4 Kettlebell Brands: Which Is Best for You?
There seem to be quite a few reviews of individual kettlebells. However, we wanted to compare some of the best ones against each other. I have purchased many different types of kettlebells over the years and I still can’t say that one brand is better than all of the others.
Four testers were chosen (two females and two males), all of whom had a good amount of experience in the use of kettlebells. We ranked the kettlebells on a four-point scale with lower scores indicating a better kettlebell. We then tallied the scores from the three raters on each of the following categories: appearance, use for the swing, value, durability, and use for the snatch and clean.
There are many kettlebells that could be used in this test. However, I needed to use ones that we already owned as they are expensive to ship and no manufacturer that we asked would send review models (note: I will add to the review if anyone wants to send some).
Thus, there are some omissions such as Dragon Door’s kettlebells, which used to be known for excellent quality (I used older ones a few years which were great). We also omitted the cheap, no-name brand kettlebells that we had accumulated over time (and usually sat in the back corner as no one wants to use them). My experience with these is that they often have rough and uneven handles.
Here are the kettlebells we compared:
The Valery Federenko Precision kettlebells are the kettlebells that Batman would use if he used kettlebells. These were almost unanimously chosen as the best looking kettlebell. They have a great surface that holds chalk for competition-style usage, but the handle also provides enough grip.
The Rogue kettlebells came in a close second place. The color stripe around the handle allows for quick identification of the weight. The Again Faster and Perform Better kettlebells were at the bottom of the appearance list as they look quite similar, with the exception of the rubber plate on the bottom of the Perform Better bell (these are the kettlebells Clark Kent would use; mild mannered but effective).
Use for the Swing
Many people just learning the kettlebell use it primarily for a two-handed swing movement or some sort of deadlift. The Valery Federenko is a competition-style kettlebell and has a handle made for one-handed movements. It may not be a great kettlebell for beginners who are trying to master two-handed exercises. It finished in last place in this category for that reason.
The Again Faster and the Perform Better kettlebells have a smooth, matte finish, which some of the reviewers preferred over the Rogue kettlebell. The Rogue kettlebell is a bit rougher and might be easier to keep a grip on when hands get sweaty. The Perform Better kettlebell has a rubber bottom on it that can snag the ground when hiking the kettlebell back during the initiation of a swing. On a hard surface it is not a problem, but on turf or grass it can be.
Perform Better kettlebell
Use for the Snatch and Clean
The Valery Federenko kettlebell is excellent when it comes to cleans. It has a notch on the top where the forearm sits, which just calls for you to clean it when you take it out of the box. It was created for competition-style lifts where a person is performing many cleans or snatches, and as such it excels in this category.
Valery Federenko kettlebell - front and back
As for grip, the Rogue and the Valery Federenko kettlebells both received good reviews for being able to maintain grip and to hold chalk. The Perform Better and Again Faster kettlebells matte finish may feel good initially, but the smoothness can become almost sticky and lead to ripped callouses.
- The Rogue ($62.50 + $22.70 shipping for a 24KG) and Again Faster ($59.99 + $22.65 shipping for a 24KG) kettlebells are a great value.
- The Perform Better kettlebells were a bit higher priced, but there are often better deals ($89.99 + $37.14 shipping for a 24KG).
- The Valery Federenko kettlebell ($221.00 with free shipping for a 24KG) is a high-end model and the cost reflects it. Again, if Bruce Wayne were equipping his garage with kettlebells, cost would not be an issue.
Again Faster kettlebell
The Rogue kettlebell seemed to be the most durable when getting bumped against another kettlebell. The Valery Federenko was a close second. The Again Faster and Perform Better tended to chip. The chipping could be a big problem if the handles get chipped. The Valery Federenko kettlebell is made to be sanded and painted. Thus, it is also easily repairable.
Product: Rogue Fitness
- Summary: A great all around kettlebell with great looks, value, and durability.
- Pros: Nice looking, durable, and good finish.
- Cons: For some, the coarse grip is too rough.
- Price: $62.50 + $22.70 shipping for a 24kg at Roguefitness.com
Product: Valery Federenko Precision
- Summary: A competition style kettlebell with great looks and durability.
- Pros: Nice looking, durable, and good finish.
- Cons: A competition style does not allow for two handed grip; expensive.
- Price: $221.00 with free shipping for a 24kg at Worldkettlebellclub.com
Product: Again Faster
- Summary: A nice kettlebell with great value.
- Pros: Nice looking, great for CrossFit gyms, good value.
- Cons: Matte finish can be tough on grip.
- Price: $59.99 + $22.65 shipping for a 24kg at Againfaster.com
Product: Perform Better First Place
- Summary: A nice kettlebell with good value.
- Pros: Nice looking, great for CrossFit gyms, rubber plate on the bottom is nice for protecting floors, good value when on sale.
- Cons: Matte finish can be tough on grip, rubber plate on bottom can snag ground.
- Price: $89.99 + $37.14 shipping for a 24kg at Performbetter.com