Cable machines are a very useful resistance training device to add to any home gym. The sheer versatility of the cable machine allows you to fuel complete workouts or you can use work it into your free weight home gym equipment. Either way, the cable machine adds a ton of value.
Are you interested in one for your personal gym? They can be an expensive purchase but in many cases these machines are built to last and can fuel many home exercises. Below, we'll go over some of our recommendations and bring to light some major buying points to help you make a better, more informed decision.
Our Top Choices
Power Line PFT100
So what is the best cable machine? Here are three unique options that we feel would benefit different home gym owners. Consider these:
Best Cable Crossover Machines For Home Gyms (2021 Reviews)
1. Valor Fitness BD61
This is an upgraded version of the BD-62. There are 3 Pulley systems included. The Dual pulley system is positioned left and right side of the weight machine and also includes the lower pulley at the bottom of the machine.
This crossover station offers up to 250 pounds of resistance, with a cable resistance ratio of 1:1. This is more than enough for the average user so both beginners and experts can use this machine with ease. The dual pulleys feature seventeen different settings so anyone can adjust them to the perfect tension level. Weight Pegs accept standard 1" weight plates but included sleeves can be added so you can load 2" Olympic sleeves on.
This machine unlike the BD-61 includes a pull-up bar with multiple grips.
Attachments: Lat Bar, Curl/Row Bar, 2 Single Strap Handles
The BD-61 is a solid choice for many home gyms. We feel like this option is best suited for people who were already interested in the BD-62 but wished there was just more features. The upgrade from the BD-62 to the BD-62 grants users access to an additional 3 additional pulley systems. If you much rather have a designated lower pulley for exercises like the seated cable row and an upper pulley for lat pull down type exercises, the BD-61 is a great consideration. Not to mention the dual cable system resembles more of something you’re used to in a commercial gym – granting you access to cable crossover type exercises.
This option is a plated loaded option and we don’t think that it’s necessarily a disadvantage. Many other cable machines have an included weight stack that can only be used on the cable machine. First, this usually drives up the price of the cable machine and for gym owners who already have a set of plates at home from their free weight set up, an extra weighted stack would be redundant. In addition, you’ll probably breeze right through the assembly phase not having to assemble the weighted stack.
The max load of 250 lbs. with the given cable resistance ratio is enough for most users.
2. Valor Fitness BD62
This wall mounted cable machine by Valor Fitness is a rather unique piece of equipment. Since it is mounted to the wall, it is the easiest to fit in any home as it takes up the least amount of space. Plus, the wall mount provides a great deal of stability over other units.
This option is a dual pulley system where the two pulleys are positioned on the left and right of the center of this machine. The pulley machine can support up to 200 lbs in resistance and the cable resistance ratio is 1:1. You would be able to perform many familiar cable exercises on this but movements like the cable crossovers which might not be available due to the position of the vertical bars.
This is a great choice for anyone who is looking to dabble with a home pulley system but doesn't necessarily want to commit to a more expensive and fully featured unit.
- Two strap handles (adjustable to 5 locations)
The BD-62 is the most affordable cable machine on our list. With that said, it’s understandable that many additional features that other cable machines have aren’t present here. But overall, we think that this machine still has a place for some home gyms. For example, if your home gym space is low on space and you need a non-bulky option and would like to have the option of cable exercises, the BD61has the most compact profile compared to the rest.
The 200 pounds weight capacity is, again, limiting but it’s still decent for the price tag.
This is a great choice for anyone who is looking to dabble with a home pulley system but doesn’t have the space or necessarily want to commit to a more expensive and fully featured unit.
3. Powerline PCCO90x Cable Crossover
Best Cable Crossover
The PCCO90 is a great cable crossover machine that offers a variety of workouts which can cater to many different uses. It is plated loaded and can take both standard and Olympic size plates.
