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Old Forum StrongFirst vs. DragonDoor Kettlebells

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I would like to order a 20kg kettlebell and I was originally going to order one from DragonDoor. However, I noticed that the StrongFirst bells were cheaper by about $30.

Based on the descriptions on the respective websites, DD bells have some a rust-resistant coating, and SF bells have a removable non-skid bottom. Not exactly a lot to go on as I am concerned more about general quality, not tearing up my hands, etc.

Can anybody comment on the differences between the DragonDoor and StrongFirst kettlebells? And any personal experience with either or both?

Mike - I train with DD bells at our gym and used the SF bells at the Houston cert.  The bells are very similar with the handle on the SF slightly larger in diameter.  The removable non-skid bottom is a non-issue - its a little plastic plate you can screw onto the bottom.  For $30 I'd do with the SF bell.
I bought a DD 32 kg about a month ago.  It rides around in my truck with some other ones and the coating is already taking damage.  The damage is less, and the coating doesn't chip like the paint from other brands, but clanking against other bells is already causing some scarring.

I have another DD 32 that is about 8 years old.  It doesn't have much of anything left on it, but it has spent lots of time in some very humid and salty climates all over the world.  I am skeptical any coating would hold up.

The coating seems like a point of emphasis for DD, but in the long run I don't think the it really matters.  It's going to get worn out and have to cleaned up and re-painted no matter what is on it.  I considered the SF/PB  bells before I bought the most recent 32, but wanted it to match the first.

Any others I buy will most likely not be from DD.


The bells we sell on the website are provided to us from Perform Better! and we're very happy with the quality.

The handles are slightly thicker, by about .125", the finish is very resilient.

I bought a set some time back and they have held up very well. If you're looking for a good quality bell at a great price point, they're an excellent choice.
What about the handles on the bigger KB's? I have a 40kg and 48kg and the handles are huge, almost double DD.  Are the handles consistently only 1/8" bigger then DD KB's?
Just buy a kettlebell. I worried about which kettlebell to buy for at least 3 months before I went out and bought one. After I had I found kettlebell swings so satisfying and fun that I wished I had just bought one the first month.
Just don't buy the Big Box store ones. The first one I got was a "go fit" and it was terrible with a rough handle.

Later I got some Apollo brand ones and they are ok but I really like the Ader and Perform Better bells.
My first experience with a KB was through Anthony Diluglio's Art of Strength and purchased their recommended Punch KB. The quality is incredible, with a nice thick handle. They are a rough material which will definitely toughen up the skin on your hands.  Expensive, but worth it in my opinion.
Perform Better bells have taller handles that fit bigger hands better.  I also like the Ader "fat handle" model in 32 kgs -- but the handle is only wide enough for one hand.  And Christians' Fitness Factory bells in heavy sizes only -- 40 kg & up.
I say just get a bell. Are there differences? Maybe. Could all be subjective. Awhile ago everyone was on the DD bandwagon. Buy DD they said. Don't waste your money on anything else. DD or nothing. Now with Pavel gone, seems like not many are saying DD anymore. Did Pavel have DD or anything special when he started? What about Pyotr Kryloff, Ivan Poddubny, or any of the other great strongmen (or women) of the past? I am in no way knocking Pavel or anyone. Butjust saying a tool is a tool. I personally have all Agatsu (which they no longer sell. They only sell competition bells now) my next kettlebell purchase will be a 40kg and a 48kg bell from, as the price is reasonable and shipping isn't too bad. This purchase will be further down the road as I know I am not ready, but it gives me something to work towards. Someday in the future I would like to take on ROTK, but for right now the PM is all I need and can handle.
I own two DD bells which are perfect and a little Aussie Strength 16kg which has a fatter handle than my DD 32kg and a horrible texture.


All this variation in handle thickness and width is making a good argument  for comp-style bells.


You could build up a collection of comp-style bells over the years from all different places and they'd all essentially be exactly the same, apart from minor finish/quality issues.


The fact that DD bells are the only cast iron kind you can get here in Australia that are well proportioned and have a great finish is a real shame. The good news is that although the bells are more expensive, the shipping is much cheaper than with the inferior brands.


Matt, why Christians fitness factory in heavy sizes only, I'm about to order a 32 from them
Good afternoon all, long time reader (DD then SF forums); but first time poster.

I can't speak for Matt, but I have owned several Christian Fitness Factory bells so I might have an answer for Rick.  My experience with the smaller CFF bells (16, 20, 24 kg) is that the handles extend farther away from the "bell" than for many other brands.  The result is that the bell hits farther down on the forearm for snatches than it would for DD or some other KBs.   In the rack position, the balance is  noticeably different than for PB or DD bells.  I don't currently own anything larger than a 28kg, but I guess that as the bells get larger (i.e. 40 kg on up), this characteristic of having disproportionately large handles relative to the diameter of the bell would likely shrink.
Lance, I currently have a CFF 24kg and I know what you mean about the handles. Being that I don't snatch it hasn't proven to be a problem, but I might go mdusa or strong first for my 32kg incase I want to start snatching down the road. Does anybody know of any  kettlebell retailers in the NJ area? It would be nice to try a kettlebell before I order it.
I have DD bells up to bulldog, but mostly singles. Supposing I doubled up with the new SF bells, giving one of each type in a pair. Would that work for (e.g.) ROTK or Kettlebell Muscle? I am on ROP so not doing double work at the moment, but expect to at some point.
Rick -- yes, what Lance wrote on the CFF bells.  Also with the wide handles they wobble around in cleans & snatches.  Once they get to 40 kg & up there is enough bell to go with the big handles.  No strong recommendation for the 32 kg increment.  I love my Ader fat handles, just not for 2-hand swings.
I cant say that I  would suggest just randomly  buying any bell unless the quality of all manufacturers has improved over the years, which I doubt.   I have bought bells in the past that had such a rough lip on the handle that doing snatches and cleans  was next to impossible. Then I had to spend the money to replace that bell. In my opinion you save  money and time buying a product you know something about.
I've posted in the past that I'm a big fan of buying US made bells for those of us living in the US.

I bought a Punch 28kg for my birthday in December from  It's both beautiful and menacing in only the way a good KB should be :]

It's the coolest, highest quality bell I've got by a mile.  I've got one DD, one other silver colored Punch bell (from before they changed to black matte), a couple Perform Better Competition bells, and a couple Chinese made bells.

I'm waiting until the next no-shipping-cost sale comes up and get a 16kg Punch Bell to keep at work.
At: aussie luke

and its a $20 flat shipping rate. ive also found that thequality of bells in australia doesnt seem to be the best.
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