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When I first started using competition kettlebells it was a game changer; but when looking to purchase one for myself, I was overwhelmed by the amount of competition kettlebells on the market and I found it difficult to decide which one was the best fit for my specific needs.
I needed to do my research to determine what the best competition kettlebell was based on my preferences, before spending money on an expensive kettlebell that wasn’t going to live up to my standards.
So, what is the best overall kettlebell for competition? The best overall kettlebell for competition use is the Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell because it’s designed specifically for high-repetition one-handed movements that occur in kettlebell sport and crossfit. Also, it’s made of the most durable material (steel), and it’s approved for competitions internationally.
Although many competition kettlebells are built similarly so that they function for competition use, there are definitely certain brands that are more suited to specific needs.
In this article I’ll discuss:
- The 3 most important factors to consider before purchasing a competition kettlebell
- The 5 best kettlebells on the market for competition use for different needs
- What features make a kettlebell better than others on the market
The 3 Biggest Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Competition Kettlebell
The 3 biggest factors we need to consider before purchasing a competition kettlebell are:
- Intended Use
1. Intended Use
When purchasing a kettlebell we need to determine what kind of training style and/or movements we plan to do most frequently, because this will determine what type of kettlebell will function the best for our preferences and how much we will need to spend to get the style of kettlebell that we want.
Choosing which weight to purchase when we’re shopping for kettlebells is an aspect we need to consider, as we want to choose a weight that we can use for a number of movements and that we will use for a long time – to get the best bang for our buck.
We have to decide how much we are willing to spend on a kettlebell, because this will likely affect the style and the weight of the kettlebell that we are able to purchase. Even though there are kettlebells that are a higher price upfront and will save us money in the long run, at the end of the day we are still spending money.
Top 5 Kettlebells For Competition Use
The top 5 kettlebells for competition use are:
- Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell – Best Competition Kettlebell Overall
- Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebells – Best For The Price
- Kettlebell Kings 33mm Competition Kettlebell – Best For Small Hands
- Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition – Best For Crossfit Competitions
- Kettlebell Kings Adjuroguestable Competition Kettlebell – Best For At-Home Use
|Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell||$$$$||The Most Durable||Steel||Kettlebell Sport||https://www.kettlebellkings.com/competition-kettlebell?afmc=da|
|Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell||$||Durable||Cast Iron||Affordability||https://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-competition-kettlebells?a_aid=5d2de968818fe|
|Kettlebell Kings 33mm Competition Kettlebell||$$$$||The Most Durable||Steel||Small Hands||https://www.kettlebellkings.com/competition-kettlebell-33mm-handle/?afmc=da|
|Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition||$$$||Durable||Steel With FIllers||Crossfit||https://www.kettlebellkings.com/competition-kettlebell-fitness-edition/?afmc=da|
|Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Kettlebell||$$||Less Durable||Steel & Moving Parts||At-Home Workouts||https://www.kettlebellkings.com/12-32kg-adjustable-competition-style-kettlebell/?afmc=da|
1. Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell – Best Competition Kettlebell Overall
The Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell is the best kettlebell for competitors because it is truly the gold standard of competition kettlebells. It is made of the most durable material, is uniform in size, and is built to international competition standards.
The Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebells are the most popular brand used by serious kettlebells athletes who are competing in kettlebell sport or crossfit competitions, because they are built to a specific size that helps competitors with their movement efficiency as the weight increases.
Other kettlebells on the market change in size/shape as the weight increases, which makes competitors less efficient because they must alter their movements patterns as the size of the window/bell changes.
The Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebells are the most durable because they are made of pure steel and contain no fillers (some kettlebells have a steel shell but are filled with sawdust and ball bearings to achieve their weight).
While this does increase the price of the product, it also makes the kettlebell more durable – this is an important feature for me because when I’m purchasing this product, I can rest assured that my investment in a higher-quality kettlebell is not going to waste on a kettlebell that is going to fall apart.
I truly believe that the Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebell lives up its reputation of being the best competition kettlebell for the price by the way it is built to international competition standards with its 35mm handle, a window size that is made for higher-repetition one-handed movements, and its uniform window and bell size regardless of weight to help competitors conserve energy and develop efficient movement patterns.
