Kettlebell brand and weight

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations - Kettlebell' started by Argent Jones, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Argent Jones

    Argent Jones First Timer

    So I'm a bit of a beginner to kettlebells, only ever owning plates and a kettlebell plate handle. Well, sufficed to say, I'd like to get a good set of real 'bells now. My questions are 1) should I get 1 set of 16-24-32-40-48kg bells, should I get a pair of these, or should I also get a monster bell or two? 2) In terms of longevity, should I get comp bells or is there no discernable difference from cast iron bells? 3) which brands are considered the best? Would I be best off getting something like a high quality set of bells from PerformBetter or Kettlebell Kings? Or a cheaper set of pairs from a brand like Rep Fitness?

    Sorry for all the questions
  2. jadam318

    jadam318 Double-Digit Post Count

    Hey @Argent Jones I am new here on the forum, myself. I started S&S this winter with bells from Rogue. For the price, I don't see how they could be better. I only have a 16KG and 24KG so far, and I have only needed more as of lately (ready to start using a 32KG). The simplicity of gear for S&S is part of what drew me to it.

    That being said, I do share your question about brands. I have seen/heard people saying Rogue kettlebells are not as good as others. It seems universally accepted that Kettlebell Kings makes the best ones. I'll pay the extra price for Kings bells if there is enough advantage, but I don't see how much better they could be. I mean, it's a cannonball with a handle made onto it... Hopefully someone with more brand experience will chime in soon.
  3. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I like Rogue. I did actually get my hands on a Kettlebell Kings bell last week (thanks @Preacher ) and was impressed with it. Both the build of the bell and the powder coat seemed to be a slight improvement over Rogue, IMO... but only slight. Either one would be great.

    It depends a lot on what you plan to do with them. I'd start with a 16kg and 24kg, maybe a 32kg. Later, another 16kg and 24kg so you have some pairs. No need for the monster bells unless you want something to deadlift, or something to impress your friends. I'd go with a quality set if you plan to do volume work with them -- the handles are much nicer to your hands, and better for working on technique. But if you just use them every now and then for "conditioning" type workouts (i.e. the way C-fitters use kettlebells), it doesn't matter that much what brand they are.

    The competition style bells are good if you're interested in GS. They can be used for hardstyle, but they're not ideal, so generally I'd say not to get those unless you have a specific reason to.
    Oscar, Francisco and jadam318 like this.
  4. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Argent Jones welcome to the forum!

    You could buy as little as only one 24 and have enough to train for a year. I trained 1.5 years with a plastic 14 kg and a 24 (I would have been better off using only the 24 I think now).

    Like @Steve Freides suggested elsewhere, let what you are going to do dictate what you should buy. Have you decided what program you will follow?

    Here the general recommendation is to do single bell programs for a while and only then doubles. Depending on what programs you follow you might benefit more from intermediate weights than from doubles, so no need to buy everything at the beginning. This would be my recommendation in order of importance.
    1. 24 kg (must).
    2. 16 kg.
    3. 32 kg.
    4. 20 kg or 28 kg or 2nd 24.
    5. Above 32. Or doubles.
    Unless there is a very good reason for it, I wouldn't buy more than 24, 16 and 32.

    About competition or cast iron: that's a matter of preference for most. I dont like cast iron for below 24 kg because they are too small. I dont like competition for 32 and heavier. Some fellas prefer the smaller handle of the competition for heavier bells because it helps their grip. Another good reason not to buy all at once, in the long run you might not like what you bought.

    About brands: those brands you mentioned are all fine. I have bought generic Chinese bells and were just fine. For the first couple of bells you buy I would suggest a recognized brand. Some other brands might have some problem you dont know of, like a wrong distance from the bell to the handle, and it might hurt you not even knowing why (happened to me). So for the first few avoid this. Afterwards you'll know what to look for.

    Good luck and let us know how your training goes.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    Francisco and Steve Freides like this.
  5. Bunn

    Bunn Triple-Digit Post Count

    All of my Kettlebells are from Rep or CFF Fit, and I have no issues with either brand. The construction seems good (have not broken one) and the finishes are great, very smooth with just enough texture to aid grip and no chipping over the last couple of years of regular use. Weight is spot on with the 20, 24's and 40, the 32 is .4 lbs light, but within the advertised margin.

    I have used or previously owned Rogue and DD, good bells, but not any better than my current collection.
  6. Oaks

    Oaks Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Hey @jadam318,

    I've got a Rep 8kg, a no-name 16 from a big box store, Rogue 24 and 32, and a Lynx Barbell 40.

