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Dumbbells For Sale – New and Used Dumbbell Guide (updated)

All Kinds of Dumbbells for Sale

Are you looking to add some dumbbells to your home or garage gym? Do you prefer a full set of fixed dumbbells? or maybe some adjustable dumbbells? Do you care if they’re new? Let’s see if I can help you find the right dumbbells at the right price for your gym.

Last update: Nov 18, 2017 – added Vulcan Pro Hex Dumbbells + minor edits.

Used Dumbbells For Sale!

Used dumbbells for sale all over the place

Buying fixed dumbbell pairs can get expensive. The cheapest way to build out your own set will always be by finding them second-hand. You won’t be able to be as picky about brands and your pairs probably won’t all match, but you can save some serious money. Here are some suggestions:

Craigslist should be your first stop. There are always tons of listings for used equipment to be found on Craigslist. People get that exercise bug, buy some equipment, then after a couple months of not using it they turn around and sell it for 50-75 cents on the dollar. Their weakness saves you cash! Be sure and check surrounding cities if you have no luck locally. You may find the deal of the century just a short drive away.

Most major cities have used sporting good stores. Play It Again Sports is one example that has locations all over the US and Canada. If you don’t have one of these specifically, I’ll bet that you have something! Just do a Google search to see what’s in your area. Be mindful of pricing vs. new prices – unlike Craiglist sellers, these stores have overhead.

You can also find strength training & fitness related discussion boards that have equipment categories (bodybuilding.com, crossfit.com, nerdfitness, etc). Often times you’ll see people trying to sell off equipment at good prices. The likelihood of them being anywhere near you is slim to none, obviously, but it is an option.

As a last ditch effort to find some used dumbbells in your region, you can try the classified ads in your newspaper, look for garage and yard sales, and also look for auctions of closing fitness boxes. Hey, it happens; I’ve seen these auctions before. Also, eBay has a classified ads section that you can search locally as well.

New Dumbbells for Sale – Fixed Dumbbells

So no luck with finding used dumbbells? No problem, let’s go over new dumbbell options.

There are two ways you can buy new dumbbells for your garage gym. You can buy them in pairs as you need them, or you can buy them in sets. Sets are typically all of the dumbbells from 5 lbs to 50 lbs in 5 lb increments (pair of 5’s, 10’s, 15’s, and so on), then an additional set that covers the 55 lb to 100 lb dumbbells.

Please note, unless you’re buying a commercial set of dumbbells there is no reason to buy a set other than just the convenience of getting them all at one time and being done with it. There are practically no savings (sometimes literally no savings) for buying them all at one time. Additionally, sets don’t include 2½-lb increment units within that 5-50 pound range. I suggest that you buy them as you need them and don’t buy the ones you’ll never use; that’s how you really save money on dumbbells.

Iron Hex Dumbbells

Dumbbells for sale - Iron Hex Dumbbells in pairs or sets

Probably your cheapest option for filling up the garage gym with fixed dumbbells is to buy iron hex dumbbells. This is what you commonly see in chain sporting goods stores and on Craigslist, and there is literally nothing at all special about them – a no-frills product.

While definitely affordable (especially if you did find them used), some drawbacks include a lack of knurl, sharp flashing from the casting process, wildly inaccurate weights, and rust build-up. These should also not be dropped or tossed around since they have no rubber or urethane coating.

I actually recommend avoiding cast iron dumbbells if buying new. They really aren’t much cheaper than the rubber-coated hex dumbbells, yet they are as different as night and day in terms of grip comfort, noise, aesthetics, and potential damage to flooring and feet.

Rubber-Coated Hex Dumbbells

Rogue and York rubber hex dumbbells for sale

Rubber-coated hex dumbbells are probably your best option when it comes to decent, new dumbbells. They have semi-knurled, ergonomic handles; making them far more secure in the hands than iron hex dumbbells (no sharp flashing either). The rubber coating makes them a bit safer for dropping, and also eliminates most rust issues. These are just an all-around better product than iron hex units.

Like any other product in the world, there are varying levels of quality available. The issue is that identifying which are bad is impossible to do visually because the difference is in how the heads are affixed to the shaft; which we cannot see. All models have heads that screw onto the shaft, but the heavier-duty styles have a metal pin passing through the head and shaft that prevents loosening. Cheap brands just tighten up the head and hope for the best (like in the image below – clearly no pin in this one).

Cheap, unpinned rubber hex dumbbells ultimately fall apart with use

Since we can’t see the assembly method of each brand, my advice to you is to consider the brand and retailer in question. If you’re in a Wal-Mart looking at Gold’s Gym or CAP Barbell dumbbells, you’ll probably be disappointed later by loose heads. However, buy from Rogue, Vulcan, or some other reputable dealer that specifically says that they use a special handle construction, then you can be confident your dumbbells will last. The difference in pricing is negligible really. Buy quality; buy once.

To give you an idea on costs, here are prices for 25-pound pairs from four brands that offer the premium version of rubber hex dumbbells. There are no doubt others, but these are the ones I know of:

  • Rogue: $60 per pair ($30 shipping to my zip)
  • American Barbell: $60 per pair ($40 shipping to my zip)
  • York (Rogue): $60 per pair ($30 shipping to my zip)
  • Vulcan: $82 per pair (free shipping)

Alternatively, Rep Fitness offers hex dumbbells with straight handles instead of the typical ergonomic handle. These are actually priced pretty damn well so long as shipping to your area doesn’t break the bank.

Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells with Straight, Knurled handles Amazon has some pretty good prices on dumbbells, but Amazon is not much different than walking into a box-store in terms of brand options – and you’ll be hard pressed to find any claims of durable handle construction. Rep is currently the way to go for hex dumbbells, in my opinion, because of the competitive pricing and straight, knurled handles. Vulcan raised their dumbbell prices recently; knocking them out of the top spot.

