10 Best Barbell Collars in 2024 (Reviewed By Lifters)

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Reviewed by Sergii Putsov

Finding the best barbell collars might seem like a small detail when it comes to your weightlifting routine, but it’s a crucial one. Think about a seasoned chef – they wouldn’t want to use just any knife, right? It’s the same thing when it comes to weightlifters and barbell collars – you want to choose the best ones.

Remember that nothing plays a bigger part when it comes to safety and efficiency during lifts than a reliable barbell collar. If you need to spend days scouring the internet to find the best collars, think again! We have 10 excellent barbell collars to share with you, and we’re going into detail on how well they perform, how durable they are and what the price-to-quality ratio is.

Let’s lift (safer)!

Our team of experts and professional athletes has tested and compared 34 barbell collars to bring you the 10 best ones. The collars were carefully evaluated across 5 key factors, and our team spent over 400 hours in total testing them. In addition to the testing process, they have reviewed hundreds of online user reviews. We update this list all the time, so leave a comment, share your experiences with us, and let’s chat!

IN A HURRY?

Our Best Choice!

WBCM Barbell Collars Pro

The best barbell clamps are our very own Pro Barbell Collars. We understand the importance of having the right equipment, especially when it comes to safety and stability during weightlifting, which is why we designed these to fit the needs of serious weightlifters engaging in Olympic weightlifting, functional fitness, and routines that involve dropping bars from elevated positions.

Top 10 Best Barbell Collars Reviewed

  1. WBCM Barbell Collars Pro – Gold medal
  2. ROGUE HG 2.0 Collars – Silver medal
  3. TITAN FITNESS Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars – Bronze medal
  4. ROGUE Spring Collars – Best spring collars
  5. ROGUE KG Competition Collars – Best competition collars (premium pick)
  6. PROLOC 1 Magnet Collar Set – Best magnet collars
  7. ROGUE Proloc 2 Chain Collars – Best collars for chain
  8. IRONBULL STRENGTH Barbell Collars V2
  9. SUNNY Barbell Lock Clamp Collar
  10. LOCK-JAW OLY 2 Olympic Barbell Collar
ProductTotalMaterialsEase of useHolding capacitySafetyPrice & quality
WBCM5109.5101010
ROGUE4.9109.5109.510
TITAN4.91010109.59
ROGUE Spring4.89.5109109.5
ROGUE KG4.810910108.5
PROLOC 14.71091099
ROGUE Proloc 24.78.51010108
IRONBULL STRENGTH4.69108.599
SUNNY4.58.51098.59
LOCK-JAW4.588.510108

1. WBCM Barbell Collars Pro

GOLD MEDAL

WBCM Barbell Collars Pro

Our Ratings: 5

Materials: 10

Ease of use: 9.5

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 10

Price / quality: 10

The best barbell clamps are our very own Pro Barbell Collars. We understand the importance of having the right equipment, especially when it comes to safety and stability during weightlifting, which is why we designed these to fit the needs of serious weightlifters engaging in Olympic weightlifting, functional fitness, and routines that involve dropping bars from elevated positions.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Steel pins, rubber pads, nylon
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Dimensions: Designed to fit 2’’ Olympic standard barbells
  • Weight: 0.74 lbs / 340 grams
  • Color: 11 colors available
  • Price: $$

These are clamp collars, which means they have a swift release mechanism that holds the weights safely in place and allows you to have an uninterrupted and focused workout. We paid specific attention to the materials, so they’re crafted from high-strength nylon with stainless steel pins and rubber pads, which makes them not only durable but also resistant to scratches.

They can withstand frequent, intense workouts without the bright color showing any signs of wear. Besides, speaking of color, there’s 11 to choose from. Our collars fit all 2’’ Olympic standard barbells and can be used for Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, deadlifting, cross-training, strength training, or bench press workouts. You need stability and safety for optimal performance, and our collars deliver on both.

They fit very snugly, which is fantastic in terms of holding the weights, but you’ll need a little bit of elbow grease to take them off. We put them through rigorous crash tests to make sure they’re durable and reliable, and if you give them a try, we’re sure you’ll love them. They come at an affordable price, their performance is excellent, and they’re the best Olympic barbell collars you can find.

