Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviews & Ratings 2017

Types of Dumbbells

There are various different types of dumbbells available on the market. They generally fall into two different classifications: fixed weight and adjustable dumbbells.

Fixed weights dumbbells are the type you generally see in the commercial gym – they are simply a small hand held, balanced, solid weight. They come in a multiple range of sizes and as a result take up lots of space on racks. They are ideal for a commercial gym because many people can get away with using the same rack set of weights at the same time and because they are robust and generally unbreakable needing little maintenance.

Adjustable dumbbells have developed with the advent of working out at home. They are all about the single user, saving space, saving cost and still getting a good, versatile workout. There are generally three style of adjustable dumbbell on the market currently – the lock nut dumbbell, pin and dial adjustable dumbbell.

Styles of Adjustable Dumbbell – Pro’s and Con’s

Lock Nut – This is the most basic of adjustable dumbbells but also the most robust. Essentially you can add and remove any weights you like off the dumbbell handles by removing or fitting the lock nut.

The simple design makes these incredible cost effective to buy and very versatile as you can often use any weight plates from other sets you might have.

These dumbbells are robust meaning you can put max weight on and then drop them without concern for damaging them. They do have a significant drawback – time taken to change weights.

If you are carrying out a dumbbell routine of numerous sets for numerous exercises the changing of weights between sets and exercises can be tiresome. You may even consider getting two sets of lock nut dumbbells just to make the workout more efficient.

Pin Change – This variety of adjustable dumbbell is essentially a tray of weights with a handle a pins are removed and inserted into selector holes on the weight pile so that when you lift the dumbbell you only come away with the weight load you selected off the tray. As the weight is selected by pulling and re-fitting pins the task of changing weights is incredibly easy and quick helping to create an efficient workout.

Additionally these dumbbells are very neat and tidy from a storage point of view – you don’t get random weights lying around the place like you might with lock nut dumbbells.

There are drawbacks to these weights. Firstly, they are significantly more expensive than lock nut dumbbells. Think x10 more expensive and you might be in the ballpark! Secondly, they should not be dropped or mistreated – these require perfect seating for pins and parts to work seamlessly – dropping the weight on the last tough rep is not a good idea if you want these to last. Thirdly, the majority of these weights are not versatile enough to allow for adding additional weight if you outgrow the original max weight of the set – although increasingly some sets are coming on to the market that do allow for upgrade. Fourthly, graduation in weight is not as flexible as with lock nut variations. You may not be able to add 1 pound extra weight at a time, you may have to move weights in larger increments which can be tough when you are trying to increase resistance over time.

Dial Change – These are much like pin change dumbbells except that the handle has a dial that allows you to select the weight you want – when you lift the handle only the selected weight on the dial comes away from the tray. All the characteristics are the same as the pin change variety – expensive, quick to use, lack robustness, tidy solution, can lack graduation and flexibility – it is just a case of which type of selector you prefer.

Which Type Should You Buy?

In the perfect world you want the full rack of commercial dumbbells. You can drop them to you hearts content, pick the size you want without messing about and get just about any size humanly required. But space is an issue….

If you are on a budget, want flexibility and change up times don’t bother you go for lock nut style, hell make life real easy and get three sets…

If space is an issue and time is of the essence – pick between a dial or pin change – either is just down to personal preference. Try to get a set that can be upgraded if possible but whatever you do, do not drop these bad boys – plastic components and metal don’t mix great and you could end up with very expensive paperweights if you are not careful.

Top 5 Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviewed 

We know that there is a plethora of adjustable dumbbells out there, and we understand if you feel overwhelmed with the choices. We were too, but, we’ve taken that as a challenge and so we did our research. We compared the specs and features of the various adjustable dumbbells and we’ve come up with our top 5 choices. Read further and take a closer look at our review of each of them.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 is a single adjustable dumbbell that comes from a brand that is well-known for producing high-quality exercise equipment. This is an improved version of the SelectTech 552, which only has a weight range of 5-52.5 lbs. With a much stronger weightlifter in mind, this dumbbell is designed to offer 17 different weight settings from 10 lbs. up to 90 lbs.

The wide range of weight makes this a great dumbbell for those who are beginners to the more advanced weightlifters. It increases in weight in increments of 5 lbs., which is very useful when you use different weights for different parts of your body, or when you have multiple users at home.

The weight is adjusted through a twist of a dial; there is no more need for you to manually remove and add the plates like other adjustable dumbbells. The brackets inside the handle, which are controlled by the dial, grabs onto various plates at a time to achieve the set weight.

To change the weight of the dumbbells, all you have to do is put it back on its base and adjust the dial. It will grab another set of plates that will match the weight selected. Once the dumbbell is removed from the base, the plates will be lock into place for safety.

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 is made of durable metals and coated with a plastic lining to ensure smooth movement of the plates as the weight is changed. Although it is a tough adjustable dumbbell, it still cannot withstand dropping; there is a chance for the components to be damaged if it is dropped.

One Pair of Adjustable Dumbbells Cast Iron Total 105 Lbs. (2 X 52.5 Lbs.) by Unpack

This pair of adjustable Dumbbells by Unpack is made out of high-quality cast-iron plates and chrome handlebars for durability. Each of the two dumbbells has a weight range of 5 lbs. up to 52.5 lbs. in increments of 2.5 lbs. They each come with a textured solid chrome handle, 2 collars, 8- 5 lbs. plates, 2- 2.5 lbs. plates and 2- 1.25 lbs. plates.

The handlebars and collars are threaded and are screwed to lock in the plates needed for the desired weight. The rubber washers found on each end of the bar and the collar secure a tight fit. Although the plates have to be manually removed and added to get the desired weight, setting it up is easy and doesn’t require any special tools.

The cast-iron plates are smoothly finished in black, while the handlebars are finished in chrome; this is a classic look that never gets old. The handlebars are also textured for better grip. Adding more weight to the dumbbells is possible by simply purchasing more standard-sized plates in various weights.

The compact design of this adjustable dumbbells make it easier to store as compared to multiple dumbbells of various weights. All it needs is a small tray or a box for easy storage. The price tag on this set is also commendable because it is very affordable, especially when it will last for years.

Starring 65 105 200 Lbs. Adjustable Dumbbells

The Starring 65 105 200 Lbs. Adjustable Dumbbells provides a more compact alternative to the usual set of different-weighted dumbbells. These gym-quality dumbbells are made of cast-iron plates that are chromed or spray painted in black. They are also available in a 65 lbs. set, 105 lbs. set or a 200 lbs. set.

The adjustable dumbbells can be set up in various weights in increments of 5 lbs. For the 105 lbs. set, each dumbbell can weigh from 5 lbs. up to 52.5 lbs. Similarly, for the 200 lbs. set, the dumbbells can weigh from 5 lbs. to 100 lbs.

Each set includes 2 handlebars, 4 collars, and a set of plates that make up the weight of your choosing. Setting up and dismounting the dumbbells are easily done by hand, and no tools are required. It may take time for you to adjust the weight because you have to do it manually, but for that low price, it is worth it.

The threading on the handlebars and collars enables the plates to be securely placed so that they do not rattle while being used. The texture on the handles provides more grip while not being overly abrasive. Some say that the finish on the plates comes off, but the important thing here is that the plates are made of cast iron, which is known to last a lifetime.

Additional plates can be purchased if you want to add more weight to your dumbbell set. There is also a safety tray, an optional purchase, that is specifically made for the dumbbells so that you can protect your floor or prevent them from rolling around.

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell

The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell is a sleek substitute for a set of multiple dumbbells. It is made of heavy-duty steel plated in a chrome finish, and it comes with its own trays for easy storage. The trays also make sure that unused plates don’t get lost or scattered around.

The 25-lbs. dumbbells can be adjusted to a weight of 5 lbs. up to 25 lbs. in 5 lbs. increments. The 50 lbs. dumbbells, on the other hand, have a weight range of 10 lbs. to 50 lbs. in increments of 10 lbs. The dial-up adjustment makes it faster and easier to set up the desired weight. Perfect for varying weights to achieve a full-body workout.

The handles are textured to provide a more comfortable grip. It also comes in a beautiful chrome finish that is not just for aesthetic appeal but also as protection against rust due to moisture accumulation. The set takes up a very small space in your home and can easily be hidden under the bed or in the closet.

It may take some time to adjust to using the dial adjustments but the DVD it comes with fully explains the process. Care instructions for the dumbbells as well as helpful tips for exercises are also found on the DVD.

InfiDeals Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells with Solid Dumbbell Handles – Perfect for Home Gym System- Building Muscle

The Adjustable Dumbbells by InfiDeals are low-cost, but highly effective gym equipment for building muscles. The solid-steel, chromed-finished handlebars look great, are durable, and can resist rusting due to moisture and sweat. It is also textured to make sure your hand doesn’t slip.

The plates are made of durable cast iron, which are finished with a semi-gloss and corrosion-resistant paint. Although chipping of the finish may occur, it doesn’t get in the way of the functionality of the product.

The 52.5 lb. adjustable dumbbells come with 1 handlebar, 2 collars, 8- 5 lb. plates, 2- 2.5 lb. plates, and 2- 1.25 lb. plates. The handlebar is of standard size and has a diameter of 1.25”. This makes the set interchangeable with any other set that comes in the standard size.

Adjusting the weight is done manually, but the plates are secured in place when the collars are tightly screwed in. With rubberized washers, a tight fit can be achieved without the need to use any tools. Once properly tightened, the plates won’t move around or clink with the other plates.


Using adjustable dumbbells offers a more compact solution to building muscles at home. Any of these 5 can help make sure that you get the workout you need in the comfort of your home. These are all easy to use, easy to store, and are proven effective to improve your physique when you make proper use of them.

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