A number of sports played around the world are distinct due to the equipment used to play them, such as basketball hoops, golf clubs, tennis racquets, and most of all, baseball bats and catcher’s mitts. Baseball and softball are quite popular in North America and Japan, and athletes both professional and amateur will want the best possible gear for a good game. A number of trustworthy brands make softball bats and baseball bats and catcher’s mitts, and those bats may be either made of metal or wood. A softball bat off the shelf is ready for use, but some players prefer the benefits of softball bat shaving and rolling, and they can take a wooden bat to a rolling service or a metal bat to a shaving service to get it modified. There is also the option to find rolled bats for sale online as well as ready-for-use shaved bats, if that proves more convenient.
Softball Bat Shaving and Rolling: Wooden Bats
By tradition, baseball bats and softball bats are mode out of ash wood, and as a wooden bat is used, the pressure of striking balls will bend and break the natural wood fibers, which is to be desired. Once this has happened enough, a wooden bat becomes broken in, and it is more flexible and thus able to strike baseballs and softballs further than normal. A player may have a few prized broken-in bats in their collection for serious games, but for practice sessions, they may not like the idea of risking their prized wood bats and damaging them. So, softball bat shaving and rolling is done.
A wooden bat can be rolled at a bat rolling and shaving service, and this means passing that wooden bat through a series of pressurized rollers. In this way, the bat’s wooden fibers are properly distressed in a short period of time, but care should be taken so the bat is not simply cracked or damaged from the pressure instead. But when this process is done correctly, the end result is a rolled bat that performs similarly to a fully broken in bat, minus the time needed to break it in. Such wooden bats are ideal for casual games where league rules are not enforced, or for practice sessions, where they act as stand-ins for a player’s actual broken-in bats. But never should rolled bats be used in official games, since they are banned and experts can spot them on sight anyway.
Softball Bat Shaving and Rolling: Metal Bats
Meanwhile, many sports equipment brands today also offer metal baseball and softball bats, and unlike wooden bats, they are hollow. A metal bat’s interior features padding that protects the bat’s body during gameplay, but these metal bats can be doctored for enhanced performance. They cannot be rolled like wooden bats, since they have no natural fibers, but they can be shaved carefully at the hands of an expert at a bat rolling and shaving service. And if no services are nearby, an interested customer can look online to find shaved (or rolled) bats for sale on the secondary market and have them shipped.
A metal baseball bat will have its end cap removed to expose the hollow interior, and now the bat is placed on a lathe table and its interior is slowly fed to a rotating grinder. This grinder will scrape off a few ounces of material from the bat’s padding, though the shaver should be careful to prevent too much padding from getting removed this way. If too much padding is removed, the bat becomes too fragile to use and may shatter during gameplay. And no material should be removed at all from the handle for similar reasons. But once the shaving is done correctly, the bat’s end cap is put back on, and it is ready for use.
Like rolled wooden bats, a shaved metal bat is not allowed at sanctioned games, but it is ideal for use in casual games, where players may enjoy its enhanced performance. Take note, though, that shaved bats may suffer poor performance in temperatures under 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to use them in warmer weather, or indoors.