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Wheel or Arm Action | Pitching Machine Review

Trying to decide which pitching machine fits your needs? Let us help with our review of the two main throwing styles, wheel design and arm action, commonly used by these machines.

Wheel Design

Wheel design pitching machines use either one, two, or three spinning wheels to propel the ball. Generally, a higher amount of wheels increases the variety of pitch types (curves, sliders, and forkballs, for example).

Arm Action

Arm action pitching machines from Master Pitch use a rotating, steel arm to hurl the ball. This allows batters to see the ball for a longer period of time, which benefits players who are practicing timing.

However, arm action pitching machines only throw fastballs.

Timing Practice Tip: When shopping for an arm action machine, look for one with a long and highly-visible entry chute. This gives batters longer periods of time between the release of balls.

Iron Mike Arm Throwing Machines
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Jugs Wheel Machines

Whatever type of pitching machines you decide to buy, be sure to look for those that provide minimal sound. Batters often shift their weight when they hear the machine’s signals, which won’t be present during games.

If a loud machine is the only option, use ear plugs to block the noise and prevent unnatural conditioning.

Additional Tips

It’s imperative to use a machine with a high quality motor and great mechanics. Therefore, we recommended buying from one of the five leading pitching machine manufacturers. Yes, there are alternatives, but these companies have proven track records and stand behind their products.

Look for pitching machines that throw a variety ball types, such as synthetic PVC, dimpled, and leather. Your batter will eventually want to use leather balls, but dimpled balls are good for practice environments and can be safer for younger, inexperienced players.

Always use the manufacturer’s balls or get a referral from them on the optimal ball for their machines, which are calibrated to pitch a certain density ball at maximum speed and performance.

Once you have selected your particular type of balls for a machine, use the same type in that machine 100% of the time. Never mix and match dimpled, leather, or synthetic PVC. The speed and pitch location can be significantly different, causing a safety hazard.

We hope this pitching machine review was useful!

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