After researching over 50 wooden baseball bats from the top manufacturers we found the Mizuno Maple Elite MZM 110 to be the best.
This list is the result of over 40 hours of research spent digging up customer testimonials, analyzing existing product reviews, and going through each manufacturers product pages.
The article represents the wooden baseball bats that stood out to us while conducting our research.
Their are many great woods bats on the market but the one that’s best for you depends on your preference for balance and feel.
- REVIEW SECTION: BEST WOOD BATS 2020
- Mizuno Maple Elite MZM 110
- DeMarini DI13
- DeMarini D243 (New Version)
- Louisville Slugger 225 Youth Hornsby Ash
- Marucci JB19 Maple
- Easton S1 Hybrid Maple/Bamboo
- DeMarini D110
- Marucci Chase Utley Cu26 Pro Maple Black Wood Bat
- Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA
- Easton Mako Ash Power Brigade
- Mizuno MZB 271 Custom Classic Bamboo
- 2020 BUYER’S GUIDE: HOW TO CHOOSE BEST WOOD BASEBALL BATS?
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WOOD BATS
REVIEW SECTION: BEST WOOD BATS 2020
Mizuno Maple Elite MZM 110
Made from hand picked maple the MZM 110 is uncompromising in its ability to crush a baseball. We found it to be a well balanced bat with great pop and solid feel.
The barrel size has been increased for 2020. Other key features include a cupped end for light swing speed and improved grip.
The bat is 3 (-3) inches but wood bats vary and some bats have a -2.5 drop.
Mizuno has a reputation for quality wood bats and many reports of this bat lasting an entire season.
DeMarini DI13 design offers superior performance. Being a composite bat, it features various parts that are made separately using different techniques. This helps in perfecting each bat part depending on its purpose.
The bat’s swing weight has a slightly end load. It has a large barrel that helps in creating a larger sweet spot. The product has a lighter swing weight and a ratio of -3. Following through with it is easy because the bat transfers all the hitting power to the ball.
DeMarini DI13 is approved for Perfect Game, BBCOR, Rookie Ball and Short-Season A training and competitions. It has an end knob and features a slim and enhanced grip. The model is strong and remains in good shape for a long time.
DeMarini D243 (New Version)
This is a great wood bat that provides amazing results for a long period of time. The product is made using the best materials. That is why it remains efficient for a long time. This is a good option for players with great upper body strength.
DeMarini D243 is made using the best maple. It is composite and has a swing weight that has a load slightly at the end. Its barrel is enlarged to create a wider and better sweet spot. It has an instant pop sound and provides the true feel of a wood bat.
Following through with the bat is easy because it transfers all the hitting power to the ball. It offers a nice grip and requires no break-in.
Louisville Slugger 225 Youth Hornsby Ash
Louisville Slugger 225 Youth Hornsby Ash is a youth bat made by the Louisville Slugger. It is a quality bat that is made of ash wood. The bat has a Hornsby finishing and has a cupped end makes it light for kicks. Control is amplified thanks to the bat’s flexibility. This products comfort will help you play for long without straining.
Marucci JB19 Maple
This is a good quality maple bat from by Marucci. The baseball bat features a handle finishing that is natural and has a diameter of 15 or 16 inches. Weight distribution over the bat is favored by the cupped end. Marucci JB19 is made from a high-grade wood. Its barrel diameter is two and a half-inch long. This allows you to hit a ball through a wider spot.
Easton S1 Hybrid Maple/Bamboo
The hybrid Easton S1 is a hybrid bat that is certified by the BBCOR. Its core is made of bamboo and is covered with a maple barrel with a professional grade. The model features a speed design that is pro balanced and has a cap end that is cupped to make it light enough for all swings. Its chances of cracking are so low.
A composite bat that contains various pieces that provide a specific effect to the bat. This makes the bat highly efficient because each piece it has performs in its best manner.
The product is made using maple wood and medium barrel size that contributes to a balance swing. The product has a ratio of -3 and completely focuses all the hitting power to the ball. Ideal for ball players looking to control their power.
DeMarini D110 is approved for Perfect Game, BBCOR, Rookie Ball and Short-Season A. It features an end knob that helps in enhancing its swing balance. It has a slim and firm grip. It is strong and lasts long.
Marucci Chase Utley Cu26 Pro Maple Black Wood Bat
With a large barrel this maple bat from Marucci called the CU26 offers a solid POP! It has a thin handle and a traditional knob at the end provides balance. Marucci Chase Utley is a versatile bat for youth and adult players. It is bone rubbed to retain its original density.
Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA
A quality bat from Louisville Slugger that comes in several sizes. Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA is a bat that has a natural finishing which makes it have a very good grip. It’s a comfortable, classic ash bat.
Easton Mako Ash Power Brigade
Easton Mako Ash Power Brigade Wood Bat is a quality bat made by the Easton. It is 33 inches long and has a 15 or 16-inch handle that is tapered. This means that any player can use it without struggling. Its cupped end makes it light for swings. The product is grade ash manufactured and lasts for long. It also has a branded orange covering that is naturally stretched over its barrel.
Mizuno MZB 271 Custom Classic Bamboo
Mizuno MZB 271 Custom Classic Bamboo Baseball Bat is a good bat that is manufactured by Mizuno. It is made of bamboo. The bat is BBCOR certified and features a sanded handle. This helps you grip it perfectly when playing. Its end is cupped to favor your balancing and hit power maximization. This bat is made to last for long. It is cute and can be used in official competitions.
2020 BUYER’S GUIDE: HOW TO CHOOSE BEST WOOD BASEBALL BATS?
It seems that buying a baseball bat is simple like visiting your nearby sporting goods store and picking one up. But the truth is that there are lots of things that go into choosing a good wood bat. Below are some important features to check before making any purchase.
Examine the vital features of the best wood bats before buying
There are three major kinds of wood used in making the best wood bats including ash, birch, and maple.
- Ash baseball bats are the most common and lightest material to make the wooden bats. They offer a great pop and flexibility, allowing you to make the quickest swing. However, you should notice the softness of the ash bat since it tends to break with ease while the ball is less likely to go far when being hit.
- Maple baseball bats are preferred by professional players because they offer extra power, pop, and durability. As the heaviest bat with the smallest sweet spot, they are ideal for hitters.
- Birch baseball bats are another popular material that many players love to work with. It is a great combination of the flexibility of the ash and the strength of the maple. It is also heavy like the maple. But if you need speed in your swings, this type is not a good pick. Aside from three main types, you also find other materials.
- Bamboo bats are known as the most durable one, even more as compared to the maple ones. But in terms of performance, the maple bats are better. Hence, you should use the bamboo baseball bat for practicing, not for the games.
- Composite bats are made from a mixture of various woods. For instance, a composite bat might come with a bamboo core with a maple shell or an ash/maple barrel with a carbon fiber handle. Overall, this type is one of the best performing wood bats. Though its price is a bit high in some cases.
The next important feature is the bat weight since it affects the swing speed and the exit speed of the ball. Basically, the more weight a baseball bat is, the slower it is going to swing. For example, a maple bat is very dense and hard. Although it is heavier, it delivers better ball exit speed than the ash one, which is less dense and lightweight.
So, if you want to attain outstanding swing speed, a light-weight bat is what you need. In case you are a power hitter, you should find the heavier one with a more solid barrel.
To decide the swing speed and durability of a good wood bat, checking the handle diameter is a MUST. If your hand is large, you need a large handle diameter to grasp with ease. Besides, this one is suitable for power hitters who need a durable bat. On the contrary, a handle with a small diameter will fit the small hands. Aside from these two above, you can find the thinner handle that is easy to use and swing at greater speeds. Although it tends to break, if what you want is speed and you are a contact hitter, it will be a good choice.
Similar to the handle diameter, the barrel diameter comes with different options. Smaller barrels tend to be lighter and easier to hold. They can provide good swing speeds; however, they cannot hit hard and far. So, they fit perfectly for contact hitters. In contrast, large barrels are, of course, heavier and deliver more hitting force. That’s why they are better suited for power hitters who own good arms strength and can handle the speed and swing momentum well.
Over the years, bat manufacturers have settled into creating some standard models which are used to describe the overall bat.
- M110, which is created for Mickey Mantle, is known as a durable and well-balanced bat. It has a 1-inch thick handle and a long taper to 2.5-inch barrel diameter. The 110 is an ideal choice for hitters that are new to using a wooden bat.
- 271 is the most common and popular shape when it comes to a baseball bat. It features a thin handle (15/16-inch) with a long taper to the 2.5-inch barrel diameter. Since the 271 is lightweight, yet end-loaded, it is a favorite amongst contact and power hitters.
- 243 is famous for power hitters because of its long and large barrel size. It also has a 2.625-inch barrel diameter and a thinner 29/32-inch thick handle. In case you are new to hitting, you shouldn’t use it since the 243 tends to break with ease.
