Are you stuck in a situation where you don’t have a practice buddy with whom you can play table tennis? This is when a table tennis machine could come in handy but if you aren’t too sure about what is a table tennis machine (or a robot) and what are the factors to be considered before you buy one, here’s an exhaustive guide for the same.
Maybe, there is that slightest chance you have almost made up your mind to buy a table tennis machine but aren’t sure which one to go for. That is where our guide below on buying this awesome device will come even more handy.
Let’s start with understanding…
…What is a Table Tennis Machine?
A Table Tennis Machine is an automatically-operated device designed to throw balls towards an opposite end in a controlled manner so that a player can practice the sport even without an opponent.
It is also called as a Table Tennis Robot.
The balls are hurled at a constant steady speed at periodic intervals of time. Its sole function is to work as an opponent and is programmable to work as a real coach.
As an aside, if you are a cricket buff – and I most certainly am apart from all the racket sports I love! – you would have watched batsmen practice against a bowling machine.
A table tennis machine is very similar in that much like in cricket where the batsmen doesn’t need a bowler to bowl to him throughout the day to improve on any aspect of the game, a table tennis player doesn’t quite require an opponent or a coach to continuously feed him/her balls to hit.
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Now for the more important bit.
What are the factors to consider before you buy a table tennis machine?
Here’s a quick look at them:
- Battery Powered v AC-Powered
- Wireless v Wired Remote
- Ball Capacity
- Shot Frequency
- Spin Types
- Number of Users
- Recycling System
- Online Reviews
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Table Tennis Machine
As yet, your mind is constantly strolling and pondering over the factors to consider before buying it. To be honest, choosing a table tennis machine does seem like a cakewalk but in reality, it’s not. This robust process is a lot more than about finding the one with the best features.
There are different types of Table Tennis Machine available in the market that often leads to confusion. However, a few considerations before buying a table tennis machine will help you better decide which machine to purchase.
We don’t want you to fret over this. That’s why we have designed a handy guide that includes all the necessary information in it
Below are the few notable factors to you must consider:
Battery-Powered v AC-Powered
The most fundamental aspect you should consider is whether the machine is battery powered or AC-powered.
AC-powered machines are extremely powerful compared to battery-powered machines. These machines are enabled with high-frequency throwing balls capacity. This is what makes it the worthiest choice for frequent players.
However, the battery-powered machines are extremely adaptable as they can indisputably work with no electricity. Moreover, there are few models available with both AC plus battery power systems.
The best part about batter-powered table tennis robots is they can also be used on the move.
Going on a trek? Go for battery-powered ones.
Going on a long drive across cities where it might be difficult to get hold of electricity? Again, battery-powered ones is the way to go.
There is a third option. Table tennis machines which have both, AC and battery-powered options, which if you have enough cash, you can definitely consider going for.
The best table tennis machine must be empowered with one of the most desired feature i.e. oscillation.
This innovative feature allows for spontaneous ball delivery. Thus, make training sessions more complicated as shots delivery becomes less calculable.
Horizontal oscillation and vertical oscillation are the two broadly used oscillation techniques in the table tennis machine.
While horizontal oscillation comes in a cheaper table tennis machine. On the contrary, the vertical oscillation is used in expensive models.
Since both oscillations function on random ball settings, these random oscillations enjoy a perk that allows a machine to replicate the unpredictability of a fervent opponent such as frequency or speed.
Wired v Wireless remote
Aptly, there are just two types of remote systems. A table tennis machine can either be wireless or wired remote system. These remotes systems facilitate various control features of the machine.
Although a wired remote has limited mobility but is relatively cheaper than a wireless remote machine. A wireless remote is way more expensive and easily accessible from distance of more than 10 feet away at times.
This might be particularly useful if you are a coach overlooking multiple players concurrently.
Ball capacity is the total number of balls that a machine can hold. Nevertheless, most of them have an inbuilt storage unit that can accommodate a maximum of 100 balls.
A buyer must ball capacity into key consideration before buying a table tennis machine. Having a capacity of as many balls as possible and changeable frequency is important factors that should be considered.
For example, the CHAOFAN 36 Spins Ping Pong Ball Machine has a capacity of about 110 balls, making them a much-sought after brand among those looking to buy table tennis robots.
While a machine can store any number of balls in its storage area at one go, there is also a question about how many balls can it shoot per minute. There are some robots which can shoot more than 100/minute while some don’t even do 80.
Either ways, that’s a lot of balls coming at you during practice and sometimes lesser is better, but be informed of this choice and know what is the most acceptable number for you.
There are six different spin types which play a vital role in the working of table tennis machine. The best table tennis machine must have a better operating system just like a human opponent.
These machines have inbuilt spin selections that allow the movement in left spin, topspin, or a combination of both.
The appropriate machine for beginners provides a choice for amending the spin with the delivery of every ball. Backspin, sidespin, topspin, or float are among the most advised and used spin types for beginners as well as an intermediate player.
Not all robots will be able to dish out all the spins but it always makes sense to go for a machine which can do most of the aforementioned spin types.
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Most table tennis machines should be able to do this; with a slight tilt downwards, a robot should be able to bounce the ball on the other side of the net before it comes over to your side and that gives a feeling of facing someone who is serving at you.
Add any of the multiple modes, like spin and speed and you can practice returning serves of different varieties.
Just ensure you check with the seller the table tennis robot you have zeroed down on allows this feature and has no issues with it.
Number of Users
The user must have the serving purpose crystal clear in his mind. Because the serving purpose for personal use or training purposes for a club, won’t be the same. A player must have the proper skill set which should be on the match the level of a machine.
A beginner must start with playing against a high-speed machine and matchable strength of throwing balls.
Table tennis machine splutters about 100 balls per minute and is enabled with a recycling function that doesn’t require refilling. Many table tennis machine allows you to play without interruption and worrying about recycling balls.
These machines are assembled with a phenomenal feature that collects the balls in the net and returns them after every shot. These balls are moved back, and the game continues without disruption. For someone wanting to practice multiple times in every session, it makes most sense to go with a machine which has a recycling system.
When buying a table tennis machine, we will recommend you to purchase an extra net too.
Depending on several features, table tennis machines range from affordable to expensive models. While the price is the significant thing to consider when buying a machine. Even so, some affordable machines will meet your requirements.
If you’re getting to a level where you think a table tennis machine would help your cause but are unsure of whether the costs are realistically worth the return, you can always opt for a low-cost version and get an expensive one later.
Till then spend some time getting acquainted with the basics of table tennis and practice hard. Therefore keep your requirements in mind and then invest your money on the equipment.
Not only will this aid you to find the best table tennis machine among other options. But you will also find something extraordinary regarding a particular table tennis machine.
By reading reviews you are capable of evaluating the reliability of the brand and know their credibility. This is one of the cautionary measures taken before making any purchase.
Sometimes while starting out, there’re always queries which are customized to your own self and while the above guide should be of help, reading other buyers and their reviews and feedback could go a long way assuaging any concerns you might have.
Therefore, before making any purchase read reviews on online platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, etc.
Conclusion to Buying a Table Tennis Machine
The above-detailed guide will resolve all your questions and encourage you in making a smart purchase. We would like you to invest your time and have a look at the features that you are looking for in your table tennis machine. However, by considering the above-mentioned factors you will purchase a perfect table tennis machine.