Top 7 Best Adjustable Dumbbells

One of the main reasons why weights come across as tedious for some people is the fact that they are just not convenient to own at home. After all, who has the room for all those cast iron weights that take up so much space?

One way around it is to use adjustable weights. Today we will show you our picks for the top 7 best adjustable dumbbells/weights and how they can be a game changer for you.

Some of these models are understandably among the best dumbbells  on the market as of this moment. Lets get started.

Top 7 Best Adjustable Weights:

Bowflex is a household name in the fitness business for sure. However, not many know that Bowflex also makes dumbbells among other things. The SelecTech 552 is modern adjustable dumbbell which offers a good range of weights and a very interesting system for weight selection. What you get with these are two dumbbells, each capable of providing 5 to 52.5 pounds of weight.

The reason why SelectTech 552 is so praised is due to its simple and convenient way of selecting weights. Both of the dumbbells come with their own trays. Trays aren’t just there to serve as a storage place for these weights. They’re pretty much essential when it comes to weight selection. Here’s how it works. If you look at the dumbbell, you’ll notice that there are weight selection knobs on each side of the bar.

When you select the weight you want, the mechanism releases the unnecessary plates which stay in the tray when you pick the dumbbell up. When you’re doing different exercises and want to perform alternating sets, this super quick method of weight selection really makes a difference. Because of that and the overall quality, Bowflex is at the top of our list.

Much like Bowflex, Merax is another giant with a great presence in the weightlifting community. The Merax Deluxe 71.5 are another set of dumbbells which utilize the selection knob system to add or remove weight. Compared to our top pick, there aren’t many essential differences. However, we do recognize the difference in taste and aesthetics that Merax Deluxe brings to the table. 

Have you always wanted to get a set of shiny, all black dumbbells? Now you can. As far as quality goes, these are every bit as good as what Bowflex has to offer. The idea is the same. You are getting two dumbbells, each capable of providing up to 71.5lbs of weight. You can start with 11lbs and move up in 5.5lbs increments. In other words, you are getting more weight but you are also losing the ability to adjust weight in smaller increments. 

This is definitely something beginners need to pay attention when looking into this specific set of dumbbells. Also, it is worth pointing out that Merax labels these in kilograms, which may or may not be an issue for some users. Overall, it was hard making the choice between Bowflex and Merax.

Our next pick represent one of the arguably most popular alternatives in the market of adjustable weights. AS you can probably tell, these are not your regular dumbbells. As a matter of fact, they are so different from just about anything out there that they barely even look like dumbbells. The reason why Power Block Elite is so popular is due to its inherent modularity. 

The baseline model offers anywhere from 5 to 50lbs per hand, which you can select in 2.5lbs increments. However, that’s not all, You can go ahead and get expansion kits which can add up to 40lbs per hand depending on which kit you get. This flexibility of design is exactly why so many pros are using these weights. 

As far as the system itself goes, it’s based on a very simple selection method that revolves around a removable pin. Adding or reducing weight is a simple matter of removing the plates and returning the safety pin. Where these differ from the standard dumbbells is the fact that you don’t have to remove plates from each side in order to retain balance as each insert adds or removes plates on both sides of the dumbbell.

Modern adjustable weights come a variety of versions. We have already covered a few models which rely on a system of rotating rings to select or deselect weight plates. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells utilize a very similar system, but one that might be a bit simpler to use. Where Bowflex and Merax have the selection rings on the outside ends of the bar, Core Fitness fame up with a design where adjustment is located on the inside, close to the grips. 

What makes this system a bit easier on users is its simple, clean interface. The selection knob isn’t riddled with labels. Instead, you have a small port where you can see which weight is selected. The fact that the rest of the dumbbell is all black makes this design one of the most aesthetically pleasing out there. Another detail that really sealed the deal for us the tray. 

Most other brands use plastic trays. Core Fitness went with an aluminum cradle which ensures longevity and overall durability of the system. Each dumbbell offers anywhere from 5 to 50lbs of weight you can select in 5lb increments. At this price, Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells are just too good to ignore.

The Power Block set we have talked about earlier isn’t the only one worth mentioning from this brand. On the contrary, their offer is full of great options that follow close behind their flagship stuff. The one we are looking at here is probably one of the best affordable setups you can get at the moment. Although the design is a bit different compared to the other model on our list, you are still getting all of the functionality. 

Keep in mind that plates from the flagship model are not interchangeable with the GF-SPDBLK24. As far as the weight options go, you are looking at anywhere from 3 to 24 pounds per arm. Plates come in 3 lbs increments, which makes these suitable for beginners or those who don’t need heavy weights for their workout routine. 

Overall, the entire design is more or less the same as that of the flagship model we have talked about earlier. What really separates this setup from the rest is the price. It is more than reasonably priced, which makes it quite competitive in today’s market. You can easily get a good workout with nothing more than a set of these Power Block dumbbells.

If you’re on a budget but still want something that will get the job done, old school cast iron dumbbells such as this one from Unipack is the way to go. What we have here is a standard bar with plates which are secured in place using a collar nut. This particular set includes two bars with two sets of plates ranging anywhere from 5 to 52.5 pounds per side. The plates come in 5lb increments with the addition of 2.5lb plates and 1.25lb plates.

Overall, the system is sound and has been proven numerous times by now. In terms of quality, Unipack offers really good results. The plates, although often misshaped when compared one to another, are fairly evenly balanced. One cool feature to note is that both the collar nut and the bar feature rubber inserts where they come into contact with plates.

This achieves two things. For one you are getting a very tight squeeze on those plates which reduces noise. Additionally, those rubber inserts lock everything down to a point where the chances of those nuts coming loose are slim to none. If you’re looking for something simple and affordable, this is it.

Last option on our list comes from CAP and represents the ultimate budget setup. We are talking bargain prices for dumbbells which will get the job done all the same. Arguably, these particular dumbbells are aimed at beginners. We say this because the plates you get in the package are limited to 40lbs. One thing to appreciate about CAP’s weights is the build quality, finish and overall fit.

Plates are very well balanced, the casts are good, there are no imperfections to speak of. The bars feature good threads, smooth collar nut travel and most importantly, good grip texture. Each bar is fitted with two 5lb plates and two 2.5lb plates which along with a 5lb bar make up 20lbs per arm. The great thing about this setup is that you can easily expand it as you see fit.

It all comes down to getting more plates from CAP as there is plenty of space on those bars for more weight. Here’s the real kicker, you also get a plastic hard case which makes storing and transporting the weights very convenient. At this price, you are definitely getting a deal that is just way too good to pass up.

What Are the Main Advantages of Adjustable Weights?

Dumbbells are a great tool for home fitness and weightlifting. However, their inherent benefits start to fade away when you begin accumulating more and more of them. Since your strength is most likely going to push you to use more weights in your daily routine, chances are that you will built up a large collection of dumbbells at some point. 

Sure, it’s great to just approach your weight rack and pick the dumbbells you need. However, chances are that you don’t have enough room for such a rack or you simply don’t want to invest that much in a home gym. This is where adjustable weights come into play. 

The ability to use one bar and set of plates for years means that you are optimizing your investment to the fullest. The cost and space savings aren’t the only reason to get an adjustable set. The fact that you can increase the weight in smaller increments also makes a difference at the end of the day. 

This is also why you will find adjustable dumbbells among the best beginner dumbbells out there. Additionally, you can experiment with different plate sizes right off the bat. 

This inherent modularity and flexibility adds convenience. Some of the best dumbbells weights for women are adjustable since they have a very low initial weight.

Types of Adjustable Dumbbells

As you have probably figured out from our list above, there are many different types of dumbbells. You have the old school Olympic style with classic plates and collar nuts, while there are also more modern designs. In our opinion, they all get the job done. 

Which one you’ll go for is hence a matter of pure convenience and even taste. Those cool weight selection systems definitely reduce the time needed to add or reduce weight, but we are ultimately talking about shaving off seconds from your routine. 

One reason why someone might go for a Power Block setup over a standard bar with plates could be the range of weights. That is easily one of the best benefits of these modern setups.

The Verdict

Adjustable dumbbells simply make sense. In today’s day and age, unless you are running a commercial gym, there really isn’t a good reason to have a set of cast iron dumbbells. 

Those take way too much space and generally become quite expensive even though you are basically paying a bit over the weight of the iron itself in some cases. The models we’ve listed above are in our opinion the best you can get right now. 

We have tried to keep the prices reasonable and offer something for everyone despite what their budget limitations are or what their taste is.

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