Specs & Overview
Ball machines are more sophisticated than ever, and the Spinfire Pro 2 offers excellent versatility for such a compact machine. Here is a table outlining key specifications.
*With lithium battery
**Optional 5-year available
For added context and information, I discuss each of these in greater detail below.
Speed (20-80 mph)
If you’re buying a ball machine, the speed it can feed is likely a consideration. Intermediate and advanced players will want to increase the speed to replicate the type of heavy ball they’re used to seeing from an opponent while having the flexibility to tone it down. For example, to work on finesse shots at the net.
However, if you’re learning, you’ll want the ability to reduce the speed to make it easier to field balls. On the high end, eighty miles per hour is fast. If you’re concerned that it’s not fast enough, I think you’ll be more than satisfied with the pace it can bring. On the lower end, twenty miles per hour is plenty slow, even for younger kids.
Spin (10 levels)
Spin is useful for replicating the types of shots you’ll see from an opponent in competition while practicing. The Spinfire Pro 2 offers ten levels of topspin and backspin, giving you greater flexibility to customize how the machine delivers balls to you.
Once again, these settings are more than sufficient. Set the spin level lower to replicate a slice shot or increase it to bring heavy topspin that won’t disappoint on either end of the spectrum.
Feed Rate (2-15 seconds)
The feed rate refers to the number of seconds that pass between balls when the machine is feeding. Faster feed rates are fantastic for replicating a high-intensity match and increasing your heart rate for an excellent workout.
Lower feed rates, on the other hand, provide you with time to reset between shots and are ideal for practicing. I often use lower feed rates in conjunction with cones where I must complete a footwork drill between shots for a more intense workout.
Elevation up to 60°
Changing the elevation enables the machine to feed short balls that fly just over the net as you might do for practicing an approach shot or higher balls that replicate a lob when hitting overheads. Once again, the highest and lowest settings are more than sufficient.
The Spinfire Pro 2’s hopper can fit up to 150 tennis balls, which is an ideal range and more than enough balls to prevent you from picking up too many times during a session on the court.
I usually fill it up halfway because that’s roughly the number of balls that fits most standard ball hoppers, and I find that plenty sufficient.
The Spinfire Pro 2 has three power options: battery, plug-in, and battery + plug-in. For me, battery power was essential.
Furthermore, if you opt for a battery option, you can choose between an internal or external battery. For my first machine, I opted for an external battery so that it was easier to carry up and down a flight of stairs, but I changed it on my second machine because the newer lithium batteries are lighter.
The external battery is also an excellent option if you want to keep your ball machine in the trunk of your car and only bring your battery into the house, so you don’t have to lug it back and forth.
According to Spinfire, the battery will get you three to eight hours of play. When my battery was new, I never pushed the machine past four hours, and the battery always held up.
Unfortunately, batteries don’t last forever, so as time passes, expect play time to decline. I didn’t notice any change for the first year and a half, but once I hit that mark, my battery wouldn’t last much longer than two hours, so I replaced it around the two-year mark.
Spinfire offers a lithium battery with better play time performance and shorter charge times. If you’re an instructor who needs more life out of your battery, then it’s an excellent investment.
The Spinfire Pro 2’s weight varies depending on your selected power option. Here are the measurements to keep in mind:
- Machine with external battery: 40 lbs (18 kg)
- Machine without battery, plug in: 40 lbs (18 kg)
- Machine with internal SLA battery: 53 lbs (24 kg)
- Machine with internal lithium battery: 47 lbs (21 kg)
- External SLA battery: 13 lbs (6 kg)
- External lithium battery: 7 lbs (3 kg)
- Plastic ball hopper: 4 lbs (1.8 kg)
If weight concerns you, I’d encourage you to opt for the external battery, which will reduce how much you have to lift to get it in and out of a car. I don’t expect most players to struggle with the 47 lb weight because the machine is compact, and handles make lifting relatively easy, but you’ll have to go with your instinct.
As a bonus, the hopper comes off and flips upside down on the machine for transport. It weighs 4 lbs (1.8 kg), so you can take it off to shed a little extra weight when lifting.
There are two batteries available to you when purchasing, sealed lead acid (SLA) and lithium. If you buy the SLA battery, you can buy a standard or fast charger. Here are the charging times:
- Standard SLA charger: 11 hours
- Fast SLA charger: 5 hours
If you opt for the lithium battery, you’ll automatically get a fast charger, which cuts charging time to 5 hours, which is excellent considering it’s a longer-lasting battery.
If you opt for the SLA battery, the standard charger is plenty sufficient as long as you plug the battery in when you get home, as it will charge with plenty of time to spare overnight. However, if you teach or buy the machine for a club, you may find that the fast charger is beneficial for speedier charging between uses.
The Spinfire Pro 2’s remote is excellent, and its “featherweight” description is accurate. Here are its specs:
- Height: 3.43 in (87 mm)
- Width: 1.97 in (50 mm)
- Thickness: 7 mm
- Weight: 24 g
It’s barely noticeable in your pocket while playing, comes with a battery, has excellent range, and is easy and quick to use.
Warranty (2 or 5 years)
The Spinfire Pro 2 comes with a two-year warranty, but you can extend it up to 5-years for an additional $199.
The SLA batteries don’t last as long, so under both warranties, this battery is only covered for six months. Meanwhile, Spinfire covers the lithium battery for the entire warranty length, which is a nice bonus.
Keep in mind that a replacement SLA battery costs $89, so although you’re paying a premium for the lithium battery, you can expect fewer issues. Plus, it lasts longer, charges faster, and you get the added benefit of the full warranty period.
Any premium ball machine like the Spinfire Pro 2 is a sizeable purchase, so the warranties are a bonus to protect your investment. For reference, I purchased the extended warranty, but I haven’t had a single issue with mine since buying it, so that’s worth keeping in mind.