Stairmaster Review

Editor's Review: 3.2 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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The Nautilus StairMaster line of stair climbing equipment, while marketed to the home user, seems to be a better fit for the commercial market. The size and weight of each product make these fitness equipment products cumbersome and one-dimensional for the home user. A staple in the fitness enthusiast’s workout regiment for several years, the stair climbing equipment seems to be giving way to more updated, multi-dimensional pieces of equipment that have entered the home workout market.

The StairMaster StepMill SM916 is the workhorse of the two models and most closely replicates the workout of real stair climbing. At 409 pounds, this model is likely to be more machine than most home workout warriors might want to take on. The StairMaster StairClimberSC916 is a little more suited for the home. Each StairMaster unit includes 10 Programs – Quick Start, Manual, Fat Burner, Calorie Burner, Speed Intervals, Custom Intervals, Random Intensity, Heart Rate Intervals, Calorie Goal, and Heart Rate Zone Trainer.

Product Features

The StairMaster StepMill SM916 features eight 8″ revolving stairs. The stairs revolve at speeds ranging from 24 to 162 steps per minute. The website touts that “motivating programs include a nationally recognized fitness test to gauge individual progress and a custom firefighter test (C.P.A.T.)”

The StairMaster StairClimberSC916 is designed with one piece soft peddles to allow for increased comfort. It has a step range of 1″ to 14″ and a step speed of 26 to 174 steps per minute. Both units offer wireless heart rate monitoring and both are C51 custom LCD, TV ready. A built in reading rack, water bottle holder and accessory tray are also featured on both models.

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  • Both units have a 3 year parts, 1 year labor and wear and tear and 15 year frame warranty.
  • Financing plans are available.


  • The price points on these two units may make it difficult for the average home workout enthusiast to afford. The StepMill SM916 is priced at $5499. The StairClimber is also expensive at $3599.
  • The StairMaster StepMill SM916 is very large and heavy. The height requires a minimum of a 10′ ceiling.
  • The Customer Service department is only open Monday through Friday.
  • The StairMaster products do not appear to include instructional or workout videos with the purchase.


The Nautilus StairMaster StepMill SM916 and the StepClimber SC916 are effective weight loss and cardio pieces of equipment. However, both machines seem to be directed to the commercial institutions, such as fitness studios and health clubs. While each seems to be very well made and durable for extensive use, the price of the two machines is out of the reach of most home workout individuals.

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