No matter how much you love your softball bat, you have to accept the possibility of replacing it eventually. Softball bats become dead after a couple of years of use, and even a high-end bat will not last you a lifetime. But if you end up cracking the softball bat you bought recently, there could be nothing worse than that.
- Maybe you were reckless with it.
- Or maybe you brought it out to play when the weather was too cold.
- Or maybe, it was just dumb bad luck.
Whichever the case might be, if your softball bat gets cracked, you might have to consider replacing it. But what if there was a way around it? What if you could fix up the crack and keep playing with the bat for at least a couple more months, would it perform the same as before?
Well, you’ll never know until you try it out for yourself. I will help you figure out whether you can fix a cracked softball bat and if it is worth the hassle or not.
Can You Fix a Cracked Softball Bat?
The answer to this big question is a definite maybe. It mostly depends on the extent of the crack. If the crack leads down the barrel of the softball bat, then you cannot fix it, unfortunately. Even if you do try and glue it up, it will not be able to withstand the impact of a softball bat for too long. So, I would not recommend even trying it.
If the crack is few and far between, then you might be able to restore it to a usable state. For example, if the handle gets cracked slightly or the barrel has a small crack at any one portion, then it might give you a realistic shot at trying to fix your bat.
Do All Softball Bats Crack?
Not all softball bats crack. Aluminum softball bats, despite some of their issues, are practically impervious to cracking. Once its lifespan is up, you will notice poorer performance and dents in the barrel. But you will never see it crack.
Only composite and wooden barrel softball bats are susceptible to cracking. So, if you bought either one of these types of bats, then you have to be prepared for the bat to crack eventually. If you bought a high-end composite softball bat, it should last you at least two years before you have to worry about replacing it.
What Causes a Softball Bat to Crack?
A softball bat can crack down the barrel for many reasons. I believe knowing about these reasons can help you protect your bat better and prevent it from cracking or getting damaged in any way. So let me give you a list of probable reasons that can cause your softball bat to crack.
1. Cold Weather
The most common reason for cracking your softball bat is playing with it in extremely cold weather. Composite softball bats are superb and quite durable as long as you play with them in the summer. Once the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it is generally advisable not to use your composite bats. You should keep your softball bat warm in cold weather.
Instead, you should use aluminum bats if the weather is too cold. Alloy bats are invulnerable to the cold and do not crack up if you play with them during winter. So, if you have a big game coming up and the temperature is freezing cold, I would recommend using an alloy bat for that one match.
2. Using the Wrong Ball
Do you like playing baseball? Well, if the answer is yes, I would strictly advise you not to use your softball bat to play it. Baseball balls are much harder compared to softball balls. And a softball bat will not be able to withstand the impact of baseballs for too long.
Using a softball bat for baseball is honestly a dumb idea. And if you think that one game couldn’t hurt, you would be wrong. If you plan on using your composite softball bat for a game of baseball, then you have to be prepared to buy a new one pretty soon.
3. Improper Storage
Storing your softball bat in a bad way can also impact its overall lifespan. If you keep it in a locker, make sure it does not get too cold at night. Otherwise, the temperature can start to affect the condition of the barrel, and the next time you play with it might as well be its last time.
I recommend keeping your softball bat in a place that stays at room temperature all the time. You might also want to place a couple of dehumidifiers in the locker, especially if it is a wooden bat. Moisture affects wooden bats a lot more severe compared to composite or alloy bats.
4. Poor Build Quality
The main reason why I do not recommend going with cheap softball bats is they do not last you long. An affordable sub-50 dollars bat can start to crack after only 500 to 800 swings. On the other hand, an expensive bat will give you perfect performance for more than 3000 swings.
I don’t think I have to explain which one is better. If you want your softball bat to last, you need to invest a good bit of green for it. A softball bat with poor build quality will not last you long. And once it cracks, there is no point fixing it as the performance will never be that good.
5. Its Lifespan is Up
While most high-quality softball bats are built to last, they will never last you a lifetime. There is a limit to how many hits of the ball it can take, and once that number is up, it can crack up anytime. So if you have owned the bat for a good few years, it might crack any day. In that case, you have no other option but to replace it. If you are a decent hitter, you should already get your money’s worth of performance out of it by now.
How to Fix a Cracked Composite Softball Bat?
As I said, an alloy bat does not crack, but rather it gets dented. And since you cannot use wooden bats in a softball game anyways, that leaves you with only one option, composite bat. If you happen to crack your composite softball bat near the handle or at different parts of the barrel, here are the steps to fixing it.
· Step – 1
First, inspect the extent of the damage. I have already said before that if the crack is too severe, especially at the barrel, you should not even try fixing it. But if the handle is cracked or just minor portions of the barrel are damaged, you can move on to the next step.
· Step – 2
Take a flat head screwdriver and gently separate the crack. Be very careful in this step. The last thing you want is to damage the bat further. I always leave the screwdriver wedged inside the crack at this step.
· Step – 3
Next, you want to apply a generous amount of wood glue through the crack. Make sure the glue gets inside the crack properly. You could use your fingers to rub it through the crack for better application.
· Step – 4
Then, remove the screwdriver and use a vise to clamp down the softball bat. Make sure the cracked part is clamped together tightly. If some of the glue seeps out, use an old rag to wipe it away.
· Step – 5
Let the glue dry for a good couple of hours. Some glue can take up to 24 hours to dry fully. So, make sure you allow the bat enough time to heal properly. Once the glue dries, take it out to the batting cage and try out a couple of swings. If the glue holds, you are good to use it for your next game.
Can You Still Use a Cracked Softball Bat?
Technically, you can still use a cracked softball bat in training sessions, but I would not recommend it. The performance of a cracked softball bat is extremely poor and you will have a hard time driving the ball far even when you get a good hit on it.
It is better to replace it if you cannot fix it. Playing with a cracked softball bat in a competitive match is completely illegal. The officials will not allow you to use that bat in an organized softball game.
Can you hit with a cracked composite bat?
Yes, you can hit with a cracked composite bat. But you know – as a coach – I strongly advise against it. If you do hit with a cracked composite bat, your shot’s going to lack power & direction.
Is it Worth Fixing a Cracked Softball Bat?
It depends on your situation, honestly. If the handle is the only part of the bat that is cracked, it might not impact its performance all too much. And once you fix it, it should be as good as new. In some situations, the end cap gets damaged or comes loose. Thankfully, that is also a pretty easy fix. If you know how to remove the end cap from your softball bat, you can easily repair or replace it depending on its condition.
If the barrel is damaged, then fixing it might not be worth it after all. It will never give you the same level of performance as before. Even if it lasts a while, it will not be able to deliver the same level of strike power.
Typically, softball bats are pretty durable, as long as you get a good one. Most moderate to high-end softball bats are good for a year at least before you have to think about replacing them.
If your softball bat already lasted you a year or more before cracking, then I would advise replacing it. You can find some pretty great bats that will enhance your playing experience greatly without costing a fortune. It is a much better idea than playing in a game with a cracked bat that you patched up yourself.
Fixing a crack in your softball bat is definitely doable. But the truth is, if you can afford to get a new one, that is almost always the better option. Once you fix your softball bat, sure, it will last a couple more months, but eventually, it will crack yet again.
Repairing minor damages and cracks, especially in a bat that you bought recently, is okay. I mean, it is not ideal, but I understand the urge to fix it instead of buying a new one. But a bat that has a massive crack down the barrel is better left in the bin than in your locker. But, if you are still adamant about fixing it, my guideline should be of some help to you. Good luck!