Best Smith Machines of 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Weight lifting is of course a great way to tone your body, increase muscle mass, and improve your overall physical performance. Lifting a large amount of weight such as in professional bodybuilding or powerlifting requires you to have the right tools on hand, especially if you want to be able to train by yourself in your own home. One of the best pieces of workout equipment that you can have in your home gym is the Smith machine. However what is the best Smith machine?

That’s why we’re here today, to help you find the best possible choice of Smith machine that will provide you with longevity, durability, safety, versatility, and an ultimately rewarding weight lifting experience. Let’s get right to it and talk about everything to do with Smith machines!

Summary: The Best Smith Machines

What Is A Smith Machine?

A Smith machine is a weight training device often used by heavy weight lifters and powerlifters. It consists of a barbell that is usually mounted in between vertical guide rails and the frame, thus allowing for vertical lifting movement. Some Smith machines also allow for horizontal movement. These machines can be used for heavy squatting, shoulder pressing, bench pressing, curls, lunges, deadlifts, and a few other weight lifting exercises too. The Smith machine is a great alternative to free weight lifting and is a tool that any bodybuilder, professional, or home weight lifter should utilize.

How to Use the Smith Machine

Things To Look Out For When Buying A Smith Machine

Smith machines are of course fantastic pieces of workout equipment to have in your home. They will get you into prime shape in no time at all. What does need to be said though is that these items are big, they’re bulky, and they include a whole lot of material, thus making them fairly expensive. Therefore you don’t want to rush into making a purchase that might turn out to be less than adequate for your needs. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind before you buy any Smith machine.

Frame & Materials

Perhaps one of the most important things to look out for before buying a Smith machine is what materials it is made out of. A Smith machine needs to be able to support a whole lot of weight and that means that it needs to be built with high-quality materials.

In order to hold up to 1,000 pounds of weight, any Smith machine needs to be made with as much high-grade metal as possible. A good general rule to follow is the more metal that the machine has on it the better. A good metal frame is key to a good Smith machine.

Stability

Another crucial aspect of any Smith machine is its stability. This means that the Smith machine you look at needs to have a wide base with long legs or feet because those things are what will determine the stability of the machine in question. The wider the base is and the more of it touches the ground the better it will be in terms of providing you with safety and stability.

If the machine is not stable and you are lifting heavy weights, when you move the wrong way or let go of the bar, the Smith machine may tip over, thus causing damage to the machine, your floor, and possibly to yourself as well. On a side note, to make it even more stable, some Smith machines also have the capability of bolting to the floor to increase stability even more.

Guided Tracks

One feature that every good home Smith machine should have is a precision bearing system, otherwise known as a guided track. This is kind of like a combination between total free weights and guided weight stacks. You still need to change the plates to increase or decrease weight, but the bar you use to lift is on a guided track.

Most Smith machines come with a vertical track, something that is ideal for smooth vertical movements without having to worry about balancing, plus you don’t have to worry about the bar moving forward or backward. This does have the effect of limiting forward and backward movement.

However, some Smith machines also come with a horizontal guide system to allow for lateral movement, which is of course the ideal. Many of these guided rail systems also have automatic cut-offs to stop the weight from hitting the ground in case you drop it, as well some have springs at the bottom which have the same effect.

Weight Limit

The next important thing to pay attention to when buying a Smith machine is the weight limit it has. Now, this is more a matter of personal preference and need. If you are a beginner looking for a decent workout, a 200 or 300-pound limit will do.

If you are an expert lifter and really want to challenge yourself, you can get a Smith machine that has a weight limit anywhere up to 1,000 pounds. Keep in mind that a higher weight limit means that the machine will be heavier and built of more solid materials, thus also increasing its price.

Storage

A convenient feature of a good Smith machine is onboard storage space. You don’t want to have to buy an extra rack for your weight plates and you certainly don’t want to have to keep them on the ground. Therefore having space on the machine itself to store plates is definitely an ideal feature of any Smith machine.

