If you are just beginning with the game, there are really a lot of things to consider when buying a bat. For the pros or those who have been playing the game for a long time however, proper research is still needed when bat shopping.
Indeed, it is still best to explain and breakdown the things to consider when buying before finding out the best bats available and ultimately buying the right one for you.
Some people, especially those who are new into the sports think they can use softball bats on baseball games. But this is not really possible. While there are a lot of similarities between softball and baseball, the two games are widely different. Bats are made to fit a league. The softball is bigger than the baseball. The pitching style is also different for both sports. These differences play a big factor in the equipment used so while they are similar in some aspects, the equipment used in each sport cannot be interchanged.
- Features to consider in Good Softball Bats
- The Best Softball Bats 2021
- Guide to Buying the Best Softball Bats
Features to consider in Good Softball Bats
There are a lot of things to consider when shopping for a softball bat and you need to carefully review them in order to find what you need. Some of the bats available are not cheap and you would not want to buy something that won’t serve its purpose in the long run.
This is the first thing that should be considered when buying a bat. There are certain markings that you can find in the bat that state what league it can be played. You might see something like ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, and ISA on the bat that you are eying.
Indeed, different bats are approved and certified to be used in different associations so reviewing the marking are truly vital.
While weight is important, it usually depends on your personal preference and game type. Fastpitch softball needs a lighter bat while slowpitch needs somewhat heavier.
One of the most important aspects of a softball bat is its weight. It varies among models and it’s totally a matter of your personal preference.
In softball bats, the weight is given in terms of drop weight. A lightweight bat tends to have a higher drop weight.
Both soft pitch and fastpitch bats have generally the same length. So it is not really a requirement in terms of game. But choosing the perfect length for the player is very important.
Sometimes, you have to take necessary measurement of your own length and weight to find the bat that fits you rightly. Also, the length varies in the type of league. Will you be using it for youth softball? For pro games?
Design of the bat
For new players, it is best to check whether you will be playing for a soft pitch or a fastpitch softball game. Bats used for each softball games have different designs and capabilities.
You would also want to check the material used in the bat construction. Alloy bats are generally made with one-piece aluminum while composite bats are made from a mixture of composite bats, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass. Some leagues though, don’t allow the use of a composite bat.
The barrel is the part of the bat that touches the ball directly. For hitters, the barrel diameter is indeed important.
A big barrel diameter is believed to be good, given the amount of surface area that will touch the ball. The general diameter however for softball is 2 1/4 inches.
Whether you are comfortable in holding the bat for a long period of time during play depends on the weight. For added comfort and ease however, the grip should be considered initially.
The grip is about 10 to 15 inches long. Some are covered with leather, rubber, or soft synthetic material. Many players love rubber grip because of its ability to absorb shock. When buying a bat, it is important to feel the grip and try it a lot of times to check for comfort level.
The taper is the one that connects the handle and the barrel. The diameter of a taper is about 31/32 of an inch. Those who would like to improve the swinging capacity for the bat study the type of taper generally.
Narrow taper, some believed, can help greatly in the swing. Wider taper, however, aids in reducing vibrations on contact.
This aids in helping with the bat swing. Increased weight knob means a faster swing.
While this is considered as just an extra item attached to bat, careful consideration for the end cap would help a lot in terms of bat buying. It generally keeps the interior of the bat safe and helps greatly in balancing the bat.
Types of Softball Bats
There are two types of softball games — the slowpitch softball and the fastpitch softball. These two, of course, requires specific bats which are, of course, the slowpitch bats and the fastpitch bats. And while the two games are quite similar, there are still some notable differences between the two.
The main difference between the two is the pitching. In a fastpitch game, the pitcher winds his or her arm around by releasing the ball underarm. Fastpitch balls are mostly thrown at an upwards angle and can exceed speeds of 50-60 mph.
In a slow pitch game, however, the pitcher steps and tosses the ball underarm without moving the arm around. Here, the balls are thrown at a slower speed.
Slowpitch bats have separate barrels and usually a large sweet spot. It is heavier compared to the fastpitch bats with weight about 26 to 30 oz.
