Concept2 Model D vs Waterrower – Best Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D vs Waterrower – Best Rowing Machine

Which Row Machine Set Gets You The Best Results?

When it comes to getting in shape, we can all agree that there are many ways to get the job done. One of those ways in particular is rowing. Unfortunately we all don’t have a boat that we can just take down the river and get a good workout in.

Which is what makes home rowing machines so popular. But for many, finding a rowing machine that you’re comfortable working out with is key.

In today’s market, two rowing machines that tend to be very popular to many is the concept2 vs the waterrower. Although these two machines use the same motion, both provide a very different type of feel when performing the actual rowing motion.

Below I plan on breaking down what makes each rowing machine different, and how either machine can give you a great workout.

Where you will be working out the entire body with very little impact on your joints.

Concept2 Model D Rower vs Waterrower Machine Comparison

Concept2 Model D

  • Performance Monitor 5 LCD Display
  • Air Resistance flywheel
  • Nickel-plated steel chain
  • Commercial grade quality made of aluminum
  • Easy to assemble with only 8 screws

View Review

Waterrower Natural Rower

  • Series 4 Performance Monitor
  • Water Resistance flywheel
  • Solid ash honey stained oak construction
  • Stores upright for easy storage
  • Replicates actual rowing feel

View Review

Key Differences Between Both Rowing Machines

One of the obvious differences between both machines is the type of resistance you will feel as you perform each rowing motion. Also, the type of material each exercise machine is made out of.

But when it comes to the resistance aspect of it, the concept2 uses air as a way to intensify your exercise as you row.

With the waterrower, the form of resistance is brought to you using actual water. Which is obviously considered a more natural feel when rowing.

Even though there are obvious differences in the type of resistance in both machines, there are other differences users may want to be aware of.

So below I plan on answering some common questions many users have when it comes to deciding which rowing machine will work best for daily exercise.

Which Machine Offers a Quieter Ride?

Concept2 – using air as a form of resistance, you would think that there wouldn’t be that much noise when performing the rowing motion. But with the concept2, some may find it a bit loud.

Now it’s nothing too crazy that will interrupt others that may be in the home, but you may have to turn up the volume on your tv if you are someone that likes to be entertained while exercising.

Waterrower – as the name suggest, the waterrower uses water as form of resistance. As you perform each rowing motion, you will hear a swooshing sound. Almost as if you were out in the ocean rowing an actual boat.

For many, this sound can be very therapeutic while exercising. Even if you are someone that watches tv during your exercise, you should have very little issue with noise using a waterrower machine.

Advantage – Waterrower

Which Machine Gives You a More Natural Rowing Feel?

Concept2 – considered to be very smooth and not overly noisy, the feeling you get when rowing is comfortable. This machine uses a chain as a mechanism to help build up that resistance as you row.

Used by athletes for competitive training, the concept2 two is able to give you one of the most natural rowing feels to help you get in shape.

Waterrower – if you’re looking for a way to replicate a particular activity like rowing, it only makes sense to use as many elements as possible that help you replicate the actual activity.

So when it comes to a rowing machine, using water as a form of resistance is a great way to replicate the actual rowing motion. Not only do you get the motion, but the sound as well.

Advantage – Tie

Which Machine Is Easier To Install?

Concept2 – with this rowing machine being as long as it is, the thought of having to put it together can discourage anyone from thinking about even buying it.

You want to be able to receive and jump right into your workout. The great thing about the concept2 is that it comes with easy installation with only 8 screws needing to be adjusted.

Waterrower – although not extremely difficult, the waterrower does come in pieces which may make it difficult for those that don’t consider themselves very handy.

Many have mentioned that putting it together is doable, but if assembly is one of your sticking points for choosing which machine to go with, the waterrower may be at a disadvantage.

Advantage – Concept2

Which Machine Offers Easy Storage In The Home?

