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Do you remember when wood bats were the only option available for a baseball player? Well, gone are those days because now, you can find different bats including composite, aluminum, and hybrid materials. All these bats, alongside wooden bats, have their strengths and weaknesses and provide varying playing experiences, but Let’s discuss those of ‘Composite Bats VS Aluminum’.
Composite Bats VS Aluminum
Composite bats are made from a combination of different low-density materials, making them lighter than aluminum bats, which are a combination of two or more metals. Apart from being lightweight, composite bats don’t make the ‘ping’ sound you hear on aluminum or alloy bats.
What are composite bats?
Composite bats are constructed from a combination of carbon fiber polymer, fiberglass, and graphite. These materials have less density, which makes the bats less heavy in some cases, the manufacturer adds a metal rod in the handle of the bat to add some weight and make it balanced in your hands. If you are used to the ‘crack’ sound from wooden bats or ‘ping’ sound from metal bats, then you should know that composite bats don’t make any pop sound like the others when the ball comes in contact with it; notwithstanding, this doesn’t reduce its performance.
Because of how light composite bats are, they come in a longer barrel length than aluminum bats since there’s a way the length will impact the weight of every swing you take. Additionally, composite bats tend to be very flexible, enhancing your offensive performance, especially if you are a young baseball player.
Pros of composite bats
- Their lightweight reduces the sting vibrations on hands during cold weather, after using for a long time, or from mishits.
- It can create a better trampoline effect than aluminum bats. A trampoline effect refers to the rate or speed at which a baseball bounces back after impact with the bat.
- Their balanced swing weight creates a faster swing speed than aluminum or even wooden bats.
- Their two-piece design is less likely to cause your hand to hurt or sting with each swing or hit.
Cons of composite bats
- They are more expensive than aluminum bats
- Like a new car begins to drive smoothly or properly after loosening up the engine and some other parts by taking mandatory drives, a composite bat needs a break-in process of about 150 to 200 hits to loosen it up, increase the trampoline effect, and enhance its performance. You don’t have to be in a serious game to break in your composite bat. A few training sessions with real baseball will loosen it.
- They perform poorly in cold climate conditions and can crack in the process. Once a baseball bat cracks, it is dead.
What are aluminum bats?
Aluminum bats are popular on the market today as the next type of baseball bat to be made after their wooden counterparts. These aluminum or alloy bats are made from metal and are durable compared to composite bats. Despite being made from metal, they are still lightweight and have improved performance for speed and pop.
Upon contact with a baseball, aluminum bats give off a ping sound, and their lightweight will give you much control to swing faster. Because they are not as flexible as composite bats, Aluminum bats’ stiff nature may not provide enough balance as you hoped for when compared to composite bats; nevertheless, their end-loaded swing weight may be perfect for you if you are a power hitter.
Pros of aluminum bats
- It does not need a break-in period like composite bats. You can use it immediately out of the wrapper and get the best performance still.
- It has a larger sweet spot that creates a loud ‘ping’ sound when the ball comes in contact.
- They are less expensive than composite bats.
- They are more durable than composite bats because instead of cracking, they dent, which does not impair their performance.
Cons of aluminum bats
- Their temperature restriction limits you from using them in extremely low or freezing temperature conditions because they become too stiff and so, will increase vibrations upon impact and cause stings.
- Although lightweight, they are still heavier than composite bats
- Their one-piece design increases the bending stiffness, which may cause you to feel the vibration when you hit off the bat’s sweet spot.
What are the costs of Composite and Aluminum bats?
As we mentioned earlier, composite bats are more expensive than aluminum bats; however, the price for these bats varies with manufacturer, even though the difference may not be much for the same product.
A composite bat costs between $150 and $500, while an Aluminum bat ranges from $30 to $300
So, which is better; Composite bats or Aluminum?
Composite and Aluminum bats have their up and downsides. What we consider the best may not function at the best capacity for someone else. You can only decide on the best baseball bat for yourself in terms of durability, performance, cost, and weight.
If you want an affordable and durable bat, but don’t mind a little weight, you should opt for an aluminum bat. On the other hand, if you want a lightweight option that you can swing flexibly and won’t feel the vibration of a hit, a composite bat is what you need.
What are Hybrid bats?
Hybrid bats feature the best of both composite and aluminum bats because it is a combination of both materials. For instance, a hybrid bat may have a composite handle and alloy or aluminum barrel or otherwise. If you’ve come across the term ‘two-piece’ bats, it is referring to a hybrid bat since it is made from two different materials.
Now We’ve learnt about ‘Composite Bats VS Aluminum’, In terms of performance, both composite and aluminum bats are reliable, but the debate about which is better doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. The fact that manufacturers have not recorded a significant decrease in sales for these bats means that even though they both have their downsides, their benefits make them worth investing in.
- Do composite bats hit farther than aluminum bats?
No, it doesn’t. Aluminum bats hit the farthest, even more than composite and wooden bats.
- What is the safest temperature to use a composite bat?
It is best to use a composite bat at a temperature range between 50 and 85 degrees.