Adjustable dumbbells are like "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." The ones that are durable aren’t affordable. The ones that are affordable aren’t durable. Or if you can find one that is durable and affordable, it’s a total pain to adjust the weight.
The best adjustable dumbbell will check all the boxes. But that’s harder to find than a good bowl of porridge.
Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbells
There are many benefits to adjustable dumbbells. For many lifters, the biggest bonus is they take up minimal space, making them ideal for a home gym. Instead of a whole rack of dumbbells, you only need one pair.
Adjustable dumbbells can also be less expensive than a full set.
If you have a pair that’s easy to adjust, they can save a little time during your workout, too.
Qualities of the Best Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re shopping for an adjustable dumbbell, look for one with all three of these characteristics:
- Easy and quick adjustments
Most affordable adjustable dumbbells are the super basic style where you have to put small weight plates on a short bar and screw the end caps on. These can be inexpensive, but they’re time-consuming to change, and you still have to find somewhere to store all the mini plates, unless you want to fully reload the dumbbells when you’re done (which takes even more time).
If you want to make that adjustment quicker, you’re likely going to sacrifice price or durability. The quick-switching types that don’t crumble if you drop them can be thousands of dollars. Whereas the affordable ones might end your workout with a plate dropping on your head (ahem, speaking from experience).
The Best Adjustable Dumbbell
The best adjustable dumbbell will balance all three of those features. When REP designed our new QuickDraw™ Adjustable Dumbbells, that was the goal.
Because we value accessibility and fitness for all, we wanted it to be reasonably priced – at or below the most popular options on the market.
However, durability was our number one priority (safety first, right?). We’ve had a lot of fun doing drop tests of the dumbbells. We’ve dropped the fully loaded 60lb dumbbells from 36” at pretty much every conceivable angle, any way you could drop a dumbbell. We’ve also tested them in different temperatures and humidity levels. In freezing weather, in high heat, you name it – all without failure. We’ve tortured these poor guys enough that we’re confident to call them drop-resistant.
As for the adjustment mechanism, REP's adjustable dumbbells have an easy-to-use switch. Just flip the switch to link the plates into the previous plates (each connects to the previous plate, and only the final one connects to the handle).
That switch is part of what makes the dumbbells so durable (in addition to the materials and other design choices). When you flip the switch, a pin extends through the dovetail and locks the cast-iron plates together.
Goldilocks, you can stop looking.