As far as softball bats go, these are probably the best wood bats to get started with; if you can hit a ball with a wooden baseball bat, you can hit a baseball with ANY type of bat. They’re extremely suitable for both youth baseball and adult baseball. Watch how wood bats get made below:
When it comes to wood baseball bats, there are a variety of different types. The type of wood you want for your baseball bat all depends on what kind of ‘feel’ you are looking for. Different players like different bats, so it’s important to read up on the characteristics of each type of wood.
- DIFFERENT TYPES OF WOOD BAT
- THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING FROM THE BEST WOOD BATS
- TOP 8 BEST WOOD BATS
- MIZUNO 2014 CLASSIC BAMBOO WOOD BASEBALL BAT
- LOUISVIlLE SLUGGER WB225YB-HN 225 HORNSBY ASH BASEBALL BAT
- MARUCCI CHASE UTLEY PRO CU26 MODEL MAPLE BASEBALL BAT
- DEMARINI 2014 S243 PRO MAPLE WTDXS24 WOOD BASEBALL BAT
- LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MLB 180 NATURAL WOOD BASEBALL BAT
- MARUCCI MAPLE AP5 PRO MODEL BASEBALL BAT
- DEMARINI D271 PRO MAPLE COMPOSITE BASEBALL BAT
- LOUISVILLE SLUGGER WB180BB-NA 180 NATURAL BASEBALL BAT
- HOW TO CARE FOR AND MAINTAIN YOUR NEW WOOD BAT
- CONCLUSION AND TOP PICK
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WOOD BAT
Wooden baseball bats are a great baseball bat to get started with; if you can hit a ball with a wooden baseball bat, you can hit a baseball with ANY type of bat, including an aluminum bat. They’re extremely suitable for both youth AND adults. When it comes to wood bats, there are a variety of different types.
The type of wood you want for your baseball bat all depends on what kind of ‘feel’ you are looking for. Different players like different bats, so it’s important to read up on the characteristics of each type of wood.
Ash wood bats give the player a traditional feel and are a favourite amongst many because they like the ability to ‘feel’ the ball smack against the bat when hitting it. The wood has a lightweight characteristic and feels lighter in the hands of a player. These make them a preferred choice for a contact hitter. Ash bats are very often chosen for baseball practice because of their cost effectiveness and its optimal choice for training.
While not ‘strictly’ a wood bat (bamboo is of course grass), it is considered one. These are made with 100% bamboo strips, thus bamboo bats are very strong and the durability is excellent. They are not currently approved for Major League Baseball use and do require BBCOR (ball bat coefficient of restitution) certification for organised play.
These bats are approved for professional Major League Baseball play. Birch is often considered the ‘inbetween’ type of bat between ash and maple; birch is harder than ash wood, but not as hard as maple. This makes birch a good option for players who like the aspects of both the ash and maple bats.
Composite bats are the most durable wood bats on the market today, making them a great option for wooden bat leagues or leagues that require bats to be BBCOR certified. A composite bat is quite often the go-to choice for the batting cage at batting practice.
These bats have little flexibility or feel, far from the lightest and are the heaviest and hardest type of wood bat available. Their popularity has dwindled in recent years due to the emergence of the other types of wood bat, but if you prefer an ‘old school’ feel to your baseball bat, these are still a solid choice. These bats were regularly used in the earlier days of Major League Baseball (old hickory style), so may be more appealing to the older generation of players.
Maple wood bats are starting to become the most commonly used piece of baseball equipment in the game today. The players’ ability to control the bat during the swinging is reduced due to the heaviness of the wood, but the dense and hard-hitting surface of the bat makes it feel great in the swing and hitting a ball with and is why they are becoming the number one used bat. The harder the surface of the bat, the greater the speed the ball will travel off the bat.
There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to wood type; it all depends on what you feel most comfortable with. Some players prefer a heavier bat to build more power in their striking of the ball, while other players will prefer a lighter bat for more control and swing speed. Baseball players often test different wood types before settling on their preferred choice. The low cost of wood bats make it easy for players to test different types of wood before settling on a wood bat that suits their needs.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING FROM THE BEST WOOD BATS
Before choosing from the top 8 best wood bats we have selected below, consider your own personal needs. Every baseball player, from minor league to big league, has different characteristics and different requirements. Some players are tall and muscular, others are shorter and more toned. Your body characteristics will help guide you towards the right softball bat, so consider the following:
If you’re now getting into the game and consider yourself a beginner to intermediate, consider a lighter bat with a larger barrel. If you’ve been in the game a while and consider yourself intermediate to veteran, consider a heavier bat with a smaller barrel. Ultimately though, you need a bat which fits your own individual needs.
The last thing you want is for your new wood bat to be giving you blisters! Most bat manufacturers are adding sanded grips to their bats these days to prevent this from happening; it will be more costly to have a bat with a sanded grip, but much better for your hands in the long run.
