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10 Best Adjustable Dumbbells – (Reviews & Guide 2020)

The best adjustable dumbbells and free weights are no doubt one of the best ways to build your body strength and fine muscle definition. And, the same set of dumbbells can provide a wide variety of great fitness workouts to improve your overall health, stamina and physical power.

Of course as you keep on getting stronger, you will need additional weights to support your intense workout. This makes buying a full set of dumbbells very costly for you. You need heavier sets to challenge yourself to higher levels, and it’s hard to go back to lightweight models once we’ve crossed a specific weight threshold.

best adjustable dumbbells

This is where adjustable dumbbells come in to help you. A single adjustable piece can be adjusted upwards by increasing weight increments, but does not take up any additional space. However, you still get in good shape and develop superior upper body strength.

In this full review, we are going to look at a variety of top adjustable dumbbells on the market right now and show you the best options available to buy. We will show you exactly where each dumbbell ranks in terms of durability and overall built-quality.

Choosing the Best Dumbbells

When shopping for the finest adjustable dumbbells, you will notice that there is a wide range of prices for each set. The key thing to remember is that price isn’t everything.

It is true that if you want the top-notch quality you will need to pay more, but beyond a certain threshold more money doesn’t always equate to higher quality.

Our reviews will be covering higher end, more expensive weights as well as the budgeted ones.

I have not ranked any dumbbell in our comparison chart based on price, but in terms of their overall features and quality of strength training workouts.

Our top 10 picks were based on my experiences and research, but that does not make my number one choice the only one you need to consider when making a final buying decision.

There are variety of important factors that need to be considered before purchasing your favorite adjustable dumbbell. All the top picks on our comparison chart are suitable for every one and not primarily focussed on professional athletes or fitness enthusiasts. These weights are the right fit for different lifestyles.

College students living in a compact dorm, or people living in a small apartment who simply want to workout will find great benefit using adjustable dumbbells. If you want to work out with free weights for any reason, but find the space and budget of larger sets too high, then the best picks on this comparison chart can definitely help you.

On a side note, dumbbells are also referred to as free weights or freeweights. We will use these terms interchangeably throughout our adjustable dumbbells review.

Before I show you the complete table, let us have a quick look at the criteria I used to rank these options.

Not all adjustable dumbbells are created equal in terms of quality and overall workout capacity. During each review, I will highlight important features such as available weight range, the system used to change out and adjust weights, grips, ergonomics, and other key points as we find them relevant to discuss.

I will also mention the disadvantages or drawbacks associated with each top rated weight, as no product is perfect. If the locking mechanism isn’t good, or the handling is uncomfortable, I will not forget to mention these issues within my unbiased review.

Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2020 Reviews

Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2020Adjustable Weights
Free ShippingPricing
Bowflex SelectTech 552
(Editor’s Choice)
5 to 52.5 pounds per handYesCheck Price
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
(Editor’s Choice)
5 to 90 lbs per handYesCheck Price
StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells5 to 50 pounds per handYesCheck Price
Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell5 to 50 lbs per handYesCheck Price
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells20 lbs to 100 lbs per handYesCheck Price
Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells5 to 50 pounds per handNoCheck Price
Unipack Pair of Adjustable Dumbbells5 to 100 lbs per handYesCheck Price
Ringstar's Adjustable Dumbbells5 to 100 lbs per handYesCheck Price
CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Setup to 40 lbsYesCheck Price
Lion Roar InfiDeals Adjustable Dumbbells20 to 30 lbs per hand-Check Price

1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Dominating the Market Since 2008

Make no mistake, Bowflex Selecttech 552 are the best adjustable dumbbells I’ve worked with. They offer a variety of great features packed into a reasonably compact frame.

Bowflex has been around for a long time as a manufacturer and founded in 1986. I remember watching commercials for the Bowflex home machines as a kid, so you could say I have grown up with the company.

