Best Kettlebells Reviewed & Tested for Performance
Kettlebells have been around for centuries, as they were originally used by ancient warriors to improve their fighting skills. Now, they are generally used by athletes to increase their abilities or by regular people looking to add something extra to their exercise routine. It is a common assumption that having a medicine ball will suffice and purchasing a kettlebell will be unnecessary. Don’t be fooled as that is not the case! Medicine balls have their own great qualities but are generally used by two people to train specific groups of muscles. Kettlebells, on the other hand, are an individually used item that works out multiple groups of muscles at the same time.
- CAP Enamel Coated Cast Iron
- Traction and Grip
- Yes4All Solid Cast Iron
- High Quality
- Beginner Training
- BalanceFrom GoFit
Adding one to your routine is a great way to work out all your muscles at the same time. Many people dread going to the gym as it is a difficult task, causes a lot of pain, and also requires a lot of time. A kettlebell can take off a significant amount of time exercising because it requires the use of multiple muscle groups to work together. This saves a lot of time in comparison to having to work out each muscle group individually. Because it is such an effective fitness tool, it is almost a complete guarantee that your fitness levels will noticeably increase than compared to not using one at all.
In the day and age where time is money, no one ever seems to have enough time in a day to complete everything they want. While health is an important aspect, many people are too busy trying to survive and end up neglecting their bodies. While they have always been around, they are making a strong comeback and becoming increasingly popular because of how much time they can save someone by incorporating them into their workouts. They are also much more dynamic and fun to use compared to the normal fitness equipment. As a result, there are many fitness groups and classes that are incorporating them during their sessions.
A great way to improve your health, there are so many benefits to using a one that it is almost impossible to list them all. Firstly, it will help you build muscle and increase your strength as they are heavy and require more energy to lift and move. They also help you become leaner and your muscles more toned by weighing down your lunges and other stretching exercises. While your stretches are being weighed down, they will also help improve your flexibility and strengthen your core. They can also decrease your body fat dramatically while improving your stamina and endurance. All in all, using a kettlebell in your exercise routine will maximize your results while decreasing the amount of time spent getting there, enabling you to do more things that you enjoy.
10 Best Kettlebells
1. CAP Enamel Coated Cast Iron
The CAP Barbell Enamel Coated Cast Iron is one of the most durable models on the market. They are made of solid cast iron, which means you don’t have to worry about unknown materials inside of it weighing it down. Because it is one solid stone, they are weighed multiple times during the design to ensure accuracy and is as close to the exact weight as possible. In the extremely rare chance that they damage and break, they are designed so that they don’t shatter into little crumbs that are hard to clean.
Traction and Grip
The worst thing that could happen when working out is that you lose your grip. Because they are heavy and weighted, this could potentially cause a lot of damage. For years, manufacturers were not able to come up with a good solution as to keep the handle secure. Despite having used a way that seems to make no sense, CAP has the smoothest handle of all the models on the market. The smooth handle is then dipped in high gloss enamel which becomes grippy when the chemical reacts with the moisture in your palms.
Cost and Value
The price point for a CAP Barbell model is relatively low. This is because of CAP Barbells guarantee to bring affordable and accessible fitness to everyone. CAP Barbells are able to price lower because of competitive pricing. However, their low price point does not mean they don’t work on accuracy and design until it is perfect. Choosing to purchase a CAP Barbell model is a guarantee that you will have the highest value of return possible.
- Wide range of weights
- Solid cast iron
- Flat and stable bottom
- Coating on kettlebell protects floors from being scratched
- Coating will rub off over time
2. Yes4All Solid Cast Iron
These are some of the highest quality items on the market. They are carefully constructed and built so that they will not break down. Many sports and fitness equipments will show wear and tear over time, but not a solid cast iron kettlebell. This is because they are usually constructed with one solid piece of iron. The Yes4All brand prides itself on guaranteeing that their build process is free of welding, which means there will be no breaking or cracking in the material as there are no seams to start exhibiting wear and tear.
Many people tend to get inundated with information when they initially show interest in becoming healthy. Between the different exercise and all the sports equipment that is available, it is understandable to feel a little overwhelmed. This item is a great way to start getting in shape as it is an all-around way to build your muscles. The product comes in a variety of weights that go up in small enough increments that you can find a more accurate weighted one to work out with comfortably.
