Best Rowing Machine Under $300 for 2018

You might think that rowing machines are not very popular in the modern fitness world but you couldn’t be further from the truth. They continue to gain popularity as year’s go by. As technology continues to advance we can now see improvements in the different brands and models for example they now feature even more resistance options. In this guide we show you the Best Rowing Machine Under 300.

The growth in popularity is well founded. There are few machines that allow you to work on different muscle groups all at the same time. Rowing machines are among the few. In fact, the only other workout regime that offers something similar is swimming. With this machine, you can work both your cardiovascular system and do strength training.

It is easy to see why professional athletes and players have a rowing session included in their training.

There are many varied factors that need to be considered before setting out to buy a rowing machine. Keeping in mind that they are four different types and hundreds of different manufacturers or models, it is no easy task. However, by going through our buying guide and tips, you can be confident of making the right decision for the best rowing machine under $300. Let’s consider a few tips below.

Do You Need a Rowing Machine?

This is the basic question that anyone will ask themselves prior to getting a rowing machine. Unlike the usual treadmills that are a common feature in gyms and fitness centers, rowing machines are in a different category altogether. Here, you will not need to run to work out.

Before buying one, you should be familiar with the motions involved during use. If you are new to rowing machines, it’s advisable to try one out at the gym. Once you are confident that you need one, then you are ready for the next step.

Types of Rowing Machines

As we stated earlier, rowing machines come in four main types. Each has its own benefits that set it apart from the others. Indeed, the method of producing the necessary resistance forms the criteria of categorizing the rowing machines. Price is also dependent on the type of machine.

  1. Hydraulic Piston Rowing Machines

As the name suggests these feature hydraulic pistons on the arms. They are small in size and are usually the most common type. If affordability is your concern then it will serve you well to know that they come at the lowest price.

  1. Magnetic Rowing Machines

These have a similar design to elliptical machines. They work by electromagnets working close to a flywheel. The more energy you use to operate, the more the resistance. A great feature is the custom capabilities. You can move the seat as well as the handles to better suit your size.

  1. Air resistance Rowing Machines

These types of rowers also produce a force that counters your effort. The more you row, the more the resistance. However, it uses air pressure created from the flywheel that has fan like blades. The more you row, the faster they rotate against the air.

  1. Water Rowing Machines

These are the most expensive types of rowing machines. They are also the largest and will need quite a bit of space. The good thing is water rowing machines are the most efficient as they mimic the rowing of a boat on a lake. They feature special paddles that generate the resistance by working against water contained in a tank. By moving the handle bars, you also move the paddles in the specialized tank.

When it comes to being quiet you are better off with the other three types of machines. However, since it’s a splashing sound, most people seem content with it.

Features to look for in the Best Rowing Machine

Owing to the fact that there are different types of rowing machines, there are different features as well making it hard to generalize. However, the price, quality, brand, space and comfort are just some of them. Let’s look at some other factors to consider before making your purchase:

  1. Size of the machine

Some models may be inappropriate for larger sized individuals. While its good practice for manufacturers to state the maximum weight limit of the product, not all do this. Try to gather enough information before making a purchase.

Tall people will need a rowing machine with a long seat rails. Try out the machine to find the right size for you. Many hydraulic rowing machines are best suited for short people so the type of machine in accordance to size of the user is also to be considered.

  1. Quality and durability

Of course you do not want equipment that will break easily and cannot be counted on to serve you for a long time to come. When making the buying decision, check the material construction on the various parts. A strong back rest, metal instead of plastic pedals and heavy duty seat rails are just some of the things you need to look for.

  1. Display unit

When it comes to the console, it is available in some models but not in others. If you need to monitor the progress of your workout routine such as calories burnt, speed and time, getting a rowing machine with a display screen will greatly help.

The position of the display should be easy to read during your workout. It should also provide the necessary information. This could also include checking your heart rate as well as the number of rows per minute.

  1. Reason for training

Some people buy a rowing machine because it offers the prefect training for a particular niche. An example is if you are practicing for a boat rowing competition. Hydraulic or water rowing machines will work best.

However, if you are simply looking to get fit, then any type of rowing machine will get the job done.

  1. The warranty

You need insurance for your expensive equipment and it often comes in the form of a warranty. Different manufacturers offer different terms. The best ones however, will provide one year for labor and a minimum of 3 on the parts and 5 on the frame.

