Best Magnetic Rowing Machines

When silence is golden, magnetic rowers are the best choice for indoor rowing and that’s why they commonly make our list of the top rowers. These fitness machines cover a wide price range. Shoppers can choose from commercial and residential models.

Magnetic rowing machines stand out for having friction-free resistance. Their design brings virtually silent operation, which some riders prefer over the gentle splashing of water rowers and the humming of air rowers. Magnetic rowers are also chosen for being relatively low cost yet more durable than hydraulic rowing machines. Their stroke cycles are also more true to life compared with those of hydraulic machines.

How do magnetic rowers work?

With old-fashioned rowers a flywheel is stopped with physical force. This can be noisy and wears components down. In contrast, magnetic rowers control their flywheels with electromagnets. These are placed near the flywheel but do not make physical contact.

How powerful is the resistance?

Resistance on magnetic rowers is preset from light to heavier levels. For example, on a cheap rowing machine a rider might choose from five resistance levels. On a better model they might choose from 20. In contrast, many water rowers and air rowers do not have preset levels; they adapt to user effort.

Overall the resistance varies by model. Our magnetic rowing machine reviews consider customers’ comments about whether a rower is too easy to use, too difficult or just right.

Which magnetic rowers are best?

Our favorite better-quality magnetic rowing machine is the Coach E by Kettler. It has the best combination of ratings for durability, programming, price and more. As for low budget magnetic rowing machines, Stamina leads the industry.

We’ve also given favorable reviews to hybrid rowers from Stamina, LifeCore, Sole and other brands. To keep operation quiet, these models use air resistance only at low resistance levels. They use magnets at the more challenging levels.

Top 3 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines

Model Resistance Upright Storage Monitor Rating Pricing
1

Sole SR400 Rower

Magnetic Yes 5.5" LCD display
8.5
2

Kettler Coach E Rower

Magnetic Yes SIEMENS Electronic LCD
8
3

BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower

Magnetic Yes Basic
8

See All Magnetic Rowing Machines Below

Kettler Coach M Rower Review

Kettler Coach M Rower

Kettler rowing machines are made in Germany from high quality components. The Kettler Coach M Rower is sized just like the popular Coach E, but it’s stripped down in terms of programming and uses manual resistance control. It also has a different frame finish (chrome instead of powder coating). The Coach M Rower ...

Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower Review

Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower

Get great cardio workouts at home with the Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower. This fitness machine sells for $999 and fares very well in customer reviews, not to mention makes our list of the best. It’s built with extruded aluminum that looks good and holds up well. As its name explains, the Avari Programmable ...

Avari Conversion II Rower Bike Review

Avari Conversion II Rower Bike

The Avari Conversion II Rower/Recumbent Bike is a unique fitness machine for home gyms. Switching it from a rower to a bike (or vice versa) just involves removing a pin, adjusting the seat, and pinning again. Supporting two popular exercises, this machine is a great tool for toning your body, dropping or maintaining ...

Velocity Magnetic Rower Review

Velocity Magnetic Rower

Get great cardio workouts at home with the Velocity Magnetic Rower. This reliable fitness machine sells for under $800 and fares very well in customer reviews. As its name explains, the Velocity Magnetic Rower uses magnetic resistance -- and that’s the quietest type available. Tension is controlled electronically ...

ProForm 440R Rower Review

ProForm 440R Rower

ProForm’s 440R is a dynamic fitness machine that serves as a rower and a stand-up pulley station. Demanding very little space, it can support cardiovascular training and low impact strengthening exercise for your whole body. It operates quietly and can be folded up after your workouts. It has made our list of best ...

Kettler Stroker Rower Review

Kettler Stroker Rower

The Kettler Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer is a lower-priced fitness machine made in China by a German company. A typical retail price is $699. This unit gets a powder coated steel frame like the well-received (and more expensive) Kettler Coach E, but it uses manual magnetic resistance controls and is less ...

LifeSpan RW1000 Folding Rower Review

LifeSpan RW1000 Folding Rower

The folding RW1000 Indoor Rower supports cardiovascular training and low-impact strengthening exercise for the whole body. Designed for shared living spaces, it operates quietly and can be folded up when your workout is through. Resistance on this rower is magnetic. It is divided into five levels and adjustable ...