Slowpitch bat barrels can be a single-walled or double-walled and the weight on the barrel can be balanced or end-loaded.
Fastpitch bats have a narrow and sleek construction. These bats are generally lighter in weight, between 23 to 28 ounces because of the style of pitching for fastpitch softball game.
Fastpitch bats are designed to give players maximum swing speed.
Both soft pitch and fastpitch softball bats can be made up of composite, aluminum, alloy or wood material. Both bat classifications can have a one-piece, two-piece or three-piece construction. There is also no difference between the length of the bat. It just really depends on the pitching.
The Best Softball Bats 2021
Apart from its high-end endorsers, Louisville Slugger, for many softball and football enthusiasts, truly delivers and they all perfectly fit league matches. And true enough, the product releases of the brand are some of the best today.
It is only fitting that Louisville Slugger tops the list of the best softball bats. The price might be a bit high especially for those who are just starting with the sport but it is guaranteed durable and will deliver for such a long period of time.
The Xeno X19 is the best fastpitch bat release for 2020. This two-piece bat that boasts of an IST Xstiff technology construction provides a smooth transition of energy from the handle to the barrel while reducing feedback vibration. It is made from premium-grade material and is ready for use even without the break-in.
The Xeno X19 is patented with S1ID Barrel Technology that provides power upon swing. Its barrel has a lightweight x-shaped end cap that aids in the bat speed and improves balance.
DeMarini is also one of the top brands of softball and baseball bats. Throughout the years, they continue to create and release bats that are constantly changing in order to deliver high-performance in the field. The brand sure knows how to innovate.
For the 2019 CF Zen fast-pitch, there is actually a lot of technology that went on into its development like having the exact temperature to cure its barrel. The result is a very balanced, consistent feel of the bat.
The 2019 CF Zen fast-pitch is perfect for advanced players. It is made of high-grade premium materials and impeccable design. The 2 5/8 barrel is made fro Paraflex+composite material which is crucial in delivering the perfect flex to hit the softball solid and far. It also features a drop 10 length to weight ratio and the new USA Bat stamp.
DeMarini also used 3Fusion System for the 2019 CF Zen. This means that from the end cap to the knob, everything is made in perfect balance.
Easton is also a top name when it comes to producing softball or baseball bats and the kind of technology they incorporate are consistently good.
This new Ghost Double Barrel fast-pitch softball bat is revolutionary. It combines an inner barrel with the lowest legal compression and a softer outer barrel for delivering superb performance. It is made with Xtra Tough Resin Matrix (XTX) composite material that makes up the barrel and the handle durable and comfortable. The CONNEXION+ Technology that is also incorporated with the bat is redesigned to eliminate negative vibrations in the hands when playing.
As for the composition, the 2019 East Ghost Double Barrel fast-pitch softball has the standard 2 1/4-inch barrel, a drop 10 length to weight ratio, and the USSSA 1.20 BPF certified stamp. For extra comfort, the Easton Ghost has a thin 29/32-inch handle that comes pre-wrapped with a 1.2mm HYPERSKIN Diamond grip.
The bat is available in a variety of lengths: you can choose from 30 inches, 31 inches, 32 inches, 33 inches and 34 inches. The weight however, ranges from 20 ounces to 24 ounces.
Rawlings has been consistent in producing quality line of softball and baseball bats. They have been one of the oldest and established brands in the market today. The products no doubt are durable.
For this year, they introduced Rawlings Velo FP8V11. This fastpitch bat is made from composite material which aids players in giving high quality and strong performance in the field. The bat has a two-piece construction that connects the flexible barrel and the handle, leading to a greater degree of flex and solid hitting capacity.
The bat has a weight drop of -11 and its barrel is 2 1/4 in diameter. It is 29 inches in length. It is extremely lightweight, perfect for speed during play.
Many would attest that the Velo is one of the best fastpitch bats with a light swing available in the market today. While it is guaranteed durable and can get you through a lot of games, some say it should not be used a lot during practice or training but should be saved during actual games.
It is approved by ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, ISA, and other associations using 98 MPH with ABI.
