Composite Baseball Bat FAQ's
How do I break in a composite bat?
It usually depends on the bat, but commonly you just need a lot of good BP with the bat. You have to have between 100 to 200 hits to break it in. Some bats take longer than others. You need to be hitting goods balls, leather cover solid baseballs. Hitting off a tee will not break it in very effectively. You need to be hitting live balls thrown 40mph or better. A machine works good if it is set up to throw real baseballs. Each time you make good contact you need to turn the barrel about 1/8 turn so you break in the bat evenly.
What do you recommend for proper care and maintenance of composite bats?
Let me start out by stating keep your receipt. If there is a problem with the bat while it is under warranty, you will need the receipt when you send it to the manufacturer. Here are a few tips for proper care and maintenance:
1) Never leave any bat, especially a composite bat, in cold weather for an extended period of time. Cold weather is very bad on composites. So make sure when you get home you take it with you into your warm house. Never hit a composite bat in weather below 65 degrees or it will have a greater chance of breaking.
2) Try not to hit off the handle - this is where most breaks occur. Composite bats have flex to them in the handles, so a good impact blow off the handle can cause them to break.
3) Only hit leather cover solid baseballs.
4) Avoid having it become a team bat.
Hi, we just got my son an Easton Stealth bat for his birthday. He was told by a parent that you should use car wax to keep the bat shinny. What do you recommend?
I recommend just cleaning it with a wet rag. Using any foreign substance, like car wax, could be considered altering or tampering with the bat.
You say not to hit a composite bat in cold weather. What about the heat (90+ degrees)?
Basically, the warmer it is, the bigger your sweet spot becomes. Keep in mind that in some areas, such as Coastal areas or certain areas in the Midwest, with the heat there is usually higher humidity. So, although the bat is warm, the air is heavy. This doesn`t effect the bat, but can effect the ball and its flight - you may notice a difference, especially on high flies.
Are half & half composite handle bats also bad in cold weather?
Half and Half typically do have some problems in cold weather at the handle, however it is not in performance but durability. To be safe, try to avoid using them in cold weather (below 65 degrees).
I was told at a store today that composite bats were made for use in cold weather???
It depends what they mean by that. Composite bats do Perform well in cold weather. Although the performance is very good, the durability is extremely poor. Most manufactures recommend that you do not use composite bats in temperatures less then 70 degrees.
Could I ever get a bat that after trying to break it in for months, just never performs?
Sure you can. They make bats by the thousands, and you can receive a bat that may have a flaw in it that is not visible to you. If you get a bat that you have worked with and does not meet your expectations, call the manufacturer and ask if they will replace it. Most manufacturers stand behind the bats they make.
Can these instructions on breaking in a composite Baseball bat be used for Softball bats also?
Yes, same way only using softballs.
Is a Composite bat better than Aluminum?
It is basically a matter of opinion and manufacturer. It is my opinion that in most cases, a full composite bat is better than aluminum and is the best technology available today. There are pros and cons to each bat however. Which is better for you depends on what you are looking for in a bat, such as durability, sweetspot, break-in time, warranty, flex, and other factors.
Will a Composite bat hit the ball farther than an Aluminum bat?
Given that contact is made on the barrel of the bat, not on the handle, my research and testing suggest that the composite bat does have more pop. However, this is only after the composite bat has been broken-in. Straight out of the wrapper, the aluminum bat will be equally as effective, but after break-in period, the composite will surpass it.
What is Half & Half technology?
Half & Half technology, in most instances, is where the handle is composite and the barrel is aluminum, alloy, or a hybrid material. These bats incorporate "two piece" technology. With the handle being composite, it allows for flex or whipping action. With the barrel being aluminum, alloy, or hybrid material, it gives the bat more durability. The main advantages of this technology are the durability of the barrel and the whipping action. These are typically very good bats and cost less than full composites, however, they will usually not have the pop of a full composite.
What is Hybrid technology?
Basically, it is the process of combining two different materials to create the bat, such as combining SC900 aluminum with carbon, or combining different alloys of steels and aluminums.
