Old Hickory bats come with the sense of timeless classic design that you’ll never find in many modern bats these days.
It’s true that the brand incorporates modern technology in manufacturing their bats.
After all, it’s a relative newcomer to the industry. It started only in 1999, and like many new companies that have enjoyed meteoric success it started out in a small garage.
But they soon outgrew that garage as they became more and more successful.
Now they have combined showroom and manufacturing plant near Nashville, Tennessee that occupies more than 65,000 square feet.
Hundreds of players all over the world use their bats including Mike Trout, the current MVP of Major League Baseball.
In a hurry? Just looking for a cheap Old Hickory bat?
What’s So Special about Old Hickory?
Many brands in baseball have long histories with legends using their equipment and apparel.
In comparison, Old Hickory (despite the “old” in its name) is a newcomer.
This is why its success in having the MVP use their bat is so outstanding.
Most of the time, baseball players are traditionalists, yet Old Hickory has achieved a lot of success in so short a time.
They don’t even use hickory for their bats. Mike Trout uses a maple bat. If you want a custom bat, you can choose between rock maple (hard maple), northern white ash, and birch.
Yet the brand is great for 3 reasons
The quality control is meticulous, as they have very stringent standards before they ship their Old Hickory baseball bats.
They’re craftsmen, and not just assembly line manufacturers.
- They’re very democratic in the availability of their bats.
The bats they sell to the general public are given the same attention and care that they give to the bats they provide for the pros.
In fact, they’re all cut from the same wood as the bats pros use.
They also offer superb exemplary service. They’re not a distant monolithic company that doesn’t care about what its customers think.
Instead, they welcome questions, comments, and feedback, and they’re very quick in settling problems and issues with their bats.
These reasons illustrate the classic vibe you get from Old Hickory, and that’s why the brand name is so apt.
After all, the first baseball bats were made from hickory.
They were soon replaced by lighter and better wood types, just as Old Hickory wants to take its place among the oldest companies in the baseball industry
Video of How Old Hickory Bats Are Made
Which Type of Wood Is Right For You?
Many players like wood bats because they’re traditional and baseball pros use them.
Admittedly, a wood bat doesn’t have the trampoline effect that gives the baseball more pop upon contact. But you can do that if you learn to hit the ball and give it more backspin upon contact.
A wood bat is a sign that a player is really good, if they can match the hitting stats of other players using aluminum or other metal types of bats.
So which wood should you choose? With Old Hickory wood bats, your choices are rock maple, northern white ash, and birch.
Rock maple. This remains a popular choice, since it’s the preferred wood of Mike Trout.
It’s very lightweight and yet it’s the densest and the strongest wood of them all.
It doesn’t have much of a “give” so upon contact more of the energy is transferred to the ball.
The distance of the baseball can go 10 to 15 feet farther with a rack maple bat compared to a bat made from a different wood.
If you’ve been playing for a long while as a slugger, then this the wood bat you’ll want.
You’ll feel that satisfying sensation of crushing the ball, and you’ll hear the gratifying sharp loud pop whenever you make solid contact.
It looks good too. It seems shiny somehow, and the grain structures aren’t as obvious. The wood also can be engraved easily.
On the other hand, Old Hickory maple bats aren’t really the easiest bat for a newbie. The sweet spot is smaller, and it doesn’t suit hitters who tend to hit the ball off the end of their bat.
Northern white ash. This was the wood that replaced the hickory as the wood for baseball bats, and it’s the favorite of players who prefer vintage styles.
It’s the lightest of the woods here, and you’ll get a greater bat speed.
It also offers a huge sweet spot for spray hitters, and it’s very forgiving if you mishit because it’s naturally porous.
It also gives a trampoline effect so it feels like the ball is jumping off the bat.
The look is also very natural, as the grains are highly visible.
However, it’s not very hard at all. It’s actually the wood bat that’s most likely to break in the handle when you get jammed by an inside pitch and you hit the ball near the handle.
Birch. Metal bats can make average players seem like excellent hitters, but a wood bat can expose all the mistakes a hitter has in their form.
Players who have used metal bats all their lives will appreciate the transitional nature of birch bats, as it’s the best choice for first-timers to wood bats.
