9 Best Budget Barbells in 2023

Are you on the hunt for a barbell that won't break the bank? Look no further! My career is in fitness and weightlifting. I've scoured the market to bring you the 9 best cheap barbells in 2023.

I know that exercise equipment can be expensive, but I firmly believe that everyone should have access to the tools they need to reach their fitness goals.

That's why I've chosen barbells that are both affordable and high-quality, so you don't have to sacrifice performance or quality for the price. My list includes options that are suitable for a range of exercises, from squats to bench presses, deadlifts, and more. So you’ll be able to find a budget barbell option regardless of what type of bar you’re looking to buy.

So, whether you're new to weightlifting or a seasoned pro, I've got you covered. With one of these best budget barbells, you can start building the strong, healthy body you've always wanted without breaking the bank.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the REP Sabre Barbell.


The REP Sabre Barbell is a budget-friendly barbell that delivers exceptional value for money. It's made from high-quality steel, and this barbell boasts a tensile strength of 150,000 PSI, making it durable and long-lasting. The knurling on the bar is aggressive and provides a solid grip, ensuring that the bar won't slip out of your hands during lifts.

9 Best Budget Barbells

Top 9 Budget Barbells Reviewed

  1. REP Sabre Barbell – Top Pick
  2. ROGUE ECHO BAR – Runner-Up
  3. HIRALIY Olympic EZ Curl Bar – Budget Curl Bar
  4. TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL – Budget Olympic Bar
  5. HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar – Budget Safety Squat Bar
  6. Synergee 15kg Chrome Open Olympic Barbell – Budget Pick For Women
  7. Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell – Budget Multi-Grip Bar
  8. Sunny Health & Fitness 60’’ Threaded Chrome Barbell – Budget 1-inch Barbell
  9. RipFit 4 ft Olympic Barbell – Budget 4 ft Barbell

PRODUCTTOTALSTEEL QUALITYTENSILE STRENGTHKNURLINGSPINCRUSHING RESISTANCEVERSATILITYVALUE FOR MONEY
REP679.59.59.5101099.5
ROGUE6710109910109
HIRALIY OLYMPIC65.5109.58.510999.5
TITAN6599.599.58.59.510
HAPPYBUY OLYMPIC65101099.59.589
SYNERGEE64.599.58.599109.5
YES4ALL63.599.58.598.5109
SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS62998.5999.59
RIPFIT61898.5998.59

1. REP Sabre Barbell – Top Pick

REP Sabre Barbell
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 33.1lb(15kg) / 44.1lb(20kg)
  • Length: 79.1’’(200.9cm) / 87.4’’(221.9cm)
  • Diameter: 1’’(25mm) / 1.1’’(28.5mm)
  • Shaft Length: 53.9’’(136.9cm) / 53.6’’(136.1cm)
  • Knurling: Medium depth, non-aggressive knurling pattern
  • Knurl Marks: Dual knurl marks; no center knurl(33.1lb/44.1lb), center knurl(44.1lb)
  • Weight Limit: 1000 lb
  • Sleeve Length: 12.6’’(32cm) / 16.9’’(42.9cm)
  • Finish Type: Zinc(33.1lb/44.1lb), Black Zinc(44.1lb)

I'm kicking off this list with my TOP PICK – REP Sabre Barbell. I've covered a lot of categories on which the barbells can score points, and this one is simply the best one out of the lot across all types overall.

The REP Sabre Barbell is a budget-friendly barbell that delivers exceptional value for money. It's made from high-quality steel, and this barbell boasts a tensile strength of 150,000 PSI, making it durable and long-lasting. The knurling on the bar is aggressive and provides a solid grip, ensuring that the bar won't slip out of your hands during lifts.

REP Sabre Barbell

photo by buffmanrange

If you're like me, you'll love the aggressive knurling pattern, since it gives me that secure feeling during a workout and total control over the exercise. This bar also features a moderate level of whip, which is perfect for Olympic lifts.

This barbell really stands out due to its impressive weight limit. Its 1000-pound capacity means it's great for handling big jobs. With the ease with which the sleeves may be spun, lifts can be executed with great dexterity. The bar has a lifetime warranty because of the care used in its construction and the confidence in its ability to last.

If you're on a tighter budget but want to make sure you get quality, the REP Sabre Barbell is a great option. Its versatile design and sturdy construction make it a welcome addition to any gym. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned weightlifter, this barbell is an ideal investment.