Pros

  • Superior security
  • Resistant to scratches
  • Very durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can be difficult to remove

2. ROGUE HG 2.0 Collars

SILVER MEDAL

ROGUE HG 2.0 Collars

Our Ratings: 4.9

Materials: 10

Ease of use: 9.5

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 9.5

Price / quality: 10

Rogue’s HG 2.0 weight bar collars are pricier than the top pick, but it’s to be expected from Rogue. These collars have been revamped and they promise an array of new features and better functionality.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Solid Nylon Resin with stainless steel hardware
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Dimensions: 1.875’’ wide
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs per pair
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $$$

These weight lifting collars are made from solid nylon resin, and their standout feature is the patented locking mechanism with a distinctive red tab that ensures a secure, fast locking process. Since they have been upgraded, the 2.0 version has a spring tab for quicker release, improved rubber padding for a firmer grip on the bar sleeve, and stainless steel hardware.

They’re made specifically to fit 2’’ Olympic weightlifting bars and several specialty bars without causing damage to the plates or the bar itself, because the contact surface is very smooth. They’re a little difficult to lock once you first get them because the fit is so tightly, but it gets easier with time.

It’s almost like they need to be broken in, so the redesigned padding does a great job once you actually lock the collars, but getting to that point takes some work. Their performance won’t disappoint you, because the grip on the bar sleeve is excellent. As far as potential improvements go, the plug inside could use some work since it’s prone to falling out, especially during frequent use.

Pros

  • Spring tab for quick release
  • Made of solid nylon resin and stainless steel hardware
  • Smooth contact surface to protect the bar and plates from damage

Cons

  • Internal plug falls out easily
  • Difficult to lock onto the bar at first

3. TITAN FITNESS Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars

BRONZE MEDAL

TITAN FITNESS Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars

Our Ratings: 4.9

Materials: 10

Ease of use: 10

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 9.5

Price / quality: 9

Titan’s quick release barbell collars are made for Olympic barbells or loadable dumbbells, and they offer a snug fit for 2’’ diameter sleeves. They’re made well and should last you a long time if you take care of them properly.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Dimensions: Overall Thickness: 1.25’’, Overall Opened Length: 7.5’’, Overall Shut Length: 5’’
  • Weight: 1 lb each
  • Color: Red
  • Price: $$$$

These Olympic barbell clamps come with a quick release mechanism that’s operated by squeezing the handles together, which is convenient for removing or adding the plates. However, the release lever’s offset design causes the collar not to align flush with the barbell plates when secured. It would be better if the release lever was centered with the lower body for a flush fit on both sides when locked. 

TITAN FITNESS Quick Release Weight Clamp Collars Instagram
Photo by @betitanfit

Initially, the clamping is secure, but you’ll definitely notice a little slippage during intense workouts, which can be a concern in terms of safety. However, the slipping is minimal and won’t cause any serious issues, it’s just mildly irritating.

Pros

  • Red powder coating for scratch resistance
  • Very easy to use
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Collars don’t align flush with the plates when secured
  • Minor slipping during intense workouts

4. ROGUE Spring Collars

BEST SPRING COLLARS

ROGUE Spring Collars

Our Ratings: 4.8

Materials: 9.5

Ease of use: 10

Holding capacity: 9

Safety: 10

Price / quality: 9.5

What you see is what you get with these barbell spring collars. There’s nothing fancy about them — just an affordable, basic set of collars that serves its purpose.

  • Type: Spring collars
  • Material: Steel
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Color: Silver
  • Price: $

The collars are sold in pairs. They’re made of steel, clamp nicely onto the bar, and are easy to use; however, they lack consistency. If you happen to get a pair and decide you like them enough to get another, you may be surprised by how tight or loose they feel, because the tightness varies randomly, and you never know how tight the collars you’re getting will be. But if that doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and give them a try. 

They’re approved for use in the United States Army’s Combat Fitness test (ACFT), which shows how reliable and durable they are, since the ACFT is a grueling 6-level assessment that encompasses a range of physically demanding exercises. 

The collars perform decently well for the price, and they should last you a while, but the coating chips easily, which can be an issue if you care about aesthetics. Another issue some users noticed is that the collars shift if you have more than a 45 lbs plate on the barbell.

