In this article I share my experience with the 3-level Marcy dumbbell rack known as the DBR-86.
My review will cover the dumbbell rack’s assembly, features, capacity, and I’ll show pics of mine in action.
One of my home gym essentials
I bought it awhile ago and am glad I did.
The Marcy rack handles its job without any issues, and it’s been a mainstay in my modest home gym setup ever since.
Mine’s packed with dumbbells, but I’ve seen other people use it to store other pieces of home gym equipment: resistance bands, medicine balls, kettlebells, foam rollers, etc.
Helpful insider info
I’ll also pass along a couple of nice tips that were shared with me when I got mine.
(One made putting it together a little easier and the other made it a lot more user-friendly for sure.)
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.
What I like about the Marcy DBR-86
Here’s a quick rundown on the dumbbell rack’s high points (for me, anyways).
It’s inexpensive but well-made
Even though Marcy recently bumped up this dumbbell rack’s price, I think it’s still a good bargain.
This is because (among other things) it has a thoughtful design & is made from heavy-duty steel.
Lots of happy buyers
I’m not the only owner who loves their dumbbell rack.
The Marcy DBR-86 has an excellent owner satisfaction rating:
94% (4 & 5-star reviews) – 4.8⭐ 10,000+ online reviews
The three shelves are angled towards you as face the dumbbell rack, which makes grabbing & returning dumbbells an easier task.
Besides the heavy-duty steel, the frame has good welding and the rack sits on rubber feet.
All of this makes for a very sturdy feel when in use, assuming it was built correctly*.
* – Some people in their haste to put a new piece of fitness equipment together ignore the manufacturer’s suggestion to only hand-tighten the bolts until after they’re all on, and then crank them on with a wrench.
Skipping this advice can leave you with an uneven frame that doesn’t sit flush on the floor and wobbles as a result.
The owner’s manual for this Marcy rack has these same instructions, take a peek:
I’ll get into assembly more in the next big section, but let me quickly say here that putting the Marcy 3-level rack together is a breeze.
It only has 8 parts and some hardware, and the instructions are clear.
Small floor footprint
The Marcy DBR-86 doesn’t need much real estate, as it’s only about 2 feet wide, 3 feet long, and a little over 2 ½ feet high.
Can handle lots of weight
Despite a low price, it offers a whopping 800 lb. of capacity.
(If my math is correct, there’s 595 lb. on my rack in this pic.)
More on bargain hunting
Earlier I mentioned that I felt that this dumbbell rack was a bargain at its current price.
I’m a bargain hunter by nature, sort of.
Once I’ve decided on a particular product — meaning I’m set on the brand & model — I’ll track it down for the lowest price I can find.
In the case of this Marcy dumbbell rack, first I compared its price on the Marcy website vs. Amazon and found that Amazon’s was cheaper by around 30 bucks.
Where it’s sometimes cheaper than Amazon
Then I went a step further and searched the Amazon Warehouse section for it.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, this is where Amazon puts their returns & cosmetically damaged products.
Every once in a while you can get a great deal there.
The Marcy DBR-86 rack wasn’t there when I first looked, or for the next month actually.
But then it popped up, and I snagged it for less than Amazon’s regular price.
Tip: Be aware that when you’re searching around in the Amazon Warehouse section, some of the products they show you are BRAND NEW and NOT discounted.
If it’s a returned item they’ll say something about its condition near the top of the product page, like this:
(This was for a set of those Amazon Basics neoprene dumbbells…)
No damage to the rack, no missing parts
From what I could tell, the only thing a little funky about the rack I bought was that the box was torn in a couple of spots, as you’ll see in the picture below.
Nothing else was damaged, and all the hardware was still sealed.
Assembly & helpful tips
As I said earlier, it’s real easy to put this 3-tier dumbbell rack together and I’ll get into it in this section.
I’ll also tell you about a nice hack that will save you several minutes of building time.
AND… I’ll share a cool modification you’ll probably want to go with when you’re attaching the shelves, especially if you’ve ever gotten your fingers pinched returning a dumbbell to a dumbbell rack at a gym.
How it arrives
Here’s how the Marcy rack is shipped to you.
The box mine came in was a little dinged up, but remember I bought a used one.
What’s inside the box
I like Marcy’s packaging of the hardware.
All similar pieces are sealed under plastic to cardboard that has labels for everything.
Nothing’s rattling around the box in its journey to you.
Here’s a pic of what all the parts of the DBR-86 looked like when I unpacked them:
Putting it together
As you can see from the pic above, there aren’t a lot of different parts to deal with and here’s the list:
That’s always nice when it comes to assembling a piece of fitness equipment.
Another plus with this Marcy rack is that its owner’s manual (which I have here) provides a short & clear set of instructions on how to build it.
Here’s an image of the 1-page assembly sheet:
Assembly mod #1 saves you time
As mentioned there are two suggested assembly modifications I have for you to consider, and here’s the first one.
This is for anyone like me who is not at Handyman level when it comes to building stuff. (I’m probably around IKEA level…)😛
This tip will give those of us who aren’t mechanically inclined several minutes of our life back.
I’ll take ‘em.
Marcy’s instructions have you bolt the rack piece to the frame by inserting the bolt down through the rack & frame, and attaching the nut underneath the rack.
It’ll look like this:
Instead of that, insert the bolt from underneath the frame & rack so that you’re attaching the nut ABOVE the rack.
It’ll look like this:
It is MUCH faster to do it this way – I timed myself attaching one bolt using each of the two ways.
And there are 12 bolts to attach.
Assembly mod #2 saves your fingers
The Marcy DBR-86 rack has angled shelves, which is a nice ergonomic touch when it comes to grabbing & returning the dumbbells.
But due to how close each rack’s edges are to each other, you need to be careful re-racking your weights or you could get a digit pinched.
For each of the three shelves, reverse the lower rack bar so that its edge that points up is closer to you as you face the rack.
That sounds confusing even to me, sorry ‘bout that.
Luckily pictures paint thousands of words.
Compare these two images. First, the lower rack bar the way Marcy has you attach all 3 of them:
And here’s the suggested modification. Note that the vertical edge is now a couple of inches closer to the front and is flush with the frame beneath it.
Notice in my pics how the dumbbell sits up on the near edge and in the slot behind the far edge.
This makes it much easier to get the dumbbells on & off the rack without worrying about smashing fingers.
Related dumbbell workouts & exercises here on heydayDo
I hope that my article on the Marcy 3-Level dumbbell rack is useful to you, and that the assembly tips are helpful too.
I wish you well on your fitness journey; let’s go.