5 Best Cast Iron Dumbbells in 2023

Dumbbells belong to the free weight family alongside barbells and kettlebells. Unlike fixed path resistance machines, they are free moving depending on how you move your body. They consist of a central handle with weighted heads at each side which vary in shape, diameter, and thickness. It's these characteristics that determine the dumbbell weight, usually in pounds, half pounds, or kilograms.

Athlete with Cast Iron Dumbbells

photo by goldenscastiron

Dumbbells are a great addition to your home gym set-up. You can train a wide range of full-body or accessory movements effectively. Dumbbells force you to train unilaterally, meaning you can work on muscular imbalances and target specific muscle groups that you may need to focus on, increasing strength and improving your lifts.

With so many dumbbells available to buy, it's hard to know what to choose. Dumbbells can range in features, size, adjustments, and price. In this article I've reviewed the 5 best cast iron dumbbell sets looking at weight selection, design, materials, and quality, taking out the hard work and helping you to make a good choice.

So dumbbells are versatile, don't take up much room, and are relatively cheap compared to other home gym equipment. Let's take a look at my top 5 picks.

Top 5 Best Cast Iron Dumbbells Reviewed

ProductTotalWeight RangeWeight IncrementsDesignMaterialsQualityPrice
CAP Barbell Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbell Set559999109
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell Set53899999
Papababe Dumbbells Weight Set52988.58.599
WF Athletic Supply Dumbbells518.588.5998
Powergainz Adjustable Dumbbell Set50888998

1. CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set – Top Pick Cast Iron Dumbbells

CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Weight Range: 52.5 lbs total max weight each dumbbell

Weight Increments: 2 x 1.25 lb plates, 2 x 2.5 lb plates, 8 x 5 lb plates

Dimensions (LxWxH): 16 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches

Adjustment System: Star lock collars with rubber O-rings, threaded handle ends

Materials: Cast iron weight plates with black epoxy finish, solid steel handle with diamond knurled chrome finish

Warranty: 30 days

CAP Barbell was founded in 1982 and produces a wide range of fitness equipment. The CAP Barbell brand prides itself on producing high-quality products at great prices.

It cuts production costs by strategically placing distribution centers at good locations around the world.

If you're looking for a high-quality durable set of dumbbells, the CAP Barbell cast iron adjustable dumbbells are a great option and are my top pick.

The dumbbells go up to 52.5 lbs each and come with 1.25, 2.5, and 5 lb plates, giving a range of weight options for different exercises.

Both the dumbbell handle and weight plates are rust-resistant and made from steel and cast iron. The cast iron plates are covered with a black epoxy finish to prevent corrosion. The 17-inch handle is crafted from steel with diamond textured knurling.

The dumbbells are adjusted using star-lock collars with rubber O-rings which screw onto the threaded dumbbell ends. The adjustable nature of the dumbbells eliminates the need for multiple different dumbbell weights.

The compact design of the dumbbells makes them easy to use and store at home.

55Expert Score

If you're looking for a high-quality durable set of dumbbells, it is a great option.

Weight Range:
9
Weight Increments:
9
Design:
9
Materials:
9
Quality:
10
Price:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Steel handle with diamond textured knurling

  • Solid cast iron plates with black epoxy finish

  • Small, compact design

  • Wide range of weights

  • Small weight increments

Could be better:

  • Need to be bought individually

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Weight Range: 40-200 lbs max weight for 2 dumbbells

Weight Increments: 2.5, 3, 5, 7.5 and 10 lb plates depending on dumbbell weight choice

Dimensions (LxWxH), depends on weight choice: 40 lbs: 13.8 x 12.5 x 12.5 inches, 200 lbs 22.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches

Adjustment System: Star lock collars with rubber trims, threaded dumbbell ends

Materials: Cast iron weight plates with black paint finish, steel handle with diamond knurled chrome finish

Warranty: 60-day return, 5 year warranty

Yes4All was founded in 2010 and is one of the leading brands of home sporting goods. Rather than selling products, the brand motto states they sell experience by providing everything for people to get fit at home.

The brand motto is ‘Be Incredible’. They believe strengthening health should be for everyone to enjoy and are committed to offering the finest products available at a reasonable price point.

So, in the runner-up position are the dumbbells by Yes4All. The dumbbells have a large weight range going from 40-200 lbs. The weight plates are dependent on the dumbbells and include 2.5, 3, 5, 7.5, and 10lbs catering to a wide range of needs.

The 16-inch handle is made from steel and knurled to help with grip. The weight plates are made from cast iron and powder coated with black paint to prevent rust.

The dumbbells feature threaded ends and star-lock collars with rubber trims. The dumbbells are compact and easy to use with a wide range of weight options eliminating the need for multiple dumbbells at home.

53Expert Score

The dumbbells are compact and easy to use with a wide range of weight options eliminating the need for multiple dumbbells at home.

