Especially with welder prices going up, having an ESAB stick/TIG welder for under $1,000 is an incredibly good deal. There are countless reasons why you’d want to consider one of the Rogue series machines.
For first timers looking to get started with their own welder, it’s an excellent choice. For skilled welders in search of a 2nd machine they can use as a portable, mobile solution, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Each of the Rogue machines in ESAB’s series has their own unique benefits. Make sure you’ve read this article before you decide which one is right for you.
The Rogue 130i Pro
Right now, the Rogue 130i is quite literally the least expensive machine sold by Welding Supplies from IOC. And while it’s got a much lower cost than most machines, it’s by no means “cheap.” In fact, you’ll immediately notice the 130i feels incredibly solid. Unlike cheap, off-brand welders, the 130i’s frame feels incredibly solid. Even the electrode holder feels sturdy and reliable.
The 130i is a dual voltage, single phase unit, with arc force and hot start settings to help you find the perfect arc. A huge advantage that all the Rogue machines have is their consistent, stable arc. This is because the Rogue series arcs are regulated by a microprocessor, while other inexpensive machines are essentially just car batteries hooked to leads (which results in significant fluctuations in their arcs).
For someone just getting into welding, the Rogue 130i Pro is the perfect machine. Because it’s a stick welder, the only additional equipment you’ll need is safety gear and electrodes. The steady arc means you can focus on practicing your technique, not having to deal with an inconsistent, unreliable machine.
The downside of the Rogue 130i Pro is right in the name. The “130” stands for 130 amps, the maximum amount that the Rogue 130 can handle. For some welders, this might be perfect, but for others, this sets a hard limit on what you can do. If you think you’ll need a little more power, you should go with the Miniarc Rogue ES 180i for about $150 more. Considering that ESAB is offering a $65 rebate right now, it’s a no brainer for most welders to go with the extra 50 amps.
The Rogue ES 180i
Probably the most popular of the Rogue series, the 180i (also known as the Miniarc Rogue) is an excellent choice, especially considering ESAB is offering a $65 rebate for a limited time.
Overall, the Miniarc was designed to be the ultimate stick welder under $700. ESAB knew exactly which features to keep and which issues to avoid when creating this machine. The Miniarc Rogue feels incredibly well-built. The frame is metal and all the working parts (like the electrode holder) are stiff and secure, but are still easy to manipulate. While the miniarc seems like it has got some weight to its quality parts, it actually comes in at 18.2 pounds, making it incredibly portable.
One of the biggest issues with cheaper welders is that the amperage setting doesn’t often match the actual output. This leads to a frustrating guessing game. But with the Rogue 180i, you’ll find that it’s dead-on. This, along with a few other factors like a microprocessor to regulate things, results in an incredibly smooth arc.
If you’re looking for an even more in-depth review on the Miniarc, check out our article here or see the specs for yourself here.
The Rogue ET 200IP Pro
The Rogue ET 200IP Pro represents a huge jump from the rest of the Rogue series. While the 130i and 180i can TIG weld, their major focus is placed on stick welding. The 200IP, on the other hand, has had a huge amount of emphasis put not only on its stick abilities, but also its TIG functionality.
The Rogue ET 200IP Pro has several TIG adjustments: pre-flow, start current, ramp up time, ramp down time, finish current, and post-flow. Additionally, it has a pulsing feature with frequency up to 500 HZ for better heat input control. It’s capable of doing 200 amps at a duty cycle of 25%.
All this functionality does come at a cost, another point of difference between this machine and the rest of the Rogue series. With Welding Supplies from IOC, the Rogue ET 200IP Pro cost $1,849.00. This places it within an entirely different category compared to the other Rogue machines, putting its price point at almost the same level as Lincoln’s Square Wave TIG 200. While each of these machines has their own benefits, what you should get will ultimately come down to your own personal preferences.
Right now is the best time to consider ESAB’s Rogue series, especially the 180i. Until June 30th, you can get a $60 rebate after purchase of this machine, one of the few manufacturer rebates that’s being offered by any brand right now. Make sure you shop with Welding Supplies from IOC and sign up with their loyalty program to get free reward points with any purchase.