Your Ultimate Guide to Dumbbells

What Is a Dumbbell?


Dumbbells are exercise equipment designed to use during weight lifting training. They are weights used without exercise machines. Dumbbells are likewise called hand weights or free weights.

Most dumbbells are designed with a restricted bar in the centre and two more extensive discs at each end. Some dumbbells are extremely light (a couple of pounds), while others are exceptionally heavy (50 pounds or more). However, it’s fixable.

They can vary in weight because of discs quantity and size (you can add or remove weight). In addition, dumbbells can be used individually (a dumbbell in one hand), or you can use dumbbells in pairs.

Are you thinking of changing things up a bit? Consider dumbbells as your perfect partner in building and toning your muscles. Their benefits go beyond their aesthetic appeal. You can use dumbbells to strengthen all parts of your body, from arms to legs.

Now the key question arises, which ones to buy? This dumbbell buying guide simplifies your strenuous process of selection. We have included the basic factors you should consider when buying hand weights for your home gym or commercial facility.

Moving on further, we have categorized dumbbells based on their shapes, sizes, materials, and adjustability.

Types of Dumbbells

The marketplace is filled with different types of dumbbells you can choose from. But we have classified them into two major categories:

  • Fixed Dumbbells
  • Adjustable Dumbbells


Fixed Dumbbells

Fixed dumbbells are the ones you can find in every gym. These are the most common weights preferred. Despite being used as commercial weights, they are also suitable for a home environment.

They ideally come in pairs and weigh anywhere between 2 and 220 pounds (1 and 100 kgs). You are bound to get confused about which ones to buy; here’s something we can guide you through.

2 pounds might feel too light for someone who is semi-experienced or a heavyweight-lifter, whereas 220 pounds might sound impractical for beginner fitness enthusiasts. For beginners or home workout users, you can choose from 2.5 kg-30 kg. At the same time, commercial gym buffs and semi-experienced people can select from 2.5 kg-50 kg.

Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells save you from the extra space and money you will need for your fixed dumbbells. If you are on a tight budget or are struggling to find a proper storage space, these dumbbells are the ideal choice for you.

Why are they called adjustable? You can easily alter them by adding or removing weights as per your choice. Various dumbbell designs now use innovative technology that makes it possible to have different dumbbell sets in a unit.

Types of Fixed Dumbbells by Materials

  1. Neoprene Dumbbells

    Made with a cast iron core later dipped in a synthetic polymer called neoprene, these dumbbells make up a sturdy and comfortable experience. Neoprene is usually covered in bright colours, which makes them easy to spot from a distance.

    The one characteristic that makes them stand out from the rest is that despite having an iron core, they do not rust, which is ideal for long-run home use. They are great beginner-friendly weights and not preferred for heavy weight-lifters.

  2. Cast Iron Dumbbells

    The gym dumbbells have a solid one-piece construction cast iron mould. Lifters prefer cast iron dumbbells to spice their workout routine. These are indestructible so you do not have to worry about any sort of damage, even if it falls on the floor.

    The primary concern for these is its material. They attract rust when exposed to the outside surroundings.

  3. Urethane Dumbbells

    Urethane is considerably stronger than rubber, and hence, can withstand rough usage. Being able to handle tough situations, no amount of scratches and chips can harm these sleek-looking dumbbells.

    These are more durable and are less likely to suffer any surface damage than their rubber counterparts. These end up on the pricey side of the scale, but their highly notable performance is worth the tag.

  4. Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells

    These are metal weights coated in rubber that is extracted from either tree sap or are synthetic. One problem that is strongly evident with the rubber-coated hex dumbbells is the distinct rubber odour.

    These hexagonal-shaped dumbbells give extra stability and will lie flat on the ground, leaving behind the fear of them rolling away.

  5. Chrome Dumbbells

    The simplest yet sleek-looking dumbbells, chrome dumbbells are more widely used. Also labelled as ‘beauty bells’, they are made of pure steel. Weighing around 3-50 pounds, chrome-plated dumbbells are smooth and sometimes lack a solid grip.

    These pretty attractive dumbbells are likely to get rusted and scratched out easily. Make sure you do not leave them outside.

  6. Vinyl Dumbbells

    Similar to neoprene dumbbells, vinyl dumbbells are beginner-friendly and mostly used for aerobics classes. There isn’t much of a difference between them apart from the fact that neoprene dumbbells are more durable.

Types of Fixed Dumbbells by Shapes and Sizes

  1. Hex Dumbbells

    Hex dumbbells are named after their unique shape. The hexagonal shape gives them extra stability. These attractive-looking dumbbells are typically made of cast iron and are cheaper than their rubber or urethane counterparts.

    One problematic aspect of cast iron hex dumbbells is the fact that they might scratch your floor. Although rubber hex dumbbells are also available, they lie on the expensive side.

