Kettlebell manufacturers are always working to create the best products on the market, and most recently this has been done by adding coatings.
At first I found this confusing, because I wasn’t aware of the difference between coatings and how they would affect my performance – but now I’ve done my research.
What is the difference between an E-Coat and a Powder Coat? The e-coat kettlebells are made of ductile iron, are painted electronically, and have a glossier surface which makes them more durable and easier to clean. The powder coat kettlebells are made of cast iron, are painted with a dry powder, and are textured which gives them a better grip for a better price.
Deciding between products can be difficult when new products emerge, and it is up to us to decide if these new features are actually going to improve the product for us, or if they’re just a waste of money.
In this article I’ll discuss the differences between e-coat and powder coat kettlebells, the pros and cons of each, and give suggestions on which product I believe is right for you.
Looking for a kettlebell? Check out our reviews of the Top 5 Kettlebells For The Money, which are still high quality.
E-Coat Kettlebells: Overview
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E-Coat kettlebells have this name because they are electrocoated, meaning they are painted electronically, which allows for a thinner and more even coating that results in a glossy finish.
The electrocating technique was taken from the automobile industry because of the effectiveness of the paint in resisting chipping or peeling and it’s ability to resist corrosion.
E-Coated kettlebells are made from ductile iron which is different from cast iron (ductile iron is much stronger), but they are made similarly to cast iron kettlebells as the size and shape of the kettlebells varies based on the brand and the weight purchased – meaning they are not uniform in size.
E-coated kettlebells are sold in weights from 9lbs-88lbs which is a smaller range than traditional cast iron kettlebells and powder coated kettlebells. They are also typically only available in pounds.
The best e-coated kettlebells on the market today are made by Rogue. Check out the current price of the E-Coat Kettlebells on Rogue.
Powder Coat Kettlebells: Overview
Powder coat kettlebells are traditional cast iron kettlebells that have been coated in dry powder through the use of a spray gun to increase the durability and the gripability of the kettlebells.
The application process is less precise than the e-coat and therefore may be applied in different thicknesses across the surfaces and is harder to apply in hard-to-reach areas.
The powder coat is successful in increasing gripability of the kettlebells by creating a textured surface, and by creating an excellent base to retain chalk. The surface is so great at holding chalk that it does make it difficult to clean, but we should never have to worry about losing our grip, no matter how sweaty we get!
Powder coated kettlebells vary in size and shape based on the weight we purchase and the brand we choose, but are usually available in larger weight ranges and can be purchased in kilograms or pounds.
Powder coated kettlebells are very popular and are used by many kettlebell enthusiasts, and are available in most crossfit and strength-based gyms.
The best powder coat kettlebells on the market today are made by Kettlebell Kings. Check out the current price of the Powder Coat Kettlebells on Kettlebell Kings.
E-Coat Kettlebells: Pros & Cons
- Easy To Clean
- Corrosion Resistant (ductile iron instead of cast iron)
- More Durable
Easy To Clean
E-Coat kettlebells are easier to clean because they have a glossier finish from the painted on coating, that is spread evenly and does not create textured grooves.
The finish of the e-coat kettlebells makes them easier to clean, particularly when chalk is involved. While chalk can still be applied to these kettlebells to help increase our grip, it comes off much easier than it would with a powder coated kettlebell.
If we’re looking for a kettlebell with minimal maintenance that cleans up easily, the e-coat kettlebell will be a great option.
E-coat kettlebells are very resistant to corrosion because of the coating applied to the kettlebell that has higher levels of adhesion and prevents the coating from peeling or chipping off and exposing the iron.
One of the main reasons that the e-coating was taken from the automobile industry and adapted to kettlebell use was because of its ability to adhere to the iron and as a result protect it from corrosion.
If we’re looking for a kettlebell that is going to retain its higher quality for a longer period of time, then it is worth investing in the e-coated kettlebell.
How to care for your kettlebell and ensure it doesn’t get any rust is important. Check out our guide on How To Get Rust Off A Kettlebell, which also includes prevention tips.
E-Coated kettlebells are the most durable kettlebells made of iron because they are made with ductile iron which is stronger and more flexible than traditional cast iron kettlebells.
The ductile iron itself is more durable than cast iron kettlebells, but when coupled with the coating which gives another layer of protection, the e-coated kettlebells come close to being one of the most durable kettlebells on the market.
If we’re looking for kettlebell that will survive the test of time despite heavy usage, we’re going to want an e-coated kettlebell.
The most durable kettlebells on the market are steel kettlebells, and its durability is only one of the main differences between steel and iron kettlebells. Check out my other article Cast Iron vs Steel Kettlebells, to learn whether one is better than the other.
- More Expensive
- Less Options
E-Coat kettlebells are a more expensive option because they are made with more expensive materials and paint application procedures.
The ductile iron that these kettlebells are made from does increase the price of the kettlebells, as well as the advanced electrocoating that is used to adhere the coating to the kettlebell.
Although these factors make the kettlebell more expensive, they also increase the longevity of the product and therefore may be worth the investment.