Safety Features

Lifting a lot of weight can be quite dangerous, with one of the most dangerous aspects being when the weight drops to the ground. To stop you from injuring yourself, the Smith machine you get should have various lockout points and pins which act as spotters. Working out at home often means working out by yourself, thus you will not have a spotter. A Smith machine that spots for you is something that you need to look for without a doubt.

Extras

Any Smith machine you get may also come with some extras too. You can always look for one that comes with a chin up or pull up bar, which has actually become quite standard on many Smith machines.

Smith Machine Reviews

Our Rating

This is by far the most advanced and versatile Smith machine and home trainer combination that you could ever ask for. Sure, this thing does have the ability to do everything that a normal Smith machine can do, yet it also has the capability to do so much more. In essence, if you have the Inspire Fitness FT2, you really don’t need any other weight training device at all.


Design

The Inspire Fitness FT2 is the most versatile option on this list of the best smith machines. In reality, this is because this particular piece of home gym equipment is actually a full home weight training tool with various options, one that just happens to also include a Smith machine option.

This functional trainer features a total of 8 different pull points in order to maximize its efficiency and versatility. First off, this thing has 2 wide adjustable pull points located in the front on either side. They can be adjusted to go anywhere from your feet all the way to above your head. This lets you do exercises such as standing chest presses, incline presses, flies, close grip presses, shoulder presses, squats, bicep curls, lateral raises and much more, almost like a pair of dumbbells.

This item also features 2 high pull points located above your head. This lets you do narrow lateral pull downs and other such exercises. The FT2 also features 4 low pull points located in the back of the machine near the ground. These various pull points let you do various different rowing exercises, bicep curls, and much more.

Of course, this is a list of the best Smith machines, so obviously this item also has a Smith bar so that you can use to do various squats, presses, lunges, curls, and even more. The Smith bar can be adjusted to various positions for a large variety of exercises. To make things even better, this awesome piece of equipment also comes with a multiple grip chin up bar so you can do wide or narrow grip chin ups, pull ups, and muscle ups too.

Something that also makes this item stand out from the rest of the pack is that it comes with 2 x 150-pound weight stacks included. In other words, you don’t need to buy weight plates, and it does not use free weights either. There is also a weight multiplier option that effectively doubles the weight of any exercise, plus you can also purchase an additional 200-pound weight stack to up the stakes even more.

This item functions like a total workout tool that has dual independent weight stacks already included. Having independent weight stacks means that you can work on each side of your body independently to get the most out of every workout routine.

Even better is that the weight stacks and all of the pull points feature precision ball bearing guided tracks in order to keep you safe and to keep everything in its proper position. This makes doing various lifting exercises more stable, easier, and safer than ever.

We can’t forget that there are also a number of other accessories included such as a straight bar, an EZ curl bar, a multi-purpose belt, a swing handle, a triceps rope, an ankle cuff, and 2 x 5-pound add on weights. This is definitely the most functional trainer and Smith system that you could possibly find on the market at this time.

It is also worth mentioning that while the FT2 is a pretty bulky item, mainly because it has so many features, it is also still small enough to fit into most home gyms. There is also the fact that the size of it is ideal for most people to use comfortably, plus the fairly wide base does make it an extremely stable item to be using.

Another point worth noting is that Inspire Fitness has spared no expense when it comes to the various parts of this trainer and Smith machine. Only high-quality materials were used in the design of this item, thus making it a strong and stable piece of workout equipment for all. This thing can also accommodate several other attachments including an FID bench, a leg developer, an abdominal bar, and a preacher curl attachment too.

Value for money

One thing that is clear about the FT2 is that you get a whole lot of value for the money that you are spending. This trainer and Smith machine combination does cost over 4,000 dollars, which is by no means cheap, but it is by far the most comprehensive, versatile, and advanced workout option on the market today. This is an extremely durable, stable, and safe piece of workout equipment that in all essence is a total home gym that lets you do literally thousands of different exercises.

Build quality

There is absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to the build quality of this absolutely fantastic device. This thing is made with the best materials from around the world, it has a bunch of safety features, an awesome guided track system, it has a wide and stable base, plus it has more features and exercise choices than we could have ever imagined. For the $4,000 you spend on this device, you definitely get a whole lot of quality.

