The Force USA Monster G3 is my top pick after spending over 30 hours of research into 50 Smith machines.
Choosing the best Smith machine can be tricky. There are so many different models to choose from.
We have compared and tested over 50 Smith machines available and narrowed it down to the top 9. We’ve summarized our favorites to help you pick.
Our pick if money was no object is the Force USA G20.
Force USA G3
Force USA G20
9 Best Smith Machines for Home Use
Here is a quick roundup of our top picks. Click through on any model to find out the current price as well as look at other people’s reviews.
Here are the scores of our chosen machines out of 6 ranking factors:
- 12 gauge steel or better (the lower the number the stronger the steel)
- Compact machine
- Includes cables
- Lifetime warranty
- Amazon rating over 4.5
- Good value (under $2,500)
The Force USA Monster G3 easily earns the spot of my top pick.
It combines a Smith machine, cable pulley system, and a power rack to give you a full workout.
But the main reason this gets my top pick is one word…
The commercial-grade quality comes at an affordable price.
Watch this 60-second video to see the G3 in action…
But despite all of this, the quality of the Smith machine alone is very impressive compared to alternatives out there. You can re-rack the fixed Smith bar into any height position you need to with ease.
You can even buy the leg press attachment to use the Smith machine as a vertical leg press. We would advise this with any Smith machine. Certified PT Steve Hoyles points out that Smith machines can cause knee injuries if used for squats over time due to the lack of engagement in muscles surrounding the knee joint.
But thanks to having a power rack attached you can use a standalone barbell and plates on this machine for squats anyway! This is what we would recommend for most home gym owners as you can see in our guide on building a home gym here.
However, if you’re looking for convenience you can buy all of this on the check out page on the Force USA website.
- 75+ different exercises- gives you a full-body workout.
- Value- for such a good quality machine it’s a decent price compared to other Smith machines out there.
- Versatile and compact- won’t take up much space in your gym due to not needing additional items such as power racks or a cable machine.
- Commercial grade J-Hooks and Safeties- quality materials to last even longer.
- No bench or weights- you will need to buy these separately.
The Body-Solid SCB1000 gives you everything you need for an effective workout.
The main selling point of this machine is that it has an angled path.
This angle allows you to move in a more natural plane of movement for many lifts such as the chest press. You start with the bar at your chest and finish with it directly over your shoulders.
It’s slightly different from the vertical bar path of our top recommendation, the G3. And there are pros and cons of each type of Smith machine. A vertical path is better for movements like the squat but as I already mentioned there are downsides to using a Smith machine regularly for squats.
The key thing about this Smith machine is that it comes with safe guided motion.
This is a key thing to look for in a Smith machine. It will mean that you won’t need a spotter during workouts, and will keep you from losing your balance.
It comes with 6 Olympic weight storage posts so that you can safely suspend plates off the floor. This might be ideal if you’re looking for your Olympic plates to be within easy access.
The Body-Solid SCB1000 is designed to make your workouts easier. It features freedom of biomechanically correct movement to give you a seamless workout.
- Counterbalanced to 6 pounds- anyone can use it regardless of their size.
- Weight capacity of 1,000 pounds- to suit a variety of different weights.
- Versatile- you can use it for several different exercises.
- Reverse pitch and silky smooth vertical carriage- designed to be easier for you to use.
- 11-gauge steel- strong and sturdy to cope with intense workouts.
- Pricy- one of the more expensive machines available.
Our best budget pick is the Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X. This Smith machine will give you all the basics you need to smash those squat reps.
Even though our budget pick is a bit more basic than the more expensive options, it will give you everything you need from a Smith machine.
It has been designed so that you can use it safely without the need to have someone spot you.
This might make it ideal for those of you who don’t always find time to hit the gym.
Another important thing to remember is that its smaller size means it won’t take up loads of room in your home gym.
- 12-gauge steel- strong and sturdy to cope with your intense workouts.
- Super-glide nylon bushings- gives you a smoother operation.
- Dual-lock safety spotter catch- ideal for using on your own without a spotter.
- Compact- won’t take up loads of room in your home gym.
- Free weight and resistance power training- offers you this with the safety and support of a machine.
- Basic option- this won’t give you as much versatility as other machines on our list.
The Commercial Home Gym Smith machine is one of the more complete products we came across.
It includes high-tension cross cables as well as a Smith machine to give you a thorough full-body workout.
This Smith machine is counterbalanced with sealed bearing pulleys so as to be suitable for even the heaviest user.
This might be the ideal pick for those who struggle to find a suitable Smith machine for their size!
While this machine will take up more space in your home gym, it will give you everything you need to build muscle effectively.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the standard version doesn’t come with a bench or weights.
The deluxe version does, however, so may be worth the investment if you want everything covered.
- Commercial-grade- a quality machine that will cope with your workout’s demands.
- 12 adjustable heights- to suit a variety of reps.
