Exercising to stay healthy has never been more important than in these recent decades. Most of the processed food we eat today cause massive fat deposits in the body. Consistent exercise is required so that we remain healthy. Among the most exciting exercise equipment you could have in your gym or house, is the best rowing machine. A rowing machine is an all-round machine that helps you tone your legs, chest, back, and hands. It is a great machine to have as it exercises virtually every muscle in your body. You need such a balanced machine, especially if you are looking to get in shape.


There are many players in the fitness industry. Different companies create rowing machine differently. Some are obviously more effective than others. Very few people would know the technical aspects of training equipment. There aren’t may rowing machine reviews either. Getting the best home rowing machine might, therefore, prove to be an extremely tedious task. Worry less! You have arrived at the right place. This is a review of various rowing machines that have been carefully chosen by our team of experts. It will help you better understand what a good rowing machine should entail. It will also help you narrow down to a specific choice, among the many available. First, below is a comparison table of the various rowing machine we are going to review.

Rowing MachineResistance TypeSize (inches)FoldablePrice
Concept 2 Model D Rowing MachineAir96*24*14YesCheck Price
Concept 2 Model E Rowing MachineAir96*24*20YesCheck Price
Water Rower Rowing MachineAir (Dynamic)127*23*28NoCheck Price
Stamina ATS Rowing MachineAir74*18*22YesCheck Price
First Degree Rowing MachineWater78*21*20NoCheck Price
Stamina Body Trac Rowing MachineHydraulic piston50*36*20YesCheck Price
Avari Stamina Rowing MachineMagnetic81*20*25YesCheck Price
Stamina Conversion II Rowing MachineMagnetic75*20*27YesCheck Price
Lifecore R100 Rowing MachineMagnetic92*19*36YesCheck Price

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

The Concept 2 Model D rowing machine is a great tool to have at home. The machine is equipped with a performance monitoring system to ensure your exercises are fruitful. It is a low-impact rowing machine. This is ideal for light cardio exercises. The machine engages all major muscles of your body. You can tone your legs and arms with its smooth and high-calorie burning motion. It is fitted with an LCD monitor to display various data about your workout progress. The machine also has wireless technology, with which you can connect pulse monitors and other gadgets.
Features
• The rowing machine separates for easy storage.
• It has adjustable footrests
• It has caster wheel for easy movement
• It is a low-impact rowing machine
• It has a carrier weight threshold of 500 pounds
• It has a performance monitoring system.
Pros
• The machine has ergonomic handles enable a firm and comfortable grip
• It is easy to assemble
• It is a versatile machine. Almost anyone can use it.
• The machine works on virtually all body muscles.
• It is easily portable.
Cons
• The rowing machine has too much noise.
• The machine is large. It requires a considerably large space.
Opinion
The Concept 2 Model D rowing machine seems like a great option for your simple morning or evening routines. It may not be the best option for high-intensity exercises, or for professional trainers. You can have this machine in your home for consistent, cardio and muscle toning exercises. The machine is strong and sturdy, and it helps you keep track of your progress. The noise may be a nuisance to some people. The machine, though it may take larger space, is easily foldable for easy storage. That’s very convenient. All these are features point at a rowing machine you would want to have.

Concept 2 Model E Rowing Machine

We have yet another Concept 2 rowing machine, the Model E. The machine is not too different from the Model D above. The machine is designed to be an indoor rowing machine. It is a low impact rowing machine. It enables full body workout. It has a flywheel design that ensures minimal noise. The motion feels smooth and balanced. The machine has a performance monitoring system that displays its results on an LCD-display panel.
Features
• The machines PMS is powered by 2 D-cell batteries that are recharged by the flywheel motion.
• The monitor arm of the machine is adjustable
• It has adjustable footrests.
• Its chain is nickel-plated
• The machine requires a 9 by 4 ft space.
• It has a carrier weight threshold of 500 pounds.
Pros
• The machine enables you to work out your whole body.
• It has a tough and durable welded steel construction
• It is versatile. Anyone can work out on it
• It has ergonomic handles that are comfortable to hold
• It separates easily for storage
• It has caster wheels which make it easily portable.
Cons
• The machine requires a relatively large space while fully assembled.
• The assembly process, though not complicated may feel like a nuisance to many.
Opinion
The Concept 2 Model E rowing machine is yet another low-impact machine, designed for light exercises. It would be a great tool to have at home. It’s noise levels are nowhere close to those of the Model D above. You can, therefore, exercise peacefully knowing you are not a distraction to anyone. The machine is also easily portable, and foldable for storage while not in use. These features are very convenient. This is a great option if you are on a compressed budget. It is arguably the best inexpensive rowing machine we have on the review.

