Is the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell system right for you? If so, which specific model should you choose?
This page will teach you how to accurately assess which PowerBlock model is the best adjustable dumbbell set for your needs. I’ve included:
- My top recommendations
- A comparison chart of all the PowerBlock dumbbell “series”: Elite vs Sport vs Pro vs PowerBlock Series and more!
- In-depth head-to-head comparison of the models
- Videos & photos of each different PowerBlock dumbbell set.
To start, I’ll summarize my top PowerBlock recommendations in the chart below:
Rated 5 out of 5 in Adjustable Dumbbells
Rated 4.5 out of 5 in Adjustable Dumbbells
Rated 4.5 out of 5 in Adjustable Dumbbells
Need more info? Keep reading this page! (Afterwards, you may also want to check out my PowerBlock dumbbells review, where I discuss the pros & cons of the PowerBlock system, plus other details.)
Table of Contents
A General Overview of PowerBlock Dumbbells
Currently, there are 4 series of PowerBlock dumbbells in production, including the:
- Pro Series: This includes the Pro Series home-use models and the Commercial Pro Series.
- Elite Series: Formerly called the “Classic Series,” this includes both the Elite USA and the Elite EXP. The Elite EXP are imported and only sold through third-party retailers.
- Sport Series: These are identical to the “PowerBlock Series” in everything but the color scheme. They are only available through third-party retailers.
- PowerBlock Series: They are virtually identical to the Sport Series with the only difference being the colors. Like the Sports Series and the Elite EXP, they are only sold through third-party retailers.
Within each series, there are several different models. I’ll go over them 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 differences.
This process of gathering, filtering and analyzing crucial product information takes hours of research and can be frustrating. It’s the last thing you’d want to 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 following paragraphs for an important note regarding the information in my PowerBlock comparison chart below.
You’ll notice that some models in the chart below have different “stages” (i.e. Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3). What this means is that you can expand the weight capacity of the base dumbbell set (i.e. the Stage 1 set) with a Stage 2 expansion kit and then a Stage 3 expansion kit.
So, you can buy just the Stage I model to begin with, and then purchase the expansion kit(s) separately, at some point 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.
Alternatively, you can buy the dumbbell sets with the expansion kit(s) included. This is what the “Stage 2” and “Stage 3” models in the chart refer to. You save some money this way, as opposed to buying the base set and expansion kits separately.
Example: You could buy just the Sports EXP Stage 1 set now, and then have the option to buy the Stage 2 and Stage 3 expansion kits later. Alternatively, you could buy the Sports EXP Stage 2 set now and have the choice to buy the Stage 3 expansion kit later. Or, the third and final option would be to go all out and buy the Sports EXP Stage 3 set now and have everything included from the get-go.
Currently Available Models:
|Model||Use||Series||Range (lbs.)||Increments (lbs.)||Unavailable|
|Adder Weights||LxWxH (in.)||Price|
|Home||Elite||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6x6||$419 + S&H|
|Home||Elite||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6x6||$608 + S&H|
|Home||Elite||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6x6||$797 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||3 - 24||3||None||No||10.5x5.25x5||$199 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||10 - 50||5||None||No||12.5x6.5x6.5||$399 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||$409 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6.5x6.5||$588 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||$767 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||4 - 32||4||None||No||12x5.75x5.5||$339 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 50||2.5||None||Yes||13x7x7.25||$499 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12.5x7x7.25||$509 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14.75x7x7.25||$708 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||17x7x7.25||$907 + S&H|
|Home||PowerBlock||10 - 50||5||None||No||12.25x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||4 - 32||4||None||No||13.5x5.5x5.5||$339 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||10 - 50||5||None||No||N/A||$899 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||5 - 90||5||None||No||N/A||$1429 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||12.5 - 125|
|7.5||110, 117.5, 125 (has 111, 120 & 127 instead)||No||17.25" L at 125 lbs||$1749 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||12.5 - 175||7.5||110, 117.5, 125, 132.5 (has 111, 120, 127 & 137.5 instead)||No||20.75" L at 175 lbs||$2129 + S&H|
|Model||Use||Series||Range (lbs.)||Increments (lbs.)||Unavailable Increments (lbs.)||Adder Weights||LxWxH (inches)||Price ($)|
|Home||Classic||5 - 45||5||None||No||12x6x6||N/A|
|Home||Classic||10 - 50||5||None||No||12x6x6.25||Check Price|
|Home||Classic||5 - 50||2.5||None||No||12x6x6 (?)||Check Price|
|Home||Classic||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||N/A|
|Home||Sport||3 - 24||3||None||No||?x?x?||Check Price|
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
Sport 5.0 + 20 lb Cores
|Home||Sport||20 - 65||5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
|Home||Sport||2.5 - 55||2.5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 1
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 2
|Home||Sport||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 3
|Home||Sport||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||N/A|
|Home||Urethane||2.5 - 20||2.5||None||No||11.5x5.5x5.5||N/A|
U-33 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||3 - 21||1||6, 10, 14, 18||Yes||10.5x5.5x5.5||N/A|
U-33 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||3 - 33||1||6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30||Yes||13.25x5.5x5.5||N/A|
|Home||Urethane||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||13x7.25x7||N/A|
U-70 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||5 - 40||2.5||32.5||Yes||11.75x7x7.25||N/A|
U-70 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||5 - 60||2.5||32.5, 42.5, 52.5||Yes||14x7x7.25||N/A|
U-70 Stage 3
|Home||Urethane||5 - 70||2.5||32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||15.25x7x7.25||N/A|
U-90 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12.5x7x7.25||N/A|
U-90 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14.75x7x7||N/A|
U-90 Stage 3
|Home||Urethane||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||17x7x7||N/A|
U-90 Stage 4
|Home||Urethane||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||N/A|
Heavy Weight XXXL 125 lb
|Home||Urethane||10 - 125||2.5**||22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,82.5, 97.5, 114||Yes (?)||17.25x8.5x8.5||N/A|
Heavy Weight XXXL 175 lb
|Home||Urethane||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||N/A|
** The precise weight increments for the “Heavy Weight 125 lb” and the “Heavy Weight 125 lb + 50 lb Add-On” are as follows: 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.
