TOP 17 Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviewed 2019: From Powerblocks to the Ironmaster

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A rack full of heavy, tough, mean looking Hex dumbbells will make your gym look absolutely stacked.

But let’s be real here.

Not all of us have the space to stack a set of Hex weights against the wall.

If you are limited on space, adjustable dumbbells are the way to go!

If you’re here, you’re probably looking for a set of the best adjustable dumbbells.

I have what you are looking for!

I reviewed 17 of the best adjustable dumbbells for your home gym and included a buyer’s guide to help you decide.

TOP 17 Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2019

This list includes adjustable dumbbells of all varieties in a wide range of prices. You’ll be able to find something within your budget and weight range to fit your needs.

Since all of these come highly rated and recommended by real lifters, you know you’re getting your money’s worth with any of the picks on the list.

PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

Review: Stage 1 of the Powerblock Elite allows you to lift up to 50 lbs on each dumbbell. You can add on a stage 2 kit to go up to 70 lbs, and after that a stage 3 kit for 90 lbs on each dumbbell.

The Powerblock elite adjustable dumbbells grow with you. The elite blocks also have a straight handle with a consistent diameter, which some lifters prefer.

The Elite set is one of the best values when it comes to power blocks when compared to the Pro models, and it is color-coded so you can easily identify the weight you want.

Pros

  • Starts at 50 lbs max with upgrades available for 70 and 90 lbs.
  • Micro increments of 2.5 lbs available, thanks to the 2.5 lb adder weight.
  • Straight rod style handle, not contoured like other models.

Cons

  • Not designed to be dropped.

Takeaway

If you are considering Powerblocks these are the best adjustable dumbbells of 2019 from the Powerblock line.

PowerBlock EXP Dumbbells

Review: The Powerblock EXP, like the Elites, can be upgraded up to 90 lbs.

This model has a more open layout in the handle area thanks to the lack of wrist support bars seen on other models. It also has a comfort contoured ergo handle, unlike other models.

It has the 2.5 lb adder weight so you can make micro adjustments too.

Pros

  • No wrist support bars means more room for your arms to move.
  • Contoured ergo handles with rubberized coating.
  • 5 lb adder weight for micro adjustments.

Cons

  • The space between the handle and the weight rods is tight.

Takeaway

Quick adjusting, space saving Powerblocks with more room for wrist movement.

Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System

Review: Ironmaster is one of the most sought after adjustable dumbbells on the market because of the heavy max weight of each dumbbell and the well thought out design.

These best rated adjustable dumbbells are square, so they do not roll. They are flat on the bottom so you can set up on the bench easily, and they are relatively compact for their weight.

I love Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells because they look and feel like standard dumbbells and they are all metal, and designed to be dropped if you need to.

Pros

  • Up to 75 lbs on each dumbbell in increments of 2.5 and 5 lbs.
  • Optional add-on kit pumps up the max weight to 165 lbs.
  • Includes space-efficient stand.
  • Sturdy dumbbells of welded steel with chrome-plated handles.
  • Shaped more like standard dumbbells than Powerblocks.
  • Compact, with flat ends.

Cons

  • They take longer to change than Powerblocks.

Takeaway

Some of the best selectable dumbbells money can buy. An excellent addition to the serious lifter with a small home gym.

PowerBlock Sport Dumbbell Set

Review: Powerblock Sport set are selector pin dumbbells and one of the most popular adjustable weight dumbbells available today.

They have a minimum weight of 3 pounds and a maximum weight of 24 pounds each dumbbell. These weights are perfect for exercises that involve a full range of motion because of their modest limit and the way they’re balanced and the padded handle means they are comfortable.

These are compact, and have the smallest footprint of all our adjustable weight dumbbells reviews.

Pros

  • Selector pin allows rapid weight adjustment.
  • Balanced weight and more compact than most other sets.
  • Secure weights do not move while exercising.
  • Powerblocks are self-contained and require no base, they are easy to move around without needing to take the base too.
  • The narrowest of all our adjustable dumbbell reviews.

Cons

  • Cannot adjust on carpet, pins may bend. Adjust only on a hard flat surface.

Takeaway

The most compact, quick adjusting dumbbells available for beginners. Period.

AmazonBasics Adjustable Weight Set

Review: These basic budget priced dumbbells include a set of two dumbbell bars weights and collar, altogether totaling 40 lbs, or 20lbs each dumbbell.

