If you are even considering buying a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells, that tells me you are working out at home to save money on a monthly gym membership or you have a home gym and want to expand it so you can do more workouts at home.
I wanted a pair myself so I went out looking at all the different types out there and documented what I found below. There are various types to choose from and the price range of course is all over the place.
My hope is to help you find a set you can use for your own personal use at the best price. So, Let’s get started.
Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2018 Comparison Table
|Bayou Fitness 50 lb|
4.0 out of 5
|Bowflex SelectTech 552|
4.5 out of 5
|CAP Barbell 40-pound|
4.5 out of 5
|Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock|
Set & Stand
4.5 out of 5
|MTN Gearsmith Heavy|
4.0 out of 5
|Power Block Sport|
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
|XMark 25 lb.Dumbbells|
4.0 out of 5
|52.5 lbs Adjustable|
Cast Iron Dumbbell
4.5 out of 5
Why Buy Adjustable Dumbbells? – Save Space!
Most of us are lucking to have a small dedicated workout room. For the rest of us I bet the kids have not taken over or it’s dedicated to a spare bedroom. So you are forced to workout in your living room!
As of right now, I’m winning the battle with my wife and I have a workout room that I can call mine. I’m sure that will change as the kids get older and want to move one of their bedrooms downstairs. ugh……
With this small dedicated room I have or for others, it could be your living room or garage, I have to be very conscious about what I put in there. It’s such a small space that if I put too much crap in there I can’t even do my workout.
Adjustable dumbbells have to be the biggest bang for your buck in any piece of home gym equipment you buy because of the 100’s of exercises you can do with them and the small amount of space it takes up. You combine these with an an adjustable weight bench and you dang near have everything you need to get after it.
I’m going to list out the most popular models so you get straight to the point of looking at what you need to buy that is not a piece of crap. I have the top models separated into each different type to further help you narrow your choices down as they are different.
This model has been extremely popular for years. I have used these personally and they absolutely work for any exercise you can think of. They do use a dial system to select the weight in 2.5 pound increments.
This is really cool because with that small weight increment you actually have 15 weight settings that start out at 5lbs and go up to 52.5 pounds. This will honestly cover probably 80 percent of you looking for a set.
The plates are covered in plastic, so you definitely can not drop these at all. We have dropped them on accident and they didn’t break but, if it’s done enough times, you won’t be happy with the results.
If it happens you can send them into bowflex to get replaced or fixed based on their warranty.
Here is another dial system set for your home gym. This set is geared toward a beginner weight lifter or someone who is not needing a lot of weight for their workouts. You can adjust the dial down to 4 pounds or all the way up to 45 pounds. In all honestly, this is what most of you will really need and it won’t take up a lot of storage space at at 14” long x 15” wide x 7” tall.
It has a rubble handle and the weights are plastic coated. You do get a stand with this set as well which is a nice addition. Overall you replace 9 different weight options by buying this pair.
These are very popular and come in different ranges of 45 to 75 pound kits. What makes them stand out is that you can buy expansion kits for them and go really heavy with them if you need too. Their is also a stand for them but you need to buy it separately. That stand is nice because you can store the extra weights in there rather than laying them on the floor when you are not using them. The plates are square welded steel with a chrome handle.
To use the Ironmaster quick-locks, you utilize the quick lock system that pulls out allowing you to remove or add more plates. It’s really simple to use. You can see more pictures of it on amazon here.
This set is designed to move the pin to the desired weight you want to lift with. Xmark has 2 models for you to choice from which is a 25 lb or 50 lb set. They increment every 5 lbs, handle is 12 inches long and comes with stand to store them on.
These are built to last as they are chrome plated and really look nice in your home gym. They do sit in a plastic case for storage so you can sit them on the floor tucked away. One thing to note about these is that customers have stated that it is difficult to get them out of the case then adjusting the weights.
This set has chrome plated steel plates. You can slide the pin selected from 10 to 50 pounds of weight. Many customers complimented how easy it is to slide over and use which a more positive than the xmarks. These do sit in a plastic tray as well. You might want to sit them on a table or even crates to get them off the floor so you are not bending over to get the weight
So, there is a classic, sport and elite model here to choose from. Their is a small difference between the sport and classic that should be noted. The powerblock sport has a bit more room in the grip area, handle is rounded and is not padded.
