I recently noticed that my Lowe’s stores have reset their clamp and vise sections, which now predominantly feature tools by Pony and Jorgensen.
Lowe’s used to have a strong selection of Irwin clamps and vises, and it seems that those offerings have been completely replaced by Pony and Jorgensen models.
The same was true in the bar clamp section, where Jorgensen occupies most of the shelf and wall-peg space.
There is also a lone Bora product on the pegboard, unfortunately camouflaged due to also having an orange color scheme.
Lowe’s had promo displays in stores last winter holiday shopping season, advertising Pony hand clamps and Jorgensen bar clamp 2-packs.
Several months later, Lowe’s had a larger floor display set up for Father’s Day 2021. The Father’s Day promo setups included Pony hand clamps and Jorgensen bar clamps, but also tools that aren’t typically associated with these brands.
Aside from the clamps, the Pony and Jorgensen display also had Jorgensen jab saws, 3pc wood chisel sets, chisel-file sets, and also hand saws.
One month later, a week before Father’s Day, much of the display had been sold-through.
In the past, Irwin and Lenox, both Stanley Black & Decker brands, would have been the Lowe’s go-to’s for promo jab saws, wood chisels, hand saws, and even clamps.
Pony and Jorgensen suspended operations in 2016 before being purchased by GreatStar, and these displays at Lowe’s have greatly increased their visibility in recent years.
Between Craftsman, Irwin, Stanley, and Lenox, Stanley Black & Decker brands occupy a great deal of the hand tools shelf space at Lowe’s. What’s interesting to me is that this shows there is still room for more tool brands and competition.
As we have previously reported, Ideal Industries – which has recently taken over Lowe’s electrical hand tools section – has sold their SK Hand Tool Brand to GreatStar. It is possible that GreatStar acquired the SK Hand Tool brand knowing that there could also be a spot for this brand at Lowe’s, among Craftsman and Kobalt mechanics tools.
Lowe’s was also a strong Shop Vac partner when it came to wet/dry vacuums and similar products, although Craftsman options have largely taken their place. GreatStar acquired Shop Vac several months ago, shortly after they shuttered and began liquidating assets. News reports from the time said that GreatStar had planned to reopen Shop Vac’s Williamsport, PA facility.
The increased presence of Pony and Jorgensen products is interesting by itself, but it could also be the spearhead of greater ties between Lowe’s and GreatStar. GreatStar has been working to acquire a significant tool box manufacturer.
It is unclear as to whether the greater presence of Pony and Jorgensen clamping products and hand tools at Lowe’s is an isolated and regular development, or the start of more resets and changes to come.
I think that is interesting. I will need to check if the same applies in Canadian Lowes stores next time I’m in one.
Any (early) opinion on the Pony and Jorgensen stuff? I realize you probably haven’t tested it yet, but I bet you at least picked them up and examined.
Their stuff was pretty average and then it went downhill as they continued outsourcing everything to meet buyer expectations. New ownership seems to have added products to the mix and it seems just so-so. Bessey slaps their name on poor quality clamps to fill HD shelves at their desired margins (they mixed good stuff in with it) and I’d honestly take Jorgie f-clamps over those .
I am a big fan of Jorgensen clamps and I have many of their original F clamps, many pipe clamps and (sadly) 2 of their bar clamps.
I tried buying some additional bar clamps from Jorgensen off Amazon ~2 years ago now and was very disappointed with what came in the box. Basically they shipped me a Bora build quality bar clamp, but under the Jorgensen name.
Now I know that Jorgensen went out of business years ago and was bought out by a Chinese company, but I was hopeful they’d keep the designs (even if they do some cost cutting). Instead they just used the name on terrible products.
I’ve been on the lookout for NOS Jorgensen bar clamps for years (for the right price). Wish I owned way more than 2, but that’s what I’ve got right now.
I bought a lot of Chicago made clamps as they were closing down. Now it’s just an eBay kinda accidental sourcing opportunity. Glad I was so prescient. Even if just for the these.
Great star! That’s a lot of clamps!
I noticed them the other day when I was in the store. I like the few Pony and Jorgensen clamps I bought last black Friday, but I’m not really in the market for hand saws or chisels.
I did see a post on the SK collectors Facebook page supposedly from SK customer service confirming that they were planning on moving from Illinois to Williamsport. If its true it would make some sense to consolidate their US manufacturing at one location.
It would be interesting to see SK at Lowe’s. They just started adding Tekton at some locations so it’ll be interesting to see how many brands they’d end up with.
I’d love to see Tekton in a store. Haven’t seen that near me.
I swear I saw some bessy clamps in my store but only the Parallel
Meijer’s had a whole two or three gondolas worth of retails space dedicated to Tekton for a few years. This overlapped some of the Wilde stuff and the intro of their screwdrivers. They have custom fixtures (“custom”) that have showed up at a couple of retailers The signage looks really good with red backers and uprights.
Our local Meijer had a nice selection of Tekton. One day I went looking for a few Tekton items, and they had completely gotten rid of it all. It’s all cheap Stanley crap now.
Yep, my local Meijer did a clearance of all the Tekton stuff during the last Black Friday season. I picked up a ton of stuff at 50% off. Now it has all been replaced by the Stanley stuff.
Agreed. HD and Lowe’s sell it online but it will take a week or more to get it. Might as well order from Amazon and have it in 1-3 days.
But I doubt we see it in stores. Tekton undercuts both, Kobalt and Husky. HD seems to be adding Gearwrench to the shelves. It’s hard to sell GW when Tekton is next to it at half the price.
Lowe’s is a promotional pump and dump dumpster fire. I can’t think of a major retailer with a less cohesive strategy for the products it carries. I can imagine the Home Depot buyers roflao at the prospect of competing with them. HD doesn’t even have to be good-it’s marginal-it’s most of the competition is so weak.
Coming soon to a Lowe’s near you-yet another new clamp vendor.
This is brutal but so true. Every brand I see at Lowe’s, I assume they might not be there in 3 years.
It’s not a big deal in this case – it’s not like I’m going to need batteries or open-stock replacement tools. But I have to assume it hurts them with the pro crowd.
Hence why I prefer HD over Lowes. Not that I buy many tools from big box stores, but honestly I just feel more comfortable at HD and not having an revolving door of mediocre-at-best products that change names all the time contributes to that. (I’d rather have the SAME mediocre-at-best products all the time, dangit!)
Mike (the other one)
Lowes at least has Ideal, Malco, and Knipex tools now. Far better than most of the stuff they have been selling.
“Pump and Dump”. AKA Lowe’s tool “department” business model. Can not agree more. Weird.
I just assumed that they were going to change out their IRWIN clamps for Craftsman Clamps.
It’s apparent that it’s not the case.
I mourned the day Pony went under. Luckily I am tuned into this blog and was able to run out and grab some of the last cam clamps, the strongest clamp ever! I got excited when I saw this post, but after reading the comments, the air is out of the balloon.
Same here. These new revisions are just junk. I’d pay good money for a dozen Jorgensen bar clamps.
There’s a big lash-up between SB&D and Lowes so I would imagine Lowes wants to diversify, it’s not good for business to be a one trick pony. Have varied product streams makes for better opportunity for the Lowes store front. EGO and now perhaps the new “Flex” cordless power tools is another attempt to branch out. Now I wonder what Home Depot will do I mean they have their Husky store brand, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Ridgid (All TTI) and several SB&D brands as well as Makita but that’s essentially only three independent sources I would think there’s room for one more at least.
I picked up some of the Jorgensen clamps with the purple on the packaging to add to my collection of Irwin’s. I love that you can combine them to make them longer.
My local Ace Hardware just cleared out their line of Bessy clamps and replaced them with a full line of Irwin clamps.
As mentioned I would have to agree the Great Star made Jorgensen parallel clamps, which I bought, were cheaply made, and I immediately sent them back.
I do have some of the heavy duty F style bar clamps and they on the other hand are well made, feel good in the hand and clamp really well. They are actually a little heavy and on the look out to see if they have a medium duty version that is is as well made for lighter clamping tasks like with jigs.
Lowes might get me on price through the internet, but rarely do I go in one, especially since there is usually a HD nearby. In my part of Oregon we have a great locally owned two store operation that goes toe to toe with both and kicks their ass on service alone (plus price matches). The help in HD and Lowes, when you can get it, is pretty minimally informed.
Give it some time and those clamps will either be Bessey or Irwin again and the HD clamp section will be Jorgensen…or maybe DeWalt…Just follow along to the rhythm of the store resets. In Home Depot’s case, merchandising doesn’t even bother moving the faceouts.
No more small mini-spring clamps at Lowe’s, had to go next door to Bentonvillemart to buy a dozen for $5. On plus side they had track rollers for drawer slides that the Orange Apron lacked.
I bought a set of those hand clamps. They are junk. If you tighten them down with what I considered a normal amount of force they break the locking mechanism.