One of the most helpful tools for improving your game is certainly a good pitching machine. They can help in improving parts of your game, such as mechanics, timing, and confidence, just to name a few.

When comparing pitching machines to live training with a teammate, the pitching machine can go on and on, so you can practice as much as you want to, whereas your teammate can get tired.

So, all of that sounds great, but those benefits that the pitching machines have come at a price. These “tools” can get quite pricey, so getting the right one can be a daunting task.

With that in mind, we’ve created a list of the top 5 best softball pitching machines, to help you make your decision.

5 Best Pitching Machines For Fastpitch Softball

Jugs BP1 Softball Pitching Machine – Best Overall

This pitching machine is built with some impressive features that can help you improve your game, and that’s why it’s our top pick.

Jugs is a brand that builds the best pitching you can get your hands on, and their BP1 model, with its sturdy and durable construction, is the best softball pitching machine. With an option for 360 degrees swivel and the range of throwing speeds from 15 to 70mph, Jugs BP1 will do a lot in improving your game.

Throwing from realistic heights, this machine can throw drops, risers, and fast drops. Those fast-throwing speeds that this machine can generate are recommended for slightly experienced players, rather than beginners.

While you may think that this machine may be truly heavy, that is actually not true at all. It’s lightweight as it can get, is very easy and simple to move around, and can also be used for slowpitch softball.

If you’re looking for a machine that can help improve your game and make you feel more confident when throwing, then Jugs BP1 is the one you need.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Fast throwing speeds
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Price
  • Not recommended for beginners
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BSN Sports Bulldog Baseball & Softball Pitching Machine – Best Budget Pitching Machine

This is the best pitching machine for those who are on a budget. It’s a good option for pitchers who want to practice their breaking pitches or just need to get in a little extra work.

This machine has a limited range, but if you’re playing on a pitch that’s at least 30 MPH, it’ll do the trick. It’s a good baseball practice machine for infield and outfield drills. It is also very sturdy and will last for a long time.

While it’s not as powerful as some other machines on this list, the 60mph top speed is still pretty good, and, it can imitate a wide variety of pitches. That will be beneficial especially for youth players who are still developing their technique mechanisms.

Youth players will also be happy to hear that this machine is lightweight and pretty easy to move around the field or any practice area. The BSN Sports Bulldog is a perfect training partner that is affordable and reliable.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not for advanced players
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Atec M3X – Best For Advanced Players

The next pitching machine on this list comes from Atec and it’s an absolute monster of a machine. With a ton of features and a capability to switch it to throw baseballs, it’s truly not hard to see why this machine found itself on our list.

The pitch accuracy is high with this device and you can also adjust the sensitivity and movement rate for your needs. The wide tripod truly does its justice in bringing stability to the machine, hence also increasing its accuracy.

While the M3X is not as big and powerful as its big brother, the M3, it can still throw some pretty fastballs. The speeds can be as high as 70mph, which will be great for more advanced players. Among fastballs, it can also throw drop balls, rise balls, curveballs, and ground balls.

There is a very cool and helpful system that the Atec M3X has, and that is the Full Control Fungo System, which improves its control and accuracy, so you can get the most out of each practice.

While the price of this machine is high, it’s worth every single penny and is a must-have if you are looking to improve your game.

Pros

  • Can be turned into a baseball pitching machine
  • Accurate
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • Price
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Heater Sports Softball Pitching Machine – Best For Beginners

Heater Sports softball pitching machine with 9 ball automatic feeder

While the two previously mentioned machines on this list were suggested for more experienced players, this one from Heater Sports can be used by both youth players and adults. That means that the maximum speed of fastballs will be slower, around 50mph, but the price of the machine is much lower.

This machine is ideal for youth players or adults who want to practice but aren’t ready for advanced pitching machines just yet. It’s affordable, easy to use, and has a lot of cool features. Those are primarily the 9 ball automatic feeder, the adjustable pitch height, and the adjustable speed control.

While the initial setup and the adjustment of the feeder may take a little more time, the machine works seamlessly. Most of the pitches are pretty accurate, much better than we initially expected from a pitching machine that is this affordable.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has an automatic 9 ball feeder
  • Great for youth players

Cons

  • Adjusting the feeder takes some time
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Atec M1.J – 2nd Best For Beginners

Another pitching machine coming from Atec, this time a much lighter one, the M1.J has a terrific construction and is engineered to help youth players reach a new level. It throws faster fastballs than the previously mentioned Heater Sports Softball Pitching Machine, with a maximum of 70mph.

The concave wheel that this machine has improves the accuracy of the pitches and increases the speed. The throwing head is adjustable, which lets you adjust if you want the M1.J to throw fly balls, ground balls… The fastball throwing is great, but the regular balls could’ve been better.

While this machine is less expensive than the other ones from Atec, it still has the same build quality as the others. The steel frame is top-notch, and the machine is so stable and well-built that it will last you years and years.

Even though it has a durable frame, the Atec M1.J is a very lightweight and portable machine, suitable for youth players. Easy to set up and easy to move around, the Atec M1.J is a fantastic option for youth players.

Pros

  • 70mph speed
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Mobile

Cons

  • Throwing regular balls
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How To Choose a Pitching Machine for Fastpitch

Choosing a pitching machine can be a little confusing. There are a ton of things you should look at, and in this guide, we’ll help you decide which one will work best for you. The best pitching machines for fastpitch softball will usually have an adjustable strike zone, and be able to throw curveballs, sliders, and a variety of different pitches. You may also find that the more expensive models have a dual-zone strike plate so that you can use them in practice for both fastpitch softball and baseball.

Let’s get into the things you should consider before buying a new softball pitching machine.

Price

The first obvious step is to think about how much are you willing to spend on a pitching machine. Depending on the features that the machine has, the build quality, and durability, its price can be quite high.

Portability

Most pitching machines for fastpitch softball are fairly portable. However, some models are more difficult to transport than others. You’re going to need a place to store it when you’re not using it, and a good pitching machine will usually come with a carrying case so that you don’t have to lug it around in your vehicle.

Baseball/Softball

You may want a pitching machine that can throw many types of pitches and can be used for both fastpitch softball and baseball. If you want something that will work for both, then you’ll want to look if the machine is compatible with both sports. That means you can throw fastpitch softball and baseball from the same machine, which can save you some money on buying multiple pitching machines.

Pitching Speed

The next step is to think about how fast you want your pitching machine to throw the ball. For some people, a pitching machine is just to practice the pitch and doesn’t need to be particularly fast. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider a model that has a slow speed. You can also look at models with variable speeds so that you can adjust the speed based on how much velocity you need. If you’re looking for a machine that will help you improve your fastpitch softball game, however, you’ll need a fast machine.

Durability

It’s important that you think about the durability of a pitching machine. You may want one that has a long warranty and can be used for years to come. It’s also important that you can purchase spare parts and replacement parts for the machine. A good quality pitching machine is going to be a little more expensive than a cheap machine, but you should look at it as an investment.

Power

The last thing you should consider before purchasing a pitching machine is if it’s going to be powered by electricity or is it going to be battery operated. This hugely depends on where you are going to place your machine during a practice session.

If you have a power outlet near you then the electric-powered machine is a better option. On the other hand, if you don’t hand power source near, look for a battery-operated machine. For longer hours of practicing, it’s recommended that you get the one that is powered by electricity.

Conclusion

Pitching machines are a fantastic tool that will greatly improve your game. Now you know which are the best ones and how to choose the right one that will fit your needs. Whether you’re playing in tournaments or just practicing at home, the pitching machine is a great way to make sure you stay on top of your game.