You can load all 40 lbs on one dumbbell, if you wish. This set includes a case to keep everything organized.

Pros

  • For lightweight lifters, total of 40 lbs .
  • Includes carry case to stay organized.
  • Collars double as half pound weights, bars are 3 lbs each, can be used for physical therapy.

Cons

  • Plastic storage case is cheap and does not latch well.

Takeaway

Best cheap adjustable dumbbells for the lightweight lifter short on space.

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: Available as sets of 40 lbs, all the way up to 200 lbs each dumbbell. Choose your ideal lifting weight.

Each set includes dumbbell bars and screw on collars, plus the appropriate amount of weight to complete the set you chose.

These adjustable dumbbells are so economical, they get my vote for best adjustable dumbbells of 2019 in the budget category. Ideal for heavy lifters on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Cast iron plates are coated with a chip and corrosion resistant finish.
  • Handle is chromed for rust and corrosion resistance.
  • Bar is knurled, giving good texture and grip.
  • Max weight of 100 lbs each dumbbell available.

Cons

  • Weight plates are thicker and shorter than other brands which quickly take up space on the bar.

Takeaway

Considering their low price these are the best adjustable dumbbells for the price.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: Bowflex makes a unique set of adjustable dumbbells. They are dial a weight style and adjust in 5 seconds or less. These increase in 2.5 lb up to the first 25 lbs, and 5 lb increments after you reach 25 lbs.

The weight can be set differently for each side of the dumbbell, if you desire.

Pros

  • Each dumbbell maxes out at 52.5 lbs, sold in sets of two.
  • Includes black base to hold unused weights.
  • Dial adjustment is very rapid.

Cons

  • Some users experience quirks with the locking mechanism.

Takeaway

A fast adjusting, high quality, compact dumbbell set.

Unipack Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: These Unipack dumbbells have plates are made of cast iron, that are sturdy, reliable, and they won’t rust if your workout room is in an area that gets damp.

The total weight of this set is 105 pounds, but it’s distributed as two bars and 12 plates, so you can construct two dumbbells that weigh as much as 52.5 pounds each. Perfect for a large array of dumbbell exercises.

Pros

  • Great price for a total weight of 105 lbs, or 52.5 each dumbbell.
  • Chrome bars resist corrosion and rust, and have textured center for strong grip.
  • Economical.

Cons

  • 16” long to accommodate a lot of weight, longer than most sets.

Takeaway

Best adjustable dumbbells for home gym on a budget.

ProForm Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Review: These compact weights are sold as a set, and each dumbbell weighs up to 12.5 lbs. They come in their own base, have knob adjustment, and are very affordable.

They adjust in increments of 2.5 lbs, have knurled handles making them easy to grip, and are good for light to intermediate lifters, cardio and therapy work.

Pros

  • Up to 12.5 lbs on each dumbbell.
  • Storage and adjustment base included.
  • Lightweight and adjustable in small increments.

Cons

  • A little awkward to adjust.

Takeaway

One of the best adjustable dumbbells for women or those who want lighter dumbbells.

Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells & Stand

Review: From well-known maker Nautilus, these Universal adjustable dumbbells weigh up to 45 lbs each, and adjust in increments of 5 lbs.

This set includes a handsome raised metal stand to keep the set organized and to facilitate easy adjustment.

The dumbbells have knob style adjustment and the pins and handles are metal, so the weights are secure.

Pros

  • Metal connector pins and handle. Handle is coated in thermoplastic rubber for grip.
  • Includes raised stand.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Up to 45 lbs on each dumbbell.

Cons

  • The weights shift a bit while lifting.

Takeaway

Best adjustable dumbbells for intermediate to heavy lifters.

StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: StairMaster maintains their first-rate reputation with these excellent adjustable dumbbells. The set includes two dumbbells with a max weight of 50 lbs, and the base.

This set is very compact and has flat ends so you can use them for heavyweight bench work, and they won’t hurt if you rest them on your knees on setup or between sets.

The dumbbells are short, and shaped like standard dumbbells, not awkward or too long like some other sets.

Pros

  • 50 lb max on each dumbbell.
  • Twistlock safety feature, weights only adjust while in base.
  • Adjusts in 5 lbs increments.
  • Comfort contoured handles.
  • Compact, not too long.

Cons

  • The base and dumbbells together take up a decent amount of floor space.

Takeaway

Ideal for dumbbell bench presses, with heavy weight.

