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The other day I went out on the court to play pickleball, and one of my friends showed me a paddle that he had just bought at Target: The Orange Mamba by Franklin Sports for $9.99. I tried hitting with it and found the paddle was very heavy and unmanageable when hitting dinks or smashes or stretching out to hit balls that were just within my outstretched reach. I told my friend that when it comes to toys you shouldn’t be cheap. Well of course you can be cheap, but buying cheap pickleball paddles is not a good idea.

I’m seeing a lot of new players coming out to play pickleball as well as people who have been playing for a short time. The newbies are looking to buy their first paddle, and the beginners, those who have just started to play, are looking to move up a notch and buy new paddles to replace the ones that they started with.

My advice to both groups of players is stay away from wood pickleball paddles and cheap pickleball paddles. You won’t like the way they feel and play. So what are the best pickleball paddles for beginners who are willing to spend a reasonable amount of money…let’s say $40 to $50?

This article is a pickleball paddle review of the four best pickleball paddles in the $40 to $50 price range. These are all good pickleball paddles and include the best rated pickleball paddles suitable for beginners.

Pickleball Paddle Reviews


Autosan Graphite Pickleball Paddle Set
(includes carry bag & eBook)

PRICE: $40.99

SPECIFICATIONS:
Core: Polypropylene Honeycomb
Face: 100% pure aerospace graphite (carbon fiber)
Average Weight: 8.0 oz
Grip Size: 4 1/8”
Handle Length: 4 3/4”
Average Width: 8 1/4”
Average Length: 15 1/2”
Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

FEATURES:


  • The Autosan is a lightweight, large faced paddle with excellent touch, power, precision and control.
  • The textured paddle surface gives you more control to develop an even better serve and perfect those top spin ground strokes.
  • GRAPHITE FACE AND PROPOLYCORE HONEYCOMBGraphite is a lighter material and gives you quick action off the surface so the ball spends less time on the paddle, meaning you’re less likely to make a mistake. The Autosan Propolycore Honeycomb is the softest, quietest core you can get. That means more control, power, and pop in every shot.
  • BALANCED LIGHTWEIGHT: With a lightweight of 8 oz., the Autosan pickleball paddle is light yet strong, strikes the perfect balance between great game play, control, power, and maneuverability.
  • Paddle comes with edge guard.
  • Paddle is suitable for noise-restricted communities.
  • Paddle is excellent for beginners to intermediate players.

POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS:


  • I have won 2 tournaments with this paddle. Sadly one was a three-way tie for Gold and lost by 2 points and the other Silver. I like the touch, power and control with this paddle. I love the mid weight paddle. It gives me the dink game and also the power slam game to put it down when I need too. This paddle is great for beginners to 5.0 players per their preference. I am a 4.0+ player right now. I love the Length of the paddle which is 4 1/2. I feel like it gives me a better grip and hold. It is 8 1/4 inches in width and the length is 15 1/2. It is USPA approved. The core materiel is Polypropylene Honeycomb. I also have a Nome Honeycomb paddle and they are somewhat similar but I feel this paddle has more control and creates a better dink game for me. I would recommend this paddle to you.
  • Paddle is very well packaged. Even the handle was wrapped in plastic. The included bag is very nice. It has an inside and outside webbed pocket and is well padded. The shoulder strap is adjustable and has a hook to hang the cover with. This paddle weighed in at 7.7 oz.. The handle wrap is the same as one would find on paddle costing three times as much. Balance is excellent so the paddle does not feel heavy. Even though it was my first time playing with it I felt like I’ve been using it for some time. Very comfortable and even after over an hour of playing in extreme heat the handle stayed dry and did not slip. Folks, this paddle is the bargain of the century. Lifetime warranty and a sixty-day return, unbelievable. You can’t go wrong.

Niupipo Pickleball Paddle Set
(includes protective cover and 4 pickleballs)

PRICE: $45.99

SPECIFICATIONS:
Core: Honeycomb Composite
Face: Graphite
Average Weight: 8.0 oz
Grip Size: 4.25”
Average Width: 7.9″
Average Length: 15 1/2”
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

FEATURES:


  • OPTIMAL BALANCE BETWEEN POWER & CONTROL – the paddle is made of a graphite-honeycomb composition for an ideal level of strength and stiffness with a surprisingly light weight. It is a great combination for added control and power hitting.
  • IMPROVED STRENGTH BY THE HONEYCOMB CORE – The interior of the pickleball racquet is constructed by polymer honeycomb and sandwiched between two sheets of durable fiber glass. This paddle offers great energy to spin the balls.
  • The surface of the paddle has superior grip for putting extra spin on the ball. It can provide a resilient surface with sound consistency.
  • COMFORT ERGONOMIC GRIP & PROTECT – Each paddle features a specially designed comfort grip that minimizes slipping while maximizing balance. It also offers added comfort and control on every hit. There is a black edge around the periphery of the paddle to protect its edges as well as balance the paddle.

POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS:


  • Medium to lightweight, very comfortable grip, low vibration, very easy to return the ball due to fairly large sweet spot. Ideal for close to net and mid distance play. Great price which includes 4 balls and a cover. Recommend for beginners and intermediate players.
  • Very comfortable grip, low vibration
  • The paddle fit my hands well, the balls are for indoor use not for outdoor use, so now I am going to have to buy outdoor pickleballs, don’t really want to spend anymore money. I would recommend buying this paddle.

Amazin’ Aces ‘BAINBRIDGE’ Pickleball Paddle Pro Series
(includes racket cover with shoulder strap and PDF Rule Guide)

PRICE: $49.99

SPECIFICATIONS: 
Core: Aluminum
Face: Graphite Fiberglass
Average Weight: 7.9 oz.
Grip Size: 5″
Average Width: 7 5/8″
Average Length: 16″
Edge Guard: No
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

FEATURES:


  • The ‘Bainbridge’ was named for the home of pickleball – Bainbridge Island in Washington state! This beautiful blue colored paddle is great for both beginners or advanced players.
  • The Bainbridge features an aluminum core with a graphite & fiberglass blend face for great touch and pop.
  • The aluminum core offers players more touch and connectedness to their paddle, while the graphite face improves control without sacrificing power.
  • The aluminum core is fabricated in a honeycomb & layered with graphite to create an incredibly responsive paddle that will react to every move. It is lightweight yet strong enough to survive countless dinks, volleys & slams.
  • The paddle allows for a perfect blend of power & control while not getting you fatigued like some heavier paddles on the market.
  • Rimless design (i.e. no edge guard) means less weight and few mishits.
  • A premium quality grip keeps your the grip feel dry and solid.

POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS:


  • I have been playing for a number of years and have a couple of paddles in my bag. This is the lightest paddle I have used in years in addition to costing 50% less than my average price. I like the feel of the paddle and have noticed a quickening of hand speed, probably due to lightness. My serves go just as deep but cross the net lower than before. I like the touch and the ability to take speed off a slam and dink it. Happy with the paddle.
  • Economy and performance. I have been playing pickleball for a month and I already have 3 paddles and another one on the way. I kinda sorta think this is the best one for me so far. I played with it today for the first time and by the end of the matches I was playing the best pickleball of my life. Of course my partner was very good so that helps. I was able to hit the deep shots and the drop shots with good control. I have pretty big hands so the “large” grip suited me. I felt like the sweet spot was bigger than my other 2. The face seems smooth but imparts some pretty good spin. Sounds pretty cool…
  • I’m only started to play a couple months ago and was borrowing a paddle to play with so decided to get my own. This is nice and lightweight plus it is rimless which I really like. The handle is on the large size but is comfortable to me and is tacky enough to that it doesn’t slip when you get sweaty palms. It has a reassuring pop to it and seems to be a consistent hitter. The included case is a bonus and appears to be of decent quality. Not sure about more experienced players but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for those that are less experienced.

OZ Professional Graphite Pickleball Paddle

PRICE: $49.99

SPECIFICATIONS: 
Core:
Nomex Honeycomb
Face: Carbon Fiber
Average Weight: 7.7 oz.
Grip: Responsive
Average Width: 8 3/8″
Average Length: 10 1/2″
Edge Guard: Slim
Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

FEATURES:


  • INDUSTRY LEADING TOUCH, CONTROL, & DURABILITY thanks to the most premium and expensive materials on the market | NOMEX Honeycomb Core + Carbon Fiber Face
  • LARGEST SWEET SPOT due to the widest paddle frame allowed by the USAPA. No more wimpy shots off the sides of the paddle that dive into the net. If they do, well then it’s just your fault.
  • BEGINNER to ADVANCED this paddle was built to be the first and last paddle you’ll ever need.
  • It’s GUARANTEED — If this isn’t the best paddle you ever used, send it back within 30 days for a no hassle FULL REFUND.

POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS:


  • Update, I had an issue that was handled quickly with the seller in a very professional manner. You can tell they are passionate about Pickleball. I love this paddle. It has a very loud, satisfying “pop” and I have more control than ever with this paddle. I am hooked. This is a top quality paddle at a very reasonable price. I have gotten many comments about how rapidly my game has improved since using this paddle. No joke. I attempted going back to a previous paddle that had more power but very little control. The Oz is my favorite new paddle.
  • New to the game, this paddle had good response, handle fit my large female hand well and it is so light you don’t tire of holding it.
  • Used it for the first time today am really impressed. It met all expectations and then some. I am a 4.0 player of just under two years and have tried most of the big names and would not trade any of them for this one. The paddle is light and easy to handle, solid when hitting and the grip is great. Very soft feel when dinking, control is great and plenty of pop when you need it. Handles all aspects of the game well, no complaints. 2nd day, the surface really makes topspin very effective. The control is my favorite aspect of this paddle, line shots are never easy, but I feel more confident with this paddle than most. Still happy. 11/9. Went back to my former paddle for a comparison yesterday, lasted only two points and back to the OZ. I had used the former paddle for quite a while and thought it was great, but it felt totally off, balance was nowhere as good as OZ, did not have the zip of the OZ either. Longer I have it, the better I like it. 12/7 Ordered a couple more for the grand kids, they love the game and may as well get them started out with the best equipment.

Conclusion


So you now have my pickleball paddle review for the best pickleball paddles for beginners in the $40 to $50 price range. No need to spend a lot of money to get a top quality paddle. Yet at the same time you don’t want to buy a wood pickleball paddle or a cheap pickleball paddle. Without a good paddle you will have neither power nor control, and you will struggle to keep up with other players.

I will be writing many more reviews of pickleball paddles so I hope you enjoyed this one and found it helpful. Please comment below and let me know what you think of this post, and don’t hesitate to share your own opinions about paddles you like or pickleball in general. I would love to hear from you.