Its density is between maple and ash, so you have some of the strength of maple and some of the flex of ash.
Since its strength is nearly that of maple, you won’t have to worry as much about broken handles when you get inside pitches.
It does have its downsides, though. First you have to break it in by hitting balls with it so it firms up. Then when you use it, it will flex if you tend to mishit the ball at the end of the bat.
Its weight is also quite similar to maple, so it may not be the best option for youth bats.
If you’re an adult, however, it seems clear that you should stick to maple. It gives you the most pop and it looks good.
The smaller sweet spot isn’t a drawback at all. It’s a challenge you simply have to overcome so you can be a better hitter.
If you’d rather have bamboo baseball bats then I have this whole page dedicated to those.
An Interview With The Owner
Old Hickory Bats to Choose From
At this point, you’re probably leaning towards using a wood bat or even an Old Hickory bat in particular.
You may even have settled on maple as your preferred choice.
But you still have to pick the particular bat you want, since Old Hickory offers several models of maple bats.
However, we’ve narrowed down the list to those with 2 1/2-inch medium/large barrels.
That makes them within the 2 5/8-inch barrel limit you often see in high school, college, and amateur leagues. The size should be big enough for both power hitters and contact hitters.
All of these also come with a drop 3 ratio. Here are some of your best options:
Old Hickory Rock Maple Black/Natural Wood Baseball Bat
This comes with a black barrel and a natural (clear lacquer) handle. The different colors in the bat train you to keep the contact area on the black part of the bat.
This bat is 33 inches long, and that’s the most common bat length for adults. It’s not too short that you don’t cover the home plate well, and yet it’s not too long (if you’re not too tall) to control properly.
The barrel tapers to a thin handle that measures 29/32 of an inch. This thin handle allows your hands to rotate more quickly, and that means the bat head rotates more quickly too.
A thick handle may not let your get that bat head going as quickly.
Finally, it has a flared knob, which means the base of the handle flows smoothly into the knob. This lets you have a confortable follow-through in your swing. All these are part of the KG1 model from Old Hickory.
Old Hickory Rock Maple Natural Wood Baseball Bat
This is a good looking bat, as the natural maple look goes all the way along the full length of the bat. This is also made of rock maple and also 33 inches long.
However, this comes with a thicker handle that measures 31/32 of an inch. This makes it more suitable if you tend to mishit near the handle or you tend to get a lot of inside pitches.
The thicker handle means that it’s less liable to break when you mishit the ball near the handle when you get an inside pitch.
Finally, it also uses a standard knob. It’s works very well in preventing the bat from slipping from your fingers.
It’s also provides a familiar feeling in the grip of the handle, and that’s important when you’re hitting. You don’t want any distractions when you’re hitting!
Old Hickory Bat Co KG1 Black/Natural
This also comes in that classic design with black for the barrel and natural wood for the handle. This is more affordable because it’s for youth play.
The barrel is 2 1/4 inches and it tapers to a thin handle with a flared knob.
For kids, it offers great balance and the wood makes them feel like they’re in the Major Leagues. The typical Old Hickory bats review from parents gush about how confident their kids are when they use this.
Old Hickory Rock Maple Natural Wood Baseball Bat
This has the same specs as #2 on this list, with a 2 1/2-inch barrel, a thick handle at 31/32 of an inch, and a standard knob.
What’s different is that this is a bit shorter at 32 inches.
For some players (especially those of high school age), the shorter length makes it easier to control and swing.
Old Hickory Rock Maple Wood Baseball Bat
This has all the specs of the KG1, and only the look is different.
The barrel is black and the handle this time is a bit darker with its gunstock stain.
It still measures 33 inches long, with a 2 1/2-inch barrel, 29/32 of an inch for the handle, and a flared knob.
Conclusion on Old Hickory Baseball Bats
You don’t have to be a pro like Mike Trout to use a wood bat. You just need to be ambitious and determined to be the best player you can be.
Aluminum bats can hide your defects, but Old Hickory bats made of wood will tell you where you can improve.
For many, that drive to improve is one of the main goals of playing baseball—aside from having fun.
With these Old Hickory baseball bats, you can do both.