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Updated April 2024
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Best of the Best
NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair
Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair
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Most Versatile
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Ideal for users who need heavier weight choices for their workouts, according to our fitness expert.


Fully customizable kit comes with 15 individual options that users can pick between. Each weight is clearly labeled for convenience. A combination of steel and plastic offers long-lasting durability.


Can be somewhat delicate compared to the other models on our list.

Best Bang for the Buck
PowerBlock Sport 24 Pair
Sport 24 Pair
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Most Adjustable
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This set offers impressive adjustability and performance for the money, earning raves from our expert.


Has a weight range of 3-24 pounds. The weight feels very balanced and comfortable when in use. Changing weights is fairly easy, as all you need is the selector pin. Great set for beginners and experts.


The selector pin is fairly flimsy and could be broken if used wrong.

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
Core Fitness
Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
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Most Compact
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This easily adjustable model is perfect for those looking for a worry-free set that works great for a full arm workout at home.


These easy-to-use dumbbells can be adjusted from 5 to 50 pounds. The grip is ergonomically designed with texture for a secure grip. Small and easy to store for those with limited home gym space.


At heavier weights, the selector can sometimes get stuck.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable
SelectTech 552 Adjustable
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Most Comprehensive
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This is a full-featured set that helps users obtain a variety of workouts without any unnecessary hassle.


Simple to attach and remove, making it easy for users to switch between workouts. Each set comes with a stand for storage and cleaning purposes. Comes with workout classes that beginners can join.


Can be difficult to grip, especially for beginners.

Keppi Adjustable Dumbbells Set
Adjustable Dumbbells Set
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Easy to Use
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These adjustable dumbbells are easy to adjust, simply rotate the handle, and you get five different weight options.


You can adjust the weight between 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 lbs. The anti-slip metal handles help you keep a good grip on the dumbbells during a workout, and safety locking keeps the plates secured.


Some had a tough time turning the handle to adjust the weight.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best adjustable dumbbells

When people initially think about slimming down, they turn to diet. Once they feel they’ve reached their desired weight, their thoughts often turn to increasing their muscle mass. For more effective results, consider putting these two processes together. In a society obsessed with multitasking, bulking up and slimming down at the same time fits perfectly.

To improve your weightlifting results at home, you no longer need an expensive set of bulky sets of free weights that occupies a lot of space. Instead, consider getting a good set of adjustable dumbbells for a more efficient exercise routine at home.

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Adjustable dumbbells save money over the long run versus gym memberships or full barbell sets.

Adjustable dumbbells explained

An adjustable dumbbell uses a series of removable plates to achieve different levels of weight. The ease of removing and replacing these weight plates makes adjustable dumbbells a desirable, flexible option.

The weight plates sit in a rack with the bar in the middle. To select the desired weight for the adjustable dumbbell, twist a dial or move a pin to a new position on the rack.

The rack then attaches the needed weight plates to the bar to equal the selected weight. When you lift the dumbbell, any unused plates remain in the rack.

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Expert Tip
Always lift your adjustable dumbbells with good form. As a general rule, you should always lift in a slow and controlled manner.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Systems for selecting the weight

Ease of use is a key characteristic of adjustable dumbbells, and designs for selecting the proper weight vary widely. With some sets, you must manually slide and lock the weight plates onto the bar. Others implement rack mechanisms that lock the plates automatically.

What about cost? Clamp systems cost less than other types of adjustable dumbbells. Dial and selector pin systems are offered at similar price points. Beyond the weight selection system, the cost for the adjustable dumbbells depends on the amount of available weight and the number of weight plates included.

Clamp system

An adjustable dumbbell that uses a clamp system requires you to slide the weights onto the bar manually. You spin a nut or collar onto the end of the bar to secure the weights with the clamp system. This system differs from some other adjustable dumbbells that automatically attach the weight plates.

Dial system

The dial system is the easiest adjustable dumbbell configuration to use. You simply turn a dial on a rack of plates, setting it to the desired total weight.

This locks the weight plates equal to the desired weight onto the bar. Simply lift the bar, and your weightlifting session begins.

To change the amount of weight locked onto the bar, just set the bar back into the rack. Twist the dial again to reset the desired weight, locking the new plate configuration onto the bar. Then lift the bar again with the new weight.

Selector pin system

The selector pin system works in a manner similar to the dial system for adjustable dumbbells.

Instead of twisting a dial to set the desired weight, though, you slide a selector pin into the hole representing the desired weight.

As with the dial system, the selector pin locks the weight plates onto the bar.

Expert Tip
Don't drop your adjustable dumbbells. Many come with “do not drop” labels. This may sound obvious, but it's the most important thing to avoid if you want to keep your adjustable dumbbells functioning.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Pros and cons of adjustable dumbbells

Compared to other exercise equipment or gym memberships, adjustable dumbbells can be quite advantageous. They also come with some limitations. The pros and cons of this type of equipment depend largely on the exercise scenario you desire.


