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An Overview of Heater Pitching Machines
Heater Sports is a company that makes a variety of training equipment not just for baseball and softball but also for sports like golf, pickleball, cricket and more.
It's a US company based in Utah, and the company is also known as (dba) World Sports Products Inc.
Perhaps the most well known products that Heater makes are pitching machines for baseball and softball.
Heater pitching machines have been sold for more than a decade and they make a variety of models across different age and skill levels.
Although they aren't the most "premium" pitching machines on the market, they're generally good quality and affordable making Heater machines a popular choice for many families and coaches.
Our goal with this article is to help you understand quickly and clearly the different Heater pitching machines currently on the market and highlight our top picks for each category.
If you're interested in finding an affordable but reliable softball or baseball pitching machine, then Heater might just fit the bill.
Read on to learn more.
Top Heater Pitching Machines for Baseball & Softball
Best for Hand-Eye Coordination
Crusher Professional Mini Lite-Ball Pitching Machine
This pitching machine helps improve hand-eye coordination due to its use of "mini balls", which are about the size of a golf ball.
If you want to hit it, you need to concentrate and watch the mini ball very carefully.
The Crusher pitching machine throws fastballs and curveballs with the mini balls at speeds of up to 45 mph.
One of the biggest complaints about the Crusher is that the pitch location can be a bit erratic.
What's lacking in accuracy, however, is made up for in price.
It's an affordable machine that offers batters a good opportunity to strengthen those concentration muscles.
Best Speed and Price Combo
Slider Lite 360 Baseball Pitching Machine
The Slider Lite 360 pitching machine can throw up to 80 mph using certain balls and it costs less than $200 (as of publication date), making this the machine with the best combination of cost and speed, in our opinion.
A key feature of the Slider Lite 360 is its 360-degree swivel design, which allows the machine to deliver the ball from any direction, giving players a more realistic experience whether they're working on hitting or fielding.
The machine can also throw different types of pitches - including fastballs, curveballs, and sliders - simulated as being thrown by either right or left handed pitchers.
Additionally, the pitching machine is highly portable, weighing in at only 35 pounds.
It also features a simple control panel, making it easy to understand and use.
Finally, the Slider Lite 360 can hold up to 12 balls at a time and it has an automatic ball feeder timed to launch a ball every 8 seconds.
Somewhat disappointingly, it doesn't use real baseballs but works with Heater's "lite baseballs", one type (green) of which is designed to go 80 mph.
Among all the different types of lite balls, we noticed that the machine is most accurate when it uses the 60 mph balls.
Still, at the end of the day, the Slider Lite 360 is a perfect fit for many people.
If you're someone who's looking for a pitching machine that throws pretty fast, is good quality and is very affordable, then this one's for you.
Best for Serious Baseball Players
Deuce 95 MPH Curveball Machine
Among all the different Heater pitching machines, our top pick for serious baseball players is Heater's Deuce 95 MPH Curveball Machine.
It's Heater's top of the line pitching machine and it was designed to throw some serious heat at speeds up to 95 miles per hour.
We think one of the best features of the Deuce 95 is its ability to throw two different types of curveballs from the perspective of each hand: a traditional "12-6" curveball and a wide curveball.
It also of course throws fastballs, and we like that it can pivot quickly to go from throwing batting practice to switching and doing some fielding work.
The Heater Deuce 95 was very simple to use thanks to its intuitive control panel, which makes it easy to adjust speed, spin and direction.
As a two wheel pitching machine, it's got a little weight to it (75 pounds) but we've found it still light enough for an adult to pick it up and move it from the batting cage to the car, for example.
A big plus with this machine is that it has an automatic ball feeder that can hold up to 12 balls.
The ball shoots out on a timer every eight seconds, with a cool little mechanical hand built in that turns to move the next ball down the slot.
Overall, the Deuce 95 machine is a solid choice for baseball players wanting something to help sharpen their skills.
Its ease of use, speed and different pitch types that it throws makes it stand out among Heater's other products for baseball.
Video of the Deuce 95 in Action
Best Softball Budget Option
Power Alley 11 inch Softball Pitching Machine
The Heater Power Alley 11-Inch Softball Pitching Machine is the top affordable Heater pitching machine option for softball players.
It's a 1 wheel machine containing a 6 inch tire powered by a ⅛ horsepower motor.
This machine throws different types of pitches using 11-inch softballs. Pitch types include fastballs, curveballs and dropballs at speeds ranging from 15 to 40 mph from about 30 feet away..
The Power Alley - which requires electricity to run - is noticeably lightweight at just 13 pounds, meaning it's easy to move and transport to and from the field or the cage.
It can use real leather softballs or Heater's special lite-balls, the latter of which can be delivered as fast as 50 mph in the machine.
All in all, it's a fantastic choice for fastpitch or slowpitch softball players that want a very budget-friendly, but still reliable, pitching machine.
If that's the type of machine you're looking for, we encourage you to check it out.
Best Overall for Softball
Heater Real Softball Pitching Machine
The most impressive Heater pitching machine designed for softball is the Real 12-Inch Softball Machine with Ball Feeder.
Here's why we liked it.
First, the ball feeder is a must-have. It can hold a total of nine softballs and has an automatic pitch timer. Meaning, softball players can use this with or without needing a second person to feed them balls.
Secondly, the machine's ability to shoot regulation-sized softballs at up to 50 mph from 46 feet away provides players with the opportunity to practice at the plate against realistic pitching.
Thirdly, the knobs controlling speed and height were easy to adjust on the fly, keeping things uncomplicated for whoever sets the machine up.
Other key specs about this machine include that it's a 1 wheel with a ¼ horsepower motor. It weighs 52 pounds and is powered by electricity.
In short, of the Heater pitching machines for softball on the market, the Real 12-Inch is the best in our opinion based on its combination of quality and speed.
Other Heater Pitching Machine Options for Baseball
Heater Sports makes a variety of baseball pitching machines that aren't mentioned above.
A quick list showcasing those other Heater pitching machines in production is below:
Heater Jr. Real
Power Alley Lite 360
Power Alley Pro Real
BaseHit Real & Lite
Heater Pro Fastball & Curveball
Deuce 75 MPH
Other Pitching Machine Resources
Here at Catchers Home, we've written a number of articles on pitching machines that may be helpful whether you're in the market for one or if you just want to learn more about them.
If that's you, then take a look at the articles linked to below:
That's A Wrap
Thanks for reading my review of Heater pitching machines!
I hope you enjoyed reading it and found some useful insights to help your decision-making process.
If you've got any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me.