Vulcan Pro Hex Rubber Dumbbells

Vulcan’s new Pro Hex Dumbbells are much like standard hex dumbbells, but instead of the knurled bar they have vulcanized rubber handles with a highly tactile knurling surface. They are made from a rubber compound very similar to their competition bumpers. The rubber is applied to the steel handle using a proprietary process that makes it impossible to detach from the handles during any gym or workout use. The rubber will never loosen, peel or chip from these dumbbells.

Vulcan Pro Hex Rubber Dumbbells

I personally have a pair of these new dumbbells and I love them. Now I have far too many pairs already to try and make a set of these, but if I had to start over I’d definitely consider going this route. The rubber is not slippery at all; very grippy. I feel like I get just as good of a grip, but the rubber makes them more comfortable – especially on my calluses that never seem to go away!

Vulcan’s Pro Rubber Hex Dumbbells are new, and so far are only sold in sets. Vulcan says they will be available in pairs as well though.

York Legacy Dumbbells

York Legacy Dumbbells for sale at Amazon

York Legacy Dumbbells are a recreation of York’s original dumbbells; hence the name. These are black iron dumbbells with a knurled 33 mm handle that is permanently embedded into the heads. These are really cool and they’re about the same price rubber hex dumbbells. So if you wanted to step up the coolness factor of your dumbbells without spending more, this is probably the product for that. These are not rubber though; keep that in mind.

Using the same example as I did for the rubber hex dumbbells to give an idea of price, a pair of 25 pound Legacy dumbbells is $70 (before shipping) from Amazon. What a score that would be to find these used locally!

Rogue Urethane Commercial Dumbbells

Rogue Urethane Dumbbell pairs and sets

Well these are amazing, but who can afford them?

Available from 5 to 150 pounds, Rogue’s Urethane Dumbbells are probably about as nice as you’ll get for fixed dumbbell pairs. They are compact, fully welded, accurate, and they have flat heads and a nice handle diameter. I just don’t see dumbbells this expensive happening in a garage gym though. To give you an idea, the 25-pound pair sells for over $150. Pretty neat though!

Rep Fitness offers these same Urethane Dumbbells but they only sell them in sets. The set pricing is hard to compare because Rogue’s prices include all the shipping, and Rep’s are currently out of stock so I can’t get a sample shipping quote.

Plate-Loaded Adjustable Dumbbells

Standard Adjustable Dumbbells – Threaded

Standard-sized, plate loaded, adjustable dumbbells

There’s an endless variety of plate-loaded, adjustable dumbbell sets that use standard-size (1″ hole) weight plates on a threaded shaft. These are inexpensive compared to other adjustable options, pretty simple to use, and in most cases just about any weight can be achieved (assuming you have the plate variety.) All that said, I don’t particularly care for this style of adjustable dumbbell, and I’ll tell you why.

For starters, 1″ plates are otherwise useless in our gyms. No serious lifter has a standard-sized barbell in their gym, or 1″ plate storage trees. Why buy new weight plates for a single application?

Secondly, plate-loaded, threaded dumbbells always have a portion of the shaft protruding from the ends. While this is fine for curls and lateral raises and such, any of the pressing movements that start with dumbbells resting on the thighs will be very uncomfortable. Think about the weight of each dumbbell pushing a 1″ steel shaft into your thighs, and then think about actually kicking into it for a lift off. It sucks.

In addition to those two reasons, there are few other minor issues I have with this style of dumbbell. It time consuming to change the weight of both dumbbells (four total changes between both units), the spinning collars are not known to stay on very well during the course of a set, and since everything is just steel and cast iron, the whole product is susceptible to rust. Sure they’re cheap and they work, but every time you pick them up you’ll wish you had something better.

Rogue Loadable Dumbbell Handles

Rogue Stainless Steel DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell Handle with OSO Collars

Rogue offers two different plate-loaded dumbbell handles that are in almost every way superior to the threaded dumbbell handles previously discussed. They are also far more expensive. So what makes them better?

For starters, Rogue uses the same 190k PSI, 28.5 mm shaft for their dumbbell handles that they use for their Ohio line of barbells. They also apply the same knurling. They have multiple finish options available (currently stainless steel and black zinc), and you can buy them as either 10-pound (DB-10) or 15-pound (DB-15) handles.

Rogue DB-10 and DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell Handles

The sleeves are the standard Olympic 50 mm in diameter, are finished in bright zinc, and they are free to rotate around the shaft on a pair of cast bronze bushings. The 10-pound handle has 3.625″ sleeves, and the 15-pound handle has longer 6.75″ sleeves.

You’ve probably figured out by now that these dumbbell handles are about as nice as they come. They are basically little Ohio Bars for your hands. Unlike the previous product, these use the Olympic-size plates you already own – which means any additional plates you buy for the handles work with all your other bars as well. Also unlike the previous product, these will not rust.

The drawback? The 15-pound handle is pretty big at 20.5″ in total length – a bit unwieldy for certain movements. And while the 10-pound unit is more compact at 14.5″ in total length, it has limited loading capacity (about 60-pounds per handle depending on collars used.) Also, the same issue with the shaft stabbing your thighs is true for the Rogue handles, though to be fair, the weight is distributed over a larger area since the sleeves are nearly 2″ in diameter. Finally, there is the price. Without any weights you’re looking at $135 per handle regardless of weight, $145 per handle for stainless steel.

Worth it? Well compared to the adjustable handle options you’ll see below, just maybe. I mean $270 for a pair plus the cost of some steel change plates isn’t that bad for something that will not only get used, but will also last a lifetime. Like I said, the plates are also useful for our other lifts. Not bad at all.

Adjustable Dumbbells For Sale!

Powerblock Elite 90 Pound Adjustable Dumbbells

Powerblock Elite 5-90 pound dumbbells for sale at Amazon

As adjustable dumbbells go, the Powerblock Elite set is quite popular. Each dumbbell has 28 weight settings from 5 pounds up to an impressive 90 pounds. They have a 10 year warranty and a 5-star review on Amazon based on 44 total reviews. Not too shabby considering that not much has to be wrong with a product for it to be blasted with bad reviews on Amazon. There is an optional stand for the set as well.

