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Wood bats. When should kids start swinging them?

Posted on January 23, 2015 by MaxBat


Look at any ballfield across the country, and you’re bound to see more kids swinging metal bats vs. wood bats. The simple reason is that metal bats are more prevalent in sporting goods stores than wood bats, with the major reason being that there are fewer wood bat leagues for youth baseball players.

So, when and why should you have your young ballplayer swing a wood bat? The answer is AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Swinging with a wood bat at an early age has a tremendous amount of benefits.

  1. The Ballplayer will become stronger – Metal bats are lighter than wood bats, because the barrel of a metal bat is hollow, whereas the barrel of a wood bat is solid. Swinging a wood bat over and over again is going to develop muscles in the hands, wrists, and forearms that can’t be duplicated by swinging a metal bat.
  2. The Ballplayer will ultimately develop better mechanics – Because metal bats are lighter than wood bats, younger players can swing them with more ease.  In order to send the baseball flying using a wood bat, a batter needs to get the legs and hips involved with the swing (or swinging with proper mechanics).
  3. The Ballplayer should develop a better eye – Because the sweet spot of a wood bat is smaller than a metal bat, a batter needs to hone in on the wood bat barrel’s sweet spot when hitting.  By practicing off of a batting tee, a player using a wood bat will be able to train their muscles AND their eyes before stepping foot into a batter’s box to face live pitching.

Those are just a few of the benefits of swinging a wood bat at an early age.  The list goes on and on.

The common perception is that kids can hit a baseball farther with a metal baseball bat than a wood baseball bat.  Makes sense…..the wood baseball bat is a little heavier than a metal bat, thus the swing speed will be a little slower.  However, if a wood baseball bat is swung with the proper mechanics, a baseball will be sent just as far with a wood bat, as with a metal bat.  Why?  Because the barrel of a wood bat has more solid mass.  It is this solid mass that will propel the baseball away from the bat after contact.  Striking a baseball with a solid wood bat can most definitely result in ball speed and distance that equals that of a metal bat.

Wood bat popularity is at an all-time high around the globe.  There are wood bat tournaments being held in youth leagues in almost every state.  The fact is, that kids love playing with wood bats.  It’s baseball at it’s purest form.  And there is nothing better in sports than hitting a baseball off the sweet spot of a wood baseball bat.  Ask anyone who has played, and they’ll have a hard time describing it to someone who has never hit with wood bats.

To help you find the appropriate wood bat for your ballpalyer, click the following link for more information:


Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Metal bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood bat, Wood Bats

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Differences between Maple Bats and Birch Bats

Posted on January 5, 2015 by MaxBat

Wood bats give you options that metal bats do not. And the most obvious option, is that you can get a wood bat in a number of wood species…..Maple, Birch, and Ash are the 3 most common.

Recent numbers show that MLB players prefer Maple Bats over the rest, but you might be surprised to find out that Birch Bats have taken over the 2nd spot over Ash Bats in what pro players use in games.

So what’s the difference between the 3 species? First, let’s go over Maple Bats vs. Ash Bats. Maple bats are very rigid, and this gives them tremendous pop. Ash has more flex, and some players like this because the ash wood bat can feel like it gives them a little more whip. The downfall with ash is that it can break down with repeated use, and that’s simply because of the nature of the wood grains.

Now, explaining the differences between Maple Bats and Birch Bats is a little more difficult to do because the two species are so similar. Both species are GREAT for making wood bats. One species is NOT going to be lighter than the other, as a lot of people think…..but what is lighter? A pound of bricks, or a pound of feathers? They both weigh a pound folks. Same with Maple and Birch.

The biggest difference between a Maple Bat and a Birch Bat is the flex. Many players say that a Birch Bat is the perfect mix of a Maple Bat and an Ash Bat, because it has the hardness of Maple, but the flex of Ash. However, it’s really not that simple. Birch definitely has more flex than Maple, but it doesn’t compare to the flex of Ash.

So, what’s the best wood bat for you? That’s going to be your own personal preference. But now you know a little bit more about the wood species options when choosing a wood bat.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood bat, Wood bat company, Wood Bats

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Wood Bats, Wood Bat Companies, and Wood Bat Billets

Posted on December 17, 2014 by MaxBat

FullSizeRender(1)Do a search for wood bats on any major search engine, and you’ll be amazed at the number of options that might appear. The average consumer might think that a wood bat is a wood bat, and there is not much difference between wood bat companies.

However, there are HUGE differences in the raw materials that are used between wood bat companies, and manufacturing methods need to be taken into consideration when choosing a wood bat.

First of all, all wood billets are not created equal. In order to produce a wood bat with the straightest grain, a wood bat manufacturer needs to start with a premium wood billet. MaxBat only uses hand-split billets, because of their straightness of grain, yield, and overall performance. These billets cost more than those produced from sawn logs, but the old saying is “you get what you pay for”, correct? We’ve found that by using these billets to make our wood bats, MaxBats can be produced with better results than most other wood bat companies in the market.

