Adjustable Dumbbell Reviews & Buying Guide 2019

Adjustable Dumbbell Features To Look For

Total weight sets

When you get a pair of adjustable dumbbells or even just one adjustable dumbbell, you are replacing multiple sets of weights. This saves you space and money. Adjustable dumbbell sets vary in terms of how many weights they actually replace. The less weight the adjustable dumbbell has total, the fewer dumbbell sets it replaces. These lighter adjustable dumbbells can replace 15-16 sets, which is still a significant number of weights. The heaviest adjustables can replace as many as 18 sets, so you are essentially getting a full gym’s worth of weights in just two dumbbells.

Weight increments

Adjustable dumbbells replace multiple weights through a system of increased weight increments. By using a dial or plate system, you have control over how much weight resistance you are getting from the dumbbell. Most dumbbells go up in 5-pound increments, beginning with very little weight at 3-5 pounds. You can adjust the weight up from there to resistances of 20-50 pounds per hand, for a total of 100 pounds. More advanced adjustable dumbbells can even get as high as 100 pounds for each hand, so you would be lifting a total of 200 pounds. This is more than enough for a seasoned pro, and with such a wide range of resistances, anyone can get started with a weight-training program using adjustable dumbbells.

Smooth handling

Handling dumbbells needs to be comfortable, or it will be hard to keep training for very long. Features like thermoplastic rubber handles provide a no-slip grip, so you can safely use the dumbbell without fear of dropping it as your hands get sweaty. Handles with padding are also beneficial because they protect your wrists.

Durable construction

Adjustable dumbbells are usually made of plastic, steel, or cast-iron. Plastic weights break down quickly, and are not very reliable. Dumbbells made of material like steel or cast iron are much more durable. Many adjustable dumbbells also have chrome plates or chrome handles for extra protection.

Storage space

The major benefit of adjustable dumbbells is that you only need two instead of multiple sets of weights that take up a lot of space. Individual dumbbells are usually very compact and come with storage trays or stands where you can place the dumbbells when you are not using them.

Best Adjustable Dumbbell Brands


Bowflex is one of the biggest names in fitness equipment. Their first product came out in 1986, and since then, they have been creating cardio machines, full-home gyms, dumbbells, and more. Their products are designed to burn more calories by combining motions from other machines, such as a treadmill, elliptical, and stair stepper.


PowerBlock was established in 1991 and began producing adjustable dumbbells. The two founders noticed that every fitness store had walls and walls of dumbbells, and wanted to create a dumbbell that was effective, but took up less space and would save a customer money. PowerBlock dumbbells involve unique shapes that go beyond the traditional round hourglass weight.


Bayou is one of the company’s two fitness brands, with XMark Fitness being the second. The Bayou brand has a wide selection of equipment such as bars, benches, power towers, cardio machines, and adjustable dumbbells. They are noteworthy because of their prices, which vary from very affordable to more expensive, for the serious home-gym enthusiast.

Features of Professional & Commercial Adjustable Dumbbells

Slide system

All adjustable dumbbells have some kind of increment adjustment process, but one of the more unique ways to add weight is the slide system. You can adjust your dumbbell by simply sliding the knob to the desired notch. This is much easier than messing with removable weight plates and allows you to move from exercise to exercise very quickly.

Block dumbbell design

The standard dumbbell shape is no doubt very familiar to you. It is described as an “hourglass,” where the handle is thinner the weights at the ends. Block dumbbells, which basically look like boxes with a handle, are becoming more popular. Using these weights greatly increases your grip strength. They are also known to be more comfortable and easier to use.

Small weight increments

While most adjustable dumbbells go up in 5-pound increments, there are some sets that have smaller increments, in the 2 ½-3 pound range. The benefit of these smaller increases is that you can more gradually work up to your goals and really focus on toning your muscles as opposed to “bulking up.” Smaller weight increases are also more practical for people who are just getting started with weight training and need more time to adjust to added resistance.

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