Best Budget Rowing Machines To Buy In 2020

Sunny Health SF-RW1205

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A rowing machine is an excellent piece of workout equipment. It gives you a low-impact, full-body, aerobic workout in the convenience of your home.

It can help you achieve your fitness goals quickly, helps with weight loss and keeps your muscles well-toned. Because of its low-impact, it can be used by beginners, seniors, or people recovering from an injury.

One concern many people have with exercise equipment is the cost, some premium products are quite expensive. However, you don’t really need to spend a lot of money to get yourself a rowing machine.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the best budget rowers you can purchase at the moment. We’ll start by listing them, later on, we’ll go into more detail about each of them.

Best Budget Rowing Machines In 2020

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor- Overall Best

Sunny Health SF-RW5515

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2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine- Durable

Stamina Rowing Machine

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3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205- Ideal For a Really Low Budget

Sunny Health SF-RW1205

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4. EFITMENT Total Motion Rowing Machine- High Weight & Height Capacity

Efitment Rower

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5. Sunny Health & Fitness Incline Full Motion Rowing Machine- Most Advanced

Sunny Health Incline Machine

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Now that we have listed the top ones, let’s discuss each of these products in more detail.

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor- Overall Best

Sunny Health SF-RW5515

This is an awesome rowing machine for the price. It gives you good value for your money. It is comfortable, versatile and not-noisy. 

The slide rail has a wide capacity and can be used by different people of different heights. It also has a high weight capacity for 250 pounds. Setting up is fairly easy, you can also fold it and roll it away when you need to store it. 

The handlebars are made of slip-resistant foam, so you can row comfortably without hurting your hands. The foot pedals are also non-slip, wide, and have a strap to secure your feet in place. The seat is padded too.

It operates by using a magnetic resistance system that is adjustable up to 8 levels. You can change the resistance by simply turning a knob. Also, there is an LCD screen that displays the time, number of strokes, and calories burnt. 

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Comfortable seat and handlebars
  • Foldable
  • LCD screen 
  • High weight and height capacity
  • Not noisy

Cons:

  • The LCD display is quite basic

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2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine- Durable

Stamina Rowing Machine

This is a special type of rowing machine. Unlike many others that have you pulling on a string, this particular product mimics the actual rowing motion you have on a boat. This gives an intense workout and involves many of your body’s muscles.

The seat is contoured and the handlebars are made of foam to give you a smooth rowing experience. The footplate is made of textured plastic to keep your feet in place. It is very sturdy with a nice steel frame.

To very your exercise intensity, it has an adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance beneath the machine. There is an LCD screen that shows the number of strokes, calories burnt, and time. It also shows you the total number of strokes you’ve accumulated. 

To save space, the arms are foldable and you can raise the machine to keep in your closet. 

The best part is that despite all these features, it is very budget-friendly.

Pros:

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Mimics the actual rowing motion
  • Comfortable handlebars
  • Fairly durable
  • LCD screen

Cons:

The design of the footrest may cause your leg to slip off when rowing.

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3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205- Ideal For a Really Low Budget

Sunny Health SF-RW1205

This is a really awesome product sold at a very affordable price. It is significantly cheaper than similar rowing machines. The fact that it is cheap doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. It is actually made of sturdy materials that should last you some time.

The seat, handlebars, and footrest are ergonomically built. The handlebar is soft and easy to handle, the footrest is well designed and has straps to keep your feet in place while you row. The seat is padded to ensure your glutes don’t hurt.

It works by using a hydraulic resistance cylinder system. There are 12 resistance settings based on how intense you want your workout to be. One disadvantage of this system is that the cylinder could get hot after some minutes of rowing and affect the resistance, making it fairly easy. So, it is ideal for beginners and not for experienced fitness enthusiasts.

It has a digital monitor that displays the calories burnt, time, and stroke counts.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Sturdy
  • Compact design
  • Ergonomic seat, handlebars, and footrest
  • 12 resistance level
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons:

  • Not the best for athletes or fitness experts as the hydraulic system may offer minimal resistance after some time during each workout session.
  • Low weight and height capacity.

