Finding an appropriate, high-quality barbell is crucial when building your first powerlifting home gym. However, not all powerlifting barbells are made equal.
I conducted thorough research to find the best powerlifting barbell for the home gym.
It took me over ten hours to figure out my ten favorite home gym powerlifting barbells according to certain criteria.
After reading the article, you will know everything about powerlifting barbells and find the one that suits your home gym best.
The Best Powerlifting Barbells for Home Gyms
- Best Overall Powerlifting Barbells for Home Gym: Rogue Ohio Power Bar
- Cheapest Powerlifting Barbell for Home Gym: CAP Power Barbell the Beast
- Powerlifting Barbell With Best Grip: Rep Fitness Deep Knurl Power Bar
- Best Weightlifting Barbell for Women: Rep Fitness Sabre Bar
- Best Barbell for Deadlifts: Bells of Steel
- Best Powerlifting Barbell for Crossfit: Titan Fitness MAXXUM
- Most Durable Powerlifting Barbell: Rogue Ohio Power Bar
- Best Barbell for Beginners: Synergee
- Most Versatile Powerlifting Barbell: IVANKO OBXS-20KG
- Best Powerlifting Barbell for Heavy Squats: PRx Performance Dakota
- Best Powerlifting Barbell With Warranty: PRx Performance Dakota
- Best Barbell for Olympic Lifting: Rep Fitness Sabre Bar
- Best Barbell for Outdoors: Hero Barbell Co. Cerakote
Our Top Barbells for Powerlifting At Home (December 2023)
1 - Rogue Ohio Power Bar (Best Overall & Most Durable)
Having trained with the Rogue Ohio power bar for months, I can vouch for its stainless steel construction. According to a study published in Metals scientific journal, this construnction resists corrosion and oxidation .
Due to the Ohio power bar's stiffness and strong knurling, it is built to handle all the major lifts, such as heavy squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
Out of all the powerlifting barbells I have used, the Rogue Ohio power bar knurling is my favorite since it is aggressive enough to dig into the hand without shredding it.
However, the Rogue Ohio power bar is slightly more expensive and may not be the best budget pick.
- Stainless Steel
- 200,000 PSI Tensile Strength
- 45 lb Power Bar Weight
- The quality and durability of the finish are great
- 100% secure with the Rogue HG 2.0 collars
- Fast shipping
- Knurling gives great grip without being too aggressive
- Little grooves on the ends of the power bar
2 - Rep Fitness Deep Knurl Power Bar EX (Best Grip)
From my personal lifting sessions, the Rep Fitness Deep Knurl Power Bar EX stands out with its fully stainless make and incredible knurling. It feels every bit as premium as the more expensive power bars I've hoisted.
One of its stand-out features is its finish, or to be more specific, its lack thereof.
In addition, the stainless steel knurling of this power bar is just outstanding since, according to a PubMed study, the 200k PSI tensile strength and stainless steel are so well paired with it .
The diameter of the power bar is 29 mm, making it excellent for hands during squatting and bench pressing. It feels almost like you are gripping a high-end barbell.
However, one downside is that the sleeve is smooth without any ribbing.
- 29 mm Diameter
- Stainless Steel
- Polished Finish
- Comes with a stainless shaft and stainless sleeves
- Aggressive deep knurl profile offers supreme grip and feel
- Sleeves are buttery smooth
- The knurl termination points need work to make this power bar truly refined
3 - PRx Performance Dakota Power Bar (Best for Heavy Squats & With Warranty)
It is similar to the Texas power bar and it features a bright zinc finish on the sleeves and a black one on the shaft .
These are excellent for protecting the power bar from getting damaged. A tensile strength of 190k allows you to drop this power bar from overhead or bail out of a heavy squat without worrying about damaging the bar.
My clients who tried this barbell report its solid build and comfortable grip made it a staple in their heavy squat routine.
Also, it comes with diamond knurling, making it an excellent choice for strength training, particularly beneficial for triathletes doing exercises like deadlifts and squats .
- 15" Loadable Sleeve Length
- 28.5 mm Grip Diameter
- 190K Tensile Strength
- Comes with an aggressive knurl
- Designed in accordance with International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)
- Lifetime warranty
- Lack of consistent knurling
4 - Rep Fitness Sabre Bar (Best for Women & Olympic Lifting)
Our tests showed that Rep Fitness Sabre Bar which comes with dual knurl markings, is best suited for Olympic and powerlifting.
In addition, it comes with a 28 mm diameter, which is the best diameter for deadlifting. Also, you can choose the 20kg or 15 kg option, meaning it comes for both men and women.
Furthermore, a medium-depth knurl will give you a good and firm grip but won't tear your hands.
One of the downsides is it doesn't come with a center knurl, which may not suit some lifters.
