Guide to Buying Dumbbells in 2023 – Which Are The Best To Buy?
Wanna Buy Dumbbells?
One of the most used pieces of equipment through the ages has always been a pair of dumbbells. If you are in the market for a pair of them, used, adjustable dumbbells, or a complete set, then you are at the right place. There will be a lot of help for you in this article, hopefully.
Dumbbell And Its Types
What Weight Should I Lift ?
If you’re starting out, you need to find out what your strength levels are. There are many ways to do this, one of which is to get to a gym for a few months. You can figure out your body mechanics and then arrive at a conclusion about the amount of weight you are likely to lift. If you want to find out what kind of weights you should be lifting, there a simple test that I’ve recommended to clients they use.
After you’ve put your body through an adequate warm-up, you then need to start off with lighter dumbbells first. Stand against a wall, shoulders and elbows bracing it. Curl the dumbbells for 14 to 22 reps. If you are able to maintain your curling form for longer than 22 reps, then you need to go heavier. If you feel tired out before 14 reps, then you need to go lighter. If you think you can get to one more set after a bit of rest, then you are doing fine.
Is Used Dumbbells Good ?
There is no shame in thinking about a used pair of dumbbells. I started off with them and until I found the zest for bodybuilding on a daily basis, I retained them. Another fact is that dumbbells are expensive! One of the easiest and cheapest ways you can get your hands on them is getting them used. You might not get the pair you were looking for, but you’ll save a bundle in the process.
I’ve talked about craigslist in a lot of my earlier articles. I’m going to mention that here as well. If you know your way around it, you can find great deals on dumbbells. This is true especially March onwards when people’s resolution to be fitter crumble into cookies and pizzas. I’m on craigslist right now (December) and there are plenty of options for beginners and experienced folk alike.
If you live in a city with a used sporting goods store, great! We have this place called Play It Again Sports. Google can give you the answers you are looking for with regards to this. There has to be a commercial outlet that deals with used sporting goods definitely.
You could also browse through popular fitness forums like bodybuilding.com which are pretty busy all through the year. They are neat and have information to look through in neatly categorized spaces.
Crossfit.com is especially populated, your chances of you finding a good deal on there are pretty good. They also have a separate forum space dedicated to used goods, but you have to understand that chances they live close to you may depend on your luck.
Some classifieds also carry good deals on used equipment, garage or yard sales outside your house. The chances that you can find a good pair are pretty slim but go ahead and get it done so you leave no stone unturned. You could also go online to eBay which can target local sellers.
Getting New Dumbbells?
If you’re here then I gather that you’re looking for a new pair because you couldn’t find good ones used or you decided that you might as well take the plunge and invest into a new pair.
You can get a new pair of dumbbells for your home garage gym by 2 different methods. One, you can buy them as a pair which will get you savings from the store. You can also get them as a full set, which means that you need to have a good amount of space in your home for a garage gym set up. The weights range from 5 lbs to 50 lbs with increments in 5 lbs.
[pullquote align=’none’]Read this! Unless you are looking to buy a commercial set of dumbbells, there is no reason you should get them all at once. You are not going to save a penny when you get them all together other than the fact that it can be convenient to get them all at the same time. Also, these full sets sometimes omit the 2½ lbs increments that can be important to some people. What I did was to get what I needed, when I needed and in the end I had a set of dumbbells which are the ones I wanted and not a pre-selected set.[/pullquote]
Fixed Weight Dumbbells
These are the most traditional forms of dumbbells in the market. Chances are that when you are talking about dumbbells, this is the image most people get in their head. And this is for good reason, because it is simple and it has worked for generations!
Since this is molded and has no moving parts, it works straight out of the box and has zero complications. The obvious disadvantage is that you need more of these to get a flexible workout. If you have a small workout space, then this can be a problem.
An advancement over the fixed series, these can take or lose weights depending on the situation or workout. When compared to traditional dumbbells, the advantage is that you can customize the weights you are going to use. This gives your garage gym a lot more flexibility than fixed dumbbells, and there are very little chances of you outgrowing your adjustable dumbbells when compared to the former.
When you are talking disadvantages, here you need to choose what exactly you need to buy based on their build quality. What we mean here is that the cheaper ones will have issues with fit and finish. Because these dumbbells have a lot more moving parts, this issue becomes critical as you don’t want dumbbells weights that move around.
Hex, Round or Square Dumbbells
Over the years, we have seen the evolution of the dumbbell into a variety of shapes and forms. The most common shapes available right now are round, square and hexagonal. And it’s an evolution which has made sense because a hex or square dumbbell is probable to roll around and get in the way of your workouts. Some of them even have different colors to identify weights easier and keep workouts from stagnating.
Another classification is the material with which they are made. Some people like iron dumbbells, some people like them coated with rubber (bumper). Let’s take a more detailed look at hex dumbbells in particular as it seems the most popular among most choices now.