I have used a variety of their products over time, and I have to say they have put a great deal of their experience to good use with Bowflex SelectTech 552, which are the most sold adjustable dumbbells of all time.

There’s no getting around this point, because Bowflex tends to offer premium adjustable dumbbells designs. They use high quality materials and intelligent design choices, putting many flexible options into their products.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 start at the base weight of 5 pounds, with a maximum cap of 52.5 pounds. However, this isn’t the best part.

The top manufacturer made a solid compromise between precision and compact design by setting the weight increments at a very sensible 2.5 pounds per weight piece for the first 25 pounds.

You can increase the weight using the adjustable dial system to the maximum of 52.5 lbs without physically adding or removing anything. This helps save time and effort, while you completely focus on your fitness workout. With passage of time, you can challenge yourself to more advanced levels as your muscles get bigger and better.

Bowflex was the first company to introduce the top of the line dial adjusting system to their dumbbells. And, this is what makes the 552 model our top rated choice among other products in our comparison chart. With the adjustable dial mechanism, you just need to set the weight you want, turn a dial to lock the dumbbell, and you’re good to go. The dial based systems are one of my favorites, as they speed up the process of weight adjustments without stopping your workout.

The grips on the Bowflex SelectTech 552 are very well-shaped and comfortable for the hand. The contoured rubber grip handle really help improve grip quality of the dumbbells. This is definitely a step up from the “metal rasp” style of textured grip commonly found on the free weights. The rubber handles are comfortable to use for prolonged periods and just more safe when compared to traditional options. This special grip makes a significant difference during a long workout when your hands get tired, or you grip is not much stronger in a specific exercise.

Despite of all the love, there are few drawbacks of Bowflex SelectTech 552. Besides the high price, I was surprised to see that something made out of cast iron can be so fragile. I am not exactly prone to drop my free weights, but accidents can always happen. The SelectTech dial adjustment system is sensitive to shocks, so if you drop from too high or too often, it can probably get damaged.

Fortunately, Bowflex Dumbbells come with a 2 year limited warranty. So, if you are looking for a serious workout, these are some of the best adjustable dumbbells on the market right now.

Click here to read the full Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells review.

The Specs:

  • Weight Range: Adjustable from 5 to 52.5 Pounds per dumbbell
  • Weight can be increased or decreased by 2.5 lbs
  • Number of Available Weight Settings: 15
  • Shipping weight: 150 Pounds (each order is a set of 2)
  • Dimensions: 24″ x 23″ x 14″
  • Comes with a Bonus Workout DVD
PROS
  • Ergonomic and comfortable rubber handle grips
  • Premium feel due to superior build-quality and stylish looks
  • Flexible and modern design to easily adjust weight settings
  • Extremely simple weight change mechanism with 2.5 lbs increments
  • Shaped very much like traditional dumbbells, making the switch easy and intuitive
  • Continuous workout saves time without any need to change the weights
CONS

Verdict: The Bowflex SelectTech 552 are one of the most popular dumbbells on the fitness market. The features of the 552 are quite impressive when compared to other products in the similar price range. We really love the overall design and built-quality of the 552 model. These highly-rated adjustable weights are definitely our top choice for 2020.

Click here to see the price of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 on Amazon.

Update:

Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbells

One of the best alternative for Bowflex are “Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell”.

They offer almost the same functionality as Bowflex and almost look the same.

Merax adjustable dumbbells are currently new in the market and offer very high quality.

Check out their latest price at Amazon.

2. PowerBlock Elite – Most Popular Heavy Weight & High Quality Adjustable Dumbbells

When you search for top adjustable dumbbells, you’ll often see SelectTech vs Powerblock as one of the first comparison choices. The reasoning is clear, because while I love my first choice, Powerblock is definitely a worthy pair of free weights.

The first thing that strikes me is the heavy weight you can put on the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Each free weight is adjustable from a starting 5 pounds to an impressive 130 pounds, per hand.

This is more than double the weight range of the SelectTech, and when you want to train seriously, serious consideration has to be given to the maximum capacity you can get out of your equipment.

Powerblock Elite are also very versatile adjustable dumbbells, as the Elites can be combined with the Urethane EZ Curl Bar.

Simply put the amount of weight you want into each dumbbell, then attach one to each end of the bar, and you have a curling bar to work with.

Part of the major advantage of these good adjustable weights is the space savings, so this turns your free weights into a three part home gym with very little work.

The adjusting system of Powerblock isn’t quite as simple as a dial based one, and it takes a little getting used to at first. However, once I did get used to it, it takes about 20 seconds to adjust to the weight I want for a particular workout, so it isn’t a huge flaw.

The squared off shape of these adjustable dumbbells makes them much more convenient to store than traditional shapes, and they’re astonishingly compact for their weight.

That being said, the unusual shape takes some getting used to. Powerblock do not feel very much like normal dumbbells in the hand at first, as you are literally inserting your hand into the device to grip the bar. It is not impossible or a massive flaw, but it is awkward at first and will take some adjusting to get used to them.

The Specs of these dumbbells are harder to go into, as they will vary based on whether you get the elite 50, elite 90, or even higher end sets.

PROS
  • Nice high adjustable weight to challenge yourself with
  • Extremely flexible, especially with the Urethene EZ Curl Bar addon
  • Compact and convenient for storage
  • Inexpensive to start with
CONS
  • Relatively high price for the full adjustable dumbbell set, though still cheaper than an equivalent set of individual free weights
  • Shape and weight adjusting system both take time to get used to

The Verdict: While a bit awkward to get used to, PowerBlock Elite are definitely worth adding to a gym with space issues due to their amazing flexibility in a compact size. These are the best adjustable dumbbells for home gym.

3. StairMaster TwistLock – Mid-Range, Efficient and Classically Shaped

StairMaster isn’t exactly a name you might associate out of the box with free weight work, but their pair of TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells are genuinely one of the best products I’ve had the pleasure of using.

The Specs:

  • Weight range of 5-50 lbs per dumbbell
  • Adjustable in 5 lb increments
  • 10 different weight settings
  • Dimensions: 14.5″ x 7.9″ x 7.5″

Once again, these weights go with the classic dumbbell design; a central bar is capped with rounded weights.

As I said before, I enjoy working with a traditional shape. It’s comfortable and familiar, and doesn’t feel quite like I’m sliding my hands into two car batteries to work out with.

The weight adjustment system is another dial dumbbell system, one I find very comfortable to work with. The StairMaster TwistLock requires you to seat the dumbbell in the stand, twist the dial to the weight you desire, and then you are good to go.

This makes it a “designed to be safe” system; everything is done through a fixed stand, with no weights actually moving around until you lift free of the stand. These are the best adjustable dumbbells for people, who like the dial dumbbell system.

The StairMaster grips are rubberized with slight grooves applied for additional gripping power. This I was not as thrilled with. While I acknowledge the soft and smooth grip is very comfortable for extended periods, I do not always want to work out with gloves and these grips can prove rather slick after a long workout with sweaty palms. It is not a deal-breaker, but definitely a drawback for a great adjustable dumbbell. If one is going for a smooth grip, one should have sufficient texturing to maintain safe grip throughout.

The weights go up to 50 per dumbbell, which is a slight decrease compared to its SelectTech 552 competitor, and definitively lower than the max offered by PowerBlock Elite. It is still a very respectable range, but the design does have its limitations.

Don’t confuse StairMaster with IronMaster dumbbells. We do want to cover IronMaster dumbbells in our adjustable dumbbells review, however they are currently not available.

This is what pulled Stairmaster down the most relative to the SelectTech. They offer reduced weight range and a less well thought out grip, at a higher price point.

A set of two amazing dumbbells, which is more than the SelectTech 552, for reduced functionality.

