What is The Best Width, Diameter, Pipe, Size for a Pull-Up Bar?

So, you are planning to make your own pull-up bar but don’t know the right dimensions?

One of the most practical means of building or setting up your own safe and effective pull-up bar is to make sure that it’s got the right dimensions.

In my experience, it’s not easy to build one.To secure one means to lay your eyes on a number of details.

And if you don’t get to find the right ones, chances are that you’ll have to manually adjust the bar to get the right set-up.

Good for you, I will share with you in this article the best width, diameter, pipe, size for a pull-up bar…

If you read this article to the end, you’ll learn:

  • The right size, diameter, pipe material, and width for a pull-up bar…
  • The right dimensions and material for a good pull-up bar…   
  • Other considerations in choosing a pull-up bar…
  • And many more.

What are you waiting for? Let’s begin our search…

What is the Best Width, Diameter, Pipe, Size for a Pull-Up Bar?

The best pull-up bar width is 46-50 inches, the best diameter for a pull-up bar is around 1-2 inches, and the highly recommended pipe you should use for a pull-up bar is a metal one. Even if there are hundreds of different sizes the best size for a pull-up bar is around 48″ x 1 1/4″.

Example of a DIY pull-up bar with the right dimensions…

But this answer only barely scratches the surface…

To learn the answers to this question better, you’ll have to understand what are the 5 most common types of pull-up bars.

According to this study [1], even if they are pretty similar in design (they all serve the same function) each one of the 5 types you’ll learn later functions differently, because they have varying designs and dimensions.

Given the diameter, attachments, functions, and the kind material a pull-up bar is made, one type may require a totally different width, diameter, pipe type (in case it’s a DIY), and size from the rest.

That’s why there isn’t a “perfect” winner but there is something really close…

If you don’t have time to build a DIY pull-up bar (or the needed equipment), and you don’t mind investing a couple of bucks to keep things safe I highly recommend you to click this link and check out my favorite pull-up bar.

Trust me, it’s totally worth it!

I’ve been using this bar for years now and it still works like new!

Do different types of pull-up bars also have different weight limits?

Yes. Each type of a pull-up bar holds a different and unique weight limit from the other. The varying sizes between the types also affect their capacity to hold weight. 

That’s why you must know what are the limits of your chosen pull-up bar before you even do your first pull-up!

>>Read our article entitled “How Much Weight Can a Pull-Up Bar Hold?” to learn more about weight limits. 

So to clearly picture out the best pull-up bar in terms of dimensions and quality, I have divided them into types.

Here are the 5 common types of pull-up bars you need to know about:

  1. Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar (click here to see product)
  2. Outdoor Pull-Up Bar (click here to see product)
  3. Door Frame Pull-Up Bar (click here to see product)
  4. Doorway Pull-Up Bar (click here to see product)
  5. Ceiling-Mounted Pull-Up Bar (click here to see product)

Now that you’ve got a good grasp of what are the 5 types and how they look (I hope you have taken the type to see the examples), it’s time to determine what is the right pull-up bar width, diameter, size, and type of pipe for you…

Let’s go!

How Wide Should a Pull-Up Bar Be?

In order for a pull-up bar to hold safely around 400-550 pounds of weight, it must be as wide as 46-50 inches [2]. 

Example of a really wide pull-up bar

But that’s not true for all the different types I mentioned above.

Depending on where it is attached, how it is to be used, and a lot of other factors, one pull-up bar type can be wider or narrower than that. 

But let’s not waste time with estimates!

