Powertec Half Rack review and pics by Keeko.
The unit is quite compact and is fully functional sitting almost completely flush against the wall (mine is about 3 or 4 inches out for easy clearance). You need to use a 7' bar, and if you leave the bar on the unit when you're not using it, it will get in the way when you do pull-ups. The pull-up bar is one of the reasons I grabbed it, and I use it constantly.
Now, you'll get some conflicting opinions on the shape of the pull-up bars; I personally don't have any issues with it. Also, there's a web page somewhere with a simple mod to add a flat bar if you just can't stand the powertec style. As far as I can tell, there's no way to do dips on this unit.
Some exercises on the Half Rack are safer than others. If you go to failure, and miss the safeties whilst doing, say shrugs or curls, then you are not going to kill yourself. The only real safety issue with the half rack versus the full rack is when doing squats.
If you use the half rack correctly, I don't think it's unsafe at all. Is it less safe than a full rack? Of course, but that doesn't mean it's an unsafe piece of equipment. I've done squats to failure on the half rack and collapsed; the bar landed on the safeties with plenty of room every time.
Pros of the half rack:
Cons of the half rack:
All in all, a worthwhile purchase, not perfect by any means, but it will certainly serve my purposes. However, if you need to have easy, guaranteed back and forth work between barbell and pull up, or if you think you'll feel unsafe without the coverage of a full rack, then by all means get the powertec full rack.
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