Why are Dumbbells Expensive? Here’s the Truth

Why are dumbbells expensive? While you can always find cheap options, high-quality dumbbells will usually cost a lot. This is due to very reasonable factors. Dumbbells have to be made of durable and solid materials. Aside from that, transporting heavy dumbbells will cost manufacturers a lot in terms of freight expenses.

Below, I discussed other reasons why dumbbells tend to be expensive. This will help you decide which free weights are best for you and your budget.

Why are dumbbells expensive?

Dumbbells are home gym staples. However, it comes at a rather high price. Many can’t help but wonder why such equipment costs so much. The following are some of the reasons why:

Many dumbbells are made overseas

Many dumbbell products are made abroad. Aside from the high cost of manpower and raw material in a specific area, logistics plays a big role here.

Dumbbells can range from a measly 5 lbs. and up to 50 lbs. or more. Imagine shipping an entire inventory and it will surely take its toll on the costs. No wonder, manufacturers and resellers will pass this added cost to the buyers.

Dumbbells require heavy equipment

Making dumbbells require special equipment. Manufacturers have to invest in such equipment. This cost will be passed on to the buyers so dumbbell makers can make a sizeable profit. Also, popular brands often cost more.

Iron costs a lot

Iron is the main material for dumbbells and it doesn’t come cheap. Back in 2019, raw materials like iron were reported to have gotten more expensive. For example, the cost of iron ore in the Dalian Commodities Exchange in China recorded a 140% increase in the past year alone.

Aside from that, transporting iron ores and processing them will add up to the overall cost of dumbbell production. And as you guessed it, this will be passed on to the consumers.

Durability comes at a high price

Dumbbells need to be durable or it will cause injuries to the person that uses them. And as general, unwritten logic, durability is always expensive. This is due to the premium materials and intensive quality done on each dumbbell.

Also, most brands that take pride in their dumbbell’s durability have a hefty warranty offer. Unknown to many, such a warranty is actually added to the price. In the end, protecting your purchase also costs more.

It’s a matter of supply and demand

Due to the recent events, a report from Vox indicated that there’s a dumbbell shortage in America. Since gyms and fitness centers are closed, many are setting up their home gyms.

The basic concept of economics is that when the demand surpasses the supply, the price will skyrocket. Dumbbells are already expensive and the increased demand makes them costlier.

Sets cost more

Dumbbells will definitely cost more if you’re buying an entire set. If you’re planning to set up a home gym, investing a whole dumbbell set will surely make a dent in your budget. Still, this is a worthy investment instead of buying the set piece by piece where you’ll have to pay for individual shipping fees.

Why are some dumbbells cheaper than others?

This depends on where the dumbbell was made, the materials used, and the brand. Most of the time, gym equipment are like medicines. Off-brand options are cheaper while branded ones tend to be more expensive.

However, there’s always the issue of durability when it comes to cheap dumbbells. Many manufacturers cut corners on the material quality just to make their dumbbells affordable. In turn, the product becomes less reliable and could potentially be dangerous.

Still, this doesn’t mean that cheap dumbbells are always goners. You can find affordable options that can last for years. But if you’re a serious workout buff, I suggest investing in the most durable option that can put up with the abuse.

How much do dumbbells usually cost?

On average, you’ll spend around $1.67 per pound on dumbbells. However, this price can go up and down, depending on where you’re buying. Resellers usually have higher pricing while direct brand purchases will save you a few bucks.

Aside from that, the price of the dumbbells is affected by its material. Those with special coating are more expensive than plain cast iron. 

Also, heavier dumbbells are slightly cheaper than multiple light ones combined. This due to less production cost.

If budget isn’t an issue, dumbbell sets can be as expensive as a few thousand bucks. The question of whether it’s worth it or not always depends on the quality of the dumbbells and how you’re using them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are dumbbells a good investment?

A: Yes, dumbbells are excellent investments, whether you’re setting up a home gym or casually lifting weights at home. They are very convenient and versatile equipment. You can actually integrate dumbbells in a wide range of exercises. Dumbbells last for decades and it’s one of the gym equipment that will grow with you as progress on your routines.

Q: Why is it hard to buy dumbbells?

A: Due to the surge in dumbbell demands, supply is thin in the market. Manufacturers and resellers are trying to keep up, but expect that the dumbbells will cost more. Also, the pandemic-related restrictions are hindering supplies, which forces manufacturers to raise their prices to compensate for their losses.

Q: Are 20 kg dumbbells enough?

A: If you’re a beginner, 20 kilograms per arm is too much. Lifting this much weight will lead to injuries. If you’ve been working out for quite some time, your legs, core, and chest will benefit from this heavier weight. Just make sure that you add weights gradually to allow your body to adjust.

Final words

Why are dumbbells expensive? It’s due to several factors like the cost of raw materials, shipping, manufacturing, and demand.

Despite the cost of dumbbells, it remains one of the most important components of a home gym. Investing in it is always a rewarding decision. Besides, you don’t have to purchase an entire set right away. You can start with a pair and add more from there.

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