Smith Machines
Top 5 Best Smith Machines for Your Home or Garage Gym Reviewed for 2023

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Products analyzed
5 Best chosen

A smith machine allows you to lift heavy, working both upper and lower body, safely, from the privacy of your home gym. The smith machine is naturally more stable, because it guides the path of the barbell, helping you prevent injury. A smith machine is a great choice if you want to lift heavy weights at home, without a spotter.

Here I have the 6 best smith machines of 2022, reviewed.

Plus…

We will cover the best smith machine workouts that cover arms, chest, glutes, and legs, as well as how to choose the best smith machine for your home gym, and go over common smith machine questions that you may have.

What to consider when buying a smith machine

  • Price: For most people, this will be one of the deciding factors when choosing a model. If you are working with a limited budget, you can still get a good machine, just with fewer additional features.
  • Versatility: Some smith machines are pretty basic and offer simply the bar, track, and rack, while others come with all sorts of additional equipment, providing you with more exercise options.
  • Size: Smith machines are one of the largest pieces of equipment you can get, and even though there are larger and smaller options available, if you get one that is too small, you won’t have all the benefits that these machines offer.
  • Bearings: Look for a smith machine that has linear bearings. Linear bearings allow the bar to travel smoothly, free from jerkiness or uneven travel.
  • User Reviews: If you want to make sure that the model you pick will be good and durable, then checking the ratings other users gave it is the way to go.

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This is how we select and evaluate products on GGP

In this article, we review a number of popular products that we have found using in-depth research and analysis work. The products you find in the article are sold by one or more of our partners. Although these partnerships may influence the range of products in the article, our recommendations are based on an overall assessment of the product.

We evaluate and compare products in the article based on:

    1
  • Official and impartial product tests
  • 2
  • Customer reviews and opinions about the product
  • 3
  • Data on user behavior and preferences
  • 4
  • Specifications, characteristics, and disadvantages of the product
  • 5
  • Guarantees, service, and reputation of the dealer

Apart from that, we compare the price and quality of each product and deliver our subjective assessments and recommendations to our readers. The position of the product in the list does not necessarily reflect its quality, as all the products we review are picked as the best choice for certain users.

Best Overall

Marcy SM-4033- Best Multifunction Smith Machine

Marcy’s Customizable Smith Machine is a versatile, heavy-duty training system that offers heavy loading and control in one package.

  • Combines different strength building machines
  • Durable pulley system
  • Perfect for performing pull-up exercises
Sale
Marcy Smith Machine Cage System Home Gym Multifunction Rack, Customizable Training Station SM-4033, Red
  • You don’t have to switch between various workout stations with this gym system that combines different strength building machines: a Power Tower, Utility Bench, and Squat Rack. It also has dedicated landmine exercise attachment
  • Cage size – 70” L x 84” W x 86” H | Bench size – 62” L x 26” W x 55” H | Max user weight – 300 lbs. | Max Capacity Smith Machine Bar – 300 lbs. | Max capacity on Safety catches – 300 lbs. | Max capacity on bench – 600 lbs. (weights and user weight)
  • Equipped with multi-grip pull-up bars, this gear allows you to efficiently execute exercises for the upper body such as pull ups, chin ups, hanging leg raises. You can also use the bar to attach resistance bands | 9 ft. clearance recommended around item
  • Full assembly required | Equipped with multi-grip pull-up bars, this gear allows you to efficiently execute exercises for the upper body such as pull ups, chin ups, hanging leg raises. You can also use the bar to attach resistance bands
  • This cage boasts a durable pulley system that enables you to perform several crossover workouts. It also includes a rowing cable so you can do seated rows to develop the back muscles, forearm muscles, and upper arm muscles
Marcy SM-4033
Price

85

Rating

88

Compactness

87

Versatility

100

Accessories

100

Garage Gym Power's Takeaway

This is a great balance of features, quality, and economy of space and money. It’s our top product for this fine balance and offers a gold standard that other products are going to be judged by. With a range of features, a great footprint, and a user-friendly design, it’s a hard smith machine to beat.

