Adjustable dumbbells are a great option for anyone seeking an all-in-one type of weight training equipment.
Not only are they space savers, but they also offer a cheaper, more convenient way to get fit than traditional dumbbell sets.
In this article, we’ll review the best adjustable dumbbells available on the market today.
But first, let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits of adjustable dumbbells and which features you should be looking for in a good set.
In this article, we’re going to review in closer detail the following adjustable dumbbells:
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells
- PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells
- Bowflex SelectTech 552
- Xmark Adjustable Dumbbells
- Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- Bayou Fitness Dumbbells
- Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells
- Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- Core Fitness Dumbbells
Why Buy a Set of Adjustable Dumbbells?
Adjustable dumbbells have many benefits over using a traditional set of fixed-weight dumbbells or weight machines.
Research shows that 67 per cent of individuals who have a gym membership never step foot in a gym. Given that the average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58, that’s a lot of money thrown down the drain each year.
The most obvious benefit of adjustable dumbbells is their low cost compared to gym memberships that most people don’t use anyway.
Not only does an adjustable dumbbell set save you money on a gym membership, but it also is much more cost efficient than buying each dumbbell separately. A quality pair of fixed weight dumbbells can cost as much as $50.
Another benefit of adjustable dumbbells is their convenience; they can be used in your living room, at the office, on your patio, while on vacation, or anywhere else you want to get a quick set in.
Anyone who is serious about lifting knows they’ll need to invest in a full dumbbell set at some point, but finding the room for all those dumbbells isn’t always easy – especially if you live in an apartment.
Adjustable dumbbells, on the other hand, can be easily stored in a corner of your house or apartment when not in use.
Are There Different Types of Adjustable Dumbbells?
Adjustable dumbbells fall into two main categories: traditional adjustable dumbbells and selectorized dumbbells.
Traditional adjustable dumbbells
These dumbbells consist of handles with threaded ends and standard weight plates that are secured to each end of the handles with weight fasteners.
A spinning lock holds together multiple weight plates, and this is the most common type of adjustable dumbbell.
This traditional set allows you to manually place your desired weight onto each end of the pole and hold them in place by twisting a metal lock until it is tight.
It is a more ungainly system than the dial-a-weight/selectorised style, but it is a lot less expensive.
These types will tend to be cast iron.
Selectorized adjustable dumbbells
Selectorized dumbbells, or dial-a-weight, come as one piece and feature selector pins or dials that allow you to easily and quickly choose your desired weight.
With this type, you are literally able to dial the amount of weight that you want to work out with.
Once you dial the preferred weight, you can lift up the dumbbells, and the chosen weight attaches to the ends.
Any extra plates will be left on the holder making this a convenient type of adjustable dumbbell.
One of the most popular dial-a-weight dumbells is the Bowflex SelectTech 552.
Similar to the dial-a-weight as there isn’t any manual placement of the weights on the bar, but you do have to move a pin to choose the preferred weight that you wish to work with.
After you choose your desired weight, the rest of the plates will remain on the holder. This is a great middle area of cost and convenience.
This method of weight selection is unique to The PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells (which is reviewed below).
Which is The Best Type of Adjustable Dumbbell?
One type of adjustable dumbbell is not necessarily better than the other; choosing the right set for you will depend mostly on personal preference.
That said, there are several advantages to choosing selectorized adjustable dumbbells over traditional ones.
One is that selectorized sets typically take up less room, which is great if you don’t have a lot of storage space available.
Another advantage of selectorized dumbbells is that it only takes a few seconds to add or remove weight, which is essential if you’re performing fast-paced or super-set type workouts.
Features to Consider When Buying An Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Before jumping in head first and buying any old set of weights, you will need to think and plan ahead.
For example what kind of workouts are the weights for? Are you looking to build some serious muscles or are they for rehabilitation exercises?
Adjustable dumbbells also vary widely in price and quality.
In this section, you’ll see some of the factors you may want to consider before making your final choice of adjustable dumbbells.