Here’s a great table showing you exactly which is the perfect width for a pull-up bar of any type. Take a look:

Type of Pull-Up BarWidthWhere It is AttachedWidth Purpose
1. Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar46-48 inchesconcrete wall via wall joists or studsto allow freedom of movements, to allow several grip options (close, neutral wide), to allow explosive training, to allow other attachments (gymnastics rings/resistance bands) to allow chin-ups, to make it more stable, to hold much weight…
2. Outdoor Pull-Up Bar68-70 inchesbetween 2 sturdy posts, between 2 trees, mounted on a tree branch,around tree trunk, or wallto allow dip exercises, explosive exercises, more free movements, to allow chin-ups, several grip options, to make it extra-strong and sturdy, to allow attachment with gymnastics rings/resistance bands, to hold much weight…
3. Door Frame Pull-Up Barextendable 26-39 inches (fitted for standard doorway/frame width)upper frame of door

to fit the frame/width of door, to provide more than 1 grip, to allow chin-ups…

Note: If it’s too long, it won’t fit and worse, it could damage the door frame.
4. Doorway Pull-Up Barextendable 26-39 inches (fitted for standard doorway width)doorway/jambsto fit the frame/width of door enough for friction to work, to avoid damaging the door jambs, to take little amount of space; to facilitate easy installation…
5. Ceiling-Mounted Pull-Up Bar46-48 inchesconcrete ceiling via studs in the form of I-beams or H-beamsto allow freedom of movement, to allow a number of grip options, to allow chin-up exercises, to allow dips and explosive training, to hold heavier weight, to allow other attachments (resistance bands/gymnastics bands), to make it extra-sturdy…

In case you’re having trouble finding the right bar width for you, please take the time and check out these gymnastics rings I use instead.

Why?

Because you have full control over the width. You can place them super narrow or extra wide and let’s not forget that you can also carry them… (sadly you can’t do that with a pull-up bar)

But we are not quite finish about the width because there’s something really interesting I want to show you…

Does the width of the pull-up bar have a direct impact on your grip strength?

Yes. The width and thickness of the pull-up bar do have a direct impact on grip strength. The differences in bar width also changes the bar’s overall characteristic and capacity.

According to physics [3], a longer and thicker pull-up bar width, if properly partnered by an appropriate diameter, can increase its weight limit.

Since I mentioned diameter…

Let’s now move to the best diameter for a pull-up bar!

What is the Best Diameter for a Pull-Up Bar?

The best diameter for a pull-up bar rests on an average between 1-2 inches.

Example of the right pull-up bar diameter

The diameter of a pull-up bar plays (referring to all pull-up bar types)  much to affect its function.

While some people argue that narrower pull-up bar diameter tends to be more comfortable, others insist that a larger one is better. 

To clear out this matter once and for all, I will explain the pros and cons of each diameter size (wide and narrow)…

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Larger Pull-Up Bar Diameter?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a wider pull-up bar diameter (1 ½- 2 inches):

Pros

  • Trains/strengthens your grip
  • Keeps the pull-up bar from spinning
  • Holds much weight
  • Makes more stable bar setup

Cons

  • Makes the bar heavy to carry around
  • Makes it difficult for you to do full reps on the bar
  • Makes drilling more difficult
  • Makes it hard to grip on bar

If you are looking for a pull-up bar with a larger diameter that is well made I recommend you to click here.

This pull-up bar is an absolute champ when it comes to providing safety and a thick, non-slip grip.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Smaller Pull-Up Bar Diameter?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a narrower pull-up bar diameter (1-1 ½ inches)

Pros

  • Provides comfortable grips; allows you to do full reps on the bar
  • Provides easy gripping for beginners 
  • Makes for an easier mounting/installment
  • Consumes small space
  • Makes for a lighter bar
  • Allows outdoor pull-up bar to easily fit on bolts

Cons

  • Easily slips and moves when attached between posts/trees (for outdoor pull-up bars)
  • May become unstable (depending on the type of pull-up bar material used)
  • Weakens your gripping in the long run
  • May not hold much weight

Here is a great example of how a pull-up bar with a smaller diameter looks like.

So what’s the best diameter then?: Even if the answer to this question is pretty individual for most people the best diameter for pull-up bar types settles on 1 ½ inches.

