Since posting about our “Axe Bat BP Giveaway”, I have gotten a number of questions regarding the Axe Bat and the theory behind the unique design of their patented handle and the durability of the barrel. With the influx of questions coming in, I thought I would dedicate a blog specifically to the benefits of the Axe bat and the information that backs up those proposed benefits.
If you are not familiar with the Axe bat design and what sets it apart from other manufacturers, start by looking at the handle. For baseball (all materials, including wood), fastpitch and slowpitch bats, the handle is angled and designed similar to that of the end of an axe – hence the name “Axe Bat”. For those of you that are wondering “why?” and “who came up with that idea?”, it starts with Ted Williams.
The Red Sox great, and arguably greatest MLB hitter of all time, compared swinging an axe to that of swinging a baseball bat. You are trying to put the blade in the same spot on the tree, just as you try to put the bat on the same plane as the baseball when trying to make contact. Williams was so consumed by this idea that part of his training in the offseason involved swinging an axe. Being that the swings are similar, one might wonder why an axe has the handle design that it does, while a baseball bat is shaped differently. If the knob of a baseball bat is so beneficial, wouldn’t it be on an axe as well? Vice versa?
Well, back when baseball bats were originally engineered, they were shaped on a lathe – in which case, they HAD to engineer circular knobs, since the lathes would only spin and grind in a circular motion. Nowadays, we have the technology and know-how to build and cut bats differently. Why not use this technology? So many other parts of bats have developed and advanced throughout the years – composite barrels, end caps, grips – but the circular knob has stayed consistent. Baden has decided to take Williams’ theory, buy into it and put it to the test – a test that provided some interesting results.
A study, conducted by Vijay Gupta, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering (along with a team), was used to evaluate “injury potential, comfort, consistency of swing and transfer of power to the ball”. It was compiled of several NCAA Division I players that “were filmed at 1,000 frames p/s using a high-speed camera”. This film was then analyzed to determine difference in micro-movements between to the two handle and grip designs.
The conclusion to the study showed the following:
The Axe bat…
- Is more comfortable
- Improves performance based on bat handle kinematics and enhanced grip stability
- Delivers more efficient power from the hands to the bat, through reduced tension
- Creates additional bat rotational speed by adding force over a greater swing angle
- Improves bat control and reduces pain by controlling the velocity of oscillations which hammer the knob between the fingers and hypothenar area of the palm
- Reduces hamate bone and ulnar nerve injuries and incidents of thrown bats, by removing localized pressures from the hypothenar region”
So some of you may be impressed by the results and the claimed efficiency of the patented Axe handle, however there has been concern regarding the hitting surface of the bat. Specifically speaking to the fact that if you hold the bat a certain way every time, you will hit the ball against the barrel along the same hitting plane, every time. Wouldn’t this cause the barrel to break down sooner? Well, for other manufacturers, yes it would – but, the Axe bat creators get to design their bat knowing the specific hitting area ahead of time. Because of this, they have created an “engineered hitting zone” of the bat as a solution. A great analogy for this hitting zone we received from Axe bat would be a golf club. Think about the design of a driver, for instance. It is specifically engineered for contact on a certain area. The back of the club is not designed for contact, but the front surface is designed to take hit after hit, without breaking down quickly. Not only reinforced, but also designed to help the golfer by anticipating the whip and contact point, to get the most out of his or her drives. The same thought goes into the design of the Axe bat barrel. The engineers focus on 270 degrees of the barrel for contact, while the remaining 90 degrees is not. By understanding where contact is made (whether lefty or righty) they can create a hitting zone for increased performance and anticipate where the bat will need to flex – creating more efficient whip through contact.
The Axe bat from Baden is one of the most advanced and innovative designs we have yet to see on the market. Others may try to imitate what Axe bat has created, but at the end of the day, there is only one Axe bat.
Have additional questions on these bats? Interested in purchasing one? Please, contact our Customer Service department for assistance!
Customer Service can be reached at:
United States: 888-771-3111
AK, HI & Canada: 951-479-4555
International: +001 951-479-4555