Adjustable Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym. Over the past eight years, I’ve acquired and reviewed 17 of the most popular options and believe the Powerblock Elite Dumbbells are the best adjustable dumbbells for most people. They’re not the cheapest, but they’re the most durable, easy to change and offer one of the widest ranges of weight increments available. Despite this, there are certainly others we recommend depending on your specific needs.

Top Pick
PowerBlock Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
PowerBlock was an innovator in this category and has been making adjustable dumbbells since 1991. This means they have had over 25 years of production and refinement to create the ultimately adjustable dumbbells set, and they truly have. The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are one of the highest-rated and best-selling sets of all time. This is one of the last adjustable dumbbells sets to still be made in the USA, and PowerBlock uses only premium-quality materials. Thanks to their smart and economical design, the PowerBlocks are extremely tough and can withstand all sorts of regular gym abuse.Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and increments- 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 pounds per handIs expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds per hand.Made in USA10 year home use warrantyReplaces 16 pairs of dumbbells in the space of 1

Powerblock Dumbbells are a unique design, but since 2013 we've been using them in our garage gym with little respect to their durability and they still perform as they did on day one. The Powerblock Elite Series are the ones we recommend most often from them as they allow the weight to be quickly changed in 2.5 LB, can go up to 90 LB, are compact, and priced extremely competitively to others on the market. They do have their quirks and there are some people who simply can't stand the design, but for the price, Powerblocks are simply the best.

Runner-Up
Ironmaster Quick-Lok Adjustable Dumbbells
(13 ratings & reviews)
Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbell system is the latest generation of our adjustable dumbbells. You can quickly adjust each dumbbell from 5-75 lbs with our patented quick lock design in under 15 seconds! The set includes the Stand at no extra charge. Now you can have a complete set of free weight dumbbells at home that feel just like traditional dumbbells with no restrictions, rattling or safety concerns!  Set includes two handles with four locking screws, 24 ea. 5 lb plates and 4 ea. 2.5 lb plates and dumbbell stand. Handles weigh 5 lbs empty and each locking screw weighs 2.5 lbs so the starting weight is 10 lbs each dumbbell before plates are added. 65 lbs of plates can be put loaded on each handle. Add-on kit available to go up to 120 lbs each dumbbell. Dimensions are just 6.5" x 6.5" x 14.5" at the 75lb size. Heavy Duty - go ahead and drop them. No plastic or fragile parts!Quick-Lock design adjusts from 5-75 lbs in 2 1/2 lb increments in just seconds!Super heavy duty construction with welded steel, chrome plated handles.System includes two adjustable dumbbells at 75 lbs each (150 lbs total) and Dumbbell Stand.Super space efficient design. Takes up less than 2 square feet.Limited lifetime warranty.

If you want a more traditional feeling dumbbell, then the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System is what we'd recommend. These and Powerblocks are my most recommended dumbbells depending on who is asking for my opinion. Ironmasters can go up to 165 LB, use metal weight plates, and although they aren't the quickest to change, the Quick-Lock System is very smart. I call these the Lifter's Adjustable Dumbbell as they feel most similar to a fixed dumbbell and have the look and feel of an old school weight room.

Another Option
NÜOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells
NÜOBELL give you the convenience of all-in-one adjustable 5-80lb dumbbells that are easy to use and have superior durability thanks to its machined steel weight plates. This set of innovative dumbbells will quickly become your go to favorites. These are sold as a set of 2 x 80lb dumbbells Weight Range lb 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-55-60-65-70-75-80 The material is steel and plastic Net weight: 80lb Includes portable cradles for both adjustable dumbbells. 

The NUOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells are the best of a new breed of space-saving dumbbells. They consistently had the fastest recorded times for changing weights, have a decent max capacity of 80 LB, and feel the most similar to a fixed dumbbell out of any we tested. They're more expensive than the competition and use quite a bit of plastic that makes us question their durability. If you want something quick to change and similar to what you've been using at your commercial gym, these are a great option.

Budget Pick
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
These adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights. Weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments up to the first 25 lbs. Easy-to-use selection dials for adjusting weights. They are sold as a pair. Easily switch from one exercise to next and with the turn of a dial you can change your resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength. Versatile workout for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders and arms. Compatible with the free Bowflex SelectTech® training App for iOS and Android.No more picking up 30 different dumbbells to give you the results you want!Say goodbye to 15 sets of dumbbells cluttering your workout space.With weight that adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., you'll continue to see results as your fitness level improves.Durable molding around metal plates provides for a smooth lift-off and quieter workouts...no clanging metal plates!With the wider weight range you can do heavy exercises such as shrugs and lunges as well as lighter exercises such as curls and raises.