The product description claims this replaces 2565 pounds worth of dumbbell pairs. If you’re not too far along in a standard dumbbell collection this may be the way to go. It’s a bit costly upfront but it is cheaper than buying even a fraction of the available weights in standard dumbbell pairs. Price? Approx $550 for the pair. There is also a 5-45 pound adjustable Powerblock.

Ironmaster 75 pound Adjustable Dumbbells

Ironmaster 75 pound adjustable dumbbell set

Another well regarded option for adjustable dumbbells is the Ironmaster 75 pound adjustable dumbbell set. It comes with a stand so you don’t have to pick the weights up off the ground, and each dumbbell can adjusted from 10 to 75 pounds in 2½ pound increments.

This isn’t as quick and easy to change the weight as it is with some of the other adjustable dumbbells, but it is balanced like a true dumbbell. There is an additional package you can buy to raise the max weight to 120 pounds per dumbbell. Price? $529 + shipping; includes the stand. Limited lifetime warranty.

Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set

This is probably what most people think of when they hear adjustable dumbbell since you can find these in the stores. I’d personally rather have the Ironmaster set from above, but this set has nearly 1000 primarily good reviews on Amazon so obviously people like these dumbbells.

The price is way lower than the last two adjustable dumbbells I just showed you, but the warranty is only two years. You’ll save some money up front, but you may not get the same life out of them; I don’t know. There is an optional stand that looks pretty damn fancy. Each dumbbell is adjustable from 5 to 52½ pounds. No way to add to that like the other two. Price? $299 with free shipping.

Edit February 2017: There was a previous version of this product that was recalled for safety reasons (CPSC link). I seriously doubt this issue exists five years later, but on the off-chance any of you try to buy this product used I thought you should be made aware.

Words of Wisdom about Adjustable Dumbbells

Read the reviews! Keep in mind that if you have to send something this heavy back to the seller on your nickle, you’ll not be pleased. Triple-check that the price you see if for a pair and not just a single dumbbell. I’m serious, some companies sell them as single units. Lot’s of complaints about that in reviews. You’ll be pissed off when only one shows up at your door.

So I hope this helps. If you did find this at all helpful, consider sharing this article. Thanks and good luck!

Now that you've got a garage gym and some dumbbells, show it off while supporting this site and funding future reviews!

{ 91 comments… add one }
  • Rammel July 26, 2014, 2:36 pm

    I like the dumb bells rubber hex or iron I’m in need of a nice set
    I prefer 35- 100lbs

  • Dan August 28, 2014, 6:39 pm

    I was skeptical about the Powerblocks, but found a used set on CL and have loved them for years. Can’t imagine my garage gym without them!

    • jburgeson August 28, 2014, 7:17 pm

      That’s awesome. I’m still tied down to rubber hex dumbbells. Such a waste of space lol, but I’m too far in to them now.

  • Gerrat October 4, 2014, 8:47 am

    I have the ironmaster (up to 120lbs). They are awesome! Weight change isn’t super quick, but they are rock solid. Expensive, but they’ll last forever.

    • jburgeson October 9, 2014, 1:32 pm

      I like those the most in terms of design. Not as bulky as some of the others. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Johnny T March 4, 2015, 8:17 pm

    With selectable weights, are they really wide? I have Olympic dumbbell bars and they are really long. When I do chest press I can’t get a full range of motion at the top because they hit end to end. Thanks

    • jburgeson March 4, 2015, 8:31 pm

      I don’t think any other dumbbells are as long as Olympic handles. I’ve seen most of the adjustable dumbbells, and they can be large, but not that large.

  • Pastor John Christy April 25, 2015, 11:47 am

    I am a varsity assistant football coach at Seeger memorial Junior Senior High School in Indiana. We are looking for dumbbells preferably used from 110 pounds on up 140 pounds. Contact me if you can help us please. Blessings

    • jburgeson April 25, 2015, 1:25 pm

      Yeah used, I don’t know other than Craigslist. I’d say look for gym closings or schools that have recently or are in the process of updating their gyms, but even in a commercial gym setting, anything over 100-120 pounds is rare, so there can’t be too many used pairs floating around.

    • David March 13, 2019, 11:04 am

      I know this is way late – but Ironamster has an add-on kit to go from 75 up to 120lbs per dumbbell, and they have yet another add-on kit to take them up to 165lbs per hand (from 120lbs). This add-on kit is always listed as “Out of Stock” simply because they are special order and require you to call in to get them. You cannot put together a dumbbell set up to 165lbs per hand in 2.5/5lb increments and keep the price as low as Ironmaster!

  • Gaylen April 25, 2015, 2:17 pm

    How about the Rubber Weider ones that the local sports store sells. they are ~ $10 – $20 cheaper from 20lb to 25lb pairs. or are they made by CAP and just sold under a different name?

    • jburgeson April 25, 2015, 5:21 pm

      He’s looking for the larger 110-pound+ dumbbells. Usually has to be a commercial brand like Iron Grip, Ivanko, GP, Legend, etc.

  • anon April 30, 2015, 6:45 pm

    You forgot Olympic Dumbbells!

    They are the cheapest option as you can use your existing 50mm weight plates, if you can get shorter ones they’re very useful. I can fit about 25kg (per bar) on my longer ones with smaller plates, and could probably manage more than that even if you get solid plates.

  • Nick May 12, 2015, 5:50 pm

    I have searched everywhere for individual Iron Grip dumbbells. I used them in college and loved them. Any information on these? Thanks a lot !!

    • jburgeson May 12, 2015, 5:56 pm

      I agree, those are very nice. You can’t find them because they’re a commercial product and so few of them ever leave the gym they were purchased for. You can get pricing direct from Iron Grip, or you could ask them for their distributors (it may even be on their site) so that you can price check. They will be expensive though.

      • Bridget October 18, 2018, 4:26 pm

        Got them! You are correct.. Never left my gym! I had a Horrible vehicle accident and after 15 years I had to close the doors. I’m ready to sell.. Let me know if you’re still looking for equipment. Ty

        • David March 13, 2019, 11:14 am

          I’m so sorry to hear about your accident! Where is your gym located? Have you cleared everything out already?

  • Pointer September 29, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I have the PowerBlock Sport 5.0 and I love the quick change convenience, but not the ‘hand’ in a box’ configuration. Heavier than 50 LBS and the price per pound gets absurd.
    With 18 inch straight dumbbell handles, a variety of plates and two sets of quick lock collars, I can go from 55 to 100 lbs faster that you can with IronMaster dumbbells. After 60 lbs, the 4 x 10 lbs + 2 x 7.5 lbs can stay on (first collar) and after 75 lbs, the 4 x 10 lbs + 4 x 7.5 lbs don’t have to be removed. You just collar it and add weights after. Two 18 inch bars with 4 collars each weighing just over 100 lbs each cost less than $ 250 inc. tax. The 90 lb U-90’s cost $950 tax included.

    • jburgeson September 29, 2015, 2:30 pm

      Yeah there is no disputing that handles and plates is the cheapest way to go. The biggest problem ppl have with them is that you have a pole sticking out of each end that makes resting the weights on your legs practically impossible at higher weights. Still though, you are right.

      • Pointer September 29, 2015, 6:17 pm

        I can envision something, a light weight uber strong attachment that fits over that ‘pole’. Something like this: [img]http://i.imgur.com/t2oaH5M.jpg[/img]

  • Pointer September 29, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Just mouse over the link without the ‘img’s’, right click and ‘open’. You’ll see the image. It’s an easily doable thing whose time has come. :)

  • Tony December 27, 2015, 10:14 pm

    So am I reading that your personal preference for adjustable dumbbells would be the iron masters?

    I’m 3 pairs of dumbbells in and wondering if I should switch over before it is too late…

    • jburgeson December 27, 2015, 11:04 pm

      Ya I’d say so. I haven’t look to see if there is anything new, but the simplicity of the Iron Masters is nice. They aren’t as easy to use as the weird units with switches and dials, but those break, so what good are they.

      I have a full dumbbell set, with commercial rack and all. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s worth a fortune and takes up a massive amount of real estate in the gym. I wouldn’t do it again… well, not unless I had a bigger garage and more money than I know what to do with… which I don’t =p

  • Emp100k June 17, 2016, 12:06 pm

    What about the dumbbell with locks that can fit Olympic plates? (small ones). Infinitely adjustable, you can use the plates you already have. Can fit up to five 10kg plates on each side for a total of 229.5lb or anywhere between there and a empty weight of 9.5lb. Note that my 10kg plates aren’t full diameter, they are old cast iron ones that are only like 10 inches or so wide…

  • Kris Fassa June 23, 2016, 12:18 am

    what dumbbell rack is that for the york legacy dumbbells?

    • jburgeson June 23, 2016, 12:37 am

      Not sure exactly, but it’s too small to be commercial so you could probably find something similar and inexpensive on Amazon.

  • Richard V September 9, 2016, 2:42 pm

    I just purchased a bunch of new rubber hex dumbbells from Walmart. CAP brand. They’re sold as a pair and are about $1/lb. there was a special when I bought most of the heaver weights that came out to $.80/lb so that was even better. Free shipping to the store. Can’t get any better than that. No other place I’ve seen sells 17.5 besides Rouge (York brand).

    • Richard V September 9, 2016, 2:47 pm

      Edit, I’ve had my dumbbells for a little over a year and have dropped them multiple times and they’ve held up, even the 8#. no issues from any set of 3 – 45lb set.

  • Dylan December 27, 2016, 8:07 pm

    Full knurling and more handle thickness are my biggest priorities so I’m waiting on these: https://www.repfitness.com/rubber-coated-hex-dumbbells

    Ever heard of this brand or its products? It seems like a good value.

    • jburgeson December 28, 2016, 10:00 am

      That’s a nice idea to put the straight bar instead of the ergonomic bar.

      Yeah I know of Rep. Good company overall, average imported equipment. Even if they aren’t the highest end hex dumbbells, the straight bar and the competitive price might make them okay anyway. You can always test a pair of 20’s or 25’s before you go crazy with a lot of pairs. Just toss them around, drop on one end, roll and bounce them on your rubber flooring. If a head comes loose easily, then don’t keep buying them.

  • Isaac January 21, 2017, 4:18 pm

    I found some of these on craigslist would these work for dumbbell work outs?

    • jburgeson January 21, 2017, 6:16 pm

      They will work for most things. You’re not going to want to rest them on your legs to kick up for the various presses because of the way the handle protrudes on both ends, but for shoulder raises, curls, miscellaneous leg stuff, etc they’ll work.

      • Isaac February 8, 2017, 3:58 pm

        I can probably still do chest presses and flyes huh just have to get around the ends?

        • jburgeson February 8, 2017, 8:19 pm

          Yeah I mean they still work for anything, just the shaft sticking out of both ends makes them uncomfortable to work with at heavier weights; weights that require kicking them up into position.

  • Erin Emmanuel March 21, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Thanks so much for this write-up. I really appreciate your reviews. I’ve actually scoured the internet for hours comparing dumbbells and haven’t been sure what to buy. I’m a personal trainer and in the midst of opening my own gym. I’m obviously looking for the most affordable and highest quality DB (like everyone else). Any updates on what you’d recommend?

    • jburgeson March 23, 2017, 1:29 pm

      If it’s a gym for one-on-one sessions, just basic rubber hex dumbbells. Anything but the box-store stuff. Rogue, York, Vulcan, etc is all good. If you’re opening more of a commercial-style box, you’d be better off buying commercial dumbbells; Ivanko, GP Industries, Rogue’s Urethanes, etc.

