PowerBlock Dumbbell Reviews: Classic vs Elite vs Sport vs Urethane

Is the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell system right for you?

If so, which specific model should you choose?

Keep reading to discover those answers and more...

...Here, you'll find a comparison chart of all the PowerBlock models, my top recommendations, and videos & photos of each different PowerBlock dumbbell set.

This page is a comprehensive buying guide. I created it based of my findings when researching which adjustable dumbbell system to buy for myself...

...It's worth noting that I ultimately decided to buy the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells, though it was a tough choice to make.

My hope is that presenting what I learned about the PowerBlocks will enable you to accurately assess which (if any) PowerBlock set is the best adjustable dumbbell set for you.

Be sure to check out my PowerBlock dumbbells review, where I discuss the pros & cons of the PowerBlock system; plus some of its key contrasts with the Ironmasters.

A General Overview of the PowerBlock Dumbbells

As seen in the above video, there are three different series of PowerBlock dumbbells currently in production.

The three series include the Classic Series, the Sport Series and the Urethane Series. Then, within each series there are several different models, which I'll present in detail later.

Some models are expandable, while others are non-expandable. That is, with some models you have the option to purchase add-on kits to increase the maximum weight, while others lack such options.

It is quite confusing to distinguish between the various series, models and add-ons, especially when you're just starting to research them.

With so many models, each having its own unique set of features, capabilities and limitations, it takes some effort to familiarize yourself with not only the major distinctions between models, but also their more subtle ones.

This process of gathering, filtering and analyzing crucial product information takes hours of tedious online research and is very frustrating...

...It's the last thing you'd want endure when your aim is to simply buy a set of PowerBlocks and be done with it.

However, it would be foolish to make such an expensive investment without first attaining all the knowledge needed to make the correct choice.

And so, it is my goal to help clear up the confusion surrounding the PowerBlock dumbbells by presenting all the essential information in a coherent fashion.

PowerBlock Dumbbells Comparison Chart

Please read the paragraphs below for an important note regarding the information in the chart:

You'll notice that some models in the chart below have different "stages" (i.e. Stage I, Stage II, Stage III)...

...What this means is that you can expand the weight capacity of the base dumbbell set (i.e. the Stage I set) with a Stage II and, if applicable, with a Stage III add-on kit.

So, you can buy just the Stage I model to begin with, and then purchase the add-on kit(s) separately, some time in the future. This method is best if you're strapped for cash and/or don't know if you'll even need the extra weight capacity. (The chart does not contain the info about the individual add-on kits.)

Alternatively, you can buy the dumbbell sets with the add-on kit(s) included. This is what the "Stage II" and "Stage III" models in the chart refer to. You save some money this way, as opposed to buying the base set and add-on kits separately.

For example: You could buy just the U-90 Stage I set now, and then have the option to buy the Stage II and Stage III add-on kits later. Alternatively, you could buy the U-90 Stage II set now and have the choice to buy the Stage III add-on kit later. Or, the third and final option would be to go all out and buy the U-90 Stage III set now, and have everything included from the get-go.

Where to Buy: The different PowerBlock dumbbell models are available on PowerBlock.com or Amazon.

Current Models

Use

Series

Model

Range (lbs.)

Increments (lbs.)

Unavailable Increments
(lbs.)

Adder Weights

LxWxH (inches)

Owners Manual

Retail ($)

S&H ($)

Total ($)

