If you want to play baseball, you simply must have a baseball bat. Whether you’re practicing for a high school team, a parent interested in buying their young child a bat, or simply love playing baseball on the weekend, you must have a bat to fully play and enjoy the game. However, there is a huge amount of baseball bats available on the market, and it can be extremely difficult to figure out which one fits your situation the best.
To help you pick out the best baseball bat, we reviewed dozens of bats to identify the best of the best. We considered each bat’s material, number of size options, durability, customer reviews, and a number of other features in our search.
The Barnett BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat is made from composite wood and is ideal for nearly anyone who plays baseball. It is great quality, extremely durable, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It easily revealed itself as the best baseball bat on the market today.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Baseball Bats
|Best Overall||Barnett BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat||4.3|
|Runner Up||Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X Ash Baseball Bat||3.9|
|Best Budget Buy||Easton Pro Stix Training Set||4.6|
|Best Youth Baseball Bat||Louisville Slugger Youth Baseball Bat||4.2|
|Best Wooden Baseball Bats||Louisville Slugger Genuine Series Maple Baseball Bat||4.2|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Barnett BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat
With a composite wood construction, the Barnett BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat is amazingly durable without being impossibly heavy like many of the other bats on the market. No matter if you’ve never picked up a baseball bat in your life, are looking for a gift for your children, or have been playing baseball your whole life, you can easily use this baseball bat without tiring your arms out in only a couple swings. The wood, as well, gives it a nice traditional look that is sure to be appreciated by new and long-time fans alike.
While this bat was originally designed for beginners, many customers proclaimed that even long-term players will find a friend in this bat. The bat also comes in a number of sizes from 25” to 32”. Adults that are used to longer bats might find it difficult to adapt to this shorter bat. However, many customers reported that they were able to use it easily as an adult. The shorter sizes are great for youths who are interested in baseball or playing in a league. The bat is durable enough to ensure that it won’t get broken but light enough for even a child to use.
Barnett BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat Key Features:
- Composite wood
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Designed for beginners and pros alike
Our Runner Up Pick: Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X Ash Baseball Bat
If you’re looking for a longer baseball bat that performs and doesn’t break, this is definitely the one to get. While our top pick is a great all-around bat, the Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X Ash Baseball Bat is designed for adults who play in independent leagues or enjoy a game of baseball on the weekend with their friends. Adults might find this bat easier to use simply because it is available in longer sizes, which can make adapting to this new bat easier for someone used to playing with longer bats. This bat is available in sizes from 32 to 34-inches and is therefore not suitable for children or even teens.
This bat is constructed from 100% ash. This means that it is extremely flexible, which makes it less likely to break while in use. If you have a history of breaking and cracking bats, this is the next bat you should get. It is also extremely light, so even if you aren’t necessarily used to swinging a bat repeatedly or are out of practice, this bat will be very forgiving on your arm. Plus, it also has a very forgiving sweet spot, which makes hitting the ball easier in general. We recommend this bat to any adult playing in a league or even at home, including both beginners and seasoned veterans.
Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X Ash Baseball Bat Key Features:
- Made of ash
- Comes in three longer sizes
- Two finished available
- Light and flexible
Best Budget Pick: Easton Pro Stix Training Set
On a budget but need a baseball bat to practice with? You might want to look at this one. The Easton Pro Stix Training Set is plastic, which explains its low price. However, many customers reported that it was extremely durable and held up well to play. It is also a full 33 inches but does not come in any other size. If you usually play with a bat that is around 33”, this would make a perfect practice bat that you can knock around without having to worry about breaking. However, if you’re looking for a baseball bat for your child or normally play with a smaller sized bat, you will possibly have difficulty adapting to this one.
Like previously stated, even though it is plastic, many of the reviews confirmed that it is very durable. In fact, it was often reported to be more durable than many wooden bats. This bat also comes with a training ball, so if you need to practice, this has everything you need to get started. We recommend going with this bat if your teenager has recently gotten into baseball, but you don’t want to purchase an expensive bat until he plays for a little longer. This would also be a good cheap bat for an adult to use when he plays with his friends and family. If you don’t necessarily need an expensive, wooden bat, this is a great option.
Easton Pro Stix Training Set Key Features:
- Ideal for practice
- 33” bat
- Includes training ball
Best Youth Baseball Bat: Louisville Slugger Youth Baseball Bat
There are tons of youth baseball bats on the market. Plastic ones, metal ones, wooden ones. The youth baseball bat market seems to be even bigger than the adult one! We sifted through many youth baseball bats to find the best option and finally settled on the Louisville Slugger Youth Baseball Bat as the best youth baseball bat available. It is available from 27 to 31-inches, so is only appropriate for older children. Based on customer reviews, it seems most appropriate for about the age of 8 and up. Any younger than that and you risk the bat being too big or too heavy.
The bat itself is made from lightweight and highly flexible ash. It also has a larger-than-average sweet spot, which can be particularly useful to those just beginning to learn the game. The end is cupped, and this feature makes the bat lighter and more balanced. The wood used to create the bat is compressed, easily eliminating soft spots and preventing breakage. This particular bat has a natural finish with the company’s logo stamped on. Many customers made their aesthetic modifications or allowed their children to personalize the bat. If your child is artsy or you want a unique bat, the natural finish is a selling point.
Louisville Slugger Youth Baseball Bat Key Features:
- Lightweight and flexible ash
- Cupped end
- Natural Finish
- Comes in multiple youth sizes
Best Wooden Baseball Bat: Louisville Slugger Genuine Series Maple Baseball Bat
The Louisville Slugger Genuine Series Maple Baseball Bat is, like the name suggests, made completely of maple. This means that stronger, more durable, and incredibly dense. The wood grains, as well, are less visible and engravings are more likely to hold up in the long run. If you want a baseball bat that pops when you make a big hit or has great inside pitch protection, this is a great choice. However, this bat is notoriously unforgiving when it comes to miss-hits. You must hit it in its sweet spot, or you’re going to have difficulties. For this reason, we only suggest this bat to those who have been playing the game for a while. This is a great upgrade bat for those who are coming off of a beginner’s bat or are just looking for something with a little more power. If you’re a beginner though, we recommend choosing one of our other top picks until you get the hang of things.
Many customers had rave reviews for this bat. Some reported that it was slightly heavier than advertised, but many said that they loved the extra weight. This is definitely not a bat for those that are used to ultra-lightweight bats though and might take some getting used to if you’re coming off of a lighter bat.
Louisville Slugger Genuine Series Maple Baseball Bat Key Features:
- Cupped on the end
- Comes in 30 to 34-inches
- Not bone rubbed
Who Should Buy a Baseball Bat
Baseball is a very popular sport, especially among the youth. It is a great game to watch, play competitively, or just on the weekends with a bunch of friends. Of course, to play baseball though, you have to have a baseball bat. The baseball bat is what makes baseball, baseball. You can improvise bases or even baseball themselves, but you can’t really play baseball without a bat to hit the ball with. If you or your children are interested in baseball, it is a good idea to purchase a baseball bat so that they can try out the game. Baseball bats are not terribly expensive and can be used for many fun activities even if you or your child decide not to continue with the game.
Even if your child is not particularly interested in baseball, purchasing them a starter baseball bat is a great way to introduce them to the game. It is far cheaper than the latest video game is a great way to get them to try a new activity. Plus, generations of children have used baseball bats uncompetitively in their backyards for hours of fun. Even if your child doesn’t pursue competitively baseball, they will still get plenty of use out of their bat.
Important Features to Consider
A baseball bat should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a baseball bat:
- Durability. Your baseball bat is going to take some hits – literally. It is important that it is designed to stand up to roughness that baseball tends to bring. Metal and wood bats tend to be the most durable, while plastic ones are usually the least. However, durability can vary quite a bit from bat to bat depending on their quality and construction. Just because a bat is wood does not necessarily mean that it is durable, and just because a bat is plastic does not necessarily mean it is going to break after one hard swing. Check the customer reviews to ensure that the item is not prone to breaking before purchasing it.
- Balance. It is hard to swing a bat and hit a ball correctly if it is not balanced. Most bats that are well balanced will have cupped handles, this makes the handle more lightweight and helps to balance out the whole bat. But, some bats that don’t have cupped handles are also well balanced if they are constructed correctly. We recommend checking the reviews before making your purchase.
- Material. What a bat is made out of is a big deal. Wooden bats are heavier than metal and plastic ones, but also are usually better balanced and hit harder. Plastic bats are extremely light, but this can cause them to be somewhat floppy and less balanced. Metal bats are gaining in popularity but have a very different “feel” from wooden bats. Each material has different pros and cons, which should be assessed before purchasing one. We suggest deciding what material you want your bat to be made out of first before striking out on a search for a bat. Narrowing down your material will allow you to narrow down your search very quickly.
- Weight. Generally speaking, you want your bat to be as heavy as your comfortable swinging. Heavier bats are harder to swing, but they transfer more energy to the ball when contact is made. If you’re a beginner, you will probably want to start out with a lighter bat and slowly work your way up to a heavier one. You don’t want your bat to be so heavy that you can only swing it a couple of times, but you don’t want it to be so light that is hardly moves the ball when it hits it.
- Aesthetic. This might not be important if you’re just going to play friendly games in your backyard, but if you play in a league, you are probably going to want a baseball bat that is at least somewhat presentable. Furthermore, some leagues might have restrictions on what bats can look like, so be sure to check before making a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you find the right size baseball bat?
If you’ve played baseball previously, it is a general rule of thumb to stick to whatever size baseball bat you’re used to using. If you or your child have grown, we recommend not going up more than an inch at a time. Any more than that and you will have to drastically change your swing to accommodate the longer bat. For those new to baseball or who simply want to size yourself, you can figure out what bat to get by figuring out your height and weight and then comparing it to this chart.
What do the numbers mean on a baseball bat?
The negative and positive numbers on a baseball bat are used to describe the bat’s drop weight. In other words, that number helps you determine how much the bat weight in comparison to its length. To figure out how much your bat weights, you take the drop weight number and subtract it from the bat’s length. For example, if a bat is 34” long and has a drop weight number of -2, then the bat weight 32 ounces. If a bat is 34” long and has a drop weight number of +1, then the bat weight 35 ounces.
In maple of ash better for baseball bats?
Both maple and ash have their place. Which one is best for you and your situation depends on how you play baseball and what you’re looking for in a bat. Maple bats are extremely good for transferring a lot of energy into a ball. They aren’t as flexible as ash bats, and therefore when they hit, they hit hard. This hard-hitting translates to about 10-15 extra feet of distance. Maple bats are also good at handling miss-hits that occur further down the wood barrel. However, they have a small sweet spot, about 1 to 2-inches smaller than an ash bat. And, when you do miss-hit off the end, maple bats have a high likelihood of breaking. This is why many reviews on maple bats are negative, but this is just the territory that comes from the material. We recommend this bat for sluggers and those that commonly miss-hit further down the barrel.
Ash bats are more flexible than maple bats. This lessens the amount of energy that is absorbed by the ball, which is why ash bats are generally less powerful. Some of their swing energy gets eaten up by the flexing. But, this flexing gives it a “trampoline” effect when you hit the ball. This increases the bat’s sweet spot and gives you more control over where the ball hits. Ash bats are also much lighter than their maple counterparts. This allows you to swing them faster and might give you an advantage against fastballs. The key difference between ash and maple is that ash is far softer. If you are jammed by an inside pitch towards the end of your barrel, then the ash bat has a higher chance of breaking. But, unlike maples bats, ash bats handle miss-hits on the barrel end quite well. Another downside of ash bats is that they are not very forgiving if you hit on the “wrong” side of the bat. If you hit on the wrong side than was intended, the ash bat can become flaky.
What kind of bats are used in major league baseball?
All professional baseball players have their preferences, but the majority of them use maple bats. This is because maple bats tend to last longer than ash bats, and when you literally hit baseballs for a living, this is extremely important.
Other Baseball Bats We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other baseball bats. Even though these didn’t make our 5 best baseball bats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your or your children. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Constructed from a one-piece atac alloy, this baseball bat is extremely durable to withstand even the toughest plays. It even has a -12 length to weight ratio, making it possibly the lightest baseball bat on the market.
- -12 drop weight
- 2 ¼ inch barrel
- One-piece design
Cost: $73 – $242
Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have an extremely young child, odds are they are getting their start in baseball through tee ball. If so, then this is the bat for them.
- USA Baseball Certified to meet standards
- -11 drop weight
- Durable aluminum construction
This metal baseball bat delivers power and balance at an affordable price. Constructed of a durable alloy, this baseball bat is lightweight while also being extremely durable.
- Approved standards
- 2-1/4 inch barrel
For small children interested in baseball, T-ball is usually the first sport they play. This T-ball bat looks and feels like a real baseball bat but meets the 2018 T-ball standards.
- Kid-friendly design
- Weighted endcap
- Approved for T-ball leagues
With a -11 drop-weight, you can’t get a much lighter bat than this. It’s made of a high-performance metal and delivers an extremely satisfying popping sound.
- Expanded sweet spot
- Constructed with aircraft grade alloy
- Meets 2018 standards
This hybrid wooden bat is designed with a flexible, durable bamboo core and hard maple outer cover. If you’re looking for something new to try, this might be worth looking into.
- Bamboo core
- 90-day warranty
- Cupped end
Cost: $47 – $110
Made of North American white ash, this baseball bat is a great ash option. It has a Kodiak handle and barrel and is laser engraved. Plus, it is very affordable.
- White ash
- Laser engraved
- 15/16” handle
Cost: $27 – $55
This is a pro model bat that is designed to be used by youth. It’s maple wood, which means that it’s harder and heavier than most other bats. We recommend this one for older youth players who are looking to move towards adult bats.
- Maple wood
- -3 drop weight
- Approved bat standards
Cost: $76 – $93
With a -3 drop weight ratio and approximately 2 ½ inch barrel, this bat has been approved for both NCAA and NFHS play. If you’re on a high school baseball team, this is one of the best bats you can get.
- 2 ½ barrel diameter
- -3 drop weight
- BBCOR certification for high school
Cost: $85 – $96
Looking for a rock hard maple bat? Then this bat has everything you need. With a supra-helix grip and 100% maple construction, it is sure to catch fire with all maple lovers.
- Bigger barrel design
- Supra-helix grip
Cost: $80 – $85
Featuring Damascus alloy, a maximized sweet spot, and an EQT grip tape, this bat is absolutely stunning and performs great whether your practicing or competing.
- Damascus alloy
- EQT tape grip handle
Cost: $39 – $192
This aluminum baseball bat was designed for training and competition. It is extremely well-balanced, very resistant to damage, and has great handling.
- Aluminum 6061
- Ideal for training and competition
- High-quality grip
Cost: $25 – $30
This is a unique hybrid bat that isn’t 100% aluminum. Instead, the handle is composite, which means that it contains aluminum as well as a variety of other metals. The barrel itself is maple.
- BBCOR approved
- -3 drop weight
- Composite handle
Cost: $60 – $100
Featuring durable military grade aluminum and a 2 5/8-barrel diameter, this is a great choice for those who spend a lot of time at the batting range.
- 3 drop ration
- Military grade aluminum
- Concave end
Cost: $50 – $70
If you like the Rawlings brand but prefer aluminum bats, this is the perfect option for you. It provides plenty of power and balance for a reasonable cost and is ultra-light.
- 2-1/4-inch barrel
- Durable construction
Cost: $35 – $60
With a -3 drop rate and bone rubbed design, this baseball bat is lightweight but also extremely durable. Plus, it comes in a sleek, glossy black finish.
- Bone rubbed
- High gloss finish
- Cupped end
Cost: $55 – $80
This baseball bat has been bone rubbed to close the wood’s pores and make the wood harder, which is commonly an issue with soft birch bats.
- Bone rubbed
- Cupped end
- Medium barrel
Cost: $100 – $150
Birch bats are new to the market, which makes them both exciting and largely unknown. If you’re interested in a birch bat but are worried you won’t like it. Try this one. If you don’t like it after 10 days, you can send it back.
- Comes in 31” and 32”
- Cupped barrel end
This birch bat is designed for those transitioning from a youth bat to an adult bat. It is solid wood but is extremely light. Just like our previous listing, you can send it back within 10 days if you don’t like it.
- Comes in 31” and 32”
- Cupped handle
This is Phoenix Bat’s pro bat design, featuring a 2-9/16” barrel and 15/16” straight handle. We recommend this one for power hitters and those who have played baseball for a while.
- Cupped end
- Try is for 10 days, if you don’t like it, send it back
- -2.5 drop weight