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Best Adjustable Dumbbells

last updated May 24, 2019

Chasing weight is one of the most important parts to getting stronger when working out, but that often means lots of expensive free weights that can also take up quite a bit of room in your home gym. Adjustable weights are a great alternative because they will allow you to change weight simply be turning a dial of the base of the unit. In essence, you will have an entire rack of free weights at your disposal in just a single frame that is typically pretty small. These products are typically on the expensive side, but when you compare that price to how much it would cost you to buy every individual set of free weights, it actually is going to seem like an incredibly reasonable number. In this guide, you will find some of our favorite picks for adjustable dumbbells.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research

icon
Bowflex SelectTech
89/100 our score
Adjustability
90
Size
87
Use
89
Comfort
88
Value
91
Bowflex SelectTech
Why is it better?

Users can adjust weights from 20 to 90 pounds in increments of 5

Trusted brand

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Bowflex SelectTech
Test Winner: Bowflex SelectTech
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
2
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
21
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
5
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Adjustability Size Use Comfort Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Adjustability
90 %
Size
87 %
Use
89 %
Comfort
88 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$263.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Adjustability
90 %
Size
86 %
Use
87 %
Comfort
90 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$299.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Adjustability
87 %
Size
88 %
Use
85 %
Comfort
89 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$358.80
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Adjustability
86 %
Size
88 %
Use
84 %
Comfort
85 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Adjustability
82 %
Size
84 %
Use
83 %
Comfort
80 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$154.70
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Adjustability
84 %
Size
86 %
Use
79 %
Comfort
80 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$154.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Adjustability
88 %
Size
80 %
Use
81 %
Comfort
86 %
Value
78 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$278.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.2
Adjustability
74 %
Size
75 %
Use
70 %
Comfort
84 %
Value
73 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$649.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Adjustability
86 %
Size
70 %
Use
72 %
Comfort
75 %
Value
71 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73.6
Adjustability
83 %
Size
70 %
Use
71 %
Comfort
75 %
Value
69 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$258.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Bowflex SelectTech Bowflex SelectTech
  • Merax Deluxe Merax Deluxe
  • Power Block Power Block
  • Popsport Popsport
  • XMark XMark
  • Bayou Fitness Bayou Fitness
  • Core Fitness Core Fitness
  • Ironmaster Ironmaster
  • StairMaster StairMaster
  • NordicTrack NordicTrack
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Bowflex SelectTech

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Bowflex SelectTech
Amazon Link
Adjustability
90
Size
87
Use
89
Comfort
88
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$263.00
Pros:

Users can adjust weights from 20 to 90 pounds in increments of 5

Trusted brand

Cons:

Expensive

Users found them to be a little delicate when locking it back onto the base

This option from Bowflex landed on our number one spot because it gives users everything that they would want from one of these products. It has a wide range of weight selections from incredibly lightweight to heavy, and it is easy to use.

Read more

Adjustability

Users can select a weight that starts at a mere 20 pounds, and works all the way up to a whopping 90 pounds- which is one of the heaviest options out there on the market. It is able to be adjusted in increments of 5 pounds, which is going to give you more options.

Size

This unit measures to be about 18 inches long, and is about 10 inches wide. With all components combined, it weighs just shy of 100 pounds.

Use

There are a series of dials on the front and back of each unit. To set your desired weight, simply turn the dials so that they are lined up with the weight that you want to use. Once set, lift it up and you are ready to go.

Comfort

The metal grips on this unit will give users a very textured grip to prevent it slipping out of their hands in a middle of a set, but there are some users that feel that this grip is pretty uncomfortable when used for long periods of time.

Value

The cost of this unit is one of the more expensive models out there, but considering that users can select weights that go from 20 to 90 pounds in increments of just 5 pounds, we feel that this unit is an incredible value.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is going to offer you a wide variety of weights that is easy to adjust and offers a surefire grip, this option is going to be one of your best options without taking up all that much room in your home gym.

2. Merax Deluxe

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Merax Deluxe
Amazon Link
Adjustability
90
Size
86
Use
87
Comfort
90
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$299.99
Pros:

Easy to use

Max weight of 71.5 pounds

Comes with 2 year warranty

Cons:

Expensive

Peculiar weight settings (users change weight in 5.5 pounds increments)

This option form Merax is pretty great because it can hit some pretty high weighs in a base that is simple and easy to use. The one thing to note about this unit is that the adjustments are a little peculiar than what you would find in most designs, but it can still get the job done.

