The high quality and affordable SAM ball machine is designed and manufactured by Master Sports. The SAM tennis ball machine has models for beginners to pros.
SAM stands for “Sports Action Machine” which is an accurate description for these advanced tennis ball machines. Formerly the Prince ball machine brand, until January 2006 when all of the Master Sports models switched over to the SAM brand name. The ball machines are identical in performance, with each of the SAM ball machines matching to the previous brand of Prince models, as shown in the chart below.
|Prince Ball Machine Models||SAM Ball Machine Models|
|Little Prince||Model 1 iSAM|
|Little Prince||Model 2 iSAM Plus|
|Prince Portable Model 1||SAM SP-1|
|Prince Portable Model 2||SAM SP-2|
|Prince Portable Model 3||SAM SP-3|
|Prince Portable Model 4||SAM SP-4|
|Prince Surefire||SAM Sport|
|Prince Hotshot||SAM Coach|
The technology behind the SAM ball machine was designed by computer robotics whiz H. Daniel Elbaum in partnership with Grand Slam champion Neal Fraser. Today the SAM tennis ball machine is one of the world’s most advanced and reliable ball machine, and is used by top-level professionals, coaches, and amateur tennis players alike.
Master Sports offers numerous high quality features in each of its SAM ball machines. All SAM portable tennis ball machines can be operated using the power type (battery or electric/AC) of your choice, at no additional charge. Most tennis ball machine manufacturers charge an additional fee depending on choice of power type. Master Sports even offers a portable tennis ball machine powered by both battery and AC for an additional charge. All battery powered tennis ball machines from SAM come with a smart chip charger that monitors the voltage and allows you to safely charge the battery without over charging it, thereby further extending the life of the battery.
iSAM Model 1 SAM Ball Machine
The iSAM tennis ball machine is a reasonably priced, feature-rich entry level model geared for beginner to intermediate level players. The iSAM battery powered ball machine weighs less than 29 lbs (13.15 kg), and the electric is only 25 lbs (11.34 kg). The i-SAM ball machine can hold 250 tennis balls that can fire at speeds of 10 mph to over 60 mph (25-96.56 kph) and at a rate of a ball every 2-7 seconds. This SAM ball machine also offers random oscillation that throws balls throughout the court. The ball hopper serves as a protective cover when you store the machine away.
The major enhancement in the SP1 over the iSAM is ball spin control. You can set top spin, back spin, or no spin. The SAM P1 ball machine can fire at rates ranging from 10-75+ mph (15-113 kph) every 2-7 seconds. Elevation is adjustable, oscillation is random, and ball capacity is 300. The SAM Model 1 ball machineweighs 58 lbs (26.31 kg) and is 18”x24”x33” (.46m x .61m x .84m) when in use. When in storage, the 33” folds down to 22” (.6m). Battery life is typically 3-4 hours. The SAM P1 has a retractable handle and two wheels that make it easy to move to and from, and around the court.
Master Sports recently simplified its SAM ball machine model choices and now offers the SAM SP1 and SP4 only, eliminating the 2 and 3 models. The SAM Model 4 ball machine offers all of the features of the SAM SP1 and adds a 10 function wireless remote control. This machine is slightly heavier (3 lbs/1.36kg) than the SAM SP1.
SAM Sport Model SAM Ball Machine
The SAM Sport tennis ball machine is part of the commercial tennis ball machine product line for Master Sports. This line is designed for high volume usage at a club, camp, or school, or for the home court owner looking for a great value commercial tennis ball machine. This SAM tennis ball machine is designed to be very easy to use and maintenance free. With the SAM sport, ball speeds vary from 18-90+ mph (30-145+ kph), the ball feed rate is 1.5-8 seconds, oscillation is programmable to 7 different positions on the court, and ball capacity is 250. The SAM Sport weighs 86 lbs (39 kg), but has 4 wheels to make it easy to move around. It measures 26”x36”x48” (.61m x .91m x 1.22m). It also offers spin control with back spin, top spin, and no spin. All of the commercial machines (SAM Sport and SAM Coach) run off of AC/electric power. Both the SAM Sport and SAM Coach come with a one-function wireless remote.
One of the primary benefits of the SAM Commercial tennis ball machines is that balls are fired from the machine at a minimum of 30” (.76 m) from the court surface. Most other commercial machines fire balls from a height of about 12-16” (.31m – .41m) from the court. The result with the SAM ball machines is that you get a more realistic ball trajectory that is similar to what you would experience if another player were on the other side and hitting balls back to you from waist to shoulder level. The SAM ball machines are also able to provide more variety in shot sequences by firing at a higher height because the ball does not need to climb as much to get over the net and can drop closer to the service line instead of just in the back court.
Another nice benefit to the design of the SAM commercial line of machines is that they can be shipped via FedEx. No other commercial tennis ball machine can do this. As a result, orders and replacement parts are shipped and received by you very quickly. No waiting 2-3 weeks as you would with a non-FedEx type carrier.
SAM Coach Model SAM Ball Machine
The SAM Coach tennis ball machine offers the same advanced features as the SAM Sport, but has a digital control panel for all of the settings. The SAM Sport has an analog control panel with knobs to adjust the settings, such as spin control, speed, and ball firing intervals.
Overall, we like the recent upgrades and enhancements to the SAM brand as well as the feature options and ease of use. The SAM ball machine is also very durable and easy to store. Any of these SAM ball machines would be great purchases.
SAM Ball Machine Reviews
Sam Ball Machine Review – Model P4 – The SAM tennis ball machine model P4 offers a 10 function wireless remote and ball capacity of 300 so that you can get the most out of your tennis practices.
SAM Tennis Ball Machine Model P1 Review – The P1 SAM tennis ball machine offers great features and a killer workout for under $1,000. For an economy tennis ball machine the SAM P1 is a great buy.
SAM Tennis Ball Machine iSAM Model 1 Review – The iSAM tennis ball machine Model 1 offers an excellent challenge for beginners and intermediates and is one of the most affordable tennis ball machines for sale.