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 you can certainly rep out your basic back squats and bench presses, this multi-purpose bar can also serve as your trusty companion for Olympic lifting. The moderate knurling on this barbell shouldn’t tear up your hands, and the bronze bushings in the loading sleeves allow for a free spin — but not so much spin to where you can’t perform powerlifts. 

With a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, and a tensile strength rating of 150,000 PSI, the Sabre is able to satisfy the needs of the majority of the fitness community. For those who don’t know, this rating determines how strong a barbell is. While there are plenty of barbells out there with a higher rating, we think this is solid considering this barbell costs less than $300. When it comes to finding a highly versatile barbell at a reasonable price point for your home gym, we think the Sabre is a great option.

Main Takeaways

  • This barbell is rated at 1,000 pounds, allowing you to really load heavy for your lifts.
  • The bronze bushings in the loading sleeves make it a great option for both powerlifting and Olympic lifting.
  • The Sabre comes in two different sizes (15kg and 20kg) with either a regular or black zinc coating.
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 while 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 is available in both 15 and 20 kilograms. While the 15-kilogram bar only comes in a bright zinc finish with no center knurling, the 20-kilogram option is available in black zinc with an optional center knurling. 

Optional Center Knurl REP Sabre
Optional Center Knurl

The optional center knurl may provide extra traction when squatting for those who regularly perform that exercise. 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 may also cause less noise when loading and unloading plates. The zinc finish on this bar won’t offer as much corrosion resistance as a fully stainless steel bar, but if you’re storing your gear in a climate-controlled environment, your bar will likely be just fine.

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 (up to 1,000 pounds) 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. The knurling here is fairly moderate.
  • Those who want a barbell that is cost-efficient. This barbell is available for under $300, which is solid considering its durability. 

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.


Since the Sabre is “customizable”, there are a couple of pricing options. The 15-kilogram option will run you around $200 and only comes without the center knurling and sports a regular zinc finish. The 20-kilogram bar with a regular zinc finish doesn’t differ in price whether you choose to have the center knurling or not, but it will cost you around $230. 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 about $260. These prices are about average compared to similar competition, making it a good value for those who are looking for a high-quality barbell that is versatile enough for use for various 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 upfront — 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 with 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 loading sleeves on the 15-kilogram bar are 12.5 inches long, while the 20-kilogram bar sports 16-inch sleeves.

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, and has a tensile strength rating of 150,000 PSI. Both of these numbers will accommodate most athletes, but elite lifters might need to find a stronger barbell that can handle their strength. 


Due to the bronze bushings in the loading sleeves, the Sabre Barbell is a good option for those who are looking to incorporate Olympic lifts into their workout regimen. The knurling offered here is also a great option for those who don’t want a bar that is going to tear up their hands, but it might also be too passive for those with calluses built up. The loading sleeves are smooth as butter, so we recommend tossing on some weight collars before you throw any weight around. We’re a big fan of the black zinc coating, but zinc is not the best choice in terms of corrosion resistance. 


Pretty standard in practice, this barbell features double knurl marks for your lifts. The inner markings are set by the International Powerlifting Federation, while the outer ones are set by the International Weightlifting Federation. Even though these are commonly found on barbells of this nature, it’s still a nice touch for hand placement. This knurling is on the moderate side, making it ideal for higher rep and frequency training as 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. While not everyone finds it enjoyable during Olympic lifting, some athletes actually prefer a bar with a slight center knurl to allow it to stick to their chest better.

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 take proper care of it, the Sabre can still last you nearly a lifetime. You can choose from either a regular zinc coating or a black zinc coating for your bar, but there isn’t any difference in terms of protection — just aesthetics.

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 bearings and degrade at a slower rate. 

Product Specs

The Sabre barbell from REP Fitness features a tensile strength rating of 150,000 PSI, making it a solid choice for beginner to intermediate weightlifters. Even though the weight capacity is 1,000 pounds, which is similar to an Olympic bar, the tensile strength isn’t going to be ideal for seasoned lifters who are tossing very heavy weights around. However, since the dimensions of the Sabre are similar to an Olympic bar, this is a pretty solid option for a competitor to practice with at home. 


This bar is available in both a bright zinc and black zinc finish. Since you won’t find any added protection from the black zinc, we suggest saving some money and going after the bright zinc, unless you simply don’t like that aesthetic. Overall, zinc is fairly average in terms of corrosion resistance when compared to other finishes. While it will likely hold up just fine if you clean it periodically, we suggest going after a more expensive stainless steel bar if your home gym is not climate controlled. 

You’ll find bronze bushings located on the loading sleeves of this bar. These are extremely beneficial for Olympic lifters since they provide a solid spin rate. This decreases the amount of torque on your wrists and elbows during that style of lift, which should make the lift easier on you. If Olympic lifting isn’t your thing though, don’t worry, bushings won’t prevent you from hitting your powerlifts

Dimensions and Weight

Most barbells are similar in weight, diameter, and length, but the Sabre comes in two different sizes. The 15-kilogram bar is 79.13 inches in length with a diameter of 25 millimeters and 12.6-inch loading sleeves. The 20-kilogram bar is 87.4 inches in length, features a 28-millimeter diameter, and 16.9-inch loading sleeves. 

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 weightlifters. However, if you are a true powerlifter that needs to accommodate more than 1,000 pounds, you may want to look at other available options.

Tensile Strength 

The tensile strength of a barbell tells you how much it can hold before it begins to bend or break. This number typically ranges anywhere from 120,000 to 230,000 PSI — 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 PSI, which is a great option for beginners and most recreational athletes. But if you’re an advanced Olympic lifter who can toss around some eye-popping weight, you might want to find a stronger option. 


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

Places to Buy

You can buy the Sabre Barbell through REP Fitness’ website or 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 you return your item within 30 days (as long as your equipment is still in good shape). To find more information, you can call their customer support team at 720-420-1731, or email them at [email protected]

Final Word

The REP Fitness Sabre Barbell is a versatile barbell that can handle weightlifting, cross-training, and Olympic lifts. It has a high-quality build that features a zinc coating that will provide protection from corrosion, but you’ll need to clean it from time to time if you’re storing it in a humid area. The medium knurling here also provides a pretty solid grip for your workouts, but some people may prefer a bar with a more abrasive feel. 

Since you can customize this bar to suit your needs, there is an option for everyone regarding both size and center knurling. Whether you want to cross train, practice Olympic lifts, or perform more basic lifts like bench pressing and squatting, the Sabre can accommodate your training style. With a price that is average compared to its competition and a build that is meant to last, we think this barbell can be a great buy for newbies and experienced recreational lifters alike.


What is the difference between the REP Sabre’s 15kg and 20kg 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 lifts the REP Sabre is specifically built for?

The beauty of this bar is that it is able to handle most lifts you throw at it. Whether you are practicing power cleans or loading up for a heavy deadlift, the Sabre has you covered. It’s one of the most versatile barbells we have reviewed.

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 and can help center the bar on lifts like a bench press. 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 might want to skip the center knurling as it can rub against you.