If you have a garage gym, sooner or later, you’re going to be pricing out the cost of dumbbells. However, most of us are far less picky when it comes to our dumbbells than with our bars and bumper plates.
This leads many of us to looking at used dumbbells through secondary markets like Facebook and Craigslist.
But, how do you know if you’re getting a good deal? How much do new dumbbells cost and what’s a good price for used dumbbells?
New dumbbells cost between $1.50 and $4 per pound. The price will vary in this range based on the brand of dumbbell, the style of dumbbell and the weight of the dumbbell.
There are 3 different types of dumbbells that will vary the cost of the dumbbells you’re looking at. Each comes with its own pros and cons:
- Cast Iron – Old School. Pure cast iron dumbbells are generally the most cost efficient dumbbells you can buy. Hex shaped heads are the most common form. Paint can chip over time.
- Hex Rubber Coated – Currently the most popular style of dumbbell. A little, but not much, more expensive than cast iron. Easier on floors.
- Urethane – Urethane is a high-end alternative to rubber dumbbells. They look the best, but are also much more expensive. I’ll explain more about why they cost so much.
- Adjustable – The most popular types of adjustable dumbbells are Bowflex and Power Blocks. I’ll discuss both.
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Table of Contents
- How Much Do Used Dumbbells Cost?
- Cost of the Most Popular Brands of New Dumbbells
- Cost of the Best New Adjustable Dumbbell Brands
- Best Place to Buy Dumbbells
How Much Do Used Dumbbells Cost?
I’m going to be honest here. In order to navigate whether a used pair of dumbbells are a good deal or not, you first need to know what the cost of a new pair of dumbbells are.
This is more true now than ever. Dumbbells, along with almost all gym equipment, are so hard to come by at the moment that dumbbells being sold on secondary markets like Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp are priced higher than retail.
For example, today I came across a pair of Bowflex 552s that was listed at $50 above retail.
So, the best thing you can arm yourself with is the knowledge of what a dumbbell cost new. Then you can decide for yourself what you think a good price is.
As crazy as it sounds, at the moment, anything under retail price for a pair of used dumbbells in great condition is a good price for a pair of used dumbbells.
Because the price of dumbbells can change somewhat drastically based on the size of the dumbbell, the best way to compare how much dumbbells cost is to break down the cost per pound.
How Much Do Dumbbells Cost Per Pound
Before we get into specifics, let’s establish some general guidelines. Do dumbbells cost the same per pound regardless of weight or does a heavier dumbbell, say a 100lb DB, cost less than a 25 or 40-pound dumbbell?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you would think.
Most brands have a sweet spot around 40 or 50 pounds where the dumbbells are the cheapest per pound. If you go lighter than that or heavier than that, generally the price per pound will go up.
There are exceptions to this general rule though. Urethane dumbbells tend always get cheaper as you go bigger. Some brands like York are exactly the same across the board.
I would just reference the list below to get you started.
Cost of the Most Popular Brands of New Dumbbells
|Brand||Style||25 lb||40 lb||100 lb||Available At|
|York||Rubber Hex||$60.00 Pair ($1.20/lb)||$96.00 Pair ($1.20/lb)||$240.00 Pair ($1.20/lb)||Rogue|
|Fitness Gear||Cast Iron Hex||$67.98 Pair^ ($1.36/lb)||$103.98 Pair^ ($1.30/lb)||N/A||Dick’s Sporting Goods|
|Rogue||Rubber Hex||$71.00 Pair ($1.42/lb)||$113.00 Pair ($1.41/lb)||$318.00 Pair ($1.59/lb)||Rogue|
|Titan||Rubber Hex||$74.99 Pair ($1.50/lb)||$114.99 Pair ($1.44/lb)||$299.99 Pair ($1.50/lb)||Titan|
|Weider||Rubber Hex||$79.98 Pair^ ($1.60/lb)||$129.98 Pair^ ($1.62/lb)||N/A||Dick’s Sporting Goods|
|BalanceFrom||Style||$99.99 Pair ($1.99/lb)||$129.99 Pair ($1.62/lb)||N/A||Wal-Mart|
|Intek||Rubber Hex^^||$125.96 Pair ($2.52/lb)||$202.34 Pair ($2.53/lb)||$503.84 Pair ($2.52/lb)||Intek|
|Cap||Style||$129.00 Pair ($2.58/lb)||$163.00 Pair ($2.04/lb)||N/A||Wal-Mart|
|Rogue||Urethane||$164.00 Pair ($3.28/lb)||$257.00 Pair ($3.21/lb)||$615.00 Pair ($3.08/lb)||Rogue|
|Titan||Urethane||$194.99 Pair ($3.90/lb)||$234.99 Pair ($2.94/lb)||$559.99 Pair ($2.80/lb)||Titan|
|Intek||Urethane||$487.87 Pair ($9.76/lb)||$606.11 Pair ($7.58/lb)||$975.01 Pair ($4.88/lb)||Intek|
^Sold Individually. Price is shown as a pair for easier comparison.