Concept2 – the machine can be separated into two pieces allowing for easy storage. And with its framelock mechanism, there are no tools needed to separate the machine. It also comes with wheels allowing for easy mobility when storing.

And for those that don’t feel like wasting time breaking apart the machine for storing, it can also be stood upright as well. Along with the wheels to reduce any strain when moving.

Waterrower – unfortunately this machine doesn’t allow you to break it apart, but you are able to stand the machine upright.

This will ensure that it takes up minimal space within your home. There are also wheels at the bottom when in upright mode, allowing for easy mobility throughout your home.

Advantage – Concept2

Concept2 Model D: A Quick Review


  • Built solid allowing for an effective and comfortable row
  • Very smooth and makes very little if any noise while using the machine
  • Doesn’t take up much space since it can be separated for easy storage
  • Can compete with other users with 3rd party software (may be sold separately)
  • Saves time from having to go to the gym
  • Easy to assemble
  • Maximum user weight capacity of 500lbs
  • Comes with a 5 year warranty


  • Many question the effectiveness of air resistance rowing machines compared to others
  • Feel that magnetic is much quieter than air machines
  • Cost may be considered a bit much for some

Considered the standard when it comes to rowing machines, the concept2 is widely used by athletes involved in competitive training around the world.

Regardless if you plan on using this machine in your fitness facility or your home gym, the versatility of this machine is what makes it so worth it.

With its performance 5 monitor, you can accurately track your data while your exercising on the machine. You also get bluetooth to connect all your favorite devices to make tracking your data simple.

Its sturdy design gives you the comfort that it will last a while, yet still offers a smooth feel while you ride. Using an air-resistance flywheel, the faster you pull, the more resistance you will feel as you row.

And for those concerned about storing due to its length, know that you can separate the machine into two parts, making for easy storage. It also comes with wheels to allow for easy transportation around your home…Read Full Review

View Best Home Rowing Machines

Waterrower Natural Rower: A Quick Review


  • Uses water resistance replicating the feel of an actual row machine
  • Wood frame absorbs a lot noise or vibration that is made during use
  • Series 4 performance monitor to track your progress
  • Aesthetically pleasing to fit in almost anywhere in your home
  • Very smooth and quiet each time you row
  • Could be stood upright for easy storage


  • Not very budget friendly for those not looking to spend a lot of money
  • Bolts may need tightening from time to time because of wood construction
  • Not made for intense training purposes
  • Foot placement can be uncomfortable at times

I bet if you asked any former rower what they missed most about competitive rowing, i’m sure they would say the sound of their paddle flowing through the water.

Although the waterrower isn’t the exact same thing, it’s the closest thing to it. This is made possible with the water resistance flywheel.

This machine helps replicate that feeling you get in an actual row boat, but without having the water splashing in your face.

The waterrower has a very unique design compared to other row machines out there. Its wood oak construction absorbs sound and vibration making for a very quiet workout.

Also, for those concerned about storage, the machine can be stood upright to fit in any corner or room in your home. There are also wheels to allow for easy mobility…Read Full Review

View Best Home Rowing Machines

What’s Trending: Concept2 vs Waterrower

concept2 vs waterrower google trends

Final Thoughts

The thing that makes fitness so unique is the fact that there are so many ways in which you can go about getting in shape. The most difficult thing for many is finding a fitness routine that will help keep them motivated throughout the process.

So whether you like to run, bike, or row, making sure you enjoy it each time you perform that activity will be the difference between you reaching your fitness goals or not.

Regardless of which rowing machine you choose, both will give you a great total body workout without having to add any stress to the joints.

But it’s important to know that when it comes to the concept2 rowing machine, this is a machine that many elite athletes use to get ready for competition.

So if you’re someone that is looking for the best way to train for competition, then you may want to go with it.

If you’re someone that is looking to replicate the rowing feeling, then the waterrower may be a better option for you.

Because when comparing the concept2 vs the waterrower, it really does come down to what your preferences are.

So if you have any thoughts or questions on this, please feel free to share them below.

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