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Purchasing the right football throwing machine is difficult. There are a lot of options out there with a wide range of prices. There are options that range anywhere from $1,800 to $4,000. Now you may be asking, what is the difference?
In this article, I discuss the top 5 football throwing machines of 2021. I give an in-depth breakdown of each football machine and explain the advantages and disadvantages. The buyer’s guide also includes a list of the features you should keep in mind when choosing the right option for you.
Price does not always mean a better product. There are many different areas of the game that require unique practice. A wide receiver working on his catches would want a machine that is best suited for pass drills. For obvious reasons, they are not as worried about the ability to practice punts and long snaps.
The key to finding the right option for you is choosing a machine that meets your needs as a player or coach, without breaking the bank.
All the machines on this list are professional grade. Each one has been around for many years and has been used by high schools, colleges, and professional football teams.
First Pitching Football Throwing Machine
Sports Attack Ariel Attack Football Machine
JUGS Football Throwing Machine
Sports Attack Snap Attack Football Machine
JUGS Field General Football Machine
1. First Pitch Football Throwing Machine
The First Pitch Football Machine is the best value on the list. First Pitch sells their version for $500 less than the next cheapest competitor. Even though it comes in at a much cheaper price point than the competition, it carries most, if not more of the same feature of the more expensive machines. If you are a team or parent on a budget, the First Pitch Football Throwing Machine is a great option!
Benefits of the First Pitch Football Throwing Machine
- Two 1/3 HP Motors – The only other two football throwing machines that come with two motors are the Aerial Attack and Snap Attack. They are $1,000 and $2,000, respectively, more than the First Pitch Machine. Not only does it come with a motor for each wheel, but the motors are also 1/3 HP. Some of the available machines come with a ¼ HP motor. The strong motors give the First Pitch machine more power and durability.
- Throws up to 80 Yards – Speaking about power, the First Pitch Football Throwing Machine throws spirals 80 yards down the field. Set the dial at the highest speed setting and let it rip down the field.
- Made in the USA – The machine is manufactured in First Pitch’s warehouse in Minnesota. Not only do they manufacture their products here in the states, but they also get all their parts from U.S. manufacturers.
- Equivalent Warranty – First Pitch backs their products with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. This is the same length of warranty all the other, more expensive football machines offer.
2. Sports Attack Aerial Attack
One of Sports Attack’s football throwing machine options is the Aerial Attack. The Aerial Attack Football Machine has many of the same benefits of the Snap Attack, which is why it makes for another great option. Even though the Snap Attack has some additional features over the Aerial Attack (which we will tackle later in the article), we rank the Aerial Attack above it because of the $1,000 price difference. All in all, the Aerial Attack stacks up well against the Snap Attack.
Benefits of the Aerial Attack
- The Safest Football Machine – Sports Attack takes safety very seriously with their selection of pitching machines, volleyball machines, and football throwing machines. The Snap Attack Football Machine is no different. Each wheel is guarded with a covering. This protects players and coaches from getting their hands, arms, or legs stuck in the machine.
- Quicker Recovery Time – Recovery time is important when trying to run an efficient practice. When running drills, coaches want to fire the footballs out quickly. The Snap Attack Football Throwing Machine makes this possible with fast recovery times for the wheels after each throw. In fact, the wheel recovery is almost instantaneous thanks to the two powerful motors that run each wheel.
- Polyurethane Wheels – Sports Attack builds their football machines with polyurethane wheels, unlike the pneumatic tires the competition uses. The polyurethane wheels have a couple advantages including being lighter, faster, and more durable. Sports Attack also believes the polyurethane wheels provide better accuracy because with their wheels you do not have to consider the air pressure of the wheels.
- Durability – I touched on it a little bit above, but the durability of Sports Attack’s football throwing machines is thanks to the wheels they use. The polyurethane wheels are built to last. Sports Attack claims on their website that they have never replaced a wheel on any of their machines due to wear.
3. JUGS Football Machine
The JUGS Football Throwing Machine is a top-selling football machine because of its versatility and accuracy. If you have a worked with a football throwing machine before, chances are you have used a JUGS Machine.
JUGS is one of the pioneers of the football throwing machine. They built their first back in 1974 and have been perfecting it ever since. There is a reason why they have sold a machine to every NFL team and have sold over 25,000 worldwide.
