8 Best Budget Barbells (2024) – Cheap, High-Quality Bars

July 23, 2023

My home gym rule of thumb is to spend on premium barbells, bumper plates, and power racks. But you’re reading this article because you’re on a budget. And we can still purchase great quality barbells at a budget price.

It takes a little digging and searching to find what's quality, but I've done this for you by creating the ultimate list of the top budget barbells in existence.

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Rogue Ohio Bar

Best Budget Barbell

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar V2

Best Budget Multi-Purpose Barbell

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Best Budget Barbell For Women

Product

Knurl Marks

Dual

Dual

Dual

Tensile Strength

190,000 PSI

205,000 PSI

200,00 PSI

Knurling

Hybrid Knurling

Smooth Knurling

Hybrid Knurling

Coating

Bright Zinc

Black Zinc

Black Zinc

Sleeve

Bushings

Bushings OR Bearings

Bushings

Warranty

None

Lifetime

Lifetime

Price

Best Budget Barbells
Overall Rating:
4.2/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

Many people don't know about Rogue's boneyard. It's where you can pick up barbells at a fraction of the brand-new price because it has a slight cosmetic blemish. This is the ultimate place to shop since you're on a budget.

And since slight scuffs and marks won’t affect the barbells performance, you’re getting a perfectly functional barbell for cheap. Specifically, I recommend going for a 28.5 mm barbell suitable for multi-purpose training.

You will likely find the Rogue Ohio Bar in the 28.5 mm boneyard. This barbell has a 190,000 PSI tensile strength, so it can handle aggressive workouts like CrossFit when dropping weights overhead.

Dual knurl markings mean you can easily dabble in Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting without purchasing another barbell. It has a hybrid knurling which isn't overly aggressive. My experience with the Ohio Bar’s knurling is it still has great grip even with sweat.

No center knurling makes it more challenging to squat or front squat heavy when sweaty. I prefer center knurling when front squatting so it doesn't slip as easily. However, having no center knurling is a bonus if you do high-rep movements like cleans.

The budget coating options are black zinc or e-coat. Both offer good rust resistance. However, the black zinc may fade with use. E-coat is a relatively new barbell coating taken from the automotive industry. It is incredibly resilient and maintains its gloss even with heavy use.

It feels smoother than black zinc, so it'll be a preference on what you choose. You'll also be limited by what's available in the boneyard, often black zinc finishes.

One downside is there is no warranty like there is with new barbells.

Specifications

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Tensile Strength

190,000 PSI

Knurling

Rogue Hybrid Knurling (Moderate)

Center Knurling

No

Knurl Markings

Dual

Shaft Diameter

28.5 mm

Coating

Bright Zinc

Bushing/Bearing

Bushings

Spin

Smooth

Whip

Good

Weight Capacity

Not Available

Warranty

None

Pros

  • Heavily discounted barbells due to cosmetic blemishes mean you get a bargain without losing performance.
  • Find a variety of 28.5 mm barbells for versatile home gym training.
  • Pick up higher quality coating finishes for the same price or cheaper than budget finishes.

Cons

  • There is no warranty, so if you want coverage, you'll need to buy brand new.
  • Bars are available for a limited time, so you may not find what you’re looking for initially.

Best Budget Barbell - Rogue 28.5 mm Boneyard Barbell

Best Budget Olympic Weightlifting Barbell

Rogue IWF Olympic Weightlifting Training Bar

Best Budget Olympic Weightlifting Barbell
Overall Rating:
4/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

You may be wondering why I’m including a $560 barbell in a list of budget bars. An IWF-certified Olympic Weightlifting barbell will typically cost you over $900.

Being IWF certified means it's a competition-ready barbell that adheres to their specifications, having a tight weight tolerance and a near-perfect manufacturing process.

For $560, it’s a bargain. Why are Olympic Weightlifting barbells so much more expensive than others? It’s the construction and materials unique for Weightlifting bars.

First, the Rogue IWF Olympic Weightlifting Training Bar has exceptional 215,000 PSI tensile strength, so it will never deform or break with proper use.

The bar features non-aggressive knurling, meaning you can enjoy long and daily training sessions without the fear of ripped hands or uncomfortable grips.

The bar's needle bearings provide a buttery-smooth spin, crucial for executing clean and jerk or snatch with precision and protecting your wrists and elbows.

The bar has a bright zinc coating which will provide a different feel to the hard chrome you may use on competition day but provides decent rust resistance.

The cherry on top? Rogue's lifetime warranty. It's not just a product you're investing in—it's a lifelong partnership with Rogue, a brand that stands behind the quality and durability of its gear.