All things considered, these spring collars are good but not ideal. If you want excellent performance and reliability, it’s worth it to invest a little more money and get something more heavy-duty.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • ACFT endorsement

Cons

  • Inconsistent tightness
  • The coating chips 
  • Shifting if there are more than 45 lbs on the barbell

5. ROGUE KG Competition Collars

BEST COMPETITION COLLARS

ROGUE KG Competition Collars

Our Ratings: 4.8

Materials: 10

Ease of use: 9

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 10

Price / quality: 8.5

When it comes to competitive weightlifting, competition collars are a must, and the ones from Rogue are the best by far. They’re also great if you’re looking for a splurgy item and want to treat yourself, but they’re not a necessity for your home gym.

  • Type: Competition collars
  • Material: Billet Steel, Cast Star Locking Ring
  • Dimensions: Width approximately 3’’-3.625’’
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs per collar
  • Color: Hard chrome finish
  • Price: $$$$$

Each 5.51 lbs collar is coated with hard chrome finish and has a billet steel body. This makes them strong and resistant to corrosion, which means they can be used in any environment. These collars are IWF and IPF approved and guaranteed to comply with strict weight standards of -0/+0.35 ounces within calibration standards. 

The ball-lever mechanism is a very straightforward approach to securely hold the collars in place without damaging the surface of your bar. Their shape optimizes loadable sleeve space on the bar, which is important for competitions where every inch matters, but when they’re expanded to full width, they become bulky. The locking mechanism is excellent and keeps the plates in place. 

ROGUE KG Competition Collars Instagram
Photo by @tynawoodby

These collars are very reliable, and the precision they are made with is almost unparalleled. The craftsmanship is excellent, and you can’t get anything better for competitions. However, the price is definitely a drawback, and unless you compete, you might want to save money and buy something more affordable.

Pros

  • Precision-made
  • IWF and IPF approved
  • 2-year warranty
  • Resistant to corrosion

Cons

  • Not as easy to use as some simpler collars
  • Expensive
  • Bulky when expanded

6. PROLOC 1 Magnet Collar Set

BEST MAGNET COLLARS

PROLOC 1 Magnet Collar Set

Our Ratings: 4.7

Materials: 10

Ease of use: 9

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 9

Price / quality: 9

This set is an evolution of the original Proloc 1 barbell collar — now it has built-in magnets for more convenience and easier storage. The collars are made in the USA and are compatible with a lot of general and specialty bars: Olympic and powerlifting bars, the Rogue Camber bar, Rogue Safety Squat bar, Multi Grip bars, and Rogue Farmers Walk Handles.

  • Type: Magnet collars
  • Material: High-strength nylon
  • Diameter (inch/cm): Fits 1.937’’ to 2.007’’ sleeves
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $$$$

The magnets are a game-changer and allow you to affix unused collars directly onto the metal exterior for rack uprights. This feature ensures quick and effortless access to collars when you need them, takes care of clutter, and optimizes your space. 

Proloc stayed true to their legacy and made the collars versatile and reliable. The on/off knobs work smoothly, much like the traditional spring clips, but with a better locked-on hold. However, as versatile as they are, they’re not the best choice for Olympic weightlifting because they’re known to come loose. Intense routines depend on stability, so this is definitely a concern. They also take a while to set up.

The collars come with a 2-year warranty that covers material defects and workmanship, but it won’t cover any problems that result from disassembly of the threaded knob or incorrect replacement.

Pros

  • Built-in magnets for better accessibility and minimizing clutter
  • Almost universal compatibility
  • Made in the USA
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Setup takes a while
  • They come loose during Olympic weightlifting

7. ROGUE Proloc 2 Chain Collars

BEST COLLARS FOR CHAIN

ROGUE Proloc 2 Chain Collars

Our Ratings: 4.7

Materials: 8.5

Ease of use: 10

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 10

Price / quality: 8

These chain collars are made to offer more stability and compatibility for weightlifters that want to include chains into their training sessions. They’re made in the USA and are a specialized addition to Rogue’s equipment catalog.

  • Type: Collars for chains
  • Material: 1.5’’ thick nylon
  • Diameter (inch/cm): Fits sleeves ranging from 1.937’’ to 2.007’’
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $$$$

The collars fit sleeves ranging from 1.937’’ to 2.007’’ in diameter and are designed with a simple hand adjustment mechanism. Every collar comes with a 0.625’’ carabiner, which means they’ll be compatible with chains added for resistance. The hold they provide is secure and reliable, so you’ll be able to focus on your workout without any distractions.