Read more

Adjustability

Instead of users being able to set this unit to nice and even numbers such as 5 or 10 pounds, each dial click will change the weight in 5.5-pound increments. It starts out at a base of 11-pounds, and ends on 71.5 pounds.

Size

While there are no measurements on the product description of this design, we have come to the conclusion that it is about the same size as the BowFlex model, because there were a few users that claimed they were able to set the base of this unit on their old BowFlex stand.

Use

To pick your desired weight, all you will need to do is change the dial along the size of the unit and set to the weight that you want to work with. It will click once it is set into place, and then all you will need to do it lift it up off of the base.

Comfort

Merax uses grips that are going to be a little bit more comfortable than your standard grooved metal grips. The soft grip has been described by past users as feeling great, and it won’t dig into your palms the way some can.

Value

The cost of this unit is pretty expensive, but runs about par for the course for any unit that it able to pass over 50 pounds. Considering how easy it is to use, and the wide variety of weights to select from, we feel this is an excellent value. Plus, it comes with an impressive 2-year warranty.

Overall

While the weight settings are a little peculiar, users still love the function of this set. If you are looking for something that is going to take up little room in your gym, while offering a myriad of weight training exercises, this is going to be one of your better options.

3. Power Block

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Power Block
Amazon Link
Adjustability
87
Size
88
Use
85
Comfort
89
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$358.80
Pros:

Easy to change weight

Smaller frame

Affordable

Cons:

Max weight only 24 pounds

Some found that it is quite noisy while in use

What we immediately noticed about this design from Power Block is that it looks like something from the future. It has a more squared design that looks quite different from many of the others out there, but this blocky design is going to make it a little bit easier to change weight.

Read more

Adjustability

The bad news here is that this isn’t able to achieve the higher weights that some of the bigger options can reach. The lowest setting is a mere 3 pounds, and moving along at increments of 3 pounds it can reach a maximum weight of 24 pounds.

Size

For those that are looking to save even more weight, this option is going to be one of your better options. Measuring in at about 11 inches long, 5 inches deep, and 5 inches wide, it is one of the smaller sizes out there on the market.

Use

Instead of turning dials on the front and the back of the unit, users will just need to pull a pin from the center of the unit and place it on the desired weight. Once that has been selected, simply lift it up off of the base and the extra weight will be left on the stand.

Comfort

The handle of this unit has been rubberized to provide a stable foundation that will not slip in sweaty palms, but it will also feel nice and comfortable and will not dig into your palms the way that some of the others can.

Value

The cost of this unit will set you back about half as much as some of the bigger options such as the design from BowFlex, but keep in mind that it offers less than half of the max weight.

Overall

If you are looking for something that will allow you to modify your weight in smaller increments, and comes in a much smaller frame (at a much smaller price point), this design from Power Block is worth a look.

4. Popsport

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Popsport
Amazon Link
Adjustability
86
Size
88
Use
84
Comfort
85
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Weight modifies by 2.5 increments below 25 pounds

Easy to use

Users can select red or yellow accents

Cons:

A little expensive

What we liked about this design from Popsport is that it has similar features of some of the big brand names, and it is incredibly easy to use. Users like that is has a comfortable grip, and they can easily change the weights with the simple turn of a dial.

Read more

Adjustability

The product description is a bit confusing for this design, but we have determined that it can reach a max weight of 52.5 pounds. What is different about this set is that it modifies weight by 2.5 pounds for the first 25 pounds, and then changes to 5 pounds after that. This is great for those chasing percentages.

Size

This unit is a little smaller than some of the bigger brands, measuring in at about 17 inches in length 8 inches tall, and about 8 inches wide.

Use

To change the weight on this option, simply turned the clearly labeled dial on the front and back of each option to the desired weight. Once it is set and clicked into place, lift it up off of the base and get to work.

Comfort

Users seem to really appreciate the blend of metal and rubber grip on each unit. This feature will give you a firm grip even with sweaty palms, and it won’t dig into your palms the way textured metal options tend to do when used for longer periods of time.

Value

The cost of this unit is pretty par for the course, and will set you back about the same amount as some of the heavy hitters out there on the market. However, we feel that the slight changes in the way it can be modified as well as the quality of materials used make it well worth the price point.

Overall

If you are someone that is very diligent at chasing accurate percentages and need something that can be modified at smaller increments at the lower weight settings, this is going to be one of your better options.

