Kettlebells of choice

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations - Kettlebell' started by charlton13, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. charlton13

    charlton13 Double-Digit Post Count

    It's time for me to start purchasing kettlebells. What are you thoughts on what makes a good bell.

    I've been using a power systems 60lb bell at our gym and we have a pair of 24kg competition bells.

    the ones I've looked at are the StrongFirst bells, the dragondoor bells and the muscle driver blue series.

    look forward to hearing feedback and experiences.
     
  2. HerrMannelig

    HerrMannelig More than 300 posts

    Kettlebells are of two kinds: competition and not competition.

    Competition kettlebells are the traditional shape, with square handles, and meant for one handed use. Being the same dimensions, they are also held the same regardless of weight.

    However, for many purposes now advocated, where the overhead lifting is de-emphasized and two handed lifting is common, the newer version is sometimes better suited, although, for overhead lifting, the varying sizes can cause issues, especially if the size makes it impossible to hold properly.

    For competition bells, I cannot give advice.

    For non-competition bells, I say get whatever is the cheapest which works. CAP Barbell makes good cast iron kettlebells and they have free shipping on Amazon.

    Christians Fitness Factory has good prices too: http://www.christiansfitnessfactory.com/

    StrongFirst sells Perform Better kettlebells as far as I know: http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_10151_10751_1000420_-1_1000156_1000156_image_0

    They have competition bells too.

    My first ones were the old DragonDoor ones (before they apparently changed the supplier) and they were the only real source back then that I knew of. Now, everybody is selling them and they are a commodity, so do not look for hidden quality in cast iron. If the handles do not have burs, and they stay in one piece, then they are good enough. They are still expensive (in contrast to the Soviet reasoning...cheap and easy to make).

     
     
  3. brian d

    brian d Triple-Digit Post Count

    For me, texture, how smooth the handle is, and how thick the handle is are the determining factors for a nice bell.  You'll probably have to get your hands on some before you decide what you like.

    My current favorites are Wright bells.  I like the shape and feel as well as the price.  You can get them for a very reasonable price at the CCF link above.

    I have not tried the Perform Better bells, though a lot of people have good things to say, and I think I would like those, too.

    They are expensive, but if you like this style of lifting you could have those bells for decades.  I like to think of the cost per use.  If I use a 100 dollar bell 4 times a week for a year, that's 50 cents a workout.  If I do the same for 5 years, then I'm down to 10 cents a workout.  20 years of workouts and it costs almost nothing.  No gym can beat that.
     
  4. HerrMannelig

    HerrMannelig More than 300 posts

    Rationalizing the high cost of kettlebells is common, but really, kettlebells are expensive. Anything one enjoys is worth the cost which one can afford.

    If you applied the cost per workout logic to other things, you'd find they are still expensive. In fact, a quick look at a foundry's listing for cast iron work reveals that the markup for those who produce them in large numbers is very high. Somebody is making a large profit on them.

     
     
  5. Jason Ginsberg

    Jason Ginsberg More than 500 posts

    Meh, the cost of kettlebells is pretty cheap compared to what people spend on gym memberships, or what many a good musical instrument would cost, or lots of other things.  If you're going to buy them, get something decent that's not going to tear your hands up, or have too large a window that makes a lot of moves awkward.  It's a pretty simple tool, but it's amazing how many really poor designs are out there.

    I've been happy with the perform better bells (same as sf I think?), and the dragondoor ones.  CAP are okay; not great, but if you get a really good price, they're alright. I've not had a chance to try the ones from CFF, but have heard poor reviews of them from people who's opinion I trust.
     
    Michael Scott likes this.
  6. Kyrinov

    Kyrinov Triple-Digit Post Count

    I use an AmStaff bell, costs 91 cents a pound before tax...the handle is a good size and smooth...though there was one tiny burr on it which I had to file down.  I didn't like the vinyl coating..seemed to irritate my skin...so I cut it off.  The only thing is that they don't paint the bell under the vinyl so you have to get a can of beauti-tone or armorclad and spray it to keep it from rusting.  Had fun with it and now have a fire engine red kettlebell.  Think I might get a yellow can and make some stencils to make a proper soviet bell.  Can't seem to find the "good" bells here in Toronto...everyone seems to be selling the same vinyl dipped stuff ...just some places sell for cheap (like fitness avenue) and some places sell the chinese-made bells at Canadian-made prices (like the places on Yonge Street.)  Can't get the AmStaff in traditional weight - its all 5 lb increments but that doesn't bother me.  Think I'll just go ahead and get me a 60 as my next ROP bell since I'm just starting ROP and can press the 54 relatively easily.
     
  7. breasoner121

    breasoner121 Double-Digit Post Count

    Rogue bells are just as good as and half the price. I highly recommend them.

    http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-kettlebells.php
     
    Michael Scott likes this.
  8. breasoner121

    breasoner121 Double-Digit Post Count

    They sell out very fast though, it's the only negative I've found.
     
  9. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Triple-Digit Post Count

    I have used dd bells, performbetter bells, cap bells, and muscle driver grey series.  My personal preference of those I have used are the dd and performbetter bells.
     
    ConeyIslandPaul likes this.
  10. Physical Culture

    Physical Culture More than 500 posts

    I've got a muscledriver blue, and an old made in the USA Dragondoor.  In terms of finish and quality, they are about the same.  They are the best of the cast iron bells that I own (Cap, old MD grey, some no-name bells).  These days, though, I prefer comp bells.
     
  11. Jon

    Jon Double-Digit Post Count

    I get the Cap kb's from Walmart.com or Amazon.  Lately I use amazon since they arrive at my house in 2 days, shipping and tax free.

    Jon
     
  12. FightingMarine

    FightingMarine Double-Digit Post Count

    I have DD's (old and new), PerformBetters, and Lifelines. My favs are old DD's. Second favs New DD's. PerformBetter are def decent though. At the time I bought Lifelines the large bells were being manufactured in China. I received a 70 with a misshaped handle and uneven base. I was refunded PLUS sent a new 70 without defects. Last year I had them both sand blasted because the paint was coming off on my hands. The guy who blasted them said the misshaped one was bondo'ed. I painted them up and they do the job.
     
  13. Fajita_McJones

    Fajita_McJones Double-Digit Post Count

    I have Muscle Driver bells, both of the black and gray (current series) variety.  They're great, and are an outstanding price.  If pressed, I'd say I prefer the black even though they are in 5 pound increments instead of kilos.  I Just like the finish better and like the way it smooths out with use.
     
  14. Derrick

    Derrick Double-Digit Post Count

    I bought a 32kg Christian's Fitness Factory (CFF brand) bell 4 months ago. It's dirt cheap, and cast in one piece.

    One downside is that the handle long compared to DD bells and the ball sits farther down your arm. The more I use it though, the less it seems to bother me and I think I can live with it for the price.

    The finish is terrible though. It chips easily and the handle somehow feels too slippery and sticky at the same time. I bought some paint remover yesterday and the finish is coming off the handle. If that procedure works out okay, I'll probably purchase more CFF bells.
     
  15. Norski

    Norski Double-Digit Post Count

    PRS Custom 24 - $2,500
    Orange 4x12 Cabinet - $800
    Line 6 Spider Valve MkII - $600

    Apollo 24kg Kettlebells - $180 for two

    Between my two life long disciplines, I've spent WAY less money on training.
     
    Billy59, Carl in Dover and NE Comrade like this.
  16. Pnigro

    Pnigro Triple-Digit Post Count

    HOLY f****** s***.

    I just got my first ever iron kettlebells and they are miles better than the competition ones I have.

    They are superior in every way.

    Practically all the exercises feel much more comfortable and easy. Only the halo feels more natural with the competition bells.

    I absolutely love the thicker handles and smaller balls.

    I have discovered heaven.

    My girlfriend has been doing S&S with a 16kg competition bell, but today she did almost the whole workout with the new iron 20kg with absolutely no problem at all.

    I'm going to switch completely to iron cast bells. No way I'm going back now.

    For those wondering, the brand I bought is Rep Fitness.

    The quality is top notch. Very professional!

    You can check them out <a title="here" href="http://www.repfitness.com/rep-kettlebells">here</a>.

    They are also available at Amazon <a title="Amazon" href="http://www.amazon.com/Rep-Fitness-Kettlebell-CrossFit-Conditioning/dp/B00NLS0H9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433220929&sr=8-1&keywords=rep+fitness+kettlebells">here</a>.

    Very highly recommended brand.
     
    Michael Scott and Billy59 like this.
  17. TravisS

    TravisS More than 300 posts

    Those look just like rogue bells.  cant beat free shipping off amazon.
     
  18. jca17

    jca17 More than 300 posts

    I really like Kettlebells USA. They have free shipping packages, too. Rogue is great, too. Rogue is cheaper, though slightly less consistent, but still top of the line. I will say, I have never had a defect in a Kettlebells USA bell, whereas my first Rogue bell had a much less consistent handle. I'm not talking about the rougher texture: there were more divots and bumps.
    If strength training is the first hobby you've had that requires gear/hardware, then it will appear expensive. As other people have pointed out, its really not that expensive compared to almost any other hobby. Plus, there is no upkeep required for kettlebells. Don't shortchange yourself and regret it.
     
    Carl in Dover likes this.
  19. Pnigro

    Pnigro Triple-Digit Post Count

    I have read good things about Kettlebells USA.

    They were my second option after Rep Fitness.

    I'm sure Rogue, CAP and other popular brands are good. I just tend to look for lesser known brands as sometimes they ensure higher quality due to not so high demands.
     
  20. yuriythebest

    yuriythebest Second Post

    whatever kettlebell you get:

    1. make sure the handle is smooth - I currently have kettlebells with chrome handles- this helps minimize blisters (however I still wear gloves)

    2. make sure they are not of the concrete variety - there are some cheaper kettlebells out there which look nice yet are concrete inside - they are not as long-lasting and I've read it can even break off.
     

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