    The no-name is junk. I had to file and sand the handle just to make it usable.

    The Rogues are nice and the finish is better and more durable than the Rep. The Rep is OK, but I think the Rogues are better IMHO.

    No affiliation, but I think the Lynx is nicer than the Rogues by a small margin. The handle is very slightly thicker than my Rogue 32. I'm not sure if all Lynx have a larger handle, or if all 40s have a larger handle than 32s, or whatever. It's a small but noticeable (to me) difference in any event.

    Not sure what part of NC you are in, but Lynx is in metro Atlanta. Might save you on shipping...
    jadam318 likes this.
  7. jadam318

    jadam318 Double-Digit Post Count

    @Oaks I've never heard of Lynx. Their price looks good, but shipping is still kind of stupid (more than 50% of the cost of the bell, itself). I'm intrigued by the company, though. Looks like a lot of their stuff is US made, though I can't tell if the KBs are.
  8. Oaks

    Oaks Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Likewise. I haven't been able to tell what's made where, although I haven't put a whole lot of time into it. I was happy enough to find a place I could drive to and save on shipping.

    I've been meaning to pick up a 24 from them, at which point I could compare the handle thickness to my 40. I just don't get over to that part of town much and Atlanta traffic truly sucks.
  9. Leroy Forbes

    Leroy Forbes Still New to StrongFirst Forum Certified Instructor

    I agree with everything you mentioned. I also like the fact that you pointed out the in-between bells. For me, the 28kg was an important transition bell to the 32kg presses. I now use my 28kg as my all-purpose bell instead of the my 24kg.
    Michael Scott and Oscar like this.
  10. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count


    When I started doing s&s several winters ago I bought alder cast bells. I liked them because I had tryed them at a gym. I originally bought a 16kg and a 24 kg. A year later I bought a 32 kg and a 40kg ader. I do not regret my purchases but I could have waited on the 40 kg bell. My issue with my ader 32 and 40 kg bells is handle thickness. I have short sausage fingers so my fingers do not touch when grabbing the handle on the 40 kg.

    I would also go with what @Steve Freides says, buy them when you need them. I am a punch the clock kind of guy, or a s&s zombie being the new phrase. So I was fine doing the same weight, even when it feels light. This has made it easy to stay with the 8 kg jump bell sizes. Pressing is not a priority for me right now. But is part of my warm up for snatching.

    The bells I've been buying for work are rep fitness, good bang for the buck. I prefer these or the diamond bells for snatching.

    That is my take, I am just a regular guy trying to stay fit not a professional or a trainer.
    Oscar likes this.
  11. Relic

    Relic Double-Digit Post Count

    It looks to me like Rep, Rogue and Kettlebell Kings all come from the same foundry, with different finish specs, and perhaps different quality specs. They have the same color bands, weight markings on a flattened side, and concentric circle logos.

    I went with KK. I seem to remember Rogue having a supply issue when I made my purchase. Price-wise, with discounts, I paid $100 for a KK 24kg, Rogue wants $87 shipped to Chicago area. Looking at 32kg, it's $125 and $116 respectively. Kettlebell Kings includes shipping in their prices, whereas Rogue calculates shipping by destination, so relative prices may vary for you. KK also increases the discount for each bell you purchase.

    I've never used a Rogue, but the casting, grinding and finish on my two KK bells are flawless.
    jadam318 likes this.
  12. RussF

    RussF Double-Digit Post Count

    Just my 0.2

    I have
    1-16kg Kettlebell Kings
    1-16 older DD bell
    1-20kg Vulcan Training Kettlebell V2
    1-24kg no name bell that looks like a DD bell that I picked up in 04'
    1-32kg Vulcan Training kettlebell V1

    My opinion on them

    2 handed work - Vulcan training bells are king - I have larger hands and these bell fit better than the others

    Bottoms Up work - the DD or what passes for DD bells (larger handle and the sizes vary by the weight) are much easier because of the grip size but also the handles are rougher

    TGU's - surprisingly, the old school DD, kb's are easier for me (I attribute a lot of that to the grip size and I can bare down and recruit more muscles through better irradiation...I think that's what it's called).

    1 hand swings, cleans, and presses = KK bells or the Vulcan V2 are my favorite - I want to try the new KK ones that have the flat spot on them for your forearm for comfort- I like the Vulcan a lot because the "window" is larger and sits better on my forearm.

    If I had to buy them over again I would totally go with the Vulcan V2 or the KK bells

    Weights I would choose

    1-16 kg bell and 1-24 kg bell. I find it easier to get in the groove with certain movements with the lighter bell then move onto the heavier bell.

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