Cost and Value
This is a great choice if you want to save money as they are affordable and don’t break the bank. They are constructed in a way so they are durable and guaranteed to give you an intense workout. Unless you are increasing the weight, this option is designed to last a lifetime.
- Good quality
- Wide handles
- Fast blasting
- Five year warranty
- Handle can get slippery
3. Tone Fitness Kettlebell
This product stands out compared to many of the other products on the market because of its exterior coating. While most brands prefer to use an enamel or a gloss, the Tone Fitness Kettlebell has an exterior made of vinyl. Although it is not a material that has yet to become incredibly popular, it adds many benefits such as a smooth and sturdy grip. The smoothness of the vinyl also ensures that the kettlebell is free of rough edges and seams that could potentially injure you.
Total Body Conditioning
Despite the intimidating name, total body conditioning simply means to work out all the muscles in your body through an exercise routine. These are an effective tool to use to achieve a full body workout, and depending on which you choose, the weight will help your muscles push harder and tone your body much more quickly.
Cost and Value
Usually people start by purchasing one to start and these are at a low price point which makes them very accessible. They come in a range of weights that will be suitable for many different types of exercises. Depending on what your needs are, you may find yourself needing to invest in multiple options, andt his is where Tone Fitness beats their competitors. Sold separately, you can also purchase them in sets of varying weights, thus allowing you to save some money while increasing your collection.
- Stylish design
- Good addition to at home gym
- May seem bulky due to larger metal ball
4. Yes4All Vinyl Coated
When it comes to construction, many of the original products built have a simple ingredient list. Manufacturers try to stay away from using too many unknown materials and tend to stick to using a block of cast iron or cement. Recently, manufacturers have started to dabble in using vinyl as it has many advantages; but also has a few weak points. This particular model has reached a happy middle point, which is a kettlebell that is half coated in vinyl. The bottom is dipped in vinyl while the top is not coatedto prevent it from becoming slippery when it reacts to the moisture of your hands. The vinyl can increase durability and also helps reduce the noise it makes when dropped on the floor. An additional added benefit is that these come in a different color for each weight, ensuring that you don’t get confused.
While most companies prefer to go with a smooth handle for easy gripping, this one has taken a path untravelled. The handle is much wider than other models to accommodate training with both hands. It is also slightly textured with little ridges and bumps to give your hands some traction when using it. This is especially important for people that tend to generate more sweat in their palms as the lack of texture on the handle can mean an unsecure grip. Having the textured grip also eliminates the need for chalk while exercising as the ridges will provide extra traction for the user.
Cost and Value
The cost is relatively low, but it is absolutely assured that all steps are taken to guarantee it is a good deal. These are going to give you much more value than what you paid, largely due to the benefits of the vinyl coating. This particular kettlebell also has a wider flat bottom to ensure stability when you are using it and also to make sure it doesn’t become roll over and hurt someone when it is not in use.
- Vinyl coated
- Noise reducing
- Protects floor from scratches
- Grip and traction
- Color coded system
- Vinyl wears down easily
5. Rep Kettlebells
This is one of the most versatile tools you can incorporate into your workout as they can increase your stability and balance. Because they are weighted, they will also increase your power and lifting abilities. There are many different exercises you can do which will build your muscles and tighten your core; whether you are doing squats, throwing it, or doing rotational swings, the Rep is a reliable tool to have.
When purchasing fitness equipment, most people tend to forget that the equipment must be comfortable to use while delivering results. The smooth texture this product enable you to do higher intensity reps without causing blisters or need to wear protective gloves. When you are practicing with a tool that is conmfortable, it will allow you to progress forward in your fitness routine.
Cost and Value
This one is on the slightly more expensive side, but is worth every cent that you have to pay. With a Rep Kettlebell you will become more efficient with your workout by targeting different muscles all at once. They are also extremely durable as they are constructed out of one piece of metal, meaning there are no seams or weak spots that may potentially crack.