The kettlebell is available in kilograms and pounds for those who prefer one over the other, and ranges from 8kg (18lbs) – 48kg (106lbs) which is great because it accommodates athletes of all strength levels.
- Approved Internationally For Competition Use
- Made Of Steel
- Uniform In Size
- Built For High Repetition One-Handed Movements
- More Expensive
- May Not Accommodate Two-Handed Movements
2. Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell – Best Budget-Friendly Kettlebell
The Rogue Fitness Competition Kettlebell is the best competition kettlebell for those interested in a more budget-friendly kettlebell for competition use, because it is uniform in size, has many weight increments available, and is still quite durable while being more affordable.
The Rogue competition kettlebell is built similarly to all other competition kettlebell because it is uniform in size regardless of weight, which is necessary for kettlebell sport and crossfit competitors to maximize their movement efficiency.
It differs from the standard competition kettlebells because it has a 33mm handle, which is great for those with smaller hands but may be less comfortable for those with larger hands.
It also differs from traditional competition kettlebells because it is made of cast iron instead of steel – which is less durable than steel, but is still reliable. The difference in material is likely the reason that this product is cheaper than standard competition kettlebells.
Although made of cast iron, the Rogue competition kettlebell is powder coated – which appeals to me because it dramatically increases our ability to maintain our grip on the kettlebell. The ability to grip a kettlebell is a very important factor because if I can’t hold onto a kettlebell once I start to sweat, then I likely won’t be able to follow my program and get the time under tension that I want.
In addition, a powder coat not only makes the surface of the kettlebell better to grip, but it also holds chalk better than other kettlebells, and makes the kettlebell more resistant to corrosion – though if corrosion does occur over time, it is easy to fix.
The Rogue competition kettlebell is available in kilograms which is ideal for those competing in kettlebell sport, but those competing mostly in crossfit may prefer pound increments. It is available in a good weight range (8kg-48kg) for those that are at an intermediate to advanced level, but could be too heavy for those who are brand new to strength training.
- More Budget-Friendly
- Uniform In Size
- Great Gripability
- Made Of Cast Iron
- May Be Too Heavy For Beginners (brand new to lifting)
Interested in learning the differences between traditional powder coated kettlebells and competition kettlebells? Check out my article Powder Coat vs Competition Kettlebell: Pros & Cons.
3. Kettlebell Kings 33mm Competition Kettlebell – Best For Small Hands
The Kettlebell Kings 33mm Competition Kettlebell is the best kettlebell for small hands for those who want to compete in kettlebell sport or crossfit, because it has a smaller handle diameter, it is built for high-repetition one-handed movements, and is the highest quality available.
The Kettlebell Kings are truly the gold standard for competition kettlebells, which is why they are used internationally for kettlebell sport. They are fabricated specifically for kettlebell competitors with their smaller window size to accommodate higher repetitions of one-handed movements, and their uniform sizing across all weights – which helps increase movement efficiency for competitors.
While the standard competition kettlebells have 35mm handles, this version of the competition kettlebell is designed with 33mm to help those with smaller hands be able to maintain their grip for longer periods of time. The 33mm decreases grip fatigue and allows for more time under tension for those training for kettlebell sport.
The downside to the 33mm handle for those competing at higher levels of kettlebell sport is that it is not approved for international competition; instead, the 35mm handle is the standard that must be used. Therefore, if we’re competing internationally we are likely better off with the 35mm to get accustomed to this grip.
The Kettlebell Kings 33mm competition kettlebell is available in a larger weight range (4kg/9lbs – 32kg/70lbs) to accommodate lifters of all levels of strength. It also stands out as a higher quality product because it is made of pure steel which tells me that this kettlebell is built for durability and is going to last me a long time. Other steel kettlebells on the market contain fillers (sawdust and ball bearings) to achieve their uniform size and weight – which is less durable and more likely to malfunction sooner.
Although the 33mm competition kettlebell is one of the most expensive on the market along with the standard competition kettlebell from Kettlebell Kings, I believe it is the best price for those with smaller hands looking to compete in kettlebell sport or crossfit because of its design and durability.
- Made Of Steel
- 33mm Handle Diameter
- Uniform In Size
- Built For High Repetition One-Handed Movements
- More Expensive
- Not Approved Internationally For Kettlebell Sport
To find out what other kettlebells are the best for those with small hands, check out my review of The Best 5 Kettlebells For Small Hands.
4. Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition Kettlebell– Best For Crossfit Competitors
The Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition Kettlebell is the best kettlebell for competition use for those interested in competing in crossfit, because it is made for higher repetition movements but has a slightly wider window for two-handed movements as well as one-handed movements, it is durable, and it is cheaper than a competition kettlebell.
I believe the Kettlebell Kings have created an excellent product for those looking for a high-quality kettlebell that is built for higher repetition training with a slightly wider window size than the competition kettlebell to accommodate more movement variety (one-handed and two-handed movements), but at a lower cost.
The fitness edition kettlebell is ideal for those who do not plan to compete regularly (or at all) in kettlebell sport, but still want a higher-quality kettlebell for higher-repetition movements. The fitness edition kettlebell has the same features that make the competition kettlebell desirable, but without the higher price tag that comes with a competition kettlebell.
The lower cost is only possible because the kettlebell does contain fillers (sawdust and ball bearings) to make up its weight while maintaining its uniform size, rather than being made of pure steel. This does make the product slightly less durable because the fillers do have the potential to break loose and create noise during movements – which could be annoying (especially with higher-repetitions).
That being said, all fitness edition kettlebells that are a reasonable price do contain fillers so this is not a unique feature to the Kettlebell Kings product. Although the fillers may be a turn-off for some people, I believe that those that are interested in a kettlebell for crossfit competitions are going to get the best deal with this kettlebell compared to other kettlebells on the market.
The Kettlebell Kings fitness edition kettlebell is only available in pounds, which I think is a bonus for those wanting to compete in crossfit, as most competitions use pounds over kilograms when prescribing weight. In addition, the fitness edition kettlebells have an excellent weight range for those who are intermediate to advanced, because they are available from 20-100lbs in 5 pound increments.
The fact that the lightest weight available is 20lbs does make them less beginner-friendly for those that are new to strength training, but it is unlikely that these individuals would be interested in a fitness edition kettlebell that soon into their strength training journey anyway.
- Uniform In Size
- More Versatile Window Size
- Available In Pound Increments
- More Affordable Than Standard Competition Kettlebells
- Contains Fillers
- Not Suitable For Beginners (no prior lifting experience)
5. Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Kettlebell – Best For At-Home Use
The Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Kettlebell is the best competition kettlebell for at-home use because it bridges the gap for those who want to train at home with an adjustable kettlebell, but want a design that is more specific to competition uses.
The adjustable competition kettlebell stands because other adjustable kettlebells are not designed with competitors in mind, and are not suitable for high repetition one-handed movements – which is a big part of kettlebell sport and crossfit.
With more and more lifters choosing to train at home, I think the adjustable competition kettlebell is a brilliant idea for those who are more serious about kettlebell training but do not have the space or budget to buy multiple kettlebells. The Kettlebell Kings adjustable competition kettlebell solves this problem by having 19 different weight increments built into one kettlebell, ranging from 12 to 32 kilograms.
I love that they manufactured the adjustable kettlebell with a steel shell, as most companies simply use cast iron – which is less durable. Although adjustable kettlebells are the least durable because of all the moving parts to adjust the weight, the steel shell does make me feel as though it would be one of the most durable adjustable kettlebells on the market.
The adjustment of the weight for this kettlebell is a bit of a pain because we must unscrew the weights to add or remove weight, but the benefit to this is that they will not move or rattle while in use – which means they are less likely to get damaged.
The adjustable competition kettlebell is more money upfront and therefore may seem like it is more expensive, but we need to remember that we are getting 19 different weights with this one product – which is much cheaper than actually purchasing 19 kettlebells.
Although the Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebell is designed like a standard competition kettlebell with its 35mm handle and uniform sizing, it is not approved for use in competition. I don’t think this is a turn-off because that’s really not what the product was intended for; instead it’s designed to be the perfect solution for kettlebell competitors to use at home, and I think they really accomplished this.
