Is it time to be looking for a new softball bat for your 6U or 8U youth? Are you wanting to skip the hours of research that it takes to figure out the best bats that you should consider? If your answer is “yes” then you’re in the right spot! Bat buying is not the most enjoyable task to tackle, but it’s something that we all must do since new softball players are always joining teams, and the current players are outgrowing their last season’s model. So relax, take a look through the models we thoroughly researched and find your little softball players’ next bat.
Just to make it clear, we firmly believe that the best way to find the right bat is by swinging it. If your interested in a bat you see on here, try and find somewhere local to demo the bat before purchasing it.
When buying your 6U or 8U player a bat, you first need to decide what size and type of bat she should be hitting.
There are a few things you need to consider when looking for the right softball bat.
- League Association
- Bat Type
When buying a bat, if you get a bat that is too long it can sometimes be very difficult for your child to swing. On the opposite end, you don’t want a bat that is too short for your child either. A good rule of thumb to remember is that a child under 60 pounds will usually do best with a bat between 26″-29″ and a child over 60 pounds will do best with a bat between 28″-32″. For a child just starting out, if they are in the 3′-3’4″ height range then 26″ is a good starting length for their first bat. For every 4-5″ that they grow, you should add 1″ to their bat length.
After you have figured out the proper length bat for you child, the next thing you should consider is weight of the bat. A bat that is too heavy will cause a much slower “draggy” swing with poor control that results in bad contact or all out strikes. When looking at bats, you will notice that many bats won’t show the actual weight but instead will show the drop weight. The drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat. In other words LENGTH – WEIGHT = DROP WEIGHT. For example, a bat that is 27″ and a weight of 17oz would have a drop weight of -10. For 6U and 8U players you will most likely be looking at bats with a (-13.5)-(-10) drop with the consideration that their bat is between 24″-29″.
Every league has their own rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed pertaining to equipment. When it comes to bats, the manufacturer stamps the bats with the logo of whatever certification that bat has. If you’re not sure if the bat you’re looking at is approved for your league then you should check with the coaches or read the league’s rule book to make sure the bat you are considering is allowed before purchasing it.
There are 3 main types of softball bats, when it comes to the material they are made out of. Alloy bats, Composite bats and Hybrids bats which are basically a mix of the two with the handle being composite and the barrels being alloy. Here we will show a few pros and cons of each material to help you decide which bat will work best for your child.
- Usually much less expensive than composite bats
- Ready to use at purchase, no break in required
- Often outlasts a composite bat since they usually don’t crack (instead they dent). A composite bat is unusable once cracked.
- Alloy usually has a smaller sweet spot and less pop than a composite bat
- Less sting on your hands from mis-hit balls due to the reduced vibration in these bats
- Larger sweet spot and more pop than an alloy bat
- Bats require a break-in period
- More expensive than alloy bats
– Hybrid Pros
- Usually cost less than a full composite bat
- No break in period
- Less sting and vibration due to the composite handle
- Longer barrel life than a composite (due to the barrel end being alloy)
- Costs more than a full alloy bat
- Handle can be susceptible to cracking
- Not always legal in every league
Now, let’s get to the bats!
Best Bat For Beginners
The Easton Pink Sapphire is a -10 drop alloy bat which is great for beginners entering into softball. We recommend this softball bat due to it’s extremely affordable price, great durability and many happy players (and parents) that have gotten this exact bat for their little ones.
Best Budget Hybrid (Composite/Alloy) Bat
The DeMarini Bustos is a -13 drop hybrid bat that utilizes a DX1 Alloy barrel paired with a fiber reinforced composite handle. With low hand sting, less vibrations, low price and a very satisfied following, the Bustos is a diamond in the rough when it comes to finding a quality hybrid softball bat at a price that is a bit lower than many other bats of similar quality.
Best Budget Alloy Bat
The Mizuno Jennie Finch is a -13 drop alloy bat that uses a one piece MZ 2200+ alloy design. If you’re wanting to stick with an alloy bat that works great for the 6U and 8U players, then look no further. Light, solidly made, pleasing to the eye, and easy on your wallet, you can’t go wrong with the Jennie Finch softball bat.
BEST OF THE BEST
If money isn’t an option and you feel that other bats hold your child back from her full potential, then the DeMarini CFX -11 is the bat you want in her hands. The CFX -11 uses a very strong Paraflex composite material for their barrel design that allows for more precise weight distribution, better flex, and great pop. The CFX -11 also has a 3Fusion System which basically gives the bat a better feel while reducing vibration by redirecting the energy back into the barrel instead of the grip. Although the CFX-11 is recommended for 12 and over, they do make a 28″/17oz and a 29″/18oz that some of the 8U girls could probably swing depending on their strength, height, and weight.