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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
The major change in this year’s Element from last year’s is the addition of a USABat to complement the USSSA Drop 10 and BBCOR drop 3. The following serves as our 2018 Axe Element Review.
The Axe Element, in some fashion, has been produced in the last several years. It serves as the entry level bat in Axe’s performance space. Buying the Element is the least expensive way to get the asymmetric handle on a knob in a performance bat.
(There is a bat Axe calls the Origin. It is built like the Axe Element but uses less impressive materials. For whatever reason, we do not consider the Origin in our performance bat categories. If you want the Axe Experience, we suggest you at least start with the Element at least.)
Our recommendations are divided by the type of Element you are looking for. That is: Big Barrel USSSA, USABAT and BBCOR
In all fairness to the Axe Element, and the Axe brand in general, there are simply no other bats on the market like the Axe. The oval knob and asymmetric end cap are simply not found elsewhere. Axe’s patent makes it so.
But, if we are looking for a stretch similar bat, we think the Voodoo One might be a distant cousin. It, too, is a single piece aluminum made in the USSSA, BBCOR and USABat space. It is also a single piece aluminum built with a mild end load.
The 2018 Element is a single piece aluminum bat with an endload that uses an asymmetric handle and end cap to improve swing performance.
It also uses an “Endogrid” system on the asymmetric knob which helps dampen sting. The Axe Endogrid is a synthetic piece that absorbs vibration.
We have long discussed the benefits of the unique Axe design. In short, an oval knob gives you better bat control and better bat control gives you better at bats. The knob’s shape forces contact on one side of the barrel which gives engineers more ability to produce a durable bat.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.