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Every player in baseball or softball uses a bat in a game. Often times, baseball and softball players associate the sound of a bat hitting the ball and its performance. Those familiar “Crack”, “Pop”, and “Ping” are sure to bring a tater (home-run) when carefully chosen. With so much variety available in the market today, every consumer should be aware of the best softball bats to use during practices or official games. In the early days traditional wood bats were the only option for players. Through some ingenuity, traditional wood bats in the market are now shelved with composite, aluminum, and alloy-made bats. With much variety to choose from, how would you know which is the best bat suited for you?
Wood bats are the grandfather of all baseball bats; they originated with the game of baseball. Wood bats usually give off that classic “crack” sound when it comes in contact with the ball. These bats are traditionally made from hickory, but as different brands emerged, you could be easily holding a wood bat made from bamboo or composite wood. These days, the best wood baseball bats are made from maple and white ash materials. These materials are chosen because of their density.
Wood bats are strictly used by the Major League Baseball. Home runs would happen more often if players used bats made with different materials (e.g. alloy and aluminum) because these bats tend to have more distance capabilities. On average, wooden bats produce 88-90 mph ball speed. That is why wood bats are the best baseball bats for a professional league to keep the game more challenging for the players.
Composite bats are usually made of graphite and carbon materials bonded together with resin. Graphite bats during the early ‘80s were the best softball bats to use and were even advertised as “having the strength of aluminum and the performance of wood.”Composite bats give off a “pop” sound when it comes in contact with the ball because of the higher damping of the barrel. A higher damping rate means the vibrations from a bat-ball contact will quickly die away and the player will not feel it.
Composite bats available in the market are used in slow-pitch games. These bats’ biggest advantages are its distance capabilities, lightweight materials, and its capability to produce batted ball speeds in excess of 105 mph. However, you need to take the time to break in a composite bat. Composite bats usually take time to reach its peak performance.
Unlike wood bats, composite bats are currently banned from some leagues because its performance changes overtime. In addition, cold weather is the main enemy of a composite bat; it is not advisable to use this bat in low temperatures because it tends to become very brittle and fragile.
Aluminum bats are bats made of either single-walled or double-walled aluminum material. These aluminum bats available in the market can produce batted ball speeds of 90-100 mph. Aluminum bats give off that dramatic “ping” sound when it comes in contact with the ball. These bats are light to swing and they tend to drive the balls far in the field.
The aluminum material gives off a “trampoline-like” effect in the bat with which the bat acts as a spring during a bat-ball collision. Unlike the composite bat, you no longer need to break in an aluminum bat; its performance is already at its peak once you take it off from its package. The debate whether a composite or aluminum bat is better in performance is yet to be concluded. Both bats are unique and they have their own lists of advantages and disadvantages.
Alloy bats are also made of aluminum material mixed with other metals. Make-up alloy bats are known for their durability. After sustaining minor damages, players can still use alloy bats, unlike wood and composite bats that eventually wear off and break overtime.
Other than its durability alloy bats can be the best softball bats to use because they are less-expensive and you do not need to break them in upon purchase. Alloy bats also benefit from the “trampoline-like” effect which allows the balls to travel at great speed. However, the drawback of the alloy bats’ durability is that it is heavier than composite bats and it produces a less stagy “pop” sound compared to a composite bat.