A barbell is the heart and soul of any good home gym. If you’re building a home gym the first thing you need is an Olympic barbell, and a set of weight plates, however, that’s easier said than done, as the price of barbells, and weight lifting equipment, in general, has skyrocketed in the last couple of years.
For that reason here at SHREDDIT we wish to bring you our list of the 5 top budget barbells for your home gym.
We will also be looking to answer common questions such as:
- What is a good price for a barbell?
- Can cheap barbells break?
- What barbells do most gyms use?
- What are cheap barbells made of?
With that let’s get into the review!
Table of Contents
What Are The 5 Best Budget Barbells?
SHREDDITS TOP PICKS!
|Best Overall||Best For Olympic Lifters||Most Affordable||Most Versatile||Best For Powerlifting|
|ROGUE ECHO BAR 2.0||REP SABRE BARBELL||TRU GRIT OUTLAW 45LB BARBELL||FRINGE SPORT 20KG MEN’S WONDER BAR||Bells Of Steel Barenaked Powerlifting Bar 2.0|
Before we get into the list of the 5 best budget barbells, I would like to go over what to look for when buying a barbell.
- Your barbell must have good grip, especially if you want to lift heavy. The knurling of the barbell will determine how good the grip will be. If the barbell hurts to hold, digs into your skin, and causes blisters to form on your hand then it has good knurling and therefore good grip!
- Your barbell must have a high-weight capacity. Even if you don’t plan on lifting too heavy, your barbell should have a minimum weight capacity of 600 lbs. 600 is even a little low, ideally, you would want your barbell to be able to hold 1000 lbs.
- Your barbell should have good whip. This will be especially helpful for those of you who are into powerlifting, or Olympic weight lifting. When your barbell has good whip, it will be more elastic which will help preserve the health of the barbell, while allowing you to lift more explosively.
- This next one isn’t as important as the first 3, but if you’re willing to spend the extra cash you’ll want to make sure that your barbell has a finish to stop it from rusting. If your barbell does not have a finish you’ll have to perform regular maintenance on your barbell.
All of these best-budget Olympic barbells will meet at least 3 of these requirements. Now with that out of the way let’s get into the list!
Best Budget Barbell #1: ROGUE ECHO BAR 2.0 (Best Overall)
Now, this Rouge Olympic barbell really, and I mean really, stretches the term budget barbell. Although it is the most expensive barbell on this list, it is also the best barbell on this list. The Rogue Echo Bar 2.0 is an extremely high-quality barbell, that lives up to its $266 price point.
Pros & Cons
- The best quality barbell on the list
- It has a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI
- A bright zinc finish
- Good whip
- Good bushing
- 1000 lb plus weight capacity
- The price
- Only has standard knurling(good for bodybuilders, bad for Olympic/powerlifters)
- No center knurling
The Rogue Echo Bar has 262 user reviews while having an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars making it one of the best budget Olympic barbells on the market.
jronink from New Jersey – This bar is worth every penny. I have been using it during my training for the ACFT, and it works very, very well!
Stav from Avignon France – This is a great bar, for an even greater price. It has been an awesome addition to my home gym!
Pieter H from Belgium – This is an extremely high-quality bar considering the price range. Although it doesn’t have a center knurl, it’s still a great bar!
It’s a great option if you’re looking to build a home gym. You can go check it out on Rogues official website by clicking the button below.
Best Budget Barbell #2: REP SABRE BARBELL (Best For Olympic Lifters)
The REP Sabre Barbell although not as good as the ROGUE ECHO, is a great cheaper alternative. It is one of the best budget barbells on the market, as it outperforms many similarly priced cheap no name Olympic barbells.
The unmodified, 20 kg variant is the one I will be talking about here, as if you’re willing to pay extra you can add a black zinc coating, or add center knurling(not both). The unmodified variant still holds up though and is the #2 pick on the list of the best budget barbells.
Pros & Cons
- Great price
- Medium depth knurling
- Ball bearing (great for Olympic lifts)
- 1000 lb weight capacity
- Dual knurling marks
- Comes with 15 kg option
- Cannot have both black zinc coat, and center knurling
- 150,000 PSI isn’t the most durable
- The zinc finish may not last
The REP Sabre Barbell has an overall user rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, with over 120 reviews. The overall consensus is very positive, with many people praising the barbell for its quality, and extreme affordability.
Daniel C. – I’ve had this barbell for a couple of months now, and it works very well. The finish is very durable, and it can hold weight very well. No bends, or dents whatsoever. Overall it’s a great barbell that does its job!
James – The bar arrived in mint condition as expected, and was very high quality. It’s a great bar, for an even greater price. I’m going to buy more REP products as a result!
Jordan H. – The bar is great, especially for its price. It has excellent knurling, with good sleeve spin. I will definitely look to buy more REP products in the future!
The REP Sabre Barbell is easily one of the best budget barbells out there, it is very deserving of its #2 spot. If you’d like to try the bar out for yourself click the button below.
