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One of the biggest questions we get asked is what is the difference between the brands of kettlebells that you sell. The questions usually revolve around Cap vs Wright or Dragon Door. Sometimes about Troy and every once in awhile about Body Solid. Now I am going to tell you right up front that I personally have a bias toward the CAP bells, there is no real scientific reason. In fact the best question I was ever asked was, “…if you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life and could only bring one kettlebell, which brand would you choose?” My answer, “CAP” I just like them, but you may not like them. As with most equipment, there is some personal preferences that play into the decision and I am hoping that through this article you will get some solid facts that will help you in making your decision.

Price

Lets just get this one out there first thing. The question usually goes something like “why are the Dragon Door so much more expensive then other brands?” or “are the Dragon Door kettlebells really worth that much more?” Now at the risk of stepping on toes here, my answer is “No”. I have seen the Dragon Door kettlebell side by side with a CAP kettlebell and while there are cosmetic differences I do not see a tremendous difference. However I have seen my $40 Addidas basketball shoes next to Nike Air Jordans and there is not much difference there either, but yes the Air Jordans are way cooler then mine. I like Dragon Door, they make a fantastic kettlebell. It is because of Dragon Door that the kettlebell has become a popular training tool again. They can command a premium price and we applaud them for this. If you are going to be RKC certified then you might want to spend the extra to have these kettlebells, but for the most part there is no need to spend that much on a kettlebell, especially if you are just starting out.

One of the other things you should also consider when shopping by price is shipping. Everyone ships differently. Sometimes shipping is built into the price of the kettlebell, sometimes shipping seems expensive, but no matter what some how some way you are paying to ship that kettlebell. It is not cheap to ship a 53 lb hunk of iron across the country. A great example of this is the Troy and CAP kettlebells, at first glance the Troy are cheaper, but upon closer inspection the CAP actually come out less because we are able to ship the CAP consistently from our location while Troy’s are typically shipped from one of the Troy warehouses. At Christian’s Fitness Factory we do our best to give you actual shipping costs. We do everything we can to ship it safely and inexpensively. If that means we need to re-box them we re-box them. Most companies will not take the time to do this, but it is very important to us.

Dragon Door $$$$$

Wright $$$

CAP $$

Troy $

What are the Major Differences?

For the most part I am going to be focusing on the differences between the CAP and Wright Kettlebell because these are the two brands we recommend the most. The common questions revolve around handle smoothness, width and thickness. We will explore these items on the 35 lb (1 pood, 16 kg) and the 53 lb (1.5 pood, 24 kg ) kettlebells.

Handle smoothness: The Cap has a baked enamel finish on it. This provides a very smooth and almost glossy surface. The Wright kettlebell has a relatively raw but painted surface, this provides a bit rougher of a surface but is a nice texture. The Troy kettlebells have a raw surface with a clear coat on them. Troy has made great improvements on the handle of their kettlebells, while still the roughest of the ones we carry they no longer resemble a cheese grater and are very similar to the Dragon Door handle.

Why would the smoothness make a difference? Well it again comes down to personal preference, but there are some advantages to each. The biggest thing is how much your hands sweat and how much you use chalk. If your hands start sweating just thinking about picking something heavy up then you probably want to consider a handle that has more texture. I love the smooth handle of the Cap kettlebells and I am not much of a sweater, but on high rep workouts even I notice that it becomes a bit harder to hold onto the kettlebell because it is slippery while the Wright kettlebells will be a little easier to grip. The rougher handle bells also hold chalk better. The downside to a rougher handle and chalk is that they can cause callous tears quicker. The smoother the handle the less likely it is to tear your hands up.

Handle width and size: This is a big deal for people with big hands. The shape of the handle is also important, but most companies have gotten on board and now make their kettlebells with a rounded handle. Avoid kettlebells that have squared off handles. They are very uncomfortable even with small hands.. Here are the measurements that I got:

CAP 35lb

  • Handle Circumference 5″
  • Handle Diameter 1 3/4″
  • Inside Width 4 3/4″

Wright 35lb

  • Handle Circumference 4 7/8″
  • Handle Diameter 1 5/8″
  • Inside Width 5″

53 lb CAP

  • Handle Circumference 5″
  • Handle Diameter 1 3/4″
  • Inside Width 4 3/4″

53lb Wright

  • Handle Circumference 5″
  • Handle Diameter 1 3/4″
  • Inside Width 5″

It is interesting to note that the handle size on the CAP stays consistent across the sizes (I had a 70 CAP and it was not bigger) while the Wright increases in size as the bell gets heavier. This is something you definitely want to consider when buying your kettlebells.

The slightly narrower inside handle on the CAP makes it a bit more crunched in there for larger hands while the Wright kettlebells provide a more comfortable grip. As the kettlebell gets heavier this can become more of an issue as you need all your fingers in there. My coworker Jason is able to put his little fingers outside of the CAP 35 lb kettlebell and hold it but to hold the 53 he needed to have them inside while on the Wright 35 and 53 he could hold both comfortably with all his fingers inside the kettlebell handle. If you have very large hands this becomes very important to consider if you are doing two handed work. On the flip side with small hands you may not want a wide grip if you are doing single hand work.

Casting and What’s the Deal with the Rubber Bottom

Another question that comes up often revolves around the casting method of the kettlebell. All of the kettlebells that we currently carry are a solid cast for the bell they are not filled. The CAP, Dragon Door and Wright kettlebell are all one piece cast. This means that the kettlebell handle and bell part are all one piece. The Troy kettlebells are a two piece cast. The handle is inserted into the bell between 2 and 3 inches and welded. This allows Troy to improve the handle smoothness and shape without creating a whole new cast for the entire kettlebell. This is a concern for some people due to the fact that a weld presents a spot of weakness, but for most people should not present an issue. The rubber bottom on the CAP kettlebells is amusingly one of the most controversial issues. People love them or hate them. They are easily removed and do not affect the overall feel and weight of the kettlebell. The bottom is nice if you are using the bells inside your home or in a studio. I would recommend that if you want to use them outside you remove them so you are not collecting grass and crud under the lip.

So, bottom line which one would I want on desert island? I am a die hard CAP fan and in fact when we begin manufacturing our own brand of kettlebells in the next few months they will be very similar to the CAP brand. I like the smooth handles and the overall feel of the kettlebell. I do not use chalk so that is not a huge issue for me personally. Because I tend to have what my co-workers so lovingly call “child hands” the slightly narrower inside grip does not present an issue for me. These are the reasons why I like the CAP kettlebell, but these may be the very reasons that you will not like them. If you have larger hands or use chalk then you will definitely want to consider the Wright kettlebell. It is very important that you review what is important to you and your personal needs when purchasing your kettlebell. I would use and have no problem recommending any one of the kettlebell brands that we carry.

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Source by Christian Sciarrino

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