The 6 Best Smith Machines On the Market (2024 Update) | BarBend

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Written by Tim HillUpdated by Michael Shafer, M.S., CSCS, USAW-L1, ACSM-EIM on August 28th, 2023 button holing machine

The 6 Best Smith Machines On the Market (2024 Update) | BarBend

Smith machines are a familiar sight in gyms around the world — both in a commercial setting and at home. This time-tested piece of equipment can be used for a wide range of purposes, from designing entire body workouts, to acting as a spotter when you plan to lift alone. You can re-rack the bar at multiple points thanks to the hooks, which can be very useful for leg day or chest day, if you don’t have a partner to spot you.

There has been a lot of innovation with regard to smith machines, so we did some testing and research ourselves to find the best smith machines on the market for a number of purposes. Sure, these machines aren’t cheap when compared to buying a couple of dumbbells and kettlebells. But if you’re trying to find an all-in-one package that offers a safe and stable barbell workout, smith machines provide more options and control than free weights typically do. A lot of these picks even go beyond the call of duty you’d often require of a smith machine, which could make them the true centerpiece of your home gym.

When you think of a smith machine, the likely image in your head is of a rack-like contraption with a barbell that goes up and down, has various points to hook the bar on for self spotting, and not much else. While you can still get those kinds of machines, many of the modern products — like the Force USA G10 Pro — have some incredible features and build-out options that make them an even better value.

The Force USA G10 Pro is more than a smith machine; it’s an entire home gym solution — and that’s why we like it so much. It features adjustable cable ratios, meaning multiple users can lift the right amount of weight for their strength without changing the weights. There are 60 adjustment points on the half-rack, and part of the smith machine where you can mount jammer arms, a leg press plate, or even monolift attachments.

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

This one piece of equipment has the ability to take the place of a power rack, functional trainer, smith machine, low row, lat pulldown, leg press, dip station, and more. The 772-pound rating of the smith machine is likely more than enough for most people so you can max out with confidence. The reinforced bushings and linear bearings offer smooth and natural movement, so you don’t feel like you’re lifting air at certain points of an exercise.

It seems like Force USA tried to replace every piece of gym equipment with an all-in-one machine, and in our opinion, they succeeded. With a huge array of attachments and high quality engineering, this is a smith machine (and much more) that we can confidently say is a good choice for anyone who has the money to pay for it.

As you look around at smith machines on the market, you’ll probably find out pretty early on that none of them are what we would call “compact”. While some folks may opt for a folding squat rack in small spaces, there are some options that are better suited to smaller spaces, and the Force USA G3 is our favorite smith machine when space is limited. 

Packing almost as much functionality as the larger G9, the G3 is still an amazingly versatile piece of equipment that allows you to train legs, arms, core, and more. When you run out of exercises, give us a call. What’s great about the G3 is that it’s designed to take up a smaller footprint and is a decent amount cheaper, too.

With 12 attachments included, this all-in-one trainer features a complete storage system for your barbells, weight plates, and cables. It can be further optimized by adding a leg press and lat-pulldown seat. Save $400 on the G3 now

Force USA’s impressive lifetime structural warranty still applies though, so you can rest assured the quality hasn’t been compromised on this smaller package. The smith machine has a solid weight rating of 772 pounds. The G3 comes with a variety of high quality attachments for the included cable machine and power rack too, like a lat pulldown bar, nylon handles, pull-down rope, and more — over a dozen attachments in total before add-ons.

Slightly smaller than some of the other options on this list, the G3 nonetheless packs an incredible punch for its size. If you’re operating with limited space, look no further than this machine. 

Smith machines can be costly (even for a basic one), and when you’re spending a lot of money on a piece of equipment, you want it to work well and stand up to repeated, everyday use. A high quality smith machine doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’ve ever worked out at a commercial or large gym, you’ve no doubt seen and used something similar to our pick for this category — the Titan Fitness Smith Machine.

As the name suggests, this smith machine from Titan Fitness is just that — a smith machine. No add-ons or extra features here, just a sturdy piece of equipment you can use and abuse that’ll keep coming back for more. This smith machine features two self-spotting safety catches that you can adjust to eight different positions to fit your height.

Those in the market for a straightforward smith machine that offers great value for the price and can stand up to daily, repeated use need look no further than the Titan Fitness Smith Machine. This machine is similar to many that you’d find at a commercial gym and even has a few extras for added value like band pegs and six weight storage posts.