Rogue stands by their product and guarantees great performance and a 2-year warranty against any potential material defects or workmanship issues. Since these collars are specialized, they’re not as versatile as the standard ones, but their price is higher and they’re not compatible with non-standard equipment.

Thus, although the value you get for the money may not be the best, these collars are of excellent quality and make chain loading very easy. It would be nice to see some steel incorporated along with the supposedly indestructible nylon, but these don’t feel flimsy, so there’s no need to worry about that.

Pros

  • Simple adjustment mechanism
  • Carabiner for easy attachment of chains
  • They lock down securely
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Higher cost compared to standard barbell collars
  • Not compatible with non-standard bars or equipment

8. IRONBULL STRENGTH Barbell Collars V2

IRONBULL STRENGTH Barbell Collars V2

Our Ratings: 4.6

Materials: 9

Ease of use: 10

Holding capacity: 8.5

Safety: 9

Price / quality: 9

Iron Bull’s collars are easy to use, inexpensive, and can withstand even the most intense workouts, or at least that’s what Iron Bull claims. In reality, things are a bit different.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Solid Nylon Resin (Collars), Elastomer (Pads), Stainless Steel (Hardware)
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs per pair
  • Color: 11 colors available
  • Price: $$$

These collars have a quick-release mechanism, which means that attaching them to the barbell and detaching is super easy. It saves you a ton of time, because who wants to stand there adjusting their collars forever? Additionally, it means that the transitions between different weights are practically seamless, so you won’t lose your momentum.

The fact that they’re easy to use is their main selling point, but it’s not the only one. These collars fit Olympic barbells and they come in 11 bright colors. They’re made of nylon resin, elastomer pads, and one-piece molded casings. Their surface is very smooth, so they won’t damage your equipment. When you read the specs and features, they sound amazing, but they do have drawbacks.

The biggest one is that they don’t perform well with heavier weights, and they start shifting like crazy. If you’re a beginner and just working your way up to heavier weights, then you’ll be fine, because their performance with lighter loads is decent. There’s also the durability issue, but again, it’s fine for beginners, because you probably won’t use them as frequently as a pro would.

Pros

  • Very simple to use
  • 11 colors available
  • Smooth surface for preventing damage
  • Quick-release mechanism

Cons

  • Underwhelming performance with heavy weights
  • Clips become loose over time

9. SUNNY Barbell Lock Clamp Collar

SUNNY Barbell Lock Clamp Collar

Our Ratings: 4.5

Materials: 8.5

Ease of use: 10

Holding capacity: 9

Safety: 8.5

Price / quality: 9

Sunny’s clamp collars are incredibly easy to use and fit all standard 2’’ Olympic barbells. They’re also super affordable, but once we get into more detail, you’ll see you pretty much get what you pay for with these.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Plastic
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Dimensions: 3.4’’L x 2’’W x 2’’H
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $$

When you first get them, the fit is great and secure. These collars for Olympic bars can be used for all kinds of plates, like rubber, technique, training, and competition bumper plates. This makes them usable for a wide range of exercises and the way they’re designed ensures they’re fixed firmly on the bar – while they’re still new.

Over time, they lose their strength and can’t hold the plates in place, so they start to shift during exercises, which is not only annoying and distracting but can also compromise your safety. These clamp collars have a quick-lock and easy-release mechanism, which means you’ll be able to install and remove them in a matter of seconds.

It is very useful when you’re working with different weight loads because you won’t waste time on adjusting the collars. They’re very smooth and won’t damage your bar’s surface. The material they’re made of is plastic. Although it’s a heavy-duty kind of plastic, it’s still just plastic. They stand no chance against something more robust that has steel components, and they won’t be as durable.

