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Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers are now available!!
I have two samples in-hand, and am still working on the review. In the meantime, let’s talk a bit about why these new tools are special.
Vise-Grip locking pliers, invented by William Petersen, were produced in DeWitt, Nebraska until Irwin shut down the factory and moved production to China in 2008.
Fast forward a few years…
Malco, a tool brand that’s familiar to tradesmen, HVAC professionals and other demanding users, was set to reopen the former Vise-Grip factory. The plan was to start building a new line of Eagle Grip locking pliers, the first locking pliers to made in the USA in more than a decade.
I spoke with Malco’s Eric Peterson, Director of Sales & Marketing, about the new Eagle Grip tools, and I was thoroughly impressed. With the tools in-hand now, I’m nearly at a loss for words.
Malco says they took the time to make things right, and I believe it.
Even though Malco was reopening the factory, what do you think was still there after it shut down? After the factory closed, everything was moved out and auctioned.
The infrastructure was still there, and after the factory spent 8 years being rented as storage space, the work began. Malco credits their ability to reopen the factory to the willingness and support of Nebraska and its people. After 8 years, the people wanted to bring the factory back.
The hard work is done and the time has come; Malco has started shipping their first new Eagle Grip locking pliers SKUs, and there’s more to come.
Let’s talk about Malco’s product claims.
The Strongest Locking Pliers
I believe it.
Eagle Grip professional locking handle tools are forged from the finest American steel to deliver stronger and more reliable performance for as long as you own them. And that’s going to be a very long time. If you’re tired of worn teeth, loose jaws, or tools that just don’t live up to the task, it’s time to switch to Eagle Grip.
The fit and finish is better.
The adjustment screw has a proprietary dry coating that is very wear-resistant.
The pliers are MADE in USA, starting with the best raw materials.
Competing models have split adjustment screw threads, and users can pop the braze under high-strength use. That won’t happen with Eagle Grip locking pliers, thanks to a “Power Ring” feature that reinforces the threads and reduces the chance of failure.
“We Didn’t Reinvent the Wheel. We Made it Better.”
Again, I absolutely agree with this. Comparing Eagle Grip locking pliers to other models I have around the workshop, subtleties and improvements become more apparent.
You will feel a different with these. The Eagle Grips are tumbled with ceramic shot, to a satin finish.
Even the wire cutting blade is better-made on these Eagle Grip locking pliers.
The jaws are strong, sharp, and well-formed, even at the top.
The fixed jaw has overbuilt brazing, designed to withstand strong pulling and twisting forces. And, there’s an additional rivet for added strength. This is a big area where the Eagle Grips differ from traditional Vise-Grip pliers and like-derived designs.
With the adjustment screw, my 10″ locking pliers have a 5mm hex recess for assisted tightening. For the 10″ Eagle Grips pliers, the adjustment screw has a much larger 5/16″ hex recess.
Thoughtful touches all around make Eagle Grips a superb and superior tool.
Sure, it took some time for Malco to rebuild USA locking pliers production essentially from scratch, but the wait was worth it.
Obviously, these are not going to be for everyone, but if you’re looking for strong, reliable, and exceptionally well-made locking pliers manufactured in the USA, give Eagle Grips a try.
Eagle Grip Locking Pliers 2021 First Wave
Here are the models that are available at launch:
- 7″ curved jaw locking pliers w/ wire cutter: LP7WC (Amazon)
- 7″ straight jaw locking pliers: LP7R (Amazon)
- 10″ curved jaw locking pliers w/ wire cutter: LP10WC
- 10″ straight jaw locking pliers: LP10R (Amazon)
Eagle Grip Locking Clamps 2021 First Wave
- 11″ locking c-clamp with swivel pads: LP11SP
- 11″ locking c-clamp: LP11C
- 9″ locking welding clamp
- 9″ locking seamer: LP10S3 (Amazon)
Pricing and Availability
Pricing starts at $37.
A lot of you guessed correctly – this is the tool I was so excited about in February that I had to share a sneak peek:
Eagle Grips Launch Video
Eagle Grips Parts and Warranty
I mention in my teaser video (above) that these have the feel of heirloom-quality tools. But, what if something happens? Replacement parts will be available, and the tools will also be backed by a Lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
Definitely watch the video below, if only for the cool look behind the curtain at how the Eagle Grip locking pliers are made!
What would you like to know about these new locking pliers and clamps?
See Also: USA-Made Tools on ToolGuyd