Magnetic Vs Air Rower | The Final Battle

The main difference between magnetic vs air rowers is that a magnetic rowing machine makes the use of magnets and a flywheel which is solid and made up of steel.  On the other hand, an air rower makes the use of a fan flywheel when resistant. A magnetic rowing machine is not noisy, it whispers quiet and another one is natural but it creates noise.

The other difference between magnetic and air rowers is that the air rowing machine has a variable resistance and this simply means that the faster the exercising body row, the greater resistance is generated hence you can say that it is an amazing option when it comes to high-intensity exercises. On the other hand, the magnetic rowing machine has a setting that allows us to adjust the resistance manually.

Well, these differences are not enough to convince anybody or to help them in choosing an air resistance or magnetic rowing machine. Read this article till the end to know about more detailed differences!


An air rowing machine. What is it?

Our Pick

Concept2 Model D Indoor Air Rowing Machine


  • Model Name: Model D
  • Resistance: Air
  • Max Weight: 500 Pounds
  • Item Weight: 57.32 Pounds
  • No of Batteries: 2 D batteries
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Color: Black

You need to know that the air rower is a fan resistance rowing machine and this one utilizes air for creating resistance.  This simply means that as the exercising body rows the air and continuously strikes with the flywheel which is fitted inside and as a result, it creates some resistance which is opposite to the direction in which the fan is operating.

This resistance is entirely dependent on the speed that the exercising body applies while rowing on the machine.  This is one of the best machines for people and the most amazing features of this machine at the following


  • In the case of air rowers, these machines use wind power to provide resistance to facilitate your workout.  You just need to pull on the handle of the machine and you are supposed to move the fan flywheel which is found at the front of the machine.  The flywheel should be rotated against the air resistance and it is fitted to the machine with blades.
  •  There is a distance and drag is entirely dependent upon the speed of your movement so this simply means that the faster and more you exercise what is moving, as a result, the more resistance all drag is created and the exercising body will find it somewhat harder to row.  This means that the amount of resistance is directly proportional to your speed.
  •  There is a distance, in this case, that is not always the same and it is variable because it changes according to the effort applied by why and the body.  and this is the major difference between both these machines.
fan resistance rowing machine
  •  The machine has some kind of resistance settings but this is not the case with an air rower,  and if you want to work at a higher intensity then you are supposed to apply more force.  If in case you are rowing on the water  then, in that case, the resistance is not the same and it depends on the wind and the current also

The drag factor

  • the flywheel present in an air rower has a protective covering made up of a net. As time passes many dust particles and dirt will fall and accumulate on this covering and as a result, this will affect the amount of air that enters this flywheel. When less air enters this then, as a result, less resistance will be generated and you will be facing difficulty to put more effort into the machine for generating sufficient resistance.
  • This thing is known as the drag factor. In many cases these machines provided the exercising body with a drag factor reading and the value is usually given between 1 and 200.  The higher is the number or the value  on this machine the greater is the drag factor generated


  • As discussed earlier in this article the rowing machine uses ascent best flywheel.  This flywheel resistance is a result of the air that strikes it in the opposite direction.  Some rowing machines also have dampers but the amount of resistance that is generated while exercising entirely depends on the force and speed applied.  you can increase the Resistance by increasing the speed or the force of rowing on this machine.  as you know that the distance depends on the wind so you can take this resistance to limitless ranges


  • There are some rowing machines, probably the most expensive models, that also contain a number setting inside them.  and on the other side of the flywheel if you take a look then you can find a lever and you can adjust it to some settings you would think that it looks very much like resistance adjustment and setting. But actually, it’s not like that. Always keep in mind that you have no choice in setting a particular resistance level on an air rowing machine.
air rowing machine
  • You need to know that instead of adjusting a certain level of resistance, this device damper mainly functions in adjusting the amount of air that is moving through the flywheel. If you had set this damper higher then it will facilitate more air to enter the machine. Instead of setting any level of resistance this machine will change the amount of drag, to make the stroke feel lighter or heavier


  • As compared to the magnetic rowers the monitors installed under air rower machines are more advanced but this again varies according to the cost of the machine.  But you need to know that in case of using an air rowing machine you will get a precise and more accurate indication of your activity but you also keep in mind that there are certain cases in which some rowing machines may not have a monitor at all.
  •  It is entirely dependent on the cost of the air rowing machine which simply means that if your device is more expensive than the monitor installed on it will show more detail and will give you more precision and better accuracy.  For instance, the PM5 RowErg rowing machine offers an exercising body different options of workout and provides the user with statistics such as pace, stroke rate, time utilized, calories burnt, and watts.  You can also connect this machine to the internet and Bluetooth so in this way you can connect to many training programs.

What is it best for

  • If you are someone who is used to rowing on the water then it is recommended for you to use an air rowing machine rather than the magnetic one, The reason behind this is that the experience would be very similar to reality. With the air rowing machine you will be allowed to monitor your performance and training more precisely and accurately so this means that if you are someone who considers precision important then this machine is your thing.
  • In case you are someone who wants to get involved in doing high-intensity interval training then this machine is the most preferable option as compared to any other and the reason behind this is that you can adjust the level of resistance according to your own. You don’t have to stop exercising for doing any kind of manual adjustment as discussed earlier but all you have to do is just slow down or speed up your motion

Magnetic rowing machine. What is it?

