Best Barbell Collars

January 20, 2022 13 min read

Best Barbell Collars

Safety is an absolute priority when it comes to weight lifting and Olympic lifting. For this reason, it is essential that you invest in the best barbell collars in order to provide you with adequate safety and peace of mind whilst lifting. 

Barbell collars are often overlooked and not thought about when people buy equipment to start weight lifting. People are often set on buying the best barbells or thebest Olympic weight set that they forget about what is possibly one of the most important accessories, the barbell collars. 

In this article, we will be the best barbell collars, a buyer’s guide to purchasing them, what to avoid when purchasing them, as well as answering some frequently asked questions regarding barbell collars.

Best Barbell Collars (Our Review)

Olympic Barbell Spring Collars (Best Overall)

best olympic barbell collars

TheseOlympic Barbell Spring Collars have the same design as most of the general spring collars. They are made out of steel and are compatible with two-inch barbells and dumbbells, and Olympic bars. 

Our Olympic Barbell Spring Collars are designed with a comfortable grip that makes them easy to remove and replace from the bar. This makes changing your weight plates a breeze and will save you quite a bit of time in the gym. 

These spring collars are extremely safe. It is very hard for the springs to get stretched out, so you should never have to worry about them slipping out of place or being too loose. 

They are also one of the most durable and robust types of barbell collars. They are very hard to break, even if a weight plate is dropped on them or they are stepped on, so you know that they will last a long time.

Additionally, our Olympic barbell spring collars are some of the more cost-effective barbell collars, and will only cost you £8.00 to purchase.

Why It’s Great 

  • They are strong and sturdy 
  • They are not too expensive
  • They are safe as they won’t easily come loose
  • Easy to use

Who It’s Right For

  • Olympic weightlifters
  • Anyone who is into resistance training and needs to secure their weights

Barbell Collars with Quick Lock (Most Convenient)

best barbell collars with quick lock

OurBarbell Collars with Quick Lock are perfect for gym-goers who are looking for secure and sturdy barbell collars but also don’t want to waste time faffing around with the process of taking them on and off.

These quick lock collars are efficient, and allow you to change your weight plates quickly and easily. They are made out of nylon resin, and also have rubber inserts that prevent the collar from sliding or shifting around when locked on the barbell.  

Due to the lock mechanism that these collars have, they are more comfortable to use than the spring collars are. This makes them more ideal for women or people who don’t have a very strong grip strength and find the spring collars difficult to use.

These barbell collars are made out of durable, strong material, and don’t stick to the bar like the spring collars tend to do sometimes. 

Our quick-lock barbell collars are very good quality, so they won’t pop open or come loose like some barbell collars with lock mechanisms tend to do.

The quick lock collars are slightly more pricey than the spring collars are, but are still affordable at £12.00 per pair. 

Why It’s Great 

  • Quick to take on and off
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and safe

Who It’s Right For

  • Weight lifters
  • People with a weaker grip strength who struggle to use spring collars

A Buyer’s Guide To The Best Barbell Collars

When purchasing barbell collars, there are a few things that you need to consider to make sure you are purchasing the best one possible for you. In this buyer’s guide, we will be running you through some important things that need to be considered before making your purchase. 

Types Of Collars And Locking Mechanisms

Different barbell collars have different locking mechanisms that help keep them in place. Some will be better suited to you than others. We will discuss the most popular ones below. 

Spring 

Spring barbell collars are one of the most well-known and older types of barbell collars. Usually, they are made from steel that has been coiled to form a strong spring.

To put the collars on and off, you squeeze the handles together to open it, and then you slide the collar onto the barbell and let go to secure it. 

These types of barbell collars are very easy to use and are very secure, too. But, if you are lacking grip strength, they can be very uncomfortable and difficult to make use of. This often makes the process of changing your weight plates very tedious and takes a lot longer than it should. 

Another positive with these types of collars is that they are very cheap and won’t cost you an arm and a leg like some barbell collars do. 

Screw

Barbell collars that work with a screw mechanism require you to physically tighten and loosen the screw every time you want to alter your weight plates. 

This can be a very tedious and time-consuming process, which is normally what a lot of gym-goers want to avoid. 

The screws are also normally made out of solid metal. This can make them weigh a few hundred grams, and for weightlifters who are very pedantic about the accuracy of weight that they are lifting this can be a problem.

This also tends to make screw barbell collars slightly more expensive than other barbell collars. Another downside is that they can leave marks on your barbell, which will bother a lot of people. 

Some screw barbell collars are made to only work on bars that have ridges on them for the barbell collar to screw into. If this is the case, and you don’t have a barbell that can accommodate this, then that type of barbell collar will be useless to you. 

So it is important to keep in mind that if you do opt for a barbell collar with a screw mechanism, it must be compatible with the barbell that you have.

Quick-Release 

Quick-release barbell collars are one of the most common types of barbell collars, and most probably have the biggest variety. 

They are the easiest and quickest to use. All you do is unclip the lock, slide the collar over your bar, and squeeze the clip the lock down once you have it in place. 