On each side of the machine, you'll find that you can attach the cable handles to the lower pulley or the high pulley, however, these pulley positions are not height adjustable like most of the options on this list. The machine has a very wide frame which can be great to make training feel more like at a commercial gym or when multiple people are working out on it at the same time.
The machine comes with two 250 lbs weight stacks with a resistance ratio of 2:1. This machine does come with a 10-year warranty and 1 year for parts.
Attachments: 2 Cable Handles, 1 Ankle Strap
We think the most appealing aspect of the PCCO90x is the unique look amongst home cable machines. It’s design is very similar to the spacious cable crossover machine’s you’ll find in most commercial gyms- and with similar functionality. The high and low pulleys are adequate to fuel at home cable exercises.
The manufacturer lists the machine to be weighted for up to 250 lbs. of resistance on each pulley system with a 1:2 ratio. This effectively means that at the maximum suggested weight capacity of 250 lbs., the weight should feel like 125 lbs. For certain exercises like if you were to do seated rows on a single pulley, this simply isn’t enough.
Several users have stated that they have used this machine beyond the suggested weight capacity however so please be aware of this constraint when shopping.
One other thing we thought was a limiting factor for the PCCO90x was the fact that the pulleys were not height adjustable which would deny lifters the ability to modify an exercise movement to their preference. Not to mention some exercises just work better if you could move the pulley to the center of the vertical beams.
4. Body-Solid Powerline PFT100
Best Mid Tier
This cable machine is a great affordable option. The base option comes with two weight stacked rated at 160 lbs each. This can be further upgraded to a maximum of 210 lbs per side. The cable resistance ratio is set to 2:1.
The pulleys are adjustable up to 20 positions and it also has a nice full 180- degree range of motion.
It offers a 10-year warranty so if anything goes wrong the unit can be replaced free of charge.
- (2) Adjustable Cable Handles
When it comes to functional trainers, the PFT100 is probably one of the more affordable options on the market. This is the first weighted stack option that we suggest which is why the price point is far greater than the previously suggested cable machines that are plate loaded.
We can see the PFT100 being effective for:
1) Extreme budget users looking to work out sparingly with this machine being the only machine in your home gym setup
2) People with a moderate budget who are looking to stock their existing home gym set up with cable movements and prefer the individual weighted stack over the plate loaded ones.
5. Body-Solid BFFT10R
Runner Up Mid Tier
The BFFT10R is a solid choice of equipment for anyone who wants a smaller machine due to a lack of space in their home setup. This machine does only come with a single 190 weight stack (1:1 resistance ratio). This might not be for everyone but also consider that this functional trainer is more affordable than items like the PFT100.
The adjustable pulley is adjustable to 19 different levels as well as having 180-degree swivel. This option also has a frame warranty (3 Years) and other parts (1 Year)
Attachments: (2) Adjustable Cable Handles
This option is a great consideration for those interested in the previously mentioned PFT100R but that price range is still out of budget. The BFFT10R is the most affordable functional trainer we found and at almost half the cost of the PFT100R, we feel like the much lower weight capacity of 190 lbs at it’s 1:1 cable resistance ratio is understandable.
Do consider this if you’re looking for a smaller lower end functional trainer and the lower weight range is not a problem for you.
6. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine
Best All in One Workout Machine
The Marcy -9010G is a highly adjustable machine that includes a plate loaded cable machine. This option is great for those looking to get versatile workouts in with a mix of different types of exercises. The other aspects of the Marcy 1090G include the smith machine, dual arms for chest flys, and an adjustable bench that can be used for benching, leg developer, and curl pad.
The cable machine portion comes with three total pulleys. Two pulleys exist on either side of the machine as high pulleys and one pulley is positioned at the lower center to only rowing exercises.
- Lat Pulldown Bar, V-Bar, Tricep Rope, Shiver Bar, (2) Cable Handles
The Marcy 1090G was designed to be all in one home gym machine solution. This means that there are other workout components that the MD-9010G has that makes it stand out from the cable machines on this list. If we talk specifically about the cable machine component of the machine, this machine offers a dual pulley, cable crossover system like BD-61 as well as a low pulley with a foot plate.
