14mm Vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle: Which One is Right for You?

Choosing between a 14mm and 16mm pickleball paddle depends on your playing style. A 14mm paddle offers more power and agility, which is useful for  attacking players. In contrast, A 16mm paddle excels in control and precision, ideal for beginners. Handle length, weight, and facing material can also influence your paddle choice. Trying both types is recommended for beginners, ensuring you pick the best fit.

Through this content, we will cover the differences between 14mm and 16mm paddles. So, you know what to consider according to your playing style and preferences. 

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing between a 14mm and a 16mm pickleball paddle depends on your playing style and preferences.
  • A 14mm paddle offers more power and quick maneuverability, favored by aggressive players.
  • A 16mm paddle excels in control, with a wider sweet spot, ideal for precision shots and beginners.
  • Handle length, weight, and facing material also play a role in your paddle choice.
  • Trying both paddle types is ideal for beginners for easy decision-making.

14mm Vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle: Quick Comparison

Pickleball paddles have different core thicknesses and come in three main categories:

  • Thin Core: From 11mm to 13mm.
  • Medium or Standard Core: Typically 14mm and 15mm.
  • Thick Core: 16mm and above.

Let’s have a quick comparative glance at the 14mm vs 16mm paddle.

Comparison Factor14mm16mm 
Control and PowerBalanced control and powerOffer more control, and precision
Handle Length4.5 to 6 inches4.5 to 6 inches
Paddle Weight and Stability7.7-7.9 ounces
Offers a good balance of weight and stability
7.9 – 8.2 ounces
Heavier weight gives increased stability
Facing MaterialPolypropylene core and fiberglass surfacePolypropylene core and carbon fiber face
Paddle SuggestionsVolair MACH 1 14mmJOOLA Ben JohnsBen Johns Perseus CFS PROLITE Illuminate 2.0 JOOLA CFS 16mmYC DGYCASI 16mmDiamond Warrior Edge Franklin Sports Pro16mm 
RecommendationsSuitable for power players who prefer a balance and speedSuitable for beginner and intermediate players

14mm Vs 16mm Pickleball Paddle: Detailed Comparison

Now let’s explore the details of each comparison factor for 14mm and 16mm paddles.

14mm and 16mm Pickleball Paddle
Source: dash pickleball

Power vs. Control:

The choice between 14mm and 16mm core thickness can significantly impact your level of control and power on the court. Let’s explore the differences:

Power with 14mm Paddle:

  • Provides More Power
  • Balanced power and control
  • Offers a blend of strength and maneuverability
  • Greater feedback on off-center hits
  • Suited for aggressive players who like attacking the ball
  • Quick maneuverability for speedy returns
  • Well-suited for players who generate their power

Control with 16mm Paddle:

  • Offers Most Control
  • Softens the paddle’s feel and enhances control
  • Reduces wobbling on off-center shots
  • Ideal for beginners seeking a balanced paddle
  • Wider sweet spot
  • Provides a comfortable, forgiving touch
  • Suitable for precise shots and a focus on ball placement

A 14mm paddle leans toward power, providing a well-balanced blend of strength and maneuverability. This paddle is favored by aggressive players who enjoy attacking the ball, delivering quick returns to catch opponents off guard. If generating power is your forte, the 14mm paddle is your partner on the pickleball court.

On the other hand, A 16mm paddle excels in control, creating a comfortable and stable feel that helps minimize errors. Its wider sweet spot makes it ideal for precision shots and ball placement. This makes it the best choice for a control lover. 

Handle Length:

Pickleball handle lengths for 14mm and 16mm paddles can range from 4.5 to 6 inches. However, the length, including the paddle width should be within 24 inches.

Longer handles generate more power and spin, which can benefit your game. Less experienced players tend to generate more power with shorter, wider paddles. 

For those who prefer a grip similar to a ping-pong paddle, a shorter handle is the way to go. 

If you use two hands on the paddle all the time, use a handle length of at least 5.25 inches, or even longer.

Paddle Weight and Stability:

Pickleball paddles are usually categorized into lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Among them, both 14mm and 16mm are in the midweight category. This is because they weigh around 7.6 to 8.2 ounces

However, pickleball paddles typically range from 7 to 8.5 ounces. 

Lighter paddles are easier to maneuver, which is advantageous for quick exchanges at the net. However, lighter paddles require more effort in your swing to generate power.

Heavier paddles, on the other hand, require less effort for powerful shots due to their weight. When dinking, a heavier paddle helps, as shorter swings reduce errors and provide more time to prepare.

Facing Material:

While the facing material has less influence on 14mm vs 16mm paddle performance, it still matters. Because it can affect how the ball bounces and how you can control it.

Facing Material
Source: Takeya USA

For a 14mm power-focused paddle, It is better to get a thinner polymer core with a fiberglass face. If you prioritize control, look for a 16mm thicker polymer core paired paddle with a carbon fiber or graphite face.

You can also mix control and power in paddle elements by choosing a thicker core with a fiberglass face. This combination provides excellent control and some power when needed.

Paddle Suggestions:

Some of the pickleball paddles with 14mm cores recommended for power players are

  • Volair MACH 1 14mm
  • JOOLA Ben Johns
  • Ben Johns Perseus CFS 14mm
  • PROLITE Illuminate 2.0 
Product NameFeature
Volair MACH 1 14mmBest for control and spin
JOOLA Ben JohnsMaximum Speed with High Grit & Spin

These 14mm paddles are ideal for power players, offering excellent spin and speed.

14mm paddles
Source: The Pickle Sports

Thick Pickleball Paddles with 16mm thick core, which are recommended for control and precision are:

  • JOOLA CFS 16mm
  • YC DGYCASI 16mm
  • Diamond Warrior Edge 
  • Franklin Sports Pro16mm 
Product NameFeature
JOOLA CFS 16mmMinimizes vibration for better control 
YC DGYCASI 16mmAnti-slip, abrasion-resistant, and durable

Designed for professional players, these paddle features a 16mm thick polypropylene core and a fiberglass surface. It results in better control and precise shots.

However, each paddle has its unique features, so players can choose the one that best suits their style and preferences.

Recommendations for Choosing:

Choosing a paddle between 14mm and 16mm absolutely depends on your personal preferences and playing style.

If you’re a beginner, the best way to decide is by trying 14mm and 16mm paddles before buying. This can help you determine which core thickness matches your gaming style best.

If you’re unable to try paddles in person, start with a 16mm core. Thicker cores provide more control, a forgiving paddle, and a larger sweet spot, which helps new players.

Once you are done experimenting with 16mm, go for 14mm to get more power when you attack.

For maximum control, get a paddle with a short handle, 16mm core, wide-body shape, and a carbon surface.

For a balanced approach, go for a paddle with a standard handle. A 14mm core, a shape of personal preference, and a hybrid surface will be a great match.

Again, if you’re an aggressive player who likes attacking the ball, 14mm thinner polymer core paddles are suitable. Those who prioritize control over power should consider thicker 16mm polymer core paddles.

Closing Words

We hope this article helped you decide between a 14mm vs 16mm pickleball paddle.

If you’re a beginner, try both types to see which core thickness suits you best. Whether you’re a beginner or a regular, there are multiple options of paddles out there that are perfect for you. 

Enjoy your game and explore the world of pickleball with confidence.

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