Speed bag swivels may seem like fairly simple mechanisms, especially to the beginner boxer making their first swings in the gym or at home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
More than the bag, and to some degree the skill of the fighter, the swivel plays an essential part in the quality of the session.
They need to provide precisely the right amount of freedom the bag needs for fluid movement, while also keeping it secure.
A quality swivel should maintain balance and give the bag a dynamic and responsive bounce rate.
But a swivel shouldn’t just offer an enjoyable and rewarding punching experience, it also needs to be mechanically fluid.
The last thing you want to hear when you’re trying to get into the zone, reaching lightning-fast punch speeds, is the unholy screeching and whining of poorly crafted metal on metal.
The problem is, it can be incredibly hard to tell how a swivel will perform by simply looking at it. Ideally, you’d have a go with a selection of different designs, but that’s not always realistic. Not to worry though, champ.
We’re going to be rating and reviewing five of the very best in the business right here, right now. We’ll even swing through a quick buyer’s guide and FAQ section to finish things up.
Need for Speed?
Here’s our top pick right here, no messing around.
OUR TOP PICK
The Hypersonic isn’t exactly the cheapest swivel on the market, but if you’re craving high-quality materials and seamless speed sessions, it’s well worth the money.
Crafted from solid stainless steel, there’s very little chance of damage from oxidization or force, even if you’re built like a tank.
A lot of swivels on the market at the minute are made of softer more reactive metals such as brass, then coated with chrome or steel-look finishes.
The octagonal base plate makes for a much stronger foundation than a circular design as it spreads force out evenly to the corners and edges.
It also requires less surface area for installation and features a quick change loop pin for easy fitting and removal.
What stuck out to us is just how fast this thing is. If you’re working with a cheaper swivel that perhaps came as part of a starter bundle, you’ll notice a significant change of pace when you upgrade to the Hypersonic.
Some customers claim to have had a little bit of trouble with the pin being a little loose, but Forza replaced them post-haste and solved any issues they were having.
In terms of bounce, you’re not going to find any swivel more responsive and rhythmic than this. It’s just plain fun! Training will no longer be a chore.
You’ll find yourself working for longer, without the mental and physical fatigue you may have experienced with lesser swivels.
- Stainless steel construction
- Smooth Z-axis and rotation
- Practically silent
- Insanely fast
- Well balanced
- Very enjoyable and rhythmic bounce
- Quick change loop pin lets you set up and remove in an instant
- Pretty pricey for a swivel
- On rare occasions, the pin was a little loose
Our number two pick is the most popular on our list, perfect for beginners who want to avoid a metal/plastic combo swivel and head straight for the reliable, all-metal construction.
It’s a full steel design - no zinc-coatings or brass - but instead of using stainless steel, Everlast has used a powder coating to give the steel a layer of extra protection against oxidization and wear.
It’s a good touch as it keeps costs down, but it does mean it can get a bit squeaky after a few months. Still, a little bit of WD-40, and you’re set for another few months.
The circular base plate is a little larger than we’d personally like, but it doesn’t particularly hamper performance in any way.
Ultimately, it’s a super sturdy and reliable design, and it comes with everything you need for installation too.
We did notice that the cotter pin is quite long, and may in some instances - especially if set up incorrectly - collide with the base plate and skew speed and movement, but it’s an easy enough component to fix or replace, and honestly, it does make setup up less fiddly.
The Everlast Professional is by no means a perfect swivel, but it’s by far the best bang for buck swivel on our entire list.
Its problems are easily remedied, and once dealt with, you’re left with an insanely solid, high-performance product.
- Steel construction
- Powder coating protects against wear and oxidization
- Super affordable
- Comes with everything you need for installation
- Perfect swivel for beginners
- Popular tried and tested swivel
- Long cotter pin
- Gets a tad noisy after a while
- Quite large
The Pro Swivel is made of heavy-duty stainless steel with three extra coatings, mixing the structural qualities of both of our top picks.
