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 Amazon.

SeriesModelRange
(lbs.)
Increments
(lbs.)
Unavailable
Weights (lbs.)
Adder
Weights
L x W x H
(inches)
Owner
Manual
Retail
($)
S&H
($)
Total
($)
ClassicClassic 455-455NoneNo12x6x6View27959338
ClassicPersonal Trainer5-502.5NoneNo12x6x6 (?)View32959388
ClassicElite 50*5-502.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5Yes12x6x6View34959408
ClassicElite 90*5-902.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,
52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5
Yes16x6x6View58889677
ClassicElite 130*5-1302.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,
52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5,
85, 95, 97.5, 107.5,
110, 120, 122.5
Yes19x6x6View88899987
SportSport 2.43-243NoneNo?x?x?View18435219
SportSport 5.05-505NoneNo?x?x?View29959358
SportSport 5.0
+
20 lb Cores
20-655NoneNo?x?x?View299
+
159
59
+
21
538
SportSport 5.52.5-552.5NoneNo?x?x?View34969418
SportSport 9.0 Stage I5-502.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5Yes12x6.5x6.5View34959408
SportSport 9.0 Stage II5-902.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,
52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5
Yes16x6.5x6.5View58889677
SportSport 9.0 Stage III5-1302.512.5, 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
Yes19x6.5x6.5View88799986
UrethaneU-202.5-202.5NoneNo11.5x5.5x5.5View19929228
UrethaneU-33 Stage I3-2116, 10, 14, 18Yes10.5x5.5x5.5View17929208
UrethaneU-33 Stage II3-3316, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26,
30
Yes13.25x5.5x5.5View29849347
UrethaneU-505-502.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5Yes13x7.25x7View37959438
UrethaneU-90 Stage I5-502.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5Yes12.5x7x7.25View37959438
UrethaneU-90 Stage II5-902.512.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,
52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5
Yes17x7x7.25View63889727
UrethaneU-90 Stage III5-1252.512.5, 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
Yes20x7x8.5View937991036
UrethaneHeavy Weight
125 lb
10-1252.5**22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,
82.5, 97.5, 114
Yes (?)17.25x8.5x8.5View89999998
UrethaneHeavy Weight
125 lb
+
50 lb Add-On
10-1752.5**22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,
82.5, 97.5, 114, 127.5,
130, 132.5, 147.5,
162.5
Yes (?)20.75x8.5x8.5View899
+
349
99
+
59
1406
* 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 125 lbs. This narrows our choices to just four:

  1. Urethane Heavy Weight (expandable to 175 lbs.)
  2. Sport 9.0 (expandable to 130 lbs.)
  3. Elite (expandable to 130 lbs.)
  4. U-90 (expandable to 125 lbs.)

If money wasn't a conern, my top choice would be the Heavy Weight dumbbell set for the following reasons:

  • It is expandable to the heaviest weight capacity of 175 lbs.
  • 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.)

If, however, money was a conern, my next choice would be one of the Sport 9.0 sets, because:

  • It is expandable to the second heaviest weight capacity of 130 lbs.
  • It has more available weight increments beyond 100 lbs than the U-90.
  • It a 15 year limited warranty, which covers manufacturer defects as well as damage from normal use and drops from as high as 12 inches. This is the second best warranty offered on all PowerBlock models.

The Elites and the U-90s 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 and have more weight increment options beyond 100 lbs.
  • The U-90 models, however, have a superior build quality. Also, it has a better warranty than the Elite set. The warranty for the Elites lasts only 10 years (as opposed to a lifetime for the U-90) and only covers drops of up to 6 inches (as opposed to 12 inches for the U-90) above the ground.

PowerBlock Dumbbell Videos & Pictures

Classic Series

Classic 45:

PowerBlock Classic 45


Personal Trainer:

PowerBlock Personal Trainer

Elite 50:

PowerBlock Elite 50


Elite 90:

PowerBlock Elite 90


Elite 130:

PowerBlock Elite 130


Sport Series

Sport 2.4:

PowerBlock Sport 2.4

Note: Sport 2.4 dumbbells are shown at 0:09-0:19 in the video below.

Sport 5.0:

PowerBlock Sport 5.0


Sport 5.5:

PowerBlock Sport 5.5


Sport 9.0 Stage I:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage I


Sport 9.0 Stage II:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage II


Sport 9.0 Stage III:

PowerBlock Sport 9.0 Stage III

Urethane Series

U-20:

PowerBlock U-20 Club Set

U-33 Stage I:

U-33 Stage I


U-33 Stage II:

U-33 Stage II


U-50:

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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