REP Sabre Barbell Review

Take your workouts to the next level with this all-purpose, zinc-coated barbell.

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A barbell is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have in your home gym, and the REP Sabre Barbell is no exception. While back squats and bench press may be the first exercises that come to mind when you think about what you can do with a barbell, you can also perform deadlifts, shoulder presses, bent rows, and even bicep curls.

The REP Sabre Barbell can withstand a lot of punishment, like loading heavy weight on either side, slamming into the ground, and racking and unracking in a power rack or squat rack. This barbell is durable and offers you a good grip without tearing up your hands in the process, thanks to the mountain grip knurling. With bronze bushings that allow the sleeves to spin freely, the Sabre from REP Fitness is a great home gym option for those who want a versatile barbell that can handle traditional lifts, as well as CrossFit and Olympic training.

Main Takeaways

  • This barbell is rated at 1,000 pounds, allowing you to really load heavy for your lifts.
  • The optional center knurling on the men’s bar allows the bar to stay in place during back squats, and the dual knurl markings make it easier to perform Olympic style lifts.
  • The Sabre comes in two different sizes, and you can choose either regular or black zinc.
REP Sabre Barbell
REP Sabre Barbell
REP Sabre Barbell

The REP Fitness Sabre Barbell is a multi-purpose barbell that comes in two sizes with the option for both center knurling and a black zinc finish. The bronze bushings allow for use during CrossFit and Olympic style lifts, in addition to traditional lifts.

REP Sabre Barbell Video Review

Our Reviews Writer, Jake, puts the REP Sabre to the test. Follow along as he walks you through everything this affordable barbell has to offer, including its pros and cons, the materials used to make it, and all the ways you can use this piece of equipment throughout your workouts. 

REP Sabre Barbell Highlights

Whether you’re looking to spend your workout squatting, benching, or deadlifting, the Sabre Barbell has you covered. It’s able to withstand the beating that barbells often take when weightlifting while also offering a max weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, making it a solid choice for both beginner and expert lifters. This barbell also comes in two different weights — 15 kilograms which is 33 pounds, and 20 kilograms which is 45 pounds — and you can choose between a regular or black zinc finish.

Optional Center Knurl REP Sabre
Optional Center Knurl

When choosing your barbell, you have the option of including a center knurl on the 20 kilogram bar. This is helpful for back squats as it creates a grip to stay in place on your back. However, if you are cross-training or performing Olympic lifts like power cleaning, you may want to leave out the center knurling as it could irritate your chest. The knurling overall is more on the moderate side, which is easier on your hands, and is a good option for those who don’t already have calluses built up.

The sleeves on this barbell are smooth, which may cause weight plates to slide more than you wish, but it also may lead to less noise when loading and unloading plates. This barbell also features a zinc finish, which may not offer as much protection as a fully stainless steel bar against rust if stored in a humid environment.

Who Should Buy the REP Sabre Barbell

  • Anyone looking for a versatile barbell to add to their home gym — the Sabre is able to hold heavy weight and withstand the tough blows that can occur while lifting.
  • Beginners who are looking for an option with knurling that won’t tear up their hands.
  • Those who want a barbell that is cost efficient — priced at $200, you are getting a high-quality barbell for a reasonable price. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the REP Sabre Barbell

  • Powerlifters who are looking for a barbell that features a more aggressive knurling for extra grip. 
  • Customers who don’t want a bar with a zinc finish. This bar has a zinc coating and may not offer as much rust protection if stored in a humid environment.
  • Athletes who are looking for a barbell that features a higher tensile strength. The Sabre has a tensile strength of 150,000 pounds, but you can find barbells with a max tensile strength of 230,000 pounds.

Price

Since the Sabre is “customizable”, there are a couple pricing options. The 15 kilogram option only comes without the center knurling and a regular zinc finish, and will cost you $199.99. The 20 kilogram bar with a regular zinc finish doesn’t differ in price whether you choose to have the center knurling or not, and will cost you $229.99. While the 20 kilogram bar with a back zinc finish does not have the option for center knurling, you will notice the price bump up to $259.99. These prices land right in the middle compared to similar competition, and is a good value for those who are looking for a high-quality barbell that is versatile enough for use during varying workouts in your home gym.

REP Sabre Barbell
REP Sabre 20kg Barbell

When checking out, you have the option of making four interest-free payments through PayPal instead of paying the whole cost up front — these prices will vary depending on which bar you choose. The 15 kilogram bar is available in four $50 payments, the 20 kilogram bar with a regular finish can be purchased through four payments of $57.50, and that price doesn’t change if you decide you want the center knurling. The 20 kilogram bar with a black zinc finish is available for four payments of $65.

Overall Build and Quality

Since this barbell comes in two different weights, the build is a bit different for both. The 15 kilogram bar has a diameter of 25 millimeters, and the 20 kilogram bar has a diameter of 28 millimeters. The plate loading sleeve for the 15 kilogram bar is 12.5 inches long, as opposed to the 16-inch sleeves on the 20 kilogram barbell.

Smooth Sleeves REP Sabre
Smooth Sleeves on REP Sabre

The 20 kilogram bar is also longer overall — 87.4 inches compared to the 79.13 inches for the 15 kilogram option. The REP Sabre is rated at 1,000 pounds, which can accommodate most athletes (outside of the elite). The tensile strength is rated at 150,000 pounds — this is a good strength level for most recreational lifters, but may be a cause for concern for more advanced powerlifters.

