Adjustable dumbbells are one of the most practical and versatile pieces of equipment to be found in the gym.
However, by browsing the internet it will quickly become apparent that there are many different types of dumbbells available.
It can be difficult to know whether a specific product is worth the price and whether it will fulfil your workout requirements.
To help you in your search we’ve analysed the most popular adjustable dumbbells available and assessed their quality, how they work, and the weight options available.
Use the review and comparison below to find the best adjustable dumbbells for your next workout.
Best Overall: Fortis / Powertrain Smart Adjustable Dumbbell
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 24kg
Number of Adjustments: 15
Pros: Innovative design, rotatable dial to alter weight, 15 weights
The main feature that helps the Powertrain adjustable dumbbell set stand out is the quick and easy weight changes. Unlike many of the other adjustable dumbbells we have reviewed, which require manual changes of the weight, the weight of the powertrain dumbbell can be changed by rotating dials found on each end of the product. This is convenient, functional and gives you 15 different weight options.
Another thing that we like about the Fortis adjustable dumbbell is that the increments increase by between 1 – 2.5kg ensuring there are no large gaps between the weights. The lower weight is 2.5kg and the maximum is 24kg, with an easy to adjust dial letting you quickly select the desired option.
The kit comes with a dumbbell rack too so the dumbells are neatly stored when not in use.
Best for Intermediate Users: Muscle Motion 50kg Rubber Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 25kg
Number of Adjustments: Manual Adjustment
Pros: Rubber coated plates, heavy dumbbell sets available
Cons: Spinlock collars can take time to fit
Gym Direct offer dumbbell sets that range from 20kg, right up to 80kg. Therefore, for intermediate or advanced lifters who may require heavier dumbbells, this product is ideal.
The weight plates provided with the set are rubber coated which will help protect the plates, prevent damage, and are generally quieter and safer than cast iron plates.
The set comes with 2 chrome dumbbell handles with spin lock collars and 16 weight plates of 3 different weights (4 x 5kg, 8 x 2.5kg, 4 x 1.25kg). This means you can load up the weights you need to suit your fitness and workout. This is a good kit for weight training with heavier weights.
Best Space Saving Option: PowerBlock Sport 24 dumbbells
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 10.9kg
Number of Adjustments: 8
Pros: Compact, easy to use, colour-coded weight adjustments, long warranty, good for beginners
Cons: No option to expand the kit later, handles are inside the box so users with larger hands may find the space narrow
PowerBlock Sport is a nested hand weight that features an adjustable weight stack. This stack can replace 8 pairs of dumbbells and offers a weight range from 1.4kg up to 10.9kg per dumbbell. This is one of the best adjustable dumbbells for beginners and it comes with a 10 year warranty.
You can choose the weight using the selector pin, the weights are colour-coded so it is clear to see which weight has been chosen. The selector works like adjusting the weight on gym workout equipment so it is has a familiar feeling.
This compact adjustable dumbbell set is great for those just starting out with home workouts. There are 8 adjustment options in total which is not as many as the 80kg set below or the Fortis Smart Adjustable set.
Compared to the other dumbbells on our list, these ones don’t have a particularly high weight range and the weight cannot be expanded with additional kits so they aren’t well suited to workouts requiring heavy weights.
These blocks look different to traditional dumbbells. When you first see them they look bulky as your hand is essentially inside the block. Fortunately, the design is well thought out so the weights are comfortable to hold and the block doesn’t get in the way of exercising.
The weight stacks are made from solid steel and the handles have a rubber grip for comfort too.
Best for Advanced Users: 80kg Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 40kg per dumbbell
Number of Adjustments: 17
Pros: Large weight range, easy dial adjustment, best adjustable dumbbells for advanced users
Cons: 2-3kg increase per weight means this kit isn’t ideal for beginner users
If you’re looking for an adjustable dumbbell set that offers a wide range of weight then this is a fantastic option.
