Now that I have the nightmare of the site move over and done with, I can get back to work. Part of that work was in taking a look at the brand new kettlebell that arrived at my door yesterday.
You see, I’d always used fairly cheep kettlebells because, well, I was broke and I’m a cheap bastard. However, I’ve always appreciated finely made things.
Since I wasn’t completely broke, I decided to get a quality kettlebell and did some research. In a lot of people’s minds, the Kettlebell Kings bells are the cream of the crop.
But are they?
I ordered mine directly from the site but I missed that they were out of stock. They advertise three to five days delivery time, but after ordering on a Friday and not seeing the order even being fulfilled on Wednesday, I sent a message asking what was up.
Turns out that I didn’t scroll down to the description to see that the 24 kg bell wasn’t in stock and wouldn’t be until March 6th, the day I messaged. They added that they would ship out March 10th (if you’re looking at your calendar wondering, “WTF?” bear with me).
Now, I wasn’t happy. Mostly because I didn’t read the description. I mean, it’s a kettlebell. I’d researched them. I know just what they are, right?
I also suggested that they move that message a bit higher on their page because I never scrolled down and I wasn’t happy.
To be fair, I probably looked like I blamed them for my failure, but nope. I blamed me.
None the less, they shipped the kettlebell out that day. Why? Apparently because they had an unhappy customer and wanted to take care of me.
“Oh, but Tom, you’re a blogger. Maybe they were worried about bad press?”
That would be a fair point…if I’d have mentioned I had a blog where I talk about kettlebells. I didn’t, though. They just saw an unhappy customer and wanted to make it right.
Now that is service.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the kettlebell itself.
Kettlebell Kings advertising that they use a one-piece construction that is vastly stronger to kettlebells with handles that are welded on. While they argue that most weld their handles, there are plenty of bells that don’t. Even cheap bells.
So what separates the Kettlebell Kings from a cheap one-piece construction? Fit and finish.
For example, when you cast a kettlebell in a single piece, you’re using a mold that has two halves. That is going to leave a bit of a “seam,” of sorts.
Let’s look at the casting seam on my older, cheap kettlebell.
As you can see, the seam is really visible. It’s ugly. Trust me, what you can see in those two pics is actually a bit better than the seam on the bottom of the handle.
I won’t say it’s horribly uncomfortable, but it’s always felt a bit “off” to me. It’s like you’re driving an old Yugo and you know it’s a POS, but it still runs, so you’re stuck with it.
Meanwhile, let’s look at the seem on the ball of the kettlebell with the Kettlebell Kings bell:
Yeah, you can sort of see it. But you really have to be looking for it. Even then, it’s not easy.
Because they use a one-piece construction, the seam is going to exist. There’s no way to make it not happen. But they clearly take the time to reduce that seam so that it’s not glaringly obvious.
The handle gets even better.
I can’t really call it “smooth as a baby’s bottom,” because there is some texture to it, but that’s the only reason. The only reason at all.
Not documented with photographs is the bottom. A couple of my kettlebells are cheap eBay finds that work fine and look decent enough, but the powder-coating was awful. I’ve since painted them, so no big, but the bottoms of the bells still had milling marks where they were flattened. Another of my kettlebells doesn’t even have that (the bottom isn’t particularly flat).
This one, though, is perfect. The bottom is both flat and the only texture is the same that’s everywhere else on the bell.
But what’s it like to use the thing?
An absolute dream. The handle is beefy, as it should be for a kettlebell of this size, and the texture helps you maintain a solid two-handed grip even without chalk.
If there’s a knock on it, it’s that I had some difficulty with getting both of my relatively small hands into the handle. To be fair, I have yet to find one that both hands fit into perfectly, so is this really a knock? Or am I just griping because I’d like something that’s decidedly non-standard on kettlebells?
Honestly, it’s not a big deal to me.
I’ve only done a few sets of swing with this thing, but I completely dig it. I’m not ready to do one-handed stuff like cleans with it, so I can’t say anything about how their recessed logo will help (another advertising point of Kettlebell Kings’), but I’m already excited.
That’s the good, but what about the bad?
Well, these aren’t exactly bargain-basement when it comes to cost. The 24 kg kettlebell cost over $100, which isn’t awful as far as price goes, but it’s still enough to make some people pause.
You can save a bit by buying them from Amazon, though. (And if you use this affiliate link, I get a few bucks and it doesn’t cost you any more.)
The downside of kettlebells is that you’re looking at one piece of equipment for over $100, and it’s not the last piece of equipment you’ll ever buy. You’ll need more, and that’s daunting.
However, I will say that if you buy one of these, you probably won’t need to replace this one. That means this is a one-time purchase. If you order another, it’s so you can have two, not because one of yours cracked. That’s based more on what others have said, rather than my own limited experience thus far but still…
Does that mean it’s Kettlebell Kings for life?
No, but not because of the kettlebell itself. I will say that if someone just buys these powder-coated kettlebells from Kettlebell Kings, they’d be well-served for decades, most likely.
I’m not going to say it mostly because I’m a blogger. I’ll eventually buy some other brands just to check their quality and let you know how they are. Eventually, I’ll probably even do a comparison among some of the best brands and give you my overall thoughts.
That means buying them. Right now, no one is sending me any free stuff.
But that’s OK.
I will say that if you pull the trigger on one of these–again, please use my affiliate link to buy one if you do–I seriously doubt you’ll regret it.