Rogue’s standard kettlebell looks pretty and works great, but doesn’t quite match the quality standards set by other manufacturers.
Why you can trust this review
We purchased this kettlebell at full retail price and have been using it almost daily for a few weeks.
Additionally, for this kettlebell we spent an hour and a half taking precise measurements and creating a to-scale digital silhouette you can use to compare the size and shape of this kettlebell to others (more reviews coming soon).
Manufacturing and shipping
Rogue does make kettlebells in the US, but this one was made in China.
Like most kettlebells, it got a little beat up during shipping, but was protected by some pieces of foam and an extra cardboard box. This level of protection during shipping is average for kettlebells.
First run iron?
Rogue touts that this kettlebell is made from “first run iron ore, not scrap”. This might be a good thing, or it might not.
There’s high-quality iron scrap out there, though I bet it would cost more to separate it from the junk. And there’s low-quality iron ore for sale.
I assume Rogue’s point is that they or their manufacturer knows where the iron for the kettlebells comes from, and that it meets their quality requirements.
My priority when buying a kettlebell is to see that it’s made from ductile iron (not gray iron), which is more resilient to bangs and crashes. I don’t plan on dropping my kettlebells, but if I did I would prefer the concrete floor cracks and they don’t. Rogue doesn’t specify whether these kettlebells are made from ductile iron or not.
Great texture, ok paint job
These are powder-coated kettlebells, and they feel great. They take chalk well and hit the sweet spot – for me, at least – between grippy and smooth.
In my opinion, the photos on Rogue’s website and here make these kettlebells look rougher than they are in real life.
The color bands are not as vivid as on some other kettlebells, nor is the paint job especially clean. The kettlebell doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and nor am I.
I calibrated my scale by ensuring that one liter of water weighed exactly 1.0kg and then weighed the kettlebell. It was 24.5kg. Compared to the advertised 24kg, this is 2% different, which is within Rogue’s advertised ± 3% weight tolerance.
Very few kettlebell manufacturers advertise the weight tolerance they use during their quality assurance process. In fact, it’s not even clear how many even check the weight of their kettlebells before the leave the factory. It’s great that Rogue both checks and publishes their tolerances for customers.
Unfortunately, Rogue doesn’t publish many other specs (“varies by weight” is all you get). So, I measured them to within a couple millimeters.
|Measured weight||24.5kg (54.0lbs)|
|Handle diameter||38mm (1.5in)|
|Handle vertical space||62mm (2.4in)|
|Handle horizontal space||125mm (4.9in)|
|Base diameter||115mm (4.5in)|
|Cost (May 2022)||$90 plus shipping and tax|
|Cost per kg and lbs (not including shipping)||$3.75/kg and $1.70/lbs|
What I liked
It’s a good kettlebell and the texture is spot-on. The handle is a standard size for this weight and there’s ample room between the bell and the handle.
What I didn’t like
This is the silhouette of the 24kg Rogue kettlebell. I made this by taking a photo perpendicular to the kettlebell base with the camera aligned with the base.
Can you spot the small annoyance?
How about in this photo?
It’s crooked! The handle is not on straight relative to the base.
I have to assume there’s some step in the manufacturing process where the base is ground smooth, and whoever was doing that the day this kettlebell was cast missed their morning coffee or got distracted by their supervisor or something like that.
I didn’t believe this at first, but after checking the kettlebell from multiple angles and having other people look at it, the handle is definitely askew.
Is this a big deal? Not for me. I’m not particular about which side faces which way when I’m using kettlebells, so small asymmetries will all wash out in the end. My workouts will be no worse for the fact that I’ve got a bent bell.
Rogue makes a good kettlebell. The texture is nice and the fact that Rogue publishes their weight tolerances distinguishes them from many other kettlebell manufacturers.
However, I don’t think I’ll be buying more from this line (I do intend to try Rogue’s made-in-USA powder coat kettlebells). Instead, I would go with something from Onnit or Kettlebell Kings (review coming soon).