- 141 is considered as a combination between the handle of the M110 and the barrel of the 271. With a long and measured taper, it is well-balanced and can keep some flexibility at contact.
- I-13 looks like the barrel of the 243; however, it comes with a more gradual and thicker handle. Although it’s known as a durable and sturdy bat, its larger components end with a heavy bat.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WOOD BATS
What Are The Best Brands Of Wood Bats?
Demarini is an American sports company that is reputable for manufacturing softball and baseball bats and batting gloves. It specializes in composite wood bats, especially maple-composite ones. However, their products are certified for some leagues including Short-Season A, Perfect Game, and Rookie Ball.
As one of the most pioneering companies in the history of the sports, Louisville Slugger is proud of showing a huge line of bats that pro players love to use. Its wooden bats are made from three main types including maple, birch, and ash. For this reason, it gets a high reputation for using the best-grain materials to manufacture the best craftsmanship and highest quality.
By offering an extensive range of affordable baseball bats, Easton is famous in high school and collegiate players. It specializes in composite wood bats as well as conventional ones made from maple, ash, and birch. Moreover, it is available in a variety of models including 110, 243, and 271. Since each includes its advantages, you easily find the best fits your demands.
The History Of Wood Bats?
The history of wood bats dates back to 1884 when these bats were first used for baseball. They were introduced as a replacement of the heavy hickory bats that players were finding increasingly hard and uncomfortable to use. Since their introduction, these bats have over the years become favorite playing equipment for both amateur and seasoned players. This is primarily because wood bats are easy to handle, control and swing to hit the ball. As such, the bats make it easy to polish and enhance a player’s hitting and control skills. Here are a few things to know about these bats:
How Wood Bats Are Made?
The process of making wood bats starts with finding the right type of wood; one that can be turned into a solid bat. The main source of wood used for making wood bats is shipped from Canada and the US. After receiving the wood, it is cut into the desired length and sharp using a high precision cutting machine. The cutting process is closely inspected for weight, grain straightness and blemishes. This is for ensuring that issues and defects that can contribute to a decline in quality are dealt with right from the onset.
After cutting, the wood is smoothened by sanding to remove any rough patches on the surface. The sanding process is undertaken in up to six cycles for evenness and uniformity throughout the bat. The wood is then undertaken through boning for purposes of compressing the grains in the wood. Consequently, the bonding process enhances durability and provides an extra “pop” that is characteristic of wood bats. Once the boning stage is complete, the wood is taking through a final sanding process to give it a nice shine.
The wood is then chopped to form a bat with the desired features, dimensions and features. Up to this stage, the bat has been inspected carefully for consistently in the smoothening, shining appearance, and pop. The bat then proceeds to the final stage whereby it is labeled and stained according to the customer’s specifications.
How To Keep Your Wood Bats From Breaking?
Despite wood bats being considerably hard and resistant to breaking, they are susceptible to breaking if used wrongly. It is worth noting that bat breakages can be injurious and can cause severe injuries. Most wooden bat breakages are a result of poor handling of the bat when swinging to hit the ball. Therefore, hold the bat with the logo facing you and rotate the bat gradually when swinging to hit the ball. This is so that the ball makes contact with the bat at the barrel.
Thin handles are also a leading cause of breakages in bats. In line with this, ensure that the bat of choice has a sufficiently thick and firm handle. The density of the wood in the bat also plays a contributory role towards breakages in these bats. Less dense bats break easily after a few hits and hence the need for having denser bats that will absorb the impact of the ball without breaking.
How To Clean And Maintain A Wood Baseball Bat?
Caring for the bat plays an important and crucial role towards enhancing its lifespan and enabling it to withstand wear and tear for long without any decline in its quality. The primary way of caring for your wood bat is cleaning it with alcohol or any other bat cleaner solution to remove dirt or any build-up of foreign material on the bat. Ensure that the bat is kept in dry and cool conditions away from moisture or dampness. Moisture is detrimental to wood bats.
Keep the bat dent free by rubbing out misshapen surfaces or dented spots on the barrel. A dent free and smooth bat ensures that players are able to enjoy spot-on hits all the time. When storing the bat, always ensure that the handle-side is up. The bat should be kept in an upright position away from extreme temperatures.
With the right care, attention and proper use, baseball bats are guaranteed to provide you with the best playing experience throughout their life. These bats have a characteristic pop sound that will help you stand out from other players when on the pitch. Never use your bat to hit hard surfaces like concrete or metallic surfaces as this will dent the bat hence interfering with its quality.
