Softball bats can be made from different materials. The basic features of each material are summarised below:
Wooden softball bats were the first to be used. Nowadays, they are often made from ash, maple or bamboo. Wooden softball bats are the strongest and most durable of the options available - though they are also the heaviest and least flexible.
Aluminium bats are durable and long-lasting; they are lighter than those made of wood. These are also very affordable, making them ideal for beginners.
Alloy bats are made of aluminium mixed together with other metals. They are popular due to their low price and resilience.
Composite bats are made from materials such as epoxy resin and graphite-fibre. They are lightweight and have a greater flex and a larger ‘sweet spot’ than their counterparts.
Balanced or end-loaded?
Softball bats can be balanced or end-loaded. Balanced bats’ total weight is evenly distributed, whereas end loaded bats have more weight on the end of the barrel.
In terms of construction, softball bats can be made of one, two, three or four pieces.
As shown above, there is a wide choice of softball bats available. The one you opt for depends on factors including your technique, stance and budget. If you are looking for the best cheap softball bats, aluminium or alloy bats are probably your best bet.
Well-respected makers of softball bats include Easton, Miken, and Wilks. Wilks offer Mini or Maxi versions of their Home Runner and Big Hitter bats and these are considered some of the best cheap softball bats on the market.