- Simple and clean design
- Textured handle
- Wide range of weights
- Solid flat bottom
- Top coating flakes easily
6. SPRI Deluxe Vinyl
One of the most important decisions when purchasing anything is the quality of the item. The last thing you want is something that will quickly break or deteriorate. Vinyl is becoming a great alternative, as in the past, many did not feel it was necessary to protect such a large and impenetrable weight. However, there are too many benefits of having a vinyl to not use it. The exterior is made of an industry grade vinyl that protects and guarantees against corrosion. The vinyl also reduces the amount of noise it can generate when a weight is placed onto the floor. As many exercise areas and gyms are located inside a multi level building, it is even more important in order to be a considerate neighbour.
These kettlebells are constructed with a large piece of iron instead of multiple pieces welded together. This prevents having weak spots that may crack under stress or pressure. It is also important for a kettlebell to have as little amount of seams as possible due to the weight of the material and how it is used. Seams are usually held together by an adhesive, and over time the adhesive will come apart due to the weight and stresses on the kettlebell being too great to handle.
Cost and Value
This is slightly more expensive compared to others on the list, however, they are one of the best on the market. These are ideal for both beginners or athletes and can be used to train individually or in a group. Between the quality material and the guarantee that it won’t break, this is a worthy investment that will last for years to come.
- Color coded by weight
- High quality vinyl
- Highly trusted brand
- Easily fits two hands on handle
- Chips easily
7. BalanceFrom GoFit
A difficulty that often occurs is that the handles tend to be slippery. It is simply caused by the sweat generated by your palms when you start to warm up during your exercise routine. The BalanceFrom GoFit aims to eliminate that problem by building a slim but textured handle. The slimmer handle means that people with smaller hands will be able to grip and hang on better, while bigger hands will be able to secure the handle within their fist completely. The raised bumps on the handle will provide extra traction for you and reduce the amount of focus and energy needed to keep it in place, thus improving your endurance.
Being more solid or stable on your feet can help perfect your exercise movements and greatly increase your agility. The BalanceFrom GoFit is perfect for exercises like these it comes in a variety of weights. As most of them increase their weight in small increments, there is a high possibility you will be able to find the exact weight that you can exercise comfortably with.
Cost and Value
These are priced at a relatively low price point as the company believes in accessible fitness equipment. The price point is set at an affordable price to encourage people that are just beginning to get into fitness. This is not to say that they are not suitable for more advanced athletes, since there is a large selection of that are as light as five pounds or as heavy as one hundred pounds. For the amount of technology that has been put into this, the value far surpasses the amount that you are actually paying.
- Strong and tough
- Good quality material
- Grip and traction
- Colorful designs
- Large variety in weights
- Has weird odor initially
8. Kettle Gryp Adjustable
When people go on business trips or vacation, it is impossible to bring a kettlebell around. As a result of this, the Kettle Gryp company has come up with a way to create a personalized kettlebell that can help you continue your workouts even when you are away from home.
Despite only being a plastic handle, this is an extremely durable tool. It is designed to withstand swinging and throwing up to fifty five pounds of weight. The plastic is made from a thick industrial plastic that won’t break or crack easily. Within the Kettle Gryp itself is a foam padded liner that ensures the dumbbell will not slip out of place. Once the dumbbell is placed into the liner, the Kettle Gryp uses a click lock and secures it in place.
Cost and Value
This option is a little more expensive compared to the others on the list, but the ability to work out with it anywhere makes up for it. The aim of the Kettle Gryp is to eliminate the need to be location specific when working out, and thanks to their many years of research we now have a product that is versatile and portable, making it well worth the cost.
- Good securing system for dumbell
- Can be used anywhere
- Durable plastic
- Can stand weights up to fifty five pounds
- Does not come with iron ball
9. Empower 3 in 1 Set
A fitness routine tends to be completely personalized to tailor to one's needs. It should be the same when in comes to fitness equipment. All together this set weighs twelve pounds, but using a click and lock system, multiple discs can be removed, allowing the it to become five or eight pounds. You may find yourself only being able to do lunches with five pounds, but may be able to do eight pounds when squatting. Having an adjustable kettlebell will be very advantageous to your workout.
When picking the right equippment, it is important to consider the design itself. These sand filled discs are wrapped in a soft plastic layer, which is also incredibly durable as well. The soft outer coating is to prevent your skin from being rubbed off by gripping the handles and also to prevent blisters, which is a prolific problem for people who use weights.
