9 Best Wood Bats 2017 – Reviews And Buying Guide

best wood bats

Although this is the age of aluminum bats, most professional players still recommend playing with the best wood bats. In addition to teaching the players to hit the ball with good mechanics, these bats will produce shots that are not superficial.

In simple words, even when you hit the ball on a bad pitch with an aluminum bat, there is a chance that the ball could go far away due to the huge sweet spot. However, in the case of a wooden baseball bat, you’ll have to make sure that the bat hits exactly in the centre of the sweet spot to have any chance of going away. Consequently, your accuracy will increase.

Moreover, since these bats depend more on the strength and the ability of the players – and less on their design, one could easily judge how good a baseball player is by seeing him swinging a wooden baseball bat.

Hence, if you want to impress others with your game, and not only with the quality of the bat in your hand, having a wood baseball bat is imperative.

Our Pick:

DeMarini D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball Bat

Having reviewed all the best wood bats out there, we know that it will be your budget which would assist you in making the final decision. However, if you want to gift this bat to your loved ones, make sure that you get the best product for any price you offer. From the Louisville Slugger 27-inch to the DeMarini pro Maple, the prices of these wood baseball bats are in ascending order. Therefore, if you’re willing to spend less – but don’t want to compromise on quality, the Louisville Slugger 27-inch might suit you well. Provided you have deep pockets, I would advise you to go for the DeMarini.


Best Wood Bats Comparison Table

Picture

Name

Size

Price

Our Rating(1-5)

Mizuno 2014 Classic Bamboo Wood Baseball Bat

Mizuno 2014 Classic

31" - 33"

$$

4.2

DEMARINI 2014 PRO MAPLE 248 PROFILE WTDX248 WOOD BASEBALL BAT

DeMarini 2014 S243 Pro

31" - 32"

$$$

4.2

Louisville Slugger WB225YB-HN 225 Youth Hornsby Ash Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger WB225YB

30"

$$

4.0

louisville slugger 2014 mlb 180 natural wood baseball bat

Louisville Slugger 2014 MLB

32" - 34"

$$

4.4

Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA

32" - 34"


$$

4.4

Marucci Chase Utley Cu26 Pro Maple Black Wood Baseball Bat 

Marucci Chase Utley

31" - 34"

$$$

4.5

Marucci Maple AP5 Pro Model Baseball Bat

Marucci AP5 Albert Pujols

32"

$$$

4.7


DeMarini D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball Bat

DeMarini D271 Pro Maple

31" - 34"

$$$

4.3


Marucci JB19 Maple Baseball Bat

Marucci JB19 Maple

31" -34"

$$$

4.3


Types of Best Wood Bats

Although there are many types of wood which could be used to make a baseball bat, the ones listed here are used more frequently. Let’s have a look to decide which one suits you the best.

Maple Wood Bats

Made up of hard, dense wood, the surface hardness of the maple wood bat is much greater than its counterparts. If you don’t know the important of surface hardness, remember this hack: the harder the bat’s surface, the greater the speed of the ball off the bat.

While this is one reason why Maple Wood Bats are so famous, another is the absence of grains from the naked eye. Since the maple wood is closely grained, it will not splinter, making this bat a favorite for players like Barry Bonds. In fact, it was with the maple wood bat that Bonds broke the single-season home run record. Thus, as you might guess, this bat is extremely popular among the players.

Yellow Birch Wood Bats

When compared with maple wood bats, the yellow birch wood bats offer more flex and is more popular among first-time hitters. Since it is typically designed for the newcomers, this bat is lightweight and is used more often in the youth leagues. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest, that before turning veteran on the maple wood bats, most players try their hand on the yellow birch.

One limitation of the birch bats, however, is the time which they require to reach maximum hardness. Unlike maple wood bats, who are hard right from the offset, the birch wood bats require at least 30 contacts to grasp supreme hardness.

