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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
After a few hours in the cage, a few at the field, and a number of conversations with major vendors and the manufacturer, we take a swing at our 2018 Axe Elite Review.
The bat is a two piece hybrid bat built with an endload. The unique knob and endcap lend to a memorable experience. Below we make a number of recommendations and offer our insights.
The Axe Elite is built with a very specific player in mind—a stronger, elite hitting type that likes the soft smash of a two piece composite.
Obviously, there is nothing in the market with an asymmetric end cap and knob that uses a hybrid design. Such things are reserved only for the Axe line of bats.
But, in terms of an endloaded two piece hybrid bat, you have a few options. The first that comes to mind is the DeMarini Voodoo. It comes in both an endloaded (Insane) and balanced version.
The Voodoo is a well mannered, known commodity in the hybrid sapce and has been in the market for years. This stands as the most known two piece hybrid bat, and if you are in the market for a hybrid, it is worth a look.
Compared to the 2017 Elite, there are no considerable changes. Both 2017 and 2018 Elites use a composite handle and a “Mantic” alloy in the barrel. They come in a USSSA drop 5 and 8 as well as a BBCOR drop 3.
As well, the bat is still built with a heavier swing in mind. That is, expect it to work well for bigger and stronger hitters who like hot out of the wrapper bats.
The major difference between the two years is the addition of a USABat in the lineup for 2018. That two piece bat is a drop 5.
Our dissection of the Axe handle on this site has been exhaustive. We refer you to those for more lengthy short, the Axe handle’s ergonomic shape allows for better bat control. And better bat control allows for a number of positive results—all of which result in more success at the plate.
The other remarkable feature of the 2018 Elite is the asymmetric end cap. The oval shaped knob forces contact on only one side of the barrel. This ability to predict where impact occurs gives Axe engineers some liberty in shaving volume and weight off the backside of the barrel. This design, which they call the Hyperwhip, is found on all of their performance bats for 2018. As such, you’ll find the hyperwhip feature on every Axe Elite bat for 2018.
Lost in all the hoopla of the asymmetric end cap and knob is the fact the Elite is a two piece hybrid bat, too. It is a traditional two piece hybrid with a composite end cap and aluminum barrel. These features lend to a smooth smash and a hot out of the wrapper performance.
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.