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View Full Version : OK, Who makes REALLY GOOD screwdrivers? Or, Apparently Craftsman is the new HF.



Matt Meiser
04-04-2012, 6:49 PM
I'm so sick of the apparently lead tips on my Craftsman screwdrivers! Besides $nap-On (who the last time I needed something gave me a hard time about meeting up with the driver) who makes a really good set of screwdrivers? For square drive screws I recently bought a set of Gearwrench, but that's a little different because those typically have a hardened insert for a tip.

And where can I buy or order what you recommend?

I think I'm going to take all my Craftsman screwdrivers back to Sears, make them exchange all for new (or honor the guarantee written above the door) and sell them on CL! Already did that with all my last round of horrible Craftsman ratchets. Went with Kobalt on those after reading some good reviews.

Brian Elfert
04-04-2012, 7:21 PM
I like the Klein screwdrivers sold at Home Depot. They are still made in the USA as far as I know.

I've had no issues with Craftsman ratchets, but I am no mechanic.

Phil Thien
04-04-2012, 7:29 PM
I agree Craftsman is terrible.

The Husky stuff at HD isn't that bad. Though it has been a while since I purchased one.

Klein is very good.

I typically use magnetic drivers w/ interchangeable bits.

Jerome Stanek
04-04-2012, 7:38 PM
Wright tool makes really good tools and they are made here in the USA.

Matt Meiser
04-04-2012, 7:42 PM
I've had no issues with Craftsman ratchets, but I am no mechanic.

The last couple I exchanged have steadily declined in the quality of the ratchet action. The deal breaker was ones that slipped going the other way.

Bruce Page
04-04-2012, 7:50 PM
Matt, I replaced my Craftsman with this set: Wiha 30297 12-Piece Slotted and Phillips Screwdriver Set (http://www.amazon.com/Wiha-30297-12-Piece-Phillips-Screwdriver/dp/B000T9SI60/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1IRXMQWFOA342&colid=1ZI05Y725T4CB)


They are much nicer.

Zach England
04-04-2012, 7:53 PM
You know Lie-Nielsen sells screwdrivers, right?

Jason Roehl
04-04-2012, 8:07 PM
How apropos. I swear under my breath every time I grab for a slotted screwdriver from my stash of Craftsman tools. Virtually every one has a mangled tip of some sort, most of them damaged during proper use (but I was putting some mojo into them). A couple MAY have been used to pry on something or other when the tips chipped or broke. Maybe. Could have happened.

ben searight
04-04-2012, 8:12 PM
I think the Lie-Nielsen screwdrivers are made for specifically for working on planes. There's not much of a selection.

And I agree, the Craftsman screwdrivers thouroughly suck.

Brian Kent
04-04-2012, 8:20 PM
I like the harbor freight vacuum packed 12 screwdrivers for $7.99.
I lose them before the tip wears out and I am only out $.72 with tax.;)
And furthermore, any screwdriver that isn't orange with a black cushion grip belongs to my wife, so we don't have to keep track anymore.

Bob Lloyd
04-04-2012, 8:33 PM
+1 for Klein

David G Baker
04-04-2012, 8:43 PM
I still have my 40 year old Craftsman screwdrivers and they are still fine but I have not purchased any of the newer Sears/K-mart/Craftsman tools. I purchased a set of the Craftsman Commercial screwdrivers off of Ebay and they are great. (they are the black ones). Thanks for letting me know about the decline in quality of the Craftsman tools.

John Coloccia
04-04-2012, 8:46 PM
Craftsman screwdrivers are made of cream cheese. I tossed every Phillips Craftsman I have. I kept the flat blades for prying things and putting on bandsaw tires. For everything else, I've been using Wera and have been very pleased.

Larry Frank
04-04-2012, 8:51 PM
I have a set of Wear screwdrivers and they are the nicest that I have used.

That said, as I get older and my hands have issues I have been very careful about making certain that they feel good in my hands.

Matt Meiser
04-04-2012, 8:57 PM
That Wiha set is pretty much exactly the kind of thing I have in mind.

