Why should you buy a pair of adjustable dumbbells? If you would like to build muscles at home, you may have already made several researches on what type of equipment out there and which are the most beneficial ones.
There is no question that for strength training the two most important pieces of equipment are the dumbbells and a barbell. With the help of them we can perform huge number of exercises to train all the muscles groups at home.
Best Adjustable Dumbbells Comparison Chart
Below you will find the best rated adjustable dumbbell reviews and comparison. We picked these items based on our experiences, customer reviews, price and the features they provide.No matter which you choose, you are going to be happy with your purchase since they are made by trusted manufacturers.
1. BOWFLEX SELECTTECH 552
The Most Popular & Best Buy!
2. POWERBLOCK ELITE
Expandable Up to 90 lbs
3. BAYOU FITNESS
Chrome plated steel construction
4. UNIVERSAL POWERPAK
5. IRONMASTER QUICK-LOCK
The Most Professional!
6. XMARK DUMBBELLS
7. Nautilus R614
Classic home dumbbells at great price
Reviews of adjustable weights
1. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell Sets - The Best Buy
There is no question that Bowflex Selecttech weights are among the most successful ones recommended and used by the most well-known fitness experts. The proof that it works is the thousands of positive reviews throughout the internet and the fact it is the best selling item on Amazon in the dumbbell category.
There are two models available now Bowflex SelecTech 552 and 1090. The system is the same just the 1090 version allows up to 90 lbs by using 5 pounds increment while 552 just 52.5 lbs by using 2.5 increase.
One of the main reasons why users like this model is that it is easy to adjust. If you work out with dumbbells, you know the most annoying is that it takes time to change the plates making your training not continuous. With SelectTech dumbbells you just turn the dial to the resistance you want to use, and you can start lifting it. It is especially beneficial if you do different exercises one after another, and you need various resistance for each.
Since this equipment is on the market for about 7 years, we can talk about its durability. Customers who have been using it for years say the dumbbells look as if they are new and the dialing feature still functions properly.
On the other hand, some users say you should not drop it like traditional dumbbells. But, I think it is just a minor problem. Dropping weights looks cool, but it is just a bad habit we can quickly get rid of.
Bowflex Selecttech 1090 Dumbbells VS. 552 Bowflex dumbbell set
Features & Benefits
2. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells - They are expandable
There is no question that PowerBlock dumbbells are among the most serious competitors of Bowflex. There are several versions made for beginners and power users and both for home and commercial use.
There are Classic, Urethane and Sports series. Since there are so many versions available, I’m going to talk about them generally.
The design of PowerBlock is not traditional since they are rectangle shaped, but users say that does not affect their workouts. The dumbbells are well-balanced, so you can use them as if they were common ones. Someone even likes this shape as they can pick it up easier.
Adjusting the weight with the pins just takes about 5-10 seconds. I think it is pretty quick. Maybe it is not as comfortable as the dialing system, though.
Another reason why people like working out with Powerblock is its compact design. Compared to hex dumbbells they are shorter. This is beneficial for many exercises. For example, if you do dumbbell chest press, they allow to lift the dumbbells closer at the top of the contraction.
Features & Benefits
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and increments- 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 pounds per hand
3. Bayou Fitness Dumbbells Review
Bayou comes with a pin that you should slide to set it for the resistance you would like to use. Most of the people do not have problems with this functions, but a few say it sometimes sticks and weight plates do not want to disengage. However, but by using a WD-40, you could get rid of this problem.
On the other hand, during the usage, the plates do not rattle at all providing safe and noiseless training. Nobody complains about slipping.
But, keep in mind that there are three versions. And you must be careful while you purchase. There is a 25 and 50 lb pair option, a single 50 lb. 25 lb pair is at a good price, though, compared to other models here. Thess hand weights are under $200.
Features & Benefits
4. Universal Power-Pak 445 changeable weight dumbbells
Among all the mentioned equipment here this product comes with the best stand that is ergonomically designed and allows a comfortable way to store weights. If you buy other products, you need to invest in a stand that usually costs about $100.
It also comes with a dialing system, and some say it is even better than the Bowflex has. Picking the resistance level is easy and smooth. After the adjustment, the plates stay at their place, but a few users believe they should be stickier.
Features & Benefits
Unfortunately, this adjustable dumbbell weight set not available these days.
5. Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells (75 lbs) - The Most Professional / Editor's Choice
This system is maybe the best to buy since it can be used up to 75 lbs, comes with a stand, very robust and has a lifetime warranty. Ironmasters are the heaviest adjustable dumbbell weights. Suitable for from beginners to advanced users, and even for even commercial usage. However, the price is much higher.
The user experience is great as well. The plate changing is quick. During workouts, the plates do not shake and silent. The shape of the Ironmaster dumbbells are unconventional, but that does not affect the workouts. The plates are solid metal providing long-lasting usage.
One thing that might be better is the locking system. A few users think that should be enhanced a little bit.
Features & Benefits
6. Xmark Adjustable Weight Dumbbells Set Review
Xmark is a well-known manufacturer for their high-quality fitness equipment. Their dumbbell is not bad, but there are a few problems with them. There are far better products on this list, so I don't recommend it. For the price, you can get a much better adjustable dumbbell set.
The weight selection can be done by 10 lbs. I think, 10 pounds is too much. Also, the weight selector is not the best. It is hard to use, and people find it not very safe. Some users complain about falling.
There are two variations. You can buy a pair that are 25-25 pounds or one that is 50 lbs.
Features & Benefits
Buying Guide for Adjustable Weight Dumbbells
Adjustable free weights vs. traditional hand weights
There are hundreds of traditional dumbbells out there from single ones that cannot be adjusted and ones that enable you to change the weight by removing or adding plates.
The problem with the non-adjustable ones is that you need to buy and use several pieces in order to have different resistance when you workout. Hence, you will need a lot of space to store the free weights, although you can buy a dumbbell stand to save space.
Other traditional models come with various amount of weight plates you can change to fit your needs. You need only one bar, and the plates are fixed with a collar. These products need less space, they can be adjusted, and they are safe to use.
However, changing the plates need time and in the end there will be plates everywhere around you. This process can be pretty annoying if you want have an intensive workout or when you have to change the resistance
Considering the mentioned problems the best adjustable weights are the ones that come with a unique technology to change the plates quickly. With the help of them you can easily pick the amount of weight you want for lifting. There is no need to remove and add plates manually and fix them with a collar. You just need to use the dial or the pin of the dumbbell set and the unnecessary plates will stay in the tray. This way you will be able to save space and time making your workouts more efficient and continuous
Not to mention that you save money as well since if you buy several pieces of equipment separately in the end they will cost far more.
Personally I prefer dumbbells since they provide better workouts. Why? Because the moves are more natural, and we can focus on one particular muscle group more efficiency. In addition, most of the dumbbell exercises strengthen secondary muscles as well since you have to keep the balance of your body. Just think about standing dumbbell shoulder presses.
With dumbbells, you can do hundreds of exercises for your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, back and legs. That is why I suggest buying dumbbells for those who want to build their home gym.
What type of systems are there?
There are two types of mechanisms to change the weight by using selector pins or dials.
Selector pin dumbbells allow you to change the amount of weight by placing a pin in the proper position. When you lift the dumbbell, the unwanted plates will be left in the holder. I think selectorized dumbbells are the most comfortable to use. Powerblock uses this system.
The dialing version is maybe a bit more user-friendly. You just need to turn the dials to the proper position to add the weights to the bar, and when you lift it the unnecessary plates will be let in the try. Bowflex is a popular brand using this system.
No matter which system buy both provide smooth weight changing and safe usage.
What You Should Pay Attention to While Shopping
Since of these items are not the cheapest ones you should pay attention to some features before picking a product.
Maximum Amount of Weight
Depending on your needs, you should check how much is the maximum amount of weight the set provides. Typically, selectable dumbbells weight sets provide 50 lbs, but there are items that support up to 100 for pro users. I think, the best is if you pick a heavier one considering that as you develop you will need heavier weights. Although, these items may cost a little bit more.
It is another important feature you should focus on. Most of the adjustable weight dumbbells come with 1.5, 2.5 or 5 pounds increments. If you are a beginner, you should pick one that comes less increment to increase the resistance gradually.
The most trustworthy products come at almost the same price but do not forget there are always good deals, especially on Amazon when you could save 25-50%. Of course, there are cheaper, not so well-known equipment, but be careful there are many low-quality products that can be even dangerous to use. If you find these products too expensive, you can find the best dumbbell sets under $100 here.
Best dumbbells brands
Bowflex, Bayou Fitness, Power Block, Ironmaster are the most popular brands for home gym these days. Their products come with a lot of positive customer reviews.
Who is it for?
Both men and women who want to have conditioning workouts at home and need various amount of weights. Dumbbells are proven to be the most efficient strength training equipment recommended by fitness experts and bodybuilders. They can be used for bodybuilding, cardio workouts, p90x, etc.
What is the best buy?
What is the best adjustable dumbbell set for the money? Considering the price and the features the Bowflex models are the winner, at least for me. The second winner is Ironmasterbecause of its robustness and the stand, and the third is Powerblock.
Anyway, no matter which you are going to buy you will see that having an adjustable dumbbell set will make your workouts more efficient without needing a lot of space. Hence, they are great for small flats as well.
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Last update on 2019-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API