The Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviewed - 2018 Edition

The 6 Best Adjustable Dumbbells On The Market

In an ideal world, I’d have my own air-conditioned gymnasium with endless rows of dumbbells, a post-workout canteen serving up huge sirloin steaks, and a masseuse with a pair of norks so vast they would make a seasoned prostitute blush.

The reality is I live in a pathetically tiny flat.

There is barely room for a single bed let alone a private gymnasium with an all-day buffet of meat, iron and happy endings.

And like many enthusiastic bodybuilders, I don’t always have time to get down to the gym, so working out at home has always been a vital part of my fitness routine.

In the past, I’ve used various dumbbells from various manufacturers but always found storage and space a problem.

I decided, therefore, to look into buying some adjustable dumbbells, as this would seemingly solve my quandary.

As most reviews online tended to be useless and spammy, I decided to take it upon myself to whittle down all the adjustable dumbbells on the market to the 6 best candidates.

These were as follows…

Bowflex SelectTech 552

Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbellsBowflex have long been one of the industry leaders when it comes to manufacturing top quality home gym equipment.

Unsurprisingly, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are a great bit of kit.

Each dumbbell combines 15 different weights, from 5lbs up to 52.2lbs, and adjusts in handy 2.5lb increments.

Adjusting the weight is a piece of cake, as you simply have to turn a dial, allowing for a hassle-free workout.

Even a baby could do it – although, if you’re letting your baby curl and press, you should probably be neutered.

In addition, Bowflex chuck in two years free warranty and a free workout DVD (probably shit).

Summary

Great quality product for $299, but the limited max weight of 52lbs will undoubtedly put off serious lifters, and no stand is included.

Click here to order Bowflex SelectTech 552

Ironmaster 75lb Quick-Lock

Ironmaster 75lb Quick-Lock adjustable dumbbellsI’ve spent a fair amount of change with Ironmaster in the past and have always been happy with their products.

These Ironmaster 75lb Quick-Lock adjustable dumbbells are no different.

Each dumbbell adjusts from 5-75lbs in 2.5lb increments, and for the serious lifters there is also an add-on kit which allows each dumbbell to handle 120lbs.

Although adjusting the weight is pretty quick and painless, Ironmasters are certainly not the leaders in this department.

On the plus side, the welded steel and chrome-plated handles make these dumbbells very heavy duty and sturdy, meaning the weights won’t slip about like some other brands, and, also, they will last for generations.

And, please, don’t go chucking them around your girlfriend’s laminate floor like it’s Apollo Creed’s gym in Rocky III, or you’ll be in for it!

Another advantage of these adjustable dumbbells is that, unlike, say, the Powerblocks, they feel like traditional dumbbells  – allowing for good flexibility when lifting.

The stand (which is included free) takes up about 2 square feet.

A nice ornament for any room, especially if you’re after that industrial, Blade Runner kind of look.

Summary

Easy and flexible to use, highly durable, and perfect if you’re looking for something that feels like a traditional dumbbell.

Click here to order Ironmaster 75lb Quick-Lock

Weider SpeedWeight 120

Weider SpeedWeight 120 adjustable dumbbellsAlthough the Wieder brand isn’t typically associated with adjustable dumbbells, the SpeedWeights are definitely worth your attention.

Each Weider SpeedWeight 120 dumbbell adjusts from 15-60lbs in 5lb increments, and, in a similar fashion to the Bowflex dumbbells, changing weight merely requires twisting a little knob (oo-err).

Weider also throw in a free weight stand and storage plates, in addition to a 90-day warranty.

A huge plus of these dumbbells is that they are easily among the most comfortable to use.

Like a finely honed boob or Big Mac, the ‘ergonomic hand grips’ are an absolute pleasure to hold.

Summary

Easy-to-use, take up little room, and without doubt are the most comfortable dumbbells on the list.

Click here to order Weider SpeedWeight 120

Universal Power-Pak 445

71h+vfgG39L._SL1500_Although this sounds like some shitty DIY power tool, these adjustable dumbbells are still a worthy addition to this list.

