Product Reviews

The Best Barbells for Your Money - Under $300

Updated March 3rd 2020; August 9th 2019

If you’re creating your own home gym or simply replacing old equipment, it is important to look into high quality and high performing products.

An item in your gym that probably gets the most use is your barbell.

Barbells are used for a wide variety of exercises and allow you to hit every muscle group.

So how do you know if you’re buying the right one?

Barbell pricing can range from $200 to $2,000, so it’s always important to do your research.

Here are some tips we looked into for getting a new barbell at the right price. 

Disclaimer: (As of March 3rd 2020, the prices of all these barbells should be under $300).

What to Look for

There are a few things to look for when purchasing a new barbell.

These may include the material the barbell is made from, steel, and the quality of the one you are looking at.

You can start by looking at brands that already hold a high reputation for quality equipment such as Fringe Sports or Rogue.

There are different types of barbells, so again it depends on the use it will be getting. P

oor quality barbells can result in warping, rusting, and overall, breaking. 

Most regular gym-goers may not know that there are different specs in a barbell for men and for women.

This may not make a big deal for you, but important depending on your weight and size.

The typical barbell specs are:

Men: 28-29mm diameter, 7.2ft in length, ~44lbs (20kg)

Women: 25mm diameter, ~6.5ft in length, ~33lbs (15kg)

The strength of the barbell is an important factor.

There are three strength areas in a barbell, tensile, yield, and test.

Tensile strength is the maximum weight load the bar can support without cracking or breaking.

Yield strength is the amount of weight the bar can hold before it becomes deformed.

The test is when the bar has been tried with weights and workouts when there was no bending or breaking.

The higher the score here, the better.

For more information about these tests, you can find that here.

Another characteristic of a barbell is the knurling.

Knurling is the part of the barbell that allows your hands to grip the bar especially when your hands are sweaty or when using chalk.

Most people like the medium amount of knurling which will be a strong grip without it being uncomfortable.

If you are unsure about this, check out your local gym or equipment shop to get the right feel like the best. 

You can never go wrong with moderate knurling. 

Some people like very aggressive knurling (myself) but as you continue to use your barbell, your knurling will naturally wear away if you do not take care of your barbell.

Things you can look over when it comes to purchasing this new piece of equipment is looks.

If it is important to you that all of your equipment matches, it is still most important to look at the weight capacity and tensile strength rating than making sure it has that chrome finish. 

Among these most important factors, we looked into the barbells that will be comfortable for you without maxing out your budget. 

Best Barbells on the Market under $300

The list below is the best barbells for under $300 dollars. You will not be disappointed with any of your purchases

  • Regional Olympic Barbell by Synergee
  • Classic Olympic Barbell by Titan
  • Bomba Barbell by FringeSport
  • Wonder Bar by FringeSport
  • CrowBar Barbell by XMark 
  • AMERICAN CERAKOTE Barbell by American Barbell

 

This bar was made from the high-grade steel mentioned earlier.

It has a 1.2mm knurl for a strong but comfortable grip.

It has just enough whip for powerlifting, but stiff enough to use for squats and presses.

This barbell was designed to last when dropping, which is important when getting into weightlifting and powerlifting.

The amount of stress this bar can withstand and be trusted is very important when investing in this piece of equipment.

The details for this barbell are 190,000psi tensile strength and a 1500lbs capacity.

This is a well rounded and strong barbell for your gym. 

And even if you select a standard 20kg barbell, as of March 3rd, 2020, it still meets our criteria in pricing.

You can’t go wrong with a Titan barbell.

This barbell is designed to hold up to 1000lbs making it a great starter barbell and even has you get more into Olympic weight lifting.

The knurling is designed for a strong grip, especially through sweat, without giving up the comfortability on your hands.

Made of high-quality steel, this is rust-resistant and can even be used outside if you’re looking for an outdoor workout on those nice days.

It is 86” in length and holds a tensile strength of 165,000psi. 

It is to be noted that there have been several complaints about the knurling wearing out quicker than usual.

I have seen a worn-out Titan barbell and it is very drastic. So, if you do want something that could be a substitute,

I have had this barbell for over 3 years now.

