2018 Louisville Slugger Omaha 518 Youth Bat Review
Our Summary of the Omaha 518:
The 2018 Louisville Slugger Omaha 518 is hands down one of the best valued USA bats on the market. It utilizes a lightweight single piece aluminum construction featuring Louisville Slugger’s durable ST 7U1 alloy (the same alloy material found in the Louisville Slugger Select 718). The big 2 5/8 barrel features a six-star durable end cap which decreases weight at the end of the barrel allowing for a more balanced swing. The handle comes wrapped with a synthetic leather grip providing extra cushion for the hands. Like all Louisville Slugger USA bats, the Solo 618 incorporates a custom Lizard Skins grip, considered one of the most comfortable grips in youth baseball. Year after year, Louisville Slugger continues to develop Omaha models that have significantly improved the fundamental and mechanics of youth ball players around the world. We believe that the 2018 Louisville Slugger Omaha 518 USA youth bat delivers that same traditional feel at a great price and is a perfect bat for the age range of 9 years old or under.
Our Review of the Omaha 518:
As a parent of a youth baseball player, you understand first hand the financial toll the sport takes on your wallet. Between the equipment, apparel, league fees, extra practice, cage times, gas money, etc: Playing baseball can run up to thousands of dollars per year even if your child rests in the summer and winter. With the new USA bat standard altering the batting experience for our youth hitters, some parents would save some cash and not spend $300+ on the Rawlings Quatro or $350+ on an Easton Ghost X. If you are a parent with a slugger between the ages of 6-10 and you might not have the bankroll to spend hundreds of dollars on a bat, you should consider the 2018 Louisville Slugger Omaha 518. Despite this bat not quite performing to the levels of other USA bats, it can provide adequate results especially if all your child seeks is to make solid contact and put the ball in play. After approximately 240 swings with solid connection, below is our official review of the Omaha 518.
Evaluating the Pop of the Omaha 518:
Approaching the evaluation, our team expected it to not shell out the level of pop as other Louisville models like the Select 718 or the Solo 618. As anticipated, it lacked a significant amount of distance no matter how solid the hit. To measure this variance in distance between our other tested bats, we had the same volunteers who tested out the Select 718 -10 drop hybrid also swing the Omaha in the pop station. Comparing and contrasting the average distance of the traveling ball off the end of it to the distance from a Select 718, we couldn’t help but take notice upon the obvious disparity between the two. Using the same test subjects and the same USA Louisville Slugger bats, the average difference the ball traveled was approximately 26 feet per solid swing (Select 718 being the furthest, of course).
OFFICIAL SCORE: 7.5 / 10
Calculating the Vibration Control of the Omaha 518:
It houses a single-piece aluminum construction which gives us the impression that it might not protect from vibrations as well as other two-piece construction USA bats. One of the best elements it has to offer is Louisville Slugger’s patented ST7U1 alloy, which is what the Select 718 is comprised of. The material definitely helped with the resistance against some shock however not nearly as much as the latter. Approximately 18% of our volunteers that swung it reported feeling a consistent sting while using the bat.
OFFICIAL SCORE: 8 / 10
Assessing the Grip & Comfort of the Omaha 518:
One aspect of the Omaha that positively resonated with our volunteers was the stiff grip of the handle. This specially wrapped leather synthetic tape particular combined with the light weight design of the Omaha 518 makes it an easy and comfortable youth baseball bat to swing across the strike zone. As a -10 drop, it did seem a bit heavier than it should, however the discrepancy wasn’t enough to warrant any seriously negative reviews. In our opinion, it was heavier than its Select 718 hybrid counterpart. One of our volunteers commented, "The Omaha was very easy for me to swing much like the other Omaha’s I have used in other seasons. I didn’t get as much power as I did from last year but it was still a pretty good bat to use."
OFFICIAL SCORE: 8 / 10
Measuring the Durability of the Omaha 518:
The one thing we were most impressed about the bat was its ability to withstand one hell of a punishment. To reiterate what we mentioned earlier, it encompasses the same ST7 U1 alloy material found in the Select 718 which is the strongest and most durable aluminum the company has produced in quite some time. After approximately 240 swings, the Omaha 518 experienced only MINOR handlings scratches, scuffs and marks. The Omaha continues the long traditional trend of reliable Omaha models Louisville Slugger has produced for the past few years.
OFFICIAL SCORE: 9 / 10
TLDR; Determining the Overall Experience of the Omaha 518:
It's a great bat for younger youth baseball players who are simply looking to put the baseball in play. Please understand that the same levels of pop and vibration control won’t be achieved with the Omaha as what can be achieved with the Select or the Solo. Overall, it will get the job done and provide an adequate impact upon the baseball.
2018 YOUTH BATS' OVERALL SCORE: 8.125 / 10