Best Commercial Treadmills

Commercial treadmills usually come with commercial prices, but usually you get what you pay for. If what you want is a top quality, long-lasting treadmill which will hold up to years of heavy use, then a commercial treadmill is for you. Usually commercial treadmill customers are avid runners who have used treadmills for years, so their home treadmill will not sit unused in the corner of the bedroom.

Many cheaper treadmills are designed with lesser quality construction because the manufacturer knows that there’s a high chance it will never be heavily used. It’s actually rare that a home treadmill gets the level of heavy use seen on commercial treadmills. Therefore, if you’re a serious runner or have some extra weight, a commercial treadmill is for you.

The three treadmills we reviewed range in price from roughly $2500 to $4300, with the big-name Precor model at the top end of the price range. To be considered commercial, a treadmill should meet the following standards:

  1. It should have a powerful motor 3.0 or above
  2. It should have a welded steel frame
  3. It should have a top-notch warranty package
  4. It should have full length arms
  5. It should have a reversible belt

How We Tested the Commercial Treadmills

All the commercial treadmills reviewed here have already passed our minimum standards. What does that mean? It means we don’t bother to review treadmills which under perform, whose records of maintenance is poor and whose customer service reputation is dismal.

We sent a 200-lb man out to try each of the treadmills below. Why 200 pounds? Because a heavy guy running 4 miles is commercial-level use. The frame should not vibrate, the deck should be soft on impact yet spring upwards on the rear foot, and the size should feel comfortable as well.

Top 3 Commercial Treadmills


Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill

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Shock Absorption

The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck provided excellent cushioning for our tester. He also appreciated the wide 22″ running deck.

Noise & Motor

The 4.0 CHP motor had no trouble at all keeping up with our tester’s 4-mile run. It was quiet and kept cool.

Construction

The extra large rollers provide heavy duty service. The 2-ply belt ensures double life. The all-steel welded frame is top notch.

Console & Features

The integrated message board sends scrolling messages to the user to keep him motivated. Controls were easy to figure out and easy to use. The blue LCD was nice and big: 9″. The Mp3 compatible sound system was excellent quality and easy to use.

Warranty & Customer service

With SOLE you get lifetime warranty on frame, motor and deck. You get five year on the electronics and 2 years on the labor. Can’t be beat.

Precor 9.33 Premium Series Treadmill

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Precor is well known, so expectations were high going in. In the past, Precor has produced some of the best rated commercial treadmills in the field. Precor lived up to its famous name once again, as it excelled in all five categories.

Shock Absorption

Our tester found the treadmill to be amazingly smooth, comfortable and natural-feeling. The natural feeling may be due to Precor’s Integrated Foot Plant Technology. This means the belt adjusts to the user’s foot speed so he could run or walk at a natural pace no matter what.

Precor’s Ground Effects Impact Control System is their unique system for supporting the runner while providing cushioned impact to the joints. Even a 200 pound tester felt no strain on his knees after running for 45 minutes.

Noise & Motor

The 3.0 CHP motor kept pace easily, so was very quiet throughout the workout session. The motor stayed cool right to the last minute of the intense workout our tester gave it.

Construction

The welded steel construction provided a stable run for our tester. The deck can be flipped so you get twice the mileage out of it, and the arms are full-length, as they should be on a commercial grade treadmill.

Console & Features

Features galore on the 9.33. There is wireless heart rate telemetry as well as hand grips for monitoring heart rate. There are User IDs and a personal best tracker to keep you motivated.

Warranty & Customer service

Labor warranty could be better- it’s one year. However the parts and wear items warranty is excellent: 10 years. Frame and welds is lifetime.

Smooth 9.65TV Treadmill

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Shock Absorption

The Im-Pression Shock Absorption Cushioning System felt dream-like to our 200 pound tester. It was soft and springlike to the very end of the run and he reported that his knees felt just fine.

Noise & Motor

The motor on this is a 4.0 CHP, which makes it unquestionably a commercial grade treadmill. Needless to say, our tester reported a quiet workout session.

Construction

The size is extra large on the 9.65 model. The extra long 64″ running surface means this is an excellent option for taller runners or those with a longer stride. Even the width is good, at 21″.

Console & Features

The 10.5″ LCD is larger than most, so it was incredibly easy to read. It’s also a TV, a premium feature. The sound system is above average and the wireless chest strap heart rate monitor was easy to use and comfortable too.

Warranty & Customer service

Lifetime warranty on the frame, which is standard. There’s also a lifetime warranty on the motor and parts…which is unusual. Combine those with the 2 year warranty on labor and you’ve got the best warranty package of the group.

Our Verdict

Anyone looking to purchase a commercial treadmill would do well with any of these three top grade models. Which model to choose depends on what type of buyer you are…

  • Warranties count for a lot, so if this is important to you, the Smooth 9.65 TV Treadmill wins with its warranty package.
  • However, if price is no object and you want the best quality construction, especially if you’re 200 pounds or more, the Precor might be your best choice.
  • If you’re a very heavy person, the Sole model can handle up to 400 pounds.
  • On the other hand, for those who love features, the Precor is great, with 16 different programs.