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Kettlebell Buyers Guide

Kettlebell Buyers Guide

It comes as no surprise that kettlebell training has grown in popularity over the years.

You can base a whole workout around this highly versatile piece of equipment, whether you are training in the gym or at home.

But what style suits your training needs?

With so much choice, purchasing the right kettlebell for your gym facility or home gym can be overwhelming. This is why we have created a kettlebell buying guide to help you make an informed decision before purchasing.

man lifting kettlebell gym group

This guide will provide you with an overview of the different options to consider when buying for a gym or for home use:

Cast Iron Kettlebell

Cast iron kettlebells are seen in the industry as the most 'classic' style. This is because they are typically moulded from a single piece of metal. Due to this, the cast iron kettlebell is affordable and offers the best value for money. 

When purchasing a cast iron model, it is worth checking that it is moulded from a single piece of metal. Cheap versions tend to have the handle welded to the body of the bell, which significantly reduces the level of use it can withstand.

Further, the low price point make them popular to purchase in multiples.

The downsides to cast iron is that they can be noisy, as they do not feature a protective layer. This can be especially noticeable when using them in group classes where multiple people place them down at the same time.

Main takeaway: These kettlebells are perfect if you are looking to purchase a wide range of different weights at an affordable price point.

cast iron kettlebells

Rubber Kettlebell

Chrome handles on rubber coated kettlebells are particularly stylish and are very popular in the modern gym environment. The chrome finish makes sure that the handle is perfectly smooth, offering a comfortable grip. This also makes them very easy to sanitise.

However, those training with heavier weights often find the smooth chrome surface harder to grip than the rougher texture of cast iron or competition models. This may result in the user not being able to perform reps to the best of their ability due to hand slippage.

Main takeaway: Rubber coated models are a great choice if you prefer a comfortable grip with a contemporary design.

Rubber Kettlebells

Urethane Kettlebell

For the kettlebell enthusiast looking to invest in quality, a Urethane covered kettlebell might be the best option.

The layer surrounding the core is strong and incredibly shock absorbent. This is great for both the kettlebell itself as well as your floor. Urethane tends to be the standard choice for high-use gym facilities. It keeps it looking fresh, opposed to showing wear like many cheaper models. 

Main takeaway: If you are looking for a durability,  the urethane coated model is the best choice.

Competition Kettlebell

Competition kettlebells are unique in that they are all a standard size and shape regardless of the weight. The reason for this is so that athletes:

a) don’t gain any advantage over competitors.

b) don’t have to adjust their technique when increasing the weight.

This consistency of size is achieved by hollowing out the centre of the lightest kettlebells. This allows the distance between the base and the handle to remain consistent. 

Away from competition lifters, this model is a great choice for users who have already developed a good technique. The wide base is also perfect for performing floor based exercises. However, they are not the best model for double-handed exercises due to the handle shape being narrow in comparison to non-competition bells.

Competition styles, which are made of steel, are often called "pro" quality. 

Main takeaway: Choose the competition range if you want to train highly technical movements, such as a snatch.

competition kettlebells

To sum up...

Cast Iron

Offers an affordable price point


Stylish and has a comfortable grip


High quality and great for commercial gym facilities


Best for technical training

competition kettlebell workout

Want some inspiration on what to do with your new purchase? Check out our kettlebell workout guide here. 

Or, you can find great workouts to follow at home here or over on Youtube!

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