67Expert Score

The REP Sabre Barbell is a budget-friendly barbell that delivers exceptional value for money. It's made from high-quality steel, and this barbell boasts a tensile strength of 150,000 PSI, making it durable and long-lasting.

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

Positives:

  • Brass bushings give the Sabre Barbell a smooth, steady spin during lifts, eliminating friction and sleeve wear

  • This barbell is excellent for numerous workouts and lifters of varying ability levels due to its 1000-lb weight capacity and 28.5 mm diameter

  • Knurling pattern provides a secure grip while not being too aggressive to cause injuries

Could be better:

  • With prolonged usage, the black oxide covering on the barbell may wear off, causing rust and corrosion

  • Squats may be more challenging with the Sabre Barbell's lack of center knurling

  • REP Fitness doesn't warranty the Sabre Barbell

2. ROGUE ECHO BAR – Runner-Up

Rogue Echo Bar
  • Material: Bare Steel
  • Weight: 44.1lb(20kg)
  • Length: 86.75’’(220.3cm)
  • Diameter: 1.1’’(28.5mm)
  • Shaft Length: 53.95’’(137cm)
  • Knurling: Medium depth diamond knurling
  • Knurl Marks: Dual knurl marks + single-ring marks in between for extra guidance(Olympic knurl), no center knurl
  • Weight Limit: 1000 lb
  • Sleeve Length: 16.4’’(41.7cm)
  • Finish Type: Bright Zinc coating

I've ranked Rogue Echo Bar second on my list as runner-up. For the price, this barbell is top-notch. With its high cost, referring to this bar as a "budget" barbell may be misleading, but the term still applies. Indeed, it's an excellent example.

If you're looking for a high-quality barbell at a reasonable price, go no further than the ROGUE ECHO BAR. It is dependable and long-lasting due to its sturdy structure and tensile strength of 190,000 PSI.

The weight capacity of this barbell is not listed on the Rogue website, but barbells with tensile strength, like the Echo 2.0, can typically handle 1000 lbs of weight without a problem.

This barbell is treated with RWH(Rogue Work Hardening) and is rated F8-R on their F Scale. 

Rogue Echo Bar

photo by deadliftr

The 28.5 mm diameter and twin knurl markings provide an excellent exercise grip. With a length of 16.40 inches, the sleeve offers enough space for plates, while the black zinc coating provides a sophisticated, businesslike appearance.

The ROGUE ECHO BAR's price may be more than other particular low-cost choices, which is a drawback. This one would be at the top of the list if it weren't for the high price. Serious powerlifters may need more than the maximum of one thousand pounds that a barbell can hold. On the other hand, the ROGUE ECHO BAR is a solid option for most people who need a barbell that can do various jobs.

67Expert Score

If you're looking for a high-quality barbell at a reasonable price, go no further than the ROGUE ECHO BAR. It is dependable and long-lasting due to its sturdy structure and tensile strength of 190,000 PSI.

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

Positives:

  • The bar's well-machined medium-depth diamond knurling pattern provides is very effective grip-wise, but not too harsh to cause blisters

  • High-quality bearings make snatches and clean and jerks easier on the bar

  • Longest sleeve length bar on this list

Could be better:

  • Compared to other budget barbells on this list, the Rogue Echo Bar is expensive

  • Rogue Echo Bar sleeves might fit loosely, causing lifts to wobble

3. HIRALIY Olympic EZ Curl Bar – Budget Curl Bar

HIRALIY Olympic EZ Curl Bar
  • Material: Solid steel
  • Weight: 13.5lb(6.1kg)
  • Length: 47.2’’(119.9cm)
  • Diameter: 1’’(25mm)
  • Shaft Length: 32.6’’(82.8cm)
  • Knurling: Medium knurling
  • Knurl Marks: Dual knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 150lb(68kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 6.9’’(17.5cm)
  • Finish Type: Chrome finish

Next, we have the Olympic EZ Curl Bar made by HIRALIY - the best budget curl bar you can get. This one's fantastic!

The HIRALIY Olympic EZ Curl Bar is a budget-friendly option for those looking for a quality curl bar. This bar is made from high-quality steel and has a chrome finish for added durability. The knurling on the bar is just right, providing enough grip to keep your hands from slipping, but not so much that it causes discomfort. 

