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» How to Shave a Softball Bat or a Baseball Bat: Bat Shaving 101

Should I roll a bat that has been shaved?

I get this question a lot, “Should a bat that has been shaved be rolled also?”. Bat rolling and bat shaving are two entirely different processes working towards the same goal; more flex in the barrel. Therefore both of these services can be performed to increase flex of the barrel and subsequently distance to the batted ball. Then why not get both services on your bat? Or Why would someone only want one and not the other? I will go into detail below about shaving and rolling a bat.

Disadvantages to Shaving and Rolling a Bat

Advantages to Shaving and Rolling a Bat

Advantages to Shaving a Bat Only

Advantages of Bat Rolling Only

Some would say bat rolling is just a quicker way to break in the bat or producing a shorter break in time. A rolled bat is the same as approximately 500 hits on a bat; therefore, people do not see it as cheating. Most sanctions disagree with this notion but people feel the most comfortable with this service. I still do not understand the issue with bat rolling; it would be like breaking in a new glove with oil, a glove mallet, or even glove steaming. All those things are meant to help the glove perform better. They even allow that tacky substance to be infused with gloves these days for better grip into the glove. Another advantage would be durability, this service would take the least amount of life out of a bat while still adding gains to a batted ball. The last advantage is pricing; it is about 3 times less to get a bat rolled than shaved.

Bat shaving takes away material from the inner barrel of the bat to increase flex of the bat. This decrease in material also decreases the amount of times you can hit a ball with the bat until it breaks. Bat rolling has some of the same concepts except the flex comes by breaking up the composite material inside the barrel wall. The drop in the amount of ball strikes is not as great as bat shaving but does decrease the life expectancy of the bat. So, the first disadvantage of performing both services is loss of life to the bat. A normal shaved bat will last about 200-2000 hits depending on a few factors such as: composite type, swing speed, balls used, and temperatures. A rolled bat will last about 800-5000 hits depending on the same factors. Now when both are done you can see how life expectancy of a bat goes down. The only other disadvantage is that it sometimes companies charge more to add rolling to a bat shaving service. (Big Dawg Does Not charge more to add bat rolling)
On the flip side of shaving and rolling a bat is the amount of pop and distance gained. There have been no technical studies on this topic but in my experience a bat that has been rolled after it has been shaved gains about 10-20ft in distance; That is not too shabby of a gain. Bat rolling essentially takes away the break in period of the composite material so, in theory, the bat should be at its peak performance after both services are completed. This has an obvious reward…. instant gratification!
The first advantage is the greater life expectancy of the bat. By not bat rolling you will be breaking in the bat by striking balls instead of bat rolling machine pressure. When bat shaving gains are 30-60ft I do not see any reason to add bat rolling to the service but that is a personal preference. The 2nd advantage is cheaper costs in some cases. Like I stated above some bat altering companies charge more to roll a bat.
All these options come down to personal preference of how I am going to use the bat and what do I feel comfortable with.
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