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Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2024: Top Home Gym Picks


Adjustable dumbbells are the ideal training tool for home workouts.

They allow you to build full-body muscle and strength while taking up a fraction of the space required for a full rack of dumbbells.

However, with so many options available, choosing the right set can be challenging.

In this article, we’re going to review the best adjustable dumbbells on the market, focusing on the three sets we think are most practical and beneficial for the majority of weightlifters:

  1. NÜOBELL 580 adjustable dumbbells
  2. Core Fitness® Adjustable Dumbbell Weight
  3. Kensui AdjustaBell Max

Here’s why we think these are the only adjustable dumbbells you need, what to look for when purchasing a set, and more.

(Affiliate Disclosure: All products we review reflect the research and opinion of our editors. We sometimes receive the products we review for free, and when you make a purchase using the links in this article, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.)

How to Choose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells for You

Here’s what to bear in mind when deciding which adjustable dumbbell weight set is right for you:

  • Weight: Most adjustable dumbbells have a weight range of between 5 and 100 pounds, with heavier pairs typically costing more. When choosing your home dumbbell set, select a pair that matches your current strength but also allows room for progression. Generally speaking, most women should aim for a weight range of 5-to-50 pounds, while men should look for sets that go up to 80-to-100 pounds.
  • Durability: While most people take better care of their home gym equipment than commercial gym gear, you should still expect your dumbbells to endure some wear and tear. Therefore, choose well-made dumbbells constructed from durable materials
  • Ergonomics: Adjustable dumbbells often lack the ergonomic feel of regular dumbbells. For example, the “cage” that surrounds your hand on some dumbbells can limit your wrist movement and alter the balance of the weight, making some exercises feel “unnatural.” Look for a set of dumbbells that has reasonably thick handles with prominent “knurling” (the textured pattern on the handle that enhances grip), and that feels similar to fixed dumbbells while training.
  • Value: Adjustable dumbbells can be expensive, so it’s important to get the best value for your money. Consider the cost per pound and the versatility of the dumbbells to ensure you’re getting a set that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: People often obsess about the speed at which you can change the weight on adjustable dumbbells, but provided it doesn’t take more than a few seconds, this shouldn’t be a major concern. More important considerations regarding the adjustment mechanisms are:
    • Is it easy to use?
    • Is it safe (does it lock the weights securely without fear of them coming unlocked)?
    • Does it lock the weights tightly, or do they rattle during use?
    • Does it allow you to adjust the weight in small enough increments?
    • Will the mechanism withstand years of use?

Now that you know the most important factors to consider when choosing an adjustable set of weights, let’s look at our top picks and why we think they’re the best options for your home gym.


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The Best Heavy Weight Adjustable Dumbbells: SMRTFT NÜOBELL 580



best adjustable dumbbells



The SMRTFT NÜOBELL 580 is an innovative adjustable dumbbell that combines functionality, design, and performance. With a weight range of 5-to-80 pounds (adjustable in 5-pound increments), it’s perfect for those who train with heavy weights.

One of the standout features is its adjustment mechanism. You change the weights by twisting the handle, which is quick, easy, and convenient, especially if you do drop sets, supersets, or train with a partner who lifts different weights. 

The mechanism is also very secure, so the plates don’t rattle and stay firmly attached during use.

Another highlight is the sleek, ergonomic design. The dumbbells have a metal knurled handle similar to a barbell and, unlike some adjustable dumbbells, are nicely balanced, giving them a similar feel to fixed dumbbells.

The NÜOBELLs also come with portable cradles for safe storage when not in use. 

There are some elements that could be better.

While the weight plates are made from steel, several components, including the plate connectors, locking mechanism, and cradles, contain plastic parts that could break if handled roughly.

At $745, the NÜOBELL 580s are priced higher than many other adjustable dumbbells on the market, too.

For us, this price is justified, though—no other adjustable dumbbells offer as much weight, adjust as easily, or feel as similar to traditional dumbbells in this price range. And when you compare them to a full rack of weights, the price (and size) is actually remarkably good (just don’t expect them to survive too many drops).

Pros

  • Quick and easy adjustment mechanism
  • Secure and stable during training
  • Neat design with a knurled handle
  • Balanced feel
  • Portable cradles for safe storage

Cons

  • Several components made of plastic
  • Higher price point compared to other adjustable dumbbells
  • Potential durability issues if handled roughly

The Best Light Weight Adjustable Dumbbells: NordicTrack 55 Lb. Select-A-Weight Dumbbells



adjustable dumbbell set



The NordicTrack 55 Lb. Select-A-Weight Dumbbells are perfect for beginners looking to add a set of adjustable dumbbells to their home gym. 

With a weight range of 10-to-55 pounds, they provide plenty of room for progression when you first begin strength training. They also work well for women, who typically don’t need more than 110 pounds (the combined weight) for most exercises. 

Despite their budget-friendly price, the NordicTrack dumbbells include premium features such as knurled metal handles and round, cast-iron weight plates that have a durable, familiar, and balanced feel. They also have flat ends, so you can comfortably place them on your thighs while setting up for exercises like the shoulder press or dumbbell bench press.

The adjustment mechanism is straightforward and secure, but not without quirks. Slotting the adjustment pins into the plates can be temperamental and requires you to adjust the weights on both ends of each dumbbell, which is slower and more fiddly than pricier products. 

Importantly, the plates don’t rattle much during use, which is rare among budget-friendly adjustables.

Some design details could be improved. For instance, there are no clear markings on the dumbbells or storage tray to differentiate between the 2.5-pound and 5-pound adjustments, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to quickly adjust the weight during a workout.

Additionally, the weight increments are either 2.5 or 5 pounds, with no 7.5-pound option, making some jumps inconsistent. For example, you can increase from 10 to 12.5 or 15 pounds, but not 17.5 pounds. Instead, you must jump from 15 to 20.

Another drawback is their length—at 16.5 inches long when fully loaded, they can be cumbersome for some exercises (not nearly as bad as BowFlex adjustable dumbbells in this regard, though).

Despite these minor issues, the NordicTrack dumbbells offer exceptional value. Costing just $399, they’re a versatile, cost-effective alternative to a full rack of weights that easily beats the competition at this weight and price point. 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Knurled metal handles
  • Balanced feel
  • Durable cast-iron plates
  • Flat ends for comfortable setup
  • Plates don’t rattle much during use

Cons

  • Low maximum weight
  • Adjustment pins can be temperamental
  • No clear markings for some weight adjustments
  • Inconsistent weight increments
  • Length can be cumbersome for some exercises

The Best Loadable Dumbbells: Kensui AdjustaBell MAX



dumbbell weight set



 

Unlike regular adjustable dumbbells, loadable dumbbells don’t have an in-built adjustment mechanism. Instead, they’re a small bar onto which you can load plates manually.

While adjusting the weight takes more time than with regular adjustable dumbbells, loadable dumbbells offer greater customization—you can add or remove as much weight as you want in any increments.

The biggest problem with most loadable dumbbells is that they’re unwieldy. The barbell sleeves protrude beyond the weight plates, which can make setting up and performing some exercises awkward.

Additionally, many are expensive and typically only work with Olympic plates, which are often too large to allow you to perform exercises through a full range of motion.

Several companies have attempted to address these issues (Pepin, BAADASS, and Ironmaster, are notable examples) with more compact loadable dumbbells, but they’re usually too costly for most home gym owners.

That’s where Kensui’s AdjustaBell MAX loadable dumbbells come in.

The AdjustaBells are made from an aluminum alloy that can hold up to 300 pounds. To add weights, you simply place the threaded end cap through the center hole of a standard or Olympic weight plate and screw it into the knurled handle. 

Naturally, this process isn’t as fast as twisting your wrist to select a new weight, but it’s not excessively long, either.

Crucially, the end caps are flat, so they feel exactly like fixed dumbbells and won’t force you to adjust your setup or form to accommodate a cumbersome handle.

The biggest benefit of the AdjustaBells is their price. They cost just $100, which is incredibly cheap, given their specs. Although this doesn’t include weight plates, you can buy plates so cheaply on discount fitness equipment websites and second-hand marketplaces that the total price should still come in well under a set of regular adjustable dumbbells in the same weight range.

One downside to the AdjustaBells is that they’re not ideal for heavy weightlifting out of the box. As standard, they have 3.3-inch-long loading pegs, which should accommodate around 50 pounds per handle if you use standard weight plates. 

To train with weights close to their capacity, however, you’ll need to invest in loading peg extenders, which increase the loading space to 4.8 inches (~$80). For complete versatility, you’ll also need their centering adapters for using Olympic weights more securely ($9).

Despite these add-ons, the AdjustaBells still offer exceptional quality and value for money, making them some of the best dumbbells for a home gym we tested.

Pros

  • Highly customizable weight increments
  • Flat end caps for comfortable setup
  • Affordable price point
  • Compatible with standard and Olympic plates
  • Durable aluminum alloy construction

Cons

  • Slower weight adjustment process
  • Additional costs for plates, loading peg extenders, and centering adapters

FAQ #1: How do adjustable dumbbells work?

Adjustable dumbbells come in various types, each with its own adjustment mechanism. Some have handles that twist, others use adjustable dials or pins, and loadable dumbbells require you to change the plates manually. 

All of these mechanisms work, though some may suit you better depending on how you like to train.

If you do a lot of drop sets, supersets, or train with a partner who lifts different weights, quick-adjusting dumbbells are ideal. For those who prefer heavy weight training, loadable dumbbells might be a better option as they offer excellent value, although changing their weight takes longer.

FAQ #2: Which adjustable dumbbells can be dropped?

Most manufacturers recommend not dropping adjustable dumbbells as doing so can break the adjustment mechanisms. The NÜOBELLs, for example, are particularly prone to this (though you can buy replacement parts and fix them at home). 

Of the dumbbells we tested, the Kensui AdjustaBells seemed the most “drop-resistant” due to their all-metal construction. However, it’s still advisable not to drop any adjustable dumbbells to ensure their longevity and your safety.

FAQ #3: Are adjustable dumbbells safe?

High-quality adjustable dumbbells are generally safe for all kinds of training, including overhead exercises. The mechanisms holding the weights are typically secure, so you don’t have to worry about plates coming loose and causing injury.

However, these mechanisms can wear over time, making them less safe after years of use. Additionally, dropping or damaging adjustable dumbbells can compromise their security.





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