Our Pick

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine


  • Model Name: SF-RW5515
  • Resistance: Magnetic
  • Max Weight: 250 Pounds
  • Item Weight: 60.9 Pounds
  • No of Batteries: 2 AAA batteries
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Color: Grey

Are magnetic rowing machines good? This would be the first question in your mind while purchasing a magnetic rowing machine. A magnetic rowing machine is nowadays popularly used and Holmes and the main reason behind this are that they do not make any noise and can provide you a compact and quite a workout and any other rowing machine.

So this feature of this machine makes it a more preferable option when it comes to limited space and placing certain gym equipment in a living environment such as a shared apartment or shared room where you cannot afford to disturb other people.  Along with this amazing benefit magnetic rowing machine also gives you a jerk-free and smooth exercise experience which you will surely enjoy.  the most convincing features about this equipment which will make you think to buy this one are the following


  • Just as in the case of an air rowing machine the monitor installed in the magnetic machine will be different in the level of complexity and this difference is based on the price of the machine that you would pay for it. Most of the machines that come with monitors will normally show you statistics such as watts, distance, and time of your exercise and it will also provide the exercising body with a selection of preset workouts.
  • Just similar to rowing machines the monitors installed on this one can be connected to the internet and Bluetooth also.  This feature is a necessity because it allows a person to interact with various applications that offer different games, challenges from around the world, and training programs.  In addition to this, many manufacturers have designed their apps and by using them the exercising body can download its training diagnostics for the sake of comparison and analysis in the future.
  • If you are the person who demands accuracy, don’t you need to know that the data collected on a magnetic machine monitors how great it is compared to the data collected on the air machine?  The performance of the machine is perfectly fine but it does not record the data with greater precision.


  • In the case of a magnetic machine, resistance is provided by a solid flywheel and magnet.  You can also adjust resistance the way you like and if you want to adjust it then you need to know that in case of high resistance the magnet moves closer and in case of lower resistance the magnet moves away or increases the distance from the flywheel.
  • In this case, the main feature that generates the resistance is the force of magnetic attraction that is responsible for controlling how easy or hard would be the rowing stroke of an exercising body.  So actually resistance is the main difference between an air rowing machine and a magnetic machine.  You need to know that while exercising when anybody fixes the level of resistance on the magnetic reward, it will stay the same until you change it by yourself.
difference between magnetic and air rower
  • No matter how hard or fast the exercising body is rowing or pulling on the handle the resistance will not change.  So this simply means that if you are in the mood of changing the level of resistance then you will have to change it manually and this thing will surely interrupt the smoothness and flow of your training routine.  Another thing related to this machine is that if the flywheel is heavier then greater resistance would be generated and vice versa.
  • A heavier flywheel means that your training experience will be more smooth. You need to keep in mind that the adjustment of resistance is not the same in the case of all these machines. This means that the adjustment mechanism can be a push button on the monitor or it can be a dial resistance adjustment.

What is the machine best for

  • If you are going to use this machine close to people or in more simple words if you are going to use this one in a shared apartment or room then this is the best choice because the magnetic machine operates on the magnetic resistance design and does not make any noise.  you would not observe this feature in the air rowing machine,  if you start exercising on it in front of your family or neighbors then they will soon get irritated because due to its operation on wind resistance it makes a lot of noise.
  • In addition to this since the magnetic rower does not have a large fan flywheel and for this reason, they are less heavier and can be easily moved as compared to the other option, this simply means that this machine is more suitable for exercising in the environment where the availability of spaces is unlimited.
  • In addition to this if you check out the market or relevant websites then you will come to know that magnetic rowers have more foldable options than air rowers and this allows anyone to place this machine under the bed, on the sofa, on the kitchen, and even in your cupboard.
magnetic rowing machine


  •  In the case of this one, you would not find any damper but these machines are manufactured with a dial which means that you can easily manage and adjust the resistance as you desire. When the dial is flipped down the magnets are shifted near to the flywheel this increases the level of resistance. In case you flip it down then in this case the magnets are shifted away from the flywheel and this leads to a decrease in the level of resistance offered by this machine.


  • You need to know that both these machines are amazing options when it comes to indoor exercise and specifically for the people who want to do cardiovascular exercises and muscle workouts but they don’t have time to go to the gym.  Both these options are very affordable and you can buy them very easily. 
  • if you are someone who wants to get into shape or simply if you are exercising to get fit and lose weight then a magnetic machine is a recommended option.  but in the other case if you are someone like an athlete and your focus is primarily to increase your strength and endurance then you should choose the air rowing machine and the main reason behind this is the resistance which allows you to work hard
  • When it comes to cost or price, both are affordable. But when it comes to the maintenance cost then the magnetic machine is the preferable option because they don’t require a lot of maintenance

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