Best Magnetic Rowing Machines in 2018: The Ultimate Guide for Rowers

Magnetic rowing machines are as golden as you think them to be. Their friction-freer resistance makes them the best option for fitness aficionados that would love to row in solitude. Unlike hydraulic rowing machines, magnetic rowers are pocket-friendly, so – of course – they won’t break the bank. Perhaps one of the things we love about magnetic rowing machines is that they have the true-to-life cycle strokes, something many hydraulic machines don’t even come close.

​In this guide, we will go through the top 10 best magnetic rowing machines, and examine their features to determine whether they can give you the biggest bang for your bucks.

In summary: Our Top 3 Picks of the Top Magnetic Rowers

1) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is one of the cheapest rowing machines on the market, a perfect choice for people who are on budget. Moreover, this machine is feature-packed. From an LCD monitor to adjustable resistance, the SF-RW5515 has everything you would look for in a rowing machine on the market.

2) Kettler Home Fitness Equipment is one of the most expensive magnetic rowing machines on the market. While the pricing point is as scary as hell fire, it has a good weight capacity of 280 pounds, and it comes with 12 preset workout programs that let you get the most out of your exercise session.

3) Stamina Avari features preset workout programs that let you get the most out of your workout sessions. The LCD display monitor lets you in on a number of workout stats, including an estimate of calories burned, count, total count, distance, strokes per minute, and the total distance covered.

​Best Rowing Machines Reviews

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine LCD Monitor SF-RW5515
  • Magnetic tension System with (8) levels of adjustable resistance
  • Large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, Scan
  • Fully padded seat and non-slip grip handlebars for optimal comfort
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • Built in transportation wheels for easy portability; maximum user weight 250 lbs

Given that most rowing machines have hefty prices, it’s quite a relief to learn that Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 doesn’t break the bank. For a rowing machine that costs less than $500, you perhaps don’t expect tons of good features yet. But for the SF-RW5515, you get tons of features at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

Magnetic Resistance

This rowing machine features eight levels of adjustable resistance, which can be easily adjusted by a simple twist of the tension knob. Your level of resistance depends on the intensity of the exercise that you want. For beginners, it is best to start from the simplest level and then move up the ladder later.

The LCD Console

The computer console is an important part of this rowing machine. Without it, you wouldn’t know the approximate number of calories you burn during every rowing session. This display also lets you in on scan, display time, as well as the total count of your rows.

The Wheels

 The machine even comes with transportation wheels. This makes it easy for you to move the whole system from one spot of your workout space to another, without using a lot of your strength.

​2. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Coach E Rowing Machine

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Coach E Rowing Machine
  • Users can select from a total of 12 programs, including programs with Heart Rate Control that automatically adjust resistance in order to maintain one's target heart rate
  • LCD high resolution display is easy to read and calibrated for maximum accuracy, providing workout data: Time, Distance, Energy Consumed, Strokes, Pulse Rate and Frequency
  • Our Brake System provides an extensive range of variable and frictionless electromagnetic resistance for a smooth and challenging workout; Resistance can be adjusted from 25 watts to 500 watts for a custom challenge
  • Thick padding on seat provides maximum comfort and combines with top grade rollers to yield exceptionally smooth performance along the chrome plated steel rails
  • Biomechanically correct footplates offer a natural pivoting action, providing a full longitudinal rowing motion; Frame is made of high carbon steel and powder coated and has a lifetime warranty against breakage

Kettler Home E Rowing Machine isn’t one of the most common fitness gadgets on the market. Yet it’s feature-packed so much that it’s worth trying. In fact, if you are looking for a rowing machine that has 12 preset workout programs, holds up to 285 pounds of weight capacity, and a wide range resistance, we recommend that you try this one.

The Pricing Point

Kettler Home isn’t one of the best budget-friendly rowing machine on the market. With over $500 for the asking price, you’d want to avoid this one if you are on a budget. But if budget is not your issue, then it is fine to invest in this, especially if you have a taste for just about any brand out there.

Weight Capacity

Kettler Home Rowing Machine can hold up a maximum weight of 285 lbs. For persons weighing under this weight, this machine is perfectly fine. But given that cheaper options can support a maximum weight of up to 300 lbs, Kettler Home may not be a good solution for people who are on budget.