A few nice extras on this product are band pegs, so you can do accommodating resistance training, as well as six eight-inch weight storage posts to keep your plates close by when lifting. There are a few drawbacks, such as the loadable length on the sleeve being only 13.25 inches compared to an Olympic bar, which is usually 16 inches. In addition, the weight capacity is lower than many other options on this list at 600 pounds — which is more than enough for most people — but still lower than a lot of other smith machines.

Simple and reliable are the best ways to describe the Titan Fitness Smith Machine. It offers a solid product at a price point lower than most other options. You won’t get any of the fancy extras that other products offer, like cable pulleys, but if you’ve already got that handled and just need a smith machine, this is an excellent choice. 

Thankfully for consumers, the equipment available for purchase nowadays has a lot of versatility and combines many different pieces of equipment into one. The Force USA G10 Pro is a prime example of this as it combines a smith machine and an integrated power rack. This allows for self-spotted and guided exercises on the smith machine when you’re alone or freestanding movements to hit those stabilizing muscles when you’ve got a spotter. We think the product that combines the best of both worlds better than any other at the moment is the Force USA G10 Pro.

The G10 Pro has a lot going on — from a functional trainer and smith machine to the integration of a fully adjustable, commercial-grade half rack. This single piece of equipment allows you to get the benefits of free weights that a power rack has to offer while still maintaining the safety benefits of a smith machine. This allows you to train for bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit, and more, all with the same piece of equipment. Force USA didn’t cut any corners in constructing the G10 Pro either.

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

The uprights are made from heavy-duty 11-gauge rolled steel with commercial-grade J-hooks and safety spotter arms. They even included removable rubber barbell protector sleeves to protect the knurling of your bar and extend its life. If you want a smith machine that features a power rack (and much more) then we highly recommend the G10 Pro.

The Force USA G10 Pro is unparalleled in its versatility. There are few types of lifting you can’t do with this one machine that combines up to 11 machines into one if you splurge for the upgrade kits. Even what comes with the base unit is impressive — it includes a smith machine, power rack, and functional trainer in one. You’ll get a lot of function from this machine, but note that the price tag does reflect that.

Shopping for a big piece of gym equipment online can be overwhelming at the best of times, and we have to admit that the enormous selection of smith machines on Amazon is shocking. We did the work though, and if you’re looking to purchase a smith machine from Amazon, the Commercial Home Gym is a solid bet. 

Sturdy, multi-functional, and pretty darn good-looking, the Commercial Home Gym combines a smith machine, power rack, chin-up bar, crossover cable system, and more all into one package. This machine has dual 176-pound stacks and high-tensile cables with a 2,000-pound rating.

Packing an incredible selection of exercises and function into one solid piece of equipment, this commercial home gym smith machine is an investment that enables users to train the full body all at one station. 

You can store your weight on the included six weight storage posts and perform pull-ups on a multi-grip pull-up bar. It does require assembly, but there is an option to pay extra for in-home installation to save you even more time. Able to handle loads up to 990 pounds, you can rest assured you won’t run out of training options here. 

With all the best gym machines combined and all the perks of using Amazon’s shipping network, the Commercial Home Gym is a solid option for anyone looking to work out at home without ever getting bored.

We have to admit that most of the picks on this list are more like smith machines that come loaded with extras that increase functionality. If you’re always looking for the latest accessories or attachments to try new exercises, then you’ll appreciate this pick, which has more accessories than just about any other smith machine out there.

A lot of companies make a base machine and then sell a ton of upgrades and attachments as options, so consumers can pick and choose what they want or add to their machine over time. The Force USA G10 Pro does this too with their upgrade kits, but the sheer number of accessories that come included with the purchase of the base unit is what sets this pick apart from the rest of the competition. 

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

Not only do you get a smith machine, but you get a half-rack, as well. In addition, a plate-loaded functional trainer comes with the unit, as well as a lat-pulldown, pull-up bar, dip station, and suspension trainer. You can purchase upgrade kits for jammer arms, a TV mount, vertical leg press, storage shelves, a barbell row handle, and more. You can even get a monolift attachment for it. If you like accessories, this is the product for you.

The Force USA G10 Pro is a great option for those who want more. This machine packs the functionality of a power rack with the safety of a smith machine. It also includes the versatility of a functional trainer, multiplying the exercises you can do with a few simple set-up changes. 

