Besides a home gym station, you can also choose to have a smith machine to get a full home workout. Depending on which models you buy, you will most likely only need one without the other. If you already have a home gym, you probably don’t need a smith machine, but it’s best to know your options.
A smith machine allows you to do many types of exercise in one compact space. This article also talks about power racks that helps you lift heavier weights, since they serve similar functions. Either way, the purpose of this category is to make your solo workouts safe and efficient.
Obviously, the price tag for such a machine is quite high. If you are just starting out, it’s probably not recommended to buy one of these since you won’t need that many exercises yet. If you are working out for some time and know what you need, a smith machine can be a great way to save money building a home gym.
Here are 5 options you can find:
Best Smith Machine for Home (2017 Update)
|Marcy Diamond Elite||N/A||Over 100|
|PowerLine PSS60X||300 Lbs||A Few|
|BodyCraft F430||800 Lbs||Many|
|XMark Power Cage||500 Lbs||Many|
|Best Fitness BFPR10||500 Lbs||Some|
1 – Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System
The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System is what it says – an elite system. It’s a best seller because it has a lot to offer. It’s one of the most complete machines that give you various workouts from presses, curls and leg exercises. In fact, it can give you over 100 exercises, if you ever need that many! It’s also one of the most expensive options, but with the amount of what you can do with it, it justifies the higher price tag.
This machine can compete with what you find in hotel or apartment gyms. It combines a weight rack, smith machine, and pulley system in one package. Although the price is quite expensive, if you’re a gym goer, you might save money by using this machine instead of paying a gym membership.
This machine takes up 8 feet of height and around 100 square foot of space, so make sure you have a pretty wide workout room at home. You may even need more room than that to make sure you can access all sides of the machine (to replace weights). You also need to use Olympic weights with this system and you must buy them separately.
The product comes with a 2 year warranty. Assembly may be difficult for some people. It can take more than 6 hours for one or two people. The major complain with this machine is that there are missing parts during assembly. Since it is a complex machine, some parts wear out faster than others. You may need to make adjustments and replacements more often than you think.
- Over 100 exercises!
- Can save money if you exercise frequently
- Takes up a large space
- Assembly may be troublesome
2 – PowerLine PSS60X Squat Rack
The second most popular smith machine on our list is a humble PowerLine PSS60X Squat Rack. Although it’s small, it can be used for a variety of exercises. You can use it for presses, shrugs, squats, curls, rows and it’s ideal to add a bench, whether a flat, incline or decline one. The design is simple because it is simply made to hold the weight bar safely and securely.
Assembly is simple and takes around 20-25 minutes. This rack is great because it is cheap and can fit in small spaces if you are limited. You can adjust the height from 30 to 60 inches, and use it for a bench press or squat. This rack is made to work with a 7 foot Olympic bar. Of course, you need to purchase the bar and weights separately.
You can use this rack for up to 300 lbs of weight (if you want to use heavier weights than that, it’s better to get a bigger rack than this one). Some people report that the rack tilts and moves easily when heavy weights are placed on it. You may want to place this rack against a wall to prevent it from shifting around.
The product comes with a lifetime warranty. Although there are safety factors about this product that may turn you off, at this price level you can’t beat the PowerLine Squat Rack which gives a good workout at great value.
- Holds up to 300 lbs of weight
- Can be used for various exercises
- Cheap and fits in small spaces
- Not sturdy for heavy weights (above 300 lbs)
- Shifts and moves easily during usage
3 – BodyCraft F430 Power Rack
The BodyCraft F430 Power Rack is built for squats, lunges, and various leg workouts. It can hold up to 800 lbs, and is sturdy and safe. It’s cheaper than the Marcy Diamond Elite, but you have to combine the rack with other BodyCraft equipment, such as a lat station, dip handles and an incline bench to get a complete system. It includes a chin up bar, so with this one rack you can get a solid workout at home. The F430 is very sturdy and has lots of space for your home gym and even light commercial usage.
Assembly takes around 2-4 hours or faster if you have help. The pin system in this rack makes it safe for you to make adjustments to placement and weight. You must make sure you have the height for this rack (which is 83 inches). Even though there is plenty of space, the short height of this rack can make it difficult to do pull ups properly. There are other cheaper options than this, which means it isn’t the most affordable option, but the F430 is well-engineered and sturdy. On top of that, the F430 has a lifetime warranty.
