If you’re looking to buy weights for a home gym as a beginner, then chances are you may be bewildered by the sheer variety of options available. And with that great variety, there’s also great variability in price. This post shares data on the average cost per lb/kg of weight for barbell weight plates, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
On average, brand new free weights cost $1.00-4.50 per pound (or $2.50-9.50 per kilogram). In contrast, used free weights cost on average $0.50-3.00 per pound (or $1.00-6.00 per kilogram). The exact price varies according to the type of weight, heaviness of the weight, and manufacturing materials.
When I was in the buying phase myself, the vast number of different brands and models left me with analysis paralysis.
I just needed to know what was a good/fair price to pay for my weights!
That’s why I’m sharing my research and experience with you today.
Hopefully, it can help you to make a better-informed buying decision.
Let’s jump in.
How Much Do Free Weights Cost Per lb/kg?
Here’s an overview of the average price per lb/kg of new and used free weights:
|Free Weight Type||Typical Cost Per Lb (New)||Typical Cost Per Kg (New)||Typical Cost Per Lb (Used)||Typical Cost Per Kg (Used)|
|Barbell Weight Plates||$1.50 to $4.00||$3.00 to $8.50||$0.50 to $2.50||$1.50 to $6.00|
|Dumbbells||$1.00 to $4.50||$2.50 to $9.50||$0.50 to $3.00||$1.00 to $6.00|
|Kettlebells||$1.50 to $4.00||$3.00 to $8.50||$0.50 to $2.50||$2.00 to $5.50|
Barbell weight plates and kettlebells have a similar cost per unit of weight, ranging from $1.50 per lb to $4.00 per pound.
Dumbbells have a slightly wider range in cost, compared to barbell plates and kettlebells. This is mainly due to the greater variety of dumbbell types available on the market.
Some dumbells like plastic spinlocks are easy to manufacture and are extremely cheap. But other dumbbells such as selectorized dumbbells are more high-tech and can be very expensive.
How Much Do Used Free Weights Depreciate?
On average, second-hand free weights depreciate by 30 to 70% of their original value. The exact rate of depreciation is affected by the type of free weight, brand, and model. Weights that are more expensive brand new will usually depreciate less than cheap weights.
This finding is based on my research in second-hand marketplaces including:
Next, I’ll explain in detail how different types of free weight designs and materials affect their cost per lb/kg.
This post will cover the major types of free weights including barbell weight plates, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
Typical Barbell Weight Plate Cost Per lb/kg
On average, brand new barbell weight plates cost $1.80-3.50 per pound (or $4.00-7.80 per kilogram). In contrast, used weight plates cost $0.70-2.45 per pound (or $1.60-5.50 per kilogram). The exact price varies depending on the plate brand, material, and weight.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the average price per lb/kg for a new and used barbell weight plate:
|Barbell Plate Material||Typical Cost Per Lb (New)||Typical Cost Per Kg (New)||Typical Cost Per Lb (Used)||Typical Cost Per Kg (Used)|
Unsurprisingly, bare cast iron weight plates are the cheapest type of barbell plate.
They aren’t as durable as the synthetic-coated plates (but still durable compared to other types of weight) and are more abrasive when dropped onto the floor.
But are easy for the manufacturer to make and the price is reflected accordingly.
Synthetic-coated weight plates (rubber/neoprene/urethane/PVC) are moderately priced.
These offer a great balance between cost and functionality.
Their outer coating makes them extremely hardwearing and minimizes the risk of damaging your floor and property when dropped.
Olympic competition-grade weight plates are the most expensive type of barbell plate.
Unlike cheaper plates, these are machined to their exact specified weight and subject to strict regulatory conditions. They’re all synthetic-coated and extremely durable.
Also- don’t forget the barbell bar.
The average Olympic barbell costs around $150. In contrast, the average standard and mini barbell costs around $80. Generally speaking, high-quality bars that are made from more durable steel with better knurling will cost more than low-quality bars made from cheap steel with poor knurling.
What Is A Good Price To Pay For A Barbell And Weight Plates?
Generally speaking, $650 or under is a good price to pay for a brand new barbell with 220 pounds of weight plates. Prices can be found lower by choosing a barbell and plate package. Additionally, costs can be reduced by around 50% by buying used items.
By the way, 220 pounds is a great starting weight for beginners.
Here’s a detailed cost breakdown for a good price to pay for barbell weight plates:
|Weight Plate (lb)||Weight Plate (kg)||Reasonable New Price||Reasonable Used Price|
Recommendation For A Cheap And Good Barbell Set
For the beginner looking for a budget alternative, you can combine the Balance From cast iron plates (you can see the reviews here) with the CAP Olympic barbell, Bang Tong rack, and Flybird bench.
If you get 220 pounds of plate weight, both setups will likely last you at least 2 years and take you to the intermediate stages of weight training.
Typical Dumbbell Weight Cost Per lb/kg
On average, brand new dumbbell weights cost $1.40-4.20 per pound (or $3.00-9.20 per kilogram). In contrast, used dumbbells cost $0.60-2.50 per pound (or $1.20-5.50 per kilogram). The exact price will vary depending on the dumbbell brand, type, weight, and manufacturing materials.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the average price per lb/kg for new and used dumbbells:
|Dumbbell Type||Typical Cost Per Lb (New)||Typical Cost Per Kg (New)||Typical Cost Per Lb (Used)||Typical Cost Per Kg (Used)|
Spinlock adjustable dumbbells are the cheapest type of dumbbell.
They mainly come in two varieties that differ in their manufacturing materials- plastic or metal. Plastic spinlocks are slightly cheaper compared to iron and steel spinlocks.
I’d avoid plastic dumbbells. They may be cheap, but the vinyl plates can easily crack. You can find out which type of dumbbell is best and why here, in my opinion.
I much prefer to pay slightly more for metal spinlocks that usually last a lifetime.
Selectorized adjustable dumbbells are moderately priced and offer the best value for the average person in my opinion.
They contain multiple weight settings within a single dumbbell unit. The more expensive selectorized dumbbells feature heavier weight capacities and smaller more frequent weight increments.
Premium selectorized dumbbells are also constructed with better materials like synthetic outer-coated steel or powder-coated finishes.
The obvious downside to them is their durability. They contain moving parts that can break if you abuse them.
Fixed-weight (hex) dumbbells seem cheap at first. But you need to buy an entire set for them to be useful. And this usually costs north of $1000.
If you like, you can go to my other article to find out what size dumbbells you should use as a beginner.
What Is A Good Price To Pay For Dumbbells?
Generally speaking, $400 is a reasonable price to pay for a good pair of selectorized adjustable dumbbells. Spinlock dumbbells can be found for $100. And a complete set of fixed-weight hex dumbbells will cost at least $800. Therefore, the dumbbell type affects what is considered a good price to pay.
Since spinlock dumbbells are now largely outdated (replaced by selectorized adjustable dumbbells), and fixed-weight dumbbells are mainly for the hardcore gym-goer, this post will address selectorized dumbbells-only.
You can find out the differences between all the dumbbel types here.
Here’s a detailed cost breakdown for a good price to pay for different selectorized dumbbell weights:
|Dumbbell Weight (lb)||Dumbbell Weight (kg)||Reasonable New Price||Reasonable Used Price|
You can see that dumbbell weight also has a major influence on the price of selectorized adjustable dumbbells.
The heavier dumbbells usually have stronger internal adjustment mechanisms to handle the increased load. They are also generally constructed from more durable materials.
Additionally, the heavier dumbells tend to depreciate less in value when sold as a used item.
If you’re interested, you can also check out my other post to learn more about what is a good price for dumbbells and how much you can sell them for.
Recommendation For A Cheap And Good Dumbbell
If you’re a casual lifter who is training for general fitness, then the Yes4all iron spinlocks (you can find the cheapest price here) are cheap and get the job done fine.
The Flybird 25 is a great 25lb selectorized dumbbell for beginners to tone and do fat-burning HIIT workouts at home.
If you’re looking to build a noticeable amount of muscle, then heavier 50lb dumbbells like the Powerblock Elites (you can find the cheapest price here) are recommended.
They are the dumbbells I use. Having researched dozens of models, I felt they provide the best value for money. And they didn’t disappoint!
The Powerblocks can also be retrofitted (upgraded separately) to 70lb and 90lb using their add-on kits. And this means you have the flexibility to add weight only when you are ready.
As a bonus- Powerblocks generally hold their value best with around 20-30% depreciation when sold used.
If you’re interested, you can check out my other article to find out how to build muscle with 50-pound dumbbells.
Typical Kettlebell Weight Cost Per lb/kg
On average, brand new kettlebell weights cost $1.60-3.80 per pound (or $3.50-8.30 per kilogram). In contrast, used kettlebells cost $1.00-2.30 per pound (or $2.10-5.00 per kilogram). The exact price will vary depending on the kettlebell brand, type, weight, and manufacturing materials.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the average price per lb/kg for new and used kettlebells:
|Kettlebell Type||Typical Cost Per Lb (New)||Typical Cost Per Kg (New)||Typical Cost Per Lb (Used)||Typical Cost Per Kg (Used)|
Fixed-weight kettlebells are the most popular type of kettlebell.
They are usually constructed from a single-mold cast iron build and are pretty much indestructible.
They’re cheap, durable, and work great for home workouts.
Selectorized adjustable kettlebells offer a similar price to fixed-weight kettlebells.
But they come with the same durability concerns as selectorized dumbbells.
In other words, they can easily break if they are abused (unlike their fixed-weight brother).
What Is A Good Price To Pay For Kettlebells?
Generally speaking, $150 is a good price to pay for kettlebells. This is enough to afford a complete set of fixed-weight kettlebells weighing 5-30 pounds or a single selectorized adjustable kettlebell with 10-40 pound weight increments. Buying kettlebell sets is often cheaper.
Since fixed-weight kettlebells are the most popular type of kettlebell, these are the kettlebells I will focus on.
Here’s a detailed cost breakdown for a good price to pay for different fixed-weight kettlebells:
|Kettlebell Weight (lb)||Kettlebell Weight (kg)||Reasonable New Price||Reasonable Used Price|
If you’re looking for kettlebells within the range of 5-30lb, I’d recommend buying a set. These often work out to be cheaper than the individual kettlebells.
But sets often do not come with heavy kettlebells (40lb+).
So you could supplement the set by purchasing heavy kettlebells separately.
Recommendation For A Cheap And Good Kettlebell Set
The Yes4All powder-coated kettlebell collection (you can see the customer reviews here) provides an affordable light to medium weight set.
But they don’t go very heavy.
If you need a more challenging kettlebell, then you can supplement the set with individual heavy dumbbells.
These Yes4All kettlebells can go up to 70lbs which is more than enough for most people to get a great workout at home.
The Yes4All kettlebells are a good budget option.
But if you want a high-quality set of heavy kettlebells and don’t mind paying a bit extra, then I highly recommend the Rep Fitness kettlebell set.
This set goes up to 50lbs.
I found the thicker handle to be much more comfortable compared to the Yes4All’s. They are a better option for men.
If you’re interested, you can go to my other article to find out how to use free weights to build a v-shape body at home!
Best Places To Buy Cheap And Good Weights
For most people, Amazon provides a cheap and fast delivery service for good weights. But the Amazon selection is mainly catered for beginner to intermediate lifters. Advanced lifters will find a better selection of weights from an independent retailer.
Many independent retailers exist.
Here are some of the best retailers in the US and UK:
|Reputable US Free Weight Retailers||Reputable UK Free Weight Retailers|
|Titan Fitness||Fitness Superstore|
|Dicks Sporting Goods||Muscle Squad|
If you’re from other countries, then Google is your friend.
Usually the top Google search results for “buy free weights in [country]” offer a good indication for a reputable company.
The top Google search results are usually occupied by companies that have credibility and a high traffic volume.
I’ve shared with you the average cost per lb/kg of weight for a variety of free weights including barbell weight plates, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
Generally speaking, barbell plates and kettlebells have a similar cost per lb/kg weight.
Dumbbells have a slightly greater variance in their cost per lb/kg weight. This reflects the much greater variety of dumbbell types available, compared to barbell plates and kettlebells.
You can use the data in this article to help you make a more informed buying decision for your home gym!
How much will you be spending on your weights?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)