Ash Wood Bats

With no disrespect to the other bats, the flex which ash wood bat offers is unprecedented. Every time a ball hits the bat, it compresses it, before leaving due to the subsequent trampoline effect. Thus, due to this springboard effect, the ball leaves the bat after experiencing a huge force.

With no disrespect to the other bats, the flex which ash wood bat offers is unprecedented. Every time a ball hits the bat, it compresses it, before leaving due to the subsequent trampoline effect. Thus, due to this springboard effect, the ball leaves the bat after experiencing a huge force.

Bamboo Wood Bats

If you’re looking for a bat which is durable and has strength, bamboo wood bats present a viable option. In their construction, strips of bamboo are pressed together, increasing the tensile strength of the bat.

Moreover, if you’re new to the game, bamboo wood bats could help you in this regard as well. With lots of mishits coming your way early on in your career, the bamboo wood bats have the ability to take a lot of them, without breaking.

Top 9 Best Wood Bats

As we have taken a detailed look at various points regarding wood bats, it is essential for us to now turn our attention to the main point of this article.

So far, we know that wood bats can come in different sizes, could be made up of different MOC’s, and have different turns. However, despite having plenty of information at your disposal, it is still difficult to go out there and select the best possible wood bat.

To solve this problem for you, we have undertaken a laborious task of identifying the best wood bats. Contrary to the other reviews which you’ll find on the Internet, this is not a “hit-and-trial” method. Rather, by telling you the pros and cons of each bat, we hope that, in the end, you’ll end up with the bat which is best for you.

Below mentioned are the top 9 best wood bats.

Mizuno 2014 Classic Bamboo Wood Baseball Bat

Mizuno 2014 Classic Bamboo Wood Baseball Bat

When bat manufacturers advertise their bat, rarely, if ever, they go to tell that this bat would last a lifetime. This is due to the fact that most bats don’t and by mentioning it, the baseball companies don’t want their consumers to level scorn at them when the bat eventually breaks down. However, as for the Mizuno 2014 Classic Bamboo Baseball bat, the first thing which Mizuno have advertised – which I like the most, is the durability of this bat. In order to epitomize their confidence in the model, Mizuno have also given a 90-day warranty on this bat.

Secondly, this ball is BBCOR certified. It means that you can have a pop with it in any of the higher school leagues. Moreover, providing better grip the batters, Mizuno have gone with a sanded handle in this version. Due to this small but noticeable change, this bat won’t cause blisters on your hand. Also, it would not slip away from sweaty hands.

Also, if you are conscious that your bat looks unique in the whole ground, this bat will also give you that luxury. While a major portion of this bat is coated with black color, a small portion of the barrel is given the traditional brown touch. That small portion is also the sweet spot of this bat.

Thus, for a bat which takes care of so much of your needs, this bat comes at an affordable price as well.

PROS

  • Durable, will last a long time
  • BBCOR certified
  • Better grip
  • 90-day warrantee
  • Sanded handle to save your hands from blisters
  • Big Sweet Spot

CONS

  • If you manage not to like this bat (Which I highly doubt), the return process can be a nuisance.

Final Verdict

For a bat which takes care of so much of your needs, this bat comes at an affordable price as well. Check out the price of the bat below.


DeMarini Pro Maple S243 Profile WTDX248 Wood Baseball Bat

DEMARINI 2014 PRO MAPLE 248 PROFILE WTDX248 WOOD BASEBALL BAT

If your pocket allows you to pay a little extra for a fully loaded baseball bat, DeMarini 22ounce bat deserves your attention. This bat is made up of North American Maple and is available in a two different finishes. If you want a more traditional finish, this bat is available in brown color. However, for people who are looking for something different in a baseball bat, a black finish would do well to satiate their appetite. Although this bat has a smaller barrel, DeMarini has done so in order to optimize the weight distribution throughout the bat.

The taper is smooth and thick and the orientation of the handle is also likewise. Therefore, while most people don’t like smaller barrel bats, their opinion could change after using this gem from DeMarini.

