𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗪𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀. Machines are thought to be safer because the range of motion (ROM) is restricted. However, these machines are built for a "theoretically" average person. Meaning if you are short or really tall or obese, they are not built too friendly. If you are too tall you could be doing damage do your joints. If you are too short you might have to extend forwards in the seats which will cause long term back damage. In contrast, free weights can be adjusted with angles and level with your own range of motion. However, there are ways around this Machine complex though with techniques you learn through gym experience. For example, with the Pec Dec machine I always tell my clients to not sit and rather straddle themselves in standing position to adjust their shoulder level to the bar. If you are a beginner though you'll have a better chance of safety with free weights. Plus you won't have to wait around for a person sitting on the machine and texting to get done.