Olympic Dumbbell Handles Review

If you can’t afford or don’t want to spend the money on a fixed dumbbell set or Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells, there are a few things that you should take into consideration before purchasing Olympic Dumbbell Handles. They do have their limitations and if used improperly, can be dangerous.  We lay out the pros and cons in this Olympic Dumbbell Handles Review.


Space might not be a problem when you are storing the Olympic Dumbbell Handles, but when it comes to training it can become a real issue. The dumbbell handle is 51 cm long, which makes certain exercises awkward and uncomfortable. 

For the bench press, your range of motion is restricted. You can’t bring the dumbbells as close together at the top of the movement compared to more compact alternatives. 

Regardless of the weight, you are using the dumbbell remains the same size. For an exercise like bicep curls where you would normally use a lighter weight, you will be wielding a 20-inch dumbbell in each hand. This will require modification of your form.  

Olympic Dumbbell Handle Dimensions

There is no real way to solve this issue since you need the long sleeves to accommodate the 5 kg plates. If Olympic dumbbells had shorter sleeves and you used heavier plates, the plates’ larger diameter will now become the limiting factor in range of motion.  

Let’s move on to the next one – heavy pressing. 

A favorite exercise to do with dumbbells is the chest press. As it is a compound exercise you can move a decent weight. The first issue you will encounter when going heavy with Olympic dumbbells is setting up for the lift. 

Round Rubber Dumbbells, Hex Dumbbells, and Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells all have flat ends. There is a very good reason for this. This makes it comfortable to rest it on your thigh as the weight is being distributed over a larger surface area. 

The Spinlock and Olympic Dumbbell Handles on the other hand cannot offer you the same comfort. Every time you will try to rest it on your thigh, it applies a lot of pressure to a small point. It is not pleasant! 

If you don’t mind the pain, the next issue is having the dumbbells in the upright position. Depending on your collars and how much weight you use, the weight may come off. The collars are after all trying to grip a chrome-plated shaft – which without knurling is as slippery as hell.  

Power Maxx Olympic Dumbbell Handle with 40kg of weight

Assuming you can get the dumbbells up safely, once you complete this heavy set to failure, getting the dumbbells down is your next issue.  

If you drop them, you will have wear and tear issues on your equipment which are discussed below.  

Your other alternative is to go back to the starting position. As it is hard to control the descent, the pain experienced when resting back on your thighs will be amplified.  


Regardless of which collar you use – I am assuming that you will be using cheaper collars due to cost restraints – there is a risk of failure. 

Olympic Barbells weren’t designed to be tilted or used upright. The sleeves are smooth to make plates easier to get on and off. Therefore, the collars don’t have an ideal surface for traction.  

If you start pressing heavy weight and dropping the dumbbells, this could damage your collars. You might not find out they are damaged until you are doing an overhead dumbbell press!  

If Olympic Dumbbell Handles are so bad, then why do we sell them? They do serve a purpose in the right circumstances. If you are aware of their limitations and use them accordingly, they can be very handy in a home gym environment.  

Olympic dumbbell handle set with collars

Let’s have a look at the pros of these dumbbell handles: 


If it were 10 positives of Olympic Dumbbell Handles, the cost would be the first seven! Let’s face it, if you had the money, you would get a set of Ironmaster Quick Dumbbells. If you had money and space, you would get a rack of fixed dumbbells.  

Don’t have the money? My advice is always to save up and buy one of the better options discussed. If you read our reviews, we are renowned for not upselling. But this is one circumstance that I would ask you to strongly consider.  

Building up a home gym should be done strategically; you don’t want to be buying and selling equipment over time as you lose money. A good dumbbell solution will last you forever and you get loads of use. Buy once and buy right. 

However, if this is out of the question, these dumbbell handles are cheap! If you already have 5kg Olympic plates you can use them. If you don’t, you can buy some and use them on other Olympic barbells or gym equipment.  

IM QLDDB45 Ironmaster Dumbbells 45lb kit


Although they are the least effective of the dumbbell options listed, they are the most compact.  They can be stored underneath your bed if you are really tight on space. Loading them up also takes significantly less time compared to the alternatives.


Our Olympic Dumbbell Handles are made from spring steel, making them suitable for using heavy weight. Although the long sleeves are a disadvantage for isolation exercises, the extra loading area is ideal for exercises like one-arm rows.  

This is one area I would recommend getting a pair of Olympic Dumbbell Handles. People often purchase the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Add-on Kit after they max out the base kit on one-arm rows. The 34kg per dumbbell is adequate for pressing, it is just for the rows that need the extra weight. 

If you already have 5kg Olympic plates it is a cheaper way out, and you are not sacrificing functionality.  

Another aspect of their durability is their weight – they are made from solid steel so weigh around 6.5kg each. Even without weight, the handles are heavy enough for many exercises.  

Olympic Dumbbell Handle Knurling

Accessory Work 

A lot of strength programs are barbell-focused. You might just need some dumbbells for some accessory or isolation work. You are not going to be doing heavy pressing, just some exercises to add a bit of balance.  

For inspiration, we have put together a list of exercises that work best and are the safest.  


Here is the list of my recommended exercises for Olympic Dumbbell Handles: 

  • One Arm Rows. 
  • Bent Over Rows 
  • Lunges. 
  • Standing Calf Raises with one dumbbell in your hand. 
  • Alternating Biceps Curls. 
  • Concentration Curls. 
  • One Arm Shoulder Press. 
  • Triceps Kickbacks (with Low Weight). 
  • Side Lateral Raises 
  • Front Dumbbell Raise 
  • Forearm Dumbbell Curls 
  • Reverse Dumbbell Fly  
  • Upright Dumbbell Row 
  • Shoulder Shrug 
  • Side Lunge 
  • Stiff-Legged Dead Lift 
  • Farmers Walk 

You can still perform dumbbell press and dumbbell fly’s – AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT USING HEAVY WEIGHT AND CHECK YOUR COLLARS.  

Don’t perform exercises over your head or anything else you don’t want hit by a weight plate, where you are relying on the collars.