Is it worth buying cheap kettlebells?

Is it worth buying cheap kettlebells

Many even assumed that a kettlebell is just a piece of metal, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s expensive or cheap and that there are no differences between them until they actually grab one and do a little swing. But is it worth buying cheap kettlebells?

In the world of fitness, new workout trends come in waves, and kettlebell training is one of the most prevalent trends that hasn’t subsided since it was first introduced to the community. For many years, the kettlebell has been at the top of many trainers’ favorite workout equipment lists. They can be used as an effective addition to your workout routine to make it more challenging, or you can use them as your primary tool and build your own workout with just kettlebells.

Exercises like the Kettlebell Swing, Sumo Squat with Kettlebell, Single-arm Kettlebell Row, Kettlebell Windmill, etc., can definitely give your body a great workout and change your body in ways you’ve never seen before.

Because of that incredible effectiveness, kettlebells are highly sought after on all e-commerce sites, sports equipment stores, and supermarkets. Especially considering the covid-19 hit, there are a crazy kettlebell shortage across the UK and the US and mostly seen on many shoppers’ waiting lists.

You may have seen that kettlebells are all the rage, so it is not surprising that manufacturers promoted their products at various price points to fit different trainers’ needs.

But is there any difference between expensive and cheap ones?

Should you buy the cheap one and save the money for something else, or do you believe you will get what you pay for?

The benefit of kettlebell training

To begin with, when using kettlebells, your entire body will be engaged.

Since the kettlebell’s structure differs from that of its relative – dumbbell, which delivers comparatively uneven weight, the practitioner must balance it with their body while performing the movement. And since you’re lifting a certain weight and working on your balance simultaneously, your muscle groups will be stimulated even more; from there, the training effect will be significantly improved.

kettlebell workout

In other words, kettlebells will provide you with strength and cardio workout all in one, and when strength and cardio are combined, you are bound to burn more calories.

Furthermore, your movements are fluid, and you can perform a variety of exercises with a single kettlebell.

Training with other free-weight alternatives, your movements can be quite rigid. But this won’t happen with kettlebell training, which is why only kettlebells are involved in swinging and rotating exercises.

Plus, with the need to stop eliminated, the same kettlebell can be used for squats, bicep curls, tricep dips, Russian twists, etc.

What’s wrong with cheap kettlebells

With the great benefits mentioned above, investing in high-quality kettlebells at medium to high prices is not considered wasteful spending.

However, if you feel like a kettlebell to be nothing more than a metal hunk with a handle and go for the cheapest one, it is unlikely to be an absolute bargain.

Kettlebells are designed for weight-lifting workouts, meaning that strong impacts are inevitable. As a result, their entire construction must be of top standard, with excellent sturdiness and superior resistance to rust, chip, and break.

These desired characteristics would be achieved through the use of high-quality metals and finishes, but this may have an impact on the product’s cost.

On the other hand, in the case of low-cost products, such as those marketed by Chinese manufacturers for around $1/kg, this kettlebell will not survive the long cycle. Whether they are advertised or even exaggerated times with incredible durability and longevity, you will get what you pay for, as with any other product on the market!

Cheap kettlebell maintains ueven surface finish and cheap painting
Cheap kettlebell maintains ueven surface finish and cheap painting

Low-quality handle

The handle is of utmost importance and needs to be produced to the highest degree as it directly affects how users hold the bell.

While a properly molded handle with a premium finish can benefit any workout routine, poor standard ones can irritate the skin, deliver annoyance, awkward grip, and possibly undesirable injury.

Here is a true story of a buyer who bought a pair of cheap kettlebells and immediately regretted his decision. He claimed that the handles were enamel-coated, and they chipped right away, like within the first 10 reps that they started chipping, and when the handles touched each other, they chipped like mad.

Not only that, cheap kettlebells products are not one-piece solid cast; instead, manufacturers choose to cast the body and the handle separately and weld them together. Such welding can lead to poor connection and the formation of ridges at the junction of the handle to the body.

Especially as you progress up heavier weight, cracking the handle while you’re doing exercise like the Kettlebell Swing can be extremely dangerous, not only for yourself but also for your floors.

Additionally, the nicks and sharp edges on the kettlebell handle can cut into your hands, and you don’t want that to happen, do you?

Besides, cheap kettlebell manufacturers often don’t follow any rules about the handle size and the dimension between the handle and the bell. From there, you may end up buying ones with super thick handles, too narrow handle width, or too narrow handle spacing, etc.

Incorrect weight and uneven weight distribution

Since cheap kettlebells are mainly constructed of a certain amount of solid metal and added component filling, usually sand and cement, the weight is likely to be off from what the manufacturer indicated on the label.

This can be particularly troublesome while exercising because your muscles may not get enough tension or lead to an incorrect perception of a trainer’s ability.

One of the most significant advantages of kettlebells that fancied by most gym-goers is the uneven loading. Not only does it help users alternated their workout routine, having an uneven amount of weights on different sides of our bodies is like a simulation of everyday activities that many people are familiar with. It is also really natural, just like carrying two grocery bags that aren’t the same weight.

However, with free-weights made of different components, the weight distribution will eventually be uneven.

That’s disturbing as it can directly disrupt the gravity distribution of this free-weight, restricting the user’s training movement and even causing difficulty in training.

The coating might not be perfect

Expect nothing in terms of coating quality from cheap kettlebell products, and you will not be disappointed.

Since you will directly cooperate with the surface of the kettlebell, a good coating surface is a decisive factor.

To be offered at a much lower price than other manufacturers in the market, cheap kettlebells are unlikely to have excellent coatings; some are painted with a layer of conventional paint, and others might be left uncovered.

Thus, with such low-quality covers, flaking, patching, fading, and other defects are unavoidable, resulting in rapid deterioration of the appearance and the durability of the kettlebell.

Meanwhile, many reputable kettlebell factories have been implementing cutting-edge coating technologies, most notably powder coating, to improve durability, smoothness, and gripping efficiency as well. This exceptional coating will give your kettlebell a professional appearance, just like the other free-weights at any fitness center.

Premium powder coated kettlebell
Premium powder coated kettlebell

So would you rather spend a little extra money for a superior durable, and aesthetically pleasing product or settle for a cheap one of poor quality? It is up to you!

Read more: 5 things must consider when checking kettlebell quality


Kettlebells are one of those rare fitness gears that worth the hype that you wouldn’t imagine how a metal ball with a single handle could provide so much benefit.

With kettlebell training, persistence, and some guidance that you can easily found online, you’ll quickly see the results and uncover how bizarre this workout targets your entire body. Though money is a finite resource for most of us, and we have to make many tough decisions about how to spend that money, kettlebells or any other fitness product deserve a long-term investment, and it is not advisable to buy them cheaply.

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