Adjustable Dumbbell Sets

For fitness enthusiasts who are serious about their weight training an adjustable dumbbell set is the way to go. These weight sets take up much less space and can be a lot more economical in the long run as you increase in strength. Why spend more money on fixed weights and clutter up your home gym? There are many different type of adjustable weights, today we’re going to look at 3 most popular styles.

Before you shop, remember there’s no such thing as the best weight set so don’t waste your time, just look for something within budget that has good reviews and you’re set!

Dial-A-Weight Dumbbell Sets

These dumbbells have a dial feature that lets you select the amount of weight you want and it automatically reduces or adds the weight. This style offers the most convenience as switching between different weights is quick and easy. Although, it cost a little more than other sets these are by far the most popular dumbbells in terms of space saving, ease of use and durability. They are listed according to price starting with the least expensive.

Universal Power-Pak 445

This Power Pak set adjusts from 4 to 45 pounds in increments of 5 pounds replacing up to 9 pairs of traditional dumbbells at the turn of a dial that is fast and easy. It has a thermoplastic rubber handle that provides a no-slip grip during workouts. This set includes the stand which offers a better value which many don’t. The stand allows convenient access for adjusting the weights and holds the extra weights you don’t want when you lift them.


Bowflex SelectTech 552

Bowflex SelectTech 552
This Bowflex is the top sellers among the adjustable variety because it is very simple to use and offer more versatility. The dumbbells combine up to 15 pairs in one with weight selections ranging from 5 to 52.5 pounds. The weight selections are set in 2.5 pound increments up to 25 pounds (and after 50 pounds) to gradually increase the weight and then 5-pound increments from 25-50. This Bowflex set come with the base in which the extra weights that aren’t selected sit in when dumbbells are lifted.


Weider SpeedWeight 100

These Speedweights start at 15 pounds and can adjust up to 50 pounds each. The weights are set in 5 pound increments for up to 8 different weight settings. This Weider set comes with the storage stand that keeps them conveniently placed for easy access and storage. With these you select the weight you want by using the handle to dial the desired amount for a smooth and easy switch between weights. It also has ergonomic handgrips for more comfort and better control during workouts. See Review


Spin-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell Sets

Spin-lock dumbbells are the more traditional type of adjustable dumbbells that you will commonly see in commercial gyms. These feature multiple weight plates which you have to manually switch out for the desired weight you want and secure using a collar that holds the plates onto the bar, similar to a barbell. They are not the most convenient for switching weights between exercises, but they are more economical and durable than the dial-a-weight varieties.

Yes4All Gym Quality Dumbbells

These are sold in singles up to 52.5 pounds or a 105-pound pair which includes two textured solid chrome handles, four weighted collars, and a total of 24 cast iron weight plates. The weight plates for the pair come in 5 pounds, 2.5 pounds, and 1.25 pounds so you can adjust the weights in increments of 2.5 and 5 pounds. They are easy to switch out and have a threaded, rubber collar that secures the plates on each end of the bar.


Adjustable Dumbbells Cast Iron Total 105lbs by Unipack

This set comes with a total of 24 cast iron weight plates for a set of two dumbbells that can be adjusted from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Each dumbbell includes a solid chrome textured handle, eight 5lb plates, two 2.5lb plates, two 1.25 plates and two collars that equal to 5 pounds. These are a really great value for the kit and versatile for performing a wide variety of workout exercises.


Pro Iron Adjustable Dumbbells

These come in 3 different weight options from 45, 105, and 200 pounds. The 105lb pair includes two standard handles, 4 standard collars with rubber bands to prevent loosening, and multiple weight plates that can be adjusted from 5-52.5 pound providing up to 20 weight settings per dumbell. The plates have a baked-on enamel finish and are rust-proof and no oil for long lasting durability.


Selector Pin Dumbbell Sets

These types of dumbbells work similar to the dial-a-weight style in that you can adjust the amount of weight accordingly without having to manually remove the weights. They use a selector pin that you move to select the amount of weight you want and leave the ones you don’t behind and may use a magnetic system that minimizes the incident of having weights come loose. These are also among the most durable in it class.

XMark 50lb Adjustable Dumbbell

The 50lb dumbbell can be sold individually or as a pair of dumbbells equalling up to 50lbs. For heavier weight training you can purchase 2 of the individual dumbbells which range in weight from 10 -50 pounds with up to 9 different weight settings. They have a selector knob which slides that you can set the desired amount of weight you want to lift, leaving the remaining unwanted weights cradled in the base.


Bayou Fitness Pair Adjustable Dumbbells

This set by Bayou Fitness combine up to 5 weight sets into one. They can be adjusted starting at 10 pounds (without the plates) up to 50 pounds in weight sets of 5-pound increments. These have a selector knob much like the XMark model which you slide to the number of desired weight plates you want. The weights are constructed of heavy-duty chrome with no plastic parts that can easily break.


PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set

This PowerBlock series dumbbells work in a similar way to a weight stack you would find in a gym using a selector pin to increase or decrease the amount of weight, but with the advantages of free weights over machines. This classic set adjusts in 5-pound increments from 5 pounds up to 45 pounds each. The compact design of the PowerBlocks offers better balance and protects the wrists compared to standard adjustable dumbbells.

