Updated: Jun 2
I love Axle Bar cleans and axle presses more than using a standard barbell for two reasons:
1: I feel it's a more "Real Life" movement since very few items are going to be as thin as a barbell and in sports it puts your hand in a more "hitting/pushing" position.
2: The strain it takes off the wrist, elbows and shoulders. Sports do enough damage, the training shouldn't.
Plus a bonus #3 reason: It's just Badass
That being said, we use multiple width bars for these movements depending on the size/strength of the athlete and the actual workout - if we are going for an even combo of grip and strength the bar will be slightly thinner than if we are going for pure grip strength/circus act competition for fun/motivation. The Thicker bars are my favorite but they just aren't meant for ever single routine and/or athlete.