Guide To Buying Dumbbells

December 16, 2021 8 min read

guide to buying dumbbells

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or exercise newbie, you may have considered buying dumbbells for your home gym.

After all, this versatile piece of equipment can be used in conjunction with most other calorie-blasting exercise equipment or as a weight-building tool all on its own.

But what do you need to look at when buying your first set of dumbbells? 

Or perhaps you are looking for an upgrade to your current set and you are overwhelmed by the variety on the market?

Many dumbbells come with a pretty price tag and you may want to do some research before you invest.

To simplify this process, we have compiled the ultimate guide to buying dumbbells. This step-by-step guide will ensure that you make the right decision for your needs.

So, read on to find out exactly what you need to look out for before investing in a new pair of dumbbells.

Guide To Buying Dumbbells

Dumbbells are one of the most popular (and most basic) types of exercise equipment and their popularity is still on the rise.

This is mostly because of their versatility and the fact that they can add resistance to any type of workout you do.

But before we begin, let’s look at the most important questions to ask when shopping for dumbbells.

For example, do you want thebest dumbbells for home use at a fair price or are you willing to splurge a bit? How much space do you have? And what do you want out of your dumbbells in terms of the look and feel?

If you already feel overwhelmed, keep calm because we have asked all the necessary questions, so you can take the guesswork out of it. 

After reading this guide, you will know all there is to know on how to make the best choice when buying dumbbells. Let’s look at the most important question first. 

What Will You Be Using Them For?

The type of dumbbell you choose is all going to depend on what you want to use it for.

For example, as an addition to cardio exercise, the dumbbell needs to be lightweight and have a good sense of grip. 

This will ensure that you can hold onto them while engaging in cardio exercise or doing a brisk walking exercise.

For weight training, you may want to have a variety of sizes and work your way up. Think shoulder presses and bicep curls. 

For these types of exercises, you need a heavier dumbbell so that you can actually feel the muscles in your shoulders and arms working.

So before you make any decisions on the type of dumbbell, firstly consider what you want to use them for.

How Much Space Do You Have?

buying dumbbells advice

If you’re thinking dumbbells don’t take up a lot of space, you are probably right. But, it is important to remember that many of us do not have a dedicated space for a home gym.

In most cases, you probably have one corner of a room or some space between the couch and the tv to roll out your exercise mat.

For this reason, it is important to consider the size of the dumbbells and where you want to put them. If you want a huge set of various sizes, it will probably not fit snugly underneath your coffee table.

If you have a dedicated shelf for your dumbbells, you have to ensure that they fit and that they won’t roll off in different directions.

Also, remember that it is not a great idea to place your dumbbells on the floor where people can trip over them or stub their toes.

So after deciding what you will use them for, consider where you want to place them before you make a purchase.

It should also be noted that some bigger sets of dumbbells come with their own storage rack or case, which will make them easier to store away in your home.

How Heavy or Big Should They Be?

Once you have a dedicated space to put your dumbbells in mind, you can start looking at a size that is suitable for your needs.

Again, the size will depend on what you want to do with them.

Different exercises have different weight requirements e.g., a bench press will require a heavier resistance than a lateral shoulder raise because it engages bigger and stronger muscles.

But, the size is also dependent on your own size and strength.

For example, female dumbbells are often more lightweight than those for males. In fact, the recommended weight range for the average female is between 2kg and 12kg.

If you are an exercise newbie, you probably also need to wait before you invest in a heavyweight dumbbell.

Rather start small, and work your way up from there.

In general, a good recommendation is that you will need to increase the weight of your dumbbells every one to two months depending on your exercise regime.

Do You Need Something Fixed And Grippy?

There are twodifferent types of dumbbells, fixed dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells (more on that later).

Fixed dumbbells have a set weight and are more or less the type you have in mind when you think of dumbbells.

They are stable and sturdy and offer great grip.

Each dumbbell has a certain weight so if you want to change it up, you need to switch dumbbells.

This also means you probably need more than one set (1,3 and 5 kg are good for an entry-level training session with lots of cardio).

Or, you can up the weight to 10kg if you are a bigger (or stronger) guy (or girl).  

These are a popular option but they require more storage space since you will probably have more than one pair lying around.

And even when you only buy a single pair, you will probably need to increase the weight eventually and end up buying a new pair very soon.

But, despite this, many people see this as an easy and effective dumbbell to support their exercise needs.

Or Do You Prefer The Adjustable Type?

buying dumbbells guide

If you have limited space and want more versatility and flexibility in terms of your weight requirements, the adjustable dumbbell is for you.

