The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells are one of the best pieces of weight training equipment you can buy for your home gym.
They are highly versatile, extremely durable and simple to use.
If you currently workout with barbells only, or with an incomplete or poor quality dumbbell set, then the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells will give you the ability to do a plethora of new and effective exercises.
In short, they’ll give you more productive workouts, which in turn, will accelerate your progress.
On this page, I’ll present all the helpful information that I learned from thoroughly researching the Ironmaster Quick-Lock adjustable dumbbells. I was researching these to decide whether or not to purchase them for my home gym…
…And for the record, I did end up buying them.
To clarify, this page includes my detailed outline and analysis of this product, based on my in-depth research on it and my personal experience using this adjustable dumbbell set.
UPDATE 05/02/18: This page was originally written in November of 2011, right after buying the dumbbells. Now I’ve had them for over 7 years. I can confirm that these these dumbbells are awesome. I’m extremely happy with my purchase. Unfortunately, I have since moved and can only use these when I visit my parents. However, I do plan on eventually bringing them with me eventually. I have a home gym at my current place, but will likely be moving again soon, so my plan is to transport these once that is settled and I have a yet another new home gym.
Table of Contents
Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells: An Overview
I’ll start by briefly discussing the most basic features of this dumbbell set. This way, you’ll have a general understanding of the product before I get into too much detail…
…Before I start my spiel, though, I recommend watching the below video as a primer. It covers most of the basic points and gives you the visuals to go along with it:
The main component of the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell system is the base set, which gives you a maximum dumbbell weight of 75 lbs.
But the fun doesn’t stop at a measly 75 pounds, folks. There are two optional add-on kits that you can purchase to increase the maximum dumbbell weight…
…The first add-on kit, as shown in the video above, allows you to use up to 120 lbs. per dumbbell. The second kit, which isn’t shown or mentioned in the above clip, raises the max weight per dumbbell to a whopping 165 pounds! (The 120 lb. kit is required to use the 165 lb. kit.)
Of course, most people won’t need or want the second add-on kit, at least to begin with. Still, it’s nice to know that you always have that option on the table.
The other major draws of this adjustable dumbbell set are the many compatible accessories and complementary equipment available (i.e. fat grip adapter, kettlebell attachment, straight bar, EZ-curl bar, Super Bench, dumbbell spotting stand) that enhance and expand its functionality. I’ll discuss these options in greater detail, later.
How do the dumbbells work?
The Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells use the Quick-Lock screws to secure the weights to the dumbbell.
With the dumbbell handle lying horizontally, you place the desired number of plates against the dumbbell handle. Check that each plate is properly aligned; the grooves on the back of each plate should fit securely into the grooves of the plate in front of it…
…Then, take one of the Quick-Lock pins and insert it through the center hole of the plates so that the arrow on the pin is in line with the indentation of the dumbbell handle. Proceed to screw it into the handle until it’s tight.
Repeat this process on the other side of the dumbbell, and then again on both sides of the second dumbbell.
The video below (starring yours truly) demonstrates how simple it is to both add and remove weight:
Pros & Cons of the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells
Having now finished my summary of the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells, I’ll get to the part that you probably care about most: the pros and cons of the Ironmaster Dumbbells.
Natural look & feel
Feels and looks like a traditional fixed dumbbell. Unlike some of the more “creative” adjustable dumbbells out there (e.g. PowerBlock dumbbells), the Ironmasters actually feel like fixed dumbbells when you handle them. They also look quite similar to fixed dumbbells, with the minor difference of square-shaped weights.
Expandable to 165 lbs
Greatest expandability of (almost) any adjustable dumbbell on the market, of up to 165 lbs. Spinlock or Olympic handles are the only types of adjustable dumbbells that you could expand to more than 165 lbs., though doing so would entail using taller weight plates, which sacrifices functionality on some exercises.
Thanks to their simple design and all-metal construction, these dumbbells can take a beating. Even with less-than-gentle use, the likelihood of damaging these dumbbells is minimal. This doesn’t mean you should slam the dumbbells on the floor or toss them around just “because you can.” That would be careless, and generally stupid behavior. What it does mean, though, is that you don’t have to coddle the weights like a newborn baby.
Once the weights are locked in, they stay locked in. There’s no rattling, shaking or loosening of dumbbells. This means you can lift them explosively or use them in swinging motions, without fear of the plates flying off.
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock dumbbell system has many accessory attachments available, which greatly expand your training options. I’ll talk about these attachments later.
Included dumbbell rack/stand
An accompanying stand comes standard when you buy the Ironmaster Quick-Lock dumbbell set. It’s very compact in size (14.5″ W x 19″ D x 26″ H), yet still large enough to fit a fully loaded pair of dumbbells on its top, and store all of its weights (including the optional 120 lb. add-on kit) within it. Thus, it serves to fulfill the average home gym owner’s requirement to maximize space efficiency. Standing at just over two feet tall, it is specifically designed to facilitate racking/unracking the dumbbells in an ergonomically sound fashion.
Knurled steel on handles & knobs
Knurled steel on the screw knobs makes it easier to grasp onto the Quick-Lock screws and twist them on or off. The knurled steel on the dumbbell handles ensures you maintain the tightest possible grip on the dumbbells, even if your hands are drenched in sweat. The only catch is that you’ll have to endure some minor discomfort while your hands adapt to the rather harsh texture.
Customizable load distribution
You can load each end of the barbell independently of the other. This means that you can make one end heavier than the other end, if you so desire. Obviously, you would load the dumbbells evenly for the vast majority of exercises. But there are some movements where an uneven load is required (e.g. pronations, supinations, deviations) or desirable (e.g. hammer curls).
Plates compatible with any standard bar
The Quick-Lock plates will fit on any standard (1″ diameter) barbells or dumbbell handles that you have in your gym. So if you should ever have the need, you can use these plates on those bars without any issues.
Money back guarantee & lifetime warranty
You get a thirty day money back guarantee, with shipping covered if you decide to return it. The lifetime manufacturer’s warranty which includes repairs and part replacements (though you’d pay). See the full terms and conditions.
Longer adjustment time
The main downside of the Ironmasters is that it takes longer to adjust their weight, compared to “quick change” adjustable dumbbell sets like the PowerBlocks. It typically takes somewhere between 15 seconds to 90 seconds to adjust the weight. It varies depending on the amount of weight you’re adding/removing, whether you’re adjusting one or both dumbbells, and whether you are trying to change it as fast as you can or if you’re taking your sweet-ass time. 😀
Uneven weight distribution if using XX.5 lbs
If you’re trying to use a weight that’s not a multiple of 5 lbs. (e.g. 22.5, 57.5, etc.) by adding just one of the 2.5 lb. plates, then the dumbbell will be slightly heavier on whichever side you put the plate. This isn’t a problematic issue, though, because you can simply hold the weight slightly off-center to make it balanced.
Some organization required
Unlike the simple and convenient self-containing storage feature of dumbbell systems like the PowerBlock, the Ironmaster Quick-Lock dumbbells require separate storage of the many individual weight plates. Although the included dumbbell stand provides dedicated storage space, you must still maintain some level of organization within it. Otherwise, you waste time sorting through a disheveled mess of weights to find the right one. I personally don’t believe that this issue deserve a full-blown “con” status, since the worst case scenario is that you experience a temporary and minor inconvenience. However, I’ve included it here because the significance of this issue is for you to judge, not me.
Dumbbells/plates slightly lighter than stated
First off, thanks to Patrick A. for pointing this “con” out to me – When fully loaded, each dumbbell is closer to 70 lbs, than it is to the stated 75 lbs. Also, the weights of the individual plates weight plates can vary slightly from their stated weights, meaning one dumbbell can weigh up to 300 grams (2/3 lbs) more than the other (up to 800 grams, or 1¾ lbs, on the 120 lb set). In Ironmaster’s defense, they do advertise 75 lbs as the nominal weight. And the weight can vary between plates because of inconsistent steel quality in the manufacturing process. While all of this is worth noting, I don’t think it’s a big deal. The nominal vs. real poundage of the weight is unimportant; what’s matters is if you’re progressing or not. And the potential weight difference between dumbbells is pretty negligible (I’ve never felt any difference).
Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbell Reviews & Demos
Below, I’ve compiled the most helpful video reviews that I found for the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells.
The first two video reviews are from ordinary weight trainees…
…The third set of video reviews, as you’ll see, is from a not-so-ordinary lifter who you may recognize.
Below are three clips of IFBB pro bodybuilder Lee Priest reviewing and using the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells during his chest workout:
- The base set includes 2 x 5 lb. dumbbell handles, 24 x 5 lb. weight plates, 4 x 2.5 lb. plates and 4 standard-sized Quick-Lock screws
- 5 to 75 lbs.
- Adjusts in 2.5 lb. increments
- 6.5″ W x 6.5″ H x 14.5″ L (14.5″ length when fully loaded)
- Included stand for racking the dumbbells between sets, as well as for storing plates and pins. Its dimensions are 14.5″ W x 19″ D x 26″ H.
- Price: $749 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
- You must first have the 75 lb. base unit for the 120 lb. kit to work.
- The kit includes 4 x 22.5 lb. plates (45 extra lbs. per dumbbell) and 4 extended-length Quick-Lock screws (2 per dumbbell)
- 70 to 120 lbs.
- 2.5 lb. increments
- 6.5″ W x 6.5″ H x 18.5″ L (18.5″ length when fully loaded)
- Fully loaded dumbbells still fits on the stand
- Price: $349 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
- You must first have the 120 lb. add-on kit, as well as the 75 lb. base unit, to use all 165 lbs.
- The 165 lb. add-on kit includes 4 x 22.5 lb. plates (an extra 45 lbs per dumbbell) and 4 extra-long screws. These screws are different than the screws used in the 75 lb and 120 lb sets in that they are fully threaded (as opposed to partially).
- 122.5-165 lbs.
- 2.5 lb. increments
- 6.5″ W x 6.5″ H x 23.5″ L (23.5″ length when fully loaded)
- Fully loaded dumbbells won’t fit all the way on the rack
- You must custom order this kit via phone (US: 800-533-3339, Int’l: 425-408-9040).
- Purchase is non-returnable and non-refundable
- Expect delivery to take 2-3 weeks
- The original warranty is void if you drop, or otherwise mistreat, the dumbbells when using the 165 lb. kit. This is because the dumbbell set was originally designed to withstand rough use for a maximum weight of 120 lbs using the partially threaded Quick-Lock screws.
- Price: $349 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
Each of the three dumbbell kits (75lb/120lb/165lb) have varying screw sizes, though they share the following commonalities:
- The knob size on all three screw size is the same: 4 inch diameter, 0.5 inch thickness.
- There is knurled steel around the edge of each knob, which allows you to easily grip onto and untwist the screw.
- The screws are constructed from chrome-plated solid steel
Again, the above are the similarities of the screws. The differences are shown in the images and descriptions below:
75 lb. Quick-Lock Screws
As shown below, the screws for the 75 lb. base unit are 4 inches long and weigh 2.5 lbs. If you ever lose one of these or need a replacement for any reason, you can buy them separately here.
120 lb. Quick-Lock Screws
As shown below, the screws for the 120 lb. add-on kit are 6 inches long and weigh 3 lbs. If you ever lose one of these or need a replacement for any reason, you can buy them separately here.
165 lb. Fully-Threaded Screws
As shown below, the screws for the 165 lb. add-on kit are 8.5 inches long and weigh 3.5 lbs. Additionally, these screws differ from those from the 75 lb. and 120 lb. sets in that they are fully (not partially) threaded…
…That is, the threading wraps all the way around the screw’s circumference, as opposed to only part of the way around it.
Because of this design, these screws aren’t actually “Quick-Lock” screws, since you have to screw them in all the way (instead of sliding them in most of the way before tightening them). This provides extra tightness to ensure the weights remain in place with the heavier load.
If you ever lose one of these or need a replacement for any reason, then you need to contact Ironmaster directly.
- 5 lb. handle
- 6.5″ inner handle length
- 7″ total handle length w/o plates or screws (8″ with screws)
- 1.25″ handle diameter
- The dumbbell ends have recessed grooves that are designed to hold the first weight plate in place, and prevent it from moving
There are three plate sizes for this dumbbell set: 2.5, 5 and 22.5 pounds. All three have the same length and width dimensions of 6.5″ x 6.5″. However, they vary in thickness. Below are their respective thickness specifications.
