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Showing 1-10 of 273 reviews(Positive). See all 352 reviews
on September 5, 2009
We just assembled our new Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower. It took about an hour and a half. The machine feels pretty sturdy to me. Is it worth $279? Hard to say, but with everything so overpriced these days, who knows? The acid test is usually how long something lasts, so it will be worth the money if it gives several years of good service. I've done my first half hour of rowing and it's a fairly smooth action and relatively quiet. On some sites, a few people complained that the lowest setting is too tough for beginners, and I agree. But you can set the arms even a little lower than the bottom number, and this helps. I've had two rowing machines in the past and this one is as good or better than they were. I like the ability to set the back of the bar up higher which aids in getting off and on the rower. I was concerned about the 'orbital' action of the arms, but find it's easy to adjust to, and in effect, you can just row as normal and not use the orbital ability at all. I'm giving the unit a 5 for now since it seems to meet my expectations. I'll update later on, whether good or bad, once I've had the chance to use it several weeks.

******Update after 2 weeks of use ****

This is the update I promised after using the rower for a couple of weeks. In my first review I asked myself the question, is the rower worth the money. I answered that by saying it depended how it held up over time. Well. The answer to that question is a resounding NO !!! If I could, I'd rate the unit one star for poor quality control, but Amazon's rating system won't let me go back and change it from the original 5 stars. I read the couple of reviews saying the shocks had broken down after a couple of weeks, and the one that slammed the unit for using plastic parts instead of metal, especially at this price. I chose to ignore those concerns in the face of the other positive reviews. It turns out that was a big mistake. After 2 weeks of use, the plastic rod that's used to attach the circular connecting loop on the end of the shock to the frame, snapped off. This piece is extremely important because it has to take the force of pulling back on the shock every time you row. And Stamina chose to make this piece out of cheap plastic instead of metal and it broke after using the rower a total of seven 30 minute sessions. This is totally unacceptable, not just for the inconvenience of having the rower disabled, but also the injuries it could cause if it breaks while you're intensely rowing. Since other people have shocks that broke after only 2 weeks, it's an obvious design flaw based on trying to save a few pennies using plastic instead of metal in a critical area. I also blame myself for not checking on the warranty. It's only 90 days for parts and labor. As you can imagine, because of this design flaw, I fully expect the other shock, or even the new one, to break after enough stress, and if I'm beyond the 90 days, I will have to pay for shocks for this unit. The shock broke on Thursday the 24th. I called Customer Service at 3:30 Central Time (they're supposed to be open until 5 CST). Nobody answered and nobody returned the call that day. The next day they called and took the info and said I would get a replacement shock in 5 to 7 days. So I'll lose a minimum of a week on my exercise program. Today is Sept. 30th, and I don't have the shock yet, so we'll see how long it takes. It's not very comforting to feel these shocks could let go any time during the heat of an intense rowing session causing injury or damage. I've had two other rowing machines over the years, both of which were used for extended periods of time, and the shocks were never an issue. Stamina has to be aware of the problems with these shocks because of the increasing complaints, and should issue a recall on them, and supply all users with new ones that support the connector with metal and not plastic. Until then I would recommend you avoid this rower completely.

****Another Update****

I've just become aware from the Epinions site that another person has had problems with the shocks on the Stamina stepper also, and is frustrated in having to buy replacement shocks after the warranty runs out. In my opinion, this means there is absolutely no question Stamina is aware their shocks don't last. And of course, it's the customer that has to pay additional money, above the purchase price, to keep the unit going. I can honestly say I will never consider buying a Stamina Products piece of equipment again.

****One Last Update****

I got the replacement shock and have had a few rowing sessions since then. But I began noticing the same problem another reviewer had with the rollers. The seat actually started to rumble, and it was because the plastic rollers were breaking down and getting grooved unevenly. The last two sessions were really annoying to say the least. Today the seat jammed up in mid-row and I couldn't continue. One of the back rollers has a deep, uneven groove in it, and won't stay in place. The other back roller is also getting grooved. I called to get replacement rollers, but now I'll lose another week of rowing while I wait. By the time I get the rollers, I will have had the rower 6 weeks, and will have lost two weeks to breakdowns. So if you're thinking of getting this rower (I hope not), you may have to plan on only using it 2/3 of the time, unless you build an inventory of spare parts. This has not proven to be a well made machine, as this is the second plastic part to break down in just a few weeks. I won't update my review any more. I think you can tell how I feel about this machine.
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on October 7, 2015
... I purchased this rower to replace one I've had for many years. Functionally this is seems to be a well-built machine, I've waited several months prior to writing this review - in order to become familiar with it. It is a bit heavy and has a very wide stance (horizontal width), making it a stable rower. As a few others have noted, the lowest resistance setting does require strength to complete a stroke. My old rower wasn't an orbital rower, and I was concerned that it would require use of different muscle groups when rowing. But if you only want to row using a straight/linear motion, it is identical to traditional rowers (you won't notice a difference in the workout unless you intentionally make the effort to row using the "orbital" capabilities). Perhaps because of the orbital design, this does make more noise than my old rower - but it is still relatively quiet.

The good and bad... It arrived mostly assembled and assembly was fairly easy (though I would have been faster if I didn't bother following the instructions). But it arrived with a minor dent in one leg and a washer was missing (for the feet rests) - it seemed too much of a hassle to return it over this. Not sure if it arrived in this fashion, but the paint is slightly faded/mis-matched on the legs. Customer service is prompt and I had an excellent experience. Last week the meter stopped registering any movement. Stamina sent a replacement sensor wire, and when I began to replace the sensor found out the plug to the meter was broken. Stamina sent a replacement meter.
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on June 4, 2017
I am glad I researched this and other products well before investing in it. This rowing machine, the Stanima 1215, is a beast! It is much more stable than their smaller model, which to me, is somewhat flimsy compared to this monster! I assembled it (was easy although the instructions could be a bit more clear) in one afternoon, taking my time. It has five adjustable settings of which, setting 5 is the LOWEST. Backwards, I know. If you set it on setting 1, you must be Superman because I could not budge it at all! I am 95 lbs. and 5' 1" tall. I had to set it on the lowest setting, 5, in order to get my workout and extend and contract my arms and legs fully to build my back up. My husband is 6' 1" tall, 165 lbs., and he has no problem at all getting the full extension he needs on his long legs and arms.

This model is very stable and has side stabilizers instead of just a center line and some small foot pods like other models. This thing will not tilt, rock, or jiggle when you row. It is pretty big and although it collapses fairly well, for some people, it would be difficult to find room to hide it. We have a dedicated workout room in our house so this thing sits there on the floor perfectly where we need it. I have seen very big expensive rowing machines, and tried them, and NOTHING compares to what this rower can give! It has orbital rowing arms so you can get a full rotation in any direction should you want to work out different parts of your arms and shoulders. In fact, you can row inward, outward, close grip, far grip, single sling action, etc. you can push/pull with opposite hand positions and get a varied workout.

When I started using this, I had no deltoids to speak of. My arms just hung out of my sockets like baggage. When I started rowing with this beast, my shoulders built up, my forearms and biceps and triceps began to grow and become perfectly defined. My deltoid caps popped up so big, I finally got that great looking T frame I had wanted all my life. I literally lost the flab in my rear and my back became V shaped and my muscles well defined. Everywhere I go, I get praises on my body frame and build. I am not trying to be a body builder or look like a gym rat, I am just trying to keep my body toned and my back strong since I am getting older. But the compliments keep flying in.

