Do Dumbbells Break?

Do Dumbbells Break?

If you walk into any gym, there is a high possibility that you will see a set of dumbbells.

Dumbbells are often associated with gyms and fitness, and it is simple to see why when you consider how useful and adaptable they are.

Regardless of your training objectives, dumbbells are fantastic because they enable you to carry out a variety of exercises of varied degrees of difficulty. Dumbbells proved life-saving for many during lockdowns, which resulted in the closure of commercial gyms for months.

While having dumbbells is excellent, maintaining them is crucial.

Do dumbbells actually break, and if so, how can you prevent this?

Do Dumbbells Break?

Dumbbells made from flimsy metal parts or plastic are more likely to break. In addition, vinyl and neoprene dumbbells also break when dropped on the floor since their exterior materials aren’t sturdy enough to protect their core. If you slam or drop the dumbbells from great heights or keep them in poor condition, they are more likely to break.

Quick Summary

  • Dumbbells made of high-quality cast iron or high-tensile steel are much less likely to break than cheap or weak materials.
  • When dumbbells are smashed, dropped on a hard surface, dropped from considerable heights, or improperly stored, they will break.
  • Slamming dumbbells onto hard surfaces can cause minute chips or cracks that are not always obvious.

Do Adjustable Dumbbells Break?

Adjustable dumbbells can certainly break. This is because the product has countless moving parts, and the moving components become loose. You will often move and adjust the adjustable dumbbells, resulting in dumbbells losing their moving parts.

You shouldn’t drop adjustable dumbbells often since that reduces their lifespan and decreases functionality. Modern adjustable dumbbells are built from better and higher-quality materials.

Still, even the best adjustable dumbbells will crack if you slam them with significant force.

Always regularly maintain your adjustable dumbbell set to make them more durable and prevent loss of functionality.

Do Bowflex Dumbbells Break?

The Bowflex dumbbells made from plastic are more likely to break. This is because an Bowflex adjustable dumbbell can easily crack if you forcefully drop it on the floor. More often than not, plastic adjustable dumbbells treated that way can be scuffed and scratched.

When Do Dumbbells Break?

Dumbbells break when slammed, dropped on a hard surface, dropped from great heights, or stored in poor conditions. Any adjustable or fixed dumbbells that are made with plastic or flimsy metal parts will be more likely to crack when they’re dropped.

Dumbbell types made of vinyl and neoprene frequently break when dropped because their outer shells are not really usually strong enough to shield their inner structures. However, solid cast iron dumbbells and thick steel fixed dumbbells are more resilient than those constructed of other materials. 

When purchasing hex dumbbells, you should also search for urethane dumbbells rather than rubber ones.

Compared to rubber, urethane is more durable and better able to handle the impact. Although regular and most adjustable dumbbells are hardy, sturdy, and designed to endure a lot of mistreatment, they can suffer from general wear and tear.

Here are some possible ways a set of dumbbells could break so that you can ensure they stay intact and in good working condition.

When Being Slammed

Everybody has seen the Instagram videos of the enormous bodybuilder at the gym “pressing” ridiculous amounts of weight with poor form, screaming from the top of his lungs, and then slamming the dumbbell weights to the floor to celebrate their big lift.

They could receive a few internet likes for their actions, but doing so is a surefire way to ruin a set of dumbbells.

The dumbbells can break when pushed down forcefully onto the ground regardless of how resilient the weights are or whether they are rubber coated, mainly if the floor is hard or the mats are thin.

Dropping dumbbells or slamming them onto hard surfaces can result in minute chips or breaks that may not immediately be visible.

But after a few months, this harm can start to become apparent. Additionally, as soon as a crack or chip shows up, the damage will worsen the following time they are hit until they eventually entirely break.

When Dropped on Hard Surfaces

Rubber floor mats are commonly found at gyms because they serve as protection for the free weights that customers utilize.

