Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Review (Multipurpose Bar)

Bells of Steel Multipurpose Barbell Review
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products
Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Review (Multipurpose Bar)
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The Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell is a multiple-purpose bar that provides Olympic-style knurling with 2-inch sleeves and decent spin.


  • Decent knurling for most non-heavy lifts.
  • Solid Cerakote Paint Job on the main bar (Orange or Blue).
  • Solid spin for a budget-friendly multi-purpose bar.
  • Center knurling.
  • Excellent Price Point.
  • Excellent tensile strength and 1,000-pound weight limit.
  • Sleeves can hold about 600 pounds in Bumper Plates.


  • The sleeves are a bit tight with 2″ bumper plates, causing scratching immediately when used with Bell of Steel’s own Competition bumpers.
  • The knurling might not be aggressive enough for anyone who lifts heavy.

The Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell offers a budget-friendly option for home gym owners or commercial gym operators looking to save money but still seeking the appeal of an Olympic-style barbell.

I was hesitant when Bells of Steel reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review their Cerakote bar. As someone who uses generalist bars regularly, I’ve experienced the high-quality builds provided by Rogue, Rep Fitness, Texas Power Bars, and other providers. However, I love finding ways for my readers to save money, so I jumped at the chance after reading some of their users’ barbell reviews.

Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Packaging

These days I almost expect my gym equipment to arrive damaged; however, this barbell was very well-packaged. Not only did Bells of Steel use a solid round barbell package, but they also wrapped any areas that could become damaged from open packaging with foam. That foam was then heavily wrapped in tape.

The company’s packaging was tested when my barbell arrived, with part of the thick tubing ripped open. Thanks to the foam surrounding any areas that could hit the ground, there was zero damage to the bar or its high-end Cerakote paint job.

Bells Os Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Design

This multi-purpose barbell features a fairly standard width of 86.6 inches, making it an Olympic lifting-ready bar in length. However, it’s a utility bar with a 28.5mm thickness, which means it’s 0.5mm thicker than an Olympic bar and 0.5mm thinner than a powerlifting bar. Because it’s between the size of both bars, it makes for a great training bar regardless of your competition-level needs.

The bar sleeves feature 16.1 inches in loadable length, about 0.3 inches shorter than my go-to Rogue Ohio Bar. I don’t lift heavy these days, but for anyone training for a competition or attempting to shatter a PR, that slightly smaller loadable length might be something to consider.

In terms of general design, I love the orange coloring that was sent my way. The bar is also offered in blue, my go-to color. I love the orange on the Bells of Steel multipurpose bar so much that I don’t think I would want to exchange it for the blue option.

Bells of Steel Cerakote Barbell
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

The black sleeves offset the orange coloring nicely, providing a solid design that stands out among a gym filled with top-notch products from some of today’s best gym product manufacturers.

While I love the cerakote paint job and the black sleeves, I did have a rather annoying issue when using the barbell with my Bells of Steel Competition Bumpers.

The main 2-inch sleeve on the Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Bar almost feels too tight. When I slid on my competition bumper plates, the paint job on the sleeves immediately scratched up.

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Bar Sleeves
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

As you can see, there is virtually no gap between the collar on this utility barbell and the metal plates surrounding my bumper plates. If you like the look of that product (I love it), be sure to check out my Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates review.

Honestly, I would have messed up my bar paint within a few weeks, partially because I’m cursed and partially because CrossFit hates gym equipment, and so does powerlifting, HiiT, and looking at gym equipment for too long.

Still, I would prefer having Bells of Steel reduce sleeve width marginally to avoid this immediate issue.

For what it’s worth, Bells of Steel does provide this warning:

IMPORTANT: For cerakote-coated barbells, added care should be used to avoid abrasive metal-to-metal contact. Tight-fitting metal collars, un-lined landmine attachments, and j-cups, etc — these can potentially cut into or wear off the cerakote finish. Taking these extra precautions will preserve that beautiful rust-resistant finish for years to come!

Bells of steel

Buying a barbell to be told not to use it with some weight plates seems silly. When I added non-competition plates, however, the fit was much better.

