Pickleball machines are great for practicing your pickleball game. Just like tennis ball machines, pickleball machines throw balls, either randomly or according to defined settings, so that pickleball players can practice a range of shots and build their skill level. With many different pickleball machines on the market, the Pickleball Tutor Machine is a hands-down favorite.
Still, just because some pickleball players like the Tutor machines, you still want to do your research before deciding. Here are all the details you need to know if the Pickleball Tutor is on your list of possibilities.
About The Pickleball Tutor Plus Machine
The Pickleball Tutor machine can be your best friend on the pickleball court. It offers ease of portability, adjustable ball speed, spin, and elevation for a customizable practice session, plus features like the start-up time delay that lets you get to the other side of the net before balls begin shooting at you. From beginners to pros, the Pickleball Tutor is an excellent investment.
If you’ve read Pickleball Tutor review after review but are still left with questions, we have all the details covered, from the ball feed speed, to how to practice quick reaction volleys with the Tutor, along with all the features and tips you want you to know.
Tutor Plus Pickleball Machine Features
The top speed with the Tutor Pickleball Plus is 60mph, which is plenty fast enough to practice various shots. This top speed is also right on par with what you’ll find with other top pickleball machines that are currently in the same category on the market.
If you want a machine that shoots out balls a little faster, the Tutor Spin reaches the top throwing speed of 65mph.
The Plus model of the Tutor pickleball family has a ball hopper that holds up to 110 pickleball balls. This machine will hold and function with both indoor and outdoor pickleballs, although you will want to quickly clean off any debris from outdoor pickleballs, as the debris, dirt, and dust can quickly gum up the inside of the machine.
The ball hopper opens to accommodate the balls and closes back up when you’re done playing. This is a nice feature that helps to keep the hopper and the inside of the machine clean.
The Pickleball Tutor is on the lower end of ball capacity compared to other pickleball practice machines. You want to make sure to not load too many balls into the hopper, or else they’ll spill out onto the court during play rather than making their way into the ball feed. In contrast, the Pickleball Tutor Spin has a ball capacity of 125 pickleball balls.
Types Of Serves
With the Pickleball Tutor, you can practice any type of shot. This includes forehand and backhand shots, groundstrokes, drives, dinks, and lobs. Adjustments on the control panel allow you to control features like elevation, oscillation, spin, interval, and speed with manual knob control.
Shot Interval Seconds
Speed can be adjusted to meet your skill level or practice goals with this ball machine. The Pickleball Tutor can be set so that balls begin shooting every ten seconds for slower-paced practice or every second for practicing hitting quick reaction volleys.
This machine also features a start-up time delay, which gives you enough time to get to the other side of the net before balls begin coming at you.
The Pickleball Tutor is one of the oscillating machines with an easy-to-use oscillator switch on the control panel. With a single oscillator switch, you can control whether the oscillation is on or off and machine oscillation type, including random oscillation. Since this is one of the oscillating machines, you can also choose the 2-Line upgrade, which enables the ball feed to shoot balls at two separate preset court locations.
The control panel on the Pickleball Tutor features a manual knob control where you can control the degree of topspin or backspin when the balls begin shooting from the ball feed. You can also choose the flat setting on the ball machine, which enables throws with zero spins.
The Plus model of the Pickleball tutor features a manual elevation control, which is important for helping to set the ball trajectory. You can also order an upgrade with the model for the electronic elevation feature. With the electronic elevation feature, a simple switch is used for more precise control than the manually adjustable base feature.
The base model of the Pickleball Tutor is one of their battery-operated models. It features a built-in battery that offers up to four hours of playing time per charge. If you’d prefer an AC-powered model, you can request that feature when you order your machine for a small additional charge. The AC model works off of an external AC power supply and is sold as AC-powered only – meaning it isn’t both an AC and battery-powered model.
The AC-powered model is a good choice if you’re certain you’ll be using a ball machine somewhere with a reliable power source (don’t forget the extension cord!). An external AC power supply will supply more playtime than battery-powered models that need to be recharged after a certain length of play. Some battery-powered models barely squeak out up to three hours of playing time, so this is an excellent feature to have.
However, if you play and practice mostly outdoors where there might not be a reliable power source, going for a model with a built-in battery is a better strategy.
