About Us

HISTORY BEHIND THE “MALCO” BRAND

Malco Products, SBC, got its start in 1950 when Mark W. Keymer, a young steel supply salesman, decided to manufacture and market a pipe crimper he had invented for installing the “new” sheet metal ductwork used in forced air heating systems. More tools soon followed, including the first hand seamer to employ compound leverage, a time-saving hand notcher that made a V-shaped cut in one motion, and a hand-operated, snap lock punch to complete the basic sheet metal tool set. Now metal duct fabrication could easily be done at the job site and the tools were well received by contractor-installers.

Keymer’s manufacturing operations soon had to move from a garage to the more spacious basement of his Minneapolis home. He relates that the origin of the Malco name came from combining his first name and the first name of an early associate named Al: Malco for “Mark and Al’s Company” (it was Al’s garage).

Over 70 years later, the legacy of that exciting start-up company lives on, and the early Malco tools have since been joined by hundreds of other specialty products. Malco continues building its success around service to the trades and a steady stream of new and exciting labor-saving tool designs. Our employee-owners are committed to producing tools of lasting quality and performance that promote on-the-job safety and health for hands-on pros who have come to rely on the trusted Malco brand.

Founder Mark Keymer
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  • 1950 | Malco is born!

    The origin of the Malco name came from combining Mark’s first name and the first name of an early associate named Al, who owned the garage where initial operations began. Malco stood for “Mark and Al’s Company.”

  • 1954

    Operations move from Al’s garage to Mark’s basement, with Al leaving the company. Malco’s first business office consisted of the kitchen table, a shoebox filing system, and a manual typewriter. With advertisements in the American Artisan and Snips Magazine to generate national business, Mark had help from his wife Dorothy to keep the books and proceeded to hire his first employee and independent sales rep.

    The first one-page Malco catalog featured a 5-Blade Crimper, Hand Seamer, Scratch Awls, and other tools.

  • 1962

    The 60s were comprised of continued company growth, personally training sales reps, new product development/updates, and ramping up trade show attendance.

    Malco’s sales rep force, an essential link to wholesale distribution, grows to provide national coverage. Mark started hosting educational “Tool School” sessions to enhance product knowledge and high customer service standards.

     

    To further enhance user efficiency and control, sleek vinyl grips were added to existing compound leverage tools.

    Malco maintains a strong industry presence and image at key trade shows.

     

  • 1970

    1970

    The 70s included the big move to Annandale, MN, which is where the current U.S. Malco headquarters is located, as well as entering a new product market, releasing Zip-in® Screws, and experiencing a shift in leadership.

  • 1971

    Punch press operations move from Minneapolis to Annandale, MN.

    view of the front Malco's headquarters in the 1970's

  • 1973

    The move to Annandale is complete, and Mark’s son Gerry is named vice president.

  • 1976

    1976

    The industry-leading Zip-in® Screws are introduced into the marketplace.

  • 1978

    Mark Keymer retires as president with his son Gerry taking leadership.

    Order entry function is online, which allowed for instantaneous processing and computer-generated pick tickets for same or next-day shipping.

  • 1980s

    The 80s brought big changes to Malco’s internal processes and packaging, which streamlined plant operations and enhanced distributor merchandising efforts.

  • 1980

    Malco uses pegboard templates to promote full line displays and a self-service concept.

     

  • 1982

  • 1987

    A new fax machine is installed in the office to function 24/7, in efforts to speed communications and improve customer service.

  • 1988

    1988

    The first skin carding line begins operation in the Packaging Department. The peggable packaging was designed to enhance product visibility, enabling wholesale distributors to have more effective merchandising.

  • 1989

    The FasGroov® system is first introduced to the HVAC market and is a huge success

    A compact, portable exhibit is available for reps to use at trade shows and special events, which provide an effective and professional presentation of Malco products.

     

     

    Malco invests in internal systems and in-house educational programs on Manufacturing Resource Planning, Just-In-Time Production System, and Statistical Process Control.

     

  • 1990s

    Many big milestones occurred in the 90s, with Malco revolutionizing their product development and purchasing process, releasing many new tools, going online, and shifting ownership.

  • 1990

    A new CAD/CAM computer system transforms designs into small quantities of manufactured products in a fraction of the time compared to large scale production. This laid the groundwork for an efficient product development process to be used for years to come.

     

  • 1991

    Malco implements Uniform Product Codes (UPC) on individual sale items to allow for timely and accessible inventory status reports, streamlined shipping/receiving operations, and reduced clerical errors. Barcoding was no longer a wave of the future; it was here to stay.

     

     

    The introduction of lightweight Andy “Combination” Snips, as well as C4 and C5 Crimpers.

  • 1992

    Updated AVs® line of aviation snips are released, revamping Malco’s existing line.

    All specialty hand tools which feature a compound leverage design now also feature new handle springs that assure longer, uninterrupted service life.

  • 1995

    The 20-in. Sheet Metal Hole Cutter is released.

  • 1996–97

    A formal Product Development Process results in a record number of new product introductions. For one 14-month period from March 1996 to May 1997, more than one product was introduced per month. New releases at the time include Malco’s Offset Pipe Crimper, 9-in Seamer, and J-Channel Cutter, to name a few.

    In 1997, the Malco website launched in the height of the World Wide Web.

     

  • 1998

    Demand for Max2000® Classic Aviation Snips creates waiting lists at dealers. It was a highly anticipated solution in response to widespread dissatisfaction with the aviation snip category at the time. The BEAST Shingle Remover, One Inch Notcher, and Sider® tool are also released.

     

  • 1999

    On the eve of Malco’s 50th anniversary, Gerry Keymer sells his share of the company to begin the process of transferring ownership of Malco to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

  • 2000-2009

    Malco entered the 21st century with breakthrough innovation and student recognition. This decade features the release of the original TurboShear® drill attachment that sparked the development of other power-assisted tools, the creation of ergonomic Redline® Handles, the introduction of the “Head of the Class” Program, and much more.

  • 2000

    The 5-in. Seamer is released, as well as a Flex Duct Shear and various Magnetic Sweeps.

  • 2001

    Founder Mark Keymer passes away, but his legacy of innovation, efficiency, and quality live on through his family and employee-owners.

    Redesigned 12- and 14-in. Aluminum Andy Snips and Gutter Outlet Punches are released.

  • 2003

    Malco introduces the original TurboShear® drill attachment, which revolutionized the HVAC market and became an instant trade pro favorite.

     

  • 2004

    With the addition of metal brackets for simplified one-handed use and hardened carbon steel blades that offer up to 18-gauge steel cutting capacity, the TurboShear® Heavy Duty Sheet Metal Cutting Tool Attachment is born.

     

     

    Malco releases tools with Redline® Handles, which offer non-slip handle grip contours, spring handle actuation, and a thumb-operated handle latch for a natural fit and one-handed operation. These comfortable, ergonomic handles help to prevent user discomfort, fatigue, and risk of injury, making jobs safer and easier to complete than ever before.

     

  • 2005

    Malco’s “Head of the Class” Program is first introduced to recognize and reward outstanding trade school graduates for their commitment and hard work.

  • 2007

    Mark Keymer was inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame.

  • 2010-2019

    This recent decade encompassed a new market venture, exciting product updates/releases, enhanced sustainability initiatives, majority employee ownership, company awards, and significant employee anniversaries.

  • 2010

    Malco enters the automotive market, which presented opportunities for specialty tools that cut, prep, repair, and weld autobody door panels and surfaces.

  • 2012

    Malco introduces its first power-assisted metal duct crimper drill attachment called the TurboCrimper®.

  • 2014

    Malco sustainability efforts continue with using recycled PET plastic vs. PVC for clamshell packaging, as well as recyclable paper and no adhesive, so that the plastic and paper cleanly separate for recycling. Our employees are utilizing less fax and more emails for orders. Virtually all non-organic waste and scrap generated at the Annandale plant is recycled, in addition to fluorescent lighting being replaced with energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED lighting.

  • 2015

    A 360° rotating head and adjustable drill clamp are integrated into various power-assisted tools. The clamp collar allows the head to be set in any position for ideal tool clearance when navigating profiles or to facilitate easy material flow.

    Malco’s ESOP purchases majority ownership, promoting greater company transparency among employee-owners. Malco operates open book financials so that everyone knows where the company stands, where the company wants to be, and what everyone needs to do to meet their goals.