^^Rubber encased coating is virgin rubber which is part of the reason for the higher price point.
Don’t Forget the Shipping
When looking at the prices above, don’t forget to take into consideration what shipping costs will be. A pair of 40lb dumbbells are not exactly shipping-friendly.
The advantage of being able to buy dumbbells at a physical store like Wal-Mart or Dick’s Sporting Goods is that you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping.
There are ways to avoid shipping costs. You can always find shipping deals on Amazon, especially if you’re a Prime Member. Titan Fitness, one of my favorite companies that make at-home equipment, ships everything for free.
Everything. Every time.
Other companies like Rogue do shipping deals if you buy 3 or more.
Buying online doesn’t always mean you’re going to have to eat a huge shipping cost, but it’s something you definitely want to be aware of when you’re comparing dumbbells.
Why Are Urethane Dumbbells So Expensive?
One of the things that stick out the most on the chart above is just how much more expensive Urethane dumbbells are than rubber dumbbells.
Urethane is a denser and better quality material than rubber dumbbells. They not only look better, but they’re going to look better much, much longer than a rubber dumbbell.
Rubber in general degrades over time and this is no different when it comes to dumbbells. You can expect a rubber dumbbell to last and look good for at least five years. Then, slowly but surely that rubber will begin to break down.
I’m not trying to tell you you’ll have to throw them away at that point. That’s not the case at all. But, there’s a good chance they’ll start to show their age at that point.
Urethane is the long-term play here. Urethane dumbbells are going to last, well, I’ve seen Urethane dumbbells in college weight rooms that were over ten years old and still looked brand new.
If you’ve got the cash and want to make a really long-term investment, Urethane is a great option. Plus, if you really want to go all out, Urethane dumbbells can be custom designed with text and/or logos that look amazing.
How much do Adjustable Dumbbells Cost?
There are two big players when it comes to adjustable dumbbells, Bowflex and Power Blocks.
Power Blocks have been around since the 90s and until very recently were the only real option when it came to an adjustable dumbbell. Bowflex came on the scene much more recently and is an excellent alternative to Power Blocks.
If you’re unfamiliar with what an adjustable dumbbell is, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The dumbbell begins with a base handle and then weight can be added or removed by adjusting the mechanism (moving a pin or twisting a dial).
This ability to essentially turn one dumbbell into 10 makes adjustable dumbbells a great choice for working out at home. Dumbbells can take up a tremendous amount of space and are a huge pain in the rear if you ever have to move. (Have you ever loaded 100lb dumbbells in the back of a moving truck? I have. Not fun.)
They’re also way more cost-effective. The Bowflex 1090s cost $759. If you added the total weight of the dumbbell weights available to you (every 5 pounds from 10 to 90), it would be 850 pounds per dumbbell.
This makes the price per pound of the set way less than a dollar per pound. ($759 / 1700 = 0.45/lb)
This makes adjustable dumbbells the best value dumbbells you can buy, as long as you get a quality brand of dumbbells that aren’t going to break down.
This mechanism of being able to change weight is also the same reason I only recommend two companies in this space. There are many other companies making adjustable dumbbells now. A quick search on Amazon will reveal multiple adjustable dumbbell options.
However, as opposed to dumbbells made strictly of steel and/or rubber that will last and hold up through about anything, adjustable dumbbells are more susceptible to breaking down. If that mechanism used for changing weights breaks in any way, then you’re left with a very expensive paperweight.
This is why I only recommend either Power Blocks or Bowflex when it comes to adjustable dumbbells. Are they a bit more expensive than some other brands? Yes. It’s worth it. Spend the money if you decide to go this route.
Cost of the Best New Adjustable Dumbbell Brands
|Brand||Model||Weight Range||Cost||Available At:|
|Bowflex||SelectTech 552||5lb – 52.5lb (2.5lb increments)||$349||Bowflex|
|Bowflex||SelectTech 1090||10lb – 90lb (5lb increments)||$759||Bowflex|
|Power Blocks||Sport 24||3lb to 24lb (3lb increments)||$169||Power Blocks|
|Power Blocks||Sport 50||10lb to 50lb (5lb increments)||$349||Power Blocks|
|Power Blocks||Sport EXP*||2.5lb to 50lb (2.5lb increments)||$369*||Power Blocks|
*The Sport EXP model has available expansion attachments that can increase the total weight of the dumbbells to 70lb (Stage 2 Kit $149) and 90lb (Stage 3 Kit $149).
**Power Blocks also come in what they refer to as a Pro Series and USA Elite Series. I am choosing the Sport Series here because they seem to be the most ‘garage gym friendly’ and cost-effective of the 3.
How Much Does a Full Set of Dumbbells Cost?
Can you get a better deal on dumbbells if you buy a whole set instead of just an individual pair?
Generally, yes. If you buy a set you’ll usually end up with a better cost per pound. Rogue Dumbbells ranging from 5-50lbs are all about $1.42 per pound if you buy one pair. However, if you buy a full set from 5-50lb then that cost drops to $1.28 per pound.
What you have to decide is if you really want a full set of dumbbells. It sounds great in theory, but do you really need a pair of 35lb dumbbells? Or would you be just fine with a 30 and a 40? Or, for that matter, a pair of 15s, 25s and 40s?
For me personally, most of the exercises I’d ever use dumbbells for fall into one of those three categories.
So, while I’d save “per pound”, I’d end up spending more money on dumbbells that I don’t really need.
Buying Factors Other than Cost
When making the decision on which dumbbells are the best fit for you and your garage gym, cost is a major factor. However, it’s not the only thing you should focus on. Make sure you get the dumbbell that meets your needs the best. Here are a few examples:
Short on Space?
If space is tight for your gym then going with adjustable dumbbells is almost a no-brainer. When you can get the functionality of 8 to 10 different dumbbells that take up the space as 1, that’s a space efficiency dream.
Do you move often?
If you move a lot, whether that’s based on your job or something else, then adjustable dumbbells are the best fit as well. Moving an entire set of dumbbells from one house or apartment to another is nothing short of a nightmare.
Rubber Coated vs Cast Iron
Cast Iron dumbbells are going to be the most cost-effective choice. Many people also like the look and feel of cast iron dumbbells and plates. The paint will eventually chip and flake off, but even that usually isn’t an issue until years down the road.
Rubber Coated dumbbells are much more forgiving on your floor or any other pieces of equipment you sit them on. If you’re going to be quickly dropping dumbbells for whatever reason, rubber coated dumbbells are the best choice.
Either style of dumbbell, if you purchase a good brand, should hold up well and last you a really long time.
Best Place to Buy Dumbbells
When you’re looking to get the best deal possible on dumbbells, where is the best place to buy dumbbells? Well, there are basically three avenues you can go down when buying dumbbells – used, online and retail stores. Each has it’s pros and cons.
Buying “used” dumbbells is my preferred way to go. I use the word “used” loosely because my favorite way of buying dumbbells is to find them at estate sales. A good portion of my garage gym has come from million dollar homes with gym equipment that looks like it was just taken out of the box. I’ve found dumbbells this way for as cheap as 50 cents a pound.
The drawback is you have to be willing to be patient. You never know what you’re going to find at estate sales and it may take awhile to find the dumbbells you’re looking for. But, if you’re willing to be patient, you can find some amazing deals. (This same philosophy holds true with other means of finding used equipment like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.)
Buying online is going to give you the biggest selection to choose from. You can also find some great deals if you’re willing to look hard enough too. I suggest finding a couple places you want to buy from and bookmark their pages. Then, a couple quick clicks each morning will let you know if there are any sales to take advantage of.
Just make sure to keep a close eye on what, if any, shipping costs will come with your purchase. These costs can sometimes cost almost as much as the dumbbells themselves.
If you want to start lifting with dumbbells, like – right now – then retail is going to be your best bet. You can walk into a store today and be doing DB One Arm Rows at your house tonight.
However, you may not end up getting the best price on your dumbbells (or the best quality for that matter) so I would recommend being a little patient if possible.
If you’re buying new dumbbells, figure out what you need and what fits those needs the best. Make sure to buy from a reputable company so you know your dumbbells are going to last a while without tearing up.
If you’re buying used dumbbells, use this page as a guide to know how the dumbbells you see for sale on secondary markets compare. Pay attention to the market in your area. How much are dumbbells typically selling for? 10% less? 20%? Over retail?
Now you’re armed with the knowledge of what’s a good deal and what’s not when it comes to the cost of dumbbells in your area. And now that you know how much dumbbells cost, you may be wondering how much do barbells cost? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there too –> How Much Do Barbells Cost