The use of aluminum bats began in the 1970s as an alternative to wood bats - they were touted as cheaper and more durable. While aluminum bats were originally considered just a metal copy of the wood bat, time and play has shown differences between the two, including a greater ball speed coming off the bat and a faster swing as they're much lighter in weight.
Key points about aluminum bats:
- Greater ball speed off the bat
- Increased bat speed because they are lighter
- Trampoline effect off the barrel when contact is made
- Occurs because the thin walls actually flex or deform with contact. Some of the energy from the contact is transferred to the ball, propelling it farther, while wood bats retain more of the energy with contact
- Have a larger sweet spot
- Ideal for beginners looking to get comfortable with the game
One downside to an aluminum bat is the more you use it, the more damage you are doing to it, and for the purists out there, it isn't traditional. The debate doesn't end at just wood and aluminum, though. The aluminum vs. composite debate is just as fierce.
See our recommendation for aluminum bats:
ANDERSON ROCKETECH 2.0 (-9) FASTPITCH SOFTBALL BAT
Composite bats are lighter than aluminum and wood bats, allowing power hitters to reach their potential with each swing.
Key points about composite bats:
- Considered more durable than aluminum
- Don't give off the popular "ping" sound
- One of the most popular options for softball players
- Costs more than aluminum bats
- Increased production at bat as ball speed on contact is greater
- Must be broken in - process takes a few hours
- Have increased trampoline effect due to "double wall" construction
It's important to also point out that composite bats are finicky about temperature - when the weather turns and the days and nights are a little cooler, composite bats are known to see decreased performance and have an increased chance of breaking.
See our recommendation for composite bats:
ADULT BASEBALL BAT EASTON MAKO TORQ BB15MKT (-3)
Do you now know what kind of bats right for you? If so, head on over to shop our selection of baseball and softball bats. For more useful pro tips, check out our other guides. Be sure to share this with your friends!