8 Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells: Reviewed & Compared

There are a lot of great things about setting up a home garage gym, but there can also be some downsides. For one thing, space can be an issue, which means you might not have the room to invest in a full set of dumbbells. 

If you’re a bodybuilder or just like to incorporate weight lifting into your regular fitness routine, this can be a major problem. Luckily, there's a solution: adjustable dumbbells.

Adjustable dumbbells provide all the benefits of a full set of dumbbells, just without taking up all the space. Best of all, it's a great way to save money, so if you're ready to check out the best affordable adjustable dumbbells on the market, keep reading. 

Preview

Product Name

Dimensions (L*W*H)

Weight Adjustment Range

Weight Increments

Check Price

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells...

15.8 x 7.9 x 9.1 inches

5-52.5 lbs

2.5-pound (up to 25 pounds)

Core Fitness® Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set...

14.5 x 7.9 x 7.2 inches

5 - 50 lbs

5-pound

Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell Weights Fitness...

13.4 x 7.9 x 5.9 inches

5.5 - 27.5 lbs

5.5-pound

PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbell, 24...

10.5 x 5.2 x 5 inches

3 - 24 lbs

3-pound

CAP Barbell Adjustabell Dumbbell 50-Pound...

15.75 x 9 x 8 inches

5 - 50 lbs

2.5-pound

NordicTrack Speed Weights

27.5 x 22.25 x 11.5 inches

10 - 55 lbs

2.5/5 pound

Weider Select-A-Weight Adjustable 50 Pound...

23.6 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches

10 - 50 lbs

10-pound

FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell,55lb Single...

16.1 x 6.9 x 7.9 inches

11 - 55 lbs

11-pound

Cheapest Adjustable Dumbbells

Why Buy Adjustable Dumbbells?

Adjustable dumbbells are exactly what they sound like – handheld weights that come with an adjustable dial so that the amount of weight can be quickly adjusted. They allow you to change the weight that you’re lifting with one single twist.

There are several great things about these types of weights:

They Allow You to Make Minor Adjustments

Unlike regular dumbbells that come in standard even numbers, these adjust a little at a time. Traditional dumbbells come in round numbers. If you go to a gym, you’ll see dumbbells in weights like one pound, five pounds, ten pounds, and so on.

With even the cheapest adjustable dumbbells, you can change the weight in quarter-pound increments. This allows you to slowly increase the weight as you build muscle, all from the comfort of your home gym.

If you want to know more about how adjustable dumbbells work, review our full guide!

They Take Up Very Little Space

Not everyone has enough room for an entire home gym setup complete with a power rack and full set of dumbbells. If space is at a premium, then you need workout gear that takes advantage of modern space-saving technology.

In other words, you need a set of adjustable dumbbells that takes up a fraction of the space traditional dumbbells require. Because they are adjustable, they do the work of an entire rack’s worth of dumbbells while taking up very little floor space. 

They're a More Affordable Alternative

While a full set of dumbbells can cost as much as $1000 - or even more! - adjustable dumbbells are notorious for not breaking the bank. Sure, it's possible to spend several hundred on brands like Bowflex or NordicTrack, but it's also easy to find a great pair for $100-$200.

Related Article - Comparing Fixed Vs Adjustable Dumbbells


How to Find the Right Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells (Buying Guide)

Adjustable Dumbbell Type

There are 3 types of adjustable dumbbells available: Dial a Weight, Spin Lock, and Selector Pins.

Dial a Weight adjustability allow you to select the weight you want to lift directly on the dumbbell itself. You can make speedy adjustments simply by turning a dial, but because of the convenience, these are generally more expensive. 

Spin Lock (also called Twist Lock) dumbbells also have a fast adjustability system. To change the weight, you just place the dumbbell in its cradle and twist to the desired weight. When you remove the dumbbell, the unselected weights will remain in the cradle and the selected weights will remain securely on the dumbbell handle. 

Adjustable dumbbells using Selector Pins use a magnetic pin system to change the weight. This type is very compact and has a natural feel similar to using standard dumbbells. 

Weight Range

Adjustable dumbbells offer a range of resistance to meet the individual needs or user. The best dumbbells will give you a wide range to choose from, so you can lift as heavy as you want to.

Some premium adjustable dumbbells will offer up to 90 pounds of resistance, but cheap adjustable dumbbells may have a more limited range. Light adjustable dumbbells will go up to about 40 pounds, whereas heavier ones will go up to around 90.  

Adjustable dumbbells will usually be in 1, 2.5, or 5-pound increments. The more weight you need, the more you will pay, so it's not worth getting weight you can’t handle. Beginners will typically need 30-60 pounds, intermediate users 50-80 pounds, and advanced users 60-90 pounds.  

Speed Of Weight Change

Adjustable dumbbells usually have a mechanism to load and unload weight. For the cheapest adjustable dumbbells, this can mean manually loading plates on, but some adjustable dumbbells have a dial or twist system where you can rotate the handle to change the load.

These systems are more expensive but allow you to change weight pretty much instantly. This is useful for drop sets and supersets where you need to change the resistance without stopping mid-set.  

Weight Indicator Readout

Adjustable dumbbells need to have clear indicators so you can easily tell how much you're lifting.

This is done with color-coded plates, a labeled dial, or numbers on the individual plates themselves. All of the adjustable dumbbells on our list feature a readable weight indicator.

bowflex selecttech 552 weight change indicator

Most adjustable dumbbells are easy enough to read, but it's worth choosing one with the best readout for you. This will help you during intense workouts and avoid you having to stop mid-set.  

Materials Used

Good quality dumbbells will be made from iron, steel, or aluminum alloy, but the material used for the outside coating will vary. Naked, painted, or chrome-plated dumbbells tend to be the cheapest, but they are also the most prone to scratching and damage. Rubber, neoprene, and urethane-coated dumbbells are more expensive, but they're rust-resistant and less likely to damage your floor.  

Rubber-coated adjustable dumbbells tend to give you the best value, and most adjustable dumbbells have this coating. However, if you have a tight budget, there are some cheaper iron options.

Also, read our dumbbell material guide where we compare PVC vs rubber vs urethane dumbbells!

Durability

Almost all modern dumbbells contain a small amount of plastic in addition to the metal components. Try not to be alarmed by this; as long as they have been constructed properly, these dumbbells are still perfectly durable. 

However, because of the plastic components, it's important that you don't drop your dumbbells, especially from a height over 12 inches. 

Dumbbell Handle Length

Handle length is something that many people don't even consider when buying dumbbells, but they should. 

If the handles are too long, they tend to hit your hips when doing exercises like curling, or even come in contact with your head when pressing. A handle length of 14-inches is the standard, so consider this when buying. 

Storage Features

Even though adjustable dumbbells don't take up nearly as much space, storage is still something to consider. Some models use shelving to keep the weights out of the way, while others don't. It's up to you to decide whether or not additional storage features are a necessary addition.

Compactness

Adjustable dumbbells are designed to save you space and remove the need for multiple dumbbells or plates. The smallest options are dumbbells with a selectorized mechanism, but some are a lot bigger than others.

If your adjustable dumbbell is too large, it can be difficult to use and take up valuable floor space. Make sure you check the dimensions of the dumbbell before you buy.  

Price & Manufacturer Warranty

You'll notice that sometimes even the cheapest dumbbells aren't that cheap. The more expensive models are generally the ones with the most convenient adjustability system, plus, they require no additional equipment to get in a good weight lifting workout. 

In addition to price, make sure to check if the manufacturer offers a warranty or guarantee of any type. Many warranties cover every aspect - parts, labor, and everything else - of a malfunctioning dumbbell. 


8 Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Reviewed

I've looked all over the internet and made a list of the best - and cheapest - adjustable dumbbells out there. Here are the top models that I recommend for your home gym.

Read our detailed reviews below or watch our YouTube video to find the best option for your home gym workout requirements. 

Note: I’ve received several emails from you guys mentioning that some of these dumbbells aren’t actually "cheap". Please let me point out that the more expensive models are complete adjustable dumbbells – meaning you just buy the pair and that’s it – no need to buy additional dumbbells. So pound to pound, they are 2-5 times cheaper than individual-weight dumbbells. I hope that clears things up!

1. Bowflex SelectTech 552

On Sale Today
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells...
  • Includes 1-Year JRNY Membership ($149 value;...
  • 5 - 52.5 lbs per Adjustable Dumbbell
  • Easy-to-Use Selection Dials
  • 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30,...

Dimensions

15.8 x 7.9 x 9.1 inches

Weight Range 

5 - 52.5 lbs

Number Of Settings

15

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Steel plates with polyurethane coating

Warranty

Yes, 2 years parts

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 are on our list of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells because you get the equivalent of 15 different sets of weights in a single set. Another obvious perk is that these dumbbells are made by Bowflex, one of the most well-known home gym brands in the world.

In terms of rapidly switching from one set to the next, I personally feel that these are the best. Their weight starts at 5 pounds and then goes all of the way up to 52.5 pounds and they adjust at a rate of 2.5 pounds at a time up to 25 pounds, then increments of 5 from 25 to 50. The Dial a Weight adjustability makes it super easy to switch between weights, simply by turning the dial.

The Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells come in a black and red color combination that looks snappy in any home gym. These metal weights are surrounded by a durable molding that protects you from sharp edges. You can do over 30 different exercises with them, even if you don’t have a power rack.

Some people don't like that the 25 to 50 pound weight settings are adjusted in 5-pound increments. Jumping from 25 to 30, 30 to 35, and so on might be too much of a jump for you, but compared to other models, this feature is fairly standard. 

If these SelectTech 552 dumbbells caught your eye, jump over to our full Bowflex dumbbell review to see all the top models from this brand.

Our Rating: 4-8 Star Rating 4.8 / 5

Pros

  • Small in size
  • Adjust with the turn of a dial
  • Have an optional weight stand
  • Well-known Bowflex brand
  • Durable docking station
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Pricier than others
  • Adjustable 5-pound increments won’t work for everyone

2. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells

Core Fitness® Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set...
  • Your purchase includes One Core Fitness...
  • Dumbbell only dimensions (each): 14.5" L x...
  • Quick-change weight adjustments with Twist...
  • Contoured, textured and soft grip handle...

Dimensions

14.5 x 7.9 x 7.2 inches

Weight Range

5 - 50 lbs

Number Of Settings

5

Grip Diameter 

1-inch

Materials

Iron with plastic coating

Warranty

Yes, 2 years Parts

This set of weights from Core Fitness is on our list of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells because they are a simple, no-frills option that is sold at a very fair price.

The weights look like any set of dumbbells that you’ll see in a gym, only smaller and more compact. They don’t have any of the multiple color combinations or other features that shout “adjustable dumbbells” like the other ones on this list.

With their simple black and silver color combination and included stand, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set makes it clear that you’re ready for business. The weights are coated in a high-impact plastic, while the cradle (or stand, if you prefer to call it) is made of aluminum.

Although some of the other sets on this list of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells are constructed of higher-quality materials, these are still highly durable. The set starts off at five pounds and is expandable up to 50 pounds, moving at increments of five. It uses twist lock adjustment for quick and easy weight changes. 

The handle alone weighs five pounds, making it clear that these are not for beginners. Another not-so-beginner-friendly feature is the 5-pound weight increase for each adjustment. But all in all, these are a great choice if you're looking for a convenient, compact, affordable dumbbell set. 

Still not quite ready to buy these dumbbells? Read our full Core Home Fitness adjustable dumbbell review for more info!

Our Rating: 4.7 Star Rating 4.7 / 5

Pros

  • Comfort grip that is contoured to fit your hand
  • No frills model without all of the bells and whistles
  • Easy to adjust dial
  • Resembles standard dumbbells
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Coated in plastic, not a rubber-like material or metal like the other options
  • Five pound increasing increments are too heavy for beginners

3. ATIVAFIT Adjustable

Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell Weights Fitness...
  • SPACE SAVING - One dumbbell equal to 4...
  • Quick Switch Weight - You can rapidly switch...
  • WIDELY APPLICATION - Multiple weight range...
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL - Contoured, textured...

Dimensions

13.4 x 7.9 x 5.9 inches

Weight Range

5.5 - 27.5 lbs

Number Of Settings

5

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Steel with contoured plastic grip

Warranty 

No

I don’t think that ATIVAFIT brand needs any special introduction; this is one of the leaders in the home gym fitness industry. Besides exercise bikes and gym bags, they also pride themselves with one of the most popular adjustable dumbbell sets on the market.

ATIVAFIT adjustable dumbbells come with a convenient, modern-looking and stylish design. The weight can be changed very quickly thanks to the push-n-pull system. Basically 1 dumbbell is equal to four different weights, thus saving space and providing a lot of versatility.

You have 2 options for weight limits. The first is a dumbbells with a max weight of 27.5 pounds, and the second is 44 pounds at its max. The higher-capacity dumbbell is slightly more expensive, but it's a much better choice if you're looking for a challenge.  

The grip handle is contoured and textured while also being soft on palms. I don't love that this product is sold as a set of 1 since you'll need to purchase 2 if you want to work out both arms simultaneously.

Related Article - ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell Full Review

Our Rating: 4.6 Star Rating 4.6 / 5

Pros

  • Quick and easy weight-change design
  • Easy storage
  • Secure, yet comfortable grip handle
  • Great value
  • Comes in 2 weight options
  • Sleek-looking docking station

Cons

  • Sold as a single dumbbell - must purchase 2 for a complete set!

4. PowerBlock GF-SPDBLK24

On Sale Today
PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbell, 24...
  • Pair of adjustable dumbbell weights for...
  • Adjusts from 3 to 24 pounds in 3-pound...
  • Selector pin lets you change weights easily,...
  • More compact and balanced than traditional...

Dimensions

10.5 x 5.2 x 5 inches

Weight Range

3 - 24 lbs

Number Of Settings

8

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Steel with padded rubber grips

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

The Power Block GF-SPDBLK 24 Adjustable Speedblock Dumbbells are on our list of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells for your home gym because they are, well, cheap.

Even considering the low price, these are a good addition to any home gym - as long as you don’t mind increasing your weight in 3-pound increments only. These weights use a selector pin lever system that’s similar to the one used in standard gym equipment. Just move the bar and insert it into the slot for your desired weight.

These weights start out at 3 pounds and work their way up to 24, making your options simple: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 pounds. Compared to others, 24 pounds isn't the highest weight limit, so if you need more weight, you'll have to go with another option. 

They have a padded handle for additional comfort and are very well balanced. Even though the weight limit is fairly low, you really get more for your money with these.

Unlike many other products on this list, I love that these are quite colorful. Each additional weight option on this model is a different color, making it very easy to see exactly which level you’re on - plus, it's nice to look at!

If you're looking for more information about Powerblock dumbbells, see our full review of their dumbbell range.

Our Rating: 4.6 Star Rating 4.6 / 5

Pros

  • Comfort grip handles
  • Very well-balanced
  • Easy color coding for each weight level
  • Limited 10-year warranty included
  • Simple selector-pin adjustment

Cons

  • Only go up to 24 pounds
  • 3-pound increases between settings might be too much for some people

5. Cap Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell

CAP Barbell Adjustabell Dumbbell 50-Pound...
  • ADJUSTABLE – Simply rotate the handle left...
  • EFFICIENT – Quickly switch weights between...
  • VERSATILE – The ADJUSTABELL weight...
  • FUNCTIONAL – The unique dial system...

Dimensions

15.75 x 9 x 8 inches

Weight Range

5 - 50 lbs

Number Of Settings

10

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Iron with rubber coating

Warranty

Yes, 30 days

The Cap Barbell adjustable dumbbell removes the need for several different weights and offers up to 50 pounds of resistance. It combines 10 different sets of weights in one, so you can customize the weight and lift as heavy or as light as you want without the need for a huge stack of dumbbells.  

The Cap dumbbells use a twisting mechanism to increase and decrease the load. The mechanism can stick a little, but generally works well and allows you to change the weight in seconds. The load increases by 2.5 pounds at a time, which will enable you to adjust the weight in very small increments and make steady progress.      

These dumbbells are compact and much smaller than others on the market. The hexagonal plates make them easier to stack and store, and they have a rubber coating which makes them comfortable to hold and less likely to damage the floor if you drop them. All of this makes them perfect for home gyms and an excellent replacement for all your old dumbbells.  

It looks and feels like a serious dumbbell, and we love the aesthetics, but Cap quality isn’t as good as some other brands. They work well and are versatile enough, but you shouldn’t expect them to last as long. Make sure you factor this in when you’re making your decision. 

If you want a cheap adjustable dumbbell that can be used for a range of exercises, this is a good option. It doesn't have enough weight for some experienced lifters, but it should be enough for most users.  

Also Check Out - CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Full Review

Our Rating: 4.4 Star Rating 4.4 / 5

Pros

  • Weights adjust 2.5 pounds at a time
  • Compact footprint
  • Durable rubber coating
  • Hexagonal weight plates
  • Up to 50 pounds of resistance

Cons

  • Build quality is not as good as others
  • The 50-pound weight limit may be too light for heavy lifters

6. NordicTrack 55lb Pair Speed Weights

On Sale Today
NordicTrack Speed Weights
  • Learn How to Strength Train with iFit;...
  • Replace 26 Dumbbells; The Select-A-Weight...
  • Fitted Storage Trays Included; When not in...
  • Smooth Weight Selection System; Each...

