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Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine Review | Best Price

Kettler Favorit Rowing MachineYou cannot consider this Kettler Favorit rowing machine some average run-of-the-mill hydraulic piston rower. Although it is a little more expensive comparing to its piston resistance competitors, it is produced in Germany, and German people know several things about making products of high quality.

If you are still not convinced that this rower is reliable, the producers must believe so since they provide a lifetime warranty on the frame comparing to only two-five-year warranties of most rowing machines. Besides a solid multifunctional fitness display, this appliance also comes with pulse rate monitor. It features adjustable resistance, and can be folded up for easier storage when you do not use it. Overall, it is a solid rowing machine, though it still has its fair share of disadvantages. To consider all pros and cons, read our review of this Kettle Favorit Rowing machine.

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Kettler Favorit Review

Resistance Type

This appliance is a hydraulic piston rowing machine. Although this resistance type takes the lower-end of all rowing appliances resistance types of this price range, the positive things about this type are that it is quiet and, as a rule, compact that makes it perfect for small workout areas.

Each arm of the machine comes with its own hydraulic piston. It enables you to apply different levels of resistance on each arm if there is such a need.

The machine features 50 different levels (and it is not a misprint) of resistance for you to choose from that provides flexibility as people with different strength levels can use it with the opportunity of mixing up the difficulty of workouts. Users of any fitness level starting with beginner and ending up with advanced as well as all age levels (from pre-teen to senior people) commented that they have been using this rower without any problems. The resistance level can be easily manually adjusted by changing the piston position on the handle bar. If you move it up, the resistance is increased while moving it down decreases the level of resistance (it might sound confusing, but it is really easy).

However, there were few people, who complained that they had some problems with adjusting the resistance levels on this machine and that the resistance is quite high, even when put to the lowest setting. Though most of the users did not have issues with the resistance, we still wanted to find out what was wrong with it that others had some.

After considering a hundred reviews from different websites, it appears that people who assembled their rowers incorrectly caused the issues themselves. There are two things that I want to mention here in case it is useful for someone. Several people commented that adjusting of the resistance level was much easier after the “accordion plastic” on the handle was taken off.  One more thing is that it is easier to adjust the level of the resistance when the appliance’s handles are standing up. If you have some similar problems with the resistance, you may try to apply these pieces of advice.

The rear of the rowing machine is slightly raised in order to provide an easy return to the starting position using the assistance of gravity. It is an advantage for some users; however, it slightly reduces the workout that your legs get while rowing on this appliance. A few users mentioned that their legs did not get enough of a workout. If we were you and were in a really good shape, before buying this appliance, I would try a unit out to make sure that the leg workout provided by the Favorit is sufficient. However, in other situations it should not be an issue for you.

Basing on our research, we would not be concerned about the issue of the resistance. Moreover, Kettler has supreme customer service, and we have come across only good comments of the people who interacted with them. Therefore, you can be sure to be taken care of in case something does happen to your rowing machine.

Monitor/Control Panel

The multifunctional fitness monitor of Kettler Favorit machine is superior comparing to the fitness monitors of other hydraulic piston rowing appliances.

This fitness monitor is placed near the feet of a user and can be seen easily while a user is working out. It turns on automatically once you start rowing as well as shuts off automatically after several minutes of inactivity. Although it is not backlit and you will need some additional light to see it well while working out, however, the display is big enough to see it pretty well in a dim light condition. The rower comes with two AA batteries that power the monitor.

The monitor tracks:

  • speed of strokes
  • number of oar strokes
  • workout time
  • total distance
  • the distance which is rowed during rowing session
  • pulse rate
  • energy consumption

All the tracked data is shown on the same screen right away displaying one of the metrics in large printing type in the middle of the appliance’s display. By default, the different metrics are cycled on the bigger part of the screen in five-second intervals. Moreover, the temperature in the room is displayed before and after every workout.

You can monitor your pulse with the help of the appliance in two ways:

  • with the Polar T34 heart rate monitor which is strapped to the
  • with the ear clip (it is a cord, one end of which is plugged into the monitor while the other to your ear).

We did not read any reviews of the people who used the Polar T34 monitor and most people who used the ear clip had no issues with it. However, two people complained about the ear clip length stating that it is too short and did not allow them to pull completely back on the rower. To solve this problem, these users purchased an extension cord. Besides pulse monitoring, the appliance can measure your pulse rate after having done a workout.

Working out with the appliance’s monitor, you have three general variants:

  • Just start rowing and your workout data will be recorded.
  • Set preferable rowing metrics and workout until you hit the goal.
  • Row in your perfect “aerobic zone” as the monitor suggests (it is based on your age).

As soon as you hit your goals while rowing, you will receive an audible and visual response to your completion. The audible option is especially convenient, because while people are rowing, they seldom follow the information on the monitor.

However, there is one minor disadvantage with the monitor. The information is displayed in the metric system, therefore, if you want to get your results measured in miles, you will have to convert it from kilometers to miles manually yourself. Of course, it is not a big deal since you can just google how to convert kilometers to miles and the first thing that you will see will be a table for converting the data for you, so you will only need to input your kilometers.

