Lobster Elite 3 Tennis Ball Machine Review (2020)

lobster elite three tennis ball machine

Lobster Elite 3

The Elite 3 Lobster tennis ball machine offers 2-line and random oscillation making it one of the best ball machines to simulate the shots of a real opponent.

Features 9/10
Design 9/10
Overall 9.0/10

Editors Overall Rating


Detailed review of Lobster Elite 3 Tennis Ball Machine

The two-line oscillation and random oscillation are by far the best features about this product. I normally like to hit a two-handed backhand because I can generate a lot of power. I mean I just like crushing that ball back. Normally this works great if the ball is pretty close to me, like a couple of steps away. Then I can just turn, windup, and crank it. The problem I run into is with shots along the line where I really have to stretch out to hit it. Now you can use a two handed backhand in this situation, but it’s much harder to get any power and to keep control.

So what I really need to work on is my one-handed backhand slice, which is fairly easy to hit stretched out for the ball. Of course the best way to practice this shot is to hit it over and over again using a ball machine. The primary ball machine feature that lets me do this is a wide angle, two-line function that will send the ball from side to side and really make me stretch out for it. The Lobster Elite 3 tennis ball machine offers this unique feature and much more.

Best Lobster Elite 3 Features

lobster elite 3 two way oscillation

Two-Way Oscillation

The two-oscillation will give you a workout with both narrow forehand and backhand as well as wide forehand and backhand. Combine this with the Lobster Elite 3 sweeping triple oscillation and you have one of the best tennis ball machines that simulates match play.

Excellent player simulation

With all of the different settings in speed, spin, feed rate, and oscillation, you’ll feel just like you were actually hitting against a real person on the other side of the net. You’re truly in control of the ball with the Elite 3 Lobster model.

lobster elite 3 player simulation
lobster elite 3 folded down

Easy to transport and move around

Just flip over the Lobster Elite 3’s bucket and you’re on your way. The Lobster Elite 3 only weighs 44lbs which makes it easy to pick up and put in your car. As for moving around on the ground, the Lobster Elite 3 has an extendable towing handle and heavy-duty oversized transport wheels that help you pull it just like luggage. When you are transporting it, you can detach and flip over the Elite 3’s ball hopper and use it as a cover, which is pretty cool.

Other Key Benefits of the Lobster Elite 3

The Lobster Elite 3 Will Have You Moving From Side to Side and Front to Back

lobster elite 3 configuration

The Elite 3 offers a two-line narrow and wide angle oscillation feature. What this means is that the Elite 3 throws balls to the corners of the court simulating real match play so that you can practice alternating forehands and backhands. You can also control the depth settings so that the machine will throw balls close to the net and further away near the baseline. The Lobster Elite 3 is the only ball machine on the market to offer a two-line feature with variable depth settings. As an individual player you can practice stretched out, side to side, crosscourt play at varying depths, and front court and back court drills that simulate a real opponent in the best way of any ball machine I’ve seen on the market in this price range.

The 2-line feature is also useful for two players or two lines of players to use when working on a drill. In my opinion, if you plan on having two people use the ball machine at once, the two-line feature is essential for running efficient and effective practice drills. You can also practice doubles play as the machine will fire balls into the doubles court area.

Control Ball Spin and Speed for Advanced Workouts

lobster elite 3 spin control and speed control panel

With the Lobster Elite 3 you simply turn the dial to make top spin or under spin. Crank it up all the way to number four on the topspin and see if you can handle the bounce or turn it to under spin and try to control those cut shots that you’ll see from a lot of touch players.

You’ll also get a full range of ball speed options with the Elite 3. Again just turn the dial to fast or slow in a range of 20 to 80 miles per hour. This is a good range for a ball machine and gives you a lot of versatility. If you’re a beginner then you’ll like a slower speed, but as you get more advanced you’ll need faster ball speeds to challenge you. So as your game grows, the Elite 3 is right there with you.

The Lobster Elite 3 Is Built For Long Workouts

The Elite 3 is battery powered and you’ll get 4-8 hours out of a full charge which is good for a ball machine. You also have the option to purchase an external battery pack to give you even more time (4-8 hours more) on the court. Battery recharge time is typically about 9 hours, but you can buy a premium fast charger that will charge the machine 3 times faster (3 hours total charge time).

Everybody hates picking up balls so the more balls that a machine will hold the better. You’ll still have to pick them up, but just not as often. That means more time training with your ball machine. The Elite 3 Lobster ball machine holds 150 tennis balls, which will give you a pretty long workout before you run out of balls.

