Over at Harbor Freight, they recently came out with new Quinn-branded screwdrivers.
Here’s what Harbor Freight says about them:
Precision and durability rolled into one with these magnetic tip screwdrivers from Quinn.
Harbor Freight also says that their new Quinn screwdrivers are “quality-built for daily use.”
Features include square shafts, which you can wrap a wrench around for increased torque, magnetic tips, size markings at the end of the handle, TPR grip material, and handle holes for pegboard storage.
Price: $3.49 for the 2-piece set
The set comes with a Phillips #2 screwdriver, and a 1/4″ slotted. There’s also a 15pc set for $25.
More Info(via Harbor Freight)
So… Harbor Freight Quinn screwdrivers…
Personally, I like the look of the Quinn screwdriver handle shape, which is not too unlike the handles on some of my favorite USA and European-made screwdrivers. But to me, the grip looks a little tacky, but not in a good-grip kind of way. Well, the Quinn screwdriver handles do actually look very grippy (a good thing), but I don’t like the aesthetics of the diamond plate-like texture. It’s something that would grow on me.
Harbor Freight’s user reviews are positive so far.
With inexpensive screwdrivers like this, “you get what you pay for” is often true. Still, they should be functional. The price for the larger set is congruent with the average entry price point screwdriver sets sold at various home improvement stores.
Frankly, I was surprised to see that Harbor Freight Quinn screwdrivers, or at least this 2pc set, is competitively priced and aggressively featured compared to other entry priced 2pc sets on the market. Even if you look at their 15pc set, the price per driver is competitive when you look at other brands’ 6pc, 8pc, and even larger sets.
When you look at 15pc sets, the Harbor Freight Quinn set is $25, and Husky’s is $30. A Craftsman 12pc set is $25, although it’s not directly comparable since its contents aren’t quite the same.
Compared to other entry price point screwdrivers, the Quinn drivers look to deliver a little more in the way of features, and for a little less money.
Are they durable? Will the tips last over time? How comfortable are the handles? As long as the answers to these questions reflect quality that is at least as good as for other screwdrivers in the same price range ($2-5 for a 2pc set), or at no worse, Harbor Freight can pat themselves on the back.
Would you buy these if you wanted to spend less than $5 on a duo of the most commonly used screwdriver sizes?
Would I? I’d probably go for the Husky first. But for 50 cents less, these Quinn drivers have magnetized tips and hanging holes. For those who want such features, these Harbor Freight drivers might actually be the better choice.
I wouldn’t call these premium screwdrivers, but they actually look good, as far as entry priced screwdrivers go. I’m almost tempted to visit my local store to check out the quality firsthand.
Also in This Price Range
There are not a lot of name-brand options in the same price range as Harbor Freight’s Quinn 2pc screwdriver sets. But, there are enough to draw some context from.
Priced a little lower, this Stanley 2pc screwdriver set is about as basic as you can get. You get round shafts and plastic handles.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Amazon has a basic TradePro 2pc screwdriver set. Like the Stanley set, they have round shafts and plastic handles.
Price: $2.95 as an add-on item
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Husky’s 2pc screwdriver set comes a little closer, also featuring square shafts, which they say is for added strength. The tips are precision machined, and the handles are soft-gripped for reduced slippage.
Compared to these Husky screwdrivers, the Harbor Freight Quinn drivers have added handle texturing (which can be good or bad), hanging holes, and magnetic tips.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
At $30 via Home Depot, Husky’s 15pc set is only a little more expensive than Harbor Freight’s Quinn set ($25).
Spend a little more, and you can get Craftsman’s 2pc set. The shafts are round, but the handles are ergonomically shaped with a bi-material grip.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
Irwin’s 2pc demo driver screwdriver offers an excellent grip, and although you don’t get square shafts or hex bolsters, the shafts are strong and go through to the metal strike cap.
Demo drivers typically come with Phillips #2 and 5/16″ slotted screwdrivers.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
Budget up to $10, and you get into “demo driver” territory, with steel end caps and heavy duty construction.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
I have Stanley FatMax made-in-England demo drivers, purchased for around the same price years ago, and would pick them over any of the other screwdrivers shown here.
At the under $10 range, there are a number of multi-bit screwdriver options, although selection definitely improves if you can go to the $10-20 price range.
I really like the Pittsburgh Pro screwdrivers so if the Quinn are better than that, I’m sure I will like the Quinn drivers as well.
I don’t like the way the Quinn handles look. I’m not sure why, but I don’t. If they are good drivers, I would still consider giving them a shot.
As to round or square shafts, how strong do they really have to be? As long as you are using them as screw drivers and not pry bars, does round or square really matter in terms of strength? I know some like square shafts to use a wrench on, bit I have never twisted the shaft on a screw driver. Deformed tips, sure, but never twisted a shaft.
Where do they come up with all these random names for each new line they’re cranking out? Curiosity aside, no-I could not be less interested in HF’s newest “we promise THESE ones are actually great” brand. If in every looking to upgrade home or shop storage, their boxes are about the only thing I hear decent things about. Other than that, I’ll continue actively avoiding harbor freight.
Yeah, it’s like they throw darts at a wall covered with names to put on new products. My theory is, unlike other places that store-brand everything with the same name (Craftsman, Husky, etc) is they put all kinds of different names on products so they have like 100 different “brands” in store, giving them the appearance of variety, allowing them to try a Good, Better, Best type model, and, the biggest one, so nobody can keep track of them all, so when you see Quinn, Bauer, McGraw, or some such thing, you don’t immediately associate it with Harbor Freight.
Their runaway branding has gotten out of hand recently. The company I work for, (one everyone reading here would recognize by the products we make and their brand names, but not by our company name) just had one of our brand’s name, logo, and color scheme blatantly copied by Harbor Freight to sell products in an a different category, but in the same trade and workshops. A little birdy way up at the top of the tree told me they might be getting a cease and desist letter for that one soon. I’m waiting to see if Harbor Freight pulls the products.
Yeah, I agree that they must “throw darts at a wall covered with names”. I recall when they rolled out all these “new” offerings with ridiculous names like “Doyle” pliers and “Drummond” pumps as well as the ones you mentioned. They are seemingly designed disassociate from the stigma of Harbor Freight’s “Pittsburgh” brand and appeal to grass roots tradesmen. By far my favorite is their “new” solar panels which are branded “Thunderbolt Magnum”. With a name like that they ought to be good, right?!
I think Quinn is a great name for a product, maybe they’ll give a fellow Quinn some samples! Lol
Yeah, it’s been a scheme of theirs for quite awhile now, to give the appearance of a regular tool store that has hundreds of products from lots of different companies, when in fact, of course almost all of it is made by and for HF themselves, or at least the same companies they’ve done business with overseas to design and manufacture products.
I have heard many rumors that the new Quinn line of tools at HF is the Kobalt brand that use to be sold at Lowes. Lowes has gone with Craftsman and no longer carries Kobalt brand tools, this left the maker of the Kobalt brand looking for a new retailer to sell their wares.
I’ll stick with my snappy screw drivers?
When I first saw them I thought, “wow, they are going directly after Husky with these.” They look like Husky was what they decided to copy.
Lots of other screw drivers in this range offer big sets at fantastic sale prices around the holidays and father’s day but also offer more sizes and lengths and everything available as singles so you can expand your set. That’s the biggest reason I didn’t consider HF for screwdrivers, or sockets or wrenches for that matter.
Looking for real world experience actually using these things.
So far the reviews are only cute comments about the authors.
The 2pc set is cheap enough that you can buy it, determine if you like the quality and style, and then buy the 15pc set if that’s the set you’re wondering about. If it doesn’t work out, use them for emergency spares or return them.
