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.
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.
Cannot adjust on carpet, pins may bend. Adjust only on a hard flat surface.
The most compact, quick adjusting dumbbells available for beginners. Period.
SET OF 2 DUMBBELLS - 40 LBS TOTAL: TWO 14”x 1” handles, FOUR 3-pound plates, FOUR 5-pound plates, FOUR collars
CAST IRON WEIGHT PLATES FIT 1-INCH STANDARD BAR: Accommodate all standard 1-inch handles. Durable cast iron plates covered with black paint finish preventing rust and corrosion for lifetime use
14-INCH DIAMOND KNURLED CHROME HANDLE: Constructed of high-quality, textured chrome handle for secure, firm, and non-slip grip for a secure fit; Plates are made from durable cast iron
STAR-LOCK COLLARS WITH LOOSE-RESISTANT RUBBER TRIMS: Threaded ends with star-lock collars provide a safe, secure workout & easy weight plate changes
EASY USE & STORAGE: Take seconds to assemble and take out. Compact, convenient, and easy to use and store. All-for-one dumbbells eliminate the need for multiple dumbbells in your workout space. Suitable for performing basic toning body workouts
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.
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.
Some users experience quirks with the locking mechanism.
A fast adjusting, high quality, compact dumbbell set.
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.
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.
16” long to accommodate a lot of weight, longer than most sets.
Best adjustable dumbbells for home gym on a budget.
Each dumbbell adjust from 11 lbs to 71.5 lbs in 5.5 lb increments.
With the unique dial system, you can rapidly switch from one exercise to the next.
Combines 12 sets of weights into one offering versatile workout for your whole body.
With one Adjustable Dial Dumbbell, there is no need for buying other dumbbells, which can save a lot of space for your home gym.
Worldwide Two Year Warranty. Shipped in multiple packages, may arrive at different time. Merax dumbbell is measured by kg. The handle you receive may be black or electropated, but they are all manufactured by Merax.
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.
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.
Adjustment may stick from time to time, can be lubricated to make it easier.
Most affordable, best adjustable dumbbells in this weight range.
Your purchase includes One Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set (2), two cradles and an exercise guide. 2 Year Parts Warranty
Dumbbell only dimensions (each): 14.5" L x 7.9” W x 7.2" H | Assembled dimensions (stand with dumbbells) – 22” L x 33.5” W x 31.9" H | Each dumbbell Weight: 50 lbs. | Weight adjustments – 5lbs to 50lbs per DB
Quick-change weight adjustments with Twist Lock technology. Allows you to change weight setting with one hand. Set dumbbell in cradle, twist the handle and weight changes quickly and safely
Contoured, textured and soft grip handle design provides comfortable and secure grip control. Do not use abrasive cleaners or petroleum-based solvents to clean equipment
Compact design allows you to store and use dumbbells anywhere while still getting the true dumbbell feel
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.
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.
Do not adjust as rapidly as Bowflex.
Best selectable dumbbells at this low price, with a respectable max weight.
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.
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.
Not designed to be dropped.
If you are considering Powerblocks these are the best adjustable dumbbells of 2022 from the Powerblock line.
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.
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.
Weight not marked on each piece.
Slower adjustment than other styles.
Best adjustable dumbbell set for the mid range lifter.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Least expensive adjustment style.
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.
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.
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.
More expensive than collar style adjustment.
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.
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.
More expensive than collar style.
Adjustable Dumbbell FAQs
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.
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.
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…
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.
Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!