Another potential advantage this bat offers to the buyers is its lower weight. Coming in 28oz, this bat is perfect for first-time hitters as well as those batters who frequently miss the pitch of the ball. One more thing, the durability of this bat is the best one which you could get from baseball bats. Since the barrel is loaded, with a drop 3, it won’t break easily.

PROS

  • Very well balanced bat.
  • Smooth and thick handle orientation and taper.
  • Durable.
  • Available in 2 different finishes.
  • Smooth and thick taper.
  • Thick handle allows better grip.

CONS

  • A bit expensive.

Final Verdict

Like I said earlier, this bat is expensive than all the other bats mentioned in this review. Having said that, DeMarini have tried their best to justify the price tag by loading this bat with a plethora of features.


Louisville Slugger WB225YB-HN 225 Youth Hornsby Ash Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger WB225YB-HN 225 Youth Hornsby Ash Baseball Bat

Tired of the traditional wood bats? Looking for something new to impress your team-mates? Find the other wood bats in this review pricey? If you have any of the above three thoughts in your mind, the Youth Hornsby Ash Baseball Bat deserves your attention. Coming in a gold foil branding, this baseball bat is adorned with a Hornsby finish. Moreover, if you’re willing to pay a little extra – not too much, you could get your name engraved upon this bat. At its lower end, this bat is cupped, making it lightweight and easy to handle.

However, if you feel that I’ve already mentioned the best part of this bat, you couldn’t be more wrong. Without removing additional wood, Louisville has managed to come up with a drop of -5 to -6 – making this bat a dream for the batters and a nightmare for the pitchers.

Thanks to this drop – which Louisville has managed without removing wood, this bat is more difficult to break than its maple counterparts. Lastly, talking about the price, this bat will take care of your budget as well.

PROS

  • Difficult to break
  • Drop ranging from -5 to -6
  • Has a cupped end.
  • Comes with a Hornsby finish.
  • Could get your name engraved upon this bat.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.

CONS

  • It is rough and the grains are also visible.

Final Verdict

Apart from the rough side of this bat, the features of this bat, the drop, and a cupped end has made this bat a darling for my little one. Thankfully, the price is also modest.


Louisville Slugger MLB 180 Natural Wood Baseball Bat

louisville slugger 2014 mlb 180 natural wood baseball bat

Designed for adults, this bat is made up of everlasting ash wood and comes with a natural finish. According to Louisville, they have used the 180 grade with ash wood for its manufacturing. For people who don’t know it, grade white ash is the strongest timber available in the market. Therefore, if you’re looking for a bat which lasts longer than average wood bats, this bat merits your attention. Although sweet spots are a matter of life and death for any bat – let alone a wood bat, a mere glance at wood bats suggest that their manufacturers generally omit the description of the wood bat.

However, in the case of this bat, Louisville has designed a barrel which, upon hitting, flexes rather than breaking. Consequently, the width of the sweet spot increases making this bat a nightmare for the pitchers.

Looking at the other features of this bat, it has a cupped end which allows the batter to go for controlled swings. Moreover, with a lighter knob date, this bat is lighter than its counterparts. As for the hitting surface, Louisville has employed a special finishing system to ensure its hardness.

Lastly, if you’re interested in different turning models, this bat allows you to select them according to your preference.

PROS

  • Different turning models according to your preference.
  • Corresponding signatures which you can select.
  • Long lasting and durable.
  • Larger sweet spot.

CONS

  • A little heavy.

Final Verdict

Available in different turning models, produced from ash wood, and coming in a larger sweet spot, this bat has been a darling of different players in MLB.


Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA 180 Natural Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger WB180BB-NA 180 Natural Baseball Bat

If you are a baseball fanatic who loves that sound when the ball comes off a wood bat, this bat will offer you that luxury. Coming with a brand name of Louisville, this bat has a natural finish with no polishing. Moreover, it is made up of performance grade ash and is available in a variety of sizes. As for the grain, it is lined up right in this bat, making this bat unbreakable (almost). While it doesn’t have a cup end, the transfer of vibration from the barrel to the handle is minimal. That means that even if you’re hitting home runs with this bat, its thickness won’t allow your hands to feel the heat.

