7 Best Bench Press Barbells in 2024

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympian with 21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

The best bench press barbell has high-quality construction, so it can handle a heavyweight limit. A benching bar also has to have either standard or aggressive knurling, along with a smooth spin to make the pressing easier and safer. Moreover, different types of bench press bars can help you focus on different areas of the press. Lastly, the best bar for bench press should also have good finishing to help with the longevity of the barbell. 

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the CAP Barbell The Beast.


It is made of high-quality alloy steel and is 83 inches long with a diameter of 28.5 mm.

7 Best Bench Press Barbells

Top 7 Best Bench Press Barbells Reviewed

ProductTotalSteel QualityTensile StrengthKnurlingSpinVersatilityValue for Money
Cap Barbell5910109101010
The Bella Bar 2.056.510999.5910
Ohio Power Bar56101099.58.59
Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar55.5101099.58.58.5
MG-3 Multi Grip Bar551099999
Sunny 60" Barbell54.5108.59999
CB-1 Rogue Camber Bar53.5109.59988

1. CAP Barbell The Beast - Top Pick

AP Barbell The Beast
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Length: 86"
  • Diameter: 28.5 mm
  • Shaft Length: 51.5"
  • Knurling: Medium-Depth Diamond Knurling
  • Knurl Marks: Dual 
  • Weight Limit: 1200 lbs
  • Sleeve Length: 15"
  • Finish Type: Black Phosphate

‘The Beast’ is one of Cap Barbell’s most popular barbells. It is made of high-quality alloy steel and is 83 inches long with a diameter of 28.5 mm. The barbell can handle up to 1200 pounds and has a tensile strength of 110,000. However, despite being able to handle heavyweight, the barbell is more suited for beginners and intermediate lifters, as the bar tends to bend under heavy loads. 


As for the knurling, the bar has a medium-depth diamond knurling pattern which is suitable for bench pressing as the knurling marks provide you with a strong and sturdy grip. The knurling is aggressive, so you would need some time to get used to it.


However, the bar comes without a center knurling, which can be valuable when doing exercises like squats as it prevents the bar from slipping down. So, the versatility of the bar is slightly less than others. 


There is an adequate amount of spin to the barbell, which reduces the chances of wrist strains or injuries. The sleeves are also grooved, which can prevent the weight from sliding back and forth. So, your press should be stable. 


The bar comes with a black phosphate finish to prevent corrosion or rust. 

59Expert Score

‘The Beast’ is one of Cap Barbell’s made of high-quality alloy steel and is 83 inches long with a diameter of 28.5 mm.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
10
Knurling:
9
Spin:
10
Versatility:
10
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Medium-depth diamond knurling pattern for a firmer grip

  • Grooved sleeves which can enhance stability 

  • Black phosphate finish 

Could be better:

  • No center knurling

The Bella Bar 2.0
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 33 lbs
  • Length: 79.13"
  • Diameter: 25 mm
  • Shaft Length: 53.13"
  • Knurling: Standard
  • Knurl Marks: Dual
  • Weight Limit: 1000 pounds
  • Sleeve Length: 13"
  • Finish Type: Cerakote

The Bella Bar 2.0 has a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI and can handle upwards of 1000 pounds, which is quite a lot, considering the thinner dimensions of the barbell. Rogue products generally are highly durable, but to enhance that durability some more, the bar comes with a Cerakote finish. Cerakote is considered to be an excellent finishing option. It also provides you with more color choices for a customizable look.

As for the knurling, it’s described as passive, however, the texture pattern will still provide you with a firm grip, without being too abrasive. So, you don’t necessarily need chalk to improve your grip. The bar also has a dual knurl mark, making it more versatile, but it does lack center knurling.

The Bella Bar 2.0

photo by scfbaha

The diameter of the barbell is slightly smaller than normal. This makes it easier for people with smaller hands to grip the barbell safely. This is one of the reasons why the barbell is considered a women’s barbell. The barbell is also slightly shorter and weighs less than your typical barbell. However, you aren’t giving up much loadable sleeve space, so you can still add plenty of weight.

As for the spin, because the barbell is intended to be versatile, it has bushing instead of bearings. The bushing allows for a good balance between stiffness and natural whip, which can be important when bench pressing. Especially if you’re planning on doing touch-and-go presses.

56.5Expert Score

The Bella Bar 2.0 has a dual knurl mark, making it more versatile, but it does lack center knurling.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
9
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9.5
Versatility:
9
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Cerakote finish 

  • Good balance between stiffness and whip
  • The slimmer barbell design makes it easier to grip

Could be better:

  • Weighs less than the traditional barbell

  • Knurling could be too passive for some athletes

Rogue Ohio Power Bar
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Length: 86.52"
  • Diameter: 29 mm
  • Shaft Length: 52.77"
  • Knurling: Aggressive
  • Knurl Marks: Powerlifting 
  • Weight Limit: 1,600 lbs
  • Sleeve Length: 16.87"
  • Finish Type: Black Zinc and Bright Zinc

Rogue Ohio Power Bar has a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI. As with most power bars, the weight capacity is important, that's why the Rogue Ohio Power Bar can handle upwards of 1,600 pounds. The bar tends to retain its stiffness even when loaded with heavy weights, which makes it ideal for bench presses. So, it might not be as versatile as other bars. 

However, the stiffness isn’t ideal for deadlifts, where you rather have a little bit of a whip to help with the pull. 

The power bar has an aggressive knurling, which features four diamond points compared to your traditional one-diamond point. However, the aggressive knurling might require some time to get used to. But the bar does feature a central knurling pattern and along with the four-diamond points, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a barbell with better knurling. 

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

The bar features two different types of finishing. Black zinc for the shaft and bright zinc for the sleeve. Additionally, it comes with a bronze bushing, that allows the bar to spin naturally enough that it doesn’t put any extra strain on your wrists.  

Although the bar is on the more expensive side because it’s a specialty item, you do get a lifetime warranty with your purchase, which makes it easier to invest in a product like this one.  

56Expert Score

Rogue Ohio Power Bar has an aggressive knurling, which features four diamond points compared to your traditional one-diamond point.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
10
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9.5
Versatility:
8.5
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Lifetime Warranty

  • Tensile strength of 205,000 PSI
  • Comes with a central knurling pattern

Could be better:

  • Higher price point

  • Not as versatile as other bars

Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Length: 96"
  • Diameter: 32 mm
  • Shaft Length: 61.5"
  • Knurling: Sharp
  • Knurl Marks: Not Specified
  • Weight Limit: 1500 lbs
  • Sleeve Length: 17.25"
  • Finish Type: Clear Zinc, Black Oxide, or Electroless Nickel

The Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar is made of high-quality alloy steel and can handle 195 KSI, which is roughly the tensile strength of 195,000 PSI. So, you’re getting a strong piece of equipment with a weight limit of 1,500 pounds. The steel comes heat-treated, which means that it’s less likely to bend because the steel is hardened in place through the heating process. 

The camber on the Duffalo bar is more exaggerated than other such bars, which makes it ideal for squats and presses because the curve of the bar will fit naturally across your back and when pressing, it will relieve pressure off of your wrist. 

As for the knurling, it’s more aggressive, which is what you’d need for a pressing bar. However, it’s not too rough, so your hands should feel safe using the bar. 

photo by rob_davis95

The bar also features sleeves which are longer than your average bars and are angled upwards, to keep the weight from sliding off. However, the long sleeves can make it awkward to place on J-Cups. 

It also has oil-impregnated bronze bushings for a much smoother spin and comes with a screw port in the sleeves for additional attachments like bands or chains. 

You also have the choice between 3 kinds of finishes. Clear zinc, black oxide, and electroless nickel.

55.5Expert Score

The Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar is made of high-quality alloy steel and can handle 195 KSI, which is roughly the tensile strength of 195,000 PSI.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
10
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9.5
Versatility:
8.5
Value for Money:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Oil-impregnated bronze bushings for a smoother spin

  • Angled sleeves keep the weight from moving
  • Heat-treated steel for more durability

Could be better:

  • Not as versatile 

  • The sleeve length might not accommodate the J-Cups

Rogue MG-3 Multi Grip Bar
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Length: 82"
  • Diameter: 31.75 mm
  • Shaft Length: 52.75"
  • Knurling: Standard
  • Knurl Marks: No
  • Sleeve Length: 14"
  • Finish Type: Black Powder Coat Finish

Rogue MG-3 Multi Grip Bar is a specialty bar that comes with different unique angles to perform a versatile range of exercises. The bar has 3 different width options, with 2 neutral widths and one angled. These different angles can take pressure off of your shoulders and wrists while pressing, as the angles are more natural.  