These barbell collars also usually slide with ease because they are often lined with rubber. This prevents any scratches from occurring on your barbell, and also just makes the process a lot easier and quicker. 

Although these might be the most preferred and most efficient type of barbell collars, it is imperative that you get ones that are of good quality.

The cheaper, poor quality ones tend to unclip by themselves and can slip off. This can be very dangerous and is something that you want to avoid. 

You will not have a problem with good-quality ones, though, so don’t let that put you off. Quick-release barbell collars that are of decent quality are very safe and make changing your weight plates an effortless process. 

Materials

The materials out of which the barbell collar is made is also a very important aspect. The most common materials that barbell collars are made out of are ABS plastic, nylon resin, aluminium, and steel. 

All of these materials are very decent and safe, so the choice of material does not matter too much. The more important thing is that the material is of good quality and will not easily break. 

There are two things to take into consideration with the materials, though. 

Firstly, the weight that it adds to your barbell. While most barbell collars have been designed to be lightweight, some materials are heavier than others. For example, ABS plastic will probably add next to no weight onto your barbell, but on the other hand, solid stainless steel might add a few hundred grams.

Secondly, it is recommended that if you are lifting anything under 125 kg, then any material can be used for your barbell collars. But, if you are lifting weights higher than 125 kgs, then it is recommended that you use barbell collars that are made out of steel. 

Durability

best olympic barbell spring collars

Durability is a big concern, as it links to the safety of the barbell collar. If a barbell collar is not strong and durable, it could snap, come off the bar, or get easily broken. 

This is very dangerous and can end up hurting you and those around you. 

Additionally, if it is not durable and keeps on breaking, you are going to have to replace it all the time, which is just going to get annoying. 

Collar Weight

The weight of the collar is also something to take into consideration. Generally, they don't weigh all that much. So for a “regular” gym-goer or weightlifter, the few extra grams or kilograms that the barbell collar adds to your total weight won't be a problem. 

But, competitive weightlifters and bodybuilders often want the weight that they are lifting to be 100% correct, and even a few extra kilograms will throw them out. 

So, for this reason, if you are very competitive and pedantic about the weights that you lift, then it is important to get light barbell collars or know the weight of the collars so that you can factor them into the weight that you lift. 

Ease of Use

A lot of people only have a limited amount of time that they can spend in the gym each day. This means that they don’t want to waste this time faffing around with barbell collars.

If you can relate to this then it is important that the barbell collars that your purchase are quick and easy to use. You want them to slide on and off the bar as easily as possible, and not take 5 minutes to manoeuvre each time you adjust your weight.

For this reason, we would suggest getting quick-lock barbell collars. They are very quick and easy to use and don’t get stuck like spring collars tend to do.

Although, if you are someone who you know won’t be taking weight plates on and off, or adjusting your weights too often, then this won’t be something that you need to be too concerned about. 

Capacity

In this situation, “capacity” refers to how much weight, or load, a barbell collar can keep in place before it starts to break or bend. 

Barbell collars should specify on their packaging how much they are able to withstand. If you are planning on lifting very heavy weights, we would recommend opting for barbell collars that can withstand at least 150  kilograms. 

If you are planning to lift anything around 75 kilograms or less, then this won’t be too much of a worry for you. But, it is always safer and better to get barbell collars that are too strong as opposed to too weak. 

Safety

When choosing a barbell collar, safety should be one of the most important things that you take into consideration, especially if you are lifting heavy weights. 

It is extremely important that you choose a barbell collar that is of good quality. If it is not, and you are just buying it because it is slightly cheaper, there is a very high chance that it will not be sturdy and safe enough if you are lifting heavy weights. 

So for this reason, it is important to put safety and quality above the price or look of the barbell collar. You don’t need thebest barbell set, but you do need the best barbell collars that you can get. Especially if you are planning to lift anything more than 50 kilograms.

What To Avoid When When Purchasing Barbell Collars

Plastic Barbell Collars

Ideally, you want to try and avoid buying plastic barbell collars. Some people tend to gravitate towards them because they are a cheaper option, and are generally designed in funky colours. 

Unfortunately, plastic barbell collars tend to break very easily. This is especially the case for quick lock barbell collars that are made out of plastic. The lock tends to break quite easily, and this causes the barbell collar to pop open.

This can be very dangerous if it happens while you are lifting. Plastic barbell collars are also very easily broken when dropped, or when a weight is dropped on them. 

It is bound to happen that somewhere along the line you will accidentally drop a weight on your barbell collar, and if it’s made out of plastic, it will most likely break. 

For these reasons, it’s best to just try and avoid plastic barbell collars in general. 

Spring Clamps

Some people tend to purchase spring clamps to use as barbell collars because they are cheaper. We would recommend avoiding these at all costs. 

While they might be cheaper, and could maybe hold light weights in place, they are very dangerous when it comes to lifting heavy weights. They break easily, and can also easily slip off. This can cause a lot of damage and injuries and is something we would rather avoid and prevent from the get-go. 

Spin Lock Collars 

Spin lock collars are also a type of barbell collars, but they should be avoided unless you have a barbell that is made specifically for one. 

So, before purchasing a spin lock collar, make sure that your barbell is compatible with it. Otherwise, we would recommend avoiding them. 

The Top Reasons Why You Need To Have Barbell Collars

We have mentioned quite a few times that barbell collars are important to have and that they are an important safety feature. But some people may be wondering why they are so important, and if they really are such a crucial safety feature. 

For this reason, we will quickly run through why they are so important, and why we recommend that you always have them on your bar when you are weight lifting. 

Firstly, they act as a safety measure, which I'm sure you have realized by now. But, how exactly do they do this?

Barbell collars keep your weight plates securely in place on your bar. If they weren’t there, the weight plates could easily shift around, or even come loose and fall off. 

If the weight plates shift around, they will make the weight of the bar uneven. This will lead to you either lifting skew or over-exerting yourself on one side, which could lead to injuries. Or the unevenness could make you fall over whilst lifting, which could lead to even more serious injuries. 

Even worse, if the weight plates fall off, they could land on people, or yourself, or they could land on the floor and other equipment around you, which can lead to serious damage. 

If you are lucky, and the weight plates don’t come off while you are lifting, not having a barbell collar could cause your weight plates to rattle. This can distract you and cause you to focus on the rattling rather than your lifting. Which can lead to bad form and injuries. 

Overall, barbell collars offer you peace of mind and stability in your workouts, which will help you to improve your overall performance and train more efficiently. 

Best Barbell Collars (FAQs)

Do I Need A Barbell Collar?

If you are lifting heavy weights that are over 50 kilograms, then we would definitely say a barbell collar is necessary. Barbell collars help to prevent the weights from slipping off of the bar. 

If the weights slip off the bar they can cause damage to the floor, people, and anything in its surroundings, so it is definitely safer to have them on. 

If you are lifting light weights, they aren’t always necessary, but will definitely be safer to have. If you are not a fan of them though and are lifting light enough, you could look into abarbell vs kettlebell, and see if a kettlebell would work for your training instead. 

Do You Need Different Barbell Collars For A Barbell Compared To An Olympic Bar?

Many people get confused between Olympic bars and barbells. They often wonderwhat is an Olympic weight set, and do you need different barbell collars for them compared to a standard barbell. 

best olympic barbell collars

The main difference is that Olympic bars are stronger, they weigh more, and they have a 2-inch diameter. Standard barbells on the other hand only have a one-inch diameter.

So for this reason, you would need different barbell collars for the two. For Olympic bars, you need a barbell collar that can fit snugly around a 2-inch diameter, and for a standard barbell, you would need a barbell collar that can fit around the 1-inch diameter of the bar. 

What Barbell Collars Are The Best?

This mostly comes down to preference. The top two that we would recommend are either spring barbell collars or barbell collars with a quick lock.

Both of these types of barbell collars are very safe, reliable, and durable. The one that you choose will come down to what you prefer. 

Things to consider when trying to figure out which one you prefer are the price, how easy the barbell collar is to use, as well as what weight you will be lifting, and how strong your grip strength is. 

The reason the weight you will be lifting should be taken into consideration is that if you are going to be lifting various weights and frequently changing your weight plates, then you want a barbell collar that is going to be time effective and easy to use. This will likely be the barbell collar with a quick lock.

Grip strength also needs to be taken into consideration because if you have a very weak grip strength then spring barbell collars become quite unpleasant to use. In this case, you might find that the barbell collars with a quick lock are possibly a better option.

What Do Barbell Collars Weigh?

Most barbell collars are designed to be quite lightweight. The amount that they weigh differs on what material is used to make them.

Aluminium barbell collars are usually very lightweight, but they also tend to not be so durable. 

Generally, standard barbell collars weigh about 2.5 kgs per pair. But when it comes to Olympic lifting, especially for the more advanced lifters, they can weigh up to 25 kilograms for males, and 20 kilograms for females.

Should I Consider The Weight Of The Barbell Collar?

Generally, barbell collars are very light. They are designed not to weigh much so that they don’t have too much of an impact on your workout.

So, for the general public who lift weights for the fun of it and to get stronger, it’s not something you have to worry about.

But, if you are a professional weight lifter or powerlifter, then the weight that you are lifting normally has to be extremely accurate. So, if this is the case, then it is important to find out how much your barbell collars weigh and factor this into your overall weight.

With Olympic lifting, the barbell collars also tend to get quite a bit heavier than your standard barbell collar. So in these cases, it would definitely be recommended to factor their weights in. 

Are There Alternatives To Use Instead Of Barbell Collars?

The only other thing that has really been used instead of a barbell collar is spring clamps. Unfortunately, these aren’t very safe or reliable. They move around and fall off very easily. 

We wouldn’t recommend using spring clamps as barbell collars or using anything else, for that matter. Rather stick to good quality barbell collars; you know you will be safe, and will never have to worry about any accidents happening.

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