Dont think I could stand to subject the LNs to the abuse of banging around under the hood and handled with greasy hands!

curtis rosche
04-04-2012, 9:34 PM
+1 for klein. all of the tools i use at home are klein bought from the supply house back when my stepdad worked for himself

Myk Rian
04-04-2012, 9:44 PM
Hey, Matt;
It's April. Garage sales have started up anew.
That's where you can get the good ones.

jason thigpen
04-04-2012, 10:27 PM
I'm a mechanic. And I agree Craftsman screwdrivers suck. Snap-On thinks way too highly of their tools as well. My personal preference are SK screwdrivers and ones made by Stahlwillie, a European tool manufacturer. I get mine from a dealer who stops by the shop. Not sure if they are available online or not. And on a related note, anyone looking for a great set of pliers, no matter what type, should seriously consider anything made by Knipex. Best pliers in the world, hands down.

Dave Lehnert
04-04-2012, 10:35 PM
I am amazed that you guys keep a screwdriver long enough to damage one. I bet I have 100 screw drivers in my shop. Most all purchased off the $1.00 clearance rack. A lot of Craftsman too. I can't ever remember damaging a screwdriver.
I have a friend who is big on Snap-on tools. I tell him all the time I can only afford Snap-off tools. :)

Ron Jones near Indy
04-04-2012, 10:40 PM
Check your local NAPA store. I'm not sure what they will have. If the one near you is like mine, they will tell you if you want one or not.

Greg R Bradley
04-04-2012, 10:44 PM
I'm a mechanic. And I agree Craftsman screwdrivers suck. Snap-On thinks way too highly of their tools as well. My personal preference are SK screwdrivers and ones made by Stahlwillie, a European tool manufacturer. I get mine from a dealer who stops by the shop. Not sure if they are available online or not. And on a related note, anyone looking for a great set of pliers, no matter what type, should seriously consider anything made by Knipex. Best pliers in the world, hands down.

Knipex pliars are excellent and so are their screwdrivers. Lowes around here has them in the electician's tool section.
Wiha, Stahlwille also excellent. All three brands made in Germany.

I only resort to Snap-On for Posi-Drive screwdrivers. They are excellent but way too much money. About Snap-On, I say "you can buy better tools, but you can't pay more".

Craftsman has made a 50+ year journey from excellent to good to junk. Most people want junk. I have some 20 year old Craftsman screwdrivers and they are pretty good.

Paul McGaha
04-04-2012, 11:12 PM
I prefer Klein screwdrivers Matt. It's the electrician in me I guess. I got in the trade in 1977 and to a large degree they are still made in the exact same sizes (and model numbers) now as they were back then.

PHM

Van Huskey
04-04-2012, 11:43 PM
I love the small Wiha screw drivers but for "standard" size ones I prefer Wera, available at plenty of online places and Woodcraft.

http://www-us.wera.de/catalog_us.html?L=1&file=/en-US/screwdrivers_kraftform_plus__series_300.html

paul cottingham
04-05-2012, 1:11 AM
Klein make a pretty fine screwdriver. I have kleins that are pretty old, and still fit the screw they are designed for snugly. The handles are easy on my poor, beat up hands, too.

harry hood
04-05-2012, 1:33 AM
I've been kind of a screwdriver nut in the same way that other nuts collect plumb bobs ever since I was a kid. Everything about PB Swiss drivers is wonderful, esp. their electrical ones that are actually sized correctly for IEC components. Wiha, Stahwille, Wera, Bondhus, Felo, and SK are all great too. Carbideprocessors.com often has sales on Wiha and Bondhus sets and they are a great store too (no affiliation, just a satisfied customer).

Zach England
04-05-2012, 2:11 AM
I think the Lie-Nielsen screwdrivers are made for specifically for working on planes. There's not much of a selection.

And I agree, the Craftsman screwdrivers thouroughly suck.


There's another use for screwdrivers?

John Lanciani
04-05-2012, 6:08 AM
Another vote for Klein. I will say though that the older ones I have (15-20 yrs) seem to be a little more durable than the newest ones. Could be the Home Depot factor or it could just be my imagination.

Jeff Monson
04-05-2012, 9:36 AM
Matt, If you have a Matco tool dealer in your area, they make a great screwdriver at a not so bad price. Lifetime warranty and the grips are nice also. I have a drawer full of Snap-on and Matco and choose the Matco everytime.

