Rogue makes some of the best CrossFit kettlebells in the world. And most people wouldn’t think that the type of coating on their kettlebells would make a difference. However, there are distinct differences between Rogue’s E Coat and powder coat kettlebells.
Want the quick version?
Well, both come with a flat bottom design and same handle dimensions. And both are made in the USA. But the E Coat kettlebell is 100% ductile iron, while the powder coat kettlebell is standard Class 30 Grey Iron on weights from 13 to 44 lbs, ductile iron on 53 lbs and up.
The E Coat kettlebell is made with a thin, semi-gloss finish. Whereas the powder coat has a matte finish and smooth feel.
There it is: glossy and textured, with larger nodules, vs smooth finish with a grainy texture.
Which one you choose may come down to personal preference, but there are some key distinctions between the two.
Feel like you need to dig a bit deeper? I can relate. I’ve tried both of these products, and have a strong preference for one over the other (more on that below).
But it mostly comes down to personal preference, and I know plenty of Crossfitters who disagree with me.
How Are Rogue E Coat and Powder Coat Kettlebells Similar?
Before we get into the main differences between these two coatings, let’s look at how they’re similar. This way you’ll better understand why comparing the E Coat and powder coat is largely a matter of personal preference.
First, both are durable and strong, made with cast iron right here in the USA.
They also have the same handle diameter: 1.2″ (9LB-18LB), 1.4″ (26LB), 1.5” (35LB-88LB) They both also come in a flat base design for easier storage and transport.
And their weights are also within a very similar weight range: from 9 lbs to 88 lbs.
Finally, the price is very similar.
In fact, with E Coat kettlebells, the price ranges from $30 to $140 (based on weight), and powder coated weights range from $30 to $145.
So, you’re not really looking at a budget or design based comparison here.
What’s The Difference Between E Coat And Powder Coat?
As we mentioned above, the main difference between Rogue E Coat and powder coat kettlebells is how they feel.
In a nutshell, powder coated kettlebells have a smoother texture with a matte finish. The E Coat kettlebell has a semi-gloss finish, which some people find too slippery.
Specifically, E Coat has a GU rating (gloss units) of 22 while powder coat provides .5 to 1.5 GU.
Yes, without fully understanding the nuances of GU ratings, even I know that’s a significant and fundamental difference between the two product types.
The other major difference is that powder coat tends to have smaller nodules than the E Coat kettlebells.
For some people, this makes them easier to hold onto during lifts like kettlebell swings or goblet squats. However, others prefer the larger nodules of the E Coat kettlebells because they provide a bit more grip.
Ductile Iron vs Class 30 Grey Iron
The difference in feel has to do with the composition of these weights.
All Rogue E Coat products, including kettlebells, are made from 100% ductile iron by a single US-based manufacturer (Cadillac Casting Inc).
Powder coated kettlebells, on the other hand, are made with Class A grey iron on weights from 13 lbs to 44 lbs (a popular weight range for us), from two different US based manufacturers: OSCO Industries and Cadillac Casting, Inc.
But why does this even matter?
We already mentioned the difference in nodule size.
To expand on that, simply put, ductile iron is known to be more durable and malleable than standard cast iron due to the spherical graphite nodules, as opposed to standard cast which has small flakes of graphite.
There you have it: it’s simply a matter of graphite and nodules. Huh?
Which is better: E Coat or Powder Coat?
Again, it all depends on personal preference. Even to the point of wondering whether you prefer a gleaming kettlebell rack in your commercial or home gym to a smooth and muted powder-coated finish.
More importantly, I’ve found that it’s all about the tactile feel. And I personally like the textured feel of E Coat weights.
My grip feels stronger with E Coat – almost more attached to the iron. For me, powder coated products are too smooth and unnatural feeling.
But there are others who, quite frankly, hate the thin, glossy feel of E Coat products. Kettlebell swings start to cause pain and anxiety, as if the weight will slip right out of their hands during a workout. That might be a little dramatic, though.
In the end, is the difference between the two really significant?
CrossFitters and other workout junkies are typically finicky about their gear, including kettlebells. Also, Rogue has clearly invested in two separate and distinct product lines here.
So, yes, of course it does.