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Halo Smith Machine analysis: Which is right for you?

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 1st October 2020
Easiest To Use
Halo Counterbalanced Smith Machine
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Best Value
Halo Full Commercial Multi-Purpose Smith Machine
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Best For Dynamic Training
Halo Commercial 3D Smith Machine
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Despite being a relatively unheard of brand in the UK, it's clear that Halo's durable product line consists of some of the best Smith machines for fitness facilities.

No, they're not the cheapest—that's for sure. But if you're on the market for a simple, sturdy Smith machine for your commercial gym, then you should definitely consider investing in one of Halo's three full commercial Smith stations.

But which one should you buy?

Obviously, the right Halo Smith machine for you depends on your goals, your budget, usage intensity, the size of your facility and many other factors. Nonetheless, I've distilled the key differences down into three reviews with pros and cons so that you can decide which is most worth it for you.

1. Halo Full Commercial Counter-Balanced Smith Machine (best overall)

Out of their three products, Halo's Full Commercial Counter Balanced Smith Machine is, for me, the best value for money option. In addition to an assortment of other gym-quality features, it comes with an ingenious built-in counterbalance system that brings the starting weight down to just 5kg.

Naturally, having a low starting resistance is great for beginners because it allows them to learn the proper form without overdoing it and potentially injuring themselves. However, the low bar weight is equally useful for more advanced lifters because it removes the complication from figuring how much weight you're lifting, thus enabling you to accurately track your strength progress.

halo full commercial

But even if you or members of your gym are performing max effort lifts, you won't need a spotter because Halo has equipped their full commercial Smith machine with 6 steel bar hooks (Gym Gear has more). These heavy-duty lockout points are much more dependable than a clumsy spotter because they enable you to re-rack the bar with a simple wrist turn, regardless of where you are in a rep.

Yet, if you've reached the point of exhaustion and can't even muster up the energy to turn your wrist, you don't need to panic or shout across the gym for help like a damsel in distress. Instead, you can keep your cool and simultaneously maintain your hardcore reputation by calmly lowering (or dropping) the barbell onto the heavy-duty safety catches.

Halo also helps us out by equipping their full commercial Smith with 8 storage pegs for weight plates. Of course, extra storage is immensely helpful if you're a commercial gym ower (especially if you have a small facility) because it encourages members to keep the gym floor tidy (and thereby free from trip hazards) by putting their weights away.

All three of these Halo Smith machines come in 14 colours: black gloss, black matte, dark grey, unfinished steel, silver, silver sparkle, white, red, orange, lime green, purple, light blue, French blue and green. However, you don't need to choose your colour at the time of ordering, at least when you order from a quality distributor (see link below). Instead, they'll contact you to discuss colour choices and delivery options, which takes the guesswork out of ordering.

Pros
  • Counterbalance system reduces the starting weight to a beginner-friendly 5kg
  • Easy to use for people of all ability levels
  • Linear bearings provide a smooth resistance for a better muscle pump
  • Comes with 8 weight plate storage pegs to keep the gym floor tidy
  • Includes heavy-duty safety catches so that you can lift heavy without a spotter
Cons
  • Only 2-years warranty on the parts (frame has a lifetime guarantee)

2. Halo Full Commercial Multi-Purpose Smith Machine (most compact)

If you're on a budget, but still want to pick up a quality Smith machine, then the Halo Full Commercial Multi-Purpose Smith Machine is a solid choice. There's no counterbalance system like before, but this affordable Commercial Smith has everything a weightlifter needs for an intense, safe workout.

Halo's Multi-Purpose Smith Machine has an open frame design to provide easy access from both sides of the unit, making it convenient for those who still want to train with a partner.

halo multi-purpose smith machine

However, its non-claustrophobic design also affords the Multi-Purpose Smith Machine a wide, stable base, which makes lifting heavy weights safer because the frame doesn't wobble around. Naturally, this stability gives you the confidence to test your strength because you know that the Halo Smith Machine is more than capable of standing up to intense, aggressive workouts.

As with Halo's Counter Balance Smith Machine, the Multi-Purpose Smith Machine is also made for training without a spotter. There are 7 heavy-duty bar hooks dispersed evenly down the uprights in 20cm intervals, making it quick and easy to re-rack the barbell at any point during a set.

Like before, Halo also equips their Multi-Purpose Smith Machine with a pair of adjustable, steel safety catches so that you can prevent injuries and train without a spotter [1]. Obviously, you can still hurt yourself with poor form. But these safety catches will stop you from getting pinned under the bar.

