Top 10 Best Wood Bats: Wooden Bat Brands and Reviews
Bats / thebaseballstop
Today, we’ll be discussing best wooden bats. It’s something we haven’t spent much time on, but I’m sure there are some readers who are interested in wooden bat leagues. We’ll be looking at the top of the line.
The 2018 Guide to the Best Wood Bats
There are four common types of wood bats: maple, ash, birch and bamboo. Of course, there are also composite bats that have a mixture of materials.
Maple bat is one of the oldest and most respected types. It’s very hard and dense. Maple creates a higher “exit speed” when the ball comes off the bat. Maple bats are less likely to splinter, and should last longer.
Ash bats have been around forever. They’re not quite as hard as a maple bat, but offer a lot more flex when a hitter swings. This creates a “trampoline effect” meaning that the ball is going to go further.
The trampoline effect is the greatest asset and biggest flaw of ash bats because it causes the bat to die. This effect lowers the life of the bat.
Birch bats are sort of the middle ground between maple and ash. They are stronger than ash but offer more flex than maple.
This means that they are gaining popularity and are showing to be quite high quality.
Finally, one of the newer ideas is that bamboo makes a good bat. It’s sort of like a bulked up maple bat in that its highest quality is how hard or dense it is.
Some experts claim that bamboo is as strong as steel. This means you’re significantly increasing your exit speed when hitting a ball.
In order to make a purchasing decision easier, here are some of the best wood bats for 2016.
Rawlings Velo Wood Composite Review
The Velo Wood Composite is a great bat, and has a great look. It will catch your eye on the rack and earn a spot in your bag.
This is my favorite composite bat on the market and has shown the ability to withstand a beating.
The bat is really well balanced, and offers the best that maple and bamboo can give you. The bat is extremely well put together, with the strongest materials on the market.
The advantage to this is that you’re going to see line drives shooting off of the bat.
The fact that this is made from maple and bamboo means you also have no reason to worry about durability.
One thing that I’m really impressed with is that this bat comes with a warranty which is, sometimes, hard to find.
Rawlings stands by their product, offering a 90 day warranty. What’s more, the one player I’ve spoken with who needed to use that warranty said that the company was great to work with.
I’m really impressed with the Velo Wood Composite and would recommend to anyone in the market.
Brett Bros MM110 Wood Bat Review
This maple/bamboo composite bat offers a pretty bland look, but is surprisingly worth your while. There’s nothing significant that will attract your attention in the store, but if you pick this bat up, you’ll immediately note that is unique.
The handle is fiberglass reinforced, and the bat has a wine barrel finish. It is definitely different than your average bat.
The MM110 has been around for a while and has always gotten great reviews. I’m not one that has to have the latest and greatest model.
The barrel is slightly smaller than usual which will help to increase your bat speed, but you need to be able to make good contact if you’re going to use this bat.
It will force you to become a better hitter as you’re using a smaller area to make contact.
The durability of this bat has never been questioned. Mixing maple and bamboo guarantees a long lifespan. I’ve seen players use this bat for up to four seasons before trading it in.
Some players have complained that this bat isn’t very forgiving. If you can’t square the ball up, it will probably sting your hands, but I’ve always liked getting feedback from the bat that I’m using.
Mizuno Bamboo Baseball Bat Review
This is a bamboo bat; which I really like. This bat has great durability. I haven’t heard a single player describe any issues with durability.
In my experience, the Mizuno is the top of the line in the bamboo game, and that means that this bat should outlast any other wooden bat that you’ll find.
Because it is made of bamboo, this bat offers a very high exit speed. That is, the ball is going to leave the bat faster than a bat made from almost any other material.
The make-up of the bat is great. It has a sleek look, great finish, and is well-manufactured. It isn’t quite as balanced as I’d like; the bat is fairly top-heavy.
The only complaint you’ll find is a feature that Mizuno created intentionally. The issue is that some players dislike that the handle feels a bit rough.
It’s something that can quickly be fixed with pine tar or a tape-job. 5 minutes of work and the issue is resolved.
Sam KB1 Maple Bat Review
Some players may not know Sam as a brand. They’re gaining popularity and are known for their quality as they only select the best wood blanks for their bats.
You’ll find that this maple bat that outperforms its look consistently. It’s not an eye-catching bat on the rack, but it’ll certainly catch some eyes in the cages.
Players tell me that this bat has a huge sweet spot. The bat is a little more expensive than most, but it’s worth it.
In fact, when you order a custom bat, it can take a few weeks because they take such pride in the maple blanks that are selected.
It can be a gruesome few weeks, but that speaks to their focus on quality.
Sam focuses on quality over quantity and that shows in the durability of its bats. I’ve talked to players who have used the same wooden bat for multiple seasons.
When you think about how easily a hitter can splinter a bat, that’s pretty incredible.
There really aren’t any complaints that I’ve heard from hitters with the exception of the bat being a little top-heavy.
That’s more of a style issue than an actual quality issue, so have no fear. This is the best pure maple bat on the market.
Victus JC24 Wood Bat Review
The JC24 is a maple bat that is designed for a sleek look. It’s somewhat unique compared to the other bats on the market, and that’s what Victus is counting on. You’ll want their bat that doesn’t look like anything else in the dugout.
The bat is highly durable and has a long barrel that is, actually, thicker than most of its competition. It’s a well-balanced rather than being top heavy which I really like.
The bat also has a thin handle, which means you’ve got momentum and increased swing speed when you use this.
Victus is a newer company which may scare some players away, but they’re taking the industry by storm.
Victus uses the highest quality maple in their bats and truly make bats that the pros would use. They take pride in only purchasing the highest (grade 1) quality maple.
Victus claims that their grade 1 maple adds 15-20 feet to your swing, which most players seem to support.
I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that it’s high quality maple, or the fact that this seems to have a large sweet spot. But the Victus is definitely worth a look.
There’s no warranty with this bat, so you’re hoping for the best each time you swing it.
Axe L180 Maple Composite Bat Review
Axe is another one of those companies that most people don’t know a lot about, but they offer a unique twist on the contemporary bat.
This is your typical maple bat that offers a hard exterior which should help you hit the ball further. What really stands out is that the name “Axe” comes from a theory that makes this bat unique.
The L180 (and all bats created by this company) actually has an axe handle rather than a typical knob.
The theory is that this axe handle increase your hand speed, and helps create a cleaner, smoother swing. Somehow, the unique grip makes a lot of players feel more relaxed.
The barrel is made from a specialized hard maple and the handle is a composite mixture of materials which helps ensure durability.
I’ve seen players use bats from this company for about two seasons with no issue. What separates this from the others is that it seems to have no vibration in the handle when hitters get jammed.
Some players are going to have issues with the axe handle and, because it’s different, refuse to use it.
I’ve been really impressed with the bat, and appreciate a company looking for an edge. Axe also offers an impressive 120 day warranty.
Marucci Chase Utley Pro Model Maple Bat Review
This is one of the best wood baseball bats that I’ve seen. It’s truly a tried and true quality bat made from maple. This has been around longer than any bat on this list.
I can’t make an “old” bat the best that we review, but it’s a great.
This is a well-balanced bat that’s made from maple. Every player that I’ve spoken has had nothing but good things to say about this bat.
It has great durability, even on its surface. After a full season, this bat, typically, doesn’t show much damage.
It seems like the Chase Utley is end loaded which means that some players are going to dislike it. Being end loaded means that it’s going to feel heavy.
If you aren’t already a powerful hitter, you may not want to buy this bat.
The most common complaint is that there should be some form of grip tape coming with the bat, which I don’t expect from any of the companies.
I have spoken with a few players who have broken the bat faster than they expected, but these are few and far between.
On average, these bats show great durability. Marucci only offers a 30 day warranty.
DeMarini D243 Maple Composite Bat Review
This bat isn’t going to make your eyes pop when you’re in the store, but the quality is still great. This composite bat offers a combination of quality and strength.
DeMarini claims that this bat is “almost unbreakable” which I wouldn’t look to test. They do back this claim up with a three month warranty.
This bat isn’t flashy, but is rock-solid. It’s got a large sweet spot and offers great pop (the barrel is made from maple).
It’s also end loaded which means that if you’re able to adjust to the way that it’s weighted, you’ll be able to hit for great power.
Players say that there is only one downfall to this bat. It can be very slippery if you’re not used to using a bat that doesn’t have a grip.
Because of this fact, every player has told me that they need to use pine tar.
Some say you need a lot of it. That doesn’t change the fact that this is an all-around solid bat.
I would suggest this bat for power hitters more than contact hitters. Having the bat end-loaded may make it difficult for some contact hitters to continue putting up good contact numbers.
MaxBat Pro Model R10 Wood Bat Review
MaxBat isn’t a wildly popular company, but they offer quality bats. This maple bat is another example of an end-loaded weapon for power hitters.
It is the same model that Wil Myers uses on game day. He may not be a great major league player, but he has a great bat with his name on it. It has a unique look, but maintains the typical quality of a maple bat.
Most players are skeptical of a different brand since MaxBat still hasn’t reached the top of the industry, but the WM9 is worth a look.
It has good pop, but not great. It is however able to make up for lost power with a larger barrel, allowing for a larger sweet spot.
A few players that I work with have said that buying the WM9 has changed their outlook on MaxBats as a brand.
That is, because they love this bat so much, they’re willing to consider MB for their next bat as well.
The measurements for this bat are a bit weird: the barrel is thirty-seconds, the knob is measured in eighths, and the handle is sixteenths which are all different from your usual measurements.
It’s also typically ends up being a drop 2.5 which isn’t standard either.
Old Hickory Mike Trout Maple Review
The MT27M is named after Mike Trout which, obviously, sells to the kids. This bat looks pretty ordinary, but using Trout’s name for branding will guarantee its popularity. This bat offers great pop and with an end-loaded swing.
Like all of our other bats, the end-load means that it is best suited for power hitters who can use the end-load to drive the ball further.
This bat is made from maple ensuring high exit speeds. Players tell me that the bat also offers a large sweet spot. The bat has a thin handle which should help with bat speed as well.
Old Hickory has done everything they can to make this bat the best they can for a hitter.
Most players tell me that Old Hickory offers great durability though I have talked to a few guys who have had issues.
They said that the bat broke within a few months. But, by and large I’ve heard great things about Old Hickory and all of their products.
In summary, there are a lot of great wood bats out there. Companies are working harder now than ever before to come up with new products that can beat out their competition.
Whether it’s a new material, a new style of knob or a different way to mix the materials, companies are doing everything they can to earn your business.
For my money, I’d buy composite or bamboo because they’re going to last the longest. But you’ve seen that there are a lot of quality maple bats as well.
I’ve never been terribly impressed with ash because of the durability concerns.
Take the time to analyze what type of bat you like before ever picking anything up.
Do you want something end-loaded or something well balanced?
Do you want a normal handle or something that’s a little thinner?
Does the appearance of the bat really matter to you, or are you only focused on the ability to hit?
You should have the answers to all of these questions before you walk into the store.
If you’re able to answer the previous questions, you’ll be able to find the right, best wood bat for you.