Adjustable dumbbells are made from a variety of materials, including cast iron, chrome-plated steel, plastic, and rubber.
Cast iron is generally the most durable material, but it is prone to corrosion, which can make weight plates difficult to switch out over time.
Another consideration is noise; weight plates that are coated with rubber or plastic are generally quieter than metal dumbbells.
Regardless of the type of adjustable dumbbell you choose, it’s important to ensure that you can perform exercises safely with it and avoid injury.
Look for dumbbells with safety features like lockable dials and secure-lock collars.
Traditional adjustable dumbbells feature straight grips, but there are other grip types available – such as ergonomic grips, contoured grips, coated grips, and textured grips.
These special types of grips are designed to prevent hand fatigue and help you hold the dumbbells more securely.
As with most other types of exercise equipment, the more expensive the dumbbells, the more durable they are likely to be.
While you don’t need to start out with the most expensive set, you’ll want to ensure the dumbbells you choose are made from high-quality materials.
When considering quality in an adjustable dumbbell set, you want to pick a high-quality brand so that you know your training will be safe and reliable when you use them.
Spending a bit more on a good quality set rather than a cheap set is advisable when it comes to adjustable dumbbells.
Maximum Weight You Want To Lift
Depending on your preferences, you can purchase either lighter or heavier sets.
Most adjustable dumbbells have a fifty pound per weight maximum, and a total weight maximum of one hundred pounds.
It is important to purchase a set that can grow with you as you get stronger, instead of being stuck with a set that you have outgrown.
When considering a dumbbell set, make sure it is capable of making small and large weight adjustments.
You want the adjustable dumbbells to be able to handle large increments when you need to switch from a light weight to a heavy weight, for instance, if you are moving from a tricep exercise to a squat.
However, it is also important for your adjustable dumbbell set to be able to handle small changes so that you can slowly progress through the weights as you get stronger in a particular exercise.
Look for a set that has increments in 5, 2.5, or 1.5-pounds, so that you can adjust your weight according to your fitness needs.
The good thing about the spinlock dumbbells is that you can usually buy small increments in whatever size you wish, however for the branded specialised adjustable dumbbells (dial-a-weight), you will have to move up or down in their predetermined weight increments.
This is important because if you’re pushing close to your max at a particular weight, and you only need an increase of 1.5 pounds for your next session, it’s not going to be helpful if the next weight increment is 10 pounds or larger.
Reviewing the weight increments is an important factor you do not want to forget to take into consideration.
Stand or No Stand?
Do you want your dumbbells to be always out and on show and in a position to pick them up with ease or are you fine with storing them in your wardrobe?
Some adjustable dumbbells will usually have a stand that you can buy with the dumbbells as a bundle, or buy separately.
Stands make it very easy and convenient to store your adjustable dumbbells, and this feature can be a real bonus if you can afford it. They tend to be more expensive, but the convenience is great especially if you are using an area that is not set up as a home gym.
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Now that we’ve covered the basic benefits of adjustable dumbbells and which features you should be looking for in a good set, we’ll review the top adjustable dumbbells currently available on the market.
We’ve based these selections on their ease of use, durability, and, of course, price.
1. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells
- Quick-Lock design adjusts from 5-75 lbs in 2 1/2...
- Super heavy duty construction with welded steel,...
- System includes two adjustable dumbbells at 75 lbs...
- Comes with free stand
- Having these dumbbells is as good as having a complete rack of dumbbells
- Moving the set is very easy and efficient since the plates stack together well
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- If you are not careful to tighten the pins, the plates can become loose
- Does not work well with quick change exercises such as supersets or drop set.
- Paint chips off with the lightest use
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells offer durable construction with weights that range from 5 to 75 pounds in increments of 2.5-pounds, and they do come with a stand.
This set has the quick lock adjustment system, and unlike other dumbbells that take several minutes for weight adjustments, the Ironmaster can be adjusted in under 15 seconds.
They are also very flexible with the amount of weight that you can use during your training, and you can purchase either the 45 or 75-pound set. Plus, there is an add-on kit that can be purchased that will increase your weight options to 120 pounds.