Water Rower Rowing Machine

The Water Rower is a handcrafted ash-wood construction rowing machine. The aesthetics of the machine are amazing. The machine is also fitted with an S4 monitor that displays various parameters related to your exercises. The shaft of the machine sits on an enclosed water tank. The tank feeds the water to the flywheel, for smooth and balanced motion on the chain. The water also helps the flywheel to self-regulate as far as the resistance of the chain motion is concerned. You can track your work rate as well as heart rate through its performance monitoring system.
Features
• The rowing machine is made of handcrafted ash wood
• It has a water-controlled flywheel
• It has self-regulated resistance
• It is fitted with a performance monitoring system
• The machine absorbs sound and vibration
Pros
• The machine has no noise
• It has the very attractive exterior appearance
• The chain motion is very smooth and balanced
• It ash wood and honey oak construction are very strong hence durable
• You can easily monitor your workout parameters
Cons
• The rowing machine may be difficult to store if you don’t have enough space. It is not foldable nor can it be disassembled.
• Moving the machine around may be a daunting task. It is heavy, and it has no caster wheels.
Opinion
The aesthetic appearance of a rowing machine is probably the last thing you would consider when looking for an effective rowing machine. It wouldn’t hurt to have a great looking machine though, especially if you plan to use it at home. The aesthetics of the Water Rower are unrivaled. It doesn’t fall any short performance-wise either. The only concern is with space and portability. The machine has zero noise. That’s an amazing thing. If you have the space to accommodate it, it would be a fantastic option.

Stamina ATS Rowing Machine

The Stamina ATS is yet another very effective rowing machine. It delivers a very impressive performance. The rowing machine has a smooth and balanced motion on the chain. The chain has wind-resistance. It is also fitted with a multi-function performance monitor, that displays speed, distance, time and calories burnt. The rowing machine has almost zero noise. It comes with a well-padded and upholstered seat. The footplates are large to accommodate users of many sizes. It has an over-sized angled seat rail for smooth sliding too.
Features
• The rowing machine has a multifunction performance monitor
• It has an angled seat rail
• It is foldable
• It has base wheels
• The shaft measures 77’’
Pros
• The rowing machine is easy to move
• It is foldable; You can easily store it
• It has a smooth and balanced chain motion
• The seat is well padded to ensure maximum comfort
• The rowing machine has minimal noise; it cannot cause a disturbance.
Cons
• The machine has no option to adjust the resistance on the rows.
• Assembling the machine might not be a very exciting experience for many.
Opinion
The Stamina ATS is a fantastic option for your rowing needs. The machine has good levels of resistance on the row. It is a great option for high-intensity exercises. You cannot adjust the feel on each row though. That is a bit of a concern. The durability and convenience of the machine cannot be questioned though. It deserves to be one of your options if you’re a looking for a high-intensity training rowing machine. This is the best rowing machine under 500.

First Degree Rowing Machine

The First Degree rowing machine is yet another fantastic option. Just like the Water Rower, it uses water as the flywheel to deliver a smooth and balanced motion on the chain. The water tank is made of a polycarbonate shell that is very tough. The rest of the body has a stainless-steel construction. The water volume can be adjusted to deliver varied resistance levels. The rowing machine is also equipped with a computer display that helps you monitor your exercise progress. The machine allows interval training too.
Features
• The machine uses fluid resistance technology
• It has a heart rate monitor
• It is equipped with a computer display
• The machine has a 77.8’’ long shaft
Pros
• The machine is equipped with ergonomic handles which are comfortable to handle
• The machine has zero Noise
• Its construction is very solid and durable
• The chain motion is very smooth and very durable
• The fluid resistance technology requires less maintenance.
Cons
• It may be difficult to store rowing machine if you don’t have enough space.
Opinion
The First Degree rowing machine seems to be a very effective rowing machine. The row resistance levels are varied and could go very high or low. This makes the machine very versatile. Anyone can use it. Whether you are looking for a machine for light exercises, or you are looking for a machine for intense training, the First Degree rowing machine will do the trick. The machine is large though. You need to have ample space.

Stamina Body Trac Rowing Machine

We have yet another Stamina rowing machine, the Body Trac. This machine delivers a full range motion, that exercises every muscle in your body. It comes equipped with a multifunction electric monitor, through which you can monitor your progress. The rowing machine has a well-molded seat that will ensure you remain comfortable throughout your training session. It works with an adjustable hydraulic cylinder, which delivers different levels of rowing resistance.
Features
• The rowing features full-range motion
• It has multifunction motion
• It has a hydraulic resistance system
• The rowing machine has a steel frame.
Pros
• The machine has a very comfortable seat.
• It is foldable hence easy to store
• It has texture footplates with straps to ensure your legs are firmly held in position
• The handles have foam grips to ensure firm and comfortable grips.
• The machine is very strong and sturdy.
Cons
• The hydraulic system of the machine can start leaking and affect the resistant levels and adjustments.
Opinion
The Stamina Body Trac rowing machine is a top of the range machine. It is an all-round machine that will help you tone every muscle on your body. The machine is sturdy and durable. It can be easily set and dismantled for storage. It is the epitome of versatility and convenience. That’s all you expect in a great rowing machine. It is arguably one of the best rowing machines we have in the review. It should not miss at the top of your list options.

Avari Stamina Rowing Machine

The Stamina rowing machines seem to be dominating the review. Stamina is a leading brand in the fitness equipment realm. The Avari stamina is an illustration of where technology and fitness meet. The machine is programmable. You can set up training routines on it, and it will help you follow them to ensure optimal benefits. It also comes with pre-installed training programs. It has 6 cardio, 1 manual, and 4 custom programs. It is fitted with a fitness monitor to ensure you can follow your training progress. It has an extruded aluminum construction.
Features
• The rowing machine has a backlit LCD monitor
• It is programmable
• The machine has pre-installed programs
• It has an extruded aluminum construction
• The magnetic uses a magnetic resistance system
Pros
• The programs are very helpful.
• You can create your own program and put it in the machine
• The machine is very solid and durable
• Magnetic resistance system delivers good resistance levels
Cons
• The machine is large and not foldable. It is not space efficient.
• It is a heavy machine with no base wheels. Moving it around may not be so easy.
Opinion
The Avari Stamina programmable rowing machine is an awesome machine. The programs feature, allows you to have the best training routines with you at all times. The machine will help you follow them too. You do not have to grapple with random unfruitful routines anymore. The magnetic resistance system requires little to no maintenance, and it delivers good resistance levels. It is a great machine for both light and intense training routines.