Zach England
04-05-2012, 3:30 PM
Purists may turn their noses up, but I really like this for general screw driving:

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=53912&cat=1,43411,43417&ap=1

Bryan Morgan
04-05-2012, 6:27 PM
USA made Stanley stuff is ok. I haven't had any issues with them. I have twisted the tips off my Craftsman stuff. Other than that if you want to turn your own handles the Lee Valley shanks are pretty good.

Jim Matthews
04-05-2012, 7:58 PM
Dumb luck, I guess, that I bought my Wiha (http://www.thefind.com/search?query=wiha+screwdriver+set) 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...

Kevin Gregoire
04-05-2012, 8:12 PM
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
at all.

Brian Tymchak
04-06-2012, 9:23 AM
I've had my set of Craftsman drivers since I was a teenager and they've pretty much held up under less than ideal.. :rolleyes: ..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.

Kent A Bathurst
04-06-2012, 9:59 AM
And on a related note, anyone looking for a great set of pliers, no matter what type, should seriously consider anything made by Knipex. Best pliers in the world, hands down.

No foolin'!!

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.

Rod Sheridan
04-06-2012, 12:09 PM
Aside from the Euro names mentioned which are properly dimensioned for IEC components, I buy Klein pliers and screwdrivers.........Great product..........Rod.

Andrew Joiner
04-06-2012, 12:24 PM
Craftsman screwdrivers are made of cream cheese. I tossed every Phillips Craftsman I have. I kept the flat blades for prying things and putting on bandsaw tires. For everything else, I've been using Wera and have been very pleased.

Every few years I take some Craftsmen stuff in for the "lifetime warranty". This time they said" Oh, we don't make those anymore",but they did give me some nice cream cheese.

ray hampton
04-06-2012, 3:52 PM
Brownell's sell gunsmith screwdrivers which should last long time

Matt Meiser
04-07-2012, 8:57 PM
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.

Mike Holbrook
04-07-2012, 9:59 PM
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.

Dave Lehnert
04-08-2012, 12:06 AM
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.

Did you check out the electrical section at Lowe's, That is where they stock Klein brand tools.

Kevin W Johnson
04-08-2012, 1:07 AM
Matt,

You wouldn't break them if you didn't use that 36" piece of pipe for a T-handle. :eek:


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.

Steve Meliza
04-08-2012, 2:26 AM
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.

Larry Edgerton
04-08-2012, 8:29 AM
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.

Larry

Larry Edgerton
04-08-2012, 8:43 AM
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.

Larry

Randal Stevenson
04-08-2012, 8:45 AM
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).

ray hampton
04-08-2012, 2:31 PM
screwdrivers are not all of that hard to made to suit yourselves, so if your job demand a good driver, visit a machine shop and pay them to make a set of screwdrivers to your specs.

Brian Elfert
04-08-2012, 3:11 PM
Slightly off the topic, but what are good pry bars to buy? Is there really any difference between pry bars? I like to buy American made when possible, but a good USA made set is like $80 from what I see so far.

I have a nice Klien screwdriver my friend bent and broke the blade by using it as a pry bar.

Peter Kelly
04-08-2012, 3:14 PM
Wera and Felo are both good. The Felo ones have somewhat softer plastic on the handles and are slightly less expensive than Wera.

http://chadstoolbox.com/felo.aspx
http://chadstoolbox.com/kraftformplus.aspx

Matt Meiser
04-08-2012, 11:01 PM
Well, here's what I did. For larger general purpose/mechanical work I bought an 8-piece Matco set off EBay for about $80. I then bought a 7 piece set of Wiha precision screwdrivers for the small sizes like 0 and smaller Phillips and comparable flat blade which will allow me to toss an odd assortment of no-name junk in those sizes.

All Craftsman showing signs of wear were exchanged at Sears after a hassle from the clerk about a made up ten piece per day limit. I've got a call into the hotline set up by their VP of Hardware about that issue since the store management representative I spoke with declined my request to apologize in writing and state that there are no limits on the warranty ( I wanted that for next time since I've been hassled a number of times in recent years.). The NIB/LN screwdrivers are going up for sale for $2.50 each.

Randal Stevenson
04-09-2012, 5:17 AM
Slightly off the topic, but what are good pry bars to buy? Is there really any difference between pry bars? I like to buy American made when possible, but a good USA made set is like $80 from what I see so far.