Adjustable dumbbells come with a standard centre, with weight discs of various sizes to be placed on the ends.

These are also called threaded collar dumbbells because the handle has threaded ends and you load up the weight disc of your choice and screw them to the collar to ensure that they remain in place.

This provides great variability in terms of the weight that you want to load and this can be adjusted as you go along.

For this reason, they are often considered the best all-in-one dumbbell for home use. A newer, and less familiar type of adjustable dumbbell allows you to choose the weight with a simple dial system.

Adjustable dumbbells are a good option if you have limited space since you have one dumbbell that you can adjust according to your needs.

But, when you look at the threaded collar dumbbell, you will find that the bar that you grip is slightly less sturdy than your average fixed dumbbell.

For this reason, they are often considered uncomfortable to use.

An adjustable dumbbell that allows you to select the preferred weight presents a solution to this issue of grip but they are quite expensive.

In addition, the selector mechanism can easily break if you drop your dumbbell, which means they are more vulnerable to damage.

So all in all, fixed vs adjustable dumbbells provides various benefits and it is all about your priorities when making a choice between the two.

What Should They Be Made Of?

Once you have decided the type of dumbbell, it is important to note what the dumbbell is made of.

Dumbbells are either made of bare steel, chrome, or rubberized material.

Most people opt for a steel or rubberized dumbbell.

For an adjustable dumbbell, the middle handle will generally be made of steel and the discs will be made of chrome or cast iron (or have a rubber coating that makes it easier to handle).

Rubberized fixed dumbbells mean the entire dumbbell is coated in rubberized material.

The chrome option consists of bare metal with rust protection, but rubber-coated dumbbells are an appealing option for those who enjoy a firm grip.

They also make less noise when dropped and will suffer less damage from falls and bumps. 

As an added bonus, fixed rubberized dumbbells often come in different colours.

Thechrome ones will last longer but have a slightly more rustic feel, which some people might prefer but are not to everyone’s taste.

How About The Shape?

dumbbell buying guide

Dumbbells come in two shapes, either round or hexagonal.

There is really not much of a difference between these two in terms of using them during exercise.

But, one major benefit of a hexagonal dumbbell is that it doesn’t roll away when you place it down somewhere.

This is really great if you need to place your dumbbells on the floor or on a shelf because it will keep them in place.

How Much Do You Want To Spend?

If you have taken all the above factors into account, it’s time to decide on a budget.

The price range of various types of dumbbells differs based on a variety of factors.

Imagine finding the perfect dumbbell, just to realize that it is way over budget.

So, look at the factors that will affect the price of a dumbbell and the best dumbbells for your price range.

We will also discuss the general price range for dumbbells so that you do not spend more than you need to.

First of all, one pair of fixed dumbbells of a certain weight is a good entry-level option for exercise newbies.

You will only be buying one pair and if you go for a lightweight option (such as a 5kg pair) you won’t pay more than $30.

But, the heavier the fixed dumbbell set, the more the price will increase.

So, if you are looking for something on the heavier side, it may be cheaper to opt for an adjustable dumbbell set.

This will allow you to pay the same price you would for a heavier set of fixed dumbbells but with more variety in terms of the weight it provides.

An adjustable dumbbell set will cost you between $50 and $150 depending on the required weight, with heavier sets costing you more.

So, the main thing that affects the price of a dumbbell is the weight.

The heavier the dumbbells, the more the price increases.

For this reason, if you are interested in heavy lifting, you will save money by buying an adjustable set but if you only need a few lightweight options, you can get away for under S100 for more than one set of fixed dumbbells.

Final Remarks

It is difficult to establish a one-size-fits-all dumbbell that will work equally well for all people. 

There are so many different factors that need to be taken into account when making a purchase. 

But, there are several factors you can look out for, which will make your experience of using the dumbbells more efficient, despite what you end up choosing.

For example, before buying a dumbbell, you might want to look for something that:

 Is suited to your exercise regime

  • Is the correct weight and size for your needs
  • Is suitable for your own weight and size
  • Comes with a rack or storage case if you have limited storage space
  • Has a rubber coating, which offers protection against damage and prevents injury
  • Has a hexagonal shape to ensure its stability
  • Suits your budget

If you take the above factors into account and can make the best decision between adjustable and fixed sets, you are sure to enjoy all the benefits that dumbbells can offer you.

 Not only can they enhance your at-home fitness experience, but they have also been proven to be one of the most effective tools for weight loss and strength training. 

So, why not invest in a pair that can last and support you on your fitness journey?

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