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Next up with our adjustable dumbbell reviews is Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs Core Fitness. Both of these are aimed at saving space, being convenient, and making it easy to get a whole body workout without having a dozen different dumbbells. But, which one is best?
We’re going to compare Core Fitness vs Bowflex SelectTech 552 based on overall weight, increments, the weight adjustment mechanism, grip comfort, storage, and then any other differences we can find.
Read on to find the best adjustable dumbbell for your home gym.
Core Fitness vs Bowflex: Weight and Increments
Two of the first things you want to check when buying an adjustable weight is how much weight you’re getting and the incremental adjustments. You ideally want the most overall weight possible (both low weight and high weight, which ensures whole body workouts even with your weaker muscles) along with small, consistent increments.
Starting off with the whole weight, what can you expect when comparing Bowflex vs Core Fitness?
The weight range for both are:
- Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell Weight: 5-52.5lbs
- Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set: 5-50lbs
While Bowflex technically wins here, it’s only by 2.5lbs, so we’re going to call this a draw. We don’t think the 2.5lb lead is going to sway your decision, so it’s a tie so far.
But what about the increments? As we said before, you ideally want small and consistent increments. Imagine if every increment is 10 pounds. Would you feel comfortable lifting 30lbs after mastering 20? Not, you’d want to go up to 22.5 or 25.
Let’s see how Core Fitness vs Bowflex works out in this category.
- Bowflex: 2.5lb adjustments to 25lbs, 5lb adjustments from 25-52.5lbs
- Core Fitness: 5lb adjustments
While Core Fitness is more consistent, we prefer Bowflex here. You get more settings overall, which is good when training up weaker muscles, or if a 5lb jump just seems too big. However, both of them become exactly the same from 25lbs and onward.
It’s a very close call since they have nearly the same weight range and very similar increments after 25lbs, but we give the win to Bowflex adjustable weights. However, Core Fitness is nearly identical.
Bowflex vs Core Fitness: Weight Adjustment
Few people consider this initially, but how do you change the weight on adjustable dumbbells? This is an important question. The best sets are fast, accurate, and let you get back to your routine without slowing you down.
The worst systems are confusing, slow, the weights get stuck, and you’ll spend minutes trying to get the weight you want.
Let’s examine both to see how they adjust and if one is better than the other.
Starting off with SelectTech 552 by Bowflex, this has a very simple system that is quick and easy to understand. You’ll find a dial at the end of the dumbbell. There are numbers on this dial corresponding to the amount of weight you want. If you’re looking for 30lbs, then turn it to 30 and pull up from the handle.
Couldn’t be easier, right?
Core Fitness uses a very similar system. However, instead of a dial at the end of the weight, you actually turn the handle. You will see a number at the end of the handle corresponding to the amount of weight you want. It’s the same thing. Turn to the weight you want and pull up.
Both are very easy to use and very rarely get stuck. If they do, then just jiggle the handle or dial slightly and try again.
It’s another close call, but we find Bowflex’s system is just a little easier to use.
They’re both great, don’t get us wrong, but it feels easier to turn the dial with your hand, especially if you want to make big jumps (let’s say from 10lbs to 50lbs).
While it’s very close, we found Bowflex to be a tiny bit easier. Once again though, it’s a very close race. If you choose Core Fitness, then you’ll also find that it’s very simple and easy to adjust.
Core Fitness vs Bowflex SelectTech 552: Grip Comfort
Have you ever bought a really cheap dumbbell? Some of the worst dumbbells come with smooth, slippery handles. Can you imagine lifting 40 or 50 pounds and dropping the weight because the handle is bad? That’s a nightmare that no one wants to face.
So, with that in mind, which dumbbell has the best grip? We are looking for two things here. We want to make sure the handle enhances your grip and that it’s comfortable.
Starting off with Bowflex, this handle has a firm textured handle with the Bowflex logo stamped all the way around. You might think this is just about branding, but the logo is concave and actually improves your grip.
Overall we’d call this a great handle that is comfortable while ensuring you have a good hold of the weight.
Core Fitness is also textured, but it has lines and grooves etched into the rubberized material. The material is softer, but still highly durable while ensuring that your hold is secure.
We would call this a tie because each handle prioritizes something different. Core Fitness is a little softer and better for those who want a comfortable grip. Bowflex has more texture and is better if you want a more secure grip.
In general, both are good, so just consider what you want made from your dumbbell handle.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs Core Fitness: Storage
Many adjustable weights have a storage tray. This is where you place the entire dumbbell. It’s also where the extra weight plates sit when you’re working out and using the dumbbell. In this regard, both Core Fitness and Bowflex use the same system.
While they both use a storage tray, there are some minor differences worth exploring.
Bowflex’s storage tray has an attractive design and two very wide feet on both ends. This allows it to easily sit on any flat surface. Plus, there are deep pockets on both sides of the tray that hold the extra weight plates that aren’t in use.
Core Fitness’s tray is similar. It has two silver rods on both sides that stabilize the tray on any flat surface. There are also compartments at both ends that hold the extra weight plates.
While they are very similar, it seems like Bowflex’s tray is a little more stable and holds the weight plates better. There is a slightly higher chance the plates will fall out of the Core Fitness tray, but only slightly.
It’s another close call. Both are great, but we like Bowflex’s just a little bit better.
Difference Between Bowflex and Core Fitness
Usually we can find some pretty significant differences between different adjustable dumbbells, like when we compared Bowflex against Ironmaster, Powerblock, or NordicTrack, but this one is really tough. Both weights are almost identical.
They’re both highly functional, have nearly the same weight, very similar incremental changes, similar adjustment methods, and even similar storage trays. While we liked Bowflex a little bit more in each category, it’s honestly been very close between these two.
Even their price is nearly identical. We suggest you check them both to see if one is on sale, but honestly you’re spending about the same regardless of which you choose.
If you consider looks alone, then Bowflex looks a bit better in that regard, but Core Fitness isn’t that far behind. It looks a little plain, but Core Fitness is still an attractive dumbbell that is highly functional and useful.
While we can’t find many differences, that also means that you’re getting a very similar experience with either dumbbell. Bowflex has been our favorite out of the two, but Core Fitness is a great runner up.
Unlike our other adjustable dumbbell reviews, we had a hard time finding major differences between these two models. However, we will say that Bowflex was the superior model in every category. It looks better, has a slightly larger weight range, better increments, the adjustment mechanism is easier to use, the handle is a tiny bit better, and the storage tray is better.
However, Core Fitness’s handle was more comfortable and it was just as useful and functional.
With that said, in our Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell review, we recommend Bowflex out of the two because it’s better in every way. Sure, it’s only by a little, but with a similar price, why not get the weight with the better features?