The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine is a great entry level ball machine for beginners and intermediates and is affordably priced for its features.
In this review we look the Lobster Elite tennis ball machine Freedom Model and how it rates based on overall customer satisfaction, consumer reviews, and positive and negative consumer comments. We also look at all of the features offered by the Lobster Elite Freedom tennis ball machine and how it compares to other similar tennis ball machines. We then offer our own rating and recommendation on whether to purchase the Lobster Elite Freedom ball machine.
Lobster Sports Inc. began manufacturing tennis ball machines in 1970, which means they’ve been in business about twice as long as most of their competitors. Lobster currently produces six different ball machines including both battery powered and electric tennis ball machines. Their battery powered ball machine models include the Lobster Elite Freedom, and the Elite 1, 2, and 3. You can read more about Lobster ball machines on our Lobster page.
The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine is a great entry level ball machine for beginners and intermediates. It is the least expensive of all of the battery powered Lobster ball machines, starting around $850, and offers numerous features for a tennis ball machine priced under $1,000 USD. Intermediate and below level players will find enough challenge with the Elite Freedom and certainly improve their games after practicing and drilling on the Elite Freedom. More advanced and expert level players may want to move up to a more advanced machine though, such as the Model 3 Lobster Elite Ball Machine which you’ll find at number three on our list of the Top Ten Best Tennis Ball Machines.
Here is a list of all of the features you’ll find in the Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine.
Elite Freedom Lobster Tennis Ball Machine Features Overview
Power Type – Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine is battery powered. Standard battery life is 2-4 hours, which is average for a battery powered tennis ball machine in this price range. You can get a fast charger ($99) which charges the battery in 3-9 hours or a premium fast charger ($149) which charges in 1-3 hours. There is also an external battery pack available as an option which provides an additional 4-8 hours of play time for $179.00.
Oscillation– This is a key feature when analyzing tennis ball machines and one of the major factors affecting the cost. The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine offers random and horizontal oscillation, which means the machine fires balls randomly back and forth. You cannot change depth settings on the Elite Freedom. Our preference is for ball machines that offer all three types of oscillation, random, horizontal, and vertical. Most of the machines that offer vertical oscillation are much more expensive though, and beginners and intermediates will still find random horizontal oscillation challenging.
Spin control – the Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine does not offer spin control. We like to see the ability to control top spin and under spin as a feature on all of our ball machines, however beginners and intermediates can still get a great workout without spin on the ball.
Weight – The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine weighs just 35 lbs (15.88kg). The ball machines we’ve reviewed on this site range in weight from 11 lbs (5kg) for a very, very basic ball machine (no spin, no oscillation) to 90lbs (40.82kg) for a heavy duty commercial type model. 35lbs should be very easy for almost everyone to pick up and put in your car and roll around the court and parking lot.
Dimensions – The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine measures a very compact (Length x Width x Height) 24 x 16 x 19 inches (.61 x .41 x .48m). The hopper on the Elite Freedom can easily be inverted and used as a storage cover. Also, the Elite Freedom has two oversize 8 inch wheels that make it easy to roll around the court and parking lot.
Speed Range – The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine fires tennis balls between 10-70 mph (16.10-112.65 kph). The ball machines we have reviewed range in speed from 10 mph to 95 mph (16.10-152.89 kph). The Elite Freedom offers a great speed range for an entry level tennis ball machine. Even advanced players will feel challenged with balls fired at up to 70 mph, and beginners can certainly handle the slower speed range.
Ball Capacity – The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine holds 150 tennis balls. Economy tennis ball machines will hold 50 balls, whereas ball machines in high usage situations, such as clubs or tennis camps can hold up to 300 balls. A 150 ball capacity for a tennis ball machine at this price level is good.
Feed Rate – this is how fast the balls are fired out of the machine. The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine fires at a rate ranging from 2-10 balls per second. The fastest firing time we’ve seen in a tennis ball machine is one ball every 1.5 seconds and the slowest is one ball every 12 seconds. So, 2-10 seconds is a great feed rate for most all players. You can practice rapid fire volleys at the net at this range, as well as slower ground strokes where beginners will need time to set up.
Warranty – the Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine comes with a two year warranty on parts and labor. Most tennis ball machine brands offer a 2 year warranty although some offer only a one year. We have found that only deluxe models over $3,500 offer a 3 year warranty.
Extras – The Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine offers a heavy duty vinyl cover for $35-50.
Customer Ratings and Comments
Sites with Customer Reviews Posted (4)
Number of Reviews (23)
Average Score (3.9 out of 5)
|Easy to use (18)||Difficult to use (2)||Intermediate (17)|
|Improves performance (10)||Battery charges too slow (2)||Casual athlete (14)|
|Battery operation (1)||Defective feed control (1)||Professional (3)|
Summary of Positive Comments: Most players say that the Elite Freedom is very durable, provides a great workout, and is easy to transport. Several reviewers like the adjustable power and speed. Others say that the machine does not have very many ball jams, like other machines they have played with.
Summary of Negative Comments: There were several mechanical issues mentioned with the Lobster Elite Freedom, such as problems with the feed knob not working correctly and some power and control panel malfunctions. Also several players mentioned having difficulty controlling the speed and oscillation so that balls would land in the court and not way behind the baseline or in the net. There were a few mentions about not having a smart charger with this machine, to prevent overcharging the battery.
Don’t recommend — Recommend with reservations — Recommend — Strongly Recommend
We recommend the Elite Freedom Lobster tennis ball machine for beginners and intermediates. More advanced players will want to upgrade to a tennis ball machine model with more features such as spin control and vertical oscillation. We were a bit concerned with some of the mechanical issues and ball control problems mentioned in the reviews. We’ve seen similar comments about the Lobster Elite Grand Slam IV, however other Lobster ball machines rate very highly. The two year warranty is great though, and should cover you in case you have any problems. So, for an affordable entry-level tennis ball machine, the Lobster Elite Freedom is a good buy.
Best Places to Buy the Elite Freedom Lobster Tennis Ball Machine
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Rate the Elite Freedom Lobster Tennis Ball Machine Yourself
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