I know you’ve seen all the homemade kettlebell vids on youtube. Some are made with pipe and T handles, others are made with cement and PVC.
If you’re trying to get out on the cheap and aren’t concerned about doing KB moves like cleans and snatches as well as a few other moves, then those options will suit you just fine.
Here’s My Problem; Comfort
I don’t think I would care for the way those homemade bells would feel on my forearm when doing movements that will have the bell laying on it.
No, I haven’t made one and tried it out. Having the side of a weight plate lay across my forearm isn’t particularly appealing to me.
Even a competition bell, with it’s nice round shape, gets uncomfortable when you’re doing high rep work.
There are some really good homemade options out there. However, the really good ones are very involved. Meaning, they’re going to take a bit more time and some will require you to do some meticulous cutting of pvc. They look to be quite a PITA (pain in the a**).
If all you want to do KB swings, then go for the cheapest option you can find. All you need is the ability to swing weight between your legs.
But if you’re wanting the option of doing any KB movement in the book, then step it up. Either spend the money on a real bell, spend money on an adjustable bell, or spend money and some time putting a homemade one together.
There is a homemade kettlebell kit out there. It’s really a kettlestone kit. It’s nice, and I have no doubt that it would work very well. However, at $189.00 the initial cost is high. Of course it’ll pay for itself over time if you make a lot of bells with it. If you’re curious, you can see it here; Slater’s Hardware KettleStone Kit
A Note For KB Newbies
If you’re new to kettlebells then you may not know what I’m talking about as far as forearm comfort goes. All I can say to that is you should watch some videos on proper KB form for holding kettlebells in the “rack” position. Then go to your local sporting goods store and try it out. Then you’ll know what I mean.
The bottom line for me is that there isn’t a homemade kettlebell option that’s worth the time, effort, or money spent. Considering the fact that you’re going to spend several bucks getting something that’s at least halfway decent to use, you may as well spend a few more getting a real bell.
I’ve learned one thing about me and homemade equipment, and that’s the fact that if I go really cheap just to keep from spending more on the real thing, then I just won’t use the item. I won’t use it because it’s too inconvenient, or uncomfortable, or even ineffective.
If you’ve tried some of these and disagree, let me know. I’d LOVE to see a viable homemade kettlebell option. But for now – there just isn’t one.