On the other hand, their plastic construction makes them very lightweight, so if you want to carry them with you to the gym, you’ll have no issues with portability. In short, these collars are good but not great. The price is awesome and they have their good sides, but don’t expect to have them for a long time and certainly don’t expect consistent performance after a few months.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Very easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • They lose strength over time

10. LOCK-JAW OLY 2 Olympic Barbell Collar

LOCK-JAW OLY 2 Olympic Barbell Collar

Our Ratings: 4.5

Materials: 8

Ease of use: 8.5

Holding capacity: 10

Safety: 10

Price / quality: 8

The last contender comes from Lock-Jaw. These barbell collars are marketed as durable, easy to use, and suitable for intense workouts. They supposedly have a reputation of being the strongest and most durable quick-release collars on the market.

  • Type: Clamp collars
  • Material: Composite reinforced resin, stainless steel pins, over-molded rubber
  • Diameter (inch/cm): 2’’ / 5 cm
  • Weight: 15.84 ounces
  • Color: Red, black, blue
  • Price: $$$

They’re made of composite reinforced resin, which is a fancy way of saying these are plastic. However, it’s not your everyday plastic: this one contains additives and fiber to make it stronger. Nonetheless, it’s still plastic, and these collars are nowhere near as heavy-duty as steel ones. The pins are made of steel, and the inside has over-molded rubber.

The grip is extremely tight, and although they hold your plates in place without any rattling or sliding, they’re difficult to get off. There’s a button you need to press to unlock them, which is almost impossible to do with one hand because of how tight it is, but if you happen to make it, the latch will slap you across the fingers. It’s very uncomfortable and frustrating. 

There are no screws or weak links in the construction, so they should last you a decent amount of time. The collars come with a lifetime warranty, which is excellent because it shows the brand is confident in the quality of their product. 

They’re not as impressive as the manufacturer would have you think, but they still deserve a place on this list.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • No screws or weak links
  • Suitable for a wide range of techniques

Cons

  • Too tight
  • Difficult to unlock

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How We Choose Product for Testing?

To choose the best products, we have leaned into practicality and diversity. We wanted to make sure our choices covered a spectrum of designs, locking mechanisms, and price points to make sure the review was well-rounded and everybody could find something for themselves.

Our priorities were collars that received a lot of positive feedback from users and those that had innovative and useful features. We then tested these hands-on to make sure they’re as good as we expected them to be. 

5 Reasons Why You Need Barbell Collars

These small but important accessories often get overlooked, and it seems like a lot of people don’t really understand their significance, but barbell collars are an essential component of weightlifting equipment. They play a big part in keeping you safe and improving your performance during training. 

1. Safety and Stability

Their main job is to secure the weight plates in place and prevent them from sliding and shifting during lifts. This makes your entire lifting experience safer and reduces the risk of accidents or injuries that are caused by the plates slipping off the barbell. 

2. More Focus on Form

If you don’t need to worry about your plates sliding off, you can concentrate on your form and technique. Proper form is crucial for your performance and will reduce the chances of injuries that result from poor posture or imbalance. 

3. No Plate Clanking

Clanking and rattling can be very distracting and irritating, and barbell collars prevent that from happening. 

Why You Need Barbell Collars

4. Less Wear and Tear

Using collars minimizes wear and tear on the barbell’s sleeves because they don’t let the plates slide, scrape, or scratch the bar’s surface. Consequently, it prolongs the lifespan of both the barbell and the weight plates. 

5. Quick Weight Changes

Some collars come with quick-release mechanisms that allow you to quickly change the weights during exercises. This feature lets you keep the momentum as you transition between the sets, and you don’t need to waste time on securing or removing plates manually. 

When You Should Use Barbell Collars?

Do you need collars in absolutely every situation? No, but it’s better to have them and not need them than vice versa. Although their most important job is to keep the plates in place, there are situations in which collars are vital for performance and safety. 

1. Heavy Lifting

Heavy lifts cause more injuries, so you want to be as safe as possible. Deadlifts, squats, and bench presses should never be done without collars. The added weight and intensity increase the risk of plates slipping, which is a considerable safety hazard. Collars will firmly secure the weights and prevent potential accidents. 

2. Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic weightlifting is all about timing, precision, and technique, so you need barbell collars to make sure the plates stay in place during complex movements like snatches or clean and jerks. They will help maintain stability throughout explosive lifts. 

3. Dynamic and Fast Movements

Functional or HIIT workouts that involve quick or dynamic movements can make the plates shift and compromise your form and balance. If you have collars, then you won’t get any interruptions, because they will provide stability.

