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With so many barbells on the market, knowing which ones are best for deadlifts can be difficult. New equipment companies continue popping up left and right, and knowing where to go for quality equipment can be hard.
But don’t worry. I've got you covered if you need help finding a deadlift bar. While most barbells can be used for deadlifts, this article will focus on bars specifically designed for deadlifting. I've used most of these in competitions or training, and have some favorites I recommend to clients.
Here are the 8 best deadlift bars:
- Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar – Best Overall
- Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar – Best Customer Service
- Texas Deadlift Bar – Best Classic Deadlift Bar
- Sumo Deadlift Bar by Strongarm – Best Sumo Deadlift Bar
- ISF Deadlift Bar – Best Budget
- Cerberus Deadlift Bar – Best Bar for Strongman
- Okie Deadlift Bar – Best Original Deadlift Bar
- Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD – Best Trap Bar
In this article, I will discuss the 8 best deadlift bars and will provide a brief description and rating for each one. I will also give you insight into how we chose these bars and what important things to look for when purchasing a deadlift bar.
There is a reason why many people refer to deadlifts as the king of the lifts. There is no better way to develop a strong and powerful physique than by getting good at the deadlift. You need the right tools to push your deadlift to new heights, or you won’t be able to hit the weights you want when it’s most important.
- Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar – Best Overall
- Texas Deadlift Bar – Best Classic Deadlift Bar
- ISF Deadlift Bar – Best Budget
Why Should You Deadlift With a Deadlift Bar?
A deadlift bar has a thinner diameter than a standard barbell and typically has more aggressive knurling, which makes it easier to hold onto the bar.
Deadlift bars also have a longer shaft than standard barbells. The bar is longer, as well as the thinner diameter, makes it so that the bar will flex more when being lifted. The extra flex will allow you to get into a better position before the weight leaves the ground and also shortens the lift's range of motion. All of these factors should lead to you being able to deadlift more weight.
Check out this article to learn all the ways that deadlift bars are different than stiff bars
8 Best Deadlift Bars Compared
|Product||Best for||Price Range||Finish Options||Length||Diameter|
|Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar - Best Overall||Overall||$$$$||Bare Steel, Black Oxide, Nickel||95.25’’||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar - Best Customer Service||Customer Service||$$$||Cerakote, Black Zinc, Bare Steel, E-Coat||90.50’’||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Texas Deadlift Bar - Best Classic Deadlift Bar||Classic||$$$||Cerakote, Black Zinc, Bare Steel, Chrome||92.5’’||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Sumo Deadlift Bar by Strongarm - Best Sumo Deadlift Bar||Sumo Deadlifts||$$$||Bare Steel, Chrome||90.9’’||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|ISF Deadlift Bar - Best Budget||Budget||$$||Bare Steel, Black Oxide, Chrome||91.73||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Cerberus Deadlift Bar - Best Bar for Strongman||Strongman||$$$$||Black Zinc||94.49||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Okie Deadlift Bar - Best Original Deadlift Bar||Original||$$$||Bar Steel||90.16||27 mm||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD - Best Trap Bar||Trap Bar||$$$$$||Zinc Plated (handles)||77’’||N/A||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
1. Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar – Best Overall
- Longest deadlift bar
- More flexible than other deadlift bars
- Kabuki has an exclusive partnership with the USPA, and if you compete through them, you’ll most likely use their bars.
- If you train with this bar, you may not be able to deadlift as much on other bars
The first time I pulled on the Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar, I noticed a significant difference from other deadlift bars. Recently, I had the chance to meet Rudy Kadlub, CEO and Co-owner of Kabuki Strength, at a coaches' conference. I heard from him firsthand the things that they wanted to do with this bar to set it apart from the rest.
The bar is several inches longer than other deadlift bars on the market. This allows you to get more flex out of the bar and helps you get in a better starting position before the weights leave the ground. I’ve noticed that you benefit from the bar flex at a lighter weight on this bar than on others. This benefits both strong and weak lifters.
Rudy explained to me that they designed the collars of this barbell differently. They made the collars thinner and wider, which pushes the weights out further on the sleeves of the barbell, and allows you to take advantage of even more bar flex. The bar is innovative design allows you to deadlift more weight. These factors make it the best bar for deadlifts and my favorite.
2. Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar – Best Customer Service
- Rogue is known for providing great customer service
- Has many finish options
- Lifetime warranty
- Less flexible than some other deadlift bars.
Rogue Fitness has grown into one of the most well-known equipment companies in the world. They provide equipment of all kinds at great prices and take good care of their customers. When I need home gym equipment, this is one of the first places I look.
The Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar is a solid piece of equipment with unique features that attract users. One such feature is its many finish options to tailor your bar to your taste. When investing in a specialty bar, choosing the finish you want is an added bonus. I like the Black Zinc, but you can get Bare Steel or the Black E-Coat.
Rogue also offers a lifetime warranty that guarantees you can get your money’s worth out of this bar even if something happens over time. The many finish options and great warranty are a couple of reasons why this bar is a solid choice that provides great customer service while purchasing and using your equipment.
3. Texas Deadlift Bar – Best Classic Deadlift Bar
- Long successful company history
- Used in many competitions
- Very aggressive knurl
- Not as many finish options as some other bars
The Texas Deadlift Bar has been one of my go-to deadlift bars for years, and it’s been prominent in the industry for decades. I know many individuals and federations have long trusted in this bar, and many world records have been broken on Texas Power and Texas Deadlift Bars.
The bar is longer than most deadlift bars, allowing for more bar flex. The knurling is aggressive, and the bar features 18’’ collars, so there is no fear of running out of room to put on weights.
Texas Power Bars were originally created because Buddy Capps saw a need to be filled. In the 1960s and 1970s, bars were much smoother, and the sleeves often broke or didn’t stay in place. The Texas Power Bars were created with knurling and sleeves built to last and don’t require maintenance. After decades, many still consider it the best barbell for deadlifts, and it certainly is a timeless classic.
4. Sumo Deadlift Bar by Strongarm – Best Sumo Deadlift Bar
- Great for sumo deadlifters
- Knurling is in the center of the bar
- Lifetime warranty
- Not ideal for most lifting movements
The Sumo Deadlift Bar by Strongarm is very unique. Sumo deadlifting has become extremely popular in powerlifting. You may even see the majority of lifters pulling this way at a meet. A bar specifically built for sumo deadlifts seems like a no-brainer.
This bar has knurling on the center of the bar, and the outside of the bar is smooth. A standard barbell forces sumo deadlifters to grip, usually at least partially, on the smooth part of the barbell. The knurling on a standard bar can also be problematic because it rubs on the lifter's legs during the pull.
This bar is a great option for sumo pullers. While you won’t be able to use this bar at a meet, at least you won’t scrape your legs up during training.
5. ISF Deadlift Bar – Best Budget
- Cheapest bar on the list
- Longer than Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar
- Aggressive knurl and lots of bar whip
- Company isn’t as well known as some of the others on our list
The ISF Deadlift Bar is a great option for a great quality bar and also a little cheaper than the rest of the bars on the list. ISF worked hand in hand with powerlifters of the Northeast USA to try and produce a bar that had as rough of knurling as possible and would give lifters a lot of flex.
The bar is longer than many other deadlift bars, and its knurling is as aggressive as any that you’ll find on a barbell. The bar has a high tensile strength and offers a variety of finishes.
Possibly the biggest flex is a video on the ISF website showing Dan Bell, the strongest raw powerlifter of all time, deadlifting serious amounts of weight with their bar. If it works well for the best in the world, it probably works for the rest of us.
6. Cerberus Deadlift Bar – Best Bar for Strongman
- Tested in Official Strongman Games
- 2nd longest bar on the list
- 3 Year Warranty
- Less finish options than other bars
Over the last decade, Cerberus has made a strong name for itself in the strength equipment world. They make equipment and gear of all kinds but are especially well-known in the strongman world.
A unique thing about Cerberus is that its founders and director are high-level lifters. They wanted to create more options, better prices, and better quality equipment.
The Cerberus Deadlift Bar was tested as part of the deadlift medley in the Official Strongman Games in 2019 with some of the best deadlifters in the world. The bar is longer than almost all deadlift bars and has a greater sleeve length, so there is no worry about being unable to fit all the weight you need on the bar.
