This method is preferred by professional players, but is much more expensive due to labor costs. Log bolts are wedged apart with a hydraulic splitter so tangential grain (face grain) slope is true because wood only naturally splits that way. Grading is off of the face grain. Splitting helps to maintain the integrity of each fiber by keeping them from end to end.
This is the most popular method and the most economical. Logs are cut apart with a saw but still cut with the grain as much as possible. Grading is off the edge grain. Sawn material can cross the fiber therefore altering the tangential slope even with straight edge grain.
Pro Grade Billet
Highest level playing bats not generally available to the general public, only available in skids. Will always ink dot.
A / Semi Pro Billet
This is the most common used grade for most levels of play. Used be most bat manufactures and hobbyists. Will sometimes ink dot on the face grain but not guaranteed.
B / Amateur Grade Billet
Second level playing bats. Generally good for colored bats.
Youth / Trophy Billet
These billets are going to be heavier than the average billet. Best for younger players and makes great youth and little league models or perfect for making a display bat.
Heat and fans move the water out of the surface of the wood so stickers are needed between each layer of material. These can be steam driven or dehumidification style but either way the wood is more brown because of the surface exit point.
Heat and suction pull the water out of the ends of the wood so material layers are bulk-packed and have direct contact with each other. This drying method makes the wood more white in color due to the ends being the exit points for moisture.
Moisture Content (MC)
Level at which the wood is dried down to. Ash can be MC 6-8% for the industry standard or 10-12% for a bit more flexibility. Maple is always MC 6-8% as it would be too heavy at 10-12%. Birch is usually dried to 5 to 6%. MC is an average and can vary by +/- 1-2%.