5. XMark

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
XMark
Amazon Link
Adjustability
82
Size
84
Use
83
Comfort
80
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$154.70
Pros:

Made from high quality materials

Easy to change weight

Affordable

Cons:

Some feel the grips are too wide

This design is similar to the smaller options we have found, but it has a few innovative design features that make it stand out from the rest. It might not be able to achieve the higher weights as some of the others, but it comes in at an affordable price point and it made from high quality materials.

Read more

Adjustability

There are 5 settings that users can select from, and they include 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds increments.

Size

This unit measures to be about 18 inches long, and 9 inches wide, which run pretty par for the course when compared to other similar designs.

Use

What is different about this design from XMark is that instead of pulling a pin or turning a dial, users will simply need to push the marker horizontally from one setting to the next. This easy way of changing weight will ensure that you are 100 percent on the right setting and not locked somewhere in between (which can happen with a lot of the dial options).

Comfort

Like the Bayou Fitness design, the handle of this unit is quite bulky, and may prove to be a little difficult to really grip if you have hands that are a little on the small side. Plus, it uses grooved metal grips like that on a barbell, so it won’t have the same level of comfort as rubberized grips.

Value

The cost of this unit is more affordable than most, but it is important to keep in mind that doesn’t offer a high weight max like some of the more expensive units.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is a little bit lighter and also something that is a little bit more affordable than most, this option from XMark is going to be one of your better choices.

6. Bayou Fitness

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Bayou Fitness
Amazon Link
Adjustability
84
Size
86
Use
79
Comfort
80
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$154.00
Pros:

Made from high quality materials

Easy to change weight

Affordable

Cons:

Very thick handles not ideal for smaller hands

Some found that they are a little hard to lift up from base

While this unit might not hit the higher weights as some of the others, we found that users really appreciate the high quality and durability of this unit from Bayou Fitness. It user solid and high quality materials that will be able to hold up to whatever you can throw at it.

Read more

Adjustability

There are 5 weight settings for this unit. It starts out at 5 pounds, and will end at 25 pounds. All of the weight settings are clearly marked on the base of the unit, so you can be confident about your selection.

Size

This unit measures to be 18 inches long, 15 inches wide, and and 10 inches tall. This means that it is going to be about the same size as even some of the heavier options that reach up to 90 pounds.

Use

To select your desired weight, all you will need to do is turn the dial along the side until it clicks into place on the weight you desire. Once it is at the right setting, all that is left to do is to lift it up off of the base and begin your workout.

Comfort

The grip is a little bit different than most, so it is important to take it into consideration before you make a decision. In comparison to many, it is quite a bit thicker which might make it a little bit difficult to full wrap your hands around, especially if you have smaller hands. Plus, it doesn’t have the benefit of a rubber grip, so the metal may feel uncomfortable after a while.

Value

The cost of this design is much more affordable than some of the other options, but it is important to keep in mind that it is only capable of a highest setting of 25 pounds.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is made from high quality materials that will be able to hold up to whatever you can throw at it, this is going to be one of your best bets. Just keep in mind that the handles are a little on the thich side (which may be problematic for smaller hands), and it only has a max of 25 pounds.

7. Core Fitness

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Core Fitness
Amazon Link
Adjustability
88
Size
80
Use
81
Comfort
86
Value
78
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$278.99
Pros:

Users can change weight without taking hands off of grips

Easy to use

Excellent hand grips

Cons:

Expensive

This option from Core Fitness might me a tad more expensive than other similar designs, but innovative features in setting your weight as well as its sleek design make it well worth the padded price tag, and also make it worth checking out.

Read more

Adjustability

We like that this unit can be modified in increments of 5 pounds, and it has a max weight of 50 pounds. It also has a starting weight of 5 pounds, which is significantly lower than many of the other designs out there on the market.

Size

This design measures to be a mere 14 inches long and about 8 inches wide. From what we have gathered, these dimensions make it one of the more compact designs that we have seen, making it easier to engage in a wide variety of exercises.

Use

Our favorite feature in the Core Fitness design is how users change the weight. Instead of taking their hands off of the handle and turning a dial, the user can change the weight simply by holding the handle and turning it until it reaches their desired weight in the view window. This means you can drop set without the need to take your hands off of the grips.

Comfort

The grip of this unit is a little bit on the wide side, but it offers users the best of both worlds in terms of grip. It has a rubber base that is textured, so that you will have a comfortable but surefire grip as you lift.

