Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Updated: Aug 14

A review of six adjustable dumbbells


Dumbbells are a great addition to any home gym. The versatility of this classic training tool would put a Swiss Army knife to shame. And gone are the days when you’d have to buy one pair (which were either too light for strength training or too heavy for muscular endurance) or invest in a whole rack.



Though thought to be stuck in the Stone Age dumbbells have evolved; and they’re no longer design in the image of two boulders stuck together.


For the tenth of the price of a rack you can have yourself a fine pair of adjustable dumbbells – and you won’t look like a 19th Century strong man either, unless you decide to don a pair of Leopard skin budgy smugglers of course.



Adjustable dumbbells are becoming increasingly popular for the simple fact that, as well as enabling you to access a wide range of weights, they take up hardly any space – making them perfect for a home gym.


Versatility

The dumbbell is a very versatile training tool. If you’re into static exercises you can curl, pull and extend until you’ve got that Lou Ferrigno thing going on. But if you’ve got an itch for something a bit more functional then you can always shake things up and pop a snatch or a clean into your session. Listen, however exotic or perverse your exercise predilection the humble dumbbell will not let you down.








List of dumbbell exercises (shaken not stirred)


- Bicep curls
- Reverse curls
- Triceps extension
- Single arm row
- Lateral raises
- Flys
- Chest press
- Chest flys
- Shrugs
- Snatches
- Cleans
- Single arm press
- Vertical lift
- Swing (as you would a kettlebell)


That, I think you would agree, is a pretty extensive list of exercises – told you dumbbells were more versatile than a Swiss Army knife. Didn't believe me did you? Thought I was exaggerating? And to think, I haven’t even mentioned those exercises we can incorporate dumbbells into for that extra kick – such as weighted pull-ups, Russian twists, squat jumps and the like.


A couple of things to consider before clicking!

As with everything nowadays we’ve got an abundance of choice. Not only do we have to decide which pair from the plethora of products to choose (though hopefully this article will help with that) but also the style of adjustable dumbbell. Thankfully this is not quite as complicated as there are only two. I will discuss each one in turn.


1: Plate adjustable dumbbells are the classic style where, after smashing out a drop set, you’ve got to park the dumbbells at the pit-stop and perform a quick plate change. Spin off the stoppers, slide on (or off (or on and off (or off and on))) your plates, spin back on the stoppers and off you go in 12.4 seconds. With a bit of practice the process is not half as laborious as I’ve made out. But irrespective of how efficient you get when you’re using a pair and you have to change 4 plates for every set sometimes it can feel as though most of your session was spent in the pit.



There is a solution to this problem.



2: Station adjustable dumbbells offer a quicker, sleeker alternative to plates. Instead of parking your pair in the pits every time you need to change a plate, with station adjustables you merely plonk them into the station, click the desired weight and away you go. Easy as that! Another positive of SAs (to save repetition) is that, because the weights are housed in a nice neat unit (or ‘station’ – hence the name), you are spared the highly irritating and inevitable eventuality of losing a plate – or (and we’ve all be here) loading up the wrong weights and spending a set convincing yourself the left dumbbell is the same weight as the right.


Ok then, I think I’ve gabbed on long enough. Let’s have a look at some adjustable dumbbells! The first three products are plate adjustable and the final three are station adjustable.




Plate Adjustable Dumbbells



1: The JLL cast iron dumbbell is an extremely well rated product and for good reason. For the price of a coffee at a service station you could be the proud owner of the equivalent of (about) sixteen dumbbells. This product has a lot going for it. They are reasonably priced. They have received excellent customer feedback. And they are made from durable materials meaning they’ll last longer than you will.



£109.99



Over 230 reviews and only two spikes of 5 stars



What customers are saying

Favourable

- Cast iron quality – rock bottom price

- Great products

- Great for beginners



Unfavourable

- Ends slipped loose

- Made in China [isn’t everything?]


JLL 20kg Cast Iron Dumbbell & Barbell Set 2020, 4x 0.5kg, 4x 1.25kg and 4x 2.5kg weight plates, 4x spin-lock collars, steel connecting bar, hammer tone look, resilient and long lasting training equipment


Product Particulars

· The JLL 20kg Dumbbell Set is a great starter piece.

· Set Includes: 4x 0.5kg, 4x 1.25kg and 4x 2.5kg Cast Iron Weight Plates. 2x Chrome Plated Dumbbell Bars, 1 steel connecting bar with Spinlock collars.

· Fully adjustable starter set.

· It is fully adjustable so you can select the weights you desire to lift. It is quick and easy to adjust the weights as they can be slid on to the bar and secured into place by the spinlock collars.

Click on the image for more information



2: This is an entry level set of adjustable plate dumbbells from PROIRON. For a penny shy of two hundred quid you’ll get a fairly decent range of weights that’ll offer you the option to work on muscular tonality as well as strength (though if you’ve got your sights set on World’s Strongest man/woman then you’ll probably grow out of these pretty quick as they only go up to 20kg). One point I will mention before moving on, the customer feedback is sensational. After more than 3200 reviews this pair of adjustable dumbbells is still holding on to 4.5 stars.



£199.99



What customers are saying

Favourable

- Neat weight set

- Wish I had bought sooner



Unfavourable

- Problem with end thread

- Good but the weights can come loose



PROIRON 20kg Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set Hand Weight with Solid Dumbbell Handles Changed into Barbell Handily Perfect for Bodybuilding Fitness Weight Lifting Training Home Gym

Product Particulars

· The dumbbell set includes two handles, four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates, 4 collars, and a extended bar.