  • jordan June 9, 2017, 7:47 am

    What are your opinions on Rogue’s DB10 / DB15 plate loadable dumbbells? I am strongly considering going this route (DB15 SS); however, I have some concerns about them being cumbersome to handle as they are longer than typical fixed dumbbells and not flat on the ends. Not a huge deal, but I’d like your opinion if you have one. Seems like a loadable design is so much more cost effective than buying a set.

    • jburgeson June 9, 2017, 11:25 am

      Loadable handles are definitely more cost-effective than fixed dumbbells, but they have limited usefulness in my opinion. Their biggest issues are with the presses (chest and military/overhead variations.) The handles are painful to rest on the legs and kick up (and definitely cannot be allowed to fall back onto the legs after set), and the handles are so long that the sleeve collide at the top way before lockout. It can be made to work, especially at light weights or with partial reps (or with a spotter handing you weights), but it’ll never be as easy and straight-forward as fixed units.

      I do think loadable handles have their uses, especially when it comes to heavy one-hand lifts like dumbbell rows or the one-arm press, but most of us want to do chest and shoulder presses as much as we want to curl, fly, and lateral raise – and we train alone. They can be made to work, but it’s just good to know what to expect before the money is spent.

      • Tony June 9, 2017, 12:15 pm

        Is the smaller option small enough to avoid some of those drawbacks? Do you know how much weight it can hold using the rogue 10lb change plates?

        • jburgeson June 9, 2017, 12:31 pm

          The DB-10 would be better in terms of the downsides from length, but it holds very little weight. The sleeves are only 92 mm long, and each 10-pound change plate is 26 mm. I think you’ll get maybe two plates per side along with collars. Three plates would not leave enough room for collars, and you can’t not use collars on dumbbell handles. So basically a 50-pound dumbbell – not horrible, but not a lot of room for growth.

          I’m not trying to suggest that the whole idea of dumbbell handles is a bad one, but as a total replacement to adjustable or fixed dumbbells for the standard dumbbell movements, it’s just… lacking. I mean, you can buy a pair of both the DB-10’s and 15’s and have tons of versatility (especially if you have a nice change/fractional plate collection), but now you aren’t saving money anymore, and you still have those discomfort issues kicking them into position for presses.

  • jordan June 9, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Thanks for the reply! Good info.

    So…fixed dumbbells (reasonably priced). Have you formed much of an opinion on Rep Fitness’ dumbbells? I like the idea of the straight handle with knurling. Seem reasonably priced for a generic rubber dumbbell given those upgrades.

    • jburgeson June 9, 2017, 1:31 pm

      I like the idea of the straight handles. I watched Reps for a while because I was going to buy some to check out, but they were out of stock/unavailable in pairs for so long and I kinda just stopped looking. I don’t see any reason not to buy dumbbells from Rep though.

  • Marc June 26, 2017, 12:58 am

    The IronMaster and the Powerblock adjustable dumbbells may someday become part of my garage gym. I have readily found barely used Powerblock Elites with their OEM stand, & 4 chromed add-on weight slugs for $300.00 and less, too. I have not been able to find the IronMasters on the used market very much, but I recently noticed that the IronMaster design was also marketed under the Hoist name as well – there is a set right now on Craigslist in Orlando, FL for $300.00.

    Initially, (total newb here…) I was hell bent on getting the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells. After much online research, including Amazon, I learned that the SelectTech 552 design changed around 2008/2009 – there was an integral piece in the 552 design that was made of plastic and then later changed to metal. The plastic version would often crack and would not be covered under warranty (or something to that effect.) At that point, I kept looking, but would rarely find a pair of the newer Bowflex SelectTech 552 (with red color accents) for under $200.00 used.

    A few days later, on a Sunday morning, I came across a YouTube video entitled “Golds Gym Adjustable Dumbbell Review.” I located a version of this adjustable dumbbell design on Craigslist soon after and quickly obtained them within the next few hours for $80.00 including the stand – it was the version known as “EPIC Powerset 100” (see further below.) I am quite pleased with this adjustable dumbbell. However, I do not intend to drop them to test their hardiness. This adjustable dumbbell design is very easy to use and comes with two dumbbells that go up to 50lbs each. It has been marketed under three different brand names so far, to my knowledge. Here are the 3 versions of this adjustable dumbbell set (the only difference is the accent color used) –

    EPIC PowerSet 100 – previously sold through BJ’s and COSTCO, blue accent color

    WeiderCORE SpaceSaver 100 – sold through Sears, red accent color

    GOLD’S GYM SwitchPlate 100 – yellow accent color

    TIP: When searching on eBay & Craigslist for “adjustable dumbbells”, remember that Sellers often misspell the word dumbbells (i.e. dumb bells, dumbells) so try a few incorrect variations and see what you find!

    • jburgeson June 26, 2017, 2:02 am

      $80 is a good price; $100 being about the most I’d ever suggest paying for those. The normal retail price is absurd considering the design and poor durability when compared to other models.

      I don’t ever, ever include Gold’s Gym gear on this site because it is consistently one of the worst brands available. Even for box-store brands it’s pretty bad (it’s Wal-Marts primary in-store brand btw). Also for the record, I don’t recommend buying strength equipment at Costco – not if you’re serious about lifting. It’s like buying furniture at the grocery store. Might as well be leasing equipment at that point because it’s not stuff that will last.

  • jordan June 29, 2017, 8:28 am

    I have a lead on some good condition Ironmasters 75 lb pair (150 lb set) for $400. Do you think this is a decent second hand price?


    • jburgeson June 29, 2017, 10:29 am

      If they’re in good shape, sure. Lowest I’ve ever seen them is about $300-350 second-hand.

      I’ve been keeping on eye on Ironmaster equipment myself lately – namely those dumbbells and the bench.

      • jordan June 29, 2017, 10:51 am

        Thanks! Wow, I just found another ad for $350 with the stand and they look brand new. Even newer than the $400 pair. He is also selling the IM bench. Looks like for $200. Not sure how good of a price that is on the bench. Definitely would like an adjustable bench around the same time I get dumbbells though.