- 800 lb capacity
- Pins for safe adjustment of exercise
- Must combine with other equipment to get a complete system
4 – XMark Fitness Power Cage with Dip Station and Pull-up Bar XM-4430
The XMark Fitness Power Cage comes with a pull up bar and dip station, which makes it a machine great for exercising your arms and chest. It has 24 adjustment positions for when you are lifting a weight bar, which gives you plenty of space for your needs. You have to buy a separate bench to use this cage for bench press exercises.
It can handle up to 275 lbs for the dip station and 325 lbs for the pull up bar for a total 600 lbs (but the specifications say it holds a max capacity of 500 lbs). Assembly is easy and there are no complaints about assembling it. One customer did complain that he received a defect product that didn’t work and immediately asked for a refund.
This rack has a fixed height, so make sure you have enough clearing if you plan to put it into a low room such as your basement. The connections sometimes sways or leans because they are not fully welded together (so be careful not to go over the maximum weight). The swaying occurs when you perform kipping movements. Some users of this power cage place weights on the back feet of the device to prevent it from moving too much.
- 500 lb capacity
- Has 24 adjustment positions
- Assembly is easy
- May sway when doing kipping movements
5 – Best Fitness BFPR10 Multi Press Rack
The Best Fitness BFPR10 is a multi press rack that allows you to perform calf raises, lunges and dead lifts among other moves for power building. It is designed with a reverse pitch that follows your body’s natural lifting motion so you can lift safely and securely.
This rack is sturdy and takes less space than a full power rack, but it can still hold up to 500 lbs of weight (though you may not want to use that much). Assembly is easy and can be done in 20 minutes on your own. With this rack, make sure you have a 7 ft long weight bar so it fits. If you have a shorter bar, this rack won’t work.
The reverse pitch design can be dangerous if you are a serious lifter and lifting very heavy weights. The support bar is at the bottom front of the rack, not the bottom rear. Some customers don’t feel safe and even say you can’t use this rack to do squat exercises, though other customers learn to adjust to it. Even so, this rack is a good choice for most people who aren’t competitive weight lifters.
- Assembly is easy
- Price is affordable
- Must use 7ft bar
- Support bar interferes with squat safety
Smith Machine Buying Guide
Buying a smith machine is an investment. Because these items are often large, they require a good amount of money. You want to make sure that you get your money’s worth. You can choose the machines we review here, but if you want to look at other brands, then follow this guide. Here are a few factors to consider when buying a smith machine:
1. Amount of Exercises
Different machines give you different amount of exercises. A complex machine like the Diamond Elite by Marcy can offer over a hundred exercises. That may sound cool, but do you really need that many?
Ask yourself what exercises you want in a machine? Maybe you do want to invest in an all-in-one solution so you can do all the exercises you want at home. But such a solution would come at a cost.
If you’re just starting out, then maybe an affordable option is a good choice, even if it means not getting that many exercise possibilities. If you know what you’re doing, a complete smith machine could be what you’re looking for.
2. Additional Equipment Necessary?
As you can see from the reviews above, some of the brands require you to purchase other equipment to complete the smith machine. You may have to purchase bars, benches, and weights if you want to expand your exercise options. Think about whether you want a machine that already has these items, or if you’re alright with purchasing additional equipment.
Buying additional equipment may give you a few headaches. You need to make sure that the size and dimension of the equipment match together. Sometimes, if you buy items separately, you may find out that they don’t fit well together AFTER you use them (especially if you buy different brands). In this case, buying a machine that is complete can offer you peace of mind knowing they are designed to fit.
3. Amount of Space Required
Smith machines are big and require space. If you have a dedicated gym room in your home, then you have many options available. But if you have tight space, you have to think and plan if the machine will fit in your room. Even if you have a dedicated room, you have to ensure that there is enough space in the surrounding area of the machine. You don’t want to not be able to reach a hole or pin because it’s close to the back wall.
Your budget is also an important consideration. But if you’re looking at smith machines, then you’re probably a fitness enthusiast and have already spent money on equipment and other items. Spending another few hundred dollars is within your reasonable allowance by now.
Exercise for Years to Come
As you can see, you really need to figure out which piece of equipment will suit your needs. Maybe you can go with a simple rack like the PowerLine, or maybe you need a full blown set like the Marcy Diamond Elite. Either way, make sure you have the space for these machines in your room, and pay attention to whether they are made for standard or Olympic sizes.
When you have a smith machine in your room, you mostly have all you need to workout. These will give you a good way to exercise for many years to come without having to add any extra equipment.