Manual treadmills vs motorized
This is one of the first things to consider. It is very important to know the exact differences between manual treadmills and motorized treadmills. Which one is going to be better for your own needs?
Putting it as simply as possible, manual treadmills do not have a motor and are self-propelled. Every step someone makes on the treadmill will help to turn the belt and keep propelling the treadmill, and a motor isn’t doing this like it would be on a motorized treadmill. If you were to stop walking or running, the belt would stop too. This is the main difference between the two models.
Manual treadmills are definitely cheaper on average, some of them even have a price tag under 200$. This is because they don’t require as much tech to run them. They can also be seen as safer, they will automatically adjust to the speed you are going at so it is much harder to fall off or find yourself not being able to keep up with the pace.
Motorized treadmills require power, so this means they cost more to run. It can also mean they have more in the way of features. Some motorized treadmills include specific programs such as different incline settings. You might be able to press a button and it changes the incline setting while you are running. This can model a run or a walk out in public as you might feature different hills and inclines. If you go to a public gym then you are likely to find motorized treadmills. One of the big differences is also the cost. Motorized treadmills might cost a lot more money.
Features to consider while choosing a manual treadmill
The following features are those we considered when making our list of the very best manual treadmills, and writing the manual treadmill reviews. There are certain features that you should always look out for, but some people will prioritize certain features and functionality. We explain more below.
This is a fairly obvious feature, but you may not actually realize that different treadmills have different capacities. Some of the manual treadmills out there have slightly lower weight capacities when compared to motorized, so it is always worth checking when you are looking at buying a manual treadmill.
A lot of the products on our list have very similar capacities, which tend to be between 220 and 250 lbs, as you can see that by a model especially popular among senior treadmill useres the ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill which offers 230 lbs weight capacity. If you weigh more than this then you might have to look for a specific model for larger people to ensure that you have the capacity you need, otherwise you might risk damaging the treadmill or putting yourself in some danger.
If you are unsure, you should weigh yourself first so that you know if you should be using the treadmill. If you have a large build then you might not be able to use a 220 or 230 lb capacity treadmill.
Does your treadmill need to have different incline angles to allow you to walk as if going uphill. An incline can help to build muscles in the legs and can also give more of an aerobic workout so you burn more calories as you go. Finding a manual treadmill with a few different inclines can be beneficial if you are looking to challenge yourself.
A lot of people who buy manual treadmills are looking to do some gentle walking, they often make good products for elderly people who want to stay at home but still get a workout, and then inclines might be less important
Some of the best treadmills on this list have inclines up to 10 degrees to allow you to challenge yourself going uphill. It is up to you. One difference between manual and motorized treadmills is the fact you will have to adjust this yourself before you start your workout rather than just changing a setting.
As well as inclines, some of the models have different levels of resistance that you can set. The Exerpeutic Magnetic Manual Treadmill is a great example of this as it has 8 different resistance settings for you to work your way through. This can also ensure that you have the best possible resistance level to maximize the calories you are burning.
This is another one of the more simple treadmill features. Check the dimensions so that you can check whether or not you have space for the treadmill. Remember that you will also need room to get on and off the treadmill when you are using it.
Checking the dimensions of the treadmill is simple on paper, but one thing you can do before you purchase is to mark out the section of the room you are using with masking tape. This can ensure that you know you have room for it, and helps you to properly plan. It also means you can check you have space to get on and off the machine when using.
Running surface dimensions
The running surface dimensions is another thing that may vary. If you are a small and nimble person then a thinner running surface could be fine. Slimline choices could be better as they might take up less space, and they can also be good for those who don’t need loads of space to run.
If you need plenty of width, and you are larger in your build, you should check the surface dimensions. Being cramped up on the treadmill can mean you catch your feet on the sides and don’t quite get into the rhythm you want.
The surface has some other features to look out for as well as the size. If you are particularly worried about a treadmill being slippery, for example, you can go for an option like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M which has a non-slip surface. Even when you start to sweat onto the surface it doesn’t get particularly slippery. This means that you can rest assured that it will allow the user to keep a firm footing no matter what their shape and size.
How much does the treadmill weigh? If you are looking to move your treadmill around, storing in one place and then rolling to another ready to use then you should also check the weight of the product. The very top manual treadmills tend to be relatively lightweight compared to models that have a motor. This is one of the advantages of opting for a manual treadmill.
Most of the models on our list are around the 50lb mark, or even lighter, as the MaxKare Manual Walking Treadmill with 46 lbs. This isn’t too difficult to move them from place to place with someone’s help. Also, a lot of them have wheels making it simple to roll from one place to another. If you keep your treadmill in the garage, for instance, you might want to check it is lightweight enough to then get to the area where you plan to use it.
Most of the manual treadmills on the market are foldable. This means there is usually a hook or pin system in place, which you can undo and then move the treadmill surface to the upright position to store. This means that you can free up the floor space in your home. For example, if you put your treadmill in a spare room, you can still use the rest of the space in times when you are not using the room to exercise. Many manual treadmills actually fold up to a very reasonable size.
A digital display is in place on the majority of treadmills manufactured these days, but some are far more basic than others, a lot of the digital displays on this list are just small, black and white displays, but they can still be useful. They can show a lot of important information and help you to build a better workout.
One thing a lot of people enjoy finding on their digital display is the calories. Some people are walking or running to lose weight and this means that they will find it useful for their calculations and calorie counting. Other things that can be shown include distance covered, and some treadmills let you set programs to allow you to follow a certain workout.
As we’ve already mentioned, these are significantly cheaper than other types of treadmill. A motorized treadmill might cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can actually buy a manual treadmill for less than $200 in some scenarios. Many of the models we’ve mentioned are pretty affordable, especially when you compare to the motorized alternatives.
If you are able to spend a little bit more, you can sometimes get more advanced features and a generally more reliable model. If you are looking for a budget pick, the MaxKare Manual Walking Treadmill may be the best option for you, it has some really impressive features for the price which is cheaper than most of the other manual treadmills out there. Some of the cheapest manual treadmills are actually not great and can be flimsily made, but this is not the case with the MaxKare.
A warranty is always very welcome when you are buying a product like this. If you are worried about the treadmill breaking or malfunctioning through something that is not your fault then you should get a product with a longer warranty to protect this purchase.
It is pretty standard for these products to come with a one-year warranty. Manual treadmills with any longer in terms of protection can be very hard to find. Cheaper treadmills are often shorter in terms of how long they are protected for.