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The Best Barbell Collars for Securing Those PRs

Barbell collars can help create a safer lifting environment, so why not invest in the best for your workout needs?

female putting safety lock on barbell in gym
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When building out the perfect at-home weightlifting setup, there are a few obvious pieces to add to your cart. You'll need a quality barbell, a handful of weight plates and a bench or rack for supporting your heavy lifts. But one more must-have is essential to creating a training environment that's safe, efficient and ready for those PRs ahead.

We're talking, of course, about the all-important barbell collar.

These small accessories are vital to a barbell setup as they keep the plates from jostling — and falling — during the motions of a lift. Additionally, keeping the plates in place eliminates the need for readjustment mid-set, improving training efficiency.

There are a handful of collar styles on the market today, each with its own perks. Before hopping into the best available barbell collars for your at-home setup, let's outline these common silhouettes, as well as explain why collars are an absolute must-have for any budding lifter.

Why Use Barbell Collars?

I'm sure you've witnessed an athlete or two load up for a bench press or squat, forgo the collars altogether and rep out their given set without any issues or hazards. Admittedly, I've done this myself on occasion. This is not good practice, especially for beginner lifters that may struggle with controlling and balancing the bar throughout the entirety of a movement.

Barbell collars lock the plates into place, keeping them at the base of the barbell shaft without sliding or moving. This locked-in setup creates a more balanced, stable weight profile that's easier to control. If your plates slide, your balance can be thrown off because of the shifted loading areas on each side. This can lead to instability in your stance, and potentially allow the barbell to fling to one side causing damage to your equipment, surroundings and self.

While lifts can be completed without barbell collars in place — and there is a time for this method — the risks are far too high to make it a common practice, especially for athletes working out at home without a training partner that aren't as comfortable or confident in controlling weight. Take the extra 30 seconds and ensure your setup is as safe as possible.

Barbell Collar Types

As stated before, barbell collars can come in varying styles, each with its own locking method and price. Below are the common profiles you're likely to find when searching for a quality pair.

Clamp Collar

Clamp-style collars resemble a gear or donut that slides onto the barbell shaft once your weights have been loaded. This style of collar uses a lever or handle to clamp down on the shaft, creating pressure across the interior and increasing friction. The intuitive function and strong locking capabilities of these clamps make them a go-to for many athletes, including myself.

Lock-Style Collar

Rather than a lever or handle, lock-style collars use a threaded locking mechanism to keep the collar butted against the plates. These collars are typically heavier than other styles and require more effort to create that security, but the results are fantastic for helping ensure safety. If you're a competitive lifter, this is the style you'll see on meet days, due to the better lockdown. For personal use, however, athletes may find the experience a little too taxing.

Spring-Style Collar

Spring-style collars are commonplace in most gyms and training centers due to their budget-friendly build quality and relative ease of use. To operate these collars, you squeeze the two handles together, like a grip strengthener, slide the weight shaft through the opening, then release. Spring collars are quick and efficient but can wear out easier over extended use. Plus, the surface area creating friction across the shaft is less than that of a clamp or lock-style device, which could lead to less secure setups. While I recommend clamp collars to anyone building out their home gym, if you're on a budget, these are a good starting point that have been getting the job done for decades.

How We Tested

Ben Emminger

Outside of a few instances, I regularly use barbell collars in my training and have been lucky to work with a handful of silhouettes across my time in the gym. I've been hands-on with a number of the picks below, taking note of their build quality, security and ease of use. As I've slowly been building out my own home gym, I've also looked at different styles and features as they relate to my own personal aesthetic — look good, train good, right? All of these factors came together to create this comprehensive list of the best barbell collars on the market today.

Now, let's get set up for some serious weight and hop right into the roundup.

Editor's Note: The following collars are designed for a traditional Olympic barbell with 2-inch barbell sleeves. This barbell style is the most common among home gym enthusiasts and commercial gyms alike, but for those needing collars for standard 1-inch barbells or specialty bars, be sure to consider the required dimensions before purchase.

OSO Barbell Collars


OSO Barbell Collars


  • Rubber interior lining helps create a secure setup without scuffing up the barbell sleeve

  • High tension across the handle can make for a painful loosening experience

Thanks to a clean aesthetic, multiple available colorways and a lockdown that can’t be beat, these collars from OSO have continued to be my go-to in the space for years. I appreciate the lightweight construction that allows for easy installation, and the durable nature of these collars also makes them plenty capable of handling the typical abuse that comes from training. The rubber interior lining provides a great sense of security and friction when engaged, too, and there are zero worries of scuffing up the barbell shaft thanks to its malleable makeup.