- 150k Tensile Strength
- 1000-lb Rating
- 28 mm (25 mm women’s) Diameter
- Zinc Coating
- No need to dust off the metal debris or sharp burs
- Performs awesome with bigger bumper plates
- Comes with an awesome rotation system
- A thinner diameter and missing center knurling may not be suitable for some heavy lifts
5 - Bells of Steel Barenaked Powerlifting Bar (Best for Deadlifts)
Bells of Steel Barenaked powerlifting bar is an affordable barbell specifically designed to meet International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) standards, making it excellent for powerlifting exercises.
My clients report it comes with an aggressive knurl with a bare steel finish, which gives it a superior grip, and they could experience that during their deadlift bar sessions.
In addition, it has a total of 210k PSI tensile strength, making it able to handle up to 15000 lb.
Furthermore, it has a thinner block that allows for more weight plates to be loaded onto the power bar. However, knurling tends to be inconsistent in some areas.
- Alloy Steel
- 29 mm Grip Size
- 1500 Pounds Weight Capacity
- Great for deadlifts
- Solid and doesn't flex with weights on it
- Well-made, sturdy, and durable
- This power bar requires regular maintenance
6 - CAP Power Barbell the Beast (Cheapest)
Testing the limits, I've loaded the CAP Power Barbell the Beast with over 1000 lb, and it's held up without a hitch, proving its worth in my heavy lifting regimen.
The knurling of the power bar is solid, giving you an adequate grip for lifting exercises such as deadlifts, which require you to hold the bar with your hand so that it doesn't slip.
The sleeves of this barbell have a very nice spin, which is great for reducing the tension on your shoulders and wrists.
However, some metal shaving issues occur during the first couple of times you use the barbell.
- 30 mm Grip Size
- 1200 Pounds Weight Limit
- 15 inches Sleeve Length
- The spin of the sleeves seems very nice
- The knurl is flawless from one end to the other
- You can easily load the power bar with 315 and have no issues
- The finish on the power bar ends is cheap chrome
7 - Titan Fitness MAXXUM Stainless Steel Power Bar (Best for Crossfit)
Switching between exercises with the Titan Fitness MAXXUM stainless steel power bar, I've noticed its superior tensile strength. It's a true workhorse compared to the Ohio model.
That means you can use it to lift more weights without worrying about the power bar bending, getting damaged, or getting injured.
Furthermore, the knurling offers a good grip on all possible spots on the barbell, which makes this barbell excellent for a wide variety of complex and unilateral exercises. I used it during squats, and I have to say the barbell's a treat.
However, the rotation system needs some improvement, and the bronze bushings are very basic for the price of the barbell.
- Stainless Steel
- 28 mm Grip Size
- 2000 Pounds Weight Capacity
- Offers good value for money
- Central knurling is perfect for cross-training
- It can be used outdoors without getting damaged
- Just 1-year warranty
8 - Hero Barbell Co. Cerakote Powerlifting Barbell (Best for Outdoors)
During my Olympic lifting sessions, the Hero Barbell Co. Cerakote barbell had smooth rotation, thanks to its self-lubricating needle bearings.
The spin of this power bar is perfect for performing deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.
In addition, the 28 mm shaft performed great when doing Olympic lifts, such as snatch, clean and jerk, and so on. Furthermore, the knurl of the bar is moderate but still very grippy.
However, one of the downsides is that the ends of the barbell tend to wear off faster.
- Alloy Steel
- 28 mm Grip Size
- Chrome Finish
- The bar's ability to spin is amazingly smooth
- It can be placed outdoors and endure rain, sunshine & snow
- The needle bearing is a great upgrade over the typical bushing power bars
- The bar's blue paint is wearing thin after only a couple of weeks of use
9 - IVANKO OBXS-20KG Stainless Steel Powerlifting Bar (Most Versatile)
Our tests showed that IVANKO OBXS-20KG Stainless Steel Bar includes both a stainless steel shaft and sleeves, and requires minimal maintenance to keep the bar rust-free.
In addition, it features an awesome mountain-style aggressive knurl that is sharp but not overbearing. It has a tensile strength of 218k, making it stiff and strong.
Furthermore, the bar is ultrasonic, mag-tested, and X-ray tested, showing the company's efforts to satisfy quality control. It felt like using a bar that passed through rigorous quality controls.
However, because of these quality control procedures, Ivanko's powerlifting barbell tends to be a lot more expensive, making it unsuitable for most people.
- Stainless Steel
- Black Oxide Finish
- 29 mm Diameter
- Stiff enough to hold up a heavy squat and bench press
- The knurling is aggressive but not painful
- Very smooth spin with no stalls or overspin
- Extremely expensive
10 - Synergee Black Phosphate and Chrome Powerlifting Barbell (Best for Beginners)
My Synergee black phosphate and chrome powerlifting barbell has withstood the test of time and heavy loads, thanks to its high-grade steel and 150k tensile strength .