Less Options Available
E-coated kettlebells are not as popular as other types of kettlebells and are only manufactured by a few companies; therefore, we have less options to choose from when purchasing.
These types of kettlebells are not readily available and cannot be picked up at local sports stores, and instead must be purchased through specific kettlebell retailers. They are harder to come by than the powder coated kettlebells, which most kettlebell suppliers manufacture.
Powder Coat Kettlebells: Pros & Cons
- Better Gripability
- More Affordable
Powder coated kettlebells are textured enough that increase our ability to grip and retain chalk, which makes it unnecessary to have to chalk them regularly.
This is a benefit because it increases our ability to hold onto the kettlebell even during the sweatiest of workouts. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a kettlebell slipping and sliding through our hands, especially during high-velocity movements like one or two-arm kettlebell swings.
If you’re looking for a kettlebell that you can rely on even if it’s a sweaty outdoor workout in the sun, and that you don’t have to chalk after every set – then the powder coated kettlebell is for you.
The powder coated kettlebell is more affordable than the e-coat because of the cast iron material that is used and the dry powder coating that is painted on, which are less expensive materials.
The materials used for the powder coated kettlebells are less expensive because they are less durable than the e-coated kettlebell’s materials; however, they are still very durable.
If we’re looking for a more budget-friendly option but still want a kettlebell that is durable and performs well, the powder coated kettlebell is the best option.
- Not As Durable
- Harder To Clean
Not As Durable
Powder coated kettlebells are not as durable as e-coated kettlebells because they are made of cast iron rather than ductile iron and have a less adhesive coating.
The cast iron and its powder coat will still be resistant to chipping, peeling, and corrosion but less so than the e-coated kettlebells which are designed with more durable and expensive materials.
The powder coated kettlebell will last longer than traditional cast iron kettlebells (with no coating) and adjustable kettlebells, but are not likely to outlast the e-coated kettlebells.
Harder To Clean
Powder coated kettlebells are harder to clean because of the texture that the powder coating gives to the kettlebell.
While this texture is beneficial for gripping and retaining chalk, it does make it harder to clean. If we’re trying to clear some of the chalk off the kettlebell we will have a harder time doing so with the powder coated kettlebells than we would with an e-coated kettlebells.
Personally, I don’t mind that the kettlebell holds chalk so efficiently that I will never lose my grip, but I do understand that it will never be without chalk once it is applied. However, I don’t think this is a deal breaker.
Which Kettlebell Style Is Right For You?
When To Get E-Coat Kettlebells
If we’re looking to spend a bit more money for a kettlebell that is very durable, easy to clean, and extremely resistant to corrosion then the e-coated kettlebell is the best choice for us.
Although more expensive, I personally believe that it is worth the price if it is a weight that we will use for a long time because it will last a long time. However, if it’s a weight that is not as versatile then perhaps we should opt for a cheaper, more short-term option.
The e-coated kettlebells are harder to find because they are made by fewer companies, and come at a higher price point but if we’re looking for a durable and low-maintenance product then this is it.
When To Get Powder Coat Kettlebells
If we want a kettlebell that is more budget-friendly, easier to grip, and retains chalk for even the sweatiest workouts then the powder coated kettlebell is the right choice for us.
The powder coated kettlebell saves us some money without sacrificing too much of the durability factor that the e-coated kettlebell has. The powder coated kettlebell will be durable enough to withstand heavy usage and maintain its grippability.
If we’re looking for a reliable kettlebell that isn’t as expensive as the e-coat and is most widely used in crossfit gyms and kettlebell enthusiasts then the powder coated kettlebell is the best option.
E-Coat Kettlebell Products
1. Rogue E-Coat Kettlebell – Best Overall
The Rogue E-Coat kettlebell is the most popular brand of e-coated kettlebells because it is approved for use in the USA’s army combat fitness testing. It varies in size and shape depending on the weight, and is available in weight range from 9 to 88 lbs.
If it’s good enough for the army then it is definitely good enough for me.
Powder Coat Kettlebell Products
1. Kettlebell Kings Powder Coated Kettlebell – Best Overall
The kettlebell kings have a powder-coated cast iron kettlebell that increases the grippability of the kettlebell and is the perfect base for applying chalk. It is a great option for those interested in training for general fitness by accommodating one-handed and two-handed movements with window size increasing as the weight increases.
2. Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebells – Best Budget
The yes4all brand is a more budget-friendly option for a cast iron kettlebell that is still powder coated to help increase the grip, and allow for better chalking of the kettlebell. The downside to this product is that the weight range is limited and it is only available in pounds.
Other Kettlebell Resources
- Powder Coat vs Competition Kettlebells: Differences, Pros, Cons
- Adjustable vs Standard Kettlebell: Differences, Pros, Cons
- 33mm vs 35mm Kettlebell Handle: Which One Should You Get?
- How To Keep Kettlebell From Hitting Your Wrist (7 Tips)
No matter the kettlebell style we choose, we can be sure that they are going to last us a long time because of the additional coating applied to the iron. Depending on our budget and the amount we will use the kettlebell, we can decide whether an increase in price is worth a slight increase in durability.
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.