Weider SpeedWeight Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Review: This Weider dumbbell has a 25 lb max and adjusts to 10,15 and 25 lbs. The dumbbell includes a base.

The locking mechanism is what makes this adjustable dumbbell so unique. The cast-iron plates are set inside of the locking cams.

By rotating the center handle, the cams will slide left and right, which shifts the bar in and out of the center of the plates, making them super fast to adjust.

Pros

  • 25 lb max dumbbell.
  • Storage and adjustment stand included.
  • More secure than selector tabs, because they use heavy duty lock grip.

Cons

  • Not a set, only one dumbbell and base included.

Takeaway

Some of the safest adjustable dumbbells that money can buy.

Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells

Review: This impressive Merax set of dumbbells features a noteworthy max weight of 71.5 lbs per dumbbell.

They have a knob adjuster and adjust in increments of 5.5 lbs. The set includes the base and rubber-coated handles.

These are comparable in weight and design to the much more expensive Bowflex dumbbells.

Pros

  • 71.5 max weight for each dumbbell.
  • Easy to adjust know style adjustment, similar to Bowflex.
  • Held in place by metal on metal. No plastic holding the plates on.

Cons

  • The weight inscribed on the dumbbells is in KG, not lbs.

Takeaway

A high quality, heavy weight set at a reasonable price.

Featol Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: This Featol set is for mid-level lifters who don’t lift super heavy, but still want a challenge.

Each dumbbell in the set maxes out at 38.6 lbs and the sturdy metal bar is coated in thermoplastic elastomeric for an excellent grip.

These adjust from the side using a button, but the idea is somewhat like the collar adjustment design where you load each plate individually.

Pros

  • 38.6 lb max weight for each dumbbell.
  • Compact set, not too much bar extending past the weight.
  • Contoured rubberized handle feels good in the hand.

Cons

  • Weight not marked on each piece.
  • Slower adjustment than other styles.

Takeaway

Best adjustable dumbbell set for the mid range lifter.

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: The Bayou adjustable dumbbells are most similar to the Weider brand adjustable dumbbells, except these are sold in pairs of two.

They are available in 25lb pair, individual 50lb dumbbell or a pair of 50 lb dumbbells. Whichever set you choose, they all include a base for each dumbbell.

They have rounded ends for easy workout setup and you can rest them on your knees between sets without them digging into your skin. They have the shape of standard dumbbells, making them less awkward than other styles.

Pros

  • Up to 50 lb on each dumbbell.
  • Heavy-duty steel bar with chrome plating.
  • Shaped like standard fixed weight dumbbells for a natural feel.
  • 14” bar, relatively compact.

Cons

  • Adjustment may stick from time to time, can be lubricated to make it easier.

Takeaway

Most affordable, best adjustable dumbbells in this weight range.

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: These Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells, sold as a set of two, include the aluminum cradle base and 2 bars.

The max weight of each dumbbell is 50 lbs, and the set use twist-lock technology to adjust the weight, making changing weight fast and easy.

Pros

  • Weight can be adjusted using one hand, just set in cradle and twist.
  • 50 lb max weight for each dumbbell.
  • One of the most affordable in this weight range of all adjustable dumbbell reviews.
  • Adjusting mechanism very similar to Stairmaster twistlock set (but much less expensive).

Cons

  • Dumbbells stick in the case sometimes, especially when loaded to the max.

Takeaway

Easy twist and adjust design, plus a great price make these an obvious choice for the home gym.

XMark Adjustable Dumbbells

Review: These Xmark adjustable dumbbells are sold in singles and pairs, with features similar to the national brand, at a much lower price.

Max weight is either 25 lbs or 50 lbs per dumbbell, depending on the set you choose. The bars are chrome plated and resist corrosion.

The adjustment mechanism is a sliding knob, which is not as easy to adjust as the top-rated adjustable dumbbells Bowflex makes, but the set is significantly less expensive.

Pros

  • Up to 50 lbs max weight on each dumbbell.
  • Chrome plated, lightly textured bar.
  • Includes storage and adjustment cradle base.
  • Shape and feel of standard fixed weights for more natural lifting.

Cons

  • Do not adjust as rapidly as Bowflex.

Takeaway

Best selectable dumbbells at this low price, with a respectable max weight.

If you’re interested in adjustable dumbbells, you may have some questions about which dumbbells are best for you.

