Weight lifting is an incredible way of toning your body, increasing muscle mass as well as improving the overall physical performance.
However, lifting large amounts of weights, such as professional bodybuilding or weightlifting, requires having the right tools, and this is where the Smith machines can be your best friend.
The Best smith machines are fantastic fitness equipment that will let you get in prime shape in no time at all.
For novice to intermediate trainers, Smith Machines offer a great starting point for building the initial strength and gaining muscle mass. This is especially true if the Smith exercises are combined with free weights setups.
For the advanced users, Smith users are incredible at augmenting strength as well as muscle gains through the dedicated free weight training.
However, the market is awash with a dime dozen smith machines, and singling one for your needs seems like a Herculean task.
This is why we’ve created this comprehensive guide. In our Best Smith Machine review, we shall explore the top 5 machines and the market.
Further, we shall provide you with a comprehensive buying guide, exploring what you need to consider when purchasing a suitable smith machine for your needs.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
61 x 57.9 x 87.8
84 x 38 x 84
95 x 79 x 86
Other Great Recommendations
46.5 x 35 x 84.5
114 x 74 x 84
The Best Smith Machines In The Market For The Money!
Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer
The Inspire FT2 is the dream gym equipment for any fitness enthusiast.
Sporting a multitude of functional features such as dual weight stacks, multiple pulleys, and a boatload of included attachments, this unit is designed to replace an entire gym's worth of equipment.
Throw in the Smith bar, and you have an all-around fitness trainer like no other.
Sure, the Inspire Ft2 has impressive specs, but does it justify the substantial asking price?
Design: Frame Construction
The Inspire FT2 is built to withstand the test of time while providing quality overall body workouts.
Inspire FT2 comes with a heavy-duty round and rectangular frame construction, made from 11-gauge heavy-duty steel.
The heavy-duty frame construction feels sturdy and is durable.
Functionality aside, the matte black and chrome color scheme give the Inspire FT2 frame an elegant and professional look. The electrostatic powder coating, on the other hand, will prevent corrosion, rusting, and scratching.
At the core of the FT2 offer dual independent weight stacks, weighing 165 pounds.
The FT2 features a 1:2 pulley ratio, meaning that you’ll actually feel like you’re lifting half of the weight. Therefore, each stack offers a weight of approximately 82.5 pounds, without factoring in the weight multiplier.
However, if you’re looking for more resistance, you can add a set of two 50 pound stacks, and will give the Smith bar a maximum weight capacity of 360 pounds.
We love the independent dual weight stack as they allow users to either focus on both sides of the body or just on a single side, meaning they provide a well-balanced workout.
Again, the precision steel bearing on the Inspire FT2 moves smoothly, something that we only see in commercial-grade machines.
Here, the FT2 will provide smooth weight stack transitions, without the jerky and rough feel.
Weight resistance is probably the most integral component of any Smith Machine.
In any case, if the resistance is not challenging enough, there's no need for investing your hard-earned money in a trainer.
The Max resistance possible on the Smith machine is 360 pounds.
The higher resistance is attributed to the weight multiplier that can be used alongside the Smith bar.
The Force Multiplier is an impressive addition to this functional trainer, as it doubles the resistance, making the FT2 a viable option for both the newbies as well as seasoned trainers.
Contrary to most trainers that come with 2 or 4 pulley positions, FT2 functional trainer supports a total of 8 pulley positions.
Of the eight pulley positions, 2 are wide adjustable pulleys, 2 are narrow high points, and the other 4 are narrow, low points.
The different combinations on the pulleys system will offer a ton of workouts as well as customization options.
Speaking of customization, Inspire FT2 will allow you to adjust the pulleys up to 32 different settings. The different height adjustments mean the Inspire can be a proper fit for anyone, regardless of their height.
Going along with the above features, Inspire FT2 comes along with a host of essential accessories.
- Tricep rope for doing triceps extensions and curls
- Adjustable pull-bar adds to the overall variety of exercises offered by FT2
- The straight bar is used as an alternative to a barbell.
- EZ curl bar allows easy, bicep curls exercises.
- Sturdy steel construction
- Generous weight resistance
- Highly adjustable
- Accommodates a variety of trainers
- Tad expensive
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Whether you are looking to work with as little as 5 pounds of resistance or as much as 210 pounds, the Bowflex PR1000 can accommodate you.
The Bowflex PR1000 is highly versatile as it offers a full range of motions and will serve you up over 30 exercises.
The proprietary Power Rod Resistance system will offer maximum benefit from the exercises you perform.
For an entry-level home gym such as Bowflex PR1000, we can say that it offers superb quality.
While I can't say I was necessarily surprised because, for a long time, Bowflex has been offering premium products, it's just that most of the entry-level and budget smith equipment usually tend to lack in terms of design quality.
The steel frame construction on the Bowflex PR1000, and this makes the unit durable and sturdy.
The wide base, on the other hand, augments the stability of this unit, and you don't have to worry about this equipment toppling.
Rather than using free weights and pulleys, Bowflex PR1000 uses power rods to provide you with up to 210 pounds of weight resistance.
The benefits of the power rod compared to the traditional iron plates are that they’re both lightweight and compact.
What this means is you're saved form totting around with hundreds of pounds of steel plates to get ready for your next set.
The next benefit of the power rods is that they use inertia resistance, meaning you cannot cheat during exercising.
Finally, unlike the steel plates, the power rods deliver a smooth and fluid-like movement, and this is quite handy in preventing connective tissue injury.
In most cases, using a power rod is akin to using a bow and arrow.
Variety of Workouts
Bowflex PR1000 offers up to a whopping 30 exercises.
Like the best smith machines, Bowflex PR1000 comes with a leg extender and a curling station for leg strengthening.
Additionally, it features a lat bar for your upper body and arms. The low pulley station, on the other hand, is a suitable option for the upper and lower body exercises.
In a nutshell, Bowflex PR1000 will not limit you to what and number of exercises you can perform.
The gliding seat is yet another incredible component on the Bowflex that increases the utility of this unit.
The gliding set, constructed with premium duration leather padding for ultimate comfort, will provide the perfect seat rowing exercises.
Though the gliding seat is primarily meant for weight training, it similarly does allow for cardio exercises too.
Speaking of cardio, this unit includes a rowing machine rail that lets you add a form of cardio to your workout program.
Finally, we love that this machine can be folded.
While it’s quite big while in use, at least it can be folded down into a smaller package for easier storage.
- Variety of workouts
- Lower impact exercises than free weights
- Safe workout; no spotter required
- East to assemble
- Takes more space
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage is an all-in-one workout station for the serious fitness enthusiasts.
A reasonably priced piece of equipment, Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage has plenty of desirable features including press bar, dual-function leg developer, high cable cross overs, and more.
Unlike most of the smith equipment on our Best Smith Machine review, Mercy Cage is incredible light.
However, do not let the lightness of the Mercy trick you into thinking that it’s not a sturdy unit.
In reality, this equipment is constructed using 14 gauge heavy tubular steel frame.
Further, it comes with weight pegs that can hold up to 600 lbs.
The steel construction is further bolstered with anti-corrosion enamel, while the bars are chrome-coated for durability.
To sum up, the durability and sturdiness of this unit are not to be questioned.
The Smith system on the Marcy Diamond Elite offers a safe way of exercising.
Considering that the motion on this unit is more controlled, and you can quickly put the bar back in case of an emergency, the Marcy Diamond Elite is fairly safe to use.
And if the reviews are anything to go by, this unit can even be used without needing a spotter.
Again, we love the frame design with a seven-degree slant that will accommodate the natural motion of your body.
Adjustable Weight Bench
The bench on the Marcy Elite is quite flexible, allowing you to adjust it to incline, decline, and flat positions, therefore allowing for more exercises.
The seat further comes with a leg development that will ensure a smooth training experience.
The seat allows a maximum load of 300 pounds. While some of the fitness enthusiasts would have loved to see higher weight capacity, it’s still a decent one for the majority of individuals.
If you’re looking to add more variety to your chest workouts, you’ll love the butterfly station.
This station, featuring two well-padded simple arms, uses the resistance generated by the upright weight bar to offer incredible chest exercises.
Variety of Exercises
A highly versatile machine, the Mercy Elite will allow you to handle a variety of exercises all under a single roof.
Besides the Smith bar and bench that allows for bench and incline presses, the preacher curl will do wonders for your biceps.
The dual-function leg stations will greatly help with leg curls and rows.
The high dual crossovers are suitable for the arm and upper body exercises, while the pectoral and deltoid station will offer core strength training.
Summarily, the March Elite Smith Cage will allow you to work on virtually all muscle groups on your body.
- Sturdy construction
- Variety of exercises
- No free weights. You’ve to purchase yours
Fitness Reality 810XLT
The Fitness Reality 810XLT is a quality rack that will give you the confidence of performing the heavy power moves, safely, even if there’s no spotter around you.
Offering a weight bench combo that is both solid and affordable, the Fitness Reality 810XLT is a suitable option for those looking for any sort of workouts.
Constructed from 2-inch square steel and comes with a stable, robust base, the Fitness Reality 810XLT lets you experience stable and sturdy movements during moments of heavy lifting.
The base, in particular, is extremely stable that users did not have any issues with lateral movements when doing the heavy rack pulls.
For any power rack, the amount of walk-in space is a crucial buying consideration.
Space has to be sufficient enough to provide free movement of moves such as squats and deadlifts.
With the Fitness Reality 810XLT, you get an abundant of space.
The walk-in area on this unit is 50.5”, by 46.5” by 83.5”. While the dimensions do make up for a large footprint, but as long as you've space for it, space will be well utilized.
For such a budget option, the 800lb weight capacity is a fantastic feature.
Save for the extreme lifters, few individuals need this kind of weight capacity, meaning that this rack is suited to almost anyone from the beginners to advanced lifters.
The Fitness Reality 810XLT offers up to 28 hole spacings, and this gives you plenty of options regarding bar placement.