Pros and cons for Marcy SM-4033

Pros

  • Fantastic pull-up attachments including neutral and 45-degree grips
  • Angled for better movement ergonomics
  • Includes a folding multifunction bench for a complete home-gym setup
  • Includes a built-in pulley system for additional training options
  • Full squat rack function on the outside of the cage for free weight training

Cons

  • 300lbs weight capacity isn’t amazing for safety catches
  • Larger and more expensive than other Marcy products and competitors

What you need to know about the Marcy SM-4033

The barbell-locking system offers many adjustable heights for comfortable use at any height – with peace of mind that the safety catches are in the right place.

With additional features, it offers amazing pull-up handles – including both neutral and the fantastic 45-degree grips. It also offers a folding multifunction bench for a wide range of exercises as part of the package. The pulley system is plate-loaded and allows you to train a wide range of exercises from chest flyes to rows and other cable workouts. It even has a landmine attachment.

This also doubles up as a squat rack – a huge benefit for additional free weight training – and expands massively on the previous product. The overall product is also larger and more stable, which offers extra stability at the price of extra size and space.

The value of this product comes from the range of training options, the value for money, and the compact nature of the product. It’s a single purchase that can transform your home gym – and only requires you to provide your own weight plates.

User Ratings and Reviews

Users like it because it gives them a lot of different exercises to do and they can put their own things on the rack, like weights or bars for doing pull-ups. The Marcy SM-4033 usually got overall positive ratings on both Amazon and Google. People say that it is a great machine and they like how it helps them work out, praising it for its sturdiness and versatility. Some people have said that the instructions are not clear and it’s a bit hard to assemble, but most would still recommend it as it offers great value for the price.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Maximum Weight on Weight Bar: 300 lbs
  • Maximum Weight on Bench (weights and user weight): 600 lbs
  • Cage size: 70” L x 84” W x 86” H
  • Bench size: 62” L x 26” W x 55” H
Best Value

Marcy MD-5139- Most Versatile Smith Machine

This is a streamlined version of the SM-4033, offering a smaller more compact product that is only slightly reduced in terms of features.

  • Dual Action press arms
  • Built in weight plate pegs
  • Lots of accessories
MARCY Pro Smith Cage Workout Machine Full Body Training Home Gym Equipment System with Leg Developer, Press Bar, PEC Deck, and Squat Rack
  • Durable Smith Machine Construction: Heavy-duty steel frame home gym system reinforced with powder-coated finish that uses sturdy aircraft cable with a tensile strength of 2,000 pounds
  • Versatile Squat Machine System: Smith machine home gym designed with dual action press arms that allow you to perform arm and chest exercises for developing various muscle groups
  • Convenient Barbell Rack Access: Weight rack for home gym includes 6 plate pegs built into the frame, letting you organize weights and barbells on the full-body workout machine
  • All-in-One Design: Marcy home gym eliminates the hassle of switching between different equipment with over 100 exercises available across 3 strength machines and 6 exercise stations
  • Complete Home Gym Machine Accessories: Weight machine and squat rack for home gym include a lat bar, tricep rope, and ankle strap that enhance the versatility of your workouts
Marcy MD-5139
Price

92

Rating

88

Compactness

88

Versatility

95

Accessories

93

Garage Gym Power's Takeaway

It saves you money and space at the cost of a slightly less premium cable system and pull-up bar by default. There’s great quality and variety to this product, and it’s a good choice if you’re looking to save cash against these premium features. The only real downside is the lack of attachments that could have been added easily – like a pull up bar – but overall this is a great machine at an awesome price.

Pros and cons for Marcy MD-5139

Pros

  • Angled for more natural movements and better ergonomics
  • Chest flye and pulley machine integrated into the smith machine
  • Doubles up as a squat rack with outer pegs providing great utility
  • Includes weight-storage pegs as standard to save space and add stability

Cons

  • Lacks a pull-up bar or related attachments – which would be easy to add
  • Slightly lower total build-quality than the SM-4033

What you need to know about the MD-5139

Marcy’s MD-5139 Smith Machine is slightly smaller and cheaper than the previous product. It lacks some of the higher-quality features like the double pulley, but offers the same excellent core experience and fits better into more restricted home gyms.

