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Breaking Bat: DeMarini’s CF Zen 2 3/4 Durability Questions

Updated July 3, 2020

By Brian Duryea | @BatDigest

Share This | Tag us @batdigest

Updated July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

By Brian Duryea | @BatDigest

Share This | Tag us @batdigest

Any chat room or discussion group surrounding DeMarini’s 2017 CF Zen in the 2 3/4 size contains at least one thread on its durability. Justbatreviews has received at least a dozen questions about the bat’s durability. In short, at least when compared to other bats on the market, the CF Zen 2 3/4 clearly struggles with durability. We discuss some solutions and DeMarini’s response to the issue below, but in short, we suggest you buy this bat new from certified vendors as to make sure your warranty is in tact. DeMarini is a legit company with a legit warranty process.

DeMarini's CF Zen 2 3/4 Durability

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Demarini’s Response

After a number of direct requests from consumers, and at least a few stories about some awesome breaks, we reached out to our contacts at DeMarini. We asked, rather bluntly, was the CF Zen 2 3/4 breaking more than normal? Verbatim, here is the reasonable response we got:

“That model, like all DeMarini bats, is designed to perform at the maximum performance level allowed. They will, on occasion, break before they exceed the performance level. With that being said, we have considered the percentage of bats that are breaking and we have taken steps to reduce the level of warranty concerns on our new 2018 model that will launch in August. In the meantime, customers can continue to purchase our current 2017 model with the confidence that they will receive what we (DeMarini) believe is the best performance bat model in this category. If they should have a warranty-related issue, we will stand behind the product 100%.”

We do not think this is lipstick on a pig, but rather, a presentation of the simple facts. The bat is HOT but it also breaks more than DeMarini’s acceptable allowance. In the mean time, people can continue to buy this high performing bat, and if it does break, just replace it via warranty. 2018 will see some changes to the Zen that allow for more durability.

Why Composite Bats Break: They HOT!

Although not always the reason, most composite bats (such as the CF Zen) are designed to break just before their trampoline effect reaches the max limit. It is why you hear people praising how hot the CF Zen 2 3/4 is as the bat improves in batted ball speed, and then, like it is supposed to, it breaks.

Some companies try and use the failure rate of other manufacturer’s bats against them. Yet those who understand why composite bats break will actually be attracted to composite barrels that give way. All the great and hot bats have durability issues. It is the name of the game: durability vs performance.

JustBatReview’s Advice

Just because a bat has a higher failure rate is not the reason to never purchase the bat. The 2 3/4 Zen is a brilliant bat with a perfect balance, good pedigree and serious performance. The fact DeMarini is willing to make a bat that pushes the durability envelope is proof they are trying to make a bat that performs at peak levels.

That said, durability issues are a reason to never buy a used CF Zen 2 3/4. Unless, of course, the price is very, very attractive. But comfort in a broken composite only comes in a receipt from a verified vendor and the warranty claim process of a major manufacturer who will be there when you need them.

In short, if the CF Zen is the bat you want, don’t hesitate. However, we do not recommend saving a few bucks by going with some third party, grey market, in this particular scenario.

Bat Breaking Sources

We wrote an article a few weeks ago on the dark side of bat performance. That included some information on the idea of rolling and shaving bats. It may be worth a review.

There are a number of major vendors you can be sure will be there to deliver legitimate receipts. Our favorites are places like justbats.com and closeoutbats.com. Others, like Modell’s are worth a look, too.

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Daniel
Daniel
2 years ago

I have a Cbz -17 Demarion zen and it cracked othere day

DisaapointedDadHeartbrokenSon
DisaapointedDadHeartbrokenSon
2 years ago

The CF Zen is a piece of garbage. My 10 year old broke one after 4 weeks of “typical” usage. Demarini, after jumping through their hoops, provided a replacement voucher. Although no time period was on this emailed voucher, apparently there is a 1 year limit. Demarini, after 14 months, still honored the voucher, and my 10 year old received his new CF Zen

After 2 weeks, the bat cracked, again. Not only has his bat cracked twice, three other kids on the team have bats which suffered the same fate (and this is South Florida, mind you – where we are always above 80F)

Since we originally purchased the bat two years ago, the warranty is now null and void, regardless of the replacement received date (and DeMarini does not warranty their bats after a replacement is issued!)

We were specifically told “if we replaced every bat that broke, we would be out of business”. And that’s their words! Obviously, DeMarini values profit over quality product product.

Be weary when purchasing this overvalued piece of carbon fiber waste. Get a Solo, save $200, and use your bat all season!

John Jaffe
John Jaffe
2 years ago

On July 3rd, 2019, my 12u son cracked his 2nd Zen CF (32 -8) of the season. This was a single to left center (dud off the bat). This bat is the warranty replacement bat that we received in April 2019. He has had about 70 in game at bats and 15 mins of cage time a week with real baseballs (soft toss mostly) between then and now. We have been meticulous about taking care of the bat and breaking it in and limiting it’s use.

Ironically, just last week we were commenting about how the bat had all the webbing micro tracing showing and how the pop seemed to be in it’s prime. He’s a power hitter for us and has several HRs this year. He has more doubles and HRs, than singles. He hits the ball hard. There is no doubt the bat is hot. But we have had 3 other kids with the same bat crack in the same way. The “Z” shaped crack in the sweet spot is the tell tale sign. We can’t be going through 3 bats in a season.

I have to call Demarini on Monday to see if this is still under warranty since I bought the bat in September of last year.

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