- High tension cross cables- 2,000 pound cross cables come with 16 adjustable heights.
- Versatile- you can use it for a variety of exercises.
- Deluxe edition available- includes a bench and weights.
Expensive- one of the more expensive options available.
This Smith machine is one of the best choices for an all-in-one piece of equipment.
The MiM USA Compact Machine can be used for a variety of different exercises. This might be the perfect choice for you if you want more bang for your buck.
You won’t need to worry about getting a mate to spot you with this Smith machine.
Safety is at the forefront of the manufacturer’s mind, and the MiM USA Compact Smith Machine has several features for maximum safety.
These include a sturdy whole welding frame, safety catch hooks, and many more.
It comes complete with a weight bench to give you more to work with.
The Smith machine aspect of the product uses a patented sliding support system for a smoother workout.
- Compact- won’t take up loads of space in your home gym.
- Several safety features- to keep you safe while you workout on your own.
- Smooth and silent- offers you seamless operation with no distracting noises.
- Versatile- you can use it for a variety of exercises.
- Specialized structure- to offer you a smoother and safer workout.
- Basic instructions- the setup instructions are a little more basic than other machines.
The Marcy Smith cage is a worthy investment if you’re looking for a piece of gym equipment that can be used for a variety of different exercises.
It includes a Smith machine, cable crossovers, pull-up bar, removable utility bench, and a leg developer.
While it will take up a bit of space, it will give you everything you need to do a full workout. You’ll have everything you need to work on your arms, legs, core, and thighs.
This Smith machine has been designed with solo workouts in mind. It comes with a variety of safety features so you won’t have to get a mate to spot you.
- Versatile home equipment- includes several pieces of equipment as well as a Smith machine.
- Safety stops and bar catches- designed with solo workouts in mind.
- Removable utility bench- can be adapted for a variety of exercises.
- Four storage posts- organize your weights all in one place.
- Complete workout- has everything you need for a full body workout.
- Weights not included- you’ll need to buy a set of weights to match your workout goals.
The Valor Fitness BE-11 has been designed to be suitable for anyone to use. It will give any user the appropriate amount of resistance.
This will be helpful for working towards your workout goals.
This Smith machine has been built with stability and strength in mind. It uses strong 12-gauge steel for a sturdy frame.
The bar is attached to the machine, so can be used safely in your own home gym without a mate having to spot you.
The Valor Fitness BE-11 features reverse pitch and silky smooth vertical carriage for a safe and efficient workout.
It is worth noting that cables aren’t included with this Smith machine.
You will need to pay extra for these as an add on if you were going to use this for anything other than light commercial workouts.
- 12-gauge steel- strong enough to cope with even the most demanding workout.
- Safe guided motion- eliminates the need for a spotter.
- Storage pegs- keep your weights all in one place after use.
- Versatile- can be used for a variety of exercises.
- Knurled bar- designed to give you better grip during workouts.
Instructions- need to read these carefully when building the machine.
This commercial-grade machine has everything you need for a full body workout.
It comes with a variety of equipment included – as well as a Smith machine – to use for several different exercises. So while it’s one of the more expensive machines, it might be the one to opt for if you want to save on space.
You won’t need to buy several different machines as this will cover all the exercises you need.
The MiM USA Commercial Hercules features things like knurled handles and a variety of grip options for easier use.
You’ll have everything you need to smash your workout goals with this particular Smith machine set up.
- Combo multi-functional trainer- as well as a Smith machine for a full workout.
- Max weight of 555 pounds- for users of any size.
- Variety of storage- for all your bars and weight plates.
- Short and long safety catch- to keep you safe during solo workouts.
- Unsymmetrical design- to save storage space as well as weight balance.
Weight plates not included- you would need to choose your ideal weights.
The Force USA G20 includes several different pieces of equipment as well as a Smith machine.
This is, without doubt, the top pick for those looking for an all-in-one machine. You can use it for a variety of different exercises without having to buy several different machines.
It comes with a multi-grip pull-up and pull-down system, as well as a power rack and functional trainer pulley cables. These will give you everything you need to smash your workout goals.
It has the option to use a separate Olympic barbell. This is great as it includes a squat rack and Smith machine in one.
It uses 11 gauge steel which is as good as any of the best power racks out there.
You can learn the differences between a Smith machine vs a squat rack here.
The commercial standard Smith machine comes with 14 racking positions and safety catches. This means you can work out safely without a spotter.
But due to the size and number of workout areas on the machine it’s also great if you want to work out with someone else at the same time. Just watch the 2 minute video below to see the G20 in action…
It can cope with 992 lbs which is more than enough for most people.
- Attached bar- Smith machine element comes with a multi-level squat rack.
- Weight storage plates- for you to keep all your weights in one place when not in use.
- Seven major training stations- to give you a full body workout.
- Large user weight capacity- suitable for those up to 300 pounds.
- 11 gauge steel- super strong steel that is built to last a lifetime.
