What is a bowling pinsetter

Initially, even in the early days of bowling, the person behind the lanes manually assembled the pins, set them in place and returned the balls to the players for the next throw. Today these functions are performed by an automated device – a pinsetter or a system return balls. It should not be confused with a pinspotter. These flattening machines differ not only in their names, but also in the complete set. You will learn about what types of structures are, and what they consist of from our article.

What is the difference between a pinsetter and a pinspotter

First, the bowling pinsetter is the official name for the mechanism developed by Brunswick, and the pinspotter was created by the AMF.

Second, the Brunswick machine is equipped with a belt drivetrain, distributor and rectangular elevator. Its assembled height is 2400 cm. The AMF mechanism has a rigid transmission, the distributor is represented by an arm and a belt, and the elevator is round.

The essence of the work

Modern ball return designs are equipped with a small chamber. It is installed a little further along the path. It captures what is knocked down and transfers the information to the mechanism. Old models performed this function independently: they lowered themselves onto the path and probed everything with their “fingers”. Some machines still have this capability even today in case the camera breaks down.

After the throw, the mechanism recounts the remaining pins and removes the knocked ones. The upgraded options are complemented by a unique function of setting the required pin combination on the pindeck. This is an undeniable advantage when training bowler athletes. Indeed, with such an opportunity, they can work out the necessary splits an unlimited number of times.


Pinsetters are divided into traditional and rope ones. The latter are more popular because they are practically maintenance-free and their operating costs are low. In standard mechanisms, the principle of “free pins spreading” is applied. And when installing the second option, the pins are suspended on strings. Hence another name for it – string pinsetter. After the throw, the device lifts them up and almost silently returns them back. Another advantage over traditional machines is the reduction in spare parts costs. After all, only three electric motors are required for a couple of tracks instead of seven. All this has become the reason for the growing popularity of rope structures. Before buying equipment for your bowling club, we recommend that you call us at the indicated numbers and get expert advice. Our staff will help you build a successful business with quality hardware.

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