DeMarini's CF line of baseball bats are, arguably, the most popular bats on the planet. We have hit, and reviewed, every CF series since the CF3. That is, every CF bat in existence since 2011. DeMarini's two piece composite design has made considerable strides over that time. And, considering the CF3 was a pretty fantastic bat, the 2018 CF Zen is remarkable in so many ways. Count the following as the beginning of our 2018 Demarini CF Zen Review.
DeMarini makes a CF series of bats in an end loaded version too. They refer to this as a CF Insane.
2018 CF Zen Identification
If DeMarini does anything well, it is the ability to deliver innumerable color and style options on marquee bats. Not too many years ago the idea of custom bats was unheard of. And the ability to identify a bat from a distance was something we took a ton of pride in. Today, however, Demarini's numerous iterations take a very trained eye and a slow camera.
From DeMarini's Instagram account we took the above image. Although it looks ike there are at least 10 different models, the truth is those are just the DeMarini Cf Zen, CF Voodoo Insane and CF Voodoo One. We can't tell, just by the pictures, if that if there are any balanced or end loaded versions of the Insane or CF. But, the point is, there really are just 3 different bats in the above pictures. Granted, a few are the 2018 version, but the custom color options and unique graphics make every angel of those bats difficult to identify.
2018 CF Zen Recommendations
To date we have hit with the CF Zen BBCOR line extensively. Several different players at different skill levels used the bat. We think we have a good feel for where this bat will play well. And, frankly, much of that information is gathered from our previous years review. As some general guidlines, the following is our suggestion as to the players that will like the 2018 CF Zen.
Why You Might Like
- The bat's swing weight and feel at contact is what most average to very good players love.
- The new 3-fusion connective piece gives a real tight feel at contact.
- The bats performance across the barrel is unbeatable
- A number of sizing options and drops to fit about any player's needs
Why You Might Not Like
- The Price
- Very, very strong hitters (like college players) tend to prefer a stiff single piece aluminum bat. The 2018 CF Zen is not that.
What's New with the 2018 CF Zen
2017 D-Fusion vs 2018 3-Fusion
The most significant change from the 2017 Zen to the 2018 Zen is the change in the connective piece. We are currently still gathering information on this new piece so will reserve our commentary for the time being.
2018 DeMarini CF Zen Review
The largest repository of Demarini CF Data is found on this site. You can see any of the previous year's versions here. And, the 2017 version is the most like the 2018 version. We suspect you will find that one the most useful.
You may also find the review of DeMarini's 2018 Fastpitch bat line useful. Although referred to as the CFX, the bat line is similar in terms of the new 3-fusion handle.
2018 DeMarini Lineup Overview
In time, we will discuss the entire Louisville Slugger lineup. Below is a rough draw on where we think the 718 will fit in the 2018 Slugger line. Expect this to change as we gather more information.
- Single Piece
- Ligth Swing
- Smaller Barrel
- Hand Ring
Insane Endload & Balanced Version
- Great User Ratings
- Not Composite Barrel
- No Extra Light Swings?
Endload & Balanced Version
- Light Swing
- Great Performing Barrel
- Work in Period
2018 Demarini CF Zen In Depth Review
2017 vs 2018 Zen Construction
The major change in the CF line really happened between the CF8 and the CF Zen. There, the composite structure changed and the barrel was made larger.
The change from the 2017 Zen to the 2018 Zen lies in the difference of the connective piece. Instead of a D-fusion handle, DeMarini now refers to this as the 3-Fusion connection.
This connective change is a stiffer connection that allows for more power transfer, less give and an upgraded look.
2018 CF Zen Comparable Bats
When we started writing reviews 4 years ago, there were only a couple of two piece composite bats in the market. Today, however, there are several. Each trying to get a piece of the pie the CF series and Easton MAKO/S1 series created from scratch.
As such, there are several "comparable" bats by way of construction. Two piece composites can be found in Easton's Ghost, Rawlings' Quatro, Axe's Avenge, Slugger's 918, Adidas' Aero Burner, Marucci's Hex Connect and at least a few more.
In terms of pedigree and proven performance then the Easton Ghost might be the only true competitor to the CF Zen. Especially in the big barrel or senior league space.
2018 CF Zen Sizing
Although the full model has yet to be released, the Demarini CF Zen should be available in the following sizes:
- BBCOR 29 to 34 inch
- Big Barrel Drop 12
- Big Barrel Drop 10
- Big Barrel Drop 8
- Big Barrel Drop 5
- USAbat Bat