Stamina Conversion II Rowing Machine

We encounter yet another Stamina rowing machine, the Conversion II. Just like its counterparts on the review, it does not disappoint in many aspects. The machine has the capacity to exercise your full body. It also doubles up as a recumbent bike. It has pedals. It particularly works great for upper body exercises. You can use it to hit the bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, and forearm curls very effectively. It comes with a multifunction electronic monitor that keeps you updated about your exercise progress. The LCD-display displays the speed, distance, time and number of calories burnt.
Features
• The machine doubles up as a recumbent bike
• It has leg press pedals
• It is equipped with a performance monitoring system
• It has a sleek multi-function electronic monitor
• It has a hand pulse monitor on the grips
Pros
• The machine is a great full body work out machine
• The recumbent bike feature is a big plus
• The machine has a sturdy and durable construction
• The handles are well designed to easy and comfortable handling.
Cons
• The rowing machine is not space sufficient. It is not foldable either.
Opinion
The Stamina Conversion II machine is yet another great option. It is a two-in-one machine. It has a rowing machine and a recumbent bike. In many instances, you would have to buy the two machines separately. The rowing machine features are great too. It may not the most ideal for intense training but is has good resistance levels. The resistance levels can also be varied. These are features synonymous with a fantastic rowing machine. The machine deserves consideration if you are planning to get one soon.

Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine

Lastly, we look into the Lifecore R100 rowing machine. This is a commercial-grade rowing machine. It is the kind of machine you are likely to find in a commercial gym space. The machine has 16 levels of magnetic resistance. This makes it very versatile. It can be used by virtually anyone. The machine is programmable too. It comes with 15 preset programs, to sure your training sessions are fruitful. Four of the programs are heart rate control routines. The footrests are well angled to ensure your feet remain comfortable.
Features
• The machine is foldable
• It has 16 levels of magnetic resistance
• It has 15 preset programs
• It has 4 heart rate control programs
• The footrests are angled
• It has a carrier weight threshold of 600 pounds
Pros
• The rowing machine is very versatile. Virtually anyone can use it.
• It is a very durable machine
• The preset programs are very effective when followed
• The seat and handles have great ergonomics which ensure maximum comfort
• The angled footrests ensure your feet remain in place.
Cons
• The machine is very heavy. Moving it is a daunting task.
• The machine is costly.
Opinion
The Lifecore R100 seems like the ultimate rowing machine. The machine a top of the range fitness equipment. It has a variety of resistance levels to accommodate everyone, and many preset programs to ensure you have something to work with. The heart rate programs are a unique and very interesting feature too. The machine is arguably the best we have in the review. It is designed as a commercial-grade rowing machine. It wouldn’t hurt to have it in your house though. This machine should not miss in your list of options if it is within your budget.

