Once I was in a jam, and needed a driver bit for my drill. In desperation, I cut off the end of a Craftsman screwdriver, and completed the job.
Well, I took the screwdriver handle down to Sears so I could get an exact replacement...to buy, not to exchange. It was never my intention to try to get a free replacement, but the clerk noticed the handle in my hand, and insisted that I get a new one for free. This, after I had already paid for the new one.
Over time I have tested the warrantee, from California to New York to Florida…never a problem. I am sure valid claims exist against the warrantee policy, but it seems more towards a particular store’s interpretation, or even that of a particular employee. My only problem with returning a tool has been with Husky tools. Someone gave me a ratchet for Christmas, but the ratchet mechanism stripped. Home Depot said I was abusing it, using too much pressure, and rudely would not take it back. I simply went to another store. No need to call in the marines.
My biggest problem is loosing tools, or loaning them to neighbors who then move to Alaska.