Value

The bad news here is that this unit comes in at a price point that is a little bit higher than other designs that we have seen out there on the market. However, the quality of materials used as well as the innovative grip and plate design make it well worth the padded price tag.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is incredibly easy to use, and offers a smart design that is perfect for both men and women, this option from Core Fitness is going to be one of your better options.

8. Ironmaster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.2
Ironmaster
Amazon Link
Adjustability
74
Size
75
Use
70
Comfort
84
Value
73
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$649.00
Pros:

Thinner barbell-like grip

Comes with stand

Users can adjust by 2.5 pounds up to 75 pounds

Cons:

Incredibly expensive

Users have to load up plates to change weight

This is the Cadillac of all of the models that we have seen, and it also comes with a Cadillac price tag. If you intend on sparing no expense and want to get something that going to be able to grow along with you, this is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay the high price tag.

Read more

Adjustability

What makes this unit different is that users will be able to change the weight from 5 to an impressive 75 pounds in 2.5 pound increments at a time. Typically 2.5 pound changes are reserved for the smaller weights, and this is the only one that we have seen that offer such small adjustments over the 50 pound mark.

Size

This unit measures to be just 15 inches long, which is pretty par for the course. What makes this design a little different is that it comes with a stand included with purchase, which makes racking and unracking a lot easier.

Use

This unit is a little bit different, because you change weigh by pulling out a pin on the ends and loading up plates that are found on the shelves in the stand. This makes drop setting a little more time consuming than traditional dial methods.

Comfort

If you are a traditionalist, this grip is going to be the perfect fit for you. It uses grooved metal for the grip that is similar to your standard barbell. Plus, it is a lot thinner than many of the other designs, making gripping a lot easier.

Value

We hope you are sitting down, because the cost of this unit cost about double of the cost of the BowFlex design, which up to this point was the most expensive design that we have seen. Some of the extra cost may come from the addition of the stand that is included with purchase.

Overall

If you are someone that is looking for something that is a little more traditional in terms of grip as well as plate design, this option from Ironmaster is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay the high price tag.

9. StairMaster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
StairMaster
Amazon Link
Adjustability
86
Size
70
Use
72
Comfort
75
Value
71
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Users can change weight without taking hands off of grips (perfect for drop sets)

Trusted brand

Cons:

A little bulkier than most

Expensive

StairMaster knows a little more about fitness other than cardio. We liked this option because it is incredibly easy to use, and users like that they don’t need to remove their hands from the bar to change weight.

Read more

Adjustability

The base weight of this unit starts out at just 5 pounds, and works its way up to a max weight of 50 pounds. Users can change weight in 5 pound increments.

Size

This unit is a little bit on the clunkier side, measuring in at about 20 inches long. This means that it could be just a little unwieldy when using it for very specific exercises.

Use

What we liked most about this model is that it is much like the Ironmaster model in how it is used. Instead of using two hands to change the weight, simply place the unit into the cradle and turn the grips unit the window shows you your desired weight. Once it is set, lift it up from the cradle and you are ready to get to work.

Comfort

The grip on this unit is just a little bit wider than some of the more barbell inspired designs out there on the market. It uses grooved rubber that contours to the shape of your hand for a very comfortable and easy grip.

Value

The cost of this unit is quite more expensive than many of the other 50 pound options that we have seen. However, the innovative handle design that allows users to change weights without taking their hands off of the grips makes it well worth the padded price tag in our opinion.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is easy to change the weigh for drop sets, and that also comes with a wider rubber grip, this is going to be one of your better options. Just keep in mind that is is a little bit longer and bulkier than some of the other designs out there.

10. NordicTrack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73.6
NordicTrack
Amazon Link
Adjustability
83
Size
70
Use
71
Comfort
75
Value
69
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$258.99
Pros:

Easy to adjust

Sharp blue accents

Cons:

A little bit more expensive than other 50 pound models

This option from NordicTrack has a similar footprint to the BowFLex design found at the top of our list. It is a little on the bulky side for only having a max weight of 55 pounds, but users like the easy grip as well as the ease in which they can modify their weight.

Read more

Adjustability

This unit starts out at easy 10 pounds, and works its way up to 55 pounds in 5 pound increments.

Size

There are no measurements listed on the brand description of this design, so it is hard to see how long and easy to handle this design is. However, with the photos provided, it looks as if it is about the same size as the BowFlex design.

Use

To change the weight on this unit, users will simply need to pull the pin that is located at the front and rear of each model to their desired weight. This proves to be just a little bit more time consuming than some of the dial options out there.