On the flip side, however, it's quite disappointing that the Fitness Reality 810XLT does not follow the Westside hole spacing pattern. While many of the users are okay with the 3” hole spacing, we generally like the 2” distance spacing.
A problem with the 3” spacing is that it affects bench pressing, as you won’t notice much of squatting.
However, if you’re a DIYer as I am, you can find some 1” plywood to put underneath your benching to achieve your desired 2”.
Safety is a key consideration when using a power rack, and the Fitness Reality 810XLT does not disappoint.
The two 23” dual mounted safety catches, which are further backed up by a pair of 3.25” safety pins, will guarantee maximum safety.
Both of these safety features are constructed from durable steel for optimal robustness
Pull Up Cage
Variety at its best, this unit features an overhead pull up cage, which will allow you to perform a variety of exercises.
Variety of exercises
- Generous weight capacity
- Sufficient space for performing a variety of movements
- Large footprint
Body Solid Series 7
Body Solid is a popular brand in the home strength training domain.
They offer a ton of premium products, pretty much every shape and size you can think of.
And today, we shall be looking at one of their popular offerings, the Body Solid Series 7.
The Body Solid Series 7 is a heavy-duty smith machine that comes with a variety of components and offers a variety of workouts, making the unit a complete home gym set.
Body Solid lives up to its name; a tough unit, Body Solid, will stand up to the severe punishment of many workouts.
When fully assembled, the Body Solid has a dimension of 84" x 78"L x 70"W, meaning that it should fit the height of most of the standard houses and garages.
Squat Rack Features
Unlike many fitness brands that will make you choose between a squat rack and a smith machine, Body Solid combines the two.
The gun rack style on Body Solid will allow you to perform a variety of exercises, more particularly the muscle-building exercises.
While a power cage is ideally suited for the free weights, the Body Solid is an awesome alternative if you can't have a power cage for any reason.
The spotting arms on this unit are big enough, and they'll save you from incidences, especially when moving the heavy free weights.
The Smith machine has a seven-degree reverse angle, letting you experience a smooth operation, especially for flat benches presses and decline bench presses.
However, there were criticisms from a faction of the users claiming that the lockout holes, which are also used by the safeties, were a little bit too far.
The Pulley System
The pulley system on the Body Solid uses a weight stack at the back of the machine.
The weight stack goes up to 210 lbs increments.
Additionally, some prongs will let you add to the weights tack with free-weight plates.
The bench on the Body Solid is fairly standard, offering flat, incline, and decline motions.
The bench on the Body Solid comes with attachments on the front and an adjustable seat to support a variety of workouts.
Some of the attachments on this unit included leg attachment and a preacher attachment for leg curls as well as leg extensions.
- Free weights
- Sturdy construction
- Variety of exercises
- Not space-intensive
Smith Machine Buyer Guide
If you’re looking to purchase a Smith machine that is ideally suited for your needs, there’re several factors you should consider.
The four crucial aspects to consider are;
Safety is a critical factor for anyone using a Smith machine, and so you should ensure that the equipment is sturdily constructed to handle the weight.
The build quality is hugely dependent on the construction material.
Ideally, we recommend purchasing Smith Machines constructed from steel or any other metals for sturdiness and longevity.
Weight capacity refers to the "load," which a Smith machine can effectively handle.
The weight capacity is dependent on personal needs, though we recommend choosing a Smith machine with a weight limit of anywhere from 300 to 600 pounds.
However, it would do no harm going for a Smith machine with a higher weight capacity. However, understand that it might come a bit costly.
For the ultimate versatility, choose a Smith Machine with several workout stations.
Look for "hybrid" equipment that will provide a perfect mix of several heavyweight movements.
Size and Storage
Most of the Smith machines are insanely huge and weight anywhere from 800 pounds.
We, therefore, recommend that you carefully consider your room space before making a purchase.
Besides the Smith machine space, you should also account for your movement space.
A smith machine will require you to perform several movements, and you should similarly account for those. You don’t want to feel restricted on what to do on a Smith Machine because of space.
Can beginners use a smith machine?
Smith machines are ideal for all user levels because it promotes doing core exercises safely, and you'll not need a spotter.
Are the smith machines durable?
Yes, since they serve in various exercises, you'll find the units to last you longer and ensure different types of uses. The machine comes from high-quality materials to take you through for a long time.
Is the smith machine worth it?
The smith machine is versatile and will help you in squats, bench press, deadlifts, bicep curls, tricep extensions, and shrugs, among other exercises. They also come in different budgets, so you will find them suitable for your training needs.
How do you remove a barbel from the smith machine?
The barbel placed between the bars is removed by lifting the barbell and rotating it to remove the bar. You can then set the hooks to get the barbel in position.
Can I build muscles with the Smith machine?
With resistance, you'll get the muscles in shape. Use the correct exercise to ensure you don't strain and injure the muscles. You can also consult your trainer to have the right weights and combinations for muscle building.
We've already listed the best smith machine in the market.
It’s now your decision to weigh the above options and decide which machine is best or our fitness needs.
While at it, we recommend that you place your fitness needs before anything else.