The dumbells most synonymous with having weights that adjust are the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells primarily due to their price. For this reason, the Bowflex 552's are our budget pick. The 552's adjust quickly and feel balanced in hand during various resistance training sessions while coming in under $350 shipped to your door. We think they're a tremendous value even if they don't go extremely heavy (max 52.5 pounds) and are rather wide.

Loadable Option
Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
(5 ratings & reviews)
Rogue’s Loadable Dumbbells condense the key design and manufacturing elements of our full-size Ohio Bar into a compact, versatile new format. As an alternative to storing a complete set of traditional dumbbells in your gym, the DB-10 and DB-15 Dumbbell offer loadable sleeve lengths of 3.625” and 6.75” respectively—enabling athletes to make precision, custom weight adjustments in their dumbbell training using any standard Olympic plates as the increments. Using the same plates you’d load on a standard barbell, the DB-10 and DB-15 allow athletes to easily adjust the total weight of the dumbbell as they go through different movements and/or when they ramp up their training. This also makes the Rogue Loadable Dumbbell uniquely optimized for a larger gym, where multiple athletes need to be able to quickly customize the dumbbell to their own needs. One tool. All-purpose. The knurled handle carries over the same original pattern we developed for the Rogue Ohio Bar. Months of testing and fine-tuning went into precision-machining a firm but non-abrasive knurl that could maximize both performance and comfort. Please Note: The knurl pattern is the same on all versions of the Loadable Dumbbell. However, because the stainless steel option holds up without plating, the knurl will more accurately maintain its originally designed feel. Manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, the DB-10 and DB-15 really are built like miniaturized Rogue barbells, starting with a 28.5MM diameter, 190,000 PSI tensile strength steel shaft. The sleeves are machined from a single piece with a bright zinc finish, and both versions include quality bronze bushings and a snap ring sleeve design just like our Ohio Bars.

Not everyone wants to spend the money needed for a dedicated set of dumbbells. If you want a dumbbell in which you can use the Olympic plates you already own, then we suggest the Rogue DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell. The DB-15 uses the same weight plates as a barbell and is made to the same standard as Rogue Fitness top-of-the-line barbells. We've used the DB-15 for over three years now and recommend it to those wanting high quality at a good price.

Ultra-Budget Pick
Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
38-pound adjustable weight set (40lb including portable case) for creating custom workouts at home Includes two 3-pound barbells, four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and four 0.5-pound collars Threaded collars for securing plates to barbells; textured grips promote secure, comfortable hold Durable metal plates with semi-gloss finish for rust- and maintenance-free use; rugged PP plastic carrying case Backed by an Amazon Basics limited one-year warranty

If you want the cheapest adjustable dumbbells we'd (kind of) recommend, then we suggest the Amazon Basics 38 LB Adjustable Dumbbell Set. These are very cheap and not great, but they use a familiar spin-lock design that's been around for decades and offer it at a lower price than anyone else in the world. They're not great, but they'll get the job done in a pinch.

Why You Should Trust Us

I have used and reviewed more gym equipment, including adjustable dumbbells than anyone in the world. As I write this, I’m currently staring at 8 sets of adjustable dumbbells which don’t include all of the others I currently have in my garage gym or my training studio. It’s not enough to just own them, though, as I actually use them for bench, rows, curls, and more every day and get feedback from the home gym community the world over. In addition to that, I recommend the dumbbells which are actually the best adjustable dumbbells for most people, not the ones that make Garage Gym Reviews the most money, as you’ll see elsewhere.

There is no one better suited to give an opinion on the best adjustable dumbbells than me, Coop. I am confident in that and you can be confident that when you choose our recommendations, you’ll be satisfied in your weight training when you use them.

How We Picked

Since 2013, we’ve researched, tested, and reviewed nearly every adjustable dumbbell with some semblance of quality that’s available. This includes the most budget-friendly, low weight capacity, imported models all the way to the stainless steel, made in the USA dumbbells with a 175 LB weight capacity.

In addition to my own training and testing, I’ve leaned on the collective opinions of the most die-hard home gym equipment owners in the known universe, our Home Gym Community.

