Softball is a great way to stay active and be in a great shape, no matter if you are a pro or just a Sunday player. Whatever your level is, you need good and reliable gear. Getting a solid bat and decent gloves will save you a lot of headache and make your playing experience truly extraordinary. But how are you supposed to know which to choose? There are numerous products on the market already and every day you may bump into new ones. If you are feeling a bit lost, you don’t need to worry – we’ve compiled a list of best softball bats and reviewed them meticulously for you so you don’t have to buy a pig in a poke! Don’t let poor the equipment stop you!
Best Softball Bats of 2016 Quick Comparison Chart
|Louisville Slugger LXT PLUS 10||$$$||Fast-Pitch||9.5|
|2016 DeMarini Mercy||$$$||Slow-Pitch||9.4|
|Easton 2015 FP15MK10 MAKO CXN ZERO||$$$||Fast-Pitch||8.3|
|Louisville Slugger Z-4000 USSSA Balanced||$$$||Slow-Pitch||8.9|
|Louisville Slugger 2014 Warrior||$$||Slow-Pitch||7.9|
Our Recommended Picks of Top Rated Softball Bats
Here is a list of products that we believe are top notch and worth every penny. For your convenience we’ve chosen high- and medium priced products, as well as cheap ones. If looking for durability and quality you can’t go wrong with any of these:
Louisville Slugger Lxt Plus
Simply one of the best in its category. It’s a three-piece composite bat which introduces TRU3 Explosive Power Transfer, ensuring light swing weight and reduced vibration.
- Best Features: high quality, provides great balance and comfort, nice and soft handle.
Easton MAKO FP15MK10
Mako FP15MK10 is a two-piece full composite beauty which offers the owner great speed, comfort and a great sweet spot. To achieve that, manufacturers used TCT Thermo Composite Technology which really do wonders!
- Best Features: decent quality, great pop, performance diamond grip.
Easton Typhoon is an affordable bat, but offers a decent quality for the price you pay. Even though it is not as high quality as more pricy models, it is still a good choice for someone who don’t have too much money to spend or simply doesn’t need anything better.
- Best Features: Cheap and great looking.
When looking for best softball bats this product may be worth your time and money. Don’t get deceived by the title and its extremely light weight, this two-piece composite bat is a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Great feeling combined with 13 inch barrel results in top notch product that will never disappoint you.
- Best Features: high quality, durability, stiff one-piece feeling.
Louisville Slugger Z-4000
Z-4000 offers TRU3 three-piece composite construction which offers great balance, speed and power. Tons of pop, great feeling and large sweet spot makes it a great choice for the price you need to pay for it. I could definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a great product without spending tons of money.
- Best Features: great quality for the price, sounds great, hot right out of the wrapper.
2014 Louisville Slugger Warrior
Warrior is extremely durable and comfortable. Even though it is no match for the models mentioned above, it still offers OK quality, especially for the cheap price.
- Best Features: price.
Our Picks of Cheap Softball Bats
Not everyone wants to, or have enough money to spend hundreds of dollars on their equipment. If your budget is tight, we’ve got something for you – we’ve selected the best cheap softball bats for fast- and slow pitch games.
- Best Features: durability, swing speed
No wonder Easton’s equipment dominated the low price category – it simply offers good gear for a low price. This one, similarly to the fastpitch counterpart mentioned above, is made from aluminium alloy. In addition to nice swing speed and durability it offers large sweet spot.
- Best Features: durability, swing speed, large sweet spot, nice design.
When looking for cheap softball bats, you can’t go wrong with any of those mentioned above. However, you should not expect getting a top notch bat for 30 bucks; those often cost 10 times more and are often well worth the price.
Choosing Best Softball Bats
Bat is probably the most important piece of your player’s arsenal (but, for instance, you will also need softball bag for bat and equipment or good pants) therefore there are many things you need to take into consideration when buying one. It is always good to have clear image of what you need right at the very beginning of your buying journey rather than getting a product that would be disappointing or not what you really need. Here are a few things that you should think about before making a purchase:
One-Piece or Two-Piece Design?
One-piece bats are perfect for larger and bulkier people. They are made of a solid piece of material (wood, aluminium alloy or composite) making it strong and stiff. This way very little energy is lost and all the power is transferred to the ball. Keep in mind that those require some strength to be effective. To sum up, if you’re a power-hitter, those would be a perfect choice for you.
