My Barbell Knurling Is Too Aggressive – How Do I Reduce It?

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Ever picked up a barbell and felt the knurling was too aggressive for your hands? You’re not alone.

Many lifters have faced this issue at some point in their journey.

Whether you bought a cheap barbell online or got a pretty good deal from someone locally, aggressive knurling can sometimes be a surprise.

In this post, we’ll explore what aggressive knurling is, its benefits, and how you can reduce it for a more comfortable workout experience.

What Is Aggressive Knurling?

super aggressive knurling on rogue aggro bar

Knurling is the patterned texture on a barbell designed to enhance grip.

Aggressive knurling is a deeper and sharper pattern that provides a strong grip but may cause discomfort or even bleeding in the hands if not used with caution.

This type of knurling is particularly common in certain powerlifting bars, where a firm grip is essential.

For many, it’s a double-edged sword: it ensures the bar doesn’t slip during heavy lifts but can be rough on the hands.

Barbell Knurling Types

Different types of knurling patterns are available, and not all are created equal. Here are the primary types you’ll encounter:

Mountain Knurling

Characterized by sharp peaks, similar to mountain ridges. It provides a very aggressive grip, ideal for those who want a strong bar-to-hand connection.

However, it might not be the best choice for everyone, especially if you’re lifting for extended periods without gloves.

Volcano Knurling

As the name suggests, volcano knurling looks like small volcanoes with a flattened top.

This pattern is less aggressive than mountain knurling but still offers a good grip.

It’s suitable for those wanting a firm grip without the sharpness of mountain knurling.

Hill Knurling

Hill knurling is more moderate, resembling gentle, rolling hills. This type offers a balanced grip that’s neither too aggressive nor too passive.

It’s great for those wanting a steady hold without the intensity of mountain knurling. The smoother curves of hill knurling make it a favorite among regular lifters.

Learn more about the different types of barbells and their knurling patterns here.

Benefits Of Aggressive Knurling

Here’s why some people opt for aggressive knurling:

  • Enhanced Grip – Aggressive knurling ensures the bar stays in your hand during heavy lifts.
  • Confidence Boost – A secure grip can boost lifters’ confidence.
  • Specialized Training – Some exercises and techniques may benefit from a more aggressive grip.

How To Reduce Knurling On A Barbell

If aggressive knurling is not for you, here’s what you can do:

  • Sandpaper – Smoothen the aggressive peaks on the bar. Proceed with caution to avoid overdoing it.
  • Tape – Athletes often wrap tape around areas of the bar where they grip, providing a barrier between the hand and aggressive knurling.
  • Barbell Exchange – Consider trading or selling your aggressively knurled barbell. Platforms allow users to post ads with specific keywords to find a buyer or trade partner.
  • Choose The Right Knurling – Your best bet is to invest in a barbell that has less aggressive knurling right from the start. This guide covers everything you need to know about buying a barbell.


Aggressive knurling on a barbell offers a superior grip? for heavy lifting but can also be a source of discomfort.

By understanding knurling types and using methods like sandpaper or tape, you can make your fitness journey more comfortable.

Have you ever dealt with an aggressively knurled barbell? Share your experiences and let’s help each other out.

Until next time,



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