If you’re going to train with weights, dumbbells are almost a requirement. Single-arm, single-leg, isolation movements, and loaded carries are just the very beginning of an almost endless list of possibilities.
In fact, when paired with an outstanding bench, you could train for a lifetime with just dumbbells and do very well for yourself.
For most home gym owners, a great set of adjustable dumbbells will be the right choice. They are the most space-saving and cost-effective option. For a select few, a full set of fixed weight dumbbells will be the right choice.
If you are looking for great deals on home gym gear, make sure to check out my deals page here!
What not to buy
The first thing to stay away from are sets that are highly limited in their maximum weight. Amazon is riddled with cheap sets of adjustable dumbbells that top out at 25 or 35 lbs. To me, that’s a waste of time and money.
The second thing to stay away from is the fly by night companies out only to make a buck. I’m updating this page in January of 2021, and adjustable dumbbells are selling for stupid amounts of money.
Because of this, a lot of shoddy manufacturers have thrown their hats in this ring. I have some friends and family who have purchased these, and without exception, they are awful.
Stick with the big three: BowFlex, Iron Master, or Power Blocks. I’ve owned and trained with all 3. For various reasons, I feel that Power Blocks are the best option (by a mile), but all 3 are good products.
If I were to sell all my gear and start from scratch, I would not need to shop around or consider trying different dumbbells than I already own. To me, the choice is clear in both adjustable and fixed weight dumbbells.
For that reason, I’m not going to post a ton of options here. I’m going to post two—one for adjustable and one for fixed weight. You’ll be thrilled with either one!
Recommended Adjustable Dumbbells
I’ve tried pretty much every adjustable dumbbell available. In my opinion, the PowerBlock 90 lb. adjustable dumbbell set is the best of the bunch.
That’s not a knock on the others. There are some excellent adjustable dumbbells on the market. But PowerBlock has been doing this longer than most and really has their product dialed in.
They are quick and easy to adjust. You can move from weight to weight with almost no delay. They come in weights up to 90 lbs. This is a lot more than many of their competitors.
They are well built, balanced, and very comfortable to use.
I love my PowerBlocks, and if I had to buy adjustable dumbbells again tomorrow, I’d buy the same set I have now without a second thought!
I would also buy the stand! That’s something I waited on when I first bought my PowerBlocks, and I shouldn’t have. Getting them up off the ground makes them a lot easier to use. Not to mention they look great in my gym sitting on their matching stand!
Recommended Fixed Weight Dumbbells
I really enjoy my adjustable dumbbells. They are perfect for my limited garage gym space and a limited budget. I think they are the best choice for most home gym enthusiasts.
If you have the room and the budget, though, you are better off going with a full set of individual dumbbells. Especially if your programming calls for a lot of dumbbell work.
These sets can get pricey fast, and they don’t need to be. I think an amazing balance of price and quality can be found in the Rep Fitness dumbbell sets. You can get them bundled with a rack and in a variety of weight ranges.
You can buy just what you need and nothing more!
The Rep Fitness dumbbells have chrome-plated straight (not weirdly rounded like many dumbbells), fully knurled handles. The handles are a larger diameter in the heavier weights too, which is a really nice touch. They feel amazing in your hand!
I’ve used these dumbbells on quite a few occasions, and I’ve loved using them each and every time. They are definitely the set I would buy if in the market for this type of gear!