Bells of Steel Cerakote Bar Bumper Plates
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

While the sleeve appears to have been created with a slightly oversized design, the spin on the bar is decent. I spun the bar next to Rogue, Texas Power Bar, and Titan Fitness bars, and I found it comparable to Titan Fitness, although my three-year-old Rogue Ohio Bar was the clear winner, providing a smoother spin.

Weirdly, while the Bells of Steel bar provided decent spin, it made a slight scratching noise that leads me to believe I’ll be breaking out my barbell cleaner more often than I currently do for my Rogue Ohio bar.

I also have to note that the sleeve design, with its deep grooved design, does make a zipping sound when used. Because the grooves are spaced fairly far apart, it’s not as noticeable as other similar designs, but it’s also not as quiet as smooth sleeves.

I do like the brass bushings chosen by Bells of Steel. This multipurpose bar might not have the level of spin I’ve found on other bars, but there’s virtually no over-rotation, and the spin slows at a near-perfect rate, providing a great feel from the start to the end of each movement.

The snap-ring design also makes it very simple to remove the bar for brush and oil cleaning. I won’t buy a barbell these days if it doesn’t include a snap-ring design.

Bells Of Steel Shaft And Knurling – Utility Bar

Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Bar Knurling
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

With a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI and a weight rating of 1,000 pounds, the Bells of Steel utility bar matches most of its modern counterparts in terms of sheer strength. It features a very solid shaft with just the right amount of give for training and lighter-weight workouts.

The tensile strength and the width of the bar ensure a good amount of whip is provided during movements. And, unlike a more rigid 29mm powerlifting bar, this option allows for great overload training and an easier hook grip if you have smaller hands.

I particularly enjoy the bar’s medium-level knurling, which is excellent for high-rep work. I’ve seen some complaints from users who want something that cuts in more during heavy lifts. If your goal is to lift heavy, you should be using a Power Bar.

As a bonus, there’s a center knurl offered by Bells of Steel, a feature that isn’t super common with this type of bar. I’ve noticed that Bells of Steel often attempts to create value-added benefits for its products. I raved about the built-in cable attachment in my Bells of Steel Arch Nemesis Swiss Bar review.

I also saw notes complaining about bad endpoints and double tracking, both issues that I didn’t personally experience on my bar. When those issues occur, gym product companies usually offer those bars at a discount, so perhaps those users received bars that should have been sold as blemished.

Overall, I’m very happy with the grip and strength that this bar offers thanks to its excellent shaft and medium-level knurling.

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Specs

Weight44lbs / 20kg
Diameter1″ / 28.5mm
Total Length86.6″ / 2,200mm
Loadable Sleeve Length16.1″ / 410mm
Knurling MarksWeightlifting & Powerlifting
Center KnurlYes
Shaft FinishOrange or Blue Cerakote
Sleeve FinishBlack Cerakote
Sleeve AssemblyBushings & Snap Rings
Max Capacity1,000 lbs / 454 kg
Tensile Strength190,000 PSI

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell Warranty

Bells of Steel Utility Bar Review
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

This particular barbell has a 5-year warranty. Bells of Steel will replace the bar if it bends or breaks.

It’s important to note that the warranty, like every other barbell I’ve reviewed, doesn’t cover scratching and other defects. That said, there aren’t many components for barbells, and I’ve yet to own a bar that hasn’t performed well for at least five years.

Overall, the Bells of Steel warranty on this multipurpose bar is decent. Rogue offers a lifetime warranty on the Ohio Bar, but since these bars are not likely to snap in half, the warranty for defects doesn’t mean much as the years go by. You’re more likely to replace your bar to gain a better spin or a new feel than you are to replace it because of a bend or break.

Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell

The Cerakote Utility Bar from Bells of Steel is a budget-friendly option that checks a lot of the right boxes.
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Written by James Kosur

James is a 20-year veteran of the digital media industry, an avid gym builder, and a dad to four kids, three dogs, and two cats. He's a DIYer who loves building stuff with his hands and a gamer who enjoys all facets of gaming.