Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth it?

I’ve been training with a set of adjustable dumbbells for the past couple of years. They have both pros and cons. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a pair of adjustable dumbbells hopefully this post will help your decision.

Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

Adjustable Dumbbell Pros

Space Saving

The biggest advantage of adjustable dumbbells is the small amount of space they take up. If you’ve only got a smaller home gym space, adjustable dumbbells are the perfect solution. A regular dumbbell set isn’t ideal for home use. It takes up a lot of space and if you ever move, transporting them can be expensive.

Can be Cheaper

At the cheapest end of the adjustable dumbbell scale are spin lock dumbbells. You can pick up a decent set of these for under $50. If you’re just starting out with strength training, a spin lock set of adjustable dumbbells is a perfect starting place.

More Variety

My current set of adjustable dumbbells goes from 2kg all the way to 32kg. This means I can use this one set for a huge variety of exercises. If I was to purchase the similar weights as regular dumbbells I would need 16 different sets. Most people with a home gym wouldn’t bother getting that many dumbbells and in turn this would limit their progression.

Adjustable Dumbbell Cons

Not as Solid

Regular dumbbells are usually solid as a rock and will last a lifetime or more. You don’t need to worry about dropping them.

While the durability of adjustable dumbbells vary a lot, they definitely shouldn’t be dropped. At the stronger end of the scale you have spin lock dumbbells. These are pretty solid and can tolerate drops. Designs like the Ironmaster Dumbbells are also incredible durable and strong.

I definitely wouldn’t get a set of cheap adjustable dumbbells (apart from spin locks). I’ve see some pretty dodgy designs and quality issues.

Good Adjustable Dumbbells are Expensive

I currently train using a pair of Nuobells. While these adjustable dumbbells are fantastic, they are also expensive. You could end up paying more than if you’d bought regular dumbbells. Of course the advantage is you get the same weights in a smaller size.

Not as Heavy

The heaviest adjustable dumbbells tend to go up to around 40kg. There are some spin lock dumbbells that can go much heavier but most adjustable dumbbells top out around 20-40kg.

Obviously you can get fixed dumbbells that are much heavier.

However in terms of price to weight, adjustable dumbbells usually work out to be a much better deal as you get more weights in one. And heavy fixed dumbbells usually cost hundreds of dollars each.

Can be Time Consuming

Depending on the design of the dumbbell, changing weights can be a bit of a process. The quickest adjustable dumbbells are the Nuobells which are basically as quick as picking up a set of fixed dumbbells. Powerblocks, Powertrain and Ironmaster dumbbells take more time to change. And spin lock dumbbells take the most time and can be a bit annoying.

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth it?

For a home gym, I think adjustable dumbbells make a lot of sense. You get a huge range of weights in the one product. For most people, there will be enough weight in these dumbbells for quite a bit of progression.

A good pair of adjustable dumbbells will last a long time. Depending on the type you get, they can also be incredibly convenient. I can go from 2kg to 20kg in a matter of seconds.

Note - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links on this site are affiliate links and I may earn a commission.