Specifications

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Tensile Strength

215,000 PSI

Knurling

Moderate Knurling

Center Knurling

Yes

Knurl Markings

Single (Olympic Weightlifting)

Shaft Diameter

28 mm

Coating

Bright Zinc

Bushing/Bearing

Needle Bearings

Spin

Fast

Whip

Whippy

Weight Capacity

Not Available

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • IWF-certified barbell for half the price of the big Weightlifting brands.
  • High tensile strength so the barbell can handle the abuse of daily Weightlifting training without breaking or deforming.
  • Needle bearings for fast spin during the Olympic lifts to protect your wrists and elbows.
  • Lifetime warranty, so you can rest easy knowing any performance problems, means you can replace your bar.

Cons

  • Bright zinc coating wears over time, especially if you're using your bar nearly daily for Weightlifting.
  • You’ll need to perform regular barbell maintenance because of the coating to remove chalk build-up. Hard chrome coatings typically don’t have this issue.

Best Budget Olympic Weightlifting Barbell - Rogue IWF Weightlifting Training Bar

Best Budget Multi-Purpose Barbell

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar V2

Best Budget Multi-Purpose Barbell
Overall Rating:
3.8/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

While you can find a multi-purpose barbell in the Rogue boneyard, here is another excellent option if you're looking for a brand-new, unmarked barbell on a budget.

The Fringe Sport Wonder Bar V2 impresses with its unique mix of comfort and performance. The bar's 28mm shaft diameter feels incredibly balanced in hand, while the smooth knurling ensures a solid, non-abrasive grip. This feature can be a game-changer during high-repetition workouts.

You won’t find a center knurling here, further enhancing the comfort during high-rep cleans, but it may not be suitable for heavy squats.

A 205,000 PSI gives it a high-tensile strength so you know your bar will stay in great shape. It can handle up to 1,600 lbs, making it a suitable companion for lifters of all levels.

What I like about the Wonder Bar V2 apart is the choice between bushings and bearings. Opt for bushings if you're after a more controlled spin for your power lifts, or select bearings for a faster, smoother spin desired in Olympic lifting.

Which you choose may be dictated by budget. Bushings are $269, while the bearing option is $289, so you can save $20 by opting for bushings.

The black zinc coating is aesthetically appealing and offers extra protection against rust and wear. However, black zinc will wear with use, especially in areas you grip option.

The bar is stiff, making it ideal for heavy lifts and Powerlifting. While you can dabble in the Olympic lifts with the fast-spinning needle bearings, you’ll need to upgrade to a whippier barbell if you decide to take it more seriously.

With a lifetime warranty against manufacturer's defects, the Wonder Bar V2 promises quality performance and long-term peace of mind.

Specifications

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Tensile Strength

205,000 PSI

Knurling

Smooth Knurling

Center Knurling

No

Knurl Markings

Dual

Shaft Diameter

28 mm

Coating

Black Zinc

Bushing/Bearing

Bushings OR Bearings

Spin

Smooth

Whip

Stiff

Weight Capacity

1,600 lbs

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Smooth knurling so you don’t shred the skin off your hands from consistent lifting. However, this can also be a con when lifting heavy weights in hot climates.
  • High tensile strength so it can handle abuse without deforming.
  • You choose between bushing or bearings depending on the type of training and budget.
  • Lifetime warranty, so if something is wrong, you can get it replaced.

Cons

  • Black zinc coating wears over time, especially in commonly gripped areas.
  • You’ll need to perform regular barbell maintenance because of the coating to remove chalk build-up. Hard chrome coatings typically don’t have this issue.

Best Budget Multi-Purpose Barbell - Fringe Sport Wonder Bar V2

Best Budget Barbell For Women

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Best Budget Barbell For Women
Overall Rating:
4/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

When you pick up the Rogue Bella Bar 2.0, you'll notice it feels lighter than your typical weightlifting bar. That's because it's a 15kg bar designed specifically for female athletes.

Weightlifting and CrossFit require women to use a 15 kg, 25 mm shaft diameter barbell. The smaller shaft diameter is better for female lifters who, on average, have smaller hands than males. It’ll be much easier to grip snatches with a smaller diameter shaft.

While the shaft diameter is smaller, the quality isn't diminished as it's made from the same material as the Ohio bar with a 190,000 PSI tensile strength, so it won't deform with use. It has a good whip making it perfect for CrossFit and Weightlifting.

However, you can perform your heavy strength movements and Powerlifting with this bar, with dual knurl markings and bronze bushings giving a smooth spin.

The hybrid knurling gives a firm grip without being overly aggressive. The Bella Bar 2.0 has the same finish as the Ohio bar with a black zinc coating for rust resistance. But it presents the same issue with wear.

Rogue also has a lifetime construction warranty, so as long as you're using the bar correctly and not dropping it with iron plates, for example, you're covered.

You can't beat the price for a women's barbell, either. At $235, you're looking at a quarter of the price of a women's Weightlifting barbell. You may also find it in the Rogue boneyard cutting the price further.

You can read my full list of best women's barbells here.

