For decades, there has been a long-standing debate regarding which bat is better between aluminum and composite types. Don’t let all the fuss fool you, though, as there’s no definitive answer. Both bats come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose is entirely up to your preference. However, knowing those pros and cons can help you decide which bat suits you best.
Aluminum Bat Pros
Aluminum isn’t a difficult material to mold or come by, so aluminum bats are generally your cheapest option. However, some manufacturers add different metals to it, which is why there are alloy bats. These can be a little more expensive. Because aluminum bats are metal, they’re going to be your most durable option. While they don’t crack or split like wood and composite bats, they do dent, but you can still use them, unlike other bats. Additionally, aluminum bats can perform well in cold weather, as they aren’t prone to expansion and cracking in low temperatures.
Aluminum Bat Cons
There are a few things that you have to consider when picking the right bat. The main characteristic is barrel size. Most aluminum bats have a smaller barrel, which can make it difficult to find the sweet spot when you swing. This means you’ll have to be a precise hitter. You can get an aluminum bat with a bigger barrel if you’re a beginner, but it’ll be heavier and may not be as balanced. As the bat dents, it can lose its “pop” over time. There’s also much less feedback, so those struggling to find their swing may suffer. Additionally, you’ll get a lot more sting if you miss the barrel due to the metal.
Composite Bat Pros
Overall, composite bats are much lighter and have a more balanced swing weight than aluminum bats. This is because the carbon fiber that makes up the bat is naturally lighter than aluminum. Plus, they tend to have larger barrels. Their lighter weight also means that manufacturers can stretch them out for a longer barrel size without adding more weight. Furthermore, their carbon composition allows you to make customizations, as they can come in end-loaded or balanced versions.
Composite Bat Cons
While composite bats do come with some great pros, they have equally heavy cons. The biggest disadvantage of composite bats is that they’re pretty expensive, and getting ahold of a good one isn’t easy. They also need a lot of breaking in—often about 200 hits. Meanwhile, aluminum bats are ready to go right out of the box. Plus, composite bats tend to crack, and when they do, they become unusable. Lastly, these bats just can’t perform well in cold weather. The colder it gets, the more likely they are to crack.
As mentioned, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. But depending on your experience level, how you swing, and your barrel size preference, one may be preferable over the other.
Now that you know the differences between composite vs. aluminum bats, you can determine which one is better for you.