Apart from its outstanding design, the 2018 Anderson Rocketech is actually one of the best fastpitch softball bats in the market because of its quality, composition, and technology. According to Anderson, this bat is bulletproof and yes, they are right.
The 2018 Rocketech is made from Aerospace Alloy and the 2 1/4 barrel has a multi-wall design, which makes this bat indestructible. The barrel also has a power arch technology of Anderson so expect no dent or crack during training and game.
The bat has a -9 drop weight and requires no break-in period. Its handle has a soft grip for additional comfort while working to reduce the vibration. Plus, it comes with an ultra-thin whip design for speed at play. A favorite among power hitters who absolutely know what they want while on the game.
But probably the best thing about Anderson bats it the price. They have one of the lowest price points in the market but their products are guaranteed durable and they truly perform. There are many positive reviews about their bats, particularly the Rocketech who is a top favorite.
The 2018 Anderson Rocketech is approved for use in ASA, NSA, ISA, USSSA and NCAA matches.
the Miken DC41 is no doubt one of the best performing bats available. The camouflage design is a favorite among players as well. And even if it has a high price point, players who are into slowpitch softball indeed favor this more.
The bat has an extended sweet spot and increased flex brought about by its 14 inches barrel, F2P Barrel Flex Technology, and 100 COMP composite fibers that are also responsible for making it very durable.
In general it has 2.25 inch barrel diameter and 14 inch barrel length. Bat weight range from 26 to and 39 oz. It is approved for play in all USSSA, NSA, and ISA leagues.
DeMarini has quite a number of good softball bats, both for fastpitch and softpitch game.
The Vendetta is one of the famous bats because it is slightly thinner, giving players more flexibility and balance during the game. This fastpitch bat also has a sleek design and color making it stand out in the field during play.
the bat is made with a 2-Piece bat construction, polished with a 100% Composite Design. The Paradox Composite Barrel is designed specifically for a softer yet harder performance. It also has aThe D-Lite Composite Handle to reduce vibration and for players to have a smoother feel on every swing. The Big D End Cap also aids in vibration and it also keeps the swing weight low, for more improved bat control.
The Vendettas has a -12 oz length to weight ratio, a 2 1/4″ barrel diameter and is approved for play at 1.20 BPF USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, ISF, and NCAA.
Another great product from Rawlings which is absolutely affordable yet delivers an outstanding performance in the field.
This 2018 Rawlings Storm Youth fastpitch softball bat taps the younger market, making it a good option for the youth league. It comes with one-piece design for a sleek, sturdy feel. What players love about the Storm is that it is extremely light to use that it is even perfect for beginners.
It is made from 100% Hyper-Lite Aluminum alloy, it has a X-Tended sweet spot, a 2 1/4 barrel diameter, and a 13 oz length to weight ratio.
It has 1.20 BPF USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, ISF approval stamps and comes in 24-, 25-, and 26-inch sizes.
To sum up the best softball bats, here is another inexpensive option for the youth from Easton that is complete with a solid yet cute pink color and design. But while it is pink and is great for girls playing softball, everyone youth players can use it and feel its power in the field.
The Easton Pink Sapphire does deliver and it is a great choice for beginners since they don’t have to spend a lot. It has a -10 drop weight, it is made from ALX50 military grade aluminum for extended durability, an ultra-thin 29/32″ handle, and a cushioned all-sports grip for comfort and control
Certified for ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, and ISF.
Mizuno is one of the most trusted sports brand today because it produce nothing but quality products. Aside from shoes, their bats, for baseball and softball, are made from quality and durable materials.
One of the best releases for slow bitch bat is the Nighthawk. It is made from black Onyx composite barrel and thin carbon fiber handle that adds a good amount of whip effect and strength in every hit. The bat is connected using advanced 2-piece link technology for reduced vibrations on the handle and easy energy transfer.
For slowpitch players, one of the favorite features of the bat is the barrel design. The 2 1/4 barrel has a triple wall design that brings about flexibility and power. It also has a huge sweet spot, making it easy for players to hit accurately. Most would attest that the Nighthawk does not need further breaking in. And much like its name, the colors available shine truly like a nighthawk.
The Nighthawk also has a robo load end-loaded swing weight, and certification stamps for play in USSSA, NSA, ASA, and ISA.
