The Best Smith Machines for Smaller Spaces, Value, and More

A smith machine can open up a world of training possibilities. We pulled all the strings to find the best ones on the market.

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Smith machines are a familiar sight in gyms around the world — both in a commercial setting and at home. This time-tested piece of equipment can be used for a wide range of purposes, from designing entire body workouts, to acting as a spotter when you plan to lift alone. You can re-rack the bar at multiple points thanks to the hooks, which can be very useful for leg day or chest day, if you don’t have a partner to spot you.

There has been a lot of innovation with regard to smith machines, so we did some testing and research ourselves to find the best smith machines for a number of purposes. Sure, these machines aren’t cheap when compared to buying a couple of dumbbells and kettlebells. But if you’re trying to find an all-in-one package that offers a safe and stable barbell workout, smith machines provide more options and control than free weights typically do. A lot of these picks even go beyond the call of duty you’d often require of a smith machine, which could make them the true centerpiece of your home gym.

Best Smith Machines

Best Smith Machine Overall

When you think of a smith machine, the likely image in your head is of a rack-like contraption with a barbell that goes up and down, has various points to hook the bar on for self spotting, and not much else. While you can still get those kinds of machines, many of the modern options like the Force USA G10 Pro have some incredible features and build-out options that make them an even better value for money.

Force USA G10 Pro

The Force USA G10 Pro is more than a smith machine, it’s an entire home gym solution — and that’s why we like it so much. It features adjustable cable ratios, meaning multiple users can lift the right amount of weight for their strength without changing the weights. There are 60 adjustment points on the half-rack, and part of the smith machine where you can mount jammer arms, a leg press plate, or even monolift attachments.

This one piece of equipment has the ability to take the place of a power rackfunctional trainer, smith machine, low row, lat pulldown, leg press, dip station, and more. The 772-pound rating of the smith machine is likely more than enough for most people so you can max out with confidence. The reinforced bushings and linear bearings offer smooth and natural movement so you don’t feel like you’re lifting air at certain points of an exercise.

Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

Who Should Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • People who want their smith machine to be the centerpiece of their home gym — we’re hard-pressed to think of an exercise you can’t do with the G10 Pro. You can even get a TV mount as an upgrade kit.
  • Anyone with limited space that wants to get the most versatility out of that space. The footprint of this piece is only 80 inches wide and 73 inches deep with a height of 87 inches, meaning it should be able to fit nearly anywhere.
  • Athletes looking for a high-quality product. Force USA uses 11-gauge rolled steel, high tensile aircraft grade cables, and provides a lifetime structural warranty.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • Anyone looking for a basic smith machine who already has all the other pieces of their gym and is just looking to add a smith machine’s safety and functionality. 
  • Folks who are on a tight budget and looking for a self-spotting machine only. This product isn’t cheap and if you don’t need or want the versatility of it then there are less expensive options.
  • Lifters looking for a true 1:1 pulley ratio. This machine offers variety with 2:1 and 4:1 interchangeability but lacks a 1:1 pulley ratio.

It seems like Force USA tried to replace every piece of gym equipment with an all-in-one machine, and in our opinion, they succeeded. With a huge array of attachments and quality engineering, this is a smith machine and much more that we can confidently say is a good choice for anyone who has the money to pay for it.

Best Smith Machine for Smaller Spaces

As you look around at smith machines on the market, you’ll probably find out pretty early on that none of them are what we would call “compact”. However, there are some options that are better suited to smaller spaces, and the Force USA G3 is our favorite smith machine when space is limited. 

Force USA G3 Trainer

Packing almost as much functionality as the larger G9, the G3 is still an amazingly versatile piece of kit that allows you to train legs, arms, core, and more. When you run out of exercises, give us a call. What’s great about the G3 is that it’s designed to take up a smaller footprint and is a decent amount cheaper too. Force USA’s impressive warranty still applies though, so you can rest assured the quality hasn’t been compromised on this smaller package. 

$400 Off
Force USA G3 All-In-One Trainer
Force USA G3 All-In-One Trainer
Force USA G3 All-In-One Trainer

With 12 attachments included, this all-in-one trainer features a complete storage system for your barbells, weight plates, and cables. It can be further optimized by adding a leg press and lat-pulldown seat. Save $400 on the G3 now

Who Should Buy the Force USA G3 Trainer

  • Customers who have limited space in which to train and want to make the most of it.
  • Athletes looking for a piece of equipment with lots of options for expansion additions.
  • Buyers who want a machine with a great warranty and an incredibly solid build. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA G3 Trainer

  • Consumers who prefer to spend a little more and get a top-of-the-range model.
  • Lifters for whom space isn’t an issue can consider larger models with more attachments. 
  • Trainees who prefer to stick with a more basic squat rack or pressing machine. 

Slightly smaller than some of the other options on this list, the G3 nonetheless packs an incredible punch for its size. If you’re operating with limited space, look no further than this machine. 

Best Smith Machine for the Money

Smith machines can be costly, even for a basic one and when you’re spending a lot of money on a piece of equipment, you want it to work well and stand up to repeated, everyday use. A quality smith machine doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’ve ever worked out at a commercial or large gym, you’ve no doubt seen and used something similar to our pick for this category — the Titan Fitness Smith Machine.

Titan Fitness Smith Machine

As the name suggests, this smith machine from Titan Fitness is just that — a smith machine. No add-ons or extra features here, just a sturdy piece of equipment you can use and abuse that’ll keep coming back for more. This smith machine features two self-spotting safety catches that you can adjust to eight different positions to fit your height.

A few nice extras on this product are band pegs so you can do accommodating resistance training as well as six eight-inch weight storage posts to keep your plates close by when lifting. There are a few drawbacks, such as the loadable length on the sleeve being only 13.25 inches compared to an olympic bar which is usually 16 inches. The weight capacity is lower than many other options on this list at 600 pounds — which is more than enough for most people — but still lower than a lot of other smith machines.

Titan Fitness Smith Machine
Titan Fitness Smith Machine
Titan Fitness Smith Machine

Those in the market for a straightforward smith machine that offers great value for the price and can stand up to daily, repeated use need look no further than the Titan Fitness Smith Machine. This machine is similar to many that you’d find at a commercial gym and even has a few extras for added value like band pegs and six weight storage posts.

Who Should Buy the Titan Fitness Smith Machine

  • Buyers who are looking for a smith machine that offers solid protection — with the flick of your wrist, you can lock the bar into place on one of the safety spotters.
  • Lifters looking for a straightforward smith machine that won’t break the bank. This machine is exactly what comes to mind when we think of a smith machine and though the band pegs and plate storage is nice, this really is just a solid smith machine. 
  • Gymgoers looking for a smith machine with plenty of weight plate storage.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Fitness Smith Machine

  • Anyone looking for a more natural feel when lifting. The counterweights included on this machine can sometimes cause exercises to feel unweighted during use.
  • Customers on a tighter budget who need more function for this price point. 
  • Those looking for a smith machine that doesn’t have a slight pitch to the bar path. A vertical bar path usually helps to simulate the way exercises are performed when freestanding and the backward pitch of the bar path can feel unnatural at first.

Simple and reliable are the best ways to describe the Titan Fitness Smith Machine. It offers a solid product at a price point lower than most other options. You won’t get any of the fancy extras that other products offer like cable pulleys, but if you’ve already got that handled and just need a smith machine, this is an excellent choice. 

Best Smith Machine with a Power Rack

Thankfully for consumers, the equipment available for purchase nowadays has a lot of versatility and combines many different pieces of equipment into one. The Force USA G10 Pro is a prime example of this as it combines a smith machine and an integrated power rack. This allows for guided and self-spotted exercises on the smith machine when you’re alone or freestanding movements to hit those stabilizing muscles when you’ve got a spotter. We think the product that combines the best of both worlds better than any other at the moment is the Force USA G10 Pro.

Force USA G10 Pro

The G10 Pro has a lot going on — from a functional trainer and smith machine to the integration of a fully adjustable, commercial-grade half rack. This single piece of equipment allows you to get the benefits of free weights that a power rack has to offer while still maintaining the safety benefits of a smith machine. This allows you to train for bodybuildingpowerliftingCrossFit, and more all with the same piece of equipment. Force USA didn’t cut any corners in constructing the G10 Pro either.

The uprights are made from heavy-duty 11-gauge rolled steel with commercial-grade J-hooks and safety spotter arms. They even included removable rubber barbell protector sleeves to protect the knurling of your bar and extend its life. If you want a smith machine that features a power rack (and much more) then we highly recommend the G10 Pro.

Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

Who Should Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • Athletes who want the benefits of both a smith machine and a power rack all in one. Free weights allow you to get more stabilization muscle activation than smith machines because the bar isn’t fixed to the machine, but smith machines offer a lot of safety. The best of both worlds are in this one machine.
  • Lifters who like a large variety of movements in their training programs. The G10 Pro has a ton of attachments and upgrade kits available like a leg press, jammer arms, and even a TV mount.
  • Customers who want a machine with a great warranty. Force USA stands behind their products with a lifetime structural warranty to safeguard consumers against manufacturing defects or breakdowns.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • Consumers with a tighter budget. You’re paying for a lot of function here, but the price tag is an investment.
  • Anyone not versed in lifting free weights may want to stick with a smith machine only for now until they can get some proper training on how to exercise safely without the built-in spotters of a smith machine. 
  • Lifters who are looking for a full, four-post power cage. This is only a half-rack that comes with the smith machine. 

The Force USA G10 Pro is unparalleled in its versatility. There are a few types of lifting you can’t do with this one machine that combines up to 11 machines into one if you splurge for the upgrade kits. Even what comes with the base unit is impressive with a smith machine, power rack, and functional trainer altogether. You’ll get a lot of function from this machine, but note that the price tag does reflect that.

Best Smith Machine on Amazon

Shopping for a big piece of gym equipment online can be overwhelming at the best of times, and we have to admit that the enormous selection of smith machines on Amazon is shocking. We did the research though, and if you’re looking to purchase a smith machine from Amazon, the Commercial Home Gym is a solid bet. 

Commercial Home Gym

Sturdy, multi-functional, and pretty darn good looking, the Commercial Home Gym combines a smith machine, power rack, chin-up bar, crossover cable system, and more all into one package. It does require assembly, but there is an option to pay extra for in-home installation to save you even more time. Able to handle loads up to 990lbs, you can rest assured you won’t run out of training options.

Commercial Home Gym
Commercial Home Gym
Commercial Home Gym

Packing an incredible selection of exercises and function into one solid piece of equipment, this commercial home gym smith machine is an investment that enables users to train the full body all at one station. 

Who Should Buy the Commercial Home Gym

  • Lifters who want a pulley machine and would like to combine it with other functions for maximum efficiency.
  • Consumers who want a machine with different color options and customizations. 
  • Anyone looking for a durable option that can handle over 900lbs of weight. 
  • Shoppers worried about shipping snafus, as most people are comfortable with Amazon’s shipping and tracking service. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Commercial Home Gym

  • Athletes with a tighter budget.
  • Home gym owners looking to avoid setting up a piece of equipment. 
  • Those who prefer a machine with a longer warranty. 

With all the best gym machines combined and all the perks of using Amazon’s shipping network, the Commercial Home Gym is a solid option for anyone looking to work out at home without ever getting bored.

Best Smith Machine for Accessories

We have to admit that most of the picks on this list are more like smith machines that come loaded with extras that increase functionality. If you’re always looking for the latest accessories or attachments to try new exercises, then you’ll appreciate this pick, which has more accessories than just about any other smith machine out there.

Force USA G10 Pro

A lot of companies make a base machine and then sell a ton of upgrades and attachments as options so consumers can pick and choose what they want or add to their machine over time. The Force USA G10 Pro does this too with their upgrade kits, but the sheer amount of accessories that come included with the purchase of the base unit is what sets this pick apart from the rest of the competition. 

Not only do you get a smith machine, but you get a half-rack power rack as well. In addition, a plate-loaded functional trainer comes with the unit as well as a lat-pulldown, pull-up bar, dip station, and suspension trainer. You can purchase upgrade kits for jammer arms, a TV mount, vertical leg press, storage shelves, a barbell row handle, and more. You can even get a monolift attachment for it. If you like accessories, this is the product for you.

Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro
Force USA G10 Pro

If you’re looking for a total home-gym solution that can take the place of virtually every piece of equipment you need, then look no further than the Force USA G10 Pro. This ultra-versatile workout station has the function of a power rack, smith machine, lat pulldown, functional trainer, and dip/pull-up station. Optional upgrade kits are available for leg press, jammer arms, and more.

Who Should Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • Anyone who wants lots of accessories and options out of the box. This comes with a ton of accessories, but there are even more available as upgrade kits or add-on packages.
  • Trainees who want the most versatility out of one piece of equipment — this machine has the potential to replace 11 others. 
  • People with limited space will appreciate the modest dimensions of the G10 Pro at 80 inches wide, 73 inches deep, and 87 inches tall. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA G10 Pro

  • Anyone who is working with a tight budget. Not only is the base unit quite pricey, but once you start adding on upgrade kits, the price can get pretty high.
  • Athletes looking for a more simple solution and a machine that is a straightforward smith machine.

The Force USA G10 Pro is a great option for those who want more. This machine packs the functionality of a power rack with the safety of a smith machine. It also includes the versatility of a functional trainer multiplying the exercises you can do with a few simple set-up changes. 

How We Chose the Best Smith Machines

A smith machine is usually quite an investment, and because of that, we took great care in choosing the picks that made it onto this list. Some of the most important factors we considered were build quality, attachments, weight capacity, and safety features. We also took price into consideration, but smith machines are generally not cheap, with even the most budget-conscious ones creeping into the thousand dollar range.

Attachments

Smith machines are versatile pieces of equipment on their own, but many companies go beyond that and turn them into the base for an entire home-gym solution. Certain machines, such as the Force USA G10 Pro pack on attachments like a half-rack, lat-pulldown, and functional trainer. Other companies try to keep it centered around what a smith machine is usually used for, like the Titan Fitness Smith Machine, which only adds some plate storage posts and band pegs in order to keep the price down. 

There’s no shortage of attachments that you can get for a smith machine, especially if you’re creative, but some brands do offer attachment packages and upgrade kits so you can do nearly anything you want with the smith machine as the centerpiece of your home gym.

Build Quality

Quality is a big factor when it comes to any gym equipment, but more so when it comes to a piece that you’re counting on to save you — if you need it. Some smith machines use thick, rolled steel for their uprights providing a very sturdy and durable machine that has a high weight capacity and is designed to take a lot of use every day. Others are more budget-friendly but may not have as rugged of materials used to manufacture their products. We took this into consideration when making these picks

Build quality can also influence the life of your machine. Products with high build quality will often come with longer warranties but are also usually more expensive — although not always. For example, the Force USA G10 Pro offers a lifetime warranty related to the structural aspects of the product, meaning that they’re confident their product will last a very long time because of its build quality. Structural warranties are common with gym equipment and pertain to failures due to defects in workmanship or manufacturing of the product.

These products are large, heavy, and have a lot of moving parts. If there’s just one weak link, the entire machine may become unusable — such as a bearing breaking in the smith machine portion of the product. That’s why build quality is so important and we put a lot of emphasis on high-quality parts and manufacturing where it’s warranted.

Weight Capacity and Safety Features

Weight capacity and safety go hand-in-hand when it comes to squat racks and smith machines. If you’re loading the machine with more than it’s rated for, that is inherently unsafe, which is why we try to point out weight capacity when discussing our picks. A product may check all the boxes you’re looking for, but if it can’t handle the weight you’re going to use it to lift, then it will be unsafe to use.

Generally, due to their size and weight, these machines can handle a good amount of weight. The lowest weight rating on the list is 600 pounds from the Titan Fitness Smith Machine with the Commercial Smith Machine following it at 770 pounds and the Force USA G10 Pro rated at 772 pounds. Realistically, if you’re lifting that much weight, you’ll need a team of spotters, like at a powerlifting meet

Safety is a major reason folks buy smith machines in the first place. If you’re self-spotting and get to a point where they might fail a rep, instead of having to bail on a bar or drop it on yourself, just turn your wrists over and hook the safeties that come attached to the bar onto the rack. Most smith machines’ safety spotter systems are made in a similar way with hooks to catch the bar and some even feature a counterweight to further help along with your lifts.

Many also feature safety stops to prevent the bar from traveling below a certain point so even if you drop the bar, it will stop before it hits the bottom of the machine and potentially causes more damage. The Titan Fitness Smith Machine has a good example of these safety stops as it’s modeled after a more traditional type of smith machine.

Smith Machines Are Tools With Benefits

Smith machines often get a bad rap from the strength sports community, but they’re another tool to help you become better, just like any other machine. The biggest benefit of a smith machine is the increased safety compared to a free-weight power rack. The bar being on a track with self-spotting hooks allows you to lift comfortably without worrying about weight plates sliding off, or fearing for your life if you can’t complete a rep. 

Another big benefit of smith machines is that they’re very useful for people who have stability issues, such as proprioceptive problems, or are coming back from an injury that they need to be careful of re-injuring. Because the bar is on tracks and attached to the machine, you can’t move outside of the range of motion that is preset by the machine. This can be helpful for people first learning how to lift weights so they can learn a movement pattern with a much lower risk for injury. They can be useful for those who want to start barbell training, but lack the strength necessary to start using a free weight barbell. 

What to Consider Before Buying a Smith Machine

A smith machine isn’t a casual purchase. They’re large, heavy, and require a lot of steps for assembly. These are some of the things we think you should ponder before you splash the cash.

Your Budget

Smith machines will typically set you back a minimum of $1000, but you can very easily end up spending five times that amount. For most people, this is going to be one of the deciding factors in which option they pick, because it is such a large chunk of change. For that kind of money, you could get a barbell, plates, and maybe even more. So make sure you know what you’re buying and that you’re committed to the purchase. 

Versatility

Some smith machines are pretty basic and offer simply the bar, track, and rack, while others come with all kinds of bells and whistles attached. Several on this list have pulleys, attachments for dip bars, half power racks, and more.

Available Training Space

One of the main downsides to a smith machine is the size and weight. You need a decently sized area to house one, and though there are larger and smaller options available, there is a point where it’s just not feasible. Measure out your available area and see which machines can work and which can’t. Be sure to factor in the bar width and some additional breathing room so you don’t feel hindered while getting your pump on. 

Durability

With such a large upfront investment, you’re going to want to make sure the smith machine you buy is durable. All of the models on this list are fabricated using steel, so unless you start searching elsewhere for something extra cheap, you can rest assured that the picks on this list will have great longevity. We always recommend checking to see if other customers have noted any common problems also. 

Ease of Assembly

For some people, buying anything that requires assembly is part of the fun. For others, it is one of the most exquisite forms of torture. Be aware that all of these machines need some form of assembling, but some are more involved than others. The simpler the machine, the less you’re going to have to wrap your head around. 

Warranties

With an expensive piece of equipment, it’s always nice to have a warranty as a safeguard in case it does break early on. As with all products, warranties are available in varying lengths and coverages. Find one that you are comfortable with and get to training.

Design

None of these machines will have you gazing for hours at their unfathomable beauty. Several, however, have put some thought into innovations that add extra functionality, save you space, or generally make using them a bit easier. Where possible, look for a machine that has done one or more of these things rather than just sticking to the bare minimum.

Final Word

We know that there is a group of people out there who say you should never ever use smith machines, and that they need to be consigned to the scrap heap post haste. However, in our eyes, the smith machine is simply another helpful tool in your program design toolbox. They can be very valuable when programmed for the right reasons and shouldn’t be overlooked — the same way we would never overlook foam rolling or cardio training simply because someone on the internet said so. Do a bit of research, find out how a smith machine (or any other piece of equipment for that matter!) could be useful for you, and then purchase accordingly. 

FAQs

Why get a smith machine instead of a power rack?

Some people opt for smith machines due to the increased versatility that some of them offer over a simple power rack. Smith machines nowadays offer much more than simply the smith machine — many come with functional trainers, cable pulleys, and even racks themselves. You can replace a bunch of pieces of equipment with just one and save a lot of space. Other people may like a smith machine because they choose to lift by themselves and don’t have spotters to help if they need them, which is where a smith machine’s self-spotting hooks come into play.

Are smith machines safe for everyone to use?

Smith machines are a tool, just like any other machine, that is only as good as the person using it. If you follow good lifting practices, a smith machine can be safe for anyone to use that’s able to work out safely. Smith machines are generally considered safer to use than power racks due to their safety features like the bar being on a track, counterweights, and stops to prevent the bar from falling all the way to the ground.

Can I use a smith machine alone?

We recommend always lifting with a partner in case of emergency, but if you choose to lift alone, a smith machine is a good option because it has self-spotting hooks that you can engage quickly and easily, should you get into trouble and need to be bailed out.