I’ve honestly had a mind boggling number of pieces pass through my collection. This constant flux has led to gaps appearing periodically though. I’ve spent time without a water pipe, time without a spoon, time without a bubbler, but I realized I’ve never spent any considerable amount of time without a bat in the mix.
Due largely to the time I popped a blood vessel in my eye while trying to blow ash from a particularly clogged bat, I’ve grown quite fond of self-ejecting versions. Combining this fact with my more than minor obsession with gadgets, my interest was undeniably piqued when I was introduced to the Better-Bat Twist.
Rather than the spring loaded, push style design that most people are familiar with, this sleek bat’s ejection system is driven by a threaded core. The body of the bat can be extended with a simple twist. This allows enough slack to push the body back together which shoves the ash clear of the bowl. Another quick twist pulls the slack tight and you’re ready to reload. Also, further spins outward will break the Better-Bat Twist down into three easily cleaned sections.
When I first started using my Twist, I was slightly dismayed at the amount of slop I felt while the bat was extended. I had to make sure to pull while twisting, otherwise the core would simply spin in place without the threads catching. But… after a few good packs, the natural buildup of burnt material provides just enough gum to allow the twist to become a subconscious action. This was a pleasant surprise as this gunk is normally the slow death for the function on a spring loaded model. Beyond the greater longevity between necessitated cleanings, the twist also allows the back of the bowl to be pushed completely clear of the bat. This causes any ash to be cleared more easily and thoroughly than any spring loaded design I’ve encountered.
Still, the greatest weakness of push style bats has always been trying to load one from a taster box. I’ve always hated trying to load from a dugout as I tend to compress the spring while filling my bat, pushing half of my smoke back out of the bowl. When closed, the Twist’s body is solid for all intents and purposes. Combining this with the option for digger teeth, there is neither nook nor cranny that can successfully evade the reach of this Better-Bat.
While the Better-Bat Twist is not blazing ground through new territory, it has quite succesfully reworked one of the most essential and ubiquitous smoking apparatus to see the light of day. With its pleasing aesthetic and superior functionality, the Twist takes home “World’s Greatest Bat” as far as I’m concerned.
– Chuck T
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