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Top 6 Rowers under 500 - Rowing Machine Reviews 2018

Updated on January 17, 2018

What's here!

I say rowing machine is better than treadmills, elliptical trainers or exercise bikes because a rowing machine gives you full body workout in less time than the others. You burn more calories in a rowing machine than other equipment in the same amount of time. It is also low impact meaning your joints and knees will not be affected by the exercise.

If you want to know more about the benefits of rowing machine and what all factors to look for when buying one, visit Rowing Machine Buying Guide

Deciding a budget for buying an exercise equipment is hard. You have to consider several things like how long are you gonna use it, is it only for you or for the whole family, can you maintain it, do you have enough floor space etc and all these factors should come under the budget.

Lets say you have decided a maximum amount to spend but choosing the best rowing machine within that amount is even harder because unlike old days, now there are a lot of brands and machines to select from. We don't know which is good and which is bad. So here is the list to ease your search to find the best of best rowing machines under $500.

Kettler Favorit vs LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 vs Stamina 1215 Orbital vs Stamina Air Rower vs Stamina Avari Free Motion vs Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

stamina avari free motion
stamina avari free motion

#6 Stamina Avari Free Motion Rower

The Stamina Avari A350-500 Free Motion is a basic model rower worth the money. The machine is extremely easy to assemble out of the box, the clear written user manual points the simple procedure. You may find the seat to be a bit hard but you will get used to it. Or you can use a foam layer.

The rowing position and action is very smooth compared to others in the same price range. Users up to 5 feet 10 inches can benefit maximum from the machine. Taller customers may not be able to perform full stroke due to the shortness of the rail. The footplates are strong, sturdy and comfortable.

The machine uses hydraulic resistance system to do the job. It is cheap and effective for beginners. You can manually change the resistance levels for maximum intensity workout using a collar under the beam.

The display is a bit disappointing factor though. Avari Free Motion has a small display which is difficult to read from distance. But once you are near it, you can see the time, distance, strokes performed and calories burned.

Overall Stamina Avari Free Motion is a budget rowing machine for beginners.

Warranty: 1 year frame, 90 days parts and labor

Read User Reviews

Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine
Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

#5 Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

This one is the cheapest home rowing machine in the list yet its performance makes it worth considering. I am afraid you will not get a better deal under $100 than this. The machine is light weight and provides movement to all major muscle groups without damaging your joints.

It is easy to assemble and you can start rowing within minutes of opening the box. The machine is compact, can be folded and you can store it anywhere you want. Weighing only 24 pounds, it can be easily moved around. It also features 12 levels of adjustable resistance to test your workout intensity.

Resistance can be adjusted easily without interrupting your workout. The seat glides smoothly and comfortably and can accommodate up to 220 pounds. There is an electronic monitor which displays distance, time and calories burned.

Well, with the low price tag, there come some drawbacks also. This machine cannot accommodate tall people over 6 feet. It is not so quiet also. You may hear a creeky sound because of the friction between the pin and frame.

At $78, Sunny health and fitness rowing machine provides fundamental low-impact workout. This basic fitness equipment is suitable for beginners who do not want to spend much on a rowing machine and those who prefer compact equipment.

Warranty: 1 year frame, 90 days parts

Rating: 8.4/10

Price: $109.00 . 28% OFF at Amazon. Final Price: $78.60

User reviews, Pictures and More

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

A review: "The hydraulic piston adjusts easily and goes from real easy to real difficult."

Stamina Air Rower 1399
Stamina Air Rower 1399

#4 Stamina Air Rower 1399 Rowing Machine

From one of the most reputed fitness equipment manufacturers, Air Rower 1399 can be classified as the best rowing machine under $300. It is low impact, provides full body workout without damaging your joints and knees.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 is made of stainless steel and plastic material, not the strongest but strong enough to accommodate 250lbs. Another feature that makes this one unique is the portability. The machine is foldable and fully portable. It will not take up more than 2.5 meters of your floor space when installed.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 is fairly easy to assemble, maximum 1 hour. All the tools are included in the package and the user manual with diagrams is very easy to understand. This compact rower is perfect for those who live in small apartments and it can be moved around also making use of the transport wheels.

Based on the air resistance system, you get a smooth and realistic rowing experience than magnetic or hydraulic-piston resistance system. However, it is a little bit noisy than the latter.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 has got a lightly padded seat and firm grippy handles. The machine sits strong in the ground and the foot pedals are also sleek and comfortable. No matter how furious you row, it will not shake or budge at all.

Air resistance varies according to your rowing intensity. The faster you row, more intense it will be. This machine mainly focuses on biceps, chest, back muscle and quadriceps beside other muscles. The LCD screen displays time, calories burned, distance and strokes.

Other than the noisy rowing, Air Rower 1399 is completely worth the money. If you are cool with the humming sound of rowing, and your budget is $300, this one is the perfect choice.

