How to Oil a Cricket Bat | Step By Step Process

A cricket bat is like a weapon for any cricket player. It's not just a mere piece of wood; it is something that they worship. Hence, it becomes extremely important for them to take good care of these weapons. It’s the duty of every player to take the utmost care of their gear. One of the most important parts of caring for a cricket kit is maintaining your bat. One crucial aspect of cricket bat maintenance is oiling, which helps keep the wood in prime condition, preventing cracks and splits. But a lot of players dont know how to oil a cricket bat, or what oil to use. 

Knocking of the bat with a mallet

So, in this article by ZAP, we will guide you through everything you need to know about oiling a cricket bat, ensuring it remains in top shape for every game.

What is Cricket Bat oiling?

Applying Linseed oil on the bat

Cricket bats are primarily made from two types of willow: English willow and Kashmir willow. English willow is highly regarded for its performance and is preferred by professional players. It is light, fibrous, and offers excellent stroke play. However, it requires regular maintenance, including oiling and knocking. Kashmir willow, on the other hand, is more robust and often used to make bats for beginners. It doesn't require as much maintenance but lacks the performance quality of English willow.

Also Read: English Willow vs Kashmir Willow Bat

The Purpose of Oiling a Cricket Bat

Oiling a cricket bat serves several essential functions:

  • Maintaining Moisture Levels: Oiling keeps the willow fibres tight, preventing the wood from drying out and becoming brittle.
  • Preventing Splitting and Cracking: A well-oiled bat is less likely to develop cracks and splits, which can significantly reduce its lifespan.
  • Enhancing Performance and Longevity: Oiling ensures that a bat performs well for longer periods by maintaining the bat's condition for longer durations.

Which Oil Should I Use for Oiling a Cricket Bat?

The traditional choice for oiling cricket bats is linseed oil. It is effective at maintaining the wood’s moisture levels and providing a protective layer. There are two types of linseed oil you can use:

  • Raw Linseed Oil: This is the most common choice and is excellent for deep penetration into the wood.
  • Boiled Linseed Oil: This dries faster than raw linseed oil but doesn’t penetrate as deeply. It can be used if you need quicker results.

There are also alternatives, like specialist bat oils, but linseed oil remains the most common and recommended option.

Step-by-Step Guide to Oiling a Cricket Bat

Rubbing the oil using microfibre bat cloth

Preparing the Bat

Before you start oiling, it’s essential to prepare the bat properly:

  1. Clean the Bat: Remove any dirt, dust, or grime from the bat’s surface using a clean cloth or sandpaper.
  2. Remove Old Tape and Stickers: If your bat has old tape or stickers, carefully remove them to ensure the oil can penetrate the wood evenly.

Applying the Oil

  1. How Much Oil to Use: Use a small amount of oil—about a teaspoon—for each application.
  2. Techniques for Even Application: Apply the oil using a soft cloth or your fingers, spreading it evenly across the surface. Avoid over-oiling, especially in one area.
  3. Areas to Focus On: Pay particular attention to the edges, toe, and face of the bat, as these areas are more prone to damage.

Allowing the Bat to Absorb the Oil

  1. Drying Time Between Coats: After applying the first coat, allow the bat to rest and dry for at least 24 hours.
  2. How Many Coats Are Necessary: Typically, 1-2 coats are sufficient to ensure the bat is well-oiled.

Also Read: Cricket Bat Care Guide

Post-Oiling Maintenance

Applying anti scuff sheet on cricket bat

Once you’ve oiled your bat, it’s essential to continue with regular maintenance:

  • Knocking in the Bat: This process involves gently hitting the bat with a mallet or an old leather ball to prepare it for play and prevent damage.
  • Apply a scuff sheet: After knocking, apply a scuff sheet on the face of the bat to keep it safe from any damage, like chipping of wood or water damage. 
  • Regular Maintenance Tips: Keep your bat clean, store it in a cool, dry place, preferably in a padded cricket bat cover. 
  • Storing the Bat Properly: Use a bat cover or case to protect it from moisture and other environmental factors.

Also Read: How to knock a cricket bat

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Over-oiling the Bat: Applying too much oil can make the bat heavy and affect its performance.
  • Using the Wrong Type of Oil: Always use linseed oil or a recommended alternative. Other oils can damage the wood.
  • Not Allowing Adequate Drying Time: Ensure each coat dries completely before applying the next one to avoid a sticky, unusable surface.


Now that you have read about how to oil a cricket bat, here are some more articles we recommend you read:

How to put a grip on a cricket bat | What cricket bat profile should you chooseHow to choose a tennis cricket bat

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