Cost and Value
This set is absolutely worth its weight in gold. If you break it down to each individual weight category, you are actually paying the price of one for three separate items. This is also going to give you a lot more value than what you paid for, and give you easier access to achieve more of your goals.
- Easily interchangeable weights
- Soft finishing
- Total body conditioning
- Not many weight options
10. Kettlebell Kings Weights
Known for not breaking and being able to handle the most difficult throws and stresses, a lot of their durability comes from an extra layer of powder coating on the exterior. This coating protects against chips and scratches that may have occurred as early as the manufacturing process. It also protects from wear and tear which can cause paint chips to break off. These broken off paint chips can not only cut your hands, it can also cause you to use an uncomfortable or unsafe grip, potentially causing more serious injuries.
Made from a very high quality of cast iron, they are only cast once, which means the entire product uses just one piece of iron. This is a much more reliable and durable choice, as often times the handles break because they are simply welded onto the ball of iron. Made using a process known as gravity casting, this is the most accurate way to construct a kettlebell. Over time the weight will change with gravity as the materials age and the composition changes, thus causing the dimensions and weight to slightly alter. Most manufacturers have yet to adopt this process despite it being the most precise way to keep the product accurate over time.
Cost and Value
This has an average price point but comes packed with lots of value. Not only are they made from great materials and are extremely durable, they have also included a lifetime guarantee on their product.
- Powder coating
- Good quality material
- Cast iron
- Color coded weight system
- Coating can wear down after a while
It is no surprise that they have become a much sought after item to add to a workout routine, but you may be surprised that such a simple item can be tied into so many different exercises at once. It is also just as surprising that a simple tool can make such a large difference in helping to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. They have helped many beginners build confidence and kept them continuing their path to being more healthy. Studies have shown that people that see results quicker tend to become more motivated to work harder. Despite it sounding too good to be true, a kettlebell is indeed a fitness tool that can dramatically improve your skills and abilities while saving you time to do things you enjoy.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Kettlebells
One of the really important factors is knowing what the kettlebell is made of. The material makes a difference, as depending on what it is made of, it can either increase or decrease the lifespan significantly. Each material used to build one will also make a difference in sizing and weight.
One of the most popular materials to use is cast iron. Cast iron is basically melted iron that is poured into a mold to create the desired product or shape. Using cast iron will guarantee the exact size and weight that you want it to be, however, there is no way to make cast iron denser, which means that the heavier the weight, the bigger the ball becomes. These are favored amongst users as they are often created in one piece, meaning it is seamless and will have a lesser chance of breaking. The cast iron is also strong enough to withstand being thrown or bounced around, making it extremely reliable.
Another ingredient that is often used is cement. Those made from cement are strong enough, however, many manufacturers no longer use cement as it does not have a long enough lifespan compared to other materials. Cement itself is made of multiple different powders and clays that bind together to become one solid block. Because it is items mixed together, there is a higher chance that it may break over time. Another concern is that when cement breaks, it shatters and leaves a large mess everywhere. Despite the lack of manufacturers that use cement, it is actually one of the most popular materials used in the do it yourself community.
Sand is a material that is also used, but has really begun to get phased out. Although sand is a great item to use for weight resistance training, there are too many disadvantages to using it as a filler. This is because sand is too fine of a material and unless it is filled to the very brim of the mold, the weight will shift and move while you exercise. Having the weight shift can also cause you to lose your balance or injure muscles you were working on.
Is is never recommended to use anything that does not state what materials are used in the construction process. There are some companies that have used unknown materials in order to save a few dollars in the construction process. This leads to an unreliable, or an incorrectly weighed, kettlebell which will hinder your fitness rather than improve it. Most of the kettlebells that have unknown material are made up of heavy weighing garbage such as broken pieces of bowling ball, concrete, and metal. They are not recommended as they have the shortest lifespan of all and may be unpredictable when they are put under pressure or stress.
