The Rogue Ohio Power Bar and Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar are the two most popular powerlifting barbells currently on the market. There's a lot of debate on which one is the best, so we're going to break down the differences and share which one we prefer.

Rogue Fitness
Rogue Ohio Power Bar
(19 ratings & reviews)
Fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, the 29MM Rogue Ohio Power Bar features a 205,000 PSI steel shaft (200,000 PSI for Stainless), single powerlifting knurl marks, and center knurling. The bar’s knurl pattern is deep and coarse without being sharp or abrasive, and the 29MM shaft diameter and high tensile strength result in little to no flex or whip. This makes the Ohio Power Bar a perfectly honed workhorse for the bench, squat, and deadlift. The 45LB Ohio Power Bar includes bronze bushings, a snap ring design, and 16.25" of loadable sleeve length. When ordering, you can select from three finish options: Black Zinc shaft with Bright Zinc sleeves Stainless Steel shaft with Chrome sleeves Bare Steel Rogue also manufactures a 20KG Ohio Power Bar, with friction-welded sleeves and 16.25" loadable sleeve space. The Ohio Power Bar’s 29MM diameter steel shaft boasts a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI (200,000 PSI for Stainless), delivering superior rigidity and virtually zero whip/flex. Machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, the bar also features a snap-ring design and quality bronze bushings for a smooth, consistent feel. The bar includes single powerlifting marks and a center knurl, each featuring a deep, coarse pattern that produces a reliable grip / stick without being sharp or abrasive. Perfecting this knurl pattern is both a science and an art. Every bar shaft is machined in Columbus on new Haas machines (built in the USA) and fine-tuned and personally tested by the Rogue team. Depending on the look and feel you prefer, there is a version of the Ohio Power Bar right in your wheelhouse. The Zinc option (black shaft, bright sleeves) provides excellent corrosion resistance, the Bare Steel creates a classic look and natural feel, and the new Stainless Steel variation (with Chrome sleeves) strikes a balance between the two. The Ohio Power Bar’s quality construction is backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty against bending. This is a barbell equipped for high intensity, everyday use. Please Note: The warranty does not cover damage due to negligent or faulty use, alteration, maintenance, storage or handling by the user, i.e., dropping the bar on a box, bench, spotter arms or pins in a power rack, excessive dropping with insufficient or damaged bumpers, or excessive dropping with iron plates, and similar usage. Any specific issues regarding a Rogue product with which a customer is not satisfied will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

More Powerlifting World Records have been broken on the Texas Power Bar from Buddy Capps and the Rogue Ohio Power Bar than any other bar. The Texas Power Bar, also known simply as the TPB, is the more storied of the two thanks to it's longer history, but is also the less advanced. For the most part, the TPB has gone unchanged for nearly three decades, which points to how good it originally was, but also can indicate a lack of being "up with the times." The Rogue Ohio Power Bar, known affectionately as the OPB, although not being around nearly as long as the Texas Power Bar has made a huge impact in a short time. So, which one is the overall best power bar for most people? Let's find out...

History of the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar

Buddy Capps
Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar
(8 ratings & reviews)
The most popular powerlifting bar on the market, Manufactured by Buddy Capps. Used in National & World Championship Meets since 1980. We are still using the same USA steel mill we started with in 1980. The shafts are center less ground, demagnetized and oiled to the max before shipping to Texas. Once at our production facility, we machine and then knurl each shaft to create a grip that is still the best in the industry. Texas Power Bars have different finishes available including black zinc and chrome plating. The sleeves are are available raw or chrome plated. Big tensile strength numbers sound very impressive and we have them but, the proof is on the platform. Hundreds of state, national, international and world powerlifting records have been and continue to be set and broken on the The Texas Power Bar. Length - 84" Weight - 20kg (45 lb w/ basic collars) Diameter - 28.5 mm Capacity - 1500 lbs Finish - Shaft is black zinc; ends are raw

The Texas Power Bar quickly became the standard powerlifting barbell when it became mainstream in powerlifting circles. Produced by former Texas State Powerlifting champion Buddy Capps, the Texas Power Bar became the ruler other companies would use to measure themselves against after years of tried and true service. 

