Comparing Three Pro-Grade, Competition-Style Kettlebells (Video Review)

Update: this kettlebell review has been updated here: 14 Kettlebells Compared: The Complete Kettlebell Review.

Find Out The Top Two Best Companies To Buy Your Pro-Grade, Competition-Style Kettlebells From

The first kettlebells I ever used were some classic Russian kettlebells from Dragon Door about 8-9 years ago. Those were totally “the thing” for awhile there. But as I got more and more into kettlebell training, I started to hear about a new kind of kettlebell. Depending on who you asked, they were either called “pro-grade kettlebells” or “competition-style kettlebells.” And what made them unique was that they were made of steel, instead of iron, and also that their dimensions were universally the same regardless of weight. So, a 16 kg Pro-Grade Kettlebell would be the same exact size and shape (ie dimensions) as a 32 kg Pro-Grade kettlebell. Obviously, that’s a distinct advantage that pro-grade kettlebells have over traditional iron kettlebells.

Since then, I’ve used several different kinds of pro-grade kettlebells, which has led me to discover that there are some minor differences from manufacturer to manufacturer, which is why I wanted to post this review today.

You see, after trying all those different KB brands, I’ve narrowed my most recommended pro grade kettlebells down to two manufacturers. No matter who you are or what your goals are, I think that you can be best-served by the KB’s from these two companies. They’ve got ALL your bases covered if you want a pro-grade kettlebell, and you’ll find out why in this video review.

Click here to buy Pro-Grade Kettlebells From Perform Better (best bargain pro-grade kettlebells)

Click here to buy Pro-Grade Kettlebells From the World Kettlebell Club (highest quality and best value pro-grade kettlebells)

Or, you could check out my Kettlebell Buyer’s Guide (see below), which is badly in need of an update because the prices have probably changed since I first put this together in 2010…


Most of us would like to get the highest quality products at the lowest price possible, and that’s why I created…
The Definitive Guide For Buying Kettlebells

*Right Click Image and Select “Save Link As” to Download the PDF Special Report (400 kb)

DESCRIPTION: This is an exhaustive guide in PDF special report format that will answer all of your kettlebell buying questions. Also included is a chart of all the price points from several of the leading kettlebell distributors. I show the price of each kettlebell and the price of shipping, along with the total price – all in an easy-to-read spreadsheet. This is from personal research I did when trying to find the best deals on kettlebells for sale.

kettlebell price comparison chartCompare kettlebell prices from several of the leading manufacturers with the Kettlebell Price Comparison Chart.

By the time you’re done reading through this kettlebell PDF special report, you’ll be the most educated buyer and ready to make the wisest investment with your money. You’ll also know exactly where you can buy the highest quality, yet least expensive kettlebells online. If you do some snooping, you can even find out who marks up their products the highest, too!

This PDF report is free because I want everyone to know where to find the best deals on kettlebells for sale. I’d also like to get it into as many people’s hands as possible because I receive a small commission on any purchases that are made through my links in the PDF. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I’ve tested and used myself. I’ve been using various types of kettlebells since 2004 and am also a certified Kettlebell Specialist through RMAX International.


If you have any questions about pro-grade kettlebells, kettlebell training, or anything related, just let me know – happy to help. And if you’d like to see a pro-grade kettlebell in action, here’s a workout I did awhile back: 14 minutes kettlebell workout.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and tweeps:

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P.S. A BIG THANKS to the World Kettlebell Club for sending me those two kettlebells to review. I’m always glad to see a company that stands behind their products, and the WKC kettlebells certainly measured up!

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Update: this kettlebell review has been updated here: 14 Kettlebells Compared: The Complete Kettlebell Review.

27 Responses

  1. Keith Ryan

    I use perform better pro kettlebells and find them to be pretty good. They got 25% discount running til 02/04/13. use coupon bellsnropes

    • Yeah, they have frequent sales at PB. So often so, that I’d say if anyone visits their website and there is NOT a sale going on, just wait a couple weeks and chances are good that there will be one.

  2. Marcello Teofilatto

    Hi, John.
    I see you don’t recommend adjustable kettlebells. I can agree, if they are poorly made. But I have a couple of Iron Woody Kettle Grips and find them good and safe, never had any problem. And BTW, by training with KBs and checking my diet, I lost a size of my trousers :-).

    • Rock on, Marcello – that’s awesome how a few little changes can add up to great results. I’ll have to look into the Iron Woody Kettle Grips. I’ve used their resistance bands before, and they’re a good product.

  3. As far as I am aware the Perfom Better KB’s have a handle diameter of 35mm and the WKC have a slightly smaller one of 33mm.
    Having experienced bells of both sizes I can vouch that you can notice the 2mm difference. You wouldn’t think so but you do. And as for preference it is individual.

  4. jon phrophet

    I have used wkc bells but now they are apparently discontinuing them for some new version. I found that there bells always had loose parts inside. Have you had that experience w perform better pro grade.

    • Hey Jon,

      I haven’t had that issue with the WKC bells so far (coming up on a year of using them). After about 2 years of use, I noticed some “sandy” movement inside the Perform Better kettlebell I own. It doesn’t effect the use of it, but can be a distraction.

  5. Hey John, I have a dumb question. I bought a couple KBs from PB based on your info. I did so a long time ago, and I’m only now going to get serious about using them. So after my first day trying to perform only 100 swings, as my arms and grip were getting tired I started feeling like the grip area was too small for two handed swings. Do you have any feedback about that? The grips on the pro KBs is narrower than on cheaper KBs. Just wondering. Thanks.

    • Hi John,

      I’m in the same boat. I can’t get all of my fingers secure on the grip during two-handed swings with competition-style kettlebells. Perform Better uses the standard dimensions that are accepted in Kettlebell Sport competitions (i.e. Girevoy). So, I don’t think they’ll be changing their specs anytime soon.

      • So do you just get used to it, or do you tend to do more single arms swings? I have another dumb question is I may… I’m not that strong, so when I bought my 2 KBs I opted for 12kg and 20kg. That may have actually been your recommendation for me at the time but I’m not sure. I’ve been reading that Maybe I should have started or be aspiring to 24kg and 32kg sizes. I don’t need to go crazy, so I was wondering if maybe I should just build on what I already have by buying only a 28kg? That way I have steps of 8kg differences. Considering how heavy the 20kg is now, if I only ever got god with a 28kg I think I would be impressed. Have any thoughts around that?

        • Nowadays, I do more single arm swings, personally. But if I had heavier KBs on hand, I’d probably do some more 2-handed swings, too. So, I guess I’m used to it.

          The 24 and 32 kg KBs are the standard sizes. But if you’re not planning on competing in KB sport, then it doesn’t really matter what weights you use. I do know that 8 kg is a big difference when you get to the heavier weights. So, if the 20 is feeling heavy now, it might be awhile before you’re ready for a 28 kg. And you may get down the road and settle for a 24 kg as your heaviest weight (for the foreseeable future). I’ve made the mistake of buying something too heavy and not being able to use it for a long time.

          So, I’d say that you should focus on getting good with the KBs you have on hand and wait on any purchases for now. I know that Perform Better has sales on their KBs regularly. So, it never hurts to wait.

          • So what are the heaviest weight KBs you use then most of the time? (I won’t compare myself to you.)

            Per your advice I will stay with the 12kg and 20kg for a while. Certainly doesn’t feel very manly knowing I’m not doing the standard weights, but if this is all I can do now, its all I can do. I will focus on getting competent with the 20kg now, and set my sights on getting a 28kg only when I’m proficient with the 20kg. Thanks.

            • Sounds good. The heaviest I own is a 32 kg. So, I rarely use anything heavier than that.


    There are new, improved Competition Style kettlebells available now, more like what’s available in Russia/Eastern Europe. Vulcan Strength, Kettlebells-USA, and the Kettlebell Kings. I have a 14KG KB-USA bells at home, 16KG Vulcans on order, and may be ordering two 20’s from KB Kings soon, if you’d like a review.

  7. Dr. Profant

    I really want to purchase the best pro grade competition kettlebells. Not necessarily the cheapest. I feel you usually get what you pay for. I have seen so many but not anything written about them. Ader for example, Valories and etc. But I know one thing I want is no paint on the handles. Rogue has competition kettlebells but their add says iron not steel. However, rogue makes good products so I don’t know. Kings has good prices but I’m concerned about quality. Quality is my only issue. What about all the others you didn’t mention like iron mans?

