Garage athletes are often gear addicts. The money we save in gym memberships and drive time often gets sunk into this or that gadget either because they’re on sale or because we think it will save time/increase safety/improve performance/save money. As my daddy once loves to say, “You can go broke saving money”. Today’s review is about the Black Widow Training Gear Strongman Pipe Collars . The collars can be purchased alone but I got a set along with a 2.5 inch axle bar. These collars are user-friendly and definitely durable.
I’m hard pressed to figure out a way for somebody to NOT know how to operate these. They don’t have many moving parts; just via a simple threaded bolt at the end of a T handle that screws down onto the bar to hold the plates in place. It’s simple and effective and I haven’t noticed any major scratches where the bolt hits either of the two bars I’ve used them on. That may change over the years but it’s not something I’m overly concerned about as I don’t have a high traffic gym.
This is where I’m really impressed with these collars. They did a far better job of holding the plates on both my 2.5 inch axle and my ZEE Ferruggia Log Press Bar than my turn and pin collars. I also loaned the Black Widow Collars out to be used for the United States Strongman True Grit Strongman Competition in Cleveland, TN on April 16th. I only wish I’d had two sets because the Black Widow collars are the only ones that DIDN’T need to be re-tightened after each set of 250lb Farmer Carries. Two different competitors had to get a re start because the other spin lock collars came loose during their events but the Black Widow collars held firm. At day’s end, I was able to get them off with only the slightest bit of effort.
The collars retail for $30 for a pair but are $15 for two if you purchase a specialty bar or handles at the same time. This is a pretty good price compared to the Rogue Fitness Metal HG Collars and OSO Axle Collars which both retail for $49.50 per pair. Granted the Rogue product is a little less abusive to a bar but considering that you’re likely to be dropping and sliding metal plates on and off of any bar you get these for I think that’s a moot point. In any case, the Pipe Collars also beat out the York Speed Collars which operate on the same principle and go for $46 at EliteFTS.com. I’d say that the only way you could beat this price would be if you used spring clamps like what you’d find in a garage but in the words of Jim Wendler; buy nice don’t buy twice.
My brother Brian, who is the handsome lad featured in the video, said he plans to contact Black Widow to have Dean send him out about four pairs of the collars because he was so impressed with how well they worked and how user friendly they are! I agree, I’ve used other speed collars as well as Lockjaw Collars and I’d still rather use these. They hold the weights better than any speed collar I’ve ever used and while I like Lockjaw products, I’d still pick the Black Widow Pipe Collar. That’s mostly based upon how inexpensive the Black Widow collars are and how easy the product is to use, especially at the end of a set of Farmer Carries when my hands don’t have the same level of manual dexterity. If you don’t know what I mean, you owe it to yourself to find out.
Final score: 9/10