, refer to our reviews as well as user reviewers and see what other baseball and softball players have to say about how the pitching machine in question performs.
We have no doubt you will be able to find the right one for yourself. You deserve the best pitching machine you can find!
How We Researched
To come up with the top pitching machines we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Target, Dicks Sporting Goods and Big 5 Sporting Goods along with our own personal experience.
We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used Fakespot.com to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.
With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options for the price. The staff authors have extensive experience with a variety of outdoor sports like paintball, roller skating, baseball and golf.
To help narrow down the selection they used their personal experience along with recommendations from instructors and retailers.
After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.