Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review: Head to Head Analysis.
Easton’s S400 -8 2 5/8 Barrel
By my count, there are only two bats in 2014 that are FULL aluminum bats with a drop 8. They are the Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review. Both are drop 8 bats that come in the 2 5/8 barrel size only.
(If you add in the drop 9’s several more one piece aluminum bats show up on the radar: Easton’s S500 SL14S500, Rawlings’ 5150 Velo SLVEL9, Louisville Slugger’s Warrior SLWR14-RR and DeMarini’s Insane DXINR. There are a half dozen or so more when you add in two-piece or full composite bats with a drop 8 or 9).
Swing Weight Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review:
You’d think, since the S400 is from the speed series, that the Easton has a lower swing weight then the RX4. That is not the case. When compared by length, the RX4 has a marginally lower swing weight than the S500. At 32 inches the S500 is heavier to swing by 9% at the knob and 7% at 6 inches from the knob. The 31 inch it is 3% heavier to swing at the knob and 1% at 6 inches. The 30 and 29 inch is 9% and 6%. The 28 and 27 is 8% and 6% heavier to swing than the RX4.
It may feel, if you are good at telling these things by picking them up in the middle of the bat, that the S400 is a bit end-loaded when compared to the RX4. The S500 has a center of mass about 1% further down the barrel than the RX4. But the total distribution of weight makes the two models, by length, a pretty similar swing at the knob and an even more similar swing at 6 inches from the knob.
The table below shows the comparative swing weight (CSW) 6 inches from the knob of the bat. The CSW is normalized from the RX4 at 27 inches. The 31 inch S400, for example, requires 91% more torque to swing the bat when measured against the 27 inch RX4. (It also delivers 91% more power at the same swing speed).
Bat Length Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review:
The length of the bat (minus the handle) is in favor of the S500 by 3/8 of an inch as the knob of the RX4 is slightly thicker and, it appears, the overall bat length is a tiny bit shorter.
Aluminum Material Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review:
The bat with the better Aluminum (read pop and durability) is a bit of a mystery. The 7046 Aluminum in the Easton S400 is a known commodity for 20 some odd years in bats. It is durable and has a ping sound that established how a ping sound should sound (by the seashore?). The RX4 alloy (which is called RX4 Alloy) is Rawlings’ own blend and we aren’t told much about what it is. Based on the marketing pitch of the two and the fact that neither of these aluminums are the ones used in their own companies high end aluminum bats (S3: THT Scandium Alloy, Velo: 5150 Alloy) then I don’t think it much of a guess to assume the RX4 isn’t much different than the 7046. Based on the suggested retail price of each bat (roughly the same @ $80) I’m going to go out on a limb and say the RX4 alloy is just about no different than the 7046 Aluminum found in the S500. In other words, over their lifetime, I don’t expect any difference in durability and pop when comparing these two bats.
Conclusion Rawlings RX4 Easton S400 -8 Review:
In the end these two bats are very, very similar. The S400, when compared by length, does require more torque no matter how you swing. The S500 also gives you about 3/8 more bat to hit the ball with.
If you are looking for a new full aluminum bat in the sub $80 range then you’ll find a reasonable one in the RX4 or S400. I also wouldn’t hesitate buying used (assuming there are no dings or cracks) as these 7046 aluminum (RX4 alloy) bats will last have proven durability. In theory, Aluminum gets progressively less “poppy” over its lifetime so do try and find out how much the bat has been used. As well, if it is your game bat, I’d suggest trying to not use during BP if you can. Also, if you decide to buy used, pay attention to the bat grip and see if you can’t snag a sweet new bat grip for the used bat to give it that new feeling.