I was jawboning with an older Sears employee during a wrench exchange. I'd bought my first good set of sockets when I was 16 and about 4 years later I'd broken the 1/4" driver, then the replacement was so bad I took it back shortly thereafter. The replacement "rebuild" was clearly inferior to the original, as were the new versions on the shelves.
The point is I was complaining about the quality, hoping maybe there was a pre-1990 wrench laying around which he could give me in exchange. Instead what he told me was that Sears started designing the tools to fail intentionally. The theory being that they want you to come into Sears when you are in the middle of a project. The broken wrench hardly costs them the amount you're likely to spend there instead of otherwise going to Lowes or HD or whereever.
Look at an old craftsman flatblade screwdriver next to a new one. The new one is fluted so that it is much more likely to break when used as a pry tool. Their torx are the same way- my "cheapie" one piece torx bits will lose their corners, but the craftsman version with the separate shank will just do a nice spiral splinter if you put too much pressure on it.
It's a shame that a replacement policy that used to stand for quality tools is now used as a bait and switch to push chinese junk...