The best Smith machines of 2024 for your home gym

These Smith machines are the best money can buy, enhance your home gym and your lifts.

Using smith machines

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

A set of dumbbells and a bench can be a recipe for success, but resistance training has much more to offer than these pieces of gym equipment - the world of fitness and bodybuilding blooms with choices and options regarding how you train. Almost every exercise has countless variations, from using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, cables, and more. Today, we’re here, shedding some well-deserved spotlight on the best Smith machines.

The Smith machine is the birthchild of the barbell and the resistance machine, providing gymgoers with a satisfying middle ground between free weights and resistance training. The Smith machine slots the typical Olympic standard barbell onto a vertical rail - some have a counterweight in place, too, which reduces or negates the bar's weight. Once the bar is suspended, the user can perform an exercise far more safely than with a non-constrained free-weight barbell.

The best Smith machines at a glance:

Best classic Smith machine: Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine - View at Amazon
Best budget multi-trainer Smith machine: Marcy Pro Multi Gym Cage Smith - View at Decathlon
Best compact Smith machine: Marcy RS3000 Compact Half Smith Machine - View at Powerhouse Fitness

There’s typically minor assistance on a smith machine, meaning the bar isn’t entirely dead weight – although you won’t feel much difference once you start loading plates on there. The real selling point is that the bar can be docked at virtually any point on the rail, meaning you can safely rerack the weight at any time. For this reason, they are a popular choice when building a home gym, as you aren't as reliant on a spotter to take the weight should you reach muscular fatigue - you can twist the bar onto the nearest rung.

Choosing the best Smith machine - how we decided

When deciding which Smith machines to include in our buyer’s guide, there were more than a few factors to consider. Value for money is always pretty high up on the priority list here at What’s the Best, and we know that’s the case for many of our readers, too. We want you to know if you can get more for your money.

Nowadays, Smith machines and multi-gyms seem to be merging into one, but that’s okay. The more functionality, the better, right? That’s not to say you can’t still pick up a bare and basic Smith machine, though. Smith machine extras might include dipping handles, a pull-up grip, cable attachments, a bench, and more. This is why knowing what you want from a Smith machine station is important.

We aim to point you toward the best smith machine for you. In this list, you’ll find budget stations, premium set-ups, and everything in between.

The best Smith machines of 2023

Best old-school Smith machine

Price: $545.00

This one is for the old-school weightlifters out there. If you want a Smith machine that can be just a Smith machine, Powerline has the home station for you.

The Powerline Smith machine is as old school as they come; it’s a traditional Smith rack with a fully adjustable bar that can be racked as low as your feet and higher than your head. It might not be a multi-trainer, but you can still do much with it. Squats, rows, and bench presses are ideal with Powerline; you will have to pick up a bench separately to make that one a reality.


  • Traditional smith machine
  • Multi-functional, strong build quality


  • No bench included

Best budget multi-gym Smith machine

As they've showcased in its multi-gym stations, Marcy knows how to make a solid Smith machine. The Marcy Pro SM4903 is special, though we think it could be the best value multi-gym smith station on the market right now.

Bench included, you get a full smith station with fixed cable pullies, J-cups, pull-up grips, and plenty of space to store weights. This stylish Smith station is of tremendous value and just asks for a new home.


  • Super stylish
  • Great value for money
  • Bench included


  • Non-adjustable cable pullies

Best budget Smith machine

A run-of-the-mill Smith machine should get much more of the limelight, especially when you can get one at this price. The Marcy RS3000 fits a budget nicely and doesn’t take up too much space.

It’s outfitted with an adjustable bench allowing for incline, decline and flat pressing movements, but with it being a half-Smith machine, you won’t be able to perform squats or such movements.


  • Great value
  • Fully adjustable bench
  • Easy to re-rack, no wrist flipping


  • Only suitable for pressing movements

Best overall Smith machine

Price: £2295 (was £2595)

Home gym stations aren’t as well-rounded as the G3 Multi Trainer from Force USA. This piece of kit ticks nearly all the boxes you’d want a Smith machine rack to tick.

The G3 is a strong Smith machine, but as its name gives away, it’s a multi-trainer. Having fully adjustable cable pullies means you’ll practically never run out of exercise ideas, and the G3 comes with a range of attachments that can make this a reality. Get the most out of your workouts with J-cups and safeties for standard barbell work, landmine attachments for T-bar row and Y-press, and so much more.

The only thing missing from the G3 is a bench, which, given the price, you’d have hoped to see.


  • Wide range of accessories and attachments
  • Robust build
  • Reputable brand


  • No bench is included in price

Best multi-trainer Smith machine

G10 Pro
Price: £3995 (was £6295)

If you’re looking for the best multi-trainer Smith machine, look no further than the G10 Pro. You get a multi-trainer, so you can access as many exercise avenues as possible within one station; the G10 Pro does this and then some.

Adjustable cable pullies, dip station, pull-up grips, squat rack, plate storage, and much more make the G10 Pro serious business. This is as close to a whole gym in one station as possible, so ensure you have the space.

We’d have loved to see a bench come with it, too, but hey, nothing’s perfect.


  • Height-adjustable cable attachments
  • Easy flip on/off smith bar
  • Totally versatile


  • Requires a lot of space

Best design Smith machine

Marcy smith
Price: $1999.99
Alternative retailers
Overstock$1847.99View offer
DICK'S Sporting Goods$1999.99View offer
Walmart$1999.99View offer

Get a modern, high-tech feel from your Smith machine station. This Marcy Smith station is armed to the teeth, and it looks great too. It’s a multi-trainer that includes the bench (big bonus) and all the expected attachments and add-ons.

We'd have liked to see a few more cable attachments included for a station that urges users to play around with nearly every exercise under the sun.


  • Bold colours, sleek materials
  • Adjustable dip bars


  • Not as many attachments included as other stations

Gym lingo

Multi-trainer - multifunctional gym station, often referred to as a multi-gym

Barbell - a long bar which you can load weighted plates upon, typically used for pressing and squatting exercises

Cables - Multi trainer resistance tool, can be paired with a range of attachments for different exercise purposes.

What are Smith machines?

A smith machine is a complexly built piece of weightlifting apparatus. In Lehman’s terms, it’s a station that allows you to perform barbell exercises with less risk.

Is the Smith machine easier?

From a certain point of view, yes, smith machines are easier – but not in the way you might think. The smith reduces risk when training alone, so racking and re-racking the bar isn’t something you’re going to have to worry about.

Smith machines may also make exercise easier as you no longer have to worry about balancing the bar in a certain position. The rails keep the bar in line. If anything, though, this means you can train harder and thus more effectively.

How do Smith machines work?

Smith machines are simple in practice and in design, too. It’s a barbell rack, except the two frames on each side go much higher. The bar sits between the frame and can move up and down like a rail. You can rack the bar at multiple points up and down the rack, too.

Jack Barrell is one of our resident Tech and Fitness writers. He's hands-on when it comes to producing best-of articles, how-to guides, and product reviews for Virtual Private Networks. On his off-days, Jack can be found in the gym, at the movies, or flicking through a car mag.

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