Best Wood Baseball Bats to Buy in 2020

While composite baseball bats are a popular choice, swinging with a wood baseball bat can help you build better body mechanics and hitting fundamentals. That said, not all wood bats are created equal. They can vary in the design and material used like maple, birch, ash, and bamboo.

Each type of lumber has its pros and cons, which we will be discussing in-depth in the article, and we will also give share our top picks.

Best High End

Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite Classic MZE 271 Baseball Bat

Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite Classic MZE 271 Baseball Bat

Best Mid Range

Old Hickory Rock Maple Black/Natural Wood Baseball Bat

Old Hickory Rock Maple Black/Natural Wood Baseball Bat

Best Inexpensive

EASTON B2000 White Ash Wood Baseball Bat

EASTON B2000 White Ash Wood Baseball Bat

Last Updated: 20th July, 2020

You step up to the plate. You stare down the pitcher. The windup the pitch. It’s a fastball right down the middle. Your eyes light up and you take that homerun swing. You feel the ball smack off the sweet spot and head toward the bleachers. At least that’s where you thought it was going to go. But the outfielder ran back and made the catch on the warning track.

What happened? You got the wrong bat. It just didn’t have the pop you needed to take the ball the few extra feet and it cost you. You need the best of the best to give you the few extra feet. The little extra pop that’s the difference between a hit and an out.

But if you, your kids, or grandkids are in an aluminum bat league do they even need a wood bat? Absolutely. Aluminum bats are notorious for letting hitters get away with bad habits, making wood bats the way to go when training and mastering the fundamentals.

That’s why we scoured the web looking for the best wood baseball bats to keep you on the base pads and off the bench.

1. Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite - Best 271 Turn Bat (Power/Contact hitters)


Mizuno 340462 BAMBOO ELITE CLASSIC MZE 271 Baseball Bat, 32'/30 oz
37 Reviews
Mizuno 340462 BAMBOO ELITE CLASSIC MZE 271 Baseball Bat, 32"/30 oz
  • Glass Fiber Reinforced Taper And Handle: Glass Fiber Wrap Added To The Handle And Taper To Increase The Strength And Durability Of The Bat
  • Sanded Handle: Better Grip And Great Feel
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Package Dimensions: 3.25" ( H ) x 6.0" ( L ) x 39.13" ( W )

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 13:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite bat is built for just about any ballplayer. Whether your goal is to hit the ball out of the park every time you step up to the plate or to find a gap in the outfield, this is the bat for you.

It’s made with a solid bamboo barrel while the handle is made from both bamboo and glass fibers melded together. This creates a bat that is highly durable and will last. Mizuno ensured that they paid attention to even the finest details when constructing the Bamboo Elite series. From sanding the handle so the batter can get a better grip to cupping the end which creates better weight distribution and allows even faster swing speeds Mizuno thought of it all.

They all fall within the -3 length to weight ratio, the maximum allowed for NCAA and NFHS play. This means that no matter what amateur wood bat league you’re playing in, you’ll be allowed to use the Mizuno Bamboo Elite series bat. However, bamboo bats are not allowed at the professional level as they are considered a composite bat and not a true wood bat.

The Mizuno Bamboo Elite series comes with a 2 ½ inch barrel diameter. This ensures that the bat has as large of a sweet spot as possible maximizing your chance of getting a hit. Coupled with its bamboo construction the ball will fly off the barrel when you square it up.  

With each size in the Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite series coming in at under 100 dollars they are perfect for both games and practices. And since bamboo bats are more durable then maple and ash, the Mizuno 340462 Bamboo Elite series bat should last all season long.

2. Mizuno Maple Elite Baseball Bat - Best 110 Turn Bat (For new wood bat players)


Sale
Mizuno Maple Elite Baseball Bat - MZM 110, Brown, 32 inch/29 oz, Mzm 110 Maple Elite Wood Baseball...
150 Reviews
Mizuno Maple Elite Baseball Bat - MZM 110, Brown, 32 inch/29 oz, Mzm 110 Maple Elite Wood Baseball...
  • Rock hard maple hand selected top quality material
  • New bigger barrel design
  • Cupped end for lighter swing weight
  • Supra-helix grip
  • 110 bat turn

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 13:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If it’s your first-time using a wood bat or if you’re a pure contact hitter, the Mizuno Maple Elite Baseball bat is your ideal fit. 110 turn bats are ideal for beginners and pure contact hitters, and the Mizuno Maple Elite series is the perfect bat for these players.

