Stopped by my local big box HIC , (the blue one) to look at their selection of handscrew clamps.
Turns out they only have 10 inch handscrews in the store, priced at $20 each. Ten inch handscrews are a perfectly good size for most normal applications. The name "Jorgensen" is branded on one of the jaws.
BUT, the small round sticker on the end of the clamp jaw says in VERY tink tiny print "Made in China". Hmmm…. NOT a big fan of supporting China, especially since it has given the world the gift of Corona. However, my curiosity was piqued.
A closer examination of the handscrew construction and operation revealed that THE "JORGENSEN" HANDSCREW IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE HF "PITTSBURGH" HANDSCREW that I examined a few days ago at Harbor Freight. The ONLY difference is the name branded on the jaw, which apparently justifies a 100% increase in the price ovet the Pittsburgh brand.
If I were John Q. Dumass walking into the blue store, and saw the name "Jorgensen", I would probably think that it was a "better" quality clamp than the discount store and shell out twice the money for the same product. This begs the question, just what brand IS this handscrew, REALLY…...???
Jorgy clamps of all styles are now made in China, no exceptions. So the factory that makes them for Jorgensen also (likely) makes them under license to other retailers as private label tools.
The Pony pipe clamp fittings (cast iron) are pretty much indistinguishable between China and USA made; the Jorgensen / Pony Clamp website says that tooling was actually sent from their former Chicago foundry to China.
Everyone wants to copy the good old tools made in the US. I usually go to flea markets and at times find some great deals on old hand tools. That may be your best bet. You cannot trust stores selling a tool made in America, most have been sent overseas. Even the name Craftsman.
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