Special Workout Programs

One of the best things about this rowing machine is the fact that it comes with 12 preset workout programs. With these programs, you can try different exercises, until you meet your fitness needs.

​3. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Avari Stamina A350-700 Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower, Black/Silver
  • 12 workout programs including 6 cardio Profiles, 1 Manual, 4 Custom user programs and 1 Heart rate program
  • Fitness monitor keeps you motivated by tracking time, count, distance, calories, strokes per minute, pulse and watt
  • Use the up and down arrows on the In Touch Fitness Monitor to adjust workout time and resistance on the fly
  • LCD backlit fitness monitor
  • Extruded aluminum rowing beam

Stamina Avari comes with an In Touch Fitness Monitor and 12 programmable workout programs to help you get the most out of your workout session. The rowing beam is made of aluminum, and that’s why this machine has a smooth rowing motion. The large padded seat boost user’s comfort and the padded handle is non-slip for easy and continuous rowing.

The Preset Programs

Without the preset workout programs, Stamina Avari wouldn’t be as good a rowing machine as it is. In fact, the workout programs help you to do different exercises, making this rowing machine fun to use.

LCD Fitness Monitor

The LCD Fitness Monitor was added to this rowing machine to inspire you to continue working out even more. By seeing your workout data, you get the motivation to exercise even more, until you become the fit person you want to become. The workout data include calories burned, time, pulse, watts, strokes per minute, count, time, and distance.

Good Warranty

 Stamina Avari has a very good warranty. With a 3-year frame protection and 90 days parts coverage, you can use this rowing machine with the assurance of customer support in case something goes wrong just like seen in these rowing machine reviews. That’s as long as the warranty period doesn’t elapse.

​4. Stamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Stamina Multi-Level Magnetic Resistance Rower, Compact Rowing Machine
  • Aluminum rowing beam for smoother seat sliding; ball-bearing rollers for smooth rowing stroke; durable rowing strap that's built to last; 8 levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance
  • Multi-functional workout monitor that tracks total strokes, strokes per minute, workout time, distance and calories burned
  • Pivoting footplates for larger range of motion; foot straps for added security; comfortable padded, molded seat; foam rowing handle for secure, comfortable grip
  • Phone/water bottle holder to hold drinks, remotes or cell phones during workout; built-in wheels for portability
  • Upgraded floor protectors; stores easily on end

Someone who is on a budget won’t easily break the bank for a rowing machine. Fortunately, Stamina 1110 is the most pocket-friendly magnetic rowing machine on the market right now. Whether you want to expand your existing home gym or you just want to start with a rowing machine on a budget, Stamina 1110 would be a good system to start with.


Stamina 1110 is not just cheap. It is also lightweight.  Given that it is not heavy, you can move it from one spot to another with ease, especially during storage.  Unfortunately, this rowing machine does not have transportation wheels so you do need to use some effort to move it around.

Workout Monitor

Stamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine has a multi functional workout monitor that lets you stay motivated during your workout sessions. With this monitor, you are able to see workout time, distance covered, total strokes, as well as strokes per minute.


Comfort is the number one thing that Stamina cannot compromise. Even for cheap, Stamina 1110 features a well padded seat that lets you use the machine for hours without worrying about your butts getting hurt or your body getting too uncomfortable in the process.

​5. Merax Indoor Magnetic Rowing Machine

Merax MS037153BAA Indoor Magnetic Rowing Machine Folding Exercise Rower
  • Resistance tension knob - complete with 8 levels to adjust your workout to your capabilities
  • Seat padding for prolonged comfort - double padded and upholstered seat for optimum comfort and support
  • Large LCD display -Track your workout: LCD monitor that displays your time, live second-by-second rowing count, calories, and total rowing count
  • Silent 15 degree angled seat rail & built-in magnetic flywheel: downward 15 degree angled smooth glide seat rail and quiet magnetic flywheel for a smooth and efficient workout
  • Folding frame and built-in wheels make this product both durable and easy to store. assembled dimensions: 73 L x 16 w x 21 H inches; folded: 26 L x 16 w x 49 H inches; weight capacity: 264 lbs

From price to function, Merax Indoor Rowing Machine has what anyone would look for in a rowing machine. For less than $500, you get a high quality, durable machine that you can use for workout for a very long time. It is a good option for advanced fitness trainees as well as beginners who are looking for a new gadget for their home gym.