Buying Guide – Deciding what Set is Right for You

sportsman standing near adjustable dumbbells

Adjustment Speed, How Long do They Take to Adjust

One reason standard fixed dumbbells are so well-loved is they are easy. To change the weight, just pick up a different dumbbell.

Adjustable dumbbells have this one minor annoyance. They take some time to adjust. For some, it is a few seconds, for others a bit longer.

You are a busy person. You value your time, right?

So look for a set of adjustable dumbbells that has a reputation for being fast and easy to adjust.

Weight – How Much Can or Will You Lift?

This seems like a no brainer, but I will mention it anyways. Adjustable dumbbell sets come in a pretty wide range of Min and Max weights.

Some sets max out at 25 lbs on each dumbbell and some max out at around 100 lbs or more.

Decide how much you want each dumbbell to max out at. This will narrow down your choices a lot, and make it easier to choose the best adjustable dumbbell for you.

If you need a dumbbell that weighs more than 165 lbs, it is time to start looking at Olympic weights. They make Olympic dumbbell bars that can be loaded pretty heavy.

female athlete performing weight lifting exercise at gym

Shape. Hint: You Want a Flat side

Picture this. You are lying on your bench, with the dumbbells still on the floor. You are really looking to challenge yourself, so you have 35 lbs (or whatever weight challenges you) stacked on each dumbbell.

Now you grab each dumbbell and place it on your thigh so you can maneuver them into position.

Now ask yourself, what do you want right now, a dumbbell with a rod sticking out the end, or a dumbbell with a flat side?

Fixed hex dumbbells are so popular because they do not roll around and sit comfortably on your thigh as you get into position or rest between sets.

Now, you want those same benefits for adjustable dumbbells, especially if you lift heavy weights. Adjustable dumbbells with a flat edge are best, especially for heavy lifters.

woman doing dumbbell row exercise and using weight bench

The Dark Side of Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are the right choice when you are limited on space, but adjustable dumbbells are not perfect.

They do have pitfalls you should be aware of.

You can’t, or more accurately, should not, drop most adjustable dumbbells. Most are not designed to hit the floor fully loaded. They can be damaged making them harder to adjust.

Standard fixed dumbbells can be dropped, if you don’t mind damaging the floor.

If you need adjustable dumbbells that are safe to drop, look at IronMaster or Yes4All dumbbells.

Who drops dumbbells anyways?

People who lift to failure, that’s who. Challenging yourself and lifting a weight that is heavier than you normally lift could potentially lead to dropping the weight.

Olympic lifters routinely drop weighs.

It is common for heavy lifters to drop weights, so choose your adjustable dumbbells carefully.

Public Service Announcement: Video below shows Jeff from Athlean-X demonstrating the safe way to get into a bench press position when using heavy weights and he shows the proper way to drop dumbbells, if you should need to.

Adjustable weights have a “high” upfront cost, relative to fixed weights, which you can theoretically buy piece by piece.

But when you compare a nice set of fixed weight hex dumbbells with a set of high-quality adjustable dumbbells, the cost difference is actually not too big.

Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbell Sets

The best thing about adjustable dumbbells.

Location, location, location!

If the real estate you have to dedicate to your home gym is minuscule you may be interested in how little room adjustable dumbbells occupy.

Space savings are the biggest benefit to adjustable dumbbells, and it is a pretty compelling benefit to boot.

If you:

  • Live in a tiny apartment
  • Need to lift in your room
  • Have a very small home gym
  • Only have one corner of the garage to use as a gym
  • Lift in your office (or home office)
  • Live and lift in a college dorm

Then adjustable dumbbells are the right choice for you!

Different Styles of Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells can be adjusted using one of three adjustment styles.

Caps or Collars

How does it work: With a cap or collar, you screw the collar off, add the weight plates to the bar, and screw the collar back on.

Pros

  • Least expensive adjustment style.

Cons

  • This style leaves the bar sticking out past the weight, so you cannot rest the weight on your leg if you need to get into position.
  • Cap or collar adjustments take the longest to change or adjust. You have to take the time to unscrew the collar, load each plate, and screw the collar back on. Some may find this tedious.

Selector Pins

How does it work: With Selector pin dumbbells you place the pin in place at your desired amount of weight. When you lift the weight out of the holder, the plates you don’t want to use will stay behind.

Powerblocks use a pin style selector.

