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By Bat Digest | Last Updated June 15, 2022
We’ve used the FS3 and watched the FS3 in action at several plate appearances. We’ve also read a number of reviews on line for the FS3 from a number of players at many different levels. We’ve studied, more than anyone we think, previous versions of the FS3. These data points helped us come up with our 2016 Easton FS3 fastpitch Review.
By and large, the FS3 is appreciated by players who like light swinging bats and prefer as much bat control as possible. It is, after all, a drop 12 bat. Those who like a value purchase are also attracted to it. As well, the player who appreciates buttery hits on the sweet spots and sting dampening on mishits will appreciate this two piece composite bat. The FS3 is much like the FS1 from Easton’s Power Brigade series, which was selling for 3 times the price of the 2016 Easton FS3.
DeMarini produces a value based purchase in a bat called the Bustos. It made our list of best value purchases in the fastpitch softball space. It is very similar to the FS3 from Easton in the sense of a light swinging bat meant for the younger leagues. However, the Bustos is an aluminum alloy barrel and a drop 13.
Other two piece composite bats, like the FS3, are plentiful. However, none are quite as inexpensive as the 2016 Easton FS3. Easton’s own MAKO, DeMarini’s CF9 and Slugger’s Xeno and LXT lines are just a few of the more popular. Marucci has a new one for 2016 called the Pure.
Previous years’ versions of the FS3 aren’t as comparable. 2015 created an FS3 with a TORQ handle. 2013 created an FS3 that was a single piece composite meant to complement the FS1.
The 2016 Easton FS3 is only available in a drop 12 size. (The drop, you should recall, is the numerical difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces). Drop 12 bats are meant for very young players who need the lightest swing possible. Usually by the age of 12 or 13 most players find a drop 12 too light to generate enough power to get on base.
The Easton FS3 is a two piece composite bat built as a hand loaded bat in the drop 12 space. It is modeled with the same composite material the FS series of bats of 2013, 2014 and 2015 used to produce Easton’s top shelf performance bat. This material, called the IMX, was superseded when the MAKO made the scene and implemented a TCT composite. Easton claimed the TCT composite could design a larger barrel, and has since moved their top shelf bats into the TCT design instead of the IMX.
In other words, the 2016 Easton FS3 is very similar, dare we say identical, to the 2014 and 2015 FS1 whose price point was a few multiples of the FS3. As such, we find the 2016 FS3 to be a fantastic value purchase, If, of course, you are in the drop 12 market. (The FS1 came in a drop 10 and 11).
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.