PROS
  • Comfortable to Use
  • Respectable Weight Range
  • Compact at slightly over 1 foot long each
  • Very easy adjustable dial mechanism
CONS
  • Overpriced compared to some competitors with better functionality
  • Poor Grip Texturing Choices
The Verdict: StairMaster TwistLock would be an excellent choice for anyone, but their price point and baffling grip design hold them back from being as good as they could be. They aren’t a waste of money, but their price:functionality ratio puts them in an awkward slot. Not the best adjustable dumbbells, far from the worst. Still a great choice for durable Dumbbells to buy in 2020, just be sure they’re what you want.

Click here to see the price of the StairMaster TwistLock Dumbbells on Amazon.

4. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells – Best Weight Set for Beginners

Let me put one thing out there, when I say “cheap adjustable dumbbells” I am not referring to poor quality. Bayou fitness are quite well made designs, they’re just priced at a very affordable level for what they offer.

The Bayou Fitness uses a 5 pound plate that can be added to either side of the dumbbell.

The official approach is to use a 5 pound plate on each side for each increase, as this balances the weight. However, I found that you can easily increase weight with one plate, and the balance shift is actually fairly minimal.

Some grip adjustment and the unbalanced dumbbell weight doesn’t even register, so you can up your weight by 5 or 10 pounds as you like.

The adjustable dumbbells system is very easy to use. It is a very simple knob that is removed, then you add a weight, then put the knob back in.

However, a frequent complaint is that the knob frequently becomes stuck with repeated use, potentially scrapping the dumbbells. This is easily remedied with a bit of WD-40 before putting the knob in, but it is problematic enough to mention.

The sturdiness of the design is one of the most frequently cited reasons people like this design, and I have to agree.

The near-chrome look is just fabulous, and stands up to repeated exercises and modestly rough gym work without damage. Even the rattling I often experience with adjustable dumbbells does not seem to be a significant issue here. It is still present, but far less noticeable.

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14″ length by 7.24″ diameter
  • Weight Range: 5 Pound Bar, adjustable weight to 50 pounds per dumbbell
  • Weight Increments: 5 pound plates, for 5 or 10 pound increments

These are really quite compact, and they have that classic shape that I love. However, the grips are the “metal rasp” style of grip that I’m not particularly fond of. These are ones that do demand using a set of gloves with, as they will chafe and irritate the palms over time.

PROS
  • Very sensible pricing for what they offer
  • Easy to use
  • Conventionally shaped
  • Sturdy overall
CONS
  • Tempermental knob system – you shouldn’t have to add WD-40 to your equipment before using it.
  • Limited weight threshold
  • Uncomfortable Grip
The Verdict: This is a great set if you want a sensibly priced starter set before committing to a higher end adjustable dumbbell system.

Click here to see the price of the Bayou Fitness Dumbbells on Amazon.

5. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells – Budget Friendly and Simple

This set is very much what most people think of when they think of adjustable dumbbells. The system couldn’t be more straightforward.

The core bar is bracketed by a pair of star shaped knobs that are spun off like a nut from a bolt, weight plates similar to traditional chest press weights are added, then the knob is spun back on.

They are simple and effective, giving you classic dumbbell performance in an adjustable package.

This does come with some quirks, of course. I’ve talked about how noisy adjustable weights can get, and Yes4All are no exception.

In their base form, these rattle significantly when working out. This can be muffled with some simple cloths, but nothing is going to eliminate it entirely. These are noisy, and it does get obnoxious.

Yes4All are the high quality adjustable dumbbells for the price.

The Specs:

Dimensions: 14″ L x 7″ diameter

Weight Range: Starts at 15 pounds per bar, scales to 100 pounds max depending on model

Weight Increments: Variable, with plates in the 3 and 7.5 pound ranges

A 200 pound max weight (100 per hand) is a very solid offering, putting it on par with the PowerBlock Elite in a more traditional package.