I might pick up a set for review, but it’ll be impossible to be fully objective about them. On one hand I’m stubbornly particular about screwdrivers, which would bias me against them. On the other hand, they’d practically have to be the worst screwdrivers on the planet for me to find much negativity about a 2pc set of screwdrivers that essentially cost $1.75 each.
With the ever present 20% and free items with purchase coupons you could walk out for just over $3 and something free. Have to agree, it would gave to be a complete failure at $1.50-$1.75 to dis or dismiss it.
I’ve found, for the money, these screwdrivers can’t be beat. I bought the two piece set just as a test to see how good they are. After a year they are performing as good as any Craftsman in my toolbox. If I needed screwdrivers I would not hesitate to by the large set
I got the 15 piece Quinn set with a coupon for $17.99 when they first came out. You can also use the Harbor Freight 20% off coupon when a Quinn specific is not available, bringing the 15 piece to $20. I love the set. The drivers are strong, lifetime warranty, but if I misplace one I don’t feel like I lost an expensive tool.
I also have an older Pittsburgh Pro set of drivers. I’ve used these in the past to demolish and pry and hammer. The Pittsburgh Pro set all still works, so I expect the Quinn’s to do very well over the long haul.
If going to HF I’d go with Pittsburgh Pro. At least I know they’re guaranteed.
The new Quinn screwdrivers are absolutely awesome. They lock into my hand so solidly and comfortably that I’m starting to question… “Maybe I just never handled a “professional” series screwdriver before?” Because these are above and beyond anything I’ve ever handled. The soft rubbery handles are super comfortable and super grippy without being “sticky”. The palm swells are just the right size and shape to allow you to get the most leverage possible. If you can’t break “it” loose with one of these then you need to go get a power tool because no other hand tool will get the job done either… The shafts are super thick and extra ridged from the full square shafts running from handle-to-tip. These are by far the best screwdrivers I’ve seen or used. Ide love to see a reviewer “dissect” one to see it’s insides (mainly how the handles are attached and how deep the shaft goes into the handle). I ordered the bottle opener first to judge the quality. That way if I liked it, I could pickup the full set of screwdrivers and not have any useless doubles. Even the bottle opener is awesome! This is not a shill review. These screwdrivers just really made me question all screwdrivers I’ve used previously. I don’t know anything about the individual grinds and how they mate with each respective fastener. I just know that the few times I’ve used them they were perfect and felt like I had all the leverage my arm could generate.
I bought a set of Tekton screwdrivers when Sam’s cleared them out and they are very nice. I like them better than I thought I would. The handles look funny but are comfortable. The two piece set is $8.16 regular at Home Depot, but online only. I paid less than $10 for the 12 piece set which think was a steal. I also have the Pittsburgh Pro set and they are a great inexpensive set. No sure about the grip on the Quinn.
John T Smith
I just bought the new Quinn screwdriver set and they are worth every penny. Stating this as price alone being most important you will find it’s a great value. But use them and see for yourself. It’s clear that you can buy a “better” product than this for more money. But it is also clear that you cant buy this much product for less .
I’m glad Harbor Freight is trying new stuff. It seems like there was at least a 10 year period where they just kept selling the same stuff and there were no noticeable changes in their stores. I’ll have to take a close at these screwdrivers the next time I’m there.
I have the Dewalt 2 piece set and they are used every day. Great screwdrivers. Can take a beating. Won’t bend or break easily. Would I consider any of the other ones you posted? Likely not. But that’s not to say that they’re bad screwdrivers. I don’t think that I have ever encountered a screwdriver that can’t be used every day. I’ve got some that are older than me and still in great shape. Typically when a screwdriver breaks or bends it’s due to improper usage. As for Quinn brand screwdrivers, I’ve never heard of them as with most of hf brands and tools. I am still curious to know how and where hf finds these brands that only they seem to know about and why they can’t be found anywhere else but harbor freight and why no one else sells these mysterious brands products. You would think that if any of them made tools to compete with some of the more popular brands sold at big box stores(like hf advertises) and respectable online outlets that they would be distributed by vendors and sold through a respectable company with a better reputation than harbor freight. I don’t think harbor freight’s brands has vendors. Which is why nobody can find these brands because they are all the same one single brand sold only by the same single company. Quinn is Pittsburgh.