How do composite bats compare to double wall bats such as the DeMarini F3? Is there a noticeable difference in "pop" or is it just preference? I realize the double wall bats have less weight drop which takes away bat speed but with all things being equal such as bat speed is one better than the other?
Double walls were designed to get a better trampoline effect at contact. Is there a noticeable difference? I think it would depend on the individuals swing. The double walls have a smaller sweet spot so the swing needs to be more precise, where the single wall composites allow for some imperfection in the swing. I personally think age and power of the player is critical in bat choice. I believe younger players should be swinging lighter balanced bats, and as their swing gets consistent then they can start working with End-Loads, less weight drop, and different wall designs.
If bats are regulated by BPF what advantage do the alloys make? I understand stronger alloy allows for thinner walls therefore a lighter bat, but why not just find a light bat at a good length and buy the cheapest? Or do stronger alloys make a difference as far as performance?
Stronger alloy bats and composite bats usually have better performance for the imperfect swing. Composites allow for mistakes to happen during the swing and still give you a little more pop. A lot of it has to with how the composite material or alloy's are formed to the bat shell; some bat manufacturers braid, weave, string, or float the alloys to make the shell of the barrels. All have there advantages and disadvantages. There are some composites that are great in some areas such as POP, but poor in other areas such as durability. Some are the opposite. Also remember that BFP is a rating, some bats clearly make it, some just make it, some perform at it, and others do not get approved.
Some players say you should not use a weighted sleeve on a composite bat, but that the smaller donut is OK. What have you heard about this?
I have heard of this, but do not believe or have any evidence that this is correct. I usually recommend something like the Jeter Variable Bat Weight Sleeve that is made of Nylon, but I do not believe that the other weight sleeves will damage the bat.
A kid on my team has a Stealth bat marked with "Demo" on the handle. Are these demo bats any different than store bought versions?
NO. (well they are not supposed to be).
I was wondering how does a bat actually lose its "pop" and how would a person actually know the pop is gone?
Bats can lose their pop several different ways - cracks, end cap separation, sometimes you can just get a bad bat out of the batch. Every bat will start to break down in time and eventually will crack or start loosing pop as the material breaks down. How long this takes depends on many factors, including proper care and use of the bat.
You can usually tell when a bat starts to lose it's pop by the sound. It won't have the same solid sound and will sound a little flat. Sometimes you can tell by the feel of the bat at impact, where it does not feel the same as it previously had, and you may notice the velocity of the ball off the bat is not be like it had been. If the bat is still under warranty, you can contact the manufacturer.
My friend told me that there are certain scratch lines in a composite bat that are deep and it means that the bat is going to crack. I have some of these scratches. Is this true?
Those lines actually mean very little. It is just how the manufacturer mends the material to form the bat. Note that eventually, when the bat gets to the point of breaking, it may use one of those lines to break at.
My new composite bat has a certain sound that I've never heard before. Does this mean that it is broken or is going to crack?
If the sound you're talking about is like a wooden bat sound, welcome to the world of composite bats. It's a hard sound to get used to, but the more you break-in your bat, the more Crisp the sound will become. If you're referring to another sound such as a rattle or thud, you may have an issue with the bat and should contact the manufacturer.
If my bat breaks and I have my receipt what do I do?
Don’t take it back to the place you bought it from. You will need to find the manufacturers contact number, which is usually on the warranty information that comes with the bat, or you can find it online. Call them up and arrange an exchange - they will tell you what to do.
If my bat breaks and I don't have my original receipt what do I do?
If you bought your bat with a credit card there is still hope. The company you bought your bat from should be able to look up the transaction and get you a copy of the receipt. If you paid cash or are unable to get a copy of the receipt, you are probably out of luck and will have to buy a new bat.
If my bat breaks and I send it in for a replacement can I get a different size?
It usually depends on the manufacturer, but typically the size and weight can be changed from the original. Keep in mind that sometimes you may not be able to get the same model. You may have an older model that is no longer available. In that case, they will usually send you a newer model of equal or higher value for the exchange.
What is all this talk about "bat rolling"?
As far as I know, bat rolling is considered "tampering" with the bat, and could result in a penalty from the league and a voided warranty from the manufacturer. (some of these bats push the limits already).