Adjustable Dumbbells vs. Fixed Dumbbells

Adjustable Dumbbells vs. Fixed Dumbbells

It’s likely that you’re comparing Adjustable dumbbells vs. Fixed dumbbells when you’re building up a new home gym to determine which type is best for your setup. I’m going to assist you in determining that today. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single, perfect response to this query. Both fixed and adjustable dumbbells have very legitimate uses in the gym.

It goes without saying that a good dumbbell set is essential to any home gym setup, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced exerciser. Dumbbells offer something for everyone and allow for a wide range of routines that can target almost any muscle area imaginable.
Which should you choose: Fixed dumbbells or Adjustable dumbbells? When choosing your choice, you should take into account your budget, your available area, and the kind of exercise you want to do.
Fixed dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells both have advantages and disadvantages. We hope that this guide will enable you to identify your needs and keep up your rigorous strength training.

Which Ones Offer the Best Value?

The best value between adjustable and fixed dumbbells depends on individual needs and preferences.

Adjustable dumbbells often offer a better value for those who require multiple weight options and the convenience of quick weight adjustments during a workout. They also save space compared to multiple sets of Fixed dumbbells.

Fixed dumbbells, on the other hand, offer a better value for those who have a set weight in mind for specific exercises and don’t require weight adjustments. They also provide a traditional feel for weightlifting exercises.

Ultimately, the best value will depend on the individual’s specific needs and preferences.

Regular Dumbbell
Adjustable Dumbbell

Finding a pair of standard dumbbells in shops or online at the height of the pandemic was next to impossible. Some people used adjustable dumbbells as an alternative to traditional dumbbells when they were hard to find since they let you change the weight of just one pair of dumbbells rather than purchasing a whole rack. Adjustable dumbbells have grown in popularity over the past two years among people who have abandoned the gym in favor of at-home workouts. The two varieties of dumbbells have similarities but also some variations that could affect which one you should purchase.

The types of workouts you intend to use them for, the amount of space you have, and your budget all play a role in choosing the best dumbbells for you. Discover the similarities and differences, as well as the benefits and drawbacks, of normal and adjustable dumbbells in the following paragraphs.

Adjustable Dumbbells vs. Fixed Dumbbells

Owning a set of standard, or fixed, dumbbells can be nice. They are well-known, have a fixed weight, and are reasonably priced (prices can range from $10 to more than $100, depending on size). They usually have a sturdy handle, are often round or hexagonal in shape, and are composed of durable cast iron or steel with a rubber coating. These are the kinds of dumbbells you’d find in a fitness center or gym.

Dumbbells with adjustable weights can help here. You can change the weight of adjustable dumbbells from 5 to 50 pounds or more. They are more common now because they take up less room, but they can cost up to $200, making them more expensive than standard dumbbells. They are typically made of solid chrome steel, though some brands, like Bowflex, also offer an ABS plastic handle and rubber grip. One adjustable dumbbell can replace all ten sets of weights in place of ten separate sets. Weight plates on adjustable dumbbells can be adjusted by turning a dial.

Some less expensive models include adjustable dumbbells that require you to assemble them yourself using a bar, plates, and spin locks. The dials of more expensive brands are made to require one or two twists in order to make changing the weights as simple as possible. Some companies, like NordicTrack, have tried voice control to adjust the dumbbell’s weight. These dumbbells come in a variety of shapes (round, square, hex), features, and even smart versions, depending on the company.

Fixed Dumbbells Pros and cons

Fixed and adjustable dumbbells each have their advantages and disadvantages, just like any other piece of exercise equipment. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of both types of dumbbells will help you decide which is better for you to buy.


  • Durability: Fixed dumbbells are typically made of solid metal and have no moving parts, which makes them extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Space-saving: With fixed weights, there’s no need for extra storage space, as each weight is a standalone unit.
  • Easy to Use: Fixed dumbbells are easy to use, with no need to adjust or change weights between exercises, making them ideal for beginners or those who want a hassle-free workout.
  • Cost-effective: Fixed dumbbells are often less expensive than adjustable dumbbells, making them a more affordable option for those on a budget.