This set is a good investment for a home gym that will help you maintain your fitness routine in your own home.
Changing plates is easy and fast with the quick lock technology, and the ability to purchase additional weights allows the set to grow with you as you train.
2. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive...
- Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and...
- Is expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds...
- Unique four-bar design
- Available in three weight ranges
- Expansion kits available
- Easy to assemble
- Padded grips and wrist guards
- 10-year warranty (Lifetime for the U series)
- Goes up in 5 pound (2.5 kg) increments which is too much for some people
- Adjusting weights by 2.5-pound or 5-pound increments takes extra time
- Selector mechanism can be fiddly and cumbersome
Buying the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is like getting sixteen different sets of dumbbells instead of one for your training.
It has a 50-130 maximum weight range so that you have everything you need to hit your training goals.
What makes PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells different from other adjustable dumbbell sets on our list is their unique four-bar design, which provides a more balanced weight distribution than conventional dumbbells.
The lower two bars are used for stacking additional weights, while the top bars function as wrist guards.
This innovative design helps prevent the wrists from bending unnaturally while you use the weights.
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are available in three weight ranges: 5 to 50 pounds (Elite 50), 5 to 70 pounds (Elite 70), and 5 to 90 pounds (Elite 90).
Adjusting the weight settings on the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is a cinch – simply use the magnetic selector pin to your desired weight and start lifting.
What’s great about the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is their versatility; the weights can be increased by increments as low as 2.5 pounds, and expansion kits are available that can turn an Elite 50 set into an Elite 70 or Elite 90 set.
One minor complaint is that the selector pin can only be used to increase weight by 10-pound increments.
To increase the weight by lower increments, such as 2.5 or 5 pounds, you need to add extra weights. While this is not a problem for those taking breaks between sets, it can be a bit of a hassle for those performing super-set type workouts.
Another minor niggle is that the selector pin tends to stick, but this is usually only a problem the first few times you use the dumbbells.
3. Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells
- Efficient transmission and stable signal.Copper...
- You just need to plug and enjoy much clear and...
- High-quality material to ensure charging speed.
- Great for low to moderate weight lifting
- Great price, and quick weight adjustment
- You can change the weight on either side of the dumbbell
- Maximum weight is only 45 pounds
- Limited lifting options with only nine settings
- Weights can shift back and forth as you use them
The Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells with Stand is a dial-a-weight system that can adjust from 4 to 45 pounds in increments of five pounds with just the touch of a dial.
They feature handles with no-slip grips for additional safety, and a comprehensive workout guide to help you maximize your workout, plus a space-saving storage shelf.
The maximum weight of the Universal PowerPak is 45 pounds, and it comes with nine weight settings. They have an easy twist and go adjustment, and it is one of the more affordable set of dumbbells on the market. They also come with a one year warranty.
4. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- Durable moulding around plates for quieter operation
- Space-saving design
- Ideal for fast-paced workouts
- Comes with workout DVD
- Adjustment dials may need replacing due to wear and tear
- Less durable than metal dumbbells
- Dumbbells are quite long
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are one of the best-selling sets of dumbbells on the market.
The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells by Bowflex feature dials that allow you to adjust the weight of the dumbbells from 5 to 52 pounds.
Adjusting the weight takes just a few seconds – simply turn the dials to choose your desired weight setting and start lifting.
The weight plates are coated with a durable molding, which prevents the dumbbells from scuffing floors and makes the dumbbells quieter (although, slightly less durable) than metal models.
The BowFlex SelectTech are very versatile with a great price tag. They come with fifteen different settings for each of the dumbbells, and they give you a wide range of weight options to choose from.
You also don’t have to purchase the set as BowFlex will give you the option of just buying a single dumbbell if necessary
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are an ideal choice for apartment dwellers, as they replace 30 different dumbbell weights with two space-saving pieces that can be easily stowed in a corner when not in use.
For those who have a little more room to work with, the dumbbell set can be paired with an adjustable incline/decline workout bench, an ergonomically designed weight stand, or a number of other convenient Bowflex accessories.
Some users have complained that the dials need to be replaced after 1 or 2 years of regular use, but this minor defect is covered by a generous 2-year warranty.
5. XMark Adjustable Dumbbells
- Two 25 lb. adjustable dumbbells with storage trays
- Heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction
- Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells
- Great price, very durable
- Can buy a single dumbbell if you prefer
- Do not get damaged when dropped
- Weight increments are too large
- Only good for lifting 50 pounds or less
- Hard to secure plates before you workout
The XMark Adjustable Dumbbells are a great option, if you are looking to buy a single 50 pound weight dumbbell, a pair of 25-pound maximum weight dumbbells, or a pair of 50-pound dumbbells.
The versatility of the product allows each of the options to adjust their weight with just a simple twist of a knob.
They are made of heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction, and they will not get damaged when they are dropped.
The XMark Adjustable Dumbbells have a minimum weight of 5 pounds on the 25-pound max weight dumbbell, and a 10-pound minimum weight on the 50-pound max weight dumbbells.
The ability to purchase just a single dumbbell is a great money saver while still maintaining a high-quality training program.
6. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- SET OF 2 DUMBBELLS - 200 LBS TOTAL (100 LBS EACH...
- CAST IRON WEIGHT PLATES FIT 1.15-INCH STANDARD...
- 16-INCH DIAMOND KNURLED CHROME HANDLE: Constructed...
- Available in various sizes and weights
- Etched handles for a more secure grip
- Easy to Assemble
- Five-year labour warranty
- Coating chips easily
- Not ideal for supersets
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are an excellent choice for anyone seeking an inexpensive adjustable dumbbell set that doesn’t skimp on essential features.
They are sold in six different sets, ranging from 8 to 105 pounds. All sets feature heavy-duty cast iron weight plates that are coated with a rust- and corrosion-resistant black paint.
Star-lock collars ensure safe weight plate changes, while 16-inch etched handles that provide a secure grip and help prevent hand fatigue.
What we love most about these dumbbells is their ease of assembly and use. All you need to do is unpack the dumbbells, place your desired weight plates on the handles, and secure the plates using the included star-lock collars.
Some customers have complained that the black coating tends to chip easily, although this minor default is covered by a generous five-year labour warranty.
Another drawback is that the plates take some time to switch, making this dumbbell set less ideal for those performing super-set type workouts.
Overall, though, this is a great budget-friendly set for users of all fitness levels.
7. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Two 25 lb. adjustable dumbbells with storage trays
- Heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction
- Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells
- Constructed from heavy-duty chrome plated steel
- Includes storage cradles
- Two different sets available
- Dual-sided locking mechanisms
- Some may find adjusting weights time-consuming
- Prone to rust
Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are available in two sets: one with a maximum weight of 25 pounds, and one with a maximum weight of 50 pounds.
Both sets come with handy storage cradles that make it easy to store the weights in a corner of your home or apartment when not in use.
The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells have a minimum weight of 10 pounds, making this set ideal for those who are just beginning to lift and aren’t yet ready to invest in a heavy set of dumbbells.
These dumbbells are constructed from high-quality chrome plated steel, which gives the set a sleek, elegant look.
Another nice touch is the dual-sided locking mechanisms, which keep the weight plates securely in place.
Some customers have reported that the chrome plated steel tends to rust, which can make adding and removing plates to the dumbbell handles difficult.
Another minor complaint from some customers is that the weight plates take too long to switch, making this set less useful for fast-paced workouts.
Aside from these minor drawbacks, most customers find that the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells offer incredible durability and value for their price.
8. Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells
- ADJUSTABLE SET OF 2 DUMBBELLS - 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs...
- DURABLE CAST IRON WEIGHT PLATES - fit any...
- TWO 16-INCH TEXTURED CHROME HANDLES coated in...
- Easy to adjust
- Corrosion-resistant handles and plates
- Available in three weight ranges
- Spin-lock collars
- Switching out weight plates takes too long
Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells feature weight plates made from high-quality cast iron and coated with a baked enamel that resists corrosion, peeling, and chipping.
Like the Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells, Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells use a traditional adjustment system consisting of bars, with threaded ends and spin-lock collars that keep the weight plates securely in place.
Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells are available in three different weight ranges: 5 to 65 pounds, 5 to 105 pounds, and 5 to 200 pounds.
Depending on the set you choose, the weight of each dumbbell can be adjusted by increments of 2.5 pounds or 5 pounds.
The wide weight range and ability to increase resistance by small increments make the Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells ideal for users of all fitness levels.
These dumbbells are also a great choice for anyone who is short on space, as each adjustable dumbbell effectively replaces 18 fixed-weight dumbbells.
That said, these may not be the best adjustable dumbbells for performing super-set type workouts, as adjusting the weights takes too long compared to the Power Block Elite and other dumbbells that use a selector pin or dial.
9. Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- Each dumbbell adjust from 11 lbs to 71.5 lbs in...
- With the unique dial system, you can rapidly...
- Combines 12 sets of weights into one offering...
- Locking dial for added security
- Includes dumbbell cradles for convenient storage
- Both dumbbells can be adjusted at the same time
- Rubber coated handles for a more secure grip
- Fast weight adjustment
- Weight can only be adjusted by 5.5-pound increments
- Weights are measured in kilograms
With a maximum weight of 71.5 pounds per dumbbell, a locking dial system for added security, and lightning fast weight adjustment, it’s easy to see why the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are among the most popular adjustable dumbbells on the market today.
Each dumbbell has a minimum weight of 11 pounds, making this set an excellent choice for those who are just starting to lift.
One of the most convenient features of the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells is the ability to adjust the weight of both dumbbells simultaneously.
Increasing or decreasing the weight takes less than five seconds, making this set ideal for fast-paced workouts. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells is that the weights are measured in kilograms.
While this generally isn’t a problem for most people, it can make workouts frustrating if you’re working with other weights that are measured in pounds.
Overall, though, these dumbbells deliver excellent value and performance for their price.
10. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
- Pair of adjustable dumbbells with quick and easy...
- Quick change weight adjustments with TwistLock...
- Contoured, textured and soft grip handle design...
- Inexpensive compared to other models
- Coated with plastic shielding for quieter operation
- Includes storage cradle
- Maximum weight not heavy enough for advanced lifters
- Grips are too slippery
With a weight adjustment range of 5 to 50 pounds, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are perfect for beginner to intermediate lifters.
Like the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells feature a dial adjustment setting that allows you to quickly select your desired weight before lifting the dumbbells out of the included storage cradles.
The weight plates are covered with a plastic shielding that helps reduce noise while the dumbbells are in use.
The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells have smooth, ergonomic grips that feel great in the hand and prevent hand fatigue.
Some customers have said that the grips tend to become slippery from perspiration, but this issue can be easily fixed by wearing weight lifting gloves.
Another minor complaint is the lack of bells and whistles. If, however, you’re looking for a safe and straightforward pair of adjustable dumbbells that you can start using without much fuss, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells may be the right choice for you.
Our Pick: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
In terms of affordability, durability, ease of adjustment, and overall performance, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are tough to beat.
They are suitable for all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced, and can be easily combined with other Bowflex accessories to create a complete home gym.
The option of being able to add weight by small increments is also great, as it allows users to easily track their progress as their fitness level increases.
However, if you were willing to stretch your budget a little further then the PowerBlocks could be a much better option than the SelectTechs. For more information on why that is, read our full PowerBlock Dumbbell review.
Choose Your Dumbbells Wisely!
Investing in a good set of adjustable dumbbells is a smart way to save time, money, and space while ensuring an effective weight lifting workout.
Whether you’re a beginning or advanced lifter, you’re sure to find a set of adjustable dumbbells to suit your budget and needs among the models we’ve reviewed in this buyer’s guide.
Last update on 2019-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API