This post was most recently updated on January 11th, 2020
Today, we will be talking about the best wood baseball bats. What is the best wood baseball bat? You can find 4 types of best wood bats on the market. Those 4 types are bats made out of bamboo, birch, ash, and maple. You can also find bats that are made out of a combination of wood.
Bats made out of maple are the first choice of bats for any player. The wood bats out of maple are dense and hard. These bats produce better speed when the ball bounces. These bats have a smaller chance of breaking, and they last more.
Bats made out of ash last a long time. These bats aren't as dense as the ones made out of maple, but they are the best wood bats when you need flexibility. Because of this flexibility, they create something similar to an effect that trampoline has, which causes the ball to travel further.
Bats made out of birch are kind of in the middle between ash bats and maple bats. They offer more flexibility than maple bats but are stronger than the ones made out of ash. Because of these characteristics, these bats are getting more popular by the day.
The newest bats are made out of bamboo. These bats are characteristic because of their density. Some professionals say that they are steel-strong. Because of this, they have a large exit speed.
List of Contents
- 1.RAWLING r110CV
- 2.BRETT MM110
- 3.MIZUNO MZB271
- 4.SAM KB1 MAPPLE BAT
- 5.AXE L180
- Best Wood Baseball Bats Buying Guide
This bat isn't only amazing for hitting a ball, it also has an awesome look. So when you ask us what is the best wood baseball bat? We would definitely say this one. It is also very durable and well balanced.
It is a mixture of bamboo and maple. It is made out of the toughest materials you can buy out there. What also impresses me about this bat is that it comes with a warranty, and trust us, that is really hard to find. The warrant on offer is for ninety days. We also spoke to a player, and he told us that the company is really easy to work with.
This is a bat made out of maple and bamboo, it has a dull look, but don't let that fool you. It isn't that noticeable, so you probably wouldn't spot it in the store, but as soon as you pick it up, you will notice that there is nothing boring about it.
The handle of this bat is made out of fiberglass. This bat type has been in the baseball world for a long time, and it has always had good reviews. The barrel of the bat is a little smaller, and that helps for increasing the bat speed. What is the best wood baseball bat for a small area? Definitely this one!
The Mizuno bat is made out of bamboo which really suits me. It is a very durable bat, and we don't know about any incident of players complaining about it. As far as we know, this is the best bamboo bat ever made, and it can easily outlast any other wooden bat.
Because of its bamboo origin, this bat makes the ball leave faster than any other bat. This bat also has the looks, it is really smooth and has a great finish. Its balance isn't its best feature, but that's just a little flaw compared to its good sides. The only thing wrong with this bat is its rough handle.
This isn't a popular bat as the other ones are, but it is getting more popular as the days pass. It's a bat known for its quality, as it is made only out of the best wood. It is not that pretty but the performance is remarkable. This bat costs a little more, but it is definitely worth the money.
When making an order for the custom made one, you will have to wait a few weeks because they are taking so much pride in the maple that is being selected. It will be a long few weeks, but it is worth a wait. This is the type of bat that you can use multiple seasons, and that only proves its durability. The only complaint about this bat is that it is too heavy. But that's more of a style problem, not a quality one. We can easily say that this is the best bat made out of pure maple.
This bat is made by an unpopular company, but that doesn't mean that this bat isn't good. This is one of those typical bats made out of maple that have a strong exterior which helps in hitting the ball for long distances.
The reason why this bat is unique is the axe handle instead of a typical knob. In theory, this axe handle increases the speed of your hands. Also, this axe-like handle enables a smooth swing. The barrel of the bat is made from a special kind of maple, and the handle is a mix of different materials that help the durability.
Best Wood Baseball Bats Buying Guide
Nothing compares to swinging a wooden bat on the field. Also, baseball experts say that if you can swing with a wooden bat, you can swing just about any bat material.
When purchasing a wooden bat, it’s important that you look into the material, construction, length, weight, and more. Below, I’ve outlined a comprehensive buying guide that you can refer to when scouting for your next wooden bat.
Type of wood
Maple is the main choice among pro players, with 70% of league players swinging it for their games. It has a very tight grain structure and dense wood that can withstand thousands of hits.
It’s also the stiffest wooden bat material that provides a loud pop and a high energy transfer. And since Maple bats have closed, tight grains, it’s not prone to flaking which some other wood materials are notorious for.
Maple bats also have a very responsive build and you can feel the bat on contact.
Maple bats made from Sugar Maple trees are the strongest models available in the market. Take note that high-end and high-quality Maple bats will have the ink dot test which we discussed below.
If there’s one drawback in using Maple bats, it would be the hefty price tag. It has the highest cost of all bat types but the splurge is worth it considering its performance.
One more thing: when Maple bats break, it cracks into splinters. This can be hazardous to the player and the spectators. The key here is to check the condition of your bat before stepping to the plate.
-Tighter grain structure for more strength
-Rigid for higher energy transfer to the ball
-Less visible grains ideal for coloring and engraving
-Stiffer feel and louder pop
-It doesn’t flake easily
For those looking for lightweight wooden bats, ash is a good choice. This also provides better flex on the bat since it’s more porous than Maple. Ash also creates the “trampoline effect” upon the ball’s impact. This means that the ball will jump from the bat with more force due to the ash wood’s springboard effect.
As compared to Maple, Ash has a larger sweet spot which is the perfect choice for beginners. If you’re planning to transition from metal to wood bats, ash is a great choice for starters.
About 25% of MLB players are using ash bats. It’s the most flexible among other wooden bats since it’s more forgiving during errant pitches and mishits.
Also, when ash bats break, its components stay together. It doesn’t send splinters flying to the air.
For a bat with the straightest grains, look for models made from Northern White Ashwood. Ash bats are easy to spot since it has the traditional large, open-grains.
As compared to Maple, ash bats are more affordable. Just take note that ash bats are a tad less durable than Maple. Since it has large, open-grains, it’s prone to drying out. Frequently drying out the bat will make it brittle over time.
-More forgiving during mishits
-Creates the “trampoline effect” which transfers more force to the ball
-Lower cost than Maple bats
-Lighter swing with more flex
-Perfect for those transitioning from metal to wooden bats
-Less pop due to its softer wood
-Prone to drying out which make lead the bat to become brittle over time
Birch bats share some characteristics to both Maple and Ash. Although only 5% of major league players use this bat, Birch has a growing popularity.
Like Maple, it has a closed-grain structure which provides toughness and durability to the bat. Also, this makes Birch bats less prone to flaking over time. However, the biggest challenge with Birch bats is it needs a serious break-in period.
Still, if you break it in properly, Birch bats can achieve the same hardness of Maple. The good thing about this wood is it allows more flexibility – something that’s between the level of Maple and Ash.
Unlike Ash, Birch can endure errant contact. It has a decent sweet spot which makes it an ideal choice for those who are transitioning from aluminum to wood bats.
Overall, Birch bats are great for novice users. It has the right flex, durability, and grain visibility for high-quality equipment.
-Almost as hard as Maple wood
-Durable than Ash
-Provides a slight flexibility level
-Can endure harsh ball contact
-Requires a longer break-in period than other wood bats
One of the most unique wood bat materials is bamboo. It’s quite surprising that the thin bamboo material can be made into a solid bat that can take strong hits.
Bamboo bats are made using bamboo chutes pressed together to create a single billet. After that, it will be carved into a specific turn model (we discussed this below).
This bat will have a strong and high-density structure which also makes it perfect batting cage stick. Although it’s not a popular choice, bamboo bats can be used in league games as well. Still, it should carry the BBCOR .50 certification mark so it can qualify for the collegiate and high school play.
Overall, bamboo bats have a nice transfer of energy and satisfying pop. Just take note that this doesn’t have any flex.
-Loud pop in every hit
-Extremely durable, perfect for batting practice
-Highly dense and strong
-Can be used on high school and college play as long as it has the BBCOR .50 mark
-Doesn’t have flex
Composite bats are made by combining two or more wood types. This will be laminated to add inner support that’s way stronger than billet alone.
This type of bat can be more durable than other wood types given that it possesses excellent quality. It provides similar performance to most wood bats but it’s more durable than traditional models.
Depending on the type of woods used, composite bats will vary in durability, flex, and grain visibility.
Still, this can be used on BBCOR-certified leagues and other leagues.
-Extremely durable, perfect for newbie users
-Can be made from different wood blends
-Laminated for more strength
-May not have flex
Wooden bats turn model
Turn model is the way a wooden bat is cut. From a piece of lumber or billet, the bat will be carved based on a specific turn model. It’s like the blueprint of the bat indicating its dimensions, swing weight, taper location, and more.
