“Which one should I go for? The one-piece or the two-piece? Which one is better?”
These were the questions that haunted me during my days as a rookie. Back then, although the options were quite limited, it was still tough because money was tight. So, it was quite imperative that I make the right choice. Sadly, I didn’t always end up making the right choices as I had a very limited idea of what I was going for. I didn’t know what I wanted – and more importantly – why I wanted it.
That is why I have decided to jot down the subtle differences between the two and the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. And now, I have a complete understanding of one-piece and two-piece softball bats. I’m going to share what I learned over the years with you. Let’s get on with it.
What is a One-Piece Softball Bat?
A one-piece bat is designed in the form of one continuous piece of metal. It can be made out of a number of materials such as composites, wood, or metal. Since it is one solid piece of construction, the bat is much stiffer during impact. And, it has less flex while swinging.
What is a Two-Piece Softball Bat?
In a two-piece bat, the barrel and the handle are built separately and are then joined together to form a complete piece. They are also known as hybrids because the barrel and the handle can either be made out of the same material or different materials.
Quick Overview of One-piece vs. Two-piece Softball Bats
Although the bird’s eye view won’t be nearly as comprehensive as the detailed section, I have it here to help you skim through the important stuff. But if you feel like you want to know more and get 100% sure about what bat can bring out your A-game, read the detailed discussion below.
Note: A lot of people who want to know about 1-piece and 2-piece bats also like to find out the difference between single-wall and double-wall bats. So, if you’re in the same league, go here.
|Construction||One Solid Piece||Two Separate Pieces|
|Material||One Single Material (composite, wood, or metal)||One or More Materials (composite, wood, or metal)|
Difference Between One-Piece and Two-Piece Softball Bats
Here I’ve outlined the key differences between one-piece and two-piece softball bats.
Once-piece softball Bats:
- Based on construction, one-piece bats are preferred by power hitters and by those who have fast swing speeds. You can swing powerful hits with these bats. The less flex in the bats transfers maximum energy to the ball at the point of contact.
- One-piece bats don’t have any vibration dampener. Any poor contact with the ball will cause a surge of vibrations from the barrel to the handle, and the player gets instant feedback. While many players prefer this feature, there are others who don’t.
- Fewer options – Since the one-piece bats are a solid piece, you don’t get a wide variety of selections.
Two-piece softball Bats:
- Two-piece bats are built for contact hitters. The flex in the bats gives a powerful whipping sensation and increases the trampoline effect.
- The connection joints in two-piece bats absorb the sting from mis-hits and deliver smooth swings.
- But, with two-piece ones, you get a good range of combinations to choose from. So, for example, you can get an aluminum barrel that is lightweight, durable and has a trampoline effect.
Advantages of One-Piece Softball Bats
A one-piece bat is quite rigid and has less flex in it. Because of this feature, it does not lose any power during the point of contact. Rather, it transmits the generated energy into the ball. You can swing powerful hits with this type of bat. It also allows you to swing at great speeds. Players with fast hands prefer 1-piece bats, especially for this reason. So, the quicker you swing the bat, the more powerful the hit will be.
When there is a mis-hit, there is a lot of vibration in the bat. With this, you can get honest feedback on how you are hitting. Since it is a solid piece of construction, there is no buffer in between that can absorb the vibrations that are generated. However, in modern bats, the materials that are used reduce the vibration to an extent.
Advantages of Two-Piece Softball Bats
With a two-piece bat, you will get a much smoother swing. It is only possible because of the design of the bat. Since it is made out of two separate pieces, the vibrations from the point of contact reduce by the time it reaches the handle. It also takes the sting out of any mis-hits. So naturally, the player feels more at ease while handling the bat.
As I mentioned above, a 2-piece bat will have more flex when you swing it. You get a whipping sensation when you swing the bat through the hitting zone. This is because the connection between the two parts creates a flex point. Also, it has more trampoline effect. Let me explain. It can generate and create more power to bounce the ball off the point of contact and into the zone. This is an added bonus for those who are not able to swing the bat quick enough or hit it hard.
Are 2-piece Softball bats better?
The 2-piece softball bat is more suited for those who have either average or below-average swing speed. By using this type of bat, the player can match up to the high-speed hitters. Also, contact hitters prefer this type of construction. They can swing the bat faster.
