Blog Post

5 Best Reviewed Magnetic Rowing Machines

People mostly purchase treadmills for day-to-day cardio but end up putting it in the basement with clothes hanging from it. The reason is that virtually everyone has seen and used treadmills before, so they quickly lose interest in it.

However, if you have a cardio machine that is exciting to use and delivers a unique workout experience, you won’t grow tired of it so quickly. One of these machines is the rower.

When you use them, it feels like you are rowing a boat, which is not something we often do, so you will enjoy the workout more. Let’s talk about the top 5 rowing machines and what they can offer in terms of workout experience:

Top 5 Magnetic Rowing Machines Reviewed

Top Pick
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with Extended Optional Full Body Exercises and Free App
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout Programs, 2677, Black
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine with 8 Resistance Settings & Transport Wheels AMZ-986RW
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with Extended Optional Full Body Exercises and Free App
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout Programs, 2677, Black
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine with 8 Resistance Settings & Transport Wheels AMZ-986RW
$3,037.99
Price not available
$841.98
$243.30
$447.59
Top Pick
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
$3,037.99
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with Extended Optional Full Body Exercises and Free App
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with Extended Optional Full Body Exercises and Free App
Price not available
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout Programs, 2677, Black
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout Programs, 2677, Black
$841.98
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
$243.30
Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine with 8 Resistance Settings & Transport Wheels AMZ-986RW
Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine with 8 Resistance Settings & Transport Wheels AMZ-986RW
$447.59

NordicTrack RW900 Magnetic Rower Machine

Click for more info.

The first one in our list of top 5 rowers is NordicTrack RW900, and I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I call it the BEAST of rowing machines.

The machine boasts a big HD monitor, and it has an excellent build quality. It also has very comfortable seat, handles, and paddles, allowing long workouts without extra pain.

So if you are pumped up about knowing more then let’s get to its brief review below:

Display:

One of the key offerings of NordicTrack RW900 is its 22” HD display with touch functionality. And yes, you read it right, it’s a whopping 22 inches monitor and not just a small console. It can also be rotated up to 90 degrees so you can position it according to your preference.

The monitor tracks several metrics such as time, distance, watts, heart rate, 500m split, calories burned, and so on. The main reason for embedding such a huge monitor in the machine is iFIT, which contains tons of pre-recorded workout programs.

These rowing classes feature professional trainers who will not just train you but also motivate you along the way. The monitor also comes with an aux port in case you want to connect headphones.

Build Quality:

NordicTrack is popular for the incredible build quality of its products, and this rowing machine is not any different. Firstly, it has a very strong and smooth rowing stroke, which is pretty impressive.

Furthermore, its frame is made of steel, has durable handles and heavy-duty ball bearings. Besides the main components, the straps are also made of tough nylon that won’t rip easily.

The main reason why NordicTrack never promotes its products based on their build quality is that all of its customers already know they are as tough as they come.

Comfort:

NordicTrack didn’t go cheap on comfort either. They have embedded oversized sear rail that allows users of every height to enjoy full rowing stroke. Also, the seat is molded to be ergonomic that offers pain-free rowing.

The foot paddles are also large enough to fit any size and come with adjustable straps for a firm grip. Lastly, its handles are also soft to touch but firm enough for a proper grip.

Assembly:

Assembling the RW900 is a piece of cake, and you alone can do it in less than half-hour. After setting up the rower, just need to plug it into the wall, and it’ll be ready to use.

Although it comes with a manual, if you don’t have any experience with tools or assembling things, you can also watch this short video on setting it up.

THE PROS

  • 26 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Free 1-year membership for iFIT
  • Software can be updated for new features
  • Very low noise
  • 10-year warranty for the frame, 2-year for parts and 1-year for labor

THE CONS

  • Doesn’t come with heart rate monitor
  • Very low weight capacity of just 250lbs for the price point
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
  • Interactive personal training at home powered by iFit; 1 year iFit membership included with your rower; Gain access to on demand, interactive trainer led global and studio workout programs ($396 value)
  • 22 inches HD smart touchscreen display, adjustable console angle, and an ergonomic molded seat for a comfortable, immersive workout
  • 26 coach controlled resistance levels match trainer recommendations and mimic real life water resistance; Rower workouts are personalized to your fitness level and goals
  • SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance and an inertia enhanced flywheel deliver quiet, energy efficient workouts from the comfort of home
  • An innovative SpaceSaver design allows your rower to fold up after your workout for compact, simple storage; Front mounted transport wheels make it easy to move your rower from room to room

 

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine

Click for more info.

Do you want to know about a very cool and super affordable rowing machine? Well, let me introduce you to Fitness Reality 1000 Plus.

It has great features, excellent comfort, and smooth operation, and on top of all, it won’t put a dent in your budget, excited? Let’s discuss more below:

Display:

It comes with a basic 3.5” LCD. I know it looks like a cub in from of the Gorilla screen of RW900. However, you need to consider the prices of both machines as well. The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus costs just $320 while the RW900 costs a whopping $1,500 – I am sure the 3.5” won’t look like a dwarf now.

Anyways, the LCD keeps track of distance, time, calories burned, total stroke count, and strokes per minute. It also has a scan mode that allows it to rotate according to the data points.

You can also connect with MyCloudFitness app via Bluetooth and see your data on your phone. Lastly, it needs 4AA batteries to operate, saving you from the hassle of plugging and unplugging the monitor to the outlet.

Build Quality:

It has all the high-quality parts that you need to enjoy a quiet and smooth rowing session. The seat rail is made of heavy-grade aluminum, and the seat itself is very robust and sits on ball-bearing rollers of industrial grade.

The rowing straps are made of durable nylon that also reduces noise when working out. The handles and foot pedals are also very durable and won’t wear out easily.

Lastly, its rear floor stabilizers have adjusters that ensure the machine sits flat and evenly on any kind of surface. So all in all, you will get incredible durability for the price.

Comfort:

Though the budget rowers are not big on comfort, the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus checks most of the boxes in the comfort list.

The contoured seat is fairly soft, and its extra-wide size allows you to have extended rowing sessions. It comes with a foamed handlebar that has a length of 21.5” allowing all sizes of people to comfortably hold it.

Lastly, its pivoting footrests are debatable when it comes to comfort, but beginners tend to like them as they allow a full range of motions without flexing the ankles and hips too much.

Assembly:

It comes with clear instructions, and if you do everything right, you can have your rower ready for the workout in 20 to 30 minutes.

Plus, all of the parts have clear labels making it easy to follow the instructions, and it even comes with 4AA batteries saving you a trip to Walmart.

THE PROS

  • Can hold up to 250lb which is good enough for the price
  • 14 adjustable magnetic resistance levels
  • Minimal rowing noise
  • Metrics can also be tracked and stored via app
  • Great build quality for the price

THE CONS

  • Free version of the app doesn’t have lots of benefits
  • Very short warranty of just 1-year for the frame, 90-day for parts and 90-day for wearable parts
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with Extended Optional Full Body Exercises and Free App
  • [Full body workout]: The only rower with additional exercises on the market. Full body low impact workout targets forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs, thighs and more with additional exercises. Slide rail length/inseam: 39”
  • [Smart CLOUD Fitness]: the only Bluetooth rower on the market. Bluetooth Smart fitness with free My Cloud Fitness app available on iOS and Android for tracking your workout results. 3 workout goal settings via app: time, distance and calories burned
  • [Extra wide handlebar/14 level tension ]: 21. 5” extra wide grip foam handlebar provides comfortable grips for different workout exercises. 14 level Dual transmission magnetic tension resistance for an easy or more challenging workout.
  • [Additional exercises]: patent pending front stabilizer foot pads allows for additional exercises such as curls, upright rows, bent over rows, front raises, shrugs, triceps extensions, standing shoulder presses and more. 250 lbs. Weight capacity
  • [Large console/seat]: Large 3. 5” LCD displays distance, time, total count, calories burned, Stokes/min and scan. Comfortable large contoured cushion seat (13. 5”L x 11”w).

Fitness Reality 4000MR Folding Rower Machine

Click for more info.

Another impeccable product by Fitness Reality; the 4000MR. The machine has a variety of settings and profiles to choose from; it is well-built, and can also be folded for easy storage.

Though it’s double the price of the previously discussed model, it certainly offers more features and greater warranty. Let’s see what this one packs for the price of $699.

Display:

4000MR has a console that is similar to what magnetic exercise bikes come with. It has a 5” LCD that comes with backlight for better readability.

The console tracks distance, RPM, time, calories burned, and watts and is divided into six sections that show these metrics.

Though the console has no app or wireless connectivity features, it does come with 10 programs, goal settings for distance, calories burned, and time. You also have 5 profile slots so your whole family can work out.

Build Quality:

The machine can hold up to 300lbs of weight due to its steel and aluminum construction. The seat’s sliding rail is made using strong aluminum, and another steel bar is used underneath for reinforcement.

As for the sliding rail, in front of the frame, oars and base bars are made of steel and hold up pretty well. All of the steel parts are coated corrosion-resistant paint, which is a plus.

Once assembled, you can also fold it and easily store it when not using it. All in all, it a pretty robust machine with the potential to last for years if you care for it.

Comfort:

The contoured seat of 4000MR has a length of 13.5” and a width of 10” that offers ample contact surface. Furthermore, the seat has a foamed top layer for added comfort and features elevated edges that keep the user from sliding off while working out.

Its handles have a rubber grip for comfort and are curved inwards for the natural positioning of hands. Moreover, its footrests sit a few inches below the seat, allowing plenty of room for stretching and are equipped with adjustable straps for extra hold.

Assembly:

Just like most of the rowing machines, the 4000MR also needs to be assembled. The good thing is because of its small size; the font section comes pre-assembled, so you only need to attach the seat, base stabilizers, console, oars, and other small moving parts.

On top of all this, it comes with its own tools and an instructions manual that allow quick assembly in as little as a half-hour.

THE PROS

  • Supports up to 300lbs
  • Comes with transport wheels
  • Seat can be adjusted up to 38” of height
  • Oar action is independent that offers natural rowing feel
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Comes with tablet holder
  • 5-year warranty for the frame, 3-year for parts and 2-year for electronic/wearable parts

THE CONS

  • Doesn’t read pulse
  • No cooling fan or sound system
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout Programs, 2677, Black
  • [15 WORKOUT PROGRAMS]: 10 Preset workout programs and 5 customizable programs. Chain Driven dual transmission mechanism provides strength needed for intense workout. 300 lbs. Weight capacity. Extended 38” Slide rail with 41” inseam
  • [DUAL INDEPENDENT ROWING HANDLES]: Real full range of rowing motion with dual independent rowing handles provides full arm, shoulder and chest exercises. Rubber coaled hand grip with comfortable grip balls on the rowing handles
  • [16 LEVEL MAGNETIC TENSIONS]: 16 Level DUAL TRANSMISSION magnetic tension resistance for an easy or more challenging workout. 4 Adjustable floor stabilizers prevent rocking to ensure a smooth rowing experience. Large anti-slip foot pedals with straps
  • [BACKLIT LCD CONSOLE]: Highly visible backlit 5” LCD displays distance, time, count, calories burned, RPM, watts, and tension levels. 3 Workout goal settings: time, distance and calories burned. Adjustable console angles for better viewing
  • [LARGE CONTOURED SEAT]: Large contoured cushion seat (13. 5” L x 10” W) provides extra comfort for a long session workout. Raised seat height of 21”~22. 5” for easy get on and off. Ball-bearing seat rollers for smooth rowing strokes. User height: 5’–6’5”

 

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine

Click for more info.

If you want a machine on the low-end price point but don’t want to compromise on the durability, comfort, and convenience, then Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 is perfect.

Though it lacks in advanced technological features, it still is a great machine for casual routine workouts at home. Let’s see what you can get for $207:

Display:

It has a pretty basic LCD that shows time, calories, total strokes, and individual strokes. However, seeing the price of $207, I don’t think there is much to complain about.

It can also scan through every data set after every few seconds so you can have an eye on every metric while working out. The LCD is battery operated, so no more annoying plugging and unplugging process.

Lastly, I just want to let you know that its calorie counter is not very precise, so you will have to work with a general idea. But other than that, it’s fair for the price.

Build Quality:

The frame of SF-RW5515 is made with heavy-duty steel adding to its longevity, and considering its price tag; you are getting a bang for your buck.

Furthermore, the handle is connected with a strong nylon strap that won’t tear apart even with extended use.

Lastly, it comes with built-in transportation wheels making it easy to move from one place to another without calling in your friends to lift it.

Comfort:

It boasts a very comfortable foam padded seat and that you can slide forward or backward according to your size.

The handles are also covered with non-slip grip allowing you to keep rowing even with sweaty palms.

Furthermore, its footpads are large enough to accommodate almost any shoe size, and the foot straps will keep your feet in place.

Assembly:

Just like most of the rowing machines in this list, SF-RW5515 is also a breeze to put together, and the clear instructions will only make your job easier.

The good news is that the magnetic flywheel comes factory assembled, so most of your work is already done by the good folks at Sunny Health & Fitness.

You just need to follow the four steps mentioned in the manual, and on top of that, all of the parts and tools come with the purchase so you can get started immediately.

THE PROS

  • 8 adjustable resistance levels
  • Foldable design
  • Can hold up to 250lbs
  • 5-year warranty for the frame, 3-year for parts and 2-year for electronics
  • Very affordable price

THE CONS

  • Doesn’t have workout programs
  • Monitor is pretty basic


Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
  • DIGITAL MONITOR - The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, scan. The convenient scan mode displays your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals
  • EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL - At 48 inches in slide rail length and 44 inches in inseam length, the SF-RW5515 can accommodate rowers of nearly any size.
  • ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE - With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease the 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey.
  • TRANSPORTATION WHEELS - Built in transportation wheels for easy portability. Simply tilt and roll out for use or away for storage, no need for heavy lifting or muscle strain. Folded Dimensions: 37L X 19W X 53. 5H inches
  • NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS - Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing during the most demanding and vigorous workouts! Foot straps keep your feet saddled in so you can focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced

Circuit Fitness Deluxe AMZ-986RW

Click for more info.

Last but definitely not the least, the Deluxe AMZ-986RW by Circuit Fitness is all you need for a rigorous day-to-day workout at home. It’s a mid-range rowing machine with all of the features that you need to stay in shape.

The machine boasts sturdy construction from paddles to the seat, which is why it won’t complain even after extended workout sessions.

Moreover, it can hold up to 300lbs of weight, which is fair for the price of $406. What I like about it is the sleek design of its front area that is hardly seen in the rowing machines of this price point. With that said, let’s look at its key features:

Display:

It comes with an LCD display that works with two AA batteries. The console displays different metrics such as time, distance, calories burned, stroke rate, and when connected with the chest strap, it will also show heart rate. (Chest strap doesn’t come with the purchase)

You can also set goals and then work your way towards achieving them, which adds a little kick to the routine workout. Furthermore, you can also choose from two modes; race or manual.

Manual is, of course, the one where you set your own settings, but if you select the race, you will have to choose a difficulty level from 1 to 15 and race against the artificial intelligence of the computer.

Build Quality:

Most of the structure of the AMZ-986RW is made of steel; however, there are some areas made of aluminum and ABS as well.

The front area that holds the resistance system and the flywheel is made of steel, and the rear base is also steel-made. The core of the main rail is also steel, but the side grooves are aluminum made.

The rest of the components ranging from covers to footrest are made of ABS plastic. The best thing about its construction is that all of its steel parts are coated with corrosion-resistant paint that only adds to its overall life.

Comfort:

The 13” wide contoured seat provides good contact surface, and its top layer is comprised of high-density foam making it comfortable to sit on for long intervals.

The wheels that are used to slide the seat forward or backward have sealed ball bearings with rubberized covers that minimize the noise and provide smooth movement.

One thing to remember is that the seat is only 11” high, so if you need more height, you might want to try Fitness Reality 4000MR that offers up to 38” of height.

The pulling handle also has rubber grips for maximum hold and is attached with a nylon strap that is resistant to abrasion. Lastly, it is equipped with large footrests having rear guard elements and adjustable straps that help in keeping the feet in their place.

Assembly:

The resistance and drive elements come pre-assembled, so you just need to join the front base stabilizer and attach the console and footrest.

The step-by-step instructions with illustrations are included with the machine, so if you do everything right, you can have the machine assembled and ready to use in 30 to 40 minutes.

THE PROS

  • Can hold up to 300lbs weight
  • Rail is foldable
  • Comes with transport wheel
  • Long size can accommodate people of up to 6’2”
  • 8 different levels of magnetic resistance

THE CONS

  • Doesn’t come with chest strap
  • Very short warranty of 2 years
Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
  • DIGITAL MONITOR - The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, scan. The convenient scan mode displays your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals
  • EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL - At 48 inches in slide rail length and 44 inches in inseam length, the SF-RW5515 can accommodate rowers of nearly any size.
  • ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE - With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease the 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey.
  • TRANSPORTATION WHEELS - Built in transportation wheels for easy portability. Simply tilt and roll out for use or away for storage, no need for heavy lifting or muscle strain. Folded Dimensions: 37L X 19W X 53. 5H inches
  • NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS - Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing during the most demanding and vigorous workouts! Foot straps keep your feet saddled in so you can focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced
In Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve seen some great magnetic rowing machine options.  If you’re looking for other exercise equipment for small spaces, click here.

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