How would you like to never have to buy a new cable attachment ever again? And what if that attachment could replace all your existing attachments and even work as a landmine handle for t-bar style rows?
Well, such an attachment DOES exist and I’ll tell you all you need to know about it, and if it’s right for you, in this Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle review!
Before I jump into the details, I’ll quickly tell you how this attachment works.
Each side of the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle has a standard and neutral grip option. You can adjust how wide the handles are with the pop-pin system to fit your grip perfectly.
There is also an optional chain fly kit available that allows you to do chest flyes, presses and other exercises.
Here’s a summary of my review if you’re in a hurry:
|Model||Pros & Cons||Rating|
Rated 4.8 out of 5 in Cable Attachments
Now, to the in-depth review…
Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle Review
Below, I’ll discuss the specs, features and pros and cons of the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle:
The Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle has the following specs:
- Handle & Frame Construction: Steel, with plastic end caps.
- Finish: Chrome
- Weight: 10.2 lbs
- Load Rating: 350 lbs when used on a barbell as a T-bar row handle; 250 lbs when used for cable exercises.
- Adjustment mechanism: Locking pop-pin
- Adjustment Settings: 8 holes per side
- Price: $145 (it’s an extra $65 if you want the optional Chain Fly Kit)
The Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle is one of the most versatile cable attachments on the market. In fact, it’s so versatile that the capabilities extend to landmine exercises thanks to the hole in the center that lets you slide it over a barbell sleeve.
Here are all of the different exercise categories that are made possible by this attachment:
- Cable rows
- Lat pulldowns
- Landmine rows
- Chest flys and chest press
- Triceps Extensions
Remember, you can do many variations of the above-listed exercises thanks to the adjustable width, dual grips and ability to add your own handles – all of which I’ll discuss in this review.
Many Grip Width Options
The Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle has 8 different grip width settings to choose from. This is great when you want to find the perfect grip width for your body type or exercise preference.
The frame of the attachment is made of square steel tubing, angled at 15 degrees. This makes for a comfortable wrist position when using the standard grips, whether you’re using a close, medium or wide grip. It also increases the range of motion when you’re using a medium or wide grip since you can bring it closer to your body. Think of it like a cambered bar almost.
The square tubing portion of the attachment is 37 inches long. When using the standard grips, you get a grip width range from 19.5 to 46.25 inches. You can adjust the grip width range from 3 to 29.5 inches when using the neutral grip option.
Note: You can install the sliding dual handles on opposite sides to access an even narrower grip standard grip width. I haven’t found the need to do this, but it’s good to know it’s a possibility.
You’ll never need to go narrower than the minimum setting. And it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to go wider than the max grip width setting.
Easy Adjustment Process
Each handle is adjustable in increments of two inches using the locking pop-pins.
Here’s how it works:
- Turn the pop-pin mechanism counter-clockwise a few rotations to unlock it.
- Pull the pop-pin out.
- Slide the handle either way along the square bar to your desired grip width setting.
- Release the pop-pin.
- Turn the pop-pin mechanism counter-clockwise until it locks.
- Repeat on the other side.
Although there are a few steps, it’s still a relatively fast and easy process. You can adjust both sides in under 10 seconds.
2 Grip Positions
The Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle has two grip orientations to choose from on each handle: Standard and Neutral.
The standard grip is great for pronated (palms down) exercises like medium to wide grip rows and lat pulldowns.
It’s possible to use the standard grip for supinated (palms up) rows and pullldowns but ONLY when you use a shoulder-width grip or slightly wider.
The neutral grip allows for a hammer-style grip, which is better suited for close to medium grip rows and lat pulldowns.
The standard grip tends to hit the shoulders a little more, whereas the neutral grip brings the biceps more into play.
The diameter of both grips is 1.25 inches (31.75mm), which is almost 3mm thicker than a powerlifting barbell. This is a comfortable thickness for most lifters.
NOTE: Unfortunately, you can’t comfortably use a narrow supinated grip due to the 15 degree angle of the standard grips. This is a necessary design compromise that had to be made since you get much more utility with the standard grips angled the way they are. If the standard grips were completely horizontal or angled in the opposite direction, then sure, you’d get the narrow underhand grip. But you would lose out on many more medium and wide grip positions. But if you really want to do close grip underhand rows or pulldowns, there IS a workaround! You can attach your own D-handles to the bar. I’ll discuss how to do this in a later section of this review.
Knurling / Grip
The grips could be grippier. When using heavier weights, I have experienced my hands slowly slipping during the set.
To be clear, the knurling is not bad. I’d consider it to have a moderate/medium knurl depth. It’s certainly not passive. So I think it might be the polished chrome finish that’s giving it a somewhat slick feel.
In any case, if the knurl pattern were improved (e.g. more knurl points per square inch or a deeper knurl depth) AND/OR the finish was changed to something less slick (e.g. matte chrome), this attachment would be near perfect.
