T Nation

Bar Center - Knurling or Not?


I am about to order an Ivanko bar, but I can't decide if I want the center Knurling or not. All my bars have always had knurling. It doesn't seem to get in the way much - is there an advantage one way or the other?


I personally love center knurling for low bar squats and GM's, the bar never slide down the back.


Center knurling is also nice for suitcase squats, one-armed snatches, one-arm curls, etc.


I have done one armed curls - they are a nice challenge. I have not tried these other opportunities, but they sound like good reasons to have the knurling.

Can anyone think of a reason it would be an advantage to NOT have the extra knurling?


Other than being for extra grip in one handed exercises, it sounds like the knurling is useful for extra traction on the back. That is good to keep in mind.


If you are planning on deadlifting with this bar, if you get the centre knurling be prepared to say goodbye to the skin on your shins.


I used a bar in the gym with centre knurling and found that out the hard way. I still have these white scars up my shins............I say fuck yeah!


I am about to purchase a set of bumpers here soon and was considering an Ivanko bar, but the salesman kept dancing around the answer to my question as to the price to get the center knurling added, did they tell you how much extra it would be?


We don't have a distributor nearby. I was planning to order through Ivanko.com. It looks like some bars may come with or without knurling at no cost difference. In the competition line, it is a $10 difference to include knurling BUT it is also a stronger bar.

I expect that your sales rep wants to deal the product he has without putting the effort into ordering more.


Right . . . I remember that feeling. But it seems like the center knurling is such a small area that you would miss it with your shins anyway.

The center of the bar is 12 5/8", with a 4 3/4" knurl in the middle of it. I just don't deadlif with my legs that close together!


That's what I thought. The thing is the salesman is a former O-lifter and powerlifter, so he knew damn well what I was asking, but wouldn't give a definate answer. No sale for him.


I don't see how center knurling could ever touch your shins. As someone mentioned, the knurling is only a few inches wide. My chins are scarred up from deads but that is from the knurling outside the smooth area, as I'm sure it is with everyone else

There are a few reasons I would prefer a smooth bar:
1) If I was doing olympic lifts. A smooth bar does less damage the skin in the around you collar bone area from catching cleans or doing front squats.

Also, once I scraped my nose with the knurling doing clean-grip power-snatches. But that could be because I am an idiot.

2) Smooth bars slide better on your thighs during barbell shrugs or the top few inches of a deadlift.

Not really great reasons to go with a smooth bar I guess. For some reason I like smooth bars though. Dunno why.


Get the center knurling. Adidas do a nice weightlifting sock for the shins sake. Also i think the center knurling is narrow and youd miss the shins with it anyways.


Center knurling is useful and doesn't have too many disadvantages. I would be more concerned about the width at which the polished/chrome area ends and the knurling begins away from the center so far as deadlifting goes. The bars at my gym that are for oly lifts have softer knurling that begins further out from the center and they are perfect for DLing as a result.


This is a bit off topic but these are a few tricks I have used before to make undesirable bars work better:

For low-bar back back squats, wrap white hockey tap around the smooth part of the bar. That shit will stick to your back better than knurling or even chalk. It usually lasts for 1 or 2 squat workouts before it needs to be changed.

For deadlifts, wrap a width of duct tape aroud the knurling between the smooth center and where your hands are placed. This will cause a little less friction on your thighs and may help save your shins a little if you have sweats on, but not much.


Ahh with centre knurling that small I'd say get it. This bar I used had this thick knurling in the centre then a small smooth bit then knurling to the end...........never seen anything like it before.


Guys, thanks for all of your helpful replies. It sounds like this width of knurling will be of some advantage, with little disadvantage.

Survey says ... knurling!

I'll just try to keep my nose out of the way - yep, I've skinned my nose that way before too.