There’s no way you could argue a kettlebell isn’t one of the most effective workout tools available, as they offer a unique combination of total body strength training and cardio. Kettlebells offer much more than just a great workout as their unique shape allows you to perform exercises which would be difficult or impossible using a traditional dumbbell. To understand more about kettlebells and choosing the perfect one for you, check out our helpful buyer’s guide provided below.
Rocketlok RKB-36 Adjustable Kettlebell Set
Stamina Adjustable Kettle Versa-Bell
Iron Master Quick Lock Kettlebell
PowerBlock Kettle Block
Dragon Door RKC Russian Kettlebell
Rogue Kettle Bell
CFF Steel Competition Kettlebells
MDUSA V4 Black Series Kettlebell
Yes4All Solid Cast Iron Kettlebell
It is baffling how Rocketlok isn’t a household name when it comes to not just adjustable kettlebells, but kettlebells in general. Rocketloks unique “Russian Doll” design keeps this kettlebell the same size and shape and only changes the weight of the bell. This design also keeps the weights exactly where they should be with little to no shifting during movements. The weights are pretty much entirely made of steel with the outer shell being powder coated with a smooth finish to prevent from snagging and premature wear and a tough polyurethane cap to keep the weight cylinders in place. If there was a complaint about these kettlebells, it would be they only adjust from 14 to 20 pounds in three pound increments or 24 to 36 pounds in four pound increments. Rocketlok offers a solid 10 year warranty which should be fine for most users.
With a big name like Stamina, it’s easy to get behind this impressive adjustable kettlebell. This pick is made of a thick cast iron handle, steel plates, and a sturdy plastic shell which prevents premature wear and tear while keeping everything tightly held together. The weight moves from 16 to 36 pounds in 4 pound increments which is great for experienced users but not perfect for the beginner. The patented weight adjustment system makes changing weights easy, although you can feel slight movements between weights. It does keep the traditional kettlebell shape which is a nice addition and the square base pad keeps everything in check when you’re changing weights.
Iron Master is a great company with solid products for the serious weight lifter. It’s definitely not for the beginner as the handle itself weighs 22.5 pounds, but on the other hand it can adjust all the way up to 80 pounds in 2.5 pound increments. The only issue is you need to buy the plate set and add on kit separately which make this adjustable kettlebell set a little pricey. It uses a locking screw to hold the plates which keeps them tight together with zero shifting as long as you screw it tight enough and is super easy to add and subtract weight plates from. This kettlebell and all of its parts are made from machined steel which makes them heavy duty and durable. If you’re a serious athlete looking to ramp up your workout in a small space I would say this is the adjustable kettlebell for you.
It’s no surprise that Powerblock, one of the first and best adjustable dumbbell manufacturers, would also create one of the best adjustable kettlebells. It uses the same pin method to change weight increments as the original Powerblock which not only means that it is easy to switch weights during a workout, but also means that there’s little to no movement between the weights during use. This is incredibly important because movement between plates can throw off form and lead to early wear of the kettlebell. The weight change in four and five pound increments from 8 to 40 pounds which is leads the industry when it comes to weight range. The combination of powder coated steel and thick, heavy duty plastics make this kettlebell incredibly durable; so durable in fact that they offer a lifetime warranty for home use.
The Kettle Clamp is a unique take on the adjustable kettlebell as it’s a handle that will already work with your existing dumbbells. The Kettle Clamp is made from solid steel and aluminum parts which stand up to everyday wear and can support weight up to half a ton. The design is super simple to use and can be attached and released in a couple of seconds. One feature in particular allows you to attach the unit to a dumbbell which makes it a kettle bell; however, attaching it to a barbell or pull up bar makes it an entirely new form of workout equipment. The amount of weight on this device can thus be as little as the handle weight itself, all the way up to the largest dumbbell you have. The clamping mechanism also ensures a safe and tight fit throughout your workout.
This manufacturer uses a single cast mold to create this solid cast iron kettlebell into one solid piece; this means no seams, no burrs, and no chance of the handle breaking off of the ball mid workout. The entire bell is coated in a rust resistant e-coat which ensures the bell is kept in good condition for a longer period of time; the e-coat also offers a nice texture to the handle which doesn’t rub the fingers, but offers a nice grip. The ball shape of the Dragon Door kettlebell allows extra room for movements like kettlebell swings and the handle has the perfect thickness, though the width may not be perfect for double handed movements. The e-coat also offers a nice texture to the handle which doesn’t rub the fingers, but offers a nice grip. Dragon Door’s kettlebells range in weight from 10 to 106 pounds which is an absolutely astounding array which can be used for any kettlebell movement you can think of.
Rogue Kettle Bell
Rogue is one of my go to places for exercise equipment because they always deliver when it comes to strength and quality. Strength is an understatement with these kettlebells which reach from as little as 9 pounds to a staggering 203 pounds; the handles are also color coded for easy weight recognition. These first-run iron ore kettlebells are cast in a single cast mold to create a seamless product with no burrs which may catch your fingers or clothing. The handles of these bells are a thing of beauty with just the right thickness for most hands and wide enough for most individuals to doubles hand it. Rogue powder coats their kettlebells with a finish that's porous enough to hold chalk and protects the bells from harsh environmental elements like corrosive moisture.