  • 2016

    Malco introduces a lightweight and powerful impact driver attachment called the TurboCrimper® Impact. Based on actual field trials, the C5A2 model operates 78% faster than a manual sheet metal crimper. The Writable Measuring Tape with Magnetic Tip, 4IN1 Nut Driver, and first-of-its-kind Conformable Sander are also released this year.

     

  • 2017

    Malco introduces an exclusive, dual-sided 1/4 in. and 5/16 in. C-RHEX® Cleanable, Reversible Magnetic Hex Driver with 2 in. length that rapidly becomes a best-selling tool in the HVAC market.

     

     

    Malco is awarded as an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation and is named the High Economic Vitality Business of the Year by the Wright County Minnesota Economic Development Partnership.

     

     

    The Trade-Pro of the Year award began in 2017 as a way for Malco to shine some much-deserved light and recognition on hard-working HVAC professionals who represent the industry in the best possible way.

  • 2018-2019

    • As a result of overwhelming demand, Malco introduces three additional lengths to the 1/4 in. and 5/16 in. C-RHEX® lineup.
    • The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal awards Malco the 2018 Medium Manufacturer of the Year Award.
    • We were named a Top Workplace by the Star Tribune in 2018 and 2019.

    Malco is awarded the 2018 Meritorious Achievement Award in Occupational Safety by the Minnesota Safety Council for the 11th time since 2004.

    In 2018, we celebrated the grand opening of our new production facility in DeWitt, NE. It’s been a decade since the previous plier factory shut down, so Malco is proud to bring back tool manufacturing jobs to this city.

     

     

    • Annandale, MN location on the left and the DeWitt, NE location on the right
    • Malco receives MNSHARP re-certification for the 15th consecutive year, which showcases the company’s commitment to workplace safety and health.
    • Tom Sommers and Joan Peatrowsky celebrate 45 years of employment with Malco.

     

  • 2020

    Malco celebrates their many years of innovation and growth during their 70th year anniversary. Malco gained various awards during this year: ACHR News 2020 Dealer Design Awards for Malco’s C-RHEX®, 2020 All-Star Company by the Great Game of Business®, and Outstanding Achievement Award from the Minnesota Safety Council. In addition, Malco introduced the Jeannette Rieger Borer Scholarship, named after one of their long-term associates who served many years on the local towns Annandale School Board.

    Malco continues to innovate its popular C-Rhex products by introducing a slimmer head.

    All four sizes of Malco's CRhex products being shown side by side with the hex driver's socket's detached

  • 2021

    Malco releases the much anticipated Eagle Grip Locking Pliers, made 100% in the USA.

    All four sizes of Malco's Eagle Grip Locking Pliers laid out on a USA flag

    Malco’s new president Rich Benninghoff assumes the role of President, following the retirement announcement of Mardon Quandt, who has served as Malco’s President since 2013.

    Malco Products President, Rich Benninghoff

MALCO PRODUCTS TODAY

For more than seven decades, Malco has been dedicated to producing innovative, dependable, and high-performance hand tools. This dedication to craftsmanship is why Malco is the nation’s leading manufacturer of “tools of the trade” for HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning), exterior remodeling, fence and rail, and autobody repair and refinishing professionals.

Malco’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Annandale, Minnesota, and in 2018, Malco opened a second manufacturing facility in DeWitt, Nebraska, where it produces the Eagle Grip line of American-made locking handle tools. Since bringing manufacturing back to the nation’s heartland, Malco is committed to producing the toughest and highest quality tools in the world. Verified by third-party testing, the LP10WC Eagle Grip Curved Jaw Locking Pliers w/Wire Cutter are officially the strongest locking pliers available on the market.

Malco continues its founder’s tradition of leadership by addressing an ever-changing industry landscape and responding to emerging market needs for new specializations and more customized products and services for the end-user.


MALCO PRODUCTS USA MANUFACTURING

Malco Products, SBC believes in top-quality products that work hard, enhance performance, and stand up to years of real-world use on the job. At Malco, we believe in American-made tools that Work. Perform. Outlast.


RECOGNITION AND AWARDS

Malco Products is always honored to receive recognition and awards. Being recognized makes us proud of our team’s hard work. And it’s the knowledge that our customers are happy and satisfied with our products that gives us the most gratification. Some of the recent honors that we have received include:


TRADEMARKED PRODUCTS

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