The variable weight increments are part of what brings this design down despite its extreme affordability. It’s not as easy to gradually bump up the weight, as you have to tinker with ranges between 1.25 pounds per plate to 10 pounds per plate for the heavy weight models. You have a lot of options, but the jumps are either modest or large, with very little subtlety.

Also, the chrome design comes with the traditional rough grips. Don’t get me wrong with my complaints about this grip style – it definitely helps you retain your grip, especially when wearing gloves. It is simply very rough on your palms, and can speed up the wear and tear on your gloves far more than you might expect. They are not particularly comfortable to use for an extended time because of this, despite their other advantages.

PROS
  • Straightforward weight addition system
  • Extremely affordable
  • Good weight range and options
CONS
  • Very, very noisy
  • Uncomfortable grip
  • Somewhat counterintuitive weight increment choices
The Verdict: If you’re looking for a mid-price starter set, these are a very good choice. They can handle a very wide range of weights, are easy to use, and are priced so that improvements won’t wreck your wallet. They are let down by design choices that make them loud and a bit awkward to use, but they remain some of the best choices for those seeking an affordable entry point that still offers the flexibility to adjust one’s workout routine.

Click here to see the price of the Yes4All Dumbbells on Amazon.

6. Core Fitness Dumbbells – Best for Quiet and Pleasant Use

This is another set in the classic design style. They’re actually very similar in design and aesthetic to the StairMasters, but are priced far more sensibly for their ability range.

The Specs:

Dimensions: 14.5″ Long x 7.75″ diameter (with plates)

Stand cradle: 16″ x 9″

Weight Increments: 5 lbs

Weight Range: 5 lb bar, 50 lb max weight

The mounting system for the plates is very similar to the StairMaster design. The dumbbells are inserted into the stand, you turn the dial to the desired setting, and the weights you want lift straight out while leaving behind the remaining weights in the cradle. This makes them straightforward and safe to adjust for the weight, and they don’t require you to remove your hand to fiddle plates and straps into place.

The grip comes with very similar problems to those of the StairMaster as well, unfortunately, with a lightly-textured soft and smooth gripping surface. I’ve discussed the issue already so I won’t rehash it too much. It’s just that there are so many excellent options, and with so much money saved on this model versus others, one would think some could have gone into a better grip that will be less slick with extended use.

One design choice I do like is that the plates are covered with a plastic shielding coating. This makes them less likely to do scuff damage to surfaces, although a hard drop will still damage certain floors. Where it really shines is that the plates are not particularly loud in terms of rattling. This is a very quiet, comfortable system to use.

The ergonomics of the grip are also exceedingly comfortable in the hand. These are pleasant to hold and use, despite the potential slickness issues. If used with gloves, there is very little that isn’t to recommend about these weights in terms of grip comfort.

That said, the overall design quality isn’t quite as good as the very similar StairMaster design. It has a less appealing aesthetic if that’s a concern, but in general it simply seems to be made of less high quality materials. I haven’t had the opportunity to give the ones I tested very extended use, but I would expect it to suffer damage with a rigorous routine or a few accidental drops compared to a more sturdy model.
PROS
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Simple To Use Locking System
  • Good adjustable weight increments
  • VERY quiet
  • Good weight range for the price
CONS
  • Slick Grip with extended use
  • Limited options for upper weight limits
  • Perhaps not the highest quality for the price
The Verdict: Nothing is overtly deal-breaking or wrong with this design, especially for the price. Get it as a more affordable version of the StairMaster approach, but don’t expect it to hold up quite as well in the end.

Click here to see the price of the Core Fitness Dumbbells on Amazon.

7. Unipack Pair of Adjustable Dumbbells – Straightforward, No Frills, Heavyweight Dumbbells

Much like the Bayou models, Unipack’s adjustable dumbbells are in the archetype of “modified bench press bar” design. They feature a chrome central bar, a star-lock screw on retaining system, and big, black metal plates.

