Best Baseball Bats

Baseball is an American tradition unlike any other. If you’re looking for a new bat, you simply have to get something American made. That’s why we did the research to help you find the brands that are making the best American made baseball bats. Below are our findings, tons of details on our top recommendations, and all the factors we considered in our research (along with some tips on helping you find the right bat for your age and hitting style).

Our Findings

Overall, we found 6 bat makers that stood out from the competition: Three Brothers Bats, Dirty South Bats, Baum Bats, Bratt Bat, Phoenix Bats, and Louisville Slugger. We were really impressed across the board with all of them, especially Three Brothers Bats – a small bat maker out of Wisconsin that is putting incredible care into making some of the best wood bats on the market. We realize that each ball player is different, so we broke down our top picks into different categories ranging from wood bats to metal bats and everything in between.

Top Recommendations

Best Baseball Bats Best for:
Three Brothers Bats Wood Bats
Dirty South Bats Metal Bats
Baum Bats Composite Wood Bats
Bratt Bat Weight Training Bat
Phoenix Bats Softball Bats
Louisville Slugger Most Popular

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below are a ton of details on all of our top picks, including what we liked and didn’t like about each one.

Highest Quality Wood Bats

Three Brothers Bats


Made in Wisconsin, Three Brothers Bats is handcrafting some of the highest quality wood baseball bats in the country. They currently carry between 20-25 models, 15 of which are handmade original models that are exclusive to their company, with each being meticulously designed for all different types of hitters. Those models are available in their Ballplayer Series bats and their Custom Pro Series game bats, which have more customization options like the type of finish you want and custom engravings. Their bats come in 3 wood types you can choose from: ash, birch, and maple. We were really impressed with the intentionality and care that they put into each one of the bats they handcraft. We had the privilege of speaking to the guys behind Three Brothers Bats recently about themselves and their production process, so be sure to read our full interview with them as well. If you’re a serious ball player, you can’t go wrong with Three Brothers Bats.

If you’re interested in getting a TBB bat, be sure to use our exclusive discount code ALLAMERICAN5 for a 5% discount on your order!

 

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Things we like:

  • Each bat is handcrafted
  • High quality lumber
  • You can choose custom finish options and specifications
  • Family-owned and operated business

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Metal Bats

Dirty South Bats


Made in Winder, Georgia, Dirty South Bats makes some incredible metal bats for everyone from youth leagues to USSSA. The big difference in their bats vs. the competition is really three things. One, the sound is unlike a lot of their competitors, sounding like a gunshot when you make solid contact right in that sweet spot. Speaking of the sweet spot, these bats don’t really have one. The entire barrel is the sweet spot, called their continuous compression barrel. And lastly, the taper from the barrel to the handle is very dramatic, unlike a lot of other metal bats out there. Some of their most popular barrels are the Swag, Dirt Demon, DNGR, MADE, and Kamo models. If you’re looking for a metal bat with a lot of pop, Dirty South Bats is a good option.

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Things we like:

  • Large sweet spot
  • Lots of options for different leagues and ages
  • Huge pop when hit well

Things we don’t like:

  • Can’t find these bats in many retailers

 

Best Composite Wood Bats

Baum Bats


Baum Bats is making some really impressive composite wood bats out of Phoenix, Arizona. Their AAA Pro model is especially popular in a lot of leagues and we were really impressed with its durability. Being extremely durable, it’s on the heavier side with a -3 drop weight. Outside of just the AAA Pro, these bats have a really nice balanced feel and a great sweet spot across the barrel. Their bats are BBCOR certified and approved for USA Baseball wood events, NCAA, MLB rookie ball, and most tournaments and summer leagues. If you’re looking for a composite wood bat that is reliable and durable, Baum Bats is a great option.

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Things we like:

  • Approved across several leagues
  • Durable
  • Balanced feel
  • Customizable

Things we don’t like:

  • Only a 4-month warranty

 

Best Weight Training Bat

Bratt Bat


If you’re looking for an American made weight training bat, the Bratt Bat is simply the best option out there. Used for on-deck warm-up and training programs, this weighted bat will help you add speed and power to your swing. Unlike doughnuts and other training aids, this bat distributes the added weight throughout the length of the barrel, creating a balanced feel that mimics the bat you use at the plate. It’s available in a variety of sizes and models for both youth and adult players, baseball and softball. Fun fact: the Bratt Bat was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

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Things we like:

  • Great weight distribution
  • Used by over 250 MLB pros
  • Lots of size options for different ages

Things we don’t like:

  • Bratt Sports website is a little tough to use, probably want to go through a third-party retailer

 

Best Softball Bats

Phoenix Bats


Phoenix Bats makes a lot of really good bats, but we were particularly impressed by their softball bats. Made outside of Columbus, Ohio, their wood softball bats are meticulously designed to help hitters strengthen their wrists, improve bat control, and find that sweet spot. Some leagues across the country are switching from metal to wood bats to make hitting more about skill than technology. With the advancement in metal bats, sweet spots are getting bigger and bigger, which Phoenix Bats argues is leading to a decline in hitting skills. These wood softball bats come in two different wood options (maple or birch) and 39 different color options.