Features

The Sabre Barbell is a good option for those who are looking to incorporate Olympic lifts and want a bar with smooth rotating sleeves. The knurling offered here is a great option for those who don’t want a bar that is going to tear up their hands while also offering adequate grip for when your hands get sweaty. Plus, the zinc coat may help with corrosion resistance.

Knurling

Pretty standard in practice, this barbell features double knurl marks for your lifts. The inner set of markings is for powerlifters to know the widest grip possible for the bench press, while the outer markings show the widest grip for the snatch. The knurling found here is on the moderate side, making it ideal for higher rep and frequency training since it is more forgiving on your hands. 

Grip Markings REP Sabre
Moderate Knurling with Optional Center Knurl

The 20 kilogram Sabre also has the option for a center knurl, which may offer more grip during back squats. Center knurling can also be helpful for suitcase grips, and offer a better grip for your spotter while bench pressing. However, a center knurl may be problematic if you are performing a lot of power cleans as it can irritate your chest. If power cleans are often in your regimen, you may want to skip the center knurling.

Zinc Coating

Since this bar is coated in zinc, you may notice less corrosion resistance compared to a pure stainless steel bar — but if you lubricate your bar with some oil, it should remain in solid shape and potentially last you a lifetime. You can choose from either a regular zinc coating or a black zinc coating for your bar.

Sleeve Design

This barbell features smooth sleeves on either side. This may cause  your weight plates to slide more, but is also quieter than sleeves with grooves. The sleeves are also covered in zinc and use a bronze bushing to spin the bar with ease.

Bronze Bushings REP Sabre
Bronze Bushings on REP Sabre

Bushings are commonly found in versatile barbells like this one, as they create a smooth and controlled spin. Plus, they are less expensive than barbells that feature bearings while also degrading at a slower rate. 

Product Specs

The Sabre barbell from REP Fitness is crafted from steel and features a zinc coating. The weight capacity is comparable to an Olympic bar at 1,000 pounds, meaning you can really push yourself to new limits. The tensile strength on this product is going to allow the majority of athletes to perform their workouts without the fear of it breaking or fracturing. The only ones who may need to be concerned are super heavy lifters

Materials

This barbell is crafted from steel and is coated with regular or black zinc. The zinc can help with the overall durability, but may need to be oiled more frequently to prevent rust from forming.

Dimensions and Weight

Most barbells are similar in their weight, diameter, and length. The Sabre comes in two different sizes — the 15 kilogram bar is 79.13 inches in length with a diameter of 25 millimeters, while the 20 kilogram bar is 87.4 inches in length and features a 28 millimeter diameter. 

Weight Capacity

The Sabre is able to withstand 1,000 pounds of loaded weight, which is comparable to an Olympic barbell. This is a good weight for most recreational weightlifters, and may even be enough for some advanced lifters out there. If you are a true powerlifter that needs to accommodate more than 1,000 pounds, however, you may want to look at other options available.

Tensile Strength 

The tensile strength on a barbell is the term for how much a barbell can hold before it begins to break or fracture. Barbells’ tensile strength typically ranges anywhere from 120,000 to 230,000 pounds — the higher the strength, the higher the durability.

Bench Press with REP Sabre
Bench Press with REP Sabre Barbell

This bar is rated at 150,000 pounds, which is a great option for beginners and most recreational athletes. If you are a powerlifter, or simply worry that one day you will outgrow this bar, then you may want to look for another bar that is rated at a higher tensile strength. 

Warranties

REP Fitness includes a one-year warranty for your purchase, regardless of which size bar (or coating) you decide to go with.

Places to Buy

You can buy the Sabre Barbell through  REP Fitness’ website and Amazon Marketplace. 

Company Information

REP Fitness is known for making high quality products at an affordable price. If you are unhappy with your purchase, the company will give you a full refund if returned within 30 days, as long as your equipment is still in good shape. To find out more information, you can call their customer support team at 720-420-1731, or via email at [email protected]

Final Word

The REP Fitness Sabre Barbell is a versatile barbell that can handle weight lifting, cross-training, and Olympic lifts. It has a high quality build that features a zinc coating that may require more care to prevent rust. The medium knurling here also provides a solid grip for your workouts without causing you to tear up your hands. 

Since this bar is technically customizable to fit your needs, there is an option for everyone when it comes to both size and knurling. Whether you are someone wanting to cross train, practice Olympic lifts, or perform more basic lifts like bench press and squatting, the Sabre can handle it. With a price that is average compared to its competition, and a build that is meant to last — we think this customizable barbell can be a great buy for newbies and experienced lifters alike.   

FAQs

What is the difference between the REP Sabre’s 15kg and 20 kg bar?

Despite the weight difference, the 15kg bar also features a shorter length (79.1 inches compared to 87.4 inches), and a smaller diameter (25mm compared to 28mm). This is listed as the women’s bar, but really it is just ideal for people with a smaller frame. With the 20kg bar, you can also opt for center knurling, which you cannot add to the 15kg bar.

Are there any specific lifts the REP Sabre is meant to be used for?

The beauty of this bar is that it is able to handle most you throw at it. Whether you are practicing your power cleans, or loading up for a heavy deadlift — the Sabre has you covered.

Why would I opt for the center knurl on the REP Sabre 20kg barbell?

The center knurl is great for extra grip on back squats, helps center the bar on lifts like bench press, and can be helpful for any lift that forces you to grip at the center point. A center knurl may also assist your spotter while bench pressing. However, if you are someone who wants to focus heavily on Olympic lifts, you will want to go for the bar without the center knurling as you may not want it rubbing against you.