Whether you play softball recreationally or competitively, you’ll need a decent softball bat. Which you choose will likely depend on your level of involvement in the game. If you simply play in your yard with friends and family, or in a fun league, you can get by with a basic softball bat. On the other hand, you’ll want a high-end bat for competitive play, whether in a local league or playing national games.
We reviewed dozens of softball bats to identify the best of the best, comparing various factors such as slowpitch versus fastpitch, weight, length, material, and reviews from people who really use these bats.
The Louisville Slugger LXT X20 Fastpitch Bat is our top choice. This top of the line bat is great everyone from Saturday players through to those in the pro ranks. It feels well balanced and swings like a dream.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Softball Bats
|Best Softball Bat Overall||Louisville Slugger LXT X20 Fastpitch Bat||4.6|
|Best Youth Softball Bat||DeMarini 2019 Bustos Fastpitch Bat||4.4|
|Best Budget Softball Bat||Easton Hammer Slowpitch Softball Bat||4.4|
|Best Slowpitch Softball Bat||Miken DC41 Supermax USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat||4.8|
|Best Fastpitch Softball Bat||DeMarini 2020 Prism Fastpitch Bat||4.5|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Softball Bat Overall: Louisville Slugger LXT X20 Fastpitch Bat
Anyone serious about softball should consider the Louisville Slugger LXT X20 Fastpitch Bat. The barrel is made from a full composite material with PBF technology that increases the sweet spot (the spot that makes the batted ball go fastest and produces the least uncomfortable vibration) and gives you exceptional pop. It’s carefully designed so that it’s well-balanced and swings almost effortlessly. The VCX Vibration Control Connection System allows for independent movement between the barrel and the handle to reduce vibration.
This bat comes in lengths between 28 and 34 inches, and weighs between 16 and 26 ounces, with drop weights (length-to-weight ratios) of -8 to -12. The wide range of weights and lengths makes it easier to find your perfect bat, plus there are even some options suited to youth players. All this doesn’t come cheap, costing between $280 and $350, depending which bat size you opt for. Sure, it’s pricey, but if you’re upgrading from a basic softball bat, this is likely to improve your game and will last for years to come.
Louisville Slugger LXT X20 Fastpitch Bat Key Features:
- Lightweight X-Cap end cap improves speed and control
- The carefully balanced swing weight makes the bat a delight to play with
- LS Pro Comfort Grip gives you excellent feel and greater control
Best Youth Softball Bat: DeMarini 2019 Bustos Fastpitch Bat
When buying a youth softball bat, you need to balance quality with cost, which the DeMarini 2019 Bustos Fastpitch Bat does perfectly. Yes, you want a bat that performs well, but it shouldn’t cost the earth as it’s likely your child will need to size up within a year or two. The two-piece design divides the handle and the barrel, providing shock absorption and lessening vibration when the bat makes contact with the ball. Young players may hold back to prevent uncomfortable vibration occurring on contact but this allows them to let loose. The Big-D end cap also helps reduce vibrations, particularly on mishit balls.
Young players are also likely to appreciate the cool graffiti-like design and the fact it sports the signature of legendary softball player “The Big Bruiser” Crystal Bustos. Retailing at around $92, it costs more than basic youth bats but is cheaper than top-end models, despite having some very impressive features.
DeMarini 2019 Bustos Fastpitch Bat Key Features:
- Available in lengths 29″ to 32″ and weights 16 oz to 19 oz
- Extra-light handle for balanced feeling and faster swings
- Drop weight of -13 is great for young players
Best Budget Softball Bat: Easton Hammer Slowpitch Softball Bat
If you’re looking for a solid bat at an affordable price, the Easton Hammer Slowpitch Softball Bat is an excellent option. You won’t be hitting any balls out of the park with this bat, but it’s a decent choice for non-power hitters or if you just want a softball bat to mess around with in your backyard. It should be fine if you’re playing in a fun league, but some buyers have stated this bat isn’t legal in the leagues in which they play, so be sure to double-check before buying if you intend to use it in any official league games.
This bat is made from aluminum alloy in a one-piece design, which makes it sturdy but can lead to some unpleasant vibrations when you make contact with the ball. Considering this softball bat costs just $25 to $30, it offers incredible value for money, even if it has a few quirks.
Easton Hammer Slowpitch Softball Bat Key Features:
- Power loaded for a balanced swing
- Choose between 32″/25 oz or 33″/26 oz
- Made from a military-grade aluminum alloy
Best Slowpitch Softball Bat: Miken DC41 Supermax USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat
While you can use the Miken DC41 Supermax USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat for recreational games only, it’s more than good enough for competitive use, even at the college level or pro level. It’s approved for competitive use by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), National Softball Association (NSA), and International Softball Association (ISA), but not in USA Softball (formerly Amateur Softball Association/ASA) leagues.