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Things we like:

  • All bats meet ASA standards
  • Great feel
  • Well balanced
  • Lots of models to choose from

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Most Popular

Louisville Slugger


It’s tough to not mention Louisville Slugger here, who has been making bats in Kentucky since the 19th century and is synonymous with American baseball. Tons of Major League Baseball players, colleges, club teams, high schools, and youth organizations are swinging these bats every day. They are produced by a company called Hillerich & Bradsby Company which was founded all the way back in 1855. In 2015, they sold the Louisville Slugger division to Wilson (the famous sporting goods brand), but still continue to make bats in their Louisville, KY facilities.

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Things we like:

  • Bats of every configuration you can think of
  • Rooted in American history
  • Backed my many professionals

Things we don’t like:

  • Handmade quality isn’t as good as other options

Factors We Considered

Materials

For most hitters, it’s pretty easy to determine if you need a wood or non-wood bat based on what league you’re playing in. Wood bats are typically reserved for professionals and tournaments. There are several types of wood and non-wood bats though.

For metal bats, we considered three main material types:

  • Composite: These bats have the biggest sweet spot of them all and give off a lot of “pop”. The vibration is definitely reduced for miss hit balls and the ball sounds like a “crack” of a tree branch when you make solid contact. However, these bats aren’t great for colder temperatures. They typically require ~200 hits to break in and are more expensive than other types of metal bats.
  • Hybrid: Pretty much ready to go right out of the wrapper, no breaking in required. They can be used in any temperature and have a larger sweet spot than alloy, but a smaller sweet spot that composite bats. Hybrid bats are less expensive than composite bats, but more expensive than alloy.
  • Alloy: The most basic metal bats and the cheapest with a smaller sweet spot. They have more vibration and sting from miss hit balls as well.

For wood bats, it really comes down to the type of wood that suits your batting style:

  • Ash: These bats have the biggest sweet spot and are more forgiving on miss hits. Perfect for hitters that tend to spray the ball all over the field and want to swing faster. Ash is the least dense of the three major wood types and therefore flexes more, but is the lightest and therefore least durable. The grain is very visible as well.
  • Birch: Birch is a good middle ground between ash and maple, good for many hitters who are new to wood bats. It’s closer in strength to maple, but still has some of that forgiveness and flex of ash. It’s probably the best solution for hitters who miss hit all over the bat and have yet to master location control.
  • Maple: Maple is the hardest of the three major wood types and has the tightest grain. This material is ideal for hitters who want the most power, period.

Grain Slope (for Wood Bats)

For wood bats, we looked carefully at the slope of the grain in the bat. Wood bats have an ink dot about 12 inches up from the knob that shows the slope of the grain, which is a good indicator of quality. The straighter the grain, the better the bat. MLB actually has an ink dot quality control test that won’t allow bats with a grain slope greater than 3 degrees.

Here’s a photo of the ink dot on the Three Brothers Bats Pro Model DGE17 bat that we tested.

One-Piece vs. Two-Piece (for Metal Bats)

Outside of metal type, another big indicator of quality for metal bats is the one-piece vs. two-piece design. The main difference between the two is how much flex and energy transfer the bat has. Two-piece bats have more flex, which allows for faster bat speeds and reduced vibrations. One-piece bats have minimal energy transfer loss when making contact with the ball, which can be attractive for more power hitters.

Length and Weight Variety

Length and weight are obviously super important when choosing the right bat for you.

Starting with length, if you’re bat is too short, you risk losing a lot of plate coverage. Too long, and you compromise your bat speed and swing mechanics. For weight, it’s really just based on feel. Look at the drop weight of the bat (subtract the weight of the bat from the length) – lighter bats tend to have a drop weight of -10 to -15, whereas heavier bats are closer to -1 to -5.

Age and League

Obviously age and league come into play as well when choosing the right bat. Each of our top picks have good variety in sizes and weights to accommodate everybody from youth baseball to the pros.

When choosing your bat, be sure to take the rules and regulations of your league into play as well. At the beginning of 2018, tons of youth baseball leagues adopted a new standard called the USA Baseball Bat Standard that is intended to make the bat sizes across leagues more uniform. Obviously, those regulations are going to be different from other organizations and certifications like:

  • USSSA
  • College and high school baseball, BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution)
  • MLB

With all that in mind, I hope this guide has been informative to help you choose a good American made bat. Best of luck in your search and let us know if you have any questions!