The Pickleball Tutor has a built-in battery that lasts up to four hours between charges. Even for a serious player, four hours of playing time before needing to recharge is sufficient. With the Pickleball Tutor, you can also choose to add the optional external battery pack. The external battery pack works by attaching to the machine’s charging deck and offers 4-6 hours of additional playing time compared to the standard 4 hours of the base battery-powered models.
The external battery pack works only with the Pickleball Tutor battery-operated models. The external battery pack weighs about 12 lbs and comes with a handy carrying case for easy portability.
The Pickleball Tutor battery-powered models also come with a smart battery charger to prevent over-charging and lengthen the lifespan of the battery and your machine. It suggested that you charge the battery overnight.
The Pickleball Tutor base model doesn’t come with remote control. However, there is an option to add a remote feature that’s also wireless. This is a nice add-on if you’re practicing a variety of shots and want to adjust the machine without constantly stopping and making your way across to the other side of the net to make the adjustments.
Battery-operated models of the Pickleball Tutor weigh 34lbs. Keep in mind that if you use the external battery, that adds an extra 12lbs to the moving weight of the machine. The machine and the external battery can be moved separately if necessary for transport in and out of your vehicle or in and out of storage.
Batteries can add some weight to a machine, so it’s no surprise that the AC-powered Pickleball Tutor is lighter. The AC-powered model weighs in at 27lbs.
For its size and weight, the Pickleball Tutor is a nicely portable machine. The machine features built-in 3-inch caster wheels and an attached handle. Once the ball hopper is closed, the Pickleball Tutor is fairly compact compared to other machines.
The family of Tutor pickleball machines also offers the Tutor Mini, which is a smaller version of the Pickleball Plus. It weighs about 10lbs less than the Plus and is several inches smaller in all dimensions of measurement.
The warranty is an important point to consider. The Pickleball Tutor comes with a three-year warranty that covers all parts. Other pickleball ball machines, like the Simon X, offer a similar three-year warranty but cover the throw wheels for the life of your machine. The Lobster also has a similar warranty, but the battery and throw wheels are covered for a shorter duration of time.
Eventually, your new Tutor machine won’t be new anymore, so knowing what parts are covered under warranty and for how long is important. This is especially true considering that a pickleball ball machine is a pricey investment.
The Pickleball Tutor Plus pickleball machine comes with loads of features, but they do also offer a few optional features that may catch your eye. When you order your Tutor Plus, you can request the following features (must be requested at the time of order and can’t be added on after purchase).
This is a great feature if you’re looking for more athletic practice or you plan on sharing the machine with another player at the same time. With the 2-line feature, the machine automatically shoots balls at two preset court positions. This optional feature allows you to practice more complex shots and maneuvers, including alternating forehand and backhand shots.
Wireless Remote Control
You can request a two-button wireless remote to be added to your Tutor Plus machine packages. The wireless remote control is a handy feature because it allows you to control aspects of your practice, including the side to side position that the balls are thrown at, and the remote control can also start or stop ball delivery. This is super handy if you need to stop practice for a few seconds for any reason.
The standard Tutor Plus machine features manual elevation control, where you can adjust the ball trajectory by turning a knob on the control panel. The optional electronic elevation feature allows you to instead control the trajectory using a simple electronic switch. If you’re getting good use out of your pickleball machine, this is a comfort feature that’s worth having.
Each of these features will add approximately $100-$200 to the bottom line purchase of your Tutor machine (pricing subject to change). Adding all of the above optional features will increase your purchase price by about $500.
Pickleball Tutor Spin
There are several different machines in the Tutor Pickleball line. In addition to the Tutor Plus, the Pickleball Tutor Spin is another popular model. There Tutor Plus and Spin both share many common features, including a great top speed of 60-65mph, ample ball capacity, adjustable ball speed, time delay, rechargeable battery with a smart battery charger, and random oscillation.
What sets the Tutor Spin apart from the Tutor Plus is that the Pickleball Tutor Spin has an adjustable spin feature. Depending on the goals of your practice session, you can adjust the machine to have either zero spin or left to right sidespin from several feet.
The Pickleball Tutor Spin is also about 5lbs lighter than the Tutor Plus, weighing in at just under 30lbs. This might not seem like a huge deal, but if you spend a lot of time lugging your machine around the court.
Pickleball Tutor Plus Ultra Machine
The Pickleball Tutor family offers a line of Plus Ultra and Spin Ultra machines that come with features that more advanced players and professional tournament players will appreciate.