4. Unilateral or Asymmetrical Exercises

Exercises like single-arm dumbbell presses, lunges, and generally everything that targets one side of your body can lead to imbalances if weights slide off the bar. Collars prevent this from happening, so make sure to always have them. 

5. Superset or Circuit Training

Readjusting plates can be a pain, especially in supersets or circuit training where you quickly go from one exercise to the other. With collars, weight changes are seamless, and there are a lot fewer interruptions. 

6. Beginners

Beginner lifters have less control over their movements, which often leads to plates moving accidentally. Collars add safety and confidence, which means a beginner can focus on working on their form and technique instead of being worried about the plates slipping. 

7. Anything Involving Bumper Plates

Bumper plates are thicker and more likely to move, so anything that involves them needs barbell collars to make the plates remain stable and in place.

SITUATIONREASON FOR HAVING COLLARS
Heavy LiftingCritical for exercises like deadlifts, squats, and bench presses to prevent the plates slipping under the heavy load and to ensure safety. 
Olympic WeightliftingEssential during precise, explosive movements like snatches or clean and jerks to maintain stability and control.
Dynamic and Fast MovementsNecessary for workouts with quick and forceful movements, ensuring stability and preventing the plates from shifting during high-intensity exercises.
Unilateral or Asymmetrical ExercisesVital for exercises that focus on one side of the body (single-arm presses, lunges, etc.) to prevent imbalances, secure the plates, and maintain stability.
Superset or Circuit TrainingImportant for supersets and circuit training to make the transitions between exercises and weight changes seamless.
BeginnersCollars provide safety and confidence for beginners, who usually have less control over their movements.
Anything Involving Bumper PlatesExercises using bumper plates need collars for stability and to prevent movement. Bumper plates are more prone to shifting because they’re thicker than standard plates. 

When You Should Not Use Collars?

Generally, collars are considered to be useful, but there are situations in which they are not necessary. 

If you’re someone that’s used to performing exercises with controlled, lighter loads and you have the skill and experience to stabilize the weights throughout your movements, then there’s no reason for you to use collars. Another instance where you might choose to omit collars is if you prioritize being able to quickly adjust the weights between sets over the stability that comes from barbell collars.

You Should Use Barbell Collars

This is especially the case with experienced lifters who focus on fast-paced workouts that need constant weight adjustments. They will probably choose against using collars because they want to be able to change the weights swiftly, without stopping to remove collars each time. It’s kind of like streamlining their workout flow for quicker and easier adjustments. 

Those who follow unique or less structured workouts will also probably choose to work out without collars because they want more freedom of movement. 

Overall, whether or not you use collars is going to come down to your preference and the type of exercise you’re doing.

Pro Tip:

Choosing to work out without barbell collars can be practical if you’re experienced, but it needs a strategic approach to be safe and efficient. If you’re lifting lighter weights with controlled movements, consider the floor you’re on – a softer surface can reduce the risk of weights rolling if they slide off.

7 Types of Barbell Collars

There are different types of collars to choose from, since there needs to be enough variety to cater to different lifting needs and, of course, personal taste. Here’s a rundown of the available collars:

1. Spring Collars

The classic spring collar is one of the most common types. They’re very simple and use spring tension to grip the sleeves tightly. These collars are easy to use: just squeeze the handles to release or tighten them on the barbell.

2. Clamp Collars

Clamp collars are simple and efficient. They have a clamping system (hence the name) that allows you to tighten them by flipping a latch or a lever, which makes for quick, secure adjustments with hardly any effort. 

Types of Barbell Collars

3. Olympic Lock Collars

Olympic bar collars are constructed specifically for Olympic weightlifting and fit Olympic bars (which are 2’’ in diameter). They are very secure and vary in design (spring, lock-jaw, screw types, etc.). 

4. Spin-Lock Collars

Used with spin-lock barbells, these collars are threaded and screwed onto the bar. The fit they provide is very secure, but they’re specific to spin-lock bars and can’t be used with standard Olympic or powerlifting bars. 

5. Chain Collars

This is a niche type that allows you to add chains to the barbell for varied resistance training. They’re usually not used for standard weightlifting but are still popular in certain strength and conditioning programs. 