The classic has a padded handle and the handle is straight. The powerblock sport comes with a 15 year warranty and the powerblock classic comes with a 10 year warranty.
These are coated with a urethane coating. They are a bit more durable than the SelectTech 552 but I would not drop them either. One major difference is that the are square where the SelectTech 552 have rounded plates.
The cool thing about powerblock is that they have kits you can buy to add more weight so you are not limited on your weight you bought originally. There is also a powerblock Elite model that is for heavy weight. Some of you will want to start out with that.
You can literally buy the 50 pound elite set and expand it to 70, 90 or 130 pounds! No excuses with these guys you can jack up the weight here. You literally replace 16 pair of dumbbells with these bad boys. Check out the Video Below to see them in action.
You can buy a pair here on amazon
This is where I personally lean towards because I like to go heavy for my bench press workouts. I also plan on dropping them without worrying about breaking them. I only do this of course when I’m pushing 100 pound pairs and I don’t want to carrying them both or come up with them from a lying position.
These guys are also the quality of dumbbells you will see in the gym. The handles are chrome plated and the weighted plates are cast iron with a semi-gloss coating that is rust proof. What’s cool about this is that if you compare a 52lb set price against the bowflex seletecTech 552, they are actually cheaper than the 552. Both of these guys are solid and I would recommend buying.
You can buy these cheap dumbbell sets starting at a 40 pound pair and go all the way up to a 200 pound dumbbell set which is actually 100lbs per dumbbell. You can buy extra weights to expand on them as well. Lastly, they secure tightly with a start collar lock so the weight plates are solid and don’t bang around when you are lifting them
These are really sweet. You have a lot of options with them and man they are heavy duty. You can get these in cast iron or chrome plated.
I prefer the chrome look myself. It spices up the look of my gym at home. You can get these in a 52.5 or 100 pounds. Big note here when you are buying these. Make sure you understand that the cheapest price is only for 1 dumbbell. You need to get the 100 or 200 pound option to get a set of them.
I am just personally a fan of collar locks. They just feel more real to me and are easier to do exercises like tricep curls and bicep curls. I also love the fact that the handles are threaded. So, when you put the collar lock on you literally turn it tight which in turn prevents the plates from rattling around when you are doing something like bench press with them
Cap barbell is one of the best fitness makers in the industry and it’s not surprise that their dumbbell set is a really popular set that people are buying to workout at home.
This is a standard 40 pound set that is perfect to get started, cheaply priced but made with quality products you would expect from Cap Barbell. They do have larger adjustable weight sets if 40 is not enough.
The set comes with a sweet storage case that you can put your dumbbells in so that they are not lying around on the floor keeps your workout area clean. The plates are solid cast iron with a nice semi gloss coating that looks great, will take a beating and is rust free. They are nice and durable!
The handles are steel with a knurl pattern that makes it easy to grip. The collars are threaded so they lock in the weights very secure and won’t move around on you like other dumbbells do. This is a big bonus!
Here is what comes with the kit:
- 2 – 4lb handles
- 4 – 1/2lb threaded Collars
- 4 – 2.5lb weighted plates
- 4 – 5lb plates
- Plastic Carrying Case
This is a great beginner set, especially for women you don’t need a lot of weight for your workouts to get started. Now, I do want to mention that you can buy extra plates for this that will allow you to increase the total weight that you can use with it. So, it is expandable and overall a really nice set for the price point. Ok, honestly at this point you seriously have a great list of the top rated dumbbells you can buy.
Cost Of Adjustable Dumbells VS Regular Dumbbels
This little bit here will help you justify the cost you will have purchasing a new pair of adjustable dumbbells. Let’s assume that the going rate for a solid dumbbell is $1.25 cents per pound. So, let’s also assume out of an adjustable dumbbell set we can get 11 pairs of dumbbell combinations to workout with. With most sets there is actually way more than 11.
We will keep our example simple and assume the weight increment are 5lbs and our total weight for the dumbbell set is 55 pounds. That means if we were to buy all of these separately we would have the following sets to buy: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55. So, that is 11 dumbbell sets or 22 single dumbbells.