- Westside hole spacing- 1″ gap between holes on the power rack is ideal to set the spotter arms to the best height so the bar doesn’t get stuck on your chest during the bench press.
- Doesn’t come with weights- you’ll need to buy these additionally.
Best Smith Machine – Buyer’s Guide
There are 4 main things you need to consider when buying a Smith machine.
- Footprint aka size
- Type of steel
Factors such as price and what you intend to use it for will also be important.
If you keep in mind the results you’re looking for from a Smith machine, you can find the best one for your needs.
Take a look at these points to see what you need to think about.
Footprint aka size
The first thing you should do before buying a Smith machine is to measure the space you have available for it. Will your chosen Smith machine fit into your home gym?
Once you’ve measured your available gym space, double check the footprint of your chosen Smith machine.
While a larger all-in-one home gym machine may seem to have everything you need, there’ll be little point in buying it if it won’t fit in your home gym.
The Body-Solid Powerline is our budget pick and has one of the smallest footprint out of any Smith machine on the market.
Type of steel
If you want a sturdy machine that can cope with your demanding workouts, the type of steel used for construction is important.
Steel of a lesser quality, such as 14-gauge steel, might not be as strong as you need it to be.
12-gauge steel is a good place to start. This steel should be more than strong enough to cope with any heavy-duty workouts. The G20 uses 11-gauge steel is even better.
The gauge basically refers to how thick the steel is. So the thicker the steel used, the better.
Take a look at the accessories that come with your Smith machine. Are there cables included? Does it come with a weight bench?
Our top pick, the Force USA G3 comes with a functional trainer and a power rack. It’s ideal for anyone looking to save money and space by reducing the amount of kit you need.
Do the weight plates come with it? The more accessories included, the better.
Any accessories not included will need to be bought separately. While this will mean you can fully customize the Smith machine to your needs, it may cost you more in the long run.
Think about what you need from your Smith machine and see if it comes with the accessories required.
What warranty is the manufacturer able to offer you with the Smith machine?
Seeing as most of the Smith machines that we’ve included on our list are expensive pieces of equipment, this will be important.
The longer the warranty and more aftercare the manufacturer can offer you, the better. Hopefully, you won’t need to make use of a longer warranty.
But it’s something worth having to give you more peace of mind in the long term. Especially if you’ll be using your Smith machine for demanding workouts.
All Force USA models, like the monster G3 (my top pick), come with a lifetime warranty to provide that peace of mind!
Exercises and workouts for Smith machines
Smith machines have been specifically designed with squats in mind. There are many myths about a Smith machine in the gym community still.
These give you the stability and safety of a machine and take away the need for a spotter.
That being said, Smith machines are a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of different exercises.
Just because it’s intended for squats doesn’t mean you can’t use it to give yourself a full body workout, such as in the video below.
You can focus on just chest exercises.
Or you can use your Smith machine to focus on leg exercises.
Frequently asked questions
Are Smith machines worth it?
Smith machines, like the Force USA Monster G3 are worth it for anyone looking to get stronger or fitter.
Smith machines are particularly useful for giving you extra peace of mind when working out on your own, as it offers you greater safety for some exercises.
Not only can it help to prevent injuries, but it can also be a great tool if you have an injury, as it gives you greater stability when lifting.
What are the benefits of a Smith machine?
A quality Smith machine will allow you to protect your shoulders, knees, legs, and back from injury.
They also allow you to target individual muscles efficiently during workouts.
Some people have often said that a Smith machine can even give you a better workout for your shoulders than by using free weights!
Who makes the best Smith machine?
Force USA currently produces some of the best Smith machines on the market.
After reviewing over 50 machines, the best Smith machines available to buy now are:
Force USA Monster G3
Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X
Commercial Home Gym Smith Machine
MiM USA Compact Smith Machine
Marcy Smith Cage
Weider Pro 8500 Smith Cage
Valor Fitness BE-11
MiM USA Commercial Hercules
Can you build muscle on a Smith machine?
It is possible for anyone to can build muscle using a Smith machine.
Anything that has a cable system or allows your muscles to move through a full range of motion will help you to build muscle.
The key to using your Smith machine effectively is to decide what you want out of it.
Once you know the results you’re after, you can decide which exercises to use it for. A variety of exercises will help to build up a variety of different muscles.
The bottom line for Smith machines
After reviewing more than 50 Smith machines, there are some clear winners.
The Force USA Monster G3 is our overall top pick because of the value for money as well as the versatility of the machine.
Our best budget pick is the Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X, which will give you all the basics you need from a Smith machine.
And if money were no object, we would easily choose the Force USA G20.
You can find a summary of all our picks at the top of this page.
However, there are definitely some things to consider about a Smith machine. It does limit your range of motion for certain lifts such as squats. Here are some of the most common myths and facts about whether a Smith machine is bad or not.
Be sure to check out our guide on how to build a home gym here to see our best advice and recommendations.