Thanks to the 14-inch barrel and triple matrix core, this bat has an extended sweet spot and increased flex. The 1-ounce end load gives players increased power through the hitting zone, to hit balls harder and farther. You can choose between weights of 26, 27, or 28 ounces, but there’s only one length option of 34 inches. Since this is an exceptional slowpitch softball bat, it does come with a relatively high price tag of $300, but it’s definitely worth the cost for serious players.
Miken DC41 Supermax USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat Key Features:
- Separated handle and barrel to reduce vibration
- Well-balanced with lots of pop
- Made in the USA
Best Fastpitch Softball Bat: DeMarini 2020 Prism Fastpitch Bat
Not only does the DeMarini 2020 Prism Fastpitch Bat perform incredibly, but it also looks great and will make you the envy of your fellow softball players. Thanks to the double-wall design and gapped barrel, this bat has a huge sweet spot with large amounts of pop and a massive sound when you hit the ball. The special composite fiber is relatively light, but still strong and powerful, which is great if you tend to struggle with heavy bats. Lengths of offer range from 28 to 34 inches and weights from 17 to 24 ounces, with a drop weight of either -10 or -11.
While this bat does have a two-piece design to reduce vibration, it has a “3Fusion Connection” which allows for better weight control so your bat feels more balanced. The ReFract EndCap helps improve the bat’s speed. As this is one of the best fastpitch softball bats money can buy, it doesn’t come cheap, retailing at $270 to $400, depending on the size and weight you choose, but it’s good enough for players of all levels, right the way up to pro leagues.
DeMarini 2020 Prism Fastpitch Bat Key Features:
- Approved for use in ASA, USSSA, NSA, and ISA league games
- Capable of generating extreme bat speed
- Well-balanced with minimal vibrations
Who Should Buy a Softball Bat
Anyone who plays softball or is interested in taking it up as a hobby will eventually need a softball bat. Some beginner or fun leagues have bats for players to use, but before long you’re likely to want one of your own, so you can get used to its feel, balance, and swing, plus it means you can practice in your own time.
Even if you don’t play softball in a league, you may still want a softball bat to play in the backyard just for fun. Of course, if baseball is your game and you’ve ended up here by mistake, check out our list of the best baseball bats.
Important Features to Consider
A softball bat should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a softball bat:
- Material. Aluminum or “alloy” softball bats are made from aluminum alloy. They’re lightweight with naturally well-balanced swings, plus they tend to be affordable. Composite softball bats are made from blends of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and similar. They have larger sweet spots that aluminum bats and can have features to reduce vibration increase speed. On the downside, they’re more expensive than aluminum bats. While they’re less popular than they once were, some people still love the classic look and feel of wooden softball bats, but they do require a decent technique to make good hits.
- Length and weight. It’s important to choose the right length and weight of a softball bat to suit your needs. As a rule, shorter, lighter players need short, lighter bats, and taller, heavier players need longer, heavier bats. You can find charts online to help you find the correct softball bat size for your height and weight. However, some of this is down to personal preference, so you may want to try out some bats before you commit.
- Drop weight. The drop weight is the difference between the length and the weight of a softball bat. For example, a bat that’s 32 inches long and weighs 22 ounces will have a drop weight of -10. A smaller drop weight indicates a heavier bat comparative to the length. Youth players generally need bats with a higher drop weight of -10 to -14, as do adult players who prefer lightweight bats.
- Two-Piece design. Softball bats with a two-piece design separate the handle and barrel with a connective piece in between. This reduces vibration when the player hits the ball.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are baseball bats and softball bats different?
Softball bats tend to be slightly longer than baseball bats with a thinner barrel and are generally lighter, too. Softball bats have significantly higher drop weights to baseball bats since league rules state that baseball bats must have drop weights of no more than -3, making them heavier than softball bats comparative to length.
What’s the difference between a fastpitch and slowpitch softball bat?
Fastpitch and slowpitch softball are two slightly different games. As the name suggests, in fastpitch softball, the pitcher throws the ball faster (with a windmill motion to gain momentum), whereas in slowpitch softball the ball is thrown more slowly, underarm without a windmill wind-up. Fastpitch softball bats tend to be narrow and lightweight to prioritize speed. Slowpitch softball bats are heavier and wider for maximum performance on contact since a fast swing isn’t as important.
What size softball bat do I need?
You can get a good idea of what length of softball bat you require by measuring from the center of your chest to the tip of your index finger. Choose a softball bat around this length (although the longest bat on offer is 34 inches). You may be able to go up an inch or two depending on your weight and strength, to reap the rewards of a larger bat while still being able to control it.
Does a heavier softball bat hit farther?
In short, yes. But it’s more complicated than that. For instance, a 28-ounce bat will hit a ball further than a 26-ounce bat, but only if the speed of the bat swing is equal. So, if you swing a heavier bat significantly slower than you’d swing a lighter bat, you’re likely to hit the ball a shorter distance. That’s why it’s important to choose a softball bat that’s the correct weight for your height, weight, and strength.