The bar's ergonomic form also makes it a good choice for those with wrist problems by reducing the stress placed on the hands.

Nevertheless, I did notice some flex in the bar when it was loaded with greater weights, which may be preferable for certain weightlifters but frustrating for others. The 1.2’’ diameter might feel a bit weird until you get used to the above-average grip size.

TITAN ECONOMY gave us the best budget Olympic barbell. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a more affordable option for their home gym or commercial facility. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive bar, it gets the job done and is a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about their strength training.

65.5Expert Score

This bar is made from high-quality steel and has a chrome finish for added durability. The knurling on the bar is just right, providing enough grip to keep your hands from slipping, but not so much that it causes discomfort.

Power
10
Speed Options
9
Battery Life
9
Portability
10
Noise Level
9
Price/Quality
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • It’s made from high-quality steel and has a chrome finish, which makes it resistant to rust and corrosion

  • This is the lightest barbell on this list

  • Shortest shaft length on a bar from this list

Could be better:

  • The smaller diameter of the bar may also make it less comfortable to grip for users with larger hands

  • Shortest sleeve length bar on this list

  • Tied for the shortest bar on this list

  • The knurling is less aggressive, giving it a less secure grip

4. TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL – Budget Olympic Bar

TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 44.1lb(20kg)
  • Length: 86.75’’(220.3cm)
  • Diameter: 1.2’’(30mm)
  • Shaft Length: 51.75’’(131.4cm)
  • Knurling: Medium depth diamond knurl marks, non-aggressive
  • Knurl Marks: Dual knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 700lb (317.5kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 16.25in(41.3cm)
  • Finish Type: Chrome coating

Some of you might be looking exclusively for a cheap Olympic barbell and are not looking to spend a lot. Look no further because TITAN ECONOMY has got you covered with their Olympic barbell.

As a fitness enthusiast who takes my workouts seriously, I'm always looking for high-quality gym equipment that doesn't break the bank. So, I was excited to try out the TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL, which promises to be a budget-friendly option for those who want to lift heavy without spending a fortune.

TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL

photo by betitanfit

First, the bar is sturdy and durable enough to handle severe weight. The knurling is just right - not too aggressive, but still grippy enough to give me a secure hold during my lifts. And the sleeves spin smoothly, essential for exercises like power cleans and snatches.

Nevertheless, I did notice some flex in the bar when it was loaded with greater weights, which may be preferable for certain weightlifters but frustrating for others. The 1.2’’ diameter might feel a bit weird until you get used to the above-average grip size.

TITAN ECONOMY gave us the best budget Olympic barbell. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a more affordable option for their home gym or commercial facility. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive bar, it gets the job done and is a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about their strength training.

65Expert Score

First, the bar is sturdy and durable enough to handle severe weight. The knurling is just right - not too aggressive, but still grippy enough to give me a secure hold during my lifts. And the sleeves spin smoothly, essential for exercises like power cleans and snatches.

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

Positives:

  • This is also a perfect option for beginners and newbies to Olympic weightlifting

  • The barbell sleeves spin smoothly, making it easier to perform exercises like power cleans and snatches

  • The chrome finish is superb and has no splinter issues even after prolonged use

Could be better:

  • This bar does not have center knurling, making it more difficult to grip it during squats

  • The bar can flex a bit when loaded with heavier weights, which may not be ideal for some lifters who prefer a stiffer bar

5. HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar – Budget Safety Squat Bar

HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 44.1lb(20kg)
  • Length: 87.12’’(221.3cm)
  • Diameter: 1.2’’(3cm) middle area; 2’’(5.1cm) bends
  • Shaft Length: the neck area is 12’’(30.5cm) in width[pad area] + 16.4’’(41.7cm) in height[pad area + handles]
  • Knurling: Medium-depth knurling on the shaft
  • Knurl Marks: 2 single-rings on each side
  • Weight Limit: 700lb(317.5kg)
  • Sleeve Length: n/a
  • Finish Type: Chrome coating

You may not be in the market for a regular barbell, but a safety squat one. Given the high cost of such items, I set out to identify the finest affordable option. Explore the features of the HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar.

I'm a fan of a good squat workout, so I was eager to test out the HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar, which is an attractive low-cost choice for people who want to squat comfortably without breaking the bank.

