Easton is the biggest company in regards to baseball bats, and they’re similar to Nike in that they have the market so heavily saturated that any team you look at is sure to have at least one or two of their bats.
Easton is also known for its high quality. The company started off making bows and arrows, focusing on precision.
In 1969, Easton created the first aluminum baseball bat. They’ve been on top of the baseball world ever since. Easton is also recognized for being the first company to create a two-piece metal bat.
In these reviews, you’ll find that there are a lot of similarities in all of these bats. Sadly, many of them are so similar that the best way to determine the best Easton bat for you is to go to your local sporting store and try the bat out.
Throughout this article, I will also provide a numerical evaluation to provide clear leveling of the bats.
The Mako XL is easily one of the most popular bats on the market today. The Mako XL is well-designed to look good and hit better.
Many hitters told me that they absolutely loved the 2019 version with one exception – the grip. Many players said that the grip was terrible.
2019’s version came with a gauze tape style grip which wasn’t exactly gentle on the hands, and had no durability.
Easton improved this by creating a hyperskin grip that many batters were purchasing and putting on themselves in 2019.
The most incredible thing you’ll find when looking at the Mako is the TCT (A special composition called “Thermo Composite Technology”) that you’ll only find in the Mako.
This is a two-piece composite bat that is especially friendly to the hitter. The TCT is known for decreasing resistance on contact which helps increase bat speed and power.
The Mako XL is end loaded, meaning that it’s really going to increase bat speed. The purpose of end loading the bat is to help the hitter get more pop when the ball gets through the batting zone.
There is only one negative that I’ve found with the latest models of the Mako. As with all Easton bats, the primary complaint is the price.
Hybrid XL 3 BBCOR
HMX XL 3 BBCOR
TORQ XL 3 BBCOR
In all honesty, the primary difference I’ve found in the models is the tape, which you can change out for about $10.
The Mako, in my opinion, is the best bat that Easton produces. It offers a large sweet spot, allowing the hitter to perform better without needing a “perfect hit”. It also reduces the pain of early season mishits by deadening the vibration.
I absolutely love this bat and would recommend the 2016 if you can afford it, but the 2019 model is a great discount.
The S3Z Zcore is an interesting looking bat. The bat itself looks modern, but doesn’t seem awe-inspiring. It’s not going to pull the eyes of a shopper based on its look like the Mako will do. But, looks aside, this is another great bat.
The S3Z offers a Z-core technology which is said to make all the difference in your swing without you ever seeing the mechanical side of it. Z-core is a special type of core that helps increase the size of the sweet spot.
While offering a large sweet spot, the Z-core seems to really focus on bat speed. So, rather than creating a more powerful bat, it attempts to maintain power while increasing your bat speed.
This, in my opinion, is best for someone who isn’t known to be a power hitter. Bat speed can translate into power, but it can also, simply translate to more hits.
The Z-core pairs with a carbon taped handle to reduce vibration significantly. The carbon fiber tape is significant because the bat has been lengthened by about three inches.
Typically a longer bat increases the risk of significant vibration (which causes pain in the hitter’s hands) when the contact is made on the handle rather than the barrel.
As great as the carbon fiber taping is, I’ve heard a few players say that the Z-core series tear too easily. That is, the grip doesn’t last long and players have to re-tape the handle themselves.
S3Z Z-Core 2015 version
Z-Core 2016 version
When paying top dollar, this is something that a hitter shouldn’t have to worry about. Like most Easton bats, you’ll be paying top dollar if you want the newest bat.
I’m not a huge fan of this year’s version, so I would recommend the 2019 S3Z.
When considering the Z-core line, the S3Z is the way to go. It’s a great value with the best reputation that I’ve found. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve heard from the number of players I’ve spoken with.
At this point, I would honestly take the 2019 version of the Z-core bat over the newer, 2016 version.
The Mako Torq is an interesting bat in that Easton developed a new grip style that claims to help the hitter with a smoother swing. This new grip style is the foundation of the Torq series bat.
The focus of this bat is to try and improve the swing, not just use new technology to make the ball jump off the bat.
That sounds great, doesn’t it? Finding a bat that can make you a better hitter and use technology to make the ball jump off the bat; sign me up!
The problem is, this is a great theory, but it doesn’t seem to quite work in reality.
A number of players that I’ve talked to have said that the Torq Tape isn’t very helpful. That being said, the bat itself is still high quality.