The size of the company should also be taken into consideration. Yes, it’s neat that pretty much anyone with a lathe and a billet can produce a wood bat, but if you’re a serious ballplayer, and want a consistent and high-performance wood bat, you really ought to avoid the hobbyist bat manufacturer who spins a bat now and then in their garage. Hats off to these guys who are passionate about the game of baseball, but the precision needed to make high end wood bats can’t be replicated on hand lathes.

Also be aware that there’s a difference between Wood Bat Companies, and Wood Bat Brands. Private Labeling is offered by some wood bat companies to baseball enthusiasts who want to simply put their own label on a wood bat. The bottom line is that private labeled wood bats are typically made from lower quality wood or wood billets, and it’s a great way for wood bat companies to get rid of their waste. MaxBat is approached by individuals all the time that want us to private label for them, however we want to avoid that and focus all of our energy and efforts into making our own bats, and not someone else’s. And since we use the cream of the crop in wood billets, we virtually have zero duds, therefore there isn’t much of a need to find a brand to private label.

So, just some tips for the wood bat consumers out there who are shopping for their first wood bat. All wood bats are not created equally.

Categories: Wood bat, Wood bat company, Wood bat manufacturer, Wood Bats, wood billets

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Can Swinging a Lighter Wood Bat Increase Bat Speed?

Posted on November 26, 2014 by MaxBat

The common perception is that if you swing a lighter wood bat, that you will automatically increase your bat speed, thus increasing your chances to hit the ball harder.

However, the weight of a wood bat has very little to do with one’s ability to generate bat speed, and here’s why…..

A short compact swing with a downward angle (aka good swing mechanics / hands inside the ball), is the foundation to generate increased swing speed (bat speed).

A long looping swing (casting out / swinging around the ball) will translate to a slower swing.

Bad mechanics will equal a bad swing, and a slow bat.

A swing with proper mechanics will impact “bat speed” more so than a bat’s weight.

Therefore someone with proper swing mechanics should be able to generate the same swing speed with a 33″/32oz. wood bat, as a 33″/31oz. wood bat. And think of the weight we are talking about…..1 measly ounce. A stack of 10 pennies equals 1 ounce. Now think about how that ounce is distributed in the bat. Picture a stack of 10 pennies affixed to the barrel end of your wood bat. I can guarantee you that you would notice the slight increase in weight. However, you need to realize that that is not how that extra ounce will be distributed within the mass of the bat. Instead of visualizing a stack of 10 pennies on the very end of the bat, picture those 10 pennies lined up throughout the length of the wood bat. The extra ounce is evenly distributed throughout, thus making that extra ounce virtually undetectable.


Batters do not swing up, therefore they’re not fighting gravity. Hence, wood bats of the same length, with one an ounce heavier than the other, should not effect swing speed if batter executes proper swing mechanics.

Players, coaches, and parents are often misinformed about this. Just as many players think that by listening to the cup when banging their hand on a wood bat barrel will indicate if it’s a good piece of wood or not. The reality is that smaller knobbed wood bats will produce a sound with a higher pitch than wood bats with larger knobs. So yet another myth debunked.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Bat Swing Speed, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bats

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Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple Bats and Birch Bats

Posted on January 19, 2014 by MaxBat

Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple and BirchEver watch a game on TV and ask yourself, “What is that dot on the wood bat handle?”

That is an area left exposed during the finishing process for an ink-spot, administered by the bat manufacturer.  This is done as a quality control measure.  By placing a small drop of ink 12″-14″ up from the knob on the face grain of the wood bat, we are able to verify whether or not the grain is good.  The picture below shows a properly administered ink-test, and absolutely straight grain.  The straighter the grain, the better the performance of the Maple bat or Birch bat.  If the grain were to seep into the wood and show a slope-of-grain of more than 3 degrees, that would indicate wood of a lower quality and greater chance of the wood bat breaking in 2-pieces.

Because MaxBat uses wood that is split instead of sawn, we’re almost guaranteed that ink-testing reveals slope-of-grain of less than 2 degrees on any of our Maple bats or Birch bats.

It’s a question we frequently get asked, so we made the decision in November, 2013 to start ink-spotting all MaxBat Maple bats and Birch bats that are ordered by our online customers.

All MaxBats have always been treated as if they are being produced for a Major League Baseball player, and now each Maple bat and Birch bat from MaxBat features a visible ink-spot on the face grain of the handle.  This ink-spot indicates that the wood bat has not only gone through the MLB slope-of-grain quality control test, but has also passed with a slope-of-grain less than 3 degrees (beware…some companies simply applying ink dots to the handles that clearly don’t pass).  The MaxBat logo has also been rotated 90 degrees and placed on the edge grain to conform to MLB rules (adopted in 2009) that only apply to Maple bats and Birch bats (logo previously placed on the face grain).  These steps ensure that you are swinging the same wood as our professional clients.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats

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