2 weeks ago, Adam wrote in with some concerning questions about Pony and Jorgensen, both well-known clamp brands. I did some searching, and could not find a good answer to his questions.
Did the Pony vise and clamp company just go out of business?
What will that mean for the lifetime warranties on their products?
(Thank you Adam, for the questions and news!)
The other day, Easy Wood Tools, a company that was acquired by Pony Tools less than a year ago, shared on Facebook an email they sent to subscribers. The email is dated May 26th, 2016.
I am writing to inform you that on May 19, 2016, Adjustable Clamp Company d/b/a Pony Tools Inc. informed its Chicago employees that it was suspending operations in Chicago effective immediately. While this step was necessary due to issues unique to the Chicago business, the Company’s Easy Wood Tools division remains open and continues to operate its business. It is our hope that there will be minimal, if any, disruption to the business of Easy Wood Tools. This suspension of operations in Chicago has not affected our ability to fill Easy Wood Tools orders.
The company is looking at all options in order to enable Easy Wood Tools to continue to operate. We are hopeful that you will continue to support Easy Wood Tools during this transition and we appreciate your past support. We will put forth our best efforts to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Douglas Holman, President
I don’t know what this means. When news like this breaks, email inboxes become overburdened. I doubt that we will learn anything useful from the sales department, or what has become of it, but I’ve sent an email asking for an official comment.
Update: Nobody ever got back to me.
Does it mean that Pony and Jorgensen are no more? That’s certainly the sound of things.
What would this mean in regard to tool warranties? From what I can tell, cherish the tools you have, and replace them with another brand if they wear or fail. One of my Jorgensen clamps recently broke apart unexpectedly, and I’m 99% sure that I’m out of luck.
Why did this happen? There’s only one thing I could think of, and that’s how big box stores have cemented relationships with Dewalt and Irwin in recent months and years, leaving little to no room for Pony brands’ clamps. When is the last time you saw Pony clamps at a brick and mortar store?
Update: Commenters mentioned seeing Pony and Jorgensen products at their Home Depot stores. I think I remember seeing some Pony spring clamps at mine, maybe pipe clamps too, but the majority of clamps there are Dewalt with certain Bessey clamps mixed in. At Lowes, Irwin dominates the clamp rack.
Maybe there are other factors at play – we’ve seen internal issues bring down major tool brands before.
While surprised and a little disappointed at this news, I find myself thinking about the last time I considered buying a Pony Tools product. It was a few years ago, and I was shopping for a pair of pipe clamps. I ultimately bought a Rockler set, instead of Pony clamps.
As for Jorgensen, I love my gear clamps, but for parallel clamps I favor Bessey, with Jet as a potential second choice. They also make fine wood hand clamps.
When is the last time you bought or considered buying any Pony or Jorgensen clamps?
Still, I hope something can be done to keep the brands and their products alive.
If you know anything more about the situation, please let us know!