LCD Monitor

This rowing machine features a rowing machine with a large LCD display.  The purpose of the machine is to show total count, an estimate of calories burned, count, and time. What’s more, this monitor lets you have total control on your workout routine, so you can quantify your fitness goals and work toward achieving them.


You will love this rowing machine because of its comfort. First, the seat has angled rail for smooth and efficient motion, letting you get the most out of your rowing session. Second, rowing machine also has a magnetic flywheel that helps to reduce noise during rowing. Another function of the flywheel is to ensure there is a smooth feel of the machine during your workout session.

Adjustable Resistance

This rowing machine lets you take your workout to the next level by letting you switch up the intensity of your exercise session with the magnetic adjustable resistance levels. To adjust the resistance, twist the resistance knob to increase or decrease the intensity of your exercise. The goal is to make workout more challenging and effective throughout your exercise session.

​6. XTERRA ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower

XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower
  • Compact frame design folds up for easy storage or Transport when not in Use
  • Dual extruded aluminum seat slide rails mounted to a steel frame provides incredibly smooth and Stable motion
  • Large 3.7 inch LCD monitor features an easy-to-read Adjustable angle with all the necessary information - clearly displays elapsed time, stroke count, calories, total count, and scan
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance is accessed through a Dial resistance knob mounted conveniently right in front of you
  • Magnetic resistance System is friction-free for smooth, quiet, and maintenance-free operation

XTERRA ERG200 is a solid built magnetic resistance rower. It is a budget friendly option, and it is made of high quality, durable materials, which means it will last for a very long time before the need for repair or replacement arise. Also, it is one of the most feature-packed magnetic rowers on our list.

Performance Monitor

The performance monitor is one of the technological advancements that make XTERRA EGR200 stand out. This monitor displays all the necessary fitness data in real time. The workout data displayed include total count, stroke count, an estimate on the number of calories burned, and time. The data displayed on the performance monitor not only motivates you to exercise even more, but also allows you to set and work towards accomplishing new fitness goals.  

Transport Wheels

There will be instances when moving this rowing machine from one spot to another becomes necessary. That’s why the machine has sturdy transportation wheels. The transportation wheels are especially important if you will have to store the machine after every workout session.


This magnetic rowing machine features 8 levels of magnetic resistance.  The resistance is easy to increase or decrease depending on your level of exercise. To adjust the resistance, twist the dial resistance knob mounted on the machine, right in front of you.

​7. Fitbill Smart Indoor Rowing Machine with Free Workout App

fitbill Rowing Machine Rower with Bluetooth Smart Technology, Workout App, Magnetic Resistance, Folding Design and High Weight Capacity
  • SMART ROWING EXERCISE - Fitbill iOS&Android app tracks your strokes, speed, distance and calories and your workout data is saved in cloud automatically and safely
  • ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE - 10 levels of resistance simulates various surfing experience/rowing exercise for different levels of users
  • FOLDABLE & PORTABLE - Simply pull a pin to fold up; Caster wheels allow you to roll it into position
  • QUIET & LOW-MAINTENANCE - Operating sound <30db; Less noise and low maintenance comparing air and water rowing equipment
  • LARGY HEAVY-DUTY - Product Dimensions: 81.5"L x 20"W x 24"H; Folded: 45"L x 20"W x 55"H; Slide Rail: 55"; Max User Weight: 300 lbs

Fitbill is the new kid on the block that’s rocking the fitness market with high quality fitness equipment. The brands Smart Indoor Rowing Machine is feature-packed like its budget brothers. And it doesn’t cost anything above $500, so it’s still affordable. Because workout tracking is automated, you do not need a pen and a paper to record your workout data manually.

Easy to Assemble

One of the best things about Fitbill magnetic rowing machine is how easy it is to put together. Fitbill says that you do not need any kind of training to setup the machine because the assembly process is straightforward. Overall, it should take you less than 30 minutes to assemble this product.

Easy to Move Around

More often than not, you never think that you will move a rowing machine from spot to spot until when you have to. For the sake of mobility, this rowing machine has caster wheels on the front for easy movement.

An App for Android and iOS

Fitbill is the only rowing machine on this list that has an app for Android and iOS. The app let you synchronize your fitness data to your mobile phone in the shortest time possible. The apps are well designed, so they should be easy to use.

​8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine Rower w/ Digital Monitor

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine Rower w/Digital Monitor
  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Comfortable, smooth running seat
  • Pivoting foot plates for added comfort
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Electronic monitor displays time, count, total count, calories burned, scan

 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is the best magnetic rowing machine for people who are under budget. In fact, if you are looking for a high quality, durable, and sturdy magnetic rowing machine under $100, you won’t go wrong with the SF-RW1205.

The Digital Monitor

This machine comes with a digital display monitor that displays a number of fitness metrics. But the monitor is quite basic, to be honest. It only shows basic workout data, which are calories burned, total count, count, scan, and time. This monitor doesn’t have any preset workout program.

Adjustable Resistance

As basic and cheap as this magnetic rowing machine is, it has 12 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance, making it a better option than all the resistance we’ve so far reviewed on our list. Because of the higher resistance level, this rowing machine is good for people who would like to engage their bodies in highly intense workout.


If the seat weren’t comfortable, you wouldn’t really get the best out of this rowing machine. Apparently, the sea is smooth, making it comfortable for long hours of rowing. The pivoting footplates of the machine also add to the comfort that you need to keep working out for long.

9. Stamina Products Conversion II Rower

Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike/Rower
  • Combination rowing machine and recumbent exercise bike for total body workouts
  • Rower allows additional upper body strengthening exercises, including bicep curls, triceps kickbacks and forearm curls
  • Machine also doubles as a leg press when you attach the rowing handle to the seat hook
  • New, sleek multi-function electronic monitor with a larger LCD display for easier reading; tracks speed, distance, time, calories burned, and pulse
  • Hand pulse sensor built into grips to measure heart beats per minute

Stamina Conversion II looks more like a recumbent exercise bike, but it is in actual sense a magnetic rower. This machine has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. Measuring 74.5 by 25.5 by 10 inches, this is one of the most compact rowing machines out there, a good option for fitness maniacs that are limited on workout space at home.

​10. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Velocity Exercise Black Magnetic Rower
  • Resistance: DMC System (drum magnetic control)
  • Electronic tension control
  • Large PU molded saddle & foldable and space saving
  • The machine Comes equipped with a heart RATE monitor chest strap to monitor your heart RATE for intense cardio training
  • Beam: anodized aluminum profile + rectangular tubing support.The maximum weight capacity for the rower is 275lbs

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower hit the jackpot quite well when it comes to quietness. It is so quiet that you can row in the living room while watching TV with your loved ones. The pricing is a little bit high, so it might not appeal to the fitness aficionados who are on a tight budget.

Heart Rate Monitor

This rowing machine comes with a heart rate monitor, so you can keep an eye on your heart rate as you workout. More often than not, a few rows will raise your heart rate quite fast. So you can use the heart rate chest strap to keep your heart rate within the appropriate workout zone.

Preset Workout Programs

This rowing machine was designed to help you take your exercise to the next level. It comes with six preset workout programs that you can interact with to get the most put of your workout session. And with adjustable magnetic resistance, you can increase or decrease the intensity of your workout to a level of your preference.

Display Console

The display console lets you see your fitness data in real time.  The data include calories burned, stroke count, total count, and distance. The monitor also lets you set custom starts, so you do have some control here. You can even set your heart rate so that the machine automatically adjusts the resistance to align with your pulse.

Buyer’s Guide

Here are four things to keep in mind before you buy a magnetic rowing machine.

Weight Limitation

 Never buy a magnetic rowing machine from a brand that doesn’t declare the weight limit of their rowing machines.


Magnetic rowing machines have different price range. Consider a machine that’s within the range of your budget.


Every manufacturer has a different warranty plan. It is best to consider a brand that offers 3 to 5 years of protection on the frame, particularly if you are spending more on the machine.


At the end of the day, these rowing machines have so many health benefits, and that’s why they are more valuable like other home gym equipment. Whether you want to strengthen your cardiovascular endurance, lose weight, increase stamina, or build muscles, you can use any of these 10 best magnetic rowing machines to do so.