Frame Quality

The most attractive feature of the Favorit machine is its build quality. It is the case when you get the very thing that you pay for. Being more expensive than the majority of hydraulic piston peers, it is also built like a tank. We believe that the producers believe that it is indestructible as well since the rower’s frame has a lifetime warranty (in addition to three years for all the parts) comparing to other rowing machines that have only a two-five-year warranty on their frames. Being powder coated and made of steel with a high concentration of carbon, it has a tougher frame comparing to any traditional one.

Reviewing this appliance, I was taken aback by one thing. There were almost no complaints as to the roller wheels quality underneath the rower’s seat or the hydraulic pistons. After considering reviews on various hydraulic piston rowers, we have come up with the conclusion that these two issues are the most common ones for these types of rowers, especially the problem with the hydraulic pistons.

According to the users’ reviews, there is no annoying noise except the sound made by the roller wheels that are rolling on the rower’s seat track. Therefore, it is quiet and can be an ideal option for those users who like rowing while watching television. For you to compare, most cheaper rowing appliances are making many annoying squeaking noises.

As any other rower, it requires simple maintenance actions. Thus, if you just wipe the seat track down with a damp towel, it will keep this rowing machine running smoothly for many years.


The appliance’s seat is contoured and wide, heavy duty, and heavily padded, so you will feel no discomfort while sitting on it for a long time. The seat smoothly glides up and down on the rower thanks to the high-quality rollers that roll on the rail of the seat underneath it. Moreover, the seat comes with sealed ball bearings. Thus, the need for lubrication is eliminated to the minimum.

In terms of the handles of an exercise machine, the ones of this appliance are above the average. Since they are extra thick on the handgrips, your hands are protected against blisters. However, a few users recommend using gloves while rowing on this appliance, especially if you just start rowing so that your hands can get used to the machine’s handles without any damage. It is common for people who have more “sensitive” hands or white-collar jobs and do not work extensively with the hands each and every day. It is not a problem with the handles.

Thanks to the adjustable straps on the comfortable non-slip pivoting footrests, your feet are completely secure. The pivoting movement allows your feet to move naturally while rowing. I did not find any problems with the footrests while looking through the reviews on this appliance, which is surely a good sign since if there were any issues someone would have mentioned it.

The rowing motion on this rower is quite smooth and almost the same as on other hydraulic piston rowing machines. The free motion handles enable you to push and pull them towards and away from the body and swing them out to the side as if you row on a boat in the water.


You can fold down the Kettler Favorit’s handles making it convenient to store. Although it comes without wheels, it weighs only 50 pounds being not too heavy to move around when it is needed.


According to the Kettler Favorit homepage and some other sources, this appliance features the weight capacity of 285 pounds.

In terms of height, many customers from 5’0” to 6’0” tall claim that they have been using this rower without any issues. Moreover, some users reported that their pre-teen children have also been using this rower and, as a rule, pre-teen children are shorter than 5’0” tall. Therefore, it appears that if your height is shorter than 5’0’’ you should still be okay while using this machine. The height issue and this rowing appliance is usually for people who are too tall for average rowers.

Moreover, we have noticed that all the users who mentioned their height in their reviews are taller than 6’1”. Speaking of a person’s height and a rower, the most important measurement to consider is the length of the user’s legs since people of different height have different leg lengths. To make the things clear, we called Kettler and asked about their height limits. Although the customer representative could not tell a definitive answer, she gave the measurements of the seat track of the appliance:

  • 42 inches from the middle of the machine’s seat to the footplate;
  • 46 inches from the top of the seat to the footplate.

Thus, it appears that if the length of your legs is more than 40 inches, the rower might not be suitable for you and you will not be able to extend your legs fully while you are rowing. If you are taller than 6’3″, we suggest trying the appliance out at your local fitness center before buying the Kettler Favorit just in order to make sure that you can use it with no issues.


49″ X 31″ X 24″ (storage:  10″ X 31″ X 49″)

Weight: 50 pounds


According to Kettler, the unit’s assembly should take up to 35 minutes (basing on the pictures in the instruction manual, we believe it was estimated on condition that two people would put it together), but considering what users are saying, it might take you about one-two hours to completely install the rower.

A few customers had difficulties while assembling the Favorit since there was no instruction in English or their native language so that they had to rely on the pictures while putting the rower together. We have checked this information by taking a look at the instruction manual, and it is written in several languages, as well as in English. Therefore, just like some people mentioned in the reviews, most people who complain about this issue have just not found the languages that they were looking for.

Although assembly of the machine does not appear to be extremely difficult, it will take a great deal of time. The appliance comes with the required tools for installing, but users mention that they have been using their own screwdriver while installing in addition to the tools provided by the manufacturers. Therefore, you should have one on hand as well if you purchase this rower.


  • solid build quality
  • 50-level adjustable resistance
  • great customer service
  • lifetime warranty on frame
  • quiet operation
  • free motion arms similar to rowing motion on a boat
  • compact
  • versatile multifunctional monitor that comes with an inbuilt pulse rate monitor


  • might be difficult to install for some people
  • the metric system of the measuring unit on the fitness monitor
  • legs might not get as much workout as the upper-body does
  • no wheels for transportation

Consumer Reviews

The users of the appliance adore the rower’s solid build and durability. A few users had some difficulties while adjusting the resistance and installing the unit.


A lifetime frame warranty and a three-year one for the parts.