Dumb luck, I guess, that I bought my Wiha set in the 1990's,
They're still straight and undamaged. I do find the black handles increasingly difficult to locate, when I forget to put them away...
i bought a set of snap-on drivers around twenty years ago, it was a little packaged set of like two phillips and three straight in
various sizes and the small phillips has been the best screwdriver i have ever had! grips hard from shallow to deep and no damage
I Love The Smell Of Sawdust In The Morning!!
I've had my set of Craftsman drivers since I was a teenager and they've pretty much held up under less than ideal.. ..operating conditions. But they were showing their age and I needed a good driver to set some brass screws last year. So I bought a full set of Kobalt PRO drivers from Lowes for the everyday tasks as well as an extra #2 Phillips and Slotted that are marked and reserved strictly for what bit of fine work I might do.
FWIW, I like the ergonomics of the Kobalt PRO drivers compared to my 35 year old Craftsman drivers. I'm not sure the tips are of any better or worse quality though. Good enough for my needs though.
I got lucky beyond belief.........a neighbor worked at a concrete forming supply/distributor and rebar fab company. They had been carrying the line, but with no real success, so they decided to stop.
He casually mentioned it to me............and I got the entire set of display tools for about 50% of their cost - including 3 sizes/styles of nippers/cutters.
Even at retail, they would be well worth it, IMO.
Larry's Corollary to The Theorem of Tool Residency: "Usually"
Aside from the Euro names mentioned which are properly dimensioned for IEC components, I buy Klein pliers and screwdrivers.........Great product..........Rod.
Brownell's sell gunsmith screwdrivers which should last long time
Looked at the offerings at Home Depot and Lowes and I'll pass on those. The Lowes are Chinese and the Home Depot line doesn't have a very good selection. Watching a Matco and a Snap On set on EBay.
I went through the same problems with the usual screw drivers from HD & Lowes....I recently bought a set from Lee Valley that I think is very reasonable in price for what you get. So far they have proven to be much tougher than the others I have. Lee Valley calls them Lifetime Screwdrivers. They will "cheerfully replace free of charge as required". They have very nice handles and the larger sizes even have a place next to the handle that a wrench or pliers can be used on.
You wouldn't break them if you didn't use that 36" piece of pipe for a T-handle.
Seriously though, It blows to know that when I finally break the current Craftsman screwdrivers I have, the replacements are gonna suck. The one's I have now have quite a few years on them and they haven't lived easy lives.
All of my Craftsman hand tools are 15-20 years old and while I've put a whole lot of force on the larger screwdrivers trying to pry on stuff, I've never had one fail. They've never been great screwdrivers, but the idea was you could simply replace them as needed, too bad it sounds like the new stuff is worse.
I have three Klein screwdrivers (flat/phillips/square) and am very happy with them. The handles are large and soft, providing a good grip, and the type of tip is marked on the end of the handle which helps in identification. Even though the handles say not insulated from electrical shock, it's what my dad used for many years as an electrician so I make sure its in my hand too when I'm doing electrical work. As mentioned previously, made in the USA as well.
SnapOn here. Have had the same set for 25 years, but....
When I need a chisel, I use a chisel. When I need a prybar, I use a prybar, SnapOn as well. When I need a good screwdriver, that is what I use.
I have a drawer with ever changing junk screwdrivers that I do abuse, but the good set is just for screws. I did break one tip, but it was replaced free as is their policy.
Just a note on Klein. The tools at the box stores are definately not of the same quality. I have carried Klein sidecuts for ever, and working out of town I hit one too many live wires with the old Kleins.
Went to a box store and bought a pair and they were useless. Wouldn't cut Jack. Threw them out.
So I looked up a electrical supply house and bought a pair from them, just like my old ones and am still using them daily.
Not sure about their screwdrivers, but I would suspect that they have the same compromised quality to sell at a pricepoint at the Borg. Never liked their handles myself anyway.
Screwdrivers involve too much hand preference, once you get to good ones. I have Williams branded ones, that are sisters to the old Snap on hard handled ones, that are in my mechanics tools. I have older Craftsman ones that are around the house/light duty type of use, and can be modified if I need to make a special tool. I have some Napa branded ones that are made by Witte that are good (better then Craftsman but I prefer the hex bolsters to the holes in the handle for additional torque). I have the Rockler sold wooden handled ones that are rebranded Felo's, in my portable/car tool kit, because I couldn't afford the Wera Chiseldrivers I wanted at the time. (both have shafts that run all the way through for light impact use). My preference is the Williams or Wera (US or German made). Wera, Witte and Wiha and PB Swiss, all seem to be equal in general terms with feel and differences like handle hole verses hex bolsters. I DON'T like Xcelite with their pukey smelling ones (grew up around them).