Smith machines often get a bad rap from the strength sports community, but they’re another tool to help you become better, just like any other machine. The biggest benefit of a smith machine is the increased safety compared to a free-weight power rack. The bar being on a track with self-spotting hooks allows you to lift comfortably without worrying about weight plates sliding off, or fearing for your life if you can’t complete a rep. 

Another big benefit of smith machines is that they’re very useful for people who have stability issues, such as proprioceptive problems, or are coming back from an injury that they need to be careful of re-injuring. Because the bar is on tracks and attached to the machine, you can’t move outside of the range of motion that is preset by the machine. This can be helpful for people first learning how to lift weights so they can learn a movement pattern with a much lower risk for injury. They can be useful for those who want to start barbell training, but lack the strength necessary to start using a free weight barbell. 

A smith machine is usually quite an investment, and because of that, we took great care in choosing the picks that made it onto this list. Some of the most important factors we considered were build quality, attachments, weight capacity, and safety features. We also took price into consideration, but smith machines are generally not cheap, with even the most budget-conscious ones creeping into the thousand-dollar range.

Smith machines are versatile pieces of equipment on their own, but many companies go beyond that and turn them into the base for an entire home gym solution. Certain machines, such as the Force USA G10 Pro pack on attachments like a half-rack, lat-pulldown, and functional trainer. Other companies try to keep it centered around what a smith machine is usually used for, like the Titan Fitness Smith Machine, which only adds some plate storage posts and band pegs in order to keep the price down. 

There’s no shortage of attachments that you can get for a smith machine and exercises you can perform, especially if you’re creative, but some brands do offer attachment packages and upgrade kits so you can do nearly anything you want with the smith machine as the centerpiece of your home gym.

Quality is a big factor when it comes to any gym equipment, but more so when it comes to a piece that you’re counting on to save you — if you need it. Some smith machines use thick, rolled steel for their uprights providing a very sturdy and durable machine that has a high weight capacity and is designed to take a lot of use every day. Others are more budget-friendly but may not have as rugged of materials used to manufacture their products. We took this into consideration when making these picks.

Build quality can also influence the life of your machine. Products with high quality builds will often come with longer warranties but are also usually more expensive — although not always. For example, the Force USA G10 Pro offers a lifetime warranty related to the structural aspects of the product, meaning that they’re confident their product will last a very long time because of its build quality. Structural warranties are common with gym equipment and pertain to failures due to defects in workmanship or manufacturing of the product.

These products are large, heavy, and have a lot of moving parts. If there’s just one weak link, the entire machine may become unusable — such as a bearing breaking in the smith machine portion of the product. That’s why build quality is so important and we put a lot of emphasis on high-quality parts and manufacturing where it’s warranted.

Weight capacity and safety go hand-in-hand when it comes to squat racks and smith machines. If you’re loading the machine with more than it’s rated for, that is inherently unsafe, which is why we try to point out weight capacity when discussing our picks. A product may check all the boxes you’re looking for, but if it can’t handle the weight you’re going to use it to lift, then it will be unsafe to use.

Generally, due to their size and weight, these machines can handle a good amount of weight. The lowest weight rating on the list is 600 pounds from the Titan Fitness Smith Machine with the Commercial Smith Machine following it at 770 pounds and the Force USA G10 Pro rated at 772 pounds. Realistically, if you’re lifting that much weight, you’ll need a team of spotters, like at a powerlifting meet.

Safety is a major reason folks buy smith machines in the first place. If you’re self-spotting and get to a point where they might fail a rep, instead of having to bail on a bar or drop it on yourself, just turn your wrists over and hook the safeties that come attached to the bar onto the rack. Most smith machines’ safety spotter systems are made similarly with hooks to catch the bar; some even feature a counterweight to further help with your lifts.

Many also feature safety stops to prevent the bar from traveling below a certain point so even if you drop the bar, it will stop before it hits the bottom of the machine and potentially causes more damage. The Titan Fitness Smith Machine has a good example of these safety stops as it’s modeled after a more traditional type of smith machine.

Let’s address the elephant in the room — smith machines are expensive and likely one of the most expensive pieces of gym equipment people will purchase. That said, there are some ways to make them more affordable. Many companies and lots of options on this list offer financing options to help break up the payments over a longer period of time. Instead of paying a few thousand dollars upfront, you can pay somewhere around $100 to $200 per month for a period of time — usually, 24 to 48 months, depending on credit.

Smith machines start around $1,500 for a fairly basic model and can go up to $4,000, though there are more expensive models. If you opt for an all-in-one style smith machine with cable pulley systems and a built-in squat rack then you can expect to see a price tag on the higher end of that spectrum. The smith machines on this list range from around $1,740 to $3,500 with a variety of different features.