Specifications

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Tensile Strength

190,000 PSI

Knurling

Rogue Hybrid Knurling (Moderate)

Center Knurling

No

Knurl Markings

Dual

Shaft Diameter

25 mm

Coating

Black Zinc

Bushing/Bearing

Bushings

Spin

Smooth

Whip

Light Whip

Weight Capacity

Not Available

Warranty

Lifetime

Pros

  • Specifically designed for women at 15 kg with a 25 mm shaft diameter.
  • ¼ of the price of high-end women’s Weightlifting barbells.
  • The same manufacturing process as Rogue's durable Ohio bar with a 190,000 PSI tensile strength.
  • Great for CrossFit and Weightlifting while allowing you to perform heavy strength movements.

Cons

  • Black zinc coating wears over time, especially in commonly gripped areas.
  • You’ll need to perform regular barbell maintenance because of the coating to remove chalk build-up. Hard chrome coatings typically don’t have this issue.

Best Budget Barbell For Women - Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Best Budget Powerlifting Barbell

Titan Elite Series Power Barbell

Best Budget Powerlifting Barbell
Overall Rating:
4.8/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

The first thing you’ll feel when unracking the Titan Elite Series Power Barbell is the solid 29mm shaft diameter of a Powerlifting barbell. Its aggressive mountain knurling is a game-changer.

Whether it's a sweaty deadlift session or a grueling set of squats, this gripping pattern ensures the bar stays firmly in your hands, providing an unbeatable blend of comfort and control.

If you’re not used to aggressive knurling, this may cause some pain initially. The barbell has a hard chrome coating which most premium barbells have, as it has excellent rust resistance and feel. High-quality chrome coatings don’t chip and peel.

It has a weight capacity of 2000 lbs for the strongest Powerlifters, backed by a 220,000 PSI tensile strength giving it robustness. It's the highest tensile strength barbell on this list since it is designed for lifting extremely heavy weights on the big three.

The rough center knurling means it stays tight on your back when squatting and doesn’t slip on your chest when benching. One downside is the lack of warranty, with Titan only offering 1-year while many other companies offer at least 10 years or lifetime.

However, for $230, you won’t find many Powerlifting barbells with these specifications.

Specifications

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Tensile Strength

225,000 PSI

Knurling

Aggressive

Center Knurling

Yes

Knurl Markings

Single (Powerlifting)

Shaft Diameter

29 mm

Coating

Hard Chrome

Bushing/Bearing

Bushings

Spin

Smooth

Whip

Stiff

Weight Capacity

2,000 lbs

Warranty

1-Year

Pros

  • Specifically designed for Powerlifting with high-tensile strength and 2000 lb weight capacity so it won't bend or break.
  • Aggressive knurling for pulling heavy deadlifts and secure benches.
  • Aggressive knurling for pulling heavy deadlifts and secure benches.

Cons

  • The 1-year warranty doesn't give me confidence in their bar.

Best Budget Powerlifting Barbell - Titan Elite Series Power Barbell

Best Budget Barbell For CrossFit

Rogue Echo Bar 2.0

Best Budget Barbell For CrossFit
Overall Rating:
3.8/5 stars

Quality/durability

Tensile Strength

Coating

Knurling

Price

The Rogue Echo Bar 2.0 is part of Rogue's Echo series, which is their budget equipment line. Think of it as the budget Ohio bar. Because of the multi-purpose 28.5 mm shaft diameter, decent whip, and 190,000 PSI tensile strength, it makes a great partner for CrossFit.

It uses bushings for the smooth spin, ideal for high-rep Olympic lifts and heavy-strength training movements. It's an all-around CrossFit barbell on a budget. It only has Olympic knurl marks, so if you plan on Powerlifting, a barbell with dual knurl markings like the Ohio bar is a better option.

The Rogue Echo Bar 2.0 uses a bright zinc coating which looks nice and is rust-resistant but will wear with use. There's no center knurling which is ideal for a CrossFit bar since you'll be performing high-rep cleans and thrusters.

Because it’s part of their budget range, Rogue only gives a 1-year warranty. For $265, though, you're getting a decent barbell at their lowest price point. Also, don't forget to check out the boneyard to see if you can pick this up even cheaper. I've seen this for $165 in the boneyard.

Specifications

Header

Tensile Strength

190,000 PSI

Knurling

Rogue Hybrid Knurling

Center Knurling

No

Knurl Markings

Single (Weightlifting)

Shaft Diameter

28.5 mm

Coating

Bright Zinc

Bushing/Bearing

Bushing

Spin

Smooth

Whip

Good

Weight Capacity

Not Available

Warranty

1-Year

Pros

  • Made to the same specifications as the Rogue Ohio bar but at a budget price.
  • Perfect for CrossFit with good whip, smooth spin, and Olympic knurl markings.
  • You can potentially pick it up cheaper in the boneyard.

Cons

  • A 1-year warranty isn’t ideal when you’re abusing the bar doing CrossFit.

Best Budget Barbell For CrossFit - Rogue Echo Bar 2.0

Best Budget Barbell On Amazon

XMark Blackhawk Barbell

Best Budget Barbell On Amazon
Overall Rating:
3/5 stars

Quality/durability