How to knock in your new Cricket Bat

Why do you knock-in a cricket bat?

Knocking in is absolutely vital to the longevity of your new cricket bat. Without knocking in, your bat is vulnerable to damage, particularly to the toe and edges of the bat face. Knocking-in compresses the fibres on the face and helps prevent heavy dents and seam marks that can turn into cracks.

How long should you knock-in your new cricket bat for?

There is no ‘correct’ amount of time that should be spent on knocking in a cricket bat. Every bat will have a different time requirement, due to how 'hard' the bat has been pressed.

The amount of time your new bats needs will soon be evident judging by the size of indentation you make when striking it with a mallet. If the indentation in the bat face is large, then it is fair to judge that it's going to require more time knocking in. Likewise if the indentation is not so big, you've probably got a bat that is been quite firmly pressed, and there requires less time knocking. 

If you're unsure, then 1-2 hours is a good amount of time to spend knocking your bat in, before heading to the nets. 

Is it possible to knock a cricket bat in too much?

You can never give a new bat too much knocking-in preparation before use. As long as you build up slowly with the amount of force you use with the mallet, there is very little risk of damaging the blade. Your bat will appreciate as long as you can give to knocking-in before you use it for the first time.

Can you knock a bat in without oiling?

Yes, you can. If you are going to do this though, we recommend applying an anti scuff sheet to the blade prior to doing so. For more information on initial bat preparation, please visit our Bat Preparation Guide.


The focus of ball striking when knocking in your new cricket bat should be to the toe, and edges of the cricket bat.

The toe: It is vital to 'round the toe off' as we call it. When a bat is brand new, the toe and edges will be more square than they ever will be again. This is evident when you compare your new bat, to your old one. Years of ball striking will slowly round off these edges through lots of little indentations being made by the ball. The aim through knocking in, is to speed up this process by repeated strikes with a mallet. It is absolutely vital to do this to the toe, as the toe is one of the highest impact areas of the bat, with the vast majority of damage stemming from the toe of the cricket bat. 

The edges: The same applies to the edges. However, it is absolutely vital that you follow our recommendation carefully here. Lots of brands including some major ones, want to encourage mallet striking to the actual edge of the bat, and to the angle of the edge. We do not recommend this method of rounding off the edges of your new cricket bat.   

To knock in the edges of your new cricket bat, or to 'round the edges off' as we call it, we recommend strikes with the mallet that replicate ball striking. This means striking the face of the bat up to the edge, but never on the angle, or on the actual edge of the bat. The edge of the bat is not pressed in the production process, so this part of the bat is much softer than the face. When you decide to strike the edge of the bat, there is a huge risk of causing damage such as mini surface cracks, that will appear from striking unpressed wood with the mallet.

It's also vital build up with the amount of force you use when striking the bat.

Look & Feel: You can check this by running your hand down the face to feel, or holding it up to the light to see the indentations. If the dents are large, hold back with the force and apply a little less, and build up. Striking too hard too soon, can cause damage to the bat. If the dents are small or not visible, strike more firmly until you are happy, and then you can head to the nets. As Sam's old mentor taught very often said ‘You can never give them too much’ when it comes to knocking in.

Nets: You should never go straight into a game and use your new bat, no matter how much you’ve knocked it in. You should first expose it to old balls in the nets, and see how the bat reacts. Seam marks are a given, but if these seam marks are quite deep then you should go back a step and do more knocking in.

As you become happy that your bat is nearly ready for use, steadily use newer balls and again, see how it reacts. This ‘playing in’ period is vital to ensure you don’t inflict early and unnecessary damage to your bat.  

Use it! You’re going to have to use your bat in a game eventually. Perhaps if you bat down the order and have followed our preparation steps, then you may be able to use your new bat slightly earlier than you would if you open the batting against the new ball. New balls and new bats have been rivals since cricket was first played!

Our key knocking in recommendation: Replicate the way the ball would strike the bat during a game, in your knocking in.

One key warning: Never use your new bat against a bowling machine. The balls are much heavier, they come at you much faster, and they have the potential to cause major structural damage to your bat. This is one of the biggest myths regarding knocking in a new cricket bat. Cricket bats are made for cricket balls, use them!