There's not much to differentiate from t-ball bats, but we try our best here.
Our favorite tee ball bat is the Axe Avenge. We love the ergonomic handle, light swing, durability, and price point. All the things that little kids and their paying parents want to see. Even still, tee ball bats aren't worth worrying about; they are all pretty much the same (except the angled handle on the Axe). Just make sure you get the right size (which is small). Get the smallest you can find if your kid is 4 or 5 years old. No one is hitting for power, and bat control is what it is all about. If you want something inexpensive (and, honestly, you should) then the Raptor or Venom from Rawlings and Franklin will work great.
Updated September 12, 2023
We updated this article in the fall of 2023 with more generally available options.
Best Tee Ball Bats
What is the Right Bat Size
The right size tee ball bat is usually the smallest you can find. There is virtually no value in sizing a tee ball bat for maximum power. At this stage, most are working on putting the bat on the ball consistently. If your kid is hitting it hard enough that he needs to size up, consider jumping him up a league into coach pitch or whatever the next phase of your local league's prowess.
Aluminum T Ball Bats
Most tee ball bats are aluminum. These work well enough for most and are generally the least expensive. However, they often do not have the same light swing weight and run a drop 10 or 11. Some, like the Easton speed series, are a drop 12.
Overall, these are not our favorite tee ball bat construction—we like composite better. Lighter swings are almost always better in tee-ball. But to each his own. And as we stated above, at this age, it is hard to make the case that it matters either way.
Two-Piece Tee Ball Bats
Although we did not officially confirm with Mizuno, they claim to make a two-piece tee ball bat. According to their website, the Covert, which is a two-piece bat in the big boy level, also comes in a two-piece tee ball bat. If that is the case, it will be the only two-piece tee ball bat on the market.
Other two-piece bats at the upper levels, like the Easton MAKO and 917 Prime, are just a single piece in the tee ball space.
We see no advantage to a two-piece bat at this level, although cool enough, we guess. It does help with the swing weight as the Covert’s drop on the tee ball bat is 13.
Composite Tee Ball Bats
There are a couple of full composite tee ball bats on the market. Easton’s Mako Beast comes in a full composite as does Louisville Slugger’s 917 Prime and the Combat Maxum. Composite is a plastic material. Compared to aluminum, it can create a better weight distribution. It is why composite bats in the tee ball space are the drop 13 and 14’s while the aluminum is more like drop 11 or 10.
What We Look For in the BEST Tee Ball Bat
When choosing the best tee ball bat, the real determining factor is weight drop. The drop, remember, is the numerical difference between the length of the bat in inches and the bat’s weight in ounces. For example, a 26-inch drop 14 weighs 22 ounces. Tee-ball drops range from 10 to 14.
A terribly long discussion about swing weights would be appropriate for some. We refer you to our discussion on the matter instead of weighing down this article with information you likely don’t need when finding the best tee ball bat.
After the drop, you may want to pay attention to three broad categories of tee ball bats. We do not find them nearly as impactful in this tiny person niche as in older kid play.
Can I Use a Tee Ball Bat for Coach Pitch?
We are often asked if someone can use their tee ball bat during coach pitch. The answer is, you can do whatever you want. Tee-ball bats are not rated for major impacts. In fact, they are not rated for any pitch speed whatsoever, as the ball is stationary in tee-ball. If you are seeing any pitch speed close to 30 mph, we would suggest a Junior Big Barrel Bat (aka JBB).
With that said, these aluminum and composite tee ball bats can take a beating. We think most could get away with a tee-ball bat for a very soft coach pitch league. Do not expect fantastic performance—although who needs fantastic performance at a coach pitch level anyway? Most just need a bat, and if they have the right size of a tee-ball bat, there is very little reason it would not serve the demands of a coach-pitch game, too.
What is the Difference in T-Ball Bats
It is challenging to find differences in tee ball bats. We do not mean that tee ball bats are all the same. Instead, we mean there is very little chance any given tee-ball player will see a difference by using any different bat.
In theory, there could be a tee-ball player who rakes and, as such, would require a two-piece end load or a single-piece bomb dropper. Also, a hitter or two may swing hard enough to off a tee to be disappointed in the hand sting an aluminum bat provides. They may want a composite.
In reality, we doubt those kids exist on the tee ball scene—although some parents might beg to differ.
The only real measurable difference in tee ball bats is the difference in their weight to length (aka, drop) and the different sizes those come in. Additionally, we think the bat handle on the Axe explicitly gives an advantage. Besides those categories, we see no real differential between tee ball bats.
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Best T-Ball Bat, Best Tee Ball bat, Best TBall Bat