In all this lifting of metal and plastic, I’ve found the things that are important and those which are not. There are certain features marketed by companies to sell their products that, in all honesty, provide little, if any benefit to the user. In all this testing, I’ve found the following criteria to be the most important to look for in adjustable dumbbells:

Weight Capacity Range: Fixed dumbbells range in weight from 2.5 LB all the way to 300 LB+. Few trainees need above 100 LB for dumbbell movements and if they do use more, they’re often using them for only a couple of movements. For this reason, an adjustable dumbbells ability to get as close to 100 LB without being grossly oversized is important. Dumbbells that can have even more weight added is even better, although not useful for most. Our favorite adjustable dumbbells allow you to grow the size and weight of your dumbbell over time.

Materials Used: More durable materials like metal and nylon are superior to cheap and thin plastics for longevity and safety of the trainee.

Warranty: Gym equipment breaks. Barbells end up bending, bumper plates fold, kettlebells handles separate from the bell, and adjustable dumbbells can, and do break. The longer the warranty period and the more generous the use cases of a warranty, the better. However, a warranty is only as good as the company servicing it. If a company isn’t going to be around for long, then a lifetime warranty will do you no good, so we factor in the lifecycle of the company making the dbells.

Price: Home gym equipment is not an income-producing asset like the equipment bought by a commercial gym. For this reason and others, the price and, more importantly, the value of the adjustable dumbbells is extremely important. The holy grail for adjustable dumbbells lies in the $500-$700 range for expandable adjustable dumbbells with a high weight capacity. Less for lower weight increments. Cheaper adjustable dumbbells will prove to be more likely to get damaged. 

Weight Indicator Readout: Is it easy to tell what weight you’re using? Does it require you to do mental math that can slow down your workout?

Balance in Hand: One problem often remarked by trainees coming from a commercial gym with access to a full fixed dumbbell set up is how awkward certain dumbbells that adjust can feel. This is true, but only for certain dumbbells and this often goes away after a few workouts. Balance in the hand is important so the user can focus on the lift instead of their safety.

Compactness: Typically, the more compact a dumbbell is, the more it costs. Take Watson Dumbbells for instance, the gold standard in the fixed dumbbell world. They’re as compact as humanly possible relying on stainless steel instead of cast iron. The reason this is so nice is that it prevents the dumbbell from interfering with the movements.

Durability When Dropped: By and large, adjustable dumbbells shouldn’t be dropped. However, when hitting the end of your rep range or maxing out, it can be hard to set the dumbbells down carefully. The ability to be dropped without breaking is something we consider.

Speed of Weight Change: If you plan on doing any sort of isolation or bodybuilding movements that involve supersets, being able to change the dumbbells quickly is an important feature set. We timed how long it takes to go from the minimum weight to the maximum for all of the dumbbells and recorded the times. 

How We Tested the Dumbbells

We judged each model on how well it performed during typical training used with dumbbells. This means we did bench press, incline press, alternating curls, hammer curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, single leg RDL’s, and a host of other movements.

Everyone trains differently, so it’s important to note how each dumbbell feels during each movement and how it differs from others, and what they’re trying to mimic–fixed dumbbells. We asked ourselves if the shape of the dumbbell limited range of motion, if they felt unbalanced or uncomfortable, or if we closed our eyes, would we know we were using a dumbbell substitute?

In addition to the host of training exercises, we weighed each dumbbell at various increments to see how accurate to the stated weight they were. This is something we’ve done hundreds of times for barbells and weight plates, but we haven’t as much in the past for dumbbells.

We also timed weight changes; we wanted to see how long it took to change the weight when fatigued (say, in the middle of workout) or from the start. If the dumbbells take too long to set up, they’ll be used less thus being an impedance to reaching one’s training goals.

Also, instead of just doing movements typically found in a general training environment, we also did movements that may be found in a CrossFit home gym or box that require more dynamism. Such as snatches, swings (not everyone has kettlebells,) cleans, and even bear crawls.

Top Pick: Powerblock Elite Series Dumbbells

Top Pick
PowerBlock Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
PowerBlock was an innovator in this category and has been making adjustable dumbbells since 1991. This means they have had over 25 years of production and refinement to create the ultimately adjustable dumbbells set, and they truly have. The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are one of the highest-rated and best-selling sets of all time. This is one of the last adjustable dumbbells sets to still be made in the USA, and PowerBlock uses only premium-quality materials. Thanks to their smart and economical design, the PowerBlocks are extremely tough and can withstand all sorts of regular gym abuse.Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and increments- 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 pounds per handIs expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds per hand.Made in USA10 year home use warrantyReplaces 16 pairs of dumbbells in the space of 1

The Powerblock Elite Series Dumbbells offer the best price to performance ratio of any adjustable dumbbell that we tested or can be added to a home gym. Powerblocks have been one of my favorite adjustable dumbbells since I built my first garage gym nearly a decade ago and bought a used set on Craigslist. Despite using that set for as long as I have and treating it with little care, it still performs as it did on day one.

I’m also not the only one who likes Powerblocks. If you look in any University Weight Room or even some of the best training facilities in the world such as EXOS Performance Centers you’ll see Powerblocks. The reason Powerblocks are largely considered the best adjustable dumbbells in the world is for three reasons: they’re quick to change, they have a wide range of weight capacity, and they’re as durable as any dumbbell we’ve tested, including many fixed dumbbells.

When I set out to review and recommend the best adjustable dumbbells, I had a good idea that Powerblocks would come out on top. They’re not the best in every category, but when you compare their price, especially for the Elite Set which is what I recommend to most, you see how good they really are.

The feature I most like about the Powerblock Elite Dumbbells is how quick they are to switch between weight increments. Although I prefer the quickness in changing weights of the Pro EXP Series, the Elite Series isn’t that far off. To switch between weights in 10 LB increments you simply pull out the magnetic selector pin and slide it into one of the color-coded side rails.

If you want to adjust in 2.5 LB increments (something that few adjustable dumbbells offer and 99% of commercial gyms don’t even offer) you slide out the selector pin, pull out the handle and slide in one of the metal cylinders and then reverse the process.

In other words, changing the weight is quick and seamless requiring little thought on the user’s part as to what weight is selected making starting the workout and switching between exercises easy. There are other dumbbells on our list such as NUOBELLs and Bowflex SelectTech’s that switch between weight increments quicker, but not with all of the other benefits Powerblocks offer.

Next, the Powerblock Elite Series is upgradeable. The reason this matters is that hopefully, you’ll be stronger a year from now than you are today. So, having a dumbbell set that can grow with your strength and pocketbook is important for many. Many adjustable dumbbells can’t upgrade in weight over time. With Powerblocks, you can start with a base set that goes from 5 LB to 50 LB for less than just about any other adjustable dumbbell on the market. You can then add Stage 2 and Stage 3 Kits that allow the dumbbell to go all the way to 90 LB.

Then comes the durability component. Although the selector pin can make some who don’t have experience with Powerblocks wary, it’s a strong design. I’ve never had a Powerblock Handle come apart from the weight stack and the pin has always stayed in thanks to the magnets, even on movements like snatches during metcons.

Lastly, the value that the Powerblock Elite Set offers is the best in the industry. This is one of the only made in the USA adjustable dumbbells on the market and it’s also compact, goes up to 90 LB, and is extremely affordable when compared to its competition.

We’re also not the only ones who are fans of Powerblocks. When we polled our Home Gym Community that features 50,000 of the most die-hard home gym users, Powerblocks came up time and time again as the best option.

For every last detail on these gym essential, see our full Powerblock Dumbbells review.

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

For most people, the biggest issue with Powerblocks, in general, is their shape. They’re a rectangle and there’s no denying that a rectangle is different from a typical hex head or urethane dumbbell. Without a doubt, the shape can be an annoyance to some, especially those that haven’t used them much.

Although the shape is the most notable flaw remarked by users, what I think they’re really pointing to is the caged handle. In order to support the dumbbell, the handle of the dumbbell uses posts on all four corners of the handle to support the weight. These posts can sometimes touch the wrists and although they’re comfortable due to the foam that encases them, it’s different than many are used to. It’s annoying and has been addressed in the Pro EXP Series, but I don’t think they’re worth the additional cost for most. If you have a tremendously large hand, you may have the sides of the posts on the handle touch at all times, but I’ve never felt like it was a great detriment.

Another downside to Powerblocks, which’s also an upside in some regards is that in order to change the weight in 2.5LB or 5 LB increments, the handle must be taken out completely and then the metal cylinders from inside the handle removed. Few dumbbells adjust in such micro amounts, so it’s a big benefit in doing so, but it does take a little bit more time than just switching the handles out like is possible on the Commercial Powerblock Series.

Lastly, there are some parts of the Elite Series that don’t have the perfect fit and finish of their more expensive models. There are vinyl stickers used to show the weight increments that can peel over time and the color weight indicators on the side rails can also move and interfere with placing the selector pins.

What About Other Powerblock Models?

Even though the Powerblock Elite Series Dumbbells are our top pick for the best adjustable dumbbells, there are better versions if cost is no consideration.

The Pro EXP Powerblocks look better, are covered in urethane for a quieter experience, and have a cageless handle that feels more similar to a traditional dumbbell. However, I still don’t think they’re worth the cost for most, unless those are specific features you’d like and don’t mind paying more for.

If you really want to level up, my favorite Powerblocks are the Commercial Series that feature a knurled handle. I’ve talked about this ad nauseam, but I would love it if Powerblock would offer a knurled handle for the Elite Series as an option. In fact, I’ve talked and asked them so much I think soon they’ll just give in and give the people what they want. At least I hope this is the case.

There is one Powerblock model that I’m not a big fan of and that is the 175 LB Commercial Set. It’s awesome they can create a dumbbell that goes up to 175 LB, however, the dumbbell is so large that it both looks and feels comical. For University Weight Rooms where 300 LB football linemen are training, it probably makes sense, but for most home gym owners, I’d suggest avoiding them.

Runner-Up: Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System

Runner-Up
Ironmaster Quick-Lok Adjustable Dumbbells
(13 ratings & reviews)
Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbell system is the latest generation of our adjustable dumbbells. You can quickly adjust each dumbbell from 5-75 lbs with our patented quick lock design in under 15 seconds! The set includes the Stand at no extra charge. Now you can have a complete set of free weight dumbbells at home that feel just like traditional dumbbells with no restrictions, rattling or safety concerns!  Set includes two handles with four locking screws, 24 ea. 5 lb plates and 4 ea. 2.5 lb plates and dumbbell stand. Handles weigh 5 lbs empty and each locking screw weighs 2.5 lbs so the starting weight is 10 lbs each dumbbell before plates are added. 65 lbs of plates can be put loaded on each handle. Add-on kit available to go up to 120 lbs each dumbbell. Dimensions are just 6.5" x 6.5" x 14.5" at the 75lb size. Heavy Duty - go ahead and drop them. No plastic or fragile parts!Quick-Lock design adjusts from 5-75 lbs in 2 1/2 lb increments in just seconds!Super heavy duty construction with welded steel, chrome plated handles.System includes two adjustable dumbbells at 75 lbs each (150 lbs total) and Dumbbell Stand.Super space efficient design. Takes up less than 2 square feet.Limited lifetime warranty.

Selecting the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells as a runner-up was an extremely hard decision. In fact, it doesn’t entirely sit well with me still because there are many people that I’d suggest choose Ironmasters over Powerblocks. However, there are just a few things I think Powerblock excels in, such as price, that makes them more attractive to a wider range of home gym owners.

Regardless, Ironmaster Dumbbells could easily be argued as one of the best adjustable dumbbells and out of all of the top options that we’ve tested and reviewed, they feel the most similar to fixed dumbbells you’d find in any commercial gym.

Ironmasters are known for their durability. In fact, when I asked our Home Gym Community Group what they thought about Ironmasters, nearly every one that had them remarked on how tough they were. It makes sense as they are made entirely from steel and iron. The handles are chrome plated, and each weight plate is machined and precision cast to ensure a tight fit. They look great, feel great, and can be relied on for years of use thanks to their quality construction materials.

With the ends of Ironmaster dumbbells being flat it is easy to rest them on your quads before starting a set in order to increase stability. Loadable dumbbells can't really compete with this because they will dig into your legs, which makes working out on the floor unsafe. The square weights also make the workout go quicker as they don't roll around all over the place when set on your home gym flooring.

Ironmasters are also a great tool for those looking to do goblet squats and french presses. These workouts are more difficult to manage with other adjustable dumbbells due to a caged system or how the plates are secured. The balance and feel of Ironmasters which is really only able to be experienced during a weight lifting session is a more similar feeling to normal dumbells than most other adjustables.

The stand-out feature that makes Ironmasters special outside of what I've mentioned already though is the Quick-Lock adjustment system. The rod that holds the weights and place and that can quickly be removed is what separates these from other spin-lock dumbbells. They aren't as quick to change as others on our list and they do require you to do some mental math similar to a barbell and weights, but the grooved rod that slides in and out quickly is amazing.

I like to call Ironmasters the lifters dumbbell due to how heavy they can go and because they feel similar to a barbell.

You can see our full, feature-filled in-depth Ironmaster Dumbbell review here.

Another Option: NUOBELL Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Another Option
NÜOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells
NÜOBELL give you the convenience of all-in-one adjustable 5-80lb dumbbells that are easy to use and have superior durability thanks to its machined steel weight plates. This set of innovative dumbbells will quickly become your go to favorites. These are sold as a set of 2 x 80lb dumbbells Weight Range lb 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-55-60-65-70-75-80 The material is steel and plastic Net weight: 80lb Includes portable cradles for both adjustable dumbbells. 