Top Rated Rowing Machine Under $300

Without much doubt, we pick the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 (CHECK BEST PRICE HERE) as our choice for the Best Rowing Machine Under $300. It combines all the properties that you would expect in a high quality rowing machine.

Weight: 59lbs

Description: looking for the perfect rower for your home? Then look no further than the Sunny Health and fitness SF-RW5515 magnetic rower.  You can carry out a fun and strenuous cardiovascular workout for that perfect body all within the confines of your home.

Noise is minimized thanks to the 8 level adjustable magnetic based tension system. It also features a comfortable seat with excellent padding, and a display screen that is strategically located to offer convenience at minimal strain.

The pedals are designed to prevent slippage. Transportation wheels that are in-built provide an easy way to move the equipment. The Sunny Health and fitness SF-RW5515 magnetic rower is designed to meet your full body exercise needs. Through mimicking the motion of rowing a boat, you can access all the major muscle groups.

The maximum user weight of the health and fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing machine is 250 pounds ensuring that it will serve the needs of everyone in your household. A dense, heavy duty frame sits to support a heavy load meaning you can rely on this rowing machine for a good long time to come.

Product Features

You can finally keep tabs on the progress of your workout regime. The strategically position LCD display keeps count of the time, calories burnt, as well as your total count. This will go along way towards adjusting your schedule to keep yourself moving forwards. The easy to read display means you can quickly check your stats and continue with your regiment without wasting time.

By keeping track of your progress via the Display unit, you can also tailor your work out regime to your individual specifications. By keeping stats from each workout you can stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals.

The different functions of the display unit include

  • Count-this gives you the numbers of strokes as per your workout
  • Cal- tells you the amount of calories you have burnt
  • Total count-tells you the number of rowing strokes you completed during the first use.
  • Scan -by pressing the MODE button you can choose to view time, count, total count, and calories.
  • Time-gives you the amount of time that has gone by during the exercise.

There is a tension knob that allows you to switch up to 8 levels of resistance. This comes in handy when progressing on your training. Simply turn it up and graduate to the next level. It is also perfect for beginners since you can start off from the lowest level.

To keep your feet from slippage, the pedals of the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 have a textured surface. They also feature straps to hold the feet in place during the rigorous rowing. Go through your exercise feeling safe and secure that your feet will not slip and get injured. The pedals are also heavy and sturdy to withstand the pressure.

An uncomfortable sitting position could cause you to give up on your training.  Thanks to the well padded seats, go about your business in comfort and style. You can now get fitter by working out for longer.

If you need to move the machine to a different position, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 has you sorted. Large well positioned wheels allow you to move will little effort.

A strong and durable frame makes the equipment highly durable. Able to withstand top user weights of up to 250 lbs, the machine provides an excellent way to work out your backs, arms, legs, gluts and abdominal muscles. Essentially, all the body’s major groups of muscle.

You can even save on more space when not using the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515. Simply fold the sliding rail. This can be achieved by first removing the knob and taking out the pull pin. Just fold the rail vertically upwards.  Be careful with the seat however as it may glide down and hurt you.

When in this position, you will then insert the pull pin again by a hole located on the frame. Then add the knob and tighten.


  • Simple to use
  • Easy to operate display unit
  • Magnetic resistance does not change with increase in rowing speed
  • High quality and sturdy construction
  • Great value for money


  • Creates a pinging noise while rowing
  • May be too small for taller individuals

Final Guidelines

When rowing you need the equipment to be in the right balance. This should keep you from putting pressure on one side of your body and injuring yourself. To ensure the machine is properly balanced, use the end caps on the back under the steel frame.

To increase the resistance, simply turn the tension control knob in a clockwise motion. Turn it in an anti-clockwise to reduce.  You can cut yourself when sliding the seat. Ensure your hands and fingers are clear of it when rowing.

The straps on the pedals can be adjusted for a custom fit. Simply pull the Velcro up and to the left. You can then pull the end with the mesh up and to the right side. This will increase the pedal strap opening. Do the opposite to reduce the opening.

In order to make transportation possible, all you will be required to do is to lift the back end high enough for the front wheels to touch the ground. Then push it to whichever position you find fit.

It is advisable to consult your physician before you start a workout routine. This is to keep you from injuries in case you have a preexisting condition that could pose a health risk.

The equipment can only be used o a flat surface. Avoid any surfaces that are not level ad this could result in injury.

To keep the equipment in pristine condition, make it a routine to lubricate any moving parts monthly.


Best Rowing Machine under $300 in 2018
5 (100%) 10 votes


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