Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

The Primal's adjustable dumbbells will give you the option to lift anything from 5 to 34 kilos with ease

Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review
(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)
Reasons to buy
  • +

    Easy to set up

  • +

    Looks the part

  • +

    High maximum weight setting

  • +

    Wide, comfortable grip

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not as compact as non-adjustable dumbbells

  • -

    The sliding mechanism can sometimes catch

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If you haven’t heard of Primal before, you have now. The British brand, established in 2016, launched its Personal 34kg Adjustable Dumbbells to cater to “both everyday lifters and the everyday athlete.” The company also sells a huge range of kits, from commercial squat racks to home gym wall-mounted pulleys.

Now I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of adjustable dumbbells - they’re the key to a clutter-free home gym and a surefire way to save space. But when these dumbbells arrive, I start to question if they will actually save space. They arrive in two huge and very heavy boxes - unpacking them is a workout in itself.

However, once unravelled, I found it straightforward to set up the dumbbells, and getting started was easy enough, with or without the instructions. 

The set offers you weight options from 5kg to 34kg, giving you 21 different weights to work with. That’s enough of a weight range to help you progress in your workouts,  whether it be a heavy leg workout or rehabbing with lighter isometric dumbbell exercises.

But are the dumbbells worth the investment? Did they save time when it came to chopping and changing the weights? And were there any niggles when doing so? 

Let's find out.

Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

Price and availability

The Primal Personal 34kg Adjustable Dumbbells were launched in Autumn 2022 and are available to buy directly from for an RRP of $264/£499/AU$967. You can also buy a single dumbbell for $327/£259.99/AU$502 or the pair with a stand for $694/£549.99/AU$1066. We tested the pair.

Design and build quality

Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)

At first glance, the Primal Personal dumbbells look great. They are well-designed - not scary or bulky and stand out as solid, slick and streamlined.

Built to last, they have a metal construction with handles and plates made from cast iron with a polypropylene cover. The handle has a gnarled pattern, which I found extremely grippy and comfortable to hold—even with petite hands.

They’re a little longer than the other adjustable dumbbells I tested, so the footprint of each dumbbell in its tray is larger than some. However, one thing I did notice was that the actual working dumbbell size depends on the weight you choose; the lighter the weight, the smaller the dumbbell. You’ll also notice that the tray conveniently displays all the weight increments so you can see which weight you’re selecting for your next lift.

Going back to the tray, it cradles the weights perfectly and is made with flexible plastic. One thing I experienced on my first use of the weights was that when I took the dumbbells out, the weight plates that weren’t being used all collapsed and fell into themselves—not good for a quick dumbbell workout. However, once I had patiently popped them back into place, it didn’t happen again. Let’s just put that one down to beginner's luck!

Workout performance

Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)

The Primal Personal adjustable dumbbells function just like any good-quality dumbbell; however, their built-in sliding mechanism means their weight can be switched very quickly and effortlessly between sets. 

To manoeuvre, you lift the nob on each dumbbell and slide it across to cleverly select the weight plates required for that particular weight or exercise. I did feel a slight resistance when selecting my weight, as the slider didn’t always glide as smoothly as I hoped.

This resulted in the plates not unlocking and not being able to lift the dumbbells from the cradle. But with practice and by placing my spare hand on the dumbbells when sliding, it became more fluid and was easy to tell when the grip was clicked into place. You then lift them out of the tray and go. 

The weights go up in 10-pound increments, or you can make smaller incremental movements of 2.5lb adjustments, which sit at the front of the dumbbell. They start at 10 lbs and move up to 20 lbs, 30 lbs, 40 lbs, 50 lbs, 60 lbs, and 70 lbs, which is a superb weight range for both my ‘girlie’ training and my partner's workouts, too. 

One thing he also liked was the flat head at the end of the dumbbell. In the past, we’ve used adjustable dumbbells with a spin collar at the end. This is a no-go when resting the dumbbells on your legs to prepare for big moves like the shoulder or chest press and can prove extremely uncomfortable as the ends dig into your legs.


Primal Personal Series 34kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)

These weights are hugely versatile. You can start with just one dumbbell. Then buy another to make the pair - then going forward buy the stand which neatly holds the dumbbells when not in use. 

Annoyingly selecting the weights wasn’t as seamless as I hoped - I’ve used the spin and select dumbbells in the past but I soon got used to them. 

I liked that the length of the dumbbells was smaller the lighter the weight was selected, this made them feel super balanced and comfortable to use; there’s nothing worse than lat-raising with 3kg but the dumbbells looking longer than my arms. I also liked the smaller 2.5lb increments on offer at the top of the dumbbells - it helped me jump up the weights slowly but surely with plenty more to progress too. 

The price is pretty steep, but they are well-made and durable. They go up to a decent weight at 34kg and even when loaded to the max, they felt well-constructed, secure and safe enough when pressed overhead. I still wouldn’t drop them on the floor though - well-made or not; adjustable dumbbells simply aren’t made for slamming to the floor - we know it feels good!

Also consider

I’ve only yet to test the Bowflex Selecttech - which are equally as pricey yet not as user-friendly thanks to their very clunky design and 4kg start weight; that’s my bicep curls out of the window! 

I do like the look of the BrainGain 40KG Octagon Adjustable Dumbbells though, which change by a 'twist handle' method and adjust between 2.5kg and 40kg in 2.5-kilo increments. 

If you’re looking for something less clunky than the BrainGain’s you can look at the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell, which is round and sleek like the Primal Personals and offer a very similar shape. Weight wise they range from 2-32kg. 

And if you really want to take some leg work out of selecting your dumbbells (excuse the pun), the DumbbellConnect by JaxJox are adjusted via Bluetooth Connectivity and range from 3.6kg - 22.7kg. They also have an app that will connect to the dumbbells and keep track of your reps and the weights used during each session, which in our eyes is pretty smart.