Each Universal Power-Pak 445 dumbbell can adjust from 4-45 lbs, in 5 increments.

Plus, changing weights is easily and quickly accomplished by the turning of a dial.

Their non-slip rubber handles mean they are very comfortable to use, and a sturdy little stand is included too.

They also look like miniature space ships, which, for me, is definitely a bonus.

However, the biggest advantage is the cost.

At $289 – and with a stand included – these are excellent value-for-money.

Summary

Easy-to-use, changes weight quickly, and great value-for-money.

Click here to order Universal Power-Pak 445

Bayou Fitness Pair

Bayou Fitness Pair adjustable dumbbellsThe Bayou Fitness Pair adjustable dumbbells are available in two different sizes: 5-25lbs and 10-50lbs.

Like the Ironmasters, these guys are manufactured from chrome plated steel, making them fairly heavy duty, and their  economical design minimises space effectively.

The shiny metallic look of the Bayou Fitness Pair also makes them look like something Buck Rogers would lift if he were a bodybuilder.

$260 for the 50lb dumbbells also makes the Bayou Fitness Pair the clear winners when it comes to cost.

An absolute steal compared to some of the other brands.

Summary

Easy-to-use, sturdy, comfortable, and the cheapest on the list!

Click here to order Bayou Fitness Pair

Powerblock Elite 90

Powerblock Elite 90 adjustable dumbbellsWhen it comes to manufacturing gym equipment, Powerblock are industry veterans.

These dumbbells were the first of their kind, and they are still considered by many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts to be the best adjustable dumbbells on the market.

They are certainly the most expensive on this list, and they might look a lot like miniature shopping trolleys with handles in the middle, but they are the brand of choice for a reason.

Unlike many of the other dumbbells, there are no plates to be dealt with; like a weight stack at a gym, you simply change weight by moving a pin.

This makes the Powerblock Elite 90 adjustable dumbbells unbelievably convenient.

Being able to jump from 25lbs to 100lbs in a matter of seconds makes these adjustable dumbbells well worth the money.

Navigating your way through supersets, drop-sets and pyramids is very easy to do when using the Powerblocks.

They also adjust from 5-90lbs, in 5lb increments (never used this word so much in all my life!), making them the brand of choice for heavy lifters.

And, as an extra bonus, they also come with an unequalled ten year warranty.

Summary

The brand of choice for many, Powerblocks are extremely durable and the unmatched leader when it comes to adjusting weights quickly and easily.

Pricey but worth it.

Click here to order Powerblock Elite 90

The verdict

There we have it, six of the very best adjustable dumbbells on the market.

So what do I recommend?

Well, if you’ve got the money and are serious about training, the Powerblocks are the industry leaders for a reason.

A great product which has stood the test of time – and the undisputed leader when it comes to changing weights quickly and easily.

If you can’t afford the Powerblocks, but still have a fair bit of cash to spend, I’d go for the Ironmasters.

The fact that they look and feel like a traditional dumbbell is a huge plus, and they are sturdy and very durable.

Failing that, if you’re constrained by a budget, and are looking for cheap adjustable dumbbells that won’t fall apart instantly, then you can’t go wrong with the Bayou Fitness Pair.

Don’t let their relative low cost fool you – they’re still great dumbbells which are durable, well-made and very easy-to-use.

Get in touch

If you have any thoughts or opinions on any of the adjustable dumbbells on this list – or if there are any products that aren’t on the list that you think should be – I’d love to hear from you!

Just drop me a message in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.

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  1. I actually really like Bowflex set, I have a pair myself.

    The only drawback is the fact that I well eventually get too strong for them.

    They are convenient for when I can’t get to the gym and need a quick workout.

    Saves space.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      The Bowflex dumbbells are great, it’s just a shame they stop at 52lbs.

      Have you tried any of the other adjustable dumbbells?

  2. I tried making an adjustable barbell out of a wooden pole and two buckets filled with rocks, the adjustable element being I could add or take out rocks.

    After one bicep curl one bucket slid off the side and shattered on the floor, the other quickly followed due to the imbalance.

    I was left standing with the pole in my hands and the prospect of explaining to my Dad where two of his prized buckets had gone.

    Moral of the story – buy one of the above products!

    1. That is absurd, why?!

      Were you dangerously bored? And how did you explain it to your dad?

      Also, great topic for a Gym-Talk article: How To Make Your Own Gym Equipment.

      For example: deadlifting logs, curling shopping bags, squatting a dog…

      Thoughts?

  3. My brother loves to hear about these kinds of equipment.

    He owns a gym and keeps asking me if I find any new workout equipment that is available on the market.

    He collects information and reviews of different types of equipments and then selects the one he finds best.

    He is definitely going to like these best adjustable dumbbells.

    1. Hi Nicks, thanks for your comment.

      Surely owning a gym would defeat the point of using adjustable dumbbells?

  4. I really like the look of the Bowflex SelectTech 552.

    I think I will buy a pair at the end of that month.

    Thank you for the great info!

    1. Good luck with them, let us know how you get on!

  5. Finding the best adjustable dumbbells for better home bodybuilding is hard, so I want to thank you for providing such a great help.

    I bought the PowerBlock – currently waiting for shipment 😀

    1. No problem, Razortuts.

      Good luck with the Powerblocks, a great piece of kit!

  6. The Bowflex selecttech only stops at 52lbs if you get the 552. I have the 1090, which adjusts from 10 to 90 lbs. (in 5 lb. increments).

    I assume you know those as well.. was just surprised you didn’t mention them at all.

    I really like them and they really cover a pretty nice range of possible exercises for me.

    Had not heard of the Weider before. They look really sweet. I might have to check them out some time.

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for your comment.

      I do actually mention that the “limited max weight of 52lbs will undoubtedly put off serious lifters”.

      The Weiders are indeed a solid pair, but certainly not the best on the list.

  7. Wonderful and excellent review here bro. I really appreciate – and love – the Bowflex dumbbell. It’s so easy to use and extremely cheap!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Isaiah.

      The Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are a great product – but definitely only for beginners.

  8. Thanks for this awesome review.

    I like the Bowflex dumbbells.

    When using them, you won’t be afraid of getting all sweaty so that it will start slipping out of your hand.

    The rubber handle is extremely wonderful!

    Thanks for this Croft!

    1. Hi Sam, glad to hear you’re getting on really well with them 🙂

  9. Thanks for this Henry. I always thought that getting the best dumbbells was kind of hard, but your review just said it all.

    Thanks a lot Croft for this.

    1. No worries, David.

      Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  10. I’ve been trying to choose for a long time as I’m pretty much a beginner and want to build up a little before going to the gym.

    Think I’ll probably go for the Ironmasters, not too expensive but good quality adjustable dumbbells

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lee, thanks for your comment.

      I’m a big fan of the Ironmasters, I’m sure you’ll love them.

      Let us know how you get on!

  11. Henry, for the price I really like the Bayou fitness Pair.

    You say in your post that you live in a “pathetically tiny flat,” and the astute observer will see that you misspell the word “minimizes.”

    God put the Z their for a reason.

    There is a British dude with your same name in LinkedIn who looks somewhat similar but with about 90 lbs (6 stone 6 lbs) less muscle.

    How long did it take you to develop your physique?

    1. About 15 minutes on Photoshop.

  12. Great post, Henry.

    I don’t have any exercise equipment at my house cause I’m at a gym more than I’m at home.

    But I’ve seen these adjustable dumbbells at sporting good stores and always wondered if they were worthwhile at all.

    If anyone I know is going to buy adjustables, I’ll refer them over to this post.

    Have you ever tried adjustable kettlebells?

    If you do, make a post.

    That would be something I’d keep at home so I could do some kettlebelling outside.

    I live fairly close to a beach!

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for your kind words, and for the referral traffic!

      I’ve actually been meaning to write a review of adjustable kettlebells for a while now.

      I’ll let you know when I publish it.