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4. EFITMENT Total Motion Rowing Machine- High Weight & Height Capacity

Efitment Rower

This is a solid, sturdy, heavy-duty, budget rowing machine that can accommodate people that weigh up to 350 pounds. 

The external design is simple and compact. It also mimics the authentic rowing motion, unlike many rowing machines. It has two arms on the side that you can hold when working out.

It operates by using an adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance system that has 12 setting levels to vary the intensity of your workout. The downside of this system is that the cylinder can get very hot after a few minutes of use and not offer much resistance. So, it is best for beginners, not for athletes or fitness experts.

The seat is padded for your comfort while the large, anti-slip foot pedals have an adjustable velcro strap to put your feet in place as you slide across the machine’s frame.

It has a digital monitor that displays your stroke counts, time, and total calories burnt.

Pros:

  • Can accommodate up to 350 pounds of weight
  • Sturdy design
  • Mimics the authentic rowing motion
  • Comfortable seat and foot pedals
  • 12 resistance levels
  • Display monitor
  • Tablet/iPad holder

Cons:

  • The hydraulic cylinder resistance system is only ideal for beginners because it heats up after a few minutes, lowering the resistance you have to work against.

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5. Sunny Health & Fitness Incline Full Motion Rowing Machine- Most Advanced

Sunny Health Incline Machine

This product is ideal for people who want a real full-body workout and significant resistance. Instead of using a magnetic or hydraulic resistance system, this rower is inclined, so there is real resistance and helps to work out many muscles in one stroke.

This rower is really heavy-duty. It can accommodate up to 350 pounds of weight without any problems. It’s built with good materials.

The arm position of this device helps you mimic the authentic rowing motion, giving you a full work out. There are 5 incline settings, so you can choose how difficult or how easy you want your session to be.

The digital monitor is located around the lower part of the device, it shows the number of calories burnt, the time, and stroke counts. 

The footpads and handlebars are anti-slip. They are also comfortable enough to give you a smooth rowing experience. 

Pros:

  • Ideal for experienced users 
  • Adjustable incline resistance
  • High weight capacity
  • Budget-friendly
  • Digital display

Cons:

  • Not ideal for beginners, it might be very physically tasking.
  • No option to row without an incline.

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What To Consider When Purchasing a Budget Rowing Machine

To ensure you get all the benefits of a rowing machine, you have to get a great one. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to shop for a budget rower.

1. Resistance System

Rowers operate on different systems. Some of these are:

  • magnetic
  • hydraulic cylinder
  • incline

The magnetic one is the more traditional one. It is durable and works well. The typical mechanism for this type is that you’ll be pulling on a horizontal handlebar that is connected to the frame of the rower via string.

The hydraulic cylinder is only good for beginners. After a few minutes of exercising on your rower, the cylinder heats up and could make the machine give little or no resistance to your pulls. It basically needs to cool down for you to get some resistance. 

The incline one uses gravity and your weight to create some resistance. It is very effective and probably offers the most resistance. It is ideal for pros and experienced fitness enthusiasts.

2. Storage

It is always good to buy a rower that has a compact design and can be stored easily. Many of these budget rowing machines are built for home use, so, it shouldn’t take up too much space. The compact ones are easily foldable. It’s a great advantage.

3. Durability

One way to find out how if a device is durable is to read reviews of people who had used it often for months. They’re in the best position to say if the device is just pretty but breaks up easily or if it can last really long. These reviews should not be ignored.

Another way to check for durability is to read the warranty terms. Solid products are usually backed by longer a longer warranty period and the manufacturer offers some form of buyer protection. So, if there are any defects in your rower, the manufacturer could repair it for free or send you a replacement.

4. Weight Capacity

It is important to cross-check the weight capacity of a rower before you purchase because you have to be sure that it can accommodate your weight. If you weigh more than the weight capacity, you may have problems using the device and may need to return it. This simple hack can save your time and money.

Conclusion

We have reviewed the top 5 budget rowing machines on the market and our top pick is this Sunny Health rower. We chose it because it is well-designed, affordable and durable. The other products listed are also awesome, depending on what your workout needs are. 

If you have used any of these products or know any other budget rower that we should add to this list, kindly let us know by leaving a comment. We’ll be happy to keep this review updated.

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