While nobody at Danaher is talking, it appears that Jacobs Chuck closed their last U.S. plant in October in Clemson, South Carolina. The auction is scheduled for December 1st with auctioneer Stuart B. Millner. You can download the catalog at their site. While that’s good news for bargain hunters down south, it seems like terrible news for the local workforce and for the dream of U.S.-made tools. Googling around I think I found Jacobs’ first patent chuck, as well as the “modern” keyed chuck that made their fortune.
I know that the Jacobs “multi-craft” chucks have been made in China for years now with an attendant and obvious drop in quality, so we have to wonder where they’ll be making their heavier-duty industrial chucks and whether quality will similarly suffer. For me, I guess I’ll buy used older chucks or European chucks (Rohm are quite good) when I need them. I’d love to be wrong about all of this — does anyone have more information on the plant closing or Jacobs’ future plans?