Arm style pitching machines are the “Big Boys” of the pitching machine world. What I mean by this is they are the biggest, bulkiest, and heaviest of all the pitching machines. They typically weigh over 600 pounds and are encased in steel cages. Very durable and rugged and are built to last! They are typically also the most expensive pitching machines on the market. Just because they are the highest price tag doesn’t mean they are the best fit for every situation.
The Iron Mike Machines are some of the biggest names in the arm pitching machine world. They are both built with high quality and have similar features. In my opinion the best features of an arm style pitching machine are the realistic arm action that is seen when the ball is thrown and the gravity fed ball feeding system that can hold typically over 100 balls. The machines can throw up to 90 MPH, so they have plenty of velocity. They can come with a remote for starting and stopping the machine when using alone and the balls are thrown in 8 second intervals. Height of the pitch can be adjusted with simple adjustments.
With the benefits described above there are situations where the arm style machines can be a good fit. With its solid construction use at hitting facilities is a good fit. Machines tend to be used harder at facilities due to them not being used by the owners of the machines. Also the gravity feeder and remote for starting and stopping makes it conducive for use by yourself. I will caution against loading the machine up with 100+ balls and keep taking cuts. When the arms get tired (after about 20 pitches) bad habits can be formed. I would never instruct someone to go hit 100 balls continuously! The last and biggest benefit in my opinion is the arm “lever” the ball is pitched from. This helps hitters to see a realistic arm motion when hitting, which is what is seen from live pitching.
Those are pretty specific situations where the arm style is the best fit. If a person is looking for a machine that throws breaking balls, one that is more portable to use at different locations, one that can be used for defensive drills, and honestly one that isn’t in that higher price range, the arm style isn’t the best fit for you. There are many good pitching machines price tags below the arm pitching machine style price range. If you do find yourself fitting into the situation where an arm style pitching machine is best for you, the good news you will get a very well built, durable, pitching machine that will last a long time!