One of the most often asked questions I get from readers looking for an adjustable dumbbell set is, "which set is the quickest to change between pound increments?" This is them. The NUOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells take a matter of seconds to go from their minimum 5 LB weight amount up to their maximum of 80 LB per handle.

We've tested, trained with, and reviewed the NUOBELL's in-depth over the past 6 months since their release. They have a ton of great qualities, but there are a few that keep them from being at the top of our list. Let's get into the review.

To be honest, I was reluctant to order the NUOBELL adjustable dumbbells when I initially saw them. This type of product tends to be cheaply made with plastic (ala Bowflex SelectTech 552's,) and I had seen that a lot in the past. However, after using these for a while myself, I can say they are well-built and aesthetically pleasing. The flat pancake plate design really sets this set of adjustable dumbbells apart from other similar products on the market because it gives it a more natural feel than some of its competitors.

The design is very similar to others on the market including the MX Select 55 Adjustables. But, what causes us to rate the NUOBELL's above the MX Select's is the higher weight capacity and simultaneous changing of the weight on both sides of the handle.

In addition to being quick to change, the NUOBELL's are some of the most familiar feeling dumbbells I've used. Due to the use of metal plates and an uncaged handle design, if you closed your eyes during say, a bench press, you wouldn't even know you were using adjustable.  This is highly appealing for those who don’t want to deal with more square-shaped blocks like Powerblocks or Bowflex SelectTech's that are extremely wide even at lighter weights.

Unlike many dumbbell sets that use contoured handles with rubber or foam grips, the NUOBELLs use a barbell type handle with a surprisingly aggressive knurled finish. This handle makes these dumbbells really appealing to people who normally do barbell movements because you will get to train with the same feeling you're used to. Most rubber hex-head dumbbells use a contoured handle which some knurling, but I think many will grow to like the straight handle on these.

Despite all there is to like about the NUOBELL's, there are some reasons it didn't take our top spot. Firstly, I don't think the NUOBELL's will be as durable as our top picks. Although the plates are metal, there is a lot of plastic in key areas of the design. For instance, the internal dial system uses plastic gears that can wear over time and there are plastic shrouds at the end of the handles. This is not a set of adjustable dumbbells I would suggest dropping from even a couple inches off the ground.

The other main reason it didn't' take our top spot is that it lacks upgradability (max weight is 80 LB with no way to go higher in the future) and it adjusts in 5-pound increments while many of their competitors adjust in 2.5-pound increments. 

Find out more in our NUOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells Review.

Budget Pick: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Budget Pick
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
These adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights. Weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments up to the first 25 lbs. Easy-to-use selection dials for adjusting weights. They are sold as a pair. Easily switch from one exercise to next and with the turn of a dial you can change your resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength. Versatile workout for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders and arms. Compatible with the free Bowflex SelectTech® training App for iOS and Android.No more picking up 30 different dumbbells to give you the results you want!Say goodbye to 15 sets of dumbbells cluttering your workout space.With weight that adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., you'll continue to see results as your fitness level improves.Durable molding around metal plates provides for a smooth lift-off and quieter workouts...no clanging metal plates!With the wider weight range you can do heavy exercises such as shrugs and lunges as well as lighter exercises such as curls and raises.

If you're interested in the best budget adjustable dumbbells for your resistance training, than we suggest the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. The Bowflex 552's are likely the most popular set of adjustable dumbbells in the world. You can buy them nearly anywhere fitness equipment is sold and they're extremely affordable for a decent amount of weight.

The SelectTech Series is all built around the dial system that is placed on the ends of each single dumbbell. The SelectTech Dials are both reliable and quick to change making the 552's only second to the NUOBELL's in their speed of weight adjustment. We're very used to this adjustment system as we've used it in our review of the Bowflex 840 Adjustable Kettlebell as well as the 552's older brother, the Bowflex 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell Set.

This quick changing of the weight allows supersets to happen much quicker than loadable dumbbells or even some adjustable like our Runner-Up, the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells allow. I’ve found that a majority of people using Bowflex Dumbbells are looking more at general fitness training or bodybuilding type of movements than dynamic movements found in CrossFit. This makes the ability to adjust the weight quickly extremely important as supersets are a major component.