The angle of the smith machine is great for improving use with exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses that move in 2 dimensions. The integrated chest flye and pulley machine are the same as the previous product, offering the same wide range of high-quality cable tension exercises. The bench is also included to provide great training options both in and outside of the smith machine. The weight rating is the same as the previous product, as well as providing a significant extra set of accessories, like the extra lat bar.

As with the previous product, you can also train outside the cage with the j-hooks included as standard. You may want to invest in additional safety arms for extra safety, however, as these do not come as standard.

User Ratings and Reviews

Most people agree that the machine is very sturdy and well-made considering the price. There are a few complaints about the machine, but most of them seem to be from people who didn’t read the instructions carefully or who didn’t assemble it correctly. Overall, customers seem to be very happy with the Marcy MD-5139, especially with its sturdiness, stability, and range of motion. It has an overall Amazon rating of 4.3/5, and is Amazon’s Choice for the category “gym”.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Maximum Weight on Weight Bar: 300 lbs
  • Maximum Weight on Bench (including user): 600 lbs
  • Cage Assembled Dimensions: 70"L x 79"W x 84.5"H
  • Stand-alone Bench Assembled Dimensions: 75"L x 28.5"W x 47"H
Editor’s Choice

Mikolo Smith Machine- High-Quality Smith Machine at Affordable Price

Mikolo are offering the best economy smith machine on the market with great tensile strength cables and some great features as standard.

  • Comes with useful accessories
  • 8 months component replacement service
  • 13 height adjustments
Mikolo Power Cage, Power Rack with LAT Pulldown, 1200 Pounds Capacity Workout Cage with More Training Attachments, Squat Rack for Home Gym, Black
  • [F4 Tailored for Home Use] One machine to meet your diverse needs. It combines a power rack, lat pulldown, low row, dip station, and chin-up, allowing for a wide range of exercises in a limited space.
  • [Heavy-Duty Quality & Attention to Size] Constructed from 2x2-inch commercial steel tubing with eight stabilizing gusset plates for added stability and robust construction. Assembled dimensions: 77.4''(L) x 55.2''(W) x 81''(H). Gross Weight: 176 lbs. The machine boasts a maximum capacity of up to 1200 lbs.
  • [Fully Equipped & Versatile] Comes with numerous attachments, including 4 free handle attachments, 2 safety spotter pins, dip bars, j hooks, and T-bar row attachment. This provides a wide range of exercises, such as wide & narrow lat pull-downs, T-bar rows, seated cable rows, bench presses, squats, deadlifts, bicep curls, triceps extensions, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, and more. And added 4 carabiner clips, 2 extension chains for cables, and 2 weight holder clips.
  • [Space-Saving But More Storage Space] Say goodbye to a cluttered floor. F4 occupies only 29.67 square feet but offers generous storage space to keep your home gym organized. This includes storage racks with 4 weight storage pins, 2 barbell holders, and 2 handle storage hooks.
  • [Comprehensive Upgrades] Featuring 13 adjustable heights, each clearly marked. All 4 rods are universal for easy installation. Triangular pieces have been added under the grips of the 2 dip bars for added reinforcement. The weight holder sleeves are upturned to ensure that weight plates stay securely in place.
Mikolo Smith Machine
Price

100

Rating

92

Compactness

100

Versatility

87

Accessories

95

Garage Gym Power's Takeaway

This is our Editor’s choice because it’s the best economy smith machine on the market. It offers a fantastic balance of quality, basic features, and an effective weight rating, all while being much cheaper than many on the market. It offers a smaller range of features than some premium machines, but if you are not a pro athlete then you will not miss them. This is the perfect machine for most home gyms and we would recommend it to pretty much anyone who’s looking for this type of equipment.

Pros and cons for Mikolo Smith Machine

Pros

  • Simple and effective, focusing on the basics with great efficiency and economy
  • Weight storage pegs add stability while saving you extra space in the home gym
  • Great price point and 2 options – 1500lb and 2000lb respectively
  • Dip handles, pull up handles, and pulley system as standard

Cons

  • Offer a smaller range of features than some – like the Marcy Multifunction

What you need to know about the Mikolo Smith Machine

These features include dip bars, a fully plate-loaded cable pulley system with both high and low systems. It also has weight storage pins (like the past 2 products) to add extra stability while saving space. It also offers great pull-up bar attachments for neutral, narrow, and wide-grip handles.

