How to Knock in Your Cricket Bat without a Mallet?

Knocking the bat with a mallet – even if it’s a rubber mallet – is the preferable way. However, you should know how to knock a bat even in the absence of a mallet. In this article, you can get insights into different ways to knock in your cricket bat even if you don’t have a mallet.

If you don’t have a mallet and want to knock in your cricket bat, there are a few possible ways to knock in your bat. What you can do is use an old cricket ball, wrapped in a sock or an old cricket ball tied to a handle. Alternatively, you can also buy a ready to use or pre-knocked cricket bat, as such bats do not need additional knock-in sessions.

Use an Old Cricket Ball in a Sock

The key intention is to give the cricket bat short small periodical impacts to indeed soften the wood which is originally brittle and could be dangerous to use for a match directly. And for this, an old ball put in a sock can also serve the same purpose in absence of a mallet.

Below are quick steps to knock in a cricket bat with a ball in a sock.

  • Step 1: Oil your cricket bat with raw linseed oil. The oil is easily available in the open market as well as online marketplaces like Amazon. You can add a teaspoon of oil to the surface of the bat and rub it with your bare hand spread all over, including the corner and sides of the bat. You can also use paper or cotton for the oiling. Avoid boiled linseed oil.
  • Step 2: Once the oiling is done, keep the bat aside for at least 24 hours to allow it to sock in the oil. Wipe any excess oil and again leave it for a few hours. The next day, apply another coat of oil and let it be for another 24 hours. Wipe the bat to clean up the excess oil and wait for a few more hours before you can start knock-in.
  • Step 3: The bat is now ready to be knocked. Instead of a mallet, you can use an old cricket ball and put it in a sock, the longer the better. Move the ball all the way down, and you are all set for the knock-in.
  • Step 4: Start the knocking process, which should last for at least four-six hours.

Use an Old Ball on a Short Handle

Yes, that’s another alternative to the mallet and a ball in a sock to carry out the knocking process. You can use an old ball mounted on a short handle or a wooden stick, which practically makes it similar to a wooden mallet, just that an old ball is mounted at the end, which is for the knocking-in.

How to Knock in Your Cricket Bat without a Mallet?

This is readily available in the market and on the online markets places like amazon. For example, check out this SG Standard Cricket Bat Knocking Ball Mallet Hammer, which is very handy for knocking-in preparations. SG is a reputed Indian manufacturer company for cricket bats, balls and other equipment.

Tips for knocking in:

  • As Four-six hours is a long period, you can split and repeat the task on an hourly basis. And in each hour, knock-in four key areas of the cricket bat – both the sides, the main surface and the toe – for 15 minutes each.
  • Also – while knocking in, try to round the cricket bat edges so that when a ball hits the edge, it can better withstand the impact. This can be done by repeatedly knocking the ball at the edges and moving it outward.
  • The knocking process should always be moving away from you to avoid direct impact on the wood.
  • In the beginning, keep your grip over the top of the ball. With each passing hour, move your grip away from the ball, moving upward the sock.
  • Don’t rush during the overall knocking process.
  • Once you are done with the knock-in, you need to practice with the cricket bat using an old cricket ball.
  • Avoid knocking around the handle or splice, as this can weaken the bat around that region.

What are Pre-knocked Cricket Bats?

If you don’t have much time for going through a lengthy knocking process, you can directly go for pre-knocked cricket bats. Such cricket bats are available in the market, and they come prepared with the oiling and knocking-in process. Of course, such cricket bats are a slightly higher price for the added value.

Even though such cricket bats are oiled and knocked in already, it is recommended to do a little bit of oiling and knocking-in for better performance and durability. If the cricket bat gives out a hollow sound while hitting the ball, it’s an indication that the bat is ready to use.


Though mallet is the most convenient option for the knocking process, there are other means to achieve the same as mentioned above. Ultimately, the fibres within the willow should get compressed through knocking-in so that the bat can sustain the impact of a cricket ball, and last longer.