  13. Im looking to begin an at-home-workout-regimen.

    I am wanting to either buy the Bowflex Selecttech 552’s or the Weider Speedtrainer 90’s.

    Which between the two would you recommend?

    The 552’s are $299.99 and the Speedtrainers are $199.99 (and comes with stand).

    So if I can get the same quality AND save $100..that would be sweet.

    I’m a former powerlifter just got lazy after I got married and had kids so I’m sure muscle memory will kick in once I get started (as far as correct form and everything).

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Robert.

      I’d go with the Weiders as that’s a fantastic price.

      But bear in mind that both those sets only go up to 52lbs and 60lbs respectively.

      Good luck with your training, I’m sure you’ll get your strength back in no time at all 🙂

  14. Thanks for reviewing the best 6 adjustable dumbbells, I recommend Bowflex SelectTech 552.

    Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sarah!

  15. I really like your post, all adjustable dumbbells and their features are very well described.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cheers William 🙂

  16. Now I like to use Bowflex to workout at homegym, so this article help me ensure that of it.

    Each adjustable dumbbells have many different advantages, but just only you choose of this.

    Thanks for your article.

    1. I can barely understand what the fuck you’re saying, but thanks anyway Natakorn.

  17. Way late to the party here, but wanted to throw in my 2-cents for anyone reading this great post.

    I lift 6 days a week and have been using the Bowflex 1090s (that someone else mentioned go up to 90 lbs instead of just 52 lbs) for over a year.

    Only downside is the length of the bar on some exercises.

    But that doesn’t stop me from using these for almost everything.

    Let me add I thought I might have been able to get away without using the stand, but the fact is for the heavier weights you don’t want to be bending over for these.

    So you’ll have to add that into the price.

    I also did P90X before I started the weight lifting… and I used the Ironmasters for that.

    Closest thing you’ll get to individual gym dumbbells in a compact package.

    And although you can change the weights quickly, it’s not quick enough to keep up with a timed-out program like P90X.

    You’ll limit what you do based on your equipment rather than your abilities.

    So before I bought the Bowflex, I bought the Universal Power-Pak 445.

    These made a big difference in what I was doing for P90X, and I would have kept using them for weight lifting, but there simply wasn’t enough weight for me.

    So that’s when I upgraded to the Bowflex 1090.

    I now use both of them together on some exercises… like supersets of side Lateral Raises with Bowflex, followed by Universals for shoulder press (so the shorter width ensures I don’t knock my noggin).

    1. Holy shit, Tom, how much space and money do you have for adjustable dumbbells and dvd workouts?

      Might as well have joined a gym haha.

    2. Hi Tom, thanks for your recommendations, much appreciated.

      I’m sure our readers will find that very useful indeed 🙂

  18. This is a really great review on the 6 Best Adjustable Dumbbells – am looking forward to learning more!

  19. Hey Henry,

    Thanks for the review.

    I’m using the Orbus adjustable dumbbells and finding them pretty tasty.

    Here’s my take on them: http://www.hackthegym.com/review/adjustable-weights-from-orbus-first-look-review/

    Thanks again for a great read!

    Andy

    1. Thanks Andy – nice article!

  20. Thanks for the review article.

    Do you offer any discounts for these products?

    1. Hi there.

      You can find all of our exclusive deals and discounts here:

      http://www.gym-talk.com/deals/

  21. Hi Henry.

    What do you reckon about Orbus from Amazon?

    Thanks

    1. I’ve been meaning to try these out actually, have heard some good things.

      Will aim to update this post in the coming month with some more brands – so watch this space!

  22. I like the Powerblocks for a few reasons:

    (1) Certain models are expandable to 125lb’s for each hand, (2) they have attachments that turn the U-series models into barbells (awesome), and (3) they also sell great adjustable kettlebells which when all paired together will give your home gym a uniform look (as you get the $$$ to expand).

    1. Totally agree – the Powerblocks are unbeatable when it comes to convenience/flexibility.

  23. Thanks for your post sir.

    I am a student so do you offer any discounts for these products?.

    1. Check out our deals and promotions, occasionally we get some discount codes.

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