Made from premium hand selected maple ideal for baseball bats you know that your bat is going to be flawless from handle to barrel. There won’t be any weak spots hidden beneath the surface that is often found in lower quality wooden bats.   

Every bat in the Mizuno Maple Elite series is a -3 length to weight ratio. This gives you the lightest bat possible that can be used in NCAA and NFHS play. Paired with the same cupped end utilized in the Mizuno Bamboo Elite series, this gives you the fastest swing possible. Additionally, Mizuno recognized the fact that you’ll be swinging the bat with some extra speed, so they added a supra-helix grip to help keep the bat in your hands and out of the stands.

As a final bonus the Mizuno Maple Elite baseball bat comes in at under 85 dollars, making it even cheaper than their Bamboo Elite line.

3. Old Hickory Rock Maple Black/Natural Wood Baseball Bat - Best Value


Last update on 2020-09-21 at 13:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re an experienced ball player trying to get a wood bat (or a few) on a budget the Old Hickory Rock Maple baseball bat is the way to go. It’s similar in design to a 271 turn baseball bat, a well-rounded bat with a great balance between power and contact.

Designed with a -3 length to weight ratio the Old Hickory Rock Maple baseball bat is authorized for all NCAA and NFHS play. This makes it the ideal bat to practice with, so you don’t accidently break your gameday bat in the batting cage. Of course, the Old Hickory bat is made of high-quality rock-hard maple so if you want to use it as your gameday bat you won’t be disappointed.

Unlike the Mizuno bats the handle is unfinished, so if you plan on using this as a gameday bat we recommend adding an after-market grip for added comfort and durability. We recommend the Lizard Skins Bat Grip.

Just like the Mizuno bats the Old Hickory bat comes with a cupped end, allowing for faster swings without losing control of the bat. The bat comes in two different colors, black and maple allowing you to pick whatever style you prefer.

The best part is the Old Hickory Rock Maple baseball bats come in at under 70 dollars allowing you to stay in budget while you swing a high-quality product.

4. Louisville Slugger 2020 Youth Genuine Baseball Bat Series - Best for Youth


Louisville Slugger 2020 Youth Genuine Maple 125 Black Baseball Bat, 30'
370 Reviews
Louisville Slugger 2020 Youth Genuine Maple 125 Black Baseball Bat, 30"
  • Wood: Youth 125 Maple
  • Turning Model: Youth
  • Regular Finish
  • Cupped; Color: Black

Last update on 2020-09-21 at 13:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You want to teach your kids or grandkids the fundamentals correctly. There’s no better way to do that then with a wood bat. And when it comes to bats Louisville is the biggest name around for a reason.  

You can choose between either a construction of high-quality maple or ash. The ash weighs slightly less than the maple, but the maple will offer a little more pop off the bat and durability. Just like the adult series bat the handle is cupped allowing for a faster swing without losing control of the bat.

The length to weight ratio is a -3. This makes it eligible to be used in any youth league format. The Louisville Slugger youth series bat doesn’t come with a grip on the handle. Because of this we recommend getting an after-market grip for added comfort and safety. Our recommendation is the Lizard Skins Bat Grip which comes in a variety of colors and designs.

Coming in at under 30 dollars the Louisville Slugger 2020 Youth Genuine Baseball Bat Series is a steal. Allowing you to teach your kids or grandkids the right way to play with a top of the line bat and you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

5. EASTON B2000 White Ash Wood Baseball Bat - Bargain Pick


Last update on 2020-09-21 at 13:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a high-quality bat without having to open your wallet to much the Easton B2000 White Ash Wood baseball bat is going to appeal to you. It’s the perfect bat for your rec, church, or office league games, giving you a high-quality wooden bat without having to pay top end price.

Just like all the other bats we have listed it has a cupped handle allowing you to focus on your swing knowing that the bat is going to stay in your hands. And just like some of our other bargain picks, it doesn’t come with a grip on the handle. Because of this we recommend getting the Lizard Skins Bat Grip for additional safety and comfort.

It’s length to weight ratio is a -3, meaning that it’s as light as possible while being allowed for all competitive play. This makes it an ideal practice bat if you are playing at a higher level.

The best part of the Easton B2000 White Ash wood baseball bat is that it comes in at under 40 dollars. This makes it an ideal batting cage and practice bat. You won’t lose any sleep if it breaks on you in the cage or on the practice field.