First, you can't beat this bar's price/quality ratio. It costs far less than other safety squat bars, so it's an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. The bar is reasonably priced, yet I had no qualms about utilizing it for more weighted exercises despite this.

One of the standout features of the HAPPYBUY Olympic Safety Squat Bar is its design. The bar has a unique shape that places the weight further forward than a traditional barbell, which can help to reduce stress on the shoulders and back during squats. The bar has two handles on either side, providing additional support and stability when lifting.

There are a few restrictions, though. The bar's padding is a bit thick, which may dissatisfy those with less powerful grips. The bar's small handles might make getting a good hold for large-sized lifters difficult. While it lacks several features in pricier bars, this low-cost option nevertheless delivers satisfactory results for this budget friendly bar.

65Expert Score

First, you can't beat this bar's price/quality ratio. It costs far less than other safety squat bars, so it's an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. The bar is reasonably priced, yet I had no qualms about utilizing it for more weighted exercises despite this.

Steel Quality
10
Tensile Strength
10
Knurlinge
9
Spin
9.5
Crushing Resistance
9.5
Versatility
8
Value for Money
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Its front weight placement reduces shoulder and back strain during squats

  • Longest barbell on the list

  • The bar's two grips on each side support and stabilize individuals who struggle with squatting form

  • The bar shaft's medium-depth knurling gives a pleasant grip

Could be better:

  • The bar's cushioning is thin for lifters who want a softer feel

  • Most expensive barbell on the list

  • For some larger lifters bar handles can be too short

  • The 87.12'' odd-shaped bar may be difficult to store in smaller gyms

6. Synergee 15kg Chrome Open Olympic Barbell – Budget Pick For Women 

Synergee 15kg Chrome Open Olympic Barbell
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 33.1lb(15kg) / 44.1lb(20kg)
  • Length: 79.13’’(201cm) / 86.75’’ (220.3cm)
  • Diameter: 1’’(25mm) / 1.1’’(28mm)
  • Shaft Length: 52’’(132 cm) both sizes
  • Knurling: Moderate texture on grip area, no center knurling
  • Knurl Marks: Dual knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 1000 lb(453.6kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 13’’(33cm) / 16.4’’(41.7cm)
  • Finish Type: Chrome

Following the number 5 spot, we have Synergee with their 33lb Chrome Open Olympic Barbell. It is ideal for women because of its lower weight, and it is also great to buy if you’re on a budget!

One of the standout features of this barbell is its weight. At 33.1lb (15kg), it is significantly lighter than many other barbells on the market, making it a fantastic choice for women just starting out with weightlifting or prefer a lighter bar for their workouts.

TITAN ECONOMY OLYMPIC BARBELL

photo by dtscmia

Despite its lower weight, the Synergee 15kg Chrome Open Olympic Barbell is still quite sturdy and well-made, with a durable chrome finish that resists rust and wears over time. The bar also has a standard 1-inch / 1.1-inch diameter and a total length of 79.13’’ / 86.75’’(depending on the size you pick), making it compatible with a wide range of weight plates and suitable for various exercises.

This barbell has great adaptability. It may be used for squats, deadlifts, presses, and more, making it a versatile choice for building strength and muscle.

The Synergee 15-kilogram Chrome Open Olympic Barbell is an excellent alternative, available at a price that is very attractive compared to similar products. Because of its small size, sturdy construction, and versatility, it is ideal for strength training and Olympic lifting. This is especially true of the latter.

64.5Expert Score

One of the standout features of this barbell is its weight. At 33.1lb (15kg), it is significantly lighter than many other barbells on the market, making it a fantastic choice for women just starting out with weightlifting or prefer a lighter bar for their workouts.

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

Positives:

  • This 33-pound barbell is ideal for beginners or those who prefer a lighter bar

  • The chrome-plated steel bar resists corrosion and wear. With appropriate care, the bar should last years

  • This 1-inch and 1.1-inch diameter barbell works with a variety of weight plates, making it suitable for home or commercial gyms

Could be better:

  • For improved grip and control, lifters may choose a more aggressive knurling design on the grip region

  • It lacks a center knurling

7. Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell – Budget Multi-Grip Bar

Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 22lb(10kg)
  • Length: 82’’(208.3cm)
  • Diameter: 2’’(50.8mm)
  • Shaft Length: 54’’(137.2cm)
  • Knurling: Multi-grip with a diamond knurling pattern on all grip handles (even the angled ones)
  • Knurl Marks: No knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 400lb(181.4kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 14’’(35.6cm)
  • Finish Type: Black powder-coated finish

When it comes to multi grip bars, Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell is an excellent budget choice that provides a range of grip options for various exercises. With its sturdy construction and versatile design, this bar is a perfect option for anyone looking to add variety to their workouts at an affordable price.

