Types Of Rowers

Rowing machines are popular for providing efficient aerobic workouts while putting little stress on joints. Choosing a machine can be difficult though. To narrow the options significantly, you can begin by identifying your favorite resistance system. Each type of resistance provides a different sort of rowing experience.

Rowing machines use water, air, magnets or hydraulic pistons as resistance. These are summarized below with links to examples.

Water Rowing Machines

Water rowing machines are generally the most expensive. They’re made from high quality materials, feel great to use, and can perform for decades. Water rowers are the only type featuring hardwood frames, although steel-framed water rowers are available too. The rustic yet classy combination of wood and water is an appealing alternative to industrial-looking designs.

How Water Rowers Work

Water rowing machines have round water tanks. These hold rotating fins or paddles. When the rider pulls back on the handlebar, the paddles revolve to create drag. This resistance will increase with the speed of the pull, just as it would in an actual boat, and the stroke feels realistic.

The sliding seat on a water rower provides a full body workout. In contrast, the cheapest rowing machines usually have stationary seats.

More to Consider

Beautiful, realistic and durable! What’s not to like? Besides the higher price, a possible drawback of choosing a water rower is its size. The water tank adds significant length to the machine. The popular WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine, for example, is seven feet long. Water rowers are heavy too because of their substantial frames and water weight. Other types of rowing machines are easier to move.

Water rowers are not silent machines. With each stroke there is a splash. Most riders find the water’s sound soothing, but it could be distracting in some households.

Maintaining a water rowing machine is easy. The water needs to be changed periodically, but it can stay fresh for a long time if chemically treated. First Degree Fitness uses water tanks that are tinted blue to shield out light that could contribute to algae growth. These machines also have chains that need to be oiled after approximately 50 hours of use.

Popular Brands: WaterRower, First Degree Fitness and HCI Fitness

Air Rowing Machines

Air rowing machines, like water rowing machines, are popular with competitive rowers. Air rowing machines can produce a realistic on-the-water feel but require even less maintenance than water rowers do. They cost less than water rowers too.

How Air Rowers Work

To mimic the drag of water, air rowers use fan-like flywheels. Their fins produce resistance as air flows over and around. As with water rowers, the resistance increases naturally as the user’s power ramps up. Some of the models also have dampers to adjust the airflow.

Pros and Cons

Many air resistance rowers are very well built. The air rowers made by Concept2 lead the industry and are good enough for commercial use. The stroke feels very realistic with this brand, although with some air rowers the resistance has a brief ”dead spot” in the stroke cycle. Air rowers usually have sliding seats to support full-body workouts too.

Natural movement, easy care and durability are some top selling points for air rowers. What are the downsides? Air rowers are among the noisiest because of their potentially powerful fans; the sound might disturb others in your home. (For this reason, some people choose hybrid machines like the Sole SR500 that combine air resistance with quiet magnetic resistance.) Air rowers also demand a lot of space, but most are designed for compact storage and have transport wheels.

Popular Brands: Concept2, NordicTrack (cheaper), Stamina (cheapest)

Magnetic Rowing Machines

Magnetic rowing machines are popular for home use because they’re especially quiet. While water rowers create a splash, and air rowers make fan noise, a magnetic rower can barely be heard even at high resistance levels.

How Magnetic Rowers Work

Magnetic rowers such as the Kettler Coach E use electromagnets for resistance. The magnets are placed near the flywheel but don’t actually make contact. This lack of friction is chiefly responsible for the quiet ride. The tension can be adjusted manually or with computerized controls.

Another factor contributing to quiet operation is the lack of a chain in the handlebar system. Chains are durable but can make noise, so magnetic rowers tend to use non-metal cords or straps. A drawback is that cheap cords and straps are prone to fraying and snapping. Our product reviews mention when this seems to be a problem.

More Pros & Cons

Magnetic rowing machines tend to support a realistic stroke cycle: When the rider’s hands move through the stroke and return, they are at different heights, just like with outdoor rowing. This is a big advantage over hydraulic machines, which keep hands at a constant height through the whole stroke cycle. Magnetic rowing machines also have moving seats.

A drawback of magnetic rowing machines is their less natural feel. Each stroke is the same regardless of effort, and resistance needs to be adjusted with a knob or buttons. With water and air machines, simply putting in more effort produces more resistance.

