Best Deadlift Bar For Pulling Heavy Weights

There are a ton of awesome barbells out there for any type of lifting.

Whether you’re interested in powerlifting, weightlifting, or CrossFit – you can find any bar you need to improve your performance.

One lesser-known bar that is important for powerlifting, is a Deadlift bar.

There aren’t a ton of deadlift bars available that are ACTUALLY what they’re designed for.

So today, I’ll cover the best deadlift bars on the market so you can lift maximal weights and build a bigger Deadlift.

I’ll also include the pros and cons of each, as well as help you choose the perfect deadlift bar for your needs.

Let’s get started!

What is a Deadlift Bar?

A deadlift barbell is a type of specialty bar that is specifically designed for deadlifts.

Deadlift bars are longer and more flexible than standard power bars, which allows for better whip to improve your starting position.

They also have a very aggressive knurling pattern that provides the best grip possible so you don’t drop your max effort attempts.

The shaft is also going to be thinner at 27mm which is what allows the bar to flex more with heavy weights and provide a better grip than thicker bars.

What Are The Best Deadlift Bars

Best Deadlift Bar Overall – Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar

Best Deadlift Bar
Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar
The Rogue Ohio Deadlift bar is the best barbell on the market if you want to deadlift heavy weights. The 27mm shaft and aggressive knurling provide the best grip possible and the right amount of whip to get into your optimal starting position. The loadable sleeve length of 15.5 will allow you to load as much weight as you'll ever need. Plus, there are various shaft and sleeve finishes available to get the best option for your own training. If you want the best deadlift bar overall, this is it.
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rogue ohio power bar vs rogue ohio deadlift barbell dimensions

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 90.50”
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 15.50”
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 56”
  • Bar Weight – 20kg (44lbs)
  • Shaft Diameter – 27mm
  • Shaft Coating – Black Zinc, Bare Steel, Black E-Coat
  • Sleeve Coating – Bright Zinc, Bare Steel
  • Knurl – Aggressive Knurling
  • Tensile Strength – 190,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1,300 lbs
  • Price – $345-$390
  • Warranty – Lifetime
mark bell doing a conventional deadlift

Pros

  • Multiple finishes available
  • Bar starts whipping quickly around 300+ lbs
  • Very aggressive volcano knurling
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Less overall whip than the Texas deadlift bar
  • Aggressive knurling might be too much for some
  • More expensive than other bars
  • Zinc finish can rub off quicker than usual

Top Rated Deadlift Bar – Texas Deadlift Bar

Best Deadlift Bar
Texas Deadlift Bar

The Texas Deadlift Bar is perfect for your home gym. This bar has a tensile strength of 190,000 pounds and is made from high-quality materials. It also has three different shafts to choose from - bare steel, black zinc, or chrome - as well as two different sleeves - chrome or bare steel. The 27" diameter shaft makes it easy to grip and the aggressive knurl provides a solid grip. This bar is the official bar of the American Powerlifting Committee, the International Federations, and more!

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side angle of texas deadlift bar in power rack

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 92.5”
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 18”
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 56”
  • Bar Weight – 20kg (44lbs)
  • Shaft Diameter – 27mm
  • Shaft Coating – Bare Steel, Black Zinc, Chrome, Eight Different Cerakote Finish Options
  • Sleeve Coating – Chrome, Bare Steel
  • Knurl – Aggressive Knurling
  • Tensile Strength – 190,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1,300 lbs
  • Price – $345-$410
  • Warranty – Lifetime Warranty
view of the texas deadlift bar endcap

Pros

  • 11 different shaft coating as well as two sleeve coating options
  • Offers the longest overall bar length and distance between the plates
  • Very Aggressive knurling that isn’t dulled even by the thin cerakote coatings
  • Highest weight capacity of any deadlift bar
  • Texas power bars by Buddy Capps are one of the longest-running and most reputable companies out there

Cons

  • One of the more expensive deadlift bars available
  • Cerakote coating isn’t the most durable
  • Shipping times can be bad for some customers

Best Deadlift Bar For The Money – ISF Deadlift Bar

Best Deadlift Bar For The Money
ISF Deadlift Bar 27MM - Deadlifting Barbell

The ISF Deadlift bar is the best option for the money. Offering five different shaft finishes including bare steel, black oxide, and three ceramic-colored variations as well. The cheapest configuration is only around $329 which is the best value you can get for a Deadlift bar. For all the specs they offer, this is a great choice for big Deadlifts!

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closeup of isf deadlift bar collars and sleeves

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 91.73”
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 15.75”
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 56”
  • Bar Weight – 20kg (44lbs)
  • Shaft Diameter – 27mm
  • Shaft Coating – Bare Steel, Black Oxide, Ceramic Blue, Ceramic Red, Ceramic Pink
  • Sleeve Coating – Hard Chrome, Black Oxide
  • Knurl – Aggressive Knurling
  • Tensile Strength – 190,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1,300 lbs
  • Price – $329-$399.95
  • Warranty – 1-Year Warranty
isf deadlift bar closeup of aggressive knurling

Pros

  • The bare steel option offers a better grip
  • Multiple different shaft and sleeve coatings
  • Best value for your money
  • Threaded sleeves give your barbell collars extra grip

Cons

  • Many users have reported less corrosion resistance than the competition
  • Ceramic coating can chip easily
  • Some might not like the sound of threaded sleeves
  • Ceramic coating fills in the knurling a bit so it’s more passive

Best Budget Deadlift Bar – Valor Fitness OB-DL Supreme Deadlift Bar

Best Budget Deadlift Bar
Valor Fitness OB-DL

The Valor Fitness OB-DL Supreme Deadlift bar is the best budget option on the market. It boasts the longest shaft length on the market which gives it even more whip than the competition. Considering its low price tag and solid features, this is the perfect deadlift bar for beginners.

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man showing starting position of conventional deadlift

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 90.5”
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 14.5”
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 61.5”
  • Bar Weight – 20kg (44lbs)
  • Shaft Diameter – 27mm
  • Shaft Coating – Black Zinc
  • Sleeve Coating – Black Zinc
  • Knurl – Aggressive Knurling
  • Tensile Strength – 165,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1,100 lbs
  • Price – $274.53
  • Warranty – Home Gym Usage (3-Year Warranty), Commercial Gym Usage (1-Year Warranty)
strongman showing how a deadlift barbell flexes

Pros

  • Best budget deadlift bar
  • Perfect for beginner lifters
  • Actually has the longest distance between collars for better whip

Cons

  • Knurling is more medium depth compared to Rogue and Texas deadlift bars
  • The black zinc coating on the sleeves isn’t very durable
  • Warranty for commercial and home gym usage isn’t very long at all

Best Sumo Deadlift Bar – Sumo Deadlift Bar By Strongarm

Best Sumo Deadlift Bar
Sumo Deadlift Bar

The Sumo Deadlift Bar by Strongarm is the best barbell for sumo deadlift specialists. It features a much longer center knurl to hold onto while in your sumo stance, and the outer sections of the bar are smooth so it doesn't drag up your shins and thighs like regular deadlift bars. If you want to get stronger at sumo deadlifts, this is the best option for you!

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dimensions of sumo bar

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 90.9″
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 15.47″
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 56.69″
  • Bar Weight – 20kg (44lbs)
  • Shaft Diameter – 27mm
  • Shaft Coating – Bare Steel
  • Sleeve Coating – Chrome Sleeves
  • Knurl – Aggressive Knurling
  • Tensile Strength – 180,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1200 lbs
  • Price – $379.99
  • Warranty – Limited Lifetime Warranty
side view of sumo bar by strongarm

Pros

  • The center knurl is designed perfectly for sumo deadlifts
  • The smooth portions of this deadlift bar will allow you to pull sumo without the knurling dragging up your legs
  • The bare steel shaft gives you the best grip possible without any coating to fill in the knurling

Cons

  • There isn’t a separate sumo bar used in competition so you’ll most likely want to do meet prep with a regular deadlift bar.
  • Very niche specific bar that isn’t very versatile
  • The bare steel shaft will require more maintenance unfortunately

Best Deadlift Hex Bar – Rep Open Trap Bar

Best Deadlift Hex Bar
Rep Fitness Open Trap Bar

The Rep Open Trap Bar is the best deadlift hex bar on the market if value and versatility are important to you. Not only does it have multiple handle options that are fully stainless steel, but it also has a built-in jack that keeps the bar balanced while performing trap bar deadlifts. The deadlift jack is also super handy for loading/unloading plates. You can also use Reps open hex bar just like a cambered squat or bench press bar, making it by far one of the best value trap bars by far!