If you’re going to the wood bat for the first time – and prefer to start with this bat, I would recommend going for the 32-ounce size with a drop of -3. This might feel heavy at first, however, the weight combined with the drop will make it comfortable for you to handle this bat in the long run.

Lastly, a caution that this bat isn’t designed to be used in cold weather. While you could use it in the batting cages, during practice, and even in the game, it is just NOT fit for cold weather.

PROS

  • The brilliant sound when the ball comes off the bat.
  • Easy to handle and swing.
  • Grains aren’t visible.
  • Grain lined up right in the bat, making it unbreakable.
  • No transfer of vibration from barrel to the handle.

CONS

  • It doesn’t have a cup end.

Final Verdict

While I haven’t used this bat myself, all of those who did praise its effectiveness. Moreover, when you take a look at its ratings on Amazon, this bat is right among their ranked with the best ones.


Marucci Chase Utley Cu26 Pro Maple Black Wood Baseball Bat

Marucci Chase Utley Cu26 Pro Maple Black Wood Baseball Bat 

While Marucci would want you to believe otherwise, my personal observation suggests that this bat is merely another version of the AP5 version. However, there are two areas at which this bat differs from the AP5: cost and color pattern. Sometimes, cost is the biggest obstacle between you and your favorite bat. While this bat is certainly not the cheapest in this review, it is also not the most expensive. Hence, if you have a midsized budget and want to buy the best wood bat with it, this bat might come in handy.

As for the color pattern, this bat comes in all black pattern. Apart from the logos of Marucci, this bat is coated in black color from top to bottom. Hence, if you’re a fashionista and want to impress your team-mates, this bat might come in handy.

As for the weight, this bat weighs 2 pounds. However, when you’ll swing it, it is very likely that you won’t feel the weight since this bat is bone rubbed.

PROS

  • Durable, will last a long time.
  • BBCOR certified.
  • Better grip.
  • Sanded handle to save your hands from blisters.
  • Big Sweet Spot.

CONS

  • If you manage not to like this bat (Which I highly doubt), the return process can be a nuisance.

Final Verdict

If you like the AP5 model – but don’t have the money to pay for it, I would recommend going for this bat. You will get all the features, in lower price.


Marucci Maple AP5 Pro Model Baseball Bat

Marucci Maple AP5 Pro Model Baseball Bat

Coming from the world renowned brand of Marucci, this bat comes in two colors: Black barrel with a white handle and white barrel with a black handle. If you want to go for a modern approach, I would recommend going with a black barrel. However, tradition suggests that you go for the wood-colored barrel. Looking at the specifications of this bat, it has a light barrel which is handcrafted from world-class maple. This wood will make sure to increase the durability of this bat.

However, if you think that maple, on its own, isn’t enough, Marucci have gone one step further to ensure the longevity of this bat.

They have done so by rubbing this bat with a bone. For those of you who don’t know this, bone rubbing is a famous technique to increase the density of the bat. When optimized, this density, in turn, will ensure the longevity of the wood bat.

However, as all good things do have a downside, similar is the case with Maple AP5 Pro Model Baseball Bat. That is if you don’t have experience of playing baseball before, I would not recommend using this bat. This is due to the fact because this bat is lightweight. Hence, unless you have experience of how to swing a bat, this bat might not provide you the ultimate experience of a wood bat.

PROS

  • Comes in a tapered knob as well as handle.
  • Huge barrel with an extended sweet spot.
  • Bone rubbed to ensure ultimate wood density.

CONS

  • Not recommended for first time hitters.

Final Verdict

If you have experience of playing with wood baseball bats before, this bat will surely prove to be an upgrade. However, if you’re turning to a baseball bat for the first time, it might be difficult to hold on.


