Best Hydraulic Rowers

Hydraulic rowing machines are priced low, run quietly and require little space. We explain how hydraulic rowers work and share the best buy rowers, which you might’ve already seen.

Hydraulic rowers, also called piston rowers, are the lowest priced rowing machines. They aren’t as long-lasting as others, but they fit plenty of shoppers’ needs. Hydraulic rowers are portable and quiet. Many have wide ranges of resistance to support all skill levels.

How does a hydraulic rowing machine work?

A hydraulic rower works with fluid for resistance. It has one or two pistons, which are cylinders filled with hydraulic fluid, that engage when the rider pulls back. Resistance on each piston is altered with a dial.

Some hydraulic rowing machines have sliding seats to support full-body aerobic workouts. An example is the Avari Easy Glide Rower.

Other hydraulic rowers are designed only for upper body exercise; they don’t have sliding seats. These machines are the smallest yet can be used by tall trainees. The Stamina 1205 Precision Rower is only 48” long.

How powerful is the resistance?

Resistance on hydraulic rowers is preset with light to heavier levels. For instance, the popular Stamina BodyTrac Glider has 12 resistance levels. Riders have described these as providing two to 50 pounds of force.

Manufacturers of hydraulic rowing machines rarely provide specifics about their strength. Our hydraulic rowing machine reviews refer to customers’ comments for guidance.

Which brands lead the industry? Stamina Rowers are the leading manufacturer of very simple and low-budget hydraulic rowing machines. Kettler makes hydraulic rowers that cost more and include heart rate monitoring.

Top 3 Hydraulic Rowers

Model Resistance Upright Storage Monitor Rating Pricing

Stamina BodyTrac Glider

Shock Resistance Yes Data Monitor

Avari Easy Glide Rower

Hydraulic Yes LCD Monitor

Kettler Favorit Rower

Hydraulic No Data Display

See All Hydraulic Rowers Below

Stamina 1333 Rower Review

Stamina 1333 Rower

Small on space? Stamina’s 1333 Rower is among the most compact rowing machines we've reviewed. While others can similarly be tilted to save space, this rower is small even when it’s in use -- just 48.5” long, about half the length of some others. It provides an efficient way to get a full body workout at home or in ...

Stamina 1205 Rower Review

Stamina 1205 Rower

Stamina’s green and white 1205 Rower is one of the smallest and cheapest rowing machines on our review website. It measures just 48” long and has an MSRP of $399. For people with smaller frames, it provides a low-cost way to get full body workouts at home. The Stamina 1205 Rower is an even lighter version of the ...

Kettler Kadett Review

Kettler Kadett

The Kettler Kadett Rower is a lower-priced fitness machine made in Germany. Its typical retail price is $599. The Kadett uses hydraulics, which is the cheapest of four main resistance types used on rowing machines. Although “hydraulics” might make you think of water, the system uses oil. It can become overheated if ...

Stamina 1215 Orbital with Free Motion Arms Review

Stamina 1215 Orbital with Free Motion Arms

For people with limited exercise space, the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower with Free Motion Arms provides a low-cost fitness solution. This small and foldable $399 rowing machine works the whole body for strength training and cardiovascular exercise. It is sized best for adults of average heights; people who are ...

Total Gym Row Trainer Review

Total Gym Row Trainer

Experience the newest innovation in indoor rowing, the Total Gym Row Trainer for cardio and strength training. This unique rowing machine uses adjustable body weight resistance to allow versatile full body workouts. Trainees at all skill levels can benefit from this easy-to-use machine not only with traditional rowing ...

Stamina InMotion Rower Review

Stamina InMotion Rower

The foldable Stamina InMotion Rower is among the world’s lowest-priced rowing machines. It's better quality than you might expect for $179, and it tends to last longer than competitors in its price class. The price is kept low thanks to the InMotion Rower’s small size and its hydraulic resistance system. Machine ...