The only thing worth noting in regard to the OSO Barbell Collars is the tension created by the lockdown. You need to be mindful of how you disengage the lever, as it can quickly spring up and lead to a few bruised knuckles along the way. Still, though, for less than $60 per pair, there are few collars I’d trust more than these impressive profiles.

Eleiko Öppen Barbell Collars


Eleiko Öppen Barbell Collars


  • Integrated magnets allow for easier storage when not in use

  • Can be more difficult to disengage than others on this list

When it comes to fitness gear of the highest quality, Eleiko sits at the head of the table. While the brand’s barbells and weight plates continue to showcase superior craftsmanship, the Öppen Barbell Collars prove the Swedish manufacturer doesn’t let the smaller details fall to the wayside. I appreciate the sturdy spring-loading mechanism built into this silhouette, as it creates plenty of tension to lock in your weight for safe, secure pushing and pulling. Plus, the integrated magnets allow for easier storage when your training days end — simply slap them onto your metal rack and keep them off the dust-riddled floor until your next session.

The Öppen Barbell Collars can be exceptional options for keeping your plates in place, but that quality lockdown does take a bit to disengage. Unloading the spring takes some force, which isn’t the most ideal scenario when you’ve just spent all your energy in your massive lift. Lastly, as with most Eleiko products, all that premium construction comes with a price — roughly double that of other collars showcased in this guide.

CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Spring Clip Collars


CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Spring Clip Collars


  • Grip handles make opening and closing these collars a more comfortable endeavor

  • Irregular openings may be too tight or wide for your specific barbell

Spring-style collars were the first silhouettes I was exposed to when beginning my fitness journey, and I’ve owned multiple pairs in my years of lifting. Across that span, I’ve grown to trust CAP Barbell’s 2-Inch offerings the most. The stainless steel construction provides plenty of durability, and the convenient grip handles make engaging and disengaging these profiles much easier before and after a set.

As with other spring-style silhouettes, though, these collars have a tendency to wear out quickly, leading to routine replacements over extended use. I’ve also fallen victim to a handful of irregularly-sized collars in my day, creating a tight fit across specific barbell sleeves that proved to be more of a workout than the exercise itself. These collars are sized for Olympic barbells with a 2-inch diameter, so you should see few hiccups if this is your setup of choice. Any specialty bars like a hex bar or other profiles may create a more snug scenario, though.

Lock-Jaw HEX Olympic Barbell Collars


Lock-Jaw HEX Olympic Barbell Collars


  • Quick-release lever allows for one-handed use

  • Smoother interior doesn't create as much tension as more grooved profiles

While spring collars are the best budget option overall, there are still plenty of cost-effective clamp collars available, like the HEX series from Lock-Jaw. I’ve used these budget-friendly collars in the past and admire how intuitive their mechanism is. With the simple flick of a thumb, you’re able to engage and disengage the lockdown with ease, creating a more efficient loading period before your next set.

I also appreciate the available colorways in the HEX series, giving your setup a nice touch of flair and personality. I do believe, however, that this profile is lacking slightly when it comes to weight security. While you’re still plenty capable of keeping your plates from jostling a ton mid-movement, the smoother interior doesn’t promote the same bite you’d experience with other silhouettes in this guide. With that said, though, I still feel they provide a better lockdown than most spring-style collars, which is why they’ve continued to serve as a trustworthy backup in my more advanced setups as of late.

Rogue Fitness Aluminum Collars


Rogue Fitness Aluminum Collars


  • Slide easily onto most barbell sleeves while still delivering great lockdown

  • Only one colorway available

Lightweight barbell collars are beneficial for a number of reasons. For one, they’re easier to handle and can be quickly added or removed from a bar. On another note, the lighter the collar, the less weight you’re adding to your overall weight total. If you’re the kind of athlete that really wants your plate stack to indicate how much you can lift, I recommend these aluminum collars from Rogue Fitness. Similar in construction to the aforementioned OSO collars, these clamps add just 0.5 pounds to your overall weight. Despite their featherweight construction, these collars can create a superior lockdown with very little give.

It’s hard to not acknowledge the clean aesthetic brought to your setup with the polished aluminum, too. It just gives an added note of cleanliness, no matter how rugged or beaten your other equipment is. If you’re an athlete that prefers more vibrant, colorful accessories, however, you may be better off with another silhouette. Rogue only offers these aluminum collars in a silver hue.

Editor’s Note: Rogue does feature aluminum collars with cerakote finishes, which widens the color palette of this profile, but for a heightened price of nearly $70.