This is not a dealbreaker, though. I use a little chalk when going heavier and have no issue.
I also realize that knurling preference is subjective, so your mileage may vary here.
Add Your Own Handles
There is a hole on each of the sliding handles on the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle.
These holes allow you to easily add your own handles if you want to grab onto something other than the dual standard/neutral grips.
Here’s how to do it:
On each handle, clip your cable attachment onto the hole using a carabiner. Then adjust the handles to your desired width.
This is perfect for attaching flexible nylon D-handles so you can freely rotate your wrists during rows and pulldowns for a more natural motion.
Another great idea is to add a single rope attachment to each handle. This makes it possible to do exercises like triceps pushdowns, overhead triceps extensions and face pulls.
These holes were designed to be used with the optional chain fly kit, which opens up even more exercises. I’ll talk about that next.
Chain Fly Kit Upgrade Option
The optional Chain Fly Kit is a great way to add more exercises to the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle. It includes:
- 2 x 17-inch long chains
- 4 spring clips (carabiners)
- A pair of metal D-handles
The idea is to clip the chains onto the holes on the sliding handles. Then attach the D-handles to the other end of the chains. You can adjust the length of the chain as needed.
The primary use of this setup is to do cable chest flyes and cable chest presses. This is a major benefit since you’d normally need a double cable column setup (like on a functional trainer or all-in-one gym) to do this kind of bilateral movement.
I was skeptical at first, but doing chest flyes actually works pretty well. It’s not as good as on cable crossover machine (e.g. you might feel a little waviness from the length of the chain and the weight of the attachment). However, you nonetheless can perform the same motion and get an intense chest contraction and pump.
There is adjustability in the chain lengths and with the variable handle spacing you can set it up to get just the feel you want.
In addition to the obvious chest fly and chest press, it can also be used for biceps curls, triceps extensions, reverse flyes, upright rows and more. It lets you get creative with different exercise variations.
The included D-handles are nice; they’re solid steel with a mild but sufficient knurl pattern that looks and feels good. However, I would have preferred if they were flexible nylon D-handles instead.
The steel frame presses into your wrists on cable flyes and presses. This doesn’t prevent you from doing these exercises, but it can cause discomfort. That said, these D-handles do work great on other exercises that use the Chain Fly Kit, like cable curls and triceps pushdowns.
The Chain Fly Kit costs $65, which is pretty pricey considering the basic components that are included. Though, I should note that shipping is included in this price, which helps a bit.
Still, you could save a lot going the DIY route. You could go to your local hardware store to pick a couple of similar-length chains and 4 carabiner clips. Then buy a cheap but decent pair of D-handles online if you don’t already have some. This will probably save you half the price when all is said and done.
Of course, that’ll take extra time to go to the store and possibly require some tools if you have to cut the chain to length yourself. So some people will be better off ordering the kit since it’s more convenient and gets you everything you need at once.
Pros & Cons
Here are all of the pros and cons of the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle:
- It can potentially replace all of your cable attachments, at least for row and pulldown movements.
- It’s the last landmine t-bar handle you’ll ever need.
- It’s extremely versatile, with 8 adjustable grip width settings, dual grip handles, the ability to add your own handles, and the ability to use it as either a cable attachment or a landmine t-bar row handle.
- You can further expand the versatility with the optional Chain Fly Kit, which turns it into a tool for upper body push exercises rather than just pull exercises; not to mention the biceps, triceps and shoulder exercises it makes possible.
- The adjustment process is quick and easy.
- The handles are super stable (no rattling/moving around) as long as you tighten the pop-pins before use.
- It has a large range for adjustability, allowing you to go as close or as wide as most people need. This is one key area where it beats other options like the GymPin D-Handle Bar and the Prime Fitness RO-T8 handles, which I’ll discuss below.
- The knurling and/or finish could be improved to reduce slipping when pulling heavier weights.
- You can’t use a narrow supinated (palms up) grip. This is the only grip limitation.
- I would have preferred if the Chain Fly Kit handles were had a flexible nylon fabric instead of the steel frame. The steel presses into your wrists, which can cause discomfort.
There are a few popular alternatives to the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle. All of them are versatile, back-focused attachments. In the sections below, I’ll tell you how they compare to the Ultimate Row Handle.
Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle vs the Prime RO-T8 Bars
The Prime RO-T8 Bars are one of the main competitors to the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle.
There are two Prime RO-T8 bars: a short one and a long one. They are generally paired with the Prime RO-T8 handles, though you can any type of D-handle/stirrup handles with them. I own both Prime RO-T8 bars and the RO-T8 handles, and I’m a big fan.
Like the Ultimate Row Handle, these bars are also adjustable. Adjustment is faster since it uses a sawtooth design instead of a pop-pin, which is nice. Also, the increments are closer together.
