Common Smith Machine Bar Weights
So far we’ve established that Smith machine bars can weigh anywhere from 6 to 32 lbs depending on the type of Smith machine you have. To help you narrow that down, I’ve split that up into two common Smith machine types.
Residential Smith Machines
A residential Smith machine is one that you might purchase for your home gym. Typically they are made of cheaper materials and cost in the neighborhood of $1,000-$2,000.
Often a residential Smith machine has a standard barbell with a 1″ diameter as opposed to the 2″ diameter of Olympic bars and plates. Although they do sell adapters so you can use Olympic plates.
In addition, the bar is usually not counterbalanced. So, while the bar is made of lighter steel than an Olympic bar, you feel the full weight. That means residential Smith machines can have a starting weight of around 30 lbs.
Another common cost-saving area is the slide mechanism for the bar on the rails. Residential Smith machines sometimes use nylon bushings as opposed to ball bearings. This makes the movement a little less smooth than a commercial Smith machine.
Commercial Smith Machines
On the other hand, a commercial Smith machine is one that you would find in a large gym. This is a piece of equipment made from higher quality materials and costs something like $3,000-$4,000.
Commercial Smith machines don’t always have Olympic quality bars, but they do fit 2″ diameter Olympic plates. And they usually have ball bearings as well as a counterbalance to reduce the starting weight to 30 lbs or less.
The table below shows the bar weight of a residential Smith machine compared to various commercial Smith machines.