Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers and Clamps Review

Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers

Can These Eagle Grip Locking Pliers Truly Beat the Competition?

When we crafted our what tools are made in the USA article, we didn’t realize we would eventually get deluged with tools…tools made right here in the United States. Case in point—we got sent Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers and clamps to try out. Billed as the “strongest locking pliers ever made” we wanted to see just how well these USA-made products would perform.


Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers Performance

Back in 1924 when Bill Petersen received a patent for locking pliers, what eventually became Irwin Vise Grips dominated the scene. Now, multiple manufacturers make similar products. A surprisingly small number of differentiating factors determines which brand you might prefer over another.

Eagle Grip locking pliers teeth

First off, both the Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers and clamps have an exceptional grip. They have that satisfying (and familiar) locking system we’ve all used for years. Unlike Irwin, Malco upped their game on the adjustment knob and where it ties into the tool (called the “power ring”). The additional surface area provided by the wider threads made it even easier to set the amount of clamping force perfectly.

adjustment knob comparison

Reinforced, Extra-Thick Adjustment Knob

Irwin uses a traditional adjustment knob, and the Milwaukee MaxBite Torque Lock Locking Pliers use an even thinner design that incorporates a screwdriver loop. The Eagle Grip locking pliers use a coated steel adjustment knob with a thicker diameter. It also includes hex key access for torquing it down when needed.

As we sought to challenge these tools to see how hard they could clamp, the design lent itself to an aggressive bite without any special torquing. We used this process to get a typical strong grip:

  1. Grab the material with the locking pliers.
  2. Set the adjustment knob until the teeth bit the material.
  3. Remove the pliers and give the adjustment knob another half turn.
  4. Reapply the tool, locking the jaws firmly into place.

For an even stronger hold, you can twist the adjustment knob a bit further. This let us get a really solid grip on pipe, flat steel, and just about anything else we put these pliers on. You can even crank down on it once you have the tool attached. The “power ring” it threads through looks solid. It needs to be—if it breaks, the entire tool fails.


Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers and Clamps Design Notes

The polished steel handles really clean up easily, so this tool can handle any sort of environment. Mechanics and metalworkers will appreciate this the most.

thicker adjustment knobs

USA-made steel goes into the jaws of these tools. We like that on principle and they do seem incredibly durable. That also goes for the swivel pads on the Eagle Grip locking clamps. They move easily, and the thickness lets you know they won’t end up as a failure point on the tool.

Eagle Grip C-clamp swivel pads

The included steel trigger provided straightforward releasing of the tool from a locked position. As always, inexperienced users can pinch themselves if not careful. We have seen some other takes on this release lever, but this one offers a very secure hold and release.

Additional Features

  • Forged, premium alloy heat-treated steel jaws
  • Precision ground teeth.

Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers and Clamps Pricing

Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers range in price from ~$43 for the 7-inch to around $45 for the 10-inch. The Eagle Grip locking C-clamps Run less than $55 each.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers and clamps, strength is not the issue. These tools offer excellent built quality and strength. They just don’t innovate much on a design that has worked for decades. Quite possibly, that’s the right call. If you want familiar tools that work well, are made in the USA, and include a limited lifetime warranty, check out the Malco Eagle Grip locking pliers and clamps for yourself.

Malco Eagle Grip Locking Pliers Specifications

  • Models: LP7R, LP7WC (7″ wire cutter), LP10R, LP10WC (10″ wire cutter)
  • Overall length: 7 in. and 10 in.
  • Jaw capacity: 1-5/16 in.
  • Large hardened and coated adjustment knob
  • Integrated precision ground wire cutter (LP7WC and LP10WC)
  • Classic Trigger release
  • Cross cut jaw tips for increased grip and versatility
  • Curved Jaws

Malco Eagle Grip Locking C-Clamps Specifications

  • Models: LP11C, LP11SP (swivel pads)
  • Length: 11 in.
  • Maximum clamping range: 3.38 in.
  • Swivel pads conform and distribute clamping force (LP11SP)
  • Heat-treated alloy steel jaws
  • Large hardened and coated adjustment knob
  • Adjustment screw accepts a 5/16″ hex key

Related articles

How to Use a Rivet Gun

When you need to fasten sheet metal or plastic together, one of the more viable methods on the market is the rivet gun. This tool really comes into its own when accessing the back end of the joint proves problematic. Plus, rivets tend to be relatively inexpensive and come in a wide variety of sizes […]

Wilton Multi-Purpose Vises for General Purpose Use

Wilton Redesigns and Expands Multi-Purpose Vise Line Wilton has an 80-year history in designing practical and durable vises that have become a mainstay for American tradesmen. With the redesigned Multi-Purpose Vises, Wilton has taken a page from their own notebook. These vises now feature the design styling of the Tradesman Bullet Vise. And, having expanded […]

Dimide Clamp Review | 1/4 Series Clamps

Dimide 1/4 Series Clamp Delivers Powerful Holding With the Power of Your Impact Driver We use a ton of different clamps for the various projects we have going on around our shop. None look or operate quite like Dimide 1/4 Series Clamps, though. Pros 1700 pounds of clamping force with a standard 18V/20V Max impact […]

IMI Magnetic V-Pad Clamps for Flexible Welding Positions

Industrial Magnetics Offers Welders Low-Profile Clamps IMI (Industrial Magnetics, Inc.) Magnetic V-Pad clamps make a nice addition for tools fabricators may find helpful. Now, welders have a fast, low-profile, and versatile solution for holding workpieces in position. Holding Patterns The IMI Magnetic V-Pad Clamps offer dual pivoting magnetic heads on each piece. Each clamp can […]

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x