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We’ve spent at least 20 hours in the cage collectively with the MAKO TORQ brand of bats—including the BBCOR, Little League (youth) and Big Barrel versions of the bat. We’ve also seen the bat at the plate at least one hundred times and have spoken to nearly anyone we’ve seen who uses the bat, about their experience. Additionally, we’ve spent time on the phone with Easton employees discussing the intricacies of the MAKO TORQ.
Those experiences, plus a year of mulling them over, have led us to appreciate the bat for its uniqueness, but we still struggle to recommend the bat across the board due to its rotating handle. The bat’s base (without the spinning handle) is fantastic as a replica of the 2016 MAKO for sure—and those comfortable with the rotation (or those willing to tape it down) can find a lot of success with the 2016 MAKO TORQ. But for many, the rotating handle (or TORQ) gives not quite traditional enough a feel.
As such, we’d recommend the MAKO TORQ to those who are sure they love the traditional MAKO and believe they’d benefit from the rotating handle’s potential for better inside plate coverage. Another type of hitter who may appreciate the 2016 MAKO TORQ: those looking at other light swinging two -piece composite bats and are up for trying something rather different. Both groups should be patient enough to become comfortable with the rotating bottom hand. Otherwise, we believe there are plenty of performance bats in this price range which will suit your fancy.
As you may know, at justbatreviews.com we only review bats we’ve actually hit with. With the 2016 Easton MAKO TORQ specifically we spent several hours in the cage with the BBCOR and youth versions of the bat. In the past, we’ve spent considerable time with the Fast Pitch Easton MAKO TORQ as well as the 2015 senior barrel MAKO TORQ so we knew what to expect.
If you are comfortable with the rotating handle (and we’re not assuming you are) then the bat is a verifiable beast. It is, in reality, an Easton MAKO with its remarkably sized barrel and the added rotating handle. The bat is clearly a high performance composite with a butter like feel on impact.
The 2016 Easton MAKO TORQ is a two piece composite bat built on the chassis of the very famous Easton MAKO—whch has been around since 2014. The TORQ’s defining feature is the bottom four inches of the handle which spins freely around the handle. This rotating feature lends to its name: TORQ.
Easton uses the same connective technology (CXN) in their MAKO TORQ as they do in their other performance two piece bats. CXN is a marketing term for the welding technology that connects the barrel of the bat with the handle of the bat. In the baseball space, it is a rather stiff transition and what most hitters prefer. Easton has been using this design since the XL1 and S1 from 2012.
The barrel of the 2016 Easton TORQ, made from Easton’s THT Thermo Composite, is built to be gigantic and is akin to the barrel size on any of the MAKO barrels. The MAKO brand of bats are known for their sheer giganticness and, up until this year, were unrivaled. The handle of the bat is also constructed from Easton’s composite THT composite.
The MAKO TORQ is meant to be a light swinging bat where the balance point is felt more toward the hands. It is, when all is said and done, one of the largest barrels you can find per given swing weight.
Save the grip, the 2016 TORQ is no different than the 2015 TORQ other than the paint job. It is the same two piece bat with the same rotating handle and composite CXN connection.
Easton added a “TORQ TAQ” grip to the bat this year. Definitely more tackiness in the grip compared to previous years. An improvement we like for sure.
Outside the Easton brand there are, obviously, no bats which have a rotating handle. In terms of messing with the shape or function of the handle only the Axe Bat line, from Baden Sports, can claim a similar intent with their asymmetric handle.
In terms of high end two piece composite bats the 916 Prime from Slugger, the CF8 from DeMarini and the RBZ X3 from Adidas are just a few of the light swinging two-piece composite bats on the market with similar construction when compared to the Easton MAKO. Other than those far reaching examples, the only real similar bat to the Easton MAKO TORQ of 2016 is the 2015 Easton MAKO TORQ version of the same bat. Pricing wise, at the the time of this writing, you can pick up the 2015 version of the MAKO TORQ at a pretty big discount.
In terms of pure performance, the 2016 Easton MAKO TORQ is a top shelf premium bat. The barrel size is gigantic by any standards, the bat is an ultra light swing weight, as airy homemade rolls. If a player is wiling to become accustomed to the spinning handle—or is so already—then the 2016 Easton MAKO TORQ may very well be the exact right bat for them. Otherwise, those looking for an alloy barrel, and end loaded swing weight, a one piece bat or a bat without a rotating handle need look elsewhere.