Two-piece bats, as the name suggest, are made of two separate pieces – the handle and the barrel. What’s so special about it? That kind of design allows the bat to flex which results in better swing speed and power, making it a great choice for contact hitters.
Composite vs Aluminum
Composite bats use reinforced carbon fiber polymer in their construction. This makes them really lightweight which results in more bat speed and great control. What’s more, they are perfect when it comes to vibration reduction and reduced hand sting. Those bats tend to be more expensive but they offer great performance in exchange.
Keep in mind that they require breaking in for the most efficiency (do ~200 swings and rotate a quarter after each swing).
The second type of bat design you may be interested in is aluminium. These are often cheaper than composite ones which may be an important factor when your budget is tight. In addition to their great price, they offer durability and stiff feeling. Moreover, they require no breaking in and can be used in cold temperature.
Softball Bat Sizing – Length, Weight and Drop
For the best experience and the best results you must make sure that your bat is the right length for you You may start seeking the appropriate length by using your age as a guideline, following the chart below:
5-7 years old 24″-26″
8-9 years old 26″-28″
10 years old 28″-29″
11-12 years old 30″-31″
13-14 years old 31″-32″
15-16 years old 32″-33″
17+ years old 34″
However, this method may only give you a rough idea about sizing as it is not always accurate. This is why we suggest using your height and weight as a guideline. There are two easy methods to check if the length is correct:
- The distance between the knob and the barrel should equal your arms’ length. Place the barrel at the central part of your chest and and try to reach the end of the barrel with your fingertips. If you can do that, the length is right. If you can’t, or if the end of the barrel reaches just to your wrist then you should consider getting a different size.
- Grab the bat, relax your arm pointing the bat towards the ground. If the bat reaches the ground the length is appropriate.
To choose the appropriate weight you must take your body style into consideration. You must feel comfortable and pick a bat that is neither too heavy or too light for you. Too heavy bat will result in losing control, creating a swing at an upward angle. If it is too light you won’t get maximum power out of your swing. Try holding the bat with arm extended to the side – if you can hold it for 30 seconds, then the weight is OK.
Drop is the difference between the height in inches and the weight in ounces. What does it mean? If a bat is drop 6 (you may also see this indicated as ‘-6’) then the difference between the weight and the height equals 6 (this way 34 inch bat would weigh 28 ounces). Most of the times the lower the drop the heavier the bat.
You can see how to determine the right size here:
Before buying make sure you know the rules of your league as some leagues tend to regulate the amount of drop acceptable.
Remember always to choose a bat that would that is tailored to your individual strengths, body type and play style. Instead of trying to hide your weaknesses, enhance your strengths!
How to take care of your Bat
Your bat is probably a single most important weapon in your softball’s gear arsenal. To make sure it serves you well and to maximise its lifespan you should take good care of it. There is a few do’s and don’ts you should know in order to keep your equipment in good health:
If you use an aluminium bat then you don’t need to worry about it as those are hot out of the wrap. However, users of composite barrels will need to spend a while breaking –in their equipment in order to reach its best performance.
Some bats have higher tolerancy for low temperatures than others, but generally you should avoid using them in temperatures below 55 degrees of Fahrenheit. There is no maximum temperature that you should avoid.
- Dimpled balls may damage your bat – do not use them to practice
- Limit your bat use (individual use would be best for its lifespan)
- Check if it has any damage every now and then
- Do not keep it in extremely cold or hot places
There is no equipment that could serve you forever, but if you follow tips above your gear should be fine and last for a long period of time.
Need More Information? Check Out Our Softball Bat Reviews
We’ve carefully tested every single bat to provide you with as informative articles as possible. We are aware that there are hundreds of products out there and it is a really hard task to find one that would perfectly suit your needs and you’d truly appreciate. This is why we’ve put a lot of effort into testing the products and writing reviews.
To make sure our articles provide you value we also contacted other players and coaches, and ask them for their opinions on products we reviewed. This way the outcome provides you with more than one point of view to make sure your money won’t go down the drain because of a poor choice.
Get the Hottest Softball Bats!
Choosing your perfect piece of gear not necessarily must be an easy task as every manufacturer claims that they produce the best softball bats on market. Hope our website helps you choose the right product that would fit your needs.