Rep Fitness Dumbbells – Comprehensive Buying Guide

Rep Fitness Dumbbells - Cover - Garage Gym Lab

If you’re in the market for some fixed dumbbells in your home gym or facility, Rep Fitness is a great company to consider.

Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Rep Fitness because of their quality, their prices, and their innovative approach to equipment overall.

When it comes to dumbbells, Rep Fitness has three distinct offerings, each of which has pros and cons relative to each other.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at each one so that you can be armed with the necessary information to make a decision based on your needs and budget.

The first part of this buying guide will include an overview of each dumbbell.

The second part will include a detailed comparison of some of the most important considerations (grip, size, price, etc…).

Lastly, I’ll share my final thoughts on which option may be best for you.

I will also update this article with links to full-length individual reviews once those are complete, but this should go a long way towards narrowing it down.

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Rep Fitness Dumbbells

Rep Fitness Rubber Hex, Rubber Grip, and Urethane Dumbbells

The Rep Fitness Dumbbell options include the following:

  • Rubber Hex Dumbbells
  • Rubber Grip Hex Dumbbells
  • Urethane Round Dumbbells

I own a set of the urethane dumbbells myself, and I also picked up pairs of the rubber hex and rubber grip dumbbells so that I can definitively conclude my opinions.

I like each option for different reasons. At the end of this article, my goal isn’t to emphatically crown one as the victor. Rather, I aim to discuss each option and outline which one may be most appropriate for you based on a variety of factors.

Let’s dig in.

Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells

Pair of Rubber Hex Dumbbells lying on side

The Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells are their most economic option, and they’re the most common type of dumbbells on the market.

For the typical home gym owner or even the smaller private facility owner, these are a nice option due to price and durability. In general, rubber hex dumbbells aren’t known for durability, but Rep Fitness has taken an extra measure to increase longevity by friction welding the heads of the dumbbells. Friction welding differs from the screwed-in ends of some other rubber hex dumbbells, which are notoriously short-lived.

Rubber Hex dumbbell showing friction welded head and knurling on handle

Friction welding is the exact process most barbells undergo to affix the shaft to the collar. It creates a very strong bond that is meant to last years and years. As such, the rubber hex dumbbells from Rep Fitness come with a lifetime warranty for home use and a 1-year warranty for commercial use.

Another nice consideration by Rep Fitness on their rubber hex dumbbells was to include a straight and fully knurled handle. This differs from many other rubber hex DBs that include the ergonomic handle that you may have seen or used. I don’t so much mind the ergonomic design in general, but the partially knurled surface is less than ideal. Not only do I prefer the straight handle overall, but the full knurl is a clear advantage.

Rubber hex dumbbell on side showing Rep label and 50 pound marker

The knurling itself is mild-to-medium in feel, which I would say is very appropriate for a dumbbell. It feels nice in the hand, it provides ample grip, and the full coverage limits the risk of slippage. It’s also coated in chrome, which is normal for a dumbbell.

The diameter of the handle depends on the weight. From 2.5lbs to 15lbs, you’ll have a 28mm handle and anything higher will utilize a 34mm handle. This jump in handle size is very common, and it’s actually thinner than some of the ergonomic handles (35mm). I like the smaller diameter myself – I can always add a fat grip if I want to.

black rubber hex dumbbell head showing size

As Rep Fitness states, the dumbbells use a low-odor rubber. I can attest to that, as I haven’t noticed any foul odors that can be common with lower-quality materials. The dumbbells do ship with a fairly thick layer of oil. I would wipe them down before placing them on anything. I made the mistake of immediately resting one on my bench, and now I have a couple of unsightly oil stains. The oil will dissipate over time, but I would recommend to just wipe them down first.

Rep rubber hex dumbbell on scale showing weight of 50.2 lbs

The rubber hex dumbbells are very accurate. They don’t come with a claimed accuracy threshold like the urethane dumbbells, but as you can see in the picture, I don’t expect it to ever pose an issue.

The downside to rubber hex dumbbells is their size. Of the three Rep Fitness dumbbell options, they are the largest in terms of overall length, which can shorten the range of motion on certain lifts.

