As club players we all want gun bats that last for years.
But the way bats are made means that you are going to have to choose between the two.
You see, each piece of willow was once a living thing. Each one has the variety of attributes associated with something found in the wild.
Bat makers will tell you that as each piece of wood is different it is hard to find any correlation between the numbers of grains and how well a bat will perform.
The number of grains can however give you an idea of how the bat will work over time.
The more grains on a bat, the stronger the wood.
This means the bat maker can afford to press the bat less to strengthen it initially, thus making the bat springier; giving the bat good ‘ping’ or better rebound attributes.
You get your gun.
But it comes at a price.
These bats have a shorter life time as they are pressed less hard; hence why pros use narrow grain bats to take advantage of these attributes with a disposable attitude if they break.
They can afford to chuck a broken one away several times a season.
Us mere mortals that have to buy our own bats need to strike a better balance.
A wider grain bat will need to be pressed more during its crafting. These bats have a longer life time due to their ‘harder’ feel.
But you lose out on that world-class ping.
A good way to think about it is that narrower grain bats will score runs quicker often from a shorter life time compared with a wider grain bat, that will score just as many runs but over a longer period.
Which do you prefer when looking for a bat?