The 2016 Mako Torq version isn’t significantly different, so it’s probably not worth the investment when you can get the 2019 version for a fraction of the price.
The 2019 Torq has gotten a lot of good reviews. It’s consistently able to offer a large sweet spot, but may have a longer “breaking in” period than usual.
MAKO TORQ 2015 version
MAKO TORQ 2016 version
Some people claim that it takes closer to 500 swings as opposed to the normal 300 swings. As the longer breaking in period would suggest, this bat offers high durability. It should last for quite some time.
I’ve spoken with coaches who offer this as a team bat and they say that they’ve had no problems doing so. The bat was able to hold up perfectly to a full season of the bat being used, and they plan to use the Torq again next season.
The most consistent complaint that I’ve heard revolves around the weight. While it’s great that this bat comes in a variety of lengths and weights, the weight isn’t consistently accurate or evenly distributed.
When weight the bat, I’ve seen a difference as high as about 2 ½ oz. That’s a pretty significant weight difference. As an example, a 31 inch bat with a 21 oz weight would be considered a -10 drop.
Many players and coaches have an expectation of what a -10 drop can do. However, adding the 2.5 oz makes this a -7.5 drop which is significantly different.
The differences in these weights can be the difference between a power hitter’s bat versus a contact hitter’s bat.
Finally, let’s look at the 2019 BB15MK. Like the rest, this bat offers another great Easton product. The design isn’t especially appealing and isn’t going to sell the bat to new players. But the product itself is solid. Like the rest of the models, this offers good pop and a large sweet spot.
What really makes the BB15 model stand out is its weight distribution. In all of the experience that I’ve had, the bat feels lighter than it is.
This is the result of it being incredibly well-balanced. The balance allows the weight to distribute throughout the bat and gives a “lighter” feel to the bat.
In my brief testing with players, they consistently guess that the bat is lighter than other bats of the same weight.
Why is a light “feel” important? When the bat feels lighter, batters often swing with more confidence. Further, the batters typically have better bat speed which can increase power.
This bat offers a perfect example of how the design of a bat can make a hitter perform better because of how it changes a hitter, not because of how technology performs.
The significant issues that I’ve found with this bat are found in the grip itself. I’ve heard a number of players complain about the grip being a problem for two reasons – durability and pain. That is, generally, the grip doesn’t last very long. It can quickly tear apart or start to unravel.
The other problem only occurs when a player uses thin batting gloves or doesn’t wear them at all. Some coaches that I’ve talked to have said that this tape can actually “eat through” a pair of thin batting gloves.
That is, the gloves start to tear from the grip of this bat. If this bat can tear apart a pair of gloves, imagine the blisters that it can cause when a hitter isn’t wearing any gloves at all!
This is a solid bat, but I’d suggest re-taping it before even getting started. You can invest in tape, so it’s not a difficult problem as much as it is an inconvenience when looking at a new product.
As you can see, I’m thoroughly impressed with Easton’s 2019 showing. I prefer most of the 2019 models to their 2016 counterparts because I don’t see where there have been major improvements. Further, I don’t think the improvements that I have seen are worth the increase in price.
So, what’s the bottom line? These are the best in the market, but how do you know which is the best on the market?
The Mako offers good balance, quality, a smooth design, and a large sweet spot. However, it has a bad grip. You may notice a common theme in the complaints about Easton.
This is a bat designed to help aid the hitter do more. That is, the bat will help create more bat speed and, thus, the hitter is doing more.
The S3Z offers a great bat. The Zcore technology helps make the ball fly off the bat. The S3Z is fairly plain looking, but offers a great bat inside of a bit of a boring package.
The Z-core technology helps improve bat speed without sacrificing the power. This is a bat more designed to use technology to increase the power of a hitter rather than the hitter actually improving his or her own swing.
Like most Easton products, even with the new carbon grip material, the grip is a problem.
The Torq is a highly touted bat that comes with what is considered new swing technology. However, the grip that is designed to provide the new technology can’t stand up to the use of every day games.
The bat itself is great, but it was built with the grip in mind, so this bat falls a bit short of expectations.
The bat also consistently showed that it’s weight isn’t what is advertised, so be sure to check the actual weight before purchasing.
This bat surprised me when I tested it out. Players consistently offered good reviews, but I wanted to see it for myself.
This bat offers great balance, a smooth feel, and improved bat speed which lets the hitter produce hits rather than depending on the core to produce hits.