The versatility and adaptability of the Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell come from its several grip possibilities, which may be used to work for various muscle groups and perform a broader range of exercises. This bar is fantastic for total-body practices since it allows users to train their chest, back, and arms in four ways.

Multi Grip Barbell

Despite its advantages, the Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell has some weaknesses. One potential issue is that the grips may need to be narrower for some lifters, particularly those with larger hands. Additionally, the bar does not have a center knurling pattern, which may disadvantage lifters who prefer this feature for better grip during squats.

It is a versatile option that you can get on a budget and can help users add variety to their workouts and easily target different muscle groups.

63.5Expert Score

Yes4All Multi Grip Barbell is an excellent budget choice that provides a range of grip options for various exercises. With its sturdy construction and versatile design, this bar is a perfect option for anyone looking to add variety to their workouts at an affordable price.

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

Positives:

  • It has four grip positions to target various muscle areas and vary routines

  • Highest shaft length on a bar from this list

  • Has barbell collars to lock plates in

Could be better:

  • The barbell's short sleeve limits weight plate additions.

  • The diamond knurling design on the grips may be excessively harsh or unpleasant, particularly during lengthy sessions

Sunny Health & Fitness 60’’ Threaded Chrome Barbell
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 12lb(5.4kg)
  • Length: 60’’(152.4cm)
  • Diameter: 1’’(25.4mm)
  • Shaft Length: 37.5’’(95.3cm)
  • Knurling: Medium diamond knurled grips
  • Knurl Marks: No knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 250lb(113.4kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 11.25’’(28.6cm)
  • Finish Type: Chrome

If you use weight plates with a diameter of 1 inch, you'll also need a 1'' barbell to use the plates. And here we have Sunny Health 60" Threaded Chrome Barbell, my best budget option for this type of weightlifting bar.

This cost-effective piece of equipment is perfect for beginners and seasoned weightlifters, providing a wide range of options for your workout routine. It allows you to perform squats, bench presses, curls, and rows, providing a complete body workout. Switching weights on a barbell with threaded ends may be challenging if you're used to free-rotation sleeves.

The longevity of this barbell is another one of its great features. The barbell's sturdy construction and polished chrome finish make it ideal for regular usage and give it a sophisticated air. Lifters can get a firm and comfortable hold on the barbell thanks to its diamond-knurled grips.

A possible flaw is the maximum weight that can be lifted with this barbell. Its total load of 250 pounds may need to be more for more experienced lifters who want to work with greater weights. Also, the barbell is designed to accommodate 1-inch weight plates, which might restrict the options for plates that can be utilized.

62Expert Score

This cost-effective piece of equipment is perfect for beginners and seasoned weightlifters, providing a wide range of options for your workout routine. It allows you to perform squats, bench presses, curls, and rows, providing a complete body workout.

Steel Quality
9
Tensile Strength
9
Knurling
8.5
Spin
8
Crushing Resistance
9
Versatility
9.5
Value for Money
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The threaded sleeves ensure that the weight plates stay securely in place during use

  • Cheapest barbell on this list

  • This barbell may be used with various weight plates due to its 1-inch diameter

  • This 12-pound barbell is ideal for beginners, and high-rep exercises

Could be better:

  • This barbell can hold only 250 lb and serious heavy lifters may not like it

  • This barbell is too short and light for Olympic exercises like snatches and clean and jerks

  • You may have trouble gripping the barbell due to the absence of knurling in the middle

9. RipFit 4 ft Olympic Barbell – Budget 4 ft Barbell

RipFit 4 ft Olympic Barbell
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 17.5lb(7.9kg)
  • Length: 47.2’’(119.9cm)
  • Diameter: 1’’(25mm)
  • Shaft Length: 31.5’’(80cm)
  • Knurling: Medium diamond knurling pattern. No center knurl
  • Knurl Marks: No knurl marks
  • Weight Limit: 350lb(158.8kg)
  • Sleeve Length: 7.9’’(20.1cm)
  • Finish Type: Chrome

Isn't it annoying to spend your life savings on a barbell? So, this list focuses on affordable, high-quality choices. RipFit's 4-foot Olympic barbell is the most fabulous economical alternative.

This barbell is designed to meet the needs of those who want a more compact barbell for exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, and other isolation movements. And while I’ll refer to it as a 4-ft barbell throughout this review, its actual length is a little more than 3.9ft.

One of the biggest strengths of this barbell is its construction. Made with high-quality steel, the RipFit 4 ft Olympic Barbell is durable and long-lasting. The bar features a chrome finish that looks great and protects against rust and corrosion. In addition, the bar's compact size makes it easy to store, making it an excellent choice for those with limited workout space.

The bar is designed to work with a wide variety of Olympic-sized weight plates thanks to its Olympic-sized sleeve attachments.

This barbell, like many others, may have certain disadvantages. Specific exercises, like deadlifts and squats, demand a more extended bar, and a shorter barbell may be better. Lack of knurling on the barbell's central section may also make it harder to keep a secure grasp during specific workouts.

61Expert Score

This barbell is designed to meet the needs of those who want a more compact barbell for exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, and other isolation movements, its actual length is a little more than 3.9ft.

Steel Quality
8
Tensile Strength
9
Knurling
8.5
Spin
9
Crushing Resistance
9
Versatility
8.5
Value for Money
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Its 4 ft length makes it ideal for home gyms or smaller workout spaces with limited room

  • The bar has great spin

  • If you’re looking for a longer barbell - this one comes in multiple length options

Could be better:

  • With a weight limit of 350 pounds, this barbell may only be suitable for lighter lifters

  • Chrome plating may not be as robust as higher-end barbells. Knurling wears down, and sleeves loosen with time

  • This bar lacks center knurling, which helps lifters hold the bar in position during squats

Common Barbell Types And Their Prices

Understanding that not all barbells are made equal is crucial if you're in the market for one. Barbells exist in a wide variety of designs, each with its own intended use and price point. Olympic barbells, powerlifting barbells, and normal barbells are the most popular.

For Olympic weightlifting, you'll need an Olympic barbell, the priciest kind of barbell by a factor of several hundred to well over a thousand.

Powerlifting barbells are shorter and thicker than Olympic barbells and are designed for heavy lifting, with prices ranging from around $150$ to $500.

Standard barbells are the most basic type and are typically the least expensive, with prices ranging from around $50 to $150.

When deciding which type of barbell to purchase, it's essential to consider your fitness goals, budget, and the exercises you plan to perform.

using barbell

What Are The Benefits Of Using Budget Barbells?

Being in shape doesn't mean sacrificing your financial stability; a budget barbell is a solution. Budget barbells have several advantages, despite the common misconception that they are of poorer quality or performance.

To begin with, they are much cheaper than their high-end alternatives, making them available to customers of varying income levels. However, remember that inexpensive only sometimes implies subpar. Many factors might contribute to a barbell's lower price than its rivals, including advertising, customer acquisition, and brand expansion.

While inexpensive, budget barbells are often constructed from robust materials that can sustain hard lifting and are meant to endure for years.

Convenience

Because of the convenience of having a home barbell, you can squeeze in a workout anytime in a few minutes.

Variety

You can get even the cheapest barbell in various shapes and sizes to meet your individual training goals.

Range of Use

Barbells are versatile pieces of equipment that may be used for various exercises, from squats to deadlifts.

Strength Building

Gaining muscle and becoming in shape may be accomplished very effectively using barbell exercises in strength training.

Customization

If you have a limited budget, a barbell is an excellent option, since you can choose your own weights and change them as you become stronger. Brand independence means they are made to generic industry standards and may be utilized with any dubious manufacturer. You may pick and select from various options to find the ones that best suit you.

Every weightlifter, whether they are just beginning out or seasoned pros, should consider investing in a set of inexpensive barbells.

using barbell on the beach

What Are The Drawbacks Of Using Budget Barbells Compared To Expensive Ones?

While budget barbells are an excellent option for those who want to get in shape without breaking the bank, they do come with a few drawbacks when compared to more expensive options.

It's essential to consider these drawbacks before making a purchase to ensure that you're getting a barbell that meets your needs.

Here are some potential drawbacks of using budget barbells:

Durability

While budget barbells are designed to be sturdy, they may not be as durable as higher-end options. Cheaper materials and construction may cause them to wear out or break more quickly.

Weight Tolerance

Budget barbells may have lower weight tolerances than more expensive options, which can limit the amount of weight you can lift and your progression over time.

Bar Quality

Cheaper bars may have less knurling, which can make them harder to grip, or may not spin as smoothly as more expensive bars, which can impact your technique.

Warranty

Budget barbells may not come with the same warranty as more expensive options, which means you may be on your own if something goes wrong.

Brand Prestige

While I personally do not care about that, you can’t deny that a lot of people do. Some individuals like to have that incredible feeling of working with a cool branded bar. Having that fantastic expensive barbell to show off to your friends or perhaps use in a social media video. A budget barbell will likely not provide such prestige.

It's crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of budget barbells to make an informed decision that fits your budget and fitness goals. While budget barbells may not offer all of the features of more expensive options, they can still provide an effective workout and be an excellent option for those on a tight budget.

hard using barbell

What To Look For In Budget Barbells?

There are a few essentials to look for in a budget barbell. You want to acquire an affordable barbell and up to your standards regarding safety, quality, and performance. You want to buy a weightlifting bar that suits you and your needs, but it won't suck your wallet dry in the process.

Steel Quality

One of the most crucial aspects of a cheap barbell is the quality of the steel used in its production. A barbell produced from low-quality steel poses safety risks and may only last for a while before it needs replacing.

To get the most out of your workouts, you need a barbell that can stand up to your strength and spinning sleeves that are easy on your wrists. The best bars can withstand significant stress for extended periods.

Tensile Strength

Steel's tensile strength is its weight capacity before breaking. For big weights, use a barbell with high tensile strength. Budget barbells must have tensile strength. It measures the barbell's breaking point. Heavy lifting requires a solid, robust barbell. The weight may bend, distort, or shatter a barbell, inflicting severe harm. Finding an affordable barbell that can hold your weight is vital. The material and manufacturing technique determines a barbell's tensile strength.

Knurling

Regarding budget barbells, one of the most important things to look for is the quality of the knurling. The rough, textured pattern on the barbell's grip provides traction for your hands. A good knurling pattern is essential for a secure grip during deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.

However, the quality of the knurling can vary widely between barbells, and it's crucial to find a barbell that has knurling that is rough enough to provide a good grip but not so rough that it tears up your hands. If your hands are not rough, then avoid aggressive knurling patterns.

The spacing of the knurling is also essential, as it should be evenly spaced along the length of the barbell to ensure a consistent grip. If the knurling is too rough or poorly spaced, it can make exercises uncomfortable or even painful and could lead to injuries. A barbell with high-quality knurling can make your workouts safer and more effective, allowing you to confidently lift heavier weights.

training with a barbell

Spin

Power snatches and Olympic lifts need a strong barbell spin. As the barbell sleeves rotate freely, they lessen tension on your wrists and elbows, letting you lift more weight without harm. For novices, this is crucial. Find a barbell with a smooth, steady spin. A barbell with a decent spin makes workouts safer and more effective, whereas a lousy spin makes them more complicated and riskier.

Crushing Resistance

Crushing resistance is essential when buying a cheap barbell. This is the barbell's weight limit before it bends. Heavy lifting requires a solid, crushing-resistant barbell. A barbell that bends or breaks might injure someone. Finding affordable barbells that can hold your weight is vital. Barbell weight depends on its material, diameter, and length.

Versatility

Budget barbells should be versatile. A multifunctional barbell lets you enhance your workout without buying more equipment. A cheap barbell can do bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and rows. This is crucial if you need more space or money and can't buy fitness equipment. A budget barbell's length, diameter, and weight capacity affect its versatility for various workouts. A short, narrow, or underweight barbell may restrict your activity.

Value For Money

Get the finest budget barbell your money can buy. Value for money means a barbell of high quality at a reasonable price. Budget barbells should provide excellent value for the money. The barbell should be robust, practical, and fulfill your fitness demands. Consider weight capacity, material quality, and extras when buying a cheap barbell. Get a cheap barbell that's safe and useful.

lifting the barbell

FAQ

How much does a good barbell cost?

