Congratulations! You're about to choose one of the best wood bats in all of baseball from one of the premier wood bat companies on the market. But which model is best for me? It's a question that we're often asked, and there really isn't a simple answer. Below you will find the primary things to consider when finding your Max!
Let's start with barrel size, because that's really the most important feature of a bat. Most players who don't have a lot of experience with wood bats will gravitate towards the biggest barrel they can find, because "bigger is better", correct? Not with wood. At MaxBat, we want to put the absolute best piece of lumber in your hands, therefore we design a multitude of models, but most of them have a moderate to medium barrel diameter.
What gives a bat its' strength is the density of the wood. Simply put, the smaller the
barrel, the higher density billets are used in production. Bat models that have large
barrels require us to use lower density billets. And since density equals strength, smaller
barreled bats will always be stronger and have more pop than the larger barreled bats.
Keep in mind that wood bats and aluminum bats are completely different animals. Because aluminum bats have a hollow barrel, those barrels can be designed larger. And because the aluminum barrel compresses when making contact with the baseball, a trampoline effect helps propel the baseball. Wood bats on the other hand, have a solid barrel, and the baseball will compress (instead of the barrel) when making barrel contact. Because there is no trampoline effect from wood bats, we need to think of ways to help give the player more lift and carry when hitting a baseball. The way to do that is to put more backspin on the ball, and you don't need to be a seasoned professional in order to do this.
This brings us back to the "big barrel vs. small barrel" argument. Which is better? Well, because the diameter of the smaller barrel has greater curvatures than the bigger barrel, you're able to put more backspin on a baseball with your natural swing, thus giving it more lift and carry. Whereas hitting a ball squarely with a large barreled bat can often result in the baseball "knuckling" off the barrel, limiting its' distance.
Almost always, we're asked to make the lightest bat possible. This is primarily a result of players using aluminum bats throughout their youth, college, and adult leagues. Players are conditioned that lighter is better in order to generate bat speed. And yes, we'll agree that bat speed is certainly a necessary ingredient when it comes to your swing, however when you hit a ball with more mass behind it (i.e. using a bat with a -2 weight drop as opposed to a -3 weight drop), you do not have to swing as hard to send the ball flying. This is why we recommend to all of our Professional players that they don't swing anything lighter than a -2 oz. weight drop. You'll also notice that many of our models (large and extra large barreled bats) aren't even available in -3 oz. weight drops. This is again to ensure that we're utilizing the best wood to make your custom MaxBat.
Does this mean that all -3 bats don't stack up to -2 bats? No, in fact we know that swinging a -3 oz. bat is sometimes a necessity for younger players, or players who still need to develop those proper swing mechanics. So if you really feel that you need to swing a -3 oz. bat, you need to look no further than our medium-to-moderately sized barreled models like the top selling R10, C4R, Titan, 191, T14, etc. They're sure to deliver the big hit when you need it most.
The bottom line is this; "heavier" bats have more density. Medium-to-moderately sized barrels are made from billets with higher density. Bats made from higher density billets will give your bat more pop, more strength, and higher durability.
The most common length bat ordered is a 33" length. At MaxBat, we offer young adult/adult models in lengths of 31" – 35". Youth models range from 26" – 31". So what's right for you? Once again, this isn't a cookie-cutter answer since none of us have the same swing or the same build.
If you're a Youth player, it might be best to consider a bat a shade longer than the aluminum bat that you are using. Why? Because there is going to be a bit of an adjustment when it comes to the bat's weight. We recommend ordering a slightly longer bat for two reasons. The first is that with a longer bat, you can choke up on the handle for better bat control and to give you more balance (extended bat handle below your hands will balance the weight). Secondly, you're growing fast. You may want to consider getting something that you can grow into.
High School or College Players
As a High School or College player, you're going to want to consider ordering a bat that is the same length as your aluminum bat. Keep in mind however, that you can get a MaxBat made in 1/2" increments, so if you're swinging an aluminum bat that is 33" long, and you feel that you want to go a little shorter but not as short as a 32", you can simply choose a 32.5" length when you're building your MaxBat on one of our bat pages.
Adult players should consider bats that are 33" or longer. Factor your height when customizing your MaxBat. Players who are 6' or taller should be comfortable swinging a 34" length bat. The longer your bat, the better plate coverage you'll have, and you don't want to miss the sweet spot on that pitch low and away.
Maple, Ash, AND Birch? Which is better? Well, each wood species has its' own unique characteristics, so it's hard to say that one species is better than another species. Maple has the highest density and least amount of flex. It is extremely durable, especially when used to make the models that feature the small to moderately sized barrels. Ash is also very hard and has the most flex of the three. Birch is somewhere in between. It all boils down to what the customer wants, and that's why we give you three options.
This is the fun part of your online bat building experience, and it's one of the great features that we are widely known for. Colored stains are used to bring your MaxBat to life, and it gives you the opportunity to add your personal touch by creating your own unique color combinations. As far as our clear coat finish, some companies claim that their finish somehow makes their bats magically stronger. However, the finish (although may appear to the naked eye that it would indeed add to the bats' strength) is simply cosmetic. A bat that is Unfinished can and will have the same strength and surface hardness as a bat with a finish on it. Our finish is moisture resistant, so it's not a bad idea to avoid ordering a completely unfinished bat if you play in a very humid or wet climate.
So why choose a bat without a finish? Some players like the feel of the raw wood, or the way the pine tar sticks to it. Or, they just like the way it looks. Either way, you're going to get a superior crafted bat whether you order it Unfinished or with color.
Some wood species look better unfinished than others. If you're choosing the Unfinished option on your MaxBat, stick with Maple or Ash. In our opinion, the Birch looks much better with a finish on it.
MaxBat has proven to be one of the top bat companies in the world, and our Pro Series models speak for themselves. We have countless Professional players who choose to swing MaxBat over any other brand, and we listen to their feedback and suggestions when developing new models. We are constantly striving to innovate and improve bat designs for all levels of baseball. One such innovation is the new Pro Gold Series.
The new Pro Gold Series from MaxBat features four bat models with a barrel size that has been slightly modified in diameter in order to use the highest density wood in our inventory, which equals high durability bats. Pro Gold Series bats only come in all Black with Gold logos, and do not come in ½" sizes or personalization. Because of the limited lengths and colors, you can save a few pennies on these models, and we often have these in stock and ready for immediate shipping.