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Cast Iron vs Vinyl Kettlebells

Kettlebells are becoming increasingly popular as a way to lose weight, gain muscle, or increase stamina – and for a good reason!  Kettlebell workouts differ from traditional strength training because they are generally full body movements that engage multiple different muscle groups at one time, which will give you the most effective workout.  With so many cast iron and vinyl kettlebells on the market we want to help you choose the best one for you.

Kettlebell Prices

Kettlebell prices are really all across the board with some options being very expensive and many options that are cheap.  This also varies with the size of the kettlebell.  Heavier kettlebells are much more expensive than their lighter equals.  Find out what size is best for you.  The most difficult part is about finding quality kettlebells.  All-in-all you get what you pay for and the higher the kettlebell cost, the better the quality.

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Kettlebells have traditionally been made out of cast-iron, but vinyl kettlebells have been rising in popularity because of their aesthetic appeal.  It’s a common misconception that vinyl kettlebells are always the inexpensive option, but that is not always the case.  The vinyl kettlebells require additional materials for manufacturing which can drive up the cost of kettlebells.

Kettlebell Material

As mentioned above, cast-iron kettlebells are the original and traditional kettlebell.  The handle and weighted ball consist entirely of cast iron. Cast-iron kettlebells will last longer and are said to be superior to vinyl kettlebells.  While I don’t disagree with this, I think that vinyl kettlebells have come a long way and which kettlebell you decide to buy will be based on your needs and preference.

The vinyl kettlebells are also made of cast-iron, but are covered with vinyl on the base and sometimes the handle as well.  Vinyl kettlebells generally won’t last as long as cast-iron because the vinyl can start to crack or peel.  Additionally, some trainers say that the vinyl can stick to your skin in an uncomfortable way during some exercises.  While vinyl sometimes gets a bad rap, I think it’s based on personal preference and what you’re looking for in a kettlebell.  There are plenty of quality vinyl kettlebells on the market today.  For the average person using kettlebells at home, vinyl kettlebells are a completely viable option.  


Kettlebells are a safe pieces of workout equipment when used properly.  Just like all weights when strength training, you must use proper technique and use caution when lifting.  Cast-iron and vinyl kettlebells are equally safe.  It is a misconception that vinyl kettlebells are safer because of the lining. Damage to toes, floors, or furniture would be from the weight of the kettlebell, not the material.

I would not recommend a kettlebell that comes apart into multiple pieces, such as adjustable kettlebells.  There are some kettlebells where the handle is detachable or kettlebells with adjustable weight.  This is a big risk as the kettlebell could come apart while doing a number of exercises and a lot of damage could be done.

What else to look for in a kettlebell?

The most important part about finding a kettlebell is finding the right weight for you.  After that you want to look for quality.  I am a big fan of “buy it for life” products.  A quality kettlebell can last you a lifetime.  I am a personal fan of cast-iron kettlebells for this reason. However, if you care about aesthetics and want a pop of color, vinyl kettlebells will also last you a very long time.

Check out our kettlebell review page for some of our favorite cast-iron/ vinyl varieties and where to buy kettlebells.

Our Top Pick For Kettlebell Exercises

Everything you need to know about using kettlebells effectively, in one place!

Learn More

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Kettlebell Session