How to determine the best brand of competition kettlebells

Whether you want to invest in a kettlebell lifting program for your gym, get fit at home with Kettlebell Sport training, or start participating in competitions, at some point you’re going to buy a set of kettlebells. When you search the internet, you will discover there are numerous brands of competition kettlebells, which begs the question…

What brand of competition kettlebells should you buy?

Since I get asked this question a fair amount, I decided it was time to  put the thought and research into writing an article about the different competition kettlebell brands out there. (Keep in mind that I am most familiar with the brands used in the United States, but I did my best to research brands used in other countries as well.)

Consider what organization you plan to compete under.

If you are planning to compete in Kettlebell Sport, the biggest determining factor for which brand of kettlebell you should buy is what kettlebell organization you plan to compete under. The size of the kettlebell handle can affect your competition performance if you train with a larger or smaller handle than the one you will be using in competition.

For example, the standard kettlebell used for Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) competitions is the Kettlebell Kings brand, which has a 35mm diameter handle. However, many of the American Kettlebell Alliance (AKA) competitions use a variety of kettlebells, many of which have 33mm diameter handles.

Buy high quality kettlebells.

If you are planning to train the high volume repetitions and long sets necessary to prepare for kettlebell competitions, you want to be sure you are buying a high-quality kettlebell that can take a beating and have handles that are easily chalked.

Investigate what kettlebell sizes the company sells.

Whether a brand offers all the kettlebell sizes, including half size kettlebells, is another consideration. Especially for those training for double kettlebell events, having half size kettlebells to train with is incredibly helpful. 8kg is a big jump to make – 4kg is a bit more manageable!

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

The price of the kettlebells, including shipping costs, may also be a concern. If you are lucky enough to have a local company that makes kettlebells, they will often deliver for free if you buy enough merchandise. Other companies offer package deals when you buy an entire set of bells, which includes free shipping.

No need to do any research – I’ve done the work for you!

Maybe you have considered all of these factors already, and are still stuck on which company to buy from. To help you out, I’ve compiled stats on the top competition kettlebell brands (in no particular order) for comparison.

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9 thoughts on “How to determine the best brand of competition kettlebells”

  1. Wow–that’s great.

    How are Urals? Have you ever used them? I’m looking for bells with 35 mm handles (everything here is 32-33 mm, but I know what I like).

    Thinking they may be more affordable than shipping something from the UK.


    1. Hi Konrad,

      I think I used the Urals when I was in Tyumen in 2013. I liked them! Have you looked at Kettlebell Kings or the Agatsu bells? They are both 35mm and ship internationally.

  2. Unfort, as I’m in Poland, I don’t have the luxury to try/buy a lot of brands, as the shipping and VAT will slaughter me. Most of what is available in Poland is the thin-handled variety which is okay, but not what I prefer–hence the interest in Urals.

    I wrote them for a quote–we’ll see.


  3. A commonly overlooked USA brand is one sold by Power Systems. The handles are 1 and 3/8 inches (35 MM) , and are squarish, similar to Kettlebells USA’s Paradigm Pro Elites. Overall quality appears (to me, but I only own one !) to be similar to Perform Better Competition bells

  4. Brittany, I really like your website!

    What is your take on the whole 33 vs 35 mm handle thing? I got caught up in the “smaller handle must be better” mindset, but lately I’ve been rethinking that. I recently bought a bell with a 35 mm handle and it feels great. Grip was never a problem for me, and the new bell just seems easier on my hands. The larger handle seems to spread the pressure out over a wider surface area, and I’m less like to develop hot spots.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Terry!

      Originally, I was very against the 35mm handles because I was used to 33mm and I hated snatching the thicker handles. Now that I’ve put in more time with the Kettlebell Kings 35mm bells, I actually really enjoy them. They are all I train with these days, since many of the comps I go to use solely KK bells. It just takes time to adjust to a different type of bell; secretly I still prefer snatching 33mm handles (the WKC bells are probably my favorite for snatch). However, I believe the hallmark of a true champion is that you can lift ANY bell, no matter what, and still get great results. :)

  5. Just discovered Wolverstone KBs and they were 33mm, really great. Been training with 35mm before. Urals are also known for 33mm..are you sure about the 35mm for Urals?…

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