Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbell System Review

Nothing tops a simple set of dumbbells for convenience, reliability, and versatility when you are trying to build muscle and get in shape.

Watch the video version of this page:

Click Here to Buy Your Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbell System

Advantages of dumbbells

Dumbbells make your weaker side pull (or push) it's own weight.

Dumbbells allow flexibility in wrist movement and increased range of motion.

Both arms aren't locked into a set path like on a machine, or even like a barbell.

Dumbbells bring many little stabilizer muscles into play.

Disadvantages of dumbbells

Most dumbbell sets only go up in increments of 5 pounds, which is OK, unless you get stuck at a certain weight. Having the ability to increase the weight even by 2.5lbs is a big plus, which why this was invented:


A fixed dumbbell set by Troy, goes from 15 to 100lbs, costs $2750.00 PLUS another $500 for a rack, for a total of $3250!

As you get stronger you'll eventually need this many pairs, which are very expensive.

A complete rack of fixed dumbbells also takes up a lot of room:

dumbbell rack

Adjustable dumbbells have been around for quite awhile. Remember the old spin lock type?

spin lock dumbbell

You had to spin the collar off to change the plates, which didn't take that long, but the threads were exposed. If you had a nick on the threads the collar would get stuck. I remember filing the nicks down so the collar would spin freely, and you couldn't fit that many plates on them to begin with.

Enter the IRONMASTER Quick Lock Dumbbell System:

ironmaster dumbbell

Click here to download your FREE Ironmaster Dumbbell workout! (you'll need PDF reader)

Ironmaster is a Seattle-based company that has been around since 1978. Their latest generation of adjustable dumbbells allows you to adjust each dumbbell from 5-75 lbs (in increments of 2.5lbs) with their patented quick lock design in less than 15 seconds per side.

Click Here to Buy Your Ironmaster Dumbbells


IFBB professional bodybuilder Lee Priest uses Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells in his home gym. Scroll down to see a video of his Ironmaster DB workout

The features of these adjustable dumbbells are listed below in bold, and were taken directly from the Ironmaster website. My comments follow.

New Quick-Lock handle design lets you add or remove plates with just a partial turn of the locking screws! 

The inside of the handles and the locking screws are partially threaded. The locking screw can be inserted into the handle and pushed snug up against the weight plates without any resistance. Once this slack is gone, the locking screw is partially turned to lock the stack of weight plates together. Ingenious!

The knurling on the handles is sufficient. I've had zero hand slippage even with sweaty palms. But, I do have a nice set of calluses!

Initially I had some problems turning the locking screws. You had to shake the handle and the locking screws a little to get them to turn. I attributed this to them being new and they needed to wear in a little. This was the case, and now they turn freely.

ironmaster dumbbell

When the locking screws are inside the handle, the threads are hidden and safe from becoming damaged, unlike the old spin-lock kind.

The locking screw has a flat face making it easy to rest the dumbbell on your knee. By resting the dumbbell on your knee, it makes it easy to "kick" heavy dumbbells into starting position. Try that with spin locks!

Dumbbells lock up tight with no rattling or looseness. They feel just like a traditional fixed weight dumbbell and are not restrictive in the ways you can grip them

To add or remove weight plates, the dumbbells need to be on a flat surface, either on the rack or on the floor. The handles have a V shaped notch, as do the locking screws. You just line up these notches and turn the locking screw a 1/4 to1/2 turn clockwise to lock the plates in place.

The locking screws also have an "Open" and "Lock" with an arrow indicating which way to turn to lock and unlock.

The weight plates are designed so that they can be stacked and interlocked into each other, and they are tapered as well so they lean in towards the handles, effectively staying in place (nested) when the locking screw is removed. Brilliant!

There have been concerns raised on some forums that the Ironmaster 5 lb weight plates don't actually weigh 5 lbs. All cast iron plates can vary, and Ironmaster claims the weight plates are within 3% (on average) of the stamped weight on the plate. 

What does this mean? You might not be lifting what you thought you were lifting. Your dumbbells might be off by 2-3 lbs. BIG DEAL! Who cares if you're only lifting 72.5 lbs instead of 75 lbs as long as you increase the weight every time you lift.

These look and feel like regular fixed-weight dumbbells. Any exercise you can do with a fixed weight standard dumbbell you can do with the Ironmasters. Your wrists are free to move, not inside of a cage like the powerblock adjustable kind.


Doing drop sets with Ironmaster DB's

By dskoo65

Ironmasters are faster than powerblocks when dropping by 5 lb increments. I was at my friends with my new ironmasters. I told him I could do drop sets in 5 lb increments faster than he could with his Powerblock Sport 9.0 set.

I set up my ironmasters with (5) five lb plates on one side. On the other side a 2.5 plate on the inside followed by (4) 5 lb plates, making a 57.5 lb dumbbell.

After one set a 5 lb plate comes off the side without the 2.5lb plate on the inside, after the next, a 5 lb plate comes off the other side...and so on. There is always a small offset on one side, and the 2.5 lb offset is virtually unnoticeable.

He set his PB's at 55 lbs. and we were doing 4 sets of curls at 8 reps, dropping by 5 lbs per dumbbell on each set. As I finished my last curl on the fourth set, he was not even started with his fourth set.