In this case, you get chrome coatings rather than powder, which are going to prevent rust and facilitate smooth movement.
There are two variants available here. One has the EZ lock, and the other doesn’t, so get whichever you’re most comfortable with. Both swivel types have fantastic ball bearing functionality providing a really responsive bounce.
The biggest flaw that we’ve found in the Pro Swivel is the drop length. It hangs down quite a bit further than most speed bag swivels, meaning the bag has further to go before it bounces back.
So, despite that fast construction, this swivel is going to be slower overall than a lot of other designs.
It’s a great pick if you’re looking for a bit of versatility. It’s not going to be able to hold a heavy bag, but it will be great for slip bags and double end bags.
Unfortunately though, the more applications a swivel has, the weaker it will be for specific uses.
- Strongest on our list
- Can handle more than just a speed bag
- Stainless steel construction
- Triple chrome coated
- Available with EZ lock or chain link
- Very smooth and responsive
- Really expensive
- Hangs quite low which will reduce speed
Our fourth speedy swivel has a similar construction to our second pick. It has a circular mounting plate and a steel construction finished with a powder coating for extra protection and durability.
Upgrading from a stock swivel to this, you should feel a marked improvement to the feel of the punch, and a massive jump in speed.
Despite this being an incredibly heavy-duty mechanism, there is virtually no resistance, leading to a very responsive and zippy performance.
The spin is also really fluid. You can set it off and let it whizz around for around 20 seconds before it comes to a stop, which is a testament to the quality of the internal mechanisms.
There’s no doubt about it. This swivel will improve your technique, but as you’ve probably guessed by now, there is no truly perfect swivel.
There’s always something to complain about, and the big issue with the Outslayer is volume.
It’s not the squeaking or screeching that you normally associate with swivels, but the knocking of the sockets. It can get quite annoying, especially for people around you.
- Steel construction
- Powder-coated for extra durability
- Very fast and responsive
- Great spin means it’s well built internally
- Circular mounting plate is nice and small
- Makes a knocking noise
- Fairly pricey considering it’s not stainless steel
Here’s another swivel made of stainless steel and three coatings of chrome making it resilient both against rust and your fists of fury.
The name of the game here is accurate rebounds. The MaxxMMA swivel returns back at precisely the same point it was struck allowing you to maintain and slowly speed up your rhythms.
It’s definitely smoother than a lot of swivels out there, but make sure you’ve got plenty of lubricant to keep it that way.
The U Link is quite deep which slows everything down a bit, but unless you’re a pro looking to reach untold levels of speed and mastery, you should be well taken care of with this swivel.
The internal mechanism isn’t particularly well suited to professional level use either. It will probably wear out after around four to six months.
All in all, this is the perfect intermediate level swivel. It’s smooth, responsive, rebounds accurately, it’s fairly quiet so long as it's oiled, and it’s one of the most affordable and popular swivels on our list.
- Very popular product
- Super affordable considering the quality
- Stainless steel construction
- Has three chrome coats
- Smooth and accurate rebounds
- Needs plenty of lubricant
- Not suitable for professional use
- Low hanging U reduces overall speed
Best Speed Bag Swivel Buying Guide
Just because you have the fastest fists this side of the Mississippi, doesn’t mean you should rush into a purchase just as quick. It’s good to mull a few things over first.
For a small, relatively simple component, speed bag swivels can cost a pretty penny, especially when it comes to professional-grade materials. If you’re a beginner or intermediate pugilist, we’d recommend setting aside $20 - $35 dollars for a decent swivel.
For black belts and boxing gods, you should expect to pay between $50 - $100 for a swivel that can roll with your punches.
Stainless steel is best for the most part, but you’ll encounter a few other common materials on your search. Try to avoid brass if you can. Brass is incredibly strong, but it heats up faster, and so its mechanism will wear out quicker.
You’re also likely to come across plain steel swivels. Plain steel is still very strong but it’s susceptible to staining, corrosion and rust, so make sure it’s adequately coated before buying it.
The most common coatings are chrome and powder. Chrome coatings make steel even harder and prevent corrosion. A powder coating entails the adhesion of strong granular matter to the surface of the steel that offers an extra layer of defense against weather and impacts.
The only problem with powder coatings is that they texture a surface ever so slightly, which may lead to more of a jagged performance.
It’s possible you’ll also come across zinc coatings. Zinc is also a really solid metal and a great finishing touch to strengthen a core material, and it’s far cheaper than chrome.
Volume is something that can fall by the wayside when you’re shopping for your new swivel. You're looking for speed, accurate rebounds, a nice punch feel; noise doesn’t really come into the primary considerations, but it absolutely should.
In a perfect world, you only want to hear the sound of fist to bag and the following rebound. The quieter your swivel is, the easier it will be to focus on your rhythm.
There are three kinds of noises to be avoided: The dreaded squeak - Squeaking will happen when moving parts aren’t greased or if the mechanism isn’t particularly well made. The awful grind - Grinding is a result of the same process. It’s the metals rubbing against one another under weight.
The terrible knock - knocking occurs when the components aren’t fitted flush.
It must be said that these noises don’t necessarily mean a swivel is bad, as they will all fall into noisy disrepair eventually. A good swivel will last a longer amount of time before it develops noise issues and requires maintenance to fix them.
Chain Link Vs Loop Link
There’s no real difference in performance here so don’t worry too much.
U loop links tend to have an easier setup thanks to the cotter pin that grants access to the loop instantaneously.
Hook Vs Mechanical Swivel
Hook swivel systems are great for challenging yourself as they allow the bag to move in unpredictable directions. They force you to be more accurate with your strikes to achieve an accurate rebound.
Mechanical swivels - AKA all the ones on our list - have a 360-degree swivel, but when struck, they’ll travel true in one direction and rebound incredibly accurately.
This means you don’t have to be quite as accurate with your contact and they can be used to build much faster rhythms. They’re also a damn sight quieter than hook designs.
If you’re looking at U link swivels, you’ll need to consider the size of the cotter pin. If it’s too long it may make contact with the base plate and affect the speed and direction of the bag.
On the flip side, a tiny pin will be incredibly difficult to use.
Your new swivel may or may not be compatible with the hole spacing of your current setup.
It depends on the base plate and the drill holes. If you don’t want to make any alterations to your current platform, make sure you send a question to the seller asking about compatibility.
The lower a swivel drops down from the platform, the longer the distance the bag has to travel to rebound, which is going to slow things down dramatically.
If you’re looking for the fastest swivel you can get your mitts on, you need to look at shorter drop lengths.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do boxers hit speed bags?
The main reason boxers use speed bags is to strengthen their fast twitch muscles.
This kind of muscle requires fast reaction, explosive movements to develop. Speed bag sessions also improve accuracy, focus, and burn loads of calories.
Do you need gloves for speed bag?
No, gloves will slow you down.
You should use bare hands, or if you want a little bit of protection, some wraps.
How long should I hit the speed bag for?
If you want to keep it relatively chill, 5 minutes a day 3 times a week will improve your speed, rhythm, and focus.
If you want to push yourself to the max, 20 minutes a day 3 - 4 times a week will burn some serious calories, tone your shoulders and arms, and have you working the bag like a pro.
What is the best speed bag swivel?
It depends entirely on your preferences and what you want to achieve. A hook style swivel will probably make you a better fighter as it takes more technique.
A mechanical link swivel is good for building speed. Either way, you should be looking for solid stainless steel construction.
That’s that then, scrappers, five of the very best speed bag swivels around at the moment, sure to take your abilities to the next level and leave onlookers drop-jawed and wide-eyed.
Speed bag training is essential for pretty much any kind of martial art, but without that high-quality swivel, you’ll be wasting your time. It’s best to invest in something that’s going to remove limits rather than impose them.
That way there’s nothing to stop you from improving and becoming the best that you can be.