So, the bar can be especially useful if you suffer from wrist or shoulder pain or are rehabbing from similar injuries.  

As for the knurling, the MG-3 comes with knurled handles, which is different as most multi-grip bars don’t come with them. The knurling on the handles can provide you with a better grip when pressing. The knurling is standard, so you shouldn’t feel the need to protect your hands from it. 

MG-3 Multi Grip Bar

photo by colefitnessnc

The bar also comes with a powder-coated finish, which can help fight against oxidation and corrosion. But, one drawback of this kind of finish is that it shows scuff marks. This is especially clear when you’re racking the bar. You can also get scuffing from adding or removing weights.

Another drawback is that the sleeves of the MG-3 are not Olympic-sized. This means that you would require specificity collars when using the bar. So, you have to keep that in mind when budgeting for this product. 

55Expert Score

Rogue MG-3 Multi Grip Bar can be especially useful if you suffer from wrist or shoulder pain or are rehabbing from similar injuries.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
9
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9
Versatility:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Multiple grip options that are comfortable for your wrists and shoulders

  • Adds variety to your pressing movements
  • Powder-coated finish

Could be better:

  • Does scuff easily 

  • Need specialized collars

Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch Barbell Bar
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Length: 60"
  • Diameter: 1"
  • Shaft Length: 60"
  • Knurling: Standard
  • Knurl Marks: No
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Finish Type: Chrome

The Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch Barbell Bar weighs only 12 pounds and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. The bar features diamond textured knurling, which should make it easier to grip the barbell. 

While the sleeves are chrome threaded, which can help keep the weights in place during the bar movement. The thinness of the sleeves can accommodate smaller weight plates, even those with just a 1-inch center hole.  

The bar can essentially be used for any exercise that you might do with a traditional barbell. So, it’s highly versatile, but of course, the weight limit makes it less ideal for strength workouts as you’ll quickly max out the weight capacity.

It is also shorter compared to your average barbell, which could cause grip difficulty for certain exercises. But the thinner build makes it easier to grip no matter your hand size. 

The bar also requires star-locked collars to keep the weight in place. So, if you have other barbells already, the collars from those might not work for this one. 

54.5Expert Score

The Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch can be used for any exercise that you might do with a traditional barbell.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
8.5
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9
Versatility:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Can accommodate smaller weight plates easily

  • Highly versatile
  • Chrome threaded sleeves that keep the weights stable

Could be better:

  • Low weight capacity

  • Possible technique issues because of the smaller length of the barbell

CB-1 Rogue Camber Bar
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 85 lbs
  • Length: 88"
  • Diameter: 1.5"
  • Knurling: None
  • Knurl Marks: No
  • Weight Limit: 1,000 lbs 
  • Finish Type: Powder Coat

The CB-1 Rogue Camber Bar weighs 85 pounds and has a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds. The design is fully welded, making it sturdy and durable. It can also be racked in power racks, squat stands or rigs. 

The design of the camber bar puts more emphasis on your hamstring and lower back as it helps you to stay more upright during the movement. 

The diameter of the shaft is 1.5 inches, which is thicker than your typical barbell because the camber bar is built for a heavier load. 

However, the bar isn’t as versatile as others. You can only perform a handful of exercises, and its main purpose is to help build strength and explosiveness out of the hole. 

So, the value of money depends on the individual. Those seeking to improve certain aspects of their technique and strength can get lots of benefits out of the bar. However, for its price point, the specialty bar might not be vital for most beginner or intermediate lifters. 

53.5Expert Score

The design of the CB-1 Rogue Camber Bar puts more emphasis on your hamstring and lower back as it helps you to stay more upright during the movement.

Steel Quality:
10
Tensile Strength:
9.5
Knurling:
9
Spin:
9
Versatility:
8
Value for Money:
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Fully welded for more durability

  • The design of the bar helps you stay more upright
  • Fell less strain on your shoulders 

Could be better:

  • Might require a specialized set up

  • Not ideal for pressing movements 

Different Types of Bench Press Barbells

Traditional Barbell

Traditional barbells are what you will encounter in most gyms. They weigh 45 pounds and are highly versatile. Any level of athlete can use a traditional barbell, so it’s suitable for beginners and advanced lifters. 

Generally, a traditional barbell is also more budget-friendly compared to more specialty barbells. In the case of bench pressing, a traditional barbell works perfectly well, but there are a few downsides to consider. 

A traditional barbell varies in sleeves, diameter, and knurling depending on the manufacturer. So, you might find the feel of the barbell inconsistent from one bar to the next. 

Additionally, such barbells can be made of lesser-grade steel, causing them to bend or wrap when dealing with heavier weights.

Power Bar

Bench Press is one of the 3 main powerlifting lifts. So, in order to maximize the lift, many powerlifters prefer a power bar over your traditional bench press bar. Two distinct features of a power bar are its aggressive knurling, which allows you to get a stronger grip on the bar, and the stiffness of the bar. 

You can control the descent of the bench press better with a power bar because it feels more stable, which then allows you to generate more power to press up. 

One downside is that you may require wrist wraps when using a power bar because of how straight and stiff the bar is. Plus, it being a specialty bar, it is more expensive than your traditional bar. 

Swiss Bar

A swiss bar is a multi-grip bar and is often called a “football bar”. The bar features multiple grips, which can vary in width and angle. The bar allows you to hold the bar in a neutral grip, which can feel more comfortable for the wrists and shoulders.

The different grips allow you to focus on your chest more or your triceps more during the pressing movement.

A downside of a swiss bar is storage. The bar doesn’t fit well on a j-hook, which is what most bench press stations have. So, you might have an awkward time getting into the correct benching position. Plus, the bar works a different pressing pattern than your normal bench press. So, you might feel awkward switching back and forth. 

The bar also weighs more than a normal bench press bar. A swiss bar can be as heavy as 55 pounds

Duffalo Bar

Duffalo bar has two unique features that differentiate it from your traditional bar. First, it’s longer and second, it has a bend or a curve in the middle, which allows you to bring your arms down further thus increasing the range of motion and providing you with a deeper stretch of your chest muscles. 

The natural curve on the bar is also supposed to ease the pressure off of your wrists.

However, it isn’t as versatile as others because it can put stress on your shoulders if you were to use it for an exercise like squats. 

Bench Press Barbells

Cambered Bar

A cambered bar is a specialty barbell where the weight plates hang lower than a normal barbell. These plates are typically 14 inches lower. The purpose of the bar is to make exercising easier for individuals with shoulder mobility problems or any other upper-body injury. 

What To Look For In Bench Press Barbells?

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength determines how much weight the barbell can hold before either breaking or fracturing. This number is typically between 120,000-230,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the tensile strength, the more durable the barbell.
If the bar is less than 150,000 PSI, then it’s considered a beginner´s barbell. While for advanced lifters, a barbell should be 180,000 PSI or more. 

Tips From the Champ

High-quality barbells are made of stainless steel, with bare steel coming a close second. The price of the barbell depends on the steel quality.
Barbells also have different types of coating like zinc, black oxide, and cerakote. These have a positive impact on the durability of the product. 

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Knurling

Knurling is the grip markings on the bar. Knurling will determine how well you can grip and hold the barbell during your workout. Knurling often comes in two types. First is the standard knurling, which is a diamond pattern, and will help your grip without it being too uncomfortable.
The second type is aggressive knurling. In aggressive knurling, the etches are deeper, which can be beneficial for heavier lifts. However, you might need lifting gloves for your hands. Or, you could slowly get used to the aggressive knurling over time. 

Spin

The spin of the barbell refers to the sleeves, which rotate during your lift. These sleeves are either made of bushings or bearings. Bushings tend to have a good rotation, but they lose their smooth rotation over time. 

While bearings rotate much more quickly and are ideal for exercises like the snatch or clean or jerk.

For pressing movements, you require a smooth, consistent spin as it can help relieve pressure off of your wrists and reduce the chances of getting injured. 

Exercises with barbell on the bench

Whip

Whip refers to the flexibility of the barbell or the bounce. The more whip the barbell has, the more flexible it is considered. The less whip, the more rigid it is. 

