Q? When I buy a made-to-order, bespoke cricket bat, am I realing getting what I expect?
A> In many cases, no! While advertising a made to order service, many vendors are simply finishing a part made bat to the weight you require.
Q? How can I recognise a real made to order cricket bat service?
A> To be sure of a real made to order service, where all components of the bat start out in their raw state, check you can choose the exact handle you require. Shape and length may be offered but check too for a choice of handle type and insert type. This will confirm the handle of your choice is used from its raw form.
Q? Why is the handle indicating a real made to order service? Isn't the cleft more important?
A> Yes, after all, the cleft is becoming the hitting area but the handle hides many secrets. Handles are made in many different ways, varying in quality, from 4 piece to 12 piece handles. It is also possible to have handles with cork or rubber inserts, oval or round, long, short or super short. If a vendor is unable to offer a complete choice on handle construction, it is highly likely that the bats are not "made from stratch" and with the handle already inserted, the bat is just sat waiting to be finished to your weight and shape.
Q? Is there anything else to help indicate a complete made to order cricket bat service?
A> The smallest component of the bat but a big indicator... check if it is possible to specify the toe guard colour, possibly to match the grip colour you've chosen. While this is a minor aspect and nothing like as important as the blade or handle, a real made to order service will apply the toe guard in the manufacturing process - every single component used from its raw form - cleft, handle, grip, toe guard, facing for a real made to order cricket bat. Also beware of delivery timescales of 10 days or less - made from a raw cleft, a quality product cannot be rushed and will be worth waiting for.
Q? So, I need a real made to order English Willow cricket bat, what next?