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If you’re looking for a specialty barbell to add to your growing collection of the best home gym  equipment but you don’t want to break the bank, it’s worth considering the Vulcan Buffalo Barbell. 

While this Buffalo-style barbell may live in the shadow of the famous Kabuki Duffalo Bar, Vulcan throws a hat in the ring with the release of a budget-conscious cambered bar with some high-quality finishes like the center knurling and bronze bushings. 

Regardless if you squat high-bar or low-bar, if you’re a powerlifter on a budget, this Vulcan Buffalo Bar review is for you. 

We’ve Tested Over a Dozen Barbells and Counting

Here at Garage Gym Reviews, we collect not only the best equipment to test and review—we also collect the best and most knowledgeable folks to test, train, and write reviews on equipment. Our expert product testers are fitness industry professionals, ranging from Olympic athletes to certified personal trainers, with decades of collective experience. 

For this Vulcan Buffalo Bar review, lead reviewer for Garage Gym Reviews Everything, Lindsay Scheele, put the cambered bar to the test with both squats and bench press. 

Vulcan Buffalo Bar

Vulcan V-Buffalo Barbell V2.0

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 47-lb buffalo bar
  • Specialty bar for squat or bench
  • Curve alleviates strain on biceps, back, and chest
  • Doesn’t change positioning of the squat or bench
  • 165k tensile strength 
  • 800-lb weight capacity
  • Black hard chrome shaft
  • Matte hard chrome sleeves
  • Medium-sharp knurling

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Inexpensive buffalo bar
  • Hard chrome finish
  • Good knurling

Cons

  • Not as high of a weight capacity as similarly priced bars
  • Not many reviews

Bottom Line

The Vulcan V-Buffalo Barbell V2.0 is a solid option for specialty bars. Designed with a slight curve to the bar, this buffalo bar will help relieve some strain on your back, chest, or biceps, without adjusting the position of the squat. Finished with black hard chrome on the shaft and matte hard chrome on the sleeves, this bar is rated to hold up to 800 pounds, a weight suitable for most lifters.

A Quick Look at the Vulcan Buffalo Bar

Vulcan Strength Training Systems is a Veteran-owned company based in North Carolina. The brand manufactures a wide variety of equipment for pretty much everything you’ll ever need for strength and conditioning exercise. 

In addition to a variety of straight bars, the brand offers more than a few specialty barbells including axle bars, curl bars, football bars, safety squat bars, trap bars, and strongman log bars. It’s worth noting that Vulcan manufactures equipment both internationally and in the USA. 

Later in this review, we’ll compare the Vulcan Buffalo Bar to other big names in the strength manufacturing industry including Rogue and Titan. 

Before You Buy

  • Buffalo bars are specifically designed for squatting and can be used for pressing, too.
  • Bronze bushings require less maintenance than composite or stainless steel bushings. 
  • The knurling patterns may feel or look different in certain areas due to the fact the barbell is bent after the knurl is cut. 

Is the Vulcan Buffalo Bar Worth It?

If you’re serious about strength training or you train for powerlifting competitions, the Vulcan Buffalo Bar might be worth the $370 investment. 

The design is meant to make squatting more comfortable for folks with shoulder pain or mobility issues because your torso is positioned more upright and allows you to put less stress on the biceps and shoulder girdle. This is due to the fact the bar is angled downward and you don’t have to reach nearly as far to grip the barbell. 

Vulcan Buffalo bar end cap

RELATED: Best Shoulder Exercises 

What’s interesting about this type of specialty barbell is the fact it does not change your fulcrum, stance, or muscles emphasized while lifting (like a safety squat bar does). Essentially, if you have shoulder issues this could replace your traditional Olympic barbell. 

Great for:

  • Limited biceps or shoulder mobility 
  • Low- or high-bar squats 
  • Increasing range of motion on bench press
  • Overhead press

Not recommended for:

  • Casual exercisers 
  • First-time specialty bar owners
  • Deadlifts

Vulcan Buffalo Bar Specs

Price$369.99
Shaft Diameter1.25” (32 mm)
Sleeve length16.5”
Sleeve diameter1.96” (50 mm)
Weight47 lbs
Length87.5” 
Tensile strength165k tested to 800 lbs lifting capacity 
RotationBronze bushing
FinishBlack chrome shaft, matte chrome finely grooved sleeves
WarrantyNo

Lifting with the Vulcan Buffalo Bar

One of the first things Lindsay noticed was that the camber (curve) always spun downward in the rack. While that’s not uncommon, it’s something worth noting if you’re new to speciality bars. Unlike a straight bar, many specialty bars require you to rotate or fidget with the starting position because it rotates in the rack. 

Woman rotating Vulcan Buffalo bar in squat rack

Plus, the more weight you have on the bar the more difficult it becomes to rotate. The good news is that there is a mostly horizontal section that rests in the j-cups—you won’t have to fight the camber too much. 

RELATED: DIY J-Hook Liners

Lindsay also noticed that the knurling was more aggressive than she anticipated after the spec chart advertised it as a medium sharp knurl. Lindsay also read some reviews and comments online of other folks being surprised about the knurling, too. 

When it comes to usability and adding a camber bar to regular training, Lindsay wants to remind lifters at home that the versatility is limited on the Vulcan Buffalo bar. Overall, she rates this versatility as 3 out of 5 stars. 

“This is a great bar for the squat and bench. You could do some other movements on it as well, but overall this isn’t the most versatile bar,” says Lindsay. 

RELATED: What Muscles Does the Bench Press Work?

Bar Weight Capacity Suitable for Home Gym Owners

One of the first things we look at when we test any barbell is how much additional bar weight it can tolerate. The tensile strength is a way to measure how much force a barbell can take (aka stress or load). That is why tensile strength is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). 

Woman loading Vulcan Buffalo barbell

Lindsay rates the tensile strength of this barbell at 3.5 out of 5 stars because it’s rated at 165,000 PSI, which is less than some of the competitors on the market. The website stated that the bar is tested to a 800-pound lifting capacity—which is similar to some of the best budget barbells you’ll find. 

Although most folks don’t lift upwards of 800 pounds, I know that’s not the case for everyone. If you’re super strong or even teetering toward numbers like 800, you’ll want to check out our barbell buying guide.  

Steady with Some Rotation

When it comes to the rotation system, the barbell anatomy of the Vulcan features a quality bronze bushing rotation system. Lindsay gives the bar a 3-out-of-5-star rating. “It has some spin, but really not needed for the lifts you will do with this bar,” says Lindsay.

Woman benching with Vulcan Buffalo bar

And she’s not wrong. You don’t want the bar rotating very quickly with the bow-shape of the bar. For Olympic Weightlifters, it’s more important to use a barbell that rotates more quickly because of how much wrist-turnover happens during Olympic lifts. 

Barbell Coating and Knurling 

The Vulcan Buffalo Bar has a black chrome shaft and finely grooved chrome sleeves. Lindsay approves of the coating and gives it 4 out of 5 stars. 

The knurling on the other hand is advertised as “medium sharp knurling,” but in reality, Lindsay says it’s quite an aggressive knurling. She also notes that it “feels different in different places because of how the bar is bent.”

RELATED:
What is Barbell Knurling?

Close up of Vulcan Buffalo barbell knurling

The website does state that the knurling is cut on a straight bar and then bent, so there will be some variations across the shaft because the knurl gets distorted during the bending process. It’s also worth noting there is center knurling featured on this bar with a line in the dead center of the bar. 

Vulcan Buffalo Bar vs Rogue Buffalo Bar

Rogue CB4

Rogue CB-4 38mm Buffalo Camber Bar

GGR Score: 4.0 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Buffalo-style barbell
  • Features thick steel, heavy-duty materials
  • Vetted by strongest athletes in the world
  • Comparable to the Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar
  • Increased comfort due to the larger steel

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Thicker steel provides more comfort and security during lifts
  • While expensive, it’s a great value for a specialty bar
  • Features cerakote and brass bushings

Cons

  • Multiple complaints of bars arriving in damaged boxes
  • Knurling is blunted due to manufacturing process
  • We’ve seen some complaints of bars having bent sleeves

Bottom Line

The Rogue CB-4 38mm Camber Bar is a well-made, and heavy-duty Buffalo-style bar that is great for powerlifters and other lifters with shoulder issues.

While the Vulcan is more affordable than the Rogue CB4, the CB4 has a higher weight capacity (966 pounds) and a lifetime warranty—two elements we consider when thinking about durability. 

OG product tester and founder of GGR, Coop Mitchell, says the oversized 38 millimeter shaft on the Rogue CB4 is a really nice feature and stands out against the competition. That said, not everyone is going to like gripping around something bigger than a traditional barbell. 

Vulcan Buffalo BarRogue CB4 Buffalo Bar
Price$370$425
Barbell weight47 lbs60 lbs
Barbell length87.5” 95”
Shaft finishBlack chrome shaftCerakote
Shaft Diameter32 mm (1.25”) 38 mm (1.49”)
WarrantyNoLifetime warranty 

Vulcan Buffalo Bar vs Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar

Duffalo Bar

Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 55-lb cambered barbell
  • Designed for squat and bench 
  • Engineered by Chris Duffin
  • Bronze bushing system
  • 3 metal finish options

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • 3 knurl markings
  • 195,000 PSI tensile strength
  • Good for anyone lacking shoulder mobility
  • Aggressive knurling
  • 17.25” loadable sleeve

Cons

  • Expensive price tag
  • No warranty offered with the bar
  • Curved design does not sit well in many J-cups

Bottom Line

The Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar is one of the best specialty bars on the market, however, it comes at a high price. We've tested and reviewed it for nearly two years and find ourselves using the bar for squats more than just about any other. The knurling and bend are vastly superior to cheaper buffalo bars and, as usual, the attention to detail is high. If you're in the market for a new specialty bar and have the cash, this is a great option (but we'd suggest a safety squat bar first.)

The Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar is most similar to the Rogue CB4, but because we included the CB4 in our comparisons, I’m going to include the Duffalo Bar, too. The Duffalo was designed by Chris Duffin, who is known for being an entrepreneur in the strength and conditioning industry (and his crazy strength and massive physique). 

Compared to the Vuclan, the Duffalo is longer, heavier, and more expensive. It’s also rated for a 1,500-pound weight capacity and has a 17.25-inch sleeve for loading on a ton of weight plates. 

Vulcan Buffalo BarKabuki Strength Duffalo Bar
Price$370$620
Barbell weight47 lbs55 lbs
Barbell length87.5” 96”
Shaft finishBlack chrome shaftVaries
Shaft Diameter32 mm (1.25”) 32 mm (1.25”)
WarrantyNoLifetime warranty 

Vulcan Buffalo Bar vs Titan Fitness Yukon Bar

Titan Yukon

Titan Yukon Bar

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 3.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Cambered speciality barbell
  • Priced under $300
  • 6” curvature
  • 50 lbs
  • 1,500-lb weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Self-oiling bronze bushings
  • 17.5” loadable sleeve
  • 2,000-lb weight capacity
  • Affordable price tag

Cons

  • Curvature doesn’t sit well in J-cups
  • Bar can flip due to curvature
  • Passive center knurling

Bottom Line

The Titan Yukon Bar is the best priced buffalo bar that we have tested and reviewed. The bar can handle whatever poundages you plan to lift, has a decent knurl, rotating Olympic Sleeves, and an awesome price to boot. If you want the best, go with the Kabuki Duffalo Bar. If you want the best priced that is also something we would not be scared lifting with, this is the one.

The Titan Yukon Bar is the most comparable in price to the Vulcan. However, the Titan features a price point under $300 and is rated for 1,500 pounds on the bar and has tensile strength rated at 180,000 PSI. 

It’s worth noting that the main thing our product testers don’t like about this bar is the fact you need to load it evenly to prevent the bar from flipping. Coop goes over that (and more) in the Titan Yukon Barbell review video

Vulcan Buffalo BarTitan Fitness Yukon Bar
Price$370$290
Barbell weight47 lbs50 lbs
Barbell length87.5” 96”
Shaft finishBlack chrome shaftBlack oxide
Shaft Diameter32 mm (1.25”) 32 mm (1.25”)
WarrantyNo1-year

Customer Service and Experience 

Lindsay rates the customer service at Vulcan Strength at 3.5 out of 5 stars. She notes the brand has a general inquiry form where you have to wait for an email response back, and says, “I wish there were more options to get ahold of them, but I also don’t see any negative reviews about their customer service.”

After a little more website sleuthing, I found a phone number you can call on the returns and exchanges page. They list the physical address of the company on the return page, too.  

Company Policies  

Overall, Lindsay rated Vulcan Strength at 3 out of 5 stars when it comes to company policies. Here’s what you can can expect: 

Warranty Policy

The warranty policy is not explicitly stated while you’re reviewing the specs of the Buffalo Bar (or any other piece of equipment for that matter). 

Woman benching with Vulcan Buffalo bar

However, after digging into the terms and conditions page, I found a warranty disclaimer that states the brand’s website and the materials and products on this site are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind. Ouch! That’s not what we like to see—we’d hope for a one-year warranty policy at the very least. 

Return Policy 

Vulcan offers a pretty standard 30-day window to return items, but you will be on the hook for the return shipping costs and potentially a 20% restocking fee for items that are not being exchanged for an item of equal value. 

And before you decide to pack anything up and make a return, make sure you contact Vulcan for a return authorization number, otherwise they’ll send it right back to you. The brand also expects returned items in the original packaging and in unused condition. 

Ordering and Assembling the Vulcan Buffalo Bar

Here’s what you can expect when ordering the Vulcan Buffalo barbell: 

Financing Options

At checkout, Vulcan offers the option to use your credit card, PayPal, Venmo, or PayPal’s Pay Monthly option. It’s worth noting that the financing option through PayPal has a fixed APR starting at 9.99% to 35.99% based on your credit history. 

Also, the fine print notes that rates can go as low as 4.99% from time to time. Yes, it literally says “from time to time” on the website. Loan terms can also vary depending on the purchase amount.

Shipping

Firstly, we’re impressed with the fact that heavy and large items like rigs, racks, and barbells ship for free from Vulcan. While free shipping does not extend outside of the contiguous United States, it will be a nice price break for folks living within the lower 48. 

Woman squatting with Vulcan Buffalo

Some items require freight shipping. On the website, the brand states that freight shipping doesn’t include unloading items off the truck and that responsibility falls on you (which I find odd, not going to lie). 

In our case, we received the Vulcan Buffalo barbell at our warehouse in Missouri as a normal shipment. Lindsay notes it was “well protected in the box” and rates it as a 5-out-of-5-star experience as far as shipping and delivery goes. 

Customer Reviews

At the time of writing this review, the current 2.0 version of the Vulcan Buffalo bar is still relatively new to the market. There are currently 4 reviews featured on the Vulcan Strength website for the Buffalo bar, all of which have a favorable 5-out-of-5-star review.

While it’s a little suspicious the two most recent reviews are written by Eric (potentially the same Eric), we’ll let it slide. Additionally, for what it’s worth, I couldn’t find additional reviews on Amazon or Google.

Final Verdict of Our Vulcan Buffalo Bar Review

The Vulcan Buffalo Bar is not the barbell for every home gym owner. You’ll find it beneficial if you have shoulder pain while squatting or you actually can’t squat due to your lack of shoulder mobility. 

While myself and the GGR team hope that you take care of yourself and practice your mobility exercises, the Vulcan Buffalo Bar can allow you to train safely while you rehabilitate your joints. Plus, the Vulcan Buffalo Bar won’t break the bank with a price tag under $400 and free shipping. 

Vulcan Buffalo Bar Rating

Overall score: 3.5

Construction – 4
Tensile strength – 3.5
Delivery – 5
Durability – 3
Versatility – 3
Knurling – 4
Value – 3
Rotation system – 3
Coating – 4
Customer service – 3.5
Warranty, financing, returns – 3

Vulcan Buffalo Bar FAQs

What’s the point of a Buffalo bar?

One of the main benefits to a Buffalo-style barbell is how the slight curve sits more naturally on the back, shoulders, and traps. This can benefit folks who have shoulder pain or mobility issues or just need less stress on the upper back while squatting. 

The Buffalo bar can also be used to add variety to a powerlifting training block. Some folks even perform good mornings, bench press, and overhead press with Buffalo bars. 

What is the alternative to the Duffalo bar?

The most comparable barbell to the Kabuki strength Duffalo barbell is the Rogue CB4. We have a comparison of the two featured in our Rogue CB4 Buffalo Bar review

What weight is the Buffalo bar?

Buffalo-style barbells vary in weight depending on the manufacturer. Most of the Buffalo barbells we’ve tested fall between 47 to 60 pounds. 

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