The Quinn’s look like blatant knockoffs of the Husky’s, down to the square shafts, just with a gimmicky textured handle, because HF can’t help themselves from making goofy looking stuff.
While I like my various screwdrivers of many brands and price points, I also have and use the 98-cent “Project Source” screwdrivers from Lowe’s, and they are quite impressive, for the price. I use the #2 quite a bit and the tip hasn’t worn yet, even after a few years of use. The handle feels about “right” for what you’d expect, it’s a comfortable, basic screwdriver.
Also, the basic Stanley screwdrivers are Made in the USA, or at least the packaging says they are, no idea if it’s “with Global Materials” or not. The handles are a little small (which might be good for some users) and I don’t really like the odd shape of the Philips/Cross tips, but they do work, and pretty well.
I also have the Performance Tool version of the TradePro, which just has black handles instead of red, and they are pretty good too, but also have an odd shape and cheap feel, but are fine so far.
If HF wanted anyone to try/use this stuff and buy the larger sets, they should have free coupons for these smaller sets.
I have several brands of screwdrivers, and Stanlty are my least favorite. The metal seems soft.
The only free screwdrivers I’ve gotten from HF have been worth what I paid for them.
To me, HF is roughly equivalent to a lot of the Chinese-branded stuff available on Amazon, except you can buy it locally. (And, yes, I do like some of their stuff, but some of it I won’t take, even if its “free with coupon”).
I think they make a run of copied tools and if they get away wit then they make them again under the Pittsburgh brand.
It doesn’t take a lot to “copy” a hand tool. Lot’s of people know how to make then, what goes into a good one, I don’t believe there are any existing patents on flat or Phillips screwdrivers. They can make any screwdriver product they want to target a particular quality-price point. If they are “copying” anything it is branding and trademarking, which may have varying degrees of protection. If it is, they can be sued over that, but not over the actual tool sold.
The hang holes might come in handy for me. I’m doing a workshop organize and am trying to hang a few things I use all the time close by. I may try the 2-piece set, but unlikely to buy a larger set. Also useful for loaners or working outdoors where you don’t want to take your Wera screwdrivers. I don’t have many of those, but they don’t leave my workshop.
I think most of us who regularly read this website – and especially those who comment – are going to be suspicious of extremely budget-oriented screwdrivers. We’re just not the demographic.
For the price, it sounds good on paper. I just think I would prefer to spend more and get more.
Even near that price point I would probably just watch for a deal on a screwdriver set I wanted more. E.g. I bought a 3-piece Phillips set from Wurth recently for about $10 Canadian. I think those screwdrivers are actually rebranded Felo. Whatever they are, they are my current favorite and were a steal for that price.
However, I think a fair retort would be that the Harbor Freight drivers are still cheaper and you don’t need to wait for any special sale.
I guess I’d give them a try – but usually if I’m reaching for a manual standard screw driver it’s because my bit style drivers don’t fit – or I can’t get enough torque on it.
At which point I reach for either a bit holder ratchet (more often than not) or if it’s a reaching issue I reach for one of my quality screw drivers where I find the extra money is often in the tip design, trueness, and strength. I have had cheapo screw drivers and I keep a few for other tasks like prying. I would consider these like that – I suspect the tips aren’t as square and clean as a quality drivers.
Also I find most quality drivers have a hex bolster on them which I prefer to a squared shaft.
The handle looks tacky but I’ll pick up a set the next time I’m on the mainland to replace the stinky-handle Craftsman set I have that’s stinking up the truck.
Man, those are still my go to’s. I bought one of the last sets of USA Craftsman Professional screwdrivers our local Sears had a couple years ago before they closed. I’ve also had several other brands over the years. Yet I still tend to grab the acetate ones. I can just spin them in my fingers so quick. I was hoping SBD would bring them back USA made though. The new ones just don’t look right not saying Made In USA.