The rubber hex dumbbells range in price from $1.10/lb to $1.40/lb on the individual pairs and from around $1.04/lb to $1.08/lb on the various sets. This pricing firmly puts these dumbbells in a very compelling price bracket.

When you consider the fully-knurled handles, the friction welded heads, and the lifetime home-use warranty, it’s easy to see that they’re a great option.

Rep Fitness Rubber Grip Dumbbells

Rep Fitness Rubber Grip Dumbbells laying on side showing label and weight

The rubber grip dumbbells from Rep Fitness are their mid-tier offering when it comes to price. These dumbbells have a unique design that reduces the overall size of the dumbbell and provides one very nice feature for those who are training in cold climates – I’m looking at you, garage gym owners!

As the name implies, these dumbbells have a rubber grip.

Say whaaaaat?!

Rubber grip dumbbell showing handle, grip, and friction welded head

It’s true, they do, and I actually really like them. The biggest benefit of having rubber grips is that it completely neutralizes the temperature component. I don’t know about you, but walking out into my freezing garage and gripping a cold piece of steel isn’t the most pleasant experience at first. The rubber grips absolutely work to eliminate this issue altogether. As temps are dropping quickly, I’ve gotten first-hand experience with this. They aren’t cold to the touch… at… all.

Sweet!

Rubber grip dumbbell from laying on side showing the weight label of 50 lbs

One thing you’ll also notice is that the handles have the contoured ergonomic handle I mentioned above. They even have the same “knurl” pattern. Now, these handles aren’t “knurled” in the traditional sense, but they do have a raised pattern that serves as a sort of “knurl.” And it actually works pretty well. The grip feels nice, and I was surprised to learn that they feel less slippery than the classic ergonomic chrome handles.

The size of these dumbbells is another strong selling feature. They offer the narrowest heads of the three options and they’re slightly shorter than the rubber hex dumbbells, which can be attributed to a slightly shorter handle. The handles themselves include a 30mm diameter from 5-15lb dumbbells and a 34mm diameter on anything heavier.

Rubber grip dumbbell on scale showing a perfect weight of 50 lbs with Rep at end

Like the Rubber Hex dumbbells, the Rubber Grip dumbbells also do not carry a claimed accuracy threshold. That said, from my measurements, they’re very accurate. In fact, they’re perfectly accurate.

head of rubber grip DB showing size

Aesthetically, I like the look of these dumbbells a lot, but they require additional upfront cleaning from my experience. They also tend to show scuffs and other marks more so than the Rubber Hex and Urethane Dumbbells. From a durability perspective, the rubber grip dumbbells are also friction welded at the heads. They come with a lifetime warranty for home use and a 1-year warranty for commercial use.

The rubber grip dumbbells range in price from $1.30/lb to $1.50/lb on the individual pairs and from around $1.17/lb to $1.22/lb on the various sets.

Rep Fitness Urethane Dumbbells

Urethane dumbbells from Rep Fitness laying on side with Sorinex rack in background

The urethane dumbbells from Rep Fitness are their top-tier dumbbells, and they offer several great features. The biggest advantages of urethane dumbbells are size, durability, and accuracy.

In general, urethane is a more durable, less smelly, and more aesthetic material than rubber. It tends to resist cracking and overall deformation more effectively than rubber. It’s also more resistant to sunlight, weather, and other elements because, unlike rubber, urethane is not biodegradable. Its overall physical properties make it an ideal coating to withstand abuse in virtually every way when it comes to dumbbells. Whether it’s a home gym or a high volume commercial gym, urethane is the most durable option.

front of urethane DB with South Carolina state flag in background

In terms of aesthetics, urethane is unique in that it can actually be dyed. Now, we’re talking about black dumbbells here, so it’s not a huge benefit, but it does open up the option for customization, which Rep offers. If you have a logo, for instance, you can have them applied to the dumbbell for an additional fee and a longer lead time. Overall, urethane requires less maintenance to keep looking good, whereas traditional rubber can show more blemishes and/or otherwise require more frequent cleaning.

head, grip, and knurling of handle of a urethane dumbbell

The urethane dumbbells themselves include solid steel heads and they’re fully welded for additional durability. The biggest difference between these heads and the hex heads is that the urethanes are round. This is completely personal preference. Aesthetically I like the look of the round more, but they do tend to roll around the gym.

Urethane dumbbell from rep sitting on a scale showing a perfect weight of 50 lbs with the South Carolina state flag in background

Rep claims a +/-3% tolerance to the stated weight, which provides the peace of mind that they’re going to be highly accurate. I have weighed each of my dumbbells, and I can confirm that each is within that claimed tolerance.

profile of a urethane dumbbell showing overall length and handle

The handles of the urethane dumbbells measure 5″ in length. I think the knurling is pretty similar to the rubber hex dumbbells, meaning they offer a mild-to-medium feel. This makes them great for a variety of lifts. The diameters of the handles are 32mm from 5-50lbs and 34mm on anything heavier.

Aside from the durability advantage, the size is easily the best thing about the urethane dumbbells. They are extremely compact and, while they do have a slightly wider head, they are significantly shorter than the rubber hex/rubber grip dumbbells. This allows for increased range of motion on many lifts.

The downside to the urethane dumbbells is that they’re much more expensive. They range in price from $2.33/lb to $2.40/lb on the individual pairs and from around $2.17/lb to $2.35/lb on the various sets.

Direct Comparisons

Now that we’ve had a look at each of the options, let’s take a few of the key factors and compare them.

Grip/Handles

rubber hex, rubber grip, and urethane dumbbells laying next to other on a sorinex utility seat showing their relative size

Grip is a very important consideration with dumbbells. We want a secure grip that will allow us to perform all types of lifts, ranging from explosive movements to more controlled movements.

Each of these three dumbbells offers a nice grip, but I have to give the slight edge to the rubber hex dumbbells due to the full coverage. In terms of the actual knurl, it’s close to the urethane dumbbells, although I think the urethane DBs do have a more refined knurl.

I must say I’m pleasantly surprised at how well the rubber grip dumbbells feel in the hand. Compared to a steel version of the same ergonomic handle, I would take the rubber grip, but I don’t think the rubber offers the same feel/grip as the steel versions of the other Rep dumbbells.

I would rank them as follows:

  1. Rubber Hex Dumbbells
  2. Urethane Dumbbells
  3. Rubber Grip Dumbbells

Size

dimensions of all of the dumbbell options from Rep including the rubber hex, rubber grip, and urethane DBs

The urethane dumbbells are the victor when it comes to size. They have a much sleeker profile, which makes them far less unwieldy, especially as you get higher up in weight increments.

Take the 50lb dumbbells as an example. The urethane dumbbell is over 3″ shorter than both the rubber hex and the rubber grip hex options. When performing a chest press, shoulder press, etc… this extra 3″+ on both dumbbells means you can get a significant amount of additional range of motion.

The heads of the dumbbells on the urethanes, however, are larger than both other options (1.5″-2″). I don’t think the advantage of head size is as great as it is for overall length, but it is something to consider. If you’re performing movements where the dumbbell is very close to the body… think close-grip neutral bench, hammer curls, etc… then you do benefit from getting the DBs a little closer to the body.

The size comparison rank is as follows:

  1. Urethane Dumbbells
  2. Rubber Grip Dumbbells
  3. Rubber Hex Dumbbells

Increment Options

set of 5-50lb urethane dumbbells in a dumbbell rack with a garage gym lab banner behind it on the wall

The rubber hex dumbbells provide the most options when it comes to weight increments.

Where the urethane dumbbells and the rubber grip dumbbells are available in 5 lb increments, the rubber hex dumbbells have a variety of dumbbells that come in 2.5 lb increments.

In fact, the rubber hex dumbbells up to 60 lbs can be purchased in 2.5 increments as well as pairs in the 77.5 lb and 87.5 lb variants. You can purchase up to 125 lbs in the rubber hex dumbbells.

The urethane dumbbells offer the second-highest when it comes to increments. Everything comes in 5 lb increments, but you can purchase up to 125 lbs. To do so, however, you must buy the 105 lb – 125 lb set. You can’t purchase them as individual pairs.

The rubber grip dumbbells are only sold up to 100 lbs.

If you’re buying a set of dumbbells, regardless of the option, they are all sold in 5 lb increments. If you want the 2.5 lb increments in the rubber hex, you can buy a set of 2.5 lb – 27.5 lb and/or you can purchase them as individual pairs.

Ranking as follows:

  1. Rubber Hex Dumbbells
  2. Urethane Dumbbells
  3. Rubber Grip Dumbbells

Price

microsoft excel price comparison of the rubber hex, rubber grip, and urethane dumbbells

The great thing about the Rep Fitness dumbbell options is that they will appeal to a wide range of people due to their pricing.

You will always get a better deal when buying a set of dumbbells vs. buying individual pairs when you look at it from a price-per-pound perspective. You’ll also get better shipping quality this way because your DBs will ship freight in a large container. This means they will arrive in perfect condition. Individual boxes shipped from the likes of UPS tend to get beat up along the way, which may or may not result in damaged goods.

The pricing rank is pretty straight forward:

  1. Rubber Hex Dumbbells (starting at $1.10/lb for pairs and $1.04/lb for sets)
  2. Rubber Grip Dumbbells (starting at $1.30/lb for pairs and $1.17/lb for sets)
  3. Urethane Dumbbells (starting at $2.33/lb for pairs and $2.17/lb for sets)

In general, Rep Fitness’ pricing on their dumbbells is VERY attractive relative to some other companies. When you factor in their overall quality, they’re going to be hard to beat for the money, in my opinion.

Accuracy

all three dummbell options showing overall weight accuracy with red labels and white lettering

Accuracy is important, but I don’t think it’s as important on dumbbells as it is on plates, for instance. I would argue that the heavier the weights get, the more important the accuracy is.

The urethane dumbbells are likely going to end up being the most accurate overall – they’re the only ones with a claimed weight tolerance (+/-3%). Each of my urethane dumbbells falls within that range. That said, when comparing just the 50 lb dumbbells, all three were spot on. The Rubber Hex pair was 0.4% off and the Rubber Grip was exactly 50 lbs.

Again, I don’t think this is going to be of high concern, but the ranking would be as follows:

  1. Urethane Dumbbells
  2. Rubber Grip Dumbbells
  3. Rubber Hex Dumbbells

Durability

Rep Fitness AB-5200 bench with two urethane dumbbells sitting on a floor that has black horse stall mats from Tractor Supply Company

The urethane dumbbells are going to offer the best durability among the three options, but for the average home gym owner, I don’t think you can really go wrong with either.

With the friction welded heads on the rubber hex and rubber grip dumbbells, I think they’re going to be very durable for most people. The lifetime warranty for home-use is great, and I think that should put the mind at ease.

The durability rank would be as follows:

  1. Urethane Dumbbells
  2. Rubber Hex Dumbbells & Rubber Grip Dumbbells

Aesthetics

angled view of three DB options sitting on a sorinex utility seat with the urethane choice being the closest

Aesthetics are entirely subjective, but I have my personal favorites.

I think the urethane dumbbells look the best. The texture looks awesome, the logo is crisp and legible, and the weight call-out is easily readable. It’s an all-around great looking dumbbell.

I also like the look of the rubber grip dumbbells, but I wish they put the weight call-out either on the end with the logo or with white lettering to make it stand out more. There have been some comments out there that the heads can include a white-ish film on them and/or some inconsistencies with the finish (matte vs. gloss). I did have to wipe mine off pretty well and they do tend to show blemishes more than the others.

The rubber hex dumbbells are your traditional, basic look. As mentioned earlier, they are pretty heavily oiled out of the box, so I would recommend wiping them off well before using them.

I would rank them as follows:

  1. Urethane Dumbbells
  2. Rubber Grip Dumbbells
  3. Rubber Hex Dumbbells

Rep Fitness Dumbbell Rack

dumbbell rack from rep fitness with a 15 barbells sitting on the wall behind it as well as a reserved for lifting banner and a flat bench with a Thompson Fat Pad

With a set of fixed dumbbells comes the need to store them appropriately. Rep Fitness sells a 3-tier dumbbell rack that I own and it does the job well. It has a slim profile with dimensions measuring 48″ long, 36″ high, and only 24″ deep. With a set up to 50 lbs, it’s an ideal situation.

When you buy a bigger set, such as the 5-100 lb option, the spacing isn’t as convenient. With the Rubber Hex set, you’ll have 6 total dumbbells without a home. With the Rubber Grip set, you’ll have 4 total dumbbells without a home. And with the Urethane set, you’ll have an awkward 5 total dumbbells without a home.

Structurally, the rack functions well, but the metal shelves between uprights under heavier load may sag just a little bit, so the urethanes may roll towards the middle. Not a huge deal when it’s all said and done, but it’s something to note. I will also add that I prefer this shelf type (two independent trays) over the large, single trays that some others use. This is because these trays don’t have a front lip, so you can immediately read the urethane weight call-outs. On a tray with a front lip, this tends to be cut off.

For $139, it represents a nice value. You can also purchase them in multiple colors ($149).

Which Rep Fitness Dumbbells Should You Buy?

In this section, we’ll take a look at which Rep Fitness dumbbells may be right for you based on some criteria.

Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell ttanding tall on a utility bench showing height and the overall profile

You should buy the Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells if:
  • You’re looking for a very budget-friendly option.
  • You don’t like the contoured, ergonomic handles like on some other rubber hex dumbbells.
  • You appreciate full knurl coverage across the entire handle.
  • You plan on using the dumbbells in a home setting or, to a lesser extent, a low volume private facility.
  • You value the lifetime warranty (home-use).
  • You want to have dumbbells in 2.5 lb increments.
  • You want dumbbells that exceed 100 lbs.
  • You don’t mind having a larger overall dumbbell profile.

I think the Rubber Hex dumbbells are a terrific option. I would actually recommend them to most people. They work well, they’re relatively inexpensive, and they come with a lifetime warranty.

front view of a Rep Fitness rubber grip dumbbell standing on a utility seat

You should buy the Rep Fitness Rubber Grip Dumbbells if:
  • You don’t mind spending a bit more money.
  • You like contoured, ergonomic handles.
  • You train in a cold environment where the rubber grips will make a big difference.
  • You plan on using the dumbbells in a home setting or, to a lesser extent, a low volume private facility.
  • You value the lifetime warranty (home-use).
  • You don’t want dumbbells that exceed 100 lbs.
  • You prefer a smaller profile dumbbell.

The Rubber Grip dumbbells are a very intriguing option. The rubber grips really do work to mitigate the effects of cold temperatures and they do provide a very stable grip. I like that they’re smaller than the Rubber Hex dumbbells, and I think they look better aesthetically.

Height of a Rep Fitness urethane dumbbell shown by it standing on a rack-mounted utility seat with green accents from a Sorinex rack in the background

You should buy the Rep Fitness Urethane Dumbbells if:
  • Budget isn’t a constraint.
  • You like straight handles.
  • You appreciate proper knurling across the majority of the handle.
  • You want the most durable dumbbell option. You can rest assured these will last in the home gym setting or in higher volume facilities.
  • You want dumbbells with a guaranteed weight tolerance.
  • You like the clean, professional-looking aesthetic.
  • You want dumbbells that exceed 100 lbs.
  • You want the smallest profile possible.

In my opinion, the urethane dumbbells are awesome. I greatly prefer the small profile, the grip is great, the durability is unmatched, and the overall look is awesome. BUT, they are significantly more expensive. If you have the budget to support them, I would highly recommend them – otherwise, I would go with one of the other two options and call it a day.

Summary

three heads of the rep fitness dumbbells with rubber hex on the left, rubber grip in the middle, and urethane on the right

When you boil it all down, I think Rep Fitness offers three outstanding options for those looking for fixed dumbbells.

They’re high quality, they carry impressive warranties, they work perfectly well, and they’re less expensive than many other companies. They also include some additional features that I think are improvements over other companies… things like fully knurled, straight handles… friction welded heads… temperature controlled grips…

Rep Fitness is putting out great products at great prices. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from them if you’re in the market for dumbbells.

If you have any questions about these dumbbells or dumbbells in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own any of the Rep Fitness dumbbells and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!

As always, I appreciate any feedback.

If you found this article useful, please feel free to share it on social media!

The bar is loaded,

Adam

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