Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers – Final Update

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Readers and ToolGuyd followers have been asking if I’ve heard anything about Malco’s Eagle Grip locking pliers factory, and if there are any updates.

As you might recall, Malco discontinued their line of Eagle Grip locking pliers at the end of 2022.

Snap-On Eagle Grip Locking Pliers Long Nose

You can still buy the tools at select dealers, and Snap-on recently listed a long nose version of these pliers.

Going by the tone and nature of the questions I’ve been asked, it seems that the emergence of a new style of USA-made Eagle Grip-made locking pliers gave rise to optimism, with thoughts and hopes about a potential revival.

I apologize if this seems indelicate, but:

There is no more factory.

Eagle Grip has shut down and is no more.

Here are the WARN notices Malco filed in Nebraska (PDF). All 63 workers at the DeWitt, Nebraska manufacturing facility were due to be laid off due to the plant closure, with 3 being offered positions at Malco’s facility in Minnesota. This all happened towards the end of 2022.

In May of 2023, liquidators announced that they were offering “an entire inventory of top-quality vise-grip manufacturing equipment after the closing of the 500,000 Sq. Ft. Malco Products plant in De Witt, Nebraska.”

The factory was closed, and liquidators auctioned off the equipment.

A new style of the c-clamp pliers appeared at a closeout dealer, and Snap-on listed a previously unseen long-nose version of the locking pliers.

You might say “maybe Snap-on bought the equipment and are manufacturing locking pliers themselves.” I seriously doubt it, given the course of events and the short amount of time that passed.

Also, the building at 100 Eagle Grip Drive is up for sale. Here’s a PDF of the full listing.

Malco Eagle Grip Factory Boxes on Pallets

One of the property listing photos shows pallets of carboard boxes, which could all hold remnant tool inventory.

Harry Epstein Co Eagle Grips Locking Pliers in Wood Crate
Photo by Harry Epstein Co

Harry Epstein Co reported a few months ago that a couple of pallets of Eagle Grip locking pliers arrived in old wooden Vise Grip crates.

It appears there are very many Eagle Grip locking pliers still available (thousands at the time of this posting), and it is reasonable to assume some of the remnant inventory includes styles that weren’t available prior to the closure.

While the Malco-made Snap-on long nose locking pliers might otherwise suggest the factory is still in operation, all of the evidence squashes such hopes.

The Eagle Grip brand and product line was discontinued, the website was taken down, all of the workers were laid off (except perhaps the 3 Malco says were given transfer offers), the manufacturing equipment was liquidated, and the entire building is up for sale.

This doesn’t leave any room for optimism.

Sadly, Eagle Grip, and their made-in-USA locking pliers, is no more.

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