- 2.5 lb. plates are approx. 0.25″ thick.
- 5 lb. plates are approx. 0.5″ thick.
- 22.5 lb. plates are approx. 2.25″ thick.
Other notable information about the weight plates includes the following:
- Standard 1″ diameter center hole
- Cast iron construction with a painted black surface
- Each plate is within 3% of its stated weight
- The plates have an interlocking design, which keeps them aligned and secure
All of the following accessories can be found here.
Fat Grip Adapter Handle
If you want to enjoy the benefits of thick bar training, then you’re in luck.
The Fat Grip Adapter specifications are listed below:
- There are two different fat grip adapters available that increase the original 1.25″ handle diameter size. One will increase it to 1.5″, and the other will increase it to 2″.
- The adapters are made from a high-strength plastic composite material.
- Just as with the regular dumbbell handles, the fat grip adapters have knurled textures, which facilitates a more secure and better quality grip.
- Each adapter consists of two halves, which you secure around the handle with small screws. Keep a Phillips screwdriver nearby if you want to take them on and off during your workout.
- Price: $29 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
Ironmaster Quick-Lock Kettlebell
The Quick-Lock kettlebell is a innovative, yet simple design that uses the same plates and pins as the dumbbells. So if you’ve already got the dumbbells, then all you need is the kettlebell attachment, itself.
The notable information about the kettlebell includes:
- Handle weighs 22.5 lbs.
- Adjustable in 2.5 lb. increments
- 1.375″ diameter grip
- Solid steel construction; no knurling.
- Maximum weight is 57.5 lbs. when using 32.5 lbs. worth of plates (i.e. 6 x 5 lbs. + 1 x 2.5 lbs.), along with an accompanying standard-sized Quick-Lock screw (i.e. the kind used in the 75 lb. base set).
- Maximum weight is 80 lbs. when using 55 lbs. worth of plates (i.e. 1 x 22.5 lbs. + 6 x 5 lbs. + 1 x 2.5 lbs.), along with an accompanying extended-length Quick-Lock screw (the kind used in the 120 lb. add-on kit).
- Price for Kettlebell Handle Only: $119 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
- Price for Kettlebell Weight Kit (57.5 lbs.): $109 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
- Price for Kettlebell Weight Kit (80 lbs.): $89 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
- Price for Kettlebell Handle + Add-on Weight Kit (80 lbs. total): $275 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
While I’ve personally never done any kettlebell work, I am certainly tempted to buy this nifty attachment so that I can start learning. That said, I wouldn’t seriously consider this purchase until after buying the 120 lb. add-on kit.
UPDATE: I did end up buying the Ironmaster Kettlebell, but only after buying the 120 lb. add-on kit for the dumbbells. I only had to buy the kettlebell handle (as opposed to the handle + weights combo) since I already had all the weights and quick-lock screws needed to get to the max kettlebell weight of 80 lbs.
This ended up being a good investment, as it some great variety to my training. I had fun learning the basic kettle movements, like the kettlebell swing, which I used mostly as a full body warm up exercise. My favorite kettlebell movement, which I learned after buying the handle, was the kettlebell lateral raise as taught by Alberto Nuñez in the video below:
Quick-Lock Kettlebell Overview
Watch the clip below for a general outline of the kettlebell attachment, its uses and how it works:
Quick-Lock Kettlebell Exercises
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock kettlebell attachment introduces a whole host of new and different exercise options. In this video, professional MMA fighter Lyle Beerbohm demonstrates many of the movements made possible by the kettlebell attachment:
A personal trainer does a quick review of the kettlebell attachment and then performs a workout using it:
Quick-Lock EZ Curl Bar Attachment
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock EZ Curl Bar gives you a few more options for biceps and triceps exercises.
The major specs and measurements for this accessory include:
- 7″ ends (i.e. space available on each side for plates)
- 48″ total bar length
- 34″ inside grip length
- Solid steel construction with knurled grip
- Uses spinlock collars to secure plates
- If you have the four 22.5 lb. plates from the 120 lb. add-on kit as well as the weights from the 75 lb. set, then the maximum load is 165 lbs. (15 lb. bar plus 75 lbs. per side).
