Gearbox CX 14 Pickleball Paddle Reviews 

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Gearbox CX 14 Pickleball Paddle Reviews 

Gearbox pickleball paddles are constantly pushing the envelope with their technology. They only have a few models, but every model is designed with passion and the purpose of being one of the best-performing pickleball paddles on the market.

The Gearbox CX 11 models had a very unique feel that players either loved or hated. Gearbox was able to take that feedback and make some tweaks to their new line of CX14 paddles which combine that very rigid feel with a softer, plusher poly core feel. 

The new CX 14 series has two different pickleball paddles. The CX 14H and the CX 14E.

Gearbox CX 14 Specs

Gearbox CX 14 Specs

Spin 9.5

Power 7

Control 9.5

  • Weight Range: 8oz – 8.2oz
  • Paddle Length: 15 7/8″
  • Paddle Width: 8″
  • Handle Length: 5 5/8″
  • Face: K Woven Carbon Fiber
  • Core: T-700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Thickness: 14mm

CX 14E Specs

CX 14E Specs

Spin 9.5

Power 8.0

Control 8.0

  • Weight Range: 8oz – 8.2oz
  • Paddle Length: 16 5/8″
  • Paddle Width: 7 3/8″
  • Handle Length: 5 5/8″
  • Face: 3K Woven Carbon Fiber
  • Core: T-700 Carbon Fiber
  • Core Thickness: 14mm

CX 14E vs. CX 14H

The only difference is the face dimensions. The CX 14E is elongated, which gives the player a little extra reach and tends to be a little more head weighted with the sweet spot high up on the face. 

The CX 14H is a standard shape but the 5.5” handle still offers a little extra reach. The wider face is more forgiving and offers a little more stability than the CX 14E.

My personal thoughts

I like to think of this paddle as a tank.  You aren’t going to be the cheetah but you could be the turtle.  I was a reset machine with this paddle as control is the strongest attribute of this paddle.  The spin is good and lets you create the drops and drives you want, but the power has to come from you.  The gearbox CX14 does not generate much power and sometimes it can be frustrating trying to put overheads away but it just depends what you are looking for.  

This paddle is on the pricier end so it is competing with a lot of really good paddles. If you are looking for a control maximum paddle then try this one out. 

Gearbox CX 14 Review 

The Gearbox CX 14 is composed of a single piece of T-700 raw carbon fiber which gives it that sleek edgeless shape. Although this is becoming more common, Gearbox was one of the first manufacturers to ditch the edge guard. 

If you’ve never used a carbon fiber pickleball paddle, this may take some getting used to but in my opinion they feel much more responsive and softer than graphite or fiberglass.

Spin

I could generate quite a bit of spin with both the CX 14 and the CX 11 paddles. Although it wasn’t as much as the Selkirk Power Air, I would classify this as a high-spinning pickleball paddle. 

I had no issues getting my drives and serves to drop, and I could generate a lot of backspin on dinks, drops, and resets. Not only could I generate a lot of spin, but it was very controlled, so I could keep the element of surprise during games. 

Gearbox has stated that as the carbon fiber weaves start to wear and fray, the spin improves, so these paddles get more spin the longer you play with them, unlike paddles that use carbon surface spray, which wears out over time. 

Power

Carbon fiber pickleball paddles are known for being more efficient with control and feel rather than power. 

Both these paddles offer plenty of pop, but to the point where it’s hard to control. The Gearbox CX 14E and CX 14H had a pretty similar amount of power, but the elongated face and lighter weight of the CX 14E felt like I could get through the ball a little harder. 

For drives and put-aways, I didn’t feel like I could overpower my opponents, but the 14mm core offered plenty of power to take advantage of my opponent’s mistakes. 

Control

This is where the Gearbox CX 14 pickleball paddles really excel. The T-700 Raw carbon fiber face has very rigid and stiff. The stiffness spreads the ball’s energy over a larger surface area, increasing the feel and responsiveness. 