Buddy Capps had already been around the iron game for quite some time before the Texas Power Bar was even an idea. Buddy got into strength training in the 1960’s with Olympic Weightlifting, and noticed a trend with how barbells felt. It seemed to him, as with many others, that barbell knurling was often too passive and would dull even further after years of use. Not only that, but the actual sleeves and rotation system of typical barbells was poor and required frequent maintenance. Mass produced powerlifting equipment was still in its infancy, and there was yet to be an affordable, great barbell that lifters could all agree upon as being of high caliber.

After decades of training and years of thought, Buddy collaborated with a couple of other lifters and decided to remedy the situation. Buddy states that his goal was to, “...create a bar that would have and keep a better knurled grip. A bar, whose sleeves wouldn’t slide in to the center. A maintenance free bar.” And with that, Capps Welding (initially in cooperation with MAC Barbell) began producing the Texas Power Barbell.

Note: Capps Welding and Mac Equipment had a falling out of sorts early on. For sometime, two versions of the Texas Power Bar were being produced, each slightly different by each company. Mac Equipment ended their run some 20 years ago, but the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar is still being produced today with the same steel source they have been using since the beginning. 

As stated in its name, the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar is produced in the great state of Texas. Texas was (and is) perhaps the powerlifting capital of the world (the state of Ohio could be argued as well). During the 1980’s, the sport of powerlifting was alive and prosperous, sometimes even being shown live on television. The Texas Power Bar definitely filled a need, and was quickly taken in as the standard of all barbells.

As they have been around since mid-80’s, the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar has developed quite a history. In all actuality, it could be reasoned that more world records have been registered using the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar than any barbell ever fabricated. We’ll share with you this list of notable examples taken from Buddy Capp’s website:

•1985 Fred Hatfield 1002lb Squat

•2007 Charles Bailey 1102lb Squat

•2016 Tiny Meeker 1102lb Bench Press

•2016 Yuri Belkin 992lb Deadlift at GPA World championship in Moscow

•2017 Joseph Pena 1025lb Squat at Texas High School championships.

•1994 Mark Hanlon and 8X Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman pulled 1200lb deadlift with the Texas Power Bar.

That’s crazy to think about, but it’s one of the reasons that the TPB is still considered one of the greatest barbells available, despite its construction and steel being more or less the same as it was when it was first introduced.

As you can imagine, the Texas Power Bar is a favorite among lifters because of this tried and true history. The most significant factor that we can think of when it comes to the likeability of the Texas Power Bar is that it was one of the first barbells that came out with a knurling that surpassed all of the others at its time, especially for powerlifting.

History of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Rogue Fitness
Rogue Ohio Power Bar
(19 ratings & reviews)
Fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, the 29MM Rogue Ohio Power Bar features a 205,000 PSI steel shaft (200,000 PSI for Stainless), single powerlifting knurl marks, and center knurling. The bar’s knurl pattern is deep and coarse without being sharp or abrasive, and the 29MM shaft diameter and high tensile strength result in little to no flex or whip. This makes the Ohio Power Bar a perfectly honed workhorse for the bench, squat, and deadlift. The 45LB Ohio Power Bar includes bronze bushings, a snap ring design, and 16.25" of loadable sleeve length. When ordering, you can select from three finish options: Black Zinc shaft with Bright Zinc sleeves Stainless Steel shaft with Chrome sleeves Bare Steel Rogue also manufactures a 20KG Ohio Power Bar, with friction-welded sleeves and 16.25" loadable sleeve space. The Ohio Power Bar’s 29MM diameter steel shaft boasts a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI (200,000 PSI for Stainless), delivering superior rigidity and virtually zero whip/flex. Machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, the bar also features a snap-ring design and quality bronze bushings for a smooth, consistent feel. The bar includes single powerlifting marks and a center knurl, each featuring a deep, coarse pattern that produces a reliable grip / stick without being sharp or abrasive. Perfecting this knurl pattern is both a science and an art. Every bar shaft is machined in Columbus on new Haas machines (built in the USA) and fine-tuned and personally tested by the Rogue team. Depending on the look and feel you prefer, there is a version of the Ohio Power Bar right in your wheelhouse. The Zinc option (black shaft, bright sleeves) provides excellent corrosion resistance, the Bare Steel creates a classic look and natural feel, and the new Stainless Steel variation (with Chrome sleeves) strikes a balance between the two. The Ohio Power Bar’s quality construction is backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty against bending. This is a barbell equipped for high intensity, everyday use. Please Note: The warranty does not cover damage due to negligent or faulty use, alteration, maintenance, storage or handling by the user, i.e., dropping the bar on a box, bench, spotter arms or pins in a power rack, excessive dropping with insufficient or damaged bumpers, or excessive dropping with iron plates, and similar usage. Any specific issues regarding a Rogue product with which a customer is not satisfied will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Rogue Fitness has been around for over a decade now (established 2007), and has quickly become a standard in all areas of fitness related equipment, especially barbell manufacturing.