Pros

  • Fast weight adjustment.
  • Pin selector style dumbbells tend to be more compact than dial styles which are longer.
  • More organized than collar style, unused weights stay in the holder, not all over your gym floor.

Cons

  • More expensive than collar style adjustment.

Dials

How does it work: Dial style adjustment dumbbells are the easiest to use.

You select the weight by dialing in your desired amount on the dumbbell, and the dial leaves the other weights behind. Bowflex and Stairmaster adjustable dumbbells use a dial style.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust.
  • Can be the fastest to adjust, especially on models that adjust both sides at the same time.
  • More organized than collar style, unused weights stay in the holder.
  • Dial styles such as those found on Bowflex, can be fine tuned to place a different weight on each side of the dumbbell.

Cons

  • More expensive than collar style.

Adjustable Dumbbell FAQs

man holding dumbbells and working bench press at gym

What is the Difference between Powerblock Elite vs Powerblock Sport vs Powerblock EXP?

Powerblocks offers many different models, and three of the most popular Powerblock models are featured here: The Sport, Elite and EXP.

Sport Model

The Sport model is the most economical and has the lowest max weight. Powerblock sport is the model for beginners.

The sport model featured here is non-expandable and each dumbbell has a max weight of 24 lbs. You can adjust this model in 3 lb increments.

Elite and EXP

Both the Elite and EXP models shown here start at a max weight of 50 lbs each dumbbell and they are both upgradeable to 70 lbs max each and again to 90 lbs max each, making them both good for serious lifters.

They can be adjusted in 2.5 lbs increments thanks to the 2.5 lb adder weight included.

The difference between the elite and the EXP models are in the handle and how much wiggle room they have.

  • The Elite has a straight handle that does not change circumference. The elites also have the wrist support bars, and a little less room for movement.
  • The EXP has the contoured ergo handle which is fatter in the middle and tapered at the end. The EXP does not have the wrist support bars so there is a little more room for your arm to move.

Which Adjustable Dumbbells are Best?

If you ask most bodybuilders and weightlifters they are going to tell you either Powerblocks or IronMaster.

Granted, neither of these options is the least expensive. In fact, if you opt for the heaviest max weight upgrades, both are more expensive than all the Hex dumbbells I reviewed.

adjustable dumbbell

What are the Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells?

OK, now you are talking.

The big guys, Powerblock and IronMaster will always win as the best adjustable dumbbells, but for people on a tight budget there are some respectable options that don’t hurt the budget so much.

My choice for best cheap adjustable dumbbells are the Yes4All adjustable dumbbells. They max out at 100 lbs each dumbbell, which is more than enough for most lifters.

The Yes4All are a third of the price of the top competitors when you factor in upgrades…

But…

They Yes4All have a downside. They are tedious to adjust and they have you leaving weight plates you are not using lying around, which could be a hazard in a small home gym.

Can You Drop Ironmaster Dumbbells?

Yes! If you need to fail a lift, the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells are designed to be dropped. This is one of their advantages over Powerblocks.

Ironmaster adjustable weights also look and feel more like standard dumbbells than Powerblocks.

Can You Drop Powerblocks?

Powerblocks are not designed to be dropped, so I advise against it. A small drop from no higher than a foot should be OK, according to Powerblock, but no higher.

If you want adjustable dumbbells that are safe to drop, I recommend the Ironmaster dumbbells.

Which Set is Faster to Adjust, the Powerblocks vs IronMaster?

The Powerblocks are faster to adjust, which is why they are so popular.

Ironmaster does not use any plastic or dials to adjust. They have a metal pin lock system which takes longer to adjust than Powerblocks.

Are Adjustable Kettlebells any Good?

Both Powerblocks adjustable Kettlebell here and Ironmasters adjustable Kettlebell here are great adjustable kettlebells.

The Powerblock adjustable Kettlebell adjusts up to 32 lbs and has an iron outer shell, making it feel like a standard Kettlebell but replaces 4 Kettlebell weights in your gym.

The Ironmaster has a higher max weight of 57.5 lbs and has more adjustments too, replacing 6 kettlebells, plus there are expansion packs available too.

If you are considering kettlebells for your home gym take a look at the best kettlebells reviewed here.

Conclusion

I hope these 17 reviews give you a good idea of what the market has to offer and you find the best adjustable dumbbells.

When you are done searching for the best adjustable dumbbells, why not check out our reviews of the best compact home gym equipment and the best dumbbell weight rack here.

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