Comfort

The grip of this unit is a little bit wider than most, but it offers a grooved rubber grip that will feel comfortable on your hands will offering a bit of friction if you have sweaty palms.

Value

The cost of this unit is a little bit higher than most of the 50 pound options, and mirror a price similar to some of the higher 90 pounds designs, which we feel make it a slightly more expensive option than most.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is simple to use, and comes from a trusted company, this is going to be a great choice.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Adjustability

Changing the weights on these products is one of the very first things that we considered.

We wanted something that was going to be easy and straightforward in its design, as well as giving users a lot of options. There were two things that we looked at to determine if a product was going to be easy to adjust. First, we looked at how the product was labeled. We wanted to ensure that the weights were clearly labeled in easy to read numbers so that you can ensure that you selected the right weight. One problem that these products run into is sticking to the base. If you don’t turn the dials to just the right position, you will run into a little bit of difficulty lifting it up off of the base. That’s why we headed down to the review section to see what users had to say. If there was an overwhelming number of users complaining about their device sticking on a constant basis, we typically moved on to another product. You want to keep a good pace during your workout, and there is nothing worse than being held back by machinery that isn’t cooperating.

Size

We wanted to make sure that we selected designs that offered users a good range of weights, and designs that will take up minimal room in your home gym.

We made an effort to try and selecting units that measured under 20 inches in length. While the amount of weight is important, you also want to take into consideration how easy these devices are going to be to handle. For very specific exercises such as curls or free weight bench presses, a longer design can negatively affect your reps if the design is too long and forces you to hold it in an awkward way. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that these devices are going to be just a tag more unwieldy than your basic weights because of the plated frame. However, we wanted to make sure that they were so long that they were going to be too difficult to hold. Another way to make sure that they were too difficult to handle was to look to see what past users had to say about how they handled. User reviews are one of the best ways to determine if a product has a design that is going to work for a wide variety of different workouts and compound lifts for both men and women.

Use

To ensure that your workout is quick and efficient, we took a look at how the plates were able to be changed.

From what we gathered, there are three different way to change the plates. The most popular way is the dial method, and it is used by some of the bigger names such as BowFlex. The dial method has two dials placed at the top and bottom of each unit that are labeled with a corresponding weight. Users will simply need to turn both dials to the desired setting, and once that is set, it can be lifted up off of the base. Another way to change weights is via the pin method. This method is similar to the way that you would change weights on a machine at the gym. Simply pull out the pin and place in it in the hole of the weight that you want to select. Lastly, we found that some of the lighter designs out there have a horizontal slide system. Users will simply need to slide the plastic indicated along a horizontal axis to indicate what weight that they want. Users like these options because it allows them to switch weight with just one hand.

Comfort

It might seem peculiar that we looked at comfort for something like weight training, but ensuring a good grip will allow you to really wring out those muscles (rather than your grip failing out on you).

We know that there is nothing worse than chasing reps and failing out not because your muscles are wrung out, but because you were losing your grip. There are two schools of thought when it comes to the perfect grip, and it all boils down to a matter of personal preference. The first grip that companies like to use it just the standard metal grip, much like that of a standard barbell. Brands such as BowFlex offer users a grooved metal finish on their grip that will really dig into your hands. Some users don’t like this type of grip, because the deep grooves in the metal are like tiny little pin pricks that can be incredibly uncomfortable over time. ON the upside, these deep grooves will offer you an incredible grip, and you won’t need to worry about failing out on sets because it was slipping out of your hands. The second design we found used soft rubber grips, similar to a very thin neoprene. While this won’t dig into your hands, the soft rubber will prevent slipping when your palms become sweaty. Some users feel that this doesn’t provide a sure enough grip, but it is the more comfortable of options.

Value

Gym equipment can get expensive, so we wanted to save you a little bit of money where we could.

There isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to the cost of these devices. They are priced in accordance to their max weights, with some very slight variances from different brands and changes in base design. If you are looking for something in the max weight range in the 90’s, the price across the board is pretty much going to be the same. If you are looking to save a little bit of money to start, selecting a lower weight is going to cost you about half as much as the 90 pound models. To save money, really take a moment to consider what you are going to be using these for, and how much weight you think you can handle. Selecting a design with a max weight that you won’t be able to touch in years might not be the best cost effective choice. On the flip side, if you buy an option that is too light and find that you are purchasing supplemental heavier free weights, you might find that you are spending more money than you need to.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
ico Adjustability
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ico Use
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ico Comfort
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Adjustability

Allowing for a wide array of different weights is going to be the key to getting the most out of these products. Keep in mind that you are typically going to be chasing percentages, so for lower weights- your bumps are going to be lower. If you are selecting a design that is under 25 pounds, be sure that you opt for a model that uses 2.5 pound increments over 5 pound increments, because the percentage of that bump is going to be lower and easier to work with.

