It’s difficult to find information on which BBCOR bats are the most balanced and have the lightest swing weights. Ultra-light swing weights are needed for young, smaller, first time BBCOR players. It would be great if you did a comparison of lightest swinging BBCOR’s for smaller players. Why don’t you ever measure the balance points of the bats that you review? This is valuable information for consumers that is impossible to find. You have access to all the bats, so why not take a few minutes to measure this and include it in every bat review. It is as helpful as the size of the barrel information that you include when you use those 2 5/8″ disks.
Dear Great Question,
Great question. It shows you’ve been thinking of it. We had the same questions when we started doing this 4 years ago.
We do measure the balance point of every bat. However, you will quickly find this creates more questions than it actually answers. Hence the reason we do not provide it. To name a few:
1) We would argue that balance points are not as valuable as you might first think.
Balance points are not the definition of swing weight. They are one piece of the equation, but the real determining factor in swing weight is the pendulum period of the bat and its length. You can see how to calculate this on our site by searching for swing weight calculator. Information on the balance point without the other data points would, ultimately, be useless and potentially misleading information. Here is a mostly terrible video of how to calculate swing weight in your basement:
(You can find our baseball bat swing weight calculator here).
2) We do have every bat, but not every size of every bat.
This creates even a bigger problem when you realize that balance points change as each length changes. And those changes are not uniform to the brand or model.
As a ficticious example, imagine bat A in a 32 inch has a balance point at 18 inches. And bat B’s 32 inch bat has a balance point at 18.5 inches. Does that mean that Bat A’s 33 inch bat has a balance point at 19 inches and bat B’s 33 inch bathas a balance point at 19.5 inches? The answer is no. We’ve measured examples where the 33 inch bat B might have the same 18 inch balance point while Bat A’s balance point changed with length. Its terribly inconsistent across lengths and models. And different manufacturers have entirely different standards. It really is comparing apples to oranges.
3) Further if a 31 inch bat has a balance point at 17 inches and the 32 inch bat has a balance point at 17.5 does this mean the 33 inch has a balance point at 18 inches?
The answer, sadly, is no. Even with the same brand, balance points do not adjust proportional to the length of the bat. Its terribly weird and a dissapointment we found early on in our bat reviewing.
Anyways, thanks for reading and asking a great question. Its probably the best we’ve yet to have in this little Dear Bat Guy thing we are doing.
And by way of being helpful instead of disagreeable, the lightest swinging bats are the ones with the shortest lengths in total.
We have a 14 year old son who is very small. I’ve looked far and wide for the lowest swinging BBCOR bat. And the answer is it is always the shorter ones. Three bats are made in a 29 inch BBCOR bat: the 617 SOLO (the one we chose), Eastons Z-Core Speed, and Louisville Slugger’s 517 Omaha. Those, in the 29 inch, are the three lightest swinging BBCOR bats on the market.
Here is an article discussing it at least a little bit…
Thanks again for your Great Question
Thanks for the quick reply. I do understand all the issues with different length bats of the same brand and model. You would have to state this every time you list a balance point… I agree, not ideal. But if you are comparing 2 bats of the same length and drop weight, it is still a valuable spec to consider. I have compiled a small list for myself of balance weights that I have carefully obtained.
If you have a smaller kid, as you have, you know that it is crucial to know swing weights and balance. I found a drop 8 Senior bat that works well for my 80 lb. son based on balance point specs Mizuno customer service measured for me (and other brands for comparison). The best way to feel the swing weight is to swing a bat and hit balls, in my opinion, but all bats are not available to even pick up in a store. I was a tennis professional, and I can make a decent assessment of balance when having bats to compare as it is similar to comparing rackets.
I am looking at the Solo and the Demarini Voodoo One balanced. I think they have similar balance points in their 30/27 bats but not certain. Were you able to compare these 2 bats? The Solo has many reviews on line about a defective knob that disconnects. Have you heard of this flaw? How does your son like the solo, if you don’t mind me asking?
Thanks so much for your help. I have enjoyed your website a lot in the past two years.
We love the SOLO. Have had no problems with it. We actually have it in a few different sizes. I would highly recommend it. Our educated guess would be the 30 Solo swing lighter than the Balanced One because of its use of the composite end cap.
Thanks for reading and good luck! Tennis rackets care a serious amount about swing weight so I understand where you are coming from.
Thanks for the insight. We will try and be more deliberate in that explanation about balance points in our reviews. When we went away from that a few years ago we were good at talking about it. Now, we have likely failed to point out our reasoning often enough. Thanks for the reminder and insight.
Wanted to add that I saw this website blog…. https://www.99bats.com/blog/
You can click on various bats to compare the balance points. It looks like they use the same lengths, but I hope they did this accurately.
I had run across that site before. It is fun to see a vendor finally step up to the plate, so to speak, and give us some good metrics. They are in a position to do so as they actually have every bat and every size. I suspect there is at least something we can gather from those pictures, but I fear it is not as much as their blog post implies it is.
As we mentioned earlier, and not to belabor the point as I am sure we understand each other, the pendulum period is independent of balance point. And, the pendulum period has an exponential effect on swing weight while the balance point is only geometric.
As well, it turns out that all 32-inch BBCOR bats are not similarly weighted. I know manufacture’s print 29 ounces on the bat, but rarely do 29 ounce bats weigh exactly 29 ounces. As such, comparing balance points of similarly sized bats is not the same as comparing swing weight.
As such, knowing the science of mass moments of inertia, we are not sure how the information on that page is helpful. And we think it a bit of a disservice for them to imply it is telling people something that it is not. We don’t think their intentions are bad. But their conclusions are not accurate.
For your future reference, in case you have yet to find it, the equation is this:
Swing weight = ((Pendulum period)^2 * Total Mass * Gravity Constant * Balance Point) / 4 * 3.14^2.
Gravity’s Constant is a known. But, even if we have all balance point data on the planet we are still two guesses away from the actual swing weight. (Pendulum Period and Actual Weight).
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