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Axe's entry level performance bat in 2018 is the Axe Element. This is a single piece bat with the knob and end cap tech that has made Axe a major brand in the bat space. The major change in this year's Element from last year's is the addition of a USABat to complement the USSSA Drop 10 and BBCOR drop 3. The following serves as our 2018 Axe Element Review.
Axe's website is a pretty legit place to find more information about the Axe Element.
Axe Element Recommendations
The Axe Element, in some fashion, has been produced in the last several years. It serves as the entry level bat in Axe's performance space. Buying the Element is the least expensive way to get the asymmetric handle on a knob in a performance bat.
(There is a bat Axe calls the Origin. It is built like the Axe Element but uses less impressive materials. For whatever reason, we do not consider the Origin in our performance bat categories. If you want the Axe Experience, we suggest you at least start with the Element at least.)
Our recommendations are divided by the type of Element you are looking for. That is: Big Barrel USSSA, USABAT and BBCOR
Big Barrel (USSSA)
There are few players in the drop 10 USSSA space that prefer a single piece aluminum over that of hybrid, two piece composite or single piece composite. The stiff nature of the single piece aluminum is not kind to the hands and often, as is the case with the Element, runs a heavier swing weight. That said, the player looking for as much power as possible in a drop 10, who is comfortable with a more focused sweet spot because they are an elite hitter, will like this bat a lot.
Also, we should note, the bat comes in a 2 5/8 drop 10 and a 2 3/4 drop 10. We know of no USSSA leagues requiring a 2 5/8 bat. But we don't keep track of every league, so there may be some. More than likely, the 2 5/8's are left overs from the 2017 season where USSSA 2 5/8's were used in PONY, etc. In other words, get the 2 3/4 if you can.
The USABat market is in such a unique place right now it is difficult to make sweeping recommendations. As a single piece aluminum in a drop 8 for a USABat there are at least a few we can think of that might need a bat like this. Cold weather players, for example, might appreciate the durability and the hand dampening of a drop 8 with an asymmetric handle. Stronger and more elite hitters whowant something more than a drop 10 and prefer the honest feedback of a single piece might like this bat too.
This bat will feel much different than the traditional two piece composite that younger players tend to prefer. But it also comes with a price point more palatable than those two piece composites.
The 2018 Element is built for a heavy hitter who prefers the stiff feel of a single piece bat. The bat's end load lends to players with strength. This is the exact type of bat a collegiate player, or strong high school player, would succeed with. Throw in the advantages of the asymmetric handle and we'd love to see some elite college players taking this firemaker to the plate this year.
Axe Element Sizing
The Element for 2018 comes in four models. They include the drop 8 USABat, the drop 10 USSSA 2 5/8, as well as a drop 10 2 3/4 USSSA bat. The final, and likely most popular, is the BBCOR drop 3.
Axe Element Comparable Bats
In all fairness to the Axe Element, and the Axe brand in general, there are simply no other bats on the market like the Axe. The oval knob and asymmetric end cap are simply not found elsewhere. Axe's patent makes it so.
But, if we are looking for a stretch similar bat, we think the Voodoo One might be a distant cousin. It, too, is a single piece aluminum made in the USSSA, BBCOR and USABat space. It is also a single piece aluminum built with a mild end load.
Axe Element Construction
The 2018 Element is a single piece aluminum bat with an endload that uses an asymmetric handle and end cap to improve swing performance.
It also uses an "Endogrid" system on the asymmetric knob which helps dampen sting. The Axe Endogrid is a synthetic piece that absorbs vibration.
We have long discussed the benefits of the unique Axe design. In short, an oval knob gives you better bat control and better bat control gives you better at bats. The knob's shape forces contact on one side of the barrel which gives engineers more ability to produce a durable bat.
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