7. Okie Deadlift Bar – Best Original Deadlift Bar
- Teaches how to autoregulate training
- Explains how to use RPE-based training
- Shorter than most of the other books on the list
- Programming examples are given, but there are no specific programs to follow since the book's goal is to help you program for yourself
You can’t list deadlift bars and not put the Okie Deadlift Bar on it. This bar is the OG. While many people will tell you that the Texas Deadlift Bar has been around forever, this bar came before it. It is the first bar that was designed specifically for deadlifting.
The bar was designed by Rickey Dale Crain, who was a 700 lb deadlifter way back in the 1970s. This bar has been used in many local, national, and international powerlifting events.
Many people to this day swear by this bar.
Some say that it is “only imitated, never duplicated.” It certainly was the first bar built for the deadlift, and since that time, many other companies have made their own version of the deadlift bar. Some may say that newer bars have passed the Okie Deadlift Bar up, but this bar will always do the job.
Check out this article for the best jacks and wedges to accompany your deadlift bar.
8. Kabuki Strength Trap Bar HD – Best Trap Bar
- Great for training a variety of lower body lifts
- Built in jack
- Adjustable handle-width
- Different movement than a barbell deadlift
The Kabuki Strength Trap Bar is the most innovative trap bar on the planet. All of the things that are typically negative about a trap bar have been fixed.
The bar has an open design allowing you to use it for various movements. It also makes it so you don’t have to step in and out of the bar and risk tripping. The bar also allows you to adjust the handle width based on who will be using the bar. A standard trap bar can be built great for one person but not for another. Adjustable handles eliminate this problem.
A major hassle of using trap bars is getting the weight on and off the bar. This bar has a built-in jack to set it on its side and easily load weight. Obviously, you cannot directly train the barbell deadlift with this bar, but this is a great bar for training just about everything else. It’s definitely the best trap bar that you can find.
Check out this article to learn about all of the different kinds of deadlift bars.
Why You Should Trust PowerliftingTechnique
Our team comprises powerlifting coaches and trainers who have competed and worked with athletes at the highest levels. We understand the importance of finding the best equipment to support your training goals, and our recommendations are based on our experience with what works.
Our experienced coaches have used equipment of all kinds, both in their own training and their athletes' training. We strive to find what works and make the best recommendations to anyone who wants to improve their training.
How We Chose the Best Deadlift Bars
One of the most important influences on how we chose the bars on this list is our own experiences using various bars. We have tested many of the best barbell brands to narrow the options to what is best. We either own many of these barbells or use them in the gyms where we coach and train.
Many factors contribute to the quality of any barbell, including a deadlift bar, such as the materials the bar is made of, including finish options, the diameter of the bar, the length of the bar, tensile strength, and knurling. It is also important to consider reviews from other users of the equipment. All of our choices have great reviews overall and come from companies that people have had positive experiences with.
Buying Guide: What To Look For in a Deadlift Bar
A lot of thought and research goes into finding the best deadlift barbell. Consider several things when finding a bar to support your training goals.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the best deadlift bar are:
- The material the bar is made of and finish options
- Diameter and length of the bar
- Tensile strength
1. The Material the Bar is Made of and Finish Options
The bar itself should be made of steel. Ideally, you’d opt for stainless steel or solid steel. Either of those are very durable, resistant to corrosion, and can withstand high amounts of load.
After you have found a quality steel barbell, you can consider what kind of finish you put on it. Certain finish types require more maintenance than others, and some will be more susceptible to oxidation.
Some common finish options are bare steel, black zinc, and cerakote. Many people love the appearance of bare steel. It shows off the bar's knurling and has a sleek chrome appearance. Just remember that bare steel bars require more frequent application of oils (minimum 3 times per year), and you must be careful to store the bar off of the ground and keep it from getting wet.
Adding a finish of black zinc gives a layer of protection to the barbell, as zinc can help protect against oxidation. It is still important to keep your bar dry, but it isn't as necessary to apply oil to it frequently.
Cerakote has been popular in the gun industry for decades because it provides great durability while only applying a small amount. It is much more resistant to wear and corrosion than bare steel and black zinc. It can help protect your bar, but one negative that some people have seen is that it can make knurling feel less aggressive.
Any of these finishes are great options. It is important to consider if you want more protection for your barbell and consider how much upkeep you want to do on your equipment.
