Best Rowing Machine Get Yours Today! [2017 Top Reviews]

Rowing Techniques By Concept2 Australia

Best Rowing Machine Get Yours Today! [2017 Top Reviews]

 The best rowing machine selection is no easy task.  It is hard to choose with so many types, models, and brands out there; all with good and bad points.  Then you have the different price ranges to consider.  and, It might make you want to pull your hair out, but don’t stress or give up yet because we are here to help.  We have done all the hard work for you.

This blog is for exercise enthusiastic people like you who want to enjoy the amazing benefits of indoor rowers from the comfort of their home.

We have summarized the reviews of all the best rowers and in-depth guides to give you the information you need to make the best purchase and to get the most out of it.

In summary, a rowing machine will help you achieve total FITNESS.   But, you can also get great workouts with an elliptical machine to achieve upper fitness goals. Elliptical training will provide other great health benefits as well. (Plese check out our sister site)


Our Top Rowing Machine Reviews at a Glance


Name Type Capacity Folds away? Our Rating

Concept2 Model D
Air 500 lb Yes

Concept2 Model E
Air 500 lb Yes

Stamina Air Rower
Air 250 lb Yes

WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood
Water 1000 lb No

WaterRower Club in Ash Wood
Water 1000 lb No

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
Magnetic 275 lb Yes

Kettler Kadett Outrigger
Hydraulic 250 lb Yes

Kettler Favorit
Hydraulic 250 lb Yes

LifeSpan Fitness RW1000
Hydraulic 300 lb Yes

Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
Hydraulic 250 lb No

Stamina 1215 Orbital
Hydraulic 250 lb Yes

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
Hydraulic 250 lb Yes

Things to consider when looking to buy this exercise machine

Before you buy any rowing machine, you should first think about the reasons why you want to get one.  Perhaps you want an effective and fun way to lose weight and to exercise.  The chances might be that you would be happy with a low-cost unit. Perhaps, it may be that you want a realistic way to practice actual rowing. In that case, you should look at the premium rowers like the water and air machines, which are top rower models.  But please, don’t forget that just because one rower is cheaper than the other; it does not mean it is of poor quality. The lower end models of the market have a real purpose.  Those low-end models have a specific purpose.  They are for those exercise enthusiasts who need a reliable machine to get into great shape.

 The Different Types of Indoor Rowers

There are four different types of rowing machines in the market today. The many models differ in how they create resistance as you exercise. Each model has its subtle difference, which you should be familiar with.  But, do not sweat it, we will detail the main differences and features of each top model in our reviews. Just note that The higher priced machines tend to use water, magnetic resistance, or air.  They offer a more realistic rowing experience as they don’t have fixed handles.


Hydraulic Rowers

best rowing machineThese type of rowers make use of hydraulic cylinders connected to the end of the handles.  They are a particularly attractive choice for those who do not have enough space in their home.  These machines are a bit smaller than other types. Unfortunately, the biggest downside is that  they are not as realistic in their rowing action as other types of machines.  The main reason for that is the seat and handles are in a fixed position. It only allows a fixed hand movement back and forth.  There is no leg drive, which is an important aspect of rowing.


Rowing with a Magnetic System


the best rowing machine

Magnetic rowers are the quietest machines. They use electromagnets to provide resistance.  This sounds great. But due to the nature of electromagnets,  change to the resistance is not available.  So despite being a bit more realistic;  they are not without limitations.



Air Rowers  

best rowing machine

Your should be looking at the air model If you want a realistic rowing experience. These machines tend to be authentic, which is great for professionals. They are also good for casual users who need something to practice actual rowing.  They are good enough for world class athletes, so that is a testament to their design.


Water Rowing Machine

best rowing machines
These types of machines are for the purists. They are more realistic than air. The resistance in this machines is with an actual paddle moving around in a tank of water.  They tend to be quite and expensive but well worth it, and some of them are beautifully made



 Other Important Features you should think about:

  • Are you interested in sophisticated performance monitor to track data such as rowing speed?
  • Perhaps you want a rower that folds away to save space in your home?
  • Do you need to conduct intensive training?  Do you need a machine that allows higher levels or resistance?
  • Are you more comfortable with an extensive warranty in case there are any issues?

What are the best exercises when using a rower?

The idea behind a rowing machine is for it to mimic the water action, and some models do this better than others.

Today, many people use rowing machines to get in shape, and they have them to get the benefit they provide.  Health reports have confirmed that rowing offers powerful workouts.  This exercise helps to burn massive calories, and it increases fitness levels.

Rowing on these machines causes little to no stress on your joints or knees.   This means that you achieve fitness without causing problems to your body and without injuring yourself.

Rowing machines are a wise investment. Especially IF you are trying to shed some weight or if you are serious about fitness levels.  Once you buy a rowing machine, you will be able to use the machine for many years. With each year you will continue to get the same powerful workouts.

best rowing machine

Why should I row?

Here is why you should start using rowing machines as soon as you can:

  • Rowing ensures all your major muscles are exercise
  • This is the safest low impact exercise – with absolute no impact on the body joins.
  • Full cardio workout.
  • Rowing machines come with heart monitoring, and you can see your heart rate target
  • Space efficient -almost all models fold away to store.
  • Calories burn faster in comparison to other exercise methods.


The Best Rowing Machine |  Top  Reviews


(1)  Model D by Concept2

concept 2 rowing machine

The Model D is the most popular rowing machine on the market.

Many athletes, enthusiasts, and hobbyists regard the Model D as the best piece of exercise equipment on the market.  Professional rowers use this as their ‘go-to’ choice when using exercise equipment.  Fitness enthusiasts praise the Model D as the best rower on the market.  The  manufacturer claims that this machine has been “engineered to last a lifetime.” They offer a 5-year warranty for peace of mind. Why is this important? Simple. You are going to use this machine, a lot. It is possibly one of the best pieces of equipment on the market. This machine is for when only the best will do.

This is an air rower and is full of features that will help you get the best cardio workout possible. Why does an ‘air rower’ matter? The Air rower provide a consistent and ongoing experience during your workout. It also comes with a top quality performance computer-monitor. It will track your exercise progress,  and you can even play games while you exercise and raise your heart rate!

Is it expensive? Yes, This indoor rower is quite a big investment. But, if you want the best and are serious about your  fitness, then the investment is excellent.

You can check out our other reviews online where you can find many people raving about this rower.

(2)  H2O RX-750 Home Series by ProRower

water rower

Interested in a low cost investment that will yield massive health returns and a healthy heart rate? The H2O RX-750 is one of the best well-priced water-based exercise equipment available on the market. If you are worried about the machine’s performance, don’t. From the research we have done we found that users had nothing but good things to say. You will be happy to know that this indoor rowing machine has a high-quality compared to other premium rivals.

Aside from price, there is one thing that sets this machine apart. For those of you who want the feel of rowing on real water; this is the machine for you.  The feeling of rowing on water is realistic. From the tension of the cables to the seat every piece is engineered to deliver the best possible experience. If you crave the feeling of being on the water this is for you. Want a super intense workout? You just need to row faster to increase the challenge!

The natural adaptive resistance of the water will give you the challenge you are looking for.  But, if you are just in the mood for a gentle workout or a relaxing paddle, then all you need to do is to row a bit slower. This will let you enjoy the feeling of pushing against the water



(3)  Model E by Concept2


Concept 2

This is the newest offering from Concept2.  This indoor rowing machine is supposed to be an improved version of the Model D air rower.

This new model includes everything that made it great, as well as the PM5 performance monitor. This is a standard package. It also offers a variety of other new features. The rower has many improvements. It has:

1)A low maintenance chain. 2)A upgraded computer.  3) A more comfortable and higher stance.   4) The frame is 6 inches taller than the Concept2 D.  5) The monitor arm is longer.

These updates are key to increasing the overall experience with this indoor rower. If you don’t think these changes are unique or particularly groundbreaking for an air rower you right. The truth is it is a tall order to fill to improve on what is already the most popular air rower machine in the world.  So who is this for? Simple. The person who only wants the best. If money isn’t an issue for you, and you want the absolute best, then you will be happy with this one.



(4)  Kadett Outrigger Style by Kettler


Kettler-kadett-outrigger rowing machine

Interested in investing in an indoor rower brand known for quality? Kettler is a well know air rower brand, and it offers one of the best budgets in the mid-range rowers. If you are looking to strike a balance between quality, performance, and brand this is a great place to start.

The  Outrigger has a slick a design making for a very nice machine. What makes this air rower one of a kind design so unique is it uses a circular movement. This circular movement mimics the sensation of really rowing.  Our research shows users think this feature performs well. The Kettler is a piston machine. That means the resistance level must be set to a suitable setting.  You would set this rower exactly as you would a treadmill.

In summary, this air rower is a good mid-range choice that comes at a nice price. If you are looking to buy a high performing first rowing machine to get your heart rate up that you can keep coming back to month after month this is the choice for you.



(5)  Favorite by Kettler


Kettler-favorit rowing machine

Are you a bargain hunter? Do you demand a low price and expect high-quality design? Do you want your wallet to be as healthy as you? The Kadett Favorite is a very attractively priced indoor rowing machine that will keep both you and your wallet healthy. The Kadett is pretty simple but well made and sturdy.

The Kadett is from a German manufacturer. That means every single piece of this machine is built with the best quality engineering. That’s a strong point for the user hungry for quality design! But at this price who is this really for?

This rower is a great choice for those who are not too serious about rowing in general. Especially if the rower wants a reliable and effective piece of equipment to get fit.

Look this machine isn’t going to get you to Olympic quality health. You won’t be stepping out onto the water and competing.

That’s not the point. This machine is designed to give you an affordable, quiet, heart rate healthy, full body workout in your own home. If you want a smooth workout you can watch television to this is a great choice because it is so quiet.

The only issue worth mentioning is a few indoor rowing machine users have noted with the resistance. Some buyers of this model have reported issues with the resistance level. We heard some complaints that the resistance change in the middle of their workouts, which could be a bit of an annoyance.



(6)  Trac Glider 1050 by Stamina Body



Are you the type of rower interested in functionality? Do you want a great workout but look for only what’s needed? Do you avoid gyms with tons of equipment because you don’t want to pay for waste? We have the indoor rowing machine for you.

Quick note:Just because the price of this rowing machine is in the low range of the market, does not mean it is poor quality.  NO!  First off, there are some real plus points. If you are looking for all the premium features of a great piece of exercise equipment you keep in your home look no further. This is compact, folds away for easy storage for those who have limited space,  and it has a basic but functional performance monitor. You get everything you need to store it easily, get working out quickly, and monitor your results in real time.

Let’s talk about one key feature that sets this machine apart. The best feature is how it can mimic the rowing motions of more expensive machines like the Kettler Kadett Outrigger.

Any problems? There have been complaints of feet slipping out of foot straps on the machine.  Other customers also complain that the resistance was not high enough. A little attention to detail and adding a few minutes to your workout can make the difference and get you the same results at a fraction of the price.

In summary, this is a great deal for those who have a small budget. There is no reason why you can’t upgrade to a higher end rowing machine in the future.



(7)  1215 Orbital by Stamina


Stamina 1215 orbital rower

Do you constantly look for the best possible reviews on fitness equipment to make your decision?The 1215 Orbital is for you. The 1215 is a highly rated and well reviewed machine and it is very affordable.

What makes this machine get so many good reviews? This machine’s design is engineered to simulate real water rowing by using a smooth hydraulic cylinder system. This means you can get a full body workout from your indoor rowing machine that feels like being out on the water. And you can get it all without having to leave the comfort of your home.  It also provides a full range of motion. That means you can get a full body workout that minimizes the impact on your joints while maximizing your health.

Sound great but you want to know what the issues are? Well, there are only a few small complaints about this rower.  There have been reports about issues with the general build quality.  What do we think? The 1215 rower is a great machine. It provides a quality experience at a reasonable cost. Is this a machine you are going to brag about and show your friends? No. Unlike other machines review here the 1215 is all about functionality.

If you consider the price, and the great benefits this machine provides to the rowers, the complaints are minimal.



(8)  Magnetic Rower by Velocity Exercise



Have you tried rowing in the gym, loved the feel and results, but hate the idea of having a loud piece of fitness equipment machine whirring in the middle of your house while you work out? The Velocity rowing machine is for you. The Veliocity is very quiet when in use thanks to its magnetic resistance. You could even watch TV while getting a full body workout.

Don’t mistake its attention to noise for lack of performance. The Velocity is a high quality machine. For those who are serious about training, this machine even comes with a heart rate monitor.

Let’s take a second and discuss the design as well. The Velocity comes with an anodized aluminium body. It is beautiful, and will look great in your home. The machine is built solid and with great quality.

Okay, you say, it looks great but what about the workout? From the research, we did we can tell you the Velocity provides a tremendous workout. If you want to increase your heart rate, get a great full body workout, and get that cardio workout you know you need this is for you.

Pro-Tip:Are you looking for high-quality performance like the Concept 2 Model D but without the cost? Our research shows rowers regularly recommend this model as an alternative to the Concept 2 Model D.   This is a  true confirmation of its quality.

In summary, this rowing machine is a  great investment, and it won’t break the bank either.



(9) WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood



This piece of fitness equipment is the king of water rower, and it will connect you with the feeling of rowing on water like no other machine on the market. If you want the real experience of being on the water when you can’t make it outside you need this indoor rowing machine.

This great machine does not come cheap.  The price is in the same range as the Concept2 Model.  If you are going to choose between the water and the Concept2,  you will have a very tough choice to make.

In the end,  your final decision would come down to personal preference. If you are specifically looking for a water rowing machine, then this would be your first choice.  But you have to be able to afford the high price tag.

One thing that makes this machine unique is it’s beautiful handcrafted ash wood design. Its looks will get people’s attention, and it will look great in your home.

In conclusion, this machine is incredibly well made,  and it provides a smooth ride that will put a smile on your face. It also comes fitted with the fantastic S4 performance monitor.  The great LCD provides many features that will let you track your exercise at all times.



(10)  WaterRower Club in Ash Wood



Are you a serious rower? Do you look for the best cardio workout possible? Do you put wear and tear on your machines and want something that is as tough as you? Consider the WaterRower club edition.

Like it’s cousin the water rower natural (above.)  The  WaterRower Club edition is a beautiful handcrafted machine.  It will provide a countless rowing experience and not let you down.

The difference between the two machines is clear. The club edition is more rugged. It has been designed with commercial gyms in mind or other areas where it may suffer a little more wear and tear.

Therefore, you can probably see from the picture that the wood and rails have been finished to prevent scuffing.  You will also notice that the design looks pretty cool too. Despite its intended use for gyms, it would also sit pretty nice in your home.

Should you buy it? It depends. If you crave high-intensity workouts but hate cheap equipment that falls apart this is the machine for you. However, if you like a high-quality product and you don’t plan on destroying it through use we suggest another rower.


(11)  Stamina Avari Magnetic


stamina air rower

The Stamina is the second magnetic rower we have reviewed. This is a good one, priced slightly higher than other comparable machines.

The machine is made by big brand Stamina, and it is rated pretty highly.  The machine provides a very solid option in the mid-range of the market. It is very well made with sturdy aluminum rails, and it provides a pretty realistic rowing motion.  When rowing, the machine is quite compact as well making easy storage another benefit.

Magnetic resistance is popular at all levels of training and can provide resistance that is great for warming up and working hard.

Another important feature we must talk about is that this machine comes with an excellent LCD performance monitor.  The LCD screen provides great benefits for the rowers.  It tracks key metrics during the exercise.  The only possible drawback is that the seat is uncomfortable. We will talk about this ahead and read our full review for more details.





Now that you have read our introduction, it is time to dive in and read the in-depth best rowing machine reviews we compiled for you. Personally, we don’t have a stake in the fire. Our research was done to bring you the best options on the market based on specific needs.

Whether you need a quiet easy to use machine that packs flat, a high endurance rugged club beast, or a sleek ashwood rower that looks as good as your furniture we have you covered.

We conducted the research to provide you with an unbiased report so that you can make the right decision.  The reviews will help you with everything you need to make an informed choice to suit your needs.

We would love to hear back from you, on this website. Please let us know if you have any feedback or want to ask us a question, please don’t be shy.  Or write your comments below!  Also, please check out our contact page.

Good luck and start to get FIT with the best rowing machine you select from the reviews we have for you!



DISCOLOSURE:  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites


  1. Reply Erwin June 25, 2015 at 10:17 am

    you forgot the biorower. This is what national teams use.


  2. Reply Brian January 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    You forgot the FIRST DEGREE E-520 and the FIRST DEGREE Vortex 3! They ARE easily the BEST on the market HANDS DOWN…REALLY!!

  3. Reply Tess January 22, 2016 at 4:22 am

    A couple weeks ago I purchased the WaterRower Natural. The quality is excellent, very quite, tranquil water sound while getting a great workout at your own pace. A great purchase.

  4. Reply Edgar @ GarageGymPlanner February 23, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Nice guide! Answers a lot of questions about rowing machines. Would be great if you can mention an approximate price range for each machine.

  5. Reply Vivian July 6, 2016 at 6:26 am

    All the kettler models, have had huge and lasting success in the market. So I’m not surprised that 2 made it (Favorit & Kadett) on your list. I have and use the Coach and the experience has been really impressive. I feel like rowing more than once per day. But following my doctor’s request, I have to stick to a schedule of 1 session or less per day. Like the waterrower too, planning on getting one soon.

  6. Reply WywołYwanie zdjęć July 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your
    blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      thank you for the update and yes, we are looking to have a new an improve look. We will take this feedback into considerations.

  7. Reply administrator nieruchomości July 26, 2016 at 7:14 am

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  8. Reply Michael Brandon September 5, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I purchased the FIRST DEGREE E-520. great product

    • Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Michael, thank you for letting us know about the purchase–and please give us some more feedback on the machine as you use it. The entire community here would like to hear your feedback. Also if you have suggestions about our blog, we would love your ideas.

    • Reply Cesar Beltran October 5, 2016 at 4:08 am

      Hello Michael, just checking to see how you are progressing with the First Degree machine? Please let us know.

  9. Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Hi there! I will ask our IT gurus to take a look–We have not heard this feedback before, but will looking this asap. Truly appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    • Reply Tommy September 12, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hi there got the report back form the iT gurus.. They have tested the blog with Safari and Chrome and did not find any specific concerns. We will continue to monitor. Thank you.

  10. Reply Cesar Beltran October 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Hello, everyone. We have just published our new an improved material. We hope you find the blog informative and that you all enjoy the easy to read format that our editors the “gurus” at writing recommended we implement.

    As always, we welcome your comments and ideas to make this site even better! Thank you all for your ideas and comments.

    We love to listen to our readers, and we do hear you “loud and clear!”


  11. Reply Cesar Beltran October 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Hello there! Thank you for the post–We welcome your comments and ideas to continue to improve. Please let us know which machine your bought and would love to hear your progress!

  12. Reply SteveC May 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Concept 2 always wins these reviews. 10/10 in every respect.

  13. Reply samir June 9, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    i have recently check out this where i have seen the concept 2 rowing machine.Please tell me, is it a good buy for home use.

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