2016 Kettlebell Buying Guide — Part 1
2016 Kettlebell Buying Guide — Part 1
Whether you are new to kettlebells, to working out, or are like me and like to do your research before you make a purchase, I am here to tell you not all kettlebells are created equal. As a manufacture of kettlebells for the past 10 years, CFF is here to guide you and answer some of the most commonly asked questions as well as basic questions you should be asking yourself.
What kind of workout will you be doing? Are you Preparing to compete, just looking to get in shape, lose weight, build muscle, increase stamina? If you can answer this question, you are on your way to buying what is going to best suit you. Depending on what you will be doing will determine what type of kettlebell you will need; i.e. — competition or standard kettlebell? Will you need pairs of the same weight kettlebell for double handed movements, a single kettlebell because you will only be using one at a time for movements like an alternating handed swing? Whatever you are going to do, you need to answer these questions first.
How many kettlebells do you need? Again, once you know what you will be doing, you will be able to answer how many different kettlebells and sizes you will need. For instance, you want to do a two handed swing, so you might want to buy a single 32 kg standard kettlebell (one because of weight, and second due to the fact that a standard kettlebell is wider than a competition kettlebell). Or maybe you are doing two handed swings, so you might want to go with a pair of 16 kg. kettlebells.
Okay, so you have decided what you are going to be doing with the kettlebells, but you are not sure where to start. Typically women will start out with a 8 kg or12 kg kettlebell while guys with a 16 kg or 24 kg kettlebell. Again, all based off of what you are going to be doing. The best way to find what is going to work for you is to not just go to a store touch and hold a kettlebell, but I would suggest spending the 5 or 10 dollars and taking a kettlebell class. What the kettlebell feels like in your hand stagnant and what it will feel like when you are are working out is completely different. Don’t be afraid, or cheap, you will thank me in the long run and probably end up saving yourself a couple of dollars by buying the right size kettlebell and not the wrong and having to get a second.
So now it is time to get your kettlebells. You know what sizes you need and how many. You know whether you need a competition kettlebell, standard kettlebell, or adjustable because you are limited to space, but with all the kettlebells on the market, how do you know what brand to buy? Do you buy a Dragon Door kettlebell, CFF FIT K2 Kettlebell, Rogue Kettlebell, Ader Kettlebell, One Fit Wonder kettlebell, 1st Place Kettlebell, Wright Kettlebell, Gophersports kettlebell, York Barbell kettlebell, Cap Kettlebell, Get Rx’d Kettlebell, a bell from Kettlebell USA (which by the way is made in China — no problem with China, just misleading), Iron Skull Kettlebell, Powermax Kettlebell, Body Solid Kettlebell, and on and on. There are just an ungodly amount of manufactures which make your decision hard. So let’s get into it.
Because there are so many manufactures, buying a cheap kettlebell is not an issue. Just remember, you get what you pay for. A cheap price up front usually comes at a higher cost in the long run. It may be the kettlebell fails or breaks resulting in a possible injury to you or your client. Maybe your kettlebells are extremely off balance or the stated weight is significantly different from the stated weight.
For CFF, as I can only speak for ourselves, it is not about price; price is secondary. It is about the whole process from manufacturing to the packing of the kettlebell and care taken to assure its safety how ever far it has to go. Bottom line, it’s about QUALITY!
So what do you need to find out first from the companies you are looking to purchase from?
- How was the Kettlebell cast?
- How precise is the weight of the kettlebell?
- What is the finish like; does it chip easy, wear well, need a lot of chalk, or hold chalk well?
- What about the packing and how you will receive it?
A high quality mould matters. Think about it, if you start with crap, you end up with crap; it only gets worse from there. You should look for a kettlebell company that uses a precision milled, gravity fed mould where the kettlebell is one solid cast. The Gravity fed mold is the best way to cast a kettlebell as it leaves the least amount of air pockets over other styles of casting; air pockets weaken the kettlebell and should give you more reason to worry about the kettlebell failing. The same goes for a kettlebell that is not cast in one solid piece. Just another part to break more easily than a single cast. Remember, these are iron weights and they do get abused, so you want to be sure your hard earned dollars are spent wisely and you get what you deserve.
The precision of a kettlebell is simple enough. You want what you are paying for. If you go a buy a 16kg or 35 lb kettlebell, that is what you expect to receive; so that if you decide later to buy a second 16kg/35 lb kettlebell, it will weight the same as the previous purchased kettlebell or within 1% of the stated weight. One of the tell signs of a poorly manufactured kettlebell is whether or not the weight is accurate. At CFF FIT it is not enough to have a high quality mould, every kettlebell is machined down to the stated weight. We hold our kettlebells to a higher accountability than most.
The finish is just as important as the mould or weight, at least it is if your hands matter. A great kettlebell should have precision ground sides to remove any burrs, a flat bottom for stability to perform a renegade row, and the handle should be even sized throughout, between 33 and 38mm throughout the range of weights, and burr fee; especially on the underside of the handle. This is one of the reasons we send our kettlebells through a media blaster twice. Once when they first came out of the mold and once after they are machined. A kettlebell should not be full of putty and a fake insignia glued on to make it look great, it should quality from start to finish, a superior raw kettlebell with only a powder coat or e coat finish.
Last, the packaging. This is more a personal thing CFF FIT has adapted. We have spent a lot of money and spend a lot of time on manufacturing the highest quality kettlebell. We value your hard earned dollars and want to protect your investment from any stupidity along the way that occurs in transit while shipping to and from us to you. Once a CFF FIT kettlebell is passed final inspection, it is place in a custom mould foam case, and then double boxed with heavy duty double wall boxes. We then use 3” wide strapping tape to insure it stays in the box.
So let’s recap this. First decide what you will be doing with the kettlebell, then decide how many and what weights you will need. A good company to deal with will let you test as many kettlebells as you need to, to find out what is going to work for you. Remember, try a class out to see if you are picking the right weight. Check the manufacturing specs on the kettlebell as well as talk to someone from the company about the kettlebells you are looking to buy from them. They should know the manufacturing specs. Last, a look up their warranty. A quality product should carry a good warranty. At CFF, we guarantee the K2 Series Kettlebells for the life!
Last, at CFF, we have had our hands on almost every brand of kettlebell on the market so to help get you started, some brand suggestions we can unbiasedly provide you with are:
CFF K2 Kettlebells — Available from
4 kg — 72 kg (8.8lbs. — 158.4lbs.); Free Shipping; Warranty — Lifetime
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 18
9 lbs. — 203 lbs.; Shipping not included; Warranty — N/A
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 99
4kg — 60 kg (8.8 lbs. — 132 lbs.); Shipping not included; Warranty — N/A
Website Reviews★★★★★ — 212
4 kg — 68 kg (4.4 lbs. — 149.6 lbs.; Shipping not included; Warranty -1 Year
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 4
2 kg — 60 kg (4.4 lbs. — 132 lbs.); Shipping not included; Warranty -1 Year
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 8
8 kg — 32 kg; Free Shipping; Warranty — Lifetime
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 28
8 kg — 48 kg; Shipping not included; Warranty — N/A
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 5
4kg — 48 kg; Shipping not included; Warranty — N/A
Website Reviews ★★★★★ — 3
If you are looking for information on how to use a kettlebell, where to find information, workouts, dvd’s, etc., next week will be doing a follow up with some information/material to help you on your way.
“Don’t wait, Start training now for the new year and CFF’ s K2 to the top of Mt Everest“