I have a nice Klien screwdriver my friend bent and broke the blade by using it as a pry bar.

Wilde makes good prybars. Craftsman rebrands Wilde ones but with how Sears is becoming lately, I would more likely shop Harry Epstein's.

Rich Engelhardt
04-09-2012, 12:09 PM
Circus Circus in Vegas makes great screwdrivers and bloody Mary's as well.
They make the screwdrivers by filling a glass with vodka and showing the glass of vodka a picture of an orange.
They do the same with the bloody Marys except they show the glass a picture of a can of tomato juice.
Their screwdrivers and bloody Marys taste exactly alike....no mystery there...

:D

Brian Elfert
04-09-2012, 12:10 PM
Wilde makes good prybars. Craftsman rebrands Wilde ones but with how Sears is becoming lately, I would more likely shop Harry Epstein's.

Thanks for the info. These Wilde pry bars are a lot cheaper than other made in USA ones I can find.

John Lohmann
04-09-2012, 1:19 PM
What about prybars, I would imagine they would have to be good

Larry Klaaren
04-10-2012, 2:51 PM
I was at Auto Advantage the other day, and noticed they appeared to have tools of a higher quality than I had just purchased at Lowes and HD. When my son turned 20 I bought him a set of tools and a tool box. He could not have been less thrilled. He uses them almost every day on his paint ball team's guns and fixing XBox 360's, so these are smaller tools, and mine are mostly where they belong. Although my square showed up in his room the other day - I have no idea why he needed that, but he may get one for his 21st birthday. Any way, I had been disappointed by the tools at the big boxes, and saw those later at the auto store.

Chris Tsutsui
04-11-2012, 4:26 PM
I don't really understand why all the bashing of craftsman screw drivers. I have some that have to be over 20 years old and they seem fine. There's even a set of craftsman screwdrivers at my local IKEA that people abuse daily to assemble their flat pack particle board furniture, and to my surprise, the tips were still functional though they look the tools look like they were tossed in a rock tumbler.

Maybe the newer batch of steel and hardening process has undergone some changes, but for the nit picky there's craftsman professional screw drivers...

Anyway, I have Klein screw drivers that are pretty good, but I can always rely on the old craftsman ones. I've found that screwdrivers are becoming a thing of the past in my garage for I can grab a 10.8V driver, add an extension if I want, and use any bit insert to do most jobs faster.

What interests me is the yankee style spiral ratchet driver. I'll wait till the price drops though.

BTW, I've had one instance of craftsman cream cheese and that was like a T-25 socket bit that appears that it wasn't hardened at all. :) One small hand twist on a Chrysler ignition coil bolt and the torx bit resembled a twisted finial.

Greg Portland
04-11-2012, 7:32 PM
I don't really understand why all the bashing of craftsman screw drivers. I have some that have to be over 20 years old and they seem fine.Quality has changed significantly since you purchased your set. I have old (30+ yrs) and new Craftsman tools and there is no comparison in terms of fit & durability. I have a small set of Wiha drivers that are great. I use Wera BiTorsion bits for my impact driver (the Wiha stuff is too hard / prone to breakage IMO for impact use).

Roy Turbett
04-13-2012, 12:20 AM
USA made Stanley stuff is ok. I haven't had any issues with them. I have twisted the tips off my Craftsman stuff. Other than that if you want to turn your own handles the Lee Valley shanks are pretty good.

I bought a set of Stanley "Contractor Grade" screwdrivers and bent the tip with the first screw I drove. I don't know of any Stanley screwdrivers being made in the USA anymore.

Randal Stevenson
04-13-2012, 12:26 AM
I bought a set of Stanley "Contractor Grade" screwdrivers and bent the tip with the first screw I drove. I don't know of any Stanley screwdrivers being made in the USA anymore.


Well Stanley actually has some marked as made in the USA, but they lost multiple lawsuits to the government for marking tools Made in the USA, when they were finished here. (Mac, Husky, etc. can be found out about online)
So I tend to be leary about what they say.

harry hood
04-13-2012, 3:34 AM
One of the Lees (of Lee Valley) has said that they've been approached by Chinese manufacturers who said they could stamp whatever country of origin was wanted on tools. I doubt Lee Valley's integrity is common with the other large North American brands.

