The Little Machine That Could: Miniarc Rogue

The Little Machine That Could: Miniarc Rogue

With heavy hitters like the ESAB Rebel EMP 215ic or the Rebel EMP 205ic, the ESAB Miniarc Rogue ES 180I has managed to slip by a lot of welders’ radars. It’s a new machine that manages to hit an area somewhat untouched by ESAB up until this point: the stick/TIG welders under $1,000. But don’t let the price make you think this is a cheap machine with nothing to bring to the table. The reviews are in, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what people are saying.

The best part about the Miniarc Rogue is that it brings something to the table for almost every welder. For beginners, it’s an incredibly reliable starter machine. For experienced welders, it’s the perfect portable machine, with significant mobility advantages. Here’s the facts:

Perfect for Experienced Welders:

For a lot of us with a number of years under our belts, stick/TIG machines at this price point tend to be overlooked. If you normally run with a Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200, what could the Miniarc bring to the table? How about insane portability? A dedicated TIG machine like the Lincoln Square Wave is incredible, there’s no denying that. But sometimes, you just need a little machine you can run just about anywhere.

How portable are we talking? The Miniarc weighs in at 18.2 lbs, half of what you’d find with similar machines. Despite the light weight, it produces up to 180 amps with an incredibly stable arc. Not only can you carry it anywhere, you can run it anywhere. It has plugs for both 120 and 230 volts, and according to ESAB, it can be used with up to 300 feet of extension cords.

Another benefit we don’t often mention is that stick welding, in general, has a lot of portability benefits. It doesn’t require bulky gas canisters, and it eliminates most of the issues with welding outside such as humidity and wind.

For any welder who would benefit from having a portable machine, this is one of the best you’ll be able to find, especially for the $600 price range. While it’ll perform stick welds incredibly well without extra equipment, if you add a 9 or 17 series TIG torch with built in gas valve (50 mm) connection, it also makes a great TIG machine.

“This is a great little stick welder that does lift arc. It burns every rod I've thrown at it, including 6010 (Lincoln 5p+), 6011 (Lincoln 180 and Forney), 6013 (Hobart), 7014 (Lincoln) and 7018 (Lincoln Excalibur MR). This welder also does lift arc tig and the pedal makes it very nice to use, providing amperage control over the arc.” - Alan D.

Perfect for Beginner Welders:

Whether it’s someone’s first time welding or they’re a MIG welder looking to try a new process, this is an excellent machine. While it’s not the cheapest, you’ll be getting a lot more than those super cheap, super crappy stick machines. Especially for beginners, using an unreliable machine is so frustrating. It’s difficult to determine if the problem is because of your technique or because your machine sucks. Getting a quality welder right from the start can make a huge difference with developing your skills.

Most experts agree that MIG welding is easier to learn, but stick does have a number of benefits for beginners as well. Mainly, the amount of starting equipment you need is quite a bit less. With stick, there’s no shielding gas you have to worry about, no canisters or mixtures. All that is contained within the electrode. To stick, all you need is a machine, electrodes and personal protection gear.

“This welder is an A+ machine. It sure can lay down a good weld. Very happy with my purchase. The people at IOC are A+ also. If you need a stick welder, this is a good one.” - Robert H.

Check out the ESAB Miniarc Rogue ES 180I for yourself here!