Though they may look like another set of cheap vinyl coated kettlebells these are actually some of the most powerful, incredible kettlebells on the market today. Unlike other kettlebells which are made from cast iron these bells are manufactured using machined steel in a single casting. The steel is much more durable than traditional iron and more resistant to outside elements while each bell is color coated using special paint which makes it easy to switch weights during your workout. Though the bells have a nice round shape, the handle is rectangular which offers extra space for double handing. The handle itself is of a nice thickness, although possibly possible a little too thin for some users. The one downside to this kettlebell set is a lack of weight ranges; the bells are only offered from 17 to 70 pounds in at least 9 pound increments.
The thing I love about Muscle Driver is they are never content with a product when they know it could made even better; this is exactly why they're on their fourth kettlebell version named the Black Series. This newest version of the Muscle Driver kettlebell has a specially designed handle which is made to be just as comfortable for kettlebell swings as it is for renegade rows. Muscle Driver keeps quiet with what these bells are made out of, which probably means they're a recycled iron or some kind of iron mix. Nevertheless, these kettlebells are still a very solid product. They're cast in a single mold which means no seams or burrs and the base of the handle is color coded for easy recognition mid-workout. There doesn’t seem to be any type of powder coating on these bells which may leave them susceptible to environmental corrosion especial in commercial workout space situations. These kettlebells are offered in increments from 8 to 100 pounds and are clearly labeled in both pounds and kilograms.
Yes4All is a company which has only recently come to my attention, and I am thankful that they did. This company somehow manages to toe the line between quality and price. Yes4All offers bells between 5 and 60 pounds in 5 pound increments which is a nice variety for most people and most movements. The only downside to this particular brand is that it's not solid cast with the bell made of iron and the handle crafted from steel. That being said, I haven't come across single issue with seams mentioned online or experienced myself in person. The handles themselves are a nice width and can be used with both hands for most users. These bells are painted which repels most environmental hazards but this coating can wear off over time.
Kettlebell Buyer's Guide
Kettlebells have been used in weight training by Russian athletes for ages but they’ve only recently caught on in the United States. If someone set a kettlebell in front of you, you’d probably assume there wasn’t much to one since it’s basically a handle attached to a weighted ball. However, you may be surprised to find out there’s a lot involved with this simple-looking workout tool. The great thing about kettlebells is they can be used in functional training which means more movement involved and more calories burned.
Though the look may vary slightly from one manufacturer to the next, a kettlebells basic form is a metal ball with a handle on it. A traditional model is one solid piece which has been cast from steel, iron, or other solid metal free of seams or burrs.
Adjustable kettlebells look similar to traditional kettlebells with the difference being they usually come as a handle with a pin which slides down the middle of a set of weight plates; a stand holds the extra weight plates when not in use. These types of kettlebell aren’t as sturdy as a traditional model, but they’re incredibly convenient to use and can help you save a lot of space.
Kettlebells range from a lightweight 2 pounds up to around 200 pounds for strongmen and tough guys. Your ideal weight range will depend on your fitness level as well as the exercises you’ll be performing. Kettlebells can be hazardous if not utilized properly, so weights 30 pounds or greater should only be used for movements where a lot of twisting or swinging isn’t required like an overhear press or chest press. On the other hand, moves like the windmill and kettlebell swing are better suited to weights under 30 pounds.
Kettlebells have been designed primarily for functional and sport specific exercises such as kettlebell swings, windmills, and kettlebell loading. Because of their unique shape, kettlebells may not work for 100 percent of traditional exercises associated with dumbbells, but they’ll function for many popular moves such as chest presses and arm curls.
The kettlebell handle should be wide enough where you can comfortably wrap your thumbs and at least three fingers of each hand around it. If the space is too tight inside the handle, it will rub against your hands causing discomfort or injury.
Selecting a Quality Kettlebell
There are a large variety of kettlebells out there and not all are created equally. Most kettlebells you find will be fairly expensive but it’s definitely worth paying extra for a safe, functional workout tool which will last you a lifetime.
Solid vs. Multicast
Most kettlebells are made of high quality steel or iron since these materials are resistant to premature wear. Lower quality models may have sharp seams or burrs which can cut you as well as being multicast instead of being one solid piece of metal. If a multicast kettlebell suddenly falls apart in the middle of an exercise, expect potential injury and/or property damage.
Vinyl Coating Issues
Cheaper models are typically coated in vinyl which is meant to cover imperfections. A vinyl coating will eventually tear off of the kettlebell and even when firmly on the bell, it poses a potential hazard by flying out of your hands if slippery. Finally, the vinyl material can give off a synthetic smell some people may find unpleasant.
All Kettlebells come with some kind of manufacturer’s warranty, the length of which usually depends on the quality of the kettlebell itself. Lower quality bells typically feature a limited one year warranty while higher quality options may have a full lifetime warranty.
DVDs and Pamphlets
Many kettlebells come with either a DVD or pamphlet instructing you on many of the most popular workout movements. Pamphlets are okay in this regard but the DVDs are much easier to follow as they basically function as an exercise video.
Since these are fairly simple exercise tools there’s not a lot of extra equipment involved relating to the actual function of the bell. However, some companies choose to sweeten the deal by throwing in extras like exercise bands, mats, or even gloves to go along with your new kettlebell.