Different from the mainstream I put fixed-weight kettlebell designs into three bins:
1. Competition-Style Kettlebells — which have a uniform size of both bell and grip no matter what the weight. The uniformity of size is handy because when you move up or down in weight you don’t have to re-learn technique. One example of competition-style kettlebells is the Ader Pro Grade. Here is a link: Click
2. Non-Competition Style Kettlebells — which have bells and grips that change size based upon the weight. Additionally, the grip on this design is usually wide enough to fit two hands and about 1/4″ thicker than a competition-style kettlebell. One example of non-competition style kettlebells is the model from LifelineUSA. Here is a link: Click
3. Hybrid Kettlebells — which have a competition-style handle shape (square-ish and usually sized for one hand plus an inch or two on each side), non-competition style handle thickness (usually 1/4″ thicker than a competition-style handle), and the bell size increases with weight. The only two companies that I have found that make this hybrid model are Ader and Eleiko. Here is a link to the Ader “Fat Handle” model: Click Here is a link to the Eleiko kettlebell: Click
Of the three kettlebell designs listed above I prefer the hybrid. I own a pair of 16kg, 24kg, and 32kg in the Ader “Fat Handle” line (they only go up to 32kg) and a pair of 40kg from Eleiko.
I like the square-ish grip that comes on the competition-style kettlebell but I do not find the thinner-handle to be comfortable. I also like the grip strength challenge that comes with using a kettlebell with a thicker handle. There is nothing like farmer’s walks with a 40kg Eleiko kettlebell in each hand to challenge your grip strength — the rest of your body too. I was willing to give up the bell-size-uniformity of the competition-style kettlebell in order to achieve a thicker, more comfortable, more challenging grip.
Prior to purchasing a kettlebell I suggest you find a friend or a gym where you can try out as many of the three designs listed above as you can.