Home

Classic

Classic 50

10-50

5

None

No

12x6x6.25

View

299

59

358

Home

Classic

Elite 50

5-50

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5

Yes

12x6x6

View

299

59

358

Home

Classic

Elite 70

5-70

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5

Yes

14x6.25x6

View

​428

69

497

Home

Classic

Elite 90

5-90

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5

Yes

16x6x6

View

557

89

648

Home

Sport

Sport 24

3-24

3

None

No

10.5x5.25x5

View

149

35

​184

Home

Sport

Sport 50​

10-50

5

None

​No

12.25x6.5x6.5

View

329

59

388

Home

Sport

Sport EXP Stage 1

5-50

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5

Yes

12x6.5x6.5

View

349

59

408

Home

Sport

Sport EXP Stage 2

5-70

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5

Yes

14x6.5x6.5

View

488

79

567

Home

Sport

Sport EXP Stage 3

5-90

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5

Yes

16x6.5x6.5

View

627

89

716

Home

Urethane

U-33 Stage 1

3-21

1

6, 10, 14, 18

Yes

10.5x5.5x5.5

View

179

29

208

Home

Urethane

U-33 Stage 2

3-33

1

6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30

Yes

13.25x5.5x5.5

View

298

49

347

Home

Urethane

U-70 Stage 1

5-40

2.5

32.5

Yes

11.75x7x7.25

View

329

49

378

Home

Urethane

U-70 Stage 2

5-60

2.5

32.5, 42.5, 52.5

Yes

14x7x7.25

View

468

69

537

Home

Urethane

U-70 Stage 3

5-70

2.5

32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5

Yes

15.25x7x7.25

View

547

79

626

Home

Urethane

U-90 Stage 1

5-50

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5

Yes

12.5x7x7.25

View

379

59

438

Home

Urethane

U-90 Stage 2

5-70

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5

Yes

14.75x7x7

View

518

69

587

Home

Urethane

U-90 Stage 3

5-90

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5

Yes

17x7x7

View

657

89

746

Home

Urethane

U-90 Stage 4

5-125

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5, 92.5, 95, 97.5, 100, 110, 112.5, 115, 117.5

Yes

20.5x7.25x8.25

View

956

99

1055

Recently Discontinued Models

Use

Series

Model

Range (lbs.)

Increments (lbs.)

Unavailable Increments
(lbs.)

Adder Weights

LxWxH (inches)

Owners Manual

Retail ($)

S&H ($)

Total ($)

Home

Classic

Classic 45

5-45

5

None

No

12x6x6

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Classic

Personal Trainer

5-50

2.5

None

No

12x6x6 (?)

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Classic

Elite 130

5-130

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5,85, 95, 97.5, 107.5,110, 120, 122.5

Yes

19x6x6

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 2.4

3-24

3

None

No

?x?x?

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 5.0

5-50

5

None

No

?x?x?

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 5.0
20 lb Cores

20-65

5

None

​No

?x?x?

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 5.5

2.5-55

2.5

None

No

?x?x?

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 9.0 Stage I

5-50

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5

Yes

12x6.5x6.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 9.0 Stage II

5-90

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5

Yes

16x6.5x6.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Sport

Sport 9.0 Stage III

5-130

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5,85, 92.5, 95, 97.5,107.5, 110, 120, 122.5

Yes

19x6.5x6.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Urethane

U-20

2.5-20

2.5

None

No

11.5x5.5x5.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Urethane

U-50

5-50

2.5

12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5

Yes

13x7.25x7

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Urethane

Heavy Weight XXXL 125 lb

10-125

2.5**

22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,82.5, 97.5, 114

Yes (?)

17.25x8.5x8.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

Home

Urethane

Heavy Weight XXXL 175 lb

10-175

2.5**

22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,82.5, 97.5, 114, 127.5,130, 132.5, 147.5,162.5

Yes (?)

20.75x8.5x8.5

View

N/A

N/A

N/A

* The Elite 50, Elite 90 and Elite 130 dumbbells are all part of the same expandable set. You can think of the Elite 50 as the "Stage I" base set; the Elite 90 as the "Stage II" set; and the Elite 130 as the "Stage III" set.

** The precise weight increments for the "Heavy Weight 125 lb" and the "Heavy Weight 125 lb + 50 lb Add-On" are stated below:

  • 2.5 lb increments from 10-105 lbs (and from 130-175 if using the 50 lb Add-On Kit)
  • 3 lb increments from 105-125 lbs
  • 2 lb increments from 120-122 lbs

What's the Best PowerBlock Dumbbell Model to Buy?

As I stated in the introduction, I do not own any of the PowerBlock dumbbells. As such, I can't give you a recommendation based on personal experience...

...But, having done so much in-depth research of the PowerBlock dumbbells, I can confidently tell you which models would be at the top of my list, if I were to choose a pair for myself (or anyone serious about lifting).