A smith machine isn’t a casual purchase. They’re large, heavy, and require a lot of steps for assembly. These are some of the things we think you should ponder before you splash the cash.

Smith machines will typically set you back a minimum of $1000, but you can very easily end up spending five times that amount. For most people, this is going to be one of the deciding factors in which option they pick, because it is such a large chunk of change. For that kind of money, you could get a barbell, plates, and maybe even more. So make sure you know what you’re buying and that you’re committed to the purchase. 

Some smith machines are pretty basic and offer simply the bar, track, and rack, while others come with all kinds of bells and whistles attached. Several on this list have pulleys, attachments for dip bars, half power racks, and more.

One of the main downsides to a smith machine is the size and weight. You need a decently sized area to house one, and though there are larger and smaller options available, there is a point where it’s just not feasible. Measure out your available area and see which machines can work and which can’t. Be sure to factor in the bar width and some additional breathing room, so you don’t feel hindered while getting your pump on. 

With such a large upfront investment, you’re going to want to make sure the smith machine you buy is durable. All of the models on this list are fabricated using steel, so unless you start searching elsewhere for something extra cheap, you can rest assured that the picks on this list will have great longevity.

We always recommend checking to see if other customers have noted any common problems also. Any reputable company will also provide some kind of warranty on their product so it’s a good idea to check for that too.

For some people, buying anything that requires assembly is part of the fun. For others, it is one of the most exquisite forms of torture. Be aware that all of these machines need some form of assembling, but some are more involved than others. The simpler the machine, the less you’re going to have to wrap your head around. 

With an expensive piece of equipment, it’s always nice to have a warranty as a safeguard in case it does break early on. As with all products, warranties are available in varying lengths and coverages. Find one that you are comfortable with and get to training.

None of these machines will have you gazing for hours at their unfathomable beauty. Several, however, have put some thought into innovations that add extra functionality, save you space, or generally make using them a bit easier. Where possible, look for a machine that has done one or more of these things rather than just sticking to the bare minimum.

We know that there is a group of athletes out there who recommend you never, ever use smith machines, and that they need to be consigned to the scrap heap post haste. However, in our eyes, the smith machine is simply another helpful tool in your program design toolbox. They can be very valuable when programmed for the right reasons and shouldn’t be overlooked — the same way we would never overlook foam rolling or cardio training simply because someone on the Internet said so. Do a bit of research, find out how a smith machine (or any other piece of equipment for that matter) could be useful for you, and then purchase accordingly. 

Some people opt for smith machines due to the increased versatility that some of them offer over a simple power rack. Smith machines nowadays offer much more than simply the smith machine — many come with functional trainers, cable pulleys, and even racks themselves. You can replace a bunch of pieces of equipment with just one and save a lot of space. Other people may like a smith machine because they choose to lift by themselves and don’t have spotters to help if they need them, which is where a smith machine’s self-spotting hooks come into play.

The best smith machine will depend a lot on your budget, needs, and space you have available. That said, our favorite smith machine right now is the Force USA G10 Pro. It’s extremely versatile with a built-in power rack and cable system, and has a high 772-pound weight capacity. The price may make some people balk, but Force USA does offer financing, depending on credit.

The prices of smith machines start out fairly high around $1,500 and only continue to rise from there to around $4,000 (or even higher depending on the add-ons and accessories you may choose). The nice part about many companies that sell smith machines is that they offer financing to help soften the blow of the price, depending on credit-worthiness.

Smith machines are a tool, just like any other machine, that is only as good as the person using it. If you follow good lifting practices, a smith machine can be safe for anyone to use that’s able to work out safely. Smith machines are generally considered safer to use than power racks due to their safety features like the bar being on a track, counterweights, and stops to prevent the bar from falling all the way to the ground.

We recommend always lifting with a partner in case of emergency, but if you choose to lift alone, a smith machine is a good option because it has self-spotting hooks that you can engage quickly and easily, should you get into trouble and need to be bailed out.

Tim is the Co-Founder of CrossFit Slash in Beijing, he has worked in the fitness industry for nearly a decade and has dipped his toe into just about every training modality there is. He enjoys playing with his 2 year old daughter and is currently working towards completing the Beast Tamer Challenge

BarBend is an independent website. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting.

The 6 Best Smith Machines On the Market (2024 Update) | BarBend

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