The Ultimate Guide To Choosing a Perfect Dumbbell Set

Dumbbell Sets are another popular choice for both weight lifters and fitness trainers. While some exercise aides are made specifically for intense weight training, dumbbells are also popular among people who simply want to stay fit, or want to tone their contours as opposed to building major muscle mass.

What is a dumbbell set?

Dumbell sets are composed of different dumbbells, each bearing a different weight to offer the user varying difficulties in weight training. Dumbbell sets often come in one or more pairs, with each pair bearing the same weight, one for each hand.
Purchasing your very first set might be a bit overwhelming, especially since there are different types of dumbbells in the market. If you are on the lookout for your very first set, here is a buying guide to make sure you get the right dumbbell set for your money.
Here are a few DOs and DONTs that you need to keep in mind when purchasing a Dumbbell Set:
  • DO keep in mind what you need a dumbbell set for. There are different kinds of dumbbells and all target a different goal, be it for muscle building, general fitness or weight training.
  • DONT settle for one factor alone when purchasing your dumbbells. For example, if price is your major concern, don’t neglect all other factors like durability, size, and material.
  • DONT focus on a single review. Try to search for as many testimonials, both positive and negative, regarding certain brands before making your choice. Even if the source seems credible, get a second, third and fourth opinion.

Where to Start?

This is the factor most people put considerable weight on, since dumbbell sets are known to be particularly expensive. While they are cheaper compared to other weight training equipment, it still can dent the pockets a bit. This is why most people conduct their search for the most affordable set around. However, cheap doesn’t guarantee quality; in most instances, you do get what you pay for.

Some dumbbells may be cheap, but you will find yourself not using them very much because they’re of poor quality. If you just want dumbbells as part of your regular fitness routine, you can get away with purchasing cheaper ones because you won’t use them as much.
A typical set that’s composed of around 10 dumbbells will set you back $300-$400. This is good enough for people at home who simply want to do fitness exercise to moderate weight training. For fitness trainers, weight lifters and muscle builders, high-end sets are available with a wider weight selection. This costs around $1,000-$1,500 for the whole set.
To determine what kind of dumbbell set you need to purchase, consider why you need them and how often would you be using them. Some sets are targeted towards fitness enthusiasts, with weights starting at 5 pounds, while others are designs for professional lifters, with weights going around 550 pounds. Consider what your starting point is, and determine what your goal is in terms of weight lifting. Are you going to build major muscle, or do you simply want to tone your arms?

Fixed Versus Adjustable Dumbbells

While dumbbell sub-categories may seem plenty, they all boil down to two types: the adjustable ones and the fixed ones. Adjustable dumbbell sets come with one main bar, and several weight loads. If you want to move up another weight load, all you have to do is to unscrew the load from the bar and replace it with a heavier load. This can save a lot of space if you live in a small home.
If your dumbbell is fixed, it cannot be taken apart so each dumbbell accommodates only one weight load. While the fixed dumbbell set may consume space, other people like to display their dumbbell set, usually in a stand that comes with the set, together with their other equipment at home.


The dumbbell plates are the most important part of a dumbbell because these are where the weight loads are. Most plates are made of iron and only vary in finish or color. Plates come in different weight loads, and can go as low as 1.25 pounds up to 45 pounds. With adjustable dumbbells you can fit up to 3-5 plates on each side of the handle, depending on what your fitness or training requirements are.
Go for handles that have a circumference of one inch, because this is also the standard hole size of dumbbell plates. This way, if you should need to replace your plates, it will still fit into your current handle. Most handles are made of steel or chrome and have bar collars at each end. However, a lot of manufacturers are now making handles with threaded ends to ensure that the weights are locked firmly, making for a safer workout experience.

Dumbbell Maintenance Tips

  • If your dumbbell set is made from iron or similar materials, never leave it outside. They tend to rust easily, especially the handles because of the sweat from your hands. If you must leave them outside, remember to cover them to prevent moisture from the air from sticking to the dumbbells. Also, regularly lube your dumbbells with an oil-based lube to keep rust from settling.
  • Clean your dumbbells with a cloth or rug after using them to prevent sweat and oils from your hands from transferring to the handles. Keep your dumbbells in their rack or closet when not in use, as these can pose as a safety hazard, especially if you have children in the house.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, this buying guide has made it easier for you to contrast and compare brands that have caught your eye and has shed some light on the things you want to know about purchasing dumbbell sets.
Remember, while it’s important to find sets that are affordable, make sure that it will last long and serve its intended purpose as well. Keep your purchase as secure as possible by taking advantage of companies with great customer service and offer products with money-back guarantees and warranties. With this buying guide, plus time and dedication spent in research and dumbbell set hunting, you are sure to find the right set for your money and needs.


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