The one downside is that the dual pulley system is stationary and is not height adjustable which means they’re only really useful for cable exercises where the starting pulley position is above the user.
Overall, we feel like this option does have a place in some users setups. WE feel like its best suits for those who can invest in a single machine whether it be for cost or space reasons but want a variety of lifting components, one of them being the cable exercises, to make workouts as versatile as possible.
7. XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine
Best High End
The XMark is a high-end functional trainer. It can be seen as an upgraded version of the PFT100 and BFFT10R. The weight stack is rated at 200lbs (1:1 resistance ratio).
Like the other options, there are 19 pulley height adjustments. This option also comes with a variety of grip attachments as well as a multi-grip pull-up bar.
- (2) 8" Hand Straps, (2) 17" Long Hand Straps
- Short Bar, Long Bar, 23" Tricep Rope
- Leg Strap, Ankle Strap
The XMark is a high-end cable machine that has all the features of the PFT100 and BFFT10R with some major upgrades. If you were interested in either of the previously mentioned functional trainers but the weight capacity was one of the limiting factors, then XMark’s option might be better suiting since it offers a much larger dual weighted stack as well as a 1 to 1 ratio cable resistance.
8. Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer
Best Smith Machine
This high-end functional trainer provides everything you need to work out at home. Included with this machine is an adjustable bench. The included bench can be equipped with the leg extension for leg work or the preacher curl pad for bicep work, much like the Marcy MD-1090G.
The cable machine has two weighted stacks each with a weight capacity of 165 lbs, with a resistance ratio of 2:1.
- Inspire Fitness Bench, Tricep Rope, (2) D Handles, Straight Bar, EZ Curl Bar, Ankle Strap
The Inspire Fitness is another high-end functional trainer much like the XMark. However, Inspire added a ton of auxiliary features that make this machine capable of being a standalone all-in-one home gym machine.
For one, the added smith bar that attaches onto the dual weight stacks to perform barbell type exercises is a unique and nice touch to this machine which makes its functionality like the MD-1090G. Secondly, one thing that this high-end functional trainer has over the XMark is the added upper and lower pulleys and the ability to add the workout bench which all work together to add more workout variety into the mix.
Factors to Consider in a Cable Machine for Home Gym
What Type of Cable Machine Are You Interested in?
You may have noticed there isn't a universal design for cable machines on the market. In this section, we'll go over some of the more common types.
The cable machines that you'll typically see at a commercial gym. These are cable machines that are powered by a weighted stack. This option comes in two variations: single weighted stack or double-weighted stack cable machines.
These are cable machines that require the user to load up plates onto the machine's weight pegs to use. These options are great, especially if you're looking to supplement the cable machine with a free weight barbell setup. You'd be using the weighted plates for both scenarios.
Valor Fitness BD-61
A variation of the cable machine that consists of two pulley systems that commonly come with dual weighted stacks. The pulleys are highly adjustable which allows users to place the pulleys at various heights and angles to work out virtually all muscle groups. What's great about functional trainers is that they are versatile enough to work as a standalone home gym machine or if you'd like, complement your existing setup.
Inspire Fitness FT2
Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer
Power Rack Extension
Some power racks allow you to add or upgrade the existing power rack with a pulley system. These are usually plated loaded cable machines. A nice option if you wanted to complete a home gym build with cable exercises as well as heavy free weight lifts on a power rack.
Hulk Fit Power Cage
A cable pulley system that usually comes with a seat. Its focus is to allow the user to perform exercises like the lat pulldown and seated rows via the floor row cable. These are usually plate-loaded cable machines.
XMark Pulldown Cable Machine
Like many types of equipment in your home gym, you should consider how much weight it can safely handle for operation. For many weighted stack type home gyms, we notice that the stack will usually fall in the range of 150 to 200 lbs.
For plate-loaded cable gyms, you should note what the maximum about of weight you can load up is. This usually ranges anywhere from 150-400 lbs. So be sure to find one that supports the amount of weight you'll be moving.
What Will the Cable Machine Be Used For?
Because there are a variety of options, you want to shop for one that will truly add value to your home gym. Ask yourself, what do you want the cable machine for? We listed two major situations that you should consider.
1. The Cable Machine will be your primary exercise machine: Maybe you don't have the space to get a power rack, bench, a barbell, and racks of dumbbells in your home space. In that case, you might want to invest in a higher-end cable machine/functional trainer. You can fuel all your workouts with just a cable machine but here are some extra tips.
- Look for one with a weighted stack so you don't have to be hassled with purchasing plates.
- Look for one with a built-in pull-up bar.
2. You'll be using the machine for specific exercises: On the other hand, you might want or already have a free weight setup including a power rack/barbell with weights. A cable machine will still add a ton of value, allowing you access to things like chest flyes, lat pulldowns, rope pulldowns. (1)
- You can look for a more affordable option.
- Look into plate loaded options so you can use the plates from your free weight setup on this as well.
Dimensions, Compactness, Size
Most of these machines aren't meant to be moved. You'll have to know where you want to place it beforehand so make sure you have that space allocated and measure out your space. Machines like the PCC90X machines are very space demanding.
- If your home gym is in a basement or garage, the ceiling height could be problematic (especially if you have one that includes a pull-up bar). Be sure to double-check the cable machine's height.
Valor Fitness BD-61
56" L x 52" W x 81" H
Valor Fitness BD-62
24.5" L x 25" W x 80" H
Body Solid PCCO090x
112" L x 39" W x 82" H
42.3" L x 62.6" W x 83" H
55" L x 84" W x 61" H
70" L x 83" W x 86" H
XMark Functional Trainer
43.5" L x 65" W x 83" H
58" L x 61" W x 88" H
We don't think this is a big deal but it might be nice to have a variety of grip attachments included with your cable machine. Because many of these machines operate in the same manner, we have to look at the minor things to sway into buying one over another machine.
Most home gym cable machines should already come with standard grip attachments such as the strap handles. Hope things like the tricep rope, straight bar, row bar, or ankle cuffs may not be included. If you know your workout regime requires it, be sure that the machine you're interested in includes it.
Valor Fitness BD-61
(2) Single Strap Handles
Valor Fitness BD-62
(2) Strap Handles with 5 positions
Body Solid PCCO090x
(2) Metal Stirrup Handles
Power Line PFT100
(2) Strap Handles with 4 positions
(2) Strap Handles
Lat Pull Down Bar
XMark Functional Trainer
(2) 8" Hand Straps
(2) 17" Long Hand Straps
(2) Strap Handles
EZ Curl Bar
Do take assembly time into account when making your buying decision. For most of these machines, some type of assembly is required.
For full-on functional trainer options like the XMark or essentially any of the weight stacked choices, the time it takes to assembly and the difficulty will increase. Users seem to have an easier time assembling the plate loaded cable machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cable Machine Resistance Ratio?
Cable Machine Resistance Ratio is the ratio between the amount of weight loaded onto the pulley versus the amount of weight resistance the pulley will produce. This is super important to know, as it'll dictate how much resistance you can possibly lift on a certain model.
Example: Setting the pin to 100 lbs on a 1:1 weighted stack cable machine would equate to the user lifting 100 lbs of resistance. On the other hand, setting the pin to 100 lbs on a 2:1 weighted stack cable machine would equate to lifting only 50 lbs.
Many cable machines are set to a 2:1 ratio and a few others are usually set to 1:1.
Where to Buy?
If the machines on this list are not for you, do check out all types of cable machine options on the market. Below we included several places you can go for more:
Carries brands like Powerline and Bodycraft
Carries brands like York, Bodycraft, BodySolid, Valor Fitness