When it comes to barbell finish coatings, the key factors to consider are corrosion resistance, durability, and costs. Here's a breakdown of the various coatings available on the market.
Bare steel bars offer a nice grip with a natural feel. However, bare steel is more likely to rust so will need more regular maintenance. We've set up this guide to barbell maintenance to help you take care of your bars in the long term.
Black oxide bars offer more oxidation protection than bare steel and do not require as much maintenance as bare steel.
Zinc finish protects the barbell even more from rust than the steel and black oxide finish . However, they can quickly lose their sheen, so more regular maintenance is required to keep them looking their best.
Hard chrome finish bars are the most expensive finish, but offers the best protection from rusting. Depending on the quality, chrome finish bars can feel slightly slippery compared to bare steel. However, the higher-end barbells tend to have excellent knurling to compensate for this.
Cerakote is a fairly recent invention by the firearm industry to prevent guns from rust and soon after was used on barbells. It’s a great option because it provides nearly perfect resistance to oxidation (rust). It is also an extremely tough coating, but it can chip off with metal to metal contact. Cerakote is a coating that slightly changes the feel of the strength of the knurling. Cerakote is generally more expensive than any of the aforementioned coatings, but not as expensive as the next...
Stainless steel offers a similar, some say even better, feeling to the barbell than bare steel. Oxidation protection is very similar to the chrome finish. Stainless steel is usually found on the most high-end weight lifting bars.
When all factors are considered, your best options for a barbell finish is hard chrome and Cerakote. They ofter very good production against corrosion, are extremely durable, and fall within a reasonable price point.
All MAXUM fitness barbells come in either hard chrome or Cerakote.