Comparing and contrasting the 2016 Easton MAKO and the 2016 Combat MAXUM can be rather straight forward. In short, the Easton MAKO vs the Combat MAXUM comes down to a two-piece vs a one-piece bat conversation. If you prefer the butter soft feel of a two piece bat—even on mishits—then the Easton MAKO (or other two piece composite bats) should be your option. If you prefer the feel and power associated with a one piece bat—and a slightly larger barrel than the MAKO—then the Combat MAXUM should be on your short list.
Check here for the 2016 Easton MAKO Review (The Game Changer as Your Game Changer) and here for the 2016 Combat MAXUM Review (2016 Combat MAXUM Review). Amazon price check is here for the MAKO and here for the MAXUM, respectively.
If you are looking for a real head to head conversation on the Easton MAKO vs the Combat MAXUM, then it would start with grasping the reality that an endloaded Combat MAXUM does not exist and a heavier weighted Easton MAKO is not made with a balance point toward the hands. That’s a mouthful, so let me be more deliberate.
When comparing swing weights between the 2016 Easton MAKO and the 2016 Combat MAXUM things get a bit trickier. The reason: Easton doesn’t produce a MAKO, with its famous balance point closer to the hands, in a low drop. Instead, when creating heavier swinging bats, Easton makes a new bat (called the Easton MAKO XL) and changes not only the drop of the bat, but also moves location of the balance point more toward the end cap. Combat, on the other hand, does produce a Maxum in lower drops with the same balance point close to the hands as the other lighter drops in the lineup.
Put another way, if you are looking for an end loaded two piece composite bat, then the Combat Maxum shouldn’t be your cup of tea since it’s built across its entire line up with a balance point more toward the knob. Neither would the MAKO fit your bill. Instead, you’d look for an Easton MAKO XL—which signifies not only a lower drop of bat, but also a balance point more toward the end cap.
From a sizing option standpoint, they both have a lot of options. In every size we measured and tried out, the MAXUM gets to its larger barrel size sooner than the MAKO. The difference is usually within an inch. Meaning, the Combat MAXUM does indeed have a longer barrel at max size, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot in the end.
Both the MAKO and the MAXUM come in a BBCOR drop 3. Also, they both come in a 2 5/8 Big Barrel in the drop 10 and drop 12 as well as a drop 10 in the 2 3/4.
In the Youth Barrel space (2 1/4) the MAKO comes in a drop 12 and drop 11. The MAXUM comes in a drop 12 and 10.
The Combat MAXUM comes in a drop 8 and drop 5 in the 2 5/8 big barrel (or senior league space). The Easton MAKO, as discussed above, is not released in lower drops. Instead, Easton produces an Easton MAKO XL version which comes with a deeper balance point in the drop 5 and drop 8 2 5/8 Big Barrel space as well as a drop 10 Easton MAKO XL in the 2 1/4 Youth Barrel space.
- The MAKO, at the time of this writing, can be found cheaper at auction than the MAXUM. This is due, at least in part, to the fact the MAXUM has an MSRP $50 more than the 2016 MAKO. As well, it’s possible the market values the MAXUM more therefore the explanation of its price difference.
- The Barrel Size of the Maxum gets to its maximum size about one inch sooner than the MAKO. The exception to this is the BBCOR bat where the barrels are nearly identical.
But, in short, figuring out if you would prefer a one piece composite (MAXUM) or a two piece full composite bat (MAKO) is the age old question in choosing a high performance bat. If you’ve only hit with one type (or neither) then it will be a difficult to really understand the differences, but that won’t keep us from trying to explain it here.
(For a much longer discussion on this topic we again refer you to our one piece vs two piece debate on another thread.)
Very generally speaking, a one piece full composite bat tends to give more direct feedback into the hands on mishits. In other words, it stings when you hit it incorrectly. As pitch and bat speeds increase this feedback (read: sting) gets more intense. But such pain and suffering doesn’t come without benefits. In particular, a one piece bat with direct feedback on the hands does two things:
- In theory, sting dampening mechanisms absorb energy—energy that could be transferred to the baseball. When the bat absorbs more energy, the baseball doesn’t go as far as fast. Hence, the use of a two piece bat which is intended to dampen sting will not hit a ball as far as a one piece bat.
- Like some form of abusive mentoring, a bat with direct feedback on the hands alerts the player when they’ve hit it wrong immediately. A one piece bat rarely gives the hitter the false impression they hit the ball well when they didn’t. On the other hand, it isn’t uncommon for two piece bat users to think they’ve “crushed” the ball only to watch it land on the warning track.
Comparatively, a two piece composite bat can do these two things for the hitter:
- It only takes a few major stings in the hands to send most ball player to the showers. As such, decreasing hand sting can increase reps and confidence at the plate. It would be hard to argue, even if a one piece bat can hit the ball farther and faster than a two piece bat, that confidence and time in the cage can be compensated for in any manner. Hence the reason we think more players tend to prefer two piece bats—it keeps them in the game longer.
- It could be argued that the fear of hand sting will decrease a player’s attack of the baseball. Losing confidence is one thing, but slowing down your swing because you fear hand-sting would be the proverbial self-destruct button of a one piece bat purchase.
In the end we’d be hard pressed to claim one bat is particularly better than the other. No doubt both the MAKO and the MAXUM are performance baseball bats built for the very serious player (and they both have a price point to prove it). On the whole, we’d guess the players who have a little more experience, and tend to hit the ball exceptionally well already, will better appreciate the Combat MAXUM—assuming, of course, they are not looking for an end loaded bat. Players who need a little give in their bats and need a bat that encourages lots of reps with a real buttery swing will instead, take to the 2016 Easton MAKO. That is assuming, of course, they don’t have a need for a low drop bat with a balance point more toward the end cap. Choose your weapon.