Titan Fitness Proloc 1 Barbell Collars


Titan Fitness Proloc 1 Barbell Collars


  • Compatible with most Olympic and specialty bars like logs, Swiss bars and others

  • Not as secure for Olympic weightlifting movements

These Titan Fitness Proloc 1 collars can be an excellent choice for athletes that typically utilize non-traditional barbells in their training regimen. The on/off twist-style knob allows for a wide range of lockdowns across Swiss bars, safety squat bars, logs and more, giving this silhouette plenty of use across more advanced lifting setups. Plus, a high-strength nylon construction helps promote better durability, meaning these collars are sure to last you throughout your fitness journey without fail.

Because the lock-style collar places tension at one pinpoint spot across the barbell sleeve, these collars may be best suited for less dynamic movements. Some athletes have noted that the collars can begin to spin or loosen if not engaged properly across Olympic weightlifting exercises like snatches and cleans. If you normally partake in these exercises, you may want to choose a clamp-style collar. For everything else, however, these are more than ready for the job.

Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collars


Lock-Jaw PRO 2 Barbell Collars


  • Snap latch and wider lever promote better security

  • Polymer construction may be susceptible to failure if dropped

If you’re ready to step your lifting up to the next level, you’ll want a set of collars that can handle the task. These clamps from Lock-Jaw beef up the lockdown thanks to the interior Anti-Slide grip, and a wider lever marries well to an added snap latch for easier on and off. I think these are a great silhouette for more intermediate lifters because these clearly showcase what a quality collar can do without breaking the bank.

There is still a little meat left on the bone for further advancement, however, and I see that mostly in the polymer exterior. Some athletes have seen these clips fail after a drop, which indicates potential durability issues. If you frequently drop your weights, either from the top of a clean or at the lockout of a deadlift, you may want to consider a bulkier, metal collar that can better withstand the abuse.

Rogue Fitness HG 2.0 Magnetic Collars


Rogue Fitness HG 2.0 Magnetic Collars


  • Integrated magnet creates easier, more convenient storage

  • heavier than other collars at 1 lb. per pair

It can be a pain to try and track down a set of collars before you hit the weights, but these profiles from Rogue take the strain out of storing your must-have lifting accessories. Thanks to an integrated magnet, the HG 2.0 collars snap easily onto your rack or bench, allowing for easier locating and handling when trying to add plates.

I also really enjoy the security created across the locking mechanism and found no instances of jostling or movement during testing. If you’re a stickler for rounded weight totals, however, these could be your downfall. A heavier construction means that a pair of HG 2.0s can add one pound to your totals, leading to odd numbers that make calculations a little more involved. While these aren’t the lone barbell collars to utilize an integrated magnet — see the Eleiko Öppen Barbell Collars above — the more approachable price point does lead them to be more convenient than others, both from a functional and financial standpoint.

OSO CM-1 Metal Collars


OSO CM-1 Metal Collars


  • Varying collar and rubber plug colorways available for an expanded palette of potential combinations

  • Less secure than other OSO collars

With multiple colors available for both the collars themselves and the rubber lock inserts, you could essentially create a barbell collar that’s entirely unique to your style with the CM-1s from OSO. Plus, the security is pretty solid, albeit not as friction-loaded as the original OSO silhouette. I also really appreciate the longer handle, as it makes for a more intuitive engagement that can be done with a quick, firm pushdown.

It should be noted, too that these 6061 billet aircraft-grade aluminum collars do come in on the heavier side, but that can be more expected with a metal collar as opposed to a resin profile, like the Rogue HG 2.0s listed before. While these CM-1s do clock in at approximately one pound per pair, they’re still a damn fine collar for most, especially those that can’t stand the black and grey tones that plague most lifting equipment.

PRx Performance Talon Barbell Collars


PRx Performance Talon Barbell Collars


  • Snaps easily into place across a barbell sleeve

  • Must be wiped down and kept free from dust to ensure proper tension

Remember those snap bracelets that everyone wanted to own in elementary school and junior high? Well, that’s pretty much what these are, just for the lifting community. The Talon Barbell Collars snap across the barbell sleeve when engaged, creating a lockdown that’s convenient and simple to master, outside of the minor adjustments to have them sit flush with the plates. Plus, there are a handful of colorways available, adding to the snap bracelet comparison with further options for personalization.

These barbell collars do require a little more attention than most, however, as in order to maintain that tension and lockdown, the interior side needs to be kept free of dust and debris. This can require athletes to routinely clean the inside with soap and water, which is definitely an extra step when compared to other clamps, locks and springs. If you like a little bit of novelty to go along with your training, give these a go. If you’re more invested in quality, reliable gear that doesn’t require a regimented wash cycle, there are other options out there.

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