Laver & Wood – Our Willow Grading ExplainedHere at Laver & Wood we only make our bats out of the very finest English willow sourced from the world’s top willow merchants, J.S. Wright & Sons. We only use the best grades we can source. This policy protects Laver & Wood customers and ensures the highest quality finish and performance when choosing Laver & Wood cricket bats. Below we explain the differences in willow grades. Please note, Signature Grade is limited and therefore subject to availability.
Our Reserve bats are made from the finest Grade 1 English willow available and come from the top 10% of genuine English willow.
A Reserve blade will have 6 or more principally straight grains and have minimum blemishes. It may also contain colour (heartwood) on one side.
Each Reserve is tested for performance by our expert bat makers. We have a unique pressing system that is more traditional and tends to give the bat a longer than average life whilst still holding a good performance.
Private Bin / Butterfly Gold
Our Private Bin bats are made from high quality Grade 1 English willow, which comes from the top 10% to 20% of genuine English willow.
A Private Bin blade will have 6 or more grains, but these may not be perfectly straight. The blade may also contain some blemishes, but these won’t affect the performance of the bat.
Our Private Bin bats are all tested for performance by our expert bat makers. We have a unique pressing system that is more traditional and tends to give the bat a longer than average life whilst still holding a good performance. The Private Bin bat is great value for money when getting into the higher grades.
Special Reserve / Butterfly
Our Special Reserve grade blades are graded and tested in our workshop by the L&W expert bat makers based upon performance. As such our Special Reserve bats may have some imperfections aesthetically and tend to perform above expectations. Sometimes this can take time and often the Special Reserve Grade is bought as a net bat for a Reserve or Signature grade bat to help give the match bat a longer life.
Our entry level Legend bats are made from Grade 3 English willow. Each bat will contain at least 5 grains but may not be straight in every case and will usually contain more cosmetic blemishes than the higher grades. However, these are all completely natural and only affect the bats appearance and not performance. The Legend is a good work horse bat and can still perform well to give good value for money.
Exclusive Signature Grade
The Signature Grade is limited and only made personally by Master Bat Maker James Laver. Each bat carries a serial number and details are logged. If you are looking for something a little different and want to put your stamp on the bat with very specific grain requirements, talk to us, as even though it may take time James will make every effort to help.
Signature represents some of the rarest and finest (top 1%) of the Grade 1 English willow available.
A Signature blade will have 7 or more good, straight, and even grains with very minor blemishes in the playing area and sometimes contain colour (heartwood) on one side. These bats simply look beautiful and in the 22 years since 1999, when L&W was established in New Zealand, James has only made 380 of these blades. Each Signature is made and tested personally by James. We have a unique pressing system that is more traditional and tends to give the bat a longer than average life whilst still holding a good performance.