One dumbbell can be adjusted from 5kg up to 40kg making this the most complete dumbbell set on our list. This is perfect for a home gym as the pair requires very little storage space but provides an excellent range for improving fitness and carrying out a variety of exercises.
The weights are adjusted via a dial, similar to the Fortis Smart weights. Each dumbbell has 17 weight options with weight increments of between 2 and 3kg. This is a strength training system that is best for intermediate – advanced users.
High Quality Option: ATIVAFIT 2x 25kg Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 25kg
Number of Adjustments: 6
Pros: Single-handed weight adjustment, quality weight plates
Cons: 5kg increase between each weight increment
This is a durable kit that looks great and offers single-handed weight selection which is a big bonus. One of the great things about the Ativafit adjustable dumbbells is the premium steel locking system. To adjust the weight you simply turn the lock-in dial to the weight you want.
A downside to this kit compared to others we have discussed is the weight increments jump up by 5kg between each weight (aside from the final increase which is 2.5kg from 22.5kg to 25kg). This can be too much of an increase for some lifting workouts so may not be suitable for beginners.
Budget-Friendly Option: Fortis 20kg Adjustable Weights Dumbbell Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 10kg
Number of Adjustments: 5
Pros: Low-cost, easy to use, classic dumbbell style
Cons: Basic set
The Fortis 20kg dumbell set offers up to 10kg per dumbbell using 2kg and 2.5kg weight plates. You get 2 bars, 4 collars, 4 x 2kg weights and 4 x 2.5kg weights in this adjustable dumbbell set.
The set is made from PE and PP, which is low cost and durable. This is a great set if you want a classic dumbbell look and feel with a few weight options for an affordable price.
The grip isn’t as ergonomic as other weights we’ve listed but for a wallet-friendly option, this dumbbell pair offers everything you need.
Most Portable: Domyos 20kg Dumbbell Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 14kg
Number of Adjustments: Manual Adjustment
Pros: Carry case, user-friendly stop discs, value for money
Cons: Better suited to beginners
The Domyos adjustable dumbbell set is a great space-saving beginners option. These weights come in a carry case making them easy to store and move, great for a small home gym.
The weights are made from steel and iron. The set includes 2 x 2kg bar, 4 x disc collars, 8 x 1kg weights and 4 x 2kg weights. The weights are sturdy and reliable making them great value for money. You can load the weights however you like but the manufacturer states you shouldn’t exceed 14kg per single dumbbell bar.
We love the stop discs, which are an innovative design from Domyos and are versatile, easy to use and secure. These discs don’t come loose while weight lifting like some screw types can.
Durable Set: T&R Sports 30KG Adjustable Dumbbells Set
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 15kg
Number of Adjustments: Manual Adjustment
Pros: Durable, cast iron plates
Cons: Limited options
The T&R adjustable dumbbells are high-quality, the weights are made with cast iron making them durable and long-lasting. Although some users prefer coated plates rather than metal or cast iron due to the noise factor, this depends on your preference and where you are working out.
The set comes with 2 dumbbell bars, 8 x 2.6kg weights and 4 x 2kg weights. Each of the weights is clearly marked so you know how much you are putting onto each bar. As this is a manual adjustment set you can choose the weights to suit your workout with ease.
Fixed Weight Option: Force USA Rubber Hex Dumbbells
Max Weight (for 1 dumbbell): 50kg
Number of Adjustments: N/A – Individual fixed weights
Pros: No adjusting or locks required, heavy dumbbells available, rubber coating
Cons: Less versatile than adjustable dumbbells
Lastly, we have rubber hex dumbbells from Force USA.
Now, you may have noticed that these dumbbells are not adjustable at all – in fact, they are fixed weights. There are benefits to using fixed weight dumbbells too, the main advantage being that you do not have to spend time manually adjusting the weight.Simply select your chosen weight and start.
Additionally, most adjustable dumbbells are not designed to carry extreme weight, whereas there are a range of very heavy fixed dumbbells – as heavy as 50kg!