  2. Round Dumbbells

    They function the same as hex dumbbells, the only difference - their shape. Their shape can be a drawback while purchasing. Since these are round, they provide less stability and roll away easily.

    A major benefit available for round dumbbells is the availability of more handle options. For standard weight training, you can do pretty much everything with it.

  3. Square Dumbbells (and other specialty shapes)

    Square-shaped dumbbells have the same material in a square shape. You may likewise discover dumbbell sets with a teardrop or other specialty shapes.

    Shape-wise, they are like hex dumbbells; they provide stability, and you can do push-ups while placing them on the ground. The major drawback is that these are rare to find while you can find hex and round-shaped in abundance.

Types of Adjustable Dumbbells

  1. Spin-Lock Dumbbells

    One of the most affordable dumbbells of the adjustable type, these are easy to function with. They are safe to use, however, they are the most basic type of dumbbells in the adjustable category. A notable quality of these is the fact that other dumbbells make use of clamps while these have threaded sleeves.

    Slide weight plates onto the sleeves and secure them with a spin-lock that strings onto the closures of the hand weights until it meets the plates and tightens up against them.

  2. Compression Ring Collar Dumbbells

    Like their sibling, spin-lock dumbbells, compression ring dumbbells are sturdy to use, but instead of locking the plates with a spin-lock, it uses a compression ring. The sleeves are smooth and not threaded.

    In the matter of safety, these are less likely preferred by people. Spin-locks feel safer as they are on a threaded bar, so the fear of weights sliding off is minimal to non-existent.

  3. Block Type Adjustable Dumbbells

    Undoubtedly, the most popular and preferred adjustable dumbbell type. The block-type adjustable dumbbells use a strong lever system. All you will need is to just slide the pin using the associated colour code found at the top to see what the weight is into the side slots, and then lift the handle from the stand.

    They have a unique rectangular profile, which restrains a couple of developments. However, it compensates for that with compactness, its flat ends, sturdiness, and its worth.

  4. Dial Type Adjustable Dumbbells

    Shaped like a regular dumbbell, the major drawback of these dial-type dumbbells is their bulky shape. The adjustment of these dumbbells is made on the side using a dial.

    The Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are the most popular in the dial type category. Their max weight is 52.5lbs. The weight additions are in 2.5lbs, beginning at 5lbs to 25lbs, then, at that point from 25lbs to 50lbs it bounces by 5lbs increases, and a solitary 2.5 increment from 50lb to 52.5lb.

  5. Glide Type Adjustable Dumbbells

    The fastest to adjust among the selectorized category, glide type dumbbells use a gliding mechanism to adjust the weight, which is placed in a slot between the top of the plates.

    A bizarre aspect concerning the glide type selectorized dumbbells is that their focal point of gravity is off. While getting into position for a lift, you need to ensure the plates are facing down, or probably it will move that way and it can throw your balance off.

Why Hex Dumbbells?

As the name suggests, hex dumbbells are hexagonal-shaped dumbbells that include two weighted heads, comprising a majority of the weight and a central handle. Their unique shape makes them a sure-shot purchase for home gyms.

What makes them stand out from other shaped fixed dumbbells available in the market is their sturdiness because of their unique shape. The hexagonal shape prevents them from rolling away, unlike the round-shaped fixed dumbbells.

The sturdiness makes these dumbbells trustworthy, and you are assured that they won’t move during your training sessions. Other benefits you can enjoy are:

  • Hard-wearing and robust
  • Great quality
  • They are sturdy
  • Minimal noise

Why SF Hex Dumbbells?

For insane durability and sustainability, our SF Hex Dumbbells stay true to their values. We take immense pride in telling you that this is our most popular product in town.

Available in weights from 2.5 kgs to 50 kgs, this standard rubber hex design is a great budget option that excels in quality, performance, and durability. The uncomfortable elastic material decreases commotion as well as the destruction of the floor and the products.

You can utilize SF Hex Dumbbells as a substitute in practically a wide range of weight exercises, as well as a wide range of single-arm workouts. Apart from this, other vital benefits are:

  • Tolerance:+/- 3%
  • Handle Diameter: 25mm up to 5kgs, 35mm for 7.5kgs and above
  • Heavy-duty rubber heads minimize noise and damage to the floor
  • Easy-grip
  • Low maintenance and easily stackable
  • Head to handle construction ensures the head does not come loose

Which Dumbbells Should I Buy?

Do not fall for looks! Looks can be deceiving. There are millions of options to select from, which makes you wonder - so, which dumbbells to buy?

When you are weight-lifting, you should always prioritize your body. Listen carefully to what it needs. Are you an amateur in the fitness world? Or are you semi-experienced? Maybe an expert? Based on your experience, choose appropriately.

Remember, the weights should never feel too light or too heavy to pick up. Depending on your body strength and capability, choose wisely.