2. Diameter and Length of the Bar
The diameter and length of the bar are important factors to consider when purchasing deadlift bars.
The diameter of the bar has a tremendous effect on how much the bar will flex. Most deadlift bars are 27 mm in diameter. This is several millimeters smaller than a standard barbell (usually around 29 mm). Because the bar is thinner, it will bend before leaving the floor, putting the lifter in a more mechanically advantageous position.
The length of the bar also has an impact on how much the bar will flex. Most deadlift bars are around 90’’ or more, compared to standard barbells of around 86 or 87’’. An increased bar length greatly influences how much the bar will bench, which is why the Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar is a great option because its length is 95.25’’.
3. Tensile Strength
Tensile strength refers to the weight you can add to a bar before the bar breaks. You certainly don’t want your bar to break, so it’s important to ensure that the bar you purchase has adequate tensile strength.
We spoke about the importance of selecting a bar made of steel. Still, another important reason is that stainless steel barbells have higher tensile strength than those made of less durable materials. They will not break even with huge amounts of weight on the bar.
While it’s important to note that deadlift bars will have lower tensile strength than stiff bars, this allows them to bend, you should look for a certain amount of tensile strength for safety reasons. If you’re going for one-rep max in any powerlifting movements, you’ll want a bar with a tensile strength of at least 165,000 PSI, generally between 180,000 to 200,000 PSI.
We made sure every bar on our list falls into this range.
A deadlift bar should have very aggressive knurling. While rough knurling can be slightly painful if you’re not used to it, it is better to experience a little hand pain than to miss a lift due to the bar sliding out of your hands, especially in competition.
The knurling on a deadlift bar should be very sharp. Each individual diamond of knurling has more surface area than an Olympic barbell and often comes to a point to drive into and stick to the skin.
Another important aspect of the knurling on a deadlift bar is that there is no knurling in the center of the bar. Knurling in the center of the bar would make it harder for the bar to slide up your thighs and would likely cut your shins up pretty severely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Bar Is Best for Deadlifts?
Generally speaking, a bar made specifically for deadlifts is best for deadlifts. A specific bar that is best for deadlifts is the Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar. Other bars that work well are the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar and the Texas Deadlift Bar. These bars flex more and allow you to lift more weight.
Is a Deadlift Bar Easier To Lift With?
Simply put, yes. A deadlift bar is longer, thinner, and flexes more when pulled from the ground. The first few times, using a deadlift bar may be harder because it feels different than a stiff. After you get used to it, you should be able to deadlift more weight with a deadlift bar.
Is a Longer Bar Better for Deadlifts?
Yes, generally, a longer bar is better for deadlifts. A longer bar allows you to get more flex out of the bar and get into a more upright position before breaking the bar off of the ground. In extreme cases, a long bar, such as the Rogue Elephant Bar, could be harder. An extremely long bar will whip and be unstable.
Is a Deadlift Bar Heavier Than a Squat Bar?
No, a deadlift bar is not heavier than a squat bar. Most barbells, including a deadlift bar, weigh 45 lbs or 20 kg. Some bars designed specifically for squatting are actually heavier than deadlifts bars, weighing 55 lbs or 25 kg.
Is a Thicker Bar Better for Deadlifts?
No, a thick bar may actually make deadlifting harder. A thicker bar is less likely to flex while being pulled on. Using a thick bar for deadlifting, such as an axle bar, is a great exercise to develop deadlifting strength, but you won’t be able to lift as much weight on it as a deadlift or stiff bar.
My choice for the best deadlift bar is the Kabuki Strength PR Deadlift Bar. This bar was created to offer several innovations that other bars don’t. It is longer, more flexible, and has thinner collars than other bars. It also is the bar used by the USPA. Other great options are the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar, Rogue is well respected and has great customer service, and the Texas Deadlift Bar, which has been used for decades and is a classic. For a cheaper option, you can go with the ISF Deadlift Bar.
About The Author
Derek Reasch is a strength and conditioning coach with experience coaching at the Division I, Division II, and NAIA levels. Previously, he worked as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. He holds a Master’s in Kinesiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. As a competitive powerlifter, he has achieved an elite total in several weight classes. He currently is focused on his online coaching and apparel business, Reaschmode Athletics.