Weight Range:
8
Weight Increments:
9
Design:
9
Materials:
9
Quality:
9
Price:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Solid cast iron weight plates

  • Wide range of weight options

  • Can be bought as pairs

Could be better:

  • No option for smaller weight packages

  • Quite expensive at higher weight options

Papababe Dumbbells Weight Set

Weight Range: 150 lbs dumbbell set total weight

Weight Increments: 2 x 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 lb dumbbells

Dimensions (LxWxH): N/A

Adjustment System: Rack with set dumbbell weight options

Materials: Cast iron free weights with rubber casing

Warranty: 30 days 

If you're looking to buy a cast iron dumbbell set without worrying about adjusting the weight after each exercise, papababe offers a good dumbbell set and rack package.

Papababe manufactures and sells a wide range of commercial and at-home gym equipment. Its brand values are easy to start, highly efficient to workout, and energize your energy.

If you're wanting different weight choices without having to change the plates, the dumbbell and rack combination by papababe would be my pick for the best set available online.

The set comes with 5 sets of dumbbells which range from 5-25 lbs, providing a good range of weight options.

The dumbbells are made from solid cast iron encased in rubber helping to protect your floor in your at-home gym. The hexagon head design helps to prevent rolling and makes them easy to store if needed

The dumbbell handle is designed with a knurled finish for comfort and safety and helps to provide a stronger grip. Each dumbbell is clearly marked with the amount of weight and is made of natural rubber.

The compact design of the included rack makes the cast iron free weights easy to put away after use and makes the A-frame easy to place in your home gym.

52Expert Score

If you're wanting different weight choices without having to change the plates, the dumbbell and rack combination by papababe would be my pick for the best set available online.

Weight Range:
9
Weight Increments:
8
Design:
8.5
Materials:
8.5
Quality:
9
Price:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Solid cast iron dumbbell construction

  • Hexagon head design made with natural rubber

  • Space saving, house friendly rack design

Could be better:

  • Weight only available in 5 lb increments

  • Need to pay for extended warranty

WF Athletic Supply Dumbbells

Weight Range: 1-120 lbs

Weight Increments: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15 lbs, 20-120 lbs in 5 lb increments

Dimensions (LxW), depends on weight: 20 lbs: 10.98 L x 4.57 W inches

Adjustment System: Set non-adjustable weight options

Materials: Cast iron dumbbell heads with steel handle

Warranty: 30 days

WF Athletic Supply supplies a wide range of high-quality fitness equipment. The brand is committed to helping athletes at all levels succeed in sport by providing the best strength, conditioning, speed, and agility equipment.

WF Athletic Supply aims to improve athleticism, develop discipline and achieve success with a well-trained mind and body.

If you're looking for high-quality dumbbells made by a proven brand, the dumbbells by WF Athletic Supply are very well made. The dumbbells have an excellent range of 1-120 lbs. They go up in 1 lb increments until 15 lbs after which they go up in 5 lb increments providing weight options for beginner and elite-level lifters.

The hexagon-shaped dumbbell heads prevent rolling and the medium depth knurling on the handle provides a secure grip during use. The semi-gloss finish helps to prevent rusting.

The dumbbell heads are made with cast iron and the handles are made from steel to give a solid durable construction.

51Expert Score

If you're looking for high-quality dumbbells made by a proven brand, the dumbbells by WF Athletic Supply are very well made.

Weight Range:
8.5
Weight Increments:
8
Design:
8.5
Materials:
9
Quality:
9
Price:
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Solid cast iron and steel construction

  • Hex shaped heads

  • High quality end product

Could be better:

  • Need to buy multiple dumbbells

  • Only available in certain weight increments past 15 lbs

  • Quite expensive

Powergainz Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Weight Range: 40-105 lbs max weight for 2 dumbbells

Weight Increments, depends on dumbbell weight: 40 lbs: 4 x 3 lb plates, 4 x 5 lb plates, 105 lbs: 4 x 1.25 lb plates, 4 x 2.5 lb plates, 16 x 5 lb plates

Dimensions (LxWxH): N/A

Adjustment System: Star-lock collars with rubber trims, threaded dumbbell ends

Materials: Cast iron dumbbell plates, contoured steel handles

Warranty: 30 days

Powergainz sells its products in the strength training and fitness category, mainly including dumbbells and barbells. The brand has a good reputation, with an average of 4.3/ 5 stars on amazon.

Powergainz sells a well-manufactured dumbbell set made from high-quality materials. The dumbbell sets have 2 options of 40 lbs and 105 lbs. The 40 lb set goes up in 3 and 5 lb increments and the 105 lb set goes up in 1.25, 2.5, and 5 lb increments.

The round-shaped dumbbells are made with cast iron plates and contoured steel handles.

50Expert Score

A well-manufactured dumbbell set made from high-quality materials.

Weight Range:
8
Weight Increments:
8
Design:
8
Materials:
9
Quality:
9
Price:
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Cast iron plates

  • Contoured steel handles

  • Easily adjustable star-lock collars

Could be better:

  • Round plate design

  • Only 2 set options

  • 16 x 5 lb plates in 105 lb set make them hard to use

Why Are Dumbbells Made of Cast Iron?