Pros

  • 8 different pull positions
  • Chin up bar
  • Many accessories included
  • ​Adjustable Smith bar
  • ​Ideal medium size
  • ​Guided weight stacks included
  • ​Precision ball bearing system
  • ​Wide base for stability
  • ​Lets you do thousands of exercises
  • ​Ideal for beginners and advanced weight lifters
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • ​Takes a lot of time to assemble
  • Heavy and fairly bulky

Our Rating

This is definitely a professional grade Smith machine that can do everything you need it to do. This is a high-quality model to go with, and it’s thanks to the high weight capacity, solid build, and various awesome features that it has.


Design

One of the best parts of the Valor Fitness Smith Machine is that it features an extremely rugged build. The whole thing is made out of high-quality metals from top to bottom in order to ensure a safe and consistent workout. This thing is so strong that both it and the bar that comes included can hold up to 1,000 pounds in weight with ease.

Thanks to the extra-strong build of this Smith machine, you can be sure that it isn’t going to bend, buckle, or come apart even with the maximum weight. Even better is that this item has been built wide with a big base to make sure that it does not tip over and put your safety in jeopardy while in use, not to mention that the feet have rubber pads to protect your floor. The wide build of this machine also gives you a whole lot of room and horizontal clearance when using the Valor Fitness Smith Machine.

The Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine also features a solid cast hardened set of solid steel bars that keep the precision linear bearings on track. These linear bearings keep your weight lifting experience on a straight track in order to ensure a smooth vertical movement, one that does not require you to balance or compensate for horizontal discrepancies. You can adjust the height of the bar so you can perform various exercises with ease.

A Smith machine with a track and linear bearings is definitely an ideal way to be doing bench presses, military presses, shrugs, squats, curls, lunges, and much more. The bottom of the track even features safety springs to catch the bar in case you drop it, something that stops the bar from hitting your feet and the plates from smashing into the ground.

This particular Smith machine also features several rods in the back, all of which are meant to hold plates that are not currently in use, thus coming with plenty of onboard storage for your convenience. We also like the fact that this item is the ideal size for a medium size home gym. This item is fairly large in order to accommodate larger people and their need to exercise, yet it is also small enough to fit in anybody’s home gym.

Value for money

For around 1,000 dollars you really can’t go wrong with the Valor Fitness Smith Machine. This thing features various safety measures, it is very durable and stable, features a very high weight capacity, and has a couple of other features that definitely make this thing well worth the money you spend on it.

Build quality

We really don’t have many bad things to say about the build quality of this Smith machine, because after all, if we did have so many bad things to say, it would not have made this list. A wide and solid base, a high-quality metal frame, onboard storage, and an excellent vertical track system all make this Smith machine a quality find without a doubt.

Pros

  • 1,000-pound weight capacity
  • Solid metal build for durability
  • Wide base for optimal stability
  • Onboard plate storage for convenience
  • Vertical track system for ease of lifting
  • Adjustable height – ideal for various exercises
  • Lots of horizontal movement room

Cons

  • May not be ideal for very tall people
  • Hard to assemble
  • Weights not included

Our Rating

While this is not the most affordable option on the list, it does bring a whole lot of value and quality to the table. This is an extremely versatile and highly adjustable smith machine that allows for a wide range of movement, it’s safe to use, sturdy and stable, and will definitely do the job when it comes to all of your weight lifting needs.


Design

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this Smith machine is how versatile it is. Thanks to the multiple linear bearing track systems you are provided with an increased amount of movement range when compared to other Smith machines.

Many smith machines only have a vertical linear bearing track, which means that the bar can move up and down, but not forward or backward, something that can inhibit natural movements and get in the way of doing various exercises properly.

However, the BodyCraft Jones Freedom Machine features both a vertical and horizontal linear bearing track, which allows you to move the bar both up and down, as well as forward and backward, therefore allowing you to do a whole lot of exercises and keep your natural range of motion. These linear bearings keep the bar on track, provide you with support and stability, and also reinforce the proper form for a variety of exercises.

There is also the fact that both of the linear tracks feature heavy-duty springs to stop the bar and plates from bashing into the ground or moving too far forward or backward. This is a great safety feature that any Smith machine should without a doubt be equipped with. This thing also comes with various bar hooks and safety spotters with numerous lockout positions in order to ensure your utmost safety at all times.

We can’t forget to mention that the tracks, bearings, and all other parts are made with extremely tough materials, in order to ensure your safety and the integrity of the Smith machine. Not to mention how the whole thing is made of extremely rugged materials from top to bottom.

The BodyCraft Jones Freedom Machine features a high-grade metal frame that can hold up a lot of weight, one that any advanced weight lifter would be happy with. There is also the fact that this thing is built fairly wide and has a stable base, this ensuring your safety even further because after all, nobody wants their Smith machine to tip over while in use. This Smith machine and the Olympic bar it comes with both have a 350-pound weight capacity, thus making it ideal for intermediate and fairly heavy workouts.

We really like the BodyCraft Jones Freedom Machine because it is a pretty compact item that can comfortably fit into any home workout space, but it is also big enough to suit some pretty big people and all of their workout needs. This thing makes a great addition for any home gym, especially because it even comes with a pull up and chin up bar to increase the variety of exercises you can do with it even more.

Value for money

Like we said before, while this item is not the cheapest on the list, it does bring you a ton of value and quality to the table. The Freedom Machine comes in at around 1,500 dollars, which is actually quite a fair price when you consider the dual (horizontal and vertical) linear tracks that keep the bar from moving in ways it shouldn’t, the various safety features, and the high-quality build of it.

Build quality

The build quality of the BodyCraft Jones Freedom Machine is very good. There is just no other way to put it because it features a very sturdy frame with a fairly stable base, it has safety hooks and spotters, and a very advanced dual linear track system, not to mention that it also has a built-in chin up bar. This is definitely a high-quality Smith Machine that any weight lifter should keep their eyes on.

Pros

  • Chin up bar included
  • Ideal for intermediate and advanced workouts
  • Stable base
  • High-quality frame
  • Dual linear bearing system for vertical and horizontal movement
  • Spotters, springs, and other safety features
  • Ideal size for most home gyms

Cons

  • Takes some time to put together
  • No onboard storage for weight plates
  • Weights not included
  • No pull up bar

Our Rating

This is yet another fantastic Smith machine to go with. It is a fairly basic option, and when compared to other Smith machines on this list it may be a little less advanced. However this thing still has more than enough features to get the job done, plus it is durable and pretty compact as well.


Design

Perhaps one of the best things about the Body Solid Smith Machine is that it features a linear ball bearing system. This means that you are provided with a smooth gliding Smith machine that easily moves up and down. Moreover, the vertical track system ensures that you maintain proper form during your workout, that you have to concentrate less on balancing, and that the bar won’t move forward or backward while you are using it. The bearing system is not the only thing that makes this item very safe and easy to use.

The Body Solid Smith Machine also has 20 cross member lockout points to provide you with the utmost in safety and so that the bar can safely stop and be supported at any time during your workout. If you happen to fall or let the bar go, thanks to the lockout points, the bar won’t come crashing down on you or your floor.

Yet another thing that makes this item very safe and versatile to use is that it features a free weight gun rack system with 14 lift-off and racking points with solid 17-inch extra heavy-duty safeties. This lets you choose in what position to stop and start your lifting, which means that you have a whole lot of workout options to go with, not to mention that it provides you with a very safe lifting experience.

Something else that definitely needs to mentioned is that the Body Solid GS348Q Smith Machine is made out of high-quality parts and has a solid frame which his ideal for heavy weights and also serves to add a whole lot of stability. This is great because you know that this item won’t bend, buckle, break, or tip over from use anytime soon, plus it can easily hold up several hundred pounds without question. Also, this is a fairly small Smith machine, making it ideal for smaller rooms and moderately sized home gyms.

Finally, this piece of workout equipment also has plenty of onboard storage space to store any and all of your Olympic weight plates that are not in use. This is a convenient, safe, and durable Smith machine to go with, one that will serve you well for years to come.

Value for money

For around 1,500 dollars you really could not expect any more from this item. The Body Solid Smith Machine does not have the most features of all the Smith machines out there, but its high weight capacity, solid build, stable base, and the variety of safety features it has all make it a very valuable find. Value is definitely not an issue when it comes to this great piece of workout equipment.

Build quality

The build quality of this particular Smith machine is simply outstanding. Everything including the well-built base, the plethora of high-quality materials used for the frame and other parts, the various safety features, and the guided rail system make the Body Solid Smith machine a quality find without question.

Pros

  • Precision bearing guidance system
  • High weight capacity
  • Various safety features
  • Wide base for stability
  • High-quality build
  • Ideal for most people and home gyms
  • Onboard storage for weight plates

Cons

  • Hard to assemble
  • Quite heavy
  • Weights not included

Our Rating

If you need a new device for all your pressing and squatting needs, the Deltech Fitness DF4900 Linear Bearing Smith Machine is a good option to consider. It has several features that are going to make it a force to reckon within your home gym.


Design

Something that everything is going to love about this particular Smith machine is that it uses precision linear rolling bearings that ride on solid steel bars. These linear bearings ensure that you always follow a specific movement pattern and that the weight cannot tip forward or backward when in use, almost like a track for the bar to follow. These linear bearings ensure a smooth vertical movement that is easy to repeat, not to mention quite safe as well.

The bearings and steel bars can be adjusted to various height positions in order to accommodate for a variety of exercises. You can put the bar on lower pins/hooks to do bench presses, you can put it at a medium height for squats, or raise it even higher for shoulder presses.

Finding a Smith machine with linear roller bearings for such a low price is truly impressive, especially because they ensure that you are focusing on the right thing when lifting weights, which is lifting them upwards instead of having to constantly ensure that they don’t move horizontally.

Another thing that we really like about the Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is that it is made out of high-quality steel. While you do have to assemble this item yourself, all of the parts are designed with the strongest materials in order to ensure complete user safety and durability. This machine is very stable thanks to the wide base with extra-long feet, something that ensures it won’t tip over while in use.

There is also the fact that this model, thanks to its solid and stable build, can support up to 700 pounds, plus the same can be said for the Olympic bar that it comes with. Unless you are literally the world’s strongest man you aren’t going to be able to load this smith machine with more weight than you can lift.

The Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine features rear supports that hold the weight plates that are not in use, so you can safely store unused plates without having to damage the floor or buy separate racks. Even better is that this thing also comes with an included pull up bar so you can diversify your workout even more, all with one simple machine.

Finally, the last reason to really appreciate this machine is because it is big enough, both vertically and horizontally, so that people of most sizes can use it comfortably, yet it is also small enough to make a good addition to any smaller home gym.

Value for money

Finding value with the Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is not hard at all. This item only costs slightly over 700 dollars, plus it has free shipping in the U.S.A. That is a very low price for a Smith machine with precise linear bearings, especially one that is so safe, stable and has such a high weight capacity, plus it even has a pull up bar too.

Build quality

There is nothing to complain about when it comes to the build quality of the Deltech Fitness Smith Machine. This thing is made with ultra-rugged materials, it has a 700-pound weight capacity, and it’s sure to last you for ages to comes. The precision linear bearings only help to add to that value even more, not to mention that the wide base and long legs make it a very stable weight lifting experience.

Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Large weight capacity
  • Wide base for stability
  • Has a pull up bar
  • Precision linear ball bearings for smooth vertical movement
  • Very affordable
  • Onboard weight plate storage

Cons

  • Takes effort to assemble – two person job
  • Paint job easily scratches
  • Weights not included

Conclusion

The best Smith machine is one that is versatile in terms of adjustability and the positions it features, one that is durable and made of high quality parts, one that allows for a wide range of movement, one that is safe to use, and one that has the ability to train your whole body from top to bottom. If you are looking for a great Smith machine to add to your home gym, you should definitely give the five above options a look at. When choosing a Smith machine, just keep the most crucial aspects in mind, those which we talked about before the review section.

If you have any comments or questions about using or buying a Smith machine, just let us know and we will address your concerns at the next possible opportunity we get!

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