It still has great knurling but I could take better care of it since I do have an outdoor garage gym.

More on that in a different article.

Proudly made in the USA with steel from Alabama, this bell received what they call the “Champ Stamp” which means it has the quality of a champion.

Best designed for a home gym, it has a tensile strength rating of 206,000 psi and can handle any load you would ever want to put on this bar up to 2,200lbs!

The finish is made with black zinc and an anti-rust mix resulting in a beautiful black color differentiating it from the average barbell.

And best of them all, this barbell comes with a lifetime warranty! 

Rust-free guarantee, this barbell has a nice stainless-steel finish always giving your gym that crisp and clean look.

It is corrosion-resistant designed to be rust free even in humid environments.

This is great to look into if your new gym is going to be in your basement. 

The knurling’s natural medium texture is comfortable and great for those really sweaty days.

This bar weighs about 44lbs, holds a tensile strength of 200,000 psi, and can handle up to 1,800lbs so you can handle any workout with this bar. 

This barbell is, as they say it, “built like a tank.”

The knurling in the center has a black manganese phosphate coating making it soft on your hands but still with enough grip to hold onto.

The appearance of this barbell has a unique look.

The center has the black finish with knurling but also has chrome sleeves guaranteeing you to stand out from your friends.

The Crowbar has a tensile strength rating of 185,000 psi and a 1,500lbs weight capacity.

This is a great barbell to start out with when getting into weight lifting. 

This is a versatile barbell and it does not back off on the looks department.

It has some of the most gorgeous finishes for a barbell.

It is a cerakote finished bar, which means it is very corrosion and abrasive resistant.

Coupled that with some of the other great materials like hard chrome in the sleeves and you have a very sturdy barbell.

How sturdy?

190,000 PSI tensile strength.

Against a corrosion salt spray test, this coating lasted 70x longer than regular chrome and stainless steel finishes.

Just another fabulous choice for a very beautiful barbell.

The winner(s)

If you have read my best barbells guide, you will know that I am extremely technical with the numbers.

PSI strength does not lie.

Just from that reason alone, both the FringeSport barbells are excellent choices in my book.

You want to get the highest PSI strength for your money.

This means that your barbell can withstand greater pressures exerted on it.

After all, you do not want your barbells to bend at all, if ever.

If, for some reason, the FringeSport barbells are not available to you, slowly go down the line of tensile strength ranks.

This will make or break your durability in training.

The finishes are great and you could definitely choose your barbells that way as well.

Of the barbells selected above, I found these companies want to serve their customers in the best way they can.

And one of that is by making a good looking barbell.

Learn from my mistakes

I tried to cheap out on purchasing a barbell by buying a cheap on online.

It had 132k tensile strength.

I thought it was enough.

I was able to squat 300+lbs with it.

A 405lbs deadlift didn't bend it.

I even failed a couple of squats and bench press attempts.

Granted, even though I gently set the barbell down on the safeties, there was still minor whipping.

It was not until I had to dump the barbell off my back that I saw the error in my ways.

Let this be known, quality barbells should not bend if you dump them from a squat.

Only cheap barbells will.

However, it was money spent to learn a valuable lesson.

So, if you want to make sure your barbell really lasts you a long time, do not take any shortcuts.

Trust me and my bent 132k tensile strength barbell.

Final Thoughts

These are some great top picks when you are purchasing a new barbell for your home gym.

Forgetting about style, even the all-black barbell from Fringe Sports holds a very high rating for performance and will last you a lifetime.

Not to mention the warranties that come with most of the ones you are looking at.

Knowing your own strength and how much you can lift is something to keep in mind when purchasing a barbell. 

A new gym-goer is very different than someone who is powerlifting or competing at the CrossFit games.

And to be quite honest, your first barbell will probably not be your last barbell. You will not understand a lot of barbell care and maintenance until it is too late.

More innovations on barbell mechanics will come around, making more modern barbells very viable for any lifter.

However, even with that said, you still need to start your lifting today.

Among these choices, you cannot go wrong with any of them.

So, quit being indecisive and start making strides toward getting closer to your next strength milestone.

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