During dinks and drops, I noticed a massive improvement in placement with these paddles. If I hit a mis-hit shot, I could tell where I missed it and make necessary adjustments.  

The Gearbox CX 14E was a little easier to control since I prefer a lighter paddle, but the CX 14H was much more stable at the net during hands battles. 

Even Though these pickleball paddles have a thinner 14mm core, it feels like a 16mm polymer core. The ball felt very soft and plush when it hit the face which greatly increased my confidence. 

Durability

The edgeless raw carbon fiber face is built to last. It’s extremely durable and even tends to get better with age unlike most paddles on the market. 

Since the edges are not protected, the edges are going to be the first places to see some dings. I highly recommend putting electrical tape, or the Gearbox edge tape around the sides of this paddle.

The tape won’t affect the feel or weight, but it greatly affects protection and longevity. 

Drawbacks Of the Gearbox CX 14 Pickleball Paddle 

The only real drawback I have is the fact that the edges are pretty easy to ding up. It’s never a good feeling when you ding your $200 pickleball paddle.

Another important callout is that the sweet spot does feel pretty small, especially on the CX 14E. There aren’t any dead zones, but like any paddle, if you miss the sweet spot, it doesn’t feel as great.

What Are Others Saying?

” PADDLE WAS EXPENSIVE BUT I FEEL IT WAS A GOOD VALUE. SPIN AND CONTROL REALLY IMPROVED MY GAME. THE SOFT HITS TOOK SOME TIME TO GET USED TO BUT IT HIT CLOSE TO MY THICKER HONEYCOMB PADDLE. BIG FEATURE: THE HANDLE SIZE IS ADJUSTABLE! INSIDE ARE REMOVABLE PANELS SO THE GRIP CAN BE MADE SMALLER. I JUST REDUCED THE GRIP TO 3-3/4″ BY REMOVING THE GRIP TAPE AND USING AN ADV OVERGRIP TAPE. KEPT THE PANELS IN. VERY HAPPY WITH MY PURCHASE.”
-AMAZON CUSTOMER
I HAVE USED THIS PADDLE FOR SIX WEEKS. PRIOR PADDLES I’VE USED WERE ONIX AND SELKIRKS. I LIKE THE FEEL OF THE BALL COMING OFF THIS CX14H PADDLE BETTER THAN THE ONIX (COMPOSITE FACE PRODUCED LOTS OF POWER BUT LESS SPIN) AND SELKIRKS (BOTH INVIKTA AND S2 PRODUCED PLENTY OF SPIN BUT LESS POWER). THE GRIP ON THE GEARBOX PADDLE HAS A NICE SHAPE AND IS EASIER TO HOLD. THE LARGE SWEET SPOT AND GREAT BALANCE HAVE HELPED ME DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE MY SERVES AND DROP SHOTS SINCE ADOPTING THIS PADDLE.
-AMAZON CUSTOMER

Verdict: Who is The Gearbox CX 14 For?

I would recommend this pickleball paddle for a player that like a lot of feel and responsiveness on the court. If you rely on spin and power, I think there are better paddles on the market that cater to that style of play. 

The Gearbox CX 14 will benefit players who spend a lot of time up at the net who need a little extra help with dinks, resets, and drops. 

Furthermore, this is for someone looking for a primary paddle. Due to the durability and the increase in performance the more you play, I don’t think this should be a backup paddle. 

Written by:

Jacob Hoisington

Jacob discovered pickleball when he one day was biking past local courts and started a conversation with some players. He asked what they were playing and got invited to a beginner’s night where he got hooked on the game. As a long-time doubles’ tennis player, pickleball was a natural fit for Jacob. His first love of the game was trying different paddles as there were so many and ever since he has become obsessed with trying every paddle, he can get his hands on. Jacob appreciates that pickleball is accessible to anyone while still offering competition.

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