  • Limited Weight Range: With fixed dumbbells, you are limited to the weight of each individual unit, which can be a disadvantage for those who need to vary their weights for different exercises.
  • Bulky: Fixed dumbbells take up more space compared to adjustable dumbbells, which can be an issue if you have limited workout space.
  • Requires Multiple Dumbbells: To have a complete set of fixed dumbbells, you need to purchase multiple pairs, which can be expensive if you need a wide range of weights.

These work best for those with larger budgets and lots of available space. A rack of some sort will probably need to be purchased in order to store a fixed dumbbell set, which typically consists of roughly 10-15 pairs of weights. Fixed dumbbell sets are frequently more expensive than adjustable dumbbell sets.

Although we don’t advise dropping any dumbbells from a front rack or overhead position, you’re more likely to be able to drop fixed dumbbells securely. Adjustable dumbbells are more likely to shatter when dropped because they often use more fragile parts and plastic.

Fixed Dumbbell Advantage:

Owning a set of fixed dumbbells has many benefits. The first advantage is obvious from the name because the weights are fixed you don’t need to spend any time fiddling with dials or changing pins to adjust the weight increase. This makes it possible to conduct faster-paced workouts like supersets, which would be more challenging with adjustable dumbbells.

Additionally, fixed dumbbells tend to be stronger and survive longer before breaking, making them less likely to sustain harm if dropped during a workout. Even so, you should do your homework on the dumbbell model you intend to buy to make sure it is drop-friendly, and even then, avoid dropping them if at all possible.

fixed dumbbells may be a more effective option if you’re exercising at home with a partner because you can easily share weights rather than passing the same pair back and forth constantly. This will enable you to complete your sets more quickly and work them out at your own pace.

What is a Fixed Dumbbell?

A fixed dumbbell is a simple weight-lifting tool consisting of a short bar with weights attached to either end and a grip in the middle. It is used to build strength and muscle by performing exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses, and more. Dumbbells come in a range of weight increments and are made from various materials, including iron, rubber, or neoprene. They are commonly used in home and gym settings and can be adjusted to accommodate various fitness levels and goals.

Adjustable dumbbells Pros and Cons


  • Space-saving: Adjustable dumbbells can replace multiple sets of fixed-weight dumbbells, which can save space in your home gym or workout area.
  • Versatile: With adjustable dumbbells, you can easily change the weight to suit different exercises and muscle groups.
  • Cost-effective: Instead of purchasing several sets of dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells can be a more cost-effective solution.
  • Easy to use: Adjusting the weight on adjustable dumbbells is often quick and easy, requiring only a few turns of a dial or lever.
  • Convenient: With adjustable dumbbells, you don’t have to spend time switching between different sets of dumbbells during a workout.


  • Price: Adjustable dumbbells can be more expensive than traditional fixed-weight dumbbells.
  • Limited weight range: Some adjustable dumbbells may have a limited weight range, which may not be sufficient for more advanced weightlifting.
  • Durability: Some adjustable dumbbells may not be as durable as traditional dumbbells and may need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Size and shape: Some adjustable dumbbells may be bulky or have an unusual shape, making them difficult to use for certain exercises.

Adjustable Dumbbells Advantage:

Since you only need to purchase a single pair of adjustable weights, adjustable dumbbells are practical for storage. Because of this, they take up far less room in your home gym than a full set of fixed dumbbells would, and you won’t need to buy a rack as you could with fixed dumbbells.

Additionally, adjustable dumbbells are typically the more affordable of the two options. Luxury fixed dumbbell sets can cost well into the hundreds of dollars, compared to a high-end pair of adjustable dumbbells like the NU BELL Adjustable Dumbbells.

Another advantage to note is portability. It is simple and quick to move adjustable dumbbells because there are just two weights. If you need to relocate a set of fixed dumbbells for any reason, it will take you more time, energy, and space to pack up each weight and transfer them all.

Adjustable dumbbells Disadvantage:

If they have cast iron plates, like those from Pepin, excellent plate-loaded dumbbells can be fairly durable. Additionally, it is not advisable to drop adjustable weights when exercising. But for the sake of your safety and the protection of your flooring, you really shouldn’t be dropping any weights.