Taking one 5 lb plate off an Ironmaster is quicker than dropping by 5 lbs on a Powerblock. It wasn't even close.

So, if you do drop sets using 5 lb drops, the argument that Powerblock's are faster than Ironmaster's for drop sets is BS.

Ironmasters adjust from 5-75 lbs each in 2.5 lb increments in just seconds. (75 lbs each dumbbell = 150 lbs total)

The ability to increase the weight by only 2.5 pounds is a big advantage. Good luck finding fixed weight dumbbells in 2.5 lb increments.

Changing a pair of dumbbells takes about a minute. Some forum users complain that it takes to long to change weight plates. If your lifting heavy, and you should, you'll most likely need to rest 2-3 minutes between sets, more than enough time to change plates.

Another complaint is that they suck for doing drop sets. An easy fix for this is to just buy a second set of handles.

Chrome plated steel handles with knurled grips.

The handle along with the two locking screws weighs 10 pounds. They are nicely finished, chrome plated with the knurled steel for better grip, no different than traditional dumbbells.

Heavy Duty - go ahead and drop them. No plastic or fragile parts!

The locking screws hold the interlocking weight plates securely, so there's no movement whatsoever, even after dropping them. But if you do drop them, it's best to make sure the locking screws are still holding the weight tight.

Lifetime warranty!

What else can you say about this? And, if you don't like the dumbbells for any reason after trying them for 30 days, you get to return them and Ironmaster will give you a full refund including the shipping charges.

Click Here to Buy Your Ironmaster Dumbbells

Testimonial from a reader of this site, Ryan:

I have been lifting weights for over 10 years now and I must say that this is hands down THE BEST adjustable weight system ever invented. I have owned and/or tried them all.

After doing tons of research I ordered these. I have never been so impressed with an adjustable dumbbell system. I feel like I have found the holy grail of dumbbell sets.

If you buy these you will not be dissapointed! They are sturdy, compact, and quick and easy to use. Do not waste your time and hard earned money on anything else. They may be a little more up front, but they are totally worth it in the long run.

Includes the full size stand that will also hold the 120 lb add on kit.

The stand is easy to assembly and securely holds all the weights. It's compact and takes up little room versus a full rack of fixed dumbbells. Perfect for the home gym user with limited space.

ironmaster dumbbell

Dimensions are just 6.5" x 6.5" x 14.5" at the 75lb size.

The 120 lb add on kit ads another 4 inches to this length:

Ironmaster 120 lb add on kit

Add-on kit available to go up to 120 lbs each dumbbell.

The 5-pound to 75-pound set costs $489 plus $69 shipping for a total of $558.

Eventually as you get stronger and you'll outgrow this set.

The add-on kit costs $199.00 plus $40 shipping for a total of $239.

IFBB professional bodybuilder Lee Priest uses Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells in his home gym. Video provided by Sam from If you need Ironmaster or Powertec equipment and you live down under, check out his website.

New for 2009! As if you didn't have enough reasons to buy the Ironmaster's over EVERY other adjustable dumbbell, they have developed a new Quick-Lock Kettlebell handle:

Ironmaster Kettlebell handle
Ironmaster Kettlebell handle
Ironmaster Kettlebell handle

The Quick-Lock Kettlebells will be sold as just a basic KB handle (22.5 lbs) as an accessory to the Quick-Lock Dumbbells and Ironmaster will also sell weight plates and locking screws in case someone wants extra parts or does not have the QLDBs yet. If you use the standard locking screws, it will go up to 57.5 lbs. If you use the Add on Kit locking screws it will go up to 80 lbs.

I can't wait to try them out and review them! These handles are another great innovation from Ironmaster, and add to the versatility of this already awesome dumbbell system.


You can get a set of well-made adjustable dumbbells that go from 5lbs to 120lbs and can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments, with a free rack, for a total of $797!

Expensive? Not compared to a comparable set of fixed dumbbells, and it's a small investment in your long-term health. And, IF you ever decide to sell them, the resale value is extremely high.

If I could only keep one piece of my gym equipment, the Ironmaster dumbbells would be it. They were my first purchase for my home gym, and by far the best purchase.

Click Here to Buy Your Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbell System

Click here to download your FREE Ironmaster Dumbbell workout! (you'll need PDF reader)


Back to Top


Hi Barry, Just thought I'd let you know that I purchased Ironmaster dumbbells and the Superbench. You helped me along in this process, by your review on your website and conversing with me on the subject. Have you written a review on Amazon for Ironmaster's dumbbell system? Those reviews helped to solidify my choice for Ironmaster, as well. Again, thanks. Dan

Wow! I just received my dumbbells and I am amazed! I've been weight training for 24 years and have worked/worked out in various gyms and this set is as close as you can come to pro-dumbbells. I have been building my home gym over the last year and even bought a pair of another brand's adjustable dumbbells (rhymes with "power-shock") and your dumbbells rock! My old dumbbells were very awkward and unbalanced especially when I used them with their 130 lb add-on kit. I could not 'wrap-in' which limited my training...and I was staying away from my usual training weights due to the fear of dropping these expensive items and bending them. Finally, I am hitting the weight in my home gym that I used to hit when I was a member in a commercial gym. Thank You!