What Are The Good Materials For Wood Bats?
Baseball is a game of precision and timing. Every player should start by learning the basics of hitting before advancing. The practice is important, it can only be correct and effective if you are using the correct equipment. Your bat is important.
Wood bats are the best when it comes to practice. They give you the original feel of baseball and help you practice efficiently. The wooden bats help you quickly gain the correct batting speed and power. They should be your first priority for training.
There are many varying wooden baseball bats in the market today. Choosing the best one that fits your hitting style may be hard. Having an in-depth look at the bats according to the material of make can help you understand them better and choose easily. The following is a complete review of the wooden bats and you should read it.
Materials used: Wooden bats are made using varying materials. They can be made using a single material, or feature a combination of more than one material. Each wooden bat type has its own features that allow you to enjoy a specific feel. For a better understanding, let us look at the bats independently according to the material used.
Ash bats are normally made from white ash. They can only be made using wood ash from the North because the Southern ash is not as heavy as the Northern one. Ash bats are common and available in various levels of quality.
High-quality ash bats are produced in small quantities and are normally found in bigger markets. They are a bit expensive than the other qualities. Their quality allows them to withstand heavy hits for a long period of time and without losing their pop.
Average quality wooden ash bats are produced for minor leagues. They are normally sold as pro stock and come labeled. The products are averagely priced and can easily be gotten. The minor league ash bats do not offer perfect performance when compared to the major league.
There are other ash bats available in the markets and do not normally come with labels. The bats can be graded as the retail, trophy or high school bats. Their performance and durability is not so good. The products are cheap and can easily be acquired.
Maple is a very good material that is used in making wooden bats. Maple bats are new in baseball when compared to the ash ones. The best material for making these bats is called sugar/rock maple and offers a very good feel for baseball batting.
Maple bats have continually been gaining fame in the Major league. This is because of the quality of service they offer to batters. Maple bats are known to remain strong and perfect for a longer period of time when compared to ash bats.
These bats are expensive money wise but considered cheap when compared to the performance they give. They do not flake and remain reliable for a very long period of time, especially when the best quality ones are chosen.
Maple bats are available as either soft or hard. Soft maple bats are made using red/silver maple, and cannot offer better performance. Hard maple bats are the best, and every player should be keen enough with the quality when purchasing these bats.
Hickory is a heavy and hard tree that produces quality wooden baseball bats. Due to it being heavy, the bats produced may be heavy. This makes some players avoid the bats because of fearing any hit strains.
Advancement in technology has helped in uncovering new ways of creating lighter hickory wood bats. The amount of water inside the wood is the one responsible for most of its weight. Advanced drying methods have aided in the process of ensuring that the wood loses most of its water and remains lighter.
Hickory wooden bats are always strong and retain the strength for a very long period of time. Their durability makes them reliable, especially where strong hits are expected. Hickory bats are known for retaining their original shape and feel for a very long time.
Bamboo is known for being strong and durable. This has made it be considered in the making of wooden bats. You can easily find bamboo bats anywhere. The advantages these bats offer makes them good for all baseball players no matter their level of play.
Bamboo bats come with a very good surface that does not flake. A player does not need to wrap its barrel with tape at any time because its surface retains the natural texture throughout. The bat remains strong and tight for a long time.
These bats offer a very good pop that is natural. They produce a very good sound that expresses the real taste of a wooden bat. Bamboo bats are good on taking miss-hits and this makes them good for all the beginners.
Composite and Combination
These are bats made using a combination of more than one wood material. They are manufactured using advanced technology and tend to place every material where it performs best in a bat. These bats have a sophisticated feel and performance. Composite and combination bats are allowed in certain leagues and games, but may not be used in the major league. Their perfection makes them surpass the normal feel and performance a natural wood bat should offer. People tend to have varying ideas and opinions about these bats. Choosing the best combination of the material may be hard because every manufacturer uses their own knowledge which may not be the same as that of the others.
Wooden bats are used in the natural development and advancement of every baseball player. You should use it, especially when practicing so as to gain the needed feel for baseball. Wooden bats may be heavier and with more pop than the other bats. This helps you get used to withstand any kind of baseball batting.
Always consider the material used in making your ideal wooden bat. Knowing and understanding the materials used in making these products help you know what to expect from every bat. With the information above, you should now be able to easily choose the best wood bats that fit your hitting style.