Swinging a wood bat provides you with instant feedback on your ability to control the zone and hit the bat’s sweet spot. Wood trains you to be more selective at the plate since you can’t get away with some of the miss hits like you can with a metal bat. You’ll benefit even if you are only practicing with wood. You’ll strengthen your swing and improve mechanics and production at the plate when it counts- during game time!
Maple bats are slightly harder than Ash and are hardest on the face grain. This is why the logo is placed on the edge grain (hit with the label up). Maple bats are more rigid or stiff, and have a slightly smaller sweet spot when compared to Ash. However, Maple has an unmistakable crack and tremendous “pop” when hit on the sweet spot. Maple bats have a very tight grain, which allows for a very crisp engraving when getting a custom bat, as the fill in colors do not bleed. Eighty percent of MLB players swing maple.
Ash bats are a great choice for players new to wood bats. They have a slightly larger sweet spot and are a bit more forgiving on miss hits. Ash bats get harder the more you hit them, as the grains compress. Unlike Maple, balls are hit on the edge grain. Again, hit label up – your Bat Maker will put the label in the right spot. Choosing Ash or Maple comes down to a personal choice, both make great bats.
Birch has characteristics of Maple and Ash, its grain structure is like Maple, while it forgives like Ash. It takes missed hits off the end of the bat better than Maple or Ash.
Drop weight is the ratio of weight to length, for example 30 / 23 is a -7. It could also be read as 30″ / 23 oz is drop 7 (which is represented as “-7” to a bat maker).
We recommend -2 or heavier. The heavier the bat, the denser the wood, which will produce more pop in the bat. You will be surprised at how good a well-balanced bat will feel despite being heavier. It will also last longer.
We recommend -7 or heavier. We do not recommend -8 and lighter. To get a -8 or lighter, we need to use very light billets to get the correct weight. It’s doable, but the wood is weaker and will reduce the amount of pop generated from a swing.
Cupping a bat is the act of removing up to a half ounce of wood within certain specifications. This is done on the barrel end of the bat. Most bats are cupped for 2 reasons. 1-It balances the bat out, making it slightly less end loaded. 2-It allows the Bat Maker to use a slightly heavier, or denser starting billet to get the desired end weight. The majority of bats in MLB are cupped for this reason.
Ink dots are just that, an ink dot. They are placed just above the handle on the face grain of Maple or Birch bats to show they have passed the 3 degree slope of grain test. Slope of grain indicates how straight a piece of wood is. Ink dots are required on all pro level bats used in Minor League through MLB. An ink dot is not required on Ash bats. While we do not ink dot all of our bats, our wood is graded by the manufacturer for straightness prior to delivery. We further inspect each billet upon delivery, and again before turning the bat. We have not had a bat fail an ink dot test yet.
“Solid, one piece wood bats are approved for use under USABat with or without the USA Baseball Certification Mark.” Our bats are made from solid wood, NOT multi-piece or composite, which would require the Certification Mark.
Kids can use wood bats at any age. It’s a personal choice which type of bat your kids use. Our youngest Little Leaguer practices with wood, but swings metal during games. Our oldest Little Leaguer practices with and swings both during games, it just depends on what he’s feeling that day.