- The Most Versatile
- 12-32kg Weight Range With 1kg Increments
- More Work To Adjust Weight
- Not Appropriate For Competition Use
- Less Durable
Best Kettlebells For Competitors: Buyer’s Guide
The features that make a kettlebell better than others include:
- Window Size
- Kettlebell Style
- Handle Diameter
Choosing a kettlebell with the right window size is important because the window size will determine which movements the kettlebell is best suited for (one-handed, two-handed, or both), so we need to make sure we’re choosing the right size for our preferences.
If we’re going to be performing more higher-repetition one-handed movements – which is typical in kettlebell sport and crossfit – then we are going to prefer a kettlebell that has a smaller window size. The smaller window size is best for this style of training because it allows for a smoother transition to the racked position – which is an important skill for nearly all one-handed kettlebell movements.
If we plan on doing movements that are both one-handed and two-handed – which is typical for general fitness and crossfit – then we are going to want a kettlebell that has a slightly larger window size that accommodates two-handed movements, but is not so wide that one-handed movements become more difficult.
The style of kettlebell we choose is important because we need make sure that we are getting a kettlebell that will work for our style of training, and ensure that we are not spending money on a more expensive kettlebell than we need.
Competition Style Kettlebell
If we plan on competing in kettlebell sport, then we are going to want a competition kettlebell because they are designed specifically for this style of training by being uniform in size and having a smaller window size for higher-reptition one-handed movements
Fitness Edition Style Kettlebell
If we plan to train with both one-handed and two-handed movements, and we are planning to compete in crossfit – then we are going to want a fitness edition style kettlebell because it is built with a slightly wider window size than the competition style kettlebell. The window size makes it ideal for a wider variety of high-repetition movements, while still being slightly cheaper than the competition kettlebell.
Adjustable Style Kettlebells
Adjustable kettlebells are not for everyone, but they can be beneficial for those who are beginners and/or for those who train at home and do not have much space to work with.
Adjustable kettlebells are ideal for beginners because when we first start strength training we will progress through weights very quickly, so it is more beneficial to buy a kettlebell that adjusts easily to different weights – rather than purchasing a standard kettlebell at a weight that will only be appropriate for a short amount of time.
The adjustable kettlebells are also beneficial for those who workout at home, and do not have the space to store multiple kettlebells of different weights. The adjustable kettlebells will save space because they are so compact, while still allowing us to train with multiple weights to keep up with our training plan.
Deciding between a 33mm or 35mm handle diameter is an important decision we must make before buying a competition kettlebell, because if it’s not the right size it will affect our ability to grip the kettlebell – which limits our ability to use the kettlebell.
The 33mm handle is a better option for those with smaller hands, making it easier to grip without overly fatiguing the grip; although the 33mm competition kettlebell is not approved for international kettlebell sport competitions.
The 35mm handle is likely the right size for those with average-to-large hands, or those looking to specific areas they are trying to strengthen as it will be more fatiguing. The 35mm competition kettlebell is approved for international competition, so if we are a competitor then we should opt for the 35mm.
The durability of a kettlebell is one of the most important features that we will be looking for when purchasing a kettlebell, to ensure the product is going to last as long as we’re intending – especially if we’re spending money on a more expensive kettlebell.
If we’re looking for the most durable kettlebells on the market, then we are going to want a kettlebell that is made of steel. However not all steel kettlebells are created equal, because some of the kettlebells that claim to be made with steel simply have a steel outer shell but contain fillers (sawdust and ball bearings) to achieve their desired weight – which could come loose over time.
If durability is our top priority, then we should ensure that we are getting a kettlebell made of pure steel that does not contain fillers.
Iron kettlebells are the next most durable kettlebells on the market, particularly those that have a protective coating (e-coat or powder coat). Although they are going to be less durable than steel kettlebells, they do have extra protection from corrosion that the steel kettlebells do not.
For those that do not need the most durable kettlebell and/or want a more budget-friendly option, the adjustable kettlebell or plastic kettlebells are going to be the best option. Adjustable kettlebells are less durable because they have moving parts that could break quite easily, and plastic kettlebells are not durable simply because they’re made of plastic.