Rowing Machine Buying Guide

The reviews above should give you a better understanding of what a great rowing machine is like. Many people do not understand the technical features of the machines. Getting the best rowing machine under such circumstances is, therefore, not very easy. The rowing machines described above are all great machines. Some are better than others. The aim is to get a machine that will best satisfy your need. To narrow down to your best suited machine, you need to consider several factors. These factors are;
1. Resistance Levels
The resistance levels of the rowing machine are the core of your exercise. If you have a light routine and do not engage in high energy training. You need a machine with low resistance level. If your routines involve high intensity training, you need a machine with high levels of intensity. Low resistance is also ideal for cardio exercises, while high resistance a great for anyone looking to build some muscle. A rowing machine with a wide range and adjustable resistance system is always more desirable. It makes the machine versatile, such that it can be used by anyone in the home.
2. Size and Storage Space
When you buy a rowing machine, you need to ensure that it can fit in any space you have assigned for it. You need to compare the space you have and the size of the machine. Some of the machines are foldable. Storing them is easier. You can use such machines outside in your backyard, then put them back in when done. You need to make sure the machine is portable if that’s your plan though. Some machines have caster wheels. Moving them is, therefore, easy.
3. Comfort
For a productive training session, the machine needs to allow you to be comfortable. You cannot be able to exercise efficiently is the machine does not put you in a comfortable position. The seats, the handles and the footrests, are the main components that determine how comfortable your position on the rowing machine is. Some are adjustable some are not. The adjustable ones are more desirable. The seats need to be well-padded. The handles need to be well-contoured for a firm grip. The footrests need to be well-contoured too and have straps to hold your feet in position.
4. Performance Monitoring System
When exercising, you need to know whether what you are doing is effective. That’s where a rowing machine with a performance monitoring system comes in handy. The system monitors your progress, and displays various parameters related to your exercises on a screen. You can tell the speed at which you are rowing and the approximate number of calories you have burnt. If you have targets you wish to achieve with your routines, this data will help you optimize the routines towards achieving those targets. You can keep track of your progress towards a particular goal too.
5. Noise Levels
You will agree that there is nothing as annoying as continuous noise when you are trying to concentrate on something or get some sleep. Some of these machines are noisy, and others are not. If you will be using the machine in a house with other people, you need to ensure the noise remains minimal. You do not want to distract everyone just because you are training. Rowing machines with a fluid resistance system have zero noise. They are a great option for homes, and other places where noise is unacceptable. The reduction in noise may compromise on the resistance levels though.
6. Portability
Depending on your situation, you may need to move the rowing machine from time to time. These rowing machines have different portability levels. Some have base wheels. They also have different weights. These are aspects that inform how portable they are. Portability is always a desirable aspect on any item. Rowing machines that are lightweight and wheels are fairly easy to move around. Some are too heavy to even try to lift.
7. Carrier Weight Threshold
The rowing machines have a threshold weight that they can accommodate. Luckily most of them have a high threshold. There are people who are very heavy though. You do not want to sit on a rowing machine only for it to break or stall. You should, therefore, ensure the rowing machine you intend to purchase can accommodate your weight. The carrier weight thresholds differ from machine to machine. That information will always be indicated on the manual the machine comes with, or probably on the machine itself. The materials used on the machine determine how strong it is too. Ensure they are quality and strong materials. Common materials are steel and aluminum.
8. Price
Price is always the final decider of the rowing machine you get. You can only spend the money that you have. These machines come at different prices. Different brands of the machines may have the same features but different prices, or the same price but different features. The main aim is to always ensure that you get value for the money you pay. Take time to compare the different rowing machines you have already established are great and find out which has the most value for the money you have. It is prudent that you never compromise on the quality. Go for the best quality that you can afford.
Conclusion
Getting the best rowing machine for home should no longer be such a difficult task. The reviews and buying guide above will help you narrow down to your exact choice. You should now have a clear picture of the rowing machine that you want. You exercise routines should not remain the same again. The best rowing machine 2019 will help you achieve your fitness goals. The review is quite lengthy though. You may not be able to remember all the details in it. Worry not! Below is a summary table of all the rowing machines reviewed, and their respective features and prices. You can quickly skim through the table and choose the best rowing machine for yourself.

Rowing MachineFeaturePrice
Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine• Performance monitoring system
• Low impact workouts
• Self-calibration
• Heart rate monitor
• Caster Wheel
Check Price
Concept 2 Model E Rowing Machine• Indoor exercises
• Full body effect
• Low impact exercises
• Minimal noise
• Performance monitoring system
• Welded steel construction
Check Price
Water Rower Rowing Machine• Ash word and honey oak construction
• Serial 4 monitor
• Handcrafted
• Self-regulated resistance
• Work and heart rate monitor
• Absorbs sound and vibration
Check Price
Stamina ATS Rowing Machine• Wind resistance chain
• Multifunction performance monitor
• Oversized angled seat rail
• Foldable
• Base wheels
Check Price
First Degree Rowing Machine• Water resistance system
• Stainless steel construction
• Variable water volume
• Computer displays
• Interval training
• Heart rate monitor
Check Price
Stamina Body Trac Rowing Machine• Full range motion
• Multifunction electric monitor
• Adjustable hydraulic resistant system
• Foldable
• Textured footplates
• Steel frame
Check Price
Avari Stamina Rowing Machine• Magnetic resistance system
• 12 Preset programs
• Fitness monitor
• Extruded aluminum construction
Check Price
Stamina Conversion II Rowing Machine• Rowing machine and recumbent bike
• Full body exercises
• Multifunction electronic monitor
• Hand pulse sensor
Check Price
Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine• Commercial grade rowing machine
• 15 preset programs
• Magnetic resistance system
• 16 resistance levels
• Foldable
• Angled footrests
Check Price