Warranty: 3 years frame, 90 days parts

Rating: 8.4/10

Price: $400.00 (25% OFF at Amazon. You get it for $299.00)

User reviews, Pictures and More

Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399

A review: "It gives a terrific, total body workout...tones all the muscles, gives good cardio exercise, and offers plenty of resistance."

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine
Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

#3 Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

Stamina once again proves their excellence in manufacturing quality rowing machines at much less price tag through their new 1215 Orbital rowing machine. As it is based on the hydraulic piston resistance, you won’t hear a single noise while rowing plus it can be used for full body workout without damaging your joints and knees.

Orbital rowing machine has 5 levels of variable resistance which helps you to get maximum output from the machine. The LCD display shows distance, time, calories burned and stores data for a week. You will not find any difficulty in tracking your progress.

Another useful feature is the adjustable arms. You can set resistance for each arm. The thick padded seat makes your workout comfortable and you can go longer than you think without getting uncomfortable.

Orbital rowing machine is lightweight so it can be stored easily. But it is not foldable. Another drawback we found is the footrests have no pivoting capacity. Some users may find it annoying. The machine can hold up to 250lbs.

Overall stamina 1215 orbital rowing machine is affordable, quiet and medium-duty for home exercise.

Warranty: 5 years frame, 90 days parts

Rating: 8.7/10

Price: $400.00 ( You get it at $247.48. 38% OFF)

User reviews, Pictures and More

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms
Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

A review: "I am very pleased with my new Rowing Machine, it is a very well made product and it is perfect for my needs!!"

LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Rowing Machine
LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Rowing Machine

#2 LifeSpan Fitness RW1000

This award winning rower is an excellent deal under 500 with its super quiet motion and sturdy construction. It is a magnetic resistance rower with adjustable resistance equally suitable for beginners and pros.

The ultra-smooth and quiet rowing motion is because of the 16.5 heavy weight flywheel and magnetic resistance system. The variable resistance of 5 levels can be changed by turning a knob below the control panel.

The RW1000 comes with multi-screen LCD display which shows distance, time, calories, strokes per min and stroke count. The monitor will automatically turn off after a few minutes of inactivity saving battery power. But the drawbacks are the display lacks a backlight and the machine lacks storage facility to monitor workout progress.

As for the build quality, we can give 5 stars for the solid steel frame and top notch quality parts. The machine is sturdy enough to hold 300 pounds.

The machine is also very comfortable to use. You can adjust the seat height making it suitable for rowing for a long time. The straight handle is grippy and comfortable. Footrests are also grippy and spacious.

At this price point, it is interesting to see that the machine is foldable, compact and portable. It has transport wheels to move around and lock pins to fold the machine (just remove them, it’s easy).

It is easy to assemble and the instruction manual is understandable and easy to follow. Another useful thing is that the seat moves up pretty far so that short people can also use the machine with no issues. The seat rail is fairly long which means tall people also find it comfortable.

Warranty: 5 years frame, 2 year parts

Rating: 9.0/10

Price: $699.99 (Get it for $424.99 at Amazon. 39% OFF)

User reviews, Pictures and More

LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine
LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

A review: "If your a novice to rowing such as me and are wanting to find a very effective machine to get a solid workout i would recommend this one."

Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine
Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

#1 *Winner* Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

Kettler is a German company that specializes in the fitness equipments manufacturing like rowers, treadmills and exercise bikes. Kettler is one of the most reliable manufactures on the market now. With their new Favorit rowing machine, they captured the ‘mid-price’ rowing machine market.

Kettler Favorit Rowing machine is designed for a full body workout while mostly aiming for to maximize the fat loss on hips, arms and thighs. The machine is easy to assemble; you just have to follow the manual carefully. All the tools for the assembly are included in the bundle.

Once assembled, the machine is very user friendly also. It can hold up to 285 lbs, which is pretty good at this price range. It is made of sturdy aluminum and steel, so that you don’t have to worry about breaking or other wear and tear for a long period. It also has foldable handles for easy and compact storage.

The machine is based on hydraulic piston resistance, which is the quietest and lowest priced and it works on 2 AA batteries. You don’t need any other power source.

Since the machine works on hydraulic piston resistance, its functioning is smooth and noiseless. The footplates and the thickly padded seat which is little raised at the rear add to the comfort.

The resistance is adjustable and is very easy to do so; the controls are situated right on the arms. The machine is extremely stable on the ground. It has got a LCD display which shows distance, time, pulse rate, calories, frequency and strokes. It continuously monitors heart rate also. The data is stored in the internal memory, for a week.

Kettler Favorit is easy to use and easy to clean. It can be used equally by both beginners and experts, young and old. In fact, this machine promises low impact on joints and muscles to lessen any risk of tears and aches.

No doubt this is the best rowing machine under $500, you will not be disappointed buying this. I guarantee.

Warranty: Lifetime frame, 3 years parts

Rating: 9.5/10

Price: $399.00

User reviews, Pictures and More

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine
Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

A review: "The resistance is good too, at its lowest setting it's pretty easy, so you can do an aerobic workout, and on it's highest setting I can hardly pull it back."



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