We love that this model comes with a comfortable rubber grip to save your hands from splinters or tenderness. The increased sweet spot makes it easy for anyone to get in a good hit. We also found the heavy maple wood paired with the cupped end produced a well balanced feel.
Sits at a slightly higher price point.
You may notice the handle is slightly discoloured from the natural finish of the barrel. This is because its been sanded down to provide a better grip, which works exceptionally well, no raw hands after using this bat.
The open grain of the ash wood will split overtime. We suggest covering the barrel with tape for a longer lifespan.
The durability of this bat is noticeable right away. It can certainly take anything you throw at it. And if that wasn't reassuring enough, this model also comes with a 3 month warranty — not typical with wooden bats.
With a shorter barrel the sweet spot becomes smaller -- meaning it won't be the easiest for beginners to use. Aluminum/wood composites may not be allowed in some leagues.
Cupped end helps with the balance of the bat. Offered in multiple lengths/weights, so you can choose. Maple is extremely hard, which boosts performance. Price is reasonable for a wood bat.
Doesn’t quite have the performance or longevity of some pricier wood bats.
The thin handle and heavy barrel feel comfortable to hold. This design also produces little to no feedback in the handle when you land a hard hit, unlike most wooden bats.
The thinner-than-usual handle, while comfortable, throws off the weight distribution. This gives the bat a top-heavy feeling.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Wood baseball bats are a traditional type of bat. When you’re watching Major League Baseball, all players use a wood bat, per the rules of professional baseball, and they have for more than a century.
But for the majority of youth, high school, and college leagues, players use composite materials or aluminum bats. These bats are less expensive than wood bats and last longer, which makes them desirable for younger players.
Still, wood bats have their place in amateur baseball. Some teams will play special games or tournaments where wood bats are required. Some amateur leagues even use wood bats all of the time.
If you need a wood bat for these special occasions or for your particular league, multiple sizes and materials are available for batters of all heights and builds. It can be a lot to take in, but we’ve stepped up to the plate and put together the key information you need in order to choose the wood bat that’s right for you.
As with any baseball bat, it’s important to pick a wood baseball bat that’s appropriate for the age and size of the player who will be using it. Pick a bat that’s too heavy and long, and the player will not generate the proper bat speed. Pick a bat that’s too light and short, and you won’t generate the power you want.
Every player is a little different in skill level and strength. We’ve listed some specifications here to help you figure out the proper length of wooden bat as a starting point, based on the size of the player. You can then test a few different weights.
If you normally use a composite or aluminum bat, you should start with the same length and weight of wood bat.
Here are some important features to consider when shopping for a wood baseball bat.
As with a composite or aluminum bat, you’ll find a drop weight number stamped on the wood baseball bat. This number refers to the length (inches) subtracted from the weight (ounces). This often results in a negative number. A 32-inch, 29-ounce bat would have a minus-3 drop weight. The drop weight for a wood bat is usually minus-2 to minus-3 for an adult-size bat. Youth wood bats can have a drop weight as low as minus-8, although minus-4 or minus-5 bats are more common.
Wood bats are typically milled of maple, ash, or birch. Occasionally, you may find a bamboo wood bat or a composite wood bat, but these are often two-piece bats. Bats constructed of more than one piece of wood aren’t always allowed in league or tournament play.
Here are some positives and negatives for each of the three primary types of wood baseball bats.
Wood baseball bats are available in a wide range of price points. The least-expensive wood bats cost $20 to $40. These are aimed at young players, but they may not stand up to repeated use.
Mid-range wood bats cost $40 to $75. These are good for intermediate players who want to try wood bats for the first time. They’re not quite professional level, but they are adequate for game play for older children and adults. Fungo bats often fall into this price range.
A pro-level wooden baseball bat will cost anywhere from $75 to $250. These are the highest-quality wood bats, delivering longevity and power — as long as you use and care for them properly.
We expect the majority of people will find a great wood baseball bat among our highlighted favorites, but if you want more options, here are some that we considered.For an inexpensive wood bat aimed at young players, we like the Louisville Slugger Youth 125 Maple Bat.
If you like the idea of using a composite wood bat, one of the best performers is the DeMarini DI13 Pro Maple Wood Composite Bat, but it is expensive.
For an extremely hard maple bat that carries plenty of power at a reasonable price, the Mizuno Maple Elite MZM 243 Bat delivers.
If you prefer ash, we like the smartly priced Easton Pro 110 Ash Wood Baseball Bat.
Q. Do wood bats actually have a strong side?
A. Yes. Look for the label of the bat, which is the manufacturer’s name or logo on the barrel. This label needs to either point upward or downward as you make contact with the ball. Having the bat in this position ensures you strike the ball with the strongest part of the wood grain in the bat. If you hit the ball with the label part of the bat, you risk breaking it.
Q. Why are the ends of some wood bats hollowed out?
A. This is called cupping. A cupped bat will have a small area cut out of the end of the bat, usually 1.5 or 2 inches in diameter and a fraction of an inch deep. This slightly reduces the weight of the bat and moves the sweet spot up to an inch closer to the handle. Should you hit a ball near the end of a cupped wood bat, the bat will be susceptible to breaking, however. It’s a trade-off.
Q. Should I clean the bat regularly?
A. Not necessarily. You’ll want to wipe off any dirt or moisture with a towel, but you don’t really need to clean the bat regularly. Some players carry a very fine sandpaper to lightly sand any areas where the seams of the ball leave a mark on the wood.
Q. Would switching to a wood bat help my child improve?
A. A composite material or aluminum bat has a larger sweet spot than a wood bat. This means balls hit near the handle or near the end of the bat with an aluminum bat may result in a hit. A ball struck in a similar spot with a wood bat may break. Using wood bats on occasion can help players feel when they miss the sweet spot on the bat, which may help them develop a better swing path.
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