Your needs will mainly depend on the exercise of your choice. For touch-and-go pressing, having some whip to the barbell can be helpful. However, a stiffer bar allows you more control over the bar, thus making it a more stable lift.

Versatility

The versatility of a bar mainly depends on which bar you pick. A standard barbell will be versatile to perform a range of exercises. The same goes for more power bars and even thinner barbells. 

However, once you start looking at Duffalo bars or Cambered bars, the versatility of the barbell will suffer. 

Also, the knurling could affect the versatility of the bars as well. Especially if they come without a center knurling. 

Value For Money

The value for money will primarily depend on the quality of the product and how it is needed for you. For some, a specialty barbell might not be as valuable, but the benefits of one might be necessary for your personal progress. 

But, one way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment is to seek out a versatile barbell, that way you can get a lot of use out of the product. 

FAQs

Is a Thicker Bar Better for a Bench?

It’s traditionally believed that a thicker bar is better because, in theory, a thicker bar is more difficult to use, which would naturally lead to more muscular activation when using a thick bar. However, there isn’t much evidence that supports this belief. There seems to be a very minimal difference between a thinner and thicker bar.

A thicker bar is likely to be sturdier than a thinner bar, which could be of importance if you’re benching very heavy weights. 

Why Is the Bar So Shaky When I Bench?

When benching, you can either feel the bar shaking or your arms. If it’s the latter, then it's due to muscular fatigue. But if it’s the bar, then it’s likely your technique and form. One tip can be to make sure your shoulders are back, and your lats are engaged during the bench. Lat activation can allow you to create more stability, especially during the descent. 

Should You Squeeze the Bar When Bench Pressing?

Squeezing the bar is used for many exercises. What this accomplishes is that it activates more muscle fibers in your forearms, rotator cuffs, shoulders, and even upper back. This extra force can help you finish off a tough set or even squeeze in an extra rep or two of work. 

Squeezing the bar can also help stabilize your wrist position.  

Conclusion

The best bar for bench press is one that is versatile, comes with proper finishing and spin, and aids with the grip of the bar. You can also pick out a specialty barbell that can improve your technique or focus on different parts of the lift.

The best barbell for bench press is Cap Barbell’s The Beast. 

What’s your best bench pressing technique? Which specialty barbell do you prefer? How important is knurling for you?

Let’s discuss all of this and any other questions you might have in the comment section below!

References:

  • How Much Does the Bar At the Gym Actually Weigh? // Shape: https://www.shape.com/fitness/gear/equipment/how-much-does-the-bar-weigh
  • The Ultimate Guide On How To Choose A Barbell // Barbend: https://barbend.com/how-to-choose-barbell/
  • RAISING THE BAR: 5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST BARBELL // Exercise: https://www.exercise.com/learn/raising-the-bar-5-things-to-know-before-buying-your-first-barbell/
  • Research Review: Thick or thin? Which bar is best? // PrecisionNutrition: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/thick-and-thin-bars
  • BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 6: THE BAR SQUEEZE // Muscleandfitness: https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/chest-exercises/bench-press-seminar-6-bar-squeeze/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
  • Author
  • Reviewer
Ihor Shymechko

Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years

Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).

After finishing my career, I have committed myself to coach, and as of 2022, I’ve hosted 200+ weightlifting seminars all over the globe. I’m the founder of an international sportswear and accessories brand, Warm Body Cold Mind (my motto), author, and creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

3 comments

  • Torokhtiy Team

    Hi @Tadeush!

    The weight of a bench press bar can vary depending on the type and brand, but typically it weighs around 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. Some bars may weigh slightly more or less, and some specialty bars like the safety squat bar may be heavier. Additionally, the weight plates you add to the bar will determine the overall weight you lift during your bench press workout. It’s important to know the weight of the bar you’re using to properly calculate your total weight lifted.

  • Tadeush

    How heavy is bench press bar?

  • Lui

    I just got the CAP Barbell The Beast and it’s been awesome for my workouts! The bar feels really solid and the diamond knurling gives me a good grip for my bench press bar weight lifts. I did have to get used to the aggressive knurling, but after a few sessions, it feels comfortable. I also appreciate that there’s no center knurling since it doesn’t slip down when I do squats. Overall, it’s a great barbell for beginners like me who want to push their limits without worrying about the weight capacity.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published