One thing that SelectTech’s allow is weight increments to adjust in 2.5 LB. The 552’s adjust by 2.5 lbs every click of the dial for the first 25 lbs and then 5 LB thereafter, which allows you to increase the weight slower, extending your plateau window. A primary component of strength training and building muscle mass is progressive overload and linear progression. Being able to, literally, dial in the weight to minute amounts is a great feature, especially on movements that are harder to increase on like lateral raises or tricep kickbacks.

At around $350 shipped to your door, the value of Bowflex Dumbbells is hard to compete with and the reason they are our budget pick for the best adjustable weight dumbbells.

Our dislikes with the 552's are their lack of durability ("DO NOT DROP" is etched into the side of the dumbbells,) their lack of upgradability (52.5 pounds is their max weight,) and their width at every weight increment. Regardless of if you're them at 5 pounds or 52.5 pounds, they're going to be the same width, which can cause them to hit each other and shorten your range of motion on movements like curls and overhead press.

Read our full Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells review to learn more.

Loadable Dumbbell Option: Rogue DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell

Loadable Option
Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
(5 ratings & reviews)
Rogue’s Loadable Dumbbells condense the key design and manufacturing elements of our full-size Ohio Bar into a compact, versatile new format. As an alternative to storing a complete set of traditional dumbbells in your gym, the DB-10 and DB-15 Dumbbell offer loadable sleeve lengths of 3.625” and 6.75” respectively—enabling athletes to make precision, custom weight adjustments in their dumbbell training using any standard Olympic plates as the increments. Using the same plates you’d load on a standard barbell, the DB-10 and DB-15 allow athletes to easily adjust the total weight of the dumbbell as they go through different movements and/or when they ramp up their training. This also makes the Rogue Loadable Dumbbell uniquely optimized for a larger gym, where multiple athletes need to be able to quickly customize the dumbbell to their own needs. One tool. All-purpose. The knurled handle carries over the same original pattern we developed for the Rogue Ohio Bar. Months of testing and fine-tuning went into precision-machining a firm but non-abrasive knurl that could maximize both performance and comfort. Please Note: The knurl pattern is the same on all versions of the Loadable Dumbbell. However, because the stainless steel option holds up without plating, the knurl will more accurately maintain its originally designed feel. Manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, the DB-10 and DB-15 really are built like miniaturized Rogue barbells, starting with a 28.5MM diameter, 190,000 PSI tensile strength steel shaft. The sleeves are machined from a single piece with a bright zinc finish, and both versions include quality bronze bushings and a snap ring sleeve design just like our Ohio Bars.

Adjustable weights aren't limited to proprietary designs. Loadable dumbbells use the Olympic plates you already own and use regularly on your barbells and can go as heavy as you could ever lift. The best loadable dumbbell I've used and has a reasonable cost is the Rogue DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell.

Rogue Fitness makes, by and large, the best Olympic Barbells for most people and the DB-15 is essentially a miniature version of a Rogue Ohio Bar.

The best feature of a loadable dumbbell is the fact that they are adjustable weights that use the iron weight plates you already own and are used to using in your workouts. This makes them typically much cheaper to get started with than other adjustable dumbbells on our thanks to a lower upfront cost for the majority of home gym owners.

The other feature is that they can go as heavy as you'd like. I've done rows with upwards of 150 LB (using some body english, of course) with loadable dumbbells and there's still room to spare. The Rogue DB-15 has a longer weight sleeve than most other loadable dumbbells which has its pros and cons, but I think many will appreciate the extra length.

The knurling on the DB-15 is a medium depth that is great for all-purpose training and is the same that we reviewed with great in our review of the Rogue Ohio Bar.

As the name suggests, the DB-15 weighs in at 15 LB with collars or 10 LB without and can utilize the Rogue Dumbbell Bumpers, although we think they're oversized for most trainees.

The rotation system on the adjustable Rogue dumbbells uses bronze bushings which are proven to perform and be long-lasting, although we would recommend using some 3-in-1 Oil in the sleeves on occasion.

The biggest downside to the DB-15 from Rogue Fitness is the price. These are made in the USA using high tensile strength steel and high-quality components. If you want a cheaper, lower-quality option, we recommend the Titan Fitness 20-IN Olympic Dumbbell Handle that comes in a pair for less than a single Rogue dumbbell.

Ultra-Budget Pick: Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Ultra-Budget Pick
Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
38-pound adjustable weight set (40lb including portable case) for creating custom workouts at home Includes two 3-pound barbells, four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and four 0.5-pound collars Threaded collars for securing plates to barbells; textured grips promote secure, comfortable hold Durable metal plates with semi-gloss finish for rust- and maintenance-free use; rugged PP plastic carrying case Backed by an Amazon Basics limited one-year warranty

If you want the cheapest adjustable dumbbell set that we, kind of, recommend, then check out the Amazon Basics 38-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells.