REMEMBER: If you acquire a pull-up diameter either beyond 2 inches or lower than 1 inch, you’ll subject yourself to problems [4]:

  • Spinning bar (too small diameter)
  • Possible wrist injury (too small diameter)
  • Weak and unstable bar (too small diameter)
  • Impossible to do full grips on bar (too large diameter)
  • Impossible to do full reps on bar (too large diameter)
  • Possible difficulty in attaching the bar (too large diameter)

So in case you are a beginner, I suggest you go for 1-1 ½ inches. But if you’re advanced and that you want to train your grip further, I’d recommend that you go for 2 inches

Your choice of either using a narrower or wider pull-up bar diameter highly rests on the training effect you intend to achieve [5]

No more, no less!

Having learned the right diameter for your pull-up bar is a big step taken. But, there’s more to learn…

So let’s move on!

What is the Best Size for a Pull-Up Bar?

The best size for a pull-up bar is determined by the measurements below:

  • Diameter: 1 ¼ inches
  • Width/Length: 48 inches

What is the Best Type of Pipe for a Pull-Up Bar?

The best size type/s of pipe for a pull-up bar are:

  • Metal 
  • Galvanized plumbing pipe
  • Stainless steel

Whether you’re buying a ready-made pull-up bar, or making your DIY pull-up bar, it’s pretty important that you get your hands on this information…

Check out the table below to learn more about the best size and type of pipe for all 5 pull-up bar types:

Type of Pull-Up BarSizeType of PipeAverage Weight Limit
1. Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar48 inches wide in length,
1 ¼ inches in diameter
stainless steel400 pounds
2. Outdoor Pull-Up Bars (all types)68 inches and 1 ¼ inchesstainless steel/metal (for DIY) /galvanized (for DIY)600 pounds
3. Door Frame Pull-Up Bar31 inches and 1 ½ incheshigh-grade steel380 pounds
4. Doorway Pull-Up Bar31 inches and 1 ½ incheshigh-grade steel 380 pounds
5. Ceiling-Mounted Pull-Up Bar47 inches and 1 ¼ inchesgalvanized steel plumbing pipe/metal/steel (for DIY)700 pounds

Quick Note: Most manufactured pull-up bars are made from high-grade steel.

Interested to see how a high-grade stainless steel pull-up bar looks like? Check out my favorite product here…

Should I go for wood or metal when building or buying a pull-up bar?

Even if the metal pull-up bar is the obvious answer, wood does still has a lot of benefits as well. So depending on your specific situation you may want to choose the one or the other. And when we talk about metal, we are actually referring to galvanized plumbing pipe and stainless steel as types of it. 

To get a killer view on each of the types of pipe/materials for your pull-up bar, I will try to explain and look closely into the available materials for your pull-up bar (both manufactured or DIY)…

Should I Buy and Use a Metal or Steel Pull-Up Bar?

You should go for metal as pull-up bar because of  the following reasons:

  • It is cheap (especially spare metal rods).
  • It is readily available.
  • It is stable, sturdy, and long-lasting.
  • It does not weather.
  • It can hold heavier weight.

You shouldn’t go for metal as pull-up bar because of the following reasons:

  • It can be heavy to move and carry around. In fact, some metals are built-in to specific frames and structures. So moving them would be impossible.
  • It takes time to drill. 
  • It can rust.
  • It can hurt if it falls on you.

If you don’t have the tools and skills to weld and bend metal but still want all the benefits of a metal pull-up bar take a look at this product here.

It provides strong weight support. And it’s not necessarily heavy…

Should I Buy and Use a Wooden Pull-Up Bar or Steel Pull-Up Bar?

You should go for wood as pull-up bar because of the following reasons:

  • It does not hurt big-time in case it falls on you.
  • It does not damage the door frame/jambs.
  • It’s cheap and readily available. 
  • It’s easier to drill.

You shouldn’t go for wood for the following reasons:

  • It’s not strong and stable. 
  • It can only support minimal weight. 
  • It can weather after many uses especially when it’s exposed to moisture, humidity, etc.
  • It requires woodwork to get pull-up bar dimensions.
  • It can slip off frames anytime soon. 

If you prefer to use wood I highly recommend you to get yourself a nice set of gymnastic rings (here are the ones I use).

They are lightweight, very durable and don’t become slippery once your palms are wet.

So which is better to use – a wooden pull-up bar or a metal pull-up bar?