Other Softball Bats We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other softball bats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best softball bats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Fastpitch Softball Bats
A lightweight alloy bat that’s great for youth players or anyone who favors a lighter option.
- Patented handle helps you swing fast yet controlled
- Composite end cap
- Large sweet spot
This solid yet affordable aluminum bat is available in lengths of 28 to 32 inches with a drop weight of -12 across the board.
- Two-piece grip
- Swings effortlessly
- Ideal for younger players
Cost: $60 to $80
Thanks to its composite barrel with a massive sweet spot, it’s easier to make a decent hit every time, plus it’s well-balanced and highly responsive.
- Two-piece design with 3Fusion Connection for minimal vibration
- ReAction End Cap improves barrel performance
- Drop weight options of -10 or -11
Cost: $280 to $350
A great mid-range composite softball bat at a reasonable price. Comes in 31, 33, and 34-inch lengths with a -10 drop weight.
- Excellent two-piece technology
- Thin handle with hyperskin grip
- Huge sweet spot
Cost: $80 to $160
Not only is this one of the best fastpitch bats all round, it also offers plenty of options with -8, -9, -10, or -11 drop weights, overall weights of 18 to 26 ounces, and lengths from 29 to 34 inches.
- Reduced vibration due to two-piece design
- Suitable for ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, and ISF league games
- Made using XTX Xtra Tough Resin
A slightly older version of our top pick, which might not have quite the latest features but is still an excellent choice that you may be able to get at a bargain price.
- 28″ to 31″ lengths
- Drop weight of -12
- Extremely well-balanced
Cost: $180 to $250
This lightweight yet highly durable softball bat is made from an aluminum alloy. It’s great for youth players or adults who like a light bat.
- Cushioned grip
- -13 drop weight
- Well-balanced with great pop
Cost: $45 to $85
Designed with young players in mind, this alloy softball bat has an extra-large sweet spot to give more pop and distance on each hit.
- Available in 26 to 30-inch lengths
- Drop weight of -11
- Approved for ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, and ISA sanctioned softball leagues
Slowpitch Softball Bats
With its two-piece design, vibrations are reduced when you hit the ball, so you can hit harder without any discomfort.
- Composite barrel with alloy handle
- 34″ long with weights from 25 to 28 oz
- Hits hard
Cost: $120 to $180
This one-piece aluminum alloy softball bat might be fairly basic but it’s evenly balanced and has some real heft to it.
- Evenly balanced
- Measures 34″ long
- Available in 26, 27, or 28 oz weights
Cost: $50 to $105
The composite barrel has a quite break-in design so it’s game ready straight out of the box, plus it has a stiff feel for improved energy transfer.
- Drop weight of -6 to -8
- Thin, tapered handle for optimum control
- Endload weight increases swing power
An extremely similar model to the above, except it’s slightly lighter in weight and has a power load instead of an end load.
- Endorsed by Jeff Hall
- Power loaded weighting gives increased momentum
- Approved for use in ISA, NSA, and USSSA leagues
If you’re looking for a slowpitch bat that’s approved for play in all ASA leagues, this is a good choice, but you’ll need to look at other Miken models for USSSA, NSA, and ISA leagues.
- Large sweet spot
- Increased flex
- 34″ with 26, 27, or 28 oz weight options
Cost: $240 to $280
Another top-notch option from Miken, this one approved for use in all USSSA games. It’s extremely powerful with an extended sweet spot and excellent balance.
- 0.5 oz end load for a powerful swing
- Two-piece design
- Triple matrix core
Cost: $275 to $300
Measuring 34 inches and weighing 27 ounces, you don’t get many options with this bat but it’s solid and powerful, making it a great all-round slowpitch bat.
- Gapped barrel for trampoline effect
- Zinc alloy handle
- Great balance and flexibility
Wooden Softball Bats
Made from lightweight, sustainable bamboo, this bat is end-loaded to help your swing in slowpitch games.
- ASA approved
- 100-day warranty
- Cupped end barrel
More high-tech than your average wooden softball bat, this one has a maple barrel with a bamboo core, plus a fiberglass reinforced handle for extra strength.
- Choose from 32″, 33″, or 34″ lengths
- -6 drop weight
- Well balanced
Handcrafted in the USA, this wooden softball bat feels well-balanced with an excellent swing and some heft behind it.
- Measures 34″ long
- 7/8″ Handle
- Made in the USA
A weighty 34-inch softball mat made from ash and weighing in at roughly 30 oz, making it ideal for slowpitch games or just for fun.
- ASA approved
- Cupped end
- Natural finish
With its gray stain leaving the natural grain of the maple showing through, this is an elegant bat that’s great for fun leagues or backyard use.
- Made from maple
- Measures 34″
- Fairly durable for a wooden bat