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Bat Care


As soon as the bat leaves the workshop, it will be subject to wear and tear. All bats should be knocked in, even those that have been made ready play, should be treated carefully to begin with. Just as car owners are expected to be responsible for oil, water and tyres, there is an expectation that players will maintain their bats to prevent the likelihood of severe damage by taking some responsibility to prevent damage and perform minor maintenance.

Before you use your bat, we do not recommend more than one very light coat of Bat Butter or linseed oil. When this is dry, apply a protective facing. Then begin the knocking in process.


Knocking In Service at Bradbury Cricket is the most effective way to prepare a bat.  The bat is oiled, knocked 9 000 times and a protective facing applied. However, you can do this yourself.  Putting a bat through a roller is not knocking it in, nor is it part of the knocking in process.   Sport shops that use additional pressing through a roller are not knocking your bat in, rather changing the bat makers intentions for ultimate rebound.

To prepare your bat for a long lasting future, the bat should be gradually knocked in with soft, old balls- with controlled hitting. Gradually progress to newer balls. Avoid bowling machine practice until the bat is well knocked in. If seam marks are visible, knocking in is not complete. An accurate time frame cannot be put on this process, however, the greater time spent on knocking in, the greater the likelihood of a longer lasting bat.  If purchasing the bat direct from our workshop, we highly recommend the Knocking In service which has an extremely high success rate.


Willow as a growing tree, has a cell structure that supports aggressive uptake of moisture. Once the wood is made into a bat, this quality remains.   Bats are pressed to achieve a rebound for playing the ball, if exposed to excessive moisture, the fibres swell and the pressing is compromised. When this occurs on the end grain of a toe, the uptake of water (and soil particles) swells the toe area and leaves a grey watermark after drying. The cell walls weaken and cracking occurs with impact from the ball and/or tapping the bat on the ground. A toe guard fitted or the application of Bull Shoe Glue, or Selleys Shoe Goo will go a long way towards protecting against severe water damage- though best action is to keep the toe dry.

Feathering is a term used when the toe shows the layers separating, like the pages of a book left slightly open. If your bat shows signs of feathering, you can gently pry open the layers, remove any loose particles and force pva glue into each area.   Then clamp until the glue dries.   An affective clamping of the soft willow can be a grip cut into 2 or 3 cm bands, placed around the repair area.   This technique works for superficial surface and edge cracks too.

To prevent further toe damage, apply shoe repair glue, or a toe guard. You can apply a thin layer of bat butter to exposed willow after 24 hours of the pva glue drying to assist in repelling moisture.


Willow is by its very nature, a soft wood, that when pressed, provides the rebound qualities required to strike the ball. Some small cracks are bound to occur on the bat, due to wear and tear, these will not affect its performance. If the cracks are wide enough to receive pva glue, remove any loose dirt, force in the pva and then clamp until the glue dries. As for treatment for feathering, affective clamping of the soft willow can be a grip cut into 2 or 3 cm bands, placed around the repair area. Once the glue is dry, lightly sand and if desired, apply a facing, of either fibre reinforced tape, or clear blade tape. This is a prime example where modern technology provides an exceptional solution to an old problem.


A cricket bat endures torsion through the force of the ball hitting a moving bat. The stress is mainly borne through the handle as it twists on impact. When this impact is off centre, the bat experiences greater levels of torsion. The force is greatest with faster bowling or quicker bat speed. Repeated impact builds stress through the fibres which can result in hairline fractures through the shoulder of the bat. When detected early, these fractures can be glued or strengthened through the application of fibreglass tape. If the cracks become severe, the bat may need binding.

Likewise with toe damage which causes severe cracking, the area may need binding. The insertion of dowels to the effected area could also be required. These repairs are best done be experienced craftsman, however, if this service is not available, a simple step by step instruction is available.


The handle can be replaced by experienced craftsman, this does not effect the performance of the bat and does not warrant a full bat replacement.


A guarantee is honoured against the workmanship and materials, when the bat is used in a proper and responsible manner, within the first season (this is not a 12 month period). Proof of purchase (receipt) must be provided to the original place of purchase before any warranty work is considered. Water damage to toes causes cracking, yorkers and edges will cause additional damage that is not covered under warranty.

All warranty claims MUST be returned to the place of purchase, with receipt of original purchase. It is here where the first assessment will be made.

If your bat looks like any of these pictures, the damage to your bat is normal and acceptable as normal wear and tear.

Irrespective of make or finish of a bat, superficial face and edge marks will almost certainly appear, together with indentations or bruising of the willow. In these circumstances there is no need to worry as the durability and performance of the bat will be unaffected.

Bats returned to us by worried and sometimes ill-advised customers, in a similar condition to the pictures, are not complaints due to manufacture but merely reactions of willow.