My Review of the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

When I first joined a gym, one of the first pieces of equipment I remember being trained on was the dumbbells.   When I quit the gym, the first piece of equipment I bought to work out at home was… dumbbells.   As my strength increased, or when I decided to use them for other exercises like squats instead of just my arms, I had to naturally buy additional sets.   Before I knew it – I had more dumbbells laying around than I needed – or wanted.  I’m sure you can relate.

Adjustable dumbbells have been a relatively new revolutionary idea over the past few years.   There is no doubt streamlining your entire dumbbell collection into one simple and easy to use dumbbell set is the practical way to go.  The question becomes – which is the best?

Although there are various dumbbells out there, it didn’t take long before I saw that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells appeared to offer the most “pros” or advantages over any other set.

What to Look For:

When looking at the various types of dumbbells, I realized there are quite a few things to consider before making a purchase decision.  Dumbbells are not a one size fits all.  So keep reading because I will explain what you need to know in regards to purchasing a set, and how it relates to the Bowflex SelectTech 552.

  • Set or no set
  • Weight ranges
  • Adjustable weight increments
  • The adjustable dial
  • Overall size and weight

Do You Need a Set?

Typically dumbbells are purchased as a set – one for the left hand one for the right.   However, it isn’t uncommon to be in need of just one dumbbell.  Bowflex offers this particular type of adjustable dumbbell as both a set or as a single item.

Purchasing a set will cost more than obviously a single dumbbell, however a set should cost less than buying two single dumbbells.   This is something to think about if you are unsure whether you need one or two adjustable dumbbells.   As with any big purchase, the choice really comes down to what your needs are and what you feel comfortable with.

Fortunately Bowflex offers their adjustable dumbbells as both a single dumbbell or as a set of two.

What are the Weight Ranges?

The whole idea behind adjustable dumbbells is that you are able to adjust the amount of weight for the dumbbell to hold.  So rather than having a set of 5 lbs, and a set of 10 lbs, and a set of 12 lbs and so forth, you use one set that can accommodate a range of weights.

The Bowflex 552 has a range from 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs per dumbbell.  In total, it has 15 various settings you can use.  In other words, it takes the place of 15 different sets of dumbbells!

What are the Increments?

This set by Bowflex starts at 5 lbs and can be increased by 2.5 lb increments up until 25 lbs.  At this point the increments change to 5 lbs increments.   So for example, it will go from 20 lbs to 22.5 to 25 lbs, then it will advance to 30, 35, 40, 45 etc.

It Takes Just a Turn of the Dial

The SelectTech 552 model uses a dial system to select which amount of weight you want to use.  Make sure the set is positioned properly in its holder, and then move the dial on each end of the dumbbell to the desired weight.

Other brands use different methods, such as a key method.  This type will also work, but some have found it to be cumbersome when trying to move quickly from exercise to exercise.

Most reviewers do caution however, that it is important not to rush making weight changes regardless of the method used because safety should always be the first order of business.   Rushing through any exercise and half-heartily changing or adjusting any kind of exercise equipment is never a safe practice.

How Big are These Dumbbells?

Adjustable dumbbells generally run larger than your standard single weight dumbbell.  This is of course due to the fact that these are designed to hold various weight plates to accommodate 5 lbs through 52.5 lbs.   Each dumbbell measures 15.75 inches in length and 8 inches wide.   They are 9 inches tall in height.

Each one also weighs 52.5 lbs at max capacity.   If this is too heavy to carry or move, you can simply reduce the weight using the adjustable dial system and move them as needed.

How Much Do Adjustable Dumbbells Cost?

Various brands have different models of the adjustable dumbbell concept.  Generally, the higher the price the better the quality of the materials involved.

However, another factor regarding the overall price is that not all brands offer the same weight selections.   For example, the Weider PowerSwitch may be offered at the low $100’s, however, they only go up to 12.5 lbs.   The Bowflex SelectTech has a much greater range – up to 52.5 lbs.   Naturally, you will be paying more for a wider range of weight selections.

You should not pay more than $400 for these.   The Bowflex SelectTech models are sold online at Amazonwhich offers them as a set, as well as being sold separately.   At the time of this review, Amazon offered free shipping along with the purchase.


Whenever purchasing a product, checking out the warranty is an important part of the research process.   Knowing what the time frame would be for particular parts to be returned, refunded or exchanged is important.

Bowflex offers a two year limited warranty on all parts.   They also offer a 5 year warranty on the weight plates, and 1 year warranty on labor.


This type of exercise equipment does not require any accessories.  However, you can purchase the Bowflex SelectTech 552 / 1090 Dumbbell Stand which is designed to keep the dumbbells off the floor and at easy ergonomic reach.  This is especially helpful for those who struggle with lower back pain.   In addition, the stand includes a rack for hanging your workout towels on.

The stand comes with rollers/wheels as a convenient way to move the dumbbells before or after working out (or into a closet when company arrives).   There is a generous 30 year warranty provided by Bowflex for the stand.

What Do Others Have to Say?

Considering the 552 model averages a positive 4 stars out of 5 by reviewers at Amazon, most of the reviews were positive.    Here are a few comments:

“Amazing home workout tool”


“Excellent solution for P90X or those that don’t want a house full of weights”

“No regrets….”

“Happy Customer”

What About any Negative Reviews?

When it comes to exercise equipment, there is no one size fits all, and adjustable dumbbells are no exception.   One complaint was that the dumbbells break easily.   However, this often occurred after the reviewer(s) admitted that the dumbbells had been dropped hard on the floor.  Adjustable dumbbells should be treated like any other exercise equipment that has multiple parts.  And unless it is a one piece solid metal dumbbell, they should not be expected to be handled with the same lack of care a regular metal dumbbell would be at a gym.

In addition, another complaint was an issue that the first model release in ’08 had with the locking tab being plastic could break.  However, Bowflex corrected this by replacing the plastic tab with a metal tab in their later model released in ’09.   Unfortunately at Amazon, reviews of both the earlier and later models are grouped together making it sound as if this is still an issue – which it is not.

Where Can You Buy the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell Set

You can buy this set of adjustable dumbbells online at Amazon.   Amazon at the time of this review includes free shipping and offers excellent competitive prices and service.

Where Can You Read More Reviews?

One of the best places to find reviews from customers who use this product is Amazon.   Click Here to read More Reviews.