If you're a baseball or softball player, you're likely familiar with the importance of finding the perfect baseball bat or softball bat. And if you're in the market for a new bat, you may have heard of Axe Bats and their unique handle. Unlike traditional bats, which have a round knob at the base of the handle, Axe Bats have a patented, axe-like knob design. This design has been shown to provide several benefits, including:
- Better bat control
- Reduced hand fatigue
- Improved swing speed
In this blog article, the Bat Experts at JustBats take a closer look at the science behind Axe bats, frequently asked questions, and explore the reasons why they may be the right choice for your game. Let's dive in.
What Is An Axe Handle Bat?
The handle of an Axe bat is a patented, asymmetric design that sets it apart from traditional baseball and softball bats. Instead of a circular knob, the handle has a flattened, axe-shaped knob that rests comfortably in the palm of the hitter's hand. This unique design offers several benefits that can help improve a hitter's performance on the field.
One of the main benefits of the Axe bat handle is its ability to reduce hand fatigue. Traditional bat handles can cause painful and uncomfortable pressure points on the palm, leading to blisters and soreness. The Axe bat's ergonomic shape evenly distributes pressure across the palm, reducing the risk of fatigue and injury. Additionally, their unique handle can help hitters maintain a consistent grip and control the bat more effectively, resulting in a smoother swing and more powerful hits. It truly is a bat built for your swing.
How Axe Bat's Handle Works
In the past, only a round knob could be achieved when designing baseball and softball bats because of the limitations experienced when working on a lathe. It's also known that a round knob may negatively impact the player due to the way it protrudes into the hamate bone, one of eight carpal bones that forms part of the wrist joint.
The Axe grip minimizes these issues. In addition, the flush backside and ergonomic angles of the Axe Handle allow the batter to grip the bat with less effort. So, this more natural grip decreases the amount of muscle tension in the hands and forearms. This, in turn, increases the barrel velocity, as the batter's wrists are able to flex more during the swing.
How The Axe Handle May Improve Your Game
For years, baseball bats have been made in relatively the same way. If you look at images of players swinging a bat now versus half a century ago, the shape of the bat is fairly consistent. At the base of each of these bats is the knob, which is strategically carved out to keep your hand from sliding off the bat during your swing. But, is that traditional knob helping or hurting your game? Enter Axe Bats.
Studies have shown that the axe-shaped handle offers players significantly more:
- Bat control
- Swing acceleration
- Transfer of power from bat to ball
- Reduced risk of injury
Studies have also found that the geometrical shape of the oval handle, angled knob, and flush backside creates a more ergonomic design and a more comfortable feel overall. This design spreads the forces from a swing more evenly throughout the batter's bottom hand. Doing so greatly reduces the risk of injury to the bones and nerves of your hands and wrists. The axe-shaped handle also greatly reduces the risk of a thrown bat and the direct pressure on the nerves of your lower hand. This allows your hands to stay reactive to your swing and leads to fewer instances of the bottom hand flying off the handle of the bat. Click here to view the original study.
What Makes Axe Bats Different?
Baseball's most cherished aspect is its history. No other American sport lionizes its traditions as much as the national pastime. And, baseball's systematic war between tradition and change has been a topic in movies, books, and front offices. The tug-of-war even trickles down to baseball tools, as baseball bats hardly ever experience an alteration to the design that was adopted a century ago.
As the name implies, an Axe Bat is a part ax, since its contoured oval handle and angled knob make it similar to the utensil used to chop wood. Already, professional baseball players such as Mookie Betts and Giancarlo Stanton have made the switch to Axe bats. Here are five reasons why:
- Made to fit your hands - The oval contour of the Axe handle aligns with the natural angles of your hand to provide a comfortable feel.
- Puts the bat in your fingertips - Gives you a more efficient swing. When a bat is in the palm of your hands, tension is created. Tension in your hands and forearms at the start of your swing will reduce your bat speed. With the bat in your fingertips, you increase your bat speed, and more energy is transferred into the ball.
- Consistent swing plane - The Axe handle creates one level swing plane giving the hitter a better chance at solid contact. With a higher percentage of solid contact at the plate there is sure to be a higher batting average as a result.
- Powerful contact position - Some of you may be familiar with the hitting phrase “palm up, palm down”. For those who aren’t the phrase “palm up, palm down” refers to the ideal positioning of a hitter’s hand at contact, where one palm should be facing the sky and one palm should be facing the ground. This position allows the hitter to be stronger at contact and to stay through the ball. The Axe handle helps to put the players' hands in this position.
- Freer swing - With less restriction through the swing due to the flat backside of the handle, there is no protrusion into the palm, creating more bat speed and a freer release after contact.
Original Axe Handle vs. Flared Handle
Axe Bat introduced a feature to their bats: the flared handle. This new design takes the traditional Axe knob one step further by adding a slight flare at the bottom, which provides an even more comfortable grip and better control. The flared knob is designed to fit securely in the hitter's palm, preventing slippage during the swing.
It also allows for a more natural grip that aligns with the hitter's wrist and forearm, reducing stress on the hands and wrists. This design can help prevent injuries such as hamate bone fractures, which can be caused by the repetitive impact of a traditional bat handle.
In addition to the added comfort and injury prevention benefits, the flared knob can also improve a hitter's swing. The natural alignment of the wrist and forearm provided by the flared knob can lead to a more powerful swing, with less tension and strain on the hands and arms. The result is a smoother, more efficient swing that can lead to better performance on the field.
Overall, the flared knob is another example of Axe Bat's commitment to innovation and improving the game for players at all levels. With its unique design and potential performance benefits, it's definitely worth considering for anyone in the market for a new bat.
Common Questions About Axe Bats
Are Axe Bats Legal in Major League Baseball?
Yes! Axe bats are legal for use in the MLB. In the past couple of seasons, we have seen baseball stars such as Kris Bryant, Mookie Betts, and George Springer utilize Axe Bats during games.
How Do I Wrap My Axe Bat?
You can apply a Lizards Skin (or any other kind) of bat grip to your Axe bat in the same manner you would a round knob bat. It can be a little tricky to get started but you begin at the base of the knob and slowly overlap the grip by approximately ⅛”. If you want to have a professional install your bat grip, shop for your bats are JustBats and have one of our Bat Experts apply it for you. Or, you can click here to view a step-by-step guide from the Axe Bat team!
Will The Barrel Wear Out More Quickly Since You Only Hit On One Side?
No. Because Axe knows where the ball will hit the bat, they have focused their construction on that portion of the bat – what they call the Engineered Hitting Zone. Round knob bats have to make their bat durable from every direction. Axe Bats are able to fine-tune and perfect one hitting face.
How Do You Hold An Axe Bat?
To hold an Axe bat place your bottom hand at the base of the handle and wrap your fingers around the protruding portion of the handle. The pinky finger should wrap around the front hook portion of the Axe knob, while the bottom of the knob is flush with the base of your palm. The handle should feel natural and comfortable in your hands.
Axe has done a tremendous job creating an intuitive handle on their bat, so if it doesn’t feel right you’re likely holding it incorrectly. Still not convinced? Watch and learn from the Axe Bat team why its handle is the better option for a lot of players:
In conclusion, the Axe handle is a game-changing innovation in the world of baseball bats and softball bats. From reducing hand fatigue to preventing injuries and improving swing mechanics, Axe bats have proven to be an effective solution for players of all ages and skill levels. If you're considering upgrading your bat, an Axe bat is certainly worth trying out. Many professional players have already made the switch and seen impressive results. So why not give it a swing and see how it can help take your game to the next level?
We’re JustBats and we’re with you from Click to Hit!