I won’t go into the specific dimensions of this model, because they are somewhat variable due to the emphasis on plate additions. They still come in at under a foot and a half, so they remain compact and sensible as a choice for limited gym space.

The weight increments on this one offer a modest degree of flexibility, with 2.5, 5, and 10 pound plates. The set offers eight 10 pound plates, and 2 each of the 2.5 and 5 pound plates. This is a bit more limited, as after you train with the initial bar + 2×2.5 pound plates, you will be jumping 10 pounds by adding 2×5 pound plates. This isn’t awful, as many trainers like to challenge themselves quickly. It will limit options for those who prefer a more gradual increase in their exercise routine, however.

I know I keep stressing it, but comfort is key when working out with any best adjustable dumbbell set, and this one has the classic rough-textured plain metal grip of many weight systems. I won’t go into the whys all over again, simply know this one will be rough on your hands if you don’t use gloves, and rough on your gloves if you do.

That being said, this is a very robust set. The all metal construction is durable and long-lasting. Some users have reported issues with the black paint of the plates flaking with extended use and plate-changing, but this is a fairly minor issue. Aesthetics do matter, but minor flaking is not a major one. These will survive a great deal of use and even some abuse, given the simplicity of the construction. 

Unipack adjustable dumbbells come at a suitable price. For the functionality they offer, this isn’t bad at all. It isn’t particularly low-ball, but also doesn’t overwhelm the wallet. If you want a simple set and don’t mind restrictive weight brackets, these are a very decently priced option.

PROS
  • Simple to use
  • Good max weight per hand at 100 pounds
  • Robust
CONS
  • Minor paint flaking issues
  • Uneven weight increments
  • Uncomfortable grip design

Click here to see the price of the Unipack Pair Dumbbells on Amazon.

8. Ringstar’s Dumbbells – Back to Basics

These are another of the straightforward designs, in a very back to basics approach. They have a similar setup to multiple other designs, with a chrome handle, star-bracket locking system, and black metal plates.

Again, and essentially from this point forward, we’ll disregard the specifics of the specs.

What we will talk about is how many plates this offers, as it is a substantial number of choices and offers some good flexibility.

This design, as noted, comes in 65, 105, and 200 lbs adjustable sets of weight. This breaks down into the following plate numbers and weights:

We will choose the 105 and 200 lbs examples as our guidelines: The 105 lbs set comes with two dumbbell handles as the base frame. 4 Dumbbell star-shaped screw on collars are added, two per dumbbell.

This great design comes with 4 plates at 1.25 lbs, 4 plates at 2.5 lbs, and 16 plates at 5 lbs. For the 200 lbs system, the flexibility range increases substantially. The dumbbells and collars remain essentially the same, and come in the same quantities. The plates included are; 4 plates at 2.5 lbs, 4 plates at 5 lbs, and 16 plates at 10 lbs.

These are very solid weight increments to work with. You can increase in gradual amounts, or in significant leaps, depending on which system you adopted. Adopting both systems will allow a very granular, gradual upgrade in any specific weight scale you find comfortable.

However, this all comes with some of the same flaws we have mentioned before. If they were problems before, they remain problems now.

This nice adjustable dumbbell set is very rattle prone and noisy. The plates will clank together substantially even with the brackets screwed on firmly. Working out is stressful enough on the body, adding metal rattling throughout the workout simply is not pleasant.

The grip retains the classic metal rasp texture, and it remains just as uncomfortable as with other designs. Once again, this is a set you will need gloves to properly use.

Still, as before none of these flaws are deal breakers. Grip issues and sound aside, they are comfortable to use, and do not feel any different than using traditional free weights.

