Best Pickleball Paddles: Top paddles for Value, Control, Touch, Power, and Speed!

Hey guys this is Ethan from The Comprehensive Minds and today I’m helping you on your search for the next best paddle that you’re looking for.

We’ve made a list of our favorite paddles so far throughout multiple categories, and our plate testers, including myself, have spent countless hours trying all of these out.

The categories that we went into are going to be value control, touch, power, and speed. So let’s get right into it.

Franklin Ben Johns 16 mm

man standing with pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

Starting off on the value category, we have the Franklin Ben Johns. Now, the reason, why we like this paddle, is the max great texture technology on this paddle. It’s insanely gritty, It feels like sandpaper, and that just transitions into a heavy spin on the ball during play.

Another thing we really like is just the affordability of this paddle. It’s much cheaper than a lot of the other high-end options that this kind of plays against. And also it comes in multiple thicknesses, multiple weights, and it is also elongated.

So this would be a good option pretty much for anybody who wants to start playing pickleball, especially people who are maybe playing tennis and going into pickleball. This would be a really good starting option.

And I’ve seen these all the way to pro-level players, obviously with Ben Johns himself killing it with his paddle. So this is a great affordable option.

Engaged Pursuit MX

Engaged Pursuit MX pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

Going into our control category. We have the engaged pursuit. Now, one thing that’s great about the pursuit line is they have a lot of versatility within the paddles themselves. So these paddles, have multiple shapes, multiple thicknesses, and even multiple weights.

So you’re going to be sure to find something that works out really well for you. Our personal preference was the pursuit index, as it is a little bit more elongated. It’s thinner, so it provides really good power in that regard.

Also being a control paddle, it’s nice to have that little extra power boost for me, but we just like those paddles due to the fact that they have a lot of options for all players out there. As far as playability, why the Engaged Pursuit line stands out?

You can kind of see with the slick design its heavy graphite face. And also it has the control pro black core, which is designed to be one of the softer cores out there right now.

So as far as control goes, this is really easy to dial in the dink shots, and great angles. But we also found that when you want to dial up the power, it is there. But overall, it’s much more on the control side.

And this is a very, very solid option from Engage. Check out all of the pursuits. Figure out which one works for you. Again, they have the elongated and the standard versions in multiple weights, and multiple thicknesses.

Babolat Mnstr Power

Babolat Mnstr Power pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

So next we’re going to go into our touch category, our best paddle for touch, and that’s going to be the Babolat Mnstr line. The image shown above was the power. But they also have a lighter version, which is going to be your touch.

Now, the reason why this paddle stands out to us is right under the paddle face. You have some EVA foam and the actual paddle itself, and it is still an approved legal paddle to use. And it’s very uncommon to see this foam. What it does? It does a great job of absorbing those harsh vibrations.

So if you’re somebody who really wants to prioritize, touch maybe is coming off an arm injury or is prone to having some arm pain when you play pickleball, this is a really solid option. And again, the touch is going to be a little bit of a faster paddle while the power version is a little bit heavier.

So you do have some options there. And again, what we noticed is with that EVA foam, the ball can kind of dig into that a little bit and it’s going to add some really, really nice spin. I actually like these paddles a lot.

Just because of that, I can find really good access to spin for a con of it though, that EVA foam is going to be a dampened feel. So some players, they may not like that. They may find that they want to feel the ball a little bit more.

But overall, this is a great paddle to check out for those who like to have maximum touch. And this is a little bit more on the control side. So keep that in mind when you see the words power there.

We did find that it was more control than power, but we do recommend trying out the Babolat Mnstr line as it has that nice unique feel from that EVA foam and tons of spin potential.

Electrum Pro

Electrum Pro pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

Next up is going to be our best power category. And just picking this up, I can just feel how it’s going to have a ton of power to it due to it’s going to it’s a little bit more head heavy. This is the Electrum Pro.

I’ve spent a little bit of time with this one myself. It’s a little bit too powerful for me. But as far as power goes, it’s tough to beat this one. Also, take a look at the sleek design.

This is something that’s very eye-catching, something where I think simple is better. I really like the design of this one, but if you’ve hit with graphite before the graphite face, you might notice that they’re not super textured, but the Electrum Pro has a ton of texture on this, which again is going to transition into heavy spin.

The balance on this one, though, the balance is a little more head heavy, which is where you’re going to get some of that extra pop and kind of comparing to some of the other paddles.

There, one has a little bit more of a wider face. So if maybe you’re a beginner or playing a lot of doubles and you want that wider face and kind of an edge-to-edge sweet spot here, this is a really good option, very forgiving.

And again, that’s just going to transition into heavy pop, heavy power. So this one’s really just going to kind of blow your opponents away with how much you’ll be able to pop into the ball.

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro

Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

Going next into our speed category. So for our speed category, we got here the paddle tech Tempest Wave Pro. This paddle is very, very fast through the air. You see with that pro right there.

What that means is that it has smart response technology in it. In the paddle itself, the smart response is going to help kind of evenly distribute energy throughout the ball. So it just is going to be basically a very forgiving, sweet spot in that regard.

Again, it’s really, really fast throughout the air. It’s got a pretty good spin, but this one is notably more on the control side. So keep that in mind. I would highly recommend this one for maybe an advanced player who’s playing a lot of doubles and needs some quick speed on that reaction time.

But overall the core feels really solid and really nice sweet spot again from that smart response technology. And it’s just super fast through the air. It also works really well for two-handed backhands.

It’s got a little bit more reach to it. So this would be nice for, again, maybe a tennis player that plays at a higher level transitioning into pickleball. But overall, just has tons of speed and lots of control. Very good for doubles play right here.

Diadem Warrior

Diadem Warrior pickleball paddle
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

Now, lastly, we’re going to go into our honorable mention. This is the diadem warrior. You’ve probably seen this one. And I’m going to kind of hold up the edge here. You can see just how thick this core is. This is a 19-millimeter core. You heard me right, 19 millimeters. So what this is really unique with is the technology.

It actually has three different cores. I call it the core sandwich if you saw my review of it. But it’s got a polymer core on the outer edges and then on the inside, it’s got a Nomex core.

And if you don’t know, the polymer is kind of a little more control based, it’s going to provide a softer feel while the Nomex, which again is in the middle on this one, is going to give you a lot of pop and a lot of power.

Diadem Warrior pickleball paddle 2
Image: Screenshot/The Comprehensive Post

It’s kind of like a thicker core. So basically what you’re going to look at here is when you’re hitting a softer shot, that’s going to activate those polymer cores on the outside.

But when you want to dial in power and you’re swinging hard, the ball can dig through those courses into the Nomex, which is going to transition into more power.

Now, we found during our playtest it was not super noticeable unless you really hit the ball hard. And we actually found that this was more of a controllable paddle. So while we love the technology, we would like to see that power just maybe be amplified a little bit.

But overall, this is a really great paddle and we can appreciate the innovation that Diadem went. And you’ll see this one out there a lot. It also has really good grip too, so you get a great spin on it.

But overall, this is a very solid option. And if you want to try something new and unique, this is one to go to. So that’s going to wrap up our favorite pickleball paddles. We would love to hear from you, though.

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