Buyer’s Guide

Whether or not it’s your first wooden bat or if you’ve been buying wooden bats for years, you’re bound to have questions.  That’s why we’re here. From the difference between turn models to why you even need a wooden bat we have you covered.

Who needs a wooden bat? Anyone that plays baseball. From young players to older veterans the benefits of using or at least practicing with a wooden bat are wide ranging. Aluminum bats allow you to get away with mistakes. This can be beneficial in a game but over time it reinforces bad habits. This is especially detrimental for younger players who are just learning the game.

Practicing with a wooden bat makes sure you’re playing fundamentally sound baseball and is going to improve your play when you switch back to an aluminum bat during the game. And of course, if you’re getting ready to play in a wood bat league, you’re going to need one as well.

<Turn Models>

Once you decided to get a wooden bat the first question you need to answer is what turn model you need. The turn model is how the bat is tapered down from the barrel to the handle. Some bats have wider barrels then others, allowing for more power when you hit the sweet spot. Bats with thinner barrels tend to have a longer area on the barrel that you can make contact while still hitting the sweet spot.

If you didn’t know what turn models were before reading this article you probably are going to want a 110 turn. That’s because 110 turn bats are ideal for beginners and pure contact hitters.  

110 turn bats are ideal for wood bat beginners and pure contact hitters because they have a long slow taper. What this means in terms of performance is that there’s a larger contact surface increasing your chances of making solid contact. The tradeoff is barrel size, it’s smaller than 271, I-13, or 243 turn bats, making it harder to hit the ball as far.

The 271-turn model is the jack of all trades. It’s an ideal bat for players that want to hit for both contact and power. It has a slightly sharper taper then the 100 turn model, which results in a bat with a little more weight on the end, giving it a little more power.

The I-13 is the bat for power hitters. If you pride yourself in hitting the long ball this is the turn model for you. While not the most extreme taper available, it’s close.

If you’re using a 243 turn model bat, your mindset is probably homerun or bust. It has the biggest barrel dimensions, creating the most pop and home run power. The downside is that you have a much smaller barrel then other turn models, giving you a smaller contact area to hit the sweet spot.

<Size>

Once you’ve decided what turn model you want you need to decide what size bat to get. Generally, for most adults your bat size should be between 32” and 34”. For kids you want to measure the distance between their hip and the ground when they are wearing their cleats. That’s the length you want for their bat.

<Wood bat material>

Finally, after you decide the size and turn model you need to decide what you want your bat to made of. Typically, there are three options that are used for wooden bats, maple, ash, and bamboo. Maple and ash are the traditional choices, where bamboo bats are considered a composite style bat that has hit the industry more recently.  

Maple bats are what the pros use but they come with their disadvantages as well. The advantage is a big one, when you square up the ball correctly the ball will typically travel an additional 10 to 15 feet compared to ash. Bamboo bats typically fare a little bit better than maple. The disadvantage is that it’s much harder to square up the ball. Maple bats have a much smaller sweet spot, anywhere from 1 to 2 inches smaller than ash bats.

Bats made from ash also give you a little more control where you hit the ball. So, if you are a contact hitter that doesn’t have much power anyways an ash bat may be the way to go. Furthermore, ash bats tend to be about a half of an ounce lighter than maple bats. This allows the batter to get a little more speed on the swing which could be the difference between squaring up the ball and fouling it off.

A final disadvantage to ash bats is that they are more likely to break at the handle then maple bats, so you might end up having to replace it sooner if you get jammed on an inside pitch. But bamboo bats hold up better than both ash and maple bats.

The reason for this additional durability comes from the strength of the bamboo and how they are pressed together. Bamboo is an extremely strong material. During the construction process multiple pieces are pressed together, this makes it even stronger. When complete bamboo baseball bats have a tensile strength comparable to steel.

It’s important to keep in mind that bamboo bats aren’t allowed in professional baseball, as it’s considered a composite bat at that level, not a true wooden bat. Most players will never have to worry about this, and the transition from bamboo to maple is easy. But if you are going to be playing at that level eventually it makes sense to avoid bamboo from the beginning.  

Conclusion

We understand because we’ve been there. You only want high-quality products that are worth your money. And when it comes to wooden bats you want one that is going to give you that little extra pop or has a little bit bigger sweet spot. And of course, you want a bat that is durable and is going to last all season long.


That’s why we squared up and reviewed as many bats as we could find. We want you to square up the ball at the plate, without having to worry about whether the lumber in your hand is going to hold up. 

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