Best softball bat

Baseball & Softball

Baseball bats have a different design from softball bats, so most softball leagues do not allow the use of baseball bats.

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WHICH SOFTBALL BAT IS BEST?

Whether you’re playing fastpitch or slowpitch softball, you need a legal bat to use in your games.

Softball bats are available in many different lengths and weights, so it’s important to find just the right one for your body size, game style and skill level. Younger players and those players who need more control will want a lightweight bat. Older players who want more power should look for a heavier bat.

This buying guide will help you make your selection and includes reviews of a few of our favorites at the end. Our top choice is the Louisville Slugger 2020 Dynasty SPD. It features an alloy barrel that grants increased power on contact.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY A SOFTBALL BAT

You’ll want to start your search for the right softball bat by thinking about the materials in use and the design of the bat.

Two-piece vs. one-piece

A two-piece softball bat has one material in the handle area and another material in the barrel, with a seam between the two. Two-piece bats offer extra flexibility and a greater level of control than a one-piece bat.

A one-piece bat helps the batter generate extra power, because it has less flexibility than a two-piece bat. A one-piece bat should last longer, too.

Metal alloy vs. composite

An alloy bat is less costly than a composite and is also more durable. However, it is also stiffer, so it may sting your hands if you have a mishit.

Carbon fiber is the primary material in a composite bat, which makes it the more expensive option. These bats carry extra weight in the barrel than alloy bats, so they have a bit more power and flexibility.

Keep in mind that you may need to use your composite bat for around 100 ball contacts during batting practice before it’s ready to provide maximum performance levels in games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A QUALITY SOFTBALL BAT

You’ll find a few differences between the bats made for slowpitch and fastpitch. Pay attention to the drop weight in particular. The drop weight of a bat refers to the difference between the length in inches and the weight in ounces.

Slowpitch bats

All slowpitch softball bats must be 34 inches in length. Some slowpitch leagues place a limit on how much a bat can weigh, too.

A lightweight bat with precise control may have a drop weight of -8 (meaning that it weighs 26 ounces), while a bat made to provide extra power may have a drop weight of -4 (meaning that it weighs 30 ounces).

Fastpitch bats

A fastpitch bat can be any length. Younger players will use shorter bats, usually between 27 and 30 inches. Older players may want bats in the range of 30 to 34 inches.

For extra control in the bat, a fastpitch player will benefit from a drop weight between -8 and -13. Younger players will use a bat closer to -13, while older players will want a bat closer to -8.

For extra power, bats in the -3 to -8 range are the common choice. Within this range, younger players should use a bat around a -8 range, while older, stronger players should purchase one nearer to -3.

HOW MUCH YOU CAN EXPECT TO SPEND ON A SOFTBALL BAT

The least expensive softball bats cost between $25-$60 and are made for less-experienced players. Those who play several times a week can expect to spend anywhere from $60-$400 for a high-quality bat.

SOFTBALL BATS FAQ

Q. How can I preserve the life of my pricey bat?

A. Use an older bat with a similar length and weight for batting practice. Save the new bat for use only in games and limited batting practice.

Q. Can I use any softball bat in my league play?

A. The majority of leagues require the bat to match certain certifications to be legal for game play. Manufacturers stamp the compatible certifications onto the bat so that you can be sure that yours will do.

WHAT SOFTBALL BATS ARE BEST TO BUY?

Top softball bat

Louisville Slugger 2020 Dynasty SPD

Louisville Slugger 2020 Dynasty SPD

Our take: A solid and light one-piece bat that offers a balanced swing weight. 

What we like: The synthetic leather grip offers great control over the bat making young players feel more secure.

What you should consider: Some users feel it has too much vibration.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top softball bat for the money

Easton CRYSTAL -13 Fastpitch Softball Bat

Easton CRYSTAL -13 Fastpitch Softball Bat

Our take: This is an affordable, entry-level softball bat with minimal vibration.

What we like: This is a well-balanced bat. The aircraft-grade aluminum makes it lightweight and ideal for many younger players. 

What you should consider: There is not much to complain about for the price.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

DeMarini 2020 CF

DeMarini 2020 CF

Our take: This offers outstanding quality for a fastpitch softball bat, but extremely expensive.

What we like: The Paraflex+ composite construction maximizes performance and longevity. It offers a huge sweet spot.

What you should consider: This option is very expensive.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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