When looking at baseball as an all-time classical American sport, we have to remember that it all began with wooden bats! And surprisingly, some of the best wood bats are still around today used by baseball players at all different levels. Simply said, these types of bats provide a unique feel that only wood can bring.
There is a huge range of different types of baseball bats that you can use in the modern day game, however, this article seeks to provide insight into the top wood bats on the market. These bats are typically designed for adults though, so it’s probably not recommended to use this guide when looking for youth bats for Little Leagues.
|Image||Product||Our Rating||Quick Notes|
|Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X|
|Rawlings Adirondack Natural Ash|
|Rawlings Velo Maple Ace|
|Easton S1 Hybrid|
|Mizuno MZB271 Bamboo|
|Marucci Chase Utley CU26|
Types of Wood Bats
Traditionally, there are four main types of wood bats all offering different characteristics and properties. These materials consist of: maple, ash, birch, and bamboo. Like other styles of baseball bats, these wooden bats are also made with a composite material – made up with a mixture of different woods.
Maple bats are the oldest, most popular, and most respected types of wooden baseball bats around. The wood is extremely durable, tough and dense that is usually pretty good at avoiding splinters. A big bonus with maple bats is the really high exit speed you get when the ball hits the bat in its sweet spot.
Ash bats, in contrast, whilst also have been around for nearly as long as maple bats, they’re just not quite as durable or as tough. Ash bats are typically favoured by players who want more flex when hitting the ball – and should be taken into consideration when looking for the best wood bats. Flex = A really bouncy effect that will see your ball go further when hit sweetly.
Birch wood is in the middle of these two. They’re not as tough as maple, but stronger than ash – and – don’t offer as much flex as ash, but are flexier than maple. It’s legitimately the middle ground between these three materials.
Bamboo is an interesting one – it’s technically a grass and not a wood, thus have a BBCOR certification. In saying that, it is extremely durable (as bamboo is), but none come in single piece bats. They suffer a lack of pop when compared to maple and ash, and cannot be used in pro leagues. In saying that, they’re tough, offer a fantastic sweet spot, have a high exit speed, and feel great through the swing.
The Best Wood Bats
Keeping this type of information in mind, we run through the best wood bats in a bit of detail here – making sure that it’s up to your baseball-ing needs. Keep in mind that durability and quality are of upmost importance, whilst value for money are also taken into consideration.
Keep in mind that it’s impossible for us to pick what will suit your needs. We merely provide recommendations as to what we genuinely think tick all the relevant boxes when looking for a top wood baseball bat.
A fantastically cheap wood bat that provides everything you need. Made with a high quality Ash, this bat is an excellent option for practice, batting cages, and wood bat leagues. It also doesn’t have the fat wooden bottom that most wood bats have – cupped off with great weight balance. It’s supposed to feel a lot better in the hand than people typically give it credit for.
We won’t pretend this is the best wood bat on the list, but at such an affordable price you can’t really go wrong. Definitely budget friendly, but not the most spectacular bat on the list.
Similar to the Louiseville, this is Rawlings option for a high quality ash bat. Again, like all ash bats, durability isn’t exactly it’s strongest point, and probably won’t last for years on end. A huge bonus is it’s extremely large barrel size (larger than 2.5 inches).
Again, whilst this definitely isn’t one of the best wood bats on the market, the fact that it is extremely affordable and priced at such a low price point puts it on this list to ensure we have all our bases covered. A fantastic option, dollar for dollar, but not something that will change the world.
The Rawlings Velo Maple Ace is an absolutely stunning option for quite possibly being the best maple baseball bat on the market. It’s made by Rawlings so you know that the construction of the bat’s handle and taper of the highest quality. It is important for us to note that the barrel is of medium size, and the handle is slightly larger than most.
The overall design is sleek and and it’s a well balanced wood baseball bat – enforced by it’s cupped end. If you want something made by Rawlings but want it to be full wood, then this is the bat for you.
In the medium price ranges of best wood bats for baseball, Easton’s S1 Hybrid is a spectacularly durable composite bat made with both maple and bamboo. The maple makes up for the lack of pop that a standard bamboo bat has, whilst the bamboo provides the increased durability that maple bats don’t have. Designed to play like the alternative S1 BBCOR bat that Easton are also makers of.
Encompassed with it’s cupped end and smaller barrel size, the S1 Hybrid is spectacularly balanced and is made for high speed through the swing. Naturally though, whilst this is one of the most durable bats on the list, wood bats can break unexpectedly, so don’t think that this is invulnerable to breaking. One of the highest selling wood bats on Amazon, this bat is a serious contender for best wood bat on the market – our top pick.
Another one of those wood bats that have extremely high levels of durability. This is explained by the fact that Mizuno MZB271 is a bamboo bat. Mizuno arguably the market leader for bamboo bats, and this means that this particular baseball bat should outlast any of the other wood bats that you may have had experience with. Along with it being made out of bamboo, this wood bat has an extremely high exit speed travelling faster than a bat made from any other wood.
Similar to this, the bat is BBCOR certified (as typically required by bamboo bats). Some issues that should be kept in mind is that the bat is slightly top heavy. Some people like this, some people don’t. But it’s important to keep in mind. All up, it’s a top wood bat – provided with a 90 day warranty as an extra kicker as well!
This is by far one of the best wood bats around – tried, tested, and has kept a reputation over the years. It’s historically continued to dominate the maple bat market. Well-balanced and extremely durable. If you can afford to spend a bit more on a quality maple bat, then this is definitely the type of bat you should be looking at.
Surpirsingly, it has amazing durability, even for a maple bat. Good balance, and doesn’t really show wear and tear too easily. However, like every wood bat, they are susceptible to breaking when unexpected. Also, the CU26 is very end loaded, which means that some players won’t find it ideal to their style. If you’re not used to a heavier feeling bat, and can already hit with power, then this might not be the bat for you.
In order to be the best, everyone knows that practice makes perfect. But there will come a stage where you’ll need the best possible equipment available. This is where finding the best wood bat comes into play. Don’t forget though, with every baseball bat you use, you should be training with some high quality batting gloves. This will get you game ready.
Baseball bats are an essential, and because they tend to be quite pricey, it’s so important to do your research. Our list of top wood bats is a great start, however, it always helps to ask your colleagues and teammates whether they’ve used any of the bats – and what they thought of it. If you’ve already had a fantastic experience with a wood bat, and are hesitant to change – then don’t. Every bat is different, some are thinner, some are top heavy, some are more durable.
Don’t Agree with our List?
It’s the internet. You don’t have to agree with us. If you’ve had better experiences, or terrible experiences with any of the bats we consider to be worthy in this list, then let us know. Every voice will be heard and any story will help add to our recommendations.