Billets (also knows as blanks) for baseball bat stock, can either be sawn or split from a log. When wood is hand-split, it naturally follows the tangential grain of the log. Due to many environmental factors, trees often do not grow straight up and down. In this instance, when hand-split, the billets will follow that natural grain. With sawn billets, there is little that can be done to follow the natural grain of the wood, and inevitably the saw dictates where the grain lies within the billet. This results in a bat with weak spots. By choosing a bat made from hand-split wood as your tool, players can have confidence knowing that they are armed with the best equipment to give them a competitive advantage at the plate.
Historically, wooden bats were all made from hand-split logs. This resulted in the majority of wood baseball bats having straight-grained wood. Today, with higher production sawing equipment and increased demands for yields and efficiency and profits, a large percentage of wood billets are still sawn from logs. Often, logs that are sawn across the radial and/or tangential slope of grain will make the bat vulnerable to dangerous breaks or fractures.
The process of hand-splitting material to produce blanks for wood bats is more expensive due to higher labor costs and waste consideration. However, the benefit of having straight-grained bats greatly outweighs any additional costs. This is why The Wood Bat Factory only sells wood bats made from hand-split billets.
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