The Plus Ultra includes settings for four preset shots. These include a Lob, Straight Dink, Crosscourt Dink, and a 3rd Shot Drop. To further enhance this feature, you can customize any of these shots so that they come at you with a gentle toss or more aggressively. You can also take advantage of the adjustable arc on each shot with elevation control. Any modified settings that you program into the machine will be stored for future practice. The Plus Ultra also features two preset drills, which are also customizable.
The electronic elevation is included with the Plus Ultra, along with an electronic bar graph display that allows you to visually see the elevation setting. There’s also the start-up time delay, so you have ample time to get to the other side of the net before balls begin coming through the ball feed.
On the Plus Ultra, random oscillation and the 2-Line oscillation features come standard.
Caring for Your Pickleball Tutor Machine
To extend the life of your Pickleball Tutor machine, proper care is essential. The Pickleball Tutor is easy to set up, operate, and care for. When you receive your new machine, you’ll also receive an owner’s operation manual that covers all of the basics. Here are a few of the main points covered in the manual.
Before You Use Your Pickleball Tutor Machine
The battery in your machine should be fully charged before the first time you turn the machine on. It’s recommended that you charge the battery overnight for it to receive a full charge. The Pickleball Tutor comes with a smart battery charger, so you don’t have to worry about over-charging.
The first time that you use your machine, make sure you go through the few simple steps to set up the start-up time delay, along with setting the elevation and oscillation to your preferred levels.
Cleaning Your Machine
The machine requires little maintenance, but you will want to take some time to clean the hopper and throw wheels on a regular basis. Pickleballs can leave behind a waxy coating on the wheels, along with debris that is picked up from the balls after they land on the ground – especially if you play outdoors.
On the Pickleball tutor, the ball hopper opens and closes, which is nice because there’s less debris that falls into the machine when not in use. Still, each time the hopper is empty, you should take the opportunity to wipe it out real quick and make sure it’s free of any major debris.
To clean the ball throws, make sure that the machine is off. Never attempt to clean the throw wheels while the machine is running. A sandpaper sponge will work to remove the film and grit that accumulates on the wheel.
Place your hand inside the ball ejection hole, find one of the wheels, and rub the sandpaper sponge around it several times. If you notice that the wheels are distorted or grooved, this is an indication that they need to be replaced.
Storage and Battery Life
Your machine should be stored in a cool, dry place. Even if you’re not using the machine for an extended period of time, you want to go in and charge the battery every couple of weeks. If you’re able to keep the battery charging while in storage, that’s a preferable solution since it’s impossible to overcharge the battery.
Letting the battery drain and stay low (as is the case when you let it sit too long without charging) can damage the battery to the point that it no longer holds a charge.
Is a pickleball machine worth it?
If you’re serious about the sport of pickleball, a practice machine can be a worthy investment. You might also want to consider if you play more at home on your own court or if you perhaps practice at a local center that already has pickleball practice machines for you to use. Most machines cost in the range of $700 to $1200, so you also want to take your budget into consideration.
What is a Pickleball Tutor?
The Pickleball Tutor is a line of pickleball practice machines designed to help you practice and improve your pickleball game. Depending on your skill level and devotion to the sport, there are several models to consider. The Pickleball Tutor model that is most popular is the Plus, but the Pickleball Tutor Spin is also a popular choice.
Can a tennis ball machine be used for pickleball?
No, it’s not recommended to use a tennis ball machine in place of a pickleball ball machine. The balls are similar but slightly different in size, not to mention that they’re made of different materials. Attempting to use one type of machine in place of the other will likely shorten the life of your practice machine, along with causing it to perform inefficiently.
Improve Your Game With the Pickleball Tutor
For players who are serious about improving their pickleball game, a practice machine is a great investment. From helping you to improve every type of shot to simply helping you get more comfortable on the court, regular practice with a Tutor machine will have you feeling like a pro in no time. Sill, always remember there are other machines out there, so do a good deal of comparison shopping before making a decision.
2 thoughts on “Tutor Pickleball Machines”
I cannot get my remote to work on the tudor plus machine. I have changed the battery in the remote and it turns the machine on to deliver balls but will not pause the machine. The small light on the face does turn on when pressing both the ball feed and oscillator button.
We’re sorry to hear you’re having an issue with your Tutor Plus machine. We’re not directly associated with Tutor, but I did find their customer service contact information where hopefully, someone can help you. Here is their customer service link: https://pickleballtutor.com/contact-us/