Adjustable dumbbells are great to save space but how do they fare when you want to save money? Let’s see what adjustable dumbbells cost.
A set of dumbbells with selection mechanism that’s adjustable from 5 to 50 lbs. costs $280 – $330. A set with screw collars with the same weight range can be purchased for $105 – $145. A pair of adjustable dumbbells is much cheaper than a full set of fixed dumbbells of the same weight.
What are the numbers behind that statement and why are adjustable dumbbells cheaper than normal ones? Keep reading to find out. Alternatively you can click here to find my favorite pair.
Adjustable dumbbell prices
Let’s get into it and take a look at the prices of adjustable dumbbells.
The prices in the list are current prices at a big retailer. Brands and models have been removed because retailers don’t like prices being listed outside of their platform since the prices change quickly and might not be completely correct. Doing it this way still gives a good impression of what you can expect to pay.
Prices are without shipping & handling and accessories.
|Adjustment mechanism||Price (pair)||Weight lowest||Weight Highest||$/total lbs.|
As you can see from that chart, the average price of a set of adjustable dumbbells is $278.06 with prices ranging from 69.99 to $647. Of course not every set weighs the same. Even though they are adjustable, that doesn’t mean they all go up to the same weight.
That’s why it makes more sense to compare the price per pound. That’s the price per pound of the maximum weight of the dumbbell.
That number is $2.36. This isn’t comparable to the average price of fixed dumbbells since we only looked at the heaviest setting. The beauty of adjustable dumbbells is that you reuse the same weight over and over again for the different total weights.
If you’re interested in comparing fixed and adjustable dumbbells, scroll down to find out more.
Throwing all adjustable dumbbells in a single heap isn’t really fair. We can divide adjustable dumbbells into two categories;
- Screw collar
The first type has some type of knob, button or dial that selects the weight if they’re in the base station. This is a very quick way to change the weights since it’s done in a couple of seconds.
The second type has two collars and a threaded bar. You have to unscrew the collar, change the plates and screw the collar back on. This takes longer than with the selectorized ones.
It’s worth it to dig into the price differences of those two types because they are pretty big.
Let’s take a look at the prices of selectorized dumbbells
|Adjustment mechanism||Price (pair)||Weight lowest||Weight Highest||$/max lbs.|
Now we can see a pretty big difference in average prices by just splitting up the list.
The average price for a set of adjustable dumbbells is about $350. Since not every set has the same amount of maximum weight, it makes more sense to compare the price per pound. Selectorized dumbbells have an average price per pound of $3.02 with a range of $2.31 to $3.59 per pound although the majority is pretty close to the average.
Some sets with a higher maximum weight have a higher price per pound. That might seem contradictory but it isn’t. The higher weights require a higher build quality which costs more money. Also, if you compare it to high weight fixed dumbbells; it’s actually getting cheaper relatively.
Screw collar dumbbells
Now here’s the list of screw collar adjustable dumbbells.
|Type||Set Price||Min Weight (lbs./side)||Max weight (lbs./side)||$/total lbs.|
Clearly the prices for this type are very different. The average price per lbs. is only $1.21 which is much lower than the selectorized type. That is because this type is so much simpler. There is no selection mechanism or base station necessary. That’s a lot of R&D and construction you don’t have to pay for.
It’s by far the cheapest way to get a set of dumbbells in your home gym, much cheaper than adjustable but also fixed dumbbells.
Comparing the price of fixed and adjustable dumbbells.
Being able to use the same materials again makes adjustable dumbbells much more cost efficient even though it looks more expensive if you only look at the maximum weight.
A pair of 50 lbs. fixed dumbbells costs only about $130 where a pair of 50 lbs. adjustable DBs costs about $300. But for that $300 you also get 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 lbs. weights. Now if you would look at a set of fixed dumbbells with the same weights, that will cost at least $700.
Look at it like this
- Selectorized adjustable dumbbells 5 to 50 lbs.: +-$280-$330
- Screw collar adjustable dumbbells 5 to 50 lbs.: +- $120
- Set of fixed dumbbells 5 to 50 lbs. with 5 lbs. intervals: +-$700
It’s easy to see adjustable dumbbells are much cheaper than fixed dumbbells.
An average adjustable dumbbell that ranges from 5 to 50 lbs. only uses 50 lbs. of total materials and one handle. Less material means less cost. Sure you pay more for the selector mechanism but you save a lot of money on materials. So, a full set of fixed dumbbells from 5 to 50 pounds is much more expensive than one pair of adjustable dumbbells
Of course if you don’t need all the different weights, you comparison might look different. Besides that, there are also some other benefits to fixed dumbbells. Fixed dumbbells might last longer than selectorized dumbbells because there is just less that can go wrong.
Cheap adjustable dumbbells
So adjustable dumbbells are a good way to save money compared to a set of fixed ones. But what if you want to get a set as cheap as possible?
There are a few ways you can get your hands on a really cheap set of adjustable dumbbells;
- Shop second hand
- Go for screw collar sets
Plenty of people buy a set of dumbbells with the best of intentions and then barely use them. At some point, a lot of those will end up on the second hand market. So if you have some patience and don’t have your eye on one exact model, keep your eye on craigslist, FB market place, etc. A good deal is bound to pop up sooner or later.
We’ve already gone into the different types of adjustable dumbbells above. Simple adjustable dumbbells with a screw collar that you have to load yourself, are much cheaper than the ones with a more complicated selection mechanism.
Recommended cheap adjustable dumbbells
Screw collar adjustable dumbbells. The best option is the Yes4All set. It comes in many different weights so you can choose what is suitable for you and nor pay more than necessary.
Update: Because of the pandemic the prices of almost all gym equipment has gone up. Check the current price here on Amazon.
Why are adjustable dumbbells so expensive? Adjustable dumbbells are very cheap for what you get. If you compare a single set of fixed dumbbells to a set of adjustable dumbbells, they seem expensive. However, adjustable dumbbells can replace many different pairs of fixed ones. Once you add up the cost of all different fixed dumbbells, you’ll see that adjustable ones are actually cheaper.
Can you drop adjustable dumbbells? Adjustable dumbbells with a selection mechanism should not be dropped. A selection mechanism is more vulnerable than fixed dumbbells. And when the selection mechanism is broken, you just have a set of fixed dumbbells.