What bat is best for me?
As you can probably tell there are a lot of different models available when it comes to selecting a wood baseball bat. So how do you know which model is right for you? Outside of picking up every model and swinging it several times the next best thing is to know what makes a model unique and what kind of hitter you are and what feels good to you.
The basic parts of a wood baseball bat that you need to familiarize yourself with is the knob style, handle size, barrel diameter, and length of the sweet spot. On our site you will find we offer four styles of knobs: standard, flared, bell/large, and cone. Typically standard knobs are going to be closer to what a metal bat will feel like and is usually a safe starting spot high school player and below. Flared knobs all vary slightly but for the most part it’s the transition from the knob to the handle that creates a smoother transition. The bell shaped knobs are unique in a sense that there isn’t a metal bat equivalent that you can compare it to. One important thing with the bell shaped knob is that a lot of people feel as if it works as a counterweight. That means when you swing it feels like the barrel has more whip and gets through the hitting zone faster. The last knob style we offer is the cone style knob. The cone knob is usually preferred by people with hand injuries or people who like to have their fingers dangle off the end of the bat itself. It’s a great alternative to people who have hamate bone injuries.
When it comes to handles the biggest thing you need to be aware of is the thickness. The thinner the handle the less durable the bat is going to be and have a better chance of breaking. If the handle is thicker the bat will last longer and be more durable because there will be less leverage on the weakest spot of the bat. 243’s are going to have some of the thinnest handles and 161’s are going to have one of the thicker handles. 110’s and 271’s are a happy medium between both.
The next thing to look for is the barrel diameter. Most people assume that bigger the barrel the better which isn’t always the case. If you have a large barrel it’s going to be more difficult to have bat control; which if you’re a power hitter might be what you’re looking for. If you’re a contact hitter, gap hitter, or even someone who can run into a bomb every once in a while any model with a 2.5” barrel is plenty big enough. For people new to wood I wouldn’t suggest anything bigger than a 2.5” barrel, especially someone transitioning from metal. Anything bigger will cause the bat to be very end heavy and usually makes you overcompensate at the plate. Your average barrel size models are going to be: 271, 110, 175G. Some of our bigger barrel models are going to be: 243, 73, 222, 174G, and JH9.
Lastly is the length of the sweet spot. The sweet spot on a bat can be found about 2 inches in from the end of the bat for adult models and starts slightly after the barrel reaches its max diameter. Some bats hit that max diameter faster, like the 175G and 174G, while others have more of a transition into it.
All things said the most important part in selecting the right bat is figuring out what feels best to you. Hopefully this can help you narrow it down to some specific models or at least steer you in the right direction on what to look for when it comes to selecting a wood bat.