Custom Bat Builder - Criteria Breakdown

Grade Willow:

Grade 1 Plus - This is our top grade of bat. This bat will generally have 8 or more perfectly straight grains, but we do also grade some clefts on weight. Our lightest clefts that are able to produce the biggest bats, will be graded as Grade 1 Plus so we can achieve big light bats when fully made. Aesthetically, most of these bats will be absolutely beautiful, and should really pack a punch after pressing.

Grade 1 - This is our 2nd best-looking bat. It will have at least 6 straight grains on the face, there may be some red wood on one of the edges, however the playing area will generally be very clean. There may be the odd spec or mark away from the hitting area, but still will not be to the detriment to the performance.

Grade 2 - This is still a very good quality piece of wood, perhaps with slightly more red wood, however this won’t be to the detriment of the performance of the bat. There will generally be at least 6 straight grains, with slightly more blemishes, pin knots or specks visible. The best value piece of wood by far.

Grade 3 - A continuation of the Grade 2, this bat will have slightly less grain and a few more marks & blemishes, however this again does not impact on performance. These clefts generally have 3-6 grains and if pressed correctly they can perform as well as any of the grades of bat that we stock. 

Butterfly Grade - This is a cleft with a visible stain in the wood that has been caused by stress during the growth period of the tree. Butterfly clefts can be seen with small stains occurring once or more through the grain, or with a lot more red and darker colour featuring throughout the blade. These clefts are overlooked by retail, therefore smaller manufacturers like ourselves manage to find good supply of these bats. The stains tend to add strength to the grain, however if pressed correctly the bat can still perform as well as any other grade of willow.

Weight - It’s important to be happy with the feel of your bat, however the pick-up is arguably more important than the scale weight of the bat. While we pride ourselves on accuracy when crafting bats to customer specification, we always try and ensure that bats feel as good as they should, if not better than the weight ordered. Distributing the weight throughout the bat is where our skill and craftsmanship comes into it's own.

Bat size - While most cricketers opt for a regular short handle bat, some people prefer a long handle, some a longer blade, while some prefer a super short handle. We can cater for all these requirements. Should you wish for something not on the drop-down list, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Handle type

Oval Handle: The oval handle was originally pioneered to prevent bat twist when the ball strikes away from the centre of the bat, and thus reducing the amount of energy lost in the the shot. Nowadays players seem to prefer the oval handle for the feel it provides in the bottom hand grip. It also helps reduce a tight bottom hand grip and therefore improves shot making in the ‘V’.

Round Handle: The round handle allows the bottom hand to be the more dominant hand in shot making, and is particular helpful for players who like to use their wrists to generate speed.

Semi Oval: The semi oval handle is a mix between the two, its neither too oval, nor too round. This Handle shape is more popular than oval, as it a nice mix between the two. 

Toe shape

Round Toe: The most traditional, common, and most popular toe shape. A round toe can help prevent wear and tear in the toe region, especially if you’re a bit of a ‘tapper’!

Square Toe: In recent years the square toe has made a comeback and is commonly used by professional players. Square toes are however more susceptible to yorker damage and general toe wear and tear, so this is something worth considering.

Extra round toe: Again, this is down to preference, but a bat with a more rounded toe will pick up better than a bat with a square toe.

Sweet spot position - The sweet spot or the middle of the bat is the part of the bat where you are looking to strike the ball most of the time. Hitting the ball at the sweet spot ensures that you achieve the largest amount of power in the shot you are playing. The middle is dictated by the profile through the back of the bat. You may want to consider a lower middle in the UK, especially if you play more on the front foot. On the other hand, you may want to consider a higher middle if you are playing on bouncier pitches, or if you play more off the back foot. 

Mid Spot: This middle position isn’t used too often in the UK, but is sometimes favoured by players who play more predominantly on the back foot. This middle position is also a good option if you want a meaty bat, but must have the lightest pick up possible.

Mid-Low Sweet Spot: This is the most common middle position, neither too low, or too high. It allows complete stroke play, while neither having the bulk of the wood too high, or too low. Bats with mid sweet spots generally pick up very well.

Low Sweet Spot; Front foot dominant players often favour a low middle, especially if they’re playing regularly on fairly low bouncing, club standard pitches. Bats with lower middles generally feel their weight, as opposed to it feeling better than the scale weight suggests, this is due to more wood being kept in the lower region of the blade.

Extra Low Sweet spot: On the more extreme end of the scale, we can make bats with extra low middles to replicate more old school shapes.