Another thing to look out for is the quality of the handle; quite simply put, a good handle is one that won’t ruin or injure your hands. A blister here and there is expected, but a more extreme example of a bad handle is one that could cut your hands and leave them bloody. Often times the more extreme injuries are not caused by a sharp edges but by the repetitions you keep doing, over time the cuts and cracks on your hands will show. Many people work out rough or unsmooth handles by using gloves, however that in itself will pose a risk of injury. Wearing a glove will not allow you to grip the handle with as much control, meaning there may be a possibility of the kettlebell slipping out of your hand as you are using it. The injuries may not be as severe if you were merely lifting and putting it down, but a really serious injury, or damage to property, can occur if you happen to lose grip when you are swinging it around.
When you are inspecting the handle, it is important to ensure that the smoothness of the handle is equal and balanced through the entire thing. Remember to check the underside of the handle as many flaws will occur there and many people often forget to inspect it. A handle that is of quality should feel comfortable when you grip it. You should be able to completely wrap your hand around the handle and have a majority of the handle fit snug inside your palm. A rough average of what is considered an appropriate thickness would be thirty five millimeters.
During the manufacturing process, each one constructed will have something known as a flashed handle seam. Despite most being created by one piece of material, during the construction process the mold will still leave a seam. This seam is not a real seam, but is merely where the mold was opened to reveal the entire constructed product. This seam usually is found on the underside of the handle and if it is not filed down it will cut open the palm of your hand. Most handles have a final coating or a finish which will smooth down the area, but it is really important to check to ensure that this seam is filed down. The filing is not something you can do yourself at home with a nail file, there is a specific type of file that needs to effectively do so. A simple test to ensure the seam is filed down is to gently run your finger along the bottom of the handle. If there is no raised or hard edges, then it means the seam was filed down.
There are many options when it comes to the thickness of a handle. As mentioned previously, the average of thickness is thirty five millimeters however there are many manufacturers that will have something slightly slimmer or slightly thicker. As a rule of thumb, no handle should be thinner than thirty millimeters and no thicker than thirty eight millimeters. Usually the heavier the overall weight, the thicker a handle needs to be to ensure the integrity, but if you find the handle being thicker than the recommended averages it might be best to see if there are other options. Thinner handles are usually not recommended as they tend to be a cheaper quality and there is a high chance that the handle could separate when being swung.
There are many exercises that require two hands, so the majority of the kettlebells on the market will be wide enough for you to fit both. In the event they are not, there are a category known as competition kettlebells. These are used by professionals and athletes that are advanced in their training regime. These handles are significantly wider than the normal, but they are also much more expensive. If you are willing to spend a little, then they will definitely fit both your hands regardless of how light or how heavy they are.
There are many types of exterior coatings while some of them opt to have no exterior coating and the cast iron you see is what you get. There are others that opt to just run a clear layer of gloss over it so the material they have used in construction becomes shiny. There are other manufacturers that put extensive effort into the exterior coating making them colorful and bright.
One of the most basic exterior coatings is a layer of enamel and then industrial paint. This will aid in becoming more smooth and easier to grip; the enamel is harder and will protect from damage. However, the disadvantage is that over time the enamel and paint will chip, and when it does, there will be little pieces on your hands. While they may just be a nuisance and require a few more hand washes, some of the harder chips may cut your hands. As a result, people would rather go for just the untreated ones.
Another exterior coating that can be added to the outside is known as soft plastic. The name implies that the plastic is soft when really it is not. A casing of hard plastic is placed around the exterior, then the top of that plastic is another layer of treated plastic that feels soft and nice to grip. The idea behind using this plastic is to protect your hands from injury and gives a more comfortable grip. However, the plastic may not withstand the amount of throwing or swinging that you do, and over time may crack or break apart.
Because of all these problems with the exterior protection, it can be quite difficult to come up with a good solution. Vinyl seems to be the answer to all the current problems that an exterior coating should have. Firstly, vinyl acts as shrink wrap. Due to its flexible and stretchy properties, vinyl is a good option to protect your kettlebell as it won’t rip as easily. The vinyl will protect it from any scratches or dents that it may collect when it is being thrown or bounced around. On the flip side, the vinyl will also protect the flooring so that scratches are minimized, and will also reduce any noise associated with dropping and bouncing. This helps lessen the noise that may occur inside a gym or fitness area, and for people working out at home, having a quieter workout will also prevent complaints from neighbours.
A fear for many is that they may somehow hurt the people around them or break property. If it is a properly constructed kettlebell, the only way that would happen is if it slipped out of your hand. Therefore, it is important that you have both good and secure traction with your grip.
While most come with a smooth handle, this is because many people who train will use gloves or chalk in order to get a better grip. Gloves give less stability but will keep your hands free of moisture, and depending on the type of gloves, it may have a rubber layer which will offer much more grip as well. Chalk, on the other hand, is great for training as it will keep your hands dry and completely free of moisture. The lack of moisture will help you find a more secure grip and reduce the chance of slipping or letting go.
Recently, newer models are coming out with handles that have slightly raised bumps. These bumps are different from the ones that can occur when a seam is not properly treated, and are designed to give the user extra grip and traction. Some people prefer to use just their hands, however a handle that is smooth will rub against the palm of the user and create blisters or rub off skin. Having a slightly bumpy handle will decrease the amount of blisters formed on the bare hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Long Will A Kettlebell Last?
A general rule of thumb is that it should last you a relatively long time. The more durable materials can increase the lifespan, so choosing one made of cast iron or steel is always beneficial. Unless you need different weights, anything well-made should last a lifetime. As with anything else, if you are rough with it, there is still a possibility it may break.
Q. I Want To Start Training, Which Type Should I Buy?
It is recommended for beginners to purchase a basic cast iron kettlebell. They will be more than enough to improve your health and help reach your fitness goals. If you are looking to become more serious, a competition model would be suitable. Some people start with competition style ones, as they know that it is a more expensive model, but it is durable and will be able to withstand more than anything the user can deliver.
Q. What Weight Should I Start With?
On average, ladies tend to choose something around eight to ten kilograms to start while men choose something around sixteen kilograms. This is not something that is set in stone. If you find that the weight is too light or too heavy, you can make changes to find the right weight for you.
Q. What Should I Look for in Terms of Comfort?
This is something that is entirely dependant on the user. A general rule of thumb is that the handle should be able to fit comfortable within your palm and that there is enough clearance between the handle and the ball. Your knuckles should be at least an inch away from the ball when you are holding it.
Q. The One I Purchased Is Too Light, What Do I Do?
If you are just starting, it is expected that your sudden gains will leave you feeling like yours is too light. It is recommended that you work with it for approximately six weeks to see if it is still too light. In the event it is, you can choose to invest in a heavier one right away, or there are lots of other exercises that you can do where the weight of your current kettlebell will still be suitable. An example is if you have been doing repetitions, also add a time limit to it. This shortens the time you can finish your repetition thus making it a much harder goal to reach while not requiring the additional weight.
Q. When Will I Know That it is Time to Upgrade?
If you are using it regularly, it should become fairly obvious when it is time to move up in weight. Usually the signs are being able to finish your repetitions faster than expected, and where you muscles just don’t feel the burn. There is no exact time of when to increase your weight, it is when your body tells you it is ready. It is also important to note that sometimes the increase in weight may not work out and you will have to go back to your original weight.
Q. Should I Buy Two Of The Same Weight?
There is usually not a reason or need for two of the same weight. A single kettlebell will be able to work out your entire body and you will not need to use two of the same weights simultaneously. It is recommended to purchase two of different weights so you can use them for different exercises.
Q. Is There A Need For Really Heavy One?
Unless you are very advanced in your training, there is usually no need to invest in something extremely heavy. Usually the heavier models are for competing professionals to train with.
Q. Are There Any Other Things I Need To Purchase As Well?
To start, only one kettlebell is needed. However, if you find a lot of discomfort in your hands, an option is also to buy a pair of gloves or some chalk.
Q. What Do Those Colors Mean?
Most brands have a color coded system implemented. Depending on the weight, a different color will be assigned. This is so that it helps people that have multiple items identify quickly which one they want to use.
Q. Can This Help With Weight Loss?
Absolutely, kettlebells can help with a host of different fitness goals. Apart from losing weight, it can also reduce the overall amount of body fat, tone your muscles, and increase your endurance. It can also help improve your strength, give you more power, and stamina.
Q. Is it Suitable to Buy One for My Child?
While they can be used as strength training tool for children, they should never be used to competitively train until they are at an adolescent age. Children benefit greatly from strength training as it helps them stay flexible and build strength and power.