Powerblock VS. Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are a very popular option for a home gym, due to their versatility and space saving. There are many different types of adjustable dumbbells on the market and everyone has different preferences, but Ironmaster and Powerblock consistently come out on top. So, what are the differences and which ones are right for you?



If you’re looking to add a set of adjustable dumbbells to your home gym that look and feel like traditional dumbbells, then the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells are your best option. Some other adjustable dumbbell options feel different than a normal dumbbell, but Ironmaster did a good job designing an adjustable dumbbell to feel like a traditional dumbbell. They have a traditional dumbbell shape with knurled handles, are quite durable, have a very unique and useful Quick-Lock adjustment system, and are overall a great pair of adjustable dumbbells.


The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell system is the latest generation of our adjustable dumbbells from Ironmaster. You can quickly adjust each dumbbell from 5-75 lbs, in 5 pound increments and 2.5 pound increments in under 15 seconds! The plates simply get added to either side and secured by the quick lock pin. Imagine it very similar to loading a bar with plates, but with a much smoother process. In comparison to other adjustable dumbbells, some may argue that these take longer to change weights, but the difference is minimal.


quick-lock system that these dumbbells have in place


With the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells you can go ahead and drop them. There are no plastic or fragile parts that you need to worry about breaking!  Super heavy duty construction with welded steel, chrome plated handles. Compared to other adjustable dumbbells, some people would say these feel a lot more sturdy and safe.


The ends of Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells are flat, making it easy to rest them on your quads before starting a set of bench presses or shoulder presses. Loadable dumbbells can’t really compete with this as they will dig into your legs and be much larger in size. The square weights also make working on the floor safer as they are stable and don’t roll.


The handle has knurling on it for extra grip and the diameter again, will feel similar to a traditional single dumbbell. The only difference regarding the handle is that it's longer and some may argue that for strength training the weight is distributed differently than a traditional dumbbell.

knurling on the handle of the ironmasters


What sets these dumbbells apart is that they have a large weight range (5 to 75 pounds, with additional kits bringing the maximum up to 120 and 165 pounds) that comes in smaller-than-usual increments of 2.5 pounds. It's a nice option to 2.5 pound increment plates when you're working your way up. For example, you can reach a very specific weight of 52.5 pounds if you're not ready to go up to 55lbs. With single dumbbells 52.5 pounds will never be an option. Those into strength training will find this a better fit than some of the alternative options, as the maximum weight can reach pretty impressive amounts.

ironmasters sitting on their stand


Ironmaster has a variety of options, such as a curl bar, straight bar, kettlebell handle and more. These options take the great value of adjustable weights even further, because now you're not only replacing a full set of dumbbells, but a full set of kettlebells and a barbell with weights. Another reason adjustable dumbbells are a great option for your home gym.


One concern users sometimes have with adjustable dumbbells are overall safety. Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells are safe to use  in all types of training. Excellent construction and well-thought-out design result in a safe and sturdy piece of equipment that will last you for years. Everything locks up tight and can only be released if the locking screw is unscrewed and dialed to exactly 12 o’clock. No plastic or fragile parts are used to assure reliability. The key is making sure the pin is in properly, but with the added feature of it needing to be at 12 o'clock this makes it very safe for training at home.


Ironmaster uses the highest quality materials for our dumbbells so you can rest assured they will withstand years of use and abuse. Made with chrome plated steel handles and solid cast iron plates, they have no breakable or plastic parts and come with a lifetime warranty.




PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells are one of the easiest to use adjustable dumbbells on the market. The weight changes quickly, and the mechanism for changing the weight is simple. The value you get with their starter sets ranging from 5 to 50 pounds, as well as the upgrade kits are great. Powerblock adjustable dumbbells are praised for their ease of use and you won't have to deal with any weight plates.


Powerblock adjustable dumbbells allow you to change from 5 to 50 pounds, or even 90 pounds in seconds. The way they are designed is there is a pair of pins that slide into the side, locking in which amount of weight you'd like to lift. The weight increments are very well marked and even colour coded, which means you don't have to spend time figuring out how much weight you're adding. Powerblocks, unlike the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells have different series, whereas Ironmaster keeps their design the same throughout, just adding more plates to the expansion. The different series that Powerblock offer are nice, because it offers different price points.


The Powerblock Sport Series features the most budget-friendly adjustable dumbbells that PowerBlock makes. Each is designed with lighter weight. The Sport 24 and Sport 50s are not expandable and you don't plan to expand above 50 pounds, these will save you a lot of money. If you plan to ever lift more than 50 pounds, there is an expandable option, the Sport EXP, which has a maximum weight of either 70 or 90 pounds per hand, depending on which kit you purchase.

Each of the Sport Series has a rubber grip and a more open handle design intended to give the user a wider range of motion. The other major difference is the Sport Series does not have any type of coating on it. They are made of welded solid steel, with a powder coat finish. There is nothing wrong with this material, but some prefer the coating on the higher series.


The Pro series features premium details throughout, such as urethane coated steel plates, multiple handles, knurled options, and more. The Pro series is the highest quality adjustable dumbbell that Powerblock makes and has the most options.


The Powerblock adjustable dumbbell set does a good job of keeping the dumbbell as compact as possible as the weight per dumbbell goes up. This adjustable dumbbell is square, so like the Ironmaster dumbbells you don't have to worry about them rolling away. Some series are a little less rounded on the corners than others, which means it may not be the most comfortable to rest on your legs.


One feature that is commented on a lot is the fact that the handle is enclosed, wheras with a traditional dumbbell you don't have this restriction outside your grip. Overall, most people won't find this prohibiting, if you think about the path of a bicep curl there's really no reason you would need space around your grip. However, it does prohibit you from doing some exercises, such as overhead triceps extension. Your comfortability with the grip and the handle entirely depends upon how married you are to the traditional single dumbbell design.


Most of the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells change in 5-pound increments, though there is a way to adjust by 2.5 pound increments with adder weights. 5 pound increments are most common for adjustable dumbbells and while Powerblock doesn't provide 2.5 pound increments in their initial set, they are available for purchase. Typically Powerblock offers a 5-50 pound starting set, then can upgrade up to 70 pounds and 90 pounds. The average lifter would not require weight over 90lbs per hand, however if you are a lifter that does require this much weight, then Ironmaster may be a better option.


The Powerblock adjustable dumbbells have a variety of accessories. Similar to Ironmaster, they offer an EZ curl bar, straight barbell and kettlebell attachment. These options take the great value of adjustable weights even further, because now you're not only replacing a full set of dumbbells, but a full set of kettlebells and a barbell with weights. Another reason adjustable dumbbells are a great option for your home gym.


The pin has magnets on the inside to hold it securely against the weights. The only safety concern that you need to be careful of is making sure the pin is all the way in before lifting the weights. If the pin is not all the way in, it is possible for it to slide out. As long as you are being careful of this then the Powerblocks are a safe and sturdy option.


Each model uses its own materials and finish, including powder coats, urethane, and steel. Unlike cheaper adjustable dumbbells, PowerBlocks do not have an excessive amount of plastic, which leads to their great durability. If anything, the pin may need to be replaced, but proper care and making sure it's all the way in will help avoid this. Powerblock offers a five year warranty on their adjustable dumbbells.



Both Ironamaster and Powerblock make great adjustable dumbbells and you really can't go wrong with either. Overall, if you're looking for an adjustable dumbbell that feels more similar to a traditional dumbbell then Ironmasters are the way to go. If you're looking for an adjustable dumbbell that can adjust quickly with little thought, then I think Powerblocks are a better option.