The Strongest Wood Baseball Bat

Janka hardness test results. 


“Wood Strength” as defined by Bear Valley Bats for baseball bats is what is commonly known as “Impact Strength.” We differentiate “Wood Strength” from “Wood Hardness,” (as should all makers and consumers of baseball bats) in that “hardness” is the rating of the surface resistance to indentation using the Janka Test. 

“Strength” on the other hand, specifies a wood species’ ability to resist breaking upon impact. A high quality and safe baseball bat should be made of a wood species with a strength rating of no less 43 inches using a 10-pound weight. High Janka ratings often translate into high strength ratings, but this is not always true and it should never be assumed. Many wood species with high Janka hardness ratings are notably brittle with very low strength values. Maple is a prime example of a wood species with a good Janka hardness rating but a very poor strength rating. Janka hardness ratings give a general idea as to how efficient the wood is at transferring energy into a hit baseball. Many argue that once wood hardness reaches a level high enough to eliminate baseball seam indentation, that increased hardness ratings are of no value to the hitter. 

To eliminate seam indentation on the barrels of baseball bats the Janka hardness ratings must reach 1600 to 1800 on average. Very few wood species used for baseball bats reach that hardness level; among those that do are several species of Hickory, Black Locust, and Guayaibi. In December of 2011 and January through April of 2012, Bear Valley Bats tested the strength of Guayaibi wood provided to us by SouthBat. The wood provided was cut into sections of 33” by 3” by ¾” pieces and allowed to dry and acclimate for several weeks. Douglas Fir (Western Inland), one of the most tested wood species in North America was used as the control. Douglas Fir has an average strength rating of 36.  Guayaibi Strength Test Results Our tests of the Guayaibi wood provided to us by SouthBat indicated that the strength was fully adequate for baseball bats. Not only was it fully adequate, but proved to be extremely resistant against breakage.


Impact Strength.


The average specific gravity of Guayaibi is relatively high. In comparison, White Ash has a rating of .6 and Maple has a rating of .63.

The weight of the harvested Guayaibi wood varies considerably, even after drying.


Strengh to weight ratios. 

Based on data from three sources, Guayaibi wood has an average specific gravity of .7 to .8. 

Note that the numbers used to rate wood strength are based on averages, and the values can differ significantly within the same species and even in wood obtained from the same tree.

Actual Janka hardness rating. 

It should be noted that all the data we have on Guayaibi wood Indicates it has a Janka hardness rating of 1820. Again, the specific gravity for the wood averages between 0.7 to 0.8. This is the same range for most true hickories; therefore, to get Guayaibi wood light enough to make game weight baseball bats, the lightest and most porous selection of the wood must be used. 

Considering the game weight billets that we used to test Guayaibi wood, it is clear that Guayaibi has exceptional strength and durability clearly surpassing that of Maple and White Ash.

Naturally stronger.