Dumbbells can be surprisingly expensive. What should you expect to pay for a set of dumbbells? Here are the answers you’re looking for.
You can expect to pay an average $1.67 per pound for dumbbells which means about $950 for a full set from 5 to 50 lbs. Cast iron dumbbells without any coating are the cheapest (+-$1.20/lbs.) which means about $680 for a full set. Heavier dumbbells are cheaper per pound than light ones.
If you want a deeper dive into the numbers and how I got them, keep reading.
Warning: Because of Covid, most gym equipment prices have gone through the roof and are quite unstable. This data below is from before so you can expect to pay significantly (at least double) more at this point in time. Hopefully over time the prices will return to a normal or at least stable level over time.
I’ve taken a sample of different brands, models and types of dumbbells. From every model I’ve sampled the current retail price for 5, 15, 30 and 50 lbs. dumbbells. Those are the weights that most models will have available. Also, since most people will buy a set that ranges from 5 to 50 lbs. these weights provide a good overview of the total costs.
|Type||5 lbs.||15 lbs.||30lbs.||50 lbs.||Avg $/lbs.|
On the chart above you can see that the average price per pound for all dumbbells is $1.67. There is a pretty wide range however. The cheapest dumbbells are only $0.93 per pound while the most expensive ones are more than $3 per pound. Of course there are differences in construction, materials, brand and overall quality.
Suggested post: Dumbbells vs. Barbells in a home gym
If we take out the two highest and two lowest prices per pound we get a more realistic view of what you can expect to pay for a set of dumbbells. By taking out the outliers, the average price goes down to $1.62 with prices ranging from $1.11 to $2.39 per pound. That’s a much tighter range than before. You can expect to pay from $1.30 to $2 per pound.
There are some other ways to understand dumbbell prices a little better. We can look at the different types but also different weights of dumbbells separately.
Dumbbell price per type
We can see price differences in the different types of dumbbells. We can roughly divide the types of dumbbells up in three categories;
- Cast iron
Cast iron dumbbells are not made of any fancy materials or encased in something soft. They are metal on the inside and outside. Cast iron dumbbells are the cheapest option with an average price per lbs. is only $1.20. That’s significantly cheaper than the average of $1.67. While the castings have to be a bit nicer than coated dumbbells, not having the extra coating means less material and fewer processing steps are necessary to finish it which means they’re cheaper.
Coated dumbbells are $1.69 per pound so very close to the average. This is the most common type of dumbbells as well. This type of dumbbell has an iron core with a rubber/pvc/urethane coating. This makes the dumbbells a bit nicer to handle and more comfortable to use.
See an example set of coated dumbbells here (Amazon link). If you’re looking for an all in one package including storage rack, this is a good option.
The “other” dumbbells can be many things. Chrome and Urethane are some of the more common materials in this category. Chrome dumbbells are chrome on the outside. This makes them look good for a very long time since good quality chrome is quite a hard material. Urethane dumbbells are made completely out of urethane. This actually helps the dumbbells to stay looking nicer. They don’t peel or chip like some coated dumbbells. However, they also cost a lot more at almost double the average price.
Dumbbell price per weight
The price per pound is actually different for different weights. Smaller dumbbells might be cheaper in total but they’re actually more expensive per pound. That’ because you still have the handle, construction, shipping and handling that are roughly the same cost. Those costs have to be divided up over few pounds so the price per pound is higher.
5 lbs. DBs cost $12.48 on average for an average $2.5 per pound. That is much higher than the average but makes sense since many of the production costs are fixed. More surprising is the difference in prices. The cheapest 5 lbs. DB only costs $4.63 while the most expensive one is $24.49. That’s a massive difference.
15 lbs. DBs cost about $27 on average. The price per pound drops dramatically from the 5 lbs. version to $1.81. Prices range from $22 to $49.99. This is still a very big difference but not as dramatic as for the 5 lbs. dumbbells.
30 lbs. DBs can be bought for $48.62 on average which translates into $1.62 per pound. While the price per pound is lower, the overall price obviously goes up over the 15 lbs. DBs. Prices range from $27 to $90 which means we’re back to almost the same price gap as with the 5 lbs. versions.
50 lbs. DBs will set you back about $82 which makes an average price per pound of $1.64. This surprisingly breaks the downward trend. There could be several reasons for this; 30 lbs, dumbbells are more popular so they are cheaper because of bigger production runs, or maybe heavier dumbbells need some special construction techniques to stay together. Whatever it is, it’s pretty close to the average and the 30 lbs. average. Two cents probably isn’t going to damage your budget too much.
Prices range from $52 to $143, once again showing a massive gap between the cheapest and most expensive dumbbells.
What does that mean? Shopping around can really pay off. The dumbbells with the higher price are often really high quality products made from special materials that are meant for commercial use. In a home gym this is not really necessary. You can easily get away with buying cheaper dumbbells. In a home gym they will still last a really long time since they won’t be used 24/7 like in a commercial gym.
The average price per pound I’ve named on top of this post, is from a sampling of different weight dumbbells: 5, 15, 30 and 50. Most people buy dumbbells that are from 5 to 50 pounds so you can interpolate pretty well from those prices.
However, if you only buy lighter dumbbells, let’s say 5 to 30 lbs. you can expect to pay a higher average price per pound. The average price per pound will go up a little with about $0.10 to $0.20 per pound.
Dumbbells on a budget
What can you do if you’re on a budget but you still want a set of dumbbells for your home gym? There are a few solutions.
If you really want new dumbbells, the best option is to go for cast iron ones. These are the cheapest on average and especially if you’re buying a full set, paying $0.40 less per pound really adds up.
The cheapest dumbbells on the list only cost $0.93 per pound and they’re actually from a pretty famous brand.
If we look at a whole set from 5 to 50 lbs. we’ve got the following weights;
- 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 50 for a total of 283 lbs.
- That’s only one dumbbell of each weight so we have to double that 283 which makes 566 lbs.
- 566 * 0.93= 526.38.
- That’s lot cheaper than if we take the average of $1.67;
- 566 * 1.67= 945.22
In other words, shopping around for a cheap set can save you a lot of money.
Many people buy new dumbbells with the full intention of getting ripped. And then life gets in the way and the dumbbells are starting to gather dust and spider webs. Then the garage has to be cleaned out to fit the new minivan and the dumbbells are just in the way.
That’s the moment you can swoop in and get them for a very good price. Maybe you’ll have to clean them or they have a few scratches but in return you can get some dumbbells for a very good price.
This post focuses on fixed dumbbells. If you’re interested in the prices of adjustable dumbbells, click here to find more information. Adjustable dumbbells can be cheaper than a full set of fixed dumbbells so if you’re on a budget, make sure to check out the other post.
Dumbbells that are adjustable from 5 to 50 pounds with a selector can be bought for around $300 while adjustable DBs with a screw collar that can be adjusted to the same weight range only cost about $150.
This is much cheaper than a full set of fixed dumbbells. Both fixed and adjustable dumbbells have their pros and cons.