Looking for a Cheap Rowing Machine?

Buying a second hand rowing machine may be cheaper. But could buying new prove to be a better investment? In this blog post, we give you tips on buying a cheap rowing machine, second hand. We also discuss why you might want to buy new instead. Read on to learn more about both options.

Tips for Buying Second Hand Rowing Machines

If you want to buy a second hand rowing machine, it is important to know what to look for. Here are our top tips to help you choose well:

Resistance Type

Your rowing experience is determined by resistance type. Are you looking for a machine that emulates rowing on water? Or is keeping cost down your primary objective? Read our rowing machine buying guide to make an informed decision about which resistance type you want to buy.


Cheap rowing machines often have short monorails which will not suit taller users. When buying second hand, look for a rowing machine with a monorail that is longer than 120cms. The taller you are, the longer monorail you will need to allow for a full leg extension.

Machine Weight

Look for a rowing machine that weighs more than 35kg. Cheap rowing machines may be lighter than this. A heavier machine indicates higher build quality and a stable rowing experience.

Maximum User Weight

A machine with a high maximum user weight is a good indication of build quality. Look for a second hand rowing machine with a user weight of over 130kg.


If you have a small space, check that the second hand rowing machine you’re looking at folds away. Some rowing machines fold or separate into two sections for easy storage.


Check whether other customers have had a good experience of the reseller. Reading reviews or checking their rating if they’re on eBay is a good measure.


Ask for details of the rowing machine model. Avoid models that are over five years old. A new model is a wiser investment as it is more likely to have up-to-date features and functionality.


Find out how many users the rowing machine has had. A rower that’s been used by a whole family may have less life left in it than one with one previous user.


Check the second hand rowing machine for damage. If there are any mechanical problems, it is probably not a wise investment.


The manufacturer’s warranty is not normally transferable when you buy a cheap rowing machine, second hand. Instead, ask the reseller if they offer a money back guarantee or warranty to give you peace of mind.

Why Buy New?

Buying a cheap rowing machine, second hand may seem like a smart way to save money. But does it offer the best value? There are multiple reasons why buying new may make more financial sense.

Here are our top reasons why we think you should buy a new rowing machine:

Latest Features

Second hand rowing machines may have dated features. If you want to be able to use the latest tech, for example a heart rate chest strap, it is best to buy new.


If you buy a second hand rowing machine, how long will you be able to use it for? Perhaps not that long. Buying new ensures your machine has longevity. You can work out on it for years to come.


New products will have up-to-date reviews about them which are easy to find online. This makes researching the right rowing machine more straight forward.

Fitness Support

At JTX Fitness we offer ongoing fitness support to all our customers. Our exceptional customer service, free workouts and an in-house personal trainer will help you smash your goals.


Buy new from JTX Fitness and you’ll be covered by one of our industry-leading in-home service warranties. Should your rowing machine develop a fault, we’ll send an engineer to fix it.

Recoup the Costs

Rather than buying a cheap rowing machine, second hand, why not buy new and then resell it? This is another way to save money.

How Much to Spend?

If you decide to buy a new rowing machine, how much can you expect to spend? Read on to find out as we explain what you’ll get at each price point.

£100 - £300

If you’re looking for a cheap rowing machine, you may be able to find something for as little as £100 - £300. At this price, build quality will be low, making these machines unsuitable for intense, regular workouts. The resistance type is likely to be magnetic, adjusted manually. Because resistance is not dynamic, it won’t respond to your movements. This will make the experience feel less smooth.

£350 - £700

If you have £350 - £700 to spend, you can afford to buy a well-built, dual air and magnetic rowing machine for home use. These machines offer a smooth, sturdy rowing experience. Dynamic air resistance builds up as you row, adding to a base level of magnetic resistance. This allows for an effective rowing workout.

£700 - £1000

If you’re able to spend £700 to £1000+, you can consider a commercial grade air or water resistance rowing machine. Both offer a smooth, lifelike rowing experience. If you’re looking for a realistic simulation of rowing on water, a water resistance machine is a good choice. But if you prioritise intense workouts, an air rowing machine will really put you through your paces. Popular with CrossFit® athletes, air rowing machines are ideal for HIIT.

For more guidance on choosing the best rowing machine for your budget and needs, read our rowing machine buying guide:

Read Rowing Machine Buying Guide

Rowing Machine Maintenance

Whether you buy a cheap rowing machine, second hand, or decide to buy new, maintaining your rower is key. Proper care and regular maintenance improve performance and increase the lifespan of your machine.

To learn how to maintain your rower, read our rowing machine maintenance guide.

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