The Precor 546 Elliptical Review (AKA the Precor EFX 546 ) – Still the Best

Welcome again to the DOJO, home of the wisdom of the Treadmill Sensei. Yes, yes, I know I haven’t reviewed a treadmill for a few days and that today is another one of those non treadmill days. That’s right, for you see, tonight I am going to review one of the longest standing foundations of the elliptical side of the fitness industry — the Precor 546 Elliptical. You might also have seen this listed as the Precor EFX 546, but it is indeed the same unit with or without the EFX attached to the 546.

Although most of you will be familiar with the Precor Ellipticals and fitness equipment, very few are familiar with the story of the company behind some of the finest equipment on the market. So let’s start there!

Precor was founded back in 1980 as a producer of a pretty spiffy little device called the Amerec Rowing Machine. In the mid-80s, Precor became a top producer of treadmills, rowers and stationary bikes. Continuing their reputation of excellence in production, Precor revolutionized the fitness industry by releasing what can be argued as the first true elliptical crosstrainer, the Precor EFX 544. Precor also introduces their patented Cross Ramp technology which allows a user to manipulate workout incline on their Precor elliptical.

Since then, Precor’s innovation and adherance to a strict level of quality has cemented their position as one of the leaders in the industry. Since 1995 the company has released a number of variations on their original Precor 544, including the Precor 5.19, the Precor 556, the Precor 576 and, my favorite, the Precor 546. Almost anyone who has worked out on an elliptical machine at a gym has probably worked out on a Precor elliptical.

The Precor EFX 546 Elliptical comes with an adjustable Cross Ramp with a range of 10 to 40 degrees. What this does is let you add an additional level of difficulty to your workout. The ramp does take a bit of getting used to as the higher degree angles can place your feet/pedals at a bit of an awkward angle — imagine skiing uphill. I really wish the pedals remained more parallel to the floor, but it’s a minor gripe.

All Precor 546 units come with some of the best constructed frames in the industry. Precor rates the EFX 546 maximum user capacity at about 400 pounds, but I’ve seen larger individuals work out on them with no problem in the machine or degredation of performance. The Precor 546 Ellipticals are built solid.

Other features include 8 programs, 20 levels of resistance and a very comfortable 18 inch stride. A final winning feature is how rugged the Precor 546 ellipticals are while still being very low maintenance. Even the remanufactured units can live another 10+ years of use with a tiny amount of care. The only problems I’ve seen in older models are ones which can be fixed for a very low price — a burned out control board or worn bearings. Either one of those problems are easily fixable for almost no cost.

If you’ve bee a bit confused by the differences between the Precor Ellipticals, here is a quick cheat sheat: The Precor 5.19 is the home version, the Precor 544 is the oldest version, the Precor 546 is the stanard unit now with an adjustable ramp, the Precor 556 has a non-adjustable ramp but comes with the crosstraining arms, and the 576 comes with the crosstraining arms and the adjustable ramp. Whew!

To make things a little confusing, there are a number of styles you can get the Precor 546 Elliptical in:

1) The Original 546
2) The Precor 546 with Soft Touch Monitor
3) The Precor EFX 546 with Soft Touch and Heart Rate Monitoring
4) The fully loaded Precor 546 Elliptical, cordless

There may be a few more, but those are the ones which stand out most in my head. The original Precor 546 units tend to be a bit cheaper, so if you want to save a few hundred bucks but still want a spectacular Precor Elliptical, then pick up a remanufactured original style 546 Elliptical. The Precor units are well worth the price. Depending upon your style of choice, the Precor 546 Ellipticals can be purchased new for under $5000.

The Treadmill Sensei gives the Grand Daddy of Ellipticals 4.5 Golden Buddahs out of 5.

Thumbs up for a fine job on the Precor 546 Elliptical Trainer.

The Precor 546 is now only available as a refurbished machine, and you have three different options: You have the original mode, a 2009 commercial model, and a heart rate version. You can take a look at all three Precor EFX 546 models currently for sale here and decide which one is right for you.

Precor EFX 546 Specifications
Max User Weight:
400 lbs.
CrossRamp Range: 10-40 degrees
Resistance: 20 levels of intensity
Stride Length: 18″
Power: 120V or 240V; 50/60 Hz
Folding: No
Programs: 8
Heart Rate Control: Yes (with optional HRC installed – includes wireless chest strap)

Product: 78″ x 30″ x 61.5″ (assembled)
Product Weight: 220 lbs.