This turn model is the most popular among baseball players. Bats with this turn model are usually used on actual games on the plate. A wood carved on a 271 turn has a slightly end-loaded feel which is ideal for power hitters. Here are the exact measurements:
Handle thickness: 15/16”
Barrel diameter: 2 ½”
A 110 turn gives the bat an extremely balanced swing weight. It’s the perfect model for players that are just starting to switch on a wood bat. Also, a 110 turn bat suits almost all hitting styles. It has a thicker handle which contributes to the wood bat’s durability. Overall, this is the bat blueprint for those who want more swing speed. Below are the exact numbers:
Handle thickness: 1”
Barrel diameter: 2 ½”
A 243 turn is the bat made for power hitters. Its quick taper paired with a thicker barrel gives the player a larger sweet spot. Also, the top has a heavy feel which gives more inertia on every swing. The whipping effect is guaranteed to send the ball to the bleachers.
Take note that this turn model can be a bit difficult to control if you’re new to wood bats. Here are the exact dimensions:
Handle thickness: 15/16” or 29/32”
Barrel diameter: 2 5/8”
The last turn mode is called I-13. It has the same dimensions as the 271 turn model. The only difference is that I-13 bats have a quick and sharp taper (medium taper). This means that the bat is more end-loaded which is perfect for power hitters.
Aside from checking the construction and material of the bat, we will take a look at the knob type of the equipment. There are four types: tapered, standard, cone, and bell.
Tapered knobs have a smooth transition from the handle to the bottom end. It’s popular among wooden bats.
A standard bat knob is what you’ll usually see on alloy models. It has a straight transition from the thinnest part of the handle down to the knob.
Cone knobs are the usual choice of players that just recovered from hamate bone injuries. It tapers from the handle down to the base where it gets larger.
Lastly, bell knobs are somewhat similar to cone knobs except that it has an expanded base. This allows the bat to have a counter-weight at the opposite end.
The ink dot test
The ink dot test is a black dot that you can see about 12 inches above the knob. It’s usually used on Birch and Maple bats to let the player see the grains.
Since these two wood types have close and tight grains, it’s quite difficult to check the grains. The ink is then purposely added to expose the quality of the wood.
The straighter the grain is the better it will be for the bat’s quality. In the MLB, a bat with a slope of grain above 3 degrees won’t be allowed to be used on actual games. The slope of grain pertains to the angle of the wood’s grain.
The right weight and length
Just like any bat type, getting the right size and weight is a game-changer. Too long and it will cost too much weight; too short and it will reduce your hitting power.
When it comes to weight, it’s quite difficult to control things when it comes to wood. Almost all wood bats will have a drop weight of either -3 or -2. You can be lucky to find lighter models with a drop weight of -7.5.
This is the reason why wood bat weight isn’t regulated. In fact, a lot of leagues don’t require certification for wood bats, except BBCOR.
The rule of thumb to check if you have the right weight is to hold the bat on the handle and wield it in front of you. If you can hold this position for the next 45 seconds without the bat falling, it’s likely to have the right weight for you.
As for the length, here’s a chart you can refer based on a player’s height and weight.
|HEIGHT à WEIGHT ↓||3’5” to 3’8”||3’9” to 4”||4’1” to 4’4”||4’5” to 4’8”||4’9” to 5’||5’1” to 5’4”||5’5” to 5’8”||5’9” to 6’|
|Under 60 lbs.||27”||28”||29”||29”|
|61 to 70 lbs.||27”||28”||29”||30”||30”|
|71 to 80 lbs.||28”||28”||29”||30”||30”||31”|
|81 to 90 lbs.||28”||29”||29”||30”||30”||31”|
|91 to 100 lbs.||29”||29”||30”||30”||30”||31”||31”|
|101 to 110 lbs.||29”||29”||30”||30”||30”||31”||32”|
|111 to 120 lbs.||29”||29”||30”||30”||30”||31”||32”|
|121 to 130 lbs.||30”||30”||30”||30”||32”||32”||33”|
|131 to 140 lbs.||30”||30”||30”||30”||32”||32”||33”|
|141 to 150 lbs.||30”||30”||31”||30”||32”||33”||33”|
|151 to 160 lbs.||30”||31”||31”||30”||32”||33”||33”|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do MLB players use wooden bats?
A: MLB required its players to use wooden bats since it has a solid – not hollow like alloy bats – structure. Also, wood bats have a steep learning curve, something that imbibes the mastery of the baseball game.
Q: What wood bat has the most pop?
A: Maple delivers the loudest pop of all wood types. Composite types can deliver good pop too depending on the wood blend used.
Q: Do wood bats need to be broken in?
A: Regardless of the wood type, yes, you need to break-in a wood bat first.
In summary, you can definitely find some good wooden bats. All of the companies are working as hard as they can, and the bat business is better than ever. The companies are competing against each other which is good for us, the bat lovers because you never know who is going to come up with the next big thing. Our first choice is a bamboo bat because it lasts the longest and it is the most durable. When buying a bat, you should take your time to think it out!