Best Rowing Machines For Fitness Seekers In 2018 | A Thorough Evaluation

You want to get in your desired shape, right? It is not like moving or scaling a mountain. It does not require you to hit the road frequently either. Only the best rowing machine, if you can really manage to buy one, can help with the most of your tasks.

Rowing machines have become popular for they provide users a solid reason to deny the stressful efforts outside of home just for the sake of fitness. Seeing the rising prominence of the machines, manufacturers are also in a competition to bring about newer models with more sophisticated mechanisms and digital features which are, in turn, making it difficult for buyers to make a choice.

With keen interest in figuring out the right rowing machine, we have made a selection of rowing machines to make sure that every individual has a choice to make to perform targeted and full body workouts.

Best Rowing Machines To Look For In 2018

The following products are some of the most popular rowing machines on the market. We have included each of them in view of their performance, price, durability, ease of use, assembly, and other factors. We hope you will find your desired piece of equipment from the list.

We know it is often an irksome job to find a suitable piece of equipment that works great for you. So, we are going to take some more of your time to help you overcome this unending dilemma. We have brought you a set of factors that you need to consider. We promise the considerations will be worth your time.

Things to consider

There is a misconception surrounding the types of rowing machines. In fact, we classify these workout machines in view of the mechanisms they involve. Read this brief overview of each type of the rowing mechanisms along with their benefits and downsides to help you learn more about the science that works behind the resistance you expect from the machines.

Air Rower

This type of rowing machine yields resistance through airflow over a built-in flywheel. A chain connects the wheel to the handle of the rowing machine. An attempt to pull the handle spins the flywheel. If you row fast, the flywheel spins fast through the air, and the resistance level will be high. The right rowing machine for home comes with additional dampers that can alter the airflow to make changes to the feel of the stroke.


  • Wide range of resistance
  • Automatically adjustable resistance as per the user’s stroke rate.
  • Smooth action
  • Less vulnerability to damage or wear


  • Less than an ideal choice for indoor use

Water Rower

This type uses a water flywheel in the form of paddles, located in an enclosed water tank and connected to handles and a chain. As the user pulls back on the flywheel, it revolves in the water, an action that brings about a frag against the flywheel. Thus, the user gets the resistance. The same rule as that of an air rower applies when you want higher or lower resistance.


  • Quiet operation
  • Smooth resistance on a consistent basis
  • Little to no maintenance required


  • More space required for storage
  • More expensive than air rowers

Magnetic Rower

A chain attaches the flywheel to the handle, and a few magnets are the key parts of the mechanical componentry. The varying distance between a spinning flywheel and strong magnets is what this type of rowers works through. Some models in this category comes with an upgrade like a digital console or mechanical slider to adjust the resistance level.


  • Almost silent operation
  • Wide range of resistance
  • Space-saving design
  • Little to no ‘maintenance’ requirement


  • No simulation as in a water rower

Hydraulic Rower

This type has some pistons connected to the handles that are the pivotal elements to create resistance. The user has to pull against the fluid or air in the cylinder. For adjustments of resistance, the clamps or levels do the trick.


  • Known as the best inexpensive rowing machine
  • Foldable, space-saving models
  • Relatively quiet operation


  • Little to no smoothness in rowing actions
  • Changes noticed in the resistance levels with the heating of oil inside
  • Regular maintenance required

Do not ignore the noise issue

  • If your living place does not allow noise, the best rowing machine for you will be the water or magnetic rowers.
  • If noise matters little, you can pick any of the air or hydraulic models for the distinct benefits they offer.

Think about the floor

  • If you love the wooden floor and want to place your rowing machine on the floor, you need to look for one that produces high resistance but very low vibration.
  • If your floor offers a little space, you may consider buying one of the hydraulic rowers because of their smallest sizes.

Final Verdict

Our final advice is that you try to discover the reasons why you want a rower.

If you are a fitness professional needing to buy a rower for the gym, you should get the models built to serve multiple users. These rowers are often known as the commercial rowing machines. For rowing at home, you can buy models with the less bells and whistles but more rowing benefits to offer.

We have tried to cover as many fundamental factors involved in the search for the best rowing machine. The rest of the matter depends on how much you want to pay for. Now, we hope you have your answers. Happy buying!