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.
Table of Contents
- Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Compared
- Why Buy Adjustable Dumbbells?
- How to Find the Right Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells (Buying Guide)
- 8 Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Reviewed
- Exercises You Can Do With Adjustable Dumbbells
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
- Conclusion - Are Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?
Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells Compared
Weight Adjustment Range
15.8 x 7.9 x 9.1 inches
5- 52.5 lbs.
2.5-pound (up to 25 pounds)
14.5 x 7.9 x 7.2 inches
5 - 50 lbs.
13.4 x 7.9 x 5.9 inches
5.5 - 27.5 lbs.
5.5-pound (up to 27.5 pounds)
10.5 x 5.2 x 5 inches
3 - 24 lbs.
12 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches
5 - 50 lbs.
27.5 x 22.25 x 11.5 inches
10- 55 lbs.
23.6 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches
10 - 50 lbs.
20 x 11 x 10 inches
5 - 50 lbs.
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.
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 a few hundred on brands like Bowflex or NordicTrack, but it's also easy to find a great pair for ~$100.
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.
Adjustable weight sets typically max out at 50 or 100 pounds. Most can be adjusted in 5, 2.5, or 1 pound increments, so as long as you don't choose a set with a weight limit that's too light, you’ll be able to meet your fitness needs in baby steps.
The key to choosing the right maximum weight for your adjustable dumbbells is to think about how strong you want to be, not how strong you are right now.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds;...
- Lets you rapidly switch from one exercise to...
- Combines 15 sets of weights into one, using a...
- Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells...
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.
2. Core Fitness 4333853251
- 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...
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.
3. ATIVAFIT Adjustable
- ADJUSTABLE WEIGHT - Quick change weight...
- EASY USE & STORAGE - One dumbbell equal to 4...
- WIDELY APPLICATION - Multiple weight range...
- HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL - Contoured, textured...
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.
4. PowerBlock GF-SPDBLK24
- 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...
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!
5. PowerBlock EXP Stage 1 Set
- Your purchase includes One pair of PowerBlock...
- Dumbbell dimensions (each): 16" L x 6.5” W...
- Replaces 16 pairs of dumbbells or 825 lbs. of...
- Welded solid steel construction....
The Power Block EXP Stage 1 Set is another great option on this list.
These are also made by the company that manufactures the previous set, 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.
6. NordicTrack 55lb Pair Speed Weights
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.
7. Weider Select-A-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells
- 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...
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.
8. StairMaster Twistlock
- Fast: You never have to take your hands off...
- Simple: The highly visible weight selection...
- Compact: Patented design delivers the most...
- Safe: Weight changes can only be made when...
Although the StairMaster Twistlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set is not the cheapest option for adjustable dumbbells on the market, they are well-made and will look great in any home gym. This set of dumbbells comes in a standard silver and black color combination and even have their own small set of stands included.
Among the many features of the StairMaster Twistlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set is the easy to use adjustment system that uses the turn of a dial to switch between weights. They use StairMaster’s patented Twistlock Design, which is easy to use and practically guarantees that the weight selected will stay in place as you lift.
The handle has a soft grip contour that is very comfortable, even at the highest weight setting. These dumbbells start at 5 pounds and expand in 5-pound increments, all of the way up to 50 pounds. This means they take the place of a standard set of 10 dumbbells.
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:
People Also Ask (FAQs)
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.
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 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 8 cheapest adjustable dumbbells – hopefully, you have found the winner to add to your home gym setup!
If not, I highly recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 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.