Bill Henniger, the founder of Rogue Fitness, started out his operation as somewhat of the “Amazon” of fitness equipment. Bill owned a CrossFit gym himself in Toledo, OH, and up until that point was having a hard time finding a one-stop source for outfitting his growing gym. 

Rogue Fitness went from being a middle-man for big name distributors, to eventually producing and selling their own brand of heavy-duty fitness equipment.  As of today, Rogue Fitness now operates out of a 175,000 square foot facility, and is the #1 supplier of fitness equipment in the United States. In the past 4 years, Rogue Fitness actually began working on an even larger 600,000 square foot facility.

With such a huge manufacturing operation, Rogue has been able to study and produce the latest advancements in barbell “science.” No other barbell manufacturing operations enlist as many employees as well as the vast production means involved.

Once Rogue started producing barbells, they quickly learned and sought even better ways to go about the process. Seeing that the steel of a power bar is the most important part of the barbell, Rogue decided to go about scientifically in finding out what makes the best steel to be used for any barbell. 

Perhaps this is what makes the Rogue Ohio Power Bar special. Typically, there have been two ratings to consider when looking at the steel of a power bar. These are tensile strength and yield strength. In the past, and still some today, companies would throw out specifications like “this bar has a 1,500 lb test strength.” This is merely a number they throw out to make their bars look better than they actually are. Today, pretty much only cheap bars use this type of rating system and it’s to trick inexperienced trainees.

Companies test the tensile and yield strength of the barbell steel through various methods that are both can be both static and dynamic. To give a simplified example, a static test would load an enormous amount of weight (upwards of a ton) on each side of the bar and then remove weight off to see if the bar will return to its original condition: straight. the weight off to see if the bar returns back to being straight. A dynamic test is much more telling and involves tracking how the bar bends when dropped with a certain amount of weight. However, this sort of testing is not standardized and therefore varies from company to company.

Although tensile and yield strength can be telling, the test that is the most reliable in our opinion is the testing done by SEA Limited. SEA Limited was hired by Rogue Fitness to objectively find out the optimal rating for steel. The testing cost Rogue Fitness 5 years and over $2 million dollars. In the end, what any barbell company can now use to determine a barbells strength and durability is what can be called an F-Scale Rating. 

To summarize what the F-Rating is, we’ll quote Rogue Fitness, “The F Rating of a barbell is directly correlated to the number of cycles the shaft lasted in the 4 Point Bend Test at a stress level appropriate for the type of sleeve used on the bar. For example, a 28 MM chrome plated bar with a tensile strength of 215,000 PSI tested at the stress level for a men’s sleeve that lasted 35,000 cycles in our test received a rating of F1. A shaft, tested in the same manner that lasted 70,000 cycles in our test received a rating of F2. A shaft that lasted 210,000 cycles in our test received a rating of F6.”

So, what you need to know is that the higher the F-Rating, the more durable it is. This may sound like it’s most useful for people like powerlifters who are lifting the most weight, but it’s actually most useful for people causing the most stress to barbells, trainees like CrossFitters. 

It was during this time period that concurrently, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar was being conceptualized. You could say the Rogue Ohio Power Bar was produced with the same thought process that the F Scale was being discovered itself as - the mathematical formula for the most durable barbell.

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar was optimized and manufactured to be in accordance with was being found as the highest ratings on the F Scale. With the Rogue Ohio Power Bar, Bill Henniger and team truly were seeking to produce a superior power bar in strength as well as feel.

Not only would the Rogue Ohio Power Bar be one of the strongest barbells ever produced by anyone, it was also formulated and finished with what could be considered as one of the best knurling patterns ever to be experienced.

