Welcome to our page dedicated to the best fastpitch softball bats available. Unfortunately, the top bat for one fastpitch player does not necessarily work well for another.
As you will see below, we provide a comparison table to help make this process easier. We look at factors such as price, weight, construction, and durability so that you can choose what is the most important to you. This list has been updated for the 2016 season. For each bat listed below, we also provide a review that contains more of an overview for each product.
Without further ado we hope that you, with the assistance of this page, are able to find the best fastpitch softball bat to match your style of hitting.
|Louisville Xeno Plus|
|Demarini CF8 Insane
|Drop||-8, -9, -10, -11||-8, -9, -10, -11||-10||-10|
|Material||Performance Plus||Paradox Plus||Composite||Paradox Composite|
|Construction||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece|
|Features||- Used by top colleges|
- No break-in needed
- Absorbs vibrations
|- Hot out of the Wrapper|
- Stronger barrel
- Trampoline effect
|- Quick Bat Speed|
- Smooth hitting stroke
- Massive sweet spot
|- End loaded for more power
- Eliminates vibration
- Double wall construction
- 1 Brief Fastpitch Softball bat reviews
- 2 Best composite fastpitch bats
- 3 Fastpitch bats for Power hitters
- 4 Top choices for Slappers
- 5 What to Look for When Buying a Fast pitch Bat
Brief Fastpitch Softball bat reviews
As shown in the above table, we believe that the 5 bats will provide you with all you need. However, if you still aren’t convinced we provide quick fastpitch softball bat reviews of our Top-5 below.
Easton Mako: We feel that the Easton Mako is arguably one of the best fastpitch softball bats available. Easton has been making high quality fastpitch bats for many years. The Easton Mako is their newest innovation and has already been purchased by many players. Designed for the best of the best, the Mako features a huge sweet spot for incredible power. Despite the large sweet spot, the Mako has been designed to make your swing speeds faster at the same time. As you can imagine, doing this is not easy! But with the new TCT Thermo Composite material, Easton has done just that and have provided you with one of the best ever made. Like many other popular Easton bats that have been made, this one also features ConneXion technology which is aimed at reducing potential for vibrations when making awkward swings. If you are interested in learning more about the most popular choice, then check out our full Easton Mako review.
Demarini CF8: The next of our fastpitch softball bat reviews looks at the Demarini CF8. You will feel the power in your hands when you step to the plate with the Demarini CF8 in your hand. This 2 1/4? barrel uses Paradox composite material which provides strength and stability to your power stroke. It will feel so light in your hand you will feel you can hit pitches a very long way. The CF8 uses the latest technology to allow you to get maximum transformation of power in your swing. The design allowed them to keep the stiffness in the barrel for power and still providing a dulling impact on the vibration and the sting you might feel. This bat gives you a feeling of confidence to hit like you know you are capable of. With a full 1-year warranty backed by a great brand like Demarini, its no wonder so many people have purchased it already. Like what you see so far? Check out our full review of the Demarini CF8.
Demarini CF8 Hope
Demarini CF8 Hope: Show your support for breast cancer awareness by swinging the Demarini CF8 Hope, the hottest bat on the field in 2016. The CF8 Hope features a 2 piece composite design, consisting of an all Paradox Composite barrel and a D-fusion handle to deliver game-changing performance.
The CF8 is the hottest model ever produced by Demarini that delivers a hot out of the wrapper performance with a larger, more responsive sweet spot. And this is all because of the Paradox composite and the scientifically shaped design that make the barrel stronger but still softer on contact. Featuring a Stacked Double Wall construction that creates a trampoline effect all across the barrel, it provides a completely optimized performance on field. The barrel ending with the end cap provides maximum barrel compression, resulting in more POP and larger sweet spot.
The D-fusion handle, at the same time, reduces harsh vibrations on contact and gives it an awesome feel and sound.
This incredible design made with Demarini’s innovative technology delivers consistently awesome performance as well as unmatched durability. With a drop weight of -10, this bat is neither too light nor too heavy, giving you the fastest speed and maximum power. View our Demarini CF8 Hope review.
Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus: Despite being one of our top picks for the 2016 season as well, we still feel that the Louisville Xeno Plus is a great pick for this year. With a brand new sharp purple/black color scheme, it features a great balanced swing allowing you to combine your power and speed properly. Perhaps the greatest innovation with the Xeno is the use of S1iD technology. According to Louisville, the S1iD technology allows the barrel to flex as much as possible. So if you are a hitter that like a little extra bounce in your swing, this one may be for you. The Xeno is consistently used by many of the best teams around the country both at the high school and collegiate levels. The Xeno is ready to go right out of the wrapper and does not require any sort of break in period. and will quickly make you a happy fastpitch softball player! If you like what you’ve read so far, you might be even more interested in our Louisville Xeno review.
Demarini CF8 Insane
Demarini CF8 Insane: The Demarini CF8 Insane is very similar to the CF8 that we reviewed earlier. The main difference however is the Insane model is more end loaded and feels more like a -9 drop bat instead of the advertised -10. This newest version of the CF8 Insane is the use of Paradox Composite material for the bats construction. The Paradox composite gives it incredible strength but allows for no break in time whatsoever. If you hate waiting for your bat to be ready after purchase, then you may want to check this one out. Lastly for those that hate vibrations, the CF8 Insane includes a new D-Fusion handle that promises to be better than ever before at vibration control. To see even more details on this model, please check out our full Demarini CF8 Insane review.
Best composite fastpitch bats
I was at a game just a few weeks ago, and while I am not a huge fan of non composite bats, basically for the vibration control issues, I have been known to run my mouth a little about composite bats, and which ones I think are the best, but once again someone asked me for my opinion.
Having thought about this very question so many times already I figured it would be easier just to compile some information, read some reviews and provide what I feel are the best choices below. As you’ll notice, I have also provided links to these bats, so that you can do your own checks as well. There really is nothing worse than having someone tell you about how bad the no name aluminum bat you recommended was, when you actually recommended a Miken Freak or DeMarini CF8.
First thing we should do is look at the stats available from different test facilities. It really isn’t enough for me to say “Hey this ones the best” without some proof. Using high speed impact test, we find that wood bats can give a batted ball speed of up to 90mph. Generally after that the impact is to much and the bat breaks. I know this is a composite vs. aluminum discussion, but I want to give you something for comparison. Single walled aluminum bats can give you an extra 6mph, getting as high as 96 mph before they start failing, and the best double walled can kick it up another 4 mph to a whopping 100mph. Titanium bats were the next best thing and when they were introduced in ’93 could manage up to 103mph, but were quickly banned at this point because they gave such an unfair edge. Then came the composites, made of differing resin and rubber high-breds, the first ones being comparable to a great double walled aluminum gave hits up to 100mph. Not giving any more of an edge, than aluminum, the composites began to see a good following and were saved from the banning that titanium took.
Now as time has progressed and composites have started to gain popularity companies like Miken and DeMarini started to invest the time, research and money into composites. Special interior wall shaping has allowed for wicked of the barrel spins, almost 0 vibration mis-hits, and a “pop” that can blaze a ball up to 105 mph. Currently the two top contenders for legal, premium composite softball bats are the Miken Freak Black and the DeMarini CF8. While the Miken is a breakthrough carbonization process that binds and flexes, their aerospace grade Triple Matrix Core gives an unparalleled sweet spot in both return power and speed. The DeMarini on the other hand, uses their proprietary Paradox Plus Composite Barrel and attaches the ultra advanced D-Fusion 2.0 handle to deliver the best torque and spin, with power that goes on for days. Even with all the latest camera equipment, I would be hard pressed to pick a winner, which is why I suggest you take a few practice swings before buying. So in short…the winner seems to be us, the consumer, as both companies keep researching and pumping out amazingly superior products, we can only begin to scratch the surface of where these products will be in the future.