In-depth PowerBlock Comparison Guides
I’ve written in-depth PowerBlock comparison guides that compare the various series/models head-to-head. Check them out below:
- PowerBlock Pro vs Sport
- PowerBlock Pro vs Elite
- PowerBlock Elite vs Sport
- PowerBlock Elite USA vs Elite EXP
Note: I didn’t create any head-to-head comparison articles for the “PowerBlock Series” dumbbells (i.e. the PowerBlock EXP, PowerBlock 50) since the PowerBlock Series is basically identical to the Sport Series except for the color scheme and the fact that there’s no PowerBlock Series version of the Sport 24.
You may also be interested in my PowerBlock knurled handle review to learn about how you can upgrade the grips on certain PowerBlock dumbbell models.
What’s the Best PowerBlock Dumbbell Model to Buy?
Which PowerBlock model is best? The short answer is that the PowerBlock Pro EXP is the best PowerBlock dumbbell set.
The long answer is that the best PowerBlock model depends on a few different factors, including budget, training goals and how much you value certain design features. However, I can narrow down the choices for anyone like myself and most of my readers who are serious about lifting.
With that in mind, I’d only recommend buying PowerBlock dumbbells that are expandable to at least 90 lbs. This narrows your choices to five models:
- Pro EXP: The Pro EXP Stage 3 set goes up to 90 lbs per dumbbell.
- Elite USA: The Elite USA 90 comes with 90 lbs max capacity per dumbbell.
- The Elite 50 and Elite 70 are expandable up to 90 lbs with their own expansion kits.
- Sport EXP: Goes up to 90 lbs with the Stage 3 set.
- Pro 90 Commercial Set: The Pro 90 Commercial Set comes with 90 lbs max capacity per dumbbell. It is not expandable.
- Pro 125 Commercial Set or Pro 175 Commercial Set: The Pro 125 set is expandable to 175 lbs. with the 125-175 lb expansion kit. The Pro 175 set is 175 lbs when you get it.
#1 Pro EXP Stage 3 Set
My first choice would be one of the Pro EXP sets because:
- They are expandable to 90 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 row, dumbbell bench press).
- They have a protective Urethane coating over each weight block. This makes a major difference in preventing cosmetic as well as functional damage from short drops.
- The rails connecting the ends of each block to together use a superior non-welded “flex” design. This allows them to move and bend slightly, as shown above. This makes them MUCH less likely to be damaged from drops, compared to inflexible welded designs. These are the only home-use PowerBlock series that have this flex technology (the Pro Commercial also has it). The Classic (Elite), Sports and PowerBlock series’ all use a welded design. The Pro EXP’s flex design combined with its urethane coating, makes it unmatched in terms of durability and robustness.
- You can upgrade the handles with PowerBlock’s Pro knurled grips. This will provide you with a much more secure grip than the default rubberized grips.
- They’re the only PowerBlock series that’s compatible with the Kettlebell handle attachment, giving you access to an adjustable kettlebell option. They’re also the only line that’s compatible with the PowerBlock EZ Curl / Straight Bar handles which essentially convert the Pro EXP dumbbells into adjustable barbells!
- They have a 5-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 same warranty offered on ALL home-use PowerBlock models. Until recently, PowerBlock had 10-year, 15-year or lifetime warranties on different models. However, after noticing that the PowerBlock EXP warranty was less than this, despite being a better and more expensive dumbbell, I reached out to a PowerBlock rep for clarification (in early Jan. 2019). He told me that all new home-use PowerBlock models sold going forward now have a standard 5-year limited warranty. If you see conflicting information elsewhere, it’s out of date.
