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Electrum Model E 16mm paddle review: The Excalibur of the Soft Game

If the #1 rated Men’s Doubles player in the world, Collin Johns, loves the Electrum Model E, it’s gotta be good right?

The Electrum Model E and Paddle head cover shown on court floor
(Image credit: Dennis Rodriguez)
Verdict
If Collin Johns is the king of resets and blocks, then the Electrum Model E might be the secret behind his prowess—the “Excalibur” of his game! I must say, the paddle’s performance is astounding, as if it provides Collin with an unfair advantage. The touch and feel of the Model E surpass all others, making it a top choice for control-oriented players. While it may not cater to everyone’s style, it is undoubtedly tailored for the ultimate defensive player—a player who aspires to be an impenetrable wall at the kitchen line and is known for their consistency. I would classify this as a paddle purely focused on control, suitable for players of all levels.

View at JustPaddles
SpecsDescription
Paddle Weight8.0-8.5 oz
Paddle Face MaterialSuper-Gritty RAW Carbon Fiber
Paddle Core MaterialPolypropylene Honeycomb
Paddle ShapeElongated
Paddle Length16 1/2”
Paddle Width7 3/8”
Grip SizeThick – 4 1/2”
Handle Length5 1/4”

First Look

Right off the bat, I noticed the smaller lightning bolt “E” logo near the throat, which gives it a minimalist look that I appreciate. In my opinion, sometimes less is more and I love seeing more of that Raw T700 Carbon Fiber face. Also I love that the Model E comes with a nice neoprene head cover with the same “E” logo. It is an elongated paddle at 16 1/2 inches in length which is great for extra reach. I will say, I was not a huge fan of the grip they used on this paddle, however, this is completely personal preference because some of my playing partners felt the exact opposite. They described it as being one of the better quality grips they’ve used. As you can see in the picture above, I took matters into my own hands and wrapped the grip with an overgrip. With that little modification, I was all set and ready to take this paddle into the field.

 

The Electrum Model E 16mm paddle shown on a table
(Image credit: Just Paddles)

Build Quality

Electrum truly values quality, and it shows in every aspect of the Model E. From the head to the handle, it exudes a sense of exceptional craftsmanship and feels solid. While it may not have quite as gritty of a feel as say, a CRBN paddle, the surface texture still gives me confidence in its spin potential. Surprisingly, despite being a 16mm paddle, it had more power than expected, particularly noticeable during drives. This could be attributed to the paddle’s slightly head-heavy nature. Personally, I prefer a more balanced paddle and would opt to add weight with lead tape where needed. However, the dead spots on the Model E were minimal. It proved to be remarkably forgiving, delivering a consistent feel weather hitting the sweet spot (as indicated by the green area in the picture below) or closer to the paddle’s edges. This quality makes it an excellent choice for players of all skill levels.

The Electrum Model E 16mm paddle with sweet spot shown on a table
(Image credit: Dennis Rodriguez)

Feel

First impressions matter, and one thing that stood out to me about the Model E is its weight. According to Electrum, it falls within the range of 8-8.5oz, and mine weighed in at 8.3oz right out of the box. That’s quite hefty in my book. Notably, the weight distribution leans more towards the head, indicating the Model E might not be ideal for speedups or hand battles. However, it’s likely that it excels in defensive maneuvers like blocks and resets.

I have a thing for thicker grips, and the Electrum Model E delivered exactly that, measuring a comfortable 4 1/2 inches. However, I must admit that the handle length was slightly shorter than what I’m used to, coming in at 5 1/4 inches. Initially, it posed a small challenge for my two-handed backhand, but with a few ground strokes and a bit of adjustment, it became manageable. On the flip side, the shorter handle length comes with a perk—it allows for a larger surface area on the paddle face, resulting in a generous sweet spot. From the get-go, I knew this paddle was destined for greatness at the net. The theory was put to the test on the court and exceeded all expectations.

Responsiveness & Power

Drives with the Model E felt great. My serves and return of serves were consistent and powerful. I believe this was because I was able to use a bit more of my own momentum and a little more of my arm during these specific shots. At the kitchen line however, you do not have time to use that added momentum. You rely on short, quick movements to generate power and speed. 

In my opinion, power at the kitchen line lacked a bit with this paddle. I felt like I could reset literally anything that came my way but if I wanted to attack a ball or maybe do a punch volley or speed up, I noticed that this paddle was lacking in the power department. Higher level 4.5+ men and women I play were able to block my speedups with ease due to the lack of energy this paddle was giving off. Now don’t get me wrong, if I gave this thing a bit more of my own power and momentum, the ball could definitely be put away. I personally just prefer a more even balance between power and control. Too much control sacrifices too much power. 

Soft Game

The Electrum Model E deserves an A+ in the soft game department! I was blown away with the consistency of my drops, dinks, and resets. I mean, it’s hard to fathom a paddle performing any better in these areas. The net game was my playground, as my cross-court dinks effortlessly floated over the net. I had complete control, placing the ball wherever I wanted without any fear of popping it up or hitting the net. Not to mention, the sweet spot on the Model E is surprisingly large for its elongated shape, making it comfortable to take balls out of the air at the kitchen line.

Many players tend to reach too far to hit the ball out of the air, resulting in hitting it closer to the paddle’s edges. And you know what happens next? The ball loses its power and ends up hitting the net more often than not. The Model E seemed almost too easy to hit the sweet spot on dinks, even when I may have overreached a bit while taking a ball out of the air. At first, I thought it was just luck, but as I continued to consistently hit one dink after another with minimal errors, it hit me—this paddle was an absolute beast at the kitchen line. No wonder Collin Johns rarely misses a dink…

As far as resets, it was as if the paddle took over and as long as I held it up as my opponents sped up the ball, it would just “magically” drop that ball right back into the kitchen and reset the dink rally. This baby was now my “Excalibur” too, and I could not get enough of this paddle’s soft game!

Overall

If your goal is to be the most consistent partner, dominate at the net, and nail those perfect third shot drops, then look no further—the Electrum Model E is an absolute dream come true. However, if you’re more of an aggressive player who thrives on speeding up points and attacking balls with a vengeance, you might want to consider something with a bit more pop. The weight of this paddle tends to slow down your hands, making it harder to flick your wrist or generate power without relying on your entire arm. When it comes to my short game, I’ve never felt more confident than when playing with the Model E. On the flip side, during intense fire fights and speedy exchanges, my confidence took a hit. It felt like a trade-off that didn’t quite suit my style. However, if you have the right partner and a more conservative playing style, I can wholeheartedly recommend this paddle to you without a second thought!

Hey guys, my name’s Dennis. I’m a full-time Firefighter and “part-time” Pickleball Instructor who honestly loves coaching, teaching, and competing in sports. I played baseball & tennis throughout highschool and college and fell in love with pickleball. My goal with Pickleball Portal is to give you the most honest and reliable info on everything related to pickleball gear and equipment! I want to arm you with the knowledge to feel confident in your paddle choice by giving thorough reviews and comparisons through my hands on testing. Also hoping to share some tips and tricks with you to help your game and continue the growth of this awesome sport! dennis@pickleballportal.com

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