Willow grade, weight, shape, edges, sweet spot, handle, grip... made to your design.
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The perfect English Willow Cricket Bat for your height, strength and style of batting.
Design Your Made-to-Order English Willow Cricket Bat
Step 1/19 : Willow Grade and Size
As a natural product, even the finest willow will have some `blemishes` or `pin knots` and hence even a top grade bat will not be 100% clean; some imperfections will exist but not in key areas. While some imperfections will effect playing ability, others will not; for example, in older times, the presence of a butterfly stain was accepted as giving additional strength to the blade; in modern times, cosmetic looks sometimes overrule the truth.
There are four grades on English willow available on the market (A Grade 1 to A Grade 4). There is a fifth (A Grade 1+), but this is the ultimate finest willow and normally reserved for the pro market.
A Grade 1 - finest willow used in the top of the range models. Blades would typically have straight grains, be unbleached and have very few imperfections (usually the playing area will be clean). Some red wood may be present around the edges.
A Grade 2 - fine quality willow but with potentially higher red wood content (playing performance will usually be unaffected). Imperfections will be present in the form on minor blemishes and pin knots. Mostly straight grains and unbleached.
A Grade 3 - good quality willow but with some irregular grain patterns. Imperfections may be present in the playing area, in the form of stains and overall, more prominent knots and higher amount of red wood are likely. Blade may be bleached.
A Grade 4 - the lowest grade, certainly bleached and often used for `non-oil cover` bats but may play as well as some higher grades. Likely to contain more imperfections, including butterfly stains, knots and red wood.