Plus, it comes with swivel chain links that let you rotate the attached handles freely, which is very cool. (Note: You can buy these for cheap at your hardware store and use them on the Ultimate Row Handle by clipping them to the hole on the sliding handles.)
However, one downside is that you have to buy both the long and short bars to have a similar grip width range as the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle.
The Ultimate Row Handle has about the same minimum width setting as the short RO-T8 bar, and its max grip width setting is slightly wider than the max setting on the long RO-T8 bar.
Additionally, one of my gripes with the Prime RO-T8 bars (especially when used with the Prime RO-T8 handles) is that there is so much distance between the bar and where you hold on to the handles. The handles hang so far down that I have to do lat pulldowns on the floor rather than on a bench. And when doing cable rows, I need to put something between my feet and the footplate so that the weight doesn’t bottom out before I get a full stretch.
The dual handles on the Ultimate Row Handle are close to the bar frame. Plus, the bar frame is angled, which further reduces the distance from the end of the cable to where your hands are.
The biggest difference between the Prime RO-T8 Bars and the Ultimate Row Handle is that you can only do landmine t-bar rows with the Ironmaster handle. (Prime Fitness makes a separate attachment for this purpose.)
Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle vs the GymPin D-Handle Bar
The GymPin D-Handle Bar is another versatile back attachment. It’s a very simple design. It’s a single flat piece of solid steel with a bunch of holes punched in it.
The holes make it lightweight and act as different grip width settings that you can attach different cable handles to (e.g. D-handles/stirrups, single pulley ropes). There are 13 holes on each side, spaced 1″ apart. This gives you a grip width of 5″ inches at the narrowest setting and 29″ at the widest setting.
It’s more minimalistic than the Ultimate Row Handle since there are no built-in handles. It’s more lightweight at just 2kg (4.4 lbs), making it easier to handle and more around the gym.
I see this as more of a modular platform that you build on with other attachments. It’s great and I still use mine frequently. But two disadvantages make me reach for the Ultimate Row Handle more often:
- Adjusting the grip width takes longer. It doesn’t seem like it should since you’re just moving spring clips from one hole to another, but that has been my experience. Maybe it’s because handling spring clips can be a bit finicky sometimes. Or possibly it’s because there are so many holes, so you sometimes have to count them to make sure you’re attaching the clips at the right grip width setting.
- The max grip width is just 29″, which I consider to be a bit wider than a medium grip width, at least in the context of lat pulldowns. So you don’t get access to a truly wide grip option with this attachment.
The final difference I’ll mention, which is quite obvious just by looking at it, is that the GymPin D-Handle Bar does not have a landmine t-bar row handle capability.
Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle vs the Flex Wheeler Back Widow Attachment
I don’t own the Flex Wheeler Back Widow, but I know it’s a popular versatile attachment that’s similar to Ultimate Row Handle in many ways.
Both attachments are designed primarily for lat pulldowns, cable rows and landmine t-bar rows. And they both can be utilized for various other cable exercises as well.
The frame itself adjusts, as well as the handles, allowing for 15 different positions. And you can even use it as a deadlift jack!
Compared to the Ultimate Row Handle, The Back Widow attachment is heavier duty overall and much more compact. But the biggest differences are:
- Price: The Back Widow is more than twice expensive, costing $300 vs $145.
- Max Grip Width: There’s no truly wide grip option on the Back Widow. You’re limited to going a bit wider than medium grip, which will leave you wanting more if you like using a wide grip on lat pulldowns.
- Grip Orientation Options: The main, outer handles are in a neutral position. You can use a straight grip, but only on the frame, which limits you to a narrower grip width.
Is the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle Worth It?
If you’re looking for a versatile back attachment that’s compact and easy to use, then the answer is yes — the Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle is worth it.
The Ultimate Row Handle hits all the marks for what I’m looking for in a back attachment at a fair price. Ultimately, I know I made the right choice because I have many attachments I could use and yet I often choose this one.
It’s currently my go-to choice whenever I do lat pulldowns. I also use it very frequently for cable rows, though I sometimes grab the RO-T8 bars and handles or the GymPin D-Handle Bar depending on the exercise and how I’m feeling. I don’t use it on cable shrugs, though I could if I needed to.
And now, I can even do cable flyes from the single cable column in my power rack!
Whether this attachment is right for you depends on your training needs, budget and how you value the various features I analyzed in this Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle review.
If you’ve decided to get one, you can click the link below to check out the product page:
Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle
The Ironmaster Ultimate Row Handle is a super versatile attachment that can replace all of your cable back attachments and t-bar row landmine handles. It's ideal for anyone looking to conserve space in their home gym or anyone looking to save money by buying one well-priced attachment instead of several.
Product Brand: Ironmaster
Product In-Stock: InStock