Brands to check out: Kettler, Sole (hybrid air/magnet), Stamina

Hydraulic Rowing Machines

Hydraulic rowers (also called piston rowers) are designed for budget-friendly exercise. These machines carry the lowest prices. Hydraulic rowers have small footprints and tend to operate quietly.

How Hydraulic Rowers Work

Piston rowing machines each have one or two hydraulic cylinders attached to their handlebars. A fluid inside the cylinders conveys force when the handles are pulled back. If there are two handles and two cylinders, then it’s possible to set different resistance levels for each side of the body. However, it’s not easy to adjust the resistance in the midst of a workout.

Pros and Cons

Hydraulic rowers are effective for upper body toning and cardiovascular exercise. In many cases though, they have fixed seats; there is no training for the lower body. One of the best exceptions is the Avari Easy Glide Rower, which has a long aluminum beam.

Some hydraulic machines with fixed seats could bring muscle strain. It’s best to choose a hydraulic rower with pivoting footrests, because then the lower body can more naturally follow upper-body motion. The Stamina InMotion Rower is among the best options with pivoting footrests.

A disadvantage of hydraulic rowers is that pistons are prone to failing. This is especially likely with vigorous use; the hydraulic fluid heats up, expands and could leak. Our rowing machine reviews note when this is known to be a problem. Another drawback is that nylon cords are often used to help keep prices low. As noted in some of our reviews, the cords can fray and snap.

Something for Everyone

The rowing machine market has something for every budget and workout preference. For more guidance, see our reviews or drop us a line.

See Below For All Rowing Machines

Concept2 Model E Rower Review

Concept2 Model E Rower


The Concept2 Model E rowing machine is designed to withstand heavy use. It's manufactured with an extra coat of gloss, a durable metal monitor arm, and steel legs that support an entry point of 20”. The relatively high seat positioning also allows the Model E to accommodate a wider range of trainees, including those ...

First Degree Fitness E920 Medical UBE – MDD Review

First Degree Fitness E920 Medical UBE – MDD


First Degree Fitness sells three upper body ergometers (UBEs) that meet the Medical Devices Directive. This means that the products are certified to meet the European Union’s standards for medical equipment. The Evolution Medical UBE collection is similar to the standard Evolution collection, but the products are ...

First Degree Fitness Trident Challenge AR Rower

First Degree Fitness Trident Challenge AR Rower


The Trident Challenge AR is a top rower in the First Degree Fitness Horizontal Series. This collection has horizontally-mounted tanks, a design strategy that makes for easier storage. Most models in this series are for home use or light commercial settings, but the Trident AR is especially large and has a full ...

First Degree Fitness E620 Seated UBE Review

First Degree Fitness E620 Seated UBE


The Evolution E620 Seated UBE offers wonderfully effective low-impact exercise for the upper body. Just like the traditional water rowers from First Degree Fitness, the E620 uses smooth resistance with a wide range of preset levels. Trainees can choose from 20 challenge levels and make adjustments with a foot pedal or ...

First Degree Fitness Apollo Hybrid AR Rower Review

First Degree Fitness Apollo Hybrid AR Rower


The First Degree Fitness Apollo Hybrid AR Rower is an indoor water rower for residential use. (The Apollo PRO Rower is for heavier duty.) What’s in the name? “Hybrid” describes this machine’s great-looking frame, which is sleek steel combined with ash hardwood. "AR" stands for "adjustable resistance." Riders can ...

First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Rower Review

First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Rower


The First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Rower is built to complement home gyms and light commercial centers. Its frame is a hybrid of sturdy ash hardwood and dual steel rails, and its water resistance system is easily adjusted with a dial mid-workout. This water rower is low maintenance and is under warranty for up to 25 ...

First Degree Fitness Newport Challenge AR Rower

First Degree Fitness Newport Challenge AR Rower


The Newport Challenge AR is a shiny red indoor rower offering a smooth exercise experience that feels like you are actually rowing on water. It is part of the First Degree Fitness Horizontal Series, which specializes full-sized indoor water rowers designed for compact storage. The Newport Challenge AR offers the ...