DeMarini D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball Bat

DeMarini D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball Bat

D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball bat. Made up synthetically, this bat will make you experience the ultimate durability. With a large barrel, more mass has been provided at the point of contact. Subsequently, when this mass will come in contract with the ball, extra powerful hits will result. Moreover, with an expanded hitting zone, there is a greater chance that you’ll hit the ball out of the park. As for the other features of this bat, it has a -3 drop with a 2 5/8’’ barrel diameter. Featuring a handle diameter of 15/16’’, DeMarini has made sure that this ball won’t slip away from your hands.

In order to increase the durability of this bat, DeMarini has integrated a frame inside the barrel. Due to the resulting increased thickness, there is a very good chance that this ball will remain with you for years to come.

Also, if you’re a fan of the sound when a ball hits a wood bat, the composite core of this bat will afford you this luxury as well. Lastly, being BBCOR approved, you can play with this bat in the high school and college baseball leagues.

PROS

  • Comes in a tapered knob as well as handle.
  • Huge barrel with an extended sweet spot.
  • Bone rubbed to ensure ultimate wood density.

CONS

  • Not recommended for first time hitters.

Final Verdict

Made up of Canadian Hard Maple, this is a bat which won’t break easily. While it is a bit end loaded – making the weight too heavy for some people, this bat still has all the features to be a darling of many.


How to Choose the Best Wood Bat

There are two things which you need to consider when going for a new wood bat: its material of construction and the turn. While many experts argue that it is the turn and not the MOC which deserves more attention, I humbly disagree with them. If you want to have the best wood bat at your disposal, you’ll have to pay close attention to its turn as well as its MOC.

For example, if you’re a newcomer, I would recommend you go for a yellow birch wood bat with an 110 turn. While you would agree with the 110 turn part, I know you would find the recommendation of a yellow birch wood bat difficult to grasp.

However, in order to judge whether I’m guiding you right, just visit a match of the youth baseball played at a ground near you. You will find there that most of the young players prefer yellow birch wood bats. This is because it is light, has optimum swing speed, and costs less.

Thus, unless you are not sure about your game, I would recommend going for the yellow birch wood bat. However, once you have grasped the game, you could turn to the Maple Wood with 243-turn.


Classification of The Best Wood Bat Regarding Turn

The Best Wood bats are classified on the basis of their turn and the material of construction. While we have already, in the above paragraphs, classified them according to their MOC, let’s turn our attention to the turn.

110 turn

With a barrel diameter of 2 1/2 ‘’, a long taper and a handle thickness of around 1’’, this turn model is recommended for those players who are new to the game. Moreover, thanks to its thick handle, this bat has long-lasting durability. Finally, if you’re a hitter who prefers to have a bat with greater swing speed, the 110 turn wood bat is a must-have for you.

271 turn

While it is remarkably similar to the 110 turn model in terms of barrel diameter and taper length, the handle of this ball has a thickness of around 15/16’’. As you might guess, the swing of this bat is loaded. Consequently, it is more popular among power hitters.

I-13 Turn

With a medium sized taper, a barrel diameter of around 2 ½’’, this bat would suit you more if you are looking for more weight in the barrel. Other than that, the dimensions of this bat are similar to that of the 271.

243 Turn

Having a barrel diameter of around 2 5/8’’, a medium sized taper, and a handle thickness of either 29/32’’ or 15/16’’, this bat has a huge barrel diameter coupled with a lean handle. This turn model might be difficult to handle for those players who are new to the game.


What is The Reason For Having The Best Wood Bat?

While some people will find this question silly, I have met with persons who refuse to pay over the odds for baseball bats. In their opinion, everything depends on the player and on his strength. Thus, according to them, it is the innate abilities of the player – and not any of his/her equipment, which will influence their game the most.