        • jburgeson June 29, 2017, 12:27 pm

          I saw that post – out in UC. He ignored me lol. Post is old though – I wonder how valid it still is.

          • jordan June 29, 2017, 12:31 pm

            Dang, oh well. There goes my hope on that one. We’ll see.

            Are you located in central TX? I live south of Austin a little ways.

            • jburgeson June 29, 2017, 12:53 pm

              Yeah I have a feeling he sold that stuff long ago and just now doesn’t monitor whatever email he uses for stuff like Craigslist. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear something. I messages him days ago and got nothing though.

              I’m in Austin. That’s how I saw your listing. I don’t generally search CL outside of my area. Certainly never out of state.

              • jordan June 29, 2017, 1:03 pm

                Too funny that you’re in Austin. Would love to check out in person how you’ve cooled and heated it.

  • Will August 17, 2017, 12:06 pm

    I was checking out the Ironmaster dumbbells just now and they’ve actually got another expansion to up them to 165lb!

    Also interesting is I saw that they sell a kettle bell handle that works with your existing Ironmaster dumbbell lock/plates that holds up to 80 lb. Costs 120$ and seems like it saves a lot of money(and space!) on buying various size kettlebells.

    It didn’t mention it but I’m curious if the kettlebells could be increased even further using the 165lb dumbbell expansion? Could potentially be unwieldy if it got too long. I’ll shoot them an email to find out

    • jburgeson August 17, 2017, 1:18 pm

      What do you do with a 165-pound kettlebell though? That’s the question lol

      • Tony September 15, 2017, 2:50 pm

        You could try Goblet squats or strongman type carries I supposed. Deadlifts would be the most obvious use for a KB that heavy but then you may as well use a barbell.

        By some luck I happened to see the IM 75lb set with stand for $250 on CL and even though I don’t really need them for my current programming I snatched them up. They even came with the IM ez curl bar and the Bowflex 5.1 bench included. They look brand new, so total steal. I’ll come back in a month or two and let you know how they are, but first impressions are they are just as sturdy as I was hoping. Pretty stoked.

        • jburgeson September 15, 2017, 5:06 pm

          That’s a pretty good deal indeed. I never see shit like that lol – and I look daily!

          • Tony September 17, 2017, 12:39 am

            Yeah, the CL gods smiled upon me that day, for sure. Honestly I think I’m in a good area because I’ve gotten some pretty good deals so far.

            So far the IM dumbbells are fantastic. I’m already appreciating the flat ends for kicking up the weights when it gets heavy. Everything feels solid and nice and locked in. Also, the knurling is nice and sharp compared to my AB bar and I like it. It feels really good, especially compared to the metal and rubber hex dumbbells that I already have.

            Someday I may consider the KB handle, mostly as a way to transition between big jumps in weight in my kb collection. Going from 24kg to 32kg on a lift can be challenging, for example, and the KB handle would bring micro-jumps to my kb training as an option.

  • Tony September 15, 2017, 3:16 pm

    Or you could be like this guy…


    • jburgeson September 15, 2017, 5:06 pm

      Yeah that’s all him

  • Joe Germaine October 31, 2017, 9:15 pm

    Hi, Joe from Canada again. In your opinion what would be better….cast iron pro style dumbbells or stak urethane dumbbells? same weights similar price

    • jburgeson October 31, 2017, 9:35 pm

      Which cast dumbbells specifically? Single piece dumbbells are usually no frills; often times not even knurled; but they don’t tend to fall apart which is nice. Some are cast heads still mounted to a shaft somehow, and that’s a matter of getting what you pay for normally. The Staks I don’t know about unfortunately, but they claim the heads are permanently attached to the shaft which; along with the use of urethane; is a good sign.

      • Joe Germaine November 1, 2017, 12:19 pm

        I am not sure which company the cast dumbbells are. They look similar to ivanko with the multiple plates and a hex bolt use to keep the weights tight. They are 55’s through 80’s. Very solid. easy to tighten/upkeep. They have good handles with good knurling.

        The stak Urethane ones also have good knurling and I think that they would last a little bit longer because I don’t have to worry about rust build up because of the protective rubber. Or chipping If they got dropped somehow (The other ones are older and still have yet to chip but they have a little rust. Which I could easily clean off)
        I have some of both. I got offered the full set of urethane all the way through 100’s for a good price. I just don’t want to have to have 2 sets of the same dumbbells and have try to sell the cast iron plate dumbbells if the urethane isn’t that much better.

        • Joe Germaine November 1, 2017, 12:21 pm

          The cast iron pro style dumbbells also look similar to the dumbbell picture that starts this article at the top of the page (maybe I mislabeled what kind of dumbbells I have…..)

        • jburgeson November 1, 2017, 12:43 pm

          So if you bought a whole set, how many pairs that you currently own are those replacing?

          There is something to be said for having a full set of the same dumbbells, but you will probably end up selling everything you already have. Depending on how well that goes, that could at least dent the cost of the whole set. Honestly the fewer pairs you already have the more appealing a full set is. If you already have 10+ pairs, and you are happy with those, it might make more sense to just fill the gaps in your set as you can.

          It’s tough cause mostly it’s about your preference, because it sounds like either the Stak or the iron is a viable option. That is, neither of them are shitty dumbbells that themselves will need to be replaced soon. The rust issue almost sounds worth it if they are like that top picture. I’d love to have a whole set of iron like that, but not for any functional reason of course.

          • Joe Germaine November 1, 2017, 3:30 pm

            They are both great sets. I have every dumbbell from 2.5 to 110 they are all nice but many are different used deals I got. I have the nice iron ones from 55’s through 80’s and the urethane from 85’s to 100’s. If I get the Urethane then I would have 55 though 100’s all the same.
            You are right I guess it just comes down to preference because they are both quality.
            Thank you for the advice. I think If I can weasel the deal down lower I will get all the urethane but I’ll keep my sets if the price is too high.

  • Tu Nguyen December 3, 2017, 11:35 pm

    I found a set of used umax poly dumbbells 5 – 25 by 2.5 increments. 25 to 50 by 5 lb increments and 50 to 100 by 10. What would it cost for a brand new set of these?

    • jburgeson December 4, 2017, 12:03 am

      A lot. I don’t know exactly, UMAX is a dealer that gives quotes and doesn’t list prices. It also depends on if they are a current model or a couple years old, five years old, etc. If I were you, I would look at prices of other commercial-style dumbbells for an idea; Iron Grip, American Barbell, Ivanko, etc. You’ll at least get an idea if the price is amazing, bad, or just okay.

  • Brandt Goodwin April 7, 2018, 1:31 pm

    Anybody have any hands-on experience with the York legacy dumbbells? I really like the way they look but I’m curious about the finish on them and overall durability? TIA

    • Brandt Goodwin April 7, 2018, 1:48 pm

      Also, has this product been discontinued? I’m having a difficult time finding them for sale.

      • jburgeson April 7, 2018, 1:51 pm

        Who is to say with York. They may just be behind on production because it looks like they were just basically giving away a bad run of these for 50 cents a pound. If York Direct doesn’t have them to sell then no retailer is going to be getting inventory either. That said, they actually could be discontinued or at least a low priority production item. Amazon was previously the best source. Maybe Ironmind?

  • jordan May 11, 2018, 9:37 am

    Thanks for this guide. After some thought, I think I have changed my mind. Dumbbells are still a little ways off for me, but I have settled on the idea of getting a fixed set from 5-100. It’s going to be the Vulcan Pro Hex dumbbell set and probably a Rogue Universal Storage rack 2.0. Early on, I was all set to get the Iron Master 5-75 + 120lb add on kit. I still think those are great (particularly for saving space), but the truth is that I’d rather pay extra up front for a full set.

    I know it’s a huge waste of space, but eventually I’m going to be using up both sides of the garage anyway. Ha! Also, the way I see it….I’ve got about $5700 into my gym right now, and figure that I’ll spend somewhere between 10-15k when all is said and done (over the course of several years). The difference of a grand or two just doesn’t matter all that much (to me). My health and strength has become a huge priority to me, so I don’t consider it a completely sunk cost (also…it’ll all hold its value relatively well).

    I really appreciate the info on the Vulcan set. Seeing an option that high of quality at nearly the same price as everyone elses cheaper dumbbells shows a lot of value.

    • jordan May 11, 2018, 9:41 am

      As a side note, so far about 80-90% of my gym has been funded by me selling off personal things that I am comfortable parting with (in my case, extra guitar equipment). I sold off about 5k a few years ago, and will probably unload another 3-5k in the next year.

      To anyone thinking I’m rich….far from it. I just accumulated a lot of guitar equipment over the years, and I’m letting much of it go in the name of health and strength.

      Just pointing out that its all about priorities. Luckily, I’ve done most everything without touching “household income.”

      • jburgeson May 11, 2018, 9:48 am

        I try to tell people – even gym dues will pay for a garage gym. Takes having the initial start-up money, sure, but there doesn’t need to be some major lifestyle change to have a gym. Honestly it’s not much different than furnishing a bedroom, and I think we can agree that even non-millionaires furnish their bedrooms somehow.

        I agree with you on the dumbbell set. Fixed dumbbells get used – adjustables get old very fast. Doesn’t take long before you’re not writing into your workout any dumbbell work that requires moving through various weights because it just gets old swapping out plates. Ironmasters probably get old less quickly than like loadable handles, but it’ll still get old.

        • Tony May 11, 2018, 9:53 am

          I have the IMs and programming supersets at different weights or drop sets can indeed get old. But then you start imagining owning a second pair of handles and you feel better.

          • jburgeson May 11, 2018, 9:54 am

            Trick of the trade – imagination haha

          • Tony May 11, 2018, 9:55 am

            A kept my three pairs of fixed dbs that I had before I got my iron masters for that very reason and it comes in handy for sure.

        • jordan May 11, 2018, 10:20 am

          Good analogy! At some point, things just become so important to you that you make other things dissipate in order to accomplish your goals. Luckily, my goal can be achieved at home (it doesn’t even take me away from my family).

          I feel lucky to have what I have (even if I don’t add anything else). It’s a bad ass place to work out. Just ordered the Rogue Echo bike to keep my momentum going. It’s going to kill me!

  • Jake September 11, 2018, 3:39 pm

    Thanks for the great information on your website.

    In your opinion, are a set of 5-75 fixed dumbbells worth the money and space compared to the Powerblock Adjustable dumbbells? I have a rack, bar, and bumpers, but need some help deciding about dumbbells. If I got fixed, it’d be the Vulcan Pros.

    • jburgeson September 11, 2018, 4:58 pm

      Fixed dumbbells are indeed worth the space if you have that space to commit, and they are definitely worth the investment assuming that you have that money to spend.

      Folks tight on cash may need to deal with the inconvenience of adjustable dumbbells, but hey adjustable dumbbells are better than no dumbbells. That said, fixed dumbbells are just so simple to deal with. Set one pair down, grab whatever pair you need and keep on training. When you consider what a good set of adjustable dumbbells cost you realize that while sure, they are less costly, that money would actually dent the cost of a fixed set but a reasonable amount. So yes I vote for fixed if it’s within budget and you actually have the space for a rack big enough to house them.

      The Vulcan Pros with the rubber grip are definitely the best overall dumbbell for a home/garage gym right now. Very comfortable, very grippy, smaller size, durable, and still much, much cheaper than commercial dumbbells.

      • Jake September 11, 2018, 5:48 pm

        Thanks so much!

  • Gavin September 11, 2018, 6:26 pm

    Jburgeson- I am needing and would be interested in buying a set of any weight from 60- 80lb rubber hex db’s you have extra you would be willing to sell?

