The Snode AD80 Adjustable Dumbbells are among the most unique quick-change options on the market. While the overall concept isn’t new, Snode set out to deliver the most durable dumbbell in this class.
Not only that, they claim the AD80 is “drop-proof” and even include drops in their warranty.
That’s unheard of.
Of course, I tested those drops, and not just once, but several times at every weight from 32″ high.
Additionally, I used them extensively on everything from chest presses to goblet squats.
In this review, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Snode AD80 Adjustable Dumbbells. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare them to the popular NÜOBELLs.
Let’s dig in.
Snode Adjustable Dumbbells
I’ve tested dozens of the best adjustable dumbbells at Garage Gym Lab.
From the most budget-friendly plate-loaded dumbbells to the most expensive quick-change models, I’ve seen and used nearly all of them.
The Snode AD80s are some of the most well-made adjustable dumbbells I’ve tested.
I’m impressed with the build quality, ease of use, and durability.
However, I’m underwhelmed with the knurling, and the weight increments aren’t as versatile or convenient as others.
Let’s take a look at the specs and then get into the review.
- Materials: Iron, Aluminum, Nylon, and Plastic
- Starting Weight: 10 lbs
- Max Weight: 80 lbs
- Weight Increments: 10 lbs (optional magnets for smaller jumps)
- Handle Diameter: 35.5mm
- Dimensions: 18.1″ L x 6.7″ H x 6.7″ W
- Colors: Black
- Warranty: 2 years (options to increase to 3 and 5)
The Snode AD80 adjustable dumbbells have a clever design that blends speed, performance, and a traditional dumbbell look and feel. While this style isn’t new or revolutionary, it’s an excellent choice for home gym owners looking to maximize time and minimize space.
Dimensionally, these dumbbells are 18.1″ long and 6.68″ tall. Although slightly longer than some, the overall footprint is compact and efficient.
In the following sections, I’ll cover each feature in detail.
Further reading: Adjustable vs. Fixed Dumbbells
Plates & Weight Capacity
The Snode plates have a consistent design with similar-style adjustable dumbbells but with a couple of differences. Each plate has dovetail connections that fit perfectly into the other plates, but unlike most with plastic connectors, the AD80s are all iron.
The biggest benefit of iron connectors is increased durability, especially considering these are high-impact areas. I’m more confident re-racking these dumbbells compared to some. However, one of the downsides is they make more noise since there isn’t a plastic buffer. Still, the tolerances between each plate are tight and consistent.
Another thing to consider about these plates is that they’re completely round. Other dumbbells, like the NÜOBELLs, have a small flat area on the bottom to prevent rolling. For example, if you’re training in a sloped garage, you may experience more roll with the Snode AD80s.
In terms of weight capacity, the AD80s range from 10-80 lbs in 10-lb increments. I love the max weight, but the increments are wider than I like. That said, Snode sells magnetic add-on plates that you attach to the ends of the dumbbells to achieve 2.5 or 5-lb increments. They also allow you to achieve a higher weight capacity of 85 lbs.
While it’s a unique solution, the magnets cost more money and are something else to keep up with/potentially lose. And considering they weigh 1.25 lbs each, you need a set of 8 to achieve 5-lb jumps for a pair of dumbbells.
Handle and Knurling
The handle is one of the nicest features on the AD80s, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, I love that the handles are straight and knurled. They feel like traditional dumbbells in the hand, which I appreciate compared to contoured handles.
However, the knurling is very passive. The pattern is relatively flat and doesn’t offer as much grip as some others. To be fair, this is fairly common, but I prefer a slightly more aggressive profile, especially on heavier dumbbells.
Second, because the handle itself doesn’t adjust the weight, it’s fixed in place. This makes for a slightly more solid feel than others and eliminates a possible sticking point.
Another thing to consider is that this handle has a 35mm diameter, which is thicker than most. I prefer a 32mm handle in most scenarios, but 35mm is still accessible and comfortable. The 4.5″ length is fairly short, but it should accommodate you well unless you have very wide hands. Shorter handles also tend to improve the dumbbell’s balance, which I’ve found true with the AD80s.
It may seem odd, but the Snode cradle is a notable feature and one of my favorite things about the set. Functionally, it works the same as others, but its quality is far superior.
On the middle pieces that span the two side rails, you’ll find two raised points that insert into the bottom of the dumbbell’s adjustment system. When the dumbbell is racked in the cradle, these points unlock the mechanism, allowing you to change the weight. Conversely, when using the dumbbells, the mechanism is locked for safety.
While that’s all the same as others, the biggest benefit is that the Snode cradle is made of iron. The entire structure from end to end is iron – even the aluminum rails are protected by iron. Compared to others that use plastic, the durability is much stronger.
And trust me, when you’re coming off a hard set, the last thing you want to do is accidentally break a plastic cradle trying to re-rack your dumbbells.
Adjusting the Snode AD80 Adjustable Dumbbells
The biggest advantage of dial-system dumbbells is how quickly you can change the weights. The Snode AD80s adjust with a single dial on the handle surround. This differs from some systems with the dial integrated into the handle, making it slightly longer to adjust. It’s not meaningfully different, but I do like handle dials more.
The nylon dial has a nice, grippy texture and operates smoothly at every adjustment. The call-out window is convenient for quickly identifying your weight selection, and I love the audible click it makes at each stop.
The actual mechanism is fairly simple. A threaded aluminum rod inside the handle protracts and retracts to select the proper weight. This is similar to other systems, and it works perfectly. Remember, the dumbbell must be racked in the cradle to adjust the weight.
Further reading: Types of Adjustable Dumbbells
One of the biggest selling points of the Snode AD80s is the build quality. Most adjustable dumbbells in this class include plastic components – some have a little, while others have a lot. The Snodes have the least amount of plastic, limited only to the inner gears. And even that is dense and well-protected.
The biggest advantage of the AD80s is that the plates are 100% iron, including the dovetail connectors. Since the plates slide into one another, eliminating plastic reduces the risk of damage. The handle end caps are also made of iron, minimizing the chance of breakage over time.
Snode advertises the AD80 dumbbells as being “drop-proof.” I tested this claim by dropping them numerous times from 32″ and while coming off hard sets of chest presses. I was impressed with the results and came away more confident than with other dumbbells in this class.
However, I still don’t recommend making a habit of dropping the AD80s. Sure, it will be fine for a while, and maybe even forever, but these dumbbells still have mechanical components that could break down with repeated drops.
Another feature I love about these dumbbells is the iron cradle and optional stand. Most cradles are made of plastic, increasing the possibility of causing damage when re-racking the weights. The Snode cradle is easily the most durable cradle I’ve tested.
Overall, I’m highly impressed with the build quality of the AD80s and feel they’re at the top of the quick-dial class in terms of durability.
Aesthetically, the Snode AD80s are great-looking adjustable dumbbells. Their black plates and chrome handle make for a classic profile that traditional dumbbell fans will appreciate. Although I love the general look, I wish these came in different color options like the NÜOBELLs.
The Snode dumbbells come with a 2-year warranty, which is similar to others in this class. But, unlike others, Snode explicitly covers drops in their warranty. This is unheard of among adjustable dumbbells and is a testament to their commitment to building a drop-proof dumbbell.
Additionally, they offer options to extend the warranty to 3 or 5 years for $29.99 or $69.99. Because these dumbbells are less likely to break, I don’t necessarily recommend paying for an extended warranty, but it’s available for peace of mind.
The Snode AD80s are very well-reviewed by users on Amazon and on Snode’s website. Owners resonate with the heavy-duty construction and love the speed of the adjustments. Several also noted the all-steel dumbbell stand as being a great feature.
The biggest source of criticism is the 10-lb increments. One reviewer wrote, “Only drawback after a month+ of use is the 10 lb increments. I have the magnet sets to help with that but the magnets sit awkwardly on the ends of the dumbbells and are an imperfect solution. Small complaint when considering the overall quality of these weights.”
Snode Adjustable Dumbbells vs. NÜOBELL
The NÜOBELLs are the most popular adjustable dumbbells in this class. They were early adopters of this style and make an excellent product. But how does it stack up against the Snode AD80s?
The biggest difference between these dumbbells is their build quality. While both are well-made and durable, the AD80s include far less plastic, including the dovetail connections, handle surrounds, and cradle. I don’t recommend dropping either set, but I’m more confident that Snodes can handle more abuse and greater intensity.
Another key difference is the weight increments. NÜOBELLs range from 5-80 lbs, with 10 lb jumps, while the Snodes range from 10-80 lbs in 10 lb increments. I prefer the weight options on the NÜOBELLs, and while the magnetic add-ons are useful for the Snodes, it’s a more cumbersome setup.
In terms of size, both sets are compact and great for home gyms. However, the NÜOBELLs aren’t as long as the Snodes, providing a better range of motion on some movements.
Both dumbbells offer excellent adjustment speed, but the NÜOBELLs are slightly faster because of the integrated handle dial. I also prefer the more aggressive knurling on the NÜOBELL handle vs. the more passive Snode pattern.
The Snode AD80s are around $50 more expensive than the NÜOBELLs as of this review. If you don’t mind the wider weight jumps and want the most durable option, I recommend the Snode adjustable dumbbells. However, the NÜOBELLs are more versatile, slightly faster, and come in several color options.
Further reading: NÜOBELL review
Pros and Cons
The Snode AD80 adjustable dumbbells offer impressive speed, performance, and durability.
I love the iron construction and am confident these will hold up over the long haul. I appreciate the balance between quick weight changes and a traditional look and feel.
While I love the weight capacity, I’m not a big fan of the 10 lb adjustments. Thankfully, Snode offers magnetic fractional weights for smaller jumps, but they cost more and aren’t as user-friendly.
Ultimately, I think these are some of the nicest quick-change adjustable dumbbells on the market. Their durability is unmatched in this class, and despite a couple drawbacks, I’m impressed with their performance and value.
FAQs about Snode Adjustable Dumbbells
How Much Weight Can the Snode Adjustable Dumbbells Hold?
The Snode AD80s range from 10-80 lbs in 10 lb increments. However, they sell separate magnetic add-ons that allow for 2.5 or 5 lb increments. Additionally, you can use these magnets to increase the total weight capacity to 85 lbs.
Are Snode Adjustable Dumbbells Durable?
Yes, the Snode AD80s are some of the most durable adjustable dumbbells on the market. They are built almost entirely of cast iron and include a durable cast iron cradle. Snode is so confident in their design that they warrant drops from 32″ or below for a period of 2 years, with options to extend to 3 or 5 years.
Should I Buy the Snode AD80s for My Home Gym?
The Snode Adjustable Dumbbells are a great home gym option for those seeking maximum durability. Their compact design is space-friendly, and with a large weight capacity, they're accessible for nearly everyone. However, there are better options if you want tighter weight increments or more aggressive knurling.