Mike Henderson
04-13-2012, 11:46 AM
One of the Lees (of Lee Valley) has said that they've been approached by Chinese manufacturers who said they could stamp whatever country of origin was wanted on tools. I doubt Lee Valley's integrity is common with the other large North American brands.
There are fairly serious penalties for misrepresenting the country of origin. But sometimes it's difficult to figure out what country gets to claim a product because the parts are made in many countries - example: automobiles. There's a set of rules that determine what country is the country of origin in those cases.

Mike

Matt Meiser
04-13-2012, 12:12 PM
I complained to Sears's Craftsman VP's hotline about quality and the run-around I got on exchanging the Craftsman ones I have that needed replacement under warranty. I told them I wanted them to honor the guarantee printed over the door "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" I'm informed that's no longer their policy and they declined to honor it. They sent me a $50 gift card so I can buy more junk from a has-been failing company. Since I've out of town I stopped into a Sears thats in the mall near the hotel and looked around. I think I'll use it to buy some non-Sears lawn and garden items I need anyway and just be done with Sears other than warranty.

My Matco's and Wihas are sitting home waiting for me. 6 or 7 more hours of airport, airplane, and car time and I can check them out.

Brian Elfert
04-13-2012, 12:46 PM
There are fairly serious penalties for misrepresenting the country of origin. But sometimes it's difficult to figure out what country gets to claim a product because the parts are made in many countries - example: automobiles. There's a set of rules that determine what country is the country of origin in those cases.


A lot of stuff says assembled in the USA. I assume that means most (maybe all) of the parts were made in another country and they just do a little bit of assembly work in the USA. I suspect they do the assembly in the USA just so they can say assembled in the USA. I wonder how much assembly is required to qualify for "Assembled in the USA"? Obviously it has to be more than just packaging bulk product for retail sale.

Rich Engelhardt
04-13-2012, 1:09 PM
If it's any comfort.....
I used some of the Pittsburgh (Harbor Freight) screwdrivers the other day.
My wife picked themup for free w/a coupon.

However bad Craftsman's are, I doubt they come close to being as bad as the Pittsburgh ones.
All of them have handles that aren't tight. There's easily a quater turn of free play in each one.

LOL!
Maybe they have a clutch!

Matt Meiser
04-14-2012, 11:02 AM
The Matco's and Wiha's were both waiting for me as expected. To be honest, I think Craftsman makes a better or at least more refined handle. Both new sets have some mold parting lines that feel a little unrefined. However the business ends on all are much more refined looking than Craftsman's.

I need to buy a couple pry bars for when appropriate.

Jim Becker
04-14-2012, 7:25 PM
All of my go-to screwdrivers are from McFeeley's.

Matt Meiser
04-14-2012, 7:41 PM
Yeah, but I bet you got them before Grainger bought them and started outsourcing everything to China.

Ty Williams
04-15-2012, 5:28 AM
I am a full-time professional mechanic. I own my own shop and I'm the only one working there. I use my tools, including screwdrivers, daily in a way that's more destructive than anything it's possible to do in woodworking. The flat truth is that all screwdrivers are wear items. On a long enough timeline, every brand is disposable. That being said, there's a list of what are arguably some of the best made, highest precision, and most durable screwdrivers in the world:

1 PB Swiss
2 Vessel
3 Wiha
4 Wera

All of them make staggeringly complete lines of screwdrivers. All of them are very, very high quality. All of them make a confusing number of model lines. Wera and Wiha make "value" lines as well as top-quality lines, so know what you're buying. In the end, the top lines from each company are so good that it absolutely comes down to nothing more than how a particular model fits in your hands. My suggestion is to buy a screwdriver from each brand out of whatever model lines seem likely to fit your hand well and try them out. You can then sell the ones you don't like for 80% of what you paid for them or more. Then buy a complete selection of whatever feels good in your hand. For me, it was the PB Swiss SwissGrip model line. YMMV.

Phil Thien
04-15-2012, 10:50 AM
I'm surprised more people don't use the 1/4" drive bits.

While I have several nice Klein screwdrivers, I hardly use them. I use the bits for just about everything. I have two handles that use them (plan on adding more), so I can keep two different bits ready. And they work great in the drill, too.

The bits are very hard. I've broken them on occasion.

Richard Wagner
04-15-2012, 11:33 AM
I have used Xcelite screw drivers for many, many years but I am afraid to recommend them because I don't know what those being manufactured today are like. Many years ago, I bought a set of Craftsman screw drivers for the "household tool box". This was done to prevent migration of tools; they are distinctively different than all of my Xcelites. These have held up just as well as have the Xcelites but then they are twenty years old and not representative of today's Craftsman tools.

David G Baker
04-15-2012, 1:15 PM
Richard W,
I also have a set of Xcelite screw drivers and socket hand tools by them. They are close to 30 years old and still in great shape but I only use them for electronic work. I also have a set of the interchangeable screw driver and socket tools and they are still in almost new shape. My Craftsman tools were purchased in the mid 60's and except for the Phillips drivers are still in great shape.

Zach England
04-15-2012, 3:33 PM
Well thanks to this thread I just dropped close to $200 on screwdrivers.

I had no idea my old screwdrivers were inadequate...

Matt Meiser
04-15-2012, 3:37 PM
Gee Zach, I've only spent about $100. :eek:

Paul McGaha
04-15-2012, 3:49 PM
Screwdrivers are expensive these days. I was just at the Home Depot site pricing the Klein screwdrivers. Averaging about $10 each.

Dang. I hope they're less than that in the supply houses.

PHM

Zach England
04-15-2012, 4:49 PM
I ordered a larger Wiha set, a smaller Wiha set and some various other drivers I use from Felo.

Brian Elfert
04-15-2012, 7:11 PM
Screwdrivers are expensive these days. I was just at the Home Depot site pricing the Klein screwdrivers. Averaging about $10 each.


I last bought Klein screwdrivers at Home Depot about four or five years ago and I seem to recall they cost around $6 or $7 back then. I thought they were expensive even at the lower prices.

Klein makes some nice multi drivers if you don't want to carry multiple screwdrivers although they can be a little short.

Kevin W Johnson
04-15-2012, 9:07 PM
Gee Zach, I've only spent about $100. :eek:

Any luck selling the "cream cheese" after this thread? I'm guessing the 162 viewers on the FS thread have all seen this one first.:eek:

Matt Meiser
04-15-2012, 9:43 PM
Some. Some people have said they are good so I figure it's worth a shot.

Matt Meiser
04-16-2012, 10:16 AM
Wilde makes good prybars. Craftsman rebrands Wilde ones but with how Sears is becoming lately, I would more likely shop Harry Epstein's.

Thanks--I ordered a set of these as well. I have GOT to plan some time to stop by this place next time I'm in KC!

Carl Beckett
04-16-2012, 2:26 PM
Well thanks to this thread I just dropped close to $200 on screwdrivers.

I had no idea my old screwdrivers were inadequate...


!!!! Classic.

Well..... since going with cordless, I avoid screwdrivers all together. Dont remember what it was but a while back the cordless wasnt available and I was 'forced' to drive a screw by hand and was swearing the whole time....... smh. Ive gotten old, lazy, and soft.....

Jim Koepke
04-16-2012, 2:55 PM
Craftsman has made a 50+ year journey from excellent to good to junk. Most people want junk. I have some 20 year old Craftsman screwdrivers and they are pretty good.

A coworker once told me that Sears did a survey to determine if their customers would prefer quality or price.

Price won.

So we can blame it on the customers that answered the survey.

I have worked with many people who feel a low price is more important than if the tool shaped object will work well at its purpose.

Often people will buy a tool for onetime use.

jtk

ray hampton
04-16-2012, 4:13 PM
A coworker once told me that Sears did a survey to determine if their customers would prefer quality or price.

Price won.

So we can blame it on the customers that answered the survey.

I have worked with many people who feel a low price is more important than if the tool shaped object will work well at its purpose.

Often people will buy a tool for onetime use.

jtk


I buy cheap tools too but if I were 50 miles from the store and my life depend on a screwdriver, I I I hope that the screwdriver in the tool box perform as needed, screwdrivers with parallel sides are the best since they do not damaged the screw slot as badly

Zach England
04-16-2012, 4:53 PM
To me tools honestly are not really tools. They are more like objects from which i derive satisfaction. Neither my life, safety nor income will ever depend on anything as trivial as a screwdriver, much less a smoothing plane or dovetail saw They really are toys for me. If I didn't like them I'd buy cheap ones.

ray hampton
04-16-2012, 5:28 PM
To me tools honestly are not really tools. They are more like objects from which i derive satisfaction. Neither my life, safety nor income will ever depend on anything as trivial as a screwdriver, much less a smoothing plane or dovetail saw They really are toys for me. If I didn't like them I'd buy cheap ones.

computers, cars and houses are tools for some people and their income and safety even their lives depend on the easy and quick access to them

Bruce Page
04-16-2012, 6:54 PM
!!!! Classic.