First off, I wouldn't choose any of the models that aren't expandable to at least 90 lbs. This narrows our choices to just four:

  1. U-90 (expandable to 125 lbs. with Stage 4)
  2. Sport EXP (expandable to 90 lbs. with Stage 3)
  3. Elite (expandable to 90 lbs. with Elite 90)
  4. U125 or U175 Club Set (U125 set is expandable to 175 lbs. with add-on kit; U175 set is 175 lbs.)

My first choice would be one of the U-90 sets, because:

  • It is expandable to 125 lbs. Even very advanced lifters rarely need more than that. If they do, it's only for a small handful of exercises (e.g. one arm rows, dumbbell bench press). This is the second heaviest weight capacity of among all PowerBlock dumbbells. The Club U175's are the heaviest. However, they're commercial grade and are nearly double the price.
  • They have the most durable build quality compared to the rest of the home-use equipment.
  • It has a limited lifetime warranty, which covers manufacturer defects as well as damage from normal use and drops from as high as 12 inches. This is the best warranty offered among all the PowerBlock models. Most of the other warranties are for just 10 or 15 years and only cover damage on drops as high as 6 inches.

The Sport EXP's and the Elites are tied for my third/forth choice. It's too difficult a decision to choose a clear-cut winner, without actually testing each one first...

...Each model has its own positives and negatives, described below, which make it a toss up between the two.

  • The Elites are more affordable by about $65.
  • The Sport EXP models, however, have a superior build quality.
  • ​Both sets are expandable to 90 lbs. This is plenty of weight for the vast majority of lifters on the vast majority of exercises. If you want more weight, you'll need to pay an extra $300-350 to get the U-90 Stage 4 set instead.

My forth choice would be the U125 or U175 Club Set (commercial use) for the following reasons:

  • It has the heaviest weight capacity of all the PowerBlock sets. The U125 set is 125 lbs., but is expandable to 175 lbs with the U175 add-on kit. The U175 set comes with the 175 lbs. capacity built-in.
  • It has the fewest unavailable weight increments (i.e. more weight options, which makes strength progression easier)
  • It has the best warranty offered by PowerBlock, Inc. It lasts 15 years and covers defects, damage from normal use and drops from up to 12 inches above the ground. (Note: The U-90 has the same warranty.)
  • It is VERY expensive. The big price tag is why I put this PowerBlock set as my last recommendation. It will automatically disqualify most potential buyers. BUT, if money isn't a concern, then this is the best set.

PowerBlock Dumbbell Videos & Pictures

COMING SOON: I will be adding images & videos for the newer PowerBlock models below. Stay tuned!

Classic Series

Classic 45 - Discontinued:

PowerBlock Classic 45


Personal Trainer - Discontinued:

PowerBlock Personal Trainer

Elite 50:

PowerBlock Elite 50


Elite 90:

PowerBlock Elite 90


Elite 130 - Discontinued:

PowerBlock Elite 130


Sport Series

Sport 24 - Same as Sport 2.4, Except for the Name Change:

PowerBlock Sport 2.4

Note: Sport 24 dumbbells are shown at 0:09-0:19 in the video below.

Sport 5.0 - Same as Sport 5.0, Except for the Name Change:

PowerBlock Sport 5.0


Sport 5.5 - Discontinued:

PowerBlock Sport 5.5


Sport 9.0 Stage I - Discontinued & Replaced by Sport EXP Stage 1:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage I


Sport 9.0 Stage II - Discontinued & Replaced by Sport EXP Stage 2:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage II


Sport 9.0 Stage III - Discontinued & Replaced by Sport EXP Stage 3:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage III

Urethane Series

U-20 - Discontinued:

PowerBlock U-20 Club Set

U-33 Stage I:

U-33 Stage I


U-33 Stage II:

U-33 Stage II


U-50 - Discontinued:

PowerBlock U-50


U-90 Stage I:

PowerBlock U-90 Stage II


U-90 Stage II:

PowerBlock U-90 Stage II


U-90 Stage III:

PowerBlock U-90 Stage III

About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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