The total weight for all 22 has a total weight of 670 pounds. We multiply 670 lbs by $1.25 which equals $837.50. Let that sink in for a minute. The adjustable dumbbell sets we will look at will be in the 200-300 dollar range, so you will be saving $500-$600 dollars by not buying them individually. On top of that you would have to buy a rack to hold them, so add another $100 dollars in savings on top of that. Ok, all of that so you could feel a lot better about purchasing the best adjustable dumbbell set for your home gym. It’s the right decision, so no more worrying about that.
Great So, Who Are the Manufactures?
Bowflex is one of the most popular brands you will find as an option when you are searching on the web and rightfully so. The have been making home gym equipment for years and have a great reputation. You will also see a company called powerblock. They have been around a long time as well and I’m betting you might have seen these in your local gym. Next up are three others that I’ll mention as well because they are among the leaders which is Ironmaster, Golds Gym and Universal Home Fitness. There are of course others, but these guys are the main players that have lasted through the years.
Different Weight Selection Types
I wanted to spend just a minute here talking about how the manufactures have come up with different styles in adjusting the weight on the dumbbells to workout with. All of them have to have a weight to allow you to select the weight increment you want to do your exercise and of course each manufacture has their own opinion on what is the best way to do it.
I will say that I can’t say there is one that is better than the other. It will come down personal preference. I’ll give you a brief description of each type and how they work so you can see the differences and figure out what you would prefer.
First up is a dial used to select the weight increment on the dumbbell. You literally turn a dial to say 15lbs on each dumbbell and then lift up on the dumbbell bar which in turn brings 15 pounds with it and leaves the rest of the weight behind. I can’t say there is any real disadvantage in this. My personal preference is that I don’t like the fact that the dumbbell is half packed together. (personal preference). They are sensitive to dropping though. You cannot just drop these things. If you do, you risk breaking the dial system.
Second up is a selector pin used to set the weight on the dumbbell. The best example of this is power block which is a square dumbbell. You literally move the selector pin to the desired weight can it locks in that weight on the dumbbell. So, that weight comes off when lifting the dumbbell. Very similar to the dial system.
Last up is a standard collar clamp or clamp that spins tight on the dumbbell bar next to the weights. This is more traditional and locks the weights in place. It’s a normal dumbbell, with normal plates secured to the bar to lift with. This is my personal preference and is what the Pro Iron offers. It also allows me to throw them around and drop them when I’m using heavy weight.
Take 5 Steps Now To Pick Your Best Adjustable Dumbbells Set
I’m going to give you the 5 main things you need to consider to pick out the perfect dumbbell set for your gym at home. I promise we will make this short and sweet and you will have enough information to make the right selection for your budget. So, let’s get started and dig into why you really should be looking into buying a set for yourself. Let’s find a set you will love and get rocking below!
Step 1: What I would like you to do next is to figure out what is the most weight you will need for a single exercise. Most likely this will dumbbell bench press, squats or lunges because of the large muscles being used. For me, I will get into the 70-90 pound dumbbell range on my bench press. Big deal right. Well, it is when you are selecting which set to buy. Most of these go up to 50-55 lbs and that is it. In my case that limits my options to pick from. On the other hand if you need less than 55 pounds you are golden. You have a lot of options. Write that done on scratch piece of paper on what you need.
Step 2: Ok, is storage going to be an issue? I’m asking this because some of the sets have a stand that they come with or case, where others don’t. The dimensions of the weights might matter as well. Not a huge deal here but something to think about.
Step 3: In the exercises you will be doing at home, what type of weight increments do you need. It ranges from 1.5, 2.5 and 5 lbs. This could make a difference in the lower range of weights when you want to be able to have weight ranges in between 5-15 lbs. Some of the shoulder exercises I do require light weight. I’ll find myself needing an 8 lb weight instead of a 10 lb weight for example.
Step 4: Remember the weight selection systems we talked about earlier. Think about which style you would prefer and right that down.
Step 5: Lastly, right a price down that is the most you can afford without breaking your budget so you can keep yourself honest.