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Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Whether you’re looking to add some muscle or lose some fat, lifting weights is an essential component to maximise results. This kind of exercise is often referred to as resistance training.

Dumbbells are one of the most effective and easy ways to incorporate resistance training into your routine.

About Adjustable Dumbbells

In this article you will discover the benefits of adjustable dumbbells, the types, and our current top 7. To get started, here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of adjustable dumbbells compared with other dumbbell types.

PROS:
  • Less storage space required when compared with hex dumbbells or other weightlifting equipment
  • More portable than hex dumbbells
  • Cost-effective
  • Produce great results whether you’re looking to build muscle or lose fat.

CONS:
  • Cheaper versions can take a very long time to adjust the weight setting
  • On the cheaper selectorised dumbbells, the dial can become stuck and in some cases, the discs have fallen off – something we have experienced first hand!

Types of Adjustable Dumbbells

Spinlock dumbbells

Spinlock dumbbells have been a feature in home gyms for decades. As a kid, I remember just about everyone had a set of the gold-coloured York spinlock dumbbells with the red collars from Argos!

These cheap weight sets are still as popular today as they ever were.

The appeal is in their simplicity and cheap price point. However, there is a reason they are cheap and here’s why:

  • The spinlock mechanism means that it takes longer to adjust the weight. Unlike hex dumbbells such as these awesome JTX Fitness Hex Dumbbells which you simply pick up and use, you must manually undo the spinlock on each side of each dumbbell (that’s four times to take them off) and then put them back on again after calculating the plates you need (another four times).
  • Typically these weights are made using cheap materials. Some report the metal on cast-iron dumbbells being uneven or even sharp, and others have reported the spinlock either jamming, becoming loose, or not working at all.
  • You won’t be able to load these dumbbells up with a ton of weight – so once you progressively overload and start lifting heavier and heavier weights, these might become inadequate.

Selectorised dumbbells

Selectorised dumbbells are more expensive than spinlock dumbbells, but there are some pretty good reasons for this:

  1. it is far quicker to adjust to the weight you require. Rather than unlocking and re-locking the spinlock eight times every time you need to change the load, you can do it with a simple selector (often a dial on the side of the weights).
  2. Selectorised dumbbells are able to hold bigger loads than their spinlock counterparts.
  3. The materials are usually better quality on these dumbbells.

How selectorised dumbbells work

Selectorised dumbbells typically sit in a tray. On each side of each dumbbell you will find a dial that shows the load in kilograms or pounds (some models will show both metrics).

Once you select the desired load, you lift the weights from the tray. The dial controls the mechanism which means only the weight plates required stay on the dumbbell handle, while the rest of the plates remain in the tray.

Top 7 Adjustable Dumbbells

At Fitness Savvy, we’ve taken the time to review and rate hundreds of fitness products. We’ve also got a YouTube channel where you can learn everything about body recomposition. Check that out here and be sure to subscribe!

1

MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell

MuscleSquat 32.5 kg Adjustable Dumbbells

Fitness Savvy looked online and discovered 75 online user reviews of the MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell. Overall, these adjustable dumbbells scored an insane 4.9 of 5 stars.

By combining our expert analysis with customer ratings, we’ve awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 9.5 out of 10, making these the highest-rated adjustable dumbbells we’ve ever reviewed!

 

PROS:
  • Exceptional value for money when compared with other brands such as Bowflex 552’s
  • Bridges the gap between other adjustable dumbbells which either go up to around 24 kg or 40 kg.
  • Excellent design and build quality, according to several reviewers
  • Faster to adjust than spinlock dumbbells
  • Take up less space than hex dumbbells
  • Fantastic customer service from Muscle Squad reported by many customers

CONS:
  • Can’t be dropped like hex dumbbells
  • Larger than hex dumbbells which one reviewer found awkward
  • Although faster than spinlock dumbbells, it is still a slower adjustment than hex dumbbells where you can simply pick up the required weight immediately

Compare prices for MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

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2

PowerBlock Pro 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

Fitness Savvy looked online and discovered 92 online user reviews of the Powerblock Pro 50 Adjustable Dumbbells. Overall, these adjustable dumbbells scored an insane 4.8 of 5 stars.

By combining our expert analysis with customer ratings, we’ve awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 9.3 out of 10.

 

PROS:
  • Compact space-saving design
  • They look pretty cool according to a few customers
  • Easy to select the desired load
  • Expertly manufactured
  • The handle is tacky and has great grip ability

CONS:
  • One reviewer complained that the product was not very well manufactured.
  • Not suitable for dropping on the floor

Compare prices for Powerblock Pro 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

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3

Powerblock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells

Fitness Savvy looked online and discovered 1412 online user reviews of the Powerblock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells. Overall, these adjustable dumbbells scored 4.7 out of 5. Users were pleased with the space-saving design, value for money, and the easiness of changing between weights.

Using our expert analysis and customer ratings, we’ve awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 9.1 out of 10.

PROS:
  • These adjustable dumbbells are great for saving space and easy to store
  • They list both the metric and imperial weight totals, making it easier to work out how much you’re lifting without the need for converting in your head or with a calculator!
  • A great value product – especially when you compare to the price of buying individual dumbbell sets.
  • Easy to change weight between exercises – especially good for doing drop-sets.

CONS:
  • The weights rattle during exercises, according to some reviewers.
  • Some retailers are selling these as singles but not making it obvious, so make sure you’re definitely getting a pair before you buy!
  • This particular PowerBlock model cannot be upgraded.

Compare prices for Powerblock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

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4

Viavito Unisex’s 20 kg Black Cast Iron Dumbbell Set

Viavito Unisex's 20 kg Black Cast Iron Dumbbell Set

We took a look online and discovered 217 customer reviews of the Viavito Unisex’s 20 kg Adjustable Dumbbells. Overall, these adjustable dumbbells scored 4.5 out of 5.

Using our expert analysis and customer ratings, we’ve awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 9.0 out of 10.

 

PROS:
  • Great value for money – almost identical to the York dumbbells but much cheaper
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Excellent quality, according to most customers who bought this product

CONS:
  • The spinlocks became immediately loose according to a couple of reviewers
  • The 20 kg refers to both dumbbells combined – one buyer thought this meant each dumbbell so warned people to make sure this is what they really want.

Compare prices for Viavito Unisex’s 20 kg Adjustable Dumbbells

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

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5

York 20kg Cast Iron Dumbbell Set

York Dumbbells Set Cast Iron 20kg

We looked online and discovered 1,388 online user reviews of the York 20kg Cast Iron Dumbbell Set. Overall, these dumbbells scored 4.4 out of 5.

By combining the customer score with our own export analysis, we awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 8.8 out of 10.

 

PROS:
  • Solid bars
  • Durable
  • Look great

CONS:
  • Most negative reviews were from shoppers on Amazon who reported missing discs, missing collars, damaged parcels and missed deliveries.
  • Not massive room for increasing weight and progressively overloading.

Compare prices for the York 20kg Cast Iron Dumbbell Set

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

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6

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells SelectTech 552 (Pair) 2-24kg

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Selectorized Dumbbells

We took a look online and discovered 1,358 customer reviews of the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells SelectTech 552 2-24kg. Overall, these very popular adjustable dumbbells scored 4.7 out of 5.

We awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 8.7.

 

PROS:
  • Compact dumbbells, taking up far less room than a dumbbell rack with individual pairs.
  • Quick weight adjustments between sets and exercises – unlike spinlock dumbbells which take a long time to adjust. The dial turns on each end of the dumbbell very smoothly and efficiently.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Increases to a heavy weight (48kg in total across both dumbbells)

CONS:
  • If purchasing in the UK or Europe, the weight is in kilograms, whereas the originals are designed in lbs. This means that the weight moves up in odd increments (4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18 etc).
  • Many customers report having a very poor experience with customer services. Once problems occur, Bowflex are reluctant to take responsibility.
  • Some users reported discs falling off while performing weightlifting exercises. This can be dangerous if it happens at the wrong time during a move with heavy weights.

Compare prices for Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

Check Full Specs
7

PowerBlock Sport 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

PowerBlock Sport 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

Fitness Savvy looked online and discovered 33 online user reviews of the PowerBlock Sport 50 Adjustable Dumbbells. Overall, these adjustable dumbbells scored 4.3 out of 5. Users were pleased with the high-quality manufacturing, comfortable grip/handle, and space-saving design – even to the point where you can take them travelling with you!

By combining our expert analysis with customer ratings, we’ve awarded these dumbbells a Savvy Score of 8.4 out of 10.

PROS:
  • The grip is really comfortable and “tacky” according to some reviewers.
  • The space-saving design is what most people liked about this product.
  • One user said he had used cheaper alternatives and that there is a noticeable difference in the quality of these adjustable dumbbells.
  • They look great and keep the place looking “tidy”, one buyer reports.
  • Adjusting weights is quick and easy.
  • A travelling PowerBlock owner said he takes these everywhere with him – so they are like a portable home gym.

CONS:
  • A customer pointed out that the adjuster pins protrude on one side of the weight, so you should be careful as not to catch it on your clothing.
  • The handle has a little more girth than standard dumbbells, so those with smaller hands might want to consider other options before committing to purchase.
  • One reviewer said that the shape and size made some exercises tricky because it limited the range of motion.

Compare prices for PowerBlock Sport 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

For the full review and specifications click the button below:

Check Full Specs

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Final Words

So that’s Fitness Savvy’s current list of the best adjustable dumbbells on the market today.

Once you’ve found the right ones for you, head on over and check out some cool recomposition and cutting workouts on the Fitness Savvy YouTube channel. Here’s a couple of videos for you to check out below. Enjoy!

Also, while this article here lists the current top 7 adjustable dumbbells, you also have the option to head on over to our category page where you can filter the products in the same way as you would on a standard retail website. Sometimes this makes it easier to find exactly what you are looking for by price, material, and customer rating.

Visit the category page instead.

 

Robin Young

Robin is the founder and CEO of Fitness Savvy. As a freelance writer he has written for publications such as Muscle & Strength, Sparkpeople, Inquisitr and many more. If he's not collating product reviews or working directly on improving the website, he is creating innovative content for the website's blog and Fitness Savvy YouTube channel

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