Essential Value In A Power Rack
Poor finish and low-grade, tick-in-the-box options are one thing,- but here are really important things which affect your performance and pleasure (and how soon you might lose interest) with a power rack.
Very important is a feeling of robustness - principally reflected by how corners of a rack are built. Particularly the lower front corners. That's where the major forces are. Here's a diagram from a manual of a feeble rack on the left (about which the supplier makes hype about "setting industry standards" and laser-cutting this-and-that ) On the right is a Powertec corner. The one on the left uses smaller gauge and fewer bolts - everywhere.
Worse, the upright just sits on the horizontal piece, fixed by two feeble bolts. What you don't see in this pic is a vertical sleeve on the Powertec's horizontal piece, giving six layers of steel for two of the 1/2 inch bolts to go through. Not only does it have backing plates. Not only does it have a lot more bolts, the bolts are bigger. (Most manufacturers in this market use metric M10's, 10 mm). Powertec uses half-inch bolts, much bigger in diameter. And more of them. Powertec structure uses 5 mm steel - but better than that, the upright slides over and through the upright sleeve. So, bolts go through the vertical wall on the horizontal bit, the sleeve, the base and the backing plates. Lots of steel. Many times the strength if you were to calculate it. And you'll know the frustration (or pleasure) that makes a difference after a short time.
In the picture below left, there's a more robust frontal structure; it has backing plates, but it's still no good with heavy weights moving on a rack. There will be movement and noise. If it were a stand holding a steady item of machinery, it might be suitable. But a lifting rack involves different dynamics and risks. More than that, it's associated with the feel for the effort involved. A poorly-constructed one can easily put you off. The picture on the right shows the sleeve in the Powertec rack which make a real difference. On top of more, bigger bolts. And 93 kg empty. (Sure, there are far heavier racks than this. But nothing around this price, quality and great for several hundred kg loads). And pleasure.