Smith Machines provide a guided path with safety stops available throughout the motion. Though not as “free” as a standard barbell with barbell free weights, safety is paramount. No spotter is needed, you can load on a lot of plates, if you wish, and it feels more closely to a standard barbell than using a Cable Machine.
They can be found paired with any number of additional equipment, such as cables, racks, etc. This page focuses specifically on just the Best Smith Machines for Home Gyms. Be sure to check out our Best All in one Home Gyms page to see some of the best Smith Machine pairings for your ultimate home gym experience.
Things to look for:
- It won’t tip over! Wide footprint, weights to hold it down, or anchored to a wall, ceiling, or floor
- Solid construction
- Smooth motion from linear bearings
- Locking pins & spotter arms for safety
- Weight capacity – If you can squat more than 300 lb., some of the smaller machines won’t be safe for you
- A warranty that shows the manufacturer stands behind their product.
You will need to add the dumbbells and perhaps a bench in order to have a complete workout ahead of you!
Pros & Cons
- Self-spotting device – locking pins & spotter arms will stop the weight fast
- Can be secured at any point in the movement
- Less intimidation of being under a lot of weight (see Cons for “false sense of security”)
- If you are searching for overall fitness in a safe environment and don’t consider yourself a free weight purist
- False sense of security – moving heavy weight above the body still carries a risk
- Studies have been inconclusive, but the body is forced to move along a fixed path compared to free weights
- More activation of muscles has been found in free weights
NOTE: The prices move up pretty quickly, so we are focused on high quality Smith Machines at a smaller price point because for the cost of a high-end options, you could invest in an All-in-one Functional Trainer, which includes a solid Smith Machine.
Powerline PSM144X ($696)
This is the smallest option for home gyms that we could find that was solid and safe. Though small, it is mighty and quite a reasonable price for the quality.
Depending on the exercise (such as lunges, where you don’t stand on the diamond plate base), you may want to lay a couple 45 lb. plates at the base, to keep all 4 corners on the ground. Or perhaps anchor it somehow. But overall, as long as you place your feet on the diamond plate base or rest a bench on top of the base plate, you’ll be in good shape.
This piece of equipment is the most minimalist smith machine home gym we could find. For a stand-alone piece, you cannot go wrong with this one!
Warranty – 10 years on the frame and 1 year on parts.
Smith Machine BE-11 ($1,022.18) *Shipping included in price
Moving up to a deeper stance provide additional stability, as well as plate storage.
Solid construction, smooth bearings and shock absorption at the bottom of the path. For a home gym, this machine is a worthy contender if you are not looking for an all-in-one Functional Trainer.
Still on the minimalist path, this stand-alone machine will provide you years of safe, but intense workouts. 600 lb. max.
Warranty – 3 years on the frame and 1 year on hardware.