Top 8 Best Smith Machines for Home Gyms


Smith machines make additions to home gyms because they allow lifters to comfortable at home and also ensure safety measures since a spotter might not be readily available. Nonetheless, there are a variety of different exercise machines that incorporate the smith machine in their design. Below, we'll go over some of our recommendations and go over several buying factors to consider before you invest in one.

Summary: Our Top 3 Picks

So what is the best smith machine for home? Here are three unique options that we feel would benefit different home gym owners. Consider these:
  1. Force USA G3: High-End, Versatile, Loads of Functionality
  2. Body-Solid PSM144x: Simple, Compact, Affordable
  3. Body-Solid GS347Q: Smith Machine & Power Rack  

Product

Detail

Price

Rating

Marcy MD 1090-G

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System with Linear Bearing Md-9010G, Silver (MD-9010)

$$

4.5 out of 5

Force USA G3

$$$

4.5 out of 5

Body-Solid Powerline PSM144x

$

 4 out of 5

Body-Solid GS348Q

$$$

 4.5 out of 5

Valor Fitness BE-11

$$

 4 out of 5

Marcy SM4008 Smith Rack

Marcy Smith Cage Machine with Workout Bench and Weight Bar Home Gym Equipment SM-4008

$$

4 out of 5

Inspire Fitness Ft2

$$$

4.5 out of 5

Titan Smith Machine

$$

4 out of 5

Top Smith Workout Machines in 2020

1. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System with Linear Bearing Md-9010G, Silver (MD-9010)

Overview

Brand

Marcy

Model

MD-9010 G

Weight

430 lbs

Dimensions

95" x 79" x 86"

Type

Complete Home Gym System

Summary:

The Marcy MD 1090-G is a great total body training home gym system with one main feature being its built-in smith machine.


The appeal to the Marcy Workout Cage however is that it's a highly versatile fitness machine that caters to a gym user who wants a bit of everything in their home gym machine. Besides the smith function, this option includes high and low cable pulleys for cable cross over type exercises, a barbell rack for traditional free weight lifts, a pec deck station, and a bench that supports both upper and lower body isolation exercises.

Pros:

  • Full on Complete Home Gym Option
  • Dual Action Leg developer that provides perfect targeting for specific muscle groups
  • Linear bearing that ensures each motion of the workout is smooth and accurate

Cons:

  • Challenging Setup that requires an organized approach
  • Not as stable as a commercial unit

2. Force USA G3

Overview

Brand

Force USA

Model

G3

Weight

992 lbs

Dimensions

48" x 86" x 83.5"

Type

Complete Home Workout System

Summary:

The G3 is an upgraded high-end version of the 1090-G. For this model, Force USA took the same direction as Marcy which was to create a versatile piece of home gym equipment that would bring various parts of a commercial gym into a single combo smith machine.

The vertical smith machine on this unit is rated for up to 772 lbs and includes 14 safety bar lockout positions.


Other Features:

  • A Power Rack Station that includes Westside hole spacing, weight capacity of 992 lbs, and long safety bars.
  • Plated Loaded Dual Pulley Functional Trainer
  • Pull-up / Chin Up Bar

Pros:

  • Heavy Weight Capacity
  • Power Rack
  • Functional Trainer

Cons:

  • Vertical Smith Machine

3. Body-Solid Powerline PSM144x

Overview

Brand

Body-Solid

Model

PSM144X

Weight

158 lbs

Dimensions

45" x 75" x 80"

Type

Vertical

Summary:

This PSM144x by Body-Solid is a super affordable and bare-bones choice with options to upgrade into more of a home gym system through select retailers. It's bar weighs 32 pounds and is rated for up a 400 lb weight capacity at a 0 Degree Angle. This option allows 14 different lockout positions.

The appeal to this product is that it's highly affordable and compact. So, users with limited space or budget can choose to purchase the base option and can come back to upgrade later on. You can also choose later to upgrade the smith machine with a lat pulldown or a a Pec Deck attachment.

