This guide will teach you:
- The difference between softball and baseball bats
- The best materials for baseball bats
- What you should look for when choosing a baseball bat
But before you head into the details for each of our top-rated products, here’s a quick preview of our review for each item.
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
After the seemingly countless testing of different baseball bats on the market, the Louisville Slugger 2021 SL-Solo Baseball Bat is our number one pick for 2021. It features solid construction and a balanced feel, and it can be used with varying swings.
Additionally, each hit made with this baseball bat feels like we could swing one more hit. It’s because the vibration disperses reasonably fast, reducing the stress felt with each hit. Therefore, this bat promotes long play. We could even say that this bat can help us hit baseballs for an entire day.
What's In This Guide?
Our Top 5 Best Baseball Bats in 2021
If you’re looking for our top-rated baseball bats in 2021, here’s a list of the best products we bought and reviewed for your convenience.
What is the Difference Between a Softball and Baseball Bat?
Baseball and softball are two very similar games. They use similar types of equipment, have more or less the same rules, and their fields even have the same setup. The main differences are very minute, but these small differences are what changed how the games are played, and even the rules. The main source of difference will be the size. There are size differences between the balls, the gloves, and of course, the bats.
At the youth or little league, there is no difference between a softball bat and a baseball bat. Size difference mostly affects players on the professional level. Baseball bats are shorter but wider, whilst softball bats are longer but narrower.
Regulation baseball bats are an inch shorter than the softball bats, that is, 33 inches and 34 inches, respectively. Now, although baseball bats are shorter than softball bats, they are wider at the barrel, which is the widest part of the bat. Baseball bats are 2.6 inches in diameter, whereas softball bats are only 2.25 inches in diameter at the barrel.
Length and girth aren’t the only difference between the two. Weight is also a major difference. Baseball bats are at a heavier 28 to 31 oz, whilst softball bats are anywhere between 23 to 28 oz, depending on whether it’s a fast pitch or a slow pitch softball bat.
Are There Illegal Baseball Bats?
Although the name sounds a bit harsh, using illegal bats wouldn’t send you to prison. They are just baseball bats that don’t meet the regulation parameters of major league baseball. The worse you could get is being banned from the major league, but you can still use illegal bats outside of official games.
Most of the time, illegal baseball bats are made illegal by the material, the length, or the weight, which gives certain players a marked advantage over others. For a bat to be deemed regulation, they are meant to pass certain tests. Even after passing these tests, however, a bat can still lose certification down the line if they are found to give certain players an unfair advantage.
Of course, another way baseball bats can be made illegal is when you take a certified baseball bat and alter it in some way. Back in the day, they did this by taking out the core of a bat to make the bats lighter.
Why Do Kids Use Metal Baseball Bats in Youth Sports?
Major League Baseball players have always used wooden bats since the league started in the 20th century. Technology has advanced quite a lot since then, and now, there are baseball bats that are made from metal, such as aluminum. Despite this, the Major League hasn’t changed its stance on exclusively using wooden bats.
So why do youth leagues use metal baseball bats? Put simply, it’s a matter of affordability. Wooden bats tend to break easier than metal bats do. Parents would then prefer a bat for their children that they don’t have to replace too often.
What’s more, metal bats tend to hit harder than wooden bats, which can be seen as an unfair advantage in the major leagues.
What Wood for Baseball Bats is Best for Hitting Balls the Farthest?
Although metal bats hit better and can send many baseballs farther than wooden ones, wooden baseball bats still see a lot of use, especially in the Major Leagues. But which type of wood is best for baseball bats? Here is a list of 3 of the most commonly used wood for baseball bats, and the reason why they are so popular.
Maple is the most commonly used wood for baseball bats in the Major League. It makes up as much as 80% of the bats used on the major league levels alone. Maple itself is a very dense wood, which also makes it very hard and very durable. This type of wood is also very porous, making it perfect for high impact. Maple compresses and becomes harder at the point where it sees frequent ball impact.
Another wood used to make baseball bats is birch. Birch is one of the most flexible types of wood out there. When turned into a baseball bat, players can whip the bat for faster swings. Of course, they generate less momentum than maple, because birch is lighter. They also dent quite easily as a result.
Ash is a sort of middle ground between birch and maple, at least in terms of flexibility and hardness. Ash was the most commonly used wood for creating baseball bats before maple ever became popular. Of course, that means it doesn’t have the same power as maple, nor does it have the same flexibility as birch.
What Should You Look for When Buying Baseball Bats?
Having the right baseball bat for your needs is already a part of the game done. But to choose the right one, you need to know what you are looking for. Here are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when looking for your new baseball bat.
The league you plan on playing at is a huge deciding factor on the length and the weight of your baseball bat. If you or your child is planning on joining the little leagues, then you will have to choose a shorter and lighter bat. If you plan on getting a bat for a teenager or the major leagues, then you will have to find appropriate bats for those as well.
As mentioned before, baseball bats can be made from different types of materials, usually metal and wood. Even wooden bats have different performances depending on the type of wood used. Metal bats are harder, more durable, and can launch a ball much farther away. Of course, if you’re playing for the major leagues, you’re pretty much stuck with wooden bats, but even with such a limitation, you still have options to choose from.
- One Piece or Two Piece
If you’re getting a metal bat, you can make a further choice between a one-piece or a two-piece bat. As the name suggests, a one-piece bat is made from one continuous piece of metal. Whilst two-piece bats are made with the barrel and handle constructed separately then later fused. One-piece bats are less flexible but can produce powerful swings, whilst two-piece bats have more flexibility and can help lessen the vibrations you get from the impact.
Your bat length should also play a huge role in determining your swing mechanics and plate coverage. With an appropriately-sized bat, you shouldn’t have problems holding that piece of sports equipment with your hand. It should feel like an extension of your arm rather than nothing but a tool.
The feel of the bat is very important to the weight it should be. If it feels heavy or drops after a few swings, then it might be too heavy for you. A bat’s drop is the weight that is taken from the length of its body minus the item’s overall weight. Smaller players tend to prefer a heavier drop weight, which can help improve their bat speed.
Take note that USSSA bats will either have 2-5/8-inch or 2-3/4-inch barrels. USA bats, on the other hand, will either have 2-1/4-inch or 2-5/8-inch barrels. Finally, BBCOR bats will have 2-5/8-inch barrels.
Pick #1 - Louisville Slugger 2021 SL Solo Baseball Bat
The Louisville slugger 2021 Solo is made from a single piece of aluminum alloy from the knob to the other end. This gives the bat better energy dispersal, making sure that hitting the sweet spot sends the ball flying as far as possible.
The end cap on this model is made from composite metal, which removes a lot
of weight from the end of the bat, making it feel a lot lighter, even though the barrel is the widest allowable diameter. This combination makes it perfect for hitters who like a faster swing without sacrificing power.
One problem we’ve found is since it’s made from a single piece of metal, the hand ring can be a bit unforgiving. Of course, this bat has been designed with its comfortable grip, alleviating most of the damage done by the impact.
Pick #2 – Easton Beast Speed Baseball Bat
For a decent Youth League bat, the Easton Beast Speed certainly gets the job done. Visually, the bat itself is stunning to look at, with a lovely outline. If you or your child wants a faster swing, you certainly can’t go wrong.
The entire bat is made from a single piece of thermal alloy, giving the barrel excellent performance on the field.
The entire bat is made from a single piece of thermal alloy, giving the barrel excellent performance on the field. The speed cap at the end also improves the responsiveness and flexibility overall, as well as enhancing the sound produced upon impact.
Unfortunately, despite the pop being superb, some of our team members argued that it doesn’t last that long, perhaps only a few seasons. Others also reported that the bat doesn’t develop a sweet spot as intended.
Pick #3 – Demarini Voodoo One Baseball Bat
The DeMarini Voodoo One is an excellent baseball bat with a perfectly balanced swing. If you prefer a stiffer feel and as much speed as you can get, then this is the perfect bat for you. The barrel is moderately sized, but has a larger sweet spot, giving a better margin for impact. On top of this, the end cap shaves off the extra weight for an even faster swing.
Its straightforward design means there’s pretty much no break-in period required. The DeMarini Voodoo is a bat that any hitter can pick up and start swinging.
We did find the bat doesn’t offer a good enough feel, but the better hitter that you are, the less this should matter. Worse still, the most recent model hasn’t changed much since 2019, so if you missed a few years, you haven’t missed much.
Pick #4 – Easton 2021 Speed Comp Youth Baseball Bat
The Easton Speed is currently marketed as the baseball bat with the fastest swing available. This is thanks to the speed cap that offers responsiveness to the barrel, as well as a natural sound upon impact.
Unfortunately, since it’s so light, the barrel itself is prone to cracking rather easily. On top of that, the pop doesn’t last as long as other bats would.
Pick #5 – Marucci CAT8 Senior League Baseball Bat
Thanks to its solid one-piece aluminum construction, the Marucci CAT 8 offers a significantly superior feel and durability. Because it’s made from strong aluminum, the construction allows for thinner walls with increased response. The thinner wall design also offers a larger sweet spot, with a more forgiving response if the ball doesn’t hit the center.
One thing we did find disappointing is the lack of an audible pop, or if there is a pop, it doesn’t last very long, usually a few seasons at most.
Our Top Pick – Louisville Slugger 2021 SL Solo Baseball Bat
With its solid construction and well-balanced feel, the Louisville Slugger 2021 SL Solo Baseball Bat takes our number one spot.
This bat has all the traits you’re looking for from a slugger, including power, decent response, and a fast swing. Certainly a bat any hitter can appreciate.
Check out the low price on Amazon.