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Old 12-13-2007, 03:01 PM   #1
Jason M Struck
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Let's compare Kettlebells!

This comes up an awful lot. Let's get a sticky thread where everyone discusses the pros and cons of various bells. Before we go on, I am not only a Muscle Driver (MD) affiliate, but also a DragonDoor (DD) affiliate. Thanks!

What follows is excerpted from a recent e-mail about this very question;

I have never purchased a perform better bell. The last time I laid hands on them, I believe it was a different design. The market has evolved tremendously in the last year. Comparing choices today versus 2004 are starkly different!

From what I can tell from the pictures and what I recall the last time around;

PB has two flaws that I am not big on: narrow handle width and narrow base. The circumference of the handle does appear to be a tiny bit smaller as well. Basically, they are not of much use for exercises where the KB is used like a parallette. This is true of MD as well, but the rubber base is a little bigger, and when you take it off, it's quite wide and stable (still not like some, but at least better than PB which is a poor performer). Handle width may prevent some users from operating the bell in two-handed lifts (the traditional swing). Greater handle diameter is harder on grip/endurance, but easier on callouses. Thicker=better in my opinion. The finish looks lovely. All and all a good bell, mostly, for a good price. I do get paid to recommend MD...

And I have been very happy to buy their products myself. Not only am I an RKC, but also a DragonDoor affiliate. I don't beat anyone over the head trying to get them to buy those! I think that DD are better than MD. I have said this in many posts. What's more important is 'how better'.

On a scale from one to ten, 1 being total piece of crap, too ugly to stop a door or weight a paper, and 10 being so nice you wake up in the middle of the night and do a quick set of snatches, then lie to your wife about where you were... I'd give;

DragonDoor a 9/10
MD a 7.75/10
Ader a 7/10
Power Systems 2.25/10
KBC a 6.5/10
PowerMax 2.5/10
Iron Woody 7/10
Lifeline 7/10

those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head that I know I've laid my hands on over the last couple of years.

Now, work out some ratio of score/price...

I think that MD comes out way on top. But that's because I don't have a lot of money. If spending $200-300 dollars on a PAIR of kettlebells were a real option for me right now, don't kid yourselves, I'd be buying me some DragonDoor! But, I can buy a 16,20,24 & 32 and have them delivered to my house in less than 3 days for $310.64 from MD. Holy Crap! I gotta go for that! I teach classes, I need 20+ bells, this is a very important consideration for me.
This comes up a lot, so I will be posting this.

Shall we use the 10 point scale? Weigh in guys, pun intended!
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:33 PM   #2
Catherine Imes
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

I'm a huge fan of the Professional KBs from the American KB Club. I would rate those above any on the list for high rep snatches, Jerks, Cleans, ect. They were specifically designed for high rep lifts and that is why they are the standard in competitions in Europe and the AKC Meets here.

They are all the same size regardless of weight. So, when you move up weight, you don't have to adjust to new dimensions. The size of the 12kg is the same size as the 32kg (which dimensionally is similar to the DD 32kg).

Price wise, they are similar to DD. I would rate most of them that I bought a 10, they have had a few batches with minor QC issues.

It depends on goals. If you are just doing swings, you could use any cheap KBs. If you have aspirations of doing Jerks and Snatches at high reps per set, you would be better served with a KB that was designed for this.

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Old 12-13-2007, 04:48 PM   #3
John McEneany
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

I have 3 different kettlebell brands.

Agatsu 9/10

MD 8/10

Power systems 6/10
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:25 PM   #4
Rahsaan Kimbrow
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

dragondoor - great bell... lose points because of price....
Powermax - huge handles, good bell tho...
MD - close to dragondoor, but the finish requires some sanding...
Apollo - great bell..... good value.... but i only have the 8kg.... my next bell will be Apollo.....
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:15 AM   #5
Daniel Schenck
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

Anyone have experience with the Eleiko KBs? I know they are expensive by US standards, but just about the only ones I can find (to order) over here...I'll pay the price if they are really good...
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:57 AM   #6
Caleb Gregory
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

K2 Fitness Solutions, here in maryville, tn makes a great kettlebell. All of our bells came from them. It works out nice for us (no shipping), but they truly are great.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:57 PM   #7
Ari Sherwood
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

I actually quite like the Perform Better KB's I bought a couple of months ago. I like the smoother, slightly thinner handle, which is also wider than the one I have from Power Systems and allows for two hand swings more easily. That being said, I have never tried a DD or MD KB, so I have no comparison base.

PB: 8/10
Power Systems: 4/10
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:25 PM   #8
Jorge Angulo
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

Just got some Kb's from Power Systems and for the price they seem to be pretty good. I would have liked to purchase the DD Kb's but way too expensive especially when trying to outfit our gym on a budget and trying not to buy crap.

Miami, Fl
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
David Long
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

For Swings I have found no real diffrence. For snatches I do not like my Power Systems KBs (cleans either). I am looking at some Muscle Drivers.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
Jason Lollar
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Re: Let's compare Kettlebells!

I'm a MuscleDriver man myself. I actually love the finish, but I don't do world-record sets of 100+ one-arm snatches. I only use mine for CrossFit WODs.
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