best smith machine

Best Smith Machine - Top 5 Products on the Market

A Smith machine is a frame of steel rails with a barbell in it. In contrast to free weights, it only allows vertical or near-vertical movements. 

Smith machines are probably the most controversial gym equipment ever. Some say it’s beneficial, others disagree. 

But, fear not, as these pieces of instrument do have their fair share of benefits in strength training (given that you’re using it properly).

You only have to move up and down. In other words, you have more control of your body and your movement to focus on the correct form. And perfect forms translate to better results.

Such stability can also protect you from injuries. You’re less likely to tilt or fall forward and backward. The barbell can be hooked onto the frame, so it won’t drop and damage the floor. 

That said, if you’re trying to build your home gym, it can be confusing deciding between various Smith Machine brands out there. 

So, in this article, we’re bringing you the best smith machine on the market and 5 top choices for you!  

Be sure to read till the end because you wouldn’t wanna miss a piece of equipment as helpful as these.

Smith Machine: Buying Guide

First of all, let’s start off with what to look for when buying a Smith machine.

Build Quality

Only when the machine is sturdy enough to handle the weight will you and your floor be safe. 

Now, to ensure its quality, you’ve got to look at its material. Ideally, we would want steel or any kind of heavy-duty metal.

Stability

The wider the base of the machine is, the more it sticks to the ground. Otherwise, it may tip over and damage you, your family, and the device itself.

Weight Capacity

We would recommend anywhere between 300 and 600 pounds of the weight limit. You can always go big, just in case. Your smith machine will cost more, though.

Guided Tracks

Most Smith machines have vertical tracks. Some have angled ones. With these, you can move up and down or near-vertically but not back and forth.

Though it’s a safety feature, some smith machines do offer horizontal guide systems for lateral movements. For this, we’d say the more, the merrier.

It would be best, however, to look for guide rails with cut off points or springs at the bottom to prevent ground-slamming barbells.

smith machine reviews

Stacks or Plates

This aspect refers to the type of weight on the barbell. The Stack and pins system is more for beginners. It’s safer, as you can’t drop them like plates, but requires more maintenance.

With plates, you have more versatility and simplicity while strength training. You can “just slide ’em on the barbell and go!”

Size & Storage

These things can weigh up to 800 pounds and take a lot of space. It is worth noting that you should have enough space in your home gym to fit a good size smith machine. 

Budget

Smith machines tend to last virtually forever, so buying used machines from eBay or Craigslist is not bad and will surely be worth the budget.

Warranty

Some smith machine manufacturers offer a 10-month or even lifetime warranty. 

While some smith machines only offer “limited warranties,” meaning they have certain conditions and don’t cover everything. 

So, make sure you read the related documents carefully and check with the dealer before purchasing.

Safety Features

Since you’ll be working out at home, probably alone, it’s best to have a machine that “spots” you. 

With that in mind, the Smith machine should have various lock points, pins, or pretty much any safety feature.

Top 5 Best Smith Machines

Now, without further ado, let’s find out about the price, benefits, and features of the 5 best Smith machines on the market!

#1 Inspire Fitness FT2

The FT2 utilizes the Olympic bar for its Smith machine. But instead of Olympic plates, it integrates weight stacks.

Apart from the Smith machine, The Inspire Fitness FT2 has:

  • Dual adjustable pulley system with 32 positions
  • Adjustable pull-up bar
  • Weight multiplier to double maximum resistance

Warranty:

  • Residential: Limited lifetime warranty on frame and all parts
  • Light commercial: Limited 10-year warranty on frame and all parts

Dimensions:

  • Minimum: 61W – 58L – 83H inches (155 cm – 148 cm – 211 cm)
  • Maximum: 61W – 58L – 88H inches (155 cm – 148 cm – 224 cm)
  • The optional bench adds 31 inches (78 cm) to the length

Weight: 825 pounds (374 kg)

Best suited for:

  • Beginners to get a comprehensive home workout thanks to its versatility
  • Heavy lifters thanks to its resistance-increasing weight multiplier
  • Build Quality: Solid and stable commercial-grade 11-gauge heavy-duty tubular steel frame
  • Dual 165 pounds weight stacks: Plus 5 pounds in the accessories
  • Upgradable weight stacks: Upgradable to 50 pounds on each side
  • Weight multiplier: Doubles resistance for Smith machine
  • Workout options: A total of 40 exercise variations for the arm, back, chest, shoulder, and abdominal
  • Pulleys
  • Extremely durable Fiberglass reinforced nylon pulleys
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • 8 different pulley locations
  • 32 different pulley positions
  • Many attachments and accessories
  • Adjustable pull-up bar
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Bench not included
  • Heavy
  • It is difficult to move once installed.
  • It requires a lot of space
  • Difficult assembly
  • No leg developer

#2 Force USA Monster G3 Smith Machine

The Force USA Monster G3 is a space-saving device that combines a power rack, a cable pulley system, and a Smith machine.