6. Lock-Jaw Collars

Typically, lock-jaw collars can be installed and released with one hand. They’re more secure than spring clips and are made of plastic or metal. Lock-jaw collars are popular in both commercial and home gyms. 

7. Magnetic Collars

This is a newer type that secures the weights using magnets. They’re easy to use and provide a secure fit but tend to be pricey.

TYPEDESCRIPTION
Spring CollarsVery simple and common, use spring tension to grip the sleeves. Easy to use.
Clamp CollarsEffortless and efficient with a clamping system for quick and secure adjustments using a latch or lever.
Olympic Lock CollarsMade for Olympic bars (2’’ diameter) and offer secure grip. Available in various designs. 
Spin-Lock CollarsThreaded and secured onto spin-lock bars. Very secure but limited in use.
Chain CollarsDesigned to attach chains for varied resistance training. Used for specialized strength and conditioning programs.
Lock-Jaw CollarsOne-hand installation and release. More secure than spring clips, available in plastic or metal.
Magnetic CollarsUse magnets to keep the weights in place. Tend to be more expensive. 

How to Choose Barbell Collars?

When choosing the barbell collars, you want them to suit your taste and the exercises you do as well as to acquire the best value for money. Barbell collar reviews are always a good source of information, but don’t rely on them completely. Here’s what to pay attention to ensure you’re making the right choice:

How to Choose Barbell Collars

1. Type

The first thing to do is to think about the type. You need it to align with what your workouts require, so get familiar with the different types and their features. 

2. Diameter

The diameter of the collar needs to fit the diameter of the bar you’re using. Common bar size is 2’’, but some collars are made for specific bar sizes, so check the size before actually buying anything.

3. Materials

Construction is important if you want the collars to last a long time, so go for sturdy materials like metal, composite resin, or reinforced plastic. Quality materials will withstand wear and tear over time.

4. Durability

Collars go through a lot during training sessions, so you want them to be durable under heavy loads. Quality materials and construction are what makes collars durable. 

5. Weight

Weight is another thing you need to check before deciding which collars to get. Heavier weights are better for grip and stability, but they could add more overall weight to the barbell.

6. Certification

If you’re a competitive weightlifter, then you also need to look for certifications, like IWF or IPF. Certification means that the collars meet industry standards. 

7. Warranty

Not all collars come with a warranty, but some manufacturers are so sure of the quality of their product that they offer several years or even a lifetime warranty. Of course, the warranty doesn’t guarantee good quality, but it’s still good to have. 

8. Price

The price needs to fit your budget, but you also need to consider the quality and features the collar offers. Expensive collars might be more durable and have additional features compared to affordable options. 

How to Use Barbell Collars

9. Locking Mechanism

Look for an effective locking mechanism. This is something that goes beyond the type and impacts how quickly and easily you can secure and release the weights. Go for lock-jaw models if you need frequent weight changes, or clamps and spin-lock collars if you want a robust locking mechanism.

How to Use Barbell Collars?

Even the best and most expensive collars won’t be effective if you don’t use them correctly. Luckily, everything about using collars is relatively simple. 

1. Choosing the Right Type

This doesn’t have anything to do with actually using collars, but everything starts with making the correct choice as far as the type goes. Match the type of collar to your bar and consider the grip, compatibility, and how easy it is to use. 

2. Placement

After you’ve loaded the weight plates, slide the barbell lock onto the sleeves. It needs to be positioned snuggly against the plates, otherwise the plates will shift. 

3. Equal Weight Distribution

Before you’ve locked the collars, make sure you have distributed the weight plates evenly on both sides. Balanced weight distribution helps maintain stability and prevents imbalance. 

4. Secure Firmly

The collar’s locking mechanism should be firmly secured to prevent any movement.

5. Do Not Tighten Too Much

You want the grip to be secure, of course, but that doesn’t mean you should overtighten the collars. Overtightening can damage the barbell’s sleeves and compromise the collar’s functionality. 

Exercising with Barbell Collars

6. Removing the Collars Properly

Carefully release the locking mechanism and don’t apply too much force that can cause damage or abruptly dislodge the plates.

7. Maintenance

Clean your collars on a regular basis. Remove any debris, dirt, or chalk buildup that can affect the collar’s grip or locking mechanism. 

FAQ

Is It Ok to Bench Without Clips?

