When it comes to preparing a cricket bat, machine knocking in a cricket bat is a perfect way to make your bat stand strong against every delivery. Whether it’s Kashmir willow or English willow bat, cricket bat knocking is necessary to stabilize the hitting area and prevent cracks.
As the technology is at its peak, manufacturers use an advanced cricket bat knocking machine for perfection. But wait! Is the machine knocking enough to get your cricket bat on the pitch? If you also have this question in mind, you’re at the right place.
We have crafted a detailed guide to answer all of your questions related to machine knocking in a cricket bat . Also, this guide will give you an expanded view of whether your bat needs hand knocking after machine knocking or not.
So, let’s get started!
What is Machine Knocking in a Cricket Bat?
As the word describes itself, knocking means hitting or tapping an object or a surface consistently. Similarly, knocking in a cricket bat reflects a consistent tapping of the bat’s hitting area from its shoulder to the toe.
It’s a complete process in which we prepare English or Kashmir Willow bats to face throws and strokes of leather balls. However, your cricket bat doesn’t really require knocking if you play with plastic or tennis balls.
In most cases, traditional knocking with a Wooden cricket mallet is considered ideal. But innovative manufacturers like Heega Sports use high-tech cricket bat knocking machines to get your cricket bat knocked to perfection.
Don’t worry! Our cricket bat knocking process is a blend of both machine and traditional knocking symbolizing the quality standards.
How does a Cricket Bat Knocking Machine work?
A cricket bat knocking machine adds convenience and accuracy to the knocking process. Here a step-by-step procedure of machine knocking will give you a detailed idea about how it actually works. You asked for a process so here you have it!
Oiling and rubbing:
Like traditional knocking, the process starts with applying raw linseed oil to the surface of the bat. The oil keeps the willow wood moisturized and prevents cracks during the compression. After this, we rub the oil using a soft rag to spread the oil evenly on the bat before putting it in the machine.
The waxed bat is kept for around 24 hours so that the wood fibers can absorb the oil and handle precise machine knocking.
Placing the bat:
Now, the bat is ready to get knocked and it’s time to place it inside the cricket bat knocking machine. We place the cricket bat in the machine facing its hitting area upwards according to the configuration.
While placing the bat, we make sure the machine holds the bat properly without over-pressing it to prevent damage.
Setting knock count:
As discussed earlier, a cricket knocking bat machine features high-tech specifications for convenient knocking. It allows you to customize the knock count including vertical and horizontal knocks according to your needs.
In most cases, 2000-5000 knocks are considered ideal for professional cricket bats to face leather balls. But your bat can take up to 20000 knocks to get ready for the match.
Adjust knock density:
Besides the knock count, the machine knocking in a cricket bat process also includes adjusting the density. Here the knock density determines the intensity and speed of the hammer while hitting the bat’s surface. Thus, it’s important to adjust the density according to knock counts for proper knocking.
Luckily, cricket bat knocking machines enable you to customize the knock density and ensure even hits to the bat’s surface.
No doubt machine knocking offers even knocks and is really convenient when compared to traditional knocking. However, the machine only knocks on the front face of the bat and skips important areas such as edges and toes.
Thus, we recommend finalizing the bat with a hand knocking or traditional cricket bat knocking process for the expected results.
Traditional Cricket Bat Knocking Process:
Whether it’s traditional or machine knocking, every process starts with oiling the bat with linseed oil. The ideal quantity of linseed oil is one teaspoon or 4-5ml as too much oil affects the wood quality while a lesser amount may not offer the required moisture.
Also, we recommend using raw linseed oil rather than cooked oil. The reason is that cooked oil can lead to adverse impacts and even soak the moisture from willow fibers.
Rubbing with Soft Rag:
Surprisingly, the second step of hand knocking is also the same as the machine cricket bat knocking process. Rubbing with a soft rag creates an even coat of oil on the bat and flattens the knocking surface.
We spread the linseed oil on the surface and the toe of the bat leaving no patches or oil pools behind for an even finish.
Use Mallet to Knock Bat:
Once you have done oiling and rubbing, it’s time to conduct the most important part of hand knocking. Use a hardwood or cricket mallet to knock uncooked areas or the areas that are left behind during machine knocking.
If you’re knocking the bat from scratch, you also need to focus on the primary hitting area that may take up to 20000 manual knocks. Let’s see three important knocking areas that are worth your focus while knocking!
Knocking Areas to Focus On:
Long edges mean the side edges of a bat and determine the overall durability of a bat during the matches. Instead of hitting the mallet directly at 90-degree, we recommend striking the long edges at 45-degrees. It will knock and round up the edges without shrinking the hitting surface of your bat.
Knocking the cricket bat’s toe is always important even if you already used the cricket bat knocking machine earlier. In this, you should use a table cramp for a secure hold before hitting the mallet on the toe. Use the full face of the mallet and aim to flatten the toe corners and round them for further compression.
Striking area or say the main hitting area requires maximum knocks and can take up to 20000 knocks. There are several techniques to knock the striking area, including mallet hitting, practicing on soft pitches, and swing back and forth hitting.
Knock the Striking Area:
Besides these, the best practice of knocking the striking area is to place the bat on a table with a clamp. Compress the striking area using a hardwood mallet unless the striking surface becomes even. Well, it’s just the beginning!
You need to knock the striking area around 15000 to 20000 times. As it’s a lengthy process and may take around 6 hours, you must schedule a rest of 10-15 minutes after every hour. Also, keep checking the wood while knocking and knock the bat until it’s completely hardened.
Conclusion: Is Machine Knocking Enough for a Cricket Bat?
Looking at both the processes, you may get an idea about the most frequently asked question, “is machine knocking enough?” The answer is NO! Machine knocking is not enough if you’re looking to play with a leather ball on the pitch.
As discussed above, a cricket bat knocking machine may be convenient and perfectly knock the hitting area. But it doesn’t target other main areas such as the toe, edges, and shoulders of your bat. That’s why we consider a hybrid cricket bat knocking with both machine knocking and hand knocking ideal.
If you want to know more about knocking in a cricket bat, you can consult professionals of Heega Sports for detailed information.