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Oiling and Knocking-in 

You can pay up to £40 to have your bat oiled and knocked-in we provide this service for £20. This service includes the bat been fully oiled the edges rounded the face and toe been fully knocked-in. We will then add an anti-scuff sheet and edge protection, all this is included for £20. 


Oiling

Oiling stops the willow from drying out by sealing in the willows natural moisture and therefore greatly reduces the risk of cracking.  If you are buying a covered bat, or one fitted with an anti-scuff sheet, there is less oiling needed as these bats are able to retain their moisture – but please don’t overlook the exposed areas around the edges and toe of the bat.  For natural faced bats, apply a light coat of linseed, or specialist bat oil, to the blade and edges, using your finger, use a rag or cloth to soak up the excess.  Be careful not to oil the splice, handle, stickers and never stand the bat in oil.  It is also very important not to over oil the bat as this can make the bat less responsive. several light coats of oil is more beneficial than one excessive coat.  Once the oil is applied, leave in a horizontal position – bat face up – so the oil can seal the wood.   Allow the bat to stand for twenty-four hours. You are now ready to move on to the knocking in process

Knocking-In

Firstly, a word of warning: many modern cricket bats are “pre-prepared” in the factory by the manufacturer.  Pre-prepared does not mean that the bat is ready to use, however.  It will have been oiled, pressed and lightly “knocked in” by hand, but will still require a minimum of two hours “knocking-in” before it can be used, otherwise there is a high risk of seriously damaging your bat.  Cricket Bats that aren’t pre-prepared will need even longer, usually around 5-6 hours before they are ready to play; and even after “knocking-in” is complete, you should avoid using is matches against a new ball until you have had a few net sessions or throw downs..

When you knock in a cricket bat you compress the fibres of the willow and knit them together, so they become tough enough to withstand the impact of a cricket ball.  Effective “knocking-in” will dramatically improve durability and increase the lifespan of the bat. 

Using a wooden bat mallet, tap the blade of the bat – avoiding the handle, back and splice – and keep tapping, gradually increasing in force, until the indentations level out .  Make sure you pay particular attention to the toe and face edges of the bat, as these are more susceptible to damage, but do not hammer the edges at right angles, 45 degrees is advisable.  You should notice that the edges become rounded and compacted the more you knock them in.  The ‘ping’ will also improve as you go along.

When you have finished knocking the bat in, you should start by practicing in the nets with an old (but good quality) cricket ball, and play in a defensive manner.  Perhaps add a few throw downs or slip catching practice to test how well you’ve knocked in those edges! Then move on to normal practice play and try to play a few more shots – still with a good quality, old ball – before finally unveiling your new secret weapon to the world in a match situation, at least 2-3 net sessions later.

Cricket Bat Maintenance

The lifespan of a cricket bat varies, and is dramatically effected by how well the bat is knocked in and how regularly it is oiled.  If you have a covered bat, we recommend that you oil the exposed areas during the off season, or any other period of significant non-cricketing activity – on average once a year.  If your bat has a natural face it should be oiled at the beginning of the season and after end of season refurb to ensure consistently high levels of performance.  We would also recommend applying fibreglass tape to the inside and outside edges as this will reduce the risk of cracking in these vulnerable areas.  The “knocking-in” process will not need to be repeated, however, unless you start noticing seam marks appearing on the face, in which case we recommend one more hour of “knocking-in”.

Specialist Bat Care Instructions

All cricket bats are different, and the above instructions are merely a general guideline.  If you want more specific instructions on how to oil, “knock in” or look after your bat, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer directly.  Most cricket bat manufacturers have detailed bat care guides on their websites, too.