The Difference Between Arm Style And Wheel Pitching Machines

hack attack pitching machine

Purchasing a pitching machine nowadays can be a difficult and daunting task. With a blend of new and old technology on the market, it is difficult to understand what kind of pitching machine is right for you.

The biggest question people have about pitching machines is what the difference is between arm and wheel style pitching machines are. While both types of machines essentially do the same thing, there are some key differences that must be understood and accounted for when purchasing your new pitching machine.

Let’s read on and find out what the differences are between each machine and find the best option for you!

Before you purchase review our list of the best pitching machines.

Arm style pitching machines vs wheel style pitching machines

This is a big question that a lot of customers find themselves asking when they begin their search for the right pitching machine.

The easiest way to differentiate an arm style pitching machine versus a wheel pitching machine is that arm machines deliver the pitch with a swinging arm mechanism, while a wheeled machine uses a spinning wheel to propel the ball forward.

Both of these machines have their advantages and disadvantages, we will explain that in a minute. First, it is important to get an in-depth understanding of arm style machines.

The first pitching machines ever made were arm style, meaning that this is an older technology. However, older doesn’t necessarily mean bad, as arm style machines are still very popular among baseball players, even in the MLB.

Arm style machines can only throw fastballs right down the line, with little variation in pitch placement. For this reason, arm style machines are great for practicing your swing.

Many arm style machines can carry hundreds of baseballs, so you can really just work on your swing for long periods of time, without having to refill the machine.

So what about wheel pitching machines? What are the advantages and disadvantages of wheel pitching machines?

Wheel pitching machines are newer to the market and slightly more technologically advanced. There are 1, 2 and 3 wheel pitching machines, all offering their own benefits and drawbacks.

1 wheel baseball pitching machines are great for youth players who are just starting to play ball and want to get some practice in. 1 wheel machines also work great for pitching machine leagues that use the machines instead of a pitcher.

Single wheel machines are typically lighter and less expensive, which is great if you have a budget. The only drawback is that your kid may grow out of it in a few seasons.

With the ability to only throw fastballs, your kid may need a more diverse and powerful machine as they grow up. This where 2 and 3 wheel machines come in.

2 and 3 wheel pitching machines have more power, accuracy and depth in the amount of pitches they can throw. 2 and 3 wheel pitching machines can throw basically all kinds of pitches, fastballs, breaking balls, cutters, split fingers, knuckleballs, and more.

Having multiple wheels that spin at different speeds means that you can apply spin to the baseball. For example, if the bottom machine wheel is spinning at a lower speed than the top wheel, when the ball passes through the wheels it will create spin and a break in the pitch. This is how breaking balls are created.

Of course, every 2 and 3 wheel machines are different, and so they will vary in their ability to throw these dynamic pitches. They will also vary in their pitch speeds.

Click here for more information about the best 3 wheel pitching machines. This collection of 3 wheel machines features the best machines on the market, with the ability to throw virtually all types of pitches at speeds of up to 100 mph.

On a budget? Be sure to take a look at our best value 2 and 3 wheel pitching machines, which includes 2 of the best selling, budget-friendly, pitching machines on the market.

The only real disadvantages of 3 wheel machines are that they are typically a little heavier and thus harder to move around, as well as more expensive.


So, as you can see, there are some key differences between arm style machines as well as each type of wheel pitching machine.

Before beginning your search for your next machine, first ask yourself what you want to get out of the machine.

Do you only want to work on your swing? Do you want to teach your kid how to make contact with the ball? Or are you an aspiring professional baseball player, looking to get better at hitting breaking balls?

Whatever the reason is, you are now well informed and will make the right buying decision!