Best of all, this Halo Smith machine comes with 3cm roller bearings that provide precise, frictionless bar movement. This smooth lifting motion enables us to achieve a stronger pump and hence, more muscle growth because we can feel our muscles working more intensely during each rep now that we have a Smith machine with fluid movement.

You'll also get 6 storage pegs for your weight plates, which are conveniently spread out so that you can put your heavy discs on the bottom pegs without obstructing the others.

Pros
  • Linear bearings provide a frictionless lifting motion for enhanced muscle activation
  • Includes 7 re-racking positions so that you can train safely
  • Has a broad, stability-enhancing base for even more safety
  • Compact design makes it convenient for smaller fitness facilities
  • Comes with steel safety catches to keep you out of trouble in the event of muscular failure
  • Lifetime frame warranty
Cons
  • Only two years warranty on the parts

3. Halo 3D Smith Machine (best for free-weight-style training)

The Halo 3D Smith Machine (also known as a dual axis Smith machine) combines the dynamic movement patterns of free weights with the first-class safety of Smith machines to create a truly one-of-a-kind workout system.

Unlike a regular Smith machine, the Halo 3D Smith has a 3cm linear bearing 3D system that allows backwards and forwards as well as up and down movement. This design makes your Smith machine training much more dynamic, and it'll almost certainly increase your muscle activation if you use proper form.

halo 3d

Moreover, since Halo has equipped their 3D Smith machine with linear bearings, the bar path feels exceptionally smooth, which further likens the lifting motion to free weights [2]. As a result, you can achieve a more reliable mind-muscle connection because there's no annoying friction to ruin your flow.

This model also includes the most lockout points (10) and safety stopper positions (5) of any Halo Smith machine. You can re-rack the barbell on both the front and the back of the frame, meaning that you can completely customise the start and end positions of virtually any exercise.

Related post: BodyCraft Jones Smith Machine review

Additionally, the full-length bar stoppers keep you out of harm's way by providing a continuous safety blanket that prevents the barbell from travelling below a predetermined point. So even if you fail a rep, you won't get stuck underneath the bar or need to waste valuable energy trying in vain to re-rack the weight.

On the storage side of things, Halo includes 8 Olympic plate pegs that encourage members to put their weights away. Naturally, this storage keeps the gym floor tidy and free of potential trip hazards. But it also means that you don't have to clutter up your facility with more weight disc trees than is necessary. This design is useful for gym owners because it leaves more space for extra value-adding equipment that members are much more likely to appreciate [3].

Related products

Pros
  • 3D design promotes greater core activation
  • Includes 10 lockout points for easy barbell re-racking
  • Comes with full-length bar stoppers for constant safety protection
  • Provides a consistently smooth bar path thanks to 3cm linear bearings
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee on the frame
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Parts are only guaranteed for 2 years

Which Halo Smith Machine should you go for?

Halo produces some excellent, commercial-grade Smith machines that provide fitness facilities with durable and safe workout stations for their members. Each has its pros and cons, so there's no such thing as the one best choice for everyone. However, some models will naturally suit your requirements better than others.

If you want a great all-around Smith machine that's accessible to users of all ability levels, then I recommend investing in the Halo Full Commercial Counter-Balanced Smith Machine. It has a starting resistance of just 5kg, comes equipped with silky-smooth linear bearings and provides heavy-duty safety catches, which are also fully adjustable.

However, if you have a lower budget and don't care about the bells and whistles of a counterbalance system, then the Halo Full Commercial Multi-Purpose Smith Machine is a great, reliable choice. It's just as sturdy and stable as their counterbalance model, and it even comes with an extra racking position. It's also significantly more affordable and is a top choice for those seeking a dependable, commercial Smith station.

The Halo 3D Smith Machine is another good choice for gym owners who want to give their members an extra stepping stone between machine and free weight training. However, it's considerably more expensive than the other two models. And honestly, I prefer regular Smith machines (such as the Impulse Elite Smith Machine) because I can more easily focus on the working muscle. I find most 3D Smith machines quite gimmicky. But that's just me.

I hope that you found my Halo Smith machine comparison helpful, and hopefully, you can decide which equipment to buy for your gym.

Editor's Choice
Halo Full Commercial Multi-Purpose Smith Machine
halo multi-purpose smith machine
  • Compact yet sturdy design
  • Linear bearings provide a friction-free bar path
  • 7 lockout points for safe & easy barbell re-racking
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame
  • Lowest UK price during October 2020

 

James Jackson
I'm a former academy rugby union player who specialises in strength and conditioning for competitive athletes. I split my time between coaching the next generation of British talent and creating hands-on gym equipment case studies at Smith Machine UK.
At Smith Machine UK, we create in-depth tests of the latest and greatest gym equipment on the British market so that you can create your dream home gym.
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