Sunny Health Fitness Magnetic SF RW5515 Review

We have looked after a budget magnetic rower, we wanted that to find a good rower but under 300$ and more likely, close to 200$.

Because we know that this is an investment and don’t want to throw your money on things that will not really help you or they will become just a clothes hanger.

So in our research we took into account the following: budget, structure, good customer care and the product which drew our attention is from Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 magnetic rower.

Delivery and Assembly

Sunny Health & Fitness  SF-RW5515 is coming in a box which weighs 70 pounds. You can use the help of a friend to bring the box into your apartment but isn’t too big to do it yourself.

In the box, you will find 7 parts that are packed individually and a separate bag with the screws required for the assembly. Out of the box, the entire machine will weight around 55 pounds. Having a metal flywheel (we will talk about the flywheel later), the box is heavier on one side. During transportation, being heavier on one side, the package can be easily dropped. This can damage the pieces that are packed in the box.

That’s why after you unpack you need to check and see if the parts are damaged. If there are parts that are damaged due to transportation you need to call Sunny Customer Care service. They will help you to get the replacement for the parts that need this. Sunny Customer Care is one of the best and can help you with any issue that you encounter.

You will see that the handlebar and the strap are already connected to the main frame, so no worries here. There are only 5 big steps that you will need to do take in order to have it ready for your workouts. Is not Ikea, but you will need to spend around 20 minutes to put it together.

The first step is to attach the front stabilizer and pedals to the main frame. On the sliding rail, you will attach the seat and the rear stabilizer and the last step is to attach the sliding rail to the main frame. The package includes all the tools that you need to put it all together, even 2 Allen wrenches and 2 Spanners.

After all the pieces are put and the machine is ready, you will see that this rower feels really solid. The frame is made of steel and can support users with a weight of a maximum of 250 lbs.

Some users of this rower complained that the machine can move from the floor during a workout. We don’t know if this is due to a slippery floor (which is the most educated guess) or the assembly was not done properly. So, to avoid any scratches, if you have a floor made of wood, or it can be easily scratched we recommend to use a carpet or some exercise mat to prevent this to happen. Because in a workout where you are sustaining a high pace, the rower can move from a slippery floor and this can be prevented.

The rowing handle is attached by a reinforced nylon strap to avoid any fraying and allows a smooth rowing stroke.

Also, another thing that you will observe is that this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is that occupy a little space and with a small footprint. The frame has transportation wheels to move it around and it can be folded when you need that space.

To fold the rower is very easy, you will need to unscrew a knob and remove a pin that is positioned at the end from the center console. Next step is to raise the gliding (be careful here that the seat will slide and can pinch your fingers) and reinsert the pin back and tighten the knob. Now can be moved with the help of transportation wheels that are in the front of the rower and put it easily in a storage room until your next training


But what is a rower that is using magnets for resistance? Like the air rowers, we will find here the same rotating wheel, but it’s using a magnet to create resistance.

The flywheel is made of metal and their magnets which by getting closer to the wheel creates more “Eddy currents” and creates more resistance.  You can see a very good explication of how the magnetic resistance on a rowing machine works it in the video below


To simplify this, the closer is the magnets to the wheel, the more resistance you get when you do a stroke.
Here is the difference from airwheel rowings, is that you, for example, set a level of 4 and you will have the same resistance all the time, disregards how fast or slow you are rowing.
Another major difference between magnetic and air rowers is the noise it produces. On airwheel rower the wheel is acting as a fan to create wind resistance and when you start to increase the pace the fan is rotating faster and becomes noise. This doesn’t happen to a rower with magnetic resistance, because the wheel is not acting like a fan to create the resistance, the resistance is given by the approach of the magnets to the wheel.
At what does not excel a magnetic rowing machine, is at HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) or Tabata training. This kind of training is where you need to take your pulse at maximum very fast for a certain amount of time and lower it back. Due to the fact that the resistance is constant all the time, no matter what your pace is this can be achieved, but it will need to have some metrics to know when your pulse is back to normal and how what pace you should have.

Technical Details and Specification


  • Assembled dimensions: 82L x 19W x 23H inches
  • Product weight: 59 lbs
  • Supported weight: 250 lbs
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: With straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Performance monitor: Basic
  • Warranty: Frame 1 years / Parts 90 days

Using LifeSpan RW 1000 magnetic rower

Even this is a budget rowing machine, is still can give you good workouts. It doesn’t squeak or at a high pace, you don’t feel that is tearing apart due to the cheap build materials. It feels smooth and easy to use, despite the price that it has.

You will see that the seat is comfortable but hard. The seat has a thin foam cushion that is ok. 

Even this is one of the good seats that you will find, remember that we are talking about a budget rowing, so if you need to use a cushion please do it.

This will not affect the quality of your training. And if you will feel some sore on your glutes 🙂 maybe this means that these muscles are not trained enough. But no worries, they will get strong in a short time.



Do not worry if you are a tall person because you space to do a comfortable complete stroke event if you have 6’’ 3 – 6’’ 5. The slide rail is long enough for everyone.

As we said the maximum weight limit is 250lbs and can accommodate with easily users slight above this limit. That’s because of the solid frame with which Sunny created this rowing machine.


The big advantage of the magnetic rowing is that will be really quiet. You will not hear any rumble squeaking sounds, the only sound which will stand out is the seat moving forward and backward. This is an advantage that you can use when your kids are sleeping and you have a free window to do a  workout or you can open Netflix to view your favorite TV shows (Is not Netflix and chill is Netflix and workout).

Resistance Levels

The resistance intensity of Sunny  SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower has 8 levels. Starting from level 1, which is intended for first-time users or for people that need recovery.  You need to rotate the knob clockwise to increase the resistance.

Many users consider that medium resistance is around level 3 or 4, but the pace needs to be taken into consideration. The more expensive models can do this automatically and have pre-set programs with different goals based on your goals. But we are talking about a budget rowing and we think that turning the knob by yourself is not an issue.

At first, we suggest that you should select that level that is not too easy or too hard. This selected level should be your baseline from which you can start to grow in difficulty, intensity or time.

Keep always in mind to have the correct body posture during a complete stroke to avoid injuries or joint complications.

The mainframe has a slight inclination, being closer to the ground in the front. This is done to add use more of your legs and to have a smooth recovery motion.

You need to know that there is no maintenance needed for this rower, as it comes from the factory with all the components lubricated. The only thing that you need to avoid is to put in contact the gliding rail with sand or dust.

Handle and Footrest

The foot pedals are very large and come with non-slip surfaces and straps to keep your feet in place. Also, the base of the pedals has heels guards to prevent losing your feet from the pedal.

But if you feel that your feet are slipping from the foot pedals, because of your socks or other reason, you can wear a pair of sneakers. 99% of the time of a workout your feet need to remain fixed, not to move.


The handlebar is padded with non-slippery foam. Offers a good grip, but in intense workouts can create blisters to your hands. If you have gym gloves, you can use it to protect your hands and to have that nice experience that you are expecting to have.

Control Panel

Sunny Health & Fitness  SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower has a basic LCD.The LCD that is attached to the rowing machines includes 2 AA batteries. You will see it that is a basic Monitor where you can check your :

  • strokes 
  • total count  
  • time
  • calories

It has the function for Auto ON/OFF, it will start when the machine is put in the motion and shut after 4 minutes of inactivity.

The counter for calories isn’t accurate, because is displaying an average which was calculated based on medium use. But here is well you will feel it, if the Calories counter shows after a workout 200 and after other one 600, for sure in the second workout you have consumed more calories. In order to have an accurate calculation of the calories burned, the LCD Monitor should take into account many details, like age, sex, weight, heart rate, etc.

If this is needed, you can use a heart rate strap that can calculate it more accurate then the basic Monitor. Also, you can use it in other training.

Another downside of this basic monitor is that it doesn’t record distance. However, you can create a benchmark based on the number of strokes per time. Even if you can not set a goal based on distance, you can set goals based on the stroke numbers.

As we said that is a basic Monitor, with the light is not so bright, can create difficulties when you are trying to look at it in dim light.

A last word

If you like a magnetic rowing machine and your budget is tight this is one of the best that can be found on the market.

As we said in the beginning, we took into consideration the customer support and there are users that their rowing machine got broken and Sunny Health & Fitness just send a new one.

Yes, there are some cons, but it will offer you a very decent workout and it can keep you in a good shape. If you want to see how other magnetic rowing machine behave you should check this upgraded Sunny rowing machine or the one from Stamina Avari.

 We don’t want to spoil, so read before all the things about what you want before “Add to cart”.

Inform before, buy after!



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