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2018 DeMarini CF Zen Review

By Bat Digest | Last Updated March 4, 2021

That is, every CF bat in existence since 2011. DeMarini’s two piece composite design has made considerable strides over that time. And, considering the CF3 was a pretty fantastic bat, the 2018 CF Zen is remarkable in so many ways. Count the following as the beginning of our 2018 Demarini CF Zen Review.


2018 CF Zen Video

2018 CF Zen Video

2018 CF Zen Models
BBCOR
/10
USA –10
/10
USSSA –10
/10
USSSA –8
/10

DeMarini’s CF line of baseball bats are, arguably, the most popular bats on the planet. We have hit, and reviewed, every CF series since the CF3. The 2018 version is a good iteration and, despite using the rings in the barrel to compensate for the USSSA illegality in 2017, the bat is fantastic. We’ve yet to hear from a player who doesn’t like the bats—and we’ve seen dozens at this point.

2018 CF Zen Models

DeMarini’s CF line of baseball bats are, arguably, the most popular bats on the planet. We have hit, and reviewed, every CF series since the CF3. The 2018 version is a good iteration and, despite using the rings in the barrel to compensate for the USSSA illegality in 2017, the bat is fantastic. We’ve yet to hear from a player who doesn’t like the bats—and we’ve seen dozens at this point.

BBCOR
/10
USA –10
/10
USSSA –10
/10
USSSA –8
/10
WTDXCBC

BBCOR Review


OVERALL/10
CF Zen BBCOR Ratings (key)
2/5 MOI
2/5 Stiff
3/5 Rating
4/5 Tech
4/5 Profile
5/5 EV
3/5 Durblty
4/5 Resell
5/5 Relvnce
Sizing: 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34-inch
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Serial: WTDXCBC
Bat Type: Two Piece Composite
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
Similar BBCOR Bats
No items found
WTDXUFX

USA Drop 10 Review


OVERALL/10
CF Zen USA Drop 10 Ratings (key)
2/5 MOI
2/5 Stiff
4/5 Rating
4/5 Tech
5/5 Profile
4/5 EV
2/5 Durblty
4/5 Resell
5/5 Relvnce
Sizing: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Serial: WTDXUFX
Bat Type: Two Piece Composite
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
Similar USA Bats
No items found
WTDXCBZ

USSSA Drop 10 Review


OVERALL/10
CF Zen USSSA Drop 10 Ratings (key)
2/5 MOI
2/5 Stiff
5/5 Rating
4/5 Tech
5/5 Profile
5/5 EV
2/5 Durblty
5/5 Resell
5/5 Relvnce
Sizing: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Serial: WTDXCBZ
Bat Type: Two Piece Composite
Barrel Size: 2 3/4
Similar Drop 10/11 USSSA Bats
No items found
WTDXCBR

USSSA Drop 8 Review


OVERALL/10
CF Zen USSSA Drop 8 Ratings (key)
3/5 MOI
2/5 Stiff
5/5 Rating
4/5 Tech
5/5 Profile
5/5 EV
2/5 Durblty
5/5 Resell
5/5 Relvnce
Sizing: 30, 31, 32-inch
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Serial: WTDXCBR
Bat Type: Two Piece Composite
Barrel Size: 2 5/8
Similar Drop 8 USSSA Bats
No items found

Comparable Bats

When we started writing reviews 4 years ago, there were only a couple of two piece composite bats in the market. Today, however, there are several. Each trying to get a piece of the pie the CF series and Easton MAKO/S1 series created from scratch.

As such, there are several “comparable” bats by way of construction. Two piece composites can be found in Easton’s Ghost, Rawlings’ Quatro, Axe’s Avenge, Slugger’s 918, Adidas’ Aero Burner, Marucci’s Hex Connect and at least a few more.

In terms of pedigree and proven performance then the Easton Ghost might be the only true competitor to the CF Zen. Especially in the big barrel or senior league space.

Previous Models

DeMarini has made slow progress on the CF Zen over the years; for good reason we think. The bat has been a top notch industry setting bat since the beginning of composite and aluminum baseball. Here are our previous reviews on the Zen through the ages.If DeMarini does anything well, it is the ability to deliver innumerable color and style options on marquee bats. Not too many years ago the idea of custom bats was unheard of. And the ability to identify a bat from a distance was something we took a ton of pride in. Today, however, Demarini’s numerous iterations take a very trained eye and a slow camera.

From DeMarini’s Instagram account we took the above image. ​Although it looks ike there are at least 10 different models, the truth is those are just the DeMarini Cf Zen, CF Voodoo Insane and CF Voodoo One. We can’t tell, just by the pictures, if that if there are any balanced or end loaded versions of the Insane or CF. But, the point is, there really are just 3 different bats in the above pictures. Granted, a few are the 2018 version, but the custom color options and unique graphics make every angel of those bats difficult to identify.

New Things 2017 D-Fusion vs 2018 3-Fusion
The most significant change from the 2017 Zen to the 2018 Zen is the change in the connective piece. They removed some bulk in the D-Fusion handle to make it slimmer. It looks odd and really makes the bat look like a corn dog. This new version is called the 3-Fusion.

DeMarini makes a CF series of bats in an end loaded version too. They refer to this as a CF Insane.


No items found

Construction

Like its many predecessors, the 2018 CF Zen is a two piece composite bat with a big barrel and a balanced swing. It is not to be confused (at least in BBCOR) with the CF Insane which runs about 10% heavier in the swing weight department.

The two piece design is connected by a device that helps remove sting from the hands yet still gives it a stiff enough feeling to do damage. The two piece design by DeMarini has always been one of our favorites and they are a real pleasure to hit.

Overall Ratings Key

To keep consistent ratings across years, models and brands, we’ve devloped an aggregated rating system using 6 categories. As well, we track swing weight (MOI), stiffness and profile although they do not affect the overall score directly. The explanation of each rating is below.

  1. MOI: is the swing weight accurately measured at our bat lab. We score it 1 through 5. No score is better than another. This is a descriptive value. A lower number (1) represents a light swinging bat for its class, while a higher number (5) represents an endloaded bat.
  2. Tech: The tech advancements in the bat are 5% of its overall score. We award points for innovation even if the invention encourages the industry to try new things.
  3. Durability: The bat’s lifespan is rated at 15% of the overall score. We gather this information almost exclusively from the user and player feedback. More reports of a bat breaking then the lower the score.
  4. Stiffness: Stiffness is not counted towards the overall score since it’s a complete preference. The higher the number, the stiffer the bat, the lower the number, the more flex in the bat directly after contact. This is significantly correlated to how good a bat feels on mishits and hits.
  5. Profile: The profile does not count towards the overall score. However, we do track it. A high number means the bat has an extensive profile, and a lower number means it has a small profile.
  6. Resell: We count the secondary market of a used value of the bat as 10% of the overall score. We think the demand for the bat in the secondary market (eBay and SidelineSwap) are a good indicator of how well the bat is perceived to perform. It also shows a more excellent value for the owner as their bat retains more value and no longer becomes valuable to them.
  7. Rating: This is the player rating and represents 25% of the overall score. These are gathered from our hitters and reviews we find online and those we have contact with from other reputable sources.
  8. EV: Exit Velocity is the rankings we create in our exit speed velocity tests every year on bats. This score represents 25% of the overall score.
  9. Relevance: Relevance measures how applicable and available a bat is for consumers. The broader range of sizes and the more appropriate the swing weight for the masses then, the higher the score. This metric accounts for 20% of the overall score.

2018 DeMarini CF Zen User Reviews

8
Pop
8.3
Durability
10
Feel on Sweet Spot Hits
7.8
Feel on Mishits
10
Worth the Price
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