How To Buy a Rowing Machine And What Is On The Market

If you’re planning to buy a rowing machine then it makes sense to learn as much as you can beforehand; but the problem is most manufacturers tend to be biased and retailers only highlight brief product information – making it harder for the user to make a decision. But this article will take you through everything you need to know how to buy a rowing machine that works for you.

Learn about the different types of rowing machines

Rowing machines are built using a fairly simple resistance mechanism, but they tend to use different types of resistance: air, water, magnetic, and hydraulic piston. In some cases you’ll find a combination of two types of resistance. Each type of resistance presents different characteristics and has its own pros and cons, so learning about resistance types will help narrow down your search.


This is the most common type of resistance in health clubs and gyms. The resistance levels tends to increase or decrease based on the rowing intensity. Basically the harder you pull, the more resistance you build; and a lower intensity means you won’t feel too much resistance. This type of rowing machine uses fan blades that make a fair a mount of noise but they also have a smooth rowing motion.


With this type of resistance the user gets a rather realistic rowing motion that sounds and feels like rowing on water. Like the air resistance mechanism, resistance is also determined by rowing intensity. A set of blades move through water to generate the sound and create resistance; and though it also makes a fair amount of noise, it’s still quite relaxing as it creates the noises heard when rowing outdoors.


Magnetic rowers are a lot quieter than air or water rowers due to a magnetic breaking system that provides resistance without creating noise. It has a smooth rowing motion and the resistance can be adjusted. For anybody who wants a harder, more intense workout, a magnetic resistance may fail to provide the same level of resistance found on the water rower, however when using a slow rowing motion you can still feel the strong resistance – as opposed to air or water, both of which require faster rowing to generate strong resistance. Magnetic rowers are more durable than air or water rowers, and usually require no maintenance.

Hydraulic Piston

These are compact and easy to transport, and when not in use you can store it away neatly. They also have an adjustable resistance and don’t create much noise due to the hydraulic pistons that generate resistance. Out of all the resistance types, these are the lowest-priced. Water resistance models tend to be pricey.

Now that you know all about resistance types, we can move on to the other issues

Step 1: How much space do you have?

A typical rowing machine takes about the same space as a love seat, so use that when figuring out where to put it; though you may want to give yourself a bit more space when working out.

Step 2: What’s your budget?

The price range for rowing machines is very wide. Some of the high-end brands are valued as high as $3,000 but you can still get a functioning rowing machine for less than $400. If you are confused on what to choose, here is the best resource for you: best rowing machines by Fitness Equipment Reviews

Are you going to share your rowing machine?

If so, then you’ll have to pick a model that offers flexible resistance to accommodate different levels of users. Also, keep an eye on the weight and height capacity. The most advanced units have a monitor that you can use to select different resistance levels and save your own workouts.

Final thoughts

Once you settle on a specific rowing machine, you will also need to check a few other details such as:

– Product quality and material

– How comfortable it is to use

– Noise levels

– Performance monitor (if any) and storage capability,

– Warranty, etc.

When you know what to look for, the buying process becomes a lot less stressful – and more importantly you won’t get conned. Good luck!