Bamboo baseball bats have been around for a while. Many casual baseball players use it for batting practice and even on actual games. However, since bamboo is wood, there’s a question on its durability and capacity to endure sheer force. So for this post, we will guide you through the bamboo baseball bats pros and cons together with the best options you can find in the market.
|BASEBALL BAT||BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
|Mizuno Bamboo Elite |
Classic Baseball Bat
|BamBoo Bat 18-Inch |
|Mpowered 2014 Big |
Barrel Bamboo Bat
What are bamboo bats?
Bamboo bats are basically made from bamboo wood. Although bamboo is more of a grass than a tree, many refer to its shoots as wood.
Bamboo bats offer a unique material for baseball bats. Although it’s not as strong as metal, bamboo bats have its own strong suits. Below, we will discuss why and when you should use bamboo bats.
Like most baseball bats, bamboo bats have a barrel that tapers down to the knobbed handle. It can be a solid composite bat with specific characteristics that set it apart from other wooden bat material.
How are bamboo bats made?
Bamboo bats are created by pressing bamboo strips together until it creates a billet. The billet will then be used to carve the bat. After that, further treatments and coatings will be done to give the baseball bat a nice shine while securing the material. It will be polished to remove any rough areas.
After that, the bamboo bats will be inspected to ensure that it abides by various standards of a baseball organization.
Who uses bamboo bats?
Bamboo bats can be used on recreational baseball games where strict equipment rules don’t apply. Some high school leagues may also welcome the use of this bat, though it’s not always the case. This is the same reason why bamboo bats are often seen on batting practices.
The Little League doesn’t approve the use of bamboo bats since bamboo is a grass and not wood. Also, the bamboo bat needs the USA Stamp to be used on sanctioned games.
Moreover, the Major League Baseball (MLB) doesn’t allow bamboo baseball bats since it falls under the composite category, not wood.
If you’re playing for a league, it’s best to inquire about the rules in wood bats and their take on bamboo bats.
Bamboo bats vs. metal bats
Metal bats are the most common option nowadays. It gives a nice pop and available in affordable versions. Also, metal bats are known for their larger sweet spot and lesser tendency to break. Since it’s lighter than bamboo bats, metal bats swing faster and give off the trampoline effect.
If the metal bats can’t stand the force of the ball, it would bend or sustain dents. This saves the player from getting injured due to splinters.
Still, bamboo bats are not goners. Like many wood bats, those made of bamboo have excellent responsiveness. Although bamboo bats are heavier than metal, its purpose is to boost the strength of the players. By the time they play with a metal bat, they have better power, thanks to the added weight on their practice bats made of bamboo.
Although bamboo bats may shatter, it’s a safer choice since it doesn’t increase velocity the same way that aluminum bats do.
If you get a decent bamboo bat, you can enjoy a large sweet spot and months of intensive use.
Advantages of using bamboo bats
So why should you use bamboo bats in the first place? For this part, we will weigh on the bamboo baseball bats pros and cons to help you decide.
The following are some of the perks of using bamboo baseball bats:
*Durability. Bamboo has excellent tensile strength. Although it can shatter, it’s still a durable choice or your games.
*No need for frequent replacements. Unlike aluminum bats that need replacement after it sustains too many dents, bamboo bats remain useful for long.
*Available in heavy and light swing weights. Depending on your preferred configuration, you can find a bamboo bat that’s light or heavy.
Bamboo bats are also ideal if you want to improve your games. Experts say that if you could swing a wooden bat, then you could swing bats of any material. This is the same reason why bamboo bats are favorites as practice equipment.
A few disadvantages
Bamboo baseball bats have several disadvantages to it. The first thing is that you can’t use it on professional and sanctioned games. Unless your league allows composite bats, you can try your luck with this material.
Aside from that, bamboo bats require a break-in period. Breaking in is the process of conditioning the bat through hundreds of swings and hits. This way, the hitting surface would be molded properly for excellent games.
Another concern about bamboo bats is its tendency to smash and splinter. However, if you purchase a durable bamboo bat, you wouldn’t have to worry about this.
Should I use a bamboo bat?
It depends on your playing preferences, the rules of your league, and your skill level. If you’re just playing for fun, bamboo bats are good choices. It also helps your performance on the side, which is a big perk.
If you don’t like the vibrations of metal bats, you can consider getting a bamboo one. It all boils down to personal preference.
What to look for when buying a bamboo bat
Aside from weighing the bamboo baseball bats pros and cons, you should also consider these few points when buying this wooden bat:
The turn style of the bat refers to its balance. All bats, not just bamboo types, come in four different turn styles.
The 110 Turn is highly balanced and is found on standard models. This is a good turn option if you’re relatively new to wood bats. It’s also the ideal choice if you want to make the transition to BBCOR bats much easier. Overall, the 110 turn style is ideal for contact hitters and those who are aiming for better ball speeds.
Next, we have the 271 turn. This one has a similar feel to the 110 turn. However, it tapers quickly between the handle and the barrel. With this, the bat has a slight end load, which makes it ideal for power hitters. Still, contact hitters will also find it comfortable to use.
The third turn is called I-13. Basically, it has the same dimensions as 271 turn, but it tapers extremely towards the knob. With this, you can expect a more end-loaded swing. And since it has more mass on the barrel, this is ideal for power hitters. If you’re newbie, you’ll find it difficult to control this bat.
Lastly, we have a 243 turn. This has the largest barrel of all turns. Aside from that, it also has the thinnest handle. With this structure, bamboo bats with this turn are not advisable for beginners.
-Length and weight
You should also check the length of the bamboo baseball bat you’re going to buy. Usually, the length and weight of baseball bats are measured through the relation of the two, called ‘drop’. The formula here is the length of bat sizes (inches) minus the weight (ounces).
For example, if the bat is 30 inches long and weighs 27 ounces, your drop weight is -3. It always comes with a minus sign.
Take note that the higher the drop weight, the lighter the bat gets. Also, you must base the length of the bamboo bat on your own height and weight.
Usually, baseball players measure the length of the bat by putting the knob in the middle of their chest parallel to the ground. After that, they will try to clutch the top of the barrel. If you can still fold your fingers on top of the barrel, it’s the right length for you.
Next, you have to check the durability of the bat. Many bamboo bats are made to last countless hits. And like in any other things, you’ll get what you pay for in this item. If you want a bamboo bat that will last long, you might as well invest your money on a durable model.
Bamboo bats will splinter if you exert extreme force. To prevent this, or at least delay the damages, you must look for a bat made tough. Usually, bamboo bats with BBCOR and other approval stamps can last long, even if used on real games.
-Certifications and stickers
The most common sticker you’ll find on bamboo bats is the BBCOR .50. It should be located somewhere in the barrel or the bat’s taper. Take note that for a bamboo bat to gain this sticker, it must have a drop weight not exceeding -3. Also, its barrel shouldn’t be smaller or larger than 2 5/8 inches.
It’s quite rare for bamboo and other wood bats to have other stickers than the one from BBCOR.
If you really want a decent bamboo bat that can endure long games, you should be willing to shell out a decent amount. You can find cheap bats, but most of them are only as good as its price.
Nevertheless, cheap doesn’t always mean bad and expensive doesn’t always mean good. You should always look for a balance between the quality and cost of the bamboo bats.
Last but not the least, we recommend a bamboo bat that’s covered by a decent warranty. If ever the unit has problems, you can send it back or ask for a replacement. This would protect your money, especially if you purchased an expensive unit.
Top 3 Bamboo Baseball Bats
BamBoo Bat 18-Inch Baseball Bat
If you’re looking for a wooden bat to get your little one started on the baseball, you should consider the BamBoo Bat Baseball Bat. It has an 18-inch length and also weighs around 18 ounces. It comes with a standard knob and a rolled end that can be found on full-length bats used on actual plays.
Aside from being a bat for kids, you can also use this for tee drills and soft toss. It’s designed for specialized training so you can improve your hand-eye coordination and hand strength without the need to control a long bat. You can also use this bat to break in your new baseball glove.
It has a black and white finish, which gives a professional vibe in it. Using this bat, you can practice like a pro. It can fit on any bag so you can get going to the field.
And since any organization does not certify it, this bat isn’t suitable for actual games. It’s reserved for practice and drills only.
Mpowered 2014 Big Barrel Bamboo Bat
Lastly, we have the Mpowered 2014 Big Barrel Rocket Baseball Bat. It’s made from durable bamboo and managed to offer a decent sweet spot. Also, it has excellent balance and good pop, suitable for contact hitters.
At 33 inches, this weighs 30 ounces. However, it doesn’t bear any BBCOR stickers, although it meets the drop weight criteria. It has a 271 turn model that’s watermarked, painted, and sanded for the best feel. It also sports a glossy finish on its rocket red color.
It has a big barrel with a medium knobbed handle. This is an excellent gear for power and contact hitters who want to play outside sanctioned leagues. It’s also a great practice bat to improve your swing speed and accuracy.
Overall, this is an extremely strong baseball bat that can endure the strongest hits. And with its sleek look and construction, it’s surely a bamboo bat for the money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are bamboo baseball bats good?
A: Bamboo bats are very durable, especially if made properly and using the best bamboo wood. However, expect that it will have less pop than ash and maple wood. Also, bamboo bats aren’t allowed to be used on pro leagues, though many high school and amateur leagues may allow it.
Q: How are bamboo bats made?
A: To make the wood for bamboo bats, the strips are pressed together and laminated to create a thick slab. From there, the bat will be carved. It will be treated with various chemicals to ensure that the bamboo strips will not come off.
Q: Are bamboo bats allowed in high school leagues?
A: Under the BBCOR rules, high school baseball players can use wooden bats, but under certain conditions. Still, only a few use bamboo bats. Usually, it’s a bat reserved for batting practice. Many still prefer metal bats for actual games.
Q: Do bamboo bats splinter when it breaks?
A: Due to the nature of bamboo wood, bamboo bats will have splinters when it breaks during a swing. Some other wood types would also have the same nature when it breaks upon impact.
Q: How long would bamboo bats last?
A: It depends on the frequency of use and the quality of the bat you’re going to purchase. Usually, a bamboo bat can last for 10 months of extremely heavy use. This can be longer if you only practice with the bat.
Q: Should I get bamboo bats as a beginner?
A: If you want to improve your hand strength right away, you can consider alternating an aluminum bat with a bamboo one. Using a bamboo bat right in full away may not be ideal as it can be challenging to control. You may develop some bad habits along the way.
We hope that these bamboo baseball bats pros and cons help you decide if this gear is for you. Bamboo bats are unique options, especially if you’re looking for a wooden choice. Still, you should always consider the strength and durability of the model you’re getting. Above all, look for certifications if you’re planning to use it on actual games.