When it comes to the manufacturing of free weights, China seems to dominate the industry, with 95% of free weights being produced there. However, American-made free weights offer a higher level of quality, safety, and durability.
Concerns with Chinese-Made Free Weights
Concerns about Chinese-made products, such as lack of regulation and quality control, also apply to weights.
On the other hand, the reputation of the USA for consistent and reliable manufacturing holds true for free weights.
Additionally, buying domestically has both economic and environmental benefits. Although the cost may be higher, it is worth the investment.
One of the main benefits of American-made free weights is that they are non-toxic. Cheap Chinese free weights often contain chemicals due to the lack of regulation, which can result in foul or even toxic off-gassing.
American-made weights must meet stringent EPA standards, ensuring clean plastics and safer rubbers like polyurethane or natural rubber that won’t make you sick.
High Build Quality
American-made free weights also offer high build quality. American manufacturers use high-quality metals and sophisticated manufacturing processes such as high-pressure press fittings, proprietary welding, and thoroughly tested synthetic material blends. This leads to safer and more durable weights.
Quality control is another area where American-made free weights excel. American free weights are manufactured with strict quality control standards, ensuring that the weights match their printed value, making them less prone to causing injuries.
Reputable American-Made Free Weight Manufacturers
There are many reputable manufacturers of American-made free weights, such as Iron Grip, Goldens’ Cast Iron, and RAGE Fitness.
Iron Grip makes dumbbells, barbells, and plates all in America, and their proprietary urethane coating is also manufactured domestically.
Goldens’ Cast Iron manufactures dumbbells using iron sourced entirely from the US.
RAGE Fitness, based in Denver, Colorado, has a subset of American-made products, including the well-known RAGE Medicine Ball. These products are constructed with recycled material and in full compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Increased Demand for American-Made Free Weights
Since the global pandemic, the demand for free weights in the U.S. has increased dramatically. Wholesale sales for free weights have more than doubled since 2019, rising from $201 million annually to $483.2 million as of 2021.
This trend has led to a supply crunch, fueling new domestic interest in free-weight manufacturing. With supply chain issues slowing overseas shipping, U.S. manufacturers sourcing materials at home have an advantage in order fulfillment speed and overall quality.
This means that more lifters are turning to American-made free weights and recognizing the clear advantages over the competition.