The Stamina 1333 is a low-to-mid priced rowing machine that is very compact, which makes it a great choice for most homes (even smaller flats and apartments).
Stamina are one of the top producers of fitness equipment and have a number of great models on the market I have been lucky enough to test a number of them and they never disappoint. So hopefully the 1333 lives up to our expectations.
Let’s see what we liked before going through our review.
- Easy to move and ultra-quiet
- Resistance is substantial on the highest level (12)
- Assembly is straightforward
- Comfortable seat
- Good quality
- Display is small
- Calorie counting seems to be only an estimate
- Rowing arms only move in one plane
The display is small and a little cumbersome – not a big deal. Calorie counting doesn’t seem to be precise (how could it without entering in your height and weight?). But I also found that it under calculates the calories burned when adding resistance levels. For example, you can put the resistance up to 10 and row for 300 strokes, and the same calorie count will be given with no resistance.
Keep this in mind when rowing.
Overall it is a wonderful, compact machine that has handles that are powered through hydraulics that allow for a smooth rowing experience through your entire rowing session.
Small and lightweight, this model is just under 50 pounds and has dimensions of 48.5” x 34.52” x 18” – so moving it is a breeze, especially thanks to the wheels on the front of the machine.
When rowing, you’ll quickly appreciate how quiet this machine is when rowing. You’ll also notice that the deluxe seat which is designed to provide back support which is ideal for users that have back-related issues. I must say that this seat is one of the most comfortable seats I have experienced on a rowing machine.
Piston resistance is available to make rowing even more difficult. In total, there are 12 resistance levels that go from easy to extremely difficult at the highest setting. On some of the cheaper piston rowing machine models only have one piston which doesn’t offer much resistance. However, on the 1333 there are two pistons that provide you with plenty of resistance allowing you to do some strength training if you wish to.
One thing to be careful of with this type is that the pistons tend to get hot once they have been used for a while. So, take care if you decide to alter the resistance half way through you work out as you could possibly burn yourself. The rams are placed underneath the rail which does help to stop you accidentally touching them.
The Rowing “Oars”
The rowing arms move independently of each other with a piston attached to each “oar.” The only thing that I don’t particularly like about the arms on the precision is that they only move straight forwards and back.
If you have read any of my other reviews of piston resistance models you may notice that quite often the arms move left and right as well which gives you freedom to row however you like. This also helps to create the feeling that you are rowing a real boat.
It isn’t a massive issue and does give you a great workout but the motion of the rowing arms is one of my favourite aspects of these types and considering this model costs a bit more then it would have been nice.
And as long as you’re 250 pounds or under, you’ll safely be able to row on this machine. Quite often the piston units have a low maximum capacity of 220 pounds so it is nice that this one goes up to 250 pounds.
Monitoring is available (although the monitor is monochrome and a little on the small side). For some reason, I find the monitor to be a little cumbersome – maybe because all of the statistics are provided on the screen at once. You’ll be able to monitor:
- Total strokes
- Strokes per minute
You can decide what information is displayed in the largest area of the display by simply pressing the mode button.
A good feature of this monitor is that you can set desired values for the desired functions. For instance, if you want to do 1000 strokes you set this as your desired value. Then once you start rowing the monitor will count down from 1000 to 0 making it clear that you have achieved your goal.
There are also comfortable foot pedals that will allow you to use your legs comfortably and keep your feet in the proper position all throughout your workout. The pedals are adjustable, too, so that you can move them to a position that best works for you.
It seems that Stamina have learnt from previous models that had problems with people’s feet slipping out of the pedals, but there was no such problem with the 1333.
When you’re done rowing, you can fold the machine up, and use the rolling wheels to move it into another room. Plastic caps keep the machine from scratching hardwood floors, too.
Assembly and Maintenance
Having put together similar models before I was expecting the assembly process to take about 30 minutes’ maximum, but after 40 minutes I was just finishing up. I did take my time putting it together but the process I think could have been refined a bit by Stamina and a few more parts could have easily come pre-assembled.
The instructions were the same format as their other models such as the Stamina 1050 which are easy to understand but just be prepared to spend up to an hour putting it together if you are not particularly good at DIY.
The maintenance is very simple and just requires a wipe with a sponge every now and again to make sure that the seat can move smoothly. Apart from that you might just want to check the nuts and bolts from time to time to make sure that they aren’t coming loose.
Stamina guarantee that it will be free from defects for the first 90 days on the parts and the frame is guaranteed for one year.
I do think the warranty is pretty poor if you compare it to some of the higher end models that often will provide a warranty for up to 3 years on parts and 5 years on the frame.
To Buy or Not to Buy
Robust and compact, this model is a good choice. I liked the seat as it was comfortable, but I’m not sure that it really adds much in the way of back support as it was intended.
The resistance is much better than you get on a lot of piston resistance units and I would feel comfortable doing a high intensity workout and don’t feel that it would fall apart.
One of the main reasons people often buy piston models is the fact that they are easy to store and tend to be light making them easy to move. This model most certainly does all those things, so if space saving is the most important aspect for you then this may be the one for you.
With all that being said, for some reason it doesn’t amaze me and I think there are so many great alternatives out there for similar money. If you are someone just looking to lose some weight and want a cardio workout I would recommend going for a cheaper model like the Stamina 1215.
An alternative piston rower that is worth looking at is the HCI Fitness Sprint Outrigger Scull.