The Lobster Elite 3 Is Fantastic For Working On Your Net Game

You can set the feed rate (how quickly the balls are fired at you) to as fast as one ball fired every 2 seconds. This is super for working on volleys at the net. You can do all sorts of quickness and footwork drills to really improve this part of your game. You can also set the Elite 3 to fire a ball every 12 seconds and everywhere in between. The slower settings are excellent for beginners who need more time to set up shots as well as groups where students need to change positions.

You’ll also get elevation control with the Elite 3. Just use the control panel to set the range from 0 to 50 degrees using the up/down button. At 50 degrees you can practice your overheads. Personally, this is my favorite feature because I like smashing balls. I always try to see how many balls I can bounce over the fence during a training session. Of course, it’s no fun having to go pick up those balls, but it sure is fun knocking them out of the park.

Overall, I strongly recommend the Elite 3 Lobster ball machine. There are only a few tennis ball machines that offer a variety of features in the price range of the Elite 3. It is the cheapest of all of the ball machines that offer the two-line narrow and wide function. When you look at all of the options and features with the Lobster Elite 3, it is truly a great buy.

Great Warranty

The Lobster ball machine Elite 3 Model comes with a two year warranty on parts and service. This is good and a testament to the quality of the Elite 3.

Lobster Elite 3 Add-on Extras

You can choose to get the Lobster Elite 3 ball machine by itself or you can upgrade with the following extras.

lobster elite 3 optional remote

  1. Storage cover – A heavy-duty and lined vinyl cover
  2. Fast charger – Charges up the Lobster Elite 3 in 3 to 9 hours
  3. Premium fast charger – Charges the tennis ball machine in 1-3 hours
  4. External battery pack – Extends the battery time an additional 4-8 hours and includes a large 18-amp sealed lead-acid battery, battery cord with connector, adaptor, 1-amp fast charger, and a canvas carrying bag with shoulder strap
  5. Wireless remote – control every feature of the Lobster Elite 3 including the feed rate and sweep/oscillation type

Lobster Elite 3 Features Table

Power TypeBattery
OscillationRandom, horizontal, vertical, two line narrow/wide
Top & BackspinYes
Elevation (degrees)0-50 Electronic
Weight (lbs)44
Dimensions (L x W x H inches)24 x 16 x 32
Speed Range (mph)20-85
Ball Capacity150
Feed Rate (seconds)2-12
Battery Life (hours)4-8
Warranty (years)2
Storage CoverExtra
Fast ChargerExtra
2-Function Wireless RemoteExtra

Lobster Elite 3 Customer Reviews

Summary of the most helpful positive reviews:

Many reviewers talked about how easy to use and how durable the Elite 3 Lobster ball machine is. One reviewer talked about choosing the Elite 3 over the Elite 1 and 2 because of the two-line function for practicing forehands and backhands. Several owners recommended purchasing the fast charger – this runs about $99.

Summary of the most helpful negative reviews:

Several reviewers felt that the remote was irregular in its performance and didn’t work very well from a distance. One reviewer had a difficult time with the horizontal movement working on the machine and had to return it and get a replacement.

Who is Lobster Sports?

lobster sports logo

Lobster Sports produces four Elite tennis ball machine models; the Elite Freedom economy model, and the Elite 1, 2, and 3. Lobster started manufacturing tennis ball machines in 1970 and has maintained a reputation for high quality and reliable ball machines. For more information on Lobster Sports, you can read our Lobster tennis ball machine page.

The Verdict: Strongly Recommend

We strongly recommend the Lobster Elite 3 if you’re looking for a tennis machine that will give you a workout and allow you to simulate a tennis match. This tennis ball machine isn’t an ordinary tennis companion, but instead, it will train your reflexes and force you to practice both your forehand and backhand.

This is truly a first-class tennis ball machine that differentiates with two-line oscillation and random oscillations. In addition, you’re able to control the topspin, backspin, speed, and ball loft so you can practice any tennis shot that you’re looking for. There’s really nothing you can’t do with this tennis ball machine if you’re looking for a training partner.

Where to Buy the Lobster Elite 3 Tennis Ball Machine?

It think the best, most trusted place to buy the Elite 3 by Lobster Sports is on Amazon.com. They sell everything there so you can pick up any accessories you may need as well, like tennis balls or hoppers. There are always some sales over there too so you should be able to snag the Elite 3 for a pretty good price.

Still not convinced? Here's a video of the Lobster Elite 3 machine in action:

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