No prizes for guessing that I disagree with this point of view. Look at the best players out there, from Barry Bonds to Derek Jeter, all of them have their favorite bats. While Bonds preferred maple bat, Jeter went with the Ash one. While their choices were different, their goal was the same: of perching their teams at the pinnacle.

Do you think that these players didn’t had their innate ability or the motivation to guide them?

As you might guess, they had both. However, with the best wood bats at their disposal, these players were able to distinguish them from others. Hence, it wouldn’t be unfair if we suggest that the best wood bats played their part in turning these players from “also-rans” to “Legends” of the game.


​6 Things to Consider Before Buying A Wood Bat

Length

When buying a wood bat, take into consideration the height of the player who will play with it. If the player is a bit on the taller side, going with a longer bat is a no brainer. However, having said that, there is no hard and fast rule which states that tall players should prefer long bats. In fact, with a longer bat at your disposal, you’ll have to exert extra control to swing the bat.

Weight

Depending upon the weight of the player, and the flexibility of his wrist, carefully choose the weight of the bat. Bats which are loaded might hit the ball away easily, however, they require far more strength from the player as compared to a light bat. Hence, choose wisely.

Barrel

If the player is muscular, but couldn’t hit balls further, he will need a bat with a larger barrel for obvious reasons. Otherwise, for a player who makes good contact but can’t hit the ball far, a smaller barrel bat might help him to do just that.

Handle

If you want to minimize the vibration transfer from the barrel to the handle, go for a bat which has a thick handle. However, a bat with thicker barrel isn’t without any shortcomings as well. While it will minimize the vibration transfer, it would hinder the free movement of the hands. Hence, if you can compromise on vibration, but want to move your hands easily, go for a thin handle.

Grip

Most of the bat manufacturers are coming with sanded grip nowadays. This type of grip will save your hands from blisters. Needless to say that a bat with a sanded grip will be more costly than others.

Are you a beginner or a veteran?

If you’re just making your name in the game, go for a bat which is lighter, has a bigger barrel with a thick handle. However, if you’re a veteran of the game, go for a heavier bat which has a smaller barrel and a thin handle.


7 Tips for Care And Maintenance

As you might know, a bat is only as good as the care with which you handle it. Even if you have spent thousands on a baseball bat – but are not looking after it, it will, after some time, be reduced to an ordinary wood bat. Thus, if you want your bat to remain “healthy”, consider these 5 tips for its care and maintenance:

  • Never throw your bat. No baseball bat – be it made up of wood or metal, was ever meant to be thrown.
  • In practice, always go for a soft toss and tee work. This will make sure that your eye is trained properly to trace the trajectory of the ball
  • Never leave the bat in your car on a hot day. High temperature will evaporate the moisture from your bat, making it brittle. Consequently, it will break down very easily
  • If possible, store your baseball bat in a box full of sawdust. The purpose of this is to make a barrier between the moisture which is present in the atmosphere and your bat. When you will place your bat along with a saw dust, the saw dust will absorb environmental moisture, before it can seep into the wood.
  • ​Always used your bat “label up”, or “label down”
  • ​If you want your ash bat to last longer, “bone” it. This means to take your bat against a hard surface before rubbing it back and forth. The hard surface might be a steel pole, a dried out bone, or even a porcelain sink.
  • If you want to take the shock out of the handle, grip your bat.

Bottom Line

Baseball as a sport isn’t dying. Rather with more and more people going to the stadiums to watch the game, it popularity among the US Public is standing strong. Moreover, as you can concur from the salaries of MLB players, it will serve your children well if they opt it as a profession. In their quest to do so, however, nothing is more important than a bat. For a person who wants to succeed in the game, nothing is more important than having the best wood bat.

Although all the 7 wood bats reviewed above are the best, my vote goes with the Mizuno 2014 Classic Bamboo Baseball bat. In addition to being BBCOR certified, this bat comes with a sanded grip, has a brilliant weight distribution, and doesn’t cost a ton. Moreover, with a 90-day warranty(at the time of this article being up), the makers of this bat has won my heart

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