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Author Topic: When buying a bat, what to look for  (Read 852 times)

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Buzz

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When buying a bat, what to look for
« on: September 23, 2020, 09:50:34 AM »

I have just watched a kit video with a review of some bats.
And to be honest the review didn't cover any of the main things I look for in a bat.

Plus the other day I was asked in a shop what I looked for and I couldn't answer. At the same time I was choosing a bat and subconsciously went for a few things in a certain order... So I thought I would bullet them out.

1. Weight, when picking a bat I look for a bat in my weight range. (2lbs9 - 2lbs 11) if you are in a shop that will narrow down your selection. As will...

2. Middle position, I like a mid to low bat shape without at most very little concaving, I also like the spine to be straight and not off centre...

3. Handle. Is it well fitted and quite stiff. I will look to check that the springs straight and even. Is it a 9 or 12 piece handle. (note shape can be changed). I don't really like the cheap 4 piece handles or the Pak ones with about 7 springs in...

4. Grains and face of the bat. I like a bat with character, happy to have butterflys etc, but I look for evenly spaced grains, going evenly and pretty straight through the toe. I want, ideally, a clean hitting area, but sometimes some graping can really add to performance. I don't like pin knots or other dead spots in the hitting area.

5. Pick up. This is personal, not much to say. A light cleft can feel amazing, but they are usually out of my price range these days. Oh and thick shoulders are usually a good sign for pick up.

6. Performance, remembering that this can improve, but sometimes it just won't.


What do you look for?


« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:49:56 AM by Buzz »
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Alvaro

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 10:05:48 AM »

I am pretty much the same, though more 2.8-10.

My current match bat has an off centre spine which I found when replacing the stickers. Doesn't seem to make much difference. Something about personality....
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JTtaylor145

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 10:08:19 AM »

When going into a shop/bat makers

1. Weight (between 2lb 9ozs and 2lb 11ozs)
2. Full profile, if possible
3. Balance/Pick up (wearing gloves)
4. Response against the mallet
5. Response when tapping up an old ball
6. 8-10 grains if possible (even spaced and going through the toe)
7. Reasonably thick handle (GM and Aldred handles are a good guide)

Buzz

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 10:11:57 AM »

Pick up wearing gloves is a good shout. I forgot that.
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Jimbo

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 10:23:27 AM »

Since getting my BB and having to tape and glue the shoulder on a number of occasions, a reasonably sturdy shoulder and toe are definitely a consideration now.
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Alvaro

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 10:51:21 AM »

Also remember that while a 2.13 might pick up lovely in a shop, it might not feel the same after 20 overs of lifting it.
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edge

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 11:07:11 AM »

In priority order:

1. Pickup - let's be honest, if you don't like the way a bat picks up it's going straight back on the shelf. Needs to be balanced, too light in the hands is a hard no but don't want it bottom heavy either.

2. Handle - if it's thin and round I'm not buying the bat. Needs to be thick enough for my liking and ideally a decent oval.

3. Shape - I like a forgiving middle so always look for a long spine up and down the bat with a bit of wood left in low down (no duckbills!), mid middle.

4. Weight - I know what the limit of what I can swing is pretty well which is around 2.11 before adding second grip, scuffs etc., so I'm usually pretty firm about staying around 2.10-11.

5. Performance - as best I can judge it with a mallet/old ball anyway. Realistically you're just looking for it not to be a plank at this stage, but happy to be surprised with something that feels really nice.

6. Grains - what I mostly look for is grains that stand out and are fairly straight. Narrow/wide is all the same to me, but there's a certain quality I look for that doesn't let me down (I think, anyway!). Ideally a clean face and straight through the toe, do like a butterfly but you don't see many of those in shops.


Realistically there are things I'll compromise on and things I won't. Having the pickup and handle how I like them are the real must-haves, with shape and weight I'm a little more open-minded and looks are definitely secondary to whether I like the bat or not. Judging performance of a brand new bat before you use it? I think you're probably kidding yourself, so while I'll always check I don't set too much faith in that unless it makes an extreme impression in either direction. Once I'm really interested I'll always try with gloves on and always with a second grip.
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KettonJake

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 12:11:13 PM »

Pick up wearing gloves is a good shout. I forgot that.

I tired to ensure every customer did this at Vitas Cricket, if they didn't bring their own they were swiftly issued a pair.