The weight of the bat you choose will all depend on the flexibility of the players wrist and the weight of the player. Bats packed with power will allow a power hitter to smash the ball away with ease, but require the player to be well conditioned in strength to use properly. A lighter bat will be much easier to use for a player with less upper-body strength.
Like with bat weight, the barrel is important depending on the size of the player. The more muscular the player, the larger barrel bat they will need to be able to strike the ball properly. Bigger players will suit the big barrel bats whereas a player that can’t get great distance but can get great contact will be looking at a smaller barrel.
The thicker the handle, the less vibration you will feel between the barrel and the handle. If vibration isn’t too much of an issue for you, a thinner handle will allow your hands to move more easily. To minimize vibration, go for a thicker handle.
It goes without saying that the taller the player is, the longer the wood bat they will need. There’s no real ‘rule’ here but if you’re a tall player, you may feel more comfortable with a longer bat. If you’re a shorter player, a shorter bat could suit you more. This is open to individual needs.
TOP 8 BEST WOOD BATS
Now you have a general idea of the type of wooden bat you may want, it’s time to have a look through the different wooden bats available. We have selected the top 8 wooden baseball bats (in no particular order, with youth and adult options) for you to review and decide which bat you want to buy. There are a variety of different pricing options too to suit any budget:
With a 90 day warranty, something a lot of bat manufacturers won’t offer, Mizuno have given their full confidence in the durability of this bat. This bat is BBCor certified, so it’s fine for use in high school and collegiate leagues. This Mizuno bat comes with a sanded grip, preventing blisters from forming on your hands and allowing for better grip. Not only does it swing great, it <strong>looks</strong> great with a brown finish around the sweet spot.
Looking for a bat on a budget? Want to try something different when it comes to wood bats? The Louisville Slugger is exactly what you’re looking for. This bat also comes with an engraving option – have your name added to your bat! The bat comes with gold-foil branding and the usual quality Hornsby finish. This bat is a dream for batters and a living nightmare for the pitchers.
This bat oozes pure quality and you certainly get what you pay for if you opt for this Marucci bat. The bat comes in a stylish black finish and weighs only 2 pounds – you won’t be feeling any weight when you swing it!
If you’re willing to pay that little bit extra for top quality, the DeMarini S243 is a top option to plump for. Available in a brown or black finish, this bat takes durability to the next level.
This bat is made with 180 grade white ash wood – the strongest ash wood on the market. You’re guaranteed strength and power with this Louisville Slugger model. The bat’s flex barrel allows for an even bigger sweet spot than usual!.
This bat from trusted brand Marucci has a light barrel with increased durability. This bat is fairly lightweight and made from top quality maple. Marucci have bone-rubbed the bat to increase it’s density and, most importantly, it’s longevity.
DeMarini are a favourite of ours and so is this bat. This BBCOR approved, well balanced composite wood bat is the ultimate bat for durability and longevity. DeMarini’s D271 model has a large barrel and an expanded hitting zone to increase your chance of smashing it out of the park!
This bat has an all natural finish and carries the popular Louisville Slugger brand name. The bat has no cup end but the vibration transfer is minimal at most. Made of performance grade ash, this bat is available in a variety of sizes to suit any player!
HOW TO CARE FOR AND MAINTAIN YOUR NEW WOOD BAT
The more care and maintenance you give to your new wood bat, the longer life it will have. Care and maintenance is very important, even with the best wood bats. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a top of the range bat; but if you don’t care well for it and maintain it, it will be reduced to nothing! If you want to keep your bat in top condition:
- Always use your bat ‘label up’ or ‘label down’
- Store your baseball bat in good conditions, keeping it away from damp conditions and direct sunlight.
- Do not throw your bat – it doesn’t matter what your bat is made of, they are not made for throwing!
- Don’t leave your bat in the car or in direct sunlight on a hot day – the heat will make your bat brittle and break down.
CONCLUSION AND TOP PICK
Baseball is a thriving, growing sport; and nothing is more important than having the best wood bats at your disposal and picking one that suits. If you want to succeed at Baseball, and maybe even have a future in the professional baseball game if you’re a younger player, you need one of the best wood bats on the market.
All of the reviewed bats are of top quality, but our ultimate pick is the MARUCCI CHASE UTLEY PRO CU26 MODEL MAPLE BASEBALL BAT. It has a sanded grip, doesn’t cost the earth, has a great weight distribution and is BBCor certified making it perfect for big league or little league baseball. You might be interested in checking out some of the best BBCOR bats on the market if a BBCOR certified bat is required for you. Remember the most important rule of all when it comes to finding the best wood bats or any bat really – YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Pick a bat, get outside and enjoy the game of baseball!