Dimensions

27.5 x 22.25 x 11.5 inches

Weight Range

10 - 55 lbs

Number Of Settings

15

Grip Diameter

1.1 inches

Materials

Steel with plastic coating

Warranty 

Yes, 90 days

NordicTrack, maker of renowned home gym equipment, created this set of black and blue adjustable weights with serious weight lifters and body builders in mind. 

The NordicTrack 55lb Pair Speed Weights start out at 10 pounds and adjust all of the way up to 55 in 2.5, 5, or 10-pound increments. If you're a beginner, you'll want to find something that starts lower than 10 pounds. Like I said, these are for serious weight lifting!

The system uses a simple pulley mechanism for weight adjustments. All you need to do is move the pulley to the weight that you want and insert it into place. Although the handle isn’t cushioned, it is comfort-molded for an easy grip. 

Each dumbbell comes with its own storage tray, and despite the NordicTrack name, the set is very reasonably priced for what you get. You might consider it expensive, but keep in mind that this set is designed to replace 26 standard dumbbells.

Also See - Complete NordicTrack Dumbbell Review

Our Rating: 4.2 Star Rating 4.2 / 5

Pros

  • Easy to use weight adjustments
  • Made by NordicTrack, a well-known home gym equipment company
  • Don’t take up much space
  • Designed to replace 26 dumbbells
  • Sturdy fitted storage trays

Cons

  • Not for beginners to weight lifting
  • Pricey, but the value for money is great

7. Weider Select-A-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells

On Sale Today
Weider Select-A-Weight Adjustable 50 Pound...
  • Replaces Multiple Dumbbells - With just the...
  • Wider Weight Range - With the weight range...
  • Quieter Workouts - Durable molding around...
  • Total Body Results - With the wider weight...

Dimensions

23.6 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches

Weight Range

10 - 50 lbs

Number Of Settings

5

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Steel with rubber coating and cushioned handle

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

The Weider Select-A-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells are a great addition to my list of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells for a few reasons.

My main compliment has to do with the easy adjustment system. The name "Select-A-Weight" is highly accurate; all you have to do is select your desired weight while the dumbbells are in their docking trays, then lift the handle with your selected weight securely attached.  

However, these aren't suitable for beginners, mainly because they start at 10 pounds and increase in increments of 10 pounds. But if you're serious about weight lifting, you can probably handle the 10-pound increases. The total weight for each set in the pair goes up to 50 pounds. 

The molded docking trays deserve as special shout out. Not only are they nice to look at, but they're also designed for quieter workouts. The metal plates of the dumbbells fit nicely within the durable molding of the trays, so you'll never have to worry about clanging metal plates as you dock your weights. 

Our Rating: 4.2 Star Rating 4.2 / 5

Pros

  • Cushioned handles designed for comfort
  • Simple adjustment mechanism
  • Small in size and shape, yet high 50-pound capacity
  • Nicely designed docking trays

Cons

  • Very high 10-pound increases - not suitable for everyone

8. Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells

Dimensions

16.1 x 6.9 x 7.9 inches

Weight Range

11 - 55 lbs

Number Of Settings

5

Grip Diameter

1-inch

Materials

Iron with plastic coating

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell Set is well made, sleek, and easy to use. It has 8 plates on each dumbbell, offering up to 50 pounds of resistance, and while this might not be enough for advanced lifters, it’s plenty for beginners and intermediates. The design and quality of these dumbbells are apparent as soon as they arrive, and you can see why Flybird has been in business for over 20 years.  

These adjustable dumbbells use a dial mechanism that is smooth and efficient. It's simple to change weights mid-set and particularly useful for drop-sets. The dial moves in 11-pound increments, which is quite high, but it replaces the need for 5 different sets of dumbbells to free up a lot of space.  

The best aspect of these dumbbells is the balanced weight. Some adjustable dumbbells can be bulky and difficult to manage, but the Flybird design counteracts this. They’re some of the easiest dumbbells to use around and great for beginners who don't have the core strength and coordination.  

The overall quality and value for money are good, but one criticism of these adjustable dumbbells is that the plates can wobble a bit if you’re using the full load. This can be a bit annoying, but there aren’t any real build issues to be worried about.  

If you want an easy to use, high quality, affordable adjustable dumbbell in your home gym, then this is one of the best value options on the market.  

Want to know more about these highly-rated dumbbells? Check out our full Flybird adjustable dumbbell review!

Our Rating: 4.1 star rating 4.1 / 5

Pros

  • All black color scheme will match any home gym
  • Adjust easily with the attached dial, which stays in place while lifting
  • Soft grip contoured handle
  • Ultra-compact - these take up very little space

Cons

  • Not the cheapest set of dumbbells on this list
  • Dial moves in 11-pound increments only

Bonus Product – Value For Money Dumbbell – Yes4All Manually Adjustable

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells - 52.5 lb...
  • SINGLE DUMBBELL 52.5 LBS TOTAL: ONE...
  • CAST IRON WEIGHT PLATES FIT 1.15-INCH...
  • 14-INCH DIAMOND KNURLED CHROME HANDLE:...
  • STAR-LOCK COLLARS WITH LOOSE-RESISTANT RUBBER...

Dimensions

14 x 1.15 inches

Weight Range

2 - 52.5 lbs

Number Of Settings

12 plates (2x 1.25, 2x 2.5, 8 x 5)

Grip Diameter

1.15 inches

Materials

Iron

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell is a great addition to any home gym. It’s got a clean, old-school look but modern quality, and it genuinely feels great to lift it. In addition, it's one of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells on the list and offers some great value.  

This is a manual loading dumbbell, so it will take longer to increase and decrease the load. It also means that you have to store several different plates, so it's a bit more space-consuming, though still much more compact than having several different dumbbells. The cast-iron plates feel great in your hand, and the high build quality makes them easy to slide on and off the 14-inch chrome handle, and it's comfortable to work out with.

The best feature of these dumbbells is the different sized plates. You have 5-pound, 2.5 pound, and 1.25-pound plates, so you can make minimal incremental changes as your strength grows. This gives you greater control and more options than some other adjustable dumbbells provide.  

One criticism of this adjustable dumbbell set is that it’s made of cast iron which can cause damage to your floor if you drop it. Cast iron feels great to lift, but you will need to be careful when handling these dumbbells.  

If you want a really affordable option and enjoy lifting traditional style weights, then these dumbbells are for you. You can’t adjust the weight as quickly, but they are durable and offer some long-term value for money.  

Our Rating: 4.4 Star Rating 4.4 / 5

Pros

  • Durable cast iron construction
  • 1.25, 2, and 5-pound weight plates
  • 14-inch chrome handle
  • Similar to old-school dumbbells
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Takes up more space than other adjustable dumbbells
  • Can cause damage if dropped

Bonus Product – High-End Adjustable Dumbbell – Powerblock EXP Stage 1

On Sale Today
PowerBlock EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbell...
  • Your purchase includes One pair of PowerBlock...
  • Dumbbell dimensions (each): 12" L x 6.5” W...
  • Replaces 16 pairs of dumbbells or 825 lbs. of...
  • Welded solid steel construction....

Dimensions

12 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches

Weight Range

5 - 50 lbs

Number Of Settings

16

Grip Diameter

1.1 inches

Materials

Steel with plastic coating

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

The Power Block EXP Stage 1 Set is another great bonus option on this list. 

These are also made by the company that manufactures the previously reviewed set in product 4 above, but they are quite different. This set goes up considerably higher in weight, and they consistently do the work of 16 sets of standard dumbbells. For these reasons, this set is also more expensive. 

Like the previous ones, these also use a bar and lever adjustment system that is very similar to those used on large equipment in standard gyms. This adjustability is simple, but a lot of people prefer the twist lock or dial a weight adjustment instead for the sake of convenience.

In regards to your weight-lifting potential with the Stage 1 set, these go from 5 to 50 pounds in increments of 2.5 pounds each time, allowing for plenty of flexibility. On top of this, you can expand the set to additional weights of 70 and 90 pounds.

This means that the set can grow along with your ability to lift - you won't have to purchase an entirely new set of dumbbells once you've hit that 50-pound limit. 

Our Rating: 4.4 Star Rating 4.4 / 5

Pros

  • Adjust in increments of 2.5 pounds
  • Expansion packs available to bring their total weights to 70 and 90 pounds respectively
  • Designed with the serious lifter in mind
  • Contoured rubber grip
  • Replaces 16 pairs of standard dumbbells!

Cons

  • Square shape looks bulky and a little awkward
  • Don’t use a dial to adjust the weight

Exercises You Can Do With Adjustable Dumbbells

The cheapest adjustable dumbbells can handle all of the same exercises as the standard (single weight) variety. These include:

  • Barbell curls
  • Alternated biceps curls
  • Shoulder presses
  • Upright rows
  • Lateral raises
  • Kneeling one arm rows
  • Lying fly
  • Stationary lunges
  • Toe raises
  • And more!
Check out this video for an ultimate full-body dumbbell at-home workout!

Chest

Dumbbells are great for chest exercises and work many smaller muscle groups compared to using a barbell. The most effective way to engage your chest and pectorals is with a dumbbell bench press. Start by lying back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, level with your chest.

Push up with the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended, and then slowly lower it back down. You can alternate the exercise by sloping your bench upwards or downwards to engage the upper and lower pectoral muscles.  

With adjustable dumbbells, it's good to start with the heaviest weight, and when you can't lift it anymore, you should drop down. These drop-sets are an effective way to grow your muscles, and adjustable dumbbells make it simple.  

Back

Rowing is an excellent way to grow a wide back, and you can use your adjustable dumbbells to mimic the movement. Stand up and bend your body, so you're parallel with the floor. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and engage your back to lift them up towards your chest. Pause at the top and let them drop back down.    

dwayne johnson performing dumbbell rows

You can also mix in some reverse flys where you stand in the same position but pull the dumbbells out to the side instead of straight up. These are more challenging, so you'll need to lower the weight, but thanks to the adjustable dumbbells, you won't have to buy separate weights for each movement.

Biceps/Triceps

Your biceps and triceps can grow quickly if you’re using your dumbbells effectively. Bicep curls are straightforward, and all you'll need to do is grasp a dumbbell in each hand and bend at the elbow to raise the weight to your chest. For your biceps, you should perform supersets of curls where you perform 8-10 reps back-to-back, lowering the weight if your muscles start to fatigue.  

A dumbbell kickback is a good way to work your triceps and give you a strong, well-developed arm. Start bent over with one knee resting on your bench. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bend your arm backward at the elbow in a kicking motion. Swap sides to get the benefit on both sides.  

Shoulders

A dumbbell shoulder press is the best way to grow your shoulder muscles. Start with a dumbbell in each hand raised at shoulder height. Raise one hand at a time until it's straight up above you. As one hand comes down, raise the other, so there's a seesaw motion.  

Shoulder muscles can fatigue quickly when you first start to train them, so you may need to adjust the weight downwards. Your strength will grow quickly, though, and with regular training, you’ll be able to move through the weight settings on your adjustable dumbbells. 

Legs

You don’t always associate dumbbells with leg exercises, but adjustable dumbbells can be used for lunges, squats and deadlifts. For dumbbell squats, start standing tall with legs spread shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend at the knee as low as you can go. Pause for a second and rise back up. You’ll want to set your adjustable dumbbells to one of the highest settings for these squats so you can feel the resistance.  

To perform weighted lunges, start standing tall, holding one or two dumbbells. Step forward with one leg and push down, so your hips are low. Let the weight hang down in your arm to balance your weight. Push back up and repeat the move with your other leg. The combination of squats and lunges will help train your legs quickly.


Frequently Asked Adjustable Dumbbell Questions

Why use adjustable dumbbells instead of barbells?

Both types of weights come with benefits, especially if you're looking for an easy way to strengthen the upper body. The main reason to choose adjustable dumbbells over barbells is their compactness; one set contains all the weights you need while also taking up very little space in your home gym.

Why are adjustable dumbbells so expensive?

At first glance, you might think that adjustable dumbbells are the most expensive type of weights. But compared to having to buy a full set of fixed dumbbells, they're actually quite cheap when you consider the fact that you only have to purchase one set. 

Related Article - Dumbbell Pricing Explained

Where can I buy cheap adjustable dumbbells?

Amazon carries everything - including cheap adjustable dumbbells. While it's usually possible to purchase your set directly from the manufacturer, most brands such as Bowflex sell their products directly on Amazon, and it's generally at a lower price point. 


Conclusion - Are Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

That completes our list of cheapest adjustable dumbbells – hopefully, you have found the winner to add to your home gym setup!

If not, I highly recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 552 set. It's definitely not the cheapest on the list, but when you compare it to the traditional dumbbell set, you'll be saving A LOT of money.