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Our rating: 8/10
We give the JUGS Lite-Flite a solid 8/10 rating for the product’s accuracy of pitches, customizable throws, and an all-around safe performance without compromising speed.
The add-ons, like auto-loading shoots and battery packs, do cost extra in addition to a hefty price tag. But this pitching machine is incomparable when it comes to softer balls that won’t leave a mark.Â
If you can’t wait to improve real-world batting technique, the JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine is a quality buy.
- Simulates near-professional quality pitches, as high as 85 miles per hour from 25 feet
- Throws fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and right or left-handed pitches
- Adjust speed using a simple switch and play knobs
- A rechargeable battery system that runs three continuous hours for a full charge
- Swivel-base casts 360 degrees to throw fly balls, pop-ups, and ground balls
- A heavier 35-pound system that small children can’t transport
- Might be too powerful or fast for younger players
- Convenient features, such as rechargeable batteries, are not included with the system
JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine made it into our selection of:
Should You Buy the JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine
- If you’re unsatisfied with low-cost systems and want a practice machine with variable and more realistic pitches
- If you’re going to practice your swing along with the kids
- You want a transportable system that works well inside and outy
- If you’re looking for a first-time buy for a child under the age of eight – this one is pricey and powerful
- You want big league, professional-level training
- 35-pound systemÂ
- 1/8-horsepower, 1.3 amp motor for devoted performance
- Swivel and knobs for adjustment
- Two strong nylon carrying bags
- Lite-Flite Baseball
- Lite-Flite Softball
- Bulldog poly baseball
- Bulldog poly softball
- 20-page book
If your future ballplayer wants more accurate pitching, realistic pitching styles, and regulation distances, the JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine provides the MLB experience.
The JUGS Lite-Flite pitching tool does what smaller units cannot – provide softball, and baseball quality throws while using child-safe Lite-Flite or Bulldog poly balls.
The biggest advantage is the system’s range of movement that includes throws like fastballs, curveballs, and sliders, not to mention right-handed or left-handed pitches – great practice for an actual game.
The swivel-design of the pitching tool allows 360-degree movement for fly balls and even ground balls or pop-ups. Simply adjust the swivel base manually or use the Switch and Play knobs to adjust baseball to softball-sized pitches.
The system’s power is competitive, at 1.3 amps and 1/8 horsepower, with adjustable speeds ranging from 30 to 85 miles per hour. The three-year warranty on the pricey device, just under $500, covers major parts.
To make adjustments to pitch, you can access the single dial setting for speed, the Select-a-Pitch control, or change ball type from the Quick Change switch and play knobs. The unique delivery system of the pitching machine allows you “see the ball coming” just as you would on the field from a real pitcher. Lastly, you can also adjust the legs higher or lower for different angles.
The device is somewhat heavy at 35 pounds but still easy for a teen or adult to carry around with ease using the included nylon bag. By default, the device does hook up to a 110-volt AC for easy indoor or outdoor power. However, you can take it even farther away from home with the battery pack, sold separately.
The taller and heavier system only seems to improve overall durability. The pitching system received good reviews for durability, with most users saying performance lasts at least three years when instructions are followed. The only issues reported were reduced performance during windy outdoor play, which affects the pitching accuracy.
The product scores high marks for safety, thanks to specially designed Lite-Flite poly balls that are fast but will not injure children even if they get hit. The company strongly discourages using real softballs or baseballs and warns that doing so could compromise durability and the product’s long life.
The machine is not recommended for children under three because of smaller parts. However, some toddlers and preteens could feel intimidated by the pitching machine’s speed and complexity. Parents recommend the machine for players eight years of age and older.
Ball Type Used
The system comes with four sample balls, which are softball and baseball-sized but made with a much safer and almost sponge-like texture. They are ideal for outside play, but safe even when used indoors. Balls are very light and will not “sting” if they hit you in the face.
However, at higher speeds catching fastballs may become difficult. Users also recommend keeping the machine about 25 feet away from the batter for the best performance. Any farther and balls might “float in,” which could be more difficult for novice players.
A handful of accessories can enhance your experience with the JUGS machine; a battery pack, automatic feeder add-on, and extra balls.
The add-on battery pack provides three hours of continuous performance but requires four hours of continuous charging. With the battery pack, you also get a 32-inch extension cord and a nylon shoulder strap along with a carrying case.
The system only shoots one ball at a time by default. However, if you buy an automatic feeder add-on, sold separately, you can load up to 18 JUGS Lite-Flite baseballs or 14 softballs, respectively.
Finally, don’t forget to purchase more balls, perhaps an entire bucket of extra balls, since the system only comes with four samples.
Why Buy a JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine
This machine practically guarantees safety without bruising. It’s also fun and accurate enough to double as your pitching machine after minor league practice is over. With speeds well over 50 mph, adults will find it useful and challenging just as preteens and teens will. It’s the preferred choice of many youth leagues and high schools because of its accuracy.
Focus on improving your batting technique without wearing out a pitcher. You can also practice field defense at lower speeds. Best of all, the Jugs Lite-Flite model is approximately half the cost of competing brands that use real baseballs, increasing the risk of injury. For practicing and family fun, JUGS is hard to beat.