Are you a baseball player or coach looking to improve your skills and track your progress? One tool that can help is a baseball radar gun. By measuring pitch speed and exit velocity, radar guns can provide valuable insights into a player’s performance and help identify areas for improvement. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 5 best baseball radar guns on the market, the importance of using a radar gun in baseball, and how to use a radar gun effectively.
- Why Do You Need A Radar Gun?
- Here are 5 of the Best Baseball Radar Guns on the market.
- #1. Pocket Radar Smart Coach Gun
- #2. Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun
- #3. Stalker Sport 2 Radar Gun
- #4. Jugs Gun Sports Radar
- #5 SKLZ Bullet Ball Baseball Pitching Speed Sensor
What is a baseball radar gun?
A baseball radar gun is a device used to measure the speed of a baseball in flight. Radar guns work by emitting a signal toward the ball, which reflects back to the gun and is used to calculate the ball’s speed.
There are two main types of radar guns used in baseball: Doppler radar and laser radar. Doppler radar guns emit radio waves that bounce off the ball and return to the gun at a different frequency, which is used to calculate the ball’s speed. Laser radar guns use a similar principle but use a laser beam instead of radio waves.
Read on to find our top 5 picks.
Here are 5 of the Best Baseball Radar Guns on the market.
- Pocket Radar Smart Coach Gun
- Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun
- Stalker Sport 2 Radar Gun
- Pocket Radar Ball Coach
- SKLZ Bullet Ball Baseball Pitching Speed Sensor
#1. Pocket Radar Smart Coach Gun
- Instant feedback with remote speed display
- Audio speed announcement
- Record and share videos with speed embedded
- Innovative stand-alone accurate radar gun
- Compatible with iOS and Android devices
- Allows remote coaching and training
- Accurately measures speed of various sports balls
- Built to withstand sports environments
- Battery life
- It does not work at angles
- Long distances will have inaccurate readings
- Very short distances can also be slightly off
Leading off is the Pocket Radar Smart Coach. The pocket radar makes two different models. The ball coach and the smart coach. Both models will have similar ranges and accuracy and both will measure speeds ranging from 25 to 150 MPH from up to 120 feet away. They also have internal memory storage but Pocket Radars will only save the last 25 entries. The app will store your info forever, or until you run out of room and it’s easy to export your data into a spreadsheet.
The ball coach gives a speed reading while the smart coach model does quite a bit more since it can be connected to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Once you have the app you’ll be able to do all kinds of cool things like incorporating speed readings in the video.
If you’re making videos for recruiters or colleges, this feature would definitely come in handy. Both the ball coach and the smart coach can be operated manually by pushing the button and both have hands-free or continuous mode features.
Only the smart coach has remote control capabilities. The remote control means you can put it on the tripod or a fence, and then sit in the stands and use your smartphone to control the radar. The pocket radar features a clear display and is beginner-friendly. The radar includes automatic triggering, built-in memory, hands-free capabilities as well as an always-on mode.
We are in love with the Pocket Radar Smart Coach. We have been using it for a few weeks now, and its accuracy has thoroughly impressed my son and me, usually within 1 mph. Aside from its accuracy, its portability is a huge bonus. Much better than hauling around one of those big radar guns.
Much like the Bushnell, if you are a scout or a coach who needs to track speeds at long distances then the Pocket Radar might not be the best option for you.
If you are a baseball parent, coach, or player who has access to an angle in the direct flight path of the baseball within 100 feet then the Pocket Radar is an easy choice. It’s compact and competitively priced.
#2. Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun
- Very easy to use.
- Large LCD display.
- Suitable for beginners.
- Point and squeeze trigger system.
- 2-year warranty.
- Affordable compared to other radar gun brands
- Battery life is very good.
- Accuracy can vary
- Speeds can be lower due to gun taking the reading late in the pitch path.
- Non-durable construction
- Not hands free
- Can be difficult to read with glare from the sun
Batting in the two spot is the Bushnell Velocity Speed Radar Gun. This model is an affordable point-and-shoot gun making it one of the best baseball radar guns on the market.