The reason we say we kind of recommend them is because we'd prefer most people get the other options on our list, but the Amazon Basics set excels where all Amazon products do, they're priced cheaper than any others.

The set itself states that it's 38 LB, but that's between all of the pound plates and handles. This means that each dumbbell when using the included plates only goes up to 19 LB which is not a lot of weight. However, the real reason we recommend them despite such a low amount of weight is because they use standard 1" spinlock handles that can be used with any standard plates you can find on the second hand market.

Spinlock dumbbells have been around for many decades and are great for those on an ultra-budget as they offer both a large weight range and are easy to use.

Most everything about the Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbell Set is mediocre, especially the plastic case that doesn't really even lock. However, for the price, you can't beat it for a starter set.

If you want a higher quality adjustable dumbbell set, we recommend the Pepin Adjustable Dumbbell Handles that we've reviewed.

Adjustable Dumbbells FAQ

Which adjustable dumbbells are best?

This is somewhat of a hard question to answer. However, what I can say is that I think the Powerblock Elite Series are the best adjustable dumbbells for most people. If you want cheaper and less weight, go with Bowflex SelectTech 552's. If you want more weight and a more typical dumbbell experience, go with Ironmasters.

Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

Anything with adjustable weights has its downsides. However, for 99% of trainees working out at home, adjustable dumbbells are vastly superior to fixed dumbbells for their space and cost savings.

Why are adjustable dumbbells so expensive?

Nearly all gym equipment is expensive when compared to many other consumer products. The reason being is due to the size and weight of the items. What gym equipment lacks in technology, it makes up for it in other areas. Adjustable dumbbells are so expensive because they have rather complex weight changing mechanisms, require a lot of weight and are therefore expensive to ship. Despite their expense, they're much cheaper than the comparable standard dumbbells that are found in most commercial gyms.

What are the heaviest adjustable dumbbells?

The adjustable dumbbells that can go the heaviest are the Powerblock Commercial Pro 175's that can go up to 175 LB. I have a set of these and although they go that heavy, I wouldn't recommend them for most as they're enormous. Almost comical to be honest. For most people, the Ironmasters that go up to 165 LB are a better option at heavier weights.

Should I buy an adjustable dumbbell set because of the accessories?

No. Most of the accessories that go with adjustable dumbbells are an afterthought of the company to sell more product. The kettlebell attachment for Powerblocks is okay, but still not that good unless you're just using it for swings and carries. The barbell attachment are almost always bad and I think most people would be better off not buying them.

The Competition

MX Select MX55 Rapid Change Dumbbell System: I am a big fan of the MX55's. The only reason they didn't make higher on our list is that they have a lighter max weight at 55 pounds per dumbbell and the dial system has basically been upgraded by the NUOBELL. This said, the thinness of the weight plates is excellent and they're super easy to change the increments on the weights and get back to strength training.  We recommend them, we just wish they went heavier.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells: The 1090's were introduced after the 552's as an answer to users requests for a heavier option. They use the same selector dial system to change between weights and even have a similar cradle. The problems are the same with the 552's when it comes to durability and potential safety issues. In addition, the 1090's are extremely large and very cumbersome. The 552's offer a great value and a good dumbbell at lighter weights, but the 1090's are too large and overpriced compared to their competition.

HAVAK Adjustable Triad: These are a somewhat underground adjustable dumbbell featuring three different handles at different diameters to increase grip strength. I'm a big fan of these, but they're a very different weight option from what else is out there and are honestly in a somewhat separate category.

FLYBIRD/ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells: These are essentially the same dumbbells and are white-labeled by many importing from China companies. They're cheap dumbbells that won't last and I don't recommend them.

BaadAss Adjustable Dumbbells: BaadAss Adjustable Dumbbells and Pepin Dumbbells are very similar in style. The big difference is that BaadAss are practically indestructible, however, they have a worse fit and finish in their current iteration and cost more. I hope BaadAss improves some of the parts of their dumbbells and if done, I think they could end up better than Pepins.

Pepin Adjustable Dumbbells: These are great and we've reviewed the Pepin Dumbbells here. The problem is that they can't be dropped and take a long time to change in comparison to Ironmasters. That said, we do recommend them, especially to those that want a spin-lock style dumbbell with a great handle.

Further reading

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