The level of versatility a product has is an important factor to consider for those looking to train a wider variety of movements, rather than simply the snatch, clean, and jerk.
The standard competition kettlebell is probably the least versatile because it was built with a specific purpose in mind, which is to be used in kettlebell sport.
Fitness Edition Kettlebells
The fitness edition kettlebell is slightly more versatile than a traditional competition kettlebell because of its wider window size, which gives more room to place two hands on the handle to incorporate more than just one-handed movements.
Adjustable Competition Kettlebells
The adjustable kettlebells are going to have the most versatility because we can change the weight of the kettlebell to make it more appropriate for a larger variety of movements.
Interested in learning more about kettlebells for two-handed movements? Check out our article on the Best Kettlebells For Two-Handed Swings.
The gripability of a kettlebell is the ability to maintain our grip on the kettlebell, which is an important factor to consider when choosing a kettlebell because once we start to sweat it can be incredibly difficult to hold onto the kettlebell.
I judge the gripability of kettlebells based on the texture of the surface of the kettlebell itself, and its ability to hold chalk. The surface should be grippy enough that we can hold on, but not so textured that the handle cannot slide smoothly in our palm.
The kettlebell style with the best gripability is going to be the powder coated kettlebells, because it has a textured surface thanks to the coating, and it also holds chalk really well – which is really important for me once my hands start to sweat.
Steel kettlebells do not have the same gripability as the coated iron kettlebells, but we can improve their gripability when we use chalk on both our hands and the kettlebells handle The steel kettlebells may not have the best gripability but they are miles ahead of plastic or chrome kettlebells.
Other Kettlebell Resources
- Is Your Kettlebell Too Heavy? (How To Know Using Examples)
- How To Keep Kettlebell From Hitting Your Wrist (7 Tips)
- Cast Iron vs Steel Kettlebells: Pros, Cons, Differences
- Powder Coat vs Competition Kettlebell: Pros & Cons
- Best 5 Kettlebells For Small Hands
- Plastic Kettlebell vs Iron Kettlebell: Pros, Cons, Differences
- Best 5 Kettlebells For The Money (That Are Still Well Made)
- How To Get Rust Off A Kettlebell? (4 Steps For Restoring)
- 1 Arm vs 2 Arm Kettlebell Swing: Pros, Cons, Which Is Best?
- E-Coat vs Powder Coat Kettlebells: Pros, Cons, Differences
- Adjustable vs Standard Kettlebell: Pros, Cons, Differences
- 33mm vs 35mm Kettlebell Handle: Which One Should You Get?
- Kettlebell Window Size: What Is It? How Big Should It Be?
- Kettle Gryp Review: Pros, Cons, Is It Worth It?
- 7 Best Kettlebell Swing Alternatives (With Pictures)
- Kettlebell Gloves or Chalk: Which Is Better? (Pros & Cons)
- 5 Best Kettlebell Gloves To Protect Your Hands
- Best 5 Kettlebells For Two-Handed Swings
- 3 Best Rubber-Coated Kettlebells
- 7 Best Kettlebell Apps For Both iOS & Android
- How To Chalk A Kettlebell Properly (4 Steps To Follow)
The Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell takes the cake for the best all around kettlebell for competitors because of its approved internationally for kettlebell sport, it has a top notch design, and is the most durable. It really does a great job of meeting all the criteria I’m looking for in a competition kettlebell to compete in both crossfit and kettlebell sport.
The Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition is a close second because of its slightly wider window size that increases the versatility of the kettlebell, but falls short of the title because it is not quite as durable as the competition version because it contains fillers, and therefore is less durable.
Finally, the third runner up is the Rogue Competition Kettlebell which is a fantastic price compared to all other competition kettlebells, but unfortunately is less durable, and has a 33mm handle that may not work for those with larger hands.
About The Author
Amanda Parker has a passion for competing and coaching in both powerlifting and weightlifting. She uses her knowledge from her Kinesiology Degree, CSCS, and Precision Nutrition certification to coach athletes and lifestyle clients for performance in training and nutrition. Connect with her on Instagram.