· Free connection steel tube to change dumbbell to barbell. Give you more functions to build up muscle. With the steel connection tube, you can add more weight plates from 4kg to 33kg (includes bar weight)

· Ergonomic designed knurled handle grip makes your hands more comfortable.


Click on image for more information



3: If you plan on doing a Ronnie Coleman during your training sessions, and disdainfully throwing your dumbbells to one side after each set, this is probably not the pair for you. The CCLIFE adjustable dumbbells, though well rated, are plastic coated and sand filled. Thus if you do throw or drop them you might be incorporating the hoover into your training session.



£190.90



4 stars with 262 reviews



What customers are saying

Favourable

- Good set of weights

- Quality product



Unfavourable

- Quality not as good as expected

- Sand filled



CCLIFE 2 in 1 Dumbbell & Barbell Set with Handle Adjustable Dumbbells Weights for Home Gym Exercise


Product Particulars

· Including: 4x 1kg, 4x 1.25kg and 4x 2.5kg Weight Plates; 2x Plastic coated hollow Dumbbell Bars; 1 x connecting bar; 4 x Spinlock collars

· Quick and Easy Adjustment: With the help of 4 Spinlock collars in your dumbbells Set the weight adjustments will be quick and easy. The Weight Plates will be secured into place by the spinlock collars.

· Floor friendly: The materials of our dumbbells is strictly tested. And our rubber Dumbbells will not cause damage to the floor. And it reduce noise.

· NOTICE: The indicated weight 20/30/40KG includes the two dumbbell bars and star locks!

Click on the image for more information



Station Adjustable Dumbbells



1: Of all the station adjustable dumbbells on Amazon this was the only pair I could track down that were rated. Perhaps one reason for that is because they are the cheapest product available; some of the comparative station adjustable dumbbells cost as much as £800! However, Athlyt’s heavy-duty steel plated dumbbells are reasonably priced and they offer a great rang of weight options – from 2.5kg to 25kg.



£ 159.99



5 reviews at 5 stars



What the customers are saying

Favourable

- Great product

- Easy to use



Unfavourable

- No unfavourable feedback



Athlyt Unisex's 25KG ADJ Adjustable Dumbbell, Black & Orange, M


Product Particulars

· DURABLE MATERIAL - This heavy-duty laset cut steel plated dumbbell weight not only looks great with its simple, elegant design, it also provides for an excellent all-round workout experience. Note that when you buy the adjustable weight you get a SINGLE dumbbell.

· ADJUSTABLE WEIGHT - Our home fitness dumbbell easily adjusts from 2.5kg to 25kg in 2.5kg increments: 2.5kg, 5kg, 7.5kg, 10kg, 12.5kg, 15kg, 17.5kg, 20kg, 22.5kg and 25kg options - all in a single dumbbell! This way you save space and you save money!

Click on the image for more information



2: Damn these are a mighty fine set of adjustable dumbbells. They look like something you’d find in the on-board gym of the Starship Enterprise. I could see Captain Kirk cracking out a set of curls with these bad boys, Spok at his side sinking into a deep ass-to-grass squat. Ok, yeah, they are ridiculously expensive and there are precisely no customer reviews to help guide your purchasing decision. However, rest assured, if these dumbbells float your boat you can buy with confidence through Amazon as they always safeguard their customers. Also, you could be the first to leave a comment; and wouldn’t that be a novelty?



£335



No reviews



ZYCSKTL Dumbbell set 6-speed Fast Adjustable Weight Lifting Dumbbells, High-strength Anti-fall Home Fitness Equipment 30 Pound Dumbbell Set


Product Particulars

· The dumbbell is made of high-precision silicon steel sheet to enhance the corrosion resistance of the dumbbell. The surface of the dumbbell is high-strength nylon. This material is sweat-resistant and durable. It can be easily grasped without wearing a pair of gloves and can protect your floor.

· Our dumbbells have different weight scales, just turn the handle to place the appropriate gear, and lift it to train, so that you can choose the weight you need! There are 8 locking grooves to lock the dumbbell chassis and dumbbell piece, to prevent the dumbbell piece from accidentally falling when pulled out, safe and correct

Click on the image for more information



3: The PowerBlock was one of the first station adjustable dumbbells on the market. Really they’re responsible for most all the other variations available today. Though they are a bit pricey this one pair of dumbbells provides you with eight different weight options. Perhaps the only other drawback with the PowerBlock is their unconventional shape which could put people off; the iron pumping purist might not be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that in his (of her) home gym sits a pair of square dumbbells. After all, dumbbells are typically cylindrical. However, why not break the mould; sometimes you can reinvent the wheel.



£341.55


No customer reviews



PowerBlock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbell: TRAINING Sport 24 Unisex Adjustable Dumbbell, Non-slip Handle Home Fitness Equipment 3/6/9/12/15/18/21/24 (lbs) (Black)

Product Particulars

  • Adjustable dumbbell weights for efficient, cost-effective strength training

  • Adjusts from 3 to 24 pounds in 3-pound increments (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 pounds)

  • Selector pin lets you change weights easily, just like with weight stack at the gym

  • More compact and balanced than traditional dumbbells; padded handle for wrist protection

  • Offers maximum weight of 24 pounds per hand


Click on the image for more information



Final Thoughts

All of the dumbbells reviewed in this article will more than suffice for a home gym providing a wide range of weight options without gobbling up the garage. The pair you pick will hinge on two factors: 1) how much of a difference it’s going to make to your life manually changing weights between sets; and 2) how much wonga are you willing to part with. If you’re building a home gym on a budget and you don’t much care about spending a bit of time spinning plates on and off then the plate adjustable DBs are for you. But if you’re an obsessive clock watcher with money to burn you’d be better off with a station adjustable.



(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)


Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast