10 Best Smith Machines For Your Home Gym (2024 Updated)

Products Considered 27
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Considered
Hours of Research 94
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of Research
Reviews Examined 68
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Examined
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Interviewed
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 20, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

We work with a lot of clients who have a limited capacity to get to the gym.

But in many cases, they have been able to transform strength and fitness levels by using a Smith machine.

Now, these are not the smallest investments you could make for a home gym. And, unfortunately, there are quite a lot of crappy Smith machines that probably wouldn’t last all that long.

So, we got together with a few friends in specialty fitness and exercise stores to see if we could find the best Smith machines for different budgets.

Here are our results.

The Best Smith Machines For Home Gym

Editor's Choice
CTA of Marcy Pro Smith Machine
Marcy Pro
Rated 5.0/5
Check Current Price
2nd Best Choice
CTA of FORCE USA Monster G3 Smith Machine
FORCE USA
Rated 4.7/5
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
CTA of Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine
Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine
Rated 4.7/5
Check Current Price

Our Top Smith Machines (May 2024)

1 - Marcy Pro Smith Machine (Best Overall)

Rated 5.0/5
5.0
Durability
5.0
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Marcy Pro Smith Machine
  • Cage design
  • Adjustable bench
  • Pulley system

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The pulley rails to run smoothly
  • Safety feature for squats and bench press well designed
  • Convenient wheels on the frame make it easier to move around
  • It’s an all-in-one station with power tower, utility bench, and squat rack

Cons

  • Could do with more storage for weights

The Marcy Pro Smith Machine is our first home gym recommendation it's a good choice if you’re looking for a complete setup with the traditional power rack feel to it.

Even if you have plenty of space in your home gym, this one could be ideal as the wheels mean that you may move it around a bit more easily.

Based on my tests, the safety arms are solid and would help you if you don’t have someone to spot you when you’re working out at home.

The only downside we highlighted is that there aren’t many pins for your weights, so it might be a bit messier around your Smith machine.

You can pair this machine with these Smith machine exercises to get the most out of your workout.

2 - FORCE USA Monster G3 Smith Machine (Best With Weight Storage)

Rated 4.7/5
4.3
Durability
5.0
Price
Nylon
Cable
CTA of FORCE USA Monster G3 Smith Machine
  • Squat rack
  • Bars and handles

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comes with heavy-duty J hooks for better safety
  • Easily adjustable to different height positions
  • Has built-in storage for Olympic weight plates

Cons

  • A bench is not included, so make sure you order it separately

Yes, the name attracted me first, but after I saw the solid design and the safety features, I thought that this could be the right choice if you have enough space.

We saw quite a few comments that the pulley and bar adjustments could be made quickly enough so that they shouldn’t interrupt your training in between sets.

One of the studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website indicates that a combination of bench press and cable pulley exercises is best to train the full RoM [1].

An adjustable weight lifting bench isn’t included, so make sure you add one to your order.

3 - Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine

Rated 4.7/5
4.6
Durability
4.7
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine
  • Adjustable bench
  • Full rack
  • Pulley station

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Includes a good leg development system with multiple functions
  • Plenty of storage options for Olympic weight plates
  • Weight capacity up to 300 lbs should be enough for most people

Cons

  • Assembly doesn’t seem to be the easiest job

This Smith machine is another one of the top Marcy Smith cages that comes with pretty much everything you might need for your home gym.

It may take up a fair bit of space, but you probably won’t need much other home workout equipment.

Based on our tests and observations, we concluded that it has plenty of included accessories that may allow you to create full-body workouts targeting many different muscle groups.

Just keep in mind that because of all the add-ons, you’ll probably spend a few hours putting all the exercise equipment together. But it's all worth it for the best Smith machine experience.

4 - Body Solid Series 7 Smith Machine

Rated 4.5/5
4.5
Durability
4.5
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Body Solid Series 7 Smith Machine
  • Full rack
  • Safety bar
  • 14 height positions

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Simple design for bench press, squats, and powerlifting
  • 255 lbs of weight plates included to get you going
  • The J hooks look solid, and you have 14 height positions to choose from

Cons

  • Bench and bar are not included in the price

If you have a limited budget and mainly do smith machine squats, deadlifts, and bench press exercises, then this Smith machine might be a great way to have a more flexible free weight training plan.

There are weights included to get you going, and for many home gyms, these will be enough for a while.

We also liked during our testing that there were quite a lot of height adjustments to give you some added flexibility and safety.

This one doesn’t include a bench, but it’s also missing a barbell, so don't forget to add those to your order.

5 - MiM USA Hercules 1001 Jumbo Smith Machine (Most Versatile)

Rated 4.4/5
4.5
Durability
4.3
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of MiM USA Hercules 1001 Jumbo Smith Machine
  • Adjustable bench
  • Squat rack
  • Multiple handles and bars

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • May work well as a power cage for deadlifts and squats
  • Includes a barbell and bench for a wider choice of free weight exercises
  • Positive comments about the well-built pulley system providing smooth movements

Cons

  • You’ll need to remove the bench to use the pull-up bars

Another innovative Smith machine option for fitness enthusiasts who would like a complete home gym setup is this MiM model with a pretty cool name.

It includes a bench that many users, including the testing team, say is sturdy and comfortable, and it also has quite a few different handles and grips to provide a more varied routine that includes leg extensions as well.

The main downside with the design is that you’ll need to remove the bench in order to use the pull-up and chin-up station.

6 - Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine

Rated 4.4/5
4.4
Durability
4.4
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine
  • Squat and power rack
  • Guided rail

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Guided motion rail may provide additional safety
  • Plenty of space for weight plates
  • Adjustable to 14 different height settings

Cons

  • This model doesn’t include the cables which you’ll need to buy extra

Our tests indicate that the guided system for the bar is a good safety feature that allows for stable and smooth motion.

Another study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website that analyzed mechanical loading characteristics and application to strength-oriented and hypertrophy-oriented training concluded the following:

At low intensities (55-75% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]) used in strength-endurance training, a viscous resistance containing the Smith machine was found to offer advantages over both a constrained load only and counterweighted designs [2].

While it does allow for a cable system to be used, you’ll have to order the cables separately if you plan to use this feature.

7 - Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine (Cheapest)

Rated 4.3/5
4.3
Durability
4.2
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine
  • Power rack
  • Guided rail

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Simple power rack design is suitable for tighter spaces
  • Safety spotter arms look solid with a dual lock catcher system
  • Has a good 400 lbs weight limit

Cons

  • Doesn’t include cable system functionality

Here’s another affordable Smith machine we tested that many users as well think is one of the better choices for a varied squatting and deadlift routine.

The guide rods seem to be very smooth and shouldn’t disrupt your movements.

If you don’t have much space, then this is one of the purchases for your weight loss home gym equipment.

The upper weight capacity is also impressive at 400 lbs, which should suit most people.

The only thing is that this one doesn’t include cable system, so you might be a bit limited in the number of different workouts you may come up with.

8 - Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer and Smith Machine (Best Compact)

Rated 4.8/5
5.0
Durability
4.6
Price
Nylon
Cable
CTA of Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer and Smith Machine
  • Power cage
  • Multi-function pulley system

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Uses independent weight stacks to reduce the need for Olympic weights
  • The pull-up bar is positioned well to give you more space
  • Compact enough design that still provides a wide choice of workouts

Cons

  • Weight bench and leg extension attachments are extra

Out of all the Smith machines we tested, this Functional Trainer and Smith Machine from Inspire Fitness is one of our favorites.

Two other members on our team have since bought this for their home gym setup because it seems to have the smoothest movements.

It’s also not a huge design, which a lot of people need when space is a bit limited.

The one thing you have to keep in mind is that you’ll need to order a bench and probably the leg developer extensions separately.

9 - Body-Solid GS348QP4 Series 7 Smith Machine

Rated 4.0/5
4.0
Durability
4.0
Price
Steel
Cable
CTA of Body-Solid GS348QP4 Series 7 Smith Machine
  • Full cage design
  • Adjustable bench
  • Multiple attachments

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the most flexible Smith machines for strength training
  • Includes multiple attachments to better target arms and legs
  • Solid safety catches for bench presses

Cons

  • A pull-up bar attachment would have been a good bonus

Here is another good product from Body-Solid. Based on our observations, this Body Solid Series 7 Smith machine might be a good option if you like the handling of free weight training.

While it’s a bit more like a power rack, it also includes a cable system to train both your upper and lower body.

No matter what level of athlete you are, we also recommend using a Smith machine that may offer good safety pins, so you don’t have to be reliant on a spotter.

The only thing we’re missing on this Series 7 Smith machine is a pull-up or chin-up bar for some extra bodyweight exercises.

10 - ICON Fitness Weider PRO 8500 Smith Machine

Rated 3.8/5
3.9
Durability
3.7
Price
Fabric With Plastic
Cable
CTA of ICON Fitness Weider PRO 8500 Smith Machine
  • Cage
  • Pulley system
  • Adjustable bench

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pulley system is flexible enough for pull up and pull down motions
  • The bench is easily adjusted
  • Many positive reviews about the number of different workouts possible

Cons

  • Make sure you plan plenty of time for the assembly process

This is another good Smith machine option if you want all the bells and whistles to get a workout station that may be easily switched around for pulling up and down, in seated and standing positions.

We also noted that the bench seems solid, and many people said that it could be quickly adjusted in between sets to avoid cooling down too much.

The one thing I did notice in a lot of the online comments is that many people said that the assembly could take the better part of a day.

How We Tested The Best Smith Machines

In our quest to determine the best Smith Machines, we rigorously evaluated each model based on key criteria. As a certified personal trainer, I personally tested these machines, focusing on:

Durability

We examined the construction materials and welding quality of each Smith Machine. It's crucial to ensure they can withstand heavy usage without any structural compromises. We also looked at the machine's stability under various weight loads to ensure it remains secure and doesn't wobble.

Price

We analyzed the cost in relation to the features offered. It's not just about the lowest price but about finding a machine that offers the best value, considering its durability, features, and usability. We also considered warranty and customer service as part of the value proposition.

Cable System

The cable system's smoothness and consistency were tested under different tensions. We also checked for any signs of fraying or wear with repeated use. The ease of adjusting cable tension and its ability to hold consistent tension were key factors.

Ergonomics

We focused on the machine's design regarding user comfort and ease of use, especially the positioning and padding of benches and bars. Adjustability to accommodate different body sizes and exercise types was also a critical aspect.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount. We tested the locking mechanisms, safety catches, and the stability of the machine during various exercises. The ease of engaging and disengaging these safety features was also evaluated.

Versatility

We looked at the range of exercises that can be performed on each machine. This includes the availability of attachments like pull-up bars, leg developers, and the ability to accommodate a variety of exercises beyond standard Smith machine movements.

Buyer’s Guide

A man browsing his phone to buy smith machine online

Here are the top considerations when buying the best Smith machine for your home gym set up.

1 - Measure Out The Dimensions

A close up shot of tape measure to measure out the dimensions

There’s a DIY saying that goes something like “Measure twice, cut once.”

And when it comes to home gym equipment, I would change that to “Measure twice, avoid looking like an idiot.”

Believe me when I say this comes from experience, and when it comes to a home gym, make sure you take the measurements and then check the space you’re planning to assemble it.

2 - Check For Accessories

All of the best Smith machine options above will work fine for squats and bench presses, but the more important thing to look for is the accessories.

“Training of any kind needs to be functional, adaptive, and healthy (for mind and body). Muscles will do what they are supposed to do - they will adapt to need, function, and demand. Make sure that they are readily prepared to meet those demands (even on the fly) without risking injury.”

- Katie Chasey, Fitness Coach

According to an article found on the ResearchGate website, you should look for either included or optional things like different handles, bars, and even a triceps rope to gain more flexibility in your strength exercises [3].

3 - Smooth Movement

Before using a Smith machine system, you want to make sure that all the moving parts have a smooth motion. We’ve used some that felt almost like the bearings were causing friction and even a slight stuttering move.

For the barbell section, you want to make sure that it uses high-quality linear bearings, and it should be easy to add a bit of lubricant for maintenance. 

On the cable crossovers, you want to also see ball bearings rather than bushes, as we’ve found that the bushes tend to wear out considerably faster [4].

4 - Always Consider Safety

When you’re looking at different types of Smith machine models, always look at what kind of safety mechanisms are included and how they work.

I would never recommend a Smith machine that doesn’t have a safety spotter catch system.

“Using a spotter is always a good practice for weightlifting, but it is essential when attempting heavy or advanced lifts.”

- thesilverlining.com

When you’re working out at home, you’re not likely going to have a load of people walking around that you could ask to be your spotter [5].

5 - Weight Capacity

A smith machine with good weight capacity

A Smith machine often comes with a cable system and weights that don’t allow you to extend the weight lifting capacity. But this becomes extremely important if the system has a standard barbell which allows you to add your own plates.

The overall frame will be designed to be sturdy enough for a certain weight limit, and if you’re big into bodybuilding, you’ll need something possibly upwards of 500 lbs.

6 - Quality Materials

Start by looking for a Smith machine with a heavy-duty steel construction for the frame.

The frame will dictate how sturdy the overall Smith machine will be, and the thicker the bars are, the less chance of any kind of wobbling.

According to the SteelConstruction website, you should look for an indication of the steel strength, which is often shown as tensile strength in PSI [6].

7 - Number Of Workstations

When you’re setting up your home gym, make sure that you get as many different workstations as possible to allow a variety of workouts.

You may also want to include some cardio in your workouts, so check out these machines if you want to improve your overall fitness.

Your workout area should ideally allow you to cover these stations:

  • Calf raises
  • Dip station mount
  • Chin-up bar
  • Preacher curl attachment
  • Straight bar
  • Curl bar
  • Lat bar
  • Press bar
  • Leg Presses

8 - Warranty

Before you make a final decision on the best Smith machine for your needs based on the feature set and the purchase price, take a quick look at the warranty.

Fitness equipment makers have very different approaches to this, and even if they mention something like a lifetime warranty, this is likely a limited warranty. It's especially common when you're buying from a manufacturer without an extensive presence in the industry.

Related Articles:

Maintaining Your Smith Machine: Tips for Longevity

Like any piece of equipment, the smith machine requires regular maintenance to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. A proactive approach to maintenance can prevent potential issues and ensure safe workouts.

Start by conducting routine checks for any loose bolts or parts, ensuring the machine's structural integrity. The guide rods, pivotal for the machine's smooth operation, should be lubricated regularly. This not only ensures seamless movement of the barbell but also reduces wear and tear.

Cleaning is another essential aspect. Given the machine's frequent use, it's exposed to sweat and dust, which can accumulate over time. Regular cleaning prevents this buildup, ensuring the machine remains in prime condition.

By adhering to these maintenance tips, users can ensure their smith machine remains a reliable workout companion for years to come.

FAQs

Are Smith Machines as Good as Free Weights?

Yes, some Smith machines are as good as free weights, depending on their design. We’ve tested out quite a few that allow for a standard feel and movement, allowing you to add your standard plates to a barbell.

Can You Build Muscle on a Smith Machine?

Yes, you can build muscle on a basic Smith machine, as most of these devices will allow for heavy weight lifting and a full-body workout routine. Results will still depend on how you use the Smith machine, but significantly bulking up is possible for the average person.

What Are Smith Machines Good For?

Smith machines are good for many types of weight training, especially for people who don’t feel comfortable working with free weights. They are also more suitable for people who want to reduce pressure on their joints when exercising.

Why Is It Called the Smith Machine?

It's called the "Smith Machine" because of Rudy Smith, the gym owner who invented it. The idea is that you have a guiding system for the barbell, but over the years, many different functions have been added to make it a complete home exercise system.

Our Verdict on Best Smith Machines

Out of all the products we tested out, Marcy Pro proved as one of the best smith machines.

Between the sturdy quality and the number of different stations, I just think it's by far the most versatile workout equipment for a home gym.

It has a squat rack, power tower, and a utility bench, which are basically everything you'd want to have in a Smith machine.

Plus, I like the fact that the wheels are ultra-convenient, making it easier to move around.

With that, I believe this Smith machine should give you everything you need to train at home in the same way you do at the gym.

Our #1 Recommendation

Marcy Pro Smith Machine (Best Overall)

CTA of Marcy Pro Smith Machine

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

5.0
Durability
5.0
Price
Steel
Cable
Pros
  • The pulley rails to run smoothly
  • Safety feature for squats and bench press well designed
  • Convenient wheels on the frame make it easier to move around
  • It’s an all-in-one station with power tower, utility bench, and squat rack
Cons
  • Could do with more storage for weights
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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One thought on “10 Best Smith Machines For Your Home Gym (2024 Updated)

  1. I was considering acquiring this to perform some home exercises. What is the maximum weight that the pulley system + smith machine can support on each side? Fearful that the machines won’t hold much weight because it shakes a little.

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Our durability score is based 3 factors including: material quality, maintenance, and warranty terms. The score is a measure of objective test results against set standards. For more information see our durability score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.