Powerblock vs Ironmaster (2024 Updated) Which Is Better?

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 27, 2024
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It’s only in recent years that I have become convinced of using adjustable dumbbells for a home gym. They used to be wobbly, unbalanced, and really slow to change the weight settings.

The brands PowerBlock and Ironmaster claim to address both of these issues -- so I tried both to see who delivers.

I’ve done some extensive testing with several of my clients here at Total Shape. I checked what other users have to say, manufacturer claims, and I personally used these dumbbells for a few motnhs. Hereare my results and tips on this PowerBlock vs Ironmaster battle.

What Are PowerBlock Dumbbells?

PowerBlock Dumbbells CTA

PowerBlock dumbbells are a set of adjustable dumbbells that use a simple pin quick-lock mechanism to make adjustments to the weight plates.

You can adjust the pin within about 3 or 4 seconds, which makes the PowerBlock Elite the best choice if you don’t want your heart rate to drop too much in between sets.

According to a Men's Health article, once you have set the dumbbell weights, you simply grab them by the handles as if they were completely traditional dumbbells [1].

"We all have very different goals when it comes to working out, but for most people looking to improve their muscular fitness, it's best to rest for 30 to 90 seconds between sets of an exercise. You should feel energized to get after your next set, but not so relaxed that your heart rate drops and your body cools down."
​- Cory Stieg, Health and Fitness Writer

​We ​also have an article on PowerBlock vs Bowflex dumbbells, another popular product on the market.

For a closer look check out our full review on Bowflex dumbbells if you want to see how good they really are.

Our #1 Recommendation

PowerBlock CTA

Powerblock Dumbbells

Overall Score 5.0

What Are Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells?

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Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells are modifiable dumbbells that use a screw-in pin to change the weights.

What makes them stand out is that they look like standard dumbbells. Weight plates are attached at each end by unscrewing a pin, which many reviews highlight as a solid and durable design.

In comparison to the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells, the equipment is not as easy to adjust, but many people believe that they look and feel more like a traditional dumbbell.

At the same time, once you get a bit of practice, you’ll be able to change the weights in less than 10 seconds.

The Runner Up

Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells CTA

Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells

Overall Score 4.9

Our Test

To provide a comprehensive review of the PowerBlock and Ironmaster dumbbells, I decided to take a hands-on approach. I collaborated with a diverse group of my regular clients, ranging from fitness novices to seasoned gym enthusiasts.

I split them into two groups. One group was assigned the PowerBlock dumbbells, while the other took on the Ironmaster set. For an entire month, they exclusively used their assigned dumbbells for all their weightlifting routines, ensuring a fair comparison.

Before we began, I took the time to measure each participant's baseline fitness metrics. This included their strength levels, endurance, and overall comfort with weightlifting equipment. This would be crucial in assessing any progress or changes by the end of our test period.

Fast forward to the end of our month-long test, and the results were intriguing. Both groups demonstrated significant progress in their fitness journeys.

However, there was a clear distinction in terms of adaptability, comfort, and strength gains between the two groups.

Now, let's delve deeper into the direct comparison, exploring the advantages and potential drawbacks of each dumbbell set.

PowerBlocks Pros And Cons

My initial concern about the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells was that when you grip the handle, your wrists are completely surrounded by other parts of the dumbbell structure. However, there seems to be plenty of space to allow for some wrist movement.

But what I like most about the Powerblock dumbbells is the ease in changing weights, which according to a WebMD article is one of the main benefits of using adjustable dumbbells [2].

Once you get used to the color chart for selecting the correct plates, it should take you less than 5 seconds to change the weights.

One thing you want to make sure with any home gym or fitness equipment is that it’s solid and durable.

This is one of the most common problems with adjustable dumbbells. But after some extensive testing on the PowerBlock and reading hundreds of reviews, they don’t seem loose or clanky.

Depending on your strength and fitness levels, you have the flexibility to order different weight range sets. At the lightest setting, they all start at 5 lbs. But you then have the choice of 50, 70, or 90 lbs for heavier weights.

Finally, they take up very little space, which may be ideal for home use. The sets should be compact enough to fit in the corner of a closet or bottom of a wardrobe.

  • Available as a 5-50 lbs, 5-70 lbs, and 5-90 lbs set
  • Fast release pin quick-lock system design to not interrupt your fitness training especially during drop sets
  • Features a welded steel construction to make them longer lasting
  • Great compact design with about 2 square feet of a footprint
  • There’s no stand included

The one thing I would highlight in comparison to the Ironmaster is that the stand is an optional extra. It’s worth spending a bit of money on, especially if you want fast changes between each set.

Ironmaster Pros And Cons

Ironmaster Dumbbell

The first good news is that they aren’t made of iron, which would be a bad thing as iron is prone to rust. Instead, Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells have been constructed using high-quality steel.

You also won’t find any plastic parts, which could break if not handled properly.

Steel is a great material as it won’t rust, but in the presence of salt, it can still stain on the surface. That means that all your body sweat could cause problems.

Another one of the great features of the Ironmaster is that the handles are chrome plated.

As a result, you should have a hard-wearing and stain-resistant surface.

What a lot of people also like is the weight range that goes from 5 to 75 lbs. That should cover most people’s needs unless you’re aiming for a strongman competition.

You’ll also get a stand included, which takes up only a small amount of space. It should also be helpful to not have to bend down each time you adjust them.

  • No plastic parts that could easily snap off
  • Made of quality steel to avoid corrosion
  • Chrome-plated handles reduce the risk of staining
  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty for added peace of mind
  • In comparison to the Powerblock, adjusting the weights takes a bit more time

The one downside is that it’s not as easy to change the weight unlike with PowerBlock. You have to unscrew a pin on each side, and then either add or remove plates.

It should still only take about 10 seconds on each dumbbell, but if speed is very important, then the PowerBlock Elite might be the best option.

Safety Features

Both PowerBlock and Ironmaster have incorporated safety features to ensure users can exercise without concern.

PowerBlock utilizes a secure pin system, ensuring that the selected weights are firmly locked in place during workouts. This prevents accidental weight shifts or drops.

Ironmaster, on the other hand, boasts a quick-lock design that securely holds the weights, ensuring they don't rattle or come loose.

Additionally, the ergonomic designs of both dumbbells aim to reduce the risk of wrist strain.

Buyer's Guide

To choose between PowerBlock and Ironmaster, consider factors such as the weight range, adjustable speed, quality, durability, and look and feel of the gym equipment.

If you need max weight all the way up to 90 lbs per dumbbell, then PowerBlock Elite is the way to go.

In my timed tests, I found that PowerBlock allows for weight adjustments in just under 5 seconds, making it the fastest option for those who need quick transitions between sets. Ironmaster, on the other hand, took around 10 seconds for the same weight change.

On the other hand, if you want to have dumbbell sets that look and feel the same as standard sets at the gym, then you’ll struggle to pass on the Ironmaster.

I've always been a fan of chrome-finished gym equipment, and the Ironmaster's chrome handle was no exception. It not only looked sleek but also felt sturdy in my hands.

After months of using them in my home gym, I decided to put them to the test. I was pleasantly surprised to see that even after some rigorous sessions, the Ironmaster dumbbells showed no signs of wear, proving their durability.


Can You Drop Ironmaster Dumbbells?

Yes, you can drop Ironmaster dumbbells. However, this should only be done horizontally and from a low height. Generally speaking, though, I would avoid dropping any kind of adjustable dumbbells, as it could loosen the adjustment system and pose a safety concern.

Are Ironmaster Dumbbells Worth it?

Yes, Ironmaster dumbbells are worth it, as they possibly could replace a set of 28 dumbbells. With the compact design, they should take up minimal space in your home gym, making it easy to expand with other workout equipment.

Final Verdict: PowerBlock vs Ironmaster

Having personally tested both the PowerBlock and Ironmaster dumbbells in my home gym, I can confidently say that each has its unique strengths.

If rapid weight adjustments are crucial for your workouts, the PowerBlock stands out with its swift transition capability.

However, for those who cherish the traditional gym feel, the Ironmaster design and durability are hard to overlook.

In my experience, both dumbbells have proven their worth, but the final choice boils down to individual preferences and workout needs.

For me, the PowerBlock's convenience slightly edges out, but the Ironmaster remains a solid contender.

Our #1 Recommendation

PowerBlock CTA

Powerblock Dumbbells

Overall Score 5.0
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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