  • Locking process: Some adjustable weights use an automatic locking system for safety. Others require you to lock the weight plates manually. Should you forget to lock the weights in place, the weight plates may fall, causing injury.

  • Huge weights: Adjustable dumbbells lack the sheer weight needed for powerlifting. A gym with large free weights and machines works better for bodybuilders and powerlifters.


  • Small size: Adjustable dumbbells require a limited amount of storage space versus other types of weightlifting equipment. Because of the small size, adjustable dumbbells work well for moving to new rooms or locations, and simply not taking up much space in your home.

  • Low cost: Adjustable dumbbells come at a lower price point over the long run compared to other weightlifting choices. That’s especially true when compared to a monthly gym membership.

  • Moving weights around: Simplicity in design exists at the heart of using adjustable dumbbells. Although it takes a bit of time to adjust the weight on each barbell, this method works easier than adjusting weights on large barbells.

Picking the proper adjustable dumbbell set

To gain the most from an adjustable dumbbell set, you must select the right design and weight limit.

Look at your storage space

Some adjustable dumbbell sets include a stand for the racks. Such stands sit at waist height, making it easier to grab each bar and adjust the weight plates. Other racks sit directly on the ground. Racks with a stand require more space, so consider this before choosing.

Consider automatic vs. manual sets

Some adjustable dumbbells are configured by sliding the weight plates onto the bar manually. You attach a collar or nut to the end of the bar to ensure the weight plates remain in place. If you prefer an automatic selection and locking process, a dial or selector pin system works better.

Start with the desired weight

Any adjustable dumbbell set offers a range of weights. Determine the amount of weight needed for your exercise routine – if the dumbbells fit your entire routine, you’re more likely to use them regularly. Adjustable dumbbell sets that offer more weight carry a higher price point, so choose carefully to avoid wasting money.

Consider types of exercise

To help you determine how much weight you should get in your set, think about your exercise plans. If you plan to do mostly arm exercises with the weights, a smaller maximum weight fills your needs. Exercises such as bench press and squats require larger amounts of weight.

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Expert TIp
A warm-up is essential before any workout, and especially before an intense workout. This will get your circulation going and prepare your muscles for exercise. Each warm-up should consist of 10 minutes of static and dynamic stretching.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Understanding weight increments and weight range

Understanding the minimum weight increments and weight ranges for the weight plates within your dumbbell set helps you pick the right set.

Weight range

The weight range is the difference between the smallest total weight in the set and the largest total weight. The minimum weight consists of the bar and nothing else. The maximum weight includes all of the weight plates on the bar.

An adjustable dumbbell set with a large weight range provides more flexibility in the types of exercises you can perform. It also allows multiple people with differing weightlifting experiences to use the same set. In other words, a large weight range in an adjustable dumbbell set provides more versatility than a set with a smaller weight range, but might not provide the precision in increment found in a smaller set.

Expert TIp
Never lift a weight you can’t handle. Adjustable dumbbells have many weight increments, and lifting heavy poundages on heavier adjustable dumbbells can be tempting, but this can lead to serious injuries.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Weight increment

The weight increment is the difference between weights in the set. The increment should align to the loads you need for the exercises you perform. For example, if your array of exercises includes 12 pound, 14 pound, and 18-pound weights, a set with increments of 5 pounds won’t do.

  • Small Increments: If the minimum weight in the set measures 1.5 pounds, for example, your changes to the weight bar must occur in 1.5-pound increments. This means when switching to a larger weight, minimal differences occur. When starting out with a 5-pound weight exercise, the next level increase becomes 6.5 pounds. Such an increment works very well when using small amounts of weight.

  • Large Increments: On the other hand, if you choose a set with 5 pound increments, the set will provide a greater maximum weight than a set with 1 pound or 1.5 pound increments. This increased weight range gives you more options for types of exercises and weight in a given exercise.

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When comparing prices of adjustable dumbbell sets, check whether the set includes a single dumbbell or a pair. Most sets ship with two dumbbells, one for each arm, but some only contain one.


Q. What is the easiest type of adjustable dumbbell to use?

A. Even though they come at a higher cost, adjustable weight sets with dials and selector pins remain the easiest to use. Such systems allow you to pick your desired weight and begin working out without needing to manually slide weights onto the bar.

Q. Will I save some money with adjustable barbells?

A. Adjustable barbells represent one of the least expensive options for weightlifting. Expect to pay roughly in the $50 to $125 range for an entry-level set of adjustable barbells. More advanced sets exist in the $125 to $300 range. Understand that you may need more than one set to receive the ranges of weight you need for your various exercises. Overall, the expense remains low when compared to other types of weightlifting equipment, such as traditional barbells. And when paying roughly $40 per month for a gym membership, adjustable barbells save money in the long run.

Q. Which companies create the best brands of adjustable dumbbells?

A. Stick with well-known brands to receive the best quality in adjustable dumbbells. Some of the best brand names include Bowflex, CAP Barbells, Power Block, Unipack, and Yes4All.