Looking for a Suggestion?
I’ve shed some spotlight on my favorite one-piece and two-piece bat here. Both are great. You can get a lot of use out of them if your fundamentals are good. Have a look and see for yourself.
Louisville Slugger Proven Fastpitch Softball Bat (One-Piece Softball Bats)
Louisville Slugger Proven Fastpitch Softball bat is one of the bats that are perfect for young beginners. It is lightweight. And it has a bat drop of -13. The drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and its weight. So, the bats that have a drop weight of – 10 or -9 are heavier, which can be difficult for a beginner to hold the stance right throughout the game.
It is a 1-piece construction design that is made out of composite material. One of the benefits of using a one-piece bat is the stiff swing. With the reduced flex in the bat, you will be able to get a solid feel at the point of contact. The swing weight is ultra-balanced and light, which is good for enhanced barrel control. You will be able to swing the bat at high speed. The barrel size is 2 ¼ inches. The sweet spots on the barrel are engineered for loud pops and a solid feel.
The handle is made out of wood, and the grip is a standard fastpitch grip with an improved cushion. The bats are available in a wide range of lengths, with 32 inches being the longest and 28 inches the shortest. So, that is six different sizes- 28”,29”,30”,31”, 32” and 33”. The weight also varies according to height. It starts from 15 ounces and goes up to 20 oz. These are the ranges that are available- 15oz, 16oz, 17oz, 18oz, 19oz, and 20oz.
Having the freedom to select from a good range of bats is one of the convenient aspects of this model because it is very crucial to choose the right length that goes with your height. Many a time, it is difficult to find the ‘ideal bat’ simply because there is no flexibility in the range of sizes.
The Proven is available in one body print. It is coated in a pattern of white, pink, and black. And, if you are wondering about the certifications, it is certified by the USSSA (Fastpitch only), USA Softball (ASA), NSA, WBSE, and ISA.
There is a downside to this bat. It stings while hitting the ball, so you will need some good-quality batting gloves to go along with it. As for the price, it ranges between $120 to $140. So, if your budget is somewhere around this range, then you can go for this one, but if it is any lower, then you can go for the ones that are more reasonable.
Miken DC-41 Supermax (Two-Piece Softball Bat)
When it comes to selecting 2-piece softball bats, there are tons of choices to choose from. And, sometimes narrowing it down to just the right bat can be more nerve-wracking than you may expect it to be. The Miken DC-41 Supermax is one of those bats that I believe meets all the demands of a player.
The cost of the bat is on the steeper end. The price ranges between $299 to $330. So, if you are on a budget, I would definitely not recommend this one. But if you are wondering, ‘is the bat worth the price?’ then the answer is yes.
As I mentioned before, it is a two-piece bat that is made out of composite material. One of the amazing aspects of this bat is its large sweet spots. The barrel is 14 inches long. And it is made out of exclusive C-4 carbon fiber. If you are not familiar with it, then here’s the gist – the carbon fiber maximizes the angle layup during the design process for enhanced performance and consistency.
The e-flex 360 barrel that is designed with the C-4 carbon fiber makes the barrel durable from all angles. So, you don’t have to worry about any cracks or dents. Also, it has maximum flex, which, again, improves the performance of the bat. The ergonomic F4P technology improves the energy transfer from the handle to the barrel, which, in turn, maximizes the barrel flex. As for the knob, the smaller A1 knob provides better comfort on the handgrips.
Unlike the Slugger, all the bats are of the same length, 34 inches. So, if you are looking for a range of selection in terms of bat length, then this is not the one for you. However, they do have bats of different weights – 26oz, 27oz, and 28oz. Good thing is – they are certified by the USSSA, GSL, ISA, and NSA – New USSSA 240 Compression NTS Tested.
Before getting into a heated battle on “what’s a great softball bat,” you should ask yourself, ‘what do I want?’ Both the one-piece and the two-piece softball bats have their own set of advantages. If you love throwing powerful hits every time the ball comes at you, then the one-piece bat is yours.
But if you don’t like the vibrational feedback from the strike and would rather prefer a dampener, then you can go for a two-piece softball bat. Also, they have more flex than a one-piece bat. So, it really comes down to your preference and playstyle. Once you understand your own game and get a bat that compliments it, you’ll start hitting homers faster and better. Cheers!