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  1. #1
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    A must-do upgrade for my fellow spinlock dumbbell users

    I've been using spinlocks for almost a year now. I planned to upgrade to Ironmasters, but now I'm stuck with everyone else waiting who knows how long for supply to return.

    In the meantime, I wanted to make my spinlocks better, particularly for bench & shoulder pressing.

    Getting the weights up on spinlocks is tricky as you either get stabbed in thigh or have to do a balancing act with the dumbbells angled and using the edge of the plates for support.

    Now I have a permanent fix that makes these 10x better, safer and easier.

    I had a local metal shop weld a 1/8" thick steel plate about 5" in diameter to the end of a spinlock. Cost me $53 for a set of four (EDIT).

    I now have a very stable and comfortable flat surface that rests on my thighs before kicking them in place.

    Unless you are filling out the dumbbell with >80 lbs, you will either need (i) a second spinlock collar to keep the weights in place or (ii) you could buy 1" inside diameter washers to fill up any space https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/0159712 You can buy those washers from Fastenal for $0.50 each.

    Couldn't be happier.
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    Last edited by VTLifts; 08-28-2020 at 10:55 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    Power Hooks are also useful, although they appear to be discontinued:

    https://www.fitnessavenue.ca/dumbbell-power-hooks
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  3. #3
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rlundregan View Post
    Power Hooks are also useful, although they appear to be discontinued:

    https://www.fitnessavenue.ca/dumbbell-power-hooks


    That's a damn shame, right there. Awesome product, imo.

    To me, Power Hooks and Hookers Handles were two of the best accessories for anyone lifting weights, in the home or the gym.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Mech6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Cost me $53.
    Dude...
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    You mirin? VTLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mech6 View Post
    Dude...
    Not familiar with metal work. That's a RIP off for welding four steel plates to the spinlock collars?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Mech6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Not familiar with metal work. That's a RIP off for welding four steel plates to the spinlock collars?
    Well, from my math, you have about 3.5 lbs of steel there. So that's less than $2. The rest is labour. You tell me. I mean if you're happy with it then it's really besides the point. It just came off as expensive looking at it. But I did think it was for 2, so for 4 it makes more sense.
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    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    Sherm had the same idea back in the day.....it wasn't a bad idea, it's just that the item he was selling looked slapped-together rather than being finished nicely.......not to mention the marketing "techniques" that were employed.....
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  8. #8
    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    That's a damn shame, right there. Awesome product, imo.

    To me, Power Hooks and Hookers Handles were two of the best accessories for anyone lifting weights, in the home or the gym.
    I agree--both were great gadgets for a home gym. I like my Power Hooks better than dumbbell trays once the weight starts getting heavy.
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  9. #9
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rlundregan View Post
    I agree--both were great gadgets for a home gym. I like my Power Hooks better than dumbbell trays once the weight starts getting heavy.

    One of the cool things about both products is that they were compact enough to fit in a gym bag. That, combined with the fact that neither required permanent installation, made them useful for those poor schmucks who have to pay a monthly fee to use someone else's equipment, too.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Lifts4longevity's Avatar
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    I made something similar several years back, except I used 3/8" plate that was around 6" diameter. I made them over a decade ago, so I don't recall exact dimensions. I drilled the round plate for finger holes like an old style round dial on a telephone so I could tighten them. It was a fantastic idea in theory, but they came loose constantly. I didn't think to NOT drill the center hole as yours are done, so I still had to worry about the threads of the handle slamming into my leg if I didn't aim the DB's just right.

    Once finished, I quickly realized why nobody else produces a product like this....Prostyle DB's are better. I cut the dial part off the spinlocks and used them for another project. Now I'm back to the balancing act when I use my spinlocks. I keep thinking maybe a round piece of urethane that snapped or threaded onto the end of the DB handle might be easy and effective, but it's not high on my list of projects.

    That's cool you were able to have a shop cut those plates for you and weld them. Price sounds fair to me (the fab shop I used to work for charged $165/hr w/ a 1 hour minimum!). You're kind of "at the mercy of the dealer" anyway since you can't make those parts yourself. Enjoy!
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  11. #11
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    This is the kind of thing that could be 3d printed for pennies. The basic files are already out there for free...

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4318925
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  12. #12
    Registered User xdoomhammerx's Avatar
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    I prefer my new Pépin handles.
    pepin-dumbbell.myshopify.com/
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    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xdoomhammerx View Post
    I prefer my new Pépin handles.
    pepin-dumbbell.myshopify.com/

    I'm intrigued.

    Can you post some detailed pics so we can see how they work? Their website is ****.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by xdoomhammerx View Post
    I prefer my new Pépin handles.
    pepin-dumbbell.myshopify.com/
    Very intrigued.

    What is the grip diameter? How is the knurl?

    What is the handle width?

    Sort of like an ironmaster.

    Garbage website.
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    Registered User xdoomhammerx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    I'm intrigued.

    Can you post some detailed pics so we can see how they work? Their website is ****.
    Don't have nice pics to show. however their facebook page has lots of them, with videos of the handles in action as many reviews.

    Knurling is medium-soft. Nickel plated.

    facebook.com/Pepindumbbell/
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    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Interesting design, but way too expensive for what is essentially just a spinlock and pro-style hybrid.

    $175 for 5-60 lb handles
    $250 for 5-120 lb handles (currently $215 on sale)
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    Registered User Greybird2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    Interesting design, but way too expensive for what is essentially just a spinlock and pro-style hybrid.

    $175 for 5-60 lb handles
    $250 for 5-120 lb handles (currently $215 on sale)
    They appear to follow the general idea of Ironmaster handles but for standard plates. When I think of it like that, the price isn't that bad (as it still costs less than Ironmaster handles).

    Another COVID-prompted Ironmaster like dumbbell (with an inferior design in my opinion) is at https://baadass.com/. I read on reddit that they are selling just the handles for $450 which seems really expensive.
    Last edited by tytw00; 09-02-2020 at 09:59 AM.
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    Registered User Greybird2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    Interesting design, but way too expensive for what is essentially just a spinlock and pro-style hybrid.

    $175 for 5-60 lb handles
    $250 for 5-120 lb handles (currently $215 on sale)
    They appear to be way better than regular spinlocks. Benches, presses, curls, etc, would be way more productive without the too long bars of regular spinlocks getting in the way. But, of course, those 1 inch pancake plates are not available anywhere anyway.
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    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    They appear to be way better than regular spinlocks. Benches, presses, curls, etc, would be way more productive without the too long bars of regular spinlocks getting in the way. But, of course, those 1 inch pancake plates are not available anywhere anyway.


    I guess it depends how much weight you're using. I have a pair of spinlock handles that'll hold 120 lbs in 10lb pancakes each, and I don't find the ends to be in the way at all...as long as they're loaded heavy. I also use Power Hooks, so getting them into position is less of an ordeal.
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  21. #21
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    Sad update time.

    After a month+ of use and maybe a dozen drops from <6" height (end of a DB incline set), the threads on these collars are wearing out.

    In hindsight, I should've set up pads to drop the weights but too late.

    As you can see in the photo, there is hardly any threading left to grab the spinlock handle.

    Three of the collars still bite, but one is too smooth on the inside to lock.

    Thus, these are no longer safe unless you first lock the plates with one collar and then use these afterwards. This is fine, but it limits the weight capacity.

    Mech6, or anyone else familiar with metal work, is there something in the welding process that would've weakened the internal threading on these collars? Before this, I've dropped my spinlocks hundreds of times and the old collars are just fine.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Sad update time.

    After a month+ of use and maybe a dozen drops from <6" height (end of a DB incline set), the threads on these collars are wearing out.

    In hindsight, I should've set up pads to drop the weights but too late.

    As you can see in the photo, there is hardly any threading left to grab the spinlock handle.

    Three of the collars still bite, but one is too smooth on the inside to lock.

    Thus, these are no longer safe unless you first lock the plates with one collar and then use these afterwards. This is fine, but it limits the weight capacity.

    Mech6, or anyone else familiar with metal work, is there something in the welding process that would've weakened the internal threading on these collars? Before this, I've dropped my spinlocks hundreds of times and the old collars are just fine.
    A guy I used to work with said he had plates come off & hit him in the face w/ spinlocks. Gotta be a pretty rare situation though.
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Sad update time.

    After a month+ of use and maybe a dozen drops from <6" height (end of a DB incline set), the threads on these collars are wearing out.

    In hindsight, I should've set up pads to drop the weights but too late.

    As you can see in the photo, there is hardly any threading left to grab the spinlock handle.

    Three of the collars still bite, but one is too smooth on the inside to lock.

    Thus, these are no longer safe unless you first lock the plates with one collar and then use these afterwards. This is fine, but it limits the weight capacity.

    Mech6, or anyone else familiar with metal work, is there something in the welding process that would've weakened the internal threading on these collars? Before this, I've dropped my spinlocks hundreds of times and the old collars are just fine.
    That's a total bummer! I've noticed in recent years that cheapie spinlock handles can vary greatly in quality, and tolerances in the threads (on the handle or spinlock nut itself) aren't machined to the strict standards that many companies used to be known for.

    Point being, you may have started with junk to begin with. I tossed one CAP brand pair of DB handles after CHUNKS of threads began falling on the floor each time I unthreaded the collars. We're talking a few chunks that could have nearly passed for keys from a keyway. Even when new, the collars had a TON of play when threaded onto the handles.
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Sad update time.

    After a month+ of use and maybe a dozen drops from <6" height (end of a DB incline set), the threads on these collars are wearing out.

    In hindsight, I should've set up pads to drop the weights but too late.
    In hindsight you should've learned how to use dumbbells without dropping them.
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    You mirin? VTLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thedickus View Post
    In hindsight you should've learned how to use dumbbells without dropping them.
    Nah. Much rather replace the $50 piece than ruin my arm/shoulder trying to get the DB back on my thigh after I've exhausted on reps.
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Nah. Much rather replace the $50 piece than ruin my arm/shoulder trying to get the DB back on my thigh after I've exhausted on reps.
    That's absolutely ridiculous. You bring your thighs up to meet the dumbbells. Like I said, in hindsight maybe you should have learned to use dumbbells without dropping them. But it's your money, I wouldn't let you work out in my home gym. I have rules.
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