Baseball Bats vs Softball Bats: What’s Better to Pick & Why

Baseball and softball visually appear similar, but there are several differences concerning bats. The bats differ in various aspects, such as handle, length, weight, and barrel.

Baseball bats vs Softball bats debate has been running for decades now, and here in this article, I will give my own inputs on it.

Bats for softball are lighter, longer, and thinner than baseball bats. If you look at the handle, the softball bat’s handle is short in length with a long barrel. Major softball league allows using metal bats, while baseball league matches allow exclusive use of wooden bats.

Baseball Bats vs. Softball Bats
Baseball Bats vs Softball Bats

In this blog, we will understand in detail how bats differ from each other depending on the game and other factors.

Baseball bats vs Softball bats

Let’s understand in detail how the bats for baseball and softball differ when compared with their handles, lengths, weights, and barrels. We are going to address this baseball bats vs softball bats issue here in this section. Let us which team do you support at the end of this article.


A first glance at the handles of the softball and baseball bats will give you an impression of both bats being similar with no differences at all. But in reality, the baseball bat has a long and thick handle than the softball bat.

The difference is due to how the ball comes in contact with the bat having different sizes and weights depending on baseball or softball, resulting in an effective outcome.

In addition, it allows a firm and comfortable grip to a male batter, owing to their large-sized palms. Though today, women also participate in baseball, the design has remained unchanged throughout the years.


The length of a typical baseball bat is generally 1 inch shorter than the softball bat. It also depends on the age group or the type of match played. In addition, the length of the baseball bat varies according to the several age groups than softball bats.

The baseball bat is 33 inches long when measured from the knob to the last point of the barrel, while the softball bat is 34 inches long. Important to note that for matches played for 11 years or younger, the players use bats of identical length.

Please Note: In baseball, the distance between the batter and the pitcher is significant. In addition, the pitcher is in a raised position than the batter. In softball, the distance between the batter and pitcher is less, and both are on the same level.

Do you want to know why the difference in the length of the bats? 


The weight of both bats varies depending on different factors like fastpitch or slowpitch softball or baseball. 

For slowpitch adult leagues, the bat weight is around 28 ounces. Players use heavy bats during professional matches where the player needs to put in the power to swing the bat with great speed, strength, and clean contact with the ball.

On the contrary, fastpitch bats are lighter. The lighter bats enable the batter to strike the bat much faster off their shoulder. This situation occurs mainly during a recreational match where the impulse may not be prompt as in a professional.

In softball, the batter and pitcher are on the same level giving the batter less time to react. In adult fastpitch baseball, the bats are smaller, which complies with the rule of limiting the weight and length number of -3. That means if the bat is 33 inches long, it should have a minimum weight of 30 ounces.


Baseball bats have a wider barrel than softball bats. The baseball barrel bat is around 2-⅝”, and the softball is around 2-¼”. Let’s understand the reason for this.

The small size of baseballs than softballs make it hard for the batters to hit them by taking them on the right area of the bat. Therefore, keeping the wider area allows the batter to make effective contact to strike the ball as far as it can.

On the contrary, softball is larger than baseball, and thus there is no need for a thick barrel. In addition, a thicker barrel may result in emerging a foul while playing softball. Moreover, the thin barrel makes the bat lighter, which enables the bat to move in a fast and quick way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it OK to use softball bats for baseball?

No, it will crack or break your bat. The softball bat won’t be able to sustain the force of the baseball.

Will a softball bat hit a baseball farther?

No, since softball bats are longer and lighter in weight, it will be hard to hit the baseball farther.

Can you use a softball bat in Little League baseball?

Yes, you can if the softball bat meets the standards of the Little League specifications. The rule states that the bat should be a rounded smooth stick made of wood or any alternate material approved and tested by the Little League standards.

Is a lighter or heavier bat better?

A heavier bat will hit the ball enabling it to travel farther. A lighter bat will require the player to put in his strength for the same effect.

What makes a bat illegal in softball?

Broken, altered bats or those that distort the ball are considered illegal. In case any material inside the bat alters the bat specifications, if the bat undergoes any treatment, or if any device is used to enhance the bat performance is not allowed and is considered illegal.


Despite sharing the same core rules, there are a few variations between baseball and softball. The bats for both sports vary, concerning certain factors, and are not interchangeable in professional-level matches.

In a little league match, you can use the same bat for baseball and softball. But once you start participating in a professional match, you’ll notice the changes in length, weight, shape, and handle of the bat. The bats for both sports are developed to give you optimum performance while batting.

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