Again, regardless of how durable a dumbbell is, dropping it into a hard surface like concrete can cause some damage.

In all honesty, the dumbbell will cause more damage to the concrete floor than it will to itself, but the more you use it, the more harm it will take.

It is uncommon for a commercial gym to have a concrete floor, especially in the free-weight area.

If you are using a set of fixed weight dumbbells at home or in your garage, get a set of mats or be extremely careful when setting the dumbbells down after use.

There is no reason you cannot correctly place the dumbbells down on the ground once you have completed the exercise if you could execute it with the weights.

When Dropped From a Great Height

Metal dumbbells are not meant to be thrown. If you are careful, rubber-coated dumbbells can tolerate greater damage and be dropped.

When your set is complete, drop the weights by lowering them to arm’s length and not from a significant height.

If you are performing dumbbell shoulder presses, ensure the fixed dumbbells are placed on your thighs first before carefully lowering them from there instead of dropping them from a height over your head.

You run the risk of dropping them upon yourself if you drop them from a considerable height, and if the dumbbells move violently, they could hurt you.

When Stored in Poor Conditions

Now, in terms of whether fixed dumbbells can break when kept in improper circumstances, the answer is yes, though it may take decades for the damage to worsen to the point where it becomes a significant problem.

Rust could attack the weights and eat away at them if stored in poor conditions, such as in moist settings, leading to their eventual brittleness and breaking.

The majority of rusty dumbbells, however, just have surface rust, which is easily removed with sandpaper. 

With a fresh coat of paint, the fixed dumbbells will once again appear to be brand new. If your dumbbells are rubber coated, you should store them somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight to prevent the rubber from deteriorating.

Factors That Allow You to Drop Dumbbells Without Damaging Them

Here are some factors that allow you to drop fixed or adjustable dumbbells without damaging them.


Your dumbbells’ durability, when dropped, will depend on the materials they are composed of.

Dumbbells constructed of high-quality cast iron or high-tensile steel are far less likely to break than inexpensive or weak materials.

The most popular materials for dumbbells are listed below.

  • Steel: Traditional steel dumbbells often have no coating for protection. Even though they are extraordinarily robust, they can eventually rust and corrode.
  • Cast Iron: These are the traditional dumbbells you are likely accustomed to seeing on television and in conventional gyms worldwide.
  • Rubber: This is the material that we advise everyone. Rubber is quite durable and designed to last for many years. However, specific models retain that recognizable rubber scent, which is unpleasant and difficult to eliminate entirely.
  • Urethane: Urethane is a unique variety of rubber that is even more durable than regular rubber. Therefore, the price is typically higher.
  • Plastic: These dumbbells would not be preferable to other materials for any exercise discipline. They don’t last as long as rubber or metal substitutes, and they feel cheap (which is typically the case).

Cast iron and mild steel are the two most widely used materials for dumbbells, with stainless steel being used in less common custom dumbbells.

Overall Construction

Dumbbells are made up of several different sections that are then welded or cemented together. Dumbbells with sections that are just glued on are more prone to damage, whereas dumbbells with welded parts usually last longer.

You can also search for dumbbells with heads pinned to the handles since these are less likely to fall apart and decrease the likelihood of your dumbbells breaking when they are dropped.

What Kind of Floor You Work Out On

The shock-absorbing substance in a rubber floor or horse stall mats will assist in preserving the integrity of the dumbbells if you exercise on them. If you want to build a home gym, buying something to protect your floor should be essential. 

Your dumbbells are more likely to break on a harder surface, such as concrete because it won’t be as forgiving.

So, if you have already spent a lot of money on dumbbells, try to utilize them as much as possible and keep them from getting damaged.

How Far You Drop Your Dumbbells

It would be best if you never dropped dumbbells.

Dumbbell bounces and is likely to cause injury. If the coach switches your weights for lighter ones after reminding you of this, and you keep dropping the heavier ones, do not be shocked.

