The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar/Hex Bar is a formidable contender in the market of specialty bars featuring rotating sleeves, an open-end frame, and built-in deadlift jack all for less than $300. Weighing in at 47 pounds, Bells of Steel does not disclose tensile strength but, with a 700-pound weight capacity, this bar works for the vast majority of the population.
The Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar/Hex bar stands out from its competitors as one of the only trap bars on the market to feature rotating sleeves. While not a necessity on trap bars, the rotating sleeves are a nice touch. They are smooth, feel and sound good when lining up during deadlifts, and they do not have powder coating, which often chips or erodes over time.
This specialty bar also comes equipped with a built-in deadlift jack, which is a feature usually reserved for expensive models. The built-in deadlift jacks allow you to add and remove plates with ease. Simply rotate the bar vertically like a lever until it is sitting on the feet of the jacks and the plates will end up inches from the floor.
Yet another unique aspect of this bar is the open-ended frame design, which provides several benefits over the traditional frame. The open design enables more exercise options including split squats, Romanian deadlifts, weighted carries, and lunges while still maintaining the balance of a traditional trap bar.
While Bells of Steel claims there is an aggressive knurling on this bar, most users felt it is medium at best and lacks consistency. This bar will bend when loaded with particularly heavy weight but, for under $200, that is not surprising. Packaging is reportedly poor, which is not a dealbreaker but certainly something to note.