Want to learn more about these adjustable dumbbells? Be sure to read my full review of the PowerBlock Pro EXP dumbbell set.
NOTE: Although the 90 lb Pro EXP Stage 3 set would be my ideal first choice, I understand that budget is very important for most people, myself included…
…And the Pro EXP Stage 3 set is more expensive than the next best models: the Elite 90 and Sports EXP Stage 3. Specifically, the Pro EXP Stage 3 is currently $140 more than the Sports EXP Stage 3 and $110 more than the Elite 90.
If budget is a major concern, then either the Elite 90 set or the Sports EXP Stage 3 set may be the best choice for you. I’ll discuss those models next.
#2 Elite USA 90 Set & #3 Sport EXP Stage 3 Set
…However, if I was forced to choose, I would give the edge to the Elite 90 because it’s made in the USA and PowerBlock makes optional knurled grips to upgrade the handle. PowerBlock doesn’t make knurled grips for the Sport EXP — you’ll have to go to a third party like BSE for that.
Each model has its own positives and negatives, described below, which makes choosing between the two such a difficult decision.
- The Elite dumbbells are by far the best-selling model.
- The Elite dumbbells are made in the USA. The Sport EXP (and all other PowerBlock dumbbells) are made in China.
- PowerBlock offers optional knurled handles that work with the Elite USA, and for a very good price. They have no such option that works for the Sport EXP. You can get knurled handle grips for the Sport EXP from a third party like Bare Steel Equipment (code KING10 saves you $10), but it costs a lot more.
- The Elite dumbbells have a “Closed Handle” design. This refers to the padded wrist support bars at the top of the handle. These supports let you prop your lower forearm against the pad to keep your wrist neutral with little effort. It can also provide leverage on curls so that you focus more on your biceps. Some people love this. Others with very large hands and wrists find it to be restrictive to their wrist/forearm movement.
- The Sport EXP dumbbells are more affordable by $10-30 (i.e. Sport EXP Stage 1 is $10 less than the Elite 50; Sport EXP Stage 2 is $20 less than the Elite 70; Sport EXP Stage 3 is $30 less than the Elite 90).
- The Sport EXP dumbbells have an “Open Handle” design. There are no padded wrist support bars on the top of the handle like the Elite has. This gives you all the side-to-side range of motion to move your wrists/forearms without obstruction.
- The Sport EXP dumbbells have the “Auto lock” lever feature for closing the adder weight ports automatically when you place the handles back inside of the blocks. Whereas, you have to remember to move the manual lever to “Closed” on the Elite dumbbells.
- Both sets go up to 90 lbs per dumbbell. This is plenty of weight for the vast majority of lifters on the vast majority of exercises.
Read my guide on the PowerBlock Elite vs Sport for an in-depth comparison of these models.
Note there are also the “PowerBlock EXP” dumbbells as well. I’m grouping these in with the Sport EXP since they are the same as the Sport EXP in terms of design/shape, dimensions, increments and max capacity. The main difference is the color scheme (grey/black vs black/red). Importantly, the PowerBlock EXP sets are only available through 3rd party retailers like Amazon, Walmart, etc. I’d personally opt for the Sport EXP since it’s sold by PowerBlock.com so if you ever have an issue, you can deal directly with the manufacturer.
For anyone wondering, the Sport EXP and PowerBlock EXP expansion kits are interchangeable. The only difference is that the colors of the blocks are different (grey for the Sport EXP vs black the PowerBlock EXP).
#4 Pro 90 Commercial Set
My fourth choice would be the Pro 90 Commercial Set.
This is a beefed-up version of the PowerBlock Pro EXP Stage 3 dumbbell set (which I ranked #1). It’s really made for use in a commercial gym, hence the name.
It has 3 major differences compared to the Pro EXP Stage 3:
- It’s overall more durable so it can handle rougher commercial gym use conditions. However, because these are likely to be used in tougher settings, they have a shorter 1-year commercial warranty, as opposed to the 5-year limited home use warranty that the Pro EXP has.
- The handles, by default, are straight and made of stainless steel with knurling for better grip. This is a big upgrade from the contoured thermoplastic rubber (TPR) grips that come standard on the home-use PowerBlocks. Though, you can upgrade to knurled electroless nickel-plated steel grips on the Elite USA, Pro EXP and Pro 50 — a knurled stainless steel grip option will also be available for the Pro 100 EXP.
- There are two swappable pairs of handles (5 lbs & 10 lbs) and no adder weights. Changing the weight is even faster on this set because you don’t have to take the time to insert or remove the adder weights. You change the selector pin setting and/or swap the handles.
- You can achieve 5 lb increments by swapping the handles as needed. This is a small enough increment for efficient strength progression for most lifters on most exercises. Sometimes 2.5 lb increments would be nice, but 5 lbs is quite reasonable. And again, you don’t have to worry about adder weights to get this increment.
- It comes with a stand included, which has room for both dumbbells as well as the extra pair of handles.
The major negatives compared to the Pro EXP are as follows:
- It’s MUCH more expensive. It’s $522 more than the Pro EXP Stage 3 ($1429 vs $907) before shipping.
- It can’t do micro-adjustments of 2.5 lbs since it doesn’t have adder weights. However, it can still do 5 lb increments which are small enough for most exercises most of the time.
#5 Pro 125 / 175 Commercial Set
- It has the heaviest weight capacity of all the PowerBlock sets. The Pro 125 set is 125 lbs., but is expandable to 175 lbs with an add-on kit. The Pro 175 set comes with the 175 lb capacity from the start.
- It is 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 adjustable dumbbell set for very strong lifters who want rapid adjustment.
- As a commercial model, this set is more durable than all the home-use models. It needs to be in order to withstand use in commercial settings. That said, it has a 1-year commercial warranty instead of a 5 year home use warranty to account for the rougher conditions.
- Like the Pro 90 Commercial set, the Pro 125/175 Commercial set also has two swappable pairs of handles and no adder weights. However, these handles are 12.5 lbs & 20 lbs instead of 5 lbs and 10 lbs. The lack of adder weights is nice because you never have to fuss around with adding or removing them. You only have to move the selector pin and/or swap out the dumbbell handles to change the weight.
- The downside of having such a heavy max weight is that the smallest possible increments are 7.5 lbs (achieved by choosing either the lighter or heavier handles). A 7.5 lb increment is more than all other PowerBlock dumbbell models. It can make strength less efficient since 7.5 lbs per hand is a big jump for some exercises.
- Unlike the Pro 90 and Pro 50 Commercial sets, the Pro 125/175 Commercial dumbbells do not have knurled steel handle grips. There are currently no knurled handle upgrades available from PowerBlock for these models, either. They have contoured thermoplastic rubber (TPR) grips similar to the home-use models. These work fine, but knurled steel would’ve been a nice feature for such a premium offering.
- It comes with a dumbbell stand. The stand will fit both dumbbells at their full length. Plus it has a section in the center to store the second pair of swappable handles.
PowerBlock Dumbbell Videos & Pictures
U-20 – Discontinued:
U-33 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-33 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-50 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 3 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 3 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 4 – Discontinued:
XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight – Discontinued:
The XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight dumbbell set, which was part of PowerBlock’s home use line, has been discontinued. It has been replaced with the U175 club set, which is part of PowerBlock’s commercial-use equipment line.
U125 Club – Discontinued:
This is essentially the same as the XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight set. However, it is now part of the commercial product line. There may or may not be design improvements between the U125 and XXL 125.
XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight – Discontinued:
The XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight dumbbell set, which was part of PowerBlock’s home use line, has been discontinued. It has been replaced with the U125 club set, which is part of PowerBlock’s commercial-use equipment line.
U175 Club – Discontinued:
This is essentially the same as the XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight set. However, it is now part of the commercial product line. There may or may not be design improvements between the U175 and XXL 175.
Classic / Elite Series
Classic 45 – Discontinued:
Personal Trainer – Discontinued:
Elite 130 – Discontinued:
Sport 24 (formerly known as Sport 2.4):
The only difference between the Sport 24 and 2.4 is the name. After being out on the market for a while, the Sport 24 then got an upgraded style with different colors. The upgraded style is shown in the image below. The video below shows the previous style. The function and specs of both, however, are the same.
Sport 5.0 – Discontinued
The Sport 5.0 (shown directly below) has been replaced by the Sport 50 (shown in the following sub-section). They are essentially the same, except the old 5.0 is colorful and the new 50 is black.
The Sport 50 (shown below) is the same as the Sport 5.0 (shown above), except for the new all-black color:
Sport 5.5 – Discontinued:
Sport 9.0 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
The Sport 9.0 Stage 1 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 1 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 1 photo/video).
Sport 9.0 Stage 2 – Discontinued
The Sport 9.0 Stage 2 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 2 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 2 photo/video).
Sport 9.0 Stage 3 – Discontinued
The Sport 9.0 Stage 3 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 3 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 3 photo/video).
Learn More About PowerBlock Dumbbells
Hope this PowerBlock dumbbell review and comparison guide helped you choose the right model for your needs. You can shop all PowerBlock products here.
If you’re still not sure which model to buy or if you should even buy PowerBlocks, I recommend checking out my other PowerBlock and adjustable dumbbell articles: