Tired of using your old bat for another season?
Looking for a bit of an upgrade?
Want to improve your performance?
Although we can’t help you with additional practice and swing technique, we certainly feel we can help by providing you with a list of the best fastpitch softball bats available this year.
As you are aware, there are a ton of fastpitch bats in the market and deciding on the top one is a challenge!
Another thing that makes it even harder is that just because it works good for one player doesn’t quite mean that it will work for another. Finding the right bat certainly isn’t easy. There are different bats for different types of hitters (i.e. end loaded or balanced), and different size/speed considerations.
Here are our ideal choices for the 2018 season:
What's Included on this page:
1- Louisville Xeno X18
Despite being one of our top picks for the 2017 season as well, we still feel that the Louisville Xeno X18 is a great pick for this year. When it comes to baseball bats, Louisville Slugger is almost always in the top spot. This is because they create every bat with the same attention to detail. The Louisville Xeno is the result of Louisville pushing the limits when it comes to innovation and design.
The Zero Friction double wall design allows the barrel to legally exceed the standard exit speed ratio. This is possible due to a governor that has been placed inside the barrel. This allows the barrel to flex as far as it can possibly go without sacrificing performance. The XENO is made using Louisville’s superior composite material. The material is light yet extremely durable. If you have used the previous version of this bat, you will notice the difference instantly. And thanks to S1iD technology, there is no break in needed. It is literally ready to go right out the box.
This bat also features iST Connection, a new technology that creates a strong bond between the barrel of the bat and the handle. With iST you will have a somewhat stiffer feel to the bat and the transfer of energy will be all the more efficient. The huge sweet spot makes hitting the ball easier and it helps absorb some of the vibrations before they make their way to your hands.
If you desire to have absolute control when you step up to the plate, you need the Louisville XENO in your tool kit. It will give you all the confidence you need to hit every ball out the park. You will feel like you are holding pure power in the palm of your hands. If you like what you’ve read so far, you might be even more interested in our Louisville Xeno review which has been updated to include the newest 2018 X18 model.
2- Demarini CFX
Each and every year, the Demarini CFX is one of the best fastpitch bats available. Rest assured the Demarini CFX is much more than a new number. It is the latest bat in the DeMarini line and it is sure to impress. The great thing about this bat is it uses DeMarini’s new Paraflex Composite material which according to the specification sheet is made with 22% stronger fibers than the Paradox Plus material used in last years version. This material is used in both the barrel and the handle and it gives the bat a higher level of strength. It also helps the bat feel softer upon impact. All things considered, this gives the bat a sweet spot that is not only more responsive, but bigger and hotter as well. As a result you will get more power with every swing.
Building on the success from the CF9, this 2018 model has added a brand new 3-Fusion end cap and handle. This technology is responsible for eliminating vibration, providing better bat control, and more importantly increased performance. Vibration elimination is extremely important when it comes to off center hits. If you have ever hit the ball off center you know how painful it can be. Your hands take a serious beating. With 3-Fusion handle technology vibration is reduced and your hands are better protected. Instead of energy going through your hands, it is redirected into the barrel of the bat upon contact. This means you get better feel, more power and less sting. You will also get better sound every time you hit the ball.
To optimize the trampoline effect, the CFX is constructed using a stacked double wall. This construction provides the highest level of performance allowed in regulation. The CF series from Demarini could be considered as one of the best series of bats of all time and I am guessing the CFX would be an ideal choice for many players. Like what you see so far? Check out our Demarini CFX review.
3- Easton Mako
The Easton Mako Fastpitch softball bat uses a special technology known as TCT Thermo Composite Technology. It is this technology that gives it amazing swing speed, an unbelievably huge sweet spot and one of the purest feels on contact the game has ever seen. Besides having a barrel that is longer than most bats you see in softball, a great portion of that barrel is able to reach its maximum flex thanks to the TCT Thermo Composite technology being used.
I would say that’s the definition of a true sweet spot. One thing you will notice about this bat as soon as you take it out the box is how balanced it is. This is thanks to the CXN Zero Technology that came on the scene last year. When I say CXN Zero Technology has changed the game, that’s exactly what I mean. The Easton Mako promises to offer no vibration on contact thanks to this special technology. This means no matter what your skill level, when you hit the ball you will feel the power.
The HYPERSKIN performance grip ensures the bat will remain firmly planted in the palm of your hands until you choose to let it go.
As any hitter will tell you, confidence is the most important factor when it comes to a players overall performance. With this softball bat your confidence will be through the roof. If your goal is to amplify your power and take your game to a whole new level, the Easton Mako Fastpitch will help you do just that. If you are interested in learning more about the most popular choice, then check out our full Easton Mako review.
4- Demarini CFX Insane
The DeMarini CFX Insane fastpitch softball bat is one of the newest bats in the DeMarini line. And like all their bats, this baby was born hardcore! This new version hit the market in 2018 and should continue to make a huge impression like the CFX version has done. If you are a power hitter, or the type of player who has confidence in their ability to hit the ball with speed and control, this bat was developed just for you.
The CFX Insane provides a -10 length to weight ratio which most players should be familiar with. The bat is also end loaded which gives it a sledgehammer effect. When you hit the ball you will feel the power. Especially on fly balls. Thanks to DeMarini’s new Paraflex Composite material, this bat should be stronger than any of its previous versions. Its big, hot and will make every swing more powerful. If you have used the previous model, you will quickly be able to notice the difference when you swing.
This year’s model also utilizes a brand new 3-Fusion handle technology. This technology works by redirecting energy back into the barrel once it makes contact with the ball. This helps protect the player’s hands by reducing, or in some cases, completely eliminating vibrations. You will also get a much better “pop” when you hit the ball.
It is constructed using the stacked double wall which maximizes and optimizes trampoline effect. When it comes to fastpitch regulations, this bat has the highest performance rating. To see even more details on this model, please check out our full Demarini CFX Insane review.
Guidelines for Finding the Best Fastptich Softball Bats in 2018
That being said there are several things you should look at when making your decision:
- Construction – What your bat is made of goes a long way in determining a few things including durability, ability to break it in quicker, and more
- Drop – A common lingo with fastpitch bats is the amount of drop that are included. The drop which ranges from -8 to -13 represents the length to weight ratio. For instance a 32 inch/22 ounce bat would have a drop rating of -10. The higher the drop (i.e. -8 and -9) the more power one can generate. The most common drop however is -10.
- League regulations – some bats are only approved for certain leagues. For instance some marked as USSSA may not be able to be used for ASA players.
As I mentioned earlier there are a ton of different choices you can choose from, all with their positives and negatives. Further below on this page we feature what we believe are the best overall choices. However, you may want to take a peak at our comparison chart that has been updated for the 2018 season. If we want more details however we have provided quick reviews on this page.
What is Bat Drop?
When it comes to purchasing a fastpitch bat there are many different questions you will have. Some of the more common ones include what type of material is best, what brand or model is best, what’s the right size bat, end loaded or balanced, and what is bat drop? First we will take a look at bat drop. The length minus the weight of the bat is known as bat drop. If a bat is 32” long and weighs 22 ounces, that means the bat drop is -10. When searching for bats you will find a -10 bat drop is the most common. Please know the drop of the bat does not dictate or indicate whether the bat is end loaded or balanced.
At some point, if the player wants to continue playing at higher levels, they will have to elevate their game and learn how to cover the outside of the plate. The bat drop you get will depend on the type of player you have and what they are trying to accomplish. For instance, if the player you are purchasing the bat for wants to maintain bat speed and improve control, a longer bat may be the best option. However, you don’t want a bat that’s heavier. And that’s where bat drop comes into play. In this situation, a bat with a bat drop of -11, -12, or -13 would be the best option. If the player is strong enough to maintain bat speed and control with a bat that’s longer and heavier, opt for a bat drop of -8, -9, or -10.
With that being said, it is important you know if the bat you are using is end loaded or balanced. While the player may be able to maintain speed and control using a balanced bat with a -10 bat drop, that may not be the case if the bat is end loaded. If you have no experience when it comes to choosing a bat, your best bet is to visit a local retailer and let them walk you through the process. They will be able to answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. If at all possible, visit a retailer with batting cages. This way you can try out the bat before you purchase it.
Balanced or End Loaded fastpitch bats?
When it comes to choosing the right fastpitch bat there are a lot of very important factors you need to consider. One of those factors is knowing the difference between a balanced bat versus an end loaded bat.
A balanced bat is just want it sounds like. Its balanced due to its evenly distributed weight. Balanced bats are actually the most commonly used bats. Especially for younger players who don’t have a lot of strength. If you are looking to generate as much speed as possible, this is the type of bat you want to use. Contact hitters, also referred to as base hitters, will often choose a balanced bat because it helps them swing with more control. The more control you have the easier it is to hit the ball through the zone. This control comes from the lower moment of inertia balanced bats have.
Unlike a balanced bat, the end loaded bat has extra weight in the barrel. This allows you to hit the ball a greater distance due to the momentum you get when you swing the bat. End loaded bats are great for power hitters as they tend to have more strength. Generally speaking you will find anywhere between a 0.5 oz to 3 oz load in the barrel of the bat.
When determining which bat is best for you, its all about figuring out which type of bat you feel most comfortable swinging. Go for a round of batting practices so you can assess your swing. If you aren’t getting the results you want with one type of bat, try switching things up. If at all possible, try out an end loaded bat and a balanced bat back to back. This way you will be able to immediately feel the difference.
Keep in mind the bat you use must meet league standards. There are many different leagues all of which have many different standards. It is your responsibility to make sure the bat you use is in line with the standards set forth by the league you play in.
Aluminum Bats or Composite Bats
When it comes to constructing fastpitch softball bats the process has evolved quite a bit over the years. At one time the only material available was solid wood. Now players can choose between wood, aluminum and composite materials.
Aluminum bats are made using one of two materials…either aluminum alloy or pure aluminum. They come with a single wall barrel or a double wall barrel. If you are looking to hit the ball with more speed, the single wall is best for you. If you want a bigger sweet spot, opt for double wall.
Composite bats are made using a variety of different materials. Some bats will be 100 percent composite while others will have a handle or barrel that’s made using a host of other materials including carbon or steel alloy. Some bats are constructed using a combination of composite materials and wood.
Things To Be Aware Of
The great thing about aluminum bats is their durability. However, they are also known to be dent prone. Over time you will notice they are less effective. The good news however is aluminum bats don’t require break in time. Generally speaking they are ready to use right out the box.
Composite bats on the other hand have a reputation for having poor performance. They have also been known to break in cooler weather. In order to reach peak performance composite bats must be broken in. You need at least 150 solid hits before it reaches optimal performance.
Which One Is Better?
When it comes to the game of fastpitch, no two hitters are alike. In that same vein, no two bats are a like. The bat that works best for you will depend on your personal preference. Some bats are designed to be heavy at the top while others are designed to heavy at the handle.
There are also one piece bats, two piece bats, single wall bats and double wall bats. They key is knowing what type of player you are. Are you a contact hitter or a power hitter? Answering this question will help you better determine which type of bat is best for you.
Composite bats tend to be quite expensive. If you are new to fastpitch it is recommend you opt for something less expensive. While aluminum bats can be cost prohibitive as well, you can usually find a good one for $100 or less.
Although we feel that the bats we’ve included above would make the top choices for any player you may still be asking for more specific bats to meet your needs. We’ve tried to do our best to include some of the more common needs on other pages within the site. Below I have listed some of these and will add more as the site keeps growing!
We hope that you have found our page dedicated to the best fastpitch bats has provided some valuable insight into the top choices that can be had for the 2018 season. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.