Not only does this product offer great quality and features, it also comes at a great price. The cost is roughly ¼ of the commercial products – including the Commercial Home Gym heavy-duty smith machine – and roughly half the price of the Marcy products.

This also offers three weight capacities at 1000lbs, 1500lbs, and 2000lbs tensile strength versions. It also has a higher registered weight rating than others on the list so far, 200lbs heavier than either Marcy product’s barbell.

This is a fantastic piece of equipment for a home gym if you’re looking for a cheap but high-quality option.

User Ratings and Reviews

The majority of customers love this machine. It has great user ratings, being praised for its sturdiness and overall value in particular. There have been a few people that have said that the product is a bit difficult to put together, but other than that, people seem to be happy with their purchase.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Assembled dimensions: 63.8 ''(L) x 51.2 ''(W) x 80.7 ''(H)
  • Max load-bearing: 1000 lbs
  • Safety Bars max load: 300 lbs

Marcy SM-4008- Best Compact Smith Machine

This product combines some of the better utility features with a smaller footprint and an angled design that makes a lot of the space it takes up.

  • Features a variety of fitness exercises
  • Smithstyle press bar and cable crossovers
  • Removable utility bench
Marcy Combo Home Gym Equipment, Gray/Brown
  • Full Body Fitness: Full body workout machine features an innovative structure, combining arm and leg stations for strengthening a variety of muscle groups
  • Durable Tonal Gym Construction: All in one home gym made of heavy-duty steel frame reinforced with a powder-coated finish; Aircraft cables rated at 2,000-pound tensile strength
  • Versatile Workout Machine Training: Home gym system includes the bottom pulley and dual-function leg developer with a pivot point that aligns with knee joints to target hamstrings, quads, and glutes
  • Adjustable Weight Machine Features: Removable utility bench can be adjusted to different positions; Press bar has adjustable safety stops and bar catches
  • Workout Station Includes: Cable system, pull-up bars, cross pulleys, shiver bar, ankle strap, link chains, 2 handles, and V bar with an upper pulley cable crossover
Marcy SM-4008
Price

97

Rating

82

Compactness

91

Versatility

90

Accessories

84

Garage Gym Power's Takeaway

This is a great take on the Marcy smith machine with great angled supports and a squat rack setup. This makes for a great collection of features and only falls behind Marcy’s other products in our rankings, where the pull-up bar and feature set are slightly worse than others – but offers a great shorter smith machine/squat rack setup for home gyms. It’s perfect for small spaces, as it offers a lot of functionality, but still has a small footprint.

Pros and cons for Marcy SM-4008

Pros

  • 3 separate pulley stations for a wide range of exercise like chest flyes
  • Weight pegs provide great value, saving space and improving balance
  • Outside pegs double up as a squat rack for more training options with free weights
  • Adjustable multifunction weight bench is included and may be used separately, too
  • Multiple cable system attachments come as standard

Cons

  • Expensive compared to some products like Mikolo
  • Pull up bar is very weak compared to the versatility of others

What you need to know about the Marcy SM-4008

This also includes an adjustable, multifunction utility bench to open up a wide range of exercises.
Marcy’s triangular smith machine has a great pulley system that opens up some of the best cable options on the market. This is a standard plate-loaded system that is linked to both a flye machine and two high-angle pulleys.

This product even offers outside J-hooks to double up as a squat rack – an amazing way to combine free weight and smith machine training. This is perfect for a home gym where you already have a barbell and plate weights, adding 100s of extra training options.

This product does include a pull-up bar but it’s also not as good as many others on the market. Marcy’s neutral and 45-degree pull-up handles are great on other products, but this is a simple pull-up bar. It doesn’t have the options of other Marcy products or the Mikolo smith machines – which is an easy thing to add for extra training options.

User Ratings and Reviews

Customers feel that the Marcy Smith Cage Machine is a good value for the price, and they like the fact that it is easy to assemble. They also appreciate the fact that it comes with a weight bar and workout bench. However, some customers have complained about the quality of the welds on the machine, and others have said that the cage is too small for taller users but overall, the Marcy Smith Cage Machine is a good choice for those who are looking for an easy-to-assemble home gym that won’t take up too much space.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cage Assembled Dimensions: 65"L x 79.25"W x 84.5"H
  • Stand-alone Bench Assembled Dimensions: 68.25"L x 26"W x 45.5"H
  • Maximum Weight on Weight Bar: 300 lbs
  • Maximum Weight on Bench (including user): 600 lbs

Commercial Home Gym- Gym Quality Smith Machine

This is a monstrous item with a huge range of popular functions, an immense range of possible exercises, and an incredibly heavy-duty build.

  • 12 adjustable heights
  • 2*80 kg (176lbs) weight stack
  • Deluxe Version includes bench
Commercial Home Gym - Smith Machine, Cables with Built in 160 kg Weights (Standard Blue)
  • Smith Machine with 12 adjustable heights. High tension 2000 lb cross cables with 16 adjustable heights. 1:1 pull ratio
  • All machines include 2*80 kg (176lbs) weight stack connected to the cables, jammer arms, the pictured attachments, and foot plate for rows.
  • Strong commercial style machine with options for many exercises. Counter balanced smith machine with sealed bearing pulleys.
  • Size: 79"W x 49"D x 90"H Inside Cage Area: 43"W x 34"D x 89" H 990 lbs limit for the racks, 770 lbs limit for the bar.
  • Deluxe Version includes bench and set of plate weights. Standard Version Does NOT Include bench or plate weights.
Commercial Home Gym
Price

67

Rating

86

Compactness

83

Versatility

80

Accessories

90

Garage Gym Power's Takeaway

This is a super-luxury, super-heavy-duty smith machine. It’s commercial quality and brings ultra-premium features and durability in every area. While this isn’t going to suit everyone’s budget, it’s the best purchase you’re going to find and offers a level of quality and feature-set that you can’t find anywhere else.

Pros and cons for Commercial Home Gym

Pros

  • Weight pegs, cable system, dip bars, and core support pegs as standard
  • Commercial quality parts, design, stability, and materials
  • Includes weight-stack cable pulley system as opposed to standard plate-loaded cables
  • Exceptional quality and feature-set all round

Cons

  • Commercial-grade price is quite expensive

What you need to know about the Commercial Home Gym

It’s the most expensive item on our list but – as the brand name says – offers the Commercial smith machine experience in your home gym.

The first and most obvious point is that this product includes two stacks of weight (60kg each) for the cable and pulley systems. It doesn’t need any weight plates and the tensile strength and smoothness of this cable system are just like you’d expect in the gym. This is a huge benefit and offers pro-level cable exercises.

It also has 6 weight storage pegs, a landmine attachment, incredibly pulley durability, dip bars, and advanced core exercise pegs as standard. The frame itself is incredibly heavy, hard-wearing, and durable with a professional gym-standard finish and super-durable hardware.

There are even options to package this product with weight plates and a multifunction weight bench, all of which offer more functions in a single package. This does add considerable expense but makes for a single purchase to completely redefine the home gym experience.

User Ratings and Reviews

Most people say that it’s a great piece of equipment and that it’s helped them a lot with their workout routines. A few people have said that the assembly instructions could be better, but overall, people seem to be very happy with the product.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Size: 79"W x 49"D x 90"H
  • Inside Cage Area: 43"W x 34"D x 89" H
  • 990 lbs limit for the racks
  • 770 lbs limit for the bar

What is the point of the Smith Machine?

Many trainers do not like the smith machine because since the barbell follows a fixed path as you lift, you neglect exercising important stabilizer muscles. But, there are many benefits of using a smith machine. Because the barbell is on a fixed path, and can be set up to stop automatically at a certain point, it is safer to use when lifting heavy weight without a spotter.

A smith machine is also a great tool to use after you have fatigued your muscles using the free barbell because it allows you to continue lifting and pounding out reps. You can see, there is a time and place for the smith machine, and is especially useful when you don’t have a spotter around to catch the barbell in the event you fail a lift.

What to Look at Before Deciding on the Best Smith Machine for You

Bench, Weights, or Accessories Included?

To get the most out of your smith machine you will need a weight bench. You can use the bench for many exercises, including, of course, all the variations of the bench press. But it’s more than just the bench press. Other exercises use the bench and smith machine together, like the leg press as just one example.

Most smith machines DO NOT include weight plates but require Olympic size weight plates for the bar. Be sure to pick up a set of Olympic weights, and possibly even barbells – if you need help deciding, we have a list of the best Olympic barbells here. And, of course, don’t forget to check out the accessories offered with the smith machine.

It’s nice to have a pulley system included for lat pulldowns, a pull-up and chin-up station is often included, and sometimes you can find a smith machine with a bench that has a leg extension, and that is a nice find. The Yukon Caribou system has a bench and leg extension that use Olympic weights.

Footprint – How Much Space the Smith Machine Needs

Measure your home gym space and get the measurements of the smith machine you have in mind. You will need a couple of feet of clearance around the side and back, and at least 7 feet in front. If you need a compact smith machine, take a look at the Valor smith machine which has a relatively small footprint compared to others.

Angle – Straight or angled?

There is a controversy on which is better, a straight or angled smith machine path. Some say an angled path is more natural, while others claim that is baloney. I say, try it for yourself and see what you like better, or what feels more natural to you. Both will give you a decent workout.

Smith Machine Exercises and Workout Routines

Looking to get the most from your smith machine! You have come to the right place! I put together a list of the best smith machine workout videos right here. I included arm, chest, glute, and leg specific workouts so you can see that a smith machine covers your whole body. For many of these workouts, you will also need a bench.

The smith machine is a great way to build your chest without needing a spotter. Check out these 14 exercises you can do on your smith machine.

The deadlift can be done safely, using a smith machine. You need a box to step up on, because the starting position for the deadlift is lower than the smith machine will go. You will also be able to lift more in a smith machine than you will be using a free barbell, because the smith machine does a lot of the stabilizing work for you.

Smith machines can be used for squats. Here is an example of a hack squat, and a regular squat, done in a smith machine. If you have a bench, you can use that for the leg press, using a smith machine. If you do not have a bench, you can still do a leg press from the ground.

Smith machines are a great tool to build legs and glutes. Check out this video about glute-building that includes 14 exercises such as squats, lunges, hip punches, good mornings, thrusts, and much more.

Conclusion

Now that you have seen all the best smith machines and all that you can do using a smith machine, it’s time to decide which one is for you. We hope this guide helps you make your decision.

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FAQ

Is it Bad to Squat on a Smith Machine?
The smith machine is a good tool to use for squats. It is great for building strength and increasing the max weight you can lift. But… You should be aware of the limitations of doing a squat in a smith machine. The smith machine, since it follows a guided path, does not allow the same feedback you get from doing a free barbell squat. A smith machine does the stabilizing work for you, which makes it safer, but will not help you correct bad form or strengthen important stabilizing muscles.
What Exercises can You do on a Smith Machine?
You can do many kinds of exercises using a smith machine, covering the entire body. All variations of bench presses, leg presses, squats, lunges, deadlifts, calf raises, bent rows, curls, and more. Most anything you can do with a free barbell, you can find a way to do using a smith machine, but certain exceptions apply.
Should a Smith Machine Track be Angled or Straight? What’s Better?
Some believe an angled path is more natural than a straight up and down smith machine track path. Others believe the opposite that straight up and down path is the more natural path. I’m inclined to believe the straight path is more natural because most presses follow, or should follow, a straight path. However, an angled path may make the smith machine more stable, singe the weight is being lifted towards the center of the machine. But I think you should try both styles and see what feels more natural to you, before you decide on the best smith machine.
Yes, and no. What really causes weight loss is a deficit in calories, and as they say, weight loss happens in the kitchen. But… A smith machine is a strength training too. And research has shown that strength training is a great aid when it comes to weight loss. Specifically, strength training or resistance training, unlike cardio, can help you lose fat while keeping your lean muscle. Source. If you are looking to lose weight, check out this list of the best exercise machines to help you lose weight.

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