Tips to Help You When Buying a Rowing Machine

Are you aware that rowing is a first-rate way of enhancing aerobic fitness? Working out with rowing machines not only develops your cardiovascular system but additionally keeps your muscular system in fine fettle. Even so, buying a row machine can be a dicey affair for most people. Here is a rowing machine buyer’s guide to help you if you plan to buy one, but you can’t pinpoint where to start.


This might seem a no-brainer but it’s an aspect that you shouldn’t overlook. There is no point spending hours on end scouting for an ideal rowing machine only to find out that your space isn’t sufficient to accommodate it.

Hydraulic piston rowing machines will generally have a small footprint whereas the air and water resistance types will need bigger workout space. In a nutshell, ask yourself whether you have enough space before making a purchase.

Draft a Budget

This should go without saying now that the 21st century economy keeps getting harsher by the day. With the many rowing machines in the market, you won’t lack one with a price tag that is a perfect match for your wallet. What’s more, drafting a budget significantly narrows down the number of various models to choose from.

Ensure that you stick to your budget as this keeps impulse buying at bay. This is however not to say that you should incline towards the cheapest rowing machine in town because you’re likely to get what you pay for when it comes to the rowing machine world. It is no secret that the better part of negative reviews is from buyers that purchase low end rowing machines and expect them to offer the same quality as pricey models.

How Will the Rowing Machine Be Used?

The assumption is that you will use it for workouts, but additional concerns come into play when shopping for a rowing machine and this include:

Will It Be For Commercial Or Residential Use?

Indoor rowing machines will operate optimally at home, but it’s a different story when it comes to commercial use like in health clubs, gyms, and boathouses. If home use is what you have in mind, any rowing machine will do. On the flip side, if the rowing machine is for commercial purposes, it would be prudent to settle for commercial grade since it is built for heavy use.

Do You Prefer Off-Season Rowing?

If you are fond of water rowing, a machine that is able to simulate the conditions you are familiar with is the best. Water and air resistance rowing machines are what many off-season rowers prefer. You will love the experience if you settled for a machine that offers adjustable resistance and has a life-like rowing motion.

Will The Rowing Machine Be Shared?

Body fitness differs from person to person. In case the rowing machine will be changing hands every so often, the need to buy one that has adjustable resistance cannot be overemphasized. Such provision will be convenient since the machine will accommodate different users regardless of their fitness levels. Majority of rowing machines will come with adjustable resistance but it wouldn’t hurt to double check. It’s important to bear in mind that height and weight capacity differs from one machine to the other and you are advised to buy one that can suit the intended users.

Familiarize Yourself With the Different Rowing Machine Types

The market offers four different resistance types of rowing machines namely: Water, magnetic, air, and hydraulic piston. There are different characteristics attached to each of them. Learning a tad more about each type will give you a deeper understanding about their mode of functioning. This empowers you to narrow down your search since you will have identified the type able to serve you best. Let’s delve a little more on the different rowing machine types.


This type is common in health clubs and gyms. The rowing intensity by the user is what that determines the resistance level; the higher the intensity, the higher the resistance, and vice versa. Though the fan blades could sometimes make moderate noise, they make up for this by making the rowing experience a smooth ride.

Hydraulic Piston

This will probably be the cheapest compared to the others. This type boasts of being compact as well as easy to store whenever it is not being used. The resistance emanates from the hydraulic pistons that are known to operate quietly, and they additionally make it possible for the user to adjust resistance.


This is the way to go if durability is what you need not to mention maintenance is rarely needed. Resistance is provided by the magnetic breaking system that operates quietly. The resistance can be adjusted and you can rest assured of a smooth rowing motion and it’s normally less when compared to water and air rowers.


This one offers a realistic rowing motion since it sounds and feels as if you are truly rowing on water. The resistance is dependent on rowing intensity by the user making it similar to the air resistance type. Expect a fair amount of noise due to movement of oar blades through the water, but you’re assured of serenity because it is no different to outdoor rowing noise. Keep in mind that this will likely carry the highest price tag.

Read Reviews On Your Preferred Rowing Machine

You will already have an idea on the rowing machine model you prefer as well as the amount you are willing to shell out by now. Now that the digital age is here with us, you can access reviews without having to pluck out your hair now that they are readily available at the click of a button online. Check out a neutral platform since the manufacturer’s website will offer reviews that are biased, and the retailer’s webpage might not offer enough details that give you a clear picture about the machine. As you go through the reviews, it is imperative to figure out particular details about the rowing machine you intend to buy such as:

  1. Quality of material used to build the machine
  2. Does it have special features such as a performance monitor that will furnish you with workout data?
  3. Are the handles, seats, and footrests comfortable?
  4. Does the machine make bizarre noises when being used?
  5. What are the thoughts of other owners and users?
  6. Will storage be an issue?


You have probably heard of cases where consumers pay top-dollar for a machine only for it not to work the moment they get home.  It would be an ugly experience if you were to buy a rowing machine and it developed mechanical issues a few days later. In order to keep such issues at bay, it would be in your best interest to buy a machine that comes with warranty. This is a sure fire way to get a refund, or a replacement in case the rowing machine malfunctioned.

Final Thoughts

Truth be told, buying a rowing machine is no mean task. With the many options to go by, you are likely to get confused when shopping for one. There is however no need to throw in the towel because the above mentioned are recommendations that will ensure the process becomes easy as a duck takes to water