Benefits of the JUGS Football Throwing Machine
- Offensive Passes – Whether you want to throwing deep passes or practice screens, the JUGS Football Machine has you covered. With this machine’s powerful motor, launch passes up to 80 yards down the field. While a lot of quarterbacks aren’t throwing 80 yards, the ability to throw hard passes at shorter distances will majorly improve the hands of players.
- Defensive Drills – Moving to the other side of the balls, it is equally as important for defensive backs and linebackers to track passes and intercept balls. With the JUGS Football Throwing Machine, this type of practice has never been easier. Whether you are practicing zone or man to man coverage, coaches will easily move passes from target to target.
- Kick Off and Punt Returns – It is also great for kickoff and punt return practice.
4. Snap Attack Football Throwing Machine
Sports Attack is most known for their high-grade pitching machines, but they offer two high-quality football machines as well. The Snap Attack Football Machine is unmatched in its features and abilities.
Its top-rated abilities and features do not come without a price. You will pay double for this machine as you would for the First Pitch Football Machine, which is why we have the Snap Attack ranked 4th in terms of value.
With that said, the Snap Attack offers some unbelievable features that no other options offer.
Upgraded Features over the Aerial Attack
- Throwing Distance – The Snap Attack, at top speeds, throws a football the full length of the field. Yes, you heard that right! It throws the football 100 yards down the field. The Aerial Attack is no slouch either, with passes up to 80 yards.
- Simulates Left and Right-Handed Throws – You do not see too many left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL. Which is why when a middle school, high school, or college quarterback throws the ball lefty it looks a little strange. Receivers need time to adjust to the difference as well. Luckily, the Snap Attack simulates both right-handed and left-handed throws to help receivers no matter who is throwing the ball.
- Practice Snapping – The Snap Attack Football Machine allows users to practice different types of snaps. This comes in handy for holders and punters.
5. JUGS Field General
Last, but not least, on the list is the JUGS Field General Football Machine. The reason the JUGS Field General sits below the regular JUGS Football Machine on the list is because it does not have enough of a price difference, in our opinion, to justify the difference in features.
Differences Between the JUGS Field General and JUGS Football Machines
- Kickoffs – The JUGS Field General lacks the ability to perform kickoffs. This is not an important feature to everybody, but if you want to practice kickoffs with your football throwing machine, you should look at one of the other options.
- Less Distance – While the Field General has a lot of power in its throws, it still throws the ball 20 yards less than the JUGS Football Machine. The Field General throws passes up to 60 yards down the field, while the Football Machine throws 80 yards.
Football Throwing Machine Buyer's Guide
Unlike baseball and softball pitching machines, there are not a lot of options when choosing a football throwing machine. You only have five machines available to choose from. However, there are a lot of different factors to consider to make sure you purchase the right football machine for you! They do cost upwards of $4,000 so you want to make sure you make the best investment in the right football machine.
Quick Recovery Time
After you put the ball through the football throwing machine it will take a few seconds for the wheels to get back to full speed. The quicker the recovery time, the quicker you can send out the next throw. You want a football throwing machine that has a quick recovery time so that practice can run as efficiently as possible.
As you see from the pictures, football machines are rather bulky. The bulkiness plus the weight of the wheels makes them a little difficult to move off the field once practice is over. Fortunately, most come with a transport wheel or transport wheels.
Both the JUGS Football Machine options, the JUGS Football and the JUGS Field General, come with a single transport wheel. The single transport wheel is a nice feature, however, it is tough to balance the machine on the one wheel when going over rougher surfaces.
Sports Attack’s two options, the Aerial Attack and the Snap Attack Football Throwing Machine, come with two transport wheels. Two transport wheels make it extremely easy to move on and off the field.
First Pitch’s football throwing machine does not come with transport wheels. However, there is an add-on transport cart that allows for easy movement of the machine. With all the money you save with the First Pitch Football Machine, you might find it worth investing in the transport cart. Most people prefer the transport cart over the transport wheels.
Variable Speed Control
Strength of Motor(s)
The number of motors and their strength play a major role in the ability of the football throwing machine. Some operate with only one motor. Since each one comes with two wheels, this one motor is responsible for running both wheels. Other football machines come with two motors, one for each wheel.
There are a couple benefits for having multiple motors. First and most importantly is for longevity. Football machines with multiple motors are built to last longer. The second benefit is the recovery time of the machine as we talked about above. Having dual motors speeds greatly improves the recovery time. In fact, both Sports Attack Football Machine (which both have dual motors) have a nearly instant recovery time.