Brand, weight, and size affect barbell pricing. High-end barbells cost $100 to $500 and have better materials, longer lifespans, and additional features.

A costly barbell may seem extravagant, but it will save you money by reducing replacement and damage. Despite this, there are several high-quality cheap barbells. Consider your training regimen and goals when budgeting for a barbell.

Beginners should buy a cheap barbell, while advanced weightlifters should spend more. A good barbell may cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on your needs. With enough forethought and research, you can choose a barbell that balances quality and cost.

Can cheap barbells break?

Cheap barbells can be made of lower-quality materials and may not be as durable as more expensive models. This can increase the risk of the barbell breaking or bending during use, which can be dangerous and lead to injury.

It's important to note that not all cheap barbells are created equal. Some budget models may still offer decent quality and durability, while others may be more prone to breaking. Some budget barbells may be cheap solely because their manufacturer is trying to attract buyers with a low price point while having a superb quality. Researching and choosing a barbell from a reputable brand that uses quality materials and has a good track record for durability is imperative.

Remember to follow proper use and maintenance of your barbell can also help prevent breakage. Avoid dropping the barbell on hard surfaces; always store it properly to prevent damage. Regularly inspect the barbell for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or bending, and replace it if necessary. And do not overload the barbell above its carrying capacity.

squat with a barbell

Is it worth buying a barbell?

Investing in a barbell can be wise for anyone looking to build strength and improve their fitness. While the initial cost of purchasing a barbell and weights may seem expensive, the long-term benefits can make it worth the investment.

Having a barbell at home allows for convenient and consistent workouts without relying on a gym or fitness studio. This can save time and money in the long run, especially for those serious about their fitness goals. Additionally, using a barbell for squats, deadlifts, and bench presses can help build functional strength and improve overall athletic performance.

In addition to physical benefits, having a barbell can provide mental benefits, such as increased confidence and self-esteem. Seeing progress and improvements in strength and fitness can boost self-confidence and motivate individuals to continue pushing themselves toward their goals.

Ultimately, whether it is worth buying a barbell depends on individual fitness goals and priorities. Investing in a quality barbell can be a wise choice for those looking to improve their strength and overall fitness.

Conclusion

All in all, finding the best budget barbell can be challenging, especially with the wide range of options available in the market.

Considering critical features such as steel quality, knurling, spin, crushing resistance, tensile strength, versatility, and value for money, finding a barbell that suits individual fitness goals and budget is possible.

If you're seeking a decent barbell without selling your kidney, check out my selection of the 9 top budget barbells in 2023. Each barbell was handpicked for its reliability, longevity, and reasonable price. A low-cost barbell may still improve strength and fitness. Cheap doesn't necessarily mean low quality. An inexpensive barbell may last years and give several workouts if you take care of it.

Ultimately, the best budget barbell for you is the one that meets your individual needs and preferences.

REP Sabre Barbell got the highest score and my TOP PICK rating. It is a fantastic budget barbell that will give you the most for your hard-earned money across all categories.

If you already use any of my 9 recommended budget barbells or have just decided to buy one, please share your experiences and opinions in the comment section below. I’d be glad to help with any questions you might have and if you’d share your point of you on budget barbells.

I hope my review list has provided helpful information and insights to aid in your search for the perfect budget barbell.

Cheers!

References:

  • Materials Study on a Telescopic Barbell Design Using Finite Element Model // ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/347364498
  • What is Knurling? Here’s What You Should Know // One Monroe: https://monroeengineering.com/blog/what-is-knurling-heres-what-you-should-know/
  • New Research Shows Consumers More Interested in Brands’ Values Than Ever  // onsume Goods Technology: https://consumergoods.com/new-research-shows-consumers-more-interested-brands-values-ever
  • Social Benefits of Luxury Brands as Costly Signals of Wealth and Status // Elsevier: http://www.bryanburnham.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Nelissen-Meijers-2011-Ev-Hum-Beh.pdf
  • What Does Tensile Strength Mean? // Corrosion Pedia: https://www.corrosionpedia.com/definition/1072/tensile-strength
  • Crushing Resistance // Sciencedirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/crushing-resistance
  • Metal properties // Depts Washington Edu: https://depts.washington.edu/matseed/mse_resources/Webpage/Metals/metalproperty.htm

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.

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