Fastpitch bats for Power hitters
One of the most common questions fastpitch players ask is “what is the best bat for power”? Based on what we have read on various sites we feel the best way for you to keep the outfielders on their toes is by using the Easton Mako (-9) and the Demarini CF8 Insane bats.
In reality however, you’ll probably notice more pop in your hits by simply using a bat that is more end loaded than a regular bat. The extra weight at the end transfers so much power to the ball that you literally feel the difference in the follow through, and can practically see the pop. Even if you are a smaller player, you should notice some extra pop when making solid contact.
So what exactly sets the Mako and CF8 Insane fastpitch bats apart? Why are they widely considered two of the top fastpitch bats to ever be manufactured? What makes them a power hitter’s best weapon? These are all great questions which we hope will be answered below.
Let’s start with a quick breakdown of the Easton Mako -9 drop. Between the perfect end weight and the TCT Thermo Composite Technology the Mako has the best sweet spot in the game. With a longer barrel than most bats, and its composite elasticity, the barrel can reach its maximum flex, which truly is what the sweet spot is all about. Add on the CXN Zero Technology in the handle, you find there is virtually no vibration even on the worst of tips. Knowing that you don’t have to hold back when you swing for the cheap seats means more solid connections, less infield hits and higher run counts. That would normally be enough for any bat, but this isn’t just any bat, this is Mako. Taking it from quality to top shelf, they gave the -9 length to weight ratio a 2 1/4″ barrel and their new Hyperskin Performance Grip. That is exactly why this bat is perfect for power hitters. So what does it all mean in layman’s terms? The bat feels heavy, not drag behind you heavy, but when you swing it, you know its going to knock the skin off the ball. That weight carries on into the ball transferring the power of your hit through the sweet spot and into the ball and the body of the bat trampolines the ball further than you can imagine.
Now let’s take a look at another top choice – the DeMarini CF8 Insane. If the name isn’t enough to spell it out, a couple of swings will. Let’s put aside the fact that DeMarini has been a favorite manufacturer consistently over the last 20 years and provide you with some specs so that you can figure out if it is right for you. The CF8 Insane was designed specifically for power hitters, giving amazing bat speed and control with its -10 length to weight ratio and pro weight end load to give it the power of a sledge hammer and the spring of a tennis racket. The new Paradox Plus+ Composite used in this bat also carries a much better power transfer and doesn’t skimp on the spin. Add in the D-Fusion 2.0 handle technology and you have an absolute winner. Practically zero vibrations as the power from any off-center hit is reversed back into the barrel and redirected through to the ball. If that wasn’t enough to convince you this is a top contender, what about the stacked double wall construction? It optimizes the power return to the ball and gives the highest performance fastpitch regulations will allow.
So as you can see, these both are the top contenders in any power hitting battle. Want to add yards to your hit, or increase the spin on any infield hit? These bats would more than likely be a good starting point for you to try out. Want to put fear into the pitcher as he eyes you up and sees you carrying a professional series bat. Want to watch the infielders get panicky and start to shuffle back in anticipation of what is sure to be a powerhouse hit? Then the Easton Mako -9 drop and the DeMarini CF8 Insane could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Top choices for Slappers
What is a slapper and what is the best bat for their specific needs? This is a question comes up quite often as players begin to specialize more and more and develop a specific role on their team. A slapper is generally a left handed hitter, or a very fast righty that has converted. They tend to bunt and hit short as opposed to fielding the ball, and are a very useful weapon in the coaches offensive arsenal if they are good, and have a bat tailored to their infield short hits, but still able to switch it up for the occasional surprise power stroke.
The slapper moves into the ball with a crossover step or forward hop attack that gets them started in their sprint toward first base. If you want to see some amazing footage of slappers and how they can bunt or drop the ball just in front of the catcher and still make it to first before the catcher has control and can fire it off then check out YouTube as they show many different players doing this.
As for bats, we believe based on our research that if you are a slapper than the Demarini CF8 Slapper is probably your best bet as it has been specifically designed for your game.
The first thing a slapper needs is a long barrel, weighted more to the hands than the barrel to give optimal barrel control and manipulation. The 2016 DeMarini CF8 Slapper has that in spades with a 14” barrel providing maximum plate coverage. The stacked barrel construction gives 2 independent walls creating a superbly responsive hitting surface which extends the sweet spot further along the barrel than ever before. The D-Fusion 2.0 handle is great at redirecting energy, specifically mis-hits, which a slapper can get in spades off a poorly lined up bunt, back into the ball, giving it a spin that will keep the catcher and the pitcher running with no way to predict the direction. The low pro end cap and -10 length to weight ratio allows the hitter to step in with power instead of a light drop and change up the defenders strategy on a dime. Finally the DeMarini CF8 has reversed the grip for longer lasting, better control. While most companies didn’t even take it into account DeMarini was stepping up for their customers.
What to Look for When Buying a Fast pitch Bat
People often make critical mistakes when choosing a fast pitch bat. They either buy one because of its color or because their teammates are swinging it. Color is not a determinant of how good the it will perform.
Likewise, it’s not necessary what your teammate is swinging is the perfect model for you. When it’s your turn to hit, there will be nobody else in that box except you and your bat. So, if you really want to make a difference to the game, get a bat that you can swing well. So you want to find the best fastpitch softball bats for your game? Here is a road map to help you find the perfect model.
Fast pitch bats usually come in a range of 26 to 32 inches for smaller players and 30 to 34 inches for older players. The key to choose the perfect size is to try swinging the bat and see what you are comfortable with. Another way is to measure the perfect size. Stand with your arms straight out to your sides and measure from the center of your chest to the tips of your index finger. This is the estimated size you should be using.
When it comes to choosing the weight of the bat, many players make the mistake of choosing the heaviest one out there. A heavy model is no good if you can’t swing it fast. The difference light and heavy bats make is easy to understand. Light bats provide more bat speed as they have lower Moment of Inertia behind them; so you can swing them fast and quick. However, due to their less weight, they have less power.
Heavy bats, on the other hand, provide more power and add more distance to your hits.
To get the perfect weight, consider your skill level. If you are a beginner and learning how to hit fast, get a lighter bat. On the other hand, if you already are a power hitter, get a heavy one.
The weight is usually measured in drop weight. It is actually a length to weight ratio and is a negative number. For example a bat that is 34 inches long and has a drop weight of -10, will weigh 24 oz. The bigger the drop weight is, the lighter it will be.
The bottom line is to find the perfect balance between light and heavy. Choose the heaviest bat that you can swing as fast as possible.
The material you buy comes down to your own personal preference. Wooden bats are usually not preferred as they break easily and are unsafe. However, it depends on the rules of the league you play in.
Aluminum (alloy) and composite bats are widely used by fast pitch softball players. Alloy bats are balanced, sturdier, and inexpensive but they have smaller sweet spot and less pop. However, they don’t require any breaking in time. Generally, the more expensive the alloy is, the better the bat will perform. On the other hand, composite bats perform really well when broken in. They provide a solid cushion for the ball and have an awesome pop off them. However, they are quite expensive to buy.
Most fast pitch leagues are governed by ASA but there are leagues, which are also governed by USSSA, NSA, and ISF. All these have different bat regulations and rules. ASA certified bats have lower performance than USSSA, NSA. And ISF. So, if you buy a bat that is ASA certified, it will mostly be legal to use in other leagues. But if you are playing in a league governed by ASA, it has to be ASA certified.
If you are looking for some hitting tips, this is a great video to start with:
We hope that you have enjoyed all of the fastpitch softball bat reviews we have provided you on this page. As you mentioned earlier there is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing a fastpitch bat. We hope that you have however been able to find the best fastpitch softball bat for you this 2016 season.