What We Like About the Texas Power Bar

First off, we believe that the Texas Power Bar was the best barbell ever manufactured up until the past decade. The Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar, as stated in its history above,  became the standard other barbell manufacturers would use to measure themselves against. Not only was the steel used and collar design superior to other barbells of its time, they  came out with a knurling that was suited for the slow lift movements of powerlifting.

The knurling quality of the Texas Power Bar is sharp, detailed, and consistent. The Texas Power Bar utilizes the “peaky mountain” style of knurling that could be described as being aggressive and focused at each of its little points. This style of knurling is preferred by many lifters due to this feeling of sharpness and precision that works very effectively at maintaining a grip across your back or when tightly wrapped by your fingers. 

Note: Although we prefer the “volcano” style used on the Rogue Ohio Power Bar, we realize that knurling is a preference, and took the preferences of others into great consideration.

Measuring at only a 28.5mm diameter, the Texas Power Bar is also slightly shorter then other power bars with an overall bar length of 84”. Although the thinner diameter feels better in your hands during a deadlift, we prefer a thicker diameter for the squat and press. It’s one reason squat bars are typically around 32mm. The sleeves on the Texas Power Bar also happen to be shorter than any other power bar found on the list at 15” in length.

Buddy Capps states that he has used the same steel source for over 35 years now! The Tensile Strength of the steel used in the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar is rated at 186K PSI. Most power bars utilize a higher tensile strength, but 186K PSI is still going to be enough for just about anyone.

The Texas Power Bar has more or less been the same construction for over 35 years. With today's tools such as the F Scale, we can still see that it can be rated in at an F2. A barbell rated at F2 can be regarded as being proven for high stress usage. Basically, this means that a garage gym or facility focused on powerlifting shouldn’t worry much about whether or not the barbell will last through the years.

The Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar also has a favorable warranty, pricing, and plating options. The warranty is 10 years, which is more than most barbell manufacturers, but still not as good as the lifetime warranty that Rogue and many others offer on their barbells. As we have said before, a warranty is only as good as the company providing it, and due to Buddy Capps having been around for 35 years now, we can confidently say and have good faith in saying that Buddy Capps will be around to service their warranties if the need ever were to arise.


Plating

Chrome w/ Bare Steel  Sleeves (or Chrome Sleeves)

Black Zinc w/ Bare Steel Sleeves (or Chrome Sleeves

Bare Steel w/ Bare Steel Sleeves (or Chrome Sleeves)

Price

$299.00 ($274)

$274.00 ($289)

$264.00 (274.00)

Weight

45 LB

45 LB

45 LB

Diameter

28.5mm

28.5mm

28.5mm

Bar Length

84”

84”

84”

Sleeve

15” (Bushing)

15” (Bushing)

15” (Bushing)

Knurling

Pointy Mountain

Pointy Mountain

Pointy Mountain

PSI Tensile Strength

186K

186K

186K

F Scale Rating

F1

F2

F2

Warranty

10 years

10 years

10 years


The Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar is a good, trusted barbell with a long backed history. Its knurling is some of the best we have ever used, and it is definitely one of our favorite barbells.

Why We Think the Rogue Ohio Bar is Better

Up until about 5 years ago , the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar would have been the main power barbell in the game for most lifters. But times have changed, and when it comes to barbells, new manufacturers and techniques have greatly improved the science of what makes a good barbell.

We believe the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is the best valued power bar you can get on the market today.  The Rogue Ohio Power has many things going for it, such as a higher tensile strength and a more precise knurl. On paper and testing in person, we believe the Rogue Ohio Power Bar supasses the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar.

Reading the stat sheet of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar, and you will see why it is indeed a valuable barbell. It measures thicker than the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar with a  29MM diameter shaft. Some may prefer the Texas Power Bars 28.5mm shaft, but we consider the 29mm of the Rogue Ohio as a plus for most people. A slightly thicker bar simply holds better across your back and conforms to your hands better for pressing movements. A 29mm shaft will also cause much less whip at heavier weights when compared to the Texas Power Bars 28.5mm barbell shaft. For the barbell power lifts, such as the squat and presses, the less whip the better!

One of the best features of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar would definitely be its precisely engineered knurling. Rogue has researched and invested more than any other barbell manufacturer today towards answering the question of what makes the best possible knurling (as well as many other important barbell characteristics). Certain training types require a certain knurling. For powerlifting and the heavy strength sports, an aggressive knurling, sharp but not wear it will slice your hands open, is most often preferred. The desired knurling should instill the lifter with confidence that once they grip onto the bar with their body, the barbell itself simply becomes an extension of one’s self. The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is sharpened with what is known as a “volcano” style of knurl. This volcano knurlings main feature is that, instead of the Buddy Capps classic  “peaky mountain” type bump, they went ahead and chopped off the mountain peaks so that you get four diamond point peaks instead. The volcanoes are formed by taking an additional pass during the knurl scoring process, chopping of the peaks of the mountains that were formed during the first two rounds of passes. A benefit of Rogue’s volcano knurl is that it allows the lifter more contact surface area with the epidermal layer of their hands. Since you’ll be gripping to circular edges of a volcano instead of to just one mountain peak, you have more contact with bar in your hands.

The knurling of the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar can at times feel too sharp and can actually cut through the skin. We have found the volcano style, while still maintaining a very grippy feel, is better in this way. 

The overall bar length of the Rogue OPB we measured to be at a precise 86.52”. The sleeves of the Ohio Power Bar are 16.5”, which is in step with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Standards. This also means that the Rogue OPB has slightly more loadable sleeve length than the Buddy Capp’s Texas Power Bar by 1.5”. 

Located inside the sleeve collar are Rogue’s go-to bronze bushings, which provide adequate spin and little maintenance. Sure, bushings aren’t necessary for a power bar as bushings are primarily used to help the wrists turn under the bar during the Olympic Weightlifting Snatch and Clean and Jerk. However, we do believe that they aid in keeping the barbell/lifter system in an optimal and linear path with the line of resistance. 

Another area of optimization that we can highlight is how the Rogue Ohio Power Bar compares to the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar in the means of durability and strength. 

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar situates itself as one of the most durable bars in the entire F Scale Rating system. With a 205K PSI tensile strength shaft the Ohio Power Bar, although not the strongest steel on our list, as you can see, falls right in the middle of a continuum between too whippy vs too brittle. What’s more is that the Rogue OPB is also put through a proprietary, patent pending process called Rogue Work Hardening (RWH™) which strengthens the barbell to further withstand excessive stresses. As stated above, the Buddy Capps Power Bar is rated primarily at F2 whereas, depending on the coating, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is rated at F8-R. This is currently the highest rating on the F-Rating system which means it can withstand nearly anything that’s going to be thrown at it. Facilities that see high usage could greatly benefit from the expected lifespan of the bar and single-use Garage Gyms should, in most cases, never see an issue.

When put head to head in the gym, the Rogue OPB seems to provide less whip and better feel at both heavy and light weights. You can tell the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is stiffer than the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar, and is perhaps a better choice for most lifters by comparison, especially in regards to warranty.

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar comes with a lifetime warranty, and is priced similarly to the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar options.

Every option of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar comes with a lifetime warranty. The Rogue Barbell lifetime warranty is one of the reasons why we recommend NOT purchasing one of their boneyard bars. As we often point out, a warranty is only as good as the company servicing it, and we have good reason to believe Rogue will be around for quite a long time should any issues arise with your bar. To state the obvious, the warranty doesn’t extend to misuse and abuse, but Rogue is dependable, and its customer service is bar none (pun intended).

Here are the specs of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar:

Plating

Stainless Steel (Chrome Sleeves)

Black Zinc (Bright Zinc Sleeves)

Bare Steel

Price

$395.00

$285.00

$265.00

Weight

45 LB

45 LB

45 LB

Diameter

29mm

29mm

29mm

Bar Length

86.52”

86.52”

86.52”

Sleeve

16.25” (Bushing)

16.25” (Bushing)

16.25” (Bushing)

Knurling

Volcano

Volcano

Volcano

PSI Tensile Strength

200K

205K

205K

F Scale Rating

F2

F8-R

F8-R

Warranty

Lifetime

Lifetime

Lifetime

Full Rating

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Construction - 4.8
Knurling - 4.8
Plating Options - 4.5
Value - 4.5
4.7
Excellent

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar and Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar are the two most popular powerlifting barbells currently on the market. There's a lot of debate on which one is the best, so we're going to break down the differences and share which one we prefer.

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