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rep open hex bar dimensions

Specs

  • Overall Bar Length – 84.3″
  • Loadable Sleeve Length – 16.5″
  • Distance Between Sleeves – 50.5″
  • Bar Weight – 58.4″
  • Handle Diameters – 28mm for regular handles, 38mm, and 48mm handles as well with the rotating handles
  • Shaft Coating
    • Matte Black Powder Coat
    • Stainless Steel Narrow, Standard, and Wide Handles
    • Hard Chrome Rotating Handles
  • Sleeve Coating – Hard Chrome
  • Knurl – Aggressive
  • Tensile Strength – 200,000 PSI
  • Weight Capacity – 1350 lbs
  • Price – $399.99-$469.99
  • Warranty – 5-Year Warranty
rep open hex bar rotating handles on display

Pros

  • Multiple handle widths available (wide, standard, narrow, and rotating options)
  • The wide, standard, and narrow handles are fully knurled and stainless steel, while the rotating handles are hard chrome.
  • Built-In bar jack acts as a counterweight and makes loading and unloading plates a snap.
  • Can also be used like a cambered bar for both pressing and squatting variations.
  • Open design allows for more than just trap bar deadlifts
  • Hard chrome sleeves are super durable and look fantastic
  • The textured matte black powder coat on the frame provides a better grip for presses and squats.
  • Incredible price point considering all the built-in features

Cons

  • Must be assembled out of the box and the space available to tighten makes the assembly process harder than it needs to be.
  • Nowhere near as rigid as other hex bars on the market

Types Of Deadlift Bars

There are actually a couple of different bars you can use to deadlift but they aren’t going to traditionally be known as a “deadlift bar”.

Here are a few of the main types of bars used for deadlifting and what their distinct features are.

Olympic Bar

A lot of lifters in a traditional gym setting are most likely going to be lifting with a regular Olympic bar.

This isn’t the same as an Olympic Weightlifting bar but is instead a blanket term for any straight barbell with 2″ rotating sleeves.

Odds are, the bar you’re lifting with at your gym is either a multipurpose bar if it has dual knurl marks on the shaft, or a power bar if it has a single set of knurl marks

You can definitely deadlift with any generic Olympic bar you have available if you have to, but a thinner bar with more whip will be preferred.

Power Bar

A power bar is another type of Olympic barbell specifically designed for powerlifting. While you might think that means it’s great for the deadlift, it’s actually not.

Powerlifting barbells are 29mm thick which means they do not flex much at all even with the heaviest of loads.

So again, you’re better off with a thinner weightlifting or even multipurpose bar if you want to simulate the feeling of deadlift bars.

Deadlift Bar

A specialty deadlift bar combines a thinner shaft of 27mm for more whip and an easier grip, with a longer overall bar length that adds even more flex to the bar.

This is what you want in a good Deadlift bar so you can start in a higher position before the plates even lift off the ground.

Trap/Hex Bar

A trap or hex bar as it’s commonly known is a specialty barbell designed to do deadlift variations from a neutral grip position.

This allows you to have a more upright torso and bias different muscle groups depending on your setup.

For overall strength and muscle development, I highly recommend a good trap bar over anything else.