Well..... since going with cordless, I avoid screwdrivers all together. Dont remember what it was but a while back the cordless wasnt available and I was 'forced' to drive a screw by hand and was swearing the whole time....... smh. Ive gotten old, lazy, and soft.....

LOL, I experienced the same phenomenon last weekend putting up a bird feeder. I debated digging out the DeWalt driver or going neander with the handy screwdriver. Next time I will dig out the DeWalt... :rolleyes:

Matt Meiser
04-19-2012, 3:06 PM
OK, I got my Wilde pry bars from Eppsteins today. $35 shipped and I get this huge box. These things are gigantic. Granted the are the sizes advertised but that didn't register well in my mind. They'll come in handy for sure, but now I need to find what must be classified as a mini-prybar for all those former screwdriver-as-prybar jobs! They feel really nicely made too.

daniel lane
04-19-2012, 3:30 PM
USA made Stanley stuff is ok. I haven't had any issues with them. I have twisted the tips off my Craftsman stuff. Other than that if you want to turn your own handles the Lee Valley shanks are pretty good.

I must have USA-made Stanley. I bought a set of 8 black-and-yellow handled Stanleys about 20 years ago and they've held up fairly well. That said, for a while I switched to using a yellow-handled multi-driver (similar to the LV, but not ratcheting) from ACE (purchased about 15 years ago) and intermittently used that instead. Never had a problem with either.

I also have a single clear yellow handled Stanley #2 phillips that has a partially melted tip from where I inadvertently touched both terminals on the garbage disposal (it was a tight area to work in, and I didn't remove the screwdriver before turning to readjust...learned that lesson QUICK!). It has performed excellently for over 20 years.

Regarding Craftsman in general, I have a cman socket set that was a gift from my brother just over 20 years ago. Had to swap the 1/4" ratchet because it broke at least one tooth, but otherwise have had no problems with it. (The swap was painless, as well.)

I'm thinking more and more that I'll have to buy my father a new set of tools and steal all his old ones. :)



daniel

Tim Offutt
04-25-2012, 4:13 PM
Wera, top notch. I have several sets. Where I work we are a distributor for Wera and periodically they offer screwdriver sets at promotional pricing. At my cost they are very cheap so I have stocked up. It is hard not to buy something when the flyers come out.

Here's a link to an example set on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Wera-05018282006-Kraftform-Screwdriver-6-Piece/dp/B0001NQQCC/ref=pd_sbs_indust_46

The really tough ones are the Kraftform Plus 900 Series, The Chiseldriver as they call it. They actually show and describe it in the catalog as having an impact cap on the handle. They extend the shank through the handle to a striking cap on top of the handle. The handles are black with yellow grip inserts. You can find them on the internet for around $50 for a six piece set and rack.

We sell quite a bit of Wera in the industrial market. Most of it are insert bits and the quality and durability is much better than the market leader who seems to have fallen down on quality.

All Wera items are pricey but they are top quality.

Tim

Chris Padilla
04-27-2012, 3:40 PM
Tim just cost me $36.36...even got free shipping. $6.06 per quality screwdriver..that works for me...and the math was easy, too. :)

Zach England
04-27-2012, 5:24 PM
I got a box of Wera and Felo screwdrivers in the mail the other day and I like both brands. I think the handles on the Wera are more comfortable.

Matt Meiser
04-29-2012, 11:12 AM
So I didn't replace my Craftsman Torx screwdrivers because I don't use them that much. I had occasion to use the smallest (T7) this week and does the head strip? No! The handle snaps right in half in my hand. Wihas on order...

Alan Lightstone
05-02-2012, 9:47 PM
Gee thanks, guys. You just talked me into a new set of Wera screwdrivers. Credit card melting as we speak.

My old Craftsman are now becoming useless. Can't imagine how bad new ones are.