Dumbbells come in all shapes and sizes but are usually made from two main materials, rubber, and cast iron. Cast iron has been used to manufacture metal dumbbells for generations and is still widely used in the gym and at home.

The metal dumbbells are produced through a casting process where cast iron is melted and then poured into a mold to create the solid casting. There are two types of cast iron dumbbells. The fixed dumbbells feature a short handle with a hexagon or round iron cast weight at each giving a certain weight option depending on the amount of iron used. The adjustable ones consist of cast iron weight plates mounted on a handle by movable screws allowing the weight to be adjusted as needed.

Dumbbells are made of cast iron as they can be made to suit different lifter needs based on design, types, and weight distribution. The high-quality manufacturing process makes the dumbbell durable, meaning it can last a lifetime if used correctly. The cast iron material also gives the dumbbells an old-school feel, adding to your lifting experience.

Athlete with Cast Iron Dumbbells

photo by goldenscastiron

Cast Iron Dumbbell Benefits – Why use them?

Extremely durable

Cast iron dumbbells are made using a high-quality manufacturing process where the cast is checked for defects that may impact performance and durability. As long as the dumbbells are used correctly, they will last a lifetime.

Increased stabilization and muscle activation

Dumbbells are classed as free weights. This means they move freely depending on the way you activate your muscles. Compared to fixed path resistance machines, dumbbells need greater stabilization to perform a given movement correctly. This means your body needs to work harder by recruiting a greater number of muscle fibers.

Helps to correct muscular imbalances

If you need to target a specific muscle group or work on a muscular imbalance, dumbbells are a great choice. Dumbbells force your limbs to work unilaterally, meaning it's harder to overcompensate with a certain muscle group or side of your body.

Easier to grip

When you're working hard performing high repetition or high-intensity exercises, the last thing you want to think about is making sure the dumbbells don't slip out of your hands. The anti-slip handle design of cast iron dumbbells makes them easier to grip compared with other dumbbell materials.

Old school design

This isn't as important but simply put, cast iron dumbbells look good. The cast iron dumbbells are good to look at and provide the user with an old-school feel. If you enjoy lifting and listening to the sound of the iron plates clanging together, these are a great choice.

Who needs dumbbells?

If you're a lifter who enjoys performing unilateral movements during your workouts, dumbbells are a great option. They help to target specific muscle groups by providing a free movement pattern, allowing you to work on any muscular imbalances or weaknesses you may have.

Dumbbells can be used to perform a wide range of unilateral movements working the full body and cater to different goals. Dumbbells can compliment compound movements using fixed resistance machines or other free weights, provide an added stimulus with a more challenging movement pattern and range of motion, or be used for more sports-specific functional training to improve performance.

Athlete with Cast Iron Dumbbells

photo by goldenscastiron

Cast Iron Dumbbells FAQ

Do Cast Iron Dumbbells Break?

During the process of making cast iron dumbbells, the cast iron is analyzed and the end product is checked to ensure quality construction.

Cast iron dumbbells are made to last. Unless you're leaving them outside all the time or dropping them consistently, you can expect them to last for as long as you use them.

Are Cast Iron Dumbbells Toxic?

Cast iron dumbbells are considered as non-toxic and safe for use in your home gym. Most cast iron dumbbells are manufactured using only cast iron with some containing a thin layer of rubber, only harmful if ingested. As always, make sure to use the dumbbells as directed and keep away from small children or pets if you're concerned.

Are Iron Dumbbells Better than Rubber?

Both dumbbell types can be used with success with some key differences that may make iron dumbbells the better choice. If you're allergic to latex or sensitive to strong smells, iron may be the better choice. Whilst the rubber coating isn't toxic if you don't ingest it, using iron dumbbells can fully eliminate this worry. Cast iron dumbbells may cost more but they are built to last a lifetime and give a more aesthetic gym feel.

Are Cast Iron Dumbbells Heavier?

All dumbbells, regardless of type, are weight tested to make sure they are the correct weight before being sold for use at commercial gyms or home.

Dumbbell design, weight distribution, design, and amount of use are all factors that can affect how heavy cast iron dumbbells can feel in comparison to other dumbbell types.

Which Cast Iron Dumbbells Are the Best?

Cast Iron Dumbbells

photo by piasrva

Adding dumbbells to your home workout setup is a great idea. You can perform a wide range of compound or accessory unilateral movements to increase muscular size and strength, improve sports performance, or address muscular imbalances.

Iron cast dumbbells are constructed to last a lifetime, going through a rigorous testing process during construction. They can be fixed or adjustable, making them useful for a wide range of gym movements. They are easy to grip and look great in the home gym, giving an old-school feel.

The CAP Barbell adjustable cast iron dumbbell set is my top pick, getting the highest score for weight selection, design, materials, and quality.

What do you think of the dumbbells I've reviewed above? Share your experiences and ask me any questions in the comments below.

Also read:

References:

  • How Are Dumbbells Made? (Manufacturing Process Explained) // GarageGymPro:
    https://garagegympro.com/how-are-dumbbells-made/
Portzon Dumbbells

THE BEST –
CAP BARBELL
CAST IRON SET

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.