WaterRower Classic Rower Review

WaterRower Classic Rower


The high quality WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine uses water resistance and is crafted from sustainably sourced black walnut. It is part of the WaterRower Designer Series, which also features commercial quality rowers made from cherry hardwood and brushed stainless steel. This machine has the WaterRower brand’s ...

First Degree Fitness Viking PRO Fluid Rower Review

First Degree Fitness Viking PRO Fluid Rower


The Viking PRO Fluid Rower is a hardier version of the Apollo PRO. It combines a hardwood frame, a water drive and steel rails to simulate a smooth and realistic on-the-water experience. Its water tank with Min/Max dial provides up to 4.5 gallons of gently splashing resistance, enough to train anyone from the beginner ...

First Degree Fitness E920 Medical UBE Review

First Degree Fitness E920 Medical UBE


The First Degree Fitness Evolution E920 Medical UBE is a high quality upper body trainer with water resistance. Unlike other trainers in the Evolution collection, the E920 has an access ramp built for wheelchairs. It has its own seat too, which is removable. The versatility lets people use the E920 while seated or ...

First Degree Fitness E720 Cycle XT Review

First Degree Fitness E720 Cycle XT


The compact Evolution E720 Cycle XT is a commercial grade fitness machine that uses water resistance for full body training. It is both a recumbent bike and an upper body ergometer; the same pedals can be used by the arms or legs, and a trainee can either sit or stand. The pedals on the E720 move in two directions ...

Sole SR400 Rower Review

Sole SR400 Rower


Brand new this year, the Sole SR400 Rower is a compact and more inexpensive version of their SR500 rower. The SR400 uses both air and magnetic resistance that generates a smooth, natural pull to create a realistic “on the water” sensation. There are 16 levels of resistance to choose from. The 5.5” LCD display ...

First Degree Fitness E520 Evolution Review

First Degree Fitness E520 Evolution


The First Degree Fitness E520 Evolution is a metal-framed commercial rowing machine using variable water resistance. It is the top rowing machine in the Evolution Series, which also has the smaller E316. Water rowers by First Degree Fitness provide preset resistance levels. The E520 lets riders choose from 20 ...

First Degree Fitness E316 Evolution Review

First Degree Fitness E316 Evolution


The E316 Evolution is a metal-framed water rower with preset variable resistance. It is the simplest rowing machine in the First Degree Fitness Evolution Series, having replaced the E216, yet it’s robust enough for commercial fitness centers. This rower is very low maintenance and is designed for longevity. Rowing ...

Diamondback 910R Rower Review

Diamondback 910R Rower


The Diamondback 910R Rower is the sole row machine by Diamondback Fitness, a brand best known for home exercise bikes. This $1,099 trainer has been on the market several years and proven its durability. It features a foldable powder-coated steel frame; an extruded aluminum glide rail; hybrid resistance to train all ...

First Degree Fitness E820 Fitness UBE Review

First Degree Fitness E820 Fitness UBE


The Evolution E820 Fitness UBE is a commercial grade water ergometer for upper body exercise. This compact model features a comfortable seat with high back. The seat rotates for especially easy mounting/dismounting by people with limited mobility. It can also be removed entirely, letting a person use the machine while ...

WaterRower Club Rower Review

WaterRower Club Rower


Leading the WaterRower Natural Series, the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is a wood-and-water indoor rower for commercial use. This popular fitness machine features the brand’s patented WaterFlywheel. You’ll really feel as if you’re rowing a boat! The frame for this rowing machine is crafted from sustainably ...

WaterRower M1 HiRise Rower Review

WaterRower M1 HiRise Rower


The M1 HiRise Rowing Machine is raised from the ground with four legs. It is part of WaterRower’s M Series, which also includes the M1 LoRise with a lower entry point. These machines are made from heavy aluminum. For an extra charge they can be powdercoated in virtually any color. Like all WaterRowers, the M1 ...

WaterRower M1 LoRise Rower Review

WaterRower M1 LoRise Rower


The M1 LoRise Rowing Machine is part of WaterRower's M Series, which consists of two commercial-grade models with aluminum frames. Along with the M1 LoRise, this series has the M1 HiRise with a higher entry point. For an extra charge these can be powdercoated in virtually any color. You can even specify a color by ...

WaterRower Natural Rower Review

WaterRower Natural Rower


The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is a wood-and-water rower intended for home use. It’s crafted from sustainably sourced ash hardwood and stained a warm honey oak that's pleasing to the eye. While working out on the Natural, you’ll truly feel like you're rowing on water. WaterRower’s rowing machines feature a ...

WaterRower Oxbridge Rower Review

WaterRower Oxbridge Rower


The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine is named for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, two schools known for their long rowing traditions and spirited rivalry. Crafted from gorgeous cherry hardwood, it is part of WaterRower’s Designer Series and is hardy enough for commercial use. It features the WaterRower brand’s ...

WaterRower Signature Rower Review

WaterRower Signature Rower


The WaterRower Signature Rowing Machine is a very natural looking wood-and-water fitness machine for serious rowers. Unlike other WaterRowers, it bears the signature of elite rower and rowing coach Xeno Müller and gives riders digital access to more than 50 hours of his workouts. Exclusively with this model customers ...

H20 Fitness RX-950 Club Series Rower Review

H20 Fitness RX-950 Club Series Rower


The H2O RX-950 Club Series Rower is the top rowing machine from H2O Fitness by Health Care International. Its centerpiece is a Hydro-Power Drive System that holds up to 4.5 gallons of water. More so than machines using wind or magnetic resistance, the RX-950 effectively reproduces the feel of outdoor rowing. The water ...

First Degree Fitness Apollo PRO Fluid Rower Review

First Degree Fitness Apollo PRO Fluid Rower


The Apollo PRO Fluid Rower is the lowest priced light commercial water rower from First Degree Fitness (FDF). Made in the USA, it boasts a sleek, attractive steel frame supported by double-lacquered American ashwood. Its water drive provides up to 4.5 gallons of water for resistance. FDF advertises the resistance ...

First Degree Fitness Fluid E720 Cycle XT – MDD Review

First Degree Fitness Fluid E720 Cycle XT – MDD


The Fluid E720 Cycle XT - MDD meets medical device standards set by the European Union. This commercial fitness machine uses water resistance for full body training. It is both a recumbent bike and an upper body ergometer; the pedals move for use by the legs or arms. This efficient and space-saving hybrid can exercise ...

First Degree Fitness E520 Fluid Rower MDD Review

First Degree Fitness E520 Fluid Rower MDD


The First Degree Fitness E520 Fluid Rower MDD is a "pearl white" commercial rowing machine using variable water resistance. It is the most traditional ergometer in the MDD series; the others are the E720 hybrid bike-rower and the E920 upper body rower with a wheelchair ramp. Each model is clinically tested and ...

Lifecore R100 Rower Review

Lifecore R100 Rower


The Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine is designed to withstand heavy use. It has a 600 pound user weight capacity, and its five-year parts warranty suggests overall high quality engineering. It is sold with light commercial and residential warranties. Four trainees can save their profiles to the R100’s computer. They ...

First Degree Fitness Aqua AR Rower Review

First Degree Fitness Aqua AR Rower


The AQUA AR is a shiny red and black rower offering a smooth "on-the-water" ambiance indoors. It is part of the First Degree Fitness Horizontal Series, which features full-sized indoor water rowers designed for compact storage. The AQUA AR has simplified assembly and carries a competitive warranty for home use. A ...

Life Fitness Row HX Trainer Rower Review

Life Fitness Row HX Trainer Rower


The Row HX by Life Fitness combines modern technology and a steel frame with the rustic aesthetic of a natural wood design. This is the second rower by Life Fitness, available at a lower price point than their Row GX and offering a more entry-level approach to water resistance rowing. Like the Row GX, this ...

BodyCraft VR500 Rower Review

BodyCraft VR500 Rower


The VR500 Rower leads its series with BodyCraft’s best indoor rower technology. Highlights include a smooth aluminum track, 12 preset workouts and wireless heart rate control. This rowing machine’s seat level is chair-like at 19”. Being easier to access compared with low profile rowing machines, it can accommodate a ...

First Degree Fitness Neptune Challenge AR Rower

First Degree Fitness Neptune Challenge AR Rower


The Neptune Challenge AR by First Degree Fitness is a sturdy home rowing machine that’s designed for easy storage. While water rowers tend to be heavy and demand a lot of space, this unit has a lightweight metal frame and can be stored upright. It has a variable resistance system to suit a wide range of training ...