It comes with a standard knurl that has dual marks to provide the best grip possible without a rip. The quality of the sleeves is excellent and enough to protect the barbell from wear and oxidation.
Also, the bar has bearings, not bushing, which is simply that much better for providing a nice spin for dynamic lifts.
However, even though the bar can handle an insane amount of weight, it still bends when heavy lifting.
- Alloy Steel
- 25 mm Grip Size
- 1000 Pounds Weight Limit
- Shipped in a very sturdy cylindrical container to protect the bar
- Super smooth bearings
- The finish feels and looks great
- The knurling on the bar is slightly abrasive, so wearing workout gloves may be necessary
How We Test Powerlifting Barbells
Here's how we chose our recommended powerlifting barbells:
Material and Build Quality
The first step in our testing process is a thorough examination of the materials and construction of the barbell. We assess the type of steel used, the tensile strength, and the finish of the bar.
Each barbell is checked for any manufacturing defects, such as inconsistencies in the knurling or imperfections in the finish. We also measure the bar's resistance to bending and warping under heavy loads, ensuring it meets the standards for elite performance.
Performance Under Load
To test how each barbell performs under typical powerlifting conditions, we load them to various weights, starting from a standard warm-up load to the maximum weight they're rated for.
We pay close attention to the whip of the bar, the ease of rotation of the sleeves, and the overall stability during different lifts. This helps us understand how the barbell behaves during a squat, bench press, and deadlift, which are the cornerstone lifts in powerlifting.
Grip and Knurling
The grip is critical in powerlifting, so we put the knurling of each barbell under the microscope.
Our team of lifters tests the grip with and without lifting chalk, performing multiple sets to evaluate the comfort and security of the knurling.
We look for a balance between a firm grip and comfort, ensuring that the knurling is effective without being overly abrasive.
Durability and Longevity
Durability is tested over time with repeated use in a variety of conditions, including high humidity and temperature variations to simulate different gym environments.
We also perform drop tests from various heights to see how well the barbells withstand impacts. This long-term testing helps us to predict the lifespan of the barbell and its ability to maintain performance over time.
Weight Capacity Testing
We subject each barbell to a series of incrementally increasing loads, ensuring they can handle the advertised maximum weight and beyond.
We start with static load tests, where weights are carefully added to the barbell resting on a rack, to observe any signs of permanent bending or yielding.
Following this, dynamic tests are conducted with actual lifters performing high-impact movements such as deadlifts and squats. This not only tests the barbell's capacity but also its ability to return to true straightness after being loaded.
We record the bar's performance under various weights, noting any deformation or compromise in structural integrity.
Only barbells that surpass their stated weight capacities with no compromise to their structure make it to our recommended list.
In our price evaluation, we consider not just the upfront cost but also the value over time.
We compare the price points of barbells across different brands and categories, from budget-friendly options to high-end models, and weigh them against their features and durability.
We also look for additional costs that might not be immediately apparent, such as shipping fees, taxes, or the need for special maintenance.
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive price analysis that helps lifters find a barbell that fits their budget and lifting needs without compromising on quality or performance.
Barbell Buyer's Guide for Powerlifters
I created an easy-to-follow buying guide that will take you through the most important factors when buying a brand-new powerlifting barbell for your gym.
These were all based on my personal experiences and the thorough research I conducted before creating this guide.
The steel of the bar is the most important part of the bar.
This is because it is the essence of the barbell, and there are three things to consider regarding the steel of a powerlifting bar: tensile strength, yield strength, and the bar's F-Scale Rating.
Today, only cheap power bars advertise something along the lines of "this bar has a 1600-pound test strength," but that is only to trick inexperienced trainees.
The true values of things you should look out for are the tests of tensile strength and yield strength.
These include static and dynamic tests, where a static test loads an enormous amount of weight and then removes weight to see if the bar will return to its original condition. While both of these factors are crucial, in my opinion, the F-Scale Rating is the only factor to be trusted.
This factor is directly correlated to the number of cycles the shaft lasts in the 4-point bend test.
Basically, without complicating too much, the higher the F-Rating, the more durable the barbell is.
During my research, I have realized that the second most important factor for a good powerlifting barbell is knurling. The knurling needs to be designed to support all major powerlifting lifts.
Even though the knurling is one of the most subjective factors from the list, it basically boils down to how aggressive it needs to be so that the bar doesn't slit during heavy lifts.
However, the point is that the barbell shouldn't be so sharp that it causes calluses to rip during your training sessions.
Lastly, it is subjective, and you need to assess it yourself if you like the knurling to be more aggressive or passive.
"The type of knurling comes down to preference. However, lifters with smaller hands may prefer more aggressive knurling as their grip is already at a disadvantage."