  8. John Sansone

    The newer Vulcan Absolute and Training bells are comp style, but have lots of room in the handle for two handed swings, more than many other Kettlebells, comp or otherwise. I think they sit in the rack better. They are hollow with an open bottom, with most of the weight near the top (gravity casted) , making the rack hold even better, and facilitating the lifts.
    The KB Kings and KB USA top of the line comp bells share this Gravity Casting feature. The handles are different (ALL are 35MM and somewhat square to varying degrees). In order of roominess for two hands, Vulcan comes first, followed by KB USA, and KB Kings last. All allow good insertion for Cleans and Snatches. Many competitors don’t like the Vulcans for some reason, but I have no problems with them. Maybe I just don’t know ant better.
    You can see pics of them at their websites. Hope this helps.

    • John Sansone

      I want to amend something I said in the post above. I do prefer the other bells for snatches over the Vulcan. That extra wide opening makes them feel odd. Jerks seem ok, though. That larger space may be why some of the “pros” don’t like them. By far they seem to prefer the Kettlebell Kings. I should add that the Kettlebells USA Paradigm Pro Elite are endorsed by Steve Cotter.
      Both KB Kings and USA have two grades of Comp style bells. The “lesser” of each are less precise in weight and have 33MM thick handles, shaped like PB’s and Fedorenko’s, MOL.
      Vulcan’s Training bells are identical to the Absolutes, except they are not color coded, are less accurate in weight (don’t need to be as accurate), and only come in the “basic” weight ranges (8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32KG. and cost less. The Vulcans may appeal to those who want a compromise between Comp style bells and regular style for more comfortable two hand/one bell work.

      • Hi, I saw you had offered to do a full review of Kettlebell Kings, did you ever do that? I am curious your thoughts compared to the others

  9. Antonio Tejeida

    Hi there John,

    I am from Mexico and you have been a great source of information to many things I buy (programs for fitness, like clubbell flow evolution or tacfit) but now I want to train with kettlebells , so I went to wkc and I noticed they don’t sell vf precision anymore, so I am wondering if there is any brand you endorse, like the rogue kettlebells for competition

    thanks in advance have a great weekend

    • Hey Antonio, It’s funny you ask that because I just received some kettlebells from Kettlebell Kings and I’ve got some more en route from Kettlebells USA. Rogue turned me down, but I’ll be doing a comparison review sometime in the next couple of months with as many competition-style kettlebells as I can get my hands on. If you don’t want to wait that long, I’ve been satisfied with my kettlebell from Perform Better. Although, the quality isn’t quite up there with some of the others I’ve used. They are certainly suitable for home fitness purposes, and I suspect they would perform okay for the recreational KB athlete, too. Although, I might direct you to another brand if you’re planning to compete in kettlebell sport. I haven’t used them yet, but the ones from the KB Kings looks solid, too. And after speaking with the VP at KB’s USA for 30 minutes the other day, I suspect that their KBs are superb as well. Let me know if you have any further questions – happy to help.


    Hi Antonio, thanks for the compliments.
    It’s a matter of personal preference really, but I kind of like the Kettlebells USA Paradigm Pro Elite.
    Kettlebell Kings Pro series are good also, IMHO.
    These are both designed with open bottoms, with more of the weight toward the top, making them more comfortable at least for the Clean-and-Jerk movement , which I seem to concentrate on. For snatches, it depends your technique.
    I’ve also liked Power Systems and Perform Better comp bells.Of those two I think I prefer Power Systems, haven’t used the PB since they made the handles @ 35MM, but many lifters like them as well.
    I hope this helps, shoot me an email for any other questions that I may be able to help you with.
    [redacted]. I’m on FB also, and I can hook you up with others who are more adept at this than I am ! :-)

  11. John Sansone

    I’m sorry John and Antonio, I received Antonio’s question in my Yahoo email feed and I thought he was addressing me.
    I feel kind of stupid now. Anyway, I hope I contributed something constructive to this discussion. :-)

    • Don’t be sorry! I’m glad you spoke up, John. You’ve got more experience with some of these other KB brands than I do (but not for long!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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