Even the best guns out there are never 100% accurate all the time but this one claims to be close with a +/- 1.0 MPH level of accuracy. However, our testing shows inconsistent results, oftentimes as high as 5-7 MPH lower compared to others.
The lack of consistency can be frustrating but you are getting an inexpensive radar gun for little kids who aren’t being scouted by the pros quite yet. It can be used for multiple sports like baseball, softball, tennis, and soccer due to its range of 10 to 110 mph. It’s also lightweight and easy to hold and transport.
Not for pro scouts
The point-and-squeeze trigger and large LCD display make it popular in youth sports. More suitable for beginners, this is not something for a pro scout. If you’re looking for a radar that clocks accurate numbers from way up in the stands, this is NOT your gun.
If you have a little leaguer who wants to track their progress and is curious about velocity, this is the best option.
#3. Stalker Sport 2 Radar Gun
The Accurate and Affordable Baseball Radar Gun
Step up your game with the Stalker Sport 2 Radar. In a class of its own, it outperforms other pocket-style radars with greater accuracy and consistency, capturing peak speed with industry-leading range. With its onscreen message display and recall function, evaluating and improving your game has never been easier.
- Very Accurate - to +/- 1 mph
- Range - up to 300 feet
- Easy-to-read display
- Hands-free capability
- Speed measure of 5-150 mph
- No USB/HDMI port
Batting in the 3 spot is the Stalker Sport 2 Radar. Built by the industry leader, this gun is one of the best on the market.
It can clock speeds from 5-150 mph with accuracy within .1 MPH. Its beginner-friendly design and pinpoint accuracy rival much more expensive radar guns. It also works from up to 350 feet away, putting some of the other previously-mentioned radar guns to shame.
The radar gun features a large, easy-to-read LCD screen. Once you’ve turned the gun on, all you have to do is stand in front or behind the object you are trying to record speeds for. Point and pull the trigger and you will have an instant, accurate speed reading.
#4. Pocket Radar Ball Coach
- Pro-level speed training tool
- Measures object speeds from 25 to 130 mph
- Insanely accurate to within 1 mph
- Hands-free operation
- Measures various ball sports
- 120 feet of range on baseball or softball
- Powered by only 2 AAA batteries
- Includes 2-year warranty
- Not compatible with app
- Has additional features you probably won't use
- Readings often differ on professional-level radars
As a baseball dad, I can confidently say that the Pocket Radar Ball Coach is a game-changer. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around and the 120 feet range is more than enough for tracking ball speed. Plus, the accuracy of within 1 mph is remarkable. It’s perfect for measuring pitching speeds, hitting power, serving speeds, and shot speeds in various sports like tennis, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, and cricket.
What’s even more impressive is how easy it is to use. The trigger capabilities mean that timing is no longer needed, making it perfect for self-guided drills or one-on-one coaching. And with 25 memory recalls, you can easily track your progress over time. It’s no surprise that the Pocket Radar Ball Coach is a pro-level speed training tool.
Overall, I highly recommend this product for anyone looking to take their sports performance to the next level. It’s accurate, easy to use, and has a long battery life, making it a must-have for any athlete or coach.
#5. SKLZ Bullet Ball Baseball Pitching Speed Sensor
The SKLZ Bullet Ball Radar is a great pitching trainer for any skill level. With the ability to measure speeds up to 120 mph, it's perfect for honing in on your fastball, curveball, slider, or 2-seam pitch. The ball's adjustable distance from 46' to 60.5' means that you can use it in any size field. Plus, with a replaceable battery included, you'll be able to use it for seasons to come.
- Set up was easy
- Fun to throw
- The battery was dead when it arrived, the second one worked fine
- Had to reset it a lot
If you don’t want to carry around a radar gun and are just curious about your pitch speeds, this SKLZ® Bullet Ball Baseball with built-in radar capabilities might better suit you. This regular-sized baseball includes a built-in radar that claims to accurately measure speeds of up to 120 mph.
I might have just gotten a bad ball but my son and I couldn’t ever seem to get it to work. The pitch speeds weren’t visible for a few weeks and then all of a sudden it began giving us readings. The numbers were never consistent which made me question the accuracy and quality of the baseball.