- Lawrence Judd, Personal Trainer at Shredded by Science
The rotation system is most important for Olympic lifting since the spin is crucial.
You really don't want the bar spinning excessively during a slow lift. For example, benching with a bearing bar isn't enjoyable at all.
However, there needs to be some freedom to rotate because the bar should never be totally fixed.
Preferable rotation systems should be composite or bronze bushings.
The finish of the bar should suit the environment where the barbell is used.
From my experience, a bare steel bar is excellent because the knurling is done without coating between the hand and the Olympic weightlifting bar. However, it ends up corroding quicker than a bar that has a coating or plating.
Always aim to choose the powerlifting bar built from stainless steel since it are the most durable.
You should also consider the stainless steel sleeves, where chrome sleeves look awesome but will scratch over time.
Tensile Strength of Steel/F-Scale Rating
The least amount of tensile strength a bar should have is 150k PSI.
This is because 150k can withstand a significant amount of weight and prevent the bar from breaking when dropping an insane amount of weight together with the barbell on the floor.
On the other side, the F-Scale Rating is directly correlated to the durability and strength of the steel used.
The tensile strength number is important only when dropping the loaded barbell on the floor.
In contrast, the F-Scale Rating is used to determine the overall durability of the barbell and steel quality.
Today's industry standards are lifetime warranties.
However, you don't need to pick a barbell that comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure it's made from high-quality and durable material to last.
Warranty mainly depends on the company that provides it, so don't fix the duration of the warranty. Instead, focus on evaluating the company you are buying the product from.
"5 years or more is a good sign that the company rates their bars highly and will provide good quality bars. This scores a point."
- Mike Beatty, Health & Fitness Enthusiast & PE Teacher
Who Should Buy a Home Gym Powerlifting Barbell?
Everybody looking to do all the major powerlifting and Olympic lifts at home should buy a powerlifting barbell for their gym.
Owning a powerlifting barbell is an excellent investment for both amateur and professional powerlifters who seek to stay ahead of the game by training at home.
Investing in a high-quality and long-lasting powerlifting bar can enable you to stay and train at home during those bad traffic and crowded gym days.
Related Equipment Articles:
- Must Have Pieces of Home Gym Equipment
- Highest Quality Equipment for Home Gyms
- Best At-Home CrossFit Barbells
Who Shouldn’t Buy a Powerlifting Barbell?
Everybody who isn't a powerlifter or a fan of Olympic lifts shouldn't buy a powerlifting barbell for a home gym.
In addition, some barbells are expensive, meaning there is no need to invest a considerable amount of money upfront for something you won't use as often.
How to Maintain Powerlifting Barbells
Here's how to maintain your powerlifting barbell to ensure it lasts a long time:
- Regular cleaning: Chalk, sweat, and grime can accumulate on your barbell, especially in the knurling. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the bar after each session. For a deeper clean, wipe the bar down with a mild detergent and a damp cloth, then dry it thoroughly to prevent rust.
- Rust prevention: The enemy of any iron-based equipment is rust. Store your barbell in a dry environment and consider using a light coat of mineral oil or a specially formulated barbell lubricant to protect the steel. If you notice any rust spots, address them immediately with a light abrasive pad and oil.
- Proper storage: Never leave weights loaded on your barbell when not in use, as this can warp the bar over time. Store your barbell horizontally on a rack or use wall-mounted hangers designed to support its weight without bending.
- Regular inspections: Periodically check your barbell for signs of wear, such as bending, cracking, or the sleeves not spinning freely. Early detection of these issues can prevent accidents and extend the life of your barbell.
- Professional servicing: If your barbell has bearings or bushings, consider having it professionally serviced every few years to ensure that these components are in good working order.
What Barbell Should I Buy for Powerlifting?
You should buy a barbell for powerlifting that has at least 150k PSI tensile strength. This will ensure your barbell remains undamaged and you don't get injured when dropping a loaded barbell on the floor.
What Bar Do Powerlifters Use for Deadlifts?
Power bars are the most popular bars that powerlifters use for deadlifts. This is because power bars meet IPF standards, offer enough tensile strength, are highly durable, and have a proper grip size.
Are Kabuki Bars Worth It?
Yes, Kabuki bars are worth it. Kabuki bars offer incredible barbells that take very little markup on each one.
Our Verdict: Best Home Gym Barbell for Powerlifters
The best powerlifting bar for a home gym is a Rogue Ohio power bar.
Its superior stainless steel construction and 200,000 PSI tensile strength translate to unmatched durability and resilience.
Our tests showed that aggressive knurling provides a secure grip without being too harsh on the hands, a balance that is hard to come by.
While it may come with a higher price tag, the investment is justified by its performance and longevity.
This barbell has not only met but exceeded our rigorous standards, and we confidently recommend it as the top choice for serious lifters.
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