- If you have only the plates from the 75 lb. set, then the max bar weight is 145 lbs. (15 lb. bar plus 65 lbs. per side).
- Adjustable in 2.5 lb. increments
- Price: $129 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
Quick-Lock Straight Bar Attachment
The major specs and measurements for the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Straight Bar include:
- 11.5″ ends (i.e. space available on each side for plates)
- 66″ total bar length
- 42.5″ inside grip length
- Solid steel construction with knurled grip
- Uses spinlock collars to secure plates
- If you have the four 22.5 lb. plates from the 120 lb. add-on kit as well as the weights from the 75 lb. set, then the maximum load is 228 lbs. (18 lb. bar plus 105 lbs. per side).
- If you have only the plates from the 75 lb. set, then the max bar weight is 160 lbs. (18 lb. bar plus 65 lbs. per side).
- Adjustable in 2.5 lb. increments
- Price: $139 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
Ironmaster Super Bench, Super Bench Spotting Stand & MORE Accessories
UPDATE – May 2019: Ironmaster recently created an upgraded version of the Super Bench, called the Super Bench Pro. I go into detail about this new bench my Ironmaster Super Bench Pro review and I also talk about it in my article on the best adjustable weight benches.
The Ironmaster Super Bench is better categorized as being a separate piece of equipment that is complementary to the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell system, as opposed to an accessory for it…
…That said, I’ve nonetheless included it in this section because of its compatibility when used with the dumbbells and other dumbbell accessories, like the Super Bench Spotting Stand shown below:
I’ll give you just a few of the key features and specs of the Super Bench, which by the way, is considered by many to be one of the best adjustable weight benches on the market.
- 11 flat/incline/decline angles: 0, 5,10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 & 85 degrees.
- 1000 lb weight capacity rating in flat position
- 600 lb weight capacity ratings in incline and decline positions
- Constructed from sturdy 11 and 12 gauge
- Removable seat for use on incline angles, which you can insert into any of three different positions; angle of seat to backrest is always perpendicular regardless of the bench’s incline setting
- Bench dimensions in flat position: 44″ L x 18.75″ W x 20″ H
- Bench frame footprint: 18.75″ W x 41″ L
- Thick, firm and durable bench pad measuring 44″ L x 10″ W x 3″ H (vinyl upholstery)
- Many, many innovative Super Bench accessories are available to expand its uses, including all of the following: crunch/sit-up attachment, dip handle attachment, chin up bar attachment, leg curl/extension attachment, preacher curl attachment, wheel kit (to more easily move bench around), hyper core attachment, cable tower attachment, cable tower seat, dumbbell spotting stand, barbell adapter for spotting stand, dumbbell/barbell spotting stand combo and step bench attachment (to protect the bench from your feet on step ups or similar exercises)
- Price for Super Bench (without accessories): $359 (Free S&H to lower 48 US states)
You get A LOT of bang for your buck with this, and I may very well end up buying one in the future, even though I have an adequate bench at the moment.
The videos below provide additional information and show you a bunch of different exercise applications and optional Super Bench accessories.
Super Bench Overview
See the video below for an overview of the Super Bench:
And this video gives some additional details on how to operate the bench as well as how to use use some of its available accessories:
Super Bench Exercises
The video below shows the several exercises you can do on the Super Bench:
Spotting Stand Overview
To gain a better understanding of how the dumbbell spotting stand works, take a look at the video below:
Instructions & Documents
- How to Use Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells
- Ironmaster Brochure for Quick-Lock Dumbbells, Accessories & Related Products
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell 120 lb Add on Kit Instructions
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell Rack/Stand Assembly Instructions
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell Fat Grip Adapter Handle
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell Spotting Stand Attachment
- Ironmaster Quick-Lock Kettlebell Instructions
Are you ready to buy your own pair of Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells?
If this review/product guide has convinced you that these dumbbells will meet your needs, I’m confident you’ll be just as happy with your purchase as I’ve been with mine.
Click here to buy if you’re ready to invest in your own set of Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells.