There are hundreds of adjustable dumbbells on the market, but how do we choose which one is right for us? In this article, we're going to review the best adjustable dumbbells and examine considerations when buying.
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552
Bowflex SelectTech 552 uses a dial to change the weight settings. You don't have to worry about changing the weight plates, turn the dial and the weights will change for you. This feature is great for workouts with very little rest as no time is lost when changing the weight.
- Range: 5 - 52.5 pounds
- Increments: 2.5 pounds up to the first 25, then 5 pounds up to 52.5
- Rapid weight changes with dial technology
- Compatible with the Bowflex SelectTech Training App for workout inspiration
- Safety feature that prevents use when the dial isn't locked in
- Chunky and long
Rapid weight change with a wide range of load variations.
2. NordicTrack 12.5lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set
The NordicTrack adjustable dumbbell set includes 5 load options with small increments. Starting at 2.5 pounds, they're great for beginners, rehab exercises, and low-intensity activities.
NordicTrack's intuitive weight selecting design allows weights to be easily changed. Great for when transitions need to be completed quickly.
- Range: 2.5 - 12.5 pounds
- Increments: 2.5 pounds
- Comes with stands
- Weights are easily changed
- Limited range
Light adjustable weights are designed for beginners and low-intensity exercises.
3. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
PowerBlock Elite dumbbells max out at 50 pounds. However, what makes this a great product is you have the option to upgrade the maximum weight. Stage 2 and stage 3 expansion kits allow the weight to increase to 70 and 90 pounds respectively. This optional add-on is perfect for advanced lifters who require additional weight.
Weights are changed quickly with the secure magnetic polypropylene pin. Weights are also color-coded to make the process even easier.
PowerBlock Elite dumbbells have a unique handle. Unlike traditional hex dumbbells, the handle is straight with a consistent diameter. Some lifters don't like the feel of the handle and find it uncomfortable to grip.
- Range: 5 - 50 pounds (Available up to 70 and 90 pounds with expansion kits)
- Increments: 2.5 pounds
- Color-coded changes
- Optional upgrades
- 10 year home warranty
- Unconventional handle
Compatible with up to 50, 70, or even 90 pounds.
4. Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
Rogue loadable dumbbells are a mini version of an Olympic weight lifting bar. They are very high-quality with a lifetime warranty. If you're looking to use it regularly for a long time, the quality of this bar is worth the cost.
The bar contains a standard knurl grip to prevent slipping during movements. This grip is perfect for more dynamic movements such as snatches. Weights are held on by collars (extra cost). Collars simply click on and off, making the weight-changing process quick and easy.
Unlike others, the Rogue loadable dumbbells don't include weighted plates. If you're a beginner or have limited equipment, this is a major drawback. However, the bar is designed to hold Olympic-style plates, all the way up to 350 pounds. If you already have Olympic plates, this product is worth the quality and maximal loading capacity.
- Range: 10 - 15 pounds (depending on model) - More than 350 pounds.
- Increments: 0.1 pounds
- Lifetime warranty
- Very heavy maximal weight
- High-quality bar
- Weight plates sold separately
- Collars sold separately
Ideal for those with Olympic weight plates, looking to build a very heavy dumbbell set.
5. Titan Pair Of Adjustable Chrome Dumbbells
Titan pair of adjustable chrome dumbbells reach up to 100 pounds. If you're a powerlifter or advanced strength athlete they will provide you with a total of 200 pounds. They make an excellent companion to any heavy lifting training program.
Their chrome finish makes them very stylish and aesthetically pleasing. If you're looking to build a sleek and stylish home gym, these will fit in perfectly.
While their chrome finish is easy on the eye, they don't bode well if dropped or knocked. Due to their design, they can easily dent or mark any walls or floors. If you're susceptible to bailing out of a lift, you'll need to ensure your workout area is protected when using them.
- Range: 5 - 100 pounds
- Increments: 2.5 pounds
- Sleek and aesthetic design
- Comfortable grip
- Maximum 100 pounds
- Can damage floors and walls if dropped
- Chrome susceptible to rusting
Chrome design with an aesthetic design and heavy maximum load.
6. Rep Adjustable Dumbbells
The Rep set of adjustable dumbbells is made with solid cast iron plates, fully knurled straight handles, and spin-lock star collars. They give off that old-school bodybuilding vibe. The iron plates make them incredibly compact, perfect for those with very limited space. Some lifters prefer compact weights so they don't have to fiddle around finding a good balance point during a lift.
Compared to others, they are very well-priced. One thing I don't like about this product is only the 40 pounds set comes with two dumbbell handles. The 52.5 pounds set only comes with one. If you're looking to use two at a time this would mean having to buy the 52.5 pounds twice. Seems odd considering the 40 pounds set comes with two. Saying this, the price is so good it doesn't become a cost issue.
- Range: 5 - 40 pounds (Available up to 52.5 and 92.5 pounds with upgrades)
- Increments: 2.5 pounds
- Compact solid cast iron plates
- Upgrades available
- Fully knurled chrome handles
- Reasonably priced
- Two handles only available in the 40-pound set
Reasonably priced and very compact.
7. AtivaFit Adjustable Dumbbells
AtivaFit has 5 weight options, ranging from 5 to 27.5 pounds in 5.5-pound increments. Their range makes them best suited to a general lifter looking to maintain their fitness. It comes with a rotating dial to change the weight quickly and efficiently. Due to their low weight range, they are very compact and easy to use and hold.
The plates are coated with a water-resistant protector. This protector can help prolong the life of the dumbbells, especially if they're used outdoors or covered in sweat. The handle is covered with a rubberized surface to provide comfort and grip.
- Range: 5 - 27.5 pounds (Available up to 52.5 and 92.5 pounds with upgrades)
- Increments: 5.5 pounds
- Quick and efficient weight change dial
- Water-resistant plates
- Comfortable grip
- Susceptible to make noise when being used
Comfortable grip with moderate weight, suitable for general lifters.
8. CAP Dumbbells
CAP dumbbells come in a range of weight sizes. This is a great option if you know what your optimal lifting range is. Plates are cast iron 1-inch covered with a black epoxy finish to help prevent rust and corrosion. If you want to store your dumbbells in an outdoor area or a shed, this feature can help prolong its life. Cast iron also helps keep the weight compact, thus making it easier to hold.
The handle features diamond knurling to prevent the dumbbell from slipping mid-lift. Spin-lock collars also come with rubber o-rings to ensure plates are secured when lifting.
- Range: 5 - 20 pounds (Available up to 25, 30, 52.5, and 100 pounds with upgrades)
- Increments: 3 pounds
- Rubber o-rings to ensure safety
- Diamond knurling so you are not limited by grip
- Black epoxy finish allows dumbbells to be stored outside
- Time-consuming to change over plates
Simple design available in a range of loads. Suitable for storing outside.
9. Tespon Adjustable Dumbbells
The Tespon comes with a connecting rod, allowing you to attach both dumbbells to form a barbell. This is a very unique feature and is great for those wanting a barbell and dumbbell set. It is also great for bilateral lifts such as deadlifts, overhead presses, and squats.
The rod is covered in foam to provide comfort while maintaining a good grip. The weight plates are filled with a fine iron cement mixture to protect your walls and floor from wear and tear.
- Range: 5.6 - 33 pounds
- Increments: 2.8 pounds
- Connection rod forms a barbell
- Rubber coating to protect surroundings
- Foam grip for comfort
- Time-consuming to change
Designed with the ability to form a barbell.
10. Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell
Similar to the Tespon, the Nice C can be converted into a barbell by connecting dumbbells with a rod. Barbells can be used for bilateral movements, great if you're looking to add more variety to your training. The maximum weight is less than the Tespon but has a lower minimum weight. A lower weight is suitable for those performing rehab resistance training exercises. But, if you want to add in serious strength training, it will probably be too light.
The handle is covered with slip-resistant Neoprene, giving you maximal grip during your workout. Light loads are often performed at high rep ranges. Due to the grip, you don't have to worry about grip limiting your exercise.
- Range: 0.6 - 17 pounds
- Increments: 3.3 to 4.4 pounds
- Suitable for rehab resistance training exercises
- Slip-resistant Neoprene grip
- Low minimum weight
- Light range
Light and comfortable design with the ability to form a barbell.
11. Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells
The Flybird set of adjustable dumbbells have a built-in dial system to easily change the weights with 5-pound increments. Numbers are clearly displayed with an arrow, so you don't have to worry about double-checking any changes. The adjustment mechanism is made with an eight-lock structure, guaranteeing the plates don't move out of place during the exercise.
The handle has an anti-slip texture made from aluminum alloy material. These features help prevent rust and maximize grip control.
- Range: 5 - 25 pounds (Available up to 52.5 and 92.5 pounds with upgrades)
- Increments: 5 pounds
- Dial system weight changer
- Anti-slip handle
- Clear display of weight changes
- Limited weight range
The dial mechanism is super easy to use and changes the weight quickly.
Now we've looked at the products, which takes the title of "best adjustable dumbbell"? The answer is; it depends. It depends on your needs and budget. Pin and dial-operated dumbbells are super quick to change but come with an extra cost. You also need to consider the weight range of your dumbbell. Here's what we would consider the best in each category:
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells For Budget: Rep adjustable dumbbells. They're much cheaper than others on the market.
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells For Maximum Weight: Titan pair of adjustable chrome dumbbells. Their weight set maxes out at a whopping 100 pounds.
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells For Weight Change: Bowflex SelectTech 225. Rapidly changes weights with ease.
What To Consider When Purchasing Adjustable Dumbbells?
The best adjustable dumbbell sets will depend on what you want from the product. Not everyone has the same fitness goals or physical ability. So, the best adjustable dumbbell set for you might not be the best for someone else. Let's take a look at what factors you should consider before purchasing.
Ease Of Weight Changes
As we've seen from the product reviews, the weight change mechanisms differ from dumbbell to dumbbell. The two most common are dial mechanisms or manual change of the weight plates.
Dial mechanisms allow for rapid changes but are typically more expensive. Manual change is a more lengthy inconvenience, but a lot cheaper.
If you're completing a workout with minimal rest and many weight changes, the dial mechanism is a worthwhile investment. But, if you've got a good amount of time between exercises and don't mind a bit of fiddling around you're good to stick with manual changes.
If you're looking to shift large amounts, make sure the dumbbell has the capacity to hold a large load. Some dumbbells are limited by weight. You don't want to be in a situation where you can't progress because you're dumbbells aren't heavy enough.
On the contrary, you might want a dumbbell that is lightweight and has small weight increments. Dumbbells are a tool used for rehab exercises, therefore lightweight is essential. Some dumbbells start with a relatively high starting weight which may be unsuitable for some people.
Better quality dumbbells are typically made from more durable material. If you're looking to keep your dumbbells for a long time, it might be worth investing in some high-quality dumbbells. However, if you want something short time and don't want to spend a lot of money, lower quality adjustable dumbbells will do the trick in the short term.
Some dumbbells use an exterior coating to protect them from wear and tear and corrosion. Think about where you're going to store the dumbbells. If they're going to be kept in a shed or outdoors, look for something with a weather-proof coating.
Benefits Of Using An Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Adjustable dumbbells are extremely cost-effective. Instead of having to buy a dumbbell for each weight, you only need one. Sure, they might be more expensive, but what if you compare the cost to regular dumbbells at each weight? You will probably find adjustable dumbbells are much cheaper.
With adjustable dumbbells, you only need one or two. Compare this with individually weighted dumbbells. Most home gyms don't have space for an entire rack of fixed dumbbells, but adjustable dumbbells can easily fit in.
If you're going away but still want to get some workouts in, adjustable dumbbells provide a suitable viable solution. Sure, they might be weighty, but they're small enough to carry around.
Styles Of Adjustable Dumbbells
Through our product review, we've seen a range of styles. Their main difference includes how the weight is held on and how the weight is changed. We'll take a look at the perks and drawbacks of each style.
Collars and Caps
Collars and caps are used in manual weight changes. Collars clip on and off, while caps screw on and off. Collars are marginally faster, but to no significant difference in most cases. However, manual changes do take longer to change the weight, not very convenient if you need it done quickly.
Since the bar is made to fit maximum loads, anything below would mean the ends of the bar are exposed. This can get annoying if you need to rest the dumbbell on your body during an exercise. However, because the process is manual, it is very cost-effective. If you've got a bit of spare time and patience, the saved cash is worth it.
Selector pins allow you to place the pin into your desired weight. Any weight that isn't included in the selection of the pin will be left off. You will usually receive some sort of color guide to help you determine which weight to use.
Selector pin dumbbells are very compact and organized. But, it can be a bit confusing to match the pin to the weight and is more expensive than the manual method.
Dials are incredibly easy to use, they're the same concept as a dial lock, you simply turn the knob and select your weight. The weight change is rapid, and all the plates are stored together. However, this feature does come with a cost.