Compared to aluminum or composite bats, wood bats have smaller sweet spots. This means that if you learn to hit with a wooden bat, you can comfortably use just about any other bat made from any other material.
That all wooden bats come from trees goes without saying, but it does not mean they perform equally. Wood bats differ in terms of brand, quality, durability, among other features. Baseball as a sport has continued to grow, and so have the choice of bats in the market. This is partly why finding the best wood bats out there can be an uphill task.
To help you make an informed decision, we scoured the market and picked the best wood bats money can buy. Allow us to walk you through each one of them and single out all their distinct features.
Chase Utley Maple Wood Baseball Bat
The CU26 baseball bat by Marucci is a perfectly balanced model made to maximize contact and bat speed. Marucci Bat Company prides itself as a true traditional bat maker that preserve crafting technique of the earliest bat makers. The CU26 features top-grade maple cut from naturally grown trees in Pennsylvania.
In keeping true to the company’s love for tradition, the CU26 has a thin handle finished and detailed by hand. This allows for greater bat speed and longer hits. It has a comfortable feel ideal for versatile hitters with a knack for powerful, reverberating hits on every occasion.
To make a well-balanced bat, each unit is 100% hand-made. In fact, the process begins by handpicking top-grade wood for each bat. The wood is then calibrated, lacquered, and buffed by hand.
Every experienced hitter will tell you how important it is to have a hard and high-density bat. The CU26 is bone-rubbed to resemble naturally occurring pores, hence increasing its density. ‘Boning’ is actually a traditional hardening technique embraced by some of the best hitters in history.
Besides guaranteeing a greater pop, boning actually makes the CU26 more durable than similar bats in the market. An ultra-penetrating black finish goes a long way towards improving its aesthetic appeal.
That the CU26 also has a pro Ink Dot means it’s a trusted sporting companion.
180 Ash Natural Baseball Bat
If you find ash more appealing than maple, you might want to give the Louisville Slugger 180 a try. Louisville Slugger bats are iconic within the confines of baseball, and this particular model is undoubtedly at the top of the pack.
This bat is constructed of natural ash wood. For your information, ash is more flexible than maple thanks to its unique grain structure. In fact, if you take a look at the Louisville Slugger 180, you will clearly see lines of grain running through the barrel. This is why ash wood bats rarely break compared to those constructed of maple.
Because of its flexibility, the 180 allows batting enthusiasts to whip the sweet spot as often as they wish. Besides, it’s much more forgiving than most bats made of maple or birch. What that means is that if you don’t make contact with the sweet spot, you can still pull off a wonderful hit by striking the baseball off the end of the bat.
The Louisville Slugger 180 has a natural uncorrupted finish which gives it a genuine edge over similar models. It has a clean, polished design capped by a traditional knob and a thin handle. It’s easy to swing and also has a comfortable feel.
A bat that’s too long for you can be a hindrance to great pops. And this is why the Slugger NA 180 is available in three sizes – 32″, 33″, and 34″.
Just like other wood bats in its price range, the Louisville Slugger 180 is prone to flaking and splintering, especially when exposed to heat.
Bamboo Elite Wood Baseball Bat
For best performance every time you step up to the plate, you need a bat that gives you confidence. This is exactly what the Bamboo Elite baseball bat by Mizuno does.
First, this is one of the best-looking bats currently on the market. While the knob and handle are painted red, the barrel and sweet spot are solid black. Mizuno has been a household name among baseball lovers for more than 30 years – thanks to its unique craftsmanship.
The Mizuno Bamboo Elite is actually an upgrade of earlier versions aimed at perfecting batting as a skill. It features a unique patented construction of composite bamboo and glass fiber handle/taper and bamboo barrel, so this is technically a composite bat.
To give you a better grip, the handle is sanded by hand. The end is cupped for more balance. These are the features you need as either a novice or experienced batter. The Mizuno Bamboo Elite is BBCOR certified to meet NCAA and NFHS standards.
This bat is also designed to reduce vibrations. This, however, does not affect its performance, and players love its incredible pops. The Mizuno Bamboo Elite comes with a 120-day warranty that guarantees you an immediate replacement in case of breakage.
If you are an experienced hitter, the Marucci CU26 might be just what you need to take your skills to a higher level. Its traditional highly-density design would be ideal for not just for novice players taking up baseball as a recreational sport, but also seasoned professional players looking for an energy-efficient alternative.
The Louisville Slugger 180 would be ideal for you if you’re still in the process of mastering batting techniques. Its more forgiving design allows you to strike the baseball off the end of the bat. Besides, a natural finish means this is a bat for all occasions.
When preparing for a major baseball tournament or a series of recreational events, the Mizuno Bamboo Elite would be a good companion. It combines a sleek design with a unique construction that can do wonders for your skill and confidence.