PROS
  • Sensibly Priced
  • Very flexible in weight increments
  • Durable, with all iron construction
CONS
  • Noisy
  • Uncomfortable grip
The Verdict: With a very flexible set of pricing options, these are a solid middle of the road choice for those who want a more diverse and flexible set to work with, but don’t want to shell out massive amounts of money. You may have to make some adjustments to reduce the noise factor, and you will probably need to wear gloves to work out. Even so, I do recommend them as a good place for those who want more than a 50 lb system.

Click here to see the price of the Ringstar’s Adjustable Dumbbells on Amazon.

9. CAP Barbell Dumbbell Set – Super Cheap Starter Set

This is a very stripped down, simple, and straightforward system for people interested in getting into free weights. This system comes with 4 x 5 lb plates, 4 x 2.5 lb plates, 2 dumbbells, and of course 4 spin-lock collars.

The thing about this system is that it is not particularly fancy. It doesn’t have a unique dial lock; you screw on the star-shaped collars once you have the plates on. The plates aren’t covered in impact-resistant plastic; they’re plain black painted metal.

The cheap adjustable dumbbells grips are big and thick, and covered in that old school raspy surfacing common to dumbbells everywhere. They have a pretty limited selection of plates, with just 4 available per dumbbell.

So what makes this CAP Barbell adjustable dumbbell set worth your attention?

These are some of the lowest priced and cheapest adjustable dumbbells you can get, if you are looking at the price in simple, absolute terms. For less than a quarter of the price of the other adjustable dumbbell sets out there, you can have a working, limited set of free weights to practice with.

One of the biggest thresholds for anyone starting a home gym is the expense involved.

This set is a miniscule fraction of that cost. You can very easily test them out for virtually no financial risk, and that is saying something. Similarly, if you need to build up a modest array of equipment for a workout crew, this is a good way to do it for a small investment fee.

That isn’t to say they’re without flaws. The limited number of weights caps the usefulness of these dumbbells very early. More functionality will require spending more money in the long run as you add additional plates.

The grips are uncomfortable for more than the usual reasons. Yes, they have the rough surfacing texture I’ve discussed before. They’re also thicker around than most adjustable dumbbell grips, making them feel strange in the hands.

Neither one of these is a dealbreaker, and even in combination they aren’t terrible. Still, these are not the most pleasant or natural feeling dumbbells to use, which is why they weren’t rated higher despite the great pricing.

Cap Barbell are the best cheap adjustable dumbbells for your money.

PROS
  • Simple
  • Great Price
CONS
  • Very limited with the starting options
  • More uncomfortable to use than necessary
The Verdict: I can think of several good uses for these. If I were to get a group together to do a workout demonstration, the low price point makes it fairly easy to assemble a modest supply of these. The simple construction actually makes them quite robust as well. Still, they feel a bit like a letdown in terms of comfort over long term use, meaning some might prefer to pass them over for better models.

Click here to see the price of the CAP Barbell on Amazon.

10. Lion Roar InfiDeals – Worth it, If you Can Get them

These are a great example of what the CAP system could have been. They’re priced as an entry-level point. They’re simple and robust. They’re accessible and classically designed.

So why are they #10 on our list? Well, let’s go over the salient points briefly, and we’ll come to that.

First things first, these are surprisingly quiet compared to models like the CAP system. The dumbbells are squared off and surprisingly snug against eachother when properly secured, meaning that rattle is greatly reduced.

The system also offers a greater array of starting plates, with 8 x 5 lb plates, 2 x 2.5 lb plates, and 2 x 1.25 lb plates. This totals out to a max weight of 47.5 lbs of plates, with a wider array of weight increments to work with.

Lion Roar Fitness adjustable dumbbells are priced quite sensibly too. This puts it at about double the cost of the CAP set, but offering far more than twice the flexibility.

So why isn’t this adjustable dumbbell set rated higher? Well, it does come with its own set of flaws.

First, as said the cost of adjustable dumbbell is per unit. Most users don’t want a single adjustable dumbbell, they want a pair so they can work out equally on both sides. Some exercises do use one portion of the body, but most free weights exercises are symmetrical, requiring the use of both hands. Neglecting this to sell single adjustable dumbbell units just seems downright odd.