My husband wears rowing gloves but even with my sensitive hands, I have not had to wear any kind of gloves because the foam on the handles is nice and thick. The seat is well made, comfortable, and after a good workout, it still keeps its shape. There is a electronic (battery charged) counter that keeps track of your time, distance, speed, row count, calories burned, etc. However, one of the hardest types of physical activity to guage in terms of energy burn is rowing. Because there are so many rowing machines with different calibrations, and because people burn at different rates and have different rowing speeds, I wouldn't put much in to the calorie counter. The distance and time and row count is valuable however. Along with using this rower, I run 5-7 miles 3 times a week, rowing on two days a week when I'm not running. It is the perfect alternative to running because you get a cardio work out, strength building, and extremely good body toning along the butt, back, shoulders, waistline, and even abs, if you row correctly. I am so glad we bought this and I will continue to use it!
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on July 21, 2017
This is an extremely well made and solid rowing machine. It's easy to put together so just follow the instructions. You just need two adjustable wrenches and / or a metric socket set. A phillips screwdriver is needed for mounting the little digital meter. And that's it! Adjust the pistons to position 4 and tighten. This allows the piston to start at an easier tension because setting them at position 1 is just too stiff. As you build up your strength, you can progress toward the lower / stiffer setting. I am very pleased with this rowing machine!
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on April 16, 2017
The stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine works very well. I could feel the work out along my back, stomach, shoulders, arms, and legs. There are five settings on this device and the 5th setting is quite difficult. I am a 5'7" guy weighing about 190 lbs, and the Orbital Rowing machine fits me very well. My wife is much smaller than me about 5'0" and she loves it. The Orbital Rowing machine is excellent to use while working out and watching the television. Our household is full of picky people who like silence. No problem for the Orbital rowing machine. It is completely silent and not distracting to other people. One thing about the Orbital rowing machine is that it arrives in a 53 lbs box and the receiver would have to put the machine together. It is quite easy to assemble.
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on January 13, 2017
I was a little intimidated by the number of pieces to be put together, but the directions were clear and easy to understand. One of the tubular pieces was slightly flattened out, and I thought that might be a problem. It just made the assembly a tad bit more difficult than it would have otherwise been. Had to have my wife help me hold things together while I tightened the nuts and bolts. In the absence of this one slight flaw, I think it would have easily been a one man job.

Once together, I had to figure out how to get on the machine. The sliding seat makes it a little challenging, but once I figured out a plan, it was a piece of cake. I approach the device from the back, put my feet inside the frame, pull the seat back, and sit down. The straps are very easily engaged, and there is no problem with my feet slipping out of the footpads (unlike other models).

The main thing I like about this machine is that the handles are free moving. I can row with my hands as close together or as far apart as I desire. Feels more like an actual rowboat than pulling on a stick attached to a string (those higher priced models).

I'm very happy with my purchase, and I think I'll see many years' benefit from using it.
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on April 17, 2014
I was looking for a quite, portable exercise machine that I could use in the morning that could target a couple different muscle groups that included cardio (a lot to ask I know). If you haven't figured it out its this machine that I'm writing a review for now.

Putting this thing together was pretty easy if you can follow directions. It took about 45 mins start to finish not including clean up of packaging and those tiny styrofoam bits.

Once put together I put it to work. The settings are on the aluminum part of the handle and aren't super distinguishable or easily adjusted. This is a minor flaw considering the cost and easy of use. The 5th setting is the easiest and the 1st is the hardest to adjust to the 4th or 5th setting you usually have to pull the handle back to get it in place. Getting both settings on each handle exactly the same can be a pain but whats you get the hang of it, its not bad. I could take or leave the electronic sensor and display, while it works just fine I really dont care how many calories I've burned, also it is based off of the seat movement so really you could just slide back and forth a bunch and it wouldn't know the difference.

Storage is great. Depending on your beds ground clearance it could easily fit under it or if you have a space on the wall it can lean against it with ease. The adjustable support in the back folds in to lay flat or props the back end up to increase resistance.

Like any machine you have to focus on what parts of your body you really want to work. While you will exercise various muscles by default if you want to focus on your legs you can, your back you can, your arms you can, all of the above go for it. Switch your hand position to get a decent bicep work out in, its up to you. The really hard decision is what tv show you are going to watch while doing it.
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on April 8, 2017
It's a great addition to our in-home workout, especially on rainy days or days when we don't return home before dark. My husband has reported that his back pain has decreased since beginning to incorporate rowing into his workouts. My arm strength has increased. I've noticed I'm more comfortable carrying my old school work laptop around all day.

The only complaint we have is that the resistance setting is dicey. First, it slips over time, especially when my husband uses it. We can only think that it's because of his height since we set it on the same level of resistance. Second, the resistance even on the same setting is different over time and with temperature. If I use it after him, it's easier than if I use it cold. If I use it on a warm day, it's easier than on a chilly day. This leads to some consistency problems, but we just add more reps. Overall, it's something I would purchase again.
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on March 10, 2017
This product is exactly as represented . If i were producing this product i would install a four inch adjustment adhesive tape measure on each resistance knob adjustment for quick accurate matching resistance without having to eyeball guess the matching adjustment. Would probably add $ 5.00 cost material and labor . Also i would add a lock pin hole and pin to retain the seat in the start position so as to retain the seat out of ones feet clearance when mounting the machine in the inclined position. I have added this lock pin and drilled hole to mine because i am over 65 and find it awkward to hold the seat with one hand while balancing my 6' foot 2" body to sit down . I have also installed steel roll pin in the rowing handles to hold the handle bars in a 30 degree angle when not in use and for ease of entering and exiting the machine. OVERALL very good low impact exercise machine for total body workout . Very good product.
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on September 11, 2016
This is an early review of my Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower which arrived on Thursday. I assembled it in about 2hrs. the next day. When I first looked at all the parts, I was a bit daunted, but I took charge by putting the straps in the plastic foot pedals; no courage required there, and it got me started. I laid out, counted and compared all the bits to the parts list - still with the trepidation r/t complaints I'd read - and proceeded to assemble it. It went much better than I anticipated, surprising me as to how quickly and easily all those parts joined one increasingly awesome whole. 2 hours, even with frequent breaks to stand up straight and stretch because I'm 73 yo woman and have pretty severe degenerative disc stuff in my back.

I've been wanting this thing for years and finally sprang for it. I am so excited about having it to help restore my full-body strength and coordination. I used to own a Curves - an all-hydraulic workout circuit. I went through their training, am an RN/BSN, and have had pretty severe disability (really couldn't work gainfully for years) with Fibromyalgia and degenerative disc. The beauty of hydraulics in workout equipment is that you can push/pull as hard or as lightly as you want. The harder/faster you push or pull, the more resistance you generate from the hydraulic shocks, giving you a workout you can do at just about any level. If you're elderly, have physical issues, or are just not in very good shape, you adjust the shock position down at the lowest level on the rowing arms, and take it in long, slow, easy pulls - as if paddling around in the shallows of some beautiful pond enjoying the water skitters, darning needle bugs and pond lilies at a meditative pace. As you un-knot your muscles and get blood flowing through them again, and gently, slowly work through the discomforts of feeling and healing all that, you restore their function and can begin strengthening and slowly increase the intensity of your workout by increasing the amount of pull and the pace as you are able. Hydraulics (once recommended to me by my Primary Care Physician) are just perfect for that. Just go at it with great awareness of how you're using your body. Focus on using the muscles of your whole body to do the pulling; not over-relying on your arms and shoulders and don't strain until you're sure it won't cause injury. I did it once with my Curves - lost 24# and was in quite good shape. I'm looking forward to doing that again. My age, be d_ _ _ ned! This rower gives every appearance of giving the best full-body hydraulic workout of any single machine I've seen. I'll let you know how it goes. So far, I'm loving it!
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