Hexagon Dumbbells – Iron
The cheapest and most effective solutions for getting started with are the Iron Hex Dumbbells. One of the first thing a person at any sporting goods store shows you when you ask for dumbbells. They are not known for their aesthetics and it never stands out in a crowd. They don’t look great, your floor will crack if you drop them, and sometimes flashing on them can cut you. The cheap powder coating can flake off leaving it exposed. But the good part is that they are correct when it comes to poundage and you get what you paid for.
Hexagon Dumbbells – Rubber
Rubber coated iron hex dumbbells are the way to go if you are looking for the cheapest quality alternative for getting dumbbells into the gym. Rather than having just plain casting to hold on to these feature an ergonomic steel handle with chrome finish and knurled for extra grip. If you do happen to drop them on the floor, they’ll just bounce harmlessly rather than just cracking the floor. Don’t try this on your foot though!
You won’t have trouble finding them on the market as a lot of manufacturers make them. But let me remind you again, avoid CAPs. I stress on this because I’ve owned them and had plenty of bad experiences with them. Handles coming loose, stuff breaking apart, ridiculous wear and tear, the list goes on. You only need to look at the complaints section of any store selling them to find out why.
Which Are The Best Dumbbells For Sale?
Rogue Fitness and York are both quality manufacturers of fitness equipment and their dumbbells are not different. I checked out a pair of 25 lbs from online retailers. You can opt for other brands as well but make sure you read up on them, especially when you buy them off online retailers. One thing to note is that rubber is going to stink. Just like they do on bumper plates in your gym. I know, its revolting.
York Legacy Dumbbells
A faithful rendition of the traditional York original dumbbells, it’s also named the same. They are black colored iron dumbbells with 33 mm diameter knurled handles that are permanently embedded into their heads. They look really slick and can increase your home garage gym’s coolness factor by a few notches. Thought they look like rubber, they are not, so keep that in mind.
Rogue Rubber Hex Dumbbells
If you want no-nonsense, straight up quality gym equipment, then you definitely already know Rogue. These Rubber Hex Dumbbells are no different, it comes with all their trademark build quality encased. It has a chrome-plated handle bar which gives you a comfortable grip, and it is pretty durable and doesn’t flake off that easily.
It comes in weight ranges between 2.5 – 125 lbs and with handle diameters from 25mm till 10 lbs and 35mm above 12.5 lbs.
CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell
Another quality manufacturer of weights and plates, CAP makes a pretty good version of rubber coated dumbbells. These look quite similar to the Rogue variety and just as durable. But with this you get a lot of different colors which can make your workout space a lot less dreary than those plain black dumbbells.
Find The Right Adjustable Dumbbells!
Adjustable dumbbells are quite popular these days and for good reason. They give you the convenience of an entire rack of dumbbells in an ultra-compact form factor. They are really useful for people for whom space is premium and don’t like clutter lying around their home gym. Using the right adjustable dumbbells also make you tough and disciplined in your gym habits in the long run.
Powerblock Elite Adjustable Dumbbells (90 pounds)
As far as adjustable dumbbells are concerned, the Powerblock Elite has had lots of good reviews all around the world. The weight range is from 5 lb to a pretty impressive 90 lb with a 28 step setting. They have a 10 year warranty and are rated 5-star on most online retailers’ feedback pages.
The product description claims that this can replace 2565 pounds of dumbbell pairs. While it might be a bit more expensive than traditional dumbbells, you have to take into account that it can help you save buying a lot of dumbbell pairs in the future. It doesn’t cost much for a pair and there is also a 5-45 lb adjustable PowerBlock.
Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells (75 pounds)
Another popular option for your fitness needs is the Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells set. It has it’s own stand so you won’t hurt your back when you pick weights up. The adjustments range from 10 to 75 lbs in 2½ increments which is great.
While weights are not changed quickly or easily, it holds balance like a true dumbbell. There are additional packages that you can purchase which extends weight options to about 120 lbs per dumbbell. They are priced reasonably and include the stand as well. Lifetime warranty applicable.
Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells (52.5 pounds)
The de facto standard when it comes to adjustable dumbbells, images of Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells are the ones that flash first in the consumers mind when they hear adjustable dumbbells. You can find them in stores and online retailers. They have over a 1000 good ratings so it’s true that people like them a lot.
Personally though, I’d prefer the Ironmaster for the reasons I’m going to share with you now. The optional stand that comes with these is pretty flimsy and not built well. The warranty period is just 2 years. This is pretty dismal when you compare it with other brands in this review. You might save money upfront, but these don’t inspire the same confidence in me as the other two.
Finishing It Up
First thing you need to keep in mind is to read up all you can about dumbbells from the internet. Remember that you can’t send this back like you do your defective watch as it’s gonna weigh a lot. Another thing you need to check is if the price is for single or a pair of dumbbells. I wish I was kidding about this! More than a few companies sell them as single units as well, so you’re going to pull your hair out when you find you ordered that instead of the pair.
Regardless of whether you choose to go with a new dumbbell or used, traditional or fixed, you need to make sure that you get to workouts regularly and on time. Regular workouts can have a positive effect on your physical and mental health. All the best, keep pumping iron!