Adjustable Dumbbell Comparison Table
|Adjustable Dumbbell||Our Verdict||Max Weight Per Dumbbell||Total Weight||Number of Adjustments||Adjustment Method||Warranty|
|Fortis||Best Overall||24kg||48kg||15||Turn Dial||1 year|
|Muscle Motion||Best for Intermediate Users||25kg||50kg||Manual||Spin Lock Collar||1 year|
|PowerBlock||Best Space Saving||10.9kg||21.8kg||8||Selector handle||10 year|
|80kg Adjustable Dumbbells||Best for Advanced Users||40kg||80kg||17||Turn Dial||–|
|AtivaFit||High-Quality Option||25kg||50kg||6||Turn Dial||1 year|
|Fortis 20kg||Budget-Friendly Option||14kg||20kg||Manual||Screw Collar||1 year|
|Domyos||Most Portable||14kg||20kg||Manual||Disc Collar||–|
|T&R Sports||Durable Set||15kg||30kg||Manual||Screw Collar||1 year|
|Force USA||Fixed Weight Option||50kg||–||Manual||N/A||2 years|
Adjustable Dumbbell Buying Guide
Types Of Dumbbells
There are a few different types of adjustable dumbbells you should be aware of before making your selection. Here are the main types:
- Spinlock Dumbbells – Easy to use and most affordable, these are some of the most popular dumbbells for both home and gym use. It can, however, take some time to change weights.
- Screw Collar Dumbbells – Similar to spinlock dumbbells, screw collars require plates to be added and removed manually, however they are compatible with Olympic plates.
- Adjustable Dumbbells – Very popular for home gyms, these products aim to provide a range of weight options in a compact package and allow for easy weight changing.
- Fixed Dumbbells – Easy to use as no swapping of weight required, however an investment in a full set is required to get a range of weights. They can also take up a lot of space
Dumbbell Vs Barbell
The topic of ”barbells vs dumbbells” has been discussed for a number of years and will continue to be debated well into the future. There is absolutely no doubt that both barbells and dumbbells are useful training tools.
While barbells are beneficial for pure strength-based training, regularly using dumbbells can facilitate improvements in not only strength, but stability too. Because the barbell is a fixed length, both limbs work simultaneously and therefore, stability is enhanced.
While this does mean that it’s possible to lift heavier loads with a barbell, dumbbells allow the performer to work both sides independently. As a result, there are a whole host of benefits associated with dumbbell training, including improving unilateral strength, enhancing stability, and ironing out muscular imbalances or weaknesses.
Dumbbells – The Perfect Home Gym Equipment
As stated, dumbbells are not only a useful fitness training tool, they are versatile piece of kit – ideal for any home gym. Thinking about free weight training, dumbbells have the advantage over barbells in terms of storage. A barbell and plates are much bulkier and more difficult to store than dumbbells.
Furthermore, if you wish to perform heavy squats or bench presses with barbells, you will require even more equipment, such as squat stands and a weights bench. This is not the case for the dumbbell as they are much more maneuverable and do not require any supporting equipment.
Finally, the greatest benefit of the adjustable dumbbell is that it removes the need to buy a rack full of different fixed dumbbell weights. This will naturally save a vast amount of space and money! Additionally, most adjustable dumbbells are quick and easy to adjust and use.
Choosing Your Adjustable Dumbbells
When selecting the best adjustable dumbbells for you consider whether the equipment you’re purchasing aligns with your fitness and needs. For example, there is little point in purchasing a 80kg dumbbell set if you’re only looking to perform “small”, isolation exercises. It is also important to assess your budget and the type of dumbbell you require for your training.
When selecting dumbbells for your home gym you will also want to ensure you go with a reliable manufacturer that has a history of producing high quality, easy-to-use products. If available, check out the reviews online for the products you are considering and see what other users do and don’t like about them.