Best Budget Barbell #3: TRU GRIT OUTLAW 45LB BARBELL BLACK ZINC COATED (Most Affordable)
The TRU Grit Power Bar is one of the best budget barbells on the market. It comes with a black zinc coating, which gives it a very comfortable hand feel. The knurling offers superb grip, without being too abrasive. However, the main highlight of this Olympic barbell is the insane 205,000 PSI.
All of these amazing perks while being the most affordable barbell on the whole list. Being priced as low as $175!
It’s an amazing option if you’re looking to build a home gym. The price of this barbell will allow you to allocate more resources towards a good squat rack, weight plates, bench, and maybe even dumbbells.
Pros & Cons
- An absolutely absurd 205,000 PSI, which gives it an insane 1500+ weight capacity!
- Best price
- Good grip
- Center knurling
- Dual knurling marks
- Zinc can degrade quite quickly
- Only a 1 year warranty
- Constantly sells out(short supply)
The TRU GRIT Power Bar has an impressive average user score of 5 out of 5 stars. This score is based on 50 reviews. The overall consensus is extremely positive, with many users praising the barbell for its high quality, and extreme affordability.
Jason M. – It’s an excellent barbell. I love the feel, the look, and overall it is an extremely high-quality product. I will definitely be buying more TRU GRIT products in the future!
Edward M. – It’s a great bar, I’m very happy with the purchase. It has great spin even when compared to an Ohio bar.
Quincy S. – Fast delivery. Great price. And an even greater bar would totally recommend!
The TRU GRIT Zinc Power Bar is an absolute steal! If you’re looking for a highly affordable, high-quality 20kg barbell, I would highly recommend that you check out the TRU GRIT official website, and put in your order now! As these things sell fast.
Best Budget Barbell #4: FRINGE SPORT 20KG MEN’S WONDER BAR OLYMPIC BARBELL (Most Versatile)
The Fringesport Wonder Bar is one of the pricier options on the list of the best budget barbells. It makes up for its higher price with a 205,000 PSI tensile strength(1500 lb + weight capacity), needle bearings(or bushing), an all-black zinc finish, and lifetime warranty.
It’s a great, well-rounded option if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a great barbell. *Note – choosing needle bearings over brushing will lead to an increased overall price.
Pros & Cons
- 205,000 PSI/ 1600 lb weight capacity
- Lifetime warranty
- Dual knurl marks
- Medium depth knurling
- Can choose between bushing, or bearings
- Free shipping
- Black zinc finish will degrade over time
- A bit on the pricier side
- Knurling may be a bit flat
The Fringesport wonder bar has a very impressive average user rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Many people praise it for it’s perfect medium knurling, needle bearings, and sleek black look.
Steven E. United States – Great quality bar!!!
Harland P. United States – It’s easily the smoothest bar I have ever used. The spin is phenomenal, negating any friction that may have been present during the lift. The knurling feels great too!
David C. United States – It’s an amazing bar. The knurling is perfect, it’s deep enough to give you a good amount of grip, while not being too deep to the point where it hurts your hands.
The FringeSport Wonder bar is an excellent option and one of the best budget barbells on the market to date! If you’d like to pick one up for your new home gym, go check out the Fringe Sport official website by clicking the button below.
Best Budget Barbell #5: Bells Of Steel Barenaked Powerlifting Bar 2.0 (Best For Powerlifting)
The Bells Of Steel Powerlifting bar is easily the best budget powerlifting barbell and one of the best budget barbells overall. It has thin collars to allow for much more weight to be put on the bar, it has deep, aggressive knurling which allows for insane grip, and it also has the highest tensile strength out of any of the bars on this list, coming in at 210,000 PSI!
This bar has no coating, or finish, it is just bare steel so it will have a great overall bar feel. However, since the bar is just bare steel you will have to perform regular maintenance to stop any rusting, or corrosion.
Pros & Cons
- Great grip
- Awsome feel
- Thin collars
- Moderate spin
- Powerlifting markings
- Center knurling
- 210,000 PSI/ 1500 lb weight capacity
- Lifetime warranty
- Knurling will cut into hands(this bar is meant for serious lifters only)
- The bare steel bar will rust, if not properly taken care of
- Products have often been shipped in damaged conditions
The general consensus of the Bells Of Steel Power Bar is extremely positive. The average user score is 4.8 out of 5 stars, this rating is based on 296 reviews, which is very impressive. It’s the best budget power bar on the internet, if you’re looking for a great centrepiece for a powerlifting-focused home gym, this an excellent option.
Rastko K. United States – It’s the perfect powerlifting barbell. It’s high quality, the knurling is superb, and the thin collars help a lot if you lift 500 plus, and use bumper plates. The price was insanely affordable, I love this bar!
William R. United States – I love this bar. The knurling is fantastic, and there is very little whip which helps drastically with heavier loads. To be honest I prefer this bar over Texas and Ohio bars.
Benjamin J. Canada – The knurling is awesome! It makes a huge difference while deadlifting, which is surprising as it is not overly aggressive either. The bar looks and feels very high quality. The thin collars are also a very nice touch.