Dimensions: 51W – 55L – 87H inches (130 cm – 140 cm – 221 cm)

Weight: 992 pounds (450 kg)

Best suited for: People with limited space for a home gym but don’t want to compromise variety for a power rack

Special features

  • Power Rack: Can handle heavy loads while also protecting your barbell.
  • Chin-up Station
  • Attachments Storage: Built-in storage for your barbells, weight plates, and cable attachments
  • Band Peg Positions: To add resistance or assistance
  • SteelForce: Heavy gauge structured rolled steel tubing.
  • EcoCoat: Eco-friendly commercial grade powder coat followed by a clear coating.
  • ForgedCore: 6.2mm nylon coated mil-spec aircraft quality cables can handle 2000 pounds
  • LaserCut: Components are laser-cut to perfect precision
  • Compact Design
  • Westside hole spacing: 1-inch hole spacing in the bench region and 2-inch in the squat region, more precise than 3.75-inch hole spacing of other models
  • Band peg holes: They allow band-resisted exercises such as:
  • Band squats
  • Band bench
  • Band deadlifts
  • Band-resisted pull-ups.
  • You can also add band tension to the pulleys
  • Better j-hooks
  • Lowest price: The G3 is the least expensive of the G-Series even if you buy all the significant optional accessories.
  • Buy only the attachments you want
  • Pulley cables extend far: 12.1 feet or 145 inches (368 cm) in front of the rack
  • Stabilizer bar
  • Knurled chin-up bar: Offers a better grip
  • Bolt-down: The Monster G3 can be bolted down for extra stability, though not required
  • Inaccessible j-hook hole
  • No dip bar attachment
  • No suspension trainer ring
  • No low row attachment

#3 Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010

The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine includes:

  • Olympic Smith Bar (using sealed linear bearings)
  • Free weight squat rack
  • Low pulley with a footrest
  • Pec deck station
  • Chest press station,
  • High pulley crossover station
  • Leg development station
  • Preacher station

The MD-9010 uses standard or Olympic weight plates instead of weight stacks.

Dimensions:

  • Smith Cage: 70L – 83W – 86H (178 cm – 211 cm – 218 cm)
  • Bench: 75L – 28.5W – 47H (191 cm – 72 cm – 119 cm)

Best suited for: Anyone on a tight budget for a Smith Machine 

Special features:

  • Dual Upper Pulley Cables and Lower Cable
  • Adjustable Bench Back and Seat Pad
  • Included Accessories:
  • Lat bar
  • Shiver bar
  • Ankle strap
  • V-bar
  • Triceps rope
  • Pulley cable handles
  • Foot Plate
  • Weight Plate Storage: 6 storage pegs
  • Can be used as a Rack – Squats
  • Preacher Curl Pad / Curl Handle and Leg Developer
  • Incline Bench Press with Smith Bar
  • Superior product: Compared to other smith machines in this price range.
  • Free weights: Instead of resistance machine
  • Sturdy, all-steel frame
  • 5-position bench included
  • Smooth pulley and cable movement
  • Linear ball bearings: Smooth and stable operation
  • Ankle strap included
  • Lat pulldown bar included
  • Short bar included
  • Triceps rope included
  • Handle grips included
  • Uses Olympic weight plates: Highly available
  • Over 100 possible exercises
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Weight plates aren’t included;
  • The free bar isn’t included
  • Requires at least 10 x 10 feet of space
  • Less optimal than the free-weight bench
  • Less useful for experienced lifters
  • Requires a lot of care and precision during assembly and set up
  • The bench is difficult to move

#4 Yukon Caribou III Smith Machine

The Yukon Caribou III Smith Machine lets you experience free weights with the safety of a Smith machine. Its carriage locks instantly into safety catches with just a turn of the wrist.

Dimensions: 48W – 68L – 85H (122 cm – 173 cm – 216 cm)

Warranty: Welded parts are under warranty “by the discretion of Yukon Fitness”. And only if there are no signs of misuse by the customer.

Best suited for: People who want to expand their home gym later on. This is a good starter set at an affordable price.

Special features:

  • Self-Oiling Bushings
  • Chin-Up Bar
  • Free Low Row Foot Plate and 47” & 18” Bars
  • Integrated Dip Station Mount
  • Optional Accessory Mounts
  • Olympic Adapters for Smith Bar included free
  • Sturdy, heavy-gauge steel frame
  • Includes adjustable bench
  • Includes chin-up bar, and mounts for additional attachments
  • Compatible with standard and Olympic weight plates
  • Smith mechanism as well as a free barbell rack
  • Adjustable safeties included
  • Affordable price
  • Linear bearing not included
  • Stock roller bearings need regular lubrication with silicone spray
  • Questionable warranty
  • Weight plates not included

#5 Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine

Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine is the best for space-challenged facilities.

Dimensions: 85L – 53W- 80H inches (216 cm – 135 cm – 203 cm)

Warranty:

  • 3-year frame
  • 1-year hardware
  • 60-day return policy

Best suited for: Any place with limited space like the home or garage for a smith machine.

Special features:

  • Heavy Duty: 4” x 2”, 12-gauge Steel with solid Steel bar latch support, bar rotation, and linear bearings
  • Safe Guided Motion
  • Knurled Bar: For optimal grip
  • Storage Pegs: 4 Olympic plate storage pegs
  • Compact machine
  • Straight bar path with linear bearings.
  • 4 Olympic weight storage pegs
  • Easy assembly
  • Decent warranty
  • Affordable price
  • Excellent frame: Can support up to 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg)
  • Frame bases with large rubber stabilizers:
  • Floor protection
  • Superior grip
  • Anti-slide
  • 14 sets of safety pins
  • Catch plates with shock-absorbing stainless-steel coils
  • Little maintenance required
  • No bench or weights included.
  • Counterbalance system sold separately
  • Only 80.5″ tall: Taller users (over 6’5″) may not be able to perform properly

Final Verdict

smith machine models

So there you have it, our picks for the 5 best Smith machines for home gym owners.

Generally, we’d say the FORCE USA Monster G3 offers the best versatility while the Valor Fitness saves the most space. 

The Marcy Diamond is a good alternative for the Monster G3 at a more affordable price.

If you like this article on the best smith machines, make sure to check out our other reviews. 

We have tons of writings on healthy lifestyles, dumbbell workout guides, and equipment reviews. For fitness lovers out there, you would not want to miss any.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.