About a year ago when I first started this site, I did a review on Dragon Door kettlebells. Now, a couple thousand personal and client kettlebell training hours later, I thought I’d do a follow-up on my original Dragon Door review post. Enjoy – and would love to hear your feedback when you’re done reading!
Here’s how I opened the ‘first edition’ of my Dragon Door kettlebell review post:
“If you’ve shopped around for kettlebells at all, you’ve probably found that there are a lot of different brands out there at a wide range of different prices. I’ve personally used quite a few different brands of kettlebells, and I can tell you firsthand – there’s a difference! I’m going to give you a few tips on your purchase, and also explain why a quality ‘bell – particularly a Dragon Door kettlebell – is worth the extra investment.”
I made this statement after training with the Dragon Door ‘bells for about six months. About a year and a half later, I feel exactly the same way. However, I do have two additional very important points to make –
1. Difference in Kettlebell Brands – Build + Feel
I’ve had the opportunity to train with – and actually own the odd pair of – other brands of kettlebells now. There is definitely a difference between the brands, if anything just the ‘feel’ of training with them.
As an example, the Apollo brand kettlebells that I own have a larger handle and a rubber stopper on the bottom. My Go Fit kettlebells have a rubber coating on the actual ‘bell. And I have a couple other off-brand KB’s that have another different feel entirely.
2. Kettlebell Training Level Should Dictate Quality Need
Second, I think that if you are just going to be doing two-handed swings, goblet squats, turkish get ups, and other very basic kettlebell drills, the brand doesn’t really make that much difference. Drills like these are not overly abrasive on your hands, they don’t require rotation of the ‘bell in your hand, and the balancing of the actual ‘bell is not super important . In short, at this level of kettlebell training, quality is not a huge factor.
Now, if at some point you envision yourself getting into doing more advanced kettlebell work, such as cleans, presses, snatches, etc., smoothness of the handle, balancing of the ‘bell and that kind of thing become very important.
For example, if you’re doing 100 snatches in 5 min., there is some serious friction happening on your hands. If you’re doing it with a lesser quality KB, you can count on tearing your hands up pretty quick. And if it’s not balanced properly, it makes the exercise much more awkward and forces you to actually work harder than you have to.
Look, I know that the majority of folks are just going to try and buy the cheapest kettlebell they can find. Which is cool – it’s a free country, you can buy whatever kettlebell brand you want 🙂 My main point is that with kettlebells – as you do with life – you tend to get what you pay for. So if you are just looking for some kettlebells to do some very light exercises, then pretty much any brand will do. But if you are currently or at some point looking into doing more advanced kettlebell training, you’ll want to spend some time and make sure that the ‘bells you invest in are high-quality enough to meet your on-going training standards.
Good luck in your kettlebell search!
Forest Vance, MS, RKC
P.S Click the link below for more details about Dragon Door kettlebells: