6 Pros and Cons of Adjustable Kettlebells

Adjustable kettlebells have become increasingly popular in the fitness world, offering a versatile and space-saving solution for home gyms. These kettlebells provide a range of weights within a single compact unit, making them an attractive option for fitness enthusiasts.

However, like any fitness equipment, they come with their own set of pros and cons that should be considered before making a purchase. Let’s dive into the pros and cons, what to look for when buying adjustable kettlebells, and some alternatives if you feel like they’re not for you.

Pros and Cons of Adjustable Kettlebells


  • Space Saving: You get five or more kettlebells in the package of one large one.
  • Cost-Effective: While an adjustable kettlebell is more expensive than a single traditional kettlebell, they’re much cheaper than buying every weight kettlebell separately.


  • Limited Weight: Adjustable kettlebells usually top out at 40 pounds. While that’s enough for most people, some might need something heavier.
  • Adjustment Mechanisms: The adjustment mechanisms are what make adjustable kettlebells work but they’re also a weak point that can wear.
  • Durability: Traditional kettlebells are just simple balls of steel that will last longer.
  • Price: Many adjustable kettlebells are a bit pricey but they provide a lot for your money.

Pros of Adjustable Kettlebells


Adjustable kettlebells are like a magician’s hat, packing multiple weights into one kettlebell. This means you can have a range of weights without needing a whole rack of kettlebells hogging up your precious workout area. It also reduces clutter and tripping hazards in your home gym.

While kettlebells are not that large to begin with, this space-saving is still very valuable. Especially in situations where space is very limited. If you just do a kettlebell workout in your apartment and don’t have a separate home gym, an adjustable kettlebell can be an amazing solution that helps you have a range of weights at your disposal.

Another good application for these is travel. Taking a range of kettlebells with you is too much but a single adjustable one might just fit in your luggage.


Let’s talk dollars and cents. Buying a full set of traditional kettlebells can burn a hole in your wallet, especially if you buy a range of weights. But with adjustable kettlebells, you get the flexibility of different weights without breaking the bank. It’s like getting a variety pack of weights at a bargain price.

As a way to get started with kettlebells, that’s hard to beat. Especially since you won’t be sure what weight you need exactly. With an adjustable one, you can find a setting that’s right for you.

Cons of Adjustable Kettlebells

Limited Maximum Weight

While adjustable kettlebells offer a variety of weight options, they have a maximum weight limit. Usually, they go up to about 40 pounds. This is enough for most people but if you need heavier kettlebells, fixed options are a better choice.

You can also combine traditional and adjustable kettlebells. Get an adjustable one for lighter weights and then a traditional one for when you need something heavy.

Adjustment Mechanisms

Adjustable kettlebells rely on adjustment mechanisms like dials or pins. While these mechanisms are convenient, they can sometimes be prone to wear and tear or malfunctions. This can result in the kettlebell being hard to adjust or becoming dysfunctional.

Investing in a high-quality adjustable kettlebell helps here. Yes, they cost more but they also last longer.

Durability Concerns

Some adjustable kettlebells may not be as durable as traditional ones, especially if they are made with more moving parts. Over time, wear and tear on the adjustment mechanisms or the kettlebell’s structure could impact its longevity. It’s important to invest in a high-quality adjustable kettlebell to mitigate this concern.

The ones with pins tend to last longer but have less adjustability.

Initial Investment

While adjustable kettlebells can save money compared to buying the same range of weights as traditional kettlebells, they are not cheap. For those on a very tight budget, this upfront cost might be a consideration.

Considerations for Buying Adjustable Kettlebells

When buying adjustable kettlebells, there are several important considerations to keep in mind to make sure you make the right choice. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Weight Range: Evaluate the weight range of the adjustable kettlebell. Ensure it covers the range of weights you need for your workouts. Consider your current fitness level and whether the adjustable kettlebell can accommodate your potential strength gains in the future.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Different adjustable kettlebells use various adjustment mechanisms, such as dials, selector pins, or weight plates. Assess the ease of use and reliability of the adjustment mechanism. Ensure it allows you to change the weight quickly and securely during workouts.
  • Shape: Adjustable kettlebells tend to be bigger than traditional ones. Shape becomes important with size. You don’t want any sharp edges or weird shapes. Try to find one that’s smooth and not too wide.
  • Build Quality: Look for a well-constructed adjustable kettlebell made from durable materials. A sturdy handle and a strong overall structure are essential for safety and long-term use. Check for user reviews and product specifications to gauge the kettlebell’s build quality.
  • Handle Design: Assess the handle design for comfort and grip. A wide and comfortable handle with a non-slip surface is essential for a secure grip during exercises. Ensure that the handle’s design accommodates both single-handed and two-handed movements.
  • Durability: Consider the durability of the kettlebell, especially the adjustment components. High-quality adjustable kettlebells should be able to withstand regular use without experiencing wear and tear. Look for products with a reputation for durability.
  • Price: Determine your budget for an adjustable kettlebell. Prices can vary significantly based on brand, weight range, and features. Compare different options to find one that offers the best value for your investment while meeting your fitness needs.
  • Warranty: Check if the adjustable kettlebell comes with a warranty. A warranty can provide peace of mind regarding the product’s quality and longevity. Be sure to understand the warranty terms and coverage.
  • Brand Reputation: Choose adjustable kettlebells from reputable brands known for producing high-quality fitness equipment. Established brands often have a track record of producing reliable and durable products.
  • Additional Features: Some adjustable kettlebells may come with extra features, such as textured grips, weight markers, or compatibility with specific workout programs. You might or might not want those features.

Alternatives to Adjustable Kettlebells

Are there any alternatives to adjustable kettlebells? Of course, there are the traditional, fixed weight, kettlebells but I’m sure you already thought of that. There are some other good alternatives though.


Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of strength training equipment. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, making them a suitable alternative to kettlebells for many exercises.

However, dumbbells are designed to be held with one hand whereas kettlebells can be held with one or two hands. So dumbbells are not a good alternative for two-handed kettlebell movements.

Kettlebell Gryps

Kettlebell grips, also known as kettlebell grips or kettlebell handles, are designed to transform a standard dumbbell into a kettlebell-like device. They typically consist of a handle-like structure with clips or clamps that can secure a dumbbell securely.

These are perfect if you have a set of dumbbells already and want to explore kettlebell training. These grips are a lot cheaper than a kettlebell and functionally very similar.

There are a few downsides to these handles though:

  • Not as solid as a real kettlebell: While most of these grips are built in a way that is safe, they don’t feel as solid as a real kettlebell, especially with heavier weights.
  • Dumbbells are wide: Dumbbells are wide compared to the same weight kettlebell. This can be an issue with movements like the kettlebell swing where it has to pass through your legs.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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