So based on your needs you can choose from these popular choices whether you’re looking for something that is more economical, convenient, or built for long-lasting use.


Frequently Asked Questions When Buying Adjustable Dumbbells

Our goal is to provide as much information about products we would recommend to our readers to help make a better informed decision before buying. Here are some commonly asked questions about adjustable dumbbells.

1. What is the main benefit of adjustable dumbbells vs. traditional dumbbells?
The biggest benefit of adjustable is the fact that they take up far less space than traditional because you only need one pair. Purchasing multiple sets of basic dumbbells takes up more space and will cost more in the long run.

2. What are the disadvantages to adjustable dumbbells, if any?
The primary concern in adjustable dumbbells that puts a disadvantage is the fact that only one user can use them at one time. With standard weights there are several pairs to choose if someone else wants to workout at the same time but you would have to purchase a separate pair for another user. Another concern is they are more susceptible to damage if they are dropped or mishandled.

3. How do you change out the weights?
These dumbbells feature two different designs. One type is the pin or dial method which allows you to adjust the weights automatically and locks the remaining weights in place onto the handles. The other method is the slide-on plates or spinlock that have a collar which screws onto the handles to keep the plates secure. Whichever type you own, it is always good practice to test the dumbbells once you’ve adjusted the weight before beginning your workout to ensure they are on securely. Also be sure to read and follow the user’s guide that comes with the set.

4. How durable are they?
Because adjustable dumbbells are composed of multiple parts rather than one solid piece, a common concern is durability. The sets with a pin or dial adjustment feature may not be as durable as the spinlock methods because they can become more easily damaged from improper use, especially because some dial-a-weight options have plastic parts which can break more easily.

5. Is there a difference in the way the shape affects the performance of the dumbbell?
The answer is yes. Round, hex, and square shaped dumbbells can have different affects on your workout. For instance, square models are typically more balanced than round. However, round-shaped dumbbells can provide a better range of motion for your workout. The shape of the dumbbell should be something to keep in mind when looking for something to fit your needs.

6. What is a suitable weight-range to purchase?
This depends on your fitness level and goals. Adjustable sets can range in weight from 10 to 75 pounds. If you are a novice and your goals do not include regular heavy lifting on a daily basis then you will want to aim for the lower-range.

7. How much should I spend on a set?
These can range greatly in price so how much you’re willing to spend will depend on your goals. If you are an experienced lifter looking for something durable, top quality that you will get a lot of use with over the course of time, naturally you would want to invest in a higher-end brand such as the Bowflex Selecttech 1090. For just basic toning and maintaining fitness, you can get by fine with these cheaper dumbbell sets.

8. How frequently should I change the weight on my adjustable dumbbells?
When you are doing multiple exercises for different areas you will need to change up the weight accordingly. For fat loss workouts you will likely need to adjust weights more frequently for different levels of resistance. This will also determine which type dumbbell you should buy – i.e. pin and dial systems are much quicker to change out.

9. Do I need a rack for my adjustable dumbbells?
Some models, such as the Ironmaster Quick-Lock, come with a stand to keep your weights on. If a particular brand you like doesn’t come with one you don’t necessarily need to purchase a rack separately unless you have back problems. These heavier dumbbells can be more difficult to lift so if space or money is a concern you can simply set them on a chair or table. On that note: For round dumbbells, if you don’t have a designated dumbbell rack for them you will want to place them on a cushioned surfaced rather than flat because they roll more easily than flat dumbbells.

Also always remember when lifting dumbbells off the floor or from a low surface to lift with your knees to reduce back injury.

10. What different handle types do adjustable have and how does this affect them?
Some adjustable sets feature handles that are slender while others are thicker. You’ll also see the words ergonomic mentioned on some models which are designed to fit more comfortably in the palm of your hand. A rule of thumb, typically with manual slide-on models is the longer the handle, the more weight you can add to it.

11. Do these require maintenance?
Because they’re composed of moving parts, proper maintenance is recommended to keep them in adequate working condition. For adjustable dumbbells with cast iron or steel weight plates, clean the plates periodically as well as the handles and be sure to dry them completely to prevent rusting. Keep rubber plated weights out of the sun or covered if kept outdoors to prevent damage from the UV rays. You should also lubricate your dumbbells regularly using a thin application of an oil-based lubricant.

12. Should the weights be equal on each end of the dumbbells?
With some adjustable sets you can set the weight to be heavier on one end of the dumbbell than the other. Having equal weights on both ends provides better balance; although, some trainers like the off-set weight option to add more variety to their workout. Using a dumbell with unequal weighted ends works the muscles a little differently than having it symmetrical.

13. Are they safe to use?
One concern with these types of weights is the risk of plates coming loose or falling during a workout posing the risk of injury. This is a possibility so refer to the user’s manual that comes with your dumbbells for safety recommendations. Some dial-a-weight options make a clicking sound to ensure the weights are secure. Use caution when lifting to ensure a loose weight plate doesn’t land on your foot. With spin-lock options always tighten the ends after each weight change and in between exercises.

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