BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell review TL;DR: one of the best mechanical adjustable dumbbells with a colossal weight spread. Get the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell if you want to progress your strength training at home.
A fully-equipped home gym is the dream for those of us who like to work out at home, but often it's a lack of space that stands in the way of that becoming a reality. Taking up the most room in any home gym is the dumbbell rack. You don't need to be a fitness enthusiast to know how essential a good weight range is to support your fitness goals.
This could see you investing in at least 12 individual dumbbells to ensure the range is wide enough. Not only does this consume heaps of space, but it can be pretty expensive, too.
Enter the best adjustable dumbbells: a super versatile bit of equipment that has grown in popularity of late thanks to its compact, space-saving merits and increasingly accessible price.
Measuring the same as just one dumbbell, the adjustable variety allows you to change the weight in an instant. You can see why many people think adjustable dumbbells are also the best dumbbells.
And of all the adjustable dumbbells available now, the BLK BOX version is so excellent that it won the Best Home Weight category at the T3 Awards 2022!
BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell Review: price and availability
The BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell launched in summer 2021 and is available to buy now at BLK BOX (opens in new tab) in the UK for £299.99. Although it’s worth noting that this is for just one dumbbell, not a pair, so it does work out a little pricier than those competitors who sell their dumbbells as a set.
In the box, you’ll get one adjustable dumbbell offering a more comprehensive weight range than seen on most adjustable dumbbells of 2-32kg alongside a metal base with plastic accents. As you can imagine, the box is pretty heavy, so you might need some help when it comes to delivery, especially if there are stairs involved. Gulp.
By the way, there’s only one colourway available, and that’s a nice and minimal black and chrome.
BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell Review: design
The BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell is sturdy and made from some pretty heavy-duty materials. Its steel weight plates feel exceptionally durable, and the chrome-plated knurled handles have been designed well, offering a firm, ergonomic and comfortable feel in any grip style.
However, even as one of the more expensive options out there, the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell doesn’t quite have the polished finish as many of the other dumbbells we’ve used, such as the JaxJox DumbbellConnect. Its finish, for example, is a bit rough around the edges. And the paint job could have been better executed, in our opinion.
Nevertheless, the BLK BOX dumbbell boasts one of the most impressive weight-changing mechanisms we’ve ever used on an adjustable, purely because it’s just so easy to use. All you have to do is twist the handle of the bar forwards or backwards to cycle through the increments and select your weight, which is displayed beside the handle. It’s very satisfying to use and works effortlessly in most cases.
Overall, the finish could have felt more premium for the price, but you can still tell this is a good quality product made from industry-grade materials.
BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell Review: features and performance
As we’ve already mentioned, one of the most impressive features of the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell is the weight range available. This is when the dumbbell really comes into its own. Increments range from a tiny 2kg (4.4Ibs) all the way up to a monstrous 32kg (70.5Ibs), and that’s in the following weights: 2kg, 4kg, 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg and 32kg.
While the wider weight range is a great thing, it does mean that some of the standard dumbbell weights that you might use during your regular workout are missed out, for instance, 10kg, 14kg and 18kg. The significant jump between weights might make it difficult to progress if your training sees you grow out of a certain weight and the next available is just a little too heavy.
In this case, you could use the heavier weight but reduce the rep count on the sets you’re performing. However, be mindful that this could alter the outcome of your weight training from hypertrophy (bulking-focused) to strength—just something to consider.
Despite the above, the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell performs very well during use. We tested it extensively for different weight training exercises, specifically giant sets (performing four different weights exercises in succession without rest) where, in most cases, you need to transition between various weighted dumbbells quickly. We found the swift switching ability of the mechanism supported us very well in these endeavours, with little time lost in-between exercises.
The same can be said for timed HIIT workouts, where you might need to alternate between different weighted dumbbells under time constraints.
The only gripe we have is that sometimes the plastic connectors that sit inside the steel plates to help retain their circular shape had a tendency to fall out during use, usually if we gripped the weights in a particular position, for example, holding it by the inner plate for an overhead tricep extension exercise. It’s easy enough to pop back in but can prove irritating if it happens more than once while working out and also cheapens the experience a little. Not something you want for a £300 dumbbell, really.
BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell Review: verdict
Made from some high-quality materials, the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell is a seriously robust bit of kit thanks to its steel weight plates and chrome-plated knurled handles.
Despite the jump between different weights being rather steep, the dumbbell is super versatile, offering users one of the most extensive weight ranges we’ve ever seen, starting at 2kg and going all the way up to 32kg. We also love its unique weight-changing mechanism, which we think is one of the most impressive out there - purely because it’s just so quick and easy to use. This makes it an excellent option for HIIT fans who prefer fast-paced weighted workouts.
The only letdown here is the finish, which could have been better executed - especially when it carries such a premium price tag. Still, if that doesn’t bother you so much, you’re likely to be very happy with this dumbbell if it’s in your budget.
BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell Review: also consider
We have two options for those of you who live in the US.
The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell might not go quite as heavy as the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell, but it's still an excellent alternative for people who take muscle building at home seriously but can't afford a pair of Bowflex 552s.
There is also the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set; slightly lighter again but a brilliant fitness tool that's ideal for anyone who lacks space. It's also great for anyone new to weight training since the purchase includes one year of virtual fitness classes, courtesy of iFit.
People in the UK can always opt-in for the MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell. It delivers a workout experience similar to the Bowflex SelectTech 1090i for a fraction of its price. MuscleSquad's monster dumbbell takes up surprisingly little space yet leaves a lot of room for progression and to 'go heavy'.
Or, you know, you can always just get the Bowflex SelectTech 1090i. Obviously.
And as a cheaper and less heavy option, you can give the Domyos Weight Training 20 Kg Threaded Weights Kit a try. It's a robust weight kit that’s ideal for those doing cardio, HIIT or other fat-burning workouts at home. The design and unprotected iron weights ensure you get an old-school pump!