Use

Working efficiently is going to be one of the key factors to a really great workout. Be sure that you select a design that has a base that is easy to change the weight, and something that isn't going to run the risk of sticking and slowing you down. Drop sets only work if you leave very little rest time between sets.

Comfort

At the end of the day, grip is going to be a matter of personal preference. Some users like those that have soft rubber grips, while others prefer the confidence that comes from a grooved metal grip. If you love bench presses with your trusty barbell, you are probably going to gravitate more towards grooved metal grips.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why do I need them?

a:

If you are putting together a home gym, or just trying to select some of the essentials to get a good weight workout at home, these are going to be one of the necessities. Free weights are great because they allow you to do a myriad of training exercises that are going to hit a lot of muscles groups and help you build muscle over time, but the downside to free weights is that they are going to take up a lot of room. If you want weights that range from 5 pounds all the way up to 50 pounds, that means you are going to need to purchase and store 10 pairs of weights. Even if you have a rack to store them, most users are too tired after a training session and don’t bother putting them away. With this product, all of your weights are in one convenient place, and all you have to do to up weight while you are drop setting is to turn the dial on the base.

q: How heavy can they get?

a:

From what we gathered, the average weight for most designs tops out at about 50 pounds, and it reaches that max by 5 pound increments. If you are planning on engaging in a little powerlifting, you are going to want to select one of the heavier options that max out at 90 pounds. There were only a few designs that hit that 90 pound mark and they came from trusted companies so you know that you are getting good quality. If you are new to weight training, or you are just looking for something that will supplement your circuit training, there are also styles out there that start out at just 3 pounds and work their way up to 25 by 2.5-3 pound increments as well.

q: Are there any disadvantages?

a:

While they may seem a little too good to be true, there are a few disadvantages worth mentioning. The first possible hiccup with these designs is that they are going to be a lot more delicate that solid free weights. That means that if you love slamming your weights to the ground triumphantly after a set, you are going to have to change that bad habit. Due to the fact that there are sliding mechanisms inside of the device means that they can become damaged if they are dropped. The second disadvantage is that most options out there are going to be big and bulky, and can prove to be a little unwieldy when using them for curls or free weight bench presses.

q: What types of exercises can I use them for?

a:

The best part about these is that you can use them for a wide variety of exercises that will hit almost every muscle group. FOr those that are building up a home gym, these are going to be one of your staples. If you are circuit training, upping the weight and doing some sets of heavy squats or thrusts is really going to work your lower body, such as your hamstrings and thighs. Of course, they are most popular for exercises such as basic curls, hammer curls, lateral raises, free weight bench presses (perfect for working those small stability muscles before you hit the basic barbell bench press), and you can even engage in a little bit of grip work by setting the weight as high as it will go and carrying them across the room, but just be sure not to drop them!

q: How do they work?

a:

The way that they work is pretty simple. The dumbbell is placed on a base unit that houses a series of plates. Users will need to either turn a dial or pull a pin to set their unit to their desired weight. When you are ready to work, lift off your weight from the base, and it will take with it the proper plates that will give you the desired weight, and the rest of the plates will stay in place on the base. This system is perfect for drop sets. Once you finish your set of reps, quickly place your weights onto the base, turn the dial one bump lower, and pick them up for another round of reps! Like we mentioned earlier, however, this method of changing weight makes these designs a little on the delicate side, so you have to make sure that you don’t accidently drop these on the floor or you could risk damaging some of the internal mechanisms.

q: Are they worth it?

a:

Value is another big setting point of these designs. If you go to any sporting goods store to purchase a pair of free weights, you will notice that you are actually paying a set amount per pound. That means that a pair of 50 pounds weights are going to be pretty expensive, and if you are trying to build up a collection of weights that range from 5 pounds to 50- it’s going to set you back a decent chunk of change. If you compare the price that you would spend on 10 pairs of free weights in comparison to these products, the difference in price is quite impressive. While the price tag of these options can carry quite the hefty price tag, it pales in comparison to what you would pay if you bought those weights individually.