What to Consider When Choosing a Deadlift Bar

When choosing a deadlift bar, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Construction – The overall build quality and construction of your deadlift bar are important for longevity. The warranty offered for the bar you choose is a good sign about the quality, as I’ll cover in a second.
  • Knurling – The best deadlift bars should have an aggressive knurling that isn’t so sharp as to tear your hands up. But you should accept that to get the best grip on your deadlift bar, the knurling is going to get some bite into your hand. As you get stronger and build more calluses up, you’ll complain less and lift more luckily.
  • Load Capacity – Get a Deadlift bar that can handle at least 1,000 lbs. This is a good rule of thumb for any weight-bearing equipment as the majority of you are going to be covered.
  • Price – Quality barbells aren’t always going to be cheap. In general, a lot of great barbells can be found in the $200-$400 range. Any less or more than this might not be worth the investment. Luckily, all of the deadlift bars I recommend in this list are very close to this price range. It’s also worth noting that specialty barbells like a deadlift bar are just going to cost more overall.
  • Shaft Finish – There are a bunch of different shaft finishes you can find for Deadlift bars. The best options for a deadlift bar in my opinion are either going to be a bare steel or stainless steel barbell. These two will have the best overall knurling compared to other coatings that can fill in the knurling and dull it. Other good options include black zinc and E-coat. Try to stay away from cerakote barbells unless they don’t chip easily, as they often do.
  • Warranty – A 1-year warranty for a piece of equipment is nice, and 10 years is great, but to ensure the quality is there, I recommend you get at least a limited lifetime warranty. This will protect against any defects with your deadlift bar but not against negligence. If you like throwing deadlifts around on concrete don’t expect them to cover it.
  • Whip – The whip of a deadlift bar is probably the most important feature other than the knurling. The whole point of deadlift bars being thinner is to have an easier time holding onto them with heavy weights, and to allow the barbell to flex. This gives you a higher starting position and helps you break the weights off of the platform easier. The larger the distance between the collars will also affect the whip as well.

Why Should You Invest In A Deadlift Bar?

You might be wondering why you should even invest in a deadlift bar in the first place. Here are a couple of reasons that make it a nice option if you can afford it.

Shorten The Range Of Motion

The longer overall bar length and thinner 27mm shaft will cause a deadlift bar to flex under heavy loads.

This will actually shorten the range of motion and allow you to actually break the plates off of the ground from a slightly higher position than a power bar.

Plus in powerlifting, finding the best leverages to lift the most weight is the name of the game. So if you want to build a bigger deadlift, training with a deadlift bar is a great idea.

No Center Knurl

Most power bars have a center knurl to grip onto your upper back while squatting. However, this can be an issue while deadlifting depending on your stance.

Deadlift bars don’t have a center knurl for this very reason which will prevent any knurling from rubbing against your shins, knees, and thighs.

This will slow the lift down and can actually cause you to miss it with super heavy loads.

Better Grip Overall

The thinner shaft of a deadlift bar is much easier to hold onto than a thicker 29mm power bar.

They also tend to have very aggressive knurling to bite into your hands and hold on much easier.

The better your grip is during the deadlift, the safer you’ll be and the more weight you’ll be able to lift.

Deadlift Bar vs. Power Bar

While deadlift bars and power bars may look similar, they have several key differences. 

Deadlift bars are longer and thinner to provide better grip and whip. They also don’t have a center knurl so your legs aren’t making contact with the knurling.

Power bars are stiffer and have a thicker shaft diameter, making them better suited for exercises like bench presses and squats.

You really don’t want a lot of whip while squatting or benching so a 29mm powerlifting bar is a much better choice for those lifts.

Which Deadlift Bar is Right for You?

Ultimately, the best deadlift bar for you depends on your personal preferences and strength training needs. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality bar with excellent grip and durability, the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar is an excellent choice. 

If you’re on a budget, the Valor Fitness deadlift bar is a great option that still provides excellent performance.

If you have mobility issues or struggle with conventional deadlifts, specialty deadlift bars like the sumo deadlift bar from Strongarm are a great choice. Or, you can get something more versatile like the Rep Fitness open hex bar.

Regardless of what you decide, just know that a quality Deadlift bar is a solid investment if you want to build a bigger Deadlift.

What About The Okie Deadlift Bar?

The Okie Deadlift bar, also originally known as the Oklahoma deadlift bar, is another legendary barbell that is just as renowned as the Texas deadlift bar.

While it still holds up just fine and will get the job done, they haven’t made any modifications to the original design.

The Okie deadlift bar is basically the same bar that it’s always been. It doesn’t even have bushings in it, it’s just a basic barbell sleeve wrapped around the shaft of the bar.

The knurling is super aggressive which is awesome if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, there are too many modern options to recommend the Okie deadlift bar over them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion

Now I turn it over to you!

Which deadlift bar on this list are you interested in getting for your own home gym?

Are there any bars you think should have made the list?

Let me know in the comment section below, right now!

Until next time,

-Dante

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