Updated: December 2017

Softball Bat Reviews:

How to Pick a softball bat - There's nothing soft about softball; this is a game for hardcore fans of fun. While baseball is the official national pastime, it is softball that is played on town fields, and in corporate leagues, schools, and pickup games all over the country. Softballs are bigger than baseballs, and, despite its name and others that were considered for the game (including pumpkin ball, mush ball, indoor baseball, and kitten ball), they are harder. This is why you'll need a bat that knows how to handle itself when you step up to the plate. A softball player's bat is as important as his glove; it needs to fit properly and become a natural extension of the body.
softball bats

Buying Slow Pitch Softball Bats and Fast Pitch Softball Bats - Before you go and pick the shiniest bat in the store, take a minute to look up your league's rules regarding bats. If you play in a fast pitch softball league, your bat can be no more than 34 inches long and 2.24 inches in diameter. It also must have a drop of no more than 12. This means that when you take the length of the bat in inches and subtract the weight in ounces, the resulting number has to be less than 12. If you are looking for a slow pitch softball bat, they usually run 34 inches long, and drops differ among leagues. There is no difference between slow and fast pitch softball bats; both will be legal in whatever type of game you play. Fast pitch bats are typically shorter and lighter. The main thing is that it can't have more than 1.20 BPF (Bat Performance Factor), which measures the liveliness of the ball when struck by the bat as opposed to when thrown against a solid wall. Your softball bat will be made of metal or composite; wood is not allowed in fast pitch softball anymore. Slow pitch softball players sometimes use them, and bamboo is a commonly used wood. Aluminum is a favorite, and it is very light and durable. They cost more but they will last season after season. Lighter aluminum alloys are more durable (and yes, they tend to be more pricy). Graphite and titanium lined bats are also strong and light. They are usually added to thinner aluminum bats for extra performance. They reduce vibration, making them a top choice among players. Before you buy, ask your coach or commissioner about the type of bat they require to make sure you are legal and game-ready.

Buying the Best Softball Bats - When you choose a softball bat, your age, weight, and height play a role. You can find a helpful guide at Dick's Sporting Goods (http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=222939), but let's do an example. Say you are 25 years old, 65 inches, and 150 pounds. Following the chart, you would see that the right length bat for you is 33 inches. Height and weight offer a more accurate guide than does age, but if you really think 34 inches is better, go with that. It is up to how you feel handling the bat. If you're not sure, test a variety of the same bats in different sizes. Handle them and see what feels most comfortable. Just don't take out a display rack at the sports store when you do a practice swing. Also look at the size of the barrel so you can be sure you are meeting league regulations, and take a look at the grip. Rubberized grips absorb some of the shock of hitting the ball, while synthetic or leather offers you a better, more sure grip. A lot of this is up to your league requirements and your own individual comfort level. You can browse the best selling softball bats online here.

Best Softball Bats:

The best softball bat for you will depend on your height, weight, style of hitting, and preferences. If you are a power hitter, a heavier bat will be fine. If you are buying a bat for a younger child, a lighter bat will be better because it won't tire him/her and will help improve hitting. That being said, let's take a look at some of the top brands so you can get an idea of where to start. It is helpful to stick with big brands, as well as bats certified for use by the American Softball Association (ASA). These have undergone testing and are approved for play. Of course, if you have an informal league made up of your friends, you could use a wooden stick for a bat, if you wanted. If, however, you play in a league, ASA softball bats are required for championship play. Easton, Miken, Demarini, Worth, and other top companies are good bets.

The Miken Freak Softball Bat for Serious Players - According to reviews on Squidoo and BigVick.com, the Miken Freak is a good investment for a serious player. We say a "serious" player because these lightweight bats have a hefty price tag of about $200. What do you get for your money? The Original Freak has a 100 percent carbon fiber construction with advanced E-Flex technology. It is ready for action with USSSA 1.20 certification and NSA approval. Miken is a bad boy of softball; some of their softball bats are too "hot" for use in league play, but this might be just the thing that makes you want one. According to nearly all reviews, these bats are hot and ideal for serious hitters. The Original Freak Limited features a 13.5 inch barrel, 13/16 inch handle, Carbon-X shell technology, 12 month warranty, and Ultra Bond Grip. One reviewer, JustBats.com, said that once the bat warmed up, anyone could hit anything. Maybe that's the reason for the $200 price tag. You can find other Miken softball bats on Amazon or in sporting good stores like Sports Authority. To be fair, though, other comparable bats cost about this much. Miken also makes bats that cost up to $700. For very, very serious players.

Easton SX70 Reflex Softball Bat - Softball Bat Buyer's Guide says that the Easton SX70 Reflex Softball Bat combines strength and durability, and you'll feel it. This is a good softball bat for a slow-pitch game and it is crafted of 7050 aircraft alloy. It features a pre-loaded end cap with concave effect for maximum power, ultra-thin 29/32 inch tapered handle, cushioned grip, 12 inch barrel, 34 inch length, and weights of 26, 28, or 30 ounces. It is approved by the ASA and USSSA. Easton is a big name in bats and has been making them since 1922. Doug Easton began by producing aluminum arrows instead of wood for archery, and the accuracy led them to innovate with the Easton softball bats. This has worked, and today, you can get great power, weight, and usability from the Reflex. It sells for $90 - $102 on Amazon. The Easton SX70B Reflex (-12) FastPitch Softball Bat is another good choice, and it is priced at $32 to $97.

Best Budget Softball Bat - For softball players on a budget, the Worth Storm Aluminum Slowpitch Softball Bat is a great choice. Worth is a huge name in bats, so you are not getting second class material here. The Storm features a 100 percent alloy design, 2.25 inch barrel diameter, single wall construction, X-Tended Sweetspot Technology, BPF 1.20, approval by ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, and other recognized softball associations, 12 month warranty, 34 inch barrel, and 28 ounce weight. A review on SoftballBats.com called it "perfect for players looking for consistent performance and exceptional durability at an affordable price." At $20, it's hard to argue. Whether you're looking for ASA softball bats or the best sweet spot or hottest bat in the industry, you can find them here. Let's play ball.