Best Dumbbell Bar Sets For Your Home Gym

If you have a home gym, then you know buying equipment gets expensive real fast. Especially if you’re looked at buying a complete set of dumbbells.

One solution to lower the cost is an adjustable dumbbell bar. This is a handle on which you add weight plates. But there are a lot of different brands, sizes, and weights available.

In this article, I explain the features of different types of dumbbell bars. So you can save money while building your ultimate home gym.

1 inch vs 2 inch Dumbbell Bar

What Is A Dumbbell Bar?

In case you’re not familiar, a dumbbell bar is like a mini barbell. You can add weight plates to each end of the handle to create your own dumbbells of various sizes.

The advantage is that you don’t have to buy an entire rack of dumbbells. Instead, the dumbbell bar only needs a small number of weight plates to replace hundreds of pounds of traditional dumbbells. Saving you money and space.

The only downside is that they can be a little awkward with heavier weights. And you probably don’t want to toss them around or drop them like solid dumbbells.

Types Of Dumbbell Bars

There are multiple types of dumbbell bars to fit different uses, weight plates, and budgets. Two of the most common types are the 1-inch dumbbell bar and the 2-inch dumbbell bar.

1-Inch Dumbbell Bar

This dumbbell bar has an end that is 1-inch in diameter. This means it only works with weight plates that have a 1-inch diameter hole in the center.

Typically, 1-inch dumbbell bars are about 14 inches in length. So they take up very little space. They are also lighter and less expensive than other varieties.

 In addition, there are two types of ends available; threaded or smooth.

Threaded

This version of the 1-inch dumbbell bar has threaded ends. After loading the plates, you twist on the lock collar to hold the weights in place.

1 inch dumbbell bar dimensions

Smooth

This 1-inch dumbbell bar has smooth ends where the weights are held in place with 1-inch spring clip collars. The clips are faster for changing weight, but they can slide off on exercises when the dumbbell is tilted up.

2-Inch Dumbbell Bar

Another type of dumbbell bar has 2-inch diameter sleeves on the ends. These are like miniature Olympic bars and are compatible with standard size Olympic plates and clips.

The grip is still a 1-inch diameter knurled handle, but it’s slightly longer. And the overall length of the bar is around 20 inches. While they take up slightly more space, you can add more weight to 2-inch dumbbell bars.

2 inch dumbbell bar dimensions

How Much Does A Dumbbell Bar Weigh?

Without weight plates, dumbbell bars weigh 3-10 pounds each depending on the size, brand, and collars. Below is a table of several different examples to give you an idea.

Dumbbell Bar Weight By Size & Brand

Brand Diameter Length Weight
A2ZCARE 1″ 14″ 3.8 lbs (1.73 kg)
Day 1 Fitness 1″ 14″ 4 lbs (1.82 kg)
Sunny Health 1″ 14″ 4 lbs (1.82 kg)
Annzoe 2″ 20″ 7.83 lbs (3.56 kg)
UBOWAY 2″ 20″ 7.83 lbs (3.56 kg)
CAP Barbell 2″ 20″ 10 lbs (4.55 kg)

The weights in this table are based on the manufacturers’ specifications and include the weight of the collars. Actual weight may vary.

To put that in perspective, here are the weights of some other common types of gym bars.

  • Olympic Barbell – 45 lbs
  • Trap Bar (Hex Bar) – 45 lbs
  • EZ Curl Bar – 15-25 lbs
  • Smith Machine Bar – 6-36 lbs (depending on type and counterbalance)

Comparison Of Dumbbell Bars

When choosing between different types and brands of dumbbell bars, it’s important to consider what you want out of a bar. Such as what exercises you’ll be doing, what gym equipment you already have, and how much you want to spend.

Functionality

In terms of function, there’s not a big difference between 1 inch and 2-inch dumbbell bars. Both will hold weights and allow you to perform most dumbbell-type exercises.

Although there are some subtle differences. For example, the 1-inch threaded bar may be better for exercises where the bar is perpendicular to the floor, like hammer curls.

Whereas the 2-inch dumbbell bar is better if you plan on lifting really heavy weights. Each Olympic dumbbell bar can hold up to 150 lbs. While the 1-inch bar is only rated for 100 lbs.

Compatibility

Another important factor when choosing dumbbell bars is their compatibility with your existing equipment. Specifically, any weight plates you might already have.

If you already have a bunch of Olympic plates, then it makes more sense to go with the 2-inch dumbbell bar. And the same goes for the 1-inch bar if you already have 1-inch compatible weight plates.

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Cost

Of course, the cost is usually a deciding factor in any home gym purchase. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll probably want to go with the 1-inch dumbbell bars.

On average, 1-inch bars cost about $30 for a pair. While 2-inch bars cost around $70 per pair.

But keep in mind, they don’t come with weight plates. So if you already have Olympic plates, the 2-inch dumbbell bar will actually be more cost-effective.

Best Dumbbell Bar Sets For Your Home Gym

Before you make your purchase, it’s important to realize that you get what you pay for with home gym equipment. Skimping for the bargain brand will get you flimsy dumbbells that don’t last long. With that said, you don’t have to spend a fortune either.

If you opt for the 1-inch dumbbell bar, I would go with A2ZCARE threaded dumbbell handles. This particular brand offers a variety of sizes and options to fit what you’re looking for. And they have the best average rating on Amazon.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a 2-inch dumbbell bar, I would go with Annzoe Olympic dumbbell handles. These bars are high quality and come with screw-on collars that hold heavier weights in place.

Conclusion

Adjustable dumbbell bars are a great choice for upgrading your home gym without investing in several pairs of traditional dumbbells. The best set for you depends on what plates (if any) you already have and how you plan to use them.

With a good set of adjustable dumbbell bars, you’ll be able to do a greater number of exercises. And you can easily change the weight between sets and exercises. Altogether, these bars give you a more complete workout at home.

For more home workout ideas check out some of my related articles below!

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