What is a Vinyl Dumbbell Set?

What is a Vinyl Dumbbell Set?

Vinyl Dumbbell Set

Let’s start with the scientific overview:

To start with, let’s have a look at vinyl as a material which is a man-made synthetic material. Its main chemical elements are ethylene, which is found in crude oil, and chlorine, found in salt. When these are mixed, along with other additional chemicals, it forms a resin material known as Polyvinyl Chloride, commonly referred to as PVC or vinyl.

PVC molecular chemical construction
Polyvinyl Chloride Molecular Chain

Polyvinyl Chloride is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic polymer of plastic (after polyethylene and polypropylene) with about 40 million tons being produced each year.

Where is vinyl used?

Vinyl is most commonly used in the construction industry for pipes, sidings and flooring, however, vinyl can be modified at the processing phase by including different additives resulting in a vinyl that has a multitude of mechanical properties. Here are some examples of industries and products:

  • Medical industry
    • Intravenous Fluid Bags and containers
    • Blood bags
    • Catheters
    • Goggles
    • Inhalation Masks
    • Mouthpieces
    • Dialysis Equipment
  • Construction industry
    • Siding and window frames
    • Roofing
    • Gutters and downspouts
    • Coverings for walls
    • Piping for water distribution, sewage, and irrigation systems
    • Fencing, railing, and decking

How is vinyl added to dumbbells?

The process of adding a vinyl coating to a cast iron dumbbell has multiple stages which are explained below.

Phase 1 - Cast iron dumbbell cleaning

The cleaning process is similar to that of any metal that is going to be painted. To start with, the cast iron dumbbell should be chemically cleaned to ensure all contaminants are removed. After cleaning, the metal surface has a higher degree of adhesive qualities for the primer and vinyl.

Phase 2 - Cast iron dumbbell priming

Vinyl as a material does not adhere to metal very well and requires the surface of the cast iron dumbbell to be primed by either spraying the primer on or dipping the dumbbell into a tank of primer. The dipping method is the conventional way and has greater control over the process which provides a better primed surface, which is important for good adhesion of the vinyl to the dumbbell.
Once the dumbbell has been fully coated with primer, it needs to be heated and baked so the surface temperature is between 350 Deg F and 400 Deg F. This baking ensures the primer is ready for the next phase of the process, dipping.

Phase 3 - Dumbbell dipping

It is important that the dumbbells are dipped and fully immersed into the tank of vinyl right after they come out of the baking phase, while they are still hot. The vinyl in the tank is known as liquid vinyl plastisol. Plastisol is just a liquid form of vinyl that when heated cures into a solid product.
The thickness of the vinyl coating is dependent on three factors, the temperature of the dumbbell as it is immersed, the length of time immersed and the actual formulation of the plastisol. The hotter the dumbbell temperature and the longer it is immersed for, the thicker the coating will be, assuming the plastisol formula is a constant.
It is crucial that the dumbbells are dipped slowly at a constant rate in order for them to get a uniform coating. This is best achieved through an automated machine that has control over the rate in which the dumbbells are dipped. Some items, depending upon their size, will require a different dip rate.

Phase 4 - Vinyl Plastisol Curing

After the dumbbell has been dipped and removed from the vinyl plastisol, it needs to be baked in a curing oven at a temperature between 300 Deg F and 350 Deg F. This will solidify the vinyl coating ready for the next phase, cooling.

Phase 5 - Cooling

Once the dumbbell has completed the curing phase it needs to be cooled down before being handled. This can be achieved through either air cooling or water cooling. Either way is fine, but, it is important the dumbbells are cooled, otherwise the freshly applied vinyl can be damaged.

Colored Vinyl Dumbbell Sets

A set of vinyl dumbbells allows you to workout with single cast dumbbells that have been coated in a material that is durable and safe to use. Vinyl provides an excellent surface which can be wiped down and cleaned before and after use.

Vinyl dumbbells are easy to clean after use

Vinyl has the ability to be accurately color matched during the mixing stage of production, therefore, it is possible to have specific colored dumbbells at different weights. It is common for manufacturers to have a set color range for their different weights, however, each manufacturer could have their own set of colors. These can be the same color code as neoprene dumbbell sets, which would have similar weight sizes but just a different surface coating.

The color coding of different weights allows you to easily identify the correct weight you want to work out with which is very useful during quick and rapid cardio workout routines as well as pyramid or drop set training.

Another advantage of vinyl is that it can have clear weight indicators which allow easy visual recognition of each of the weights. Again these can be brightly colored.

VTX vinyl dumbbells

Why is vinyl good for dumbbells?

As vinyl is a synthetic rubber, it is very good at absorbing energy, in particular, impact energy, so when you do drop your dumbbell, the vinyl coating will absorb the shock from the drop and will protect the surface it was dropped onto as well as protecting the cast iron core from any damage.

Another benefit is it has excellent noise dampening characteristics. Unlike cast iron dumbbells, when banged together, they make a lot of noise, vinyl dumbbells are very low noise. This is an advantage when vinyl dumbbells are being re-racked in their mass storage racks or in weight segmented bins.

vinyl dumbbells on a rack

Vinyl is generally stronger and harder than natural rubber and more resistant to water, oils and solvents. This is another advantage of having vinyl dumbbells in your collection.

What sizes do vinyl dumbbells come in?

Vinyl dumbbells generally start at 1 lb and increase by 1 lb, up to 15 lbs, so a full vinyl dumbbell set would have 15 pairs from 1lb to 15lb. It is common however to find smaller dumbbell sets for sale with an ‘A’ frame rack to hold 3, 4, or 5 pairs.

Larger sets of vinyl dumbbells are often found in fitness centers and group activity facilities where cardiovascular workouts such as aerobics and high repetition exercises are carried out. As vinyl dumbbells do not generally exceed 15 lb, they are ideal for this style of workout, which tend to be predominantly women, who are not interested in bodybuilding and lifting heavy weights.

stack of vinyl dumbbells

A good set of vinyl dumbbells is an excellent addition to any home where you can utilize light weight, vibrant colored dumbbells for your workout. Some of the best selling vinyl dumbbells are the 5 pair set on a small rack, however, a 10 pair vinyl dumbbell set on a vertical rack would not only be the reflect workout set, but they would look fantastic in anyone's home gym.


Vinyl coated cast iron dumbbells can be bright and vibrant in color making them a joy to workout with. The size range for 1 lb to 15 lbs gives you the perfect lightweight set of dumbbells that are perfect for high repetition and aerobic style workouts.

aerobic set of vinyl dumbbells

They are easy to wipe down and clear, pre and post workout, keeping them in pristine condition for years to come. They are also the ideal dumbbell set for a multi-member facility who runs aerobic classes as vinyl dumbbells are available in bulk and come with mass storage racks.

To read more about vinyl dumbbells and to see if they are right for you, we have included them in our buyers guide, which you can find here.