The bar uses Standard Sized Plates (1" Hole Space) and comes with Powerline's 10 Year Warranty.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable 
  • Compact
  • Two Upgrade Options

Cons:

  • 400 lb weight capacity only

4. Body-Solid GS348Q

Overview

Brand

Body-Solid

Model

GS348Q

Weight

276 lbs

Dimensions

56" x 69" x 83"

Type

Angled & Half Rack

Summary:

Body-Solid is known for making quality home gym equipment. The GS348Q is another great choice geared for a home gym environment. Taking a look at the specs of the smith machine, this option offers an angled movement with at 7-degree pitch with a whopping 20 lockout positions. The bar on the BS348Q weighs 25 lbs.

What stands out about this option is that the smith machine incorporates the functionality of a half rack as well. Positioned on the outward edge of the frame are 14 barbell catches and safety bars meant for free weight barbell exercises. This added functionality makes it great for home gym owners looking to incorporate barbell exercises alongside smith machine exercises.

Includes 6 Olympic Weight Pegs and a barbell vertical storage post. Offers upgrades for a Lat Pulldown Attachment and Pull Up Bar.

Pros:

  • 20 Lockout Positions
  • Includes a Free Weight Station
  • Upgradeable Lat Pulldown Station

Cons:

  • Lightweight Bar (25 lbs)

5. Valor Fitness BE-11

Overview

Brand

Valor Fitness

Model

BE-11

Weight

-

Dimensions

54" x 53" x 80"

Type

Angled

Summary:

Valor Fitness's BE-11 is another simple and compact choice that resembles the size and price of the Body-Solid PSM144x. One notable difference is that this model has a slight smith angle of 3 Degrees. The bar is a little heavier than the PSM144x weighing 36 lbs and uses Olympic plates. The BE-11 has a moderate weight capacity of 500 lbs and includes the average 14 bar lockout positions.

This option does include four storage pegs for Olympic plates (2" Weighted Plates)
Unlike the PSM144x, the BE-11 does not have large upgrade options but does include the option to add on a Counter Balance Kit.

Pros:

  • Handles up to 500 lbs

Cons:

  • No upgrades available

6. Marcy Smith Cage SM-4008

Marcy Smith Cage Machine with Workout Bench and Weight Bar Home Gym Equipment SM-4008

Overview

Brand

Marcy

Model

SM-4008

Weight

157 lbs

Dimensions

98" x 59" x 82"

Type

Complete Home Gym System

Summary:

This model is another home gym option by Marcy. Many of the features are similar to the Marcy MD-1090G.


Marcy smith cage is one of the best complete gym smith machines that is more worth than its cost. The unit comes with a bench, footplate, two handles, a leg developer, rows, and curl bars, making it suitable for all kinds of exercises.

The press bars have adjustable stops that promote safe, powerful workouts. The upper pulley system is independent and allows cable crossover. The leg developer allows you to effectively work out on your lower body muscles while the pull bar makes it easy to work on your upper body.

This option has an adjustable bench and back pad to vary the intensity of your workouts.

Pros:

  • Its features offer a wide variety of exercises
  • Comes with a leg developer and an adjustable bench
  • Comes with several accessories to help you work on any part of your body.

Cons:

  • Requires a larger workout space

7. Inspire Fitness Ft2

Overview

Brand

Inspire Fitness

Model

Ft2

Weight

825 lbs

Dimensions

61" x 58" x 88"

Type

Functional Trainer

Summary:

Inspire Fitness created a truly unique product with the Ft2. This is a high-end functional trainer that provides a ton of functionality to fuel a variety of different exercises for a home gym. This functional trainer comes packed with two pairs of 165 lb weighted stacks with a resistance ratio of 2:1. The weighted stack powers all types of pulley type exercises such as the cable crossover and tricep rope pushdown. The same weighted stack is used to power a vertical sliding bar for smith type exercises as well- removing the need for weighted plates on this unit.

Attachments:

  • Inspire Fitness Bench
  • Tricep Rope, (2) D Handles, Straight Bar, EZ Curl Bar
  • Ankle Strap

Pros:

  • Functional Trainer Features
  • No Weighted Plates Required 

Cons:

  • Weighted Stack Resistance can be limiting for some users

8. Titan Fitness Smith Machine

Overview

Brand

Titan Fitness

Model

-

Weight

261 lbs

Dimensions

54" x 66.5" x 86"

Type

Angled

Summary:

Titan's Smith machine is a mid tiered option with a similar design as the Valor Fitness BE-11. This unit has a decent maximum weight capacity of 600 lb. One thing that the Titan option lacks, however, is the number of bar lock out positions. Most other options have 14+ lockout positions, whereas the Titan includes only 8 that is positioned in the middle region of the frame.
Uses Olympic sized plates. Counterbalances and storage pegs are included in the purchase.

Pros:

  • 600 lb Weight Capacity
  • Counterbalance Function Included

Cons:

  • Lacks Bar Lock Out Positions

Factors to Consider in a Smith Machine

Types of Smith Machines

Conventional 

The smith machines that you would typically see at your local gym. Load up the barbell with plates and perform various barbell exercises.


Some options on our list that are of this type are the: PSM144X and GS348Q.

Multi Gym

Several exercise equipment producers package smith machine functionality with other popular exercise components. These are perfect for compact home gym builds that where you can utilize the same space for various resistance exercises.


Options like the Marcy MD1090G and the SM-4008 are two home gym options that include many additional features like a Pec deck, Lat pulldown, Power Rack & more.

Smith Cable Machine

Models like the Inspire Fitness Ft2 is incredibly unique. It's essentially a fully loaded functional trainer cable crossover machine that's powered by a weighted stack. The weighted stack can also be used to power a smith  machine component that's built into the frame of the pulley machine. These are great for users looking for a machine that combines both cable & barbell exercises.

Barbell Weight & Weight Capacity

The weight of the barbell on the smith machine varies between different models. This is the same for weight capacity. Be sure to note the difference in barbell weights to fit one that fits your exercise regime. Most smith machines handle weights in the range of 400-600 pounds. As for barbells, the weight will vary drastically, ranging from 20-40 lbs.

Type of Weighted Plate

Not all smith machine bars accept the same plate type. The two options are either Olympic (2" hole) or standard-sized plates (1" inch).

Angled or Vertical Smith Machine

Most options allow a slightly angled tilt on the frame that connects to the smith bar. This slight angle started to become more popular as it is better suited to follow the body's natural range of motion for exercises like the squat or bench press. The angle, we find, usually varies up to 7 degrees. If preferred, there are still options where the bar path is completely vertical.

Attachments, Accessories, Upgrades

While some smith machines are extremely barebone (PSM144x and Valor BE-11), some options allow additional attachments or upgrades. Some common upgrades include an additional lat pull-down or Pec Dec Station. Other options like the MD1090-G come with an additional bench for seated exercises, and options like the Body-Solid and Force USA G3's safety bars and J Hook facilitate free weight barbell type exercises.

Size, Weight, Compactness

Make sure to allocate enough space to safely utilize the unit. Most of these units are heavy enough that you really can't reposition them easily. Consider the dimensions of each option and also allow for enough workout space especially for the bar movement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Smith Machines

Are Smith Machines As Good As Free Weights?

In terms of exercise intensity, smith machines are not as effective as free weights. Because the bar path is fixed, the muscles necessary to stabilize the barbell during a free weight lift would not be activated. Also, mechanisms like the counterweight and the overall weight of the bar make for an easier lifting experience.

However, in terms of safety, a home smith machine is more effective than free weights. Safety pins under the bar as well as multiple lockout positions allow users to stop the lift safely. This is great for home gym environments, especially for those planning to work out without a spotter.

Can You Build Muscle With The Smith Machine?

Like any other weighted exercise devices, the smith machine can still promote muscle growth as building muscle boils down to progressively overloading the muscles during training. With that said, free weights are still superior at building muscle because it works muscles more effectively.

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