Dumbbells can and should be dropped, but only when necessary.

So don’t follow that you can drop a dumbbell on each rep or do it on purpose to produce a gratifying bounce. This wastes time and makes the gym environment unsafe. If your workout’s pace is something you’re thinking about, it is not necessarily the fastest option.

Dropping is useless since dropping and resetting take longer than holding on to the dumbbell.

Dropping weights is done for safety reasons, not for amusement, ease, or laziness. Gaining the strength to lower your weights and lift them is a necessary component of getting stronger.

The Thickness of the Handles

When people drop dumbbells, those with thin or hollow handles are more prone to shatter or break.

You should make sure that the dumbbells you select have thick, solid handles that can withstand the shock of being dropped, even if most of the heavier dumbbells have handles that are thick enough to hold the heads when dropped.

The Angle at Which the Dumbbells Are Dropped

Dumbbells will sustain less damage if they are dropped horizontally to the ground or vertically so that one of their heads lands flat on the floor.

When you have just maxed out, it is not always simple to control this, but you should try to be careful when dropping them so that they don’t break.

How Long Does Dumbbells Last?

Dumbbells last a lifetime. It is crucial to start with high-quality purchases. Cheap weights may flex or crack after only light use. This is a case of “buy cheap, buy twice.” Consider paying more for a high-quality set because it is made of steel, especially if you are looking for stainless steel.

But the cost varies naturally from one manufacturer to another. Steel dumbbells are created to last a lifetime. For any home gym regulars, the initial investment usually pays off due to the durability of steel.

The only drawback is that steel dumbbells can seriously harm your floor if dropped. If you gradually raise and reduce your weight, you won’t experience this issue.

There are not many potential issues with any of these. Sure, you may damage anything with misuse, but with reasonable usage and care, these items ought to last you for a very long time.

Just invest in quality ones and keep lifting them till your hair turns gray.


Can Hex Dumbbells Break?

Yes, hex dumbbells can break. If you buy regular hex dumbbells, you can tear them apart or even break them when using them.

Can Metal Dumbbells Break?

Yes, metal dumbbells can break. They are very easy to break, so you must be careful when dropping them on the ground.

Can You Drop Powerblock Dumbbells?

No, you cannot drop Powerblock dumbbells. If the dumbbell is dropped, the plastic pin holding the weights in place could break. The various parts of the dumbbell might disassemble upon impact and strike you, injuring you if that pin was ever to break.

Can You Drop Bowflex Dumbbells?

No, you cannot drop Bowflex dumbbells. Dropping them can result in the adjustable dials breaking or the plastic pieces cracking. If the dumbbells fall, it is also likely that some of the plates will crack.

Can You Drop Ironmaster Dumbbells?

Yes, you can drop Ironmaster dumbbells. They are built to withstand drops. These heavy-duty adjustable dumbbells can withstand a fall thanks to their cast iron weight plates, diamond-knurled grips, and chrome-plated steel handles.

What Are the Best Dumbbells for a Home Gym?

Adjustable dumbbells are designed for home use. Unlike standard dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells are an excellent investment if you want to establish a home gym but don’t have much room.

Dumbbells made of rubber are the strongest and most durable type, therefore we strongly suggest getting them.

Their convenience and space-saving features are their key advantages.

Nothing should stop you from purchasing a set of adjustable dumbbells if you have the money and appreciate the advantages they provide.

Would you incorporate a set of adjustable dumbbells into your fitness routine?

Or do you favor using a regular dumbbell?

Leave a comment and let us know.

Vanja Vukas

Vanja Vukas

Student at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education and a hardcore functional training enthusiast. Heavily inspired by Michael Boyle, a strength & conditioning specialist, and by Adam Sinicki, the founder of Bioneer. Vanja believes that transitioning to a movement-based exercise program can drastically improve your fitness, balance out your muscles, and support your current lifestyle.

Leave a Comment