Most bats must be broken in before they’re fit to use. But this process can take a long time, having you hit the ball hundreds of times before the bat is ready to be used. However, players can circumvent this process and get their bats ready in a fraction of the time with bat rolling. Learn about the different types of bat rolling techniques and know whether or not bat rolling weakens the structure of the bat here.
Manual Perpendicular Rollers
When using the perpendicular method, you insert the bat into a pair of cylindrical rollers. You’ll tighten the rollers for optimal pressure and manually roll the bat back and forth between the rollers. The most significant benefit that perpendicular rollers offer is complete coverage of the surface area of the bat. However, this can also pose a problem: you run the risk of rolling the same stretch of bat twice in one go, resulting in one spot getting overworked and leading to inconsistent breakage throughout the barrel. This can also cause weak spots along the bat, increasing the likelihood of damage.
Manual Parallel Rollers
For parallel rolling, you place the bat between two cylindrical rollers that run parallel to the bat’s barrel. You tighten the rollers to the preferred pressure and roll them against the bat, loosening the inner walls of the bat from the outside. This breaks in the entire length of the bat all at once, resulting in more consistency over the whole area. However, this method can quickly fatigue you if you roll for too long unless you use a more complex and expensive automated system. This process can also take some time, depending on the number of revolutions a bat requires.
Alternative to manual methods, you can opt for the automated process of barrel compression. This method utilizes a hydraulic mechanism to automatically apply pressure to the barrel. It acts in much the same way as a parallel roller, but instead of rotating the bat, it simply presses two ends together with the bat in between.
This automated method doesn’t require you to physically exert yourself, only needing you to monitor the results. It’s also able to apply more pressure than rollers can generate, leading to faster break-in periods. However, the greater pressure also brings the potential to snap the bat. The risk of a total break is high without proper use.
Make sure you understand the different bat rolling techniques to break in your equipment. Going with one method may take more time, while another can destroy your bat. Always know the limits of your equipment, and don’t try to push past them for the sake of a faster break-in period.