As you saw both wood and metal serve their own purposes. However, when it comes to stability, durability, and capacity to support weight, metal pull-up bars proves to be the best [6]

Without question, it’s also safest to use over wood for pull-up bars (both manufactured or DIY).

But if you are looking for a non-slippery, lightweight and durable material you can still go with wood.

What is the best type of metal for my pull-up bar?: The best type of metal you can use for your pull-up bar is high-grade stainless steel. 

High-grade stainless steel or even ordinary stainless steel (compared to other metal types) is well-coated so that it does not easily rust and weather. 

Alternative: You might encounter situations that make you choose between steel and galvanized plumbing pipe, or a main metal pipe. Check out the options below to weigh in options. 

Option 1- Use Galvanized Plumbing Pipe as Pull-Up Bar

Tutorial: Click the link here to learn how to install a homemade pull-up and monkey bar system using galvanized plumbing pipe.

Option 2- Use Spare Metal Pipe as Pull-Up Bar

  • The perfect option if you are planning to build an outdoor pull-up bar
  • When you’re tight on a budget and don’t want to spend beyond it
  • When you prefer a pull-up bar that you can transfer and carry around anytime (although some metal bars are attached and fixed between built-in posts like playground posts, dip bars, etc.)
  • When you’re looking for a really strong DIY bar which you can attach anywhere

Tutorial: Click here to learn how to weld a metal pipe for home pull-up workout.

Option 3- For Built-In Metal Bar:

  • When you prefer an extra-strong bar for explosive exercise, dips, etc. 
  • When you’re looking for a durable, long-term pull-up bar that is going to be extremely safe

Tutorial: Click here to learn how to attach gymnastics rings to a built-in metal pull-up bar.

Friendly Tip: Instead of wasting time and effort of drilling and installing pull-up bars why simply not get yourself a pair of rings.

They work the same way + they are 100% portable. These ones are my favorite. 

Now, it’s time to learn what’s the best overall size for a good pull bar.

Here we go…

What is the Best Overall Size of a Pull-Up Bar?

The overall size of a good pull-up bar figures the following measurements:

  • Bar diameter: 1-2 inches wide
  • Pull-up bar width/length: 31-68 inches
  • Shouldn’t either be too wide or narrow/long or short
Example of a DIY outdoor pull-up bar with the right overall size

Should I buy a super-wide or narrow pull-up bar?

Super-wide or wider pull-up bars are best for outdoor exercises, while narrower pull-up bars are designed for indoor usage.

So depending on your goals and available space pick the option you like the most.

How to pick the best pull-up bar for my needs?

To find the right pull-up bar, it’s important to look carefully into the main exercises and type of training you are going to use it for.

  • What kind of training are you going to do?
  • What specific exercises do you plan to do?
  • Where do you want to train?

Additionally you can also:

  • Read reviews before buying a pull-up bar
  • Study the differences of the pull-up bar type and their functions
  • Read the product description
  • Talk to friends or other trusted individuals and ask them how effective the pull-up bar is given its size and material

REMEMBER: These recommended qualities of a pull-up bar simply work as your guide. At the end of the day, you will have to sort out things for yourself.

If you want to skip all those things and save yourself a ton of money I highly recommend you to take a look at this pull-up bar here.

It’s wide, has the right thickness and can hold more than 550 pounds.

Conclusion

Making sure that you are using the best pull-up bar is a practical  means for achieving amazing pull-up exercise results.

Also…

It makes for a 101% safe pull-up experience. 

But finding the right pull-up bar isn’t always easy. You’ll have to dig into all its detailed qualities by answering the question: “what is the best width, diameter, pipe, and size for a pull-up bar?”. 

Ultimately, the best pull-up bar quality is one that delivers to its expected function.

And, you won’t be able to secure the best pull-up bar if you don’t read this article and if you know nothing about the pull-up bar (including its 5 common types) in the first place. 

Was this article helpful to you? Are you interested to read and learn more topics related to this? Find and click our highly-recommended titles below…

“Size up for success!”

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