We set this up with the other radar devices to measure them against each other. We then used the SKLZ ball to play catch, not once did it give us a similar reading to the other four radars. I felt like I was using a magic eight ball, shaking it to get a number.
While we love the concept and think this would be fun for young players it’s just not consistent enough for me to seriously consider it against any of these other devices. It’s gone into our batting practice bucket at this point.
Importance of using a radar gun in baseball
Using a radar gun in baseball can provide a range of benefits for players and coaches. For pitchers, measuring pitch speed can help improve accuracy and consistency, as well as identify areas for improvement. For hitters, measuring exit velocity can help identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.
Radar guns are also commonly used in scouting and player development. Professional scouts use radar guns to evaluate potential prospects and identify players who have the potential to succeed at higher levels of competition. In player development, coaches and trainers use radar guns to track progress over time and identify areas for improvement.
They are also often used with other tools such as video analysis and biomechanical assessments. By combining multiple sources of data, coaches and trainers can gain a better understanding of a player’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop targeted training plans to address specific areas of need.
Radar guns in youth baseball
My guess is that you’ve heard parents or coaches say that radar guns are NOT good for youth players. You may have said it yourself. The problem here isn’t that a radar gun itself is bad. It is a tool just like a chainsaw for example. However, when you put that tool in the hands of an untrained or unqualified person, it can be dangerous.
A radar gun can be a valuable tool though that could actually help save a player’s arm. When baseball players throw in the offseason, radar guns can track the velocity of every throw. When there is a dip in speed, it starts the conversation about potential injuries or overuse. Another benefit of the radar gun is competition.
Especially at the youth level, coaches don’t incorporate enough competition into their practices. The baseball radar gun fixes that!
With so many options to choose from, we’ve broken down our top 5 baseball radar guns to help give you a clearer idea about what you should look for when buying.
So how do you find the best baseball radar gun for you? It’s pretty simple. Think about the qualities of the tool that matter the most to you. Luckily, we’ve provided an easy-to-follow breakdown for you below.
How to use a baseball radar gun
Using a baseball radar gun effectively requires some knowledge and skill. Here are some tips and best practices for using a radar gun:
So, which radar gun should you buy for baseball in 2022? We’ve given you a comprehensive list of the top 5 best baseball radar gun options on the market and we hope it helps make your decision easier.
Remember to consider what your needs are and how much you want to spend before making your purchase. Happy throwing!
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Radar Gun
- Skill level – Before making a large purchase like this, make sure you understand the current level you are at. As we mentioned before, if you are a youth coach, you probably don’t need the gun that is used by MLB scouts. A simple, easy-to-use gun might be more suitable for your needs. Anything else would just be a waste of money at that point.
- Budget – Radar devices range from $20 to the thousands. It really depends on what your intended purpose is. If I am spending over 1k on a device, it better meet all of my expectations in terms of portability, technology, accuracy, distance, battery life, etc.
- Accuracy – What good is a radar gun if it’s not accurate? While none are 100% perfect, some come pretty darn close. If your goal is to improve and maybe get scouted by colleges, wouldn’t you want something that displays an accurate velocity? The difference in a few MPH could prove to be huge.
- Portability – Who wants to lug around or hold something the size of a hair dryer to all of their kid’s games? Portability and discreteness are important to me. A lot of kids travel as well so I want something lightweight with built-in technology features.
- Distance – This shouldn’t matter too much but some models require you to be within a certain distance in order for it to gather accurate readings.
- Battery Life is an important factor when considering which radar gun to purchase. Imagine a device that dies in the middle of your game. You’ll have a wait again until your next turn in the rotation to get readings.
- Technology – Is having something connected to an app important to you? Are you looking to record videos with embedded speed readings that you can share via email, text, or social media?
In conclusion, a baseball radar gun can be a valuable tool for players, coaches, and scouts. By measuring pitch speed and exit velocity, radar guns can help improve accuracy, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time. When choosing a radar gun, it’s important to consider factors such as accuracy, ease of use, durability, and battery life, as well as real-world reviews from other users. Using a radar gun effectively requires some knowledge and skill, but with practice and experimentation, it can be a valuable addition to any player or coach’s toolkit.