Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine Review

Like the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine which we’ve also covered in our review, the Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine comprises of two handles and a piston resistance, but also has some crucial differences. Hence, while they may appear to be very similar at first, it would be a mistake to consider one as simply the twin of the other. This is why we’ve written a separate detailed review for the  Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine.

Technical Specifications

  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic Piston.
  • Dimensions: 48 x 32.5 x 27.75 inches.
  • Machine Weight: 47 pounds.
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds.
  • Storage: Handles fold down (can slide under bed).
  • Warranty: 5- year warranty on frame.

Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine Review

Shop now at

Ease of Assembly

The assembly procedure of the Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine is simple, but requires far more time than that of a air or magnetic resistance machine. It also needs two wrenches and a screwdriver of appropriate size. One person can assemble it within an hour, and the time taken to get the job done can be as low as 20 minutes if two people are coordinating.

But one needs to be additionally careful since the instruction manual has been called unreliable by a number of users. Indeed, at one place the manual asks you to turn the machine over, while the diagram shows that you have to turn it to the right.


The body of this machine is made of steel with an aluminium frame. The machine feels sturdy and is capable of handling high pressure workouts, though it cannot be considered commercial grade. The body parts are decent as well, and are covered by a 90 days warranty, which is considered decent for this price range. One problem, which is generic among piston resistance rowing machines, is the wearing out of the piston over time. However, the pistons on the Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine are better than average and a number of users praised Stamina on this count.

Ease of Use

This rowing machine is pretty easy to learn and use. The handles are smooth and so is the resistance. Like the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine, it comes with handles but these are not capable of swinging outwards, being limited to forward and backward movements. This perhaps is justified since the pricing of the two machines have some difference.

Parts and Operation

It comes with handles, one for each arm. Each handle has five resistance levels, with the lowest being 5 and the highest being 1. This can get confusing, but it appears to be the standard with Stamina’s rowing machines as we saw it on the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine as well. However, the resistance itself is smooth, so once you get used to the right resistance, there should not be any issues

The Stamina 1205 Precision has provided a very well padded seat which does not harden even when you work out for long hours over an extended period of say a few years. The handles are also covered with rubber grips which is a plus for beginners.

It also comes with pivoting footrests which have been called a tad larger than comfortable by some who like rowing barefoot, but generally the users found the pivoting mechanism comfortable as it made allowance for the natural movement of the feet.


The  Stamina 1205 Precision comes with a basic but nice LCD display which is placed between the footrests. It shows you the usual information like distance covered, calories burnt, etc. However, one should note that the calories burnt is based upon your age, and is meant for comparative analysis of different workout sessions. The distances are in miles, but this can easily be converted into meters if one so desires.

The display uses two AA sized batteries, and turns on when a button is pressed, or when the seat is moved. It can display any one of the parameters in large font, and allows one to either manually toggle through all of them or use the scan feature to show all one by one. Either way, the display is large enough to be easily viewed even from a distance.

Get it now at


This machine has folding arms. Its seat has to be removed to complete the packing. In this position it can be stored under the bed if it is of decent height, or placed along the wall. Either way it has a small footprint and is ideal for those having a limited floor space. Its weight is just 47 pounds so you can carry it anywhere you want to go.

What make people dislike this rower?

The shocks of the machine may have to be changed, since they generally get worn out easily. This is more the case when one has an unbalanced upper body and tends to put more pressure on one handle, wearing it out faster. The company offers shocks for $15, which does not appear too high a price to pay, though if you’re not planning on footing bills periodically, you may be advised to go in for a different type of resistance.

Another issue with this machine is that the pistons tend to get very hot during extensive usage, so much so that it can damage a rug which is placed beneath it. Some users have also complained that as the pistons get older, they may begin to leak oil.

For both cases, it is advisable to use a suitable mat to avoid cleaning up later. However, it should be remembered that these problems are generic in this class of resistance, and it would be difficult for one to find a different type of resistance in this price range.

Who is the Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine best for?

Most users of average height did not have any issues with the machine. However the company warns that the weight capacity of the machine is limited to 250 pounds.


  • Great build quality for the price bracket
  • One of the most affordable rowing machine available from a reputed company
  • Comfortable seat and handles
  • Sufficient care has been taken to ensure smooth functioning comfort during workout.


  • Problem of heating and leakage associated with shocks and pistons
  • Warranty on parts is rather limited
  • Confusing user manual


From the above it seems that the  Stamina 1205 Precision Rowing Machine has some notable flaws, but one should remember that this is about the cheapest of the machines we are reviewing here, and hence, is meant for price conscious customers who want to primarily get the benefits of a good exercise. For the price, it brings all the benefits of piston resistance rowing machines, with some innovative features, and this is why, despite some flaws, it has made it to our recommended of top rowing machines in 2014.

Buy it now at