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Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Review

The option to purchase only a single dumbbell helps make these weights stand out as a good pick for those tight on space or budget
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Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Review (The Amazon Basics free weights are on par with others in our lineup, and are available in a single dumbbell option.)
The Amazon Basics free weights are on par with others in our lineup, and are available in a single dumbbell option.
Credit: Hale Milano
Price:  $18 List
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Manufacturer:   Amazon Basics
By Hale Milano ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 16, 2024
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Exercise Versatility - 30% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 30% 5.4
  • Weight Options - 20% 6.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 5.0
  • Storage - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

While using dumbbells in pairs is common, nothing says you have to, especially when working out at home. Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex dumbbells are one of the few models we tested that allow you to purchase single dumbbells independently. This makes them an efficient choice to reduce spending and a nice space-saving option. The performance and versatility of the Amazon Hex dumbbells were about average among standard dumbbells we tested. We'd recommend them as an excellent option for anyone trying to save money, who only needs single dumbbells, and to leave space for other workout equipment. To check out how these stacked up against the competition, see our best dumbbells review.
REASONS TO BUY
Budget-friendly
Available for purchase as single dumbbells
REASONS TO AVOID
Sharp knurling
Limited available weight range
Shorter than average handle

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Overall Score Sort Icon
60
84
62
58
56
Star Rating
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Bottom Line One of the few single-dumbbell options, these are a worthwhile budget pick for a home gymThis weight set provides a variety of options and includes its own storage method, making it great for new and expanding home fitness areasEasy-to-use dumbbells that come color-coded for weight; the perfect way to up your home workoutsThis set of beginner weights is easy to use and ideal for small hands but more expensive than similar optionsA good set of beginner-friendly dumbbells that will meet your needs, but there are other models we prefer more
Rating Categories Amazon Basics Rubbe... CAP Coated Hex Set... Amazon Basics Neoprene CAP Barbell Neopren... SPRI Deluxe Vinyl-C...
Exercise Versatility (30%)
7.0
8.0
5.5
5.0
6.0
Ease of Use (30%)
5.4
8.0
6.5
6.0
4.2
Weight Options (20%)
6.0
9.3
6.5
6.0
6.2
Construction Quality (10%)
5.0
9.0
6.3
6.4
6.2
Storage (10%)
6.0
8.0
6.6
7.0
6.5
Specs Amazon Basics Rubbe... CAP Coated Hex Set... Amazon Basics Neoprene CAP Barbell Neopren... SPRI Deluxe Vinyl-C...
Size Tested 10 lb set: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 lb 5 lb 4 lb 5 lb
Average Measured Weight 9.98 lb 10.25 lb 4.93 lb 3.96 lb 5.23 lb
Percentage Difference Between Stated and Measured -0.19% 2.47% -1.51% -0.94% 4.31%
Average Price per Pound $1.40 $1.27 $1.70 $2.75 $2.30
Weight Range 10 - 45 lb 5 - 25 lb in the set
Total available is 3 - 120 lb
1 - 20 lb 1 - 15 lb 1 - 20 lb
Weight Increments 5 lb 5 lb 1 lb up to 10 lb
2-5 lb above 10 lb
1 lb up to 10 lb
3 lb above 10 lb
1 - 3 lb
Drop-Safe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Handle Shape Ergonomic Ergonomic Ergonomic Straight Ergonomic
Knurling / Grip Half Knurl Half Knurl Neoprene Neoprene Vinyl
Head Shape Hex Hex Hex Hex Hex
Adjustable No No No No No
Dimensions 10.5" x 8" x 4" 17" x 13" x 26" 7" x 6" x 3" 7" x 5" x 2.5" 7" x 6" x 3"
Type of Dumbbell Standard Set Beginner Beginner Beginner

Our Analysis and Test Results

Unlike most dumbbells purchased in pairs, Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex hand weights can be purchased individually. This is a great way to save costs and space as you add to your fitness training equipment. These dumbbells fall into our standard dumbbell category, providing a reasonable balance of versatility, durability in design, and sturdy construction.


Performance Comparison


amazon basics rubber encased hex - sometimes, one is all it takes; these amazon basics hex-shaped...
Sometimes, one is all it takes; these Amazon Basics hex-shaped dumbbells can be purchased individually.
Credit: Hale Milano


Exercise Versatility


These rubberized Amazon Basics Hex dumbbells are versatile enough to fulfill all your free weight needs. What exercise versatility boils down to is this: how many different workouts can a dumbbell be used for, and does its shape, size, or design impede movement or full range of motion during training? As a standard dumbbell, this Amazon Basics free weight works well. We completed all our test exercises without impingement to our movements or range of motion.


We used these dumbbells for various exercises, including static ones like biceps curls and bench presses. We followed with dynamic exercises like the snatch and then finished by dropping the dumbbells to the ground. Given their design, the rubberized Hex-shaped free weights from Amazon performed well across all activities with no issues.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - amazon hex dumbbells are reasonably versatile free weights. they may...
Amazon Hex dumbbells are reasonably versatile free weights. They may lack in some of the design details that set others apart, but they'll still do the trick for single-handed exercises.
Credit: Hale Milano

Ease of Use


One of the ways we cross-compare the relatively similar designs of standard dumbbells is through a nuanced analysis of the features that make them easier or more challenging to use. These rubber-coated, hex-shaped Amazon Basics scored pretty average in this metric.


We deducted points from the Rubber Encased Hex weights in this category for a few reasons. They have the sharpest and most aggressive knurling of any ergonomically shaped handle we tested. While aggressive knurling can provide a more secure grip, it can also dig into your hand during a workout, chew up skin, and be generally uncomfortable and unpleasant to use. Still, knurling preferences are a matter of opinion, and some users may be drawn to this style. We also noted that the length of the handle on this Amazon Basics weight is the shortest of any we tested. Though none of our testers had any issues grabbing it with large hands, two-handed exercises proved more challenging. Our final complaint about this dumbbell, albeit minor, is that the weight markings on either end of the dumbbell are relatively thin, small, and not as straightforward to read as many other similar weights that we tested.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - the knurling on the amazon basics hex is more aggressive than most...
The knurling on the Amazon Basics Hex is more aggressive than most and the handle is much shorter.
Credit: Hale Milano

Weight Options


These rubberized Amazon Basics Hex dumbbells come in nine different weight sizes, which is about on par with offerings from other weight-makers we tested products from. This range will work fine for most users; however, if you're looking to build a more extensive collection of free weights in your home gym, you'll be limited if you stick with this brand.


These hand weights are available starting at five pounds and increasing in five-pound increments up to 50 pounds each. Many other dumbbell brands come available in two-and-a-half-pound increments at the lower end of the spectrum, only rising in five-pound increments after 25 pounds. That means you'll have less flexibility when choosing weights among the lighter options. In contrast, the heaviest Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex dumbbell weighs 50 pounds — less than half the maximum amount of other dumbbells we tested. Again, you will have less available variety if you seek heavier weights.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - these rubber-coated hex dumbbells perform decently across a range of...
These rubber-coated Hex dumbbells perform decently across a range of exercises.
Credit: Hale Milano

Construction Quality


Given the budget price-per-pound cost of these Amazon Hex weights, when compared against other high-scoring dumbbells, we were pleasantly surprised with the overall construction quality. While they don't stand out as impressively bombproof as some others we've tested, we have no major concerns with their overall construction. These dumbbells were some of of the most accurate we tested; only 0.02 pounds under their list weight.


Amazon Basics Hex dumbbells are standard steel weights with rubber-coated, hex-shaped heads that provide durability and protection to the weight and the floor during training. We noticed no movement, jiggling, or other design vulnerabilities during our extended testing period that might call the integrity of the weights into question. We felt reasonably confident during our drop tests that these dumbbells would likely last through years of intense workouts.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - we used the amazon dumbbells in various fast-paced workouts; they...
We used the Amazon dumbbells in various fast-paced workouts; they held up well to sweat, chalk, and drops.
Credit: Hale Milano


Storage


With a shorter handle length, Amazon Hex dumbbells come with one of the smaller footprints of any standard hex dumbbells we tested. And, like the other others in our lineup, they can be stacked — using some caution.


Though they are sold individually without a stand included, these Amazon dumbbells will more than likely fit on just about any after-market rack or stand if you choose to purchase one. And while they were not designed with portability in mind, they are still reasonably portable — at least in the lighter sizes. Our testing team stored a ten-pound pair in a closet and then carried them to the exercise area with a single hand by crisscrossing their two handles. This frees up your other arm to carry more gear, a mat or stool, or even a drink.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - if you store your weights in a different area than where you work...
If you store your weights in a different area than where you work out, these rubberized hex dumbbells are easy enough to move.
Credit: Hale Milano

Should You Buy the Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell?


The most significant appeal to the Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex dumbbell is its low cost (price-per-pound) and the option to purchase individual weights. Still, when you factor in the classic design of these standard dumbbells, including sturdy rubber heads, ergonomic (if a bit short) handles, and good construction quality, they make a compelling purchase for the budget-conscious home gym, especially when you only need a limited size range, and even if you're purchasing them as a pair.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - whether you are using one or two dumbbells, the amazon basics hex is...
Whether you are using one or two dumbbells, the Amazon Basics Hex is a solid choice for a home workout.
Credit: Hale Milano

What Other Dumbbells Should You Consider?


If you seek budget-friendly dumbbells but want multiple pairs with varied weights, the CAP Coated Hex Set With Rack offers standard-style dumbbells at a reasonable price. It comes with five pairs of weights ranging from five to 25 pounds, plus a stand for storage and organization. On the other hand, if you want the best standard dumbbells you can find, the Rogue Rubber Hex Dumbbells were one of our favorites during testing. These impressively built and well-designed weights offer unrivaled quality in construction, exercise versatility, and available weight ranges. We tested a handful of standard dumbbells and are confident that you'd be happy with most of them. For our favorite home gym dumbbell, we recommend the REP Rubber Coated Hex. As the name implies, it's completely coated in rubber and slightly more compact than other free weights, making it ideal for cold, humid, and cramped garage gyms. There's also the REP Straight Handled Hex that has a straight versus ergonomically shaped handle. Other brands or options to consider, should you have a specific preference on brand name or price, are the BalanceFrom Rubber Encased Hex or Signature Fitness Sporzon Rubber Encased Hex. There's a variety of other types of dumbbells that we tested too. The Core Home Fitness Adjustable Set is a completely encapsulated adjustable set from 5 to 50 pounds and is very easy to use, while the Titan Fitness Loadable Olympic Handles is another adjustable style that relies on separate plate weights to adjust the weight, but can range up to 400 pounds. For a little less weight, beginner-friendly dumbbells like the J/Fit Set with Rack or Amazon Basics Neoprene provide a variety of options under 20 pounds that are perfect if you're just starting on your fitness journey.

amazon basics rubber encased hex - available from five to 50 pounds, the amazon basics rubber encased...
Available from five to 50 pounds, the Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex dumbbells are a sturdy and easy-to-use option.
Credit: Hale Milano

Hale Milano
 

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