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Powerlifting is a pure strength sport. It involves three lifts – the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Thus powerlifting barbell is stiff or rigid in order to better withstand heavier weights. And there is no flex found in an Olympic barbell. As a result, powerlifting barbell can also be longer and/or thicker to allow more weights.
Other than that, there are also slightly different in knurling or grip marks. First, the grip marks on the power bar handles are closer together (810mm apart, compared to 910mm on the Oly); Second, the grip (hash) marks of the powerlifting bar is used to check the legal hand position of the bench press, while the hash mark on the Olympic bar is actually only a reference point; Third, powerlifting barbell doesn’t actually need sleeves to rotate freely like on Olympic bars, so they use bushings instead of expensive bearings.
At last, the powerlifting barbell has a central knurling, and it is mainly used for back squats. The purpose of this center knurling is to prevent the barbell from sliding down the back on heavy lifts. Furthermore, as for knurling depth or aggressiveness, powerlifting bars tend to be deeper, sharper and rougher.