    Message here or use email provided for site. Thank you


  • Larry January 21, 2019, 6:20 pm

    You hit this article right on.Thanks for the info,
    Larry T

  • Mag Wid November 23, 2019, 7:28 pm

    You clearly have never used adjustable plate-loaded dumbbells, if you think the bar shafts are supposed to rest on your legs

    The plates sit on your legs (shafts are on the side), and it’s not very different from regular dumbbells.

    • Mag Wid November 23, 2019, 7:42 pm

      Biggest problem with the adjustable ones is that the regular 14″ bars can only take 6 5kg plates (even that’s a squeeze). There are longer ones (18″ and 20″) that take up to 10 plates, but these are a really a bit unwieldy… Its not practical to go above 50kg or 110lbs.

      Changing plates is very fast actually (won’t impact anyone’s workout), and used 1″ plates are really cheap. As for the adjustable Olympic DB, they are too clunky, take way to little weight, and nobody has (or wants) 10 5kg Olympic plates anyway. Buying these plates will cost twice as much as buying standard 5kg plates, which are all over CL…

  • Mag Wid November 23, 2019, 7:55 pm

    The biggest advantage with the adjustable ones (aside from price and not taking up half your gym space) is that you can increase the weight in much smaller increments. Fixed DBs typically go up in 2.5kg increments (a whopping 5kg for a pair), but you can use 0.5kg plates on the adjustable ones… This is actually quite an important point.

  • Amir April 27, 2020, 12:55 am

    In a globogym, you have access to 2.5 lb or 5lb increments. I’m taking your advice and buying dumbells as I’lll need them and I’m now easily pressing the 70s. At the gym, I’d just pick up some 75’s on the next chest day. I don’t want to buy 75s now just to need 80s (on up) in a short while. At this end of the spectrum, is it normal to have dumbells jump in 10 pound increments or should I be sticking with 5lb increases? Cost is adding up pretty quick, and jumping up by 10 pounds basically reduces the cost by 50%, so that is where I’m leaning, but throughout my fitness life I’ve always increased dumbells by 5 pounds at a time so want to know if it’s smart to basically have my dumbells from 5-50 in 5 pound increments and from 60 and higher in 10 pound increments.

    • Amir April 27, 2020, 12:56 am

      Typing all that, I realize the answer is to just to more barbell work for chest, but I’ve always focused much more on dumbells. I guess I will just increase by 10 to save costs and if I ever need something in between I will bench to get the strength up to the next dumbell size.

      • Gavin April 28, 2020, 9:48 am

        I broker for about 18-20 different manufacturers of strength/fitness equipment. If you need 80lb DB’s i can likely get you a high quality virgin rubber all black (handles and weights) set of those for less than most anywhere else selling comparable new DBs. Of course as mentioned above, the cheapest way to go for the big weights is the old school solid iron hexs if you have the floor to take those, i.e .rubber flooring in a garage and at 1st floor level dwelling, and not opposed to them looking like crap in short time. You can apply WD40 to them regularly to prevent and even remove some rust, but that creates a new problem if you aren’t careful, as in slippery DB’s that could be a real safety issue depending on if you train with gloves or not. LMK if you want me to source the 80s, can dropship to you.

    • jburgeson April 27, 2020, 9:25 am

      A lot of people, myself included, stop jumping up by 5’s after 50-lbs. It doesn’t make as much sense to have such little increases for big pressing and pulling movements, especially when you factor in the super high cost of those heavy dumbbell pairs.

  • webster johnson May 4, 2020, 8:38 pm

    I need buy some dumbbells asap

  • Mandricardo November 6, 2020, 12:27 pm

    Hey JB, awesome website!

    I’m really undecided between the Ironmasters and the Powerblocks.

    For a number of reasons I’d be inclined to go with the Ironmasters but they seem quite slow to adjust in weight, while the Powerblocks are very fast.

    In my workout B (I exercise twice per week doing two difference workouts, A and B, you know) I perform up to five dumbbell movements. If it takes one minute to “change plates” with the Ironmasters, my workout would last five minutes longer than what it could last if I had the Powerblocks. It’s not that I do drop sets, but I’m fond of very short workouts and of moving fast from one exercise to the next is a way to ensure such brevity.

    One of the reasons I was thinking about buying the Ironmasters is that the only Powerblocks version available in Italy, where I live, is the Sport, which I believe is the lamest of the three (the other ones being the Pro and the Elite). Plus, the Italian dealer has priced the Sport Powerblocks very, very high, compared to what they would cost in the US of A. It’s not that I mind to spend more for the Powerblocks and I think about going with the Ironmasters to pay less, it’s just that it’s a bit outrageous to spend more for the Sport version than what even the Pro version would cost. Up to a few days ago, the same Italian dealer was marketing the very Pro version, and it cost less than what they’re charging you now with the Sport version.

    What do you think?

    Also, can you tell me how much faster do you think the Ironmasters are to adjust in weight compared to simple spinlock plate-loaded dumbbells?

    For the sake of completeness, I totally dislike SelectTech dumbbells, as the mechanism of weight-selection breaks very easily.

    Thank you!

    • jburgeson November 9, 2020, 9:01 am

      Ironmasters are quicker to change weight than spinlock adjustable dumbbells, but not by like a factor of five or something like that. Just moderately quicker and easier. Flicking a switch is always going to be faster though, just like having fixed dumbbell pairs is always going to be faster than that.

      I think the real benefit is the shape of the Ironmasters. They aren’t excessively large, they don’t have any bars poking out of the ends, and this compact size (relative to other adjustable dumbbells) makes them feel better in the hands; more balanced.

      Unfortunately, I can’t do much about your dealer overcharging for Powerblocks. If you want the blocks over the IMs, it may be worth it to you to import from a surrounding country (or even the USA) a commercial set and just be done with it. This way you have something you know will last, and therefore something you won’t have to look to replace for a long, long time. Sounds like the difference in what your dealer is charging for the basic set and what it would cost to import a real set may be negligible because of the dealers high prices.

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