Generally, you want to use clips for bench pressing to secure the weights and maintain stability or safety. They also help you focus better on your form, which is crucial for preventing injuries. Some lifters, however, will not use collars for safety reasons, in case they need to tip or tilt the barbell to quickly unload the weight during a struggle or failure while lifting. 

How Much Do Barbell Collars Weigh?

Usually, they weigh around 0.5 to 2 lbs per pair, depending on the type and the materials they’re made of. 

Are Spring Collars Safe?

If you use them correctly, spring collars are safe, but they may loosen over time, which will cause the plates to shift during intense workouts. If you want the strongest grip possible, you may want to choose clamps or lock-jaws instead of spring collars. 

Why Do People Lift Without Clips?

There are all kinds of reasons for lifting without clips, but usually it’s because people prioritize quick weight changes (for example, during HIIT or speed training) over the stability that comes from using collars. 

Conclusion

And that’s all there is to say about these little accessories! If you want to be as safe as possible during lifting, barbell collars will help you with that, and they (typically) won’t cost you too much. They’re simple, easy to use, and can be taken anywhere. 

If you want the best barbell clips on the market, go for our WBCM Barbell Collars Pro. They have everything you want and offer various color options. 

Do you use collars? If you do, which type is your favorite? If you don’t use them, why are you reluctant to give them a try? Are you excited to try any of the collars from our list?

Share your opinions, tips, recommendations… Basically, anything you can think of, we want to hear all of it!

Happy lifting!

References: 

  1. Ben Emminger, “Why You Should Be Using Barbell Collars,” Gear Patrol, https://www.gearpatrol.com/fitness/a43316451/barbell-collars-explained/ (accessed January 10, 2024).
  2. Hashem A. Bukhary, Nwarah A. Basha, Amnah A. Dobel, Reem M. Alsufyani, Reem A. Alotaibi, Somayah H. Almadani, "Prevalence and Pattern of Injuries Across the Weight-Training Sports," Cureus 15, no. 11 (2023): e49759, doi: 10.7759/cureus.49759.
  3. “Importance of Proper Weight Lifting Form,” Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine, https://www.hrosm.com/importance-of-proper-weight-lifting-form/ (accessed January 10, 2024).
  4. “Prevent Injuries with Proper Form During Workouts,” National University of Singapore, https://www.nus.edu.sg/uhc/resources/articles/details/prevent-injuries-with-proper-form-during-workouts (accessed January 10, 2024).
  5. Sergio Ruiz, “Why You Should Always Use Safety Clips When Doing Barbell Squats,” Medium, https://sfbodymatrix.medium.com/why-you-should-always-use-safety-clips-when-doing-barbell-squats-9dbfc490fc88 (accessed January 10, 2024).

Why Trust Our Reviews? Our product reviews are meticulously curated by a team of seasoned athletes, certified coaches, and sports nutrition experts, boasting more than 20 years of collective coaching experience. In our mission to promote Olympic weightlifting and strength training, we engage in comprehensive testing and evaluation of weightlifting products and supplements, making certain that only the utmost quality items meet our rigorous criteria.

We take a hands-on approach, procuring and personally testing these products in gym settings, affording us genuine insights into their performance. Our credibility stems from the expertise of experienced athletes, supported by authentic photos and videos, offering you dependable assessments tailored to athletes of all skill levels.

Jason Li

Author: Jason Li

Personal Coach | Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist

Jason is an NYC personal training expert and National level Olympic Weightlifting Coach with over 10 years of experience training everyday clients to high levels of performance. He has trained everyone from youth (13 years old and under) to masters (60+ years old) to regional and national rankings for powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Short distance (up to 200m) sprinting, discus & hammer throwing.


Sergii Putsov

Reviewed by: Sergii Putsov

PhD in Sport Science, Olympic weightlifting, Strength & Conditioning coach and fitness expert

Sergii Putsov is a professional weightlifter with over 20 years of experience and multiple national medals. He was a member of the National weightlifting team, competing in the 94 kg weight class. Sergii holds a master’s degree in Olympic & Professional Sport Training and a Ph.D. in Sport Science. After his athletic career, Sergii transitioned into coaching and is now responsible for designing training programs, writing blog articles, providing live commentary for international weightlifting competitions, and hosting sport and fitness seminars worldwide.

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