Not nearly as long as they used to John.
Good topic though,
I buy all my own tools, even though I work for a PoCo.
Now my job requires me to keep in good condition a lot of specialised tools that your average electrician wouldn't usually need.
But having said that, I've got all the things that you guys would usually use in a day on the tools at work, I am after all an electrician first and foremost.
Buying even things these days like holesaws and drills requires a lot of care, I bought a new set of good quality holesaws last year some time and already they are starting to get blunt.
One other thing I've had a really bad run with is Klein pliers and side-cutters, they don't seem to have the same quality as they used to for some strange reason.
I went to cut a 16mm2 copper wire with my sidey's about 6 weeks ago and the jaws broke, I could not believe what I was seeing, I've used Klein tools since I've been in the trade
and considering that they aren't exactly sold at "Bargain Basement" prices, I was rather peeved.
The same with the pliers, the gripping faces on the pliers don't seem to last as long these days, I am after all only twisting copper with them.
But one tool that really annoyed me about 3 months ago was one of my hydraulic crimping tools, it uses a Porta-pak to bring the crimp head up to pressure to crimp the lug and half way through the crimp (which was in a rather awkward position for a start), decided it would blow a hose, shooting hot oil all over a newly painted wall.
Oddly enough John,
At another company where I used to work a few years back, there was a guy there that used to buy his tools from the "bargain bin" at the local big-box store, I'm talking $2 pairs of pliers, a $7 multimeter
, 50c screwdrivers, dodgiest rubbish you could ever buy, he used to go through tonnes of these tools, but he liked it that way.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess.