Best Piston/Hydraulic Rowing Machines 2021

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Best Piston/Hydraulic Rowing Machines 2021

Don’t get us wrong. Hydraulic rowers are not a category of cheap quality rowers. They are comparatively cheaper than other variants and are available at different price ranges. They are not as expensive as the rowers using magnetic, air, or water resistance. Hydraulic piston rowers are also known by the name hydraulic rowers. They have very few parts and have a really small footprint making them an affordable and compact device. Even the best hydraulic machine won’t empty your pocket.

Top 3 Hydraulic Piston Rowing Machines 2021


How Hydraulic Rowers Work?

Hydraulic rowing machines use a special fluid which transfers the force exerted at one point to the other point. It is similar to the vehicles that have hydraulic brake system. The hydraulic cylinders in these kinds of rowers are attached to the handlebars of the machine. Whenever the user pulls the handlebars a force is exerted on the handlebars and that force is transferred to the hydraulic cylinders which will produce a resistance back towards the user forcing him to work against it.

Top 3 Best Hydraulic Piston Rowing Machines 2021


How Powerful is the Resistance?

There are various resistance levels available in the rowers. They range from beginner light levels to heavy levels. For example, if you take a popular one like Stamina BodyTrac Glider, it has over 12 resistance levels. The can provide resistance that is equivalent of 2 to 50 pounds of force. Sadly, the manufacturers rarely mention the strength provided by these rowers so we are a bit vague on that side.

Because of this most of the reviews of these rowers including ours are well consulted with the customers who are actually using these devices. If you want a suggestion, we will confidently recommend the name of Stamina Rowers. They provide simple and low-budget hydraulic rowing machines. Another company is Kettler whose rowers have heart rate monitor too but they will cost more.

Factors to Select the Best Hydraulic Piston Rowing Machines

1. Price: Their cheapness makes them an affordable solution to many people who desire to get a rower for themselves. But the highest end in this category is as costly as the magnetic resistance ones. But almost always you can be sure that best piston rowers are cheaper than the rowers with water and air resistance that have similar specifications. Because of this hydraulic rowers are the best option for beginners and also for people who are on a tight budget. Go for KETTLER FAVORIT ROWER.

2. Compact and Lightweight: Piston rowing machines stand out with their compactness. They have a very small piston assembly. While the air rowers have huge flywheels, water rowers have huge water tanks and the rowers with magnetic resistance have heavy magnetic resistance assemblies. All of them take up a lot of space and are heavy. But the piston rowers remain light and compact making it an easy option for anyone who wants compact equipment. Being a light device it can easily be moved and stored wherever you want. You can buy Stamina, 1333 Rower.

3. Comparatively quiet: Rowing machines make noise while using them. Rowers with magnetic resistance are the most silent one among them but hydraulic rowing machines are not the noisiest one. The best rowing machines are much silent than the air rower with flywheel and water rower with paddles. And when we say it makes noise doesn’t take it for an irritable noise that is going to disturb you and everyone around you. You won’t even feel its sound as an irritation while playing your music around it.

4. Variable Resistance Available: Hydraulic rowers come with various resistance levels. Different resistance levels in these rowers can be achieved by changing the resistance of the fluid available in the piston. The accuracy of changing resistance levels is much greater in magnetic resistance rowers but hydraulic resistance rowers are not a bad deal too. Their resistance level management is much better than that of air resistance rowers.

5. Warranty: Warranties of these products vary with the price you pay for them and not with the type of resistance provided by them. As we have already told hydraulic rowers are much cheaper than air rowers and water rowers because of this they also have a very low warranty period compared to them. But don’t think hydraulic rowers are of lower durability because the best hydraulic rowers are priced similar to the lower variant of magnetic resistance rowers and will be having a long period of warranty at the same price.

So don’t think that you can spend more cash on other rowers and get long periods of warranty because at the same price range hydraulic rowers offer better warranties. We would advise you to get the best hydraulic rowers at an affordable rate unless you have a specific requirement for the other type.


  • If you look at them in detail you will understand that there are multiple reasons for the hydraulic rowers to be the right machine for the beginners and also for casual users.
  • It is very much true that hydraulic rowers are not the best for high-intensity training but they are quite useful for the people who just want to stay fit with daily workouts.
  • One of the biggest advantages they have over the other rowers is the price tag. All the others are expensive and won’t fit in well as casual training equipment. But even the best hydraulic rowers are cheap and compact making it easily fit inside your budget and your home.
  • Higher end models have the facility to adjust the resistance levels by adjusting the resistance of the fluid on the piston before working out.
  • They are quieter than air and water rowers making them an ideal choice for people living in crowded apartments.


  • As we have already told don’t expect hydraulic rowers to be a high-intensity training machine. You will surely be disappointed. So make sure that you are not looking at these rowers for full body workouts or for training actual rowing. They also have many drawbacks so don’t forget them.
  • It begins with the positioning of the seat. They are stationary which means that your whole lower body will not move while you are engaged in rowing. That indicates that your lower body gets zero exercises with hydraulic rowers.
  • Even though they are called rowers, understand that they are not exactly emulating real-world rowing experience because the height difference caused on the stroke and return during rowing is not present while rowing the hydraulic rowers.
  • Another problem is that the rowing action is not as smooth as it is on the air and water resistance rowers.
  • The resistance of the hydraulic system can be adjusted before the workout but not during the workout which is a major disadvantage as it causes interruption during the workouts.

So, take into consideration all the things that we mentioned. Go through every type of rowers and find out the one that suits you the best. If all you need is a daily exercise machine that is cheap and compact, then hydraulic rowers are the right one to go.


When we conclude this article, we have only one thing to say about hydraulic piston rowers. They offer the best value for money. They may not be the best rowers for everyone but for the right people they can become the best rowers. So, it all depends on your requirements. If you want an outrigger design then get ready to shell out a lot of cash but even with that, it won’t be as expensive as the other machines out there.

If you are a simple person who would rather prefer a good machine to work out, then go for a simple design as they won’t break your budget. Stamina products like Stamina 1215 and Stamina 1205 Rower are a good option to choose in that way. We are sure about one thing if you have read our guide well and decided to buy one rower then you will never be disappointed. The best hydraulic rower you get will be enough to meet all your fitness needs.

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