During your at-home workouts, you should also factor in the time it will take to switch to a different weight. Dumbbells with plates are extremely difficult in this situation since you have to manually remove the old plates, replace them, and then lock the bar again like you would with a barbell.

Dynamic dumbbell workouts will become more challenging when you use selector dumbbells, which are a little quicker to change but still require you to turn a dial or re-insert a pin.

Adjustable dumbbells frequently have lower durability than fixed dumbbells, while having higher feel and appearance standards; they frequently don’t seem like what most people would consider a fixed dumbbell. The shapes of the end plates of selector adjustable dumbbells, which are less prevalent in fixed dumbbells, as well as the handle widths and lengths, vary. These differences may take some time to get used to, and the shape may move.

What is an Adjustable Dumbbell?

An adjustable dumbbell is a type of weightlifting equipment that can be adjusted to different weight levels, usually by adding or removing weight plates. This allows for versatility in weight training, as users can switch between weights for different exercises without having to switch to multiple sets of dumbbells.

Are adjustable dumbbells better than fixed dumbbells?

It depends on the individual’s specific needs and preferences. Both adjustable and fixed dumbbells have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of adjustable dumbbells:

  1. Versatility: They can be adjusted to different weight levels, allowing for a variety of exercises to be performed.
  2. Space saving: They take up less space compared to multiple sets of fixed dumbbells.
  3. Convenience: They allow for quick and easy weight adjustments during a workout.

Advantages of fixed dumbbells:

  1. Traditional feel: They provide a traditional feel for weightlifting exercises.
  2. Cost-effective: They are often more cost-effective compared to adjustable dumbbells.
  3. Fixed weight: They have a fixed weight, which can be more suitable for certain exercises.

Ultimately the decision between adjustable and fixed dumbbells should be based on the individual’s specific needs and preferences.

Which type of dumbbell should you buy?

The type of dumbbell you should buy depends on several factors:

  1. Purpose: Are you using dumbbells for weightlifting, bodybuilding, or general fitness?
  2. Budget: Dumbbells come in various materials, such as cast iron, rubber, and neoprene, and can vary in price. Determine your budget and choose a material that fits within your range.
  3. Space: If you have limited space, adjustable dumbbells may be a good option as they can be adjusted to your desired weight and take up less room than multiple sets of fixed-weight dumbbells.
  4. Comfort: Consider the grip, weight distribution, and texture of the dumbbell to ensure it’s comfortable for you to use.

Ultimately, choose a type of dumbbell that fits your purpose, budget, space, and comfort.

Adjustable Dumbbell

You might want to buy fixed dumbbells if…

  1. You have limited space and prefer compact equipment
  2. Prefer a traditional feel for weightlifting exercises
  3. Don’t need to adjust weights frequently during a workout
  4. Have a set weight in mind for specific activities and don’t require weight adjustments.

You might want to buy adjustable dumbbells if…

  1. You have limited space and want a more efficient storage solution
  2. Require quick and easy weight adjustments during a workout
  3. Don’t want to purchase multiple sets of fixed-weight dumbbells
  4. Have a variety of weight requirements for different exercises
  5. Prefer a more versatile and cost-effective solution for weightlifting equipment.

To ensure you select an adjustable dumbbell that you can easily use, keep in mind that adjustable dumbbell characteristics differ. For instance, some adjustable dumbbells require two dials to be turned, one on each side of the weight, while other models let you change the weight with just one dial and a button press. There are other less complex choices that allow you to adjust the weight by turning the handle. Additionally, some businesses can provide a complimentary 30-day trial for a subscription to a fitness program. These extras are optional but might help you mix up your routines.

Final Thoughts

The activities you intend to use them for, your budget, the amount of space you have available, and your personal preferences will determine whether you prefer normal or adjustable dumbbells. The plus side is that you can use any approach and still benefit from strength training. Remember that if your objective is to advance in your strength training, you must have heavier dumbbells or adjustable dumbbells with a large enough weight range to challenge you.

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