The Bells Of Steel Power Bar is by far the best budget power bar on the internet! If you’re a powerlifter on a budget, looking for an affordable, high quality option look no further.
If you’d like to buy more exercise equipment check out these other great articles from SHREDDIT!
Why Is A High-Quality Barbell Important For My Home Gym?
The barbell is easily the most important tool in a lifter’s arsenal. It’s the most important thing next to weight plates. It should be the very first thing you buy, followed by weights, a rack, and a bench. It’s easily the most versatile piece of equipment in the gym, as it allows to perform various movements, which include but are not limited to:
- Back squats
- Front squats
- Bench press
- Incline Bench
- Bent over rows
- Pendlay rows
- Good mornings
This list can go on, and on. The barbell movements are essential if you’re serious about your health, and fitness.
*Also – you cannot cheap out on your barbell. Your barbell, and power rack, are the few pieces of equipment that you CANNOT cheap out on.
The Dangers, And Problems Of A Low Quality Barbell
A low-quality barbell has a multitude of risks. First of all, they’re extremely fragile, usually with a 300-500 lb weight capacity. This low tensile strength will cause the bar to easily snap, and bend with as low as 250 lbs on the bar.
This can lead to unfortunate accidents when trying to re-rack the bar on a bench press or squat. The knurling will usually be nonexistent, or very flat on these cheap low-quality bars. Bad knurling can lead to the bar slipping out of your hands, or even off of your back during tough sets.
Take my word and avoid these low-quality bars, as once you’re halfway through your novice phase and start putting anywhere from 250-300 lbs onto the bar it will begin to bend, and you’ll just find yourself needing to buy a new one anyways.
Just buy a good bar from the get-go, and you will never have to deal with this problem.
How To Spot A Low Quality Barbell
I’ll be using a Walmart Olympic barbell for my example here. The red flags you have to watch out for are the following:
- The black bolt in the middle
- A low weight capacity (anything sub 700)
- An absurdly low price (anything under $160 is usually too good to be true)
- Flat, bad knurling
- A cheap chrome coating
If you’re looking to buy a barbell always be on the lookout for these red flags. The options on this list will have none of these issues, which is why I highly suggest you choose from these researched, tested options, rather then picking on your own.
How Do I Maintain My Barbell?
For those of you who wish to make your barbell last you should consider regularly maintaining your barbell. It’s a good habit to get into as it will save you money, and it will also give you a higher level of respect for your trusty weight lifting apparatuses.
Proper Barbell Care
Here’s a great video by Fringesport, if you want a more in-depth guide on cleaning and maintaining your barbell.
Step By Step Guide
- (2) micro fibre cloth
- (1) nylon bristle brush
- (1) bottle of lubricating oil
Take your nylon brush and start brushing, as to agitate the bar, and remove as much grime, chalk, and dead skin as possible. Brush lightly with a back and forth motion.
Apply a generous amount of lubricating oil onto your bar with one of your micro fibre cloths. Try to get it on every surface. After you’re done applying your oil let your bar sit for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3 will be a repeat of step 1, although you’ll want to spend a little bit more time brushing this time. As to make sure there is nothing left on the bar.
Repeat step 2. apply a lighter coat of oil this time around, with the previously used microfiber cloth. After you’re done applying the lighter coat of oil let your bar sit for 5 minutes.
After you’ve completed step 4, wipe down the bar with the second microfiber cloth, as to remove any excess oil.
This final step will not have to be repeated every time you clean your barbell, but it is good to do it every once in a while. Step 6 is to lubricate the bushings/bearings of your barbell. You do this by turning your bar vertically, then seeping lubricant through the bronze collar of your barbell.
Let the barbell sit for 2-4 hours, then repeat the process on the other side. I highly recommend you watch the video, as to get a better understanding of this step, as it is hard to follow through just writing alone.
Risks Of Improper Barbell Care
If you’re constantly lifting heavy, have multiple people using the same barbell, and/or lift in a moist, unkempt environment caring for your barbell is a must! If you neglect to maintain your barbell this could lead to things such as:
- Rusting, and corosion
- The finish, and coating wearing off
- Bending and dents
- The bearings, or bushing breaking
- The knurling degrading
- Or all of the above
If you take care of your barbell it will last you a lifetime. If you neglect it and constantly beat it up, it will still last awhile, around 3-10 years depending on how high quality the bar is, but eventually, something will give, especially as you get stronger.
You should try to maintain, and take care of all metal pieces of equipment in your home gym as well.
Well, I hope you found this list helpful. If you liked this article and would like to purchase more high-quality equipment for your home gym, check out the exercise equipment section, on our blog SHREDDIT.
If you’ve put in an order already and are looking for a way to pass the time check out these great articles.
- What Are Bumper Plates, And Are They Worth It?
- The Best High Stim Pre Workout (2023): My 3 Picks
- Quitting Your Sport, Is It The Right Move? (Why I Quit Basketball)
- Hex Dumbbells: 3 Reasons You Should Consider Buying
- What Is Dirty Bulking? (My Experience)
With that, I’m out peace!
Leave a Reply