Guide to Buying the Best Softball Bats
Caring for Your Softball Bats
Softball bats experience a lot of beating during the game. While these are made to withstand all the pressure and are all made to be durable, it is also important to take care of it so that it will really last for a long period of time, even if used for both trainings and games.
Cleaning the bat after a game is a good step to take. Just wipe some dirt that accumulated in the bat after play and dry it immediately. The bat should not be exposed to chemicals as well.
If the bat has a leather part, a good leather cleaner should be used. It is also important to store the bat properly and not let others use it to keep its condition good.
The type of league
Every league has different rules. You should consider the kind of league you want to participate in before finally getting your softball bat. As discussed earlier, you cannot just use a single bat for every league. The certified stamps in the bat will serve as a guide on the league.
The type of softball game
Again, these two have different pitching styles and most brands have made a specific design of bats for the two softball games.
You may be able to use the same bat but it is really not recommended especially when you want to play the sport seriously.
According to experts, a durable bat means being able to stand more than 150 hits and still be ok. While some bats are prone to denting, sometimes, it won’t affect the total performance of the bat.
Most brands and manufacturers have managed to produced durable bats using specialized technology during construction.
This is a very important factor to consider when buying a bat. A player must absolutely know what type of material he or she wants to use for the bat.
There are different types of softball bats materials:
Aluminum bats are notably durable and are proven to stand a long period of time. The good thing about aluminum bats is that they are also lightweight. However, it does not help much with vibrations.
Composite bats are usually made of materials like graphite-fiber. They usually have great technologies that assist in reducing vibrations and creating more balance. While they are generally lighter than aluminum bats and have greater flex, not all leagues certify the use of composite bats. They are also more expensive compared to the more preferred aluminum bats.
Wood bats are the classic bats that were used a long time ago both by softball and baseball players. They are now usually being used during training. A wood bat can be made from ash, maple, or bamboo wood. While wood bats are durable, they are generally heavier.
Alloy bats are made from aluminum mixed with other metals. They are also preferred by many players because they are cheaper and they do not require break-in time. However, allow bats usually have small sweet spots and vibrations can be felt as well during every hit.
Heavier or lighter bats
While this may depend on your preference, it is important to note that a heavier softball bat slows down the swing speed but can give stronger hits. Lighter bats, on the other hand, can give you more control and flexibility.
Choosing the weight of the bat can also depend on your strength as a player. Most professional players use both light and heavy bats during play.
Balance and end-loaded
These are the two type of softball bats that take into consideration the weight overall. With balanced bats, the weight is equally distributed throughout the bat. They are generally faster and works best with contact or base hitters. End-loaded bats, on the other hand, have most of the weight concentrated on the end of the barrel near the end cap. The extra weight gives more momentum during the swing and this greatly benefits players who are looking for more power.
Single wall or Double wall Bats
As the name implies, a single wall bat has a single wall barrel. This type of bat is usually used by professional players on leagues that have stricter restrictions. They are durable and more affordable but typically have low batted speed. A double-wall bat, however, has double-wall barrels and a higher batted speed. Double-wall bats have more flex and are more durable and are usually more preferred.
This also plays a major role in buying a bat.
There are four different types of softball bat construction
Only one material is used to make a one-piece bat and both handle and barrel are the same. A preferred choice for hitters, the one-piece bat is usually used by a pro or advanced players.
A two-piece bat has a separate handle which connected to a barrel. Hybrid bats (two materials) have two-piece construction. The two-piece bat has more flex and can help in reducing vibrations.
Generally, a three-piece bat has an additional item attached between the handle and the barrel.
A four-piece bat has 4 parts namely the inner barrel, outer barrel, collar piece, and a handle. This is less common and is not always available but is hailed for its good pop.
Finding the best softball bat for you is easy if you are equipped with proper research and the right information.
Softball is a fun game but can get complicated because of its type and because different softball leagues have different rules. Aside from the league, other factors usually will still depend upon your personal preferences but it won’t hurt to check on them to help you.
There are many brands offering good quality and durable bats. Feel free to check and see if you are comfortable for you to find your best fit.