Mfarank

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2020, 12:15:40 PM »

just bought a MIDS ZH power bat couple of days ago from a local retailer. will review it soon. it was the first time in a very very long time that i picked out a bat myself from a large selection and had the luxury to physically check them out so i think i can add to this topic.

-the first thing i did was filter out all the bats that were beyond what i was willing to pay. in my case DHS. 600 or GBP 120
-the next thing i did was pick out the bats that had straight-ish (at least 6) grains and a playing area clear of knots or blemishes (butterfly stains are encouraged).
-then i proceeded to pick up each of those bats and shadow practiced drives and cuts to filter out those that felt too heavy
-at the same time i also filtered out those that had very thin round handles.
-once i was down to about 4-5 bats, i tested the ping with an old ball and filtered it down to the 3 best pingers
-finally i took those 3 to the scales and compared the dead weight, edge thickness, toe thickness and amount of concaving
-the one i ended up selecting had the biggest edge size, thickest toe and lightest weight on the scales

edit: I also made sure the bat i ended up buying had a full 107-108mm wide face cause narrow bats is a thing now
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 12:22:54 PM by Mfarank »
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procricket

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2020, 01:46:05 PM »

Feel and white wood by and large

Feel is key  but my bat's tend to be around 2-7 to 2-9 pick it up look down it and hey presto.

Grains I do not really care for mean nothing (vanity)
Feel
Ping not really 90 per cent maybe higher have same effect in the right hands

Do prefer a much higher middle bat pick up is all important but feel with or without gloves on

If I'm in a shop I tend not to have a massive choice either get in there early it funny I did a experimebt with a customer once who was picking up bat's for two hours in the end he got tired and started picking lighter bat's!!!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 01:48:32 PM by procricket »
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SOULMAN1012

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2020, 02:25:56 PM »

Pick up and.  Handle shape are the two things for me. I would pick a 5 wavy grain bat over a 10 dead straight all white sapwood blade if the handle was better.

I also feel that the pressing and QC of the brands Ive used over the last 5/6 seasons (GM, GN, Salix G&F) has meant I havent had a plank and can count on one hand the badly performing bats iv had so I trust that all bats will to the club player play the same and I dont think you can gauge accurately how a bat will perform from tapping a ball in a shop or via a video of a mallet response but gives an indication I guess with more and more now buying blind due to lack of available retail stores that stock quality cricket equipment
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InternalTraining

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2020, 02:41:38 PM »

Weight - I can generate the kind of bat speed I like. Also, not heavy for a long inning. 2-10 and not exceeding 2-11. Too light, my timing goes off; too heavy, I am late in my shots.
Middle - Mid/mid-low middle; I know where I hit the ball on the bat face.
Bow - Big bow as it assists in playing lofted shots.
Handle - thin, oval. The bat has to feel right in my hands. If my grip is not right, it doesn't work for me.
Sound off the mallet - don't care.
Ball rebound on bat face test - don't care; until I use a bat in the nets, there is no guarantee that a nice bouncey bat will work me. I have a 32 grainer trampoline sitting in my house that I can't time the ball to save my life!
Grains - don't really care as long as the bat pings.
Blade length - Shorter blade lengths than SH work well for me.
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Jimbo

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2020, 03:04:13 PM »

Blade length - Shorter blade lengths than SH work well for me.

Aware of your thoughts on this from previous topics, but I'd be interested to hear what blade lengths you've used and whether you had a correspondingly shorter handle? I've been using Harrow size bats this year and I've been much more comfortable playing a range of shots, rather than the fairly limited repertoire I seemed stuck with using standard SH.
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roco

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2020, 03:04:37 PM »

2lb9 naked then pick up and dull sound when hitting a ball (no idea why just always served me well)

Also like this shoulders
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InternalTraining

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Re: When buying a bat, what to look for
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 04:20:47 PM »

Aware of your thoughts on this from previous topics, but I'd be interested to hear what blade lengths you've used and whether you had a correspondingly shorter handle? I've been using Harrow size bats this year and I've been much more comfortable playing a range of shots, rather than the fairly limited repertoire I seemed stuck with using standard SH.


I put all the details in this thread with pictures.  Let me know if you have questions, I'd be happy to help.

http://custombats.co.uk/cbforum/index.php?topic=46757.msg753493#msg753493
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