The second problem is that the grip is once again a heavily textured metal grip. As ever it isn’t an earth-shattering problem and can be easily corrected, but it remains a choice Lion Roar Fitness made and I will not neglect to mention it.

However, the biggest problem with this adjustable dumbbell model is that it is currently unavailable on Amazon.

I liked working out with this model, once I had my gloves on. It’s easy to use, it’s relatively quiet, it’s decently affordable; I have every reason to like it, and few reasons not to. But I can’t very well give it a higher place than 10 on my top 10 if it isn’t presently available.

PROS
  • Reasonable price
  • Simple design
  • Durability
  • Pleasant to Use
CONS
  • That textured grip again
  • Sold as Single Units
  • Currently unavailable on Amazon
The Verdict: For all its faults, I still recommend this system when it is available, because it offers an excellent compromise price point. It’s priced at a very good level for the number of plates offered, even if you have to purchase two separately. It’s got a very well proportioned grip in terms of thickness, so it doesn’t feel awkward to hold or use. The plate system is extremely simple, simply screw a bracket on and off as you adjust the plates. There is a LOT to recommend in this system, and I would feel comfortable telling people to use it.

Click here to see the price of the Lion Roar InfiDeals on Amazon.

I would like to reiterate that these are all systems I find very positive to use. I’m very critical of my workout gear, and I can come across as harsh even in what is supposed to be my top ten. The reason for this is that I absolutely want to be honest, and give you clear and detailed information that you can use when making a decision.

Take my apparently obsession with the quality and roughness of certain grip styles. There are hundreds of trainers who simply do not worry about this, and that is perfectly fine. In my day job, I work with my hands, and I try to take care of them. I do not want to go home with a rash or abrasions if I do not have to, so I pay attention to what kind of adjustable dumbbell grip I am subjecting my hands to. You may not worry about it, and that is fine, but if you are like me and you do, then it is the information you deserve to know.

Even in the systems I found disagreeable due to grip choice, I found a lot to enjoy. Every one of these systems is a reliable, solid choice for your home workout gym.

Buying Guide

adjustable dumbbells

The reason I wrote these best adjustable dumbbells reviews is that I wanted to go over the tools I found most interesting and exciting coming into 2019. The reasons I found them so agreeable is because they worked with my routines and my style of working out.

That’s why you should take everything I’ve said, and filter it through what you need, and what you want to accomplish. There are very good reasons to have a top-notch adjustable dumbbell free weight system in your home.

Adjustable dumbbells aren’t “better” at working your muscles than traditional free weights, or even kettlebells. They provide the same basic mechanism as all weights; heavy resistance as you work your muscles. What they offer is a way to make that training compact.

With an adjustable system, you can take your workout on the road with you. When I visit my family, I go to rural Illinois. There isn’t a gym for nearly 100 miles in any direction. A good set of simple, nice adjustable weights can go in the back of my car and let me work out.

When I was in college, I had a very compact dorm room. My choices were to use the campus gym, or give up far too much space in order to have free weights to use. I didn’t have access to adjustable free weights at the time, but I could easily have fit a set of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells under my dorm bed.

That’s the flexibility Bowflex dumbbells offer. They help provide accessibility to the huge variety of exercises possible with freeweight dumbbells, but do so in a compact and adaptable package that doesn’t require a massive expenditure or a huge gym space.

So you look at your needs. If you have need of a freeweight system, but for reasons of available space, personal travel, or simply stylistic choice want to keep things compact, then these are absolutely for you.

I definitely recommend you take the time to look over each of these choices and see which ones fit into your budget and your style of working out. There is plenty of benefit here, and choices that range from the simple and cheap to the premium, high tech option. There’s definitely an adjustable dumbbell out there for you, and I hope this article has helped you find it.

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