I have had 2 sets of the Dewalt Demo drivers. The slotted drivers broke on the first 2 minutes of use. What use is a phillips demo?
Sometimes you need to push or press through 20 layers of paint?
They’re good for when you’ve got cruddy, rusted philips heads that a screwdriver/bit won’t fit into to engage properly – put the philips demo on and bang it until it chisels out the crud. Particularly useful in cases where access is limited and you can’t just get a wire brush in there or otherwise properly clean/scrape it, and where you want the fastener removed and breaking/stripping/damaging it would mean more time and hassle.
I also hear they are the go-to tool for punching holes in things when more specialty tools (i.e. a drill) aren’t available. Supposedly the DeWalt/Stanley Philips Demo Drivers will go through a 2×4 without issue.
I didn’t *want* to like them b/c it’s, well, HF. But I have them and they feel great and work better than most. We might have to admit that HF actually has a few good hand tools made for them now. Power tools still fail the teardown test. When you take them apart, you can see the inferior parts used as compared to Dewalt or even Ryobi.
Reading both the article and comments I am still unsure if the handles are a hard non flexing plastic or soft cushion type handle? I am cautious of any type of tool with a “grippy” type of texture as I have had various items over the years such as remote controls, etc that the “grippy” type substance degrades into a “tacky” almost gel type material that cannot even be wiped clean. It’s frustrating because once it reaches this stage the only thing you can do is throw them out!
Absolutely. I have some expensive “Precision” screwdrivers with grippy, now gooey handles. I put chalk on them to cut the stickiness. Now they look like little ghosts in my tool drawer.
HF says it has a TPR handle grip material.
TPR is ThermoPlastic Rubber, which is usually a soft rubber-like grip material.
Yes, these new Quinn screwdrivers are much better than the others at HF. Handles are nice and fit your hand, who really cares what they look like? Only real problem I have with them is that the markings on the shaft for what size it is was done before the chrome plating and there is no contrast, there also are not any markings on the handle to show what you have from any distance.
I won’t buy ANY screwdriver with a rubbery grip. Oil, sun, and oxygen soon turn them into goo. Give me hard plastic handles any day.
I rather round shanks, they allow me to spin them up faster on machine screws.
HF tools really….there are dozens of new tools out from real companies.
Wiha HD micro finish for auto . Wera laser tip for precision. Felo wood handle set (full shank,leather top), because it’s awesome…
All cheap screwdrivers are just that , cheap. No balance,no quality, crappy tips.
Craftsman is the avg Joe standard and Snap On is the auto standard. HF is,well, HF.
Lowes has the Craftman 20 pc. Set marked down to $19.98
Which one? There are a ton of different SKUs, nothing quite similar to the HF set.
Just came back from HF, their QUINN socket sets actually looked really good. I wouldnt get them but they looked very polished.
Like everything else HF they don’t look really good to me when they still skip sizes that I need and don’t sell singles to fill in/expand.
Having a bit of knowledge in Asian tool manufacturing, the chance that the “Quinn” screwdrivers and the Husky screwdrivers being produced by the same manufacturer is quite high. Shared and purchased technology is a common practice in this field with the actual tool manufacturing company owning specific details of the tools like the steel properties. The recent increase of better quality items at Harbor Freight is a familiar pattern seen from others as well.
Yep, I thought the same thing, possibly the same factory as Apex Husky, Apex could be having anybody make them, which, in turn, could lead to being the same place/OEM as HF.
I use several harbor freight tools everyday, not as good as the American made Craftsman, but have not broken any yet.
Local ACE hardware had the made-in-USA Stanley six screwdriver set on sale for $2.99. Frankly, they look cheap and kind of flimsy but picked up couple sets to mail to wife’s family in the Philippines.
Decided to pick up a set of these Quinn screwdrivers on the way home today. Handles are hard rubber material, not soft – so that’s good. Not sure how durable the tips are. Seems like a inexpensive reasonable quality set.
Prefer acetate handle rather than padded handle screwdrivers. Go to is a set of US made Craftsman purchased about 15 years ago. Really like Channellock’s 6-in-1 acetate handle screwdriver(also made-in-USA) – have couple hidden around the house.
I would’ve figured nearly everyone on this site would be using good screwdrivers that they’ve had for maybe ten years, after having bought/lost/passed on their early crappy driver purchases and learned from it. I’m not considering buying these as all the drivers I bought 20 years ago are still more than fine.
For work, I won’t consider tools that *might* be okay. Others need to have confidence in the results I provide, so I make sure to have confidence in what I use.
If HF puts pressure on the tool market overall, I’ll still be on the other end of the spectrum, happily.
So with harbor freight coming out with all these new brands (so many different brands it’s starting to get confusing) such as Quinn,Hercules,Bauer, and many more is there plan to discontinue some of there old brands like Pittsburgh,Chicago,and drill master or to try some how juggling all these diffrent brands and try building them all up at once confusing the consumer market
Mike (the other one)
No thanks. HF likes to invent brands to look like they are a legitimate tool store. HF tools are best used as loaners or for sacrificial work (i.e. using a tool in a place that has a high likely hood of getting lost, stolen or damaged.)
I won’t even touch their power tools. Off-gassing single-use junk.
Mike (the other one)
FYI: I Think the Stanley drivers at the top of the list are also junk.
We always considered cross-point screwdrivers and especially screwdriver bits as consumables. While we expected greater life out of them than we would expect from other consumables like sandpaper – we did not expect a lifetime of use. That’s not to say that we’d ascribe to the notion of buying low-priced ill-fitting drivers. But our work was not of such need of precision that we’d only buy something like PB Swiss. While the crews did not frequent HF – they did sometimes buy screwdrivers at HD – sometimes complaining that they were not as good as some of the Felo, Wiha and Wera drivers that we were lately stocking at our workout centers.
HF has been turning out some decent toolsxas if late. Their Pittsburgh Pro ratchets are legit. Their Quinn & Doyle pliers too. These screwdrivers look promising. I’d still stay far away from their cordless powertools, but they have definitely upped their quality the last 5 or so years.
I think the main problem facing HF is an “image problem”, not so much a “tool problem”. They made their “bones” selling ultra cheap, disposable, Chinese made tools that could barely survive the ride home, nevermind in a professional setting. And because of that, there is a whole generation of guys who stay as far away from HF as possible. Over the last 10 years, HF has realized this and has really been working on getting SOME (some, not all) professional grade tools. And when you can find those gems they can be just as good as the name brand, but 1/10th the cost of the real deal.
If you are the guy looking for Professional quality tools and money is an issue. Learning how to shop at HF may be your best bet. For example, anything labeled “Pittsburgh PRO” is leaps and bounds above regular Pittsburgh stuff. Everyone knows about U.S. General tool boxes and carts. The Daytona jack is identical to snap-ons (everyone knows the story)… Harbor Freight does have SOME good stuff… But to shop at HF with the goal of picking up professional grade tools requires a little research on the part of the consumer, and alot guys just aren’t willing to take the time to LEARN how to shop at HF. To others, it is worth spending a little time to save alot of money. To be clear, NEITHER person is wrong. It’s up to the individual. Personally I like the hunt.
As to their new brands, the jury is still out. And I haven’t personally tried ALL of them, but I do own a good amount. Along with the brands named above, I HAVE tried or own Quinn, Doyle, Earthquake XT, Hercules, Bauer, Quantum, Braun, and Hardy (I’m sure I’m forgetting something). Out of all of those brands, nothing comes to mind as “junk”, nor are they ALL “Professional” grade tools. Like everything else, there’s a spectrum of quality. And I would definitely nudge Quinn screwdrivers more towards the Professional side than than the Junk side…. P.S. There is also a set of three Quinn pliers that are even better than their screwdrivers. Only being bested by Knipex…
I have some of the Quinn pliers, the linesman, needle nose and diagonal cutters. Got them a while ago when they had the 30% off $10 or less coupon. Made them $3 each for the needle nose and cutters and $5 for the linesman. Great quality for the price. Their Doyle brand is supposed to be a notch above the Quinn’s. They are a great plier at a great price. Don’t get me wrong I still have mostly channellocks, knipex and craftsman in my tool box. But HF quality has definitely gone up though……still no where near knipex, but for $3 a plier I don’t expect that.
Every Quinn branded tool I have purchased in the past couple months from Harbor Freight has been of excellent quality. I had one issue with some diagonal cutter pliers that the jaws were chipped when I took it out of the packaging. Those went back for warranty replacement and no problems since. The Quinn screwdrivers I haven’t used much, but so far they seem to be just as high quality as the sockets and pliers. I wish the phillips driver had a round shaft, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I have plenty of other screwdrivers, so if I run into a recessed screw that I can’t access, I still have options. The grip on the Quinn screwdrivers is what drew me to purchasing them. It is a well designed and very comfortable grip. Harbor Freight is taking Stanley Black & Decker head on! Harbor Freight quality is increasing and their prices aren’t increasing by much. We’ll see what happens when the full Icon lineup reaches the stores. If Stanley Black & Decker really wants to see the Craftsman brand do well, they are going to have to bring back the USA made tools with good quality and reasonable prices.
I’m a fan of harbor freight tools some stuff I like and some stuff I don’t. If I needed screwdrivers I’d get one good set. Harbor freight no, I don’t think so. As a diyer I don’t need the best. I have two cheap sets. And one craftsman set which was made in the USA.
Just wondering why no love from the ‘Post Author’, Stuart, for Channellock screwdrivers?! https://www.channellock.com/product-category/screwdrivers/
I purchased two big sets of them—back around 2011~2012—and they’ve been great screwdrivers in all ways that I’ve personally needed them to be.
Like the Irwins & Dewalt ‘demo driver’s’, they have ‘Go-Thru’ steel shafts—now round, although my sets are hex shafts—that are strong and go all the way through to the metal strike end cap; they also have laser-etched steel caps and magnetic tips.
The grips are described as: ‘High torque, 3-sided HOLD-E-ZEE® Code Blue grips’ ….and I guess I’d rate the grips as average, or decently fair, as I’ve never really thought about the grips much, except for the one sets’ blue/red (typical) color scheme; my 2nd Channellock set has blue/black handles as it was purchased at either Sam’s Club or Costco, and so was possibly manufactured color-wise specifically for that big-box retailer. Whereas I believe I purchased the typ blue/red handled set at Menards.
The Channellock tri-lobed screwdrivers are decent. I really didn’t like the coarse ratcheting screwdriver with the same handle, although I gave it to my father for longer term testing, and he loves it.
With those Channellock screwdrivers, they were originally licensed products at wholesale stores and the such, but Channellock ended up using the same OEM partner when making those screwdrivers their “core” line screwdrivers.
I wouldn’t say I have no love for those screwdrivers as much as a neutral lack of experience. Some screwdriver designs call to me, others not so much. The red and blue-handled Channellock screwdrivers fit the wide zone in between “I’d never try” and “I must try.” I’d be open to the idea if they landed in front of me, but have never really been actively interested in trying them. Maybe it’s the exaggerated shape?
Yes, I know what you mean 😉 I guess I bought the Channellock drivers in spite of the handles—more for the all-the-way-through steel shafts and end caps and magnetic tips etc—as I also did not like the looks, or color of them. I think I recall almost not buying them due to the ugly (in my opinion) shape and color of the handles. In fact, that’s probably also why I persuaded my boss, ehem, Shining Bride, that I needed another set, after noticing the blue/black handled set at Sam’s or Costco. 😉
Nice to see that Channellock is offering a ‘Professional Driver’ line of screwdrivers, “100% Made in USA”. I may look at them for replacements.
And by the way, Stuart, I was woefully remiss in failing to mention how much I truly enjoy reading your online Toolguyd articles and reviews w/accompanying comments. *thumbs up* =)) Upon finding this very informative tool news/reviews/guides/deals website—alas only within the last year—the Toolguyd website and your articles have been my go-to source whenever I’ve wanted or needed to research a brand or source or quality of tools. Thanks very much for all your great articles & reviews, and the time you’ve invested in creating them!
Thank you, I very much appreciate it!
. . . And it looks like the Channellock screwdrivers that I bought—with the blue/red & blue/black colored handles—are China made “to A.N.S.I. standards”, which somewhat surprises me as I usually only buy ‘Made in USA’; nevertheless they’ve been very adequate and pleasurable screwdrivers over the last 7~8 years.
I also see that the Channellock ‘Professinal Drivers’ are indeed ‘100% Made in USA’; *
. . .as well as all their pliers, which have been made at their plant in Meadville, Pennsylvania, for the last 114 years; *
*my apologies if link posting is not allowed.
When the tools launched 10 years ago (https://toolguyd.com/channellocks-new-code-blue-screwdrivers-and-nutdrivers/), Channellock wasn’t able to partner with a USA-based OEM or establish their own screwdriver manufacturing, and so the choice was to work with their overseas partner that they had positive experiences with, or not have main-line screwdriver options.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Channellock was able to add new USA-made screwdrivers. https://toolguyd.com/channellock-screwdrivers-usa/
Thanks again for that interesting information!
I love the recent Sears Craftsman screwdrivers with the diamond particles in the blades. They grab any screw without slipping. That is more important to me than the comfort of the grip.
On an average week, I spin a screwdriver handle an average of maybe 10 seconds. On a big, multi-day project, I spin one maybe 2 minutes a day. If the handles are grippy but harsh, I can take it. If the handles leave sticky goop on my hands, it’s going in the trash can. Long live power impact drivers! Long live Hammerhead power screwdriver. Ugh…
It seems like I buy Klein screwdrivers and take extra care of them and then buy HF screwdrivers and abuse the heck out of them.
I first bought the Pittsburg Pro set most are talking about, over three years or more ago and have used them like a rented mule. Guess what? They are still going strong, you simply cannot damage the flat bits at all. I have actually worn out one, and only one, phillips bit, but I used it to poke holes in drywall, wood, pried with them on everything, drove hundreds of screws, even used them as a punch. No kidding, they’re almost as indestructible as a screwdriver can be.
Then I bought the two pack of Quinn screwdrivers and they are even stronger, if that is possible. I have used both hard and the tips on both are nearly pristine. The phillips is my go to #2 when I have a super tight screw.
I still use Klein screwdrivers in my HVAC work, but I can easily damage the tips without trying too hard, and I hate the grips, so when I go through the latest ones, I’m looking at something else. I only wish there were more cabinet tip screwdrivers out there.
I love my Pittsburgh set. I bought them to reside in my tractor shed, where I expected them to rust away or disappear 1 by 1 as they took a ride on top of my farm implements. After about 10 years, the tractor shed is gone, but I still have the screwdrivers. They’re also my go-to set. I have never loved bulky “comfort” grips that seem to get filthy and turn into goo after about 3 years. I like the slim handles, and the square, full-length shanks. And, 7 bucks for the 8 piece set isn’t bad either!
I bought a set of the Quinn drivers about a month ago and used them a couple of times for small projects. Last night I pulled one of the screwdrivers out and thought that it looked “OFF”. I put a small square against the shaft and found that it was bowed about 2* in the middle…I did not do it…so it came out of the package like that…it is now in the trash.
Probably caused by heat treatment. Shoddy, but at least they heat treat them and the blades won’t wear out fast.