Concept2 Dynamic Rower Review

Concept2 Dynamic Rower


The commercial quality Concept2 Dynamic Indoor Rower is a compact fitness machine that provides a longer range of motion than the Concept2 Model D and Model E. This rower is recommended for people with inseams up to 40” while the other Concept2 rowing machines are only meant for inseams up to 38”. The steel frame ...

Kettler Coach E Rower Review

Kettler Coach E Rower


The Coach E Rower by Kettler is a class act. Kettler isn’t so well-known in North America but it earns enthusiastic customer reviews. Made in Germany with excellent quality control, the Kettler Coach E Rower features a sturdy powder coated steel frame and a frictionless magnetic Kettler Induktions Brake ...

H2O Fitness RX-750 Home Series Review

H2O Fitness RX-750 Home Series


H2O Fitness (run by Health Care International Fitness) is one of the few rowing machine brands that uses actual water tanks for resistance. There’s no better way to replicate the feel and sound of outdoor rowing! Their Hydro-Power Drive System provides a smooth and relaxing "on the water" rowing experience. ...

BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower Review

BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower


The BodyCraft VR400 Rower is centered on a sleek aluminum track that complements any workout room. It offers several preset workouts and supports wireless heart rate monitoring. The seat level is 18”, which is a bit lower than regular desk chair height. Overall this is a large rowing machine that commands a lot of ...

NordicTrack RW200 Indoor Rower Review

NordicTrack RW200 Indoor Rower


Affordable and loaded with useful programming, the NordicTrack RW200 is designed for new rowers and makes our list of the best rowing machines. It harnesses air resistance to train your whole body, helping you build strength and keep your heart rate up. The faster you row, the harder the RW200 pushes back. Exercise ...

Stamina DT Pro Rower Review

Stamina DT Pro Rower


The silver and black Stamina DT Pro Rower is the top rowing machine from Stamina Products. Stamina Products cuts costs by manufacturing its fitness machines overseas, but the company is known for pretty good quality control. This product has an MSRP of $1,199. The DT Pro uses a combination of smooth air resistance ...

First Degree Fitness Titan AR Rower

First Degree Fitness Titan AR Rower


The Titan AR is a single-beamed metal rower from First Degree Fitness. It’s part of their Horizontal Series, which mounts its water tanks horizontally for easier storage. The Titan AR is one of the simplest and cheapest rowers in this series, but performs well for its price. It also carries a competitive warranty ...

Stamina BodyTrac Glider Review

Stamina BodyTrac Glider


The Stamina BodyTrac Glider sells for just $229 and is one of the best rowing machines using hydraulic resistance. It's sized to fit most adults and is more durable than other options in its price class. Judging from customer reviews, people tend to be pleased with the resistance. The BodyTrac Glider has 12 resistance ...

ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower Review

ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower


ProForm’s Dual Trainer Bike/Rower is a cleverly designed home fitness machine. By adjusting its pedals and seat, a trainee can use the ProForm Dual Trainer for comfortable recumbent biking or full-body rowing. The magnetic tension is conveniently adjusted with digital controls and there are 24 preset workouts to ...

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 resembles the popular Coach E, but offers less programming and uses manual resistance control. It also has a different frame finish (chrome instead of powder coating and features a quiet magnetic braking system with ...

BodyCraft VR100 Pro Rower Review

BodyCraft VR100 Pro Rower


BodyCraft’s VR100 Rower is a very basic rowing machine designed for home use. It produces hybrid resistance with a fan and magnetic current. The harder you work, the stronger the resistance becomes. The VR100 is the simplest rowing machine in BodyCraft's collection. Some of its best features are an airplane-grade ...

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 ...

Stamina X Rower Review

Stamina X Rower


The eye-catching red and black Stamina X Rowing Machine is amongst Stamina’s best deals and one of our favorites in the price range. We rate it an 8 overall, but in terms of value it’s easily a 10. The Stamina X is sized to fit almost anyone up to 250 pounds and its resistance adjusts to match the rider’s force. It ...

Stamina ATS 1405 Air Rower

Stamina ATS 1405 Air Rower


Looking for a smooth ride on your home rower? Look no further! Stamina’s ATS Air Rower 1405 produces smooth resistance with a fan flywheel. The machine responds to your effort. So the harder you work, the stronger the resistance becomes. This resistance system makes the rowing machine suitable for almost anyone. ...

Stamina ATS 1402 Air Rower Review

Stamina ATS 1402 Air Rower


Stamina’s ATS Air Rower 1402 is a very basic yet capable rowing machine designed for residential use. It's priced lower than most other air rowers -- just $499 -- so its durability is pretty remarkable. The ATS Air Rower 1402 gets a sturdy steel frame and has a metal chain instead of a cheaper tension cord. (With ...

Horizon Oxford Rower Review

Horizon Oxford Rower


The Horizon Oxford Rower is a simple black and white rowing machine for home gyms. Measuring 100" long (8'4"), it is one of the largest rowing machines on our review website. Its long aluminum beam helps the machine fit people of all heights, and the beam can be folded upward up in case floor space is needed. This ...

Life Fitness Row GX Trainer Rower Review

Life Fitness Row GX Trainer Rower


The Life Fitness Row GX Trainer is a club-quality commercial-grade water-resistance rower that uses a fluid resistance system to create an enhanced rowing experience with the option of 16 resistance levels beyond the water in the tank. Enjoy precise resistance levels while also relishing the feel and sound of water as ...

BodyCraft VR200 Pro Rower Review

BodyCraft VR200 Pro Rower


The BodyCraft VR200 Rower is a simpler and more compact version of the VR400, yet it can comfortably accommodate a trainee up to 6’2” tall. Highlights include a smooth aluminum rail and wireless heart rate monitoring. Six levels of resistance are provided with a fan that also cools the rider. Session data are provided ...

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 ...

Lifecore R88 PRO Rower Review

Lifecore R88 PRO Rower


The R88 PRO Rowing Machine is one of three indoor rowers in the Lifecore lineup: the R88, R88 PRO and R100. Compared with the standard Lifecore R88, the R88 PRO Rowing Machine is designed to withstand heavier use. Its frame is significantly longer and also sits higher from the ground at 19.5” for easier access. This ...

Lifecore R88 Rower Review

Lifecore R88 Rower


The Lifecore R88 Rowing Machine delivers efficient aerobic workouts in a compact package. It sits just 15” from the ground, is 70” long and 18” wide. The console uses battery power so the machine can be placed anywhere; no power cord is required. Tension for this rower is manually controlled. At the lowest level ...

Stamina Conversion II Rower Bike Review

Stamina Conversion II Rower Bike


Save space and double your workout options! The Stamina Conversion II Rower/Recumbent Bike easily converts from a rowing machine to a low-impact recumbent bike; to make the change, simply adjust the seat. It’s an affordable option to help tone your heart and all major muscle groups. An LCD computer is provided to ...

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 ...

WaterRower S1 Rower Review

WaterRower S1 Rower


The S1 Rowing Machine is part of WaterRower’s Designer Series. This series features rowers made from premium materials. While the other Designer units are made from hardwood, the WaterRower S1 is made from brushed stainless steel. This is a limited edition product that costs more than the others. The S1 features ...

Sole SR500 Rower Review

Sole SR500 Rower


The Sole SR500 Rower is the lone rowing machine from Sole Fitness, a brand best known for treadmills. Unlike a treadmill, a rower is made to deliver a cardio blast while also strengthening your entire body. This unit is built with an aluminum glide rail that fits a wide range of heights and adjustable oversized pedals ...

Avari Easy Glide Rower Review

Avari Easy Glide Rower


Avari’s silver and black Easy Glide Rower sells for just $249. Weighing a mere 29 pounds, it is one of the lightest rowing machines on the planet. At 53” long it’s a few feet shorter than standard rowers too, yet the Easy Glide has a long enough rail to support adults of average height and can hold up to 250 pounds. ...

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 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 ...

Kettler Favorit Rower Review

Kettler Favorit Rower


The Favorit Rower is the lowest-priced rowing machine currently manufactured by Kettler. Its typical retail price is just $399. The Favorit gets hydraulic resistance to keep the machine’s size small and the